My First Quilt (finished January 2014)

This is actually a picture of the first clothing I ever made for Suey. I took a sewing class in the summer of 2013, and my main goal was to get comfortable with a machine so I could make little jumpsuits for Suey. It’s not hard to find dog clothes in his size, but the 4-legged jumpsuits don’t always fit well when purchased from the rack.

So far, fleece is my favorite material for making his clothes. It’s warm, it holds its shape well, and it’s very durable (unlike knits).  Plus, it’s very convenient to buy fleece remnants from the local fabric shop for just a few dollars each. It takes less than a yard to make a full jumpsuit for Suey!

After 6 months of making clothes for him, I had lots of fabric leftover. And I realized… I should learn to quilt and make good use of those scraps!!

I bought a quilting book, but I wrapped it up and put it under the xmas tree. In the meantime. I found a free mini-class on Craftsy (Piece, Patch, Quilt: Basic Quiltmaking Skills by Gail Kessler), and it was all I needed for real inspiration and understanding of how to get started.

I was home alone on New Year’s Eve, recovering from the flu, when I started cutting my pieces. I used a piece of cardboard for a square template (since I didn’t have any awesome quilting rulers yet).

I used the guestroom bed to figure out the layout of all the pieces.

And then I started sewing them together for the top. I realize now that fleece wasn’t a good choice for my first quilt. I did try ironing the seams and such, but I don’t know how much difference it made. Luckily, I had this fancy new machine I’ve just received as a gift from my husband, and it handled the challenge beautifully!

I decided to use fleece backing, and even though it was already super thick, I still added batting. Machine quilting it was tough! Thank goodness I had an excellent walking foot that was able to help move the huge bulky fabric and seams along.

I really enjoyed sewing on the binding, as did many of my pets.

And here’s the finished project! I’ve learned that unless I lock Suey in another room, he’s gonna pose with my quilts, too.

This quilt is insanely thick and warm. It’s almost too hot to sleep under, but we sure have appreciated it a few nights when the power was out! It’s very sturdy and has held up wonderfully to multiple washes. Plus, I love looking back and seeing fabric remnants from Suey’s old clothes (plus a few outfits I made for dogs of family, too).

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