Tuesday, June 16, 2009

an exercise in spinsterdom

So sometime in the last few months I joined the local quilt guild with my crafty friend Heather. The timing of that was quite serendipitous as it was just in time for their biannual weekend of quilting classes.

There's nothing quite like adopting a cat and joining a quilt guild to make a single 30 year old feel so spinstery, but here I am. And even better, I decided I'd combine the two and make my first ever machine quilted project for my cat.

This was done following the basic pattern that our (fabulous) teacher gave us. It's interesting actually to see how different such a basic piecing pattern can turn out based on the use of fabrics. 15 quilts in the same class, made following the same directions and they're all totally different.

My inspiration for the birds came from the IKEA fabric that I used for the back. I bought this fabric to hang on a canvas on the wall in my apartment--a project that has yet to be completed--and had enough leftovers for the quilt. On my trip through the local quilting shop, I got a little bird happy, but I was pleased with the composition on the front.

The actual quilting was another story. I was using my new-to-me Morse machine for pretty much the first time without really giving it much of a test run. Tension problems galore! Oh, and the presser foot pressure issues, even with the walking foot... notice how some of my squares turned into diamonds, rhombuses (rhombi?)? The stitching in the ditch was an exercise in frusteration. I need to work more on that and figure out the quirks of the machine.

The free-motion quilting was still frusterating, but also quite humourous. This was my first time ever trying free-motion quilting. Ever! And it shows. My circles are all not-quite circular. And my curves aren't quite smooth. I did the first bit in class on the Morse which actually, despite the walking-foot challenges, worked quite well. I finished it at home on my old Singer, which did not work so well. It's a much faster machine and my shapes got even wonkier and my stitches way too small.
I tried the feathering, as our teacher had encouraged in class and it turned out okay, though I clearly need practice there. The stitches don't look so bad in photo here, but up-close it just makes me laugh. I suppose that's the best I could ask for.

Oh, and the cat likes it.


  1. Ha! You did sooooo much better than me. I wasn't even able to free motion. I love how Sissy modeled it for ya, so cute :)

    There's a flickr group on cats/quilts...you should post it to the group.

  2. I luv this. You did a great job! Especially luv the fabulous teacher comment. You rock girlfriend! Keep making feathers!