Tuesday, October 11, 2011

How to make quilt for housekeeper

Cristine's Bosties
For my housekeeper Cristine, who has Boston Terriers
Featured fabrics: Dottie the Boston Terrier, housekeeping chores, dog bones, dog paws
62" square. Original design.
Completed 10/10/2011

Home Circle block
Dottie the Boston Terrier and housekeeping fabric

Hearth and Home block
Dottie the Boston Terrier and dog bones

"Lots of twists and turns on this quilt, but what a great story it has."

How I did it: My housekeeper Cristine has been cleaning for me for about seven years. It was her turn to get a quilt. Cristine has Boston Terriers and I wanted to include them in the design somehow. After much searching, I discovered a fabric called Dottie the Boston Terrier at Spoonflower.com. The fabric is rather expensive and takes three weeks to get because they print fabric as it is ordered. I bought a fat quarter and figured I could make the little piece of fabric work somehow.

Once I had the Boston Terrier fabric in hand, I found a housekeeping fabric online at Equilter.com. Still with no design in mind I ordered a yard.

When the housekeeping fabric arrived, I searched for quilt blocks whose names related to housekeeping or Boston Terriers. I chose Home Circle and Hearth & Home blocks. By making very large blocks, I could fussy cut the Boston Terriers and put them in the centers of each block, and I could put the housekeeping fabric in the large diamonds of the Home Circle blocks. The big spaces helped show off the theme fabrics.

I designed the quilt using Electric Quilt and using the Fabric Yardage Estimator I gathered a few more fabrics to complete the collection.

In early September I had seven of the nine quilt blocks sewn together. I took two sample blocks to church to show to my quilting friends. A lady accidentally walked away with the sample blocks, not knowing she had them. I attend a big church and I didn't know the lady. I put the project on hold, hoping she'd come back with the blocks the next Sunday. I got to talk to her and she promised to bring back the blocks, but several weeks later, she still has not returned them.

After a three-week break, I went forward with the quilt. The blocks would need to be replaced. Unfortunately there wasn't enough housekeeping fabric to make another block as originally designed, and the only leftover Boston Terrier fabric was in the bag with the missing blocks.

Left: blocks as originally designed
Right: replacement blocks

I re-designed the blocks, substituting dog paw fabric for the housekeeping fabric, and changing out the centers. I put the dog paw block in the center as if I always meant it to be there. The Hearth and Home block that has the different center really doesn't look that much different.

I'm looking forward to giving the quilt to Cristine and telling the story of her quilt. It's quite a tale.

Lessons & tips: If you need to meet with someone, be sure you have each other's phone numbers. The lady who walked off with my blocks had my phone number but I didn't have hers. I probably could have gotten my blocks back a long time ago if I had been able to contact her by phone.

If things go wrong as they did in this quilt, be open to alternatives. It's a good test of creativity to have to adjust. Who knows? Maybe the quilt will be better. Regardless, you will have a good story to tell about how you overcame a problem.

If the motifs of your theme fabrics are large, try large blocks with big empty spaces to show off the fabrics.

Resources: Spoonflower.com
Electric Quilt

It took me 6 months.

It made me Very glad


  1. Beautiful quilt. I love the Dottie the Boston Terrier fabric; I order other things from Stichy Witch Designs and love them. (I'm a Boston Terrier lover, though, so I'm probably biased.)

  2. This is the most thought out and thoughtful quilt I think that I have ever seen. Kudos to you for all that you put into it! It is just lovely and makes me want to look at each bit of it up close and personal..because that is what it is ..something close to you and very personal. What a very, very nice quilter you are Debbie!!! She will be so touched, it is beautiful!


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