Saturday, May 12, 2012

Tessellating cats the finish line

After the cats were on the background and border(s) added, it was time for some quilting.
I looked around for something big enough to use for the backing and got out my roll of "Thinsulate". I know most quilters buy batting in quilt-sized packages and you seem to get what you like. Long ago, I did the same but I was often disappointed with what I ended up with. Sometimes the batting migrated to the top in little pills. Sometimes it pulled away from the edges. Sometimes it was hard to quilt through. And, often it was not the size I wanted and I was either piecing it or throwing away the left-overs. Now I have discovered thinsulate, made by 3M. I love it! I buy it on the bolt and can piece it to any size I want. It comes in assorted thicknesses so I have several bolts. They stand on end in the back of my closet corner until I need them. The texture has a tacky feel so once it is made into a sandwich, it doesn't shift. And, it is nice to hand quilt. I know it is made to use in clothing and it holds up well to washing. I have heard they make it in quilt sizes but here in Japan I have never seen it.

This is the quilt line for the cat after quilting all the cats in the ditch. I use the three-finger-rule.
In the old days the quilting had to be very close together to keep the batting from shifting but with this batting, about three fingers width left open is fine.

Here is the finished quilt. It is about 34" x 41", good for  table topper or the back of a sofa.

The cat patrol was from a fabric with cats in rows and "CoCoLand" written between the rows. The fabric on the backing has been sitting in the bottom of a box for about 30 years. Once, a friend long forgotten, was asked to make quilt blocks for some project ... maybe to send to an exchange ... and she asked me to make them for her. She selected a kimono block and brought me the fabric. With all the lovely Japanese prints available, I was surprised to see this red floral print. I don't remember what the obi and background was but there was lots of this red fabric left over and it never seemed to go with anything I was making. I dug it out and the size was enough. The green binding matches the leaves in the print and I did not need to go out and buy anything at all. I may add a wandering path in the floor area but I may just call this "done".

I hope anyone wanting to try this pattern can get enough information by going to the sidebar for the tessellating cat posts ... or drop me a line and I will try to answer any question that arises.

The Bible quilt class met again this week and here are the blocks that were finished. Jacob's ladder, David and Goliath, Joseph's coat, Children of Israel, and Garden of Eden.

Wither thou goest, is almost together.

The women are dividing up the Star of Bethlehem to take for homework. One more was cut out to be finished by two other members of the group.

Today is Mother's Day. Here is my mother's day shirt I wanted to wear. It has hand and foot-prints from all my kids and foster babies and even a cat and dog or two but... if you look a bit closer, you can see that Nikko has given this shirt a chewing. (her foot print was not on it)

Do you think she was jealous? No, this is a result of separation anxiety ... when I go out, it is always my stuff that gets chewed. She had to go all the way up to the third floor bedroom to get this one.

Here is what I wore instead. This was hand painted by a little old man in China while I watched. You can see my two boy chicks fighting over a worm. Two big sisters are trying to break up the fight and two other sisters are looking on from above. I have the world's greatest peeps and they always solve their own problems.

As I look back today, I am so pleased with my wonderful children and a bit sad that my own mother always found me such a disappointment. And while I was selecting and cutting fabric for the Bible quilt block, Whither thou goest, I thought about my dear mother-in-law and pulled out a heart print.
She did not feel responsible for my short-comings, of which there are many, but loved me just as I was and I think I know how Ruth felt.


  1. This quilt is very pleasant. Really, cats are smiling! Congratulations!

  2. Love your hand (and foot and paw) painted shirt!

  3. I love that cute kitty border fabric in the quilt. I've been worried about you after the tornadoes. I didn't know if you were near there or not. Happy Mother's Day!

  4. Cute, beautiful, wonderful cats! What a beautiful quilt. Thanks for sharing the "trip" with us. Your shirts are lovely too. Happy Mother's Day to you, my friend.

  5. well I think you are doing just fine xx and it is best to remember those who love us ... warts and all x love the shirt you WOULD have worn xx

  6. As I read your post I remembered all you spoke about of your children (blood and acquired) and of your relationship with your mother and felt privileged that we met and talked. I hope you had a happy day dear Julie.

  7. What a cute memory shirt with all the paw and hand prints. I love the silk shirt too.
    The cat quilt looks wonderful!