3/8/16

Manic Maggie Monday

Do you ever get so involved in a project that you can't let loose of it until it's finished? That's how I've felt about Maggie's Pawtrait. Parts of these pet portraits can be a little tedious, but they are also completely engaging in the way a good book can absorb hours of time in what seems more like minutes. I had taken this most of the way through the top-stitching when I got started on it yesterday morning.


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.

14 comments:

  1. Maggie turned out just perfect. All your details like the eyes are exactly what it needed. Great blending! Bravery comes in small steps for her.

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  2. Lovely work on Miss Maggie - the binding fabric really ties it all, too.

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  3. I love Maggie's pawtrait, it has worked so well and the detail in your quilting top stitching is perfect.

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  4. It's amazing how much that little bit of stitching adds so much dimension and personality to Maggie's pawtrait. Those eyes are such a piercing blue, they are just perfect. I'll bet in a couple weeks Maggie will love playing outside with Smitty, just as soon as she feels confident that she won't get locked out of her new home.

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  5. Oh, Maggie's pawtrait has turned out lovely....what blue eyes she has! So glad Smitty is being sweet to her.

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  6. Her pawtrait turned out really wonderful and I too think that before long Maggie will be loving the freedom of the outdoors once she is confident that she is safe.

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  7. That turned out beautiful! Who's next? Maggie's fear and Smitty's sweetness could be the glue that brings them together. Did she use the kitty door?

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  8. What a stunning and very personal quilt obviously done from the heart. You have really captured Maggie. Never easy to do with something animated I think, but the quilting is just beautiful and adds depth and detail.

    You will now of course have to get a third cat so we can see another cat pawtrait. With Smitty and Maggie more at peace and given your house name a third cat is a must!!! Don't worry I'm only joking! In fact given the number of cats of the fabric kind you have you could probably call your home the Hundred Cat Ranch!

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  9. Love, love, love the pawtrait. You did a wonderful job giving it texture with the sewing.

    So good to see Maggie coming along. Looks like Smitty is stepping up to be a great big brother.

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  10. Maggie is getting braver. She will come around by summers end!

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  11. Very sweet pawtrait of Maggie. Congrats on the finish

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  12. You did a marvelous quilting job on Maggie's pawtrait. She should be very proud of her mommy. You definitely captured her beautiful eyes and cute little nose too. Glad to hear that Smitty is being sweet about her being fearful of the outdoors.

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  13. Fabulous finish on Maggie's pawtrait! Every one gets better & better!!
    Amazing that she stepped outside again of her own volition. Glad she let Smitty do a nose bump too - progress abounds!!

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  14. Yes I agree Maggies pawtrait is fabulous, you e captured her eyes perfectly

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