finished quilt top

Cats and Quilts

I haven’t been here in a while. Been busy with all sorts of cat stuff – and I recently finished a new quilt. Funny how cats and quilts tend to just go together!

About 2 years ago we started seeing stray cats in our backyard. My partner Gregg is a total mushball when it comes to animals and he started feeding and caring for them. Needless to say after 2 years, he now has a whole clowder of cats that he feeds regularly. They are allowed into our garage where Gregg set up litter boxes and kitty beds for warmth. Last year they started getting pregnant, and we knew we had to do something soon.

We learned about the Feral Cat Coalition and PDXCattrapper and we made a plan and finally had 15 cats and kittens fixed last week! We still have 4 adults and 4 kittens more to do, but we got most of them! When they spay or neuter a cat they also clip their ear for visual identification.

Mr. B. Batz

Beforehand, we were a little stressed. However, we’re now on the other side and everyone is healing great! We are thinking of starting a new social id just for these kitties, but I’m not so good with the social media stuff. We’ll see how that goes…

New Quilt Finish

In October, I spent most of my free time working on a quilt for our dear friends’ wedding. I’m pretty excited to share since I haven’t posted about this quilt at all.

Picking the colors for this quilt was tricky. While I know the recipients like very dark colors, there was something so happy and bright with this selection. It just seemed right for them! I made this pattern called Interlaced Orbs.

Interlaced Orbs Quilt Block
Interlaced Orbs Quilt Block

Making the center circle out of 12 pieces allows me to use similar shades of color to make it look a little sparkly. I made the pattern with two overlapping lines – in this quilt they are cream and purple. I thought it was a nice way to symbolize a marriage.

Mistakes

Because my iron stores are very low, my energy has been faltering. This makes it hard to think in general, but math and numbers are extra hard for me. So, I ended up making a couple mistakes in my first blocks.

quilting mistakes
Mistakes in quilt layout

Can you spot the 3 different mistakes I made in the layout here? I think I would have been able to sew it faster if I wasn’t fixing mistakes all the time! … and speaking of time, I DID keep track on this quilt.

time keeping for quilting
Quiltmaker Time-keeping

It’s a little math plus a little time-keeping. I thought I’d be able to make this fast, but the reality is that I’m a slow sewer! Just can’t seem to make a quilt under 50 hours. A little jealousy sets in when I see other quilters finish something in a week – or even in a day. So impressive!

Finishing The Quilt

Finished quilt top
finished Interlaced Orbs Quilt top

After I finished the top, I made borders. With the borders, this quilt finished at 104″ wide x 94″ wide. Perfect for a king-size bed with a hang on 3 sides.

In these photos, you can see the borders I made for the quilt. I used up ALL the extra bits I had in these colors! It felt great to use it all. The next part was quilting.

Luckily, I have a friend who owns a long arm machine and she let me use it to quilt this on.

Free motion quilting on long arm machine
On Quilting Machine – Freehand / Free-motion quilting

I think I did pretty good. Mostly I just did loops all over, and then added a flower-type of element to the circles. I did this in one shot – in 5 hours. It was the type of thing where I got totally lost in my work and had NO recollection of time passing. I only stopped when I was done. Guess what? I totally overdid it!

Spent the next two full days sleeping and a full week of extra intense joint pain. Surprisingly, I had no idea I was harming myself – never do until it’s too late. But I learned my lesson.

Still, the binding needed to be added. I finally was able to get that done the week after, and still before the actual wedding!

The Wedding

Let me start by saying I will RARELY attend a wedding. I’m not usually a fan of all the pomp and circumstance. I don’t have dressy clothes and I’m terrible at social events, I always feel out of place.

That said, this wedding was different for me. First, it was for two people who we care for deeply. Second, it was a small affair in a backyard. Third, it was full of good people who weren’t judge-y in any way. Totally my type of scene. Plus it was just over-the-top beautiful!

A wedding scene
A wedding scene

When the wedding started, they handed out printouts of the “Someone’s Getting Married” song by The Muppets, and we all sang along as the wedding party assembled. Just this much and I was in tears…

Wedding Sing Along
Wedding sing along

Which meant that by the time they were saying their very meaningful vows, I was almost sobbing. It *could* have something to do with hormones, but I was very moved by the whole thing.

Festive Rings for everyone!

Tragedy

The saddest thing was to wake up the very next day to news about the Colorado Springs shooting at ClubQ. We had just spent the evening with many queer and trans people celebrating real love between two amazing people in the most beautiful setting. I really just don’t understand the deep hate some people have towards other human beings. My heart goes out to all the terrorized LGBTQ folks out there who are just trying to live their lives.


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Comments

2 responses to “Cats and Quilts”

  1. Nicole Avatar
    Nicole

    Gail it looks like you chose the PERFECT colours! Well done and I’m so glad for you that you were able to enjoy the celebration for your friends.

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