Meow! Christmas Kitties!

Shortly after we started quilting, I spotted this fabric and nearly died laughing:

Christmas Kitties Backing

It was like a bunch of little Christmas Favres, wearing little bows and smiling mysterious kitty Christmas cheer at me. I had to have it. I had to back a quilt in it. And conveniently, it was part of a line from Timeless Treasures that was all equally retro charming but sort of low-key and not flashy, in-your-face retro charming. Lots of bells and tiny trees and little sleighs, and all in a bright, old-school Christmas palette that reminded me of my youth lo so long ago.

Christmas Kitties Sunlit

I chose for it the “Morning Star” pattern from one of Pat Speth and Charlene Thode’s “Nickel Quilt” books, the series of patterns for “five-inch scraps”. It seemed like it would be simple, because I was a novice quilter and I assumed “five-inch scraps” was code for “charm pack”, and any quilt pattern designed for the Moda pre-cuts smacked to me of being slightly bobo. Not that I don’t use tons of pre-cuts myself, but I felt, in the early days, that I was being somehow lame for going in for, say, jellyroll patterns. Well. I was quickly disabused of that notion. Dude, this “Morning Star” pattern kicked my ass.

Christmas Kitties Star

It’s not that it was hard, but it was time-consuming. And fastidious. And unending. The gold stars, which I thought would be so Christmassy and festive, became my own personal hell of stripe directionality and more eensy-weensy magic triangles than a person should have to deal with in one lifetime. I finally broke down and demanded that Pookie help me finish this bastard. I have never hated working on a project (while still powering through instead of recognizing that life is too short to hate the handwork you’re laboring over) more than I hated this. And just when we thought we were done, we’d discover a whole new row of stupid stars that needed to be added. Then there were the baffling, brain-busting instructions for how to calculate the pieced inner border.

Christmas Kitties Stupid Border

You know what I’m never doing again? A pieced inner border.

Anyway, we finished the top shortly before Christmas last year, and handed it off to our longarm quilter Mary after the holidays. She got it back to me in, I think, February, and I just wadded it up in a closet in the guest room and tried not to think about it for several months. I needed some time away from it. But when it came down from its hidey-hole late this Fall, ready to be bound, it delighted me. The “I’m a seven-year-old again” reds and greens and hint of sparkly gold! The little trees and sleighs and colorful bells! The way the gold striped fabric looks just perfect in the stars! The busy, festive, totally Christmas feel of the “Morning Star” pattern! I love it. There was some pain and suffering along the way, but now that I can keep toasty warm under a seasonally-appropriate quilt while basking in the glow of our Christmas tree, it all seems worth it.

Christmas Kitties

[Posted by Schnookie]

8 Comments

Filed under Pins and Needles, Quilting, Seasonal

8 responses to “Meow! Christmas Kitties!

  1. Tram

    “recognizing that life is too short to hate the handwork you’re laboring over”

    Amen.

    The quilt is beautiful, and retro, and charming. I’m glad you persevered. I have had that feeling many times, but it is short-lived. Usually these projects become a favorite later on. Selective amnesia. Merry Christmas.

  2. Thanks, Tram! And selective amnesia seems to be an essential part of being a quilter. As soon as you finish a beautiful but annoying project, the whole horrible process of it just melts away. :D

    And Merry Christmas to you!!

  3. Mags

    It’s fabulous. Good for you for soldiering on!

    Just be glad you live far away, because if I was anywhere near New Jersey, I would come over and yoink it from you.

  4. Mags, I figured if there was anyone out there on the interwebs who understood the quandary of hating working on a project but continuing working on it anyway, it would be you. (And if you lived nearby, I’d probably let you have this quilt. :D)

  5. I absolutely love it. And I love all the crinkled beautiful stippling as well. Me? I’m looking up ways to bind without hand sewing. I’m certainly not patient enough for all these hand quilting shenanigans.

  6. Thanks, Carol! I can see how the hand binding process would be a bit of a turn-off. I can’t say it’s my favorite, either, and I even like hand-working!

  7. greg

    This looks like a fun quilt! I’m kinda laughing because I’m currently trimming 444 half triangle squares and thinking that I NEVER want to do this to myself again… but my next quilt pattern needs 600 of those buggers. When will we learn?!

  8. OH. MY. GOODNESS. 444 half square triangles?? With 600 in the next project??? Sounds like you’re unable to say no to those “abandon all hope ye who enter here” types of patterns! :D

    The problem is that they always end up looking so spectacular; that’s why we never learn. :D

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