Saturday, August 11, 2007
Purrfect combination: Cats and Quilts
If you have a love for cats and for quilting, the two shall soon become one. I have yet to meet a cat who can resist a quilt, particularly one under construction.
Cats and quilts have always been a part of my life. During childhood our many miscellaneous cats helped Mom at the quilt frame or kept the quilt in use between sessions. After all, what is a quilt for if not to cuddle up in? Currently our sweet yellow tiger, Bernie, wants to have a hand er I mean paw in (and a say) about construction of anything. But he has a definite curiosity about fabric projects. He even takes a turn at clean up. He carries away scraps and threads like a dog with a bone. Bernie is king of our household and our two older cats have learned to make the best of it. Above Marcel (the dark tiger) shares his favorite chair with ornery Bernie.
A quick web search brings lots of cat related projects together beginning with a favorite of mine: Jinny Beyer's tesselating tabbies kit with everything you need to make a quilt top and binding. She also offers a free pattern for her tesselating calio cats.
Lots of websites refer to cats. Judy Heim has dedicated her website Cats Who Quilt to ummm well, cats who quilt. And she has written a book aptly titled: Cats Who Quilt with illustrations by Irina Borisova. She has a heartwarming section dedicated to readers' stories about their cats. Some will tug at your soft spot, all will make you want to hug your cat.
A book or series of pattern books by Carol Armstrong have caught my eye. She incorporates light box applique into each highly stylized design and she specializes in the most delightfully personable critters. These books may find their way into my collection. I may not make many quilts, but I have a killer book collection. Rosie, Queen of the Rose Pattern and Cats in Quilts: Purrfect Projects, are just two of Armstrong's books full of her designs.
If you haven't tried your hand at coloring your own quilt blocks, but would like to give it a try, HGTV has a step-by-step project. The show's guest, Sheila Haynes Rauen, provides the pattern and instructions.
But, my all-time favorite cat-themed quilt or wall hanging is provided online by McCalls. It is Stairway to Cat Heaven. It fulfills all of my needs in a quilt -- nine patch (I don't know why, but I have a weakness for those little squares!) and cats.
Want to make an easy Catnap Quilt for you or for your cat, this pieced pattern makes use of scraps.
For a change of pace -- something you can buy already made for those days when you must leave the quilt frame or hurry to a quilt meeting and its raining umm cats and dogs -- a cat and quilts umbrella!
A page of patterns for cat lovers will get you in the meow mood.
And on a more serious note. For all of those cats and kittens, dogs and even hamsters, living in shelters, maybe you would care to make and donate a snuggle for a shelter animal. Hugs for Homeless Animals have many ways you can help these orphans find homes.