I finally finished my first improv-piecing project – quilts for the cats!
You might ask why my two spoiled kitties deserve to have their very own quilts – good question! A little background: The cats have very specific places they like to sleep during the day (Cora on my craft table or on the bed, and Tali also on the bed or on top of the towels in the closet – I’ve given up on keeping her out, so I just put an old towel on top to catch the fur.) When we get home from work, they usually migrate into the living room to be closer to us.
(What a life, right? Lucky cats – their days revolve around naps in the morning, naps in the afternoon, and naps at night, with some eating and playing in between.)
In the living room, Cora is usually perched on the quilts on the back of the couch, and Tali sleeps on a box. I know the box is weird – it was originally placed on the corner of the rug as a temporary fix to stop the cats from rolling up the rug. But then Tali started sleeping on it every single night, and now she loves it so much that I just don’t have the heart to move it.
So we have two issues – Cora has completely covered the couch quilts with fur, and Tali sleeps all night on a hard, uncomfortable cardboard box. My solution: Cat quilts!
I’ve wanted to try out quilting with improve-pieced letters for a long time, and I finally bought myself Word Play by Tonya Ricucci as a Christmas present. To practice, I decided to make simple mini quilts for the cats. Tali and Cora have lots of easy letters to practice – T, L, I, C, O, and a few harder ones with angles – R and A.
It was lots of fun to experiment and go “wonky” – other than cutting strips of 1”, 1 ½” and 2”, there is no other measuring! The main idea is: “If it’s too long, cut it off. If it’s too short, add to it.” With that in mind, I made letters, added spacers to connect them into word bricks, added borders, and then a piece of novelty fabric to complete the mini quilt.
I love the fairytale-esque blue cityscape for Cora, and the spring-like chevron stripes for Tali.
I used an old sheet for the backing, and the pillow case method instead of binding. Then I quilted in straight lines – I outlined each section on Cora’s quilt, and spiraling squares on Tali’s quilt. I used matching thread on top – navy blue for Cora’s quilt and hot pink for Tali’s, and white on the bottom to blend in with the light blue backing. Here’s a peek at the back for a better look at the quilting.
And of course I added labels with my trust label maker!
Now the cats have their own personalized quilts – Tali’s quilt makes her favorite box a little more comfortable, and Cora’s quilt keeps all that cat fur in one place (and easily washed).
Win-win for everyone! Of course, these could very easily adapted for non-furry members of the family – what a cute wall hanging in a kid’s room or dorm! Now that I’ve dipped my toes into “liberated quilting,” I have so many ideas… a Love quilt, or a Joy quilt, or an anniversary quilt, a baby announcement or personalized wall hanging, or a favorite song lyric… so many possibilities!