Quilt ADD in therapy

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Colorado, United States
Other than my family, the passion of my life is quilting. An eclectic, I love a wide variety of styles and techniques encompassing both machine and hand work. Instagram: lyncc_quilts

Friday, October 30, 2015

Desire to Inspire Project 3 - "Kitty Titty Power" & a Ruler Adaptation Tip


"Kitty Titty Power" 
made by Lynette Caulkins and Marissa Anderson
49 x 60 inches
fabrics: "Miss Kitty's Colors" by Marie Cole for Henry Glass, Kona background
Hobbs poly batting
quilted on a domestic Husqvarna Sapphire 875Q

Now, I know this quilt's name will be a bit rough for some folks, but getting cancer IS rough. It sucks, and it happens all too often. Anyone in their 40s with me or older has known someone personally battling one or another of those monsters if we've not had it ourselves. I've gone through a bout of the same lymphoma that killed my uncle and has challenged his son at least 3 times, and my mother died from a rare form of inflammatory breast cancer. Two of her sisters have had more common breast cancers. Rough words help dissipate the anger when you're in the fight, and if you can combine that roughness with humor, it's most effective! So I let the name stick instead of polishing it back into refined civility. This quilt's purpose is to provide bolstering support during an active battle with breast cancer, and the name is perfect in that context. 


(Not all of the prints in the collection are included)


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As the post title indicates, this quilt is project #3 in my Henry Glass Desire to Inspire challenge. I think I got to enjoy being in a little bit unusual spot in that I had about 3 months instead of 3 weeks to work through my challenge. In August I received a generous package with 3/4 yard cuts from each print in Marie Cole's "Miss Kitty's Colors" collection, with a full yard of the block-style feature fabric. I pulled together EIGHT seperate projects from that (sometimes paired with some solids from my stash), and still have some scraps left if time hadn't run out. I'll continue posting day to day, with tutorials thrown in here and there, through the list:

#1 - "Love from Above for Emma" - original design
#2 - Jaycee's messenger bag
#3 - "Kitty Titty Power" with ruler tip (you are here)
#4 - Miss Kitty Winter Receiver
#5 - Travel packing bags
#6 - "Kitty Shuffle" - original with tutorial
#7 - "Soft Kitty, Warm Kitty" - original with tutorial
#8 - Selvages - with tutorial

Do you think you would like to participate in the challenge? Typically, you have a 3 week time limit and are expected to produce one finished project, free to share more if you were able to do so.


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If I were making this quilt without a cancer patient support purpose, I would pair the collection with a pretty pearl or dove gray. That would set all the colors off beautifully, including the white prints, and pull out the grays in the cats and mice very nicely. 


But when I pulled out the pink Kona yardage I had in my stash to get some backing for Emma's quilt in Project #1 of this challenge, several thoughts came together. My projects were due in October, the breast cancer awareness month; this Marie Cole "Miss Kitty's Colors" had many lovely prints that would be super for the "Chopsticks" pattern I've been wanting to sew up for ages; Marissa needed a good community service project to work on for Civics class.


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RULER TIP: ADAPTING A RULER YOU ALREADY HAVE 

Let me share my process of working with the Jaybird Quilts "Chopsticks" pattern. It's a well-written pattern, by the way! Ideally, you would want to use the ruler it's written for, but if you're tight on funds, no worries. I couldn't spring for it at this time, so I just adapted the use of a triangle ruler I already have. If you are a beginner, I think this might be tricky. But if you have some experience already or are adept at spatial awareness, don't shy away from this kind of approach. (And please note that the pattern includes templates you could print out, so if you don't have any 60 degree triangle rulers at all yet, you can still make this pattern!

First I laid my ruler over the templates included in the pattern so I could find the measurement lines on it that matched the template sizes:
There really are two templates under there - they just hide under all those lines!

I marked each appropriate line with some quilter's highlighting tape I have, and I carefully penned notes to myself on each one so I would know which template that tape was for, and which side of the tape to use for the measurement:



That was perfect for most of the cuts needed, but for the longest pieces, my ruler wasn't quite large enough to get both long edges of the strips under it. That meant the cutting side of the ruler only extended halfway across the strip. Time for more MacGyvering - I just laid my small ruler carefully against the edge of the triangle ruler so that nothing moved. . .



. . . Then slid the triangle ruler aside enough to cut along the small ruler's edge:



Voila! That rigging allowed me to cut out my pieces for this pattern accurately without having to buy the associated ruler. (It's still on my "gifts Mom wants" list, though!)



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This quilt is going to be given to a woman fighting breast cancer through the hospital that provides services for the staff and families of the Air Force Academy as well as a myriad of active duty and retiree families in the Colorado Springs area. The pink speaks for itself to identify it as a breast cancer quilt (I've always hated the commercialism of all those pink ribbons, but you have to admit the social power of the pink). The triangles evoke strength and dynamic energy. And those kitties are just so darned friendly.



I wanted the quilting to allow a more comforter-like feel for this one. I also needed it to soften the starkness I often felt when contemplating the top. I wondered if simple wavy lines would do the trick for this, and they really did!  I used my walking foot and a wavy stitch on my machine for everything (don't forget to loosen the pressure of your presser foot - different from thread tension - when you are quilting instead of sewing, even when using a walking foot). I just followed each seam, and then on the hollow triangles I put in some super-wide echos. On the solid triangles, I quilted point-to-point between the halfway marks of each side to break up that space in a congruent way.




For the back, I had pieced the off-cuts from the side triangles into a strip. Everyone who sees it thinks it spells something. LOL  I guess it does kind of look like an abstract "ZOOM":



If I received this quilt, I would take it to every chemo appointment. And then I would want to wash it a lot. So the binding got machine stitched, which is highly unusual for me in non-children's quilts. There was a lot going on, color-wise and dynamics-wise, in this quilt, so I went with the background pink for that instead of my original plan for a super-soft framing of gray Minkee. (I found another place for that, though! - you'll see it in a couple of days.)



And this quilt's feline lover? - Isabeau adores it and settles down on it every times I get it out. Navarre only liked it when it was a flimsy for some reason. Go figure!






This is one of my Q4 Finish Along pieces (Link to my goal post)

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side









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Linking up at:

8 comments:

KaHolly said...

Great post, wonderful quilt, superior cause. You out did yourself this time!

Cath said...

I love the name! and the quilt....it is lovely...you would be lucky to find anyone these days that hasn't been touched by the dirty 'C' in some way but you have really been grabbed by it's evil claws. Great post Lynette.

JanineMarie said...

Wow, powerful post from someone who's been there. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your quilt, as well as info about the challenge. I really appreciate, too, how you shared your decisions about the design and construction of the quilt, and why you did what you did. I'm sure the quilt will be both treasured and well used.

Sandra Walker said...

This is such an interesting post from the name of the quilt (love), to the story behind the quilt, to your thoughts on fabrics, (will check back to see what you are doing with the Minky), how to use a different ruler to make the quilt work (funny I did that in my TGIFF post today too!) and of course, I love seeing your kitties on the quilt. Navarre sounds just like my Bella, who loves and tests out every quilt, though right from fabric pulling to final finish! Thank you too for the info on the Henry Glass challenge. I will check that out, as I love their fabrics and own a fair bit of yardage!

Quiltdivajulie said...

Wonderful - great post and great quilt.

Heidi said...

Beautiful quilt and story! I saw your post yesterday and was so impressed with your challenge creations, and now I am excited to see what you have to share the rest of the week! I am in love with the fabric line and think it is great coincidence that you received it for your challenge fabric!

Dona said...

Great post, Lovely quilt, Thank you!!!

akainik said...

Beatiful quilt and cats!!