Quilting in Purr-Gatory

Did you see what I did there? It was the first day of the rest of my life on the quilt machine yesterday. I'm underway quilting Semper Fi, and it's every bit as awkward, bulky, and heavy as I expected it to be. Fortunately, I think quilting the center panel was probably the most difficult part of the project.

It seemed like the best way to quilt the panels was to stick with a feathered scroll sort of thing. I didn't really want to quilt over the images or the words, and so I quilted all around them. Also, I didn't want to use a big needle, and so I switched out the usual 100/16 for an 80/12 needle. It worked out okay. There wasn't much room to the sides of the Marine Corps emblem, and so I limited the quilting to above and below. My plan was to stitch a straight line down the center of the red border, and so there was plenty of quilting ahead.

For the Marine's Creed in the middle, I fit in a few short little feather motifs wherever I could. Knowing I was going to do stylized stars in several of the borders, I put one on each side in the middle of this panel. They look a little like snowflakes, but I'm hoping the stars in the borders will give them away.

Finally the "Thank you" panel. Not so different from the Marine Corps emblem.

As I was working my way around the straight line red border/sashing, Smitty decided I really needed a cat to flatten things out.

He was worried about the condition of his treat bowl, and he was not easily reassured.

The thing to notice here, is how carefully he tucked his tail under his furry and ample body and out of the way of poking needles.

Please let me know if I can offer any other assistance.

When it appeared he wasn't taking "in a minute" for an answer, I decided it was a good time to take a break. Smitty was stationed at the top of the stairs, Sadie at the bottom, for most of the day.

When I returned, I finished off the straight line around the red portions and then took the quilt off the machine to have a look-see. I was paying particular attention to the quilt back. It would be hard to count the number of times I've quilted along for miles, only to discover the back looked terrible. In this case, all is well.

So then I did a couple of practice runs at the stylized stars. They went great, and so I committed them to the first blue border.

Only...not so fast there, cowgirl, because I'd skipped the striped border between the two blue ones. Okay, so let's start again, shall we?

Now they're in the right place, and I headed around the whole border before stopping for the day. My machine is a sit-down machine, and this is a huge quilt. Now that the center is finished, I can keep the bulk of the quilt up on the table as I go around and around the borders. It should get a little easier from here, even though I have a long, long way to go on it. I left it with the needle down, thinking I knew what I was going to do next. Then, while we were watching TV last night, I got another idea in my head. Scrounging around for a pencil and paper, I quickly sketched it out so I wouldn't forget it. I'll get a start on it later today.

Sadie spent a good part of her day yesterday lounging on her window bed. The kitties have really taken to this. When we first put it up, they ignored it for the most part. We put each of them up on it at various times, and they stayed put. Now they are getting up by themselves, and negotiating shifts on it, taking turns without any squabbling so far.

Fortunately, we have two of these for the RV. I'm kind of excited to get going on our trip and see how they like their new purrsonal space. It occurred to me last night that these will make excellent launching pads for jumping into the upper reaches of the RV where there are unexplored cabinets. As it stands, they are too high for jumping, but these beds will be a perfect booster. We might have to rethink the positioning.

Today I'm getting my hair cut and colored, and then I'm going to the grocery store. There should be some time for quilting later this afternoon. On the other hand, these kinds of days often call for napping. And with cats...well, the two things go hand-in-hand. Or paw-in-paw, depending on your species. That means I'll need to get out the door soon. Time for some slow-stitching. A day like this demands it.

7 comments from clever and witty friends:

Dorothy said...

Quilting is looking good. Really like the stars. Glad that Smitty has sense to tuck his tail under him :-)

Julierose said...

That quilting seems to be going really well--it looks great...hugs, Julierose

Tilly said...

Beautiful feathers,the quilt looks great, and you have a really good assistant.

SJSM said...

Yep, Purr and Gato got in there. With so much assistance from Smitty you did get some exercise so you wouldn’t get as achy of a back and shoulders.

You must find the color is a good alternative to the perm. Glad it is working for you.

piecefulwendy said...

Yay for you taking Semper Fi in hand and making good progress. Glad the kitties are keeping you up on the breaks too; that's impurrtent. Hope your grocery run wasn't too painful and your nap was refreshing!

quiltzyx said...

Great start on Semper Fi - I think maybe you will get it finished sooner than you think!!

Nice that the cats are taking turns on the window seat & not fighting over it. How civilized they are! :)

Kate said...

Hopefully you have the most cumbersome part of Semper Fi quilted and the rest will go so much easier. Love those stylized stars in the blue border.