The plan, the project and the puppy

I have a drooler.  She is part boxer part shar-pei.  We love her to death but she makes the biggest mess when she takes a drink. I have tried place-mats, dogie water absorbent food mats and finally resorted to rags.  Now rags work the best, they can be washed daily or as needed but they look, well.. bad.  No one really wants to walk into my kitchen and gaze at my husbands dirty, old t-shirt lying under the dogie bowls, no matter how functional they may be. Couple that with the fact that the dogie water absorbent mats while functional, cannot be changed out daily at $10-$40 a piece no matter how much I love my puppy.

 Thus the plan...design and sew up. A functional, yet cute, water absorbent food mat.  I sketched out a couple of ideas and this is what I came up with..

The Puppy Food Mat

32- 2.5 in x 2.5 in scrap squares.
2  strips of fabric 2.5 in by 16 inch
2 strips of fabric 4.5 in by 13 inch
an old terry cloth towel or piece of terry cloth 15 in x 26 in
3 length of fabric strips 2.5 inches wide for binding.

Arrange your 32-- 2.5 in X 2.5 in squares in a configuration as shown below:

Sew together and press seams open. Pressing seams open makes it easier to quilt. Sew 2.5 in X 16 in fabric along long side of patchwork. press seams.  Sew 4.5in X 13 in pieces along short side of patchwork.  press seams.

Next pin quilt top to slightly larger piece of terry cloth or towel.  I used pins to baste the 2 pieces together.

Quilt as desired, using walking foot attachment. I quilted along the seams of the patchwork.

Trim patchwork quilt to shape desired.  The first quilt I trimmed into an oval using the side of a pizza pan as my guide for rounding the corners.  The second quilt I trimmed to look like a dog bone.  (more on that later).  Once you have the shape you want bind as you would any quilt.  I used cross grain strips for my binding and in hindsight I think bias binding would have been easier to use.  Then again it is for a dog.  
Isn't she patient. 

Now you have a mat, used up some scraps, re-purposed an old towel and when your mat gets wet or dirty you can just throw it in the wash!  How cool is that.  I think a few of these would make great gifts for a friend who just got a new puppy. just sayin'

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