International Cat Day!

In honor of the day, I thought I would post some photos of my feline friends.

Our first cat, Squigglez, enjoyed 14 years in our house. This was much longer than we expected to have him. Shortly after adopting him, he was diagnosed with the cat version of Ehlers-danlos syndrome. EDS a connective tissue disorder that is caused by a genetic defect in the production of collagen. This weakens the skin, gastrointestinal system and heart. The average lifespan of a cat with EDS is five years. Even the slightest scratch can damage and tear the skin of affected animals, leading to scarring. Heart failure is the usual cause of death.  Amazingly, his heart remained strong, but sadly his GI system was too fragile and deteriorated with age.  But, we had many more years with him than we expected.

About a year later, we adopted another cat.  Comet was a really young kitten that was abandoned in the ditch near a friends farm.

My second son, Sam, adopted him as his own. Comet was incredibly playful and loved to run around – thus the name!

Comet also got along with everyone, human or pet.  Both Squigglez and Duke (our Yorkie who past away a few months ago) would allow him to eat and sleep near them.  That’s saying a lot because both of them were very independent and did not get along with any of our other pets.

Eleven years ago, Comet got out of the house one night. Now this wasn’t too unusual for him. Comet loved to roam the woods behind our house when it was dark outside. Usually around 5:30 am I would be awakened by him meowing as he walked through the front yard asking me to let him in. Unfortunately, one morning he never returned. We searched the neighborhood and contacted Eagan Animal Control, but he was not to be found.  Every Monday and Friday I would go by the South Metro Humane Society to see if he may have been taken there.  After six weeks, he was not to be found.

img_3203Each time I stopped at the Humane Society, I would spend some time in the cat room playing with the kittens.  After six weeks, I had fallen for one of the kittens that was really affectionate.  I decided I would adopt her.  However, this was early October and I was told that the Humane Society policy was not to adopt out black cats the weeks before Halloween (apparently there are some people that have done evil and cruel things to black cats at that time of the year).  Sadly, I left without her but I would return and visit her several times a week.  My plan was to adopt her after Halloween to take her home.  Luckily about a week before Halloween, the staff decided that I was not going to harm her and allowed me to adopt her earlier than I had anticipated.

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Onyx has since become my constant companion.  She is close by me almost all the time.  In fact, as I write this posting, she is sitting right next to my computer!  Of course, she is sitting on the computer case because it is the softest thing near me.

 

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Hopefully we have several more years to enjoy her companionship!

 

Moonscape

Last summer, my third son moved into a new apartment.  Prior to that, he had been renting a furnished room in a brownstone house in Brooklyn.  With this change, he needed to purchase some furniture, especially a bed.

Since I really enjoy designing new quilts, I asked him what he would like for a custom quilt for his new bed.  When expressing his ideas, he said he wanted a quilt that was not traditional block based, but rather something that was more flowing and organic. I suggested that he try to find an image of what he was thinking and asked that when he found something that he send it to me.

ForMomA few days later, I received an email with an image attached. The image was a topographical map of a section of the moon.  This was going to be a challenge – designing a quilt to represent this image!

After thinking about this challenge, I settled upon a modified bargello design. To help create that quilt, I printed out a copy of the map overlaid with graph lines.

The sewing of the quilt was probably one of the most difficult quilts I have made.  While there were no Y-seams, inlaid areas, or applique, the challenge was keeping the transition of eleven different fabric, ranging from medium grey to deep black, straight. There were numerous times when I thought to myself “I must be crazy”.

However, once the quilt was finished, I was very happy with the result.

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Embracing my son’s desire for a more “organic” design, I decided to do free motion quilting connecting each fabric along the topographical lines.

The thread for the top of the quilt was grey 50 wt cotton following the topography, and black 100 wt silk crosshatching on the black background. The thread for the back of the quilt was rose colored 50 wt cotton ( to mimic the topography lines of the original image) and grey 100 wt silk.

This is certainly a one of a kind quilt !