New Orleans House Project

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Doggie-Approved Quilts (and a Dog Hazard Warning!)

A few weeks ago, Kyle (Timeless Reflections) shared some of her quilts from the turn of the 21st century period.  (It's hard to believe that was almost 20 years ago!)  Her gentle admonishment was to remind everyone to label their quilts.

Kyle's retrospective got me thinking about quilts I had made during that same time period.  Exactly one quilt came to mind and I decided to get busy and document it before it vanished completely!

I made this Jacob's Ladder variation for my oldest son Andrew sometime around 1997-1998.  We had just moved to New Orleans and he had asked to paint his bedroom black.  I said "no", so we settled on dark red instead.  This quilt was made specifically for his room.

I made it entirely on my Singer 201 treadle sewing machine, which was new-to-me at the time.  It was my first quilt made completely on a treadle.  I even machine-stitched the binding to the back of the quilt (something I almost never do) just so I could get 'er done!

The quilt has gone from home to college to first apartment and now home again, since Andrew moved back in with us last summer (he's back in school).  Along the way, his dog, Moose, decided to try a few sample bites of the quilt.  I'm going to appliqué some replacement squares over the damage, and fix the loose seam.   

I liked the design of this quilt so much, I even saved the original pattern!  It's from Ladies Circle Patchwork Quilts, although I'm not sure of the date as I didn't save the entire magazine.  They called the quilt pattern Endless Chain.

It's sad to see how poorly the black fabric in the quilt top has held up, but that's pretty typical of black fabrics from that period.  I used a bandana print for the backing and it has held up much better - the white streaks in the picture are the camera's reaction to sunlight, not wear in the fabric.  When I'm fixing the doggie damage on the front, I'll also add a small label to the back.  I don't know how much longer this quilt will hold up, but I'm gonna put my name on it anyway!

I have another doggie-approved quilt story, kinda scary, but with a happy ending.
This is my son David's dog, Jozy Labradore.  Jozy and David live in Dallas, Texas, but Jozy spends part of his summer with us every year when David has to to be away from home for 6 weeks as part of his job.  In other words, Jozy is part of our family, too.

Last week, David inadvertently left a container of sugar-free gum on his bedside table.  Jozy does not usually chew on stuff he's not supposed to, but for some reason the gum got his attention.  David's roommate found Jozy an hour or so later, having seizures.  He took Jozy to the emergency vet's office and found out he had been poisoned by the xylitol in the sugar-free gum.  David was in New York City for work, so he was helpless and totally freaked out!

David was able to come home the next day, and immediately went to see Jozy and took one of my quilts along to comfort him.  Fortunately, Jozy responded to treatment (and the quilt!) and has since recovered and gone home.  

As it turns out, xylitol is extremely toxic to dogs.  Even in very small amounts, it causes very low blood sugar, which can lead to seizures, liver damage and death.  The scary thing is, there are seldom any warnings about pet toxicity on items containing xylitol.  It's not just in chewing gum, but also found in toothpaste, mouthwash, sugar-free baked goods and even peanut butter.  Here's a link to a good article about xylitol and pets - it's a little long, but if you're a dog-lover, definitely worth knowing!


  1. Andrew's quilt has certainly had an interesting and challenging life. I'm so glad, despite its current condition, that you will add the label and documenting this quilt part of your journey. Those labels help us remember when we made those favorite quilts and have others remember us.

  2. First, I’m glad you’re on the quilt-labeling bandwagon. Save a seat for me, LOL. I’m so into genealogy and family history (as well as having worked in a museum for 16 years), so I understand full well the importance. Glad Jozy has fully recovered - what’s scare! The xylitol issue is new to me - thanks for sharing!

  3. what a great quilt - love the red and black combination.
    I'm so glad your son's dog is okay - who knew??

  4. Thank goodness Jozy was found in time. I gave up having sugar anything in my house for this very reason. So glad you are able to share this with others. I think it is funny that your son wanted a "black" room. My sister wanted to paint her room black as a teenager and my mother allowed one wall to be black. I quickly painted it yellow when it became mine years later! My second quilt was a Jacob's Ladder and I have loved that pattern ever since. Nice to see this one has stood the test of time! Thanks for sharing.

  5. Poor David...and Jozy. What a scary accident. I'm happy that Jozy is good now. That was very kind of you to share the article as I'm sure many dog owners are not aware.

    Your son's quilt has been well loved by him and his dog. Labeling is a good thing. It may take me a while to get around to it but mine are all labeled, eventually.

    Hope you had a nice Mother's Day.

  6. Happy Ending to the quilt and Jozy! The puppies are so much like children

  7. If I were his mother I would advise him that one of my home made quilts is NOT a dog bed at any time. If that is what he wants, he can buy one in a store. OK I don't make a lot of quilts, so getting a replacement after dog damage is highly unlikely.

  8. Pretty quilts!
    Thanks for the dog info - I just passed it along to my kids. That xylitol is in so many things!

  9. Glad the dog is ok now. I have to keep reminding my son that the dog is still a dog, even if they normally behave properly. Don't tempt them. I'm sure your son didn't think about gum (I know I have a pack or two down low).

  10. What a relief that Jozy is going to be okay, that must have been so scary! Thanks for sharing the quilt, I love that arrangement of those blocks. I have been playing with that block in EQ8 lately. I love any block made from simple units. Glad the quilt got the loving it deserved. LOL