I hate it when people say “it’s just a dog”, to justify being cruel or neglectful, or to make themselves feel superior to something. People with children seem especially affronted by the idea that I love (I mean, really really really love) my dogs, as though they have to prove a hierarchy of love or something. There is no set amount of love that a dog deserves, there is no rule that it must be less than a child-sized amount, or a husband-sized portion. Love grows and shrinks according to how big and open you let your heart become. And if I really, really, really love my dogs, it’s certainly not taking any love away from anybody else. I promise I’ll write an essay on it one day, but for now, on to the beloved creatures.
This year, I set myself the ambitious task of making three little quilts for the furry children in our families. Every dog (and cat) should have something special, something lovely that was made just for them. I made Rupert a special quilt when he was in intensive care, and now I want all of our animals to have one, as a little token to make sure they that know how beloved they are. It was a massive race to get them done in time for Christmas though, and there were more than a few teary moments of frantically trying to defluff my sewing machine so that the bobbin would stop tangling, but I got there in the end!
This one was for my sister’s dog Decima (who was, of course, born on 10/10/10). Deci is a completely black Cocker Spaniel, so she looks great with really bright colours.
This one was for my other sister’s little fatty cat Minou (aka Mr Kitty). He’s a ginger cat and a boy, so I wanted to find a balance between being pretty but not too girly. The only guideline I got from my sister Caitlin was that “his favourite colour is orange”.
This one was for Nathan’s parents’ dog Gizmo (also called Gizimozo). Gizmo is the oldest of the bunch, so I went for an autumnal, grown-up palette.
Despite the photos, they all turned out perfectly square (the wind was blowing when we took the shots). All three of them were just a simple disappearing nine-patch (the only pattern I know) made from two packs of charm squares per quilt. So, so easy, and looks more complicated than it actually is. The only reason they took me a long time to make is that I’m not particularly confident about techniques like chain piecing yet. To make them snuggly and easily washable, I quilted directly onto polar fleece and machine stitched the bound edges to save time. As gifts, they were a hit!