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Monday, May 14, 2007

How Does She Do It?


Today I took pictures as I made a cat. I thought you might be interested in how they evolve.
I start with a picture, this time from the internet. I don't worry about copyrigt because the final product will bear almost no resemblance to the original. I draw squares and triangles on the picture so I can see how I need to cut the fabric. I love the tilt on the head on this one but that is going to be a challenge to do.

I start with the head, in this case a 2.5 inch square and add white to the corners to make the faces more triangular. The white will be part of the white bib. I decided that I would do free-standing ears so I drew them on the back of a doubled scrap, sewed around the shape, cut them and turned them. Now I will place them on the corners and sew green background scraps over them so the head will look more rounded at the top.

Oh, oh. I have a problem. I didn't leave a wide enough space on the left side to be able to sew the background fabric there. What to do? Most people would take the ear off and re-do it but I thought I would try just folding the ear back a bit. It turned out so great that I undid the other ear and folded it too. Mistakes often turn out to be the best part.

Now I have cut the white bib at an angle and added the front legs. The bib part had to be cut at an angle so the head would be tipped as in the picture. For the leg I took a rectangle of brown and added triangles of green on each side. It took a couple of tries to get the right look. Looking back, I wish I had made brown angles on the white bib so it wouldn't be so square. It's one of those things that you notice when it's all done and think that next time you'll do it diffenently. It would require ripping back to nearly the beginning to change it now.

Now the back of the cat is on. It was a rectangle with a green triangle on the front and then I also added one on the top back to make it look rounder.

Now I thought it needed back legs and front feet. I made a strip with brown and green to sew on the bottom. It took about 6 tries before I got it right. Sometimes what looks the easiest is actually the hardest to do. You will notice in the last picture that I did some work on the front foot so it doesn't look quite so angular.

Last, I made a tail and attached it when I put on the green border all around. I haven't decided whether in the end the tail will go forward around the feet or to the back as in the picture. Both look all right. I guess it will depend on what is in the square behind it. I make the final border quite wide so I have lots of leeway for squaring the whole piece.
When I see this cat online, the square white bib is really bugging me so I may take it apart and at least put a brown triangle on the left side. That would only require undoing one seam. Of course, if I go back that far I might as well do both sides. Stay tuned.

18 comments:

Karen said...

Wow, that is incredibly artistic. Naturally love the little ears the best!

Carole said...

You are quite talented. Thank you for sharing! Happy quilting!

flippytale Quilter said...

Amazing! I love kitty's expression, I definitly LOLed!

flippytale Quilter said...

Amazing! I love kitty's expression, I definitly LOLed!

quiltpixie said...

great tutorial! Hope you can get the bib "looking right" for you without too much ripping back.

Molly said...

Please don't be offended, but your cat looks to me a little bit like a startled kangaroo.......wearing a bib...about to dine, perhaps?

atet said...

oooh, thanks for the lesson! It's great to see how these come together!

dot said...

Thanks for showing us how to do your neat animal work. If I find the time, between my other projects, I just might have to try this. Your are very clever.

anne bebbington said...

Joyce, that's amazing - you've taken Tonya's freeform piecing to an artform - I'm sooo impressed and I just love that cat - you can almost hear him purring :o))

Lori (A.K.A. Elkhoundmom) said...

It is great to see how you do that! What a great technique (cute kitty, too).

Tracey @ozcountryquiltingmum said...

Thanks, that was great, like how you draw on the original picture, I would just jump right in and have disaster! Tracey

KCQuilter said...

Wow, what a great tutorial! You have really helped me to visualize this process.

Fiona said...

That is one cool cat!

Libby said...

That is really cool - thanks for sharing the process. May even have to give it a try *s*

paula, the quilter said...

Wow, thanks for the great tutorial, Joyce. I just think you are having way too much fun doing the freeform blocks. LOL!

Tazzie said...

Joyce, thank you so much for sharing the technique. You do really amazing work, and the kitty is just gorgeous!
*hugs*
Tazzie
:-)

Jane Ann said...

Thank you for the tutorial, Joyce! Wonderful job.

Jenni @ Fairybread said...

Very interesting Joyce. Something to file away in the back of the brain.