Wednesday, December 14, 2005

How to use a fabric that you just can't cut.

A big picture & a close-up! (YAY!)
This quilt is titled "The Tabbies Take a Trip Around Tokyo." (in the close-up below you can see that the cats are wearing kimonos.) The title is written into the top inner border with thread as part of the quilting, with my name, the date, and location quilted into the bottom inner border. (the sides have leaves.

I took this class with a local teacher, Norma Campbell (twice). My guild hired her to teach the class & I signed right up. I knew I wanted to use a cat print. At the time I also found Asian prints. So when Tokyo Tabbies was printed - I bought a lot....

I needed 24 half yards for the class, so I pulled from my stash & made some purchases from Then I took what I had to my local quilt shop and finished purchaseing the 24. (That is why I have a big band of rust....)

I got to class and there were a lot of fabric selections that "made sense." (you know light to dark purple and green, all Robyn Pandolf, Americana, etc.) and then there was mine... I had to show my "inspiration piece" for my fabric to make sense for my fellow classmates. In the class we made 1 quadrant..... And I stalled.... not sure why, but I signed up for the second go around (our guild had a lot of interest in this class.) so that I could get going again. I finished it soon after the second class.

Norma, has an unusual way of putting the quadrants together, but she also has you making loops - yes this is strip pieced - my earlier forays into Trip Around the World used squares.... And she shows you how to make the quilt rectangular - mine is square. (I gave the left-over loops to a friend who makes funky bargello quilts.)

The quilting is Stitch in the Ditch and some leafy "rounds." The leafy design was chosen becasue in addition to the Asian feel, this quilt alaso has an Autumnal feel. But the cats were treated like appliques with stipples in the background and tracing around the actual cats. I LOVE IT! (Quilting by our very own JudyL.)

Oh yeah, back to my original post idea.... I used 10 inch wide strips of the cat fabric in the border - so I could see the cats. If I had tried to piece with them, they would have been all chopped up & that would not have please me very much at all.

Other idea for using fabrics that you just can't cut....
There is a book, "Just Can't Cut It" by Pamela Mostek that I have not read....
There is a pattern that I purchased, "Just Can't Cut It" by All Washed Up.
Here is a free pattern from Quiltmaker magazine: Animal Crackers
that uses a big square of fabric.
You can fussy cut the fabric and piece with it in traditional quilt blocks like Attic Windows and Hole in the Barn Door.

I am sure there are other ideas floating out there..... Care to share any with me?


Nancy said...

LOL! I have this fabric. LOTS of it. One of my wannabes is to make fan blocks with some of my orientals. Those will be alternate with blocks of the kimona cats appliqued on black. The rest of the kimona kitties will probably be wide borders. And if I remember correctly I bought enough of a companion to it to use for the back. The ULTIMATE use for a can't-cut-it fabric.

Deb R said...

Cool quilt, Amy! And I like the title. :-)

gerrie said...

Amy - this is wonderful - as you know, not something I would do - so I really admire your work. I love the cats in the kimonos!

Samantha said...

Fun quilt! I had to take a tumbling blocks class twice to finally finish the quilt... So i get it totally!

Barb said...

Very nice! After Christmas I'll get started on simple quilts again. I may even join a guild. So how do you like blogging? I see you're still not using the hyper links I taught you (tsk, tsk, lol). No need to have a website posted on your blog--just use the hyper link. What else is up with you? How are the wedding plans going?

Laurie Ann said...

Love that quilt! Also like the links for the pattern for the can't cut it fabric. I have some dog fabric like that. You and Nancy let yourselves collect cat fabrics and I let myself collect dog fabrics. Funny! We really love our pets, huh?!!

Tropical Screamer said...

What a wonderful quilt. I managed not to buy the Cats in Kimonos, but it was so hard. I'm glad I got to see them in your quilt.

I have a piece of Maneko Neko (Lucky Cat) fabric that is really too busy to use in a very big piece. I used squares of it in my Lucky Cat quilt. I think I'm going to fussy cut characters from the quilt for a Hexagon Quilt.

Thank you again for the wonderful pictures.


Laurie said...

I'm not a cat fan, but that quilt is so RICH in the color choices! SUPER job! And you picked one of the best longarmers in the good ol USA to quilt it! ;)

Bonnie said...

It's a great quilt amy! How wide were your strips cut for the quilt center? The cat fabric in the border is great!


Evelyn aka Starfishy said...

Hi Amy - this is a wonderful, wonderful quilt! So intricate! And whimsical with the cat border. It does make sense to piece it in quadrants. How lucky that you got to take the class 2X so you could finish it and really enjoy it!

You are so sweet to leave nice comments on my blog about my Trip Around the World - mine is so easy and quick compared to yours. Maybe it was a good practice piece for me to work up to something as detailed as yours!


Evelyn aka Starfishy

Debra Spincic said...

Good looking Quilt!

Holly said...

I, too, am wondering how wide your strips were cut -- those squares look pretty small! Beautiful. I like the colors alot and the border is FUN!

Tonya R said...

I love your fabric choices - the quilt has a lovely feel. Great border fabric and I love how you left it wide.