Back in June. I started doodling cats. Yes, I prefer to doodle in pen 😊 Those doodles became the launching point for my “All the Purrs “pattern. Which quickly morphed into the “All the Grrs” pattern, because, if cats…why not dogs? Which then went spinning into “Gurrs and Purrs”. Can you see the beginning spiral into Summer frenzy? Could I do it? Were my Tester up to it, or would there be mutiny? We had a giggle at that, they are such wonderful folk and real troopers.
A fellow quilter in the FatCat Patterns group had shown a quilt block where she used flannel for applique. Man, that looked really nice! I made a trip to the local quilt shop to just “look” at flannels. Flannels had never been on my quilting radar before. I was AMAZED! Fat Quarter frenzy took over. To make things even better, for every 12 fat quarters purchased you got 1 free. 39 different prints followed me home that day. Got home and tossed them into the washing machine. What a nightmare! Had to happen though as the sizing and preservatives used break me out in some serious hives. Finally, they were trimmed, ironed and folded. Behaving as fabric should.
Now, due to the fact that I totally absorbed in a creative tsunami…I worked all three patterns at the same time. Sleep was not happening. Imagination was full steam ahead. It took a solid week just to trace all the patches. Another week to fuse and cut them. Carefully keeping each project separated into its own pile. Noses and Mouths got pre-assembled on the Teflon pressing sheet
The other patches were easy to place without any pre-assembly. FINALLY, I could sleep. One solid night of undisturbed rest. Jon even took care of walking the boys at 2 am. I was soo refreshed that next morning! The feeling of frantic creation had gone away and I could work at a normal pace. Till the next night that is. While sleeping I was quilting in my dreams. I was appliqueing down the cats and dogs. Know what they did??? Those suckers turned into GNOMES and woke me up. 1 am in the morning and I was deep into Electric Quilt revamping the pattern file to become “Here We Gnome Again”. Seriously, a glutton for punishment. You guessed it, another trip to the quilt shop for red flannel, a day of tracing and fusing…then peace. No more quilting dreams. The next few weeks are a blur of marathon applique sewing. All four projects at the same time. Trying my best to keep them all in the right piles. Sometimes the cats and dogs would visit each other and need sorting out again. The first top to get finished was Here We Gnome Again. Misery loves company though. So in July, I kicked off the Summer Sew-Along 😊 Soon many of you were actively stitching along with me! Friday, release day, became a highly anticipated event. Seeing everyone’s finished blocks became the highlight of my mornings. And I continued to stitch down applique. By August two more quilts were finished. “All the Gurrs” and “Purrs and Gurrs”. As of this writing “All the Purrs” has just the faces left to applique. I ran out of steam, lol. A much-needed break allowed me to put the finishing touches on the pattern files and release them September 1st. Now, I need to get back to the machine and finish off those Purrs!
I am here today to announce a change in how I share ongoing projects.
Many of you have seen the scamming sites that lift artwork and pictures from pattern designers. Then use them to sell a fake quilt. This has caused me such headaches. The only way I can personally combat this theft and misuse is to not put artwork out there to be lifted!
Instead of sharing free BoMs with images of the blocks each month on my website, I will now be hosting Sew-Alongs.
What is a sew-along? Well, it is a lot like the BoMs I have offered for years. Except that you do not need to remember to visit my website and download blocks. Instead, you are joining an email newsletter that will automatically send you the download link each time a block is released.
The BIG change? A one-time fee that guarantees email delivery right to your inbox. By the end of the sew-along, you will have the complete pattern set! If you are joining late, any blocks already released will be waiting for you. You will not miss a thing! Although you do want to register early, for with the release of each new block the one-time registration fee will increase slightly, (never to exceed the cost of the complete pattern).
Show and Tell, and personal announcements of block releases will be offered in my FatCat Friends group over on Facebook.
Alright, so why charge a registration fee?
Basically, because newsletter type emails cost money to send out 🙁
And there is the fact that when we have to pay for something, we value it a little bit more.
We tend to care more. I am desperately hoping this will translate into folks paying attention to copyright.
This has been a hard decision for me to make. I have been sharing free patterns and BoMs for over 20 years now. I am trying really hard not to feel like I am letting you guys down!
Ever since I brought home the Pfaff I have had a difficult time sitting and sewing. The machine is big and I am short. Let’s add to that I am also cheap and cannot justify one of the elaborate sewing tables. One evening I got a bright idea! I started looking at antique vanities on the FaceBook Market Place.
I found this diamond in the rough about an hour away from us. Jon was Mr. Wonderful and dedicated a full Saturday to drive me to pick it up and drag it inside here. The mirror needed a lot of TLC. It had separated from the backing and was not secured into the frame. That saddened me, but Jon was 100% confident he could repair it and make it even better than original. We got her moved into the bedroom corner. Next was a good cleaning and a rub down with lemon oil. Some of that wood really needed a drink! The fun part was next. Moving all my sewing gadgets and gizmos into the drawers. Finally, placing the Pfaff into the center cubby.
A few weekends later Jon got to work on the mirror. That baby is HUGE!
Four foot across and so pretty. He removed the old nails. Added in some shims as bracing. Then some of that foam sheeting you pack dishes in. Finally, he drilled new holes and screwed the backing into place. He was right! It is now very stable and secure. It is so nice to have a handyman at my beck and call 🙂
With my old desk, I could not lower my chair in order to reach the sewing machine. The vanity allows my machine to sit almost Seven inches lower!
This allows me to sew more comfortably and for longer periods of time.
In order to use my extended bed, Pfaff had to be raised up on a cut board and a book 🙂 Book will be replaced with another board soon. This allows everything to sit level. And I really need to sew up a pretty little machine skirt to hide the ugliness.
Here we are all set up and snugged into my sewing corner!
So for my Thrifting friends here is the breakdown.
It has now been almost 2 years since the transfer and I opened up a box labeled UFO projects. Much to my horror, I discovered that crickets had gotten into the box somewhere along the way, and had eaten holes into my unfinished Fiesta blocks!
Then I figured if I was going to remake the quilt, why not let you sew along with me?! The pattern has gone through a revamp, so now offers a borderless (Siesta) version also. The patches have also been marked with color names. It is also not as hard of an applique pattern as it appears to be.
As I am making this for myself, my top is not going to be made in the given color scheme. Instead, I am going with something that matches my current decor. This is where labeling the patches with their specific color comes in handy. You can easily change schemes yourself just by changing the colors written on the patches. I will show you a couple of options 🙂
So how do you get the blocks???
Each month on the 1st I will upload the free block for that month. Just visit www.fatcatpatterns.com to order and download your block. If you are interested come join us at FatCat Friends on Facebook to chat and share pictures of your progress.
So how can we make this project easier?
If you do not already have one, see through Teflon pressing sheets are a true time saver in Fusible Applique. The ones I use are from Ruspepa and can be found on Amazon here. Here is a picture of some of my pre-assembled patches using a pressing sheet. Once they cool off you just peel them off of the sheet. You can then easily move the patches around on your base block for correct placement! Fabric choice can make things go smoother too. Batik fabrics are very popular now. They do not fray as badly and you keep a nice crisp edge while cutting and sewing. I am using a batik for my background fabric and the green in my blocks. The pattern shows a layout diagram on each block page. So I have cut all of my blocks and then ironed them into quarters so the creases will act as guides for my patch placement. These are big blocks! Having the ironed creases for guides will let you place your pre-assembled patches with ease. If you are not pre-assembling your patches, you can still do this 🙂 just take your time. Here is my block # 1 placed and waiting to be ironed down.