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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