Sunday, February 18, 2024

Confetti Cat Portrait

BEFORE: In my last blog post, I showed this potential valentine, which my friend Jane pointed out, looks more like the Valentine's Day Massacre. 

I certainly couldn't give this to anyone I don't wish to maim. But then it occurred to me that my daughter's cat, Cleocatra, routinely combines love with blood. She doesn't allow claw-clipping, so when she plays with us, scratches can ensue. She's also an unrepentant lizard-tormentor and sewing-machine occupier.

AFTER: So I turned my violent background into this! The perfect Valentine for my daughter!

This technique has been around a long time, with many variations. If you were quilting 20 years ago, you might, like me, treasure your copies of the fabulous "Snippets Sensation" books by Cindy Walter. 

The basic idea: Lay down a piece of batting or or fusible interfacing (fusible side up). Cover it with fabric scraps. Cover those with one piece of tulle. Last, "quilt" on top.  

For the cat portrait, I had already put 1 layer of white tulle over the piece you saw at the top of the page. To add the cat and the caption, I laid more on top.

I backed a couple of inches of black and white fabric with fusible web. Then I used the "think" method: I stared at the photo of Cleo above, and freehand cut the components: black head and body, white snout and forehead, black and pink nose/mouth, yellow eyes, and black pupils. I fused and/or glue-sticked all those elements in place.

I used alphabet rubber stamps on white woven bias tape to create the words, "Sometimes Love Hurts." I glue-sticked those in place

I covered all the components with one more piece of tulle, this time dark purple. Next, I added a little more freemotion quilting in red over the background area, plus I used white thread to sketch in Cleo's whiskers and ear hairs. 

I stitched the square to a former Christmas necklace, full of bells. (They signify the bell that Cleo wears to warn victims away.)

My daughter loved it! Cleo was not impressed. But seriously, I adore this cat. Tips for tricking cats into allowing their claws to be clipped would be appreciated.

Find the Create Whimsy article that triggered this round of fun, here. More details are in my last post. Find my tutorial for playing around with this idea with silk scraps, to make fish and valentine jewelry, here

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  1. Enlist a helper. Wrap the cat in a towel. While the helper holds the cat firmly, pull out a paw and, holding the paw firmly, clip. Keep fingers away from teeth. If you've already tried this, I'm sorry. Love your valentine!

    1. Thank you, Chris! Maybe with three people we can accomplish this. She's a fighter!!!

  2. A quilted drawstring bag - scrappy of course - with a seam opening just big enough to grab one paw. Cat in bag, drawstring drawn carefully, struggle will result in one paw exiting seam! Chop, chop! Might not work more than once!

    1. Thank you. There will be blood from all parties in that scenario! She goes wild when confined!


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