A Tail of Two Dogs

I love doing commissions. No matter how straightforward the project seems at first, there is always a challenge somewhere along the way. I am finding the challenges to be some of the most frustrating yet most rewarding parts of the job.

Take my latest commission. Although I can’t go into great detail (it is a surprise gift), I think it is safe to say that it involved two dogs and it took me out of my comfort zone in a number of ways. If you look closely at my previous works, you might notice that my fabric choices, while varied, do not include Civil War reproduction fabric. Some might even say I turned up my nose at what I thought were blah materials. Although I found interesting patterns and colors when I looked at individual fabrics, as a whole I wasn’t excited by what I saw.

When I learned that the recipient of this quilt loved these fabrics, I immediately suggested—despite not having any in my stash—that I use Civil War reproduction fabrics as the main textiles. And I knew just which cache I was going to raid. And raid I did. Thanks, Jeanne!

Going through Jeanne’s inventory, I found that there really is a limited palette and the range of values is very small in these period replicas. Although my goal was to use only reproduction materials, in the end I pulled from my own fabrics to get the dogs to work. No tails wagging the dog here!

I have no desire to use these reproduction fabrics exclusively in another project. But if you know what you are looking for, you will see them show up in bits and pieces in my newer work . . . especially if I have a need for toned-down purple, celery green, or maybe some cheddar.