"Almost Free" Puppus Doggus Block

"Almost Free" Puppus Doggus Block
Daisy was a puppy we raised for Leader Dogs For The Blind. She was a busy dog. She’s designed her very own quilt block and said it was so easy even a cat could make it.

You may not recognize the breed immediately, but Daisy says the Latin name for it is Puppus Doggus. She has created the sample block (with my help only for the photographs) to resemble herself in a happy mood, such as right before getting an ice cube, or greeting someone she likes a lot, hence the yellow color and perky ears. She explains that if you could see her tail, it would be wagging. Whatever.

Naturally, there is a catch. The Puppus Doggus block is copyrighted by me, Ami Simms, only because the US copyright office foolishly refuses to process forms submitted by canines. You can have the pattern for free. BUT if you ever use the pattern, you have to donate a buck. As in $1 to either Leader Dogs For The Blind or Paws With A Cause, the two organizations Daisy has been affiliated with.

Obviously this is on the honor system. Here are Daisy's instructions.

Read everything before you start.
You may make and send a quilt block or donation AT ANY TIME, but act quickly as this pattern may be withdrawn at any time.

Use only 100% cotton fabrics. Pre-wash and dry all fabric so you can check for bleeding. This will also pre-shrink them. There are no color restrictions. Flannels may be used, but Ami will probably group them together and if she doesn’t have enough for a whole quilt….well…..maybe next year.

If you do this right, you’ll get a 10” finished block, otherwise known as 10½" x 10½" raw edge to raw edge.

No two dogs look alike and no two Puppus Doggus Quilt Blocks should either. Pure breed or mutt, the tails wag the same way. Just stitch carefully; we don’t want any ears falling off.

You’ll need background fabric, dog fabric, matching thread, some fusible web, and buttons for eyes. Don’t ask me yardage. I’m a dog, OK?

1. Make a 10½" x 10½" square out of a piece of paper. Taping paper is OK.

2. Using your rotary ruler, mark the seam allowances ¼" from each edge.

3. Draw an oval. Wobbly is fine. Lop-sided is better. Your head isn’t symmetrical either and you smell just as good to me.

4. Draw shoulders. If they’re both even, you’ve done it wrong. See how the shoulders hit the head, with that little overlap? Saves you from having to make a neck. Add a neck and we’ll look more like giraffes. Trust me.

5. Next come the ears. We need two. They shouldn’t match either. Long, short, fat skinny, perky or floppy, it’s OK with us. Hold on, I take that back. REALLY thin might be harder later. If you need more room for ears, you can move the head and shoulders down. (Uh…use the eraser). Don’t make our ears too tall or we look like rabbits. That’s actually OK. Dogs like rabbits.

6. Next come the eyes, nose, and tongue. The eyes are just so we look more normal. You won’t be making fabric eyes. They’ll be buttons. Until you find just the right buttons, you can cut fabric. Noses should be big, for better smelling and easier appliqué. Trust me on this. Tongues shouldn’t have sharp edges, bigger is better. We like to lick.

7. If you have way too much time on your hands and want the block to look EXACTLY like the drawing, flip over the paper and draw your dog on the back, tracing the lines from the front. If not, your dog will be backwards in fabric. That’s just how we look in the mirror, you know. So, just go to the next step if you’re making this for your dog and you want to show it to him when you’re done. Do that reversing thing and he’ll be confused.

If you really do have time on your hands, I wish you’d add a bone or a fire hydrant in the background.

At this point, I should tell you that this is an appliqué pattern. I’ve been told that humans would rather scoop poop than appliqué, so I held off until now. But see how nice your dog looks? And remember I said even a cat could do this, so trust me. (By the way, if you’ve got some slick way to appliqué, you don’t need me any more. Just have at it. Otherwise, pay attention.)

8. Plop the fusible webbing (paper side up) over the picture and trace out each shape. That will be head, body, two ears, nose, tongue, and maybe two eyes. They can be all mixed up to save on the webbing.

Take a look at the parts of the ears that slide under the head, and the top of the tongue that slides under the chin. You might want to mark these lines so you’ll remember NOT to fold under the seam allowance on them later. You might also want to give yourself extra fabric there when you cut. Don’t worry about the top of the shoulders where the neck doesn’t show. You can fold that over and nobody will care. DO leave a little extra fabric on the bottom of the dog body so it hangs off the edge. You’ll trim it later.

9. Slap the fusible webbing on the wrong side of the fabric (paper side up) and press according to directions. Cut out each piece leaving ¼" seam allowance on all sides. (Read the last part of #8 again.) Clip the inside curves (if you have any) just a little bit. Then, remove the paper and fold the seam allowance over with your fingernail. Move the iron over it to fuse it to the webbing. Up and down with the iron is better than sliding it. Try not to hit the webbing with the iron. Big mess. Also, acrylic fingernails can melt. So can your fur. And dog nails don’t smell very good when they scorch. (If you can’t get the hang of it, thread baste, then press. (Some pieces below are just cut; others are folded over and pressed already. You’re looking at all of them from the WRONG side. See the extra seam allowance where the ears meet the head and at the bottom of the body? See the “overhang” on the bottom of the dog body? Good.)

10. Cut yourself a background piece of fabric exactly 10½" x 10½". Then place all the dog parts on it. You can reposition stuff if you like, but you have to make sure all the raw edges are tucked under at least ¼ ". If not, first good wash and things will start to come apart. Also make sure that nothing except the bottom of the dog body is within ½" of the edge of the block. Hey, nobody likes to have an ear caught in a seam allowance.

11. You should lift up the head and check again.

12. While you’re at it, check your tongue. (The fabric one, silly.)

13. Press the ears really good, lifting up the head out of the way. Then, press the body, lifting up the tongue and head to get them out of the way too. Press the center of each of the other shapes to hold it in place and walk over to your sewing machine.

14. Load up your sewing machine, top and bobbin, with MATCHING thread or invisible nylon thread. (You might want to clean the crud out of the bobbin area, while you’re at it. And put in a sharp needle, too.) Topstitch (that’s a straight stitch) as close as you can get to the edge of the fold. Do the ears and body. You don’t have to sew over the raw edges because those will be hidden by other body parts. Then press the tongue and sew around it, then the head. The nose is the last thing to do. When it’s all done trim the body even with the bottom of the block.

15. Take a pencil and mark an X where you want the eyes to go. It's probably best to sew on the buttons after the quilt is done.

©2001 by Ami Simms.

The Details
This really is a copyrighted pattern. You may not sell it or use it in any commercial venture. Not only that, it’s not free. If you make even ONE block, you have to support the charities shown above.

After you’ve donated, you can make as many blocks as you like for your own use. If you don’t use the pattern, you owe nothing. If you share the pattern with your friends, they don’t get out of paying. Fair is fair.

If you make a quilt for another charity using this pattern, you still have owe $1 to one of the charities listed above. And your quilt label should say, "Almost Free Pattern by Ami Simms from AmiSimms.com"