Dog Theme Placemats

I had a request to make quilted placemats for my oldest son.  They wanted a dog theme and washable for daily use. We didn’t discuss in  detail about what that theme should be.  I started looking at patterns and really wasn’t seeing what I wanted.  They have a black lab so just any dog wouldn’t do! After much searching, I decided to go with a traditional quilt pattern from Quiltworx called Broken Daisy and use animal theme prints.   I needed really small prints for this one.

This definitely was a labor of love.  I’m still trying to recover from my total knee replacement and having a very difficult time.  I learned to run the machine with my left foot.  I realized that it was not possible for me to stand to do all the cutting and trimming needed.   I ordered a nice adjustable height stool for my cutting table which is open at the bottom so there is space for my legs.  I had to do the same in the kitchen but it is more awkward because your legs are in front of the cabinet and your body further away.  What I can’t do though is cut too far away from me or to the right and left. Not perfect but lets me cut for an hour or chop a salad.  Who knew 4 months after knee replacement I would be worse than before surgery?!

Finished, bound, done!  Delivered and they said they love them.

Fun quilting design
I did it, quilted and cut out.  It wasn’t easy.

It took me at least 3 attempts of standing and sitting to get these 8 placemats basted onto the backing.  And even worse for me was the realization that when finished, I would need to CUT EACH ONE OUT AGAIN!  Oh my gosh. The little things we take for granted.   Quite a few tears shed on this one.

I purchased the backing fabric first.  I loved it!  The Canine Chronicles.   I found right away the larger paw print.  But the next prints were harder to find in yardage and the right colorway.   I chose the background because it reminds me of a park type setting.  Balls, streams, fish, flowers. This was one fabric.  The paw print was too large scale for the binding and I finally found the little bone print that was perfect for the binding and tied in the bones used in the compass units.  The color of the rays coordinate with their decor. 

Trimming the half units was when I realized I could not stand and do this.  16 of those units.  After the 1st 3, I placed a cutting mat on my sewing machine table and trimmed up sitting at my sewing machine and ordered the stool for my cutting table.

Of course, I was going to clean my bobbin area and check thread status before starting the binding and the rivet popped out of my Bernina bobbin case assembly.   This happened about a year ago and I was given a temporary fix because they did not have the part in stock.  I happened to be at the Bernina quilt shop for sew day when this occurred the 1st time.  Cupcakes Quilt Shop set to work and got me going for the day with a temp fix that lasted me at least a year.  Thankfully my 19 year old son was home so he brought up my travel machine that lives in the coat closet by the front door.   He figured out how to change the height setting on my studio cabinet and surprisingly, the width of my Sew Steady Jr fit into the space!  I would not have been able to carry it upstairs if he had not been home.  Whew.
Every quilt tells a story.   This one has much pain and sorrow but hopefully the finished product does not reflect that!  Last weekend trying to finish the binding, I was in so much pain I wanted to go to the ER but my hubby is out of state and my son was on a weekend getaway at the beach with friends.  I could not deal with driving and also felt the ER would not help me.  They have too many fears of people seeking drugs today and doctors / nurses treat everyone like a drug addict.  I didn’t feel they would do xray or anything, just tell me to call my OS on Monday.  Which I did, and they didn’t believe me either.  More tears.  I did get to see my family practice doc and he agreed this has gone on too long especially with no support from my OS.  I now have an appointment later this month with another OS with a very impressive  bio.  My GP also gave me meds that work on the nerve endings and insisted I wear a brace.  Oh my gosh my pain level is so much better!!  It is amazing the difference this weekend to last weekend.  I had to go back to using my walker and cane to walk and still could barely get around.  Enough so that I did not dare try to drive.   Today I can walk across the living room with only the brace, limping of course, popping and clicking.  Only 4 days of meds.  My GP has saved me!  Hopefully the new OS will get me on the right track to healing and living a normal life.
I know I am slower with this because of my condition, but I sure wish I had tracked my hours.  I know it was a lot.   Basically it is a quilt minus sashings.  One of my friends said about 80 hours including quilting and binding.   I think I am way up there too. The placemats call for 5 yards of fabrics for 4, so 10 yards for the 8 and you know we all buy extra.  The patterns, the quilting design, the time.  Absolutely the most expensive placemats I have ever made!   The things we do for our children.  But I do love them and the placemats.  I hope they love and enjoy using them.