Wednesday, December 31, 2014

CatVent #1

It hasn't been a good fall for meeting deadlines, at least not quilty ones.

My Q4 FAL list included a pair of quilts commemorating my parents' cat, Clea, who died about a year ago.  That event tidily coincided with the CatVent quilt-a-long hosted by Elizabeth Hartman over at Oh, Fransson!  Because I'm a glutton for punishment, I decided to make not one, but two CatVent quilts, one for my mother, and one for my sister Lucia.  Lucia is the one who picked Clea out from the shelter 20 years ago.

I was hoping to finish them both for Christmas.  When it became clear that would not happen, I opted to finish Lucia's in time to gift.  My mom has a birthday in March, so her CatVent quilt will roll over onto the FAL 2015 Q1 list.

Here's the finished quilt:

Rather than going with the rainbow scheme, I decided to make cats that actually look like cats: black cats, Siamese cats, ginger cats, and my favorite: calico cats.

I backed the quilt in minky, so that it would be soft and cuddly on a lap.

And then I made a fateful decision.  I decided to quilt in a heavy-duty top-stitching thread around each cat face to add a decorative touch (and help distract from the complicated sashing).

This was a mistake.  My machine *hated* the top-stitching thread.  It was a total nightmare, particularly in combination with the slippery minky.  I managed to finish, and I like the way it looks, but NO WAY am I going through that again.  My mom's quilt will have to be quilted some other way. 

This was a very fun project---I had a great time (a year ago) making all the cats.  However, the project eventually started to drag.  The lesson: make ONE.  Don't make TWO of the same thing.  Yes, it's efficient and faster than making two completely different quilts, but you lose interest a lot faster. 

Fortunately, my sister loved it.  She was snuggling under it as soon as it got unwrapped.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas Stocking

December was a crazy month, work wise.  And then we spent a weekend away Dec 20-21.  That meant coming into Christmas week totally unprepared for the holiday, and feeling like my head was screwed on backward.  We had the tree up and decorated, but that was about it.

Fortunately, my CEO wanted a nice long holiday, so he closed the office for the week of Christmas and the week of New Year.  I've got work to do over the break, but it did mean that I could take some time to prepare for the holiday.

First up: my 2-year-old son needed a stocking.  As a quilter, I couldn't just buy one. So, to procrastinate the house cleaning, I made him one.

I love this 50's style Christmas fabric!

I used a tutorial I found here at Diary of a Quilter:

I made a few modifications, lengthening the stocking and adding a wide cuff at the top.  I love how it came out, as does my son (he particularly likes the picture of the train on the front).  And it held plenty of presents.  So a win all around!  

It was a fun, fast, easy project.

I guess wanting to make more stockings is not a good reason to have more kids, is it?  ;)