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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 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.