Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I’m Just Talkin’ About… PETS

Jazzy & Rosy hanging out with me in the sewing room

I AM A CRAZY CAT LADY!  At least that’s what some people think of me, I can see it on their face!   OMG!   She’s a weird one, a CRAZY CAT LADY.

We Americans have our PETS.  The first animal that pops into our head when we hear the word PET we think dog or cat.  But some people have a PET in the form of a bird or fishes.  Some even call a horse or a reptile a pet.  And some get into the whole gerbil, hamster, guinea pig and even RATS (my brother had those!)  But I just want to talk CATS (and a little DOG) today cuz those are the most common according to the Humane Society of the United States.  So here’s a sampling of their stats…  
~86.4 million owned
~33% of US households own a cat/s
~$219 spent annually per cat on vet visits
~78.2 million owned
~39% of US households own a dog/s
~$248 spent annually per dog on vet visits

For more stats visit www.humanesociety.org  

Now I did a little surfing on just how much money we PET owners spend annually on TOYS for our PETS, CATS = $21 and DOGS = $43.  And those numbers kinda prove what I really wanna talk about….  The difference between and CAT owners and DOG owners and the way those people are perceived by others.  I think, CAT owners spend half as much on toys because they don't want society to think they are a CRAZY CAT LADY! 

So here’s my story….

I’m a CAT owner.  Two of them currently live with me.  I have been the owner (or caregiver if my kids were the OWNER) of many different PETS.  CATS, DOGS, fishes, hamsters, guinea pigs and birds (that’s the list as best I can remember).  However, in my lifetime I cannot remember a time when I was not living with a CAT.

When a person enters my home I can tell pretty quick if they don’t like CATS by the way they react to my CATS.  Last week a quilty friend came over to raid my fabric stash.  When I opened the closet that contains shelves of fabric the gal gasp, “There’s a CAT up there!”  Which there was… My sweet little Rosy was on the top shelf taking her nap on a box.  I got the impression the gal did NOT like CATS cuz she didn’t make any other comments (like how cute she was or what a perfect napping spot).  Then there’s the gal (a DOG owner) that shared with me her surprise that there are a LOT of CAT toys in my house (I’ve been to her house, seen the dog toys AND petted her dog).  Some people totally ignore my CATS and others acknowledge their presence with talk or pet.

Anyway. It seems like a LOT of people (even CAT owners) think CATS are just a fixture or treat them as an on demand pet but DOGS aren’t often treated that way.  It is acceptable to most people for a DOG to greet company at the door and act as though it should be acknowledged (spoken to or petted).  Dogs’ toys are often strewn throughout the house and yard.  It’s acceptable for a DOG owner to play with their dog when company is present (or the DOG expects visitors to play with it).  Owners take their DOGS on outings to parks and get togethers.  Dogs usually have their own beds or they sleep on the couch or in a favorite chair.  DOG stories are shared and compared… like that of our children and grandchildren. 

But, as a CAT owner…  I get labeled a CRAZY CAT LADY when people see my cats have lots of toys (like a dog) and I actually play with them (like a dog).  I’m always talking to my CATS (like a dog).  AND they often answer me (like a dog)!  They greet me at the door when I come home (like a dog).  They will beg for treats (like a dog) and let me know when they are ready for breakfast and dinner (like a dog).  They get excited when I bring a new toy home for them (like a dog).  They follow me all over the house (like a dog).  They run to the door when someone comes to visit (like a dog).  AND I share stories about them with other people (like a DOG OWNER).

So anyway… I guess my point is… please don’t label me as a CRAZY CAT LADY.  I’m not weird just because I find pleasure is living with a couple of CATS and try my darnest to make their life living with me pleasurable. Like a DOG owner.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Another UFO Done!

Finished size:  98" x 98"

This quilt top was completed in 2006… THAT WAS 6 YEARS AGO !   Geez, that’s a long time.  Anyway… It’s done now. 

So this one started as a Block of the Month with my AQG quilt group www.azquiltersguild.com, the Cactus Patchers (I’ve mentioned them before) www.cactuspatchers.com.  

That year I was on the Cactus Patchers Board as the Friendship Group Coordinator.  It was my job to find ongoing projects for members to participant in.  What’s better and easier than a BOM?  Every month I handed out a 12” block pattern that was kinda starry in design (cuz I like star blocks).  Using the pattern each participant made a block (or two in my case) using their own fabrics.  At the end of twelve months we each had our own set of twelve (or more) blocks.  Right there was an UFO for a lot of people!  Pushing forward I began the design phase of creating a quilt large enough for a queen bed.  I soon found that even though I had been the over-achiever and made TWO blocks from each pattern there was just NO WAY they were going to make a queen size top without a little something extra.  Sashing wouldn’t get the job done and I couldn’t bring myself to make twelve more blocks to use as alternates between all those BOM blocks.  So… I made a BIG Feathered Star.  It kinda fits the theme of all those other blocks and I had always wanted to try making a Feathered Star.  Perfect!  Well, at least I thought it was.  I found a Feathered Star pattern in a magazine and got to work.  The snag came once the Feathered Star components were completed and the final assemble of the star began…  They didn’t fit together, the pattern was WRONG.  Grrrr…..  Somehow I got my brain to work through the problem and the star was completed!  From there the top went together pretty quickly.  And… then… it got folded up and placed in the closet where it sat for 6 YEARS.

Quilt back with label sewn in.

Fast forward to 2012 and the time had come to GET IT DONE.  That meant getting a back and a label together.  I shared that adventure with you in a the blog post on July 10 titled “I Seam To Be On A Roll!”.

Pillow Shams

Since there were fabrics left over from the top construction I was able to put a couple of pillow shams together.  Nothing fancy here!  I know myself well enough to know if I planned to make something really cool (like a small Feathered Star in the center of each sham) I would REALLY just be creating ANOTHER UFO instead of pillow shams.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Everyone Loves A Bed Turning

A few days ago a friend, Cathy Witske, had a few of us quilty gals over for a Bed Turning.  Cathy has been making quilts for a long time and has a pretty impressive pile of quilts to show for her years of work.  Since I’ve known Cathy her mission has been to make a dent in her SCRAP collection.  She does such a GREAT job of using scraps I thought I’d share with you a few of the quilts in her finished pile.  I also snapped a picture of one special quilt that helped create that scrap collection.

Most of Cathy’s quilts are hand quilted but this one was quilted by one of Cathy’s helpers, a professional longarm quilter named Monica Croom.

Doesn’t that yellow just set all those scraps off perfectly?  The squares in the border
are one inch finished and pretty much perfectly pieced.

This one hasn’t yet been quilted but still inspired me.  These stars were 12 - 16 inches (I don’t know exactly) and there was six of them.

This quilt is entirely done with appliqué.  It was not quilted which allowed us a peek at Cathy’s absolutely perfect hand stitches.  What a TREAT!

What a simple quilt to piece with Nine Patch and Quarter Square blocks.  And if that’s not enough to make you say Ohhh then the appliqué border sure will.

Don’t you think Cathy has the scrap thing down?

That’s a WHOLE LOTTA bow ties!

This is a BUNCH of little pieces.  I don’t even keep pieces this small cuz I know I don’t have the patience to work with them.

This one was layered but not yet quilted.  Again… a GREAT use of that easy Nine Patch block.

Cathy is in the process of hand quilting this one.  I don’t know how anybody has the patience to do that!

This little piece was about the size of a place mat.  All those black strips were created by a narrow strip of fabric folded in half lengthwise and sewn in the seam.  They are three dimensional!

And here’s the CROWN JEWEL of the BED TURNING! 
It’s not yet quilted but ya know she’ll hand quilt it.

These are a small sample of the quilts Cathy had piled on her bed.  Are you inspired?