$1Kat

$1Kat2Gray the cat approves of the $1,000 quilt.

$1Kat3 $1Kat4

 

 

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THE SINGER FEATHERWEIGHT IS NOT A CHILDREN’S TOY!

It is a cat toy.

Kittehs

cat on cat quilt

Lola models Il Gatto (Guernicat).

Lola and Gray being adorable:

Il Gatto

cat quiltIl Gatto, approx. 36″ by 48″. (It’s actually well squared with nice right angles, the photo distorts it because I held my wide-angle-lens snapshot consumer camera out over a bed to take the picture.)

This is my first all-traditionally-pieced quilt, no trapplique or applique, just squares and triangles sewn together with 1/4″ seams. Since I don’t get excited about traditional quilt designs, but wanted to try traditional techniques, I designed this insane vicious cat. After Kaye England’s class last month I bought some of her fancy acrylic rulers, a straight stitch plate for my Janome, and some cotton thread. They paid off: although the top isn’t perfect, it came together pretty darn well and hardly required any trimming.

For the eyes I did curved seams, which was tricky and imperfect but sufficient for this project.

cat quilt backAnd here’s the back. I free motion quilted simple spirals all over because they’re relatively quick and contrast with the straight seams.

I’m getting a little tired of FMQ on my domestic machine. I tried a sit-down 16″ long arm quilting machine a few weeks ago and loved it: it was fast, and I could really see what I was doing. Now I really feel the constraints of my Janome, especially how hard it is to see past about an inch. I have yet to try an articulated long arm on a frame, but that’s next. Will it be even more like drawing? Can I get some longed-for spontaneity into quilting with one of those?

Adorable Gray

An animated gif of the adorable gray cat (currently called “Gray” until his real name emerges) my Momz and I adopted from the Humane Society. He’s getting along well with Lola, whom we adopted a few weeks earlier.

Gray cat being adorable

Now we have 2 perfect cats, we’re not adopting any more.

Death and something new

Having sold one This Land Is Mine quilt and sent the other to my brother, it was time to make a new one. This is my first two-sided quilt. One side features the Angel of Death. The quilted outlines of the men killing each other give him texture.

This time I didn’t pre-wash the fabric, so the colors are very slightly brighter.

Another first for me: hanging tabs, so it can be hung from either side.

Death seemed like a fine piece to work on, since I’m grieving my beloved Bruno. That said, my Momz adopted a new cat from the shelter a few days ago. Her name is Lola, and she thinks my sewing machine is a toy.

I didn’t get pictures of her batting at the needle (it goes up and down! Toy!) last night because I shut off the machine and took her out of the room instead. These photos are from earlier today, as her interest was waning (which was why I was able to finish the quilt).

Lola is nothing like Bruno.  That’s one of the reasons we chose her. I’m not looking to replace Bruno, he is irreplaceable and I miss him terribly. Nonetheless Lola is an excellent cat. She is friendly, curious, and outgoing. She seems to completely lack any neuroses, which is unusual for her species. Also she is tiny and cute. She’d make a great therapy cat.

R.I.P. Bruno Schwartz, 2000(?) – March 1 2013

my beloved cat

Bruno circa 2007

I knew it had to happen some day. Bruno stopped eating a little over a week ago and when his decline went into suffering (his purr box broke near the end, it was heartbreaking) we were lucky enough to get an angelic female vet and assistant (Bruno likes women and is afraid of men) to perform the kindest, gentlest euthanasia at  at home. I have the flu so I was in bed with him his last several days; there’s nothing he would have wanted more, I think. I still have the flu, and a broken heart, but I’m very grateful for the 10 years of love this wonderful cat gave me.

Bruno Quilt

This small project took a long time to finish, because it’s hot and my interest in sewing has dropped precipitously. I only touched it every few days, and then usually for less than an hour at a time. Anyway, it’s done now, and on my floor:

Just like Bruno himself. Here’s the source photo, taken a few years ago but not at all an unusual pose:

And here’s what it became in fabric and thread:

It’s 30.5″ x 17″. Very small compared to what I’ve been making lately. Here’s the back:

This technique looks a lot better stretched, as in Air/Nude. But since the black side has contrasting thread, it’s OK.
The quilt came out smaller than I expected. Bruno is a huge cat, this quilt leaves the impression of a normal-size cat. Here’s Bruno being an art critic:
But before I got the camera out he was trying to sit on it, which I interpret as praise.

The Elusive Peanut

My friend Ken Levis named this beautiful, shy, wild yet affectionate creature “Peanut,” which may explain why she hides most of the time. I’m the only human other than Ken she will leave her hiding place in the closet for, and I’m cat-sitting this weekend. Peanut trusts me, but she doesn’t trust cameras, so I had to take these pictures from a distance with maximum zoom. If she finds out I turned her into this silly animated gif, she may never let me rub her belly again.


“Lexi” shirts

UPDATE: “Lexi” jump cycle (requested by Mike C):

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Pick your favorite “Lexi” T-shirt design, I’m only gonna produce one.

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(chosen design will be available in both men’s and women’s shirt styles, images below to show design on black and on white)

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A Very Bad Time

Infested

These last few weeks have been pretty awful. I am broke and homeless. Time I should be spending working on promoting my film – my only asset, my life’s work – has instead been consumed salvaging what I can from my apartment, bagging things in ziplocs, laundry laundry laundry, carrying stuff up and down and back and forth, throwing things out, calling exterminators, calling the landlord, calling friends, sleeping on a sofa, not sleeping on a sofa, taking showers and immediately changing into more ziploc-ed clothes, more laundry, wiping salvaged computer parts down with alcohol, weeping, talking to other tenants in my now-former building, confronting debt, canceling accounts, checking messages, begging for help, watching red bumps grow on my hands and arms (I have a delayed reaction to bed bug bites; it takes 9 days for the red welts to really blossom, then they linger a long time), reading bedbugger.com, reading craigslist housing ads, weeping some more, et cetera.

Continue reading A Very Bad Time

I’m back!

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Now I get to enjoy two glorious weeks in my favorite city in the World. Sita did very well in Europe, especially France – in addition to the Annecy prize, she won “Best American Feature” at Avignon. All of which takes some of the sting out of returning to a lost potential romance, a friend’s descent into alcoholism, and a bedbug infestation in my building (the exterminators come Friday). Still, I am overjoyed to be reunited with my beloved cat Bruno, and walk and bicycle in the city I love, bedbugs and all.

Here are some pictures of Novi Sad, Serbia, I took while attending the Cinema City film festival.

I miss my cat!

Truly, missing my cat is the biggest downside to all this traveling. They just don’t make ‘em as fat and cuddly as Bruno, here in Europe.

Other than that, I can’t complain. Today I’m off to Avignon.

Things I Call My Cat

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puss
pussy
pusser
pussy cat
pooty tat
pootae
potato
potato head
mr. potato head
potato cat
mr. cat
mr. boy
boy cat
boykit
babycat
kittybones
mr. fuzz
fuzzums
fuzzcakes
fuzz-lumps
mr. love
love cat
fuzz-potato
fuzzbucket
fur buckets
fuzzbucket-o-love
furbags
purrbag
purr box
sweetness
sweetcakes
sugar-cat
lovekit
kittums
kitten
kit-hen
kit-tay
gato
gato negro
chatul
kätzchen
muffin
pumpkin
pumpkin-head
my beloved
cat-head
catnip
catnips
nips
nipper
lovenips
mr. nip
mr. bite
cat0r
snuggums
snugs
potato boy
boogums
boogs
booples
boopus
boopy cat
boopums
shed-meister
sugar
sweetcat
stinkball
stink-butt
mr. disgusting
mahaatma
Brunito
Brunalito
Bruno

Kitten on the Keys

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Sweetpea is staying with me and Bruno again while her human is in Chicago.
Continue reading Kitten on the Keys