Puppy Love crib quilt sneak peak

Puppy Love, applique, dog crib quilt, www.quiltaddictsanonymous.com

It’s time for a sneak peak at the crib quilt I designed for my little one on the way.

I’m only halfway through the pregnancy, but I’m basing the decor of the entire nursery around this quilt, so I’m feeling the pressure to get it done.

First let me start by saying, I can’t draw, I just know how to use Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign, which are the programs I create all my quilts in. I’m not a graphic designer either, just a former newspaper designer. The skills translate well to quilting.

Puppy Love, applique, dog crib quilt, www.quiltaddictsanonymous.com

I start with images of dogs I like and I manipulate them until I’ve got a puppy I like to put on my quilt. A body from here, ears from there, a little stretching and slimming and this little guy is the result. The only part I drew freehand is the mouth.

There was some debate on whether he needed a mouth at all. The original design didn’t have one, but my husband thought the little guy needed one. I put the question to you all on social media and the opinions were mixed. Some thought he needed one, others thought adding a mouth would take away from his innocence. Ultimately I decided a thin mouth that followed the curve of the chin below would be the best of both worlds. The puppy could have a mouth, but it wouldn’t be a huge design element detracting from its cuteness.

Lest you all think I’m a hand applique queen, I use fusible applique for all my crib quilts. Let’s be honest, while crib quilts are heirlooms, they’re made to be loved by babies. They will be pooped, puked and peed on. If I’m going to spend hours and hours on hand applique, that won’t be its ultimate end.

Puppy Love, applique, dog crib quilt, www.quiltaddictsanonymous.com

I also outline all my fusible applique with a buttonhole stitch. Technically I could just quilt over it and call it a day. But I love the extra design element the outline stitch adds. Sometimes I choose matching thread, such as the variegated black for the eyes, nose and mouth, and other times I go for a darker look to make an applique piece pop against its background, such as the variegated brown for the tan dog body. Not only does the thread choice help it stand out against the light gray background, but it also helps define the body parts of the dog that overlap each other.

For the border, I knew I wanted to use the red fabric from the ball again for the skinny border, but was undecided when it came to the final bone border. I had the same print with three different background colors, red, brown and black to choose from. The red just kind of blended and there wasn’t much special about it next to the red border. The black tied into the background and brought that out more, and the brown tied in with the dog, emphasizing it.

Puppy Love, applique, dog crib quilt, www.quiltaddictsanonymous.com

I asked my husband to help me choose. His solution was to put the fabric on my belly and see if the baby kicked to show its preference. The baby was neutral on the matter, so I went with the black bone fabric and am very pleased with the final results.

Normally when I make these applique crib quilts I piece the background from similar colored neutral fabrics for an extra something to draw your eye in. That wasn’t possible with this fabric line so I just have one large piece of the plain gray. That’s the one design element I’m not thrilled with is all the open space. But it is going to give me an opportunity to have some fun with the quilting. But that’s another blog post. Let’s just say that it involves tracing the dog bone cookie cutter I once used to make homemade dog treats.

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