11/24/14

The Final Feline

It seems like a night to pop open a bottle of champagne because the cat blocks are FINISHED!!

This morning I went down and did all the top-stitching on the final feline.


Only, the second I snapped that image, I remembered that I still hadn't stitched the whiskers on. Doh! So I took care of that before continuing.


At this point I stopped because I had to make a quick trip to the grocery store. There were only 18 items on my list for Thanksgiving, and so it wasn't too bad. The store wasn't even very crowded, but there was that feeling of panic in the air. I was very glad I didn't need to be there for long.

When I got home, I put the borders on the block.


Then I was ready to attach this cat to his brothers and sisters on the quilt. Fortunately, I had Smitty there helping me with the block layout.


He's been exceedingly helpful with this quilt...and I mean "exceedingly" in every sense of the word.

I started by sewing the third row to the top half of the quilt because I still needed to add the dragonfly above the middle block. This morning I had something of a brainstorm about the dragonfly. A dragonfly is sort of a blingy bug if you ask me. Here's a picture of one I took on the Long Beach Peninsula in Washington state. Look at how delicate its wings are, and it even has a little bling on the edges of each one.


 It occurred to me that I might be able to use Angelina Fibers for the wings.


If you're not familiar with Angelina Fibers, you can watch a video from Embellishment Village right here. I bought these some time ago, when I made this quilt for my neighbor. The Angelina Fibers are what give the tree its shimmer.


So they're kind of like angel hair and they look like this when you take them out of the bag.


You need to use a pressing sheet or parchment to keep them from sticking to things, but in general, they only adhere to themselves. I kind of like using parchment because I can fold it over and cover both top and bottom.


Then you press them with a cool iron (silk setting) and they sort of melt together to form a shimmery sheet of pseudo-fabric.


I wasn't sure what would happen if I tried using fusible web with them, but it worked just like fabric. The dragonfly is going into the checkerboard sashing, and I didn't want that checkerboard showing through, so after I'd added fusible to the Angelina fibers, I fused them to the fabric I'd been planning to use originally, and I had my dragonfly wings. Cool! The shimmer doesn't show up very well in this image, but it's there.


Then I fused the whole dragonfly to the sashing and top-stitched it with gold metallic thread.


And to give it just a little more bling, I gave it two tiny hot-fix crystal eyes.


Edited to say that the Angelina Fibers aren't new to me, but trying to fuse them is. I'm linking this post to:

Then I finished sewing the blocks together and voila! 


Phew! That was quite a job. I am so happy to have all the blocks finished. Depending on how I feel tomorrow, I might finish adding the borders and have the whole top finished (quite likely). On the other hand, I might decide I can't stand to look at it one more minute and go back to quilting a Gardener's Journal. I can always add the borders to this one when I get ready to quilt it.

As long as we're talking about borders, I wanted to show you the fabric I have for the back and outer border. I can't remember when I bought this fabric, but it was probably shortly after I started the quilt. I thought it was perfect. And just to show you how extra perfect I thought it was, about a year ago, I bought it all over again when I saw it in a quilt shop. When I came home to put it away, I was quite surprised to see that I already had the exact same fabric. The quilt gods must be telling me something.


Anyway...there you have it.

Now, about that champagne...

23 comments from clever and witty friends:

Sher S. said...

WOW!!! spectacular!!!!! that is one fabulous quilt and I think it would be great to honor George with it. He was quite a cat and I miss him in your posts but Smitty does a good job of filling in and giving me warm thoughts of all my grand kitties and of your precious cats. Love your quilt, you do amazing work on those. Not something I would have the patience for.
Love the backing and border fabric also.

Quilter Kathy said...

C'est fantastique! Love that photo of your furry assistant! I will have a drink to celebrate your accomplishment - cheers!

Kate said...

Cat-tas-tic indeed! It's a fun quilt, full of wonderful whimsy. The dragon fly wings was a truly inspired thought. The border fabric is perfect. Another winner for sure. Congrats on getting it to an almost finished flimsy.

quiltzyx said...

Purrrrrrrrrrrr.....!

Great idea to use the Angelina fibers for the dragonfly wings.

I'm toasting your finish with a Sprite that my co-worker left for me in the fridge. (The fridge is working overtime - the soda is slushy!) Cheers!

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

What a really fun kitty quilt.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Of course the delicate dragonfly deserves some whispering shimmer. Maybe Smitty is showing those other kitties who's boss of the house. Love the LB kitty fabric for border/back.

Teresa in Music City said...

I hope you enjoyed your champagne ... you certainly earned it!!! Love everyone of those cats! I only have two of them done, but it will not languish as a UFO for too much longer. Your finishes have inspired me to get them out and start them again :)

Christine M said...

Those fibres are very effective, Barbara. Your cats all look great.

Janarama said...

Fabulous! I love how you did the wings on the dragonfly. You deserve a whole bottle of champagne after all of that work.

sewyouquilt2 said...

popping the champagne over here in your honor! great quilt and fun use of that shimmery angelina.

Meg said...

Wow - amazing!!! Love that quilt!! Oh my gosh!!!

I know three people that I need to show this to. They will be amazed as well. Love those fiber things too that you have. Cool stuff.

I am really getting into parchment paper. Used it years ago when I took some cake decorating classes. Love how well it works with baking!

I cannot believe how many projects you get done. You are my role model! hahaha! Hopefully soon I can start sewing more.. Ugh - just need to take the time.

Thanks for the great blog - happy thanksgiving!!

Meg

Jeanie said...

Congrats on sticking with this! I just love the happy, brightness and busy fabrics. I knew it would be fabulous.... I mean... after all.... you had the best cat expert of all helping you along the way .... Smitty!

Vickie said...

What a cute whimsical quilt ! I have been hearing a lot about Angelina fibers lately....must try !!

treadlemusic said...

Magnificent!!!! And I will restate that I am in love with that last kitty!!!!!! Your dragonfly is wonderful. I've not heard of that glisteny fiber but I'm sure the effect is awesome!!!!! A wonderful finish!!!!!!!

Dana Gaffney said...

Yea! Congrats on getting there. I think this one may be Gracie since she's so pretty in that pink and has a feminine air about her. :)

liniecat said...

Do love this quilt design, whats the pattern called please? Wonder if its still available to b uy?
That looks like a Laurel Birch catty fabric you bought ........ she designed some delightful catty prints!

Diane Wild said...

This quilt could very well be a winner at one of your shows. Wonderful. Happy Thanksgiving.

A Nudge said...

What a gorgeous quilt - so colorful, Barbara. You do great work.

Sarah_L_N said...

It looks brilliant! And it must be such a good feeling too have an almost finished quilt top, I always love finishing something I've been working on for ages!

Celtic Thistle said...

Amazing quilt Barbara! I have never tried working with Angelina fibres but having seen what you have done with them I will certainly be tempted to give them a go!

Thanks for linking up to New to Me too :)

KittyAnnArt said...

I LOVE your quilt! Fantastic fabric choices fit the individual kitties so well. Smitty is a cutie, tell him my Lillian says hello >^,,^< Ann in N.C.

Wendy said...

What a great idea to use angelina fibres for the dragonfly! I didn't know you could fuse them together like that, I've only every used them in felt making. The quilt looks great, such quirky kitties.

Brown Family said...

I have never played with Angelina fibers before. I might have used Mylar for the wings, but I like yours better!