Ali Wilkinson

Buster the Boxer


My friend has a boxer dog called Buster who is quite a character but is also getting old. When I saw Tartankiwi‘s (Juliet) paper pieced dog silhouettes in Love Patchwork and Quilting issue 38 I knew I had to make the boxer for my friend’s upcoming birthday.

Juliet’s original pattern is the silhouette and only the ear is distinctive, but @materialgirlquilts¬†(Amanda) on Instagram has posted a modification of the pattern to include the white patches on her boxer, which match those of Buster, and so after much studying of what she had done and how it might work, I attempted a similar approach. My first attempt at the white flash on his nose was not a big success and I had to start again, and I think Amanda managed the eye much better than I did. But nonetheless, I am pretty stoked with the result.

I used a favourite Carolyn Friedlander Botanics for the main part of Buster, together with some scraps of unknown source brown and white fabrics for his ear and patches. Amanda inspired me to use a dark background too, which I am thrilled with as usually I would have tended to go to a low volume pale shade. This background is part of the Black and White range by Cotton + Steel.

Did you spot my tiny mistake? By the time I saw it I was to far committed to undo many pieces, and decided to just accept it.



I turned the 20″ square block into a cushion cover. Don’t you love those perfect pointy corners? I came across a tutorial on SewMamaSew that shows a very easy method to achieve points and not blunted corners. It’s so easy – you just sew the seam off the edge at the end of each side (instead of pivoting and turning), then fold over the seam you just sewed (folding on the seam), rotate 90 degrees and start to sew this new side from the edge. So simple, and such professional results. Check out the video and see just how easy to is.


I followed another tutorial for the back to add a concealed zipper. This time the tutorial was by Svetlana at Sotak Handmade. Svetlana uses a zipper that’s wider than the width of the cushion, but I prefer to use one slightly smaller so that at each side there is 1″ or so which can be closed off by sewing a row of stitches perpendicular to the zipper and across the ends of the zipper. My method avoids the bulk of a zipper as well at the edge seams and the broken needles that can often result in.

I am so very pleased with this cushion cover and hope Noeline likes it too.