Saturday, February 07, 2015

In Honor of Bertie, Dinah, and Penelope

Chelsey turned 25 and my Eric and Carolyn got a new Puppy -- Awesome, pup,  Don and I have just been so excited to meet her.  Chelsey - still at 25 -- the baby of the family responds --" You never got this thrilled over my cats..."

Truth be told -- we're dog people.  Don and I both have grown up with dogs and never had cats.  I'm even a little afraid of them.  But when you love Chelsey-- it means loving all of her.... including her cats.

When she first moved to a new town, she was incredibly lonely.  Her apartment did not allow dogs. So while selling an ad campaign for the local animal shelter she rescued a cat that has 7 or 8 toes on each paw.  Bertie was an uncommon cat but loved Chelsey implicitly ---so she's ok in my book.  Tempermental --yes --- anti-social -- definitely-- but she and Chelsey made the odd couple look normal.

Chelsey realized with her long work hours that Bertie got lonely, so enter stage left--- Dinah.  A charming little calico that made Chelsey's home a darling threesome.  Life rolled on and Chelsey's Heart murmur started acting up.  Coupled her best friend getting married (a.k.a. her brother) Chelsey was just really struggling.  She took out her trash to the apartment dumpster one day and her a small voice and founded muddy Penelope four weeks old, wet, and cold. Chelsey called the shelter and they had picked up the Mom and six other kittens  found in the dumpster earlier.  They must have missed one.  Chelsey said she would bring her in on Monday.  She nursed on her all weekend and despite our saying, "Chelsey, you don't need three cats.." Chelsey's response was, "We're both in really bad places --- we need each other.""  Truthfully, she's my favorite....

So accepting her cats... I made her birthday gifts.   A Mug and Mug Rug along with Cross-Stitched picture I adapted to fit her three loved ones.

Chelsey had seen a  quilt similar to this one on Pinterest right after Christmas.  Making it for her was the only way to shut her up--- literally.  Instead of a Jelly Roll, I used 3.5 inch strips. The Pinterest one did not have a border either.  I wanted it big enough to keep someone warm.  Her living room is cream and black.  I googled 'cat silhouette' and printed out pics for the appliques.  

The appliques really intimidated me.  I was afraid they wouldn't look like cats.  I cut the pieces out and ironed on thin interfacing to stabilize them.  I'm not a 'needle-turn' applique fan  so I ironed under the edges and glued them down with a little elmer's glue stick and then machine appliqued them with a button-hole stitch.  I was going to do them by hand, but had procrastinated so with the dread of working with them so it was the logical choice.  Plus, I feel like they are really durable for tons of machine washings.  This is a quilt to be loved on---   Through naps and movies and bowls of popcorn.

Pictures don't show you -- but there are some really great fabrics in this piece.  I pulled from my stash, because of lack of time -- and because it's there to be used.

My favorite cat  and block -- Penelope.  Oops -- I need to cut that thread.

I brought it to her today.  Funny thing about being raised by a quilter.  The first thing she said was, 
"What did you put on the back???"

It reads:  
In Honor of Bertie, Dinah, and Penelope and the lessons they've taught you.
1. No one should ever be lonely.
2.  Everyone needs Friends.
3.  Sooner or later Everyone gets down in the dumps (ster)... but that doesn't mean you have to stay there.

Happy 25th Birthday.

10 comments: said...

Great story and I love your quilt it turned out fabulous! You did a wonderful job.

simplestitches said...

beautiful story! and beautiful quilt, Chelsey is a lucky girl...happy birthday!

Kathy in FL said...

You're the best Mom ever! And I bet Chelsey agrees!

Mary @ Neat and Tidy said...

All the gifts are so pretty. Nice job!

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

love the cat quilt! I love cats, but I do love big dogs too - I don't care for the little yippy dogs though :)

Kurt Schindler said...

What a meaningful birthday present and a wonderful story. Thanks for sharing.


Colleen said...

Oh Mel! It is really, really beautiful! I am not a cat person either... my daughter loves them. Whenever I find an exceptional cat pattern or piece, I always pick it up thinking it will be a great someday gift for her.

What a wonderful tag on the back... perfect!

journeying said...

fantastic....the entire saga!!! bless her little heart!

Tazzie said...

Ohh Mel hon, what a great quilt, and it has a wonderful story too!
Big hugs

quiltonia said...

I love your quilt, esp. the comment on the back about the dump(ster). A pet will lift your spirits with their unconditional love.