Mine definitely has a story.
Our first cat was Floyd, named after the band, Pink Floyd. He was an outdoor cat, and he moved with us when we left Ontario in the summer of 1989 to move back to Alberta, primarily so that our little girls, aged 1 and 3, could grow up with their nana and grandpa and cousins. It proved to be an excellent decision; my parents were the very best grandparents. Sadly, that fall, Floyd disappeared, and we found him one day, dead, in the neighbours' no clue what had happened to him, not a mark on him. Well, that Christmas, Santa Claus brought two kittens to our house, one white, one black.
|Raffi meeting our first dog, Rex, a Samoyed/Springer cross who was the smartest dog we've had.|
and tiny Raffi, purring and snoozing curled up on my belly.
|One of the few quilts I didn't name.|
She was an indoor/outdoor cat. I was not a fan of a cat inside, didn't want to have the litterbox smell (don't worry; I've learned you just clean it regularly), but Raffi was a well-mannered cat, and she was allowed in at will, though she slept in the garage (how rude I was!) until Dayna got to the age where she wanted to sleep with Raffi, and she would, until I went to bed, and then into the garage poor Raffi would go. She did have a pretty nice set-up in there though. Don't worry, in her dotage, she was allowed to sleep in our house.
|This was taken in summer 2007. Doesn't she still look terrific? She wouldn't wander; she'd either lie n the lawn, in a flowerbed or on a wicker chair on the verandah.|
Raffi was a polydactyl cat which means she had extra toes. She had thumbs. At least that's what her paws looked like. I loved that about her. Some say they bring good luck. She had conversations with Dayna and with me in the morning while getting ready for school (Brianne isn't an animal lover), chirping back answers, or asking questions in a chirpy miaow voice. It put a smile on your face first thing.
She loved people's laps, mine, my mum's and my dad's in particular. She decided MacGyver was cool when she was about 12, and would happily sit with him, ON his newspaper, which he had spread on the floor to read! She loved to sleep with the girls, and they told me years later how they'd pretend to cry, so she'd hop off whoever's bed she was on and come to investigate. She was a mama through and through; when MacGyver and I had an argument and voices got raised, if she was around, she'd yowl, as if to say, "Stop! Please, stop!"
She hated Wrif. He got her pregnant at a far too young age....we had no clue what was going on until she seemed a bit fat... We got her spayed after that first litter, and he got neutered immediately.
I quilted Raffi's name and flowers in all four of the borders. I quilted this on my Bernina. I'd seen the pattern made up in the local quilt shop in Sherwood Park, Lori's Country Cottage. I knew right then I'd make it for her, and she was still very much alive then! I'd come to realize how much better your life is with a cat. One who is an actual part of your home.
I did all kinds of swirly almost-feathers in the background. They remind me of Kathleen's 'cheater feathers' that I do love quilting nowadays. The red cat print is one from The Buggy Barn. I used it in a runner I made for a retiring colleague, as well as in Cheryl's Midnight Mystery quilt. It's almost all gone now. I'm so glad I used a bunch of it on the back of this quilt:
Her whiskers are a sparkly thread. I made a slight change in the background: originally I'd had the cream that has gold kitties on it where the tiny red floral print is as well. It was too much cream, so rather than redo all the red swirling blocks, I decided to cut in the tiny red floral on a 45° angle and fill in the remainder of the right side, as it blended with the tan and red small floral that is the background for the flowers. It makes me think of a ray of sunshine coming down.
I've never washed the quilt. It hangs in my sewing room, so she is with me each day still. A sewing room, like one's life, is much better when a cat is in it. Bella has taken on that role magnificently, and gets more and more Raffi-like each year. Maybe when she's 12 she'll like MacGyver!
Pattern: do not know; no longer have it
Size: 28 X 40"
Fabric: cotton from stash and felted wool, both purchased and from stash
Backing: 'Crazy Daisies' by The Buggy Barn for Henry Glass
Batting: Warm 'n Natural
Threads: pieced on my Bernina with Gütermann or Mettler; quilted with Sulky rayons