How to Build A Cat

Yesterday morning I spent some time on the Appalachian Memories block. It's about half finished now.

There was a little more to stitch before I needed to move my hoop, but I moved it to the left anyway. It's a little hard to see in the image below, but there are lines just below the quilt block. They represent the track where the barn door would slide open and closed, and they extend the entire width of the hoop.

Since I'm using stem stitch on this piece, it's better if I can stitch the lines without breaking them. It's possible to continue on without interrupting the flow of the stitch, but it's easier to just keep on going, and so I told myself it was okay to move to the left and stitch both lines all at once. Besides...it's an OCD thing. This is what happens when you live with an engineer for 43 years.

From there, I got my toes done. That was nice. When I got home I ate some lunch and then got to work on the last of the Tuxedo's Tales blocks. This is the December block. I first fused the cat. The December cat is wearing a shawl because, Baby, it's cold outside.

There are a lot of leaves and berries on this block, but I couldn't fuse the leaves without first drawing in the stem lines. The stem lines are machine stitched.

With those drawn in, I could fuse the leaves for the mistletoe above the bird and the holly branch in the cat's mouth.

That was all the fusing, but I wanted to see how the buttons were going to fit. If you're wondering, know that the bird is wearing ear muffs.

This all worked out, but the holly berries were bothering me. They seem a little large.

This pattern was originally a block of the month, and it was done in wool applique. Mine is done from my scraps. I saw this made up at a local quilt shop, but all the kits were gone. I can't remember if they had the patterns available, but I came home and found the pattern only on eBay. When I ordered it, the seller asked if I wanted the packet of buttons that went with it. "Sure," I said, because I'm all for making things easier on myself. So, all of that to say that the red buttons were the ones from the packet, but they didn't look like the picture on the pattern cover. So, I looked through some of the other blocks I'd already done, and realized I'd probably used the wrong buttons on some of the other blocks.

Take a look at these next three. I was probably supposed to use the larger buttons on one of these.

Oh well...not to worry. I dipped into my own button stash and found just what I needed there. I'll go with the smaller ones.

With that settled, I got to work stitching down all the applique. By day's end, it was finished, except to sew the buttons on. There are also some hand-stitched snowflakes, and so I'll get that all finished today.

Smitty was tired of snoopervising by then, and so we quit for the day.

As long as we're building cats, I thought you might enjoy this image I saw on Instagram this morning.

With all that fusing and button-picking, I completely spaced the cranberry coffeecake I was planning to make yesterday. I'll get that done today, and I'll finish off the cat...the fused one. After that, my only other monthly is to make the final blocks for the Rainbow Jubilee quilt. 

There's no color choice for December, and so I'm on my own. Last month, I wanted to make "burgundy" blocks, but I think I ended up with rust.

Yeah...there's something wrong with my eyes. So, burgundy was still a possibility along with dark purple. But since I can't trust what I see with my own eyes, I think I'll go with brown. Looking through my browns, I think they'll contrast enough with the blacks and whites to work out. We'll see soon enough, won't we? Also, I went through and counted all the black and white strips already cut. I have plenty, and that's quite a relief since I've nearly used all my black and white scraps.

So, onward. It's very cold here today. It's a good day to stay in and sew.

8 comments from clever and witty friends:

Quilting Babcia said...

I think your Appalachian Barns is going to be my favorite of all your embroidered quilts. Isn't it great to have one's own button stash? Been picking through mine for embellishments for some of the little ornaments I've been experimenting with. Cold and clear here today, a welcome change from the dreariness.

Julierose said...

Your Tuxedo Cats is just fabulous--I like it better in fabric than wool actually. (All the cats agree;}}} ).
I made a similar, but bigger cat for a pillow for my Mom when she was in her nursing home..I used wool and did blanket stitch around it..(14" x 14") so bigger...and that made me realize that wool work is not for me...I don't like the feel of it in my hands...;000

I have never done fusing and am thinking of trying that this year, along with paper piecing...(all these grand plans, right?). Very nice strip blocks--love the B&W...hugs, Julierose

Quilting Tangent said...

Cute projects. You are so fast with your stitching.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Love seeing all the tuxies together. You are rolling along with those barns - gonna' be another great quilt.

piecefulwendy said...

Hope you enjoyed a good day of sewing yesterday. How fun to finish the blocks for the Tuxedo Tails. I love the whimsical designs! It is cold here today, too. Having lunch with some friends, so not much sewing happening today, but maybe I can sneak some in tonight. My sewing room could use some organization too, so maybe I'll do that and get ready for a NBS day on Saturday.

sirsumcorda said...

Look forward to your posts each day, just wish I could keep up with you!

quiltzyx said...

Love the way the barn block is coming along. Makes sense to me for you to move the hoop over so you could do the track all at one go.

The Tuxedo cat blocks just make me smile!

OMG!! The 'rebuilt' cat is hysterical!!! Thanks for that!

QuiltGranma said...

I too love the rebuild a cat! That is what we are doing as we get older. A few years ago Hubby got an artificial knee, both eyes lasered, and rt wrist carpel tunnel taken care of all in one year. This year he got a pacemaker, orphaned, left wrist carpel tunnel, skin cancer removed, and just finished radiation. Now in hospital due to reaction to radiation, getting fluids IV. HE IS my 6 Million Dollar Man!