I am excited to participate in the Pets on Quilts show this year because not only do I LOVE incorporating cats about about every quilt I make, but I also grew up with a kitty that loves to participate in the quilting process (don't they all?) So this will feature a bit of cats ON quilts and a bit of cats IN quilts.
First: the cat ON quilts.
This is Annabelle, my family cat. She lives with my parents now and I don't, but she still snuggles with me and my quilts whenever I come back to visit.
Like many of your cats I bet, she loves to be where the action is. So whenever I'm pinning a quilt she'll intentionally sit in the middle of it. (Side note: yes, there's a trend. I often pin quilts in my pjs lol)
She's also a big lap cat, and she doesn't care if you're busy or not! So many times when hand quilting my latest kitty quilt I had to make room for her AND the hoop.
Okay, onto the cats IN quilts. I am one of those people who is REALLY a cat lady. I LOVE cats. So I have many quilts featuring cats:
This first one my mom made for me when I was a kid. She hand appliqued all of these adorable kitties. Each one is holding something different, and the one in the middle is holding a heart :) The quilt is hand quilted with hearts and cats in the sashing. The pattern is by Carolee Pollock, an Alaskan quilt designer.
This next wallhanging is by Patch Abilities. I loved this because it came with the kitty hanger and fish buttons! A very fun and quick little wallhanging to make.
Here's one you'll recognize if you read my blog: from the pattern "Stairway to Cat Heaven"
And now the one I *really* want to talk about, my rainbow cats quilt!
I really love this quilt because I just focused on having a lot of fun when I made it. The pattern is adapted from wallhanging patterns by Trish Stuart, who I believe is also an Alaskan.
I really love rainbows, when I was a kid I would organize all of my crayons in rainbow order, organize my mom's stash in rainbow order (she loved that!), etc. So I would guess at about age 12 I first drew up the idea for this quilt: a set of nine cats in rainbow order. Over the years I found the pattern that I wanted to use, kept pondering it, and finally one summer sat down and made a test cat.
I think that pink cat might have been the first one that I made. Two cats ended up being rejects because the colors on them didn't turn out quite right. After I made all of the cats I decided on the backgrounds of opposing colors. Now interestingly, whenever I look at this quilt I see the lovely cats, but a friend recently asked me why I had started with the cool colors (like the blues and teals) at the top. In my mind, I had started with the red cat, the first color of the rainbow. It's interesting how to me the cats pop and to my friend the background is what popped. A white background would have highlighted the rainbow cats more but made the quilt less dynamic.
Anyways, then I decided I wanted to embroider all of the cats. These guys are machine appliqued, which means they need something to hold them down in the long run. I had recently completed a quilt where I had satin stitched around EVERYTHING, and I definitely didn't want to do that again. Now I'm pretty awful at embroidery, but I had a lot of fun picking the thread colors and a different stitch for every part of every cat.
It took a while to hand embroider every thing, but it was a lot of fun, and it's really cool to run your hands over the quilt top and feel the embroidery.
Now I had originally planned a much more complicated border with all kind of cool rainbow blocks, but once I put on the sashing I stepped back and said "it's done!" I think the sashing just brought the whole thing together so well, and I wanted nothing to draw focus away from the cats.
I finished this two years ago (summer 2010) and entered it in the Alaska State Fair. It won third place, which is very exciting because the quilt competition in Alaska is pretty fierce, AND the organizers thought it was a cool enough quilt that they hung it from the rafters! Normally only king-sized quilts get to be that high up, and this is a show where a lot of quilts have to be displayed folded because they just don't have enough space.
So anyways, that was the long-winded story of my favorite cat quilt. Since it was finished within the past two years I'm entering it in the Peninsula Quilters' show, along with a few other quilts.
Thanks for stopping by! :)