Friday, April 7, 2023

Kool Kats Kwilt Finish

It feels so good to have the quilt done, packaged up and on its way to Indiana. It feels even better knowing how excited my customer is to receive it!

You can read how the commission came about here. I dodged rain and wind (the horrible storm that came up from Texas and ransacked eastern Ontario and east into Quebec was just lots of rain and high winds down here. We had our terrible ice storm at the end of February, very very scary when the weight of the ice fells ancient, metre-thick branches and crushes cars.

I gave her two option for an all-over quilting design, my chunky flowers and leaves and loops or the large swirls that make me think of the cats' entwined tails. As you can see, she chose the swirls. It provides wonderful texture!

Once again, while I'm quilting this, I'm often saying oh no, that's not a circle, it went kind of flat, oh no, I swirled to the left twice already, oh no, that is a weird area to fill in...

Yet I stepped back to take a few texture shots for her to see the quilting, and even picky me, thought wow! It looks great. Yes, it's not perfect, but it's not digitized, it's just me, free-motion quilting away! Full disclosure: and swearing from time to time ha! In the end there was no need for 'choice' words; I loved the effect as did she.

Here is a good shot of the rich green backing. It tones in well with the dark green cats on the front. I surprised her with a sewn-in label, and gave her a couple of suggestions as to what she could have me write on it. She went with Happy Birthday to me and her name and birthdate.

After having given too many choices and overloaded the poor woman, I went ahead and bound it with my own gut feeling. I love a striped binding and this one is so subtle, both olive greens. It works with some of the muddier green cats on the front.

Also what I love about the photo below is seeing vintage fabrics with purchases from maybe five years ago, with 2022 fabrics, all in the shot below.

I get Molli Sparkles' blog posts in my inbox and today was a really good one because it was about fabric collections and I don't mean as in lines. He collects fabrics much as I do (well did, I've pretty much stopped the past few years), and he explains it better than I have, though I still love the phrase that one friend used about fabrics, "As an artist has a palette of paints, so we have a palette of fabrics." This way I can build quilts from what I have in my stash, and combine various companies' fabrics to create a cohesive piece. I never felt the loss of open quilt shops during the lockdown because I had my own store right here! When I don't have enough, I usually make it work somehow: there are two dark greys for the background of the cats. Both are Benartex Designer Fabrics, not from the same year, but they work together. Controlled scrappy/stash is my jam.
When I pinned it into my foam core design wall, thinking to spray it with water and block it before packaging, I was incredibly pleasedd with how square it is! No blocking after all!

If you'd like to make your own cat quilt, you can get the free pattern by Patti Carey here from Northcott Fabrics.

Quilt Stats:
Pattern: Kool Kats Kwilt Pattern
Size: 53.25" x 69.5"
Fabric: scraps and stash
Batting: Pellon Nature's Touch 100% cotton
Backing: 'Winterberries' by Northcott Fabrics
Quilted: on Avril: 65 308
Threads: pieced with cotton and a few with polyester; quilted with Essential 100% cotton, The Bottom Line in the bobbin

I've decided this is my favourite finish for the month of April, so I'll be linking up at Cheryl's blog, Meadow Mist Designs. My customer was so very happy with her quilt, and wrote me such a nice review, so I'm glad she's so pleased, and it was a really fun make from choosing fabrics to finishing stitches.

On Thursday I spent a couple of hours clearing everything off my counters, dusting and wiping down everything and putting stuff away/organizing/thinking what's next on the list! Too many items and not enough hours, but oh, many possibilities await!
Added this in as a record of a neat sewing space 😝as I often don't take the time to do this, but immediately jump into the next project, or continue on with another of the multiple ones I always have on the go.

Not shown: a bit of chaos (well you can just see some stacks of fabrics under the longarm) due to having had to empty my IKEA unit while my husband finished dry walking the stairs half walls and is now applying beautiful maple boards to go on the tops of the half walls. Pics to come when that, as well as real countertops, is done. If you are curious as to why there are irons, a spray bottle and CT catalogue on my ironing area, look at my longarm the very end...😼a concession I've made to her. She expects to be able to go wherever she likes to nap and the wool pressing mat is a cat magnet, so every time I leave my room, I have to set stuff on it, as well as on my chair where I put a bottle or container of hand cream as she loathes the smell of it. We have to have some boundaries!

Linking up


  1. Congrats on a beautiful finish. To commission your own hand made quilt for your birthday is a really fun idea. But I can't imagine taking her through all the design decisions, I have a hard time with that and usually I know what I want.

  2. What a great quilt! Funny, I talk to myself the same way when I quilt, complete with occasional swear words. Happy Easter!

  3. I hope she is so very, very happy with this quilt. The quilting is delightful and pulls it all together perfectly. And hooray for such a square quilt that it didn't need to be blocked!

  4. Hi Sandra! This is a gorgeous finish. I love how the kitties go in each direction so no matter which way you look at it, you see a fun kitty. Now I've got to go read about how this came to be! I missed that post, I guess. {{Hugs}} a bunch and Happy Easter to you and your family. ~smile~ Roseanne

  5. Your studio looks great! I LOVE the Kool Kats pattern and the quilting is PERFECT!!! Thank you for sharing the Free pattern from Northcott!

  6. That is a great quilt!!! What fun it is and the swirls are awesome!!
    I like that - that we need a palette of fabrics to work with!!

  7. Great post & maybe the furry one would like a small feline quilt too. I do like the intertwined cats. We should all step back from our quilts & look at them from a distance, as I know only too well about being too fussy with what I do & a lovely lady called Kaye England once said to me that points sometimes hide & quilting lines can wobble, but the finished article is what matters & I stick to that. Recipients are usually just pleased as punch with their item. Thanks for sharing, take care & hugs from a wet down under. BTW, envy the space in your studio & views.

  8. What a fun quilt. Thanks for sharing the pattern. I was trying to work out the cat block to recreate it. Your swirls look great to me!

  9. Lovely quilt! Must make one for myself. I have 14 cats!


  10. I love the texture the swirls give. I think we are our own worst critique, I may have on occasion talked to myself, but in the end no one else ever notices a wobble or flatish
    curve. What a fun birthday gift.

  11. I love the quilted swirls, too! They're the perfect compliment to all the pretty kitties :) I smiled reading your quilting monologue as I do the exact same thing. And then we step back and can't see the 'mistakes' that loomed so large :)

  12. I love this finish, Sandra!! Those kitty blocks are just adorable! Great job on the quilting as well. The texture is awesome! I know your customer will truly enjoy her birthday gift to herself!

  13. What a wonderful finish Sandra. I love that you had a consignment quilt that was fun to work on. The quilting is wonderful and I just want to curl up under it. I did wonder about the things in the foreground of your quilt studio and didn't see the kitty on the longarm shelf. It would be difficult to use that wool mat right after the cat slept on it!! I'm trying to practice self-control and not buy one more inch of fabric. First, I must unsuscribe to all the delicious posts from the fabric companies and quilt shops!!! Going to be a little behind on my houses as I hurt my wrist 10 days ago. Hopefully I will be catching up in the weeks to come.

  14. A real fun quilt finish. Those cats are fabulous and I love your quilting.

  15. Such a lovely quilt Sandra and perfect quilting! The storms sound horrible. Yes I have to be a bit clever with our cat in my space too!!!

  16. Love all the different colors and fabrics in your quilt--now I want to make one!!

  17. Hi Sandra, what a lovely commission! I'm really trying to get my studio sorted out but I'm loosing the battle. Hopefully I'll get a little bit of cleaning up this week. Thanks for linking up to Free Motion Mavericks. :-)

  18. What a fun quilt for your client, Sandra! Great quilting! Your swirls look absolutely perfect!!!