Monday, June 4, 2018

New Quilt: Missy

Earlier this year we had to put down our tiny Shih Tzu Missy.  She was mean and obnoxious and hated me always (unless Mike was gone and then she loved me), and growled at me every night when I came to bed.  But she was cute and I loved her anyway.  She had so much personality; when she was a puppy she used to run up and grab my ponytail to play with it.  I remember she used to love to hop in the shower or into the bathtub to lick up the water after we'd showered, but she could never get back out of the bathtub, so you'd suddenly hear this catastrophic caterwauling, as though she was being mauled to death, only to rush in and discover she just wanted you to pick her up and put her out of the bathtub.  She hated being petted, but she didn't mind being held, and would snuggle up nicely next to you on the chair.  She always wanted to sleep right up next to you, usually Mike, but me if he was gone.  If you tried to roll over away from her she would snuggle right back up, until by the morning she'd pushed you all the way to the very edge of the bed.  But even though I loved her, she was really Mike's dog.  Those two had an unbelievable connection.  She was never parted from him if possible, and when he left the house she would wander all over looking at him.  Sometimes if he went to work in the garage or something she would just stand with her nose against the garage door until he came back inside.

After we put her down, I decided to make a quilted portrait of her for Mike.  I started from one of his favorite pictures, this shot of her riding on the back of his motorcycle with her little pink doggles.

I used Susan Carlson's technique, and even though I love rainbow colors, I figured that for him I would stick with realistic colors.  Here are some in progress shots as I was collage-ing her.

I wasn't going to try to do the motorcycle in the background because I really wanted the focus to be on her, but I wanted a dark background so she'd pop.  I decided on navy and started collage-ing behind her.  It really makes her stand out.

I'll share the rest of the process (quilting and finishing) on Friday, but I wanted to share another construction part here.  I decided I was going to mount her on stretcher bars/canvas, but instead of just having a gallery wrapped edge, I wanted to have her in a floating frame.  I purchased a bunch of pine trim pieces and started building, but quickly realized that cutting the corners with my old worn down plastic miter box was going to be a nightmare.  So I took the opportunity to buy a miter saw.  It was really wonderful and made nice beautiful cuts.  Unfortunately, it was pouring rain so I couldn't use it on the back porch and it wound up making a disaster in my studio.  I assembled the frame using clamps, ratchet straps, wood glue, and finishing nails.

Check back on Friday for the final reveal!


  1. Wow, I'm amazed by this. It looks difficult but Is it hard to do, Shannon?
    I love the idea of such a special gift commemorating a special pet.

  2. This is a wonderful quilt.i love the blue background. I liked seeing the steps you took to slowly reveal missy. Mike will love it. A real treasure.

  3. I love it and just this post brought tears to my eyes. She was a special dog and I miss her every day. Thank you again for making it for me.

  4. Wow! I love how you described Missy but your image is just amazing. Well done!

  5. What a fabulous quilt! Your hubby is sure to love it.