It was a nice day here at the Three Cats Ranch yesterday. My morning got off to a good start when I turned the second corner of the binding on Stars and Stripes.
Usually, I can stitch about three lengths of thread on a binding before my patience runs out. After that, the Smittenator and I went outside to fill the birdfeeders and to do a few other things that needed doing. Smitty was hoping he could scare up a mouse, but nothing doing. You'll notice the frozen ground and cold weather hasn't hurt the thriving Mole Metropolis in our field any.
After that, it seemed like a good time to start a new project. I purchased this pattern by Bonnie Sullivan called "Tuxedo Tales" some months ago, and I've been trying to get caught up on some other things before starting it. I saw this quilt made up in a local quilt shop, and it was love at first sight.
Originally, it was a block of the month. My LQS had it for sale as a kit, but they were out of the kits and the patterns. Just as well because I found the pattern alone on eBay for half the cost. It was created to go along with a line of wool fabrics, and those are no longer available. That's fine with me because I prefer quilters cotton. Actually, there's nothing to prefer...I've never actually tried making a quilt from wool. So, anyway, you might remember this fabric I found to use for the quilt back.
Also, I needed something for the block backgrounds. I really love these Moda Marbles fabrics. They come in many colors, but I needed only the black.
Then, already in my stash, was this batik I purchased to make Sadie's Pawtrait. I don't think I used any of it when I made her quilt, and so I think this will work well for the cats in the quilt blocks.
I want to keep the cats and their noses consistent throughout, and so I picked out this off-white tone-on-tone to use for the cats' noses. (Might be hard for you to see the print.)
The rest will be done from scraps in my stash. Fabrics at the ready, I was set to get started on the January block. Fortunately (or not), I had my little helper on hand to help me with all of the parts of the process.
Furrst, you should read over all of the instructions before beginning.
Then, make sure and certain Sadie the Interlopurr isn't anywhere to be seen.
Then, bite everything to be sure all of the impurrtant parts of the quilt are completely dead.
Continue checking for Sadie the Interlopurr at regular intervals.
Assist with sewing machine purrformance.
Okay, and with just a little interfurrance, I was able to fuse down all of the pieces of the block.
After that, all of the pieces were top-stitched. I laid the buttons there so you could see the cat's face. The cat is referred to throughout the pattern as "Tuxedo."
Then there was some machine and hand embroidery to do. The sections of the snowman have been machine outlined with some tan thread to give them more definition and the arms on the snowman were stitched by machine. The snowflakes were all hand embroidered, and there are some French knots for the snowman's eyes. And, there you have it:
The January block is complete. I wasn't planning on keeping up with this month by month, but these obviously go pretty fast. I might try to make a new one each month as we go through the year.
On a completely different topic, my seeds have arrived. The tomato seeds get started indoors (yes, in red Solo cups) next month. I aim for February 1st. The rest are started in April when everything gets moved out to the greenhouse. It's a hopeful sign when the seeds arrive.
It's a pretty morning once again this morning. As I watched the sun come up, I stitched around the third corner of Stars and Stripes. If I'm feeling really energetic this afternoon, I might get this finished. If not, tomorrow morning for sure.
Someone on the Sit Down Free Motion Quilters group on Facebook asked for a diagram of the stylized star quilting, and so I'm sharing it with you too. I hope this is clear. It's a little hard to follow because you travel back over your first line of stitching each time you come out of a curl. I've numbered them in order for clarity (at least, I hope it gives some clarity). It's less important that you stay on the line when you travel than it is for you to keep the center of the star open. Try to preserve that center pentagon to keep the shape of the star obvious.
Today I have some running around to do. There are eggs waiting for me from my farmer, and I need to make a short grocery trip. Also a few other stops along the way, and so I don't know if I'll have time for more sewing today. If I do, I'll get started on the next block for Chicken Buffet.