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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Quilting the Cat

I am planning a quilt or, more accurately, trying to plane one. I’ve been thinking about it for a couple of weeks now, but I’m not getting very far. I saw one design I liked, but it had a zillion little 1 ¼” squares and triangles, and, while I’m a good enough piecer to do it, I’m far too lazy. (I know that lazy seems the antithesis of a quilter because a quilt is fiddly and, as an old friend once commented, “takes the patience of an idiot,” but there are quilts, and then there are quilts.)

My real problem is that my eye for quilt patterns isn’t good. I want to see a pattern made from the very fabric that I choose. When you think about quilting patterns, you have to think in geometrics, and sometimes it's easier than others.

This particular fabric is quite unusual. I bought it in a little quilting store off the central square in Healdsburg in the Sonoma Valley. ( And, no, I wasn’t drinking at the time.) It is bright yellow and has black and white polka dotted chickens with bright red combs and legs running around on it. It makes me laugh and will be a great feature fabric. Not only that, but I had and also found coordinating fabrics in record time. I’ mean, we’re talking within a couple of weeks here whereas the other fabric I just finished finding the coordinating fabrics for, I bought a good year ago.

You'll have to mentally adjust for a slightly blurred, brushed effect to the fabric which is cat hair. I’ve got it spread out on the guest bed in my office where Elaine likes her afternoon snooze. You can see that she's a calico, so no matter what intensity or color the fabric, she has fur that will show up. 

The quilt isn’t going to really be a quilt, but a table topper for the kitchen table. I’d like it to have a sense of movement to it like the chickens are running madly around (which they seem to be to me). It will probably involve black sashing. I don’t have to use all the fabrics (the red flowered and green leaved pieces are from my stash and are under ¼ yard). The thing is, there’s no getting more of the chickens, and once it’s cut, it’s cut. Should I cut it in squares? Or in diamonds? (Yes, they’re the same shape, but they differ depending on which position is “up.”) Octagons would be good, but without a commercial pattern, I think that is beyond my skill level. I mean, the first step would be to use that graphed quilting plastic and draw and cut out a symmetrical octagon. Yeah, for me that’s difficult.

Here’s the great thing about planning a quilt. It’s something to think about when you either (a) have nothing else to think about or (b) have something else you want to avoid thinking about. Right now I’m working on a sequel to my paranormal thriller (Jaguar Sees: The Lacquer Box ( http://amzn.to/hUuFdS ). ( Please buy it if you haven’t already, and make all your friends buy it, too. I used to be too proud to flatly ask people to do things like this, but this is the low to which authorship has brought me.) Anyway, I’m working on the sequel which tends to be an addicting, obsessive activity, and planning a quilt is a great mental relaxation. Or vexation, I’m not sure which.
Anyway, I’m open to all ideas about quilt patterns. Also, come to think of it, all ideas for plot twists. Feel free to Comment.


  1. Jaguar Sees: the Madly Running Chickens (???)