Tag Archives: quilting

Quilting – For the love of cats

My latest quilting project was a labour of love from day one.  I decided to make a throw for my son and daughter-in-law, who, like me, are both cat mad.  My obvious choice was a cat theme, but I thought I’d go one further than just a cat theme and make them a quilt featuring photos of their own three cats.  What fun this turned out to be, but I didn’t realize what a labour-intensive design I had chosen.  I only had a few weeks in which to make the throw as they were coming out from the UK for a visit and I wanted it ready for them to take home with them.

Fabric photos

Step one was finding nine photos to use – three of each cat (I only learned much later that one of the cats was actually a fourth cat, but that’s another story!)  Our local quilting supply store printed the photos onto suitable fabric for me and with their help I selected some amazing material – six different fabrics in matching shades.

Chain piecing

I framed each picture in a brown fabric and then followed a log cabin design around each block until I had built up a square.  Chain-piecing made the sewing go faster and of course I pressed each seam as I went.  It was great seeing the blocks come to life with each new fabric that I added.

Quilt as you go

I don’t have a terribly big sewing machine, so opted for the ‘quilt as you go’ technique to make the quilting part easier (using ‘stitch in the ditch’ for all the seams).  For those of you who don’t know what ‘quilt as you go’ means, each block is completed, quilted and then sewn together.  I love the ‘quilt as you go’ method and this was my first attempt at it.  Thank goodness for YouTube tutorials – they were amazing – as was the help I received from my friend, Liz, who uses this method a lot as well.  My joins were pretty good, even if I say so myself, and with my choice of backing, they were difficult to see.

Joined in rows

Liz also told me to join the blocks in rows going down first, and then match them going across. This was a good tip and I had few problems in actually getting all the blocks to line up.  I have to confess that as the quilt progressed I grew more and more fond of those darling kitties gazing at me all the time.  I could have adopted the lot of them right there and then!

Ready for the borders and binding

Finally the central joining pieces went in and then the outside borders were added.  What a dream it was to see the whole throw quilted and finished as I went.  The backing was the perfect choice as it blended in well with the fabric on the front.  Liz embroidered a label for me – I called the quilt “Three’s Company” because all three cats are great friends that curl up together all the time, as well as being great company for my son and daughter-in-law.

All done!

All that remained was to bind the quilt and it was done.  It sounds like it went quickly, but it took weeks and weeks of work.  As I said before, it was a labour of love and I can honestly say that I loved every minute of the time I spent working on it.  I hope that Tamsyn, Whisky and Bailey enjoy sleeping on the throw – perhaps some of the love that went into it will ooze out into them and they will know how much I grew to love them all.

A Stitch in Time

Wilkinson’s World has been somewhat neglected for the last six months, I’m afraid.  It’s not that we haven’t been on any exciting adventures, although these have been few and far between with Rob’s workload, but I have been very preoccupied with my latest hobby – quilting.  At the end of a busy year, or the beginning of a new one, it’s always a good idea to think about that very precious commodity called Time.

Time piece

I read somewhere (I think the author was Seneca) that people are quick to guard their personal property and spare no expense to do so (especially those of us who live in South Africa), but when it comes to squandering their time, folks are most wasteful of the one thing in which it is right to be stingy.  We tend to live as if we are destined to live forever, never sparing a thought to our own frailty, and it never occurs to us how much time has already passed.  We also don’t think that the hours and days we are devoting to somebody or something may very well be our last.

Cat-quilt

And on that sombre note, I am reminded of the hundreds of happy hours that I have spent this last year absorbed in making quilts and items for family members.  It has been a real labour of love.  There’s always that gut-wrenching time before they open the gift when I wonder if they will love it and whether all those (sometimes back-breaking) hours were worth the effort.  Then the satisfaction on seeing their happiness and gratitude when they set eyes on it and I know that each stitch was worthwhile after all.

Foggerty

My lovely sister, Franky, has written and illustrated three children’s books about the adventures of a frog called Mr Foggerty.  I decided to surprise her by making cushion covers depicting the front covers of all three of her books.  Her tears of gratitude when she received these gifts made every minute meaningful.

Foggerty-2 Foggerty 3 in the making

I made this sweet little cot quilt for my grand-daughter, Kyra, who has been given strict instructions by her mom to look after it as it is a family heirloom.  It was hardly a masterpiece, but what a lovely thing to call it a family heirloom!

Kyra's quilt

Months in the making was a colourful quilt with lots of pictures so that our twin grand-daughters could play “I Spy”.  They are still a bit young for that, so will have to rely on Mom and Dad to play “Find a …” until they know their alphabet.

I Spy quilt

I ended the year off making a Christmas table runner to be donated to Hospice.  My friend loved it so much that she ended up buying it off me and I donated the cash to Hospice instead.

Christmas runner

So, was my time wasted?  Hopefully not.  I know I brought a lot of joy to my immediate family and gave a lot to myself in the process.

Neil Diamond ends my blog off, with the fourth verse of his song “Hell Yeah” in which he sings :

“If you’re asking for my time,  Isn’t much left to give you, Been around a good long while, So I gotta say it fast, Time is all we’ll ever need, But it’s gotta have a meaning, You be careful how it’s spent, Cause it isn’t going to last.”

Happy new year!!