Sometime last year, a friend of mine posted a picture of Elizabeth Hartmann's "Dogs in Sweaters" quilt to my Facebook page and suggested I should make it for her. My immediate response was, "Yeah, right. Unless you have a baby, I am not making you a quilt!" I conceded that I might, one day in the very far flung future make her a throw pillow. Six months later while fabric shopping with my husband's aunt, I ran across the pattern. On a whim, I threw it in my shopping basket.
The pattern sat in my sewing hutch for a couple months before I pulled it out to actually look at it. When I saw that the fabric requirements for a throw sized quilt could be made with fabrics I already had on hand, I decided I would make my friend the quilt. At that same time, my friend's dear little dog Luna was hit by a car and killed. I knew then, that I really wanted to make the quilt for her as a sort of memorial for Luna.
I chose to make the dogs black as little Luna was a black pup. I also picked out fabrics that reminded me of my friend's family. I remember seeing her boys wear orange plaid shirts one year, so of course one of the dogs needed orange plaid! And, I remember her sweet girls coming into my Sunday school classes all decked out in pinks and purples. So, I included a dog wearing a purple sweater.
With each of the dog blocks being made up of about 60 different pieces, I was bound to make a few mistakes. Thankfully they were easily fixed! Twice when building the blocks, I missed the piece of background fabric that made their little back ends slant down. You can see the difference in these pictures above between the dog wearing an orange sweater where I missed the piece and the blue sweater wearing dog. I can't seem to sew without a seam ripper nearby!
Whenever I am making a quilt for someone, whether it's for a new baby or for a friend, it's a chance for me to think of that person and pray for them while I sew. On top of the loss of her dog this last year, I know that my friend has been going through a lot of difficult health issues. She has been in pain daily which keeps her from feeling like herself or able to do the things she would like to do. And yet, even through all of this, she keeps a smile on her face and doesn't complain. She is one of the most amazing and humble people I have ever met, and I feel pretty lucky to be her friend.
I had set a goal for myself of finishing the quilt before I would see my friend at our monthly Bible study meeting in March. The weekend I was finishing up the binding on the quilt, I was also dog-sitting for my sister. Auggie seemed to think the quilt was made for him instead of my friend! I must say he looks quite cute here! When I saw my friend on Sunday, I was able to surprise her with the quilt. I had not told her that I would actually be making it. I think this was a good kind of surprise!
P.S. The quilting was done by my friend Heather of Quilts on the Fly. She always has great patterns to choose from, like the dog paws in this quilt! Heather always does a fantastic job on my quilts and is great to work with!