Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Sleeping cat paper piecing

I have been doing more paper piecing.

I offered to make a block for Julie at My Quilt Diary.  She started a project of making stars to represent her blogging friends.  Hmmm.... I consider myself one of her blogging friends and it might be interesting to see what she comes up with for me (when she gets through her long list of friends) but I really liked the idea of contributing to her someday quilt.

"I'll be happy to make you a block!"

Julie took me up on it and then I had to figure out what kind of block would represent me.  Maybe all quilters ought to give this a think through... Do I want to make a cross?... I'm Christian.  Do I want to make red, white and blue?... I'm American.  Do I want to make cherry blossoms?... I live in Japan.  Do I want to make a kitty block?... I'm a cat lover....but I'm also a dog lover too...

I decided that cat lover is the most obvious.  Embroidered?  Appliqued?  I don't think Julie had any specific requirements except for measurements.  Paper pieced?

Well, that measurement requirement was one reason I went for paper piecing.  You can't beat that technique for working with small pieces.   And Julie wanted a 4 inch square inside an 8 inch star.

I found a pattern that I liked.  Cat.  Sleeping cat.  GREAT!  I live in Nikko, Japan and the town is famous for the Sleeping Cat carving on one of its famous shrines.  Julie will get the connection between a sleeping cat and me living in Nikko.

My major problem was that the paper piecing pattern was for an 8 inch square.  So I shrunk the pattern on my scanner!  Now I had the right 4 inch square size but I also had MINISCULE pieces to sew.

I also tried to go authentic (always a mistake) by making a white sleeping cat whereas all the sleeping cats at MY house are brown or orange.  I absolutely couldn't find a black and white piece of fabric that would make the same markings as the Nikko Sleeping Cat, so I made my own.  Hmm.  It looks like that cat has a frilled collar.  Well, it is ORIGINAL.  And come to think of it, the real Nikko Sleeping Cat doesn't have a tail... but mine does...

Let me tell you, shrinking an 8 inch pattern makes for many possibilities of error.  I had to toss my first attempt and try it again.

The star part of that block is a fabric with an oriental feel to it...  A bit of gold in there hopefully like the Nikko Sleeping Cat carving.  And I did sew the star by hand so that it will be easier for Julie to include it in her quilt.

Okay Julie.  My block is made and it will get in the mail to you today!  I hope you can use it!

Now for the rest of you.  What block would YOU make to represent yourself if given the challenge?

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