Quilting Catastrophe - May/June 2006

QUILTING
CATASTROPHE
BY Christine Cook
ILLUSTRATION BY Carol Bassett
SPACER
Like many quilters, I share my studio with a four-pawed friend who loves quilts, too. As a quilter, I enjoy the colors, the fabrics, and the joy of sewing. My cat sees a quilt as a perfect spot for napping because it retains cat hairs well. A quilt in progress also offers her great recreational opportunities. If you have a cat, you may have had some of these same experiences.
After struggling for hours to find just the right combination and arrangement for each piece, you finally have the perfect quilt design laid out on your table. You push back your chair, stretch, yawn, and head for bed. Kitty is asleep on the couch. The tip of her tail is tapping, and something nags at you—something you should not ignore. Kitty senses your suspicions and snores louder, as if to say, “You go on up to bed. I’ll be up soon…”
The next morning, after gathering up all the pieces of your perfect quilt top, you toss a dirty look at the cat. The piece you retrieved with kitchen tongs from behind the entertainment center was one thing, but did she have to bury that triangle in her food dish?
Kitty finishes cleaning her paws, jumps onto your worktable, and purrs at you. Her ears perk up and her eyes sparkle. Making a quilt is even better than digging in the trash for a midnight chicken bone feast, and certainly more exciting than digging up a plant.
As you carefully pin each piece together, wishing you’d done that last night, Kitty sits and watches. You step away to answer the phone and return to discover that cats can easily pick flowerhead pins out of fabric. As you walk into the sewing room, Kitty flings a pin on the floor, jumps off the table, and heads toward her food dish. It’s time for a quick mid-morning snack.
You are finally ready to sit down to sew your first perfect patchwork unit. Kitty has jumped onto her favorite quilt and is settling down for a nap. She turns around three times and curls up just as you discover that missing catnip squeak mouse under your foot pedal.
You’re reminded of the time when a friend asked how long it takes to make a quilt, to which you laughingly replied, “Is that with or without cat participation?”
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