I took up machine quilting in a serious way two years ago, so that I could finish more than one quilt per decade, and I decided I should make a quilt specifically for the cats, one that I could throw in the washing machine and use until it falls apart. After all, in the winter, it's so nice to read on the couch while lying under a quilt with a warm, cozy cat on top! This quilt was the result:
I used a simple, yet versatile and dynamic, four-patch block that I saw in QuiltLover's Etsy shop. Yellow and orange strips in some of the rectangles added a little extra pizazz.
The quilt is entirely machine-quilted, with YLI smoke-colored invisible nylon thread, since I was just learning and afraid to let the stitches show too much. With the free-motion quilting, I discovered that the tension went wonky when I moved in the left-right direction. The solution was to invest in a straight-stitch throat plate, which limits the bobbin thread's range of motion and keeps the tension in check. It does mean that now whenever I want to use a zig-zag stitch, I have to remember to change the throat plate, or I'll break a needle. What would I do without Harriet Hargrave for advice?
I love the inner border fabric, a Daiwabo design (from the Cara Collection Serenity line) in gradations of gray:
I've used this fabric in another quilt, and I bought some more the other day, in two colorways. I think I might have to hunt down an even bigger stash, before it disappears.
The back of the quilt has another story behind it, which I will tell in my next blog entry.