10/24/14

Blossoms, Cats, and Birds

We've had a lovely fall here at the Three Cats Ranch. Nevertheless, fall always gives way to what Mike calls the "fat lady" who sits down over Portland for the entire winter. It's been raining for days. There are days of rain ahead in the forecast. It looks like it's here to stay. With so much of the country in drought, we've learned to appreciate our rain more than ever. It keeps everything green, but it can depress as well. Sue and I had a good long walk this morning after first meeting at the South Store Cafe for oatmeal. We got very lucky and had a rain-free walk, but it started up again this afternoon.

All that rain made it sort of refreshing to work on the Wind in the Whiskers quilt today with its dogwood blossoms, its bluebirds, and its kitty lazing on a branch.


Today was the day I needed to piece together the template for the right side of the block. It took me about eight tries and lots of trimming to get it all pieced together. But now it's done, and I can continue on with the applique pieces.

I had a few of the flowers done when I last wrote to complain about this pattern.


Yesterday, I finished the rest of the flowers.


Only the centers are fused down, while the petals still retain their backing with each one lettered for identification. These McKenna Ryan patterns demand organization to keep everything straight.

Once I had the flowers finished, I was ready to piece together the cat sleeping on the branch. 


Interestingly, I was only provided two colors for the cat while the cat in the image above, clearly has three colors. Also, the applique templates provide no indication which pieces are to be done in which color unless one refers to the tiny image on the pattern cover. We got it figured out and punted with the fabric. I had some fabric left over from the dogwood petals, and I just used that. I think my cat is a fair approximation of the one in the picture. Its face will be embroidered on when I do the quilting.

Finally, I pieced the little birds together. Some of those pieces are so tiny that they are hard to maneuver, even with tweezers. The one on the upper right will be partially hidden behind a branch, and so it looks less complete than the other two. If you look at the image at the top of this post, you can see it in the lower right corner of the completed block.


And with that, I had pretty much used up my quota of patience for one day. Time to do something a little less fiddly.

We have a wet weekend ahead with nothing on the calendar. I'm hoping to make quite a bit of progress on this piece.

What's up at your end for the weekend?

12 comments from clever and witty friends:

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I have just so much patience - bless you!! I love the cat, well done!

Teresa in Music City said...

Great job Barbara! I have these to do at some future time - glad to know that it can be done if one has the patience. Not sure I do, but we'll see!

Motherdragon's Musings said...

Mmm patience, sometimes there is lots, most times itbis in short supply.
Love the block, but I am biased, I love cats :)

Dasha said...

That is a great job you've done there Barbara. Hand or machine applique?
We are in the middle of an unseasonal heatwave. Last Monday and Tuesday I was wearing winter clothing, jumpers and thick overcoat; today it was 31C - hot by anyone's standards. We often hit the high 30s in summer, but this is still spring officially, and no one is prepared for the heat.

Kirsty said...

Love it! You are doing a terrific job. It looks very realistic. I definitely wouldn't have the patience so this will be another of your masterpieces that i shall vicariously experience through your efforts. How are Smitty and Gracie coping with the rain? You'll recall I have to towel dry mine whenever it pours so I'm kinda glad we don't live in your part of the world! I'm spending my Sunday at uni working on final assignments. Would much rather be quilting! x

Julierose said...

Your kitty is looking great--thanks for the info on the pattern as you go. Hugs, Julierose

Diane Wild said...

That is such a beautiful pattern. I'm a bit jealous but I'm afraid I'd get a tad frustrated with those itsy bitsy pieces. Better you than me. Enjoying the best autumn Minnesota has given us in many years.

Kate said...

You made lots of progress, those pieces are so small, it has to take a lot of time to do all you did. It amazes me how you can fit all that together and maintain any sanity.

Tami C said...

I think you are doing a wonderful job on this very difficult pattern. You Rock!

Valerie Reynolds said...

Quiet weekend in Eastern Oregon too...rain and fog this morning...so still in my PJ's! Love this wallhanging!!

quiltzyx said...

I think I would be all fumble fingers tiny to work with those teensy pieces! You're doing a great job!!

Dar said...

Barbara, you must have the patience of Job. I love looking at McKenna Ryan quilts, but not big on cutting out all those tiny, irregular pieces for fusing. It will be lovely when you finish though.