Construction Complete on all Fronts

When I left off yesterday, we'd just returned from getting the final of the final of the final supplies for the catio. I think the most difficult part of this project has been collecting supplies! There was some prep work required before the roof panels could begin to be mounted on the rafters...mainly, trying to remove stickers from them. Mike tried no less than five different compounds, including lighter fluid, alcohol, denatured alcohol, turpentine, and paint thinner to remove them before he gave up and scraped them off with a razor blade. When that was done, the roof construction was under way.

It took much longer to remove the stickers than it did to actually complete the roof, and so it was finished in pretty short order.

It has an end cap at the edge, and it looks really nice.

Here's how it looks from above, and check out the clearance under the gutter there. Phew! Close call.

The sun was intense by then, and Mike was pretty well done in by the heat. Fortunately, I'd thought ahead and made some coffee slushie stuff to make Frozen Frangelico Coffee with Cream. So yummy. I've made this before, but never think far enough ahead. The coffee must first be chilled, then frozen after the Frangelico is added. The cream is made from whipping cream and maple syrup. It's very flavorful.

The only thing left to do at that point was to hang the door...and, done!

Sadie was grateful for her first excursion outside in nearly two weeks. She's still kind of a scaredy cat, and so we had to coax her outside with some food. 

Smitty just seemed completely confused.

WTF? Is THIS what you've been going on about for a month?!? And you thought I was going to like it?!?

In my cool basement sewing room, I was busy finishing up the Pawtrait of Scooter. I first needed to top-stitch down all the pieces. For that I used both a clear and a smoky monofilament thread with a 60/8 microtex needle. It's hard to see the stitching, and that's the point.

It's a little easier to see from the back. I always stitch through the batting, but I won't put the back on until I'm ready to quilt it.

After that, I switched to regular cotton thread and used my stitch regulator to free motion embroider/paint in the shading. Also, I added a line for the mouth and outlined the eyes, adding some lines for the iris of the eyes. I took a picture here because the only thing left to stitch was the eye spot, and I wanted you to see how much it lights up the eyes. So here it is with no eye-spot.

Here it is with the eyespot.

See how that tiny addition brings life to the eyes? I've always done this with French knots, but yesterday I decided to lay down some tiny stitches side by side using my sewing machine. I like that better.

Also, I traced out Block #5 for the Bee-utiful Quilt-A-Long. This one is called Bee Industrious. I'm still working on Block #4, but I should finish it up this morning.

While it was tempting to finish off Scooter, it was late in the day, and so I decided to wait until this morning. Then, I woke up thinking about it at 3:30 a.m. and couldn't get back to sleep. At 4:00, I decided I might as well get up and finish it. So I added the backing, quilted it, and bound it. That was pretty quick since the piece is only 8 1/2 x 12 inches.

For comparison's sake, here's the original image I was working from.

And I decided to add this bit of doggy wisdom to the quilt back. If I'm remembering correctly, I won a fat quarter bundle of these fabrics last year. I have them in all colors.

So now that's done. And kitties have been out enjoying the catio this morning. I have to sneak up on Sadie with the camera because she runs away the instant she sees me...unless there are treats in the deal, of course.

She must be feeling pretty comfortable, because she just laid down on the cool deck for a while.

Smitty still cannot believe how messed up this is.

We'll be adding shelves, a kitty tree, and other ways for the kitties to get up higher and off the deck surface the way they like it. We're still investigating options. I'm also going to put a pot of catnip out here, and I believe I can get a pot of kitty greens at the pet store. Also, we'll probably put some kind of indoor/outdoor carpeting to make it nicer for lying on. The deck can get hot in the sunshine. It's all just in the thinking and planning stages now, so we haven't made any firm decisions about what or how much to furnish this.

For today it's going to get warmer, and so I need to get out and water the annuals, feed the birds, and get in a walk before it heats up too much. After that, my basement sewing room will be the coolest place in the house. I'm hoping to get a start on the baby quilt I'm making for my cousin's granddaughter today.

18 comments from clever and witty friends:

liniecat said...

Looks great but when the squirrels come and pull faces at Smitty and Sadie, you may have a revolt on your hands lol

crazy quilter said...

Yippee the Catio is done! Now just add climbing things! Very nice job by the Catio builder and his trusty helper! Love the pawtrait!

Quiltdivajulie said...

Fabulous addition -- Here's hoping Smitty adapts to the new arrangement without too much trouble.

beaquilter said...

looks great and that drink looks SO yummy!

Dana Gaffney said...

Scooter looks amazing! The details have really come together with the stitching you've done.

Teresa in Music City said...

Beautiful job on Scooter! And so quickly too - big time impressed :*)

Shari said...

Scooter looks great! Poor Smitty will adjust. My two kitties are also confined to a screened porch to keep them safe.

Wendy Tuma said...

How appropriate that you are working on the Bee Industrious piece, because you certainly have been! The Scooter quilt is amazing, I love the catio. Smitty will come to love it, I bet.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Love the Scooter quilt - well done! The catio look great and I am sure you will make it more comfortable and inviting over time.

nellieduclos@yahoo.com said...

Love the catio. Our cats would be jealous. You do what I do. If I can't sleep, I get up and do something. Eventually I get tired enough and go back to bed and to sleep. Your dog quilt is fantastic. I wish I had that skill. Have you ever done your cats?

Auntiepatch said...

I love your pawtraits! They look so real!

Tell Handy Hubby that I put peanut butter on stickers, let them set a few minutes, and then they come right off.

zooperson said...

Boy howdy, you guys do really good work! The catio is great and the quilt of Scooter is really fine. Add that cold coffee drink, and you got it all covered. Well done!

Lana Ku said...

Check her finished quilts gallery. You'll find her cat paw traits & other amazing quilty stuff.

Lana Ku said...

Scooter's pawtrait is awesome. You are very talented. Loving the catio to keep the kitties safe from predators. Sadie & Smitty are lucky kitties.

Julianne said...

The Catio looks fabulous! The hubby did a great job! Yay for the kitties! When are you getting a third? The Catio design does show three cats remember? Mike?

Chris said...

hammocks! gotta have kitty hammocks!

Michele said...

Scooter turned out great. You truly are an expert at those pawtraits. And I'm sure that Smitty will have his nose out of join for a while for being penned in but it is for his own good.

Kate said...

Love the Catico! Smitty will come around I'm sure. Scooter turned out beautifully!