Monday, June 30, 2014

The Ferals Come for a Visit
73" x 81"
This last fall, the Austin Modern Quilt Guild selected a cat face pattern for our Block of the Month.  We typically make the blocks and donate them towards making a large quilt out of our blocks that is then donated to charity.  I liked this cat face pattern (from Elizabeth Hartman), but felt like it was too much measuring to be fun to make.
Then, this spring, my dear friend entered hospice care.  I did not feel like working on art at all.  It is such an odd place, waiting for a friend to die.  And it was worse after she died.  Somehow I found solace in a pattern that made all the decisions for me (with the exception of the colors), and the cat pattern sprang to the rescue.  One by one, I pulled out fabrics from my stash.  Without much effort, I was able to stitch up a block or two at a time.  I could work in the studio, in small amounts, and not really have to think.  The sewing helped me through my grief.  Meanwhile, the blocks started to pile up.  I decided to make a quilt for my daughter, who incidentally had a new kitten. 
It seems ironic that what initially felt like too much work suddenly became the easy thing to do.  However, I have noticed that from time to time, I take a break from art quilts, and doing the piece work is such a welcome retreat.
I let my daughter select the fabrics for the back.  However, our original plan did not work with the size of the quilt top, and after much debate, I add a bit from my stash and made this for the back.  I had concerns that it would show through the white on the front, but it is most negligible, and ... she just LOVES it!  I like that it is a two sided quilt now, with the green calming tones on the back, and the rainbow on the front.
As for the name of the quilt?  We have had numerous visits from feral cats this spring.  The mama cat from last year has still not been apprehended nor "fixed", so she has a new litter this spring, in addition to her kittens from last summer that are now reproducing.  I can't help but wonder how many will wander through in the years to come?

4 comments:

debbi d-w said...

Beautiful quilt and beautiful story. So glad you found healing among your fabric, & how lovely that you honor your friend by creating for the next generation.

Susan Tennison said...

Beautiful! I love how you are able to make the colors come alive! Thanks for sharing the story.

Cheryl Lynch said...

I have admired your quilts for a long time. My favorite quilt at AQE this year was yours. I just had to comment about this post. I am so thrilled that we find comfort in sewing in times if sadness. I had a similar experience being my husbands companion during chemo.
Thank you.

kathy york said...

Cheryl,
Thanks for writing! It is so nice to hear from someone who got to go to AQE, well and especially since you enjoyed my work! Thanks for that!
I would have to agree with you about doing handwork while grieving. It seems helpful, at least to me. Sorry your husband had to go through chemo. Best luck to you and your family!