Getting this post up now while I have a few minutes (even though the link up isn't available yet).
2015 Pets on Quilts show is my second time participating and it's bittersweet.
Last year, I entered under the "cats on quilts" category (see it here) with a mini quilt that was much loved by my two cats, Eugene and Olive. I was thrilled when I won a batik jelly roll from one of the random drawings. That was the sweet. Then came the bitter. Olive died. We only had her for one year and a week when FiP, a horrible disease, took her.
After she died, Eugene was just not enjoying life as an only cat so we checked the Humane Society (where we got Gene and Ollie) to find him a new companion. Enter, Murray. They were a great fit from moment one and things are very good now, though we still miss Ollie.
And I still had that jelly roll. Months ago I discovered the jelly roll race "pattern" (in quotes because it's not so much a pattern as an event!) and decided it would be perfect for the Ollie jelly roll. Hey, I needed to start actually making "real" quilts (not just small wall hangings) and that would be the easiest way to start that process. So I made the top and it just hung out in my craft room. Until the announcement for the 2015 Pets on Quilts show rolled around. It was time to get that top made into a quilt.
But not without some feline supervision!
This was back when I had first finished the top. I draped it all pretty like over the couch to get a pic and BAM, cat-ttaked. No blanket in this house shall be without hair (their motto).
Fast forward to about a week ago when I finally got my butt in gear to finish the quilt.
(oh, by the way, I'm entering under the "cat on a quilt" category, or whatever category is close to that. . .any of these pics of my cats HAIRassing the quilt can be my entry since I couldn't get both of them to sit on the finished quilt for anything. . .that shouldn't surprise me, they're cats and they will do as they please and no they don't care what you think about it)
Ever so helpful, Eugene. Just plop down on the quilt sandwich and have a bath why don't you.
"What? Were you trying to do something?"
Could you get up so I can flip it over and get the backing fabric layered on?
*sigh* "If I must. . .but there will be a price to pay for disturbing my beauty rest."
No joke. You folks with cats can't be surprised by this at all. I had to flip the top and batting over to get the backing all smoothed out on it and didn't Gene get right up on it and just go insane. He was rolling around on it, squeaking and even pulling off a very odd backflip. Then, to make sure there was plenty of hair on it he had a good scratch. It was hilarious. And I just couldn't care. The quilt was for the family (which is me, my hubby and the cats) so why freak if there's hair on it while I'm making it. It's going to get good and haired up over its life. And Gene was having such a high old time (really, it was like there was nip in that fabric. . .I think he really likes batiks) I just had to enjoy it. He was having so much fun with the Ollie quilt it was like she was there in spirit (showing us her bewbies!).
Eventually I did have to chase him off it so I could get to the sewing. I went with a very easy straight quilting and it went really well. Got the binding machine stitched on one side and then it was time to hand stitch the binding to the back. Enter Murray.
"What are these, mom? Cat toys?"
Murray really likes the binding clips. He was particularly taken by the ones holding the corners all neat (of course). I did have to fish one out of his mouth after he pulled it off and did start to crunch on it like it was a treat. No, we shant be destroying my super cool clips (they are so wonderful for binding).
"Mom, you're no fun. I just wanted to try and break off a tooth and ruin a clip or two. Party pooper!"
I say it all the time and I'll say it again. Good thing they are both so dang cute because they sure aren't well behaved (ok, they're not really "bad" but they do get into everything and Murray in particular sheds like it's his life's goal to coat the entire planet in a thin layer of white hair, and the hair is super soft so it's like trying to wipe off spider webs. . .tons and tons of spider webs).
Don't fret, I'm not going to forget to show off the quilt sans cat.
The front (it's a bit longer than pictured, I had it draped over the edge of the wall a bit to hold it down since my spouse was all "meh" when I asked him to come outside and hold it up. . .ha ha, he was replaced by a brick wall, you know I told him as much, too, and he still didn't care in fact he was pleased to hand the task off to a truly inanimate object).
The back (with its minor flaws. . .I was not going to point them out because to be honest they don't bother me, I really kind of like them because this quilt is about so much more than being "perfect" but I didn't want anyone to think I didn't know there were flaws. They are there and I love each and every one of them).
I wanted the back to be all cat fabric. I've been wanting to make a totally cat quilt but I keep putting it off (what? me procrastinate? well, maybe later) so this was the perfect opportunity to make the back all cats. I was going to make it a totally pieced back but then I happened upon this cat batik fabric and I just had to have it. It was SO PERFECT. Batik to match the batik front but also cat so I could tie in some of the cat fabric I already have in my stash.
From a distance you can't really see the cats but up close they are fabulous! This pic is washed out a bit, the fabric is a nice dark charcoal color which matched pretty well to the black in the Moda Prisma Cats fabric from my stash. I love that fabric so much I went and found a shop that still has some so I can hoard a bit more of it (when it comes to cat fabrics, I allow buying just to stash).
The Prisma Cats fabric is super bright colors and so dang cute! Oh, and even the binding is cat. I had some light gray fabric with polka dots (and some of the dots were cat faces) and it worked so well for the binding. It's light colored but still works with the kind of haphazard feel of the entire quilt. (I forget what line it's from, but it's a fairly recent line that was cat themed)
If I could change only ONE things, I'd have used a darker thread for the quilting. I used the natural color I tend to use for all my sewing and against the dark backing fabric it looks bright white. I didn't want it to pop that much but I don't hate it or anything. It just stands out more than I really wanted (and because of that you can see the flaws in the stitching. . .I was using a basic Singer sewing machine with a walking foot and the weight of the quilt sometimes pulled a bit and you can see it in the stitching--the stitching isn't "bad" but if you're really looking at it you can see it's uneven and I know that's why).
I'm really surprised how much emotion is in this simple quilt. When it was done I was almost giddy. I gathered it up and just hugged it. So silly, but I was just so happy to have it done. The sense of accomplishment was huge and it's just such a special quilt for me. It's the first "real" quilt (meaning bigger sized--the only other size I've made was a lap sized but I traded that away) I've ever made JUST for me (well, and the family) and it's so freaking special and I just love it. But now I'm worried it will just fall apart when I wash it (I know it won't, but I love it so much I have to find something to worry about so that has become the thing I'll worry about).
Thanks for checking out my crazy quilt and even crazier cats. I can't wait to see what everyone else shares for the Pets on Quilts contest. It's such a fun and great event!
NOW, go back to the linky party and check out what everyone else has been up to. CLICK HERE, YOU NOSEY THING YOU!