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Squirrels for my Girl

Posted on: May 15th, 2015 by Lorna McMahon

My daughter is very fond of squirrels. And I have to admit, so am I. Their shape. Their fluffy tails. Their posturing. And those cute little beady eyes.

When Erin received a wooden hope chest for Christmas from her grandparents, I immediately wanted to quilt a cover to protect the top. But she was not really keen on the idea.

The top of the chest measures 17.5″ x 40″. And I designed the cover to have a piece fitted around the edges of the topper to keep it from sliding around. And yes. That is a blue Skittle on the floor.

Squirrels that are still in need of some eyes

As seen in my last Sunday Stash post here, the Kona cotton solids from that purchase were compared, and I decided to go with the Kona Earth and Biscuit for the making these playful squirrels. I had considered using a turquoise background, but in the end a Peapod green won out. Logically, these little guys are playing on the grass not hanging in the sky. So…..

The squirrels are meant to match this collection of pillows which were my influence in leaning toward using a turquoise background. I made these pillows for Erin as a gift this past Christmas. She has them piled up on her hope chest. I asked if she would like me to quilt her a little something to keep the top of the chest from getting scratched or otherwise messed up. She was reluctant at first. That is until I came up with the squirrel design. That was a different matter! She is certainly nuts for squirrels.

Collection of pillows

The backing is a large piece of Shadow Leaves by Cynthia Coulter for Wilmington Prints that I found in my stash. I love this print and feel it blends well with the Kona cotton solids used in making the patchwork squirrels. I had plenty of this print. Enough to use it for the backing…

The binding…

And the ruffle.

And there was even enough left over to make one more pillow.  This one is 13″ x 20″.

The quilting was done in organic wavy lines with my walking foot using Superior Threads’ Poly Quilter #331 in Lemon Chiffon thread in the top and Gütermann all purpose polyester thread in the bobbin. The variegated thread and quilting method provide a nice texture, which reminds me of fresh blades of grass.

I am really pleased with how everything came together. And – more importantly – so is my daughter! All I need to do now is find the right buttons for those squirrels’ eyes.

UPDATE:  Yes! I found the perfect buttons for their beady little eyes!

This Quilted Squirrels hope chest cover was the 40th use of my 100 labels ordered from
You can design your own labels, too!  Click here!
I have added the pattern for Erin’s Squirrels to my pattern store here. This pattern has instructions for making four squirrel blocks as individual blocks and also includes instructions for making a runner the same size as the one I made.  Go NUTS!

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31 Responses

  1. Jasmine says:

    What a sweet project. I love the squirrels and the design to stay on the chest.

  2. Rike Busch says:

    Oh, they are so cute!!!!!! Love it!

  3. magistra says:

    Your squirrels are really cute! I'm glad you fiound them some eyes 🙂 And what blue skittle? I never could see the blue skittle…I feel a bit cheated, really. But happy! Because squirrels! And you did great justice to their cute, bushy tails!Beth

  4. I'm in love. :)You're rockin' the Konas again!!

  5. Rachel says:

    Very cute squirrels! That's an interesting way to keep it on the chest. Love the back\\ruffle fabric too!

  6. The squirrels are awesome!!!

  7. Lorna, you are so darn clever! Don't ya love varigated thread!!

  8. Heidi says:

    Genius!Congrats on your 40th label 🙂

  9. Mari says:

    So lovely, Lorna! What a lucky daughter you have. Hope she knows it! Beautiful pattern and terrific quilting, as always!

  10. What a perfect topper for the chest, and how great that your daughter was a happy recipient! 🙂

  11. What a great idea. You are very clever.

  12. Ioleen says:

    Love the squirrels. Another great pattern Lorna. The ruffle is awesome.

  13. Love your squirrels and the quilting is fantastic!

  14. Lara B. says:

    As a fellow squirrel nut, I just love this project! Another great design Lorna! The pillows all look fabulous with the squirrel topper too. Erin must be so delighted! Okay, not it's time to go play \”Find that Skittle\” LOL 🙂

  15. I love the squirrels!! What an awesome project. =)

  16. Zenia Rene says:

    You do beautiful work! I wish, I wish, I wish….

  17. I absolutely love squirrels! This is so cute and functional! 🙂

  18. Renee says:

    These squirrels are so awesome! Probably my new favorite animal pattern from you!

  19. legato1958 says:

    Love your Squirrels pattern! My grown daughter has loved squirrels since she was a little girl. Very cute!!Susie

  20. Even though I am not nearly as big a fan of squirrels as you and your daughter (okay… truth here. I HATE them.), I can appreciate the art here even if not the subject. Another fine animal finish, Lorna!

  21. Very cute, I love squirrels too. And what a great combination of fabrics in all those cushions now.

  22. Susan says:

    Just too cute! And love the fabrics for the pillows. Believe it or not, around here, we have black squirrels, and even some that are grey with a ting of gold. Quite the variety!

  23. Sure loving your squirrels. We always had sooooo many squirrels around, but the neighbor got two outside kitties that we just love. Not so many squirrels now…..I guess it's okay they were chewing on our house.

  24. Cheryl says:

    I love the squirrels and the pleated skirt on the quilt!

  25. Patty says:

    LOVE the squirrels. So fun!

  26. Christine S says:

    What a great idea for the chest! It's so cute also 🙂 the blue skittle…I don't see it either lol! Did you touch up the photo to trick us all? 😉

  27. Ruth says:

    Squirrels are hard to spot here, red ones are native and most of time hidden away and I love it when we get to see them, they are so cute and you have captured them perfectly – another super cute design!

  28. Lori says:

    this is wonderful. I love how you made it so it fits snuggly. LOL I had to really hunt for the blue skittle. LOL finally found it.

  29. Glinda ♥ says:

    Perfect! My Mum's friend LOVES squirrels and I'll be making her this soon – have just bought your pattern – can't wait to get started … after I've finished a few other things first!

  30. Michele says:

    That is just adorable.

  31. Laura Chaney says:

    Your squirrels are super cute, and I love the organic wavy line quilting!