Playground Quilt + Life

Fat Quarter Friday Quilt, easy beginner pattern for fat quarters

Well hi! 

I didn’t mean to take such a break from blogging, but life caught up with me as it often does.  So to make up for it….this is the longest blog post ever (sorry!).  

First about this cute quilt: 

I begged (bugged) Windham Fabrics to send me their newest line Playground by Dylan M ,it comes to stores in January.    It’s a soft, almost neutral color scheme with darling prints like those hand drawn animals.  

Fat Quarter Friday Quilt, easy beginner pattern for fat quarters

I used the Fat Quarter Friday pattern (this is the extra 2nd pattern in it) to make a fast quilt for a family member.  

Fat Quarter Friday Quilt, easy beginner pattern for fat quarters

Fat Quarter Friday Quilt, easy beginner pattern for fat quarters

The family I’m gifting it to has 4 small kids, so I backed it in the softest minky wideback 108″ and sent it to Kaitlyn for quilting (this is the Sashiko Clamshell design).   

I machine bound it using this tutorial

Fat Quarter Friday Quilt, easy beginner pattern for fat quarters

Jane is getting so tall…and I can’t cut her hair because then she won’t be my baby anymore (right?!!). 

I wish you could feel how heavy this quilt is, the denseness of the quilting, batting, and a heavy backing make it the perfect weight for snuggling.  

Fat Quarter Friday Quilt, easy beginner pattern for fat quarters

Other fall thing we’ve been up to: 

Harvesting SO many pumpkins this year!  Over 100 big/small/orange/white pumpkins.   

We had another crazy-but-fun Halloween with 1000+ trick or treaters and two pink/purple/blue haired princesses.  

My kids have been begging for a dog since ours passed away a few years ago…and NO WAY was I getting another dog.

I’ve held my ground for three years…and last Saturday I folded like a lawn chair.  

Seriously though… how could I not?!  My oldest is almost 13, and I knew I’d always regret not getting him a fuzzy best friend.

He’s a Golden Retriever, and he’s had about 5 different names, but for now I think it’s Finn.  

Golden Retriever Pup

Basically I have another baby now. 

Even though he’s the kids dog…we alllllllllll know he’s really Mom’s dog.

So far I’m surviving puppy-hood, but if you have any tips for what to give him for the chewing and biting I’d love them.  His vet recommended some little teething bones but he hates them…he much prefers our shoes/arms/clothes/hair/feet/furniture/pillows/remotes/couch/books/baskets/Jane.    :)





79 Responses to Playground Quilt + Life

  1. Debbie November 12, 2019 at 6:04 pm #

    He is a cutie. My daughter just got a puppy this summer. It had been 13 years since her last and she forgot how much work they are. He will be a great addition to your family 😁. Good luck. Like always, love the quilt.

  2. connie November 12, 2019 at 6:50 pm #

    Isn’t it funny how they become Mom’s dog, LOL, but it’s nice having a little wagging tail to follow you around and spread puppy love to all :)

    • Candi November 12, 2019 at 10:53 pm #

      What a sweet four legged cutie. Go down the toy treat aisle and try several things. Eventually you will find a chew toy he likes. Mine ended up with teething keys. Real similar to baby chew toys. They would pull all the toys out of the toy box until they had their keys. Too funny. They are 15 and 3 now and they still go after the keys.

      • Allison November 14, 2019 at 7:25 pm #

        How funny! I got him a few new toys tonight, it’s funny how they pick out their favorites!

    • Allison November 14, 2019 at 7:24 pm #

      Exactly! He’s my little shadow!

  3. Carolyn M November 12, 2019 at 8:06 pm #

    Your new baby is absolutely precious! Use Bitter Apple spray from the pet shore on shoes, furniture and things you don’t want chewed. Areas in the yard to avoid, a sprinkle of cayenne pepper should do the trick. Frozen baby carrot sticks should help with his teething. Bully sticks (aka dried bulls or steers penises) are wonderful for chewing. They are pure protein, help keep teeth clean, and are easily digestible. Charlee Bears, small round liver-flavored crackers are good for training. Remember that unlike humans, once you give a dog something to eat, their stomach digestive acids start up so anytime a treat is given, a dog get very hungry. Read about what is delicious to humans that can be poisonous to dogs. Enroll yourself and your puppy in obedience training at a community center or pet store. It will teach both of you how to respond to enjoy a happy life together. Dogs really are our best friends. Enjoy the newest member of your family. Keep us posted on this handsome baby.

    • Allison November 14, 2019 at 7:25 pm #

      Thank you for these great suggestions Carolyn! I’m going to try them!

  4. Liz A. November 12, 2019 at 8:25 pm #

    My two Labradoodles love their water buffalo horns. There are 3 here but they always want only one — the one the other one has.

    • Jan November 13, 2019 at 9:02 am #

      Finn is adorable! Odor-free bully sticks are our puppy’s current favorite. If he starts biting your hands and arms, immediately make a strong noise that suggests you are very unhappy, get up and leave the room while saying in your best pissed-off voice, “You are mean and I’m not going to play with you!” Stay in the other room for about three minutes and then go back, happy and ready to play. I’ve had great success with this technique with several terrier puppies (they are terrible biters!). After a while Finn will “get it” because he wants to play more than he wants to bite. Good luck!

      • Allison November 14, 2019 at 7:26 pm #

        Great idea Jan!!

    • Allison November 14, 2019 at 7:26 pm #

      So it’s exactly like my kids! ;)

  5. Rae November 13, 2019 at 5:43 am #

    My vet always said carrots and apples. My daughter’s dog loves water buffalo no we too, but I’m a little queasy about the ethical issue.

    • Allison November 14, 2019 at 7:26 pm #

      I’ve never even heard of that! Dog stuff is like a whole other world to me!

  6. Emily November 13, 2019 at 5:44 am #

    Oh, what a cutie!
    We got two kittens this spring and I was shocked at how much work they were! But of course we’re all smitten by them.

    One of the commenters mentioned using Bitter Apple spray. I second that – we use it for house plants (or cords… ) I don’t want the cats eating/chewing on. It’s completely harmless but pets hate the taste of it. And once they learn that something (shoes, for instance) taste bad they won’t try it again, and you can stop spraying.

    • Allison November 14, 2019 at 7:27 pm #

      That’s a good idea, I’m going to try it for cords and things that could be unsafe for him.

  7. Jan Ochterbeck November 13, 2019 at 6:39 am #

    Such a cutie! But so much work. For the chewing, if you know anyone who hunts, get a piece of deer antler for him to chew. When we got our puppy three years ago, they gave us a piece of antler to bring home with him. Dogs especially like the cut end where the marrow is. He still chews, but only on his own toys.

    • Allison November 14, 2019 at 7:27 pm #

      I just heard about antlers yesterday…who knew?! Thank you!

  8. Shannon Fraser November 13, 2019 at 7:11 am #

    So much goodness in one post! First up – what a cute quilt! I love the fabric collection you’ve used and the pattern you’ve paired it with. I have some minky on hand that I’ve yet to dip into – I keep hearing what a mess it makes…so, in my stash it sits until I want to make that much of a mess ;) Are all those pumpkins yours? If so, how fun to see them all grow! And last, but certainly not least, I ADORE your new little pup. We’ve had quite a few labs in our family – mainly white labs – and they’re my allll time fave. Have fun snuggling with that little cutie!

    • Allison November 14, 2019 at 7:28 pm #

      The Minky makes SUCH a mess. Ugh. I always have the vacuum nearby and right after I cut I vacuum up all the fuzzies before they fly everywhere! Thank you!

  9. Amy Gehman November 13, 2019 at 7:28 am #

    Awesome post! Love the “heavy” quilt…it’s beautiful! Finn is adorable. I love the pic of him standing against the gate. We have a 9 month old mini schnauzer and whenever she stood against her puppy gates, I really thought she would look adorable in a little pair of denim bibs, but she was lucky and it didn’t happen. She does have a few sweaters. Enjoy your new sewing buddy :)

    • Allison November 14, 2019 at 7:29 pm #

      Unfortunately he learned how to jump out and over that baby gate soon after I took that picture! ;)

  10. Kathleen McCormick November 13, 2019 at 7:37 am #

    Frozen washcloths worked for our puppy – not socks because any sock is game. Also get every teething toy until you find one that works. He liked bones (I would get those sort of bleached looking ones).

    • Allison November 14, 2019 at 7:30 pm #

      Good idea! I did that for my babies too! ;)

  11. Lea November 13, 2019 at 7:44 am #

    Congratulations on Finn. Dogs make a house a home, bringing joy, laughter and lots of love wherever they go.

    As far as the chewing thing goes try giving him a LOT of exercise that will tire him out. I know puppies have boundless energy. Try giving him a toy(s) that he can chew on, and when he chews on his “allowed” toys praise him. You could also give him a Kong toy that is filled with healthy treats. This can keep him occupied in a good way (this can also help dogs that have separation anxiety.) But if you go this route keep in mind too many treats can put the weight on. Some people use the food they feed their dogs and subtract the difference at feeding time(s).

    Bitter apple helped us with a cat that ate plastic, so it may help deter him from the things you don’t want him chewing. A friend of mine said it didn’t stop her dog from chewing, but I think in most cases it does work.

    All of your photos are wonderful. Your quilt is gorgeous.

    • Allison November 14, 2019 at 7:31 pm #

      Oh man…we’ve been good about tiring him out poor thing! I got him some new toys tonight and we are working on helping him only chew on his toys (and not us). Thank you!

  12. Allysgrandma November 13, 2019 at 8:01 am #

    I lasted 7 weeks after my little terrier passed. I adopted Lila because I cried every single day. She is a middle aged chihuahua rescued from the local Humane Society.

    No need to cut the baby’s hair. My 11 year old granddaughter has grown her hair quite long and donated to those children’s wig places twice.

    • Allison November 14, 2019 at 7:31 pm #

      Oh sweet Lila…she just needed you!

  13. Barbara Neiwert November 13, 2019 at 8:18 am #

    Finn stole the show on this post! But everything else was wonder to read about as well. No tips for Anti-Doggie Chewing. They grow out of it? Our pup once chewed my prescription glasses during the night. Arrrggghhh. Oh – the quilt fabric is great, and I always love that quilting pattern.

    • Allison November 14, 2019 at 7:31 pm #

      Sorry about your glasses but that sure gave me a laugh! ;)

  14. Tina November 13, 2019 at 8:48 am #


    • Allison November 14, 2019 at 7:32 pm #

      Thank you Tina! That is sweet of you to say and thank you for following a long with me for so long!

  15. Shannon Kunicki November 13, 2019 at 9:32 am #

    Finn is adorable! I have been a huge fan of yours forever. I have a little over a year beagle puppy, Barkworthie odor free bully sticks are a must for a chewer. She absolutely loves them.

  16. Julie Vogel November 13, 2019 at 9:58 am #

    Another believer in Bully Sticks and any kind of hoof or horn. They all sort of stink, but it is so good to be able to praise a pup when they are chewing on something and also hand it to them when they want to chew on something else. Good luck! And thank you for showing us your precious family (besides the puppy) and your lovely quilt!
    PS You’ll have to get rid of the bully sticks as he gets older because he may want to swallow large pieces. Not a problem when pup is little.

    • Allison November 14, 2019 at 7:33 pm #

      I’m going to try those sticks! I’ve had a few people mention it…it will at least give him something to occupy himself while I’m not watching him.

  17. stitchnut November 13, 2019 at 10:08 am #

    Great quilt, beautiful kids (and Jane will always be your baby), and adorable Finn. Always love your blog.

  18. elin c pittman November 13, 2019 at 10:19 am #

    Quilts and puppies! Nothing better. Except maybe cookies! Thank you for sharing. :)

    • Allison November 14, 2019 at 7:33 pm #

      And ice cream is right up there too. ;) Thank you!

  19. debbierhodes November 13, 2019 at 10:21 am #

    Holden’s are easy to drain. But puppy chewing is a struggle. One thing we did was yelp when she tried chewing on us. Like one of his litter mates would have done when play got carried away. And teach drop it.

    • Allison November 14, 2019 at 7:34 pm #

      We are working on that…and trying to teach the kids to discipline him when he bites and nips at them. He is only playing but it does drive me bonkers!

  20. farmhousequiltsblog November 13, 2019 at 10:22 am #

    Oh my gosh, your puppy is SO adorable!!!! And I remember those baby puppy days well…my hubby had to sleep with his hand in the crate so that our first pup could chew on his fingers during the night :D. Fond memories!
    If you would NOT like to offer up your fingers, clothes, Jane, might I suggest a KONG…super durable, all different sizes, and if you put a little bit of peanut butter or Cheez Whiz on the inside it will keep him occupied for HOURS. Good luck! Ohm and great quilt and fabric btw ( had to focus on the most important stuff first ;) )

    • Allison November 14, 2019 at 7:35 pm #

      I just got a kong for him! I haven’t tried it yet but I have a feeling he’ll love it. Luckily this sweet pup is sleeping all through the night and not making a peep…pretty sure we wear him out every day and he is exhausted!

  21. Martha Anderson November 13, 2019 at 10:24 am #

    Oh, you made me laugh, and I needed that! Such a fun quick quilt! And it shows off delicious fabrics so beautifully without being TOO simple. Thumbs up! Have fun with the pup!

  22. Brenda Reinhardt November 13, 2019 at 10:37 am #

    Okay. New puppy… been there and totally understand the ‘what to do???’ question!! Teething. My recomendation is to give him steak bones. Get a great t-bone steak and let you puppy chew on the bone part. It is soft and tasty, enough give that the teeth come through easy and tasty too!! (this is also great for kids!! My kids both had this like cave man kids!! But they had no problem teething either!! As for food – and this may sound gross, but I am so glad we went this route with our dog.
    We had alway fed our dogs some kind of kibble or hard food and then we got to do what I would call ‘poop patrol’ . Kids loved that part of the day when we did that…. But, it had to be done. I am not stepping in that as I mowed the lawn!!! Now though, my dog is fed a diet of raw food. I know!!! GROSS right!! No, not once you get used to it. Because, when they eat it, and they do ‘what has to be done’, that poop within a week, has turned white and is basically gone. There is nothing to pick up!!!

    Love your patterns and this quilt you showed is a great one for a quick creative fix and that gives you a perfect gift for curling up on the couch with!!! Have a fantastic fall and enjoy that new member of your family. WAY to cute and love the name, if you do decide to keep this one!!! And having had two little girls myself, and having been one….. short hair is so much easier to care for!!!! And she will alway be you little girl! That will never go away, even when they are in their twenties!!!! Hugs!!!

    • Allison November 14, 2019 at 10:31 pm #

      This made me laugh out loud Brenda! The “dog” world is brand new territory for me…we had a dog but it was a 4 pound Pomeranian…I didn’t really consider him a real dog but more of a fluffy child. I have lots to learn!

  23. Amandalee November 13, 2019 at 11:04 am #

    Love ur new puppy! Zippy paws dog donuts are the best… FYI they squeak but last forever! U can get em super cheap at Marshall’s and TjMaxx as well as the Kong chew toys which vets recommend.

    • Allison November 14, 2019 at 10:32 pm #

      Oh I’ll look for those! I forgot about dog stuff at TJ Maxx…any excuse to go there is a good one! ;)

  24. Pamela Barnes November 13, 2019 at 12:22 pm #

    Love your blog – no worries about periodic delays – Jane’s hair is beautiful. She is a big girl. Babies don’t have long hair. and My “BABY” is 36 years old. Jane will always be your baby. <3 Hugs.

    • Allison November 14, 2019 at 10:33 pm #

      Thanks Pamela! She’s grown so fast…honestly I’m having a bit of a hard time with it knowing she’s my last!

  25. Lee November 13, 2019 at 4:18 pm #

    What a sweet puppy! We used old socks with knots tied in them for our puppy. It’s good for tug of war too!

    • Allison November 14, 2019 at 10:33 pm #

      Tug of war is the favorite game over here with the puppy!

  26. Shasta November 13, 2019 at 4:49 pm #

    Your quilt is gorgeous! As is your puppy. I don’t have any puppy advice since I got mine as an teenager, but I would think toys might work.

    • Allison November 14, 2019 at 10:34 pm #

      I would have loved to get a teenager! Puppies are SO much work! Even though maybe teenagers are too. ;)

  27. Debbie November 13, 2019 at 5:20 pm #

    Awe, thanks for the long post, I thoroughly enjoyed it, and the cart filled with pumpkins is so special, but who could resist that puppy, he is adorable. Good luck with the chewing issue, sorry, I’m no help. Glad your back, a break is good, but a passion is a passion, quilting, blogging, writing about life,etc. Love it all.

    • Allison November 14, 2019 at 10:36 pm #

      Thank you Debbie! Periodic breaks are so good for me…and I always feel refreshed when I’m ready to be back at it!

  28. Lu November 13, 2019 at 6:16 pm #

    Love your gorgeous quilt. You build such beauties. The pup looks like a keeper for sure and he will get tons of love and be forgiven for things that may get gnawed upon. Mostly you all will have to train yourself to not leave your treasures laying around where he can get to them. What are you going to do with all the delicious looking pumpkins? Do you can it up or freeze it?
    Thanks for your update.

    • Allison November 14, 2019 at 10:37 pm #

      I know…our sweet puppy gets away with more than he should already. I can’t help it with those sweet puppy eyes! We carved out the seeds from some of the pumpkins, some to eat, some to save for next year to grow. Most of them we gave away because we had so many! I let my kids paint them, draw on them, shoot them with bbguns…you name it! ;)

  29. Annye November 14, 2019 at 10:22 am #

    Welcome back. Ive missed you. Your puppy is so cute–try the Bitter Apple spray as mentioned above. It helped but didn’t eliminate the chewing. Also get him some rubbery soft chewy toys. They really helped. Goldens are marvelous kid friendly dogs.

    • Allison November 14, 2019 at 10:39 pm #

      Thank you! I’m definitely getting that spray…I think it will help at least the chewing on the edges of the couch at least. Luckily the kids took their toll on the couch and we needed a new one (after puppy grows up a bit!) but I don’t want him to get used to chewing on the furniture!

  30. Sheila November 14, 2019 at 12:16 pm #

    Love the quilt! Jane seems to be growing taller each time I see her in a post! And the puppy… that adorable face and those eyes… oh my! Thanks for sharing!

    • Allison November 14, 2019 at 10:40 pm #

      She’s growing so tall! I’m almost 6 ft. tall and my husband is 6′ 3″…so my girls are going to be SO tall. I’m already mentally preparing them to be taller than all their classmates someday! ;) Thank you for reading!

  31. Lily November 14, 2019 at 6:54 pm #

    The post is not nearly long enough!
    Liked it all – fun and happy…
    then I read people’s comments

    Will remember never to ask for advice…

    • Allison November 14, 2019 at 10:41 pm #

      Thank you! Yes…dogs are a whole new world…I’m learning all sorts of things (even gross things!). ;)

  32. Karen VR November 15, 2019 at 12:29 pm #

    The quilt is so wonderful, and your puppy is adorable. I have never put Minky on the back of a family quilt. Does it take repeated washings OK? Our medium sized dog is nearly three now, but I was sure we got an exceptionally “naughty” one when he was a puppy because it seemed all he wanted to do was bite on our hands, pant legs as we walked by and shirt sleeves when we sat down, and puppy teeth are very sharp! I laugh now because I had even contacted a trainer about all the biting! We just gave our Buster a variety of different textures to chew on, made it clear to him when he chewed on something he shouldn’t and tried to keep those things out of his reach so he wouldn’t be tempted while he was still learning and so impetuous and easily tempted.

    • Allison November 15, 2019 at 2:20 pm #

      Yes Minky washes amazing! It doesn’t thin or get rough/balled over time. I’m sure there are different qualities of minky, but if you use a good quality one it washes perfect. My kids have quilts on their beds backed in minky…they’ve probably been washed 40 times each by now!

  33. terri414cb November 16, 2019 at 3:02 pm #

    There are dog puzzles to keep Finn happy. You can start at the easiest and move up. The puzzle is to find where the “treats” are. Fun for days!

    Also, the big, fat braids. They have all different sizes. They’re great for tug-o-war. It takes a lot to chew them up!

    When I sat with my puppy, I used to keep a “ball” of socks and stuck it in the dogs mouth when he opened up to play bite. I didn’t stuff it in his mouth to punish, I just gently put it there to give him something to chew on instead of me!

    • Allison November 20, 2019 at 9:24 pm #

      Great ideas! I’ve been trying to teach my kids to give him a toy or something to chew on instead of them…so far it’s semi-working. ;)

  34. Jennifer P November 17, 2019 at 1:55 pm #

    My dog loves elk antlers, the ones that are cut in half. They are expensive but they last forever.

    • Allison November 20, 2019 at 9:23 pm #

      I just got him one! He does love it!

  35. Debi November 18, 2019 at 11:52 am #

    OMG we are living the exact puppy “dream”, lol! I have an 11 week Golden and he bites everything. I have read that it is what Golden’s do and we just have to work on bite inhibition using several different techniques and the best part is it isn’t puppy teething which comes next. Yikes! I had totally forgotten how much work a puppy is and my cats think I have lost my mind! There are times when I wonder if they are right. We are hoping to get into a puppy training class in the next week or two which I hope will help teach me how to work with him because we know dogs are pretty darn smart. Best of luck and I look forward to reading all about Finn’s adventures.

    • Allison November 20, 2019 at 9:23 pm #

      How funny!! You are just a couple weeks ahead of us, Finn is 10 weeks today. He bites everything, but I can already see some improvement and he’s learning not to bite at the kids especially. It is SO much work!

  36. kathy olkowski November 18, 2019 at 1:22 pm #

    That “Playground” fabric is nothing short of adorable. I’ll be watching for it to come out and play! Finn – love the name, love that face, and I love that he adores you. Welcome to your new home, Mr. Finn.

    • Allison November 20, 2019 at 9:22 pm #

      Thanks Kathy! We sure LOVE him! I told the kids we got the puppy for them…but really he’s going to be my baby.

  37. Linda November 19, 2019 at 7:14 am #

    Teaching a dog to fetch and drop a ball will allow you to provide high speed exercise that you can do by standing at the back door or while lying in bed:). Petsafe makes some super durable toys – we have an orange colored toy that you can put a few treats in, a little peanut butter and throw in freezer. When at wits end or you need to get something done, give it to him. It also squeaks so my pup plays even after treat is gone. Eventually they stop teething and it gets better:) i also make sure my pups never stand on back legs – prevents jumping before it starts. (Jumping on people is big reason people get rid of a dog so its important to begin before the hab it forms…FYI Antlers and some bones can splinter and cause serious and expensive injury to dogs gums)

    • Allison November 20, 2019 at 9:21 pm #

      We are working on “fetch” now…something to wear him out and get him lots of exercise! Thanks for the great tips, especially about standing on his hind legs, I hadn’t thought of that but I need to be better at keeping him from standing up to the counters and table. Thank you!

  38. Brandi Miller November 29, 2019 at 12:10 pm #

    We are currently living through puppy days here as well!!! Our puppy is a 6 month old Siberian Husky we named Mishka.

  39. rachel June 1, 2020 at 7:10 am #

    This is a beautiful quilt! I am going to try and make something with the same Playground fabric. What colors did you use for the backing and binding? Thank you!

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