Cuddle applique and pondering quilt size

When I saw a sample of Robinson Pattern Company's "The Midnight Wolf" baby quilt, I knew it would be perfect for a baby baby quilt I need to make by mid-August.  The family has a big fluffy white Samoyed dog, and I decided I could turn the wolf into a Samoyed by using white and cream instead of grey and white.

Midnight Wolf applique pattern on Building Blocks pattern background

Isn't he cute?  The background in the original pattern is just a single length of fabric, but I wanted more color than that. I don't know if the baby is a boy or a girl, and I don't know the parents well enough to know if they feel strongly about colors being gender-specific, so I was stuck for a little while.  I thought about green and orange, and maybe a little yellow, but didn't know exactly how to pull it all together. 

Two weeks ago, my husband and I took a little mini-vacation to Decorah, Iowa, and stopped at Red-Roxy Quilt Company.  Didn't they just happen to have a baby quilt made up in just those colors?  Hubby agreed it would make a great backdrop for the white dog, so I bought the pattern, Building Blocks by MacKay Manor Musers. I didn't want to make it as a quilt as you go pattern as written, and it isn't complicated to draft, but I didn't come up with the layout on my own either so I paid for the pattern.  I think the designers deserve that as they did come up with what I thought was perfect for my purpose when I couldn't come up with something suitable out of thin air myself.

Piecing a crib size quilt took very little time with these lovely big chunks of fabric.  Two evenings and voilĂ !

Here it is before I added sashing

Next up was the applique. This was my first time using Shannon Cuddle for applique. It is similar to minky, but a different brand and only stretches in one direction.  I wasn't sure using an iron on Cuddle was a good idea.  I wasn't confident that the heat required to fuse fusible web wouldn't melt the fibers.  It might have been fine, but I got around the worry by using a temporary adhesive designed to temporarily stick pattern pieces to fabric (202 Spray).  After I cut the shapes from the fabric, I removed the pattern pieces and sprayed the back of the applique pieces with basting spray (505 Spray) to keep them in place on the background while I sewed the pieces to the background.

While I was positioning the pieces for applique, the head ended up tilted a bit compared to the original layout in the Midnight Wolf pattern.  I thought that cocked head looked friendlier and more playful, so I left it that way.

Wolf-turned dog with straight head and cocked head

With the fuzzy edges of the cuddle I found it a little tricky to figure out exactly where the edge of my applique pieces were to get my zigzag stitches positioned properly as I sewed, but everything came out well enough.  Just a note about the white cuddle:  though it is nice and plush, you can still see colors show through!  I had to add a muslin backing to my white applique pieces to mask the colored blocks behind the dog.

So, the dog is sewn to the background, and now it occurs to me that this quilt is a bit too big for a baby quilt!  I want to add thin borders to match the sashing, so the finished size would be 47" x 62".  I think I might take off the top row of blocks and make the quilt 47" square.  Or not.  I do like a larger baby quilt to give lots of room for baby's tummy time and so the baby can keep using it into the toddler years.  But 62" is perhaps too much...I think I need to sleep on it and reconsider in the morning.


  1. Oh, so cute!! The cocked head is the perfect touch! Happened by accident, or serendipity? A delightful results, either way. Very clever combining of two patterns. And as you are a pattern designer, you are sensitive to the issue of copyright. I wish more people were. I can't understand why people think it is okay to borrow a pattern and photocopy it--or see a pattern in a store and draw it up and go home and figure it out, thinking they are so clever to avoid paying for it. I don't even design patterns, but I have plenty of friends that do. Okay, I will step off my soapbox now. : )

  2. I like the tilted head on the dog - it looks cute - and I love the bright coloured background in citrus hues. I always make big baby quilts but you have to be happy with it.

  3. It's just adorable! 62" seems long, but makes a great quilt to grow up with. They aren't little for long!

  4. Keep it that size then it can be used on the bed as a topper. Won't take long for the baby to be in a bed. That's a great size

  5. Very cute, I like the colors and I like the dog's head tilted. It reminds me of the look our Cocker used to give-to me it looks like a curious type look.

  6. It's a super cute quilt. I would leave it that size. It will grow with the baby, and be useful much longer.

  7. This is so cute and colorful. I really like his head tilted to the side.

  8. What a great baby quilt. I think it is perfect as is. I especially like the tilted head. All of our dogs over the years have done that, not because they actually listened to me, though.

  9. I knew if anyone could tame a wolf and turn it into a puppy, it would be you :-D
    When a quilt is too big, one can simply fold one side of it to make a super thin pillow. I'd skip the borders and keep the size. Finish it already. Don't you have seventeen other projects demanding your attention?

  10. So cute, that applique! If you decide to take the top row off you can always use it as pieces for the back of the quilt.

  11. this has worked beautifully and my favourite colours too. Love the way the dog`s head is placed seems to make him look as though he is really curious about what is going on. Both keeping it that size or making it smaller would work wonder if you have decided yet

  12. Love the puppy/wolf it is so adorable. I would leave the size as is.

  13. Hi Joanne, what a gorgeous quilt. Isn't is awesome when things just come together like that? I just love the tilted head - it really makes a difference. He's so jaunty!
    I agree about buying the pattern. I wasn't so fussy about such things until I got to know the quilting community through blogging. Now I totally respect a creator's right to get paid for their pattern.

  14. This is so a sweet. I love the wolf turned dog. Possibility: you could use the top row to make a matching pillow

  15. I've never used fabrics like cuddle--your dog turned out adorable! I would leave the quilt the size it is so it can be used longer.

  16. How sweet is that?!? Your friends are going to love that you captured the family Samoyed in Cuddle fabric :)

  17. I had to come back because someone made one and put it in out quilt show and it was so awesome! Now I know how yours feels/looks in person! Wow!

  18. That is adorable and so special that the dog is on the quilt. Love the colors! Babies don't stay little for long, so a bigger quilt will be enjoyed longer. Nice job!


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