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Saturday, 12 April 2014

An Amy Butler Bed - It's A Dog's Life

Last August I was asked to guest post a tutorial over at Sew Can She, eight months on it's time to share that tutorial with you here just in case you missed it first time round.  Enjoy :D


Hi everyone, I'm Chrissie of made by ChrissieD, having studied Art & Design and Textile Art back home in England I now find myself quilting, sewing and blogging alongside working at The City Quilter in Manhattan and I'm a member of the NYC Metro Mod Quilt Guild.

If you've ever read my blog you'll know that much of what I make is influenced by my daughter, Flicky, and today's project is no exception!  I asked Flicky to pick something from the Sew Can She archives that I could adapt for my guest post and she chose the Fleece Dog Bed by Erin of Dog Under My Desk for our very own 'Tatty' dog to snuggle on.

Following Erin's instructions, which are clear and very simple, it's really easy to change the size of the bed to suit your own needs.   I wanted the dog bed to fit inside Tatty's playpen so I made it smaller, only 24" diameter, I also used 100% cotton quilting fabric rather than fleece and jazzed it up a bit by using pieced fabrics. 
To create the piecing I cut two 24" squares from Amy Butler's Alchemy 'Fountain' fabrics in Rosebud and Flora and folded each square into quarters ...

... and then in half to form a triangle - I ironed the fabric at this stage so the fold lines would be very obvious when it's opened out as a circle later.

From the centre point of the folded fabric I measured out 12" and repeated this in several places until I could join the marks in a smooth arc drawn on the fabric (I think you can just about see the pale blue water erasable arc line from the ruler edge to the opposite corner top of the fabric).  Keeping the fabric folded I cut along the arc line from edge to edge.

 Once the fabric is unfolded it's a circle and you can see all those fold lines on it.  Next, I cut along each of the fold lines to create the triangular sections to piece the dog bed top and bottom circles.

 Here're the cut sections - and then I did the same with the second piece of fabric.

Having laid the fabrics out in an alternating colourway I then sewed the triangles together using a 1/4" seam as above - I'd recommend that you do a double row of stitching to make the seams more durable - my dog's a digger, she just has to get to the stuffing in anything and one row of stitching isn't going to hold her back for long!

I made the circles up as two half circles and then sewed them together down the centre seam - the points joined more easily this way than by just working around the full circle.  

I repeated with the remaining pieces to make up the top and bottom circles of the dog bed.

 I didn't want the bed to be as high as the 9" in Erin's pattern so I cut out 6" x 3" sections of the alternating fabrics and sewed them together into a long strip and then I appliqued my dog's name (Tatty and Thatcher) on the side of the bed. 

Here I've attached the side panel to the top of the bed.

Erin was right, 2 pillows $7.00 from Target was the correct amount of stuffing and the bed's absolutely the perfect finished size for Tatty's playpen.

What I learnt:
  • Thinking that the bed would sag outwards once made (as in Erin's photos of her bed made with fleece) I wanted the letters to still be fully visible so I cut them quite small - 1.5" tall.  This didn't turn out to be the case - using 100% quilting cotton instead of fleece and reducing the height of the bed from 9" to 6" kept the sides of the bed pretty firm and upright - so I could have made the letters much taller.
  • The solid fabrics that I used to applique Tatty's name on the bed might have been the perfect colours to work alongside the Amy Butler prints in a quilt but they just weren't contrasting enough to be visible against such a busy print when used as an applique. Even appliquing the letters with white thread didn't make them obvious enough. Using one stronger solid colour or white fabric would have worked much better.
And the final verdict from Tatty - she absolutely loves her new bed and has been seen dragging it around the apartment with her - even out on to our 23rd-floor balcony! 


Much to Tatty's disgust my daughter, Flicky, has also been seen sitting on the bed - using it as a large floor cushion - she says it's the comfiest thing she's ever sat on.  So that got me thinking that there's lots of other uses for this pattern, not just as a dog bed but how about as a back cushion when reading in bed or go large and make floor cushions for a child's playroom, TV room or den? Just modify the fabric and size to change the look.


Tatty gives the bed her seal of approval - what do you think of it?

If you'd like to find out more about me and my work you can find me in the following places


Hope to catch up with you all soon :)

Updated on Friday, 6 June 2014


And check out this Aurifil feature along with a tweet from Amy Butler Design :D



Featured on:
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Disclaimer: 
This post is for informational purposes only, no payment or commission is received on click-throughs and opinions are my own.

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40 comments:

  1. How cute is that little guy? What a great pattern, the fabrics make the pillow. Great job!

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  2. Tatty looks very comfortable perched on that very smart bed!

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  3. Absolutely adorable! .... and the cushion is really cute too! LOL

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  4. Thank you for the great tutorial Chrissie! It looks really easy to make, and Tatty looks perfectly happy in it :) were those the solids we were picking out together?

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    1. It is easy Kati and indeed they are those very solids! :D

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  5. This bed is so cute and so appropriate for such a cutie as Tatty.

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  6. What a cute little dog bed. Pampered pooch. You did a great job. Please come share at the Bacon Time Anything Goes linky, if you have not already.

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  7. Great, great work! I love the happy air of your sweet dog! Thanks for sharing!
    Hope you have a wonderful day!
    Hugs from Portugal,
    Ana Love Craft
    www.lovecraft2012.blogspot.com

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  8. That is the prettiest dog bed I have ever seen.

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  9. Ahhh, that is so cute and Tatty's looks so comfy! Great tutorial! Thanks so much for sharing it with us the Showlicious Craft Party! Pinned!

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  10. Nice job! You can tell Tatty loves her new bed. I love the way she poses for the pictures :)

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  11. This is adorable! My Silky Terrier needs a new bed... he's a "digger" too when he wants to lay down, so I totally agree with the extra reinforced seams. Pinning this to make him a new bed... thanks for sharing at Inspiration Monday! ~ MamaGing.com

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    1. Eight months later the bed is still a huge favourite and now I have two dogs who both want to lie on it. The bed doesn't look as pristine as it did and the seams have been resewn a couple of times, but Tatty digs at and pulls apart any bed, even shop bought ones. The bed's also been in the washing machine many, many times over but it's still hanging in there! :D

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  12. I love your dog and her bed! Thanks so much for sharing:)

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  13. Just precious!! And Tatty is adorable too.

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  14. that is super cute, I have a grand dog, Marly who needs one just like this!

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  15. Too cute! Love the name on the side!

    Thank you for sharing your creativity with us at Show-Licious Craft & Recipe Party! We can't wait to see what you bring to us next week!

    ~ Ashley

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  16. That is so cute!! Every time I see your balcony I shiver....LOL! Thanks for sharing.
    Freemotion by the River Linky Party Tuesday

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    1. I've got used to it, never thought I would but I have! :D

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  17. What a cute dog your have and a great tutorial on making the dog a bed. Love it.
    Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop! I hope you’ll join us again next week!

    Cheers,
    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick
    http://www.The-Chicken-Chick.com

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  18. Chrissie that do bed is wonderful! Love the colors. I will pass the tutorial on to my friend who has 2 Javanese dogs. Is your dog a Javanese? She has one the coloring of your dog and one white dog.

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    1. Tatty's a Havapoo (Havanese/Poodle) but she looks like a Havanese with just a slight poodle kink to her fur. My other dog, Watson, is a pure Havanese, black and tan. This blog post has photos of the two of them together. I love the Havanese personality :D

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  19. Oh my word, that is so cute, beautiful colours and from the looks of it, one happy puppy customer.

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  20. I loved this post when I first seen it at Sew Can She! Tatty sure does look comfy. Love the colours you used and that you appliqued the name. Sew pretty!

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  21. Really cute doggy bed!! Thanks for sharing at Submarine Sunday!

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  22. This is gorgeous, and apparently Tatty thinks so, too. And what a great idea to make it a floor cushion as well!

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  23. Both the pillow and the dog, are adorable!

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  24. Super cute Bed! And what a view from your balcony!!! My toes are tingling!

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  25. So sweet -- the bed and the model! Thanks for joining us at Inspire Us Thursday!

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  26. My dog would would be in love with, she can sit in the scrapbasket. lol

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  27. Replies
    1. Lol, my two dog's are always trying to sit in my scrap basket! :D

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  28. Thinking I should make this for my Dad's little dog it's too cute not to!

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  29. Hi! Tatty is a beauty and her bed looks really comfortable! Beautiful Fabrics! Wow what a view - I'm not sure if I could sit on the balcony! x Teje

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  30. Very cute! Love it! Just out of curiosity, what did you stuff it with? Would love it if you shared this on Worthwhile Wednesdays http://thecraftiestallie.blogspot.com/2014/04/worthwhile-wednesdays-14.html
    Have a Wonderful Weekend,
    Allie

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  31. I absolutely love this! My dog is quite a bit bigger but I suppose you could use the same technique just on a larger scale for a bigger one. Super cute!

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  32. Tatty looks so cute on her bed! Those fabrics are really gorgeous!

    Thanks so much for linking up to Needle and Thread Thursday!

    :) Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation

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  33. What kind of pillows did you use? Square ones or standard size bed pillows? And did you sew in a zipper or do you just throw the whole bed in the wash? I am asking because I will make one for sure for my dog!

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  34. Tatty is a cutie and she looks very impressed with her bed!

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Chris Dodsley