Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Pearl and Friends

I have seen a run on cat quilts out in the blogging world and realized I have no digital pictures of my cat quilt. I may have to wait and try again when the rainy season is over.

Many years ago someone offered my family a lovely black kitten with bright yellow eyes. We were only a week away from leaving for a summer holiday so I said if the kitten was still available when we got back, we would be glad to adopt it. Of course someone snatched it up during the time we were gone but we still wished for a kitten to share our home.

About the end of October that same year, I was working in the library when someone came in and said, "does anyone want a cat?"to which I replied, "I do, but not just any cat. It should be all black with yellow eyes or all white with one blue eye and one gold eye." The lady said the cat was all white with one gold eye and one blue eye, so I asked if it had a nice straight tail. In Japan, as a consequence of in-breeding, many cats have tails with kinks. The lady said, "Just a moment, I'll go and check" and soon she was back carrying a little white kitten with odd eyes and a tail, not quite straight but with a bend in the end". Thus, Pearl joined our family, a birthday gift to myself. Actually, she was an enchanted princess that only looked like a cat

Pearl lived with us for about 12 years and I wanted to make a quilt to celebrate her memory. Starting with squared paper I came up with this design for Pearl and Friends. Finding fabric to use was a bit tricky because each cat adjoins six others. I also discovered that each row moves over by the width of the tail so the sides became crooked. I ended up putting a border with two cats turned sideways and moving the balls into a straight line. I quilted a spool of thread into the border and pinned circles around, quilting around them with one continuous line with a needle at the other end.

Several friends in my quilt group have copied the templates and made full sized quilts using my pattern. Ever since I have been playing with the squared paper trying to come up with a pattern of both a cat and dog. This qult was hung in a quilt show back in the early 90s and though I had thought it might make a cute baby quilt, it is a little small (48.5"x56") and when the time came with a baby in mind, I had another plan in my notebook.

Now, here is another birthday present to myself. The year before last I had some points to spend at the garden shop. Lest they go un-used, I picked out five lily bulbs and brought them home to my little garden. They bloomed for the first time last summer and I had left a camera when I went off to the Jamboree, asking that someone take pictures so I wouldn't miss them. Well, that was not high on any one's agenda and I returned to finished flowers.

This summer I hope not to miss any but this weekend I will be off to Boy Scout camp and I see the first has begun to open and the others are lining up. This one has taken over the spot where the Iris stood a month ago. I am wondering what the other colors will be. My family didn't remember but the neighbors said they were beautiful. Maybe I should leave the camera with them this time?

This one might be next. It seems to be in competition with the Snake-bark maple tree, well over eight feet tall, and above the living room window. I hope I won't miss it!


  1. My jaw dropped when I saw your second photo. Your talent knows no bounds! I am in absolute awe. What can I say except that you keep surprising me. I love your cat quilt and I am glad you now have a record of it. Your lilies look beautiful. Are they multiplying?

  2. I made my sister a tessellating cat pillow, almost identical to yours many years ago! Your Pearl sounds like a beautiful cat!


  3. I am totally amazed by your cat quilt - it's stunning. I just can't picture things in my head - I have to have something visual to look at. That means talent like yours is astounding. And yes, I believe I might leave the camera with the neighbors! blessings, marlene

  4. Another very beautiful and nice quilt! We have birds in an aviary and are not too fond of cats, but I adore this cats.

  5. What an amazing pattern and a lovely choice of fabrics and Pearl is the nicest name for a cat! regards Mary in Canterbury

  6. Sweet kitties! I love the pattern you designed. How long are you off to Jambouree for? I would be crying to miss those flowers. I have nothing like that in my garden (so far no flowers at all this year) but my orchid is blooming - again, third time in a year. I'll have to get a photo.

  7. A belated happy Birthday!! love your kitty quilt! I think it so cool that no matter how you look at up or down the kitties fit into each other.
    Pearl was meant to be yours so glad that you were able to enjoy your little princess.
    Give the camera to your neighbours they will feel honoured.