Kitty Cat Quilt completed

Whew!  Just squeaking in before the end of month deadline with my May OMG project – not the best of photos, taken inside as I ran out of daylight hours to take one outside (and besides, it’s been raining and blowing and bitterly cold today, so not ideal weather for al fresco photography anyway!).

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Each block has simple, outward-radiating big stitch quilting around the central ‘framed’ cat/s, with the backing a cute cat-themed fabric I found in my stash:

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At our last quilting club meeting a call went out for quilts for the children’s ward at Christchurch Hospital, so that’s where this one will end up, possibly along with another couple which I made last year (or was it the year before …), which have been waiting for the right time, right recipient to come along 🙂

Linking up with the OMG linky party at Red Letter Quilts here.

PS  I may have succeeded with my OMG project this month, but the Quilty 365 circles challenge is another matter altogether:  not one single circle done this month! 😦  Maybe I should make catching up on those my OMG challenge for June …?

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Laying claim to a quilt …

Today I’ve been working on my OMG kitty-cat quilt, making reasonable progress on the big stitching with three of the nine blocks now done.  However, my hands were beginning to ache a little with all the hand sewing, so I put it aside when I finished the third block, and turned my attention to selecting fabric strips (batiks, lovely batiks!) for another project:  a jelly roll quilt for my 92-year-old friend, Granny P, who lives way down south in Invercargill.

And when I returned to my sewing area, guess who had laid claim to, and taken up residence on, the aforementioned kitty-cat quilt?  Yup, Henry Lee!

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Trying it out for size and comfort …

 

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Hmmm … nice big stitching … don’t forget to remove the safety pins when you’re finished …

 

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Possession is nine-tenths of the law – and that’s MY paw on it, so hands off!

LOL, I guess he’s trying to give me the message that he’d like one of his own! 🙂

So, more about the project for Granny P.  This will actually be the third jelly roll quilt I’ve made for her:  no. 1 was for her 90th birthday in August 2014, after which she requested a second one, which I made and sent to her for her 91st birthday in August 2015.  However, due to the second one being a bit of a rushed job before I headed off to Australia for a month, I made it just a two-layer quilt (can you still call a quilt a quilt if it only has two layers???), with the same jelly roll top and fleecy backing as I used for the first one, but no batting in the middle.  SHE WAS NOT AMUSED.  Hence her request for a THIRD quilt, WITH BATTING PLEASE, for her 92nd birthday! 🙂  (I think I shall try to retrieve quilt no. 2 next time I go down to see her, and see if I can take it apart and insert some batting – anything for a quiet life! 🙂 🙂 )

Anyway, batik strips have been selected (I actually used some of my Tonga Treats 6″ wide strips and cut two 2.5″ wide strips from 20 different fabrics, to end up with the usual jelly roll set of 40 strips), and I’ve just finished the first step in construction, sewing them all together in one long strip – look at these luscious fabrics!

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So tonight it’ll be a toss-up between more big stitching, or more jelly rolling  … which would you choose? 🙂

 

 

Coming along nicely …

To be honest, when I selected this UFO to be my May project, it was my second choice … I’d already chosen, and started work on, another UFO of similar long-time-no-see vintage (a little tumbler quilt of recycled flannel materials), but by the time I’d sewn two rows of that together, I knew it wasn’t going to make me happy, so I put it away and chose this one instead.  And, as you will see by these progress photos, my second choice is coming along nicely 🙂

Here’s what I started with:

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And then – thanks to two serendipitous finds in a rummage through my stash – I added a narrow border around each block, and sashing between blocks and rows, and ended up with this:

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So far so good 🙂  And now, the backing … Wanting to continue with the cat theme, I rummaged further and deeper in my stash, and discovered this little piece, just the right size, just the right theme:  purrfect!! 🙂

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Look at these little kitties, how could I resist them??

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So, the blocks became a flimsy, and the flimsy was then batted and backed and ready for quilting …

Now, given that this quilt was started possibly as many as 10 or 12 years ago, when I knew next to nothing about quilting and foundation piecing and mixing different sorts of fabrics together in one project, there are many flaws in it – some bits don’t lie flat, other pieces really shouldn’t be in there at all, and the ric-rac around the cats is – well, let’s just say it could all have been done better.  But you know what?  I don’t care.  Because for all the pieces that I shake my head at and go, “What was I thinking??!”, there are just as many others that have made me smile as I remember where (or who) they came from, what they were before they became scraps, and how much I loved and just had to have some of THAT fabric! 🙂

So, anyway, back to the quilting:  because of said flaws, I decided that some big stitch quilting was probably going to be the best option for this little quilt:  (a) I won’t have to be extra careful when I’m stitching over the bits that won’t lie flat, and (b) it won’t interfere too much with the backing fabric in particular.  So, here’s the first block, quilted with simple, outward-radiating big stiches:

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And here’s what it looks like on the reverse:

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(I’m loving the minimal effect of the quilting on the back!! 🙂 )

So I’m a Happy Little Camper at present, pleased with how the project’s coming along, and pleased with my decisions so far.  Of course, there is still the binding to be chosen … 🙂

 

 

 

 

May OMG project

A simple one for this month, I think – turning these UFO blocks from many years ago into a proper, finished quilt!

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I need to decide what colour sashing (a deep single colour, I think, to offset the scraps …), what colour borders and binding (this will depend very much on what I choose for the sashing), what to back it with, and finally, how to quilt it.  It’s only a small quilt, probably ending up at around 42″ by 36″, so definitely for a little ‘un who likes cats 🙂  At our quilters’ club meeting last week, one of the members said the hospital are looking for quilts for the children’s ward, so that’ll probably be where it’ll go.

As well as this one I’m hoping to make further progress on my 60-degree quilt, and also my Quilty 365 circles, but this UFO will definitely be my goal for this month.

Linking up with Heidi’s goal-setting party at Red Letter Quilts here.  OMG button

Quilty 365: Day 121

Although my main focus for this month has been my OMG 60-degree quilt project (see here), I’ve also been trying out a few new things with my circles, so April has been a month of discoveries and learning (not to mention a whole lot of fun! 🙂 ).  Along the way there have been some good experiences, such as exciting finds of Kaffe Fassett fabric in my stash … and some not so good, such as a brain fade when I carefully – oh, so carefully – ironed the Wonder Under to the incorrect side of ten circles of African fabric which I had just cut out … duh!!

Anyway, here’s a photo of my April circles all together:

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And here are highlights of some of the special ones for the month:

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1 April

1 April:  This one is in honour of my dad, who died on this day in 1994.  Pa was always a keen gardener, and in later life became an avid hibiscus grower, spending many hours trying to create new varieties by cross-pollinating from one hibiscus to another.  (At least, I think that’s what he was doing – my visits home by this time were few and far between, so I wasn’t always there to observe what he was doing, but I seem to remember it involved wrapping the flower heads in stockings once he’d done the deed … presumably to stop any other pollination from occurring – or maybe it was to collect any seed that resulted?)

 

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23 April

23 April:  This one is in honour of Mama, whose birthday was on this day, and who died in 1986. The little hearts were created by a heart-shaped paper punch, which failed dismally when I tried to cut just the fabric, but agreed to co-operate when I ironed on some Wonder Under and applied just a touch of force in the cutting process … 🙂

 

 

 

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28 April

 

28 April:  And this one is for my big sister J, who now lives in Wales, but who farmed next door to the folks in Zimbabwe for many years and was a champion dahlia grower and exhibitor:  happy (belated) birthday!  This circle is very similar to the one I made way back on 2 January for her daughter, my niece (also a J) – only this time, instead of attaching the circlet of flowers by sewing them on, I got really cunning and used fabric glue for the first time.  I was pleased with the result, although my spacing wasn’t quite as good as I would have liked. The flowers are attached to each other when you buy them, and I didn’t really want to cut each one out, so I kept the string of flowers intact and just glued and manoeuvred them into place one at a time; however, this did mean that by the time I got back to the beginning of the circle and realized my spacing was off, the ‘Undo’ option wasn’t really available as the glue had already set …  All part of the learning curve, I guess!  (The flower is, of course, a dahlia, which I printed onto fabric specially for the occasion 🙂 )

And finally, a few of the experimental ones for the month:

 

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The first two were a trial to see how easy it was to attach little strips of fabric with Wonder Under (this was before I remembered I had some fabric glue) – it was tricky, but doable.  The last two are photos of two of my Zentangles from previous posts (back in 2014, I think), which I printed onto fabric and then selected where I wanted to cut out the circle.  These were both printed onto exactly the same white fabric, with the difference in colour coming from the light at the time the photos were taken (from memory, the first was taken indoors at night, and the second outdoors on a sunny day – interesting to see the difference, isn’t it?).  I was quite chuffed with the way these turned out, so you should probably expect to see more of these as the year progresses 🙂

All in all, a good month! 🙂

Quilty 365

 

Linking up with Quilty 365, courtesy of Audrey of Quilty Folk – thanks, Audrey!