Quilting with Cats

Before I get to the cats, I'll just say that Gertrude is finished. Yes, it's early in the month for that, but I cheated with a head start at the end of March. Isn't she fabulous? You gotta love her outfit.

If you're stitching along with us, know that in May, I'll be stitching Hildegard. Don't feel as if you need to stay with me, however. Please stitch whichever Bag Lady you like.

For now, I'll be moving along to Block 5 of the Wine Country quilt.

It would probably be a good idea to knock on wood here, but Quiltmaker's Garden is being surprisingly cooperative as I sew it together. Did you ever wonder about the origin of that phrase, "knock on wood"? Well, don't you know I consulted The Google about this, and here's what I learned:

"The derivation may be the association that wood and trees have with good spirits in mythology, or with the Christian cross. It used to be considered good luck to tap trees to let the wood spirits within know you were there. Traditions of this sort still persist in Ireland. 
"The British version of the phrase - 'touch wood', predates the American 'knock on wood' and was itself preceded by a Latin version - 'absit omen', meaning 'far be that omen from us'. This dates from at least the early 17th century, when it is quoted by John Heywood in his collections of proverbs."

So, there you have it. I'll leave it to you folks in Ireland and the UK to let me know if you agree with The Google about this.

But to get back to the quilt, when I left it yesterday, I had most of the third section sewn together, but I still needed to sew the seams between the three rows of blocks. Mike came home about then, and so I left it there.

And that turns out to be a big mistake because I woke up at the butt crack of dawn thinking about it. My brain seems to interpret an unfinished quilt section as a world problem to be solved...something on the order of calculating pi to the last digit. Once my brain starts up like that, there will be no more sleeping. After a while of lying awake, I got up and went to work sewing those last two seams together.

Enter, the cats. Just in time, I was able to snap this image of the top of the gazebo.

Well, let me tell you, when cats enter the sewing room, [dis]organization is assured. They took turns holding down the pieces of the quilt.

And holding down the sewn-together sections.

And when either got tired of his or her current position, they switched places. It's important to keep sharp in urgent matters of sewing organization.

And then there was this:

It's hard to say who was responsible for this re-design of the quilt, but I'm suspicious.

While all this was going on, I kept busy sewing together more sections. First, the left section just below the top of the gazebo.

Then the middle.

Then the right side, and let me tell you...you'd better be quick with the camera.

There we go.

And then the first six sections were finished.

So recall the diagram of the quilt.

I'm working from left to right, but I decided to skip the long section on the left for now and move to the next sections. I sewed together the top part where the notation "Unit 13" appears, but apparently forgot to take a picture. Or maybe I just gave up. Either way, I continued on sewing together the section below that.

And by that time, I'd been at it for about two hours. I laid out the next section on the ironing board, but decided to take a break there. It's ready to start piecing together now, but I'll get to that a little later on today.

So you can see it's been a busy morning, and we're just hitting daybreak now. We're under a wind advisory today and expecting gale force winds by afternoon. It's just getting started now, and so I've plugged in my head lamp just in case we lose power.

Just as I wrote those words, the power went off just for a second, but most assuredly long enough to mess up every clock in the house. Fortunately, Blogger saves at regular intervals, and so I didn't lose my post. But then I went back to proofread and before I could finish proofreading, we had another power glitch...just for a second, and then back on. Obviously, I may not be able to continue sewing by machine, but at least I'll have light for hand-stitching. If nothing else, I can always go back to bed.

And now, I'm getting off and shutting off the computer. Time to settle in. And just as I wrote those words the power went off for good. I'm finishing this off and publishing using my iPad and the wi-fi hotspot on my phone. Blogging stops for nothing.

15 comments from clever and witty friends:

Kate said...

Wow, they are super helpful, aren't they? I hope you survive the wind!

Quilting Babcia said...

A friend on our hill in Amity posted a photo of the tree that fell across the road right in front of her as she was headed out to work. And another of a section of their roof starting to blow off. Stay safe!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

You won't be able to reply - love the quilt!! Lots of tiny bits and pieces all coming together so beautifully - with help. Stay safe - I'd be under the bed.

claudia said...

Great progress has been made! Thank goodness for the cats' help!!!

Denise :) said...

LOL! That ditty, "Some kind of help is the kind of help . . . we all could do without!" is running through my brain, scrolling through your post! Congrats on a Gertrude finish! :)

CathieJ said...

Wow, you have made a whole lot of progress even with all of your kitty "help". I guess you have to make sure that your helpers haven't rearranged things before sewing. Your embroidery is very pretty too.

Brown Family said...

Gertrude looks great! I am slowly working down the side with the flag. I love how the cats help rearrange quilt pieces! They always have their own opinion of how a quilt should go together! Wat the sections you laid out on the ironing board tampered with?

Wendy Tuma said...

I see that one of your kitties has the same design mode as mine (what is it about quilt blocks on the floor, anyway?). Hehe. Made me chuckle. Your quilt is coming along nicely, as are your bag ladies (such fun). Hope you aren't in the dark too long today. If the winds blow you this way, I'll have coffee or wine at the ready.

Beth said...

You called it, my friend. Here in Clatskanie we spent most of the day down in our basement room, with the four dogs and five cats. As John noted, it was surprisingly fun, although nothing else got done. No pleasant stitching by hand for me until our puppy settles down some...which should be sometime around 2019, based on her current energy level. Good thing we love her.

Your quilt is turning out to be very pretty. Perhaps in inverse proportions to what a pain in the butt it was to make?

Kate said...

You've really been moving along on the assembly! You have such fun quilt room buddies. I was going to say "helpers" then realized that might not be the best descriptor. Hope the power is back up.

quiltzyx said...

The Garden is falling together nicely, considering all the help you've had with it. :) Do Smitty or Sadie ever jump up on the ironing board?

Dar said...

Glad to see the kitties are still helping you accomplish your quilting and designing. Always a pleasure to see them hard at work. I don't know about a "Hotspot" from the phone? May have to look into it, but my phone is so old, i don't think it is 'hot' anywhere.

Quilter Kathy said...

That is a very challenging quilt layout... but FUN!
I loved Gertrude... her hair is fabulous, and the duck on a leash is adorable!
Such characters!

Robin said...

What a delightful quilt! I love the fabrics you have chosen. I look forward to watching the rest of the quilt come together.

Lyndsey said...

Great work on sewing the quilt sections together. It is looking very good.