Monday, March 14, 2016

"Cat's Eye" Quilt for my Sister

Awhile back, I started a quilt for my sister...just because. She is in Houston, I am in LA so we don't see each other much. And I just wanted to do something for my siblings so they have a rememberance of me. I already made my brother a guitar theme one as his love of guitar playing, places him right up there with his "hero" B.B. King.  I titled the quilt "It's the Guitar Man" after a song from the 1970's that always reminded me of him.  Anyway, I started the quilt last winter. I just picked a block I liked, she likes cats so I found the fleece cat print for the back and then added colors. I seldom use an actual pattern when I make quilts.. more a favorite block and work from there. Well, I got the top done and then got sick of quilting and just left it hang on the design wall...until the wall fell down and i just folded it up and dropped it in the "to do" corner.  I have been with a group of sewers on facebook lately, and thanks to their ambition, I suddenly wanted to start sewing again! And since my sister is having some eye surgery issue now, I thought this was the perfect solution to both issues!  So I took out the quilt top, and...finished it!
 This is how it hung on the design wall...and I was able to see how to assemble it and then sewed the blocks together when I go the design I wanted. Blocks like this are fun as there are so many ways to make a design with a block like this! Turn it one way and it looks a certain way, and turn it again and it makes another design. I liked this way as the purple (once sewn together) make what reminded me of a "cat's eye"..a sideways oval with pointed ends. And the pink diamonds reminded me of the common way a cat's pupil is drawn.

Sew the blocks together and I got this..... (look at it sideways and you'll see the "cat's eyes".)

 I found this fleece cat theme for the back...and it was so pretty, so I thought I"d use it instead of the cotton I already had (with cats on it)
I intended to make one more (vertical as seen) row for one more row of "eyes" (this would be the purple < and > blocks together) but when I cut the squares, I should have sewed them into half square triangles. but I wasn't thinking and just sewed them together in a row. I was NOT going to use all those apart (60 squares times 4!) so I just cut more to make the pink and since I didn't have any more of the print, I used white and made borders and added one floral print square to each corner. I wish I had thought about doing that and added a square or two in the middle of the pink and white but...oh well, next time! And I used the same lavender (lavender with small white dots) print for the binding as I had for the "eyes".  Quilt measures about 55"x60".

This is the back....nice and fleecy. I  also forgot, that if I use fleece for the back I don't have to use an additional batting in the middle., Without the batting, it is more of a cuddly blanket. With a thin batting it is stiffer, but still cuddly and with a thicker batting it would be to heavy and bulky! having not been quilting for 8 months, I forgot my "tricks of the trade" and used a very thin batting. It is still okay for cuddlying while watching TV or extra blanket on the bed. I just missed the mark for it to be very bulky and stiff! Thank goodness for that!
 I also used a wide meander FMQ stitch. The wider the space between the stitches the  more "softer" the quilt will be. Closer stitches will make it more stiff. I had about 1-1,1/2 inches between stitches as I was hoping that would compensate for the batting... and it helps alot! My sister is having some eye surgery about this time and since I have had similar, I know what she is going through. She called me for some "eye talk" and I think I was able to help her think things through. She was there for me when I had my surgery, but I am in LA she is in Houston so I can't be there for her, so I thought this would be a good way of telling her I am with her.. in spirit! I think she will love the quilt. Off in the USPS snail mail it goes today!

Thanks for stopping by and...keep on sewing those memories!

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"It's the Guitar Man" Quilt

Memories got into my ones did... and I decided to make a quilt for each of my siblings...1 younger sister and 2 older brothers. I wanted to make the quilt with a theme about them that I remember of them. So...first thing that hit me was my first oldest brother... he taught himself to play the guitar in high school, and now retired... can play Jimi Hendrix and Carlos Santana to shame! And I am not bias. He is that good.

Well, anyway, I searched a bunch of  internet fabric shops  looking for "realistic" looking guitar theme fabric. I found these four nice prints... realistic looking and 4 different style of guitar. I got half yard of each...that fabric online is not cheap!
I spent a couple days comparing and designing and looking for a good couple of contrasting colors that would go with all the prints....blues, blacks, browns....and not wanting the quilt to be really dark... I chose a gold and a blue and make a 12 patch block to go with the same size guitar print block.

I sewed 2,1/2" strips of each color together and then cut 2,1'2" sections, then sewed 6 of those together alternating the gold and blue to make a nice 4"x12" checkerboard block.  I cut the guitar fabric specifically to get the most guitars in the 8"x12" block. I ended up with 3 guitar prints, and one "music" theme print with some notes, sheet music and a few different instruments....all of which he plays. I needed a little something to break up the I added brown sashing....but only one way because I didn't want everything to far separated. Also a brown final 2" border all around with a blue binding

On the back.. I use a flannel and a staff and notes on white and white notes on black. I used a very thin cotton/poly blend batting and used blue for the binding. The quilt is about 60"x80" in size.

I made a unique label for it. I wanted my brother to know what him and his talent meant to me, but also...I wanted him to have the memories of his years of playing guitar. Back in the 1970's... The group Bread had a song called "Guitar Man".  I remember that song back in the day and it always made me think of my brother...trying so hard to "break" into the music circuit, always playing his heart out...hoping for more, but never quite making it. The song was perfect description of my brother. So I used computer fabric paper and made a label with some of the song lyrics, then "signed" it. I made an applique of one of the guitars and attached that to the label to the corner of the back.

I sent the quilt to him "un-announced". He emailed me and hardly had words to say he was so moved and pleased by the surprise.  He did later say that he hung it on the wall above his bed so he could see it all the time, because he didn't have the heart to USE such a beautiful and special gift.  Pass the box of tissues!
My next quilt is a cat quilt for my sister...she has always loved cats. My other older brother.. he loved chess but I have not been able to find any chess theme fabric in my many searches yet.

Want to read more at Fabric and Memories? CLICK HERE

Thanks for stopping by and...keep on sewing those memories!

This post is linked to the Linky Party for the day. Click on the "Daily Linky Parties" tab at the top of my page and join us!
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