Woof Got Mail

When quilts take on a life of their own, it makes my heart happy! Woof Got Mail had its own plans early on.

Woof got Mail
I usually don’t do swaps because my days are so full already. When Martha Dill Lindberg posted her swap, I found the little envelopes irresistible! As I was creating my own group of envelopes, I began to consider how I was going to layout the finished product.
 
30 Blocks, how to arrange 30 blocks but have something fun and unique? I jumped on EQ8 (and started placing the blocks with and without sashing, as well as with borders. It all looked sort of boring and then… I had a thought. This needs a mailbox!
 
Woof got mail layout

Top Design

Placing a mailbox on top of the pretty blocks was no good, so I did what I do often, and put a big blank block in the center. From here Woof Got Mail started to take life.
 
A single mailbox was not enough, the quilt was still boring. I needed to add more stuff and then our dogs started barking. AHA! Then I put my notes together and set them aside in anticipation of the arrival of my blocks.
Woof got mail blocks

Aren’t they amazing? I love all the variety, the fussy cutting and the color! Now it was time to think about my design in earnest. The first thing I did was to rummage through photos of our 3 schnauzers. In the end, I sketched our pups according to their personalities. Here they are in real life and as I started to sketch them:

Our Puppies
 
 
Woof got mail drawings
In the future, I want to try to do more realistic renditions of animals, but for now, this quilt was about simplicity. I wanted to recognize my puppies without making things too complicated.
 
Here is the layout of the drawings.
Woof got mail applique layout
I liked how these elements filled out the space, so the next step was choosing fabrics. Because I was looking for uncomplicated representations, I stuck to simple elements. Eddie, who standing up, has a black and white and grey coat coloring so I picked a base fabric with grey and black swirls. Added to this was a mottled grey for his spots. Loki, who is laying down, is a salt and pepper Schnauzer who likes to relax. Finding her base fabric in the Grunge line was perfect. Finally, Lulu is white, so a white on white was very easy to pick.
 
The mailbox, was a gift. I found the pretty woodgrain fabric for the post and decided to use it on the outside of the box. A thin blue line mirrors the one we have on display on our own mailbox. But what do I put inside?
 
I considered letters, but that was redundant, and then, as I was looking at my fabrics, I had a thought! There was a beautiful blue, black and gold fabric full of butterflies that I had been hoarding. I pulled it down and fondled it to find that the fabric was super thin and not fit to piece! Perfect! After all this time, these butterflies had found a home. I put them inside and outside of the mailbox and even sprinkled among my pups.

Custom Quilting

Quilting Woof Got Mail was a challenge. At first I thought to do an E2E pattern but realized that I was missing many opportunities. The blocks and middle were a playground for expression.
 
First I tackled the blocks, using a block digitized motif. This design placed a flower inside each fussy-cut center.
Woof Got Mail Block quilting

This design choice created some wonderful texture and left a small spot at each juncture for a paw print!

I love my Handiquilter Avante’

Woof Got Mail Pawprint

Finally, in the center, I opted for a swirly overall background fill with a twist. I dotted this area with digitized butterflies to complete the textured background

Woof got mail butterfly
 
 
The final effect is a quilt that I will cherish for years to come. It is a combination of blocks from a swap and images of our beloved pups. I couldn’t be happier.
 

Final Quilt Stats

Quilt Name: Woof Got Mail
Size:55 x 64
Quilt Pattern: Custom
 
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