Once and Future Cats

Yesterday I was able to summon the courage to get a start on the Psycatdelic quilt. This is one of my favorite quilts ever, and I've been working on it for as long as I've worked on anything. Is it surprising, then, that it has taken me a couple of months to work up the courage to start quilting it? The last thing I want to do is mess it up just when I reach the home stretch.

As I said yesterday, I've been gnashing my teeth about how skimpy my quilt back is, and I've worried that quilting it will pull the right side (in particular) too close to the edge of the quilt top.

To avoid this, I decided to quilt from right to left on the quilt. Yesterday I quilted the entire length of the right side border. I'm just quilting around some of the shapes of the cats, giving preference to the ears as much as possible. Before I started on this, I had in mind to stitch directly on the design, but then I decided I didn't want to cover that line of metallic gold. Instead, I'm stitching right beside it, and it's giving me the effect I want.

The fabric is very bright, and so any quilting I do here isn't really going to show much. Quilting around the edges of the cats gives them just a tiniest bit of definition.

Before going very far, I flipped to the back to see how things were going. I'm only about 1/8-inch into the selvage, and so It's going to be fine once it's trimmed and bound.

And with that scary hurdle out of the way, I'm hooked on quilting this quilt to its happy conclusion. Since I'm working from right to left, the next part will be the sashings and mini-block cornerstones. This is a design I like for pinwheels.

Still getting my Eliza "land legs", and so it isn't perfectly within the lines. Nevertheless, I'm happy with it.

I'm kind of winging it with these, and so I used this design for the next one as I moved toward the top. (Cat fuzz. Argh! How did that get there?)

When I thought about this originally, I had in mind to use a variegated thread for the borders and back, and to use matching threads for the quilt blocks. Instead, I've decided to use this "natural" YLI quilting thread. It's the same thread I used for quilting A Gardener's Journal, and I really liked how it turned out for that one.

For these checkerboard sashings, I'm doing a diagonal grid, but only in the lighter squares. There are quite a few of these checkerboard sections throughout the quilt blocks, and so I'll do something similar there.

I'm about halfway finished with this right-side sashing. I realized in looking at these pictures that I used a variegated thread in the pinwheel cornerstone and then a natural thread in the second of the cornerstones. I think I need to choose one or the other, and so I'll pay closer attention as I go around. For now, I'm going to leave this as is. I can decide to redo it later if I don't like it.

Today I need to make a quick trip to the grocery store and the post office. It's probably the last day of sunshine for a while, and so I want to get out for another walk. And then...quilting, quilting, and more quilting. It's such a good feeling when a project that was once looked on with great trepidation starts to feel like a happy obsession. I can't wait to get back at it. Today I'll probably start quilting some of the blocks.

4 comments from clever and witty friends:

Ann Bassett said...

I love that Laurel Burch fabric and I'm so glad it fits. You had me worried yesterday. BTW, on the duck quilt, will the ducks get eyes? Just curious.

Kate said...

You made a great start! Have fun!

Dana Gaffney said...

I'm always worried if my backing is a little skimpy, but so far it's all worked out (I probably just cursed myself). I'm not sure why the back would shrink more than the front from quilting, one of those quilty rules I just don't understand.

quiltzyx said...

You're off to a great start! Love the way you're making the cats stand out a bit with the quilting.