Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Cats. More Cats. And, of course, stitching. And Hawaii. And quilts, but not Hawaiian quilts, not yet anyway.

So aside from the flowers and vases quilt that has grown a bit with time, I also have a long term cat quilt that I've been working on.

Cats have been on my mind today, partly because in an ongoing effort to eradicate the fleas (I have a dog. He goes on walks. He brings home fleas. Yeesh!) everyone got a bath. Yes, I give my cats baths. No, they don't like it. But after a few dozen kitty candies, they start sitting on my lap again. So. I had four cats, two children and a dog in an eight by five foot bathroom, and no, that isn't enough room. But I got it done, and everyone is much more flea free than previously, and so I could get back to my stitching and gardening.

So, I have four cats, so you can tell that I love cats. I also love humor, and there are several designers who do cat designs that are humorous. So I started accumulating them. And stitching some. And realizing that framing was _not_ an option if we wanted to keep the house, not to mention not having near enough wall space. So, the black cats quilt idea was born. The designs I have for the quilt are from several different lines, Kats By Kelly, Diane Graebner, Silly Snobs and Springberry Kreek, all of which I have located on the web doing a simple Google search, so here are a few of the designs...





I am stitching them on white aida as being something that can be washed when necessary, and using plain cotton floss and occasionally some of the Kreinik Metallics. All the various designs tend to be black and white with a few touches of color, such that when I do put the quilt top together, I plan to even up the various sizes of stitched piece with black and white calico and then use the bright colors for sashing between the mostly black and white patches. I've been collecting the sashing fabric for a while, and have been trying very hard not to collect any more cat charts, as I think I currently have enough set up to do a king size quilt,  only they are so funny! I'll put a list of the charts I am using in a later article, in case anyone is interested.

Meanwhile, I've almost finished the Chrysanthemum from the Oriental flowers series, so will have to decide which flower to do next. Actually, I think it will be another yellow one, as the metallic gold backstitch is trickier because it is harder to see.

So, Hawaii...

This is a pretty close in picture of a white and yellow plumeria tree. They smell wonderful, and the flowers look artificial to begin with, mostly because they are so perfectly formed. They sell rooting stubs at the airport in Honolulu, so on your way home from this blissful gardener's paradise, you can take a piece or two home with you. Um, I picked up two "stubs", little branches that you take home, stick in some potting soil mixed half and half with sand and wait. Well, I got one pink and one yellow, and both have leaves growing out. I'm so excited. I feel like a Mom all over again. I also got lilikoi and guava seeds, and a red ginger root thingie, all of which have sprouted and are starting to grow secondary leaves.

This, I learned, is called a Heliconia. It is formed a bit like its much more famous/well known relative, the Bird of Paradise flower

which I have pictured here. Incidentally, my fifteen year old daughter took most of these pictures. Partly because once she had the camera in her hot little hands it took dynamite to dislodge it. So I finally gave up and let her at it. She is pretty good at framing, so I think I came out ahead.

This is called a traveller's palm, because water gets trapped at the base of the leaves and so if you know about it you can get a little drink if necessary. It is also a heliconia. I didn't get a good picture of the one with the flowers on it because I couldn't get close enough to the tree. And those fronds are something like 10 or more feet long. I think they look like some of the Hawaiian headdresses the dancers wear so this might be where they got their inspiration.

This is a closeup of a poinciana, albeit not a very good one. If you want to see a good picture of what the flowers look like, try this address. http://www.tradewindsfruit.com/royal_poinciana.htm. Tradewinds Fruit is where I got a bunch of seeds that I am currently waiting rather impatiently to sprout. Since a lot of them can take several months!!! to sprout, this is a lesson in patience for me (although the seeds I bought in Hawaii sprouted in a couple of weeks). Still, I like gardening. It is kind of like gambling, only less chance of losing entirely.

THE Magpie

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