Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Alice of  BCQuilter challenged us to write about our first quilts.  Well, I can't write about the first one without including a second.  (The second was actually my 4th quilt.)  You will see why.

I spent about 4 years reading and researching quilting before I ever attempted my first quilt.  Everything I read made quilting seem really complicated and difficult, which really surprised me because I have been a sewer all my life.  Makes me laugh because those of us who learned by sewing clothing think quilting is difficult and those who learned by quilting think making clothing is difficult.  I looked at patterns and blocks, read directions, bought magazines, cutting mats, rotary cutter, pins (already had plenty of fabric), put sampler blocks together, and practiced pressing, but was never motivated (make that confident) enough to attempt a fulll-size quilt.  And then I found a quilt pattern in a little book that combined redwork embroidery and irish chain quilt blocks.

Well, I fell in love with the pattern (still love it) and decided within 5 seconds that I would make that quilt for my grandson, Liam (he's my first grand).  Instead of using the redwork designs from the book, I already had transfers for day of the week puppies (did I mention I love hand embroidery?), so decided to use them.  Cut the fabric, stamped it and started the embroidery.  I embroidered 4 sets of puppies using different shades of red. Found the red and white fabrics, paying careful attention to buy a light, medium and dark (I had never bought fabric that way before) and jumped in with both feet.  Here is the quilt:

That is Liam and my daughter in the picture.   Here is a look at the detail:

I made a pillow sham to match:

Here is Liam with his pillow sham:

But, Liam has a little brother, Warren.  So, of course, you can't make for one and not the other.  So, I found another set of puppies and made the same quilt for Warren.  The fabrics are diffent but the pattern is the same.  Here is Warren's quilt:

This is Warren and my daughter in the picture.  Here is a look at the detail:

Here is the pillow sham:

(I make pillow shams for all my quilts.)   The  two quilts are called "Playful Puppies I" and "Playful Puppies II".    I have a third set of puppy transfers for a future grandson, too, but we won't tell my daughter that - yet (BIG GRIN).



  1. I remember seeing both those from APQ. I thought they both were precious then, and I still do! Your handwork is beautiful! No one would ever guess they are first quilts! ---"Love"

  2. That's a great quilt pattern, I can see why you fell in love with it. Using the puppies for your grandson's was a great idea and the quilts are adorable (so are your grandsons)! ! ! Those are really special gifts from their grandma. The pillow shams are a great idea, too!

    If you have a third and it's a little girl, you can always make her's in shades of pink with pink puppy embroidery, that would be cute, too.


  3. It's such a charming quilt and the pillow sham is a wonderful idea. You were certainly ahead of your time with the redwork stitcheries. They are all the rage now, especially in Australia. Happy Stitching, Ann :-)

  4. I remember these!! You really did a wonderful job with all that redwork!! :) Christine

  5. I remember seeing these when you posted on APQ. Such lovely quilts, and who would have known they were your firsts? My father-in-law's aunt made beautiful hand quilted quilts with embroidered blocks. The two quilts we have from her were big inspirations in getting me quilting, though I haven't gone the embroidery route.

  6. I love those puppy quilts. The hand work is beautiful. I love doing hand embroidery and I did a redwork quilt (top) from a book I found in the clearance bin. Great idea to do the pillow shams to go with the quilts.
    Have you done any of the Crab Apple Hill Studios? If you haven't, check out the web Beth

  7. Liri,

    I'm so glad you took up the challenge. Your puppies x 2 quilts are great!

    Haven't we come a long way?


  8. Thank you all, ladies.

    Marsha: I did a pink one. Will blog about that one next.

    Beth: Checked out Crabapple Hill. See the button?

    Alice: Yes, we have come a long way!

    Anybody notice a trend here? I think we should all try to incorporate some of our previous blogs that were lost from APQ. There was just so much of us there.

  9. Wow! I haven't done hand embroidery for years, but you may tempt me...These are gorgeous and so are the boys. Love the idea of adding the pillow shams--certainly makes it a complete gift. And I'm looking forward to seeing the pink this wishful thinking? Mary

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