It’s almost finished.

This is cosy. Can we go out again?

Close enough for him to model for you, but I still need to work some sort of buttonhole between his shoulder blades for where the loop on his harness sits. It’s where the lead is clipped on, so I need access to that. Although he wears a martingale collar, I prefer not to clip his lead to that; greyhound necks are delicate and I don’t want to hurt him or cause damage if he pulls hard for some reason.

How do I look?

It’s a simple enough design, and I didn’t have to do a lot of tweaking to the pattern once I had it cut out. I sandwiched the three layers together and quilted it in a diamond pattern – easy enough, given that I could just follow the spot pattern. Once that was done, I overlocked/ serged the darts over his tail to make it fit the slope of his back and keep the draughts out.

Then I had to bind it. I didn’t have much of the red fabric with white snowflakes I wanted to use for the binding, so I used this calculator to work out whether I had enough. Isn’t it a brilliant tool? I knew it would have to be a bias strip because of all the curves, and I ended up using this method to make it. There are a couple of spots where you get two seams in close proximity, which is the only downside of this process, but they don’t make much difference to the ease of attaching and stitching it down.

I debated Velcro® versus snaps for closing the coat and belly band, but in the end I went with snaps. He stands still well to be dressed and harnessed, and snaps don’t catch on things or get full of fluff, dust and dog hair. I was worried about getting them through all those layers of fabric, particularly on the belly band, but I needn’t have worried.

It’s a good thing we’re having cool nights and mornings just now, or he wouldn’t get any use out of this till next winter. I’d better crack on with that buttonhole.

After all, a fashionable Mouse must have a decent wardrobe…


I discovered my buttonhole foot couldn’t cope with the size I needed, so I’ve had to improvise – and it’s done. The harness goes on first, then the coat. I flip the ring through the buttonhole, do up the coat, clip on the lead, and away we go. The Mouse and I have done a test run, and he seems pretty content. I’m fairly sure he’ll be rather more enthusiastic tomorrow morning when it’s cool!


What the well-dressed Mouse is wearing…

… on those cooler days

Poor lad, he’s very slender, ripped in fact, and not an ounce of body fat or thick fur to keep him warm. I had a struggle to find suitable polar fleece for the lining; we’re coming to the end of winter, and in any case, most of them are printed with either Frozen or My Little Pony motifs, or soccer balls or camouflage. Plain red took some work. I already had in my stash this lovely canvas spot fabric, intended for either a bag or an apron for myself, but I’m very happy to turn it over to Mouse’s wardrobe. The canvas is actually dark blue rather than black, as it appears in the photo, but that’s OK – I like dark blue!

And that left the batting. I’ll spare you the antics of getting a piece large enough assembled and taped together from my scrap batting stash, or the interesting hoops we had to jump through to get him to a) stand UP and b) stand STILL long enough for me to drape, cut and pin it to size and shape. Suffice it to say that there was extensive praising and rewarding.

So, the batting is effectively the pattern for this greyhound coat. You’ll see that the ‘arms’ at the front are uneven lengths. This is to allow them to wrap round under his neck and overlap on his chest, closing with snap fasteners. There are darts at the back, over the tail, to shape it so it curves down over his bottom instead of gaping. He’ll have a belly strap to hold it on, and I’ll have to work a sort of buttonhole on his back to allow us to clip the lead onto his harness underneath. I need to create a paper pattern from the batting to allow me to make another and adapt the pattern as required once usage has shown us any issues.

It’ll be sandwiched, quilted, bound and ‘snapped’, the belly strap stitched on and the buttonhole/slit worked. And then, it’ll be time to make a matching belt bag for treats, poo bags, garage door zapper and my phone. I’ll be basing it on Jill’s lovely belt bag, as shown in her ScrapHappy post the other day. I need more pockets than hers, but she’s kindly sent me the pattern and assembly instructions.

A stylish outfit, wouldn’t you say?

ScrapHappy August: Another row

Welcome once again to ScrapHappy Day!

It’s the day my friend Gun in Sweden and I host ScrapHappy, a day for showing something made from scraps.

Last time, I showed you the proposed next two rows of Days Gone By. You can see the two down the bottom are missing their black hexie ‘spacers’.

One of the rows has now been completed and stitched in, and the next row is waiting to have its black hexies added before I carry on there.

We’re very nearly at the point where the piece is square. Once I’m there, I can decide how much larger it needs to be and can start ‘sewing around the world’, or adding rows all round the outside instead of just at the bottom. Still sooooo many hexies available, and ever-increasing bags of small scraps from the Days for Girls team. The next one will be quicker – it has to be or I’ll never get anything else done.

ScrapHappy is open to anyone using up scraps of anything – no new materials. It can be a quilt block, pincushion, bag or hat, socks or a sculpture. Anything made of genuine scraps is eligible. If your scrap collection is out of control and you’d like to turn them into something beautiful or useful instead of leaving them to collect dust in the cupboard, why not join us on the 15th of each month? Either email me at the address on my Contact Me page, or leave a comment below. You can also contact Gun via her blog to join. We welcome new members. You don’t have to worry about making a long term commitment or even join in every month, just let either of us know a day or so in advance if you’re new and you’ll have something to show, so we can add your link. Regular contributors will receive an email reminder three days before the event.

Here are the links for everyone who joins ScrapHappy from time to time (they may not post every time, but their blogs are still worth looking at). If you’ve copied this list from previous posts, please use the one below as it’s the most up to date 🙂

Kate (me!)Gun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline and Sue L.

See you again, same time next month

BougieNights #5: leaping ahead

Last time we looked at Bougainville Nights, it was just half quilted.

Just look at it now!  All the blocks are quilted, I’ve cut all the sashing strips, and have made a good run up at the joining. So, in case you were wondering, the sashing on the front is dark inky blue, and the sashing on the back is hot pinks and oranges. Most of the back is dark blue, but there is a chevron of blocks on the back too, so this will effectively be a double-sided quilt. Not large, but versatile. I’ll do a reveal of the back once the blocks are all together.

Another couple of days will see all the sashing in place and the blocks all joined up. I’m thinking a dark blue binding, but I might sneak in a colourful corner or two – it depends if I have enough blue of the right colour left over. Good to think that I’m getting closer to finishing this quilt composed of my F²F² blocks.

Better late than never…. 

Scinteallate #16: a glorious constellation

It’s done, finished.

Scinteallate is bound and labelled, and waiting for me to hear where and when to deliver it. The photos have been sent, I’ve hit the deadline, and I feel a big sense of relief.

I did a lot of work on this quilt when I was feeling fairly bloody average, so I’m glad none of that shows. It looks great, team, fantastic work from all of you. The Nude Lunch is on 6th September, so we won’t know till after that how much it raised at auction, but I’ve asked to be kept informed so I can let you all know.

For those who are interested, a few stats:  Design and call to action 12th May. Quilt completed 9th August, a whisker under three months! Blocks contributed by (in no particular order) Robin Murphy, Nanette Gilbert, Margaret Creek, Lynn Hutton, Sharon Sabin, Lynda Swink, Gun Adrian, Sue Brown, Kerry Davidson, and me. Techniques include foundation paper piecing, traditional piecing, appliqué and Quilt As You Go. It was quilted and assembled on a domestic Janome DC3018 sewing machine and I got through two 800m reels of Gütermann cream thread.

To the new members of the team: it was great having you on board, and it would be lovely to have you participate in the next ovarian cancer quilt, if you’re up for it.

And now, I’m going to go and clear away all the snippets of teal fabric and thread, de-fuzz the design wall, and get out something completely different to play with 🙂

Till next time.


Scinteallate #15: the inspector approves

The Quilt Inspector has been hard at work today.

With thanks to the Husband of Chiconia for holding-up services, and to the Quilt Inspector for encouragement and company

Thanks to his constant attention and encouragement, Scinteallate is all together, despite one decidedly hairy moment in the middle when I realised I’d sewn two medium-sized pieces together wrong way up. Much cursing and reverse stitching of three seams later the problem was rectified. The Inspector suggested a cup of tea and a bickie to calm things down, and he was right. He got a nice liver treat for his helpful idea. Good boy, Mouse.

In spite of, or maybe even because of, the increasingly silly deadline for this quilt, it has come together with remarkably little fuss.

I still have to cut and assemble the binding pieces and machine stitch them down tomorrow morning after my tai chi class.

After that, I have to make the label, and then hand stitch down the binding and attach the label. And then it’s done, and I can deliver it.

Just a couple more days to go, and I’ll make the deadline with the quilt complete 🙂

Scinteallate #14: coming together

I’m getting there.

Just over halfway, 15 of the 25 blocks joined together. I have another block of 6 and another block of 4 to assemble, and then three more seams and it’s done. It’s hanging a bit wonkily in this photo, but is nice and straight in real life. A couple of places where it doesn’t quite, quite line up, but in my view they can have it perfect, or they can have it fast, but not both. Since they’ve chosen fast, I’m getting it done, but it’s not so bad that it offends my eye, and I hope not yours either.

I’m really pleased with that sparkly teal front sashing; the slight glitter of the narrow bands adds to the overall sparkle of this scinteallating quilt! Even the backing supports the theme, with the tiny print of white stars on the cream background. I’ve selected a dark teal splashy batik for the binding, which will frame the whole nicely.

Looks as if I’m on track to get this finished in time to provide photos of the finished item by Friday. I credit my sleek black supervisor with keeping me hard at work! He’s taking his supervisory duties very seriously. So long as there are treats, of course.

Nearly there. Just a few seams to go…