Friday, April 8, 2011

Poodles in the Garden

I love participating in on-line swaps.  My favorite is STUD.  Swap 'til You Drop is hosted by Flickr and is a bi-monthly occurrence.

For the March/April 2011 swap I had two partners.  Our theme was "My favorite things." (I mentioned it in an earlier post.)  Yesterday I told you about the quilt I made for FlossieBlossoms.  Today you get to learn about the quilt for CrazyPoodleGirl.

PoodleGirl's favorites?
view photostream

crazy poodle girl says:

These are a few of my favorite things

1. Poodles (of course)
2. Vegetable Gardens
3. Landscapes
4. Birds
5. Butterflies

I took her list with me to Dallas Quilt Celebration.  I had no idea what I was looking for...but I found a fat quarter of what looks to be a reproduction of famous dog drawings on it.  I didn't get the selvage edge (rats) but the print has the name "Tammi Skeefe" on it.  You can sort of see it on the top edge of the photo - it had 4 standard grey poodles on it.

When I got home I discovered another fat quarter - this one depicting a vegetable garden - and a ton of scraps from my "brown period"  (That's a story for another day.)

A trip to Happiness is Quilting netted some gardening tools fabric and a cool grassy green.

Poodles, vegetables, gardening tools, brown and green - sounds like Poodles in the Garden.  Sure.

Vegetables, brown earth, and puppies...the start to a quilt

I worked on this quilt on and off during my guilds recent retreat.  Many, many of my friends stopped by to ask what I was doing. 

Design elements pinned together.

My first step was to apply Mistyfuse to the backs of my poodles and cut them out. 
On to the garden.  The vegetables on my fabric were too big to use as individual appliques.  I thought, maybe I could create an appearance of sprouting things if I only showed bits of them.

I once saw a darling dress for a little girl that was made of gingham and pleated so that at different points you saw only red or only white.  My plan was to duplicate the effect in my garden.  I cut strips of equal width and length of my browns and veggies and sewed them together making stripes.  Then I "pleated" the brown rows so that they covered the veggies and sat on them with an iron.  (I also basted the ends and center down so the buggers would get the idea.)

I let that marinate over night.

In the morning I hand stitched some of the brown folds so that they would fall in the opposite direction, and added the gardening tools border, fused the poodles and added a tree to ballance the composition. 

It needed something more....

buttons!!  When I got home from the retreat I took a look in the Just Another Button Company catalogue.  Boy howdy, a plethora of goodies!  I found cabbage, melon, carrots, a dog bone, a little bird, and a pretty butterfly.  Perfect. there are veggies in the garden and the grass is green, then there have to be leaves on the tree.  How do I do that?  Buttons are to expensive to dress a tree with them.  I'd already added a bunch of bulk with the pleated garden and didn't want to do more applique.  What about ribbon?  I went to Joanne's and found a spool of thin green ribbon and embroidered the leaves on....the tree turned a little Willowy.

But a quilt isn't a quilt if it isn't quilted.  Dare I say thought was "Oh crap."  My solution was to disconnect the computer driver on my Gammel and attempt a little free quilting.  This is not where my talents lie.  Kudos to all of the long armers out there who do this every day.

The finished quilt - doodle quilted (I just made that term up.  Do you like it?)  I doodled grass and more leaves in the tree.  I doodles a trail for the butterfly and ruffed up dirt for the poodle with the bone.  Then I got silly and added a "squirrel" and a "bunny".  (Those are in quotes because you have to have a really good imagination to identify the animals.)  I scribbled bark on the tree and melon vines and a cabbage or two; and finally I but a vine/heart sort of border in the garden tool section.

And I added a label!

Ta-da!  I hope that Crazy Poodle Girl enjoys her little quilt.  I think I did.

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