Friday, September 25, 2020

Cat Mats Installment #3 of 3

Finally I am publishing a long overdue post. You may recall I participated in Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs, and Paige of Quilted Blooms, first book release, Modern Plus Sign Quilts back in 2018. I chose to make Kaleidoscope Plus (you know my love affair with kaleidoscopes runs deep).
Oh how I love that quilt! Fabrics, front (so many cat-themed ones) and back (a soft grey textured Minky), quilting, the design, just ahhh. I named it Cat-Eye-doscope and it went to my dear friend of many years, Linda.

Well I had leftover fabric and I knew I needed to make Linda's cat daughters their own quilts, seeing as how much cats love quilts... I showed the finished mats in this post, and I alluded to needing to tell more of the story behind giving Linda her quilt and her cats their mats.

They love them, though Kiri at first, in true cat form, preferred the box the quilt and mats came in! 

Mia, however, knew right away what to do!

I first met Linda when I changed schools and began teaching at F. R. Haythorne Junior High in 1997. Linda was the accountant secretary, and as the main French teacher, I had to see her for anything to do with the French budget. I was so excited to discover the numbers low volume fabric by Zen Chic for her quilt. I ran major fundraising campaigns when I was taking my students to Quebec and France over several years, and so there was extra accounting work for her there, and she took it all in stride. 

At first I thought her unfriendly, and the head secretary, Shirley, rather intimidating. It was Gail, the third secretary, mainly in charge of attendance, and with a school of over 600 students, she had a huge job, who was the sweet one that was so kind and broke the ice so to speak for my relationship with the office staff. 

Going to unofficial get-togethers amongst the women staff started to show me more of their actual personalities, Linda's included. What I had thought was an aloof air I soon found to be a reserved nature. I've never forgotten that lesson. Linda and I are both avid readers, and we like similar books, so that was a connection. Music! She and I both bonded over several artists, and she introduced me to many, Joss Stone, Hayley Westenra to name just two of the top of my head. We discovered we both love Jann Arden and attended one of her concerts together. And of course, cats. Linda is a cat-lover, a cat-whisperer. When her two elderly ladies passed away, she got two barn kittens. She named them
They were wild, on more than one level! It took some time, and sleepless nights (I still remember her tales of them pouncing on her hair in the middle of the night) but they calmed, and blossomed under Linda's care.

Either that first year or my second at FRH, when my classroom was being used for another class while I had my prep period, with no computer on which to work, I was told I could use the extra computer on the end of the counter in the main office. Well! That showed me just what a hilarious, fun-loving but hard-working crew those three ladies were. Over the 15 years I taught at FRH, I saw firsthand Linda's attention to detail, painstaking record-keeping, noble attitude when dealing with some, one in particular asshole (not apologizing because he is) of principals. We started meeting for coffee after school, and we've kept in close touch ever since, meeting up whenever I go back to Alberta to visit.

It was a major loss to the school when she retired, (a couple of years after I quit) but her retirement is well-deserved. She fills it well; she's working part-time at a greenhouse. Plants have always been a deep love of hers. The cats amongst the flowers fabric was another purr-fect find. I love gathering fabrics as I did for Linda's quilt. I love how participating in the book release, and wanting to make Linda a quilt to commemorate her retirement all fell into place. I love you, Linda!

In keeping with my quota of at least two cat mats per quarter, I've made two for this third quarter. They were fun, and yay, I emptied my smallish scraps container I keep by the cutting table for stuffing. It feels good to keep them out of the landfill. The front is simple 4.5" squares I had already cut in trays. I am trying to be more disciplined with organizing scrap fabrics. I did have to cut several red ones, no problem, as I just pulled out my red scrap basket!

Here's the back, more older fabric, gone!

I'll be dropping these off for Kittenaid once again, a foster home organization for kitties. This is another item on my Q3FAL list done!


  1. I love your version of the Kaleidoscope quilt. And what sweet gifts for a friend and fur-friends!

  2. Love your story today, true friendships last, and even if meeting together doesn't work out, distance, travel, or covid, or anything else that throws plans awry, emails, phone calls, Facetime or Zoom can fill that space. Your fabrics are perfect for those little quilts.

  3. What a pretty quilt; I love the fabrics with those fun cats. It is a fitting quilt for a good friend, Sandra. Glad you are all still keeping in touch. Okay, I need to get back to writing my DrEAMi post . . .

  4. Sandra, excellent job on Kaleidoscope and I love the cats too! I just love when you find just the right fabric you know the recipient will appreciate! I know she was thrilled! And, so sweet that you make matching kitty beds! Thank you for linking to TGIFF!

  5. I love the story behind the quilt! The fabrics that help tell the story in a gorgeous quilt!

  6. ❤️😭😊 My heart is bursting!

  7. What a beautiful story of a friendship. I love the beginning but those first impressions are often so wrong but how many friendships are lost based on those few minutes of misinterpretation! Cats do seem to love to fit into places they weren't supposed to go. The fabrics you chose both for Linda's quilt and the cat mats are beautiful. Minky anything is always so soft. And the donation mats are so bright and cheerful. Thank you for a wonderful post.

  8. When I saw that photo of Kiri in the box, I thought for certain you had borrowed one of my pics of Angel! Spitting. Image. Sweet, custom mats for well-loved cats. And how fun to get to see them in action :)

  9. Such a beautiful special and personalized quilt for what sounds like a very special lady. I love all the thought you put into a quilt for someone, Sandra!

  10. What a wonderful quilt for a special friend! And kitty mats...thanks for the construction tips! I stopped saving my cutting scraps when our local animal shelter started refusing the t-shirt beds I made with them. We don’t have a cat currently, but our daughter does and our son’s new “significant other” brought 2 to their new relationship! I have an idea. The fabric you chose is purrr-felt! .

  11. Hi Sandra! What a wonderful post dedicated to a good friend. It just makes me smile to hear about her and to see the fabrics that are just purr-fect for her. I enjoyed seeing the kitties enjoying their mats as well as the shipping box. Just like some littles I know. {{Hugs}} Thanks for the smile today. Take care. ~smile~ Roseanne

  12. Fun to see the cats enjoying their mats (and the box—like a little kid with a new present). And what a sweet story of a friendship that needed time to grow. I’m glad your friend is enjoying her retirement and her quilt.

  13. What a lovely post - a beautiful quilt, cats and the mats, and a treasured friendship!

  14. A lovely and thoughtful story. Thanks for sharing that. The quilt is stunning.

  15. I loved this quilt, it was one of my favorites (I liked it better than the version I made). What lucky cats to get such wonderful mats!

  16. Oh, a wonderful quilt, Sandra! Well done my friend!
    I love the cat mats ..... serious envy going on here!
    One day my cats will get mats but when ...... I don’t know!
    Barbara xxx 🤗

  17. Such a gorgeous quilt with the perfect name! I loved seeing the cats too. My kids love boxes just like them.