We all know that we can’t always put pictures of cats and dogs on, or even near, finished quilts or goodness gracious sleeping on sewing machines, quilt sandwiches, disrupting cut out patchwork pieces or blocks on the floor, because these pictures are frowned on or banned on most of the major worldwide FB quilting groups or online forums.
I hope I have already entertained you so far with my Patchwork & Quilting adventures in this 5 part series called “Controversial? Moi?”. This series was all about Quilts for Babies, Friends wanting unusually themed material, Firefighters, Scuba Divers, Frogs, Cats, Dogs & Ducks of course.
Now we getting into seriously controversial territory and hopefully leaving the best for last….. Yes it is all about “Cute Kittens and Quilts”. (Well somebody had to do it & of course it was bound to be me!)
This is probably the most heart breaking tale, but in a way also the most uplifting story. I have a local friend Coleen who knits, then she puts the knitting on a boil wash to felt it into the most wonderful hats and the most awesome slippers. Her craft business is called The Surfing Cat. She also makes amazing moulded leather bowls & fabulous belts, wallets and tablet holders in leather, which are all hand stitched. Our crafts are very different, but we do share the creative gene, and from that a firm friendship has developed.
In October my friend’s daughter rescued one of several feral kittens from a barn on a farm. These kittens were possibly going to be euthanised by the farmer. There wasn’t time to inform the appropriate Animal Welfare Organisations as immediate action was needed to rescue these poor mites from their appalling conditions. The one she rescued is the little black and white one with her head in the red bowl. Beth brought this tiny scrap home to her mother, my friend Coleen. All the other kittens were thankfully rescued too by different people.
This kitten was only 6 weeks old, and as if this wasn’t enough of a challenge, this tiny kitten was seriously ill with cat flu.
My friend and her husband had sleepless night after night, feeding this poorly kitten with a syringe and liquidised chicken and cat milk, and the administration of antibiotic eye drops for her infected eyes. There were many visits to the vet. They set up a steam tent in the bathroom, while she was safely in her cat carrier, with boiling water and Olbas oil just to help the little mite to breathe and to try to clear her chest congestion.
She was kept in quarantine in the bathroom to ensure the safety of the other two cats in the house, and gradually began to turn the corner. She was far too young when she was rescued to even be away from her mother, but left in the barn she certainly would not have survived. Luckily against all the odds she did live and that was totally due to the round the clock nursing and loving care provided by her rescuers.
I went to the private “UKQU Bloggerati” Quilting Retreat just before Christmas last year, with the help of close friends who provided me with transport and support. The “Bloggerati” is a super talented, but somewhat secretive group of people, who write all these posts & blogs on UKQU. Some of the bloggers are ultra clever, extremely well known within the Quilting World, revered & respected in the industry, incredibly knowledgeable, & then…. some of us just plain aren’t….. To be perfectly blunt & honest, that would be me then…… enthusiastic & tries hard, while doing the “Cheshire Cat” grinning bit, while attempting to be humorous. I try to do that regardless of how I feel, whether in body or spirit, just in case someone also tries to take a photograph without me noticing!
Over the years whether it was in the Embroidery World when I was a Professional Designer, or the Quilting World, I have always found generous people who enrich, enhance and inspire my creative journeys from their blogs & posts in combination with old treasured friends who encourage & support me.
At the Bloggers Retreat I was given a gorgeous Goody Bag, with various bits and bobs from UK Suppliers, and a Fat Quarter pack from The Craft Cotton Co called Knitting Catz …. I don’t have a cat or even knit but it was very pretty!
At Christmas Piper, as she was now called, was let out of the bathroom, as no longer needed to be in quarantine, she was putting on weight and getting naughty.
Well Piper has amazingly survived and is making her presence known! The penny then dropped… Mummy of Piper Knits … I have this fabulous FQ Pack of cats knitting, so I cut it into 4 1/2″ squares and 2″ wide rectangles to use every scrap of material. I managed to find some yardage of the dark brown design for the back and binding online.
I used a very simple design, just squares put diagonally by pattern with the rectangles making a border and then backed and quilted it.
Sadly one of the older cats in my friends house died suddenly in February, but Piper had already moved out of the bathroom, and had also made friends with both of them, especially the surviving cat Titch.
They now both sleep together on the bottom of her rescuers bed, so the Knitting Catz Bed runner is perfect! Piper’s new Mummy & Daddy (Their Staff) love it, so does her adopted big brother Titch! So from a frail feral kitten in a barn who was not expected to survive, she is now a much loved happy cat who loves exploring the garden. Piper has been neutered off course to prevent any future unwanted kittens.
My friend is so sweet, in addition to her fantastic felting skills she also makes the most amazing moulded leather bowls. She made me this fabulous red poppy in leather for my sewing table as a present. It is currently bring used for quilting pins.
I’m feeling quite sad because this series of five stories has now ended. Thinking about what I should be writing about next. Two topics that have come to mind that would celebrate my inimitable and often sarcastic writing style. “My husband did not know I could sew…. Bet he does now though!”, and the other might be “Sewing au Naturel”. We’ll see!
Could not leave you though without a final giggle about kittens. This is Smokey, he is a much loved hotel cat who lives in Nevis. (Where is Nevis? Well you can’t fly all the way there, and the last bit of the journey is by boat, and it is an amazing tiny Island paradise which we visit when we can. We even got married on the beach under the two palm trees you can see in the photos below in 2015). Smokey is such a character, making himself quite at home on your lap while eating in the restaurant or on the beach, even at the bar while giving you his love combined with his special opposable thumb and paw massage. This is Smokey forgetting that the veranda’s have a mosquito/fly screen in place when coming for a personal visit! I give you as a finale ….”Cat Splat”!