Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Feathers and Paisley for Animal Rescue

I was so paranoid about changing my sewing machine settings before my Groove Quilt top was complete, that I haven't been able to keep up with September's Free Motion Quilting Project exercises. That's especially sad because this was the month we tackled paisley designs, which are some of my favourites. I'd been really hoping we would get a chance to work on them... and then I almost missed it!

To practice these designs, I put together a cat sized flannel blanket, which will be donated to an animal rescue centre through the Snuggles Project. Visit their page to find out how your sewing practice can benefit a local animal rescue organization.

I started this blanket by stitching September's FMQ Challenge design in the centre. It's a little wobbly, but I'm happy with how my travel stitching is coming along. This design was too traditional for me though, I would adapt it from a ring of feathers into a ring of flames next time.

Once the centre ring was complete, I started surrounding it with paisley designs. I spent the most time practicing traditional paisley in order to get a feel for the technique.

I love the organic look of this paisley, but quickly realized that this wasn't an ideal quilting design for this project. One of the most important parts of donating a blanket to an animal shelter is making sure that the blanket won't shrink or warp when it's washed. Shelter attendants don't have time to deal with that.

These paisley designs have a lot of very close stitching, and I was afraid that would interfere with the purpose of the blanket. The more stitching there is, the more it's likely to shrink when washed. I tried to make the next design much looser and avoid travel stitching as much as possible. This one is called lava paisley.

 I also dedicated a corner of the blanket to snake paisley and pointy paisley:

I really liked this family of designs, and look forward to working on them more, but I learned the lesson that not all quilting styles are appropriate for all projects. To pursue this, I am going to give this blanket a wash and see how it holds up.
I leave you with a view of the full blanket (from the back). I hope it can brighten a kitty's day!


  1. All of the paisley designs look fabulous!

  2. I know what you mean. I don't want to change out a project from my machine when I am having good momentum on it. I didn't quilt out my flowing lines sample until I was 100% done with the quilting on my Greek Cross quilt. Nice job on your paisleys. It's so sweet of you to provide warmth to those lucky little kitties;)

  3. I read about the snuggles project about 10 years ago. It prompted me to buy my very first sewing machine and start quilting. I've been in love with quilting ever since! I donate mine (I call them Table Scraps) locally to both animal shelters and rescues and I donate my larger quilts for auctions and raffles. I have been fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to pass on my live of quilting and my love of animals by involving the local girl scouts to help make these too.

  4. It looks SO cool on the back with all of them together!