When that was finished, I stitched in the whiskers, eyebrows, and ear fur, and then did some blending and shading. Thanks to those of you who offered great tips on how to accomplish that. I tried using a zigzag stitch at first, but then found the best way for me was to use my stitch regulator and do it more like free motion quilting. When it was all finished, it looked like this.
Before starting on the top-stitching, I went back and forth about whether to use a stabilizer on the back or whether to simply use batting. Checking my blog post about the process of Smitty's pawtrait, I decided to stick with just batting on the back. It gives a little more texture to stitch through the batting, and it stabilizes the fabric to prevent puckering. Here's how it looked from the back.
Also, it has an advantage in that I can simply pull the thread ends from the front to the back without needing to do any other anchoring.
The last thing I did was to add a French knot in each eye for the eyespot. It brings the eyes to life.
I had just enough of this fabric to use for the back.
Since the batting was attached with the top-stitching, it really didn't need much quilting. I simply outlined around the edges of the cat and then did a little "squirmy wormy" motif in the background.
And then I sewed on the binding, and it was finished!
Maggie was brave and ventured outside for about 40 seconds yesterday morning. She went out first, and then Smitty followed her. She ducked her head as if fearful when she saw Smitty, but he was so sweet with her. He's really been wanting her to come outside with him, and so he simply bumped noses with her in the most reassuring way. It was very sweet.
And after less than a minute, she was maxed out on her terror quotient for the day and came back inside. Baby steps, for sure.
Today I'll get going on the March purple and yellow camper for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. I'm looking forward to that.