February 10, 2008

I was looking at Jacquie's blog the other day and came across the Disappearing Nine Patch and thought, 'hey, that looks pretty cool', so thought I'd do a few test pieces. I checked out the tutorial at this site and thought it looked really easy and had interesting results.

So, I looked through my stash and thought, 'what fabric would I not mind cutting up and making mistakes so that I'd have to just throw it out' - I often think like that, so I sometimes get stuck in deciding which fabrics are disposable and what project to make. For example, sure I can do the disappearing nine patch, but then what? What do I make? No babies around, so not a baby quilt, I have too many cat quilts, don't really want a bed-sized quilt in this pattern ... I sometimes get stuck thinking that everything I make should be functional as well as aesthetically pleasing. I decided this time to not get too sidetracked by that and just picked up the red I had used in one of the cats quilts

Then I had to decide what to put with it. It is a cheaper fabric somewhat loosely woven, one I think I inherited from my mom's stash. I found another one of my mom's fabrics that I really like:

But it's a higher-quality fabric - more tightly woven - and therefore would last longer than the red in whatever it is that I'm making. So I kept looking and found another fabric from my mom:

This seemed to be a good one - same weight as the red and same looseness of weaving. So that's what I went with.

I cut 2 1/5" strips of both the red and the other fabric, then sewed two strips together and added the opposite strip on the other side - for example, I sewed a pink/green/blue strip to a red strip then sewed another pink/green/blue strip onto the other side of the red. Then I did the opposite - sewing a pink/green/blue and a red strip together then sewed another red strip onto the other side of the pink/green/blue strip. I ironed out all the seams and cut the pieces into rectangles:

I layed out the red/pink/red and pink/red/pink rectangles on the cutting mat beside the sewing machine and began sewing them together - much more fun than cutting, in my opinion. Then my cat Lenny (remember his picture in an earlier post?) came in from outside, where it is very cold, and jumped up onto the cutting mat, his long, thin tail laying on top of the pink/red/pink rectangles. He lounged around waiting for me to pay attention, but I kept sewing. He's been very annoying of late, waking us up 3-4 times a night anywhere between 2 and 5:30 a.m. every morning! I've really wanted to give him a good shaking at times. Of course I never have. In Nietzche's book, "On the Advantage and Disadvantage of History for Life", he talks about animals remaining in the present, how they are "enthralled by the moment and for that reason [are] neither melancholy nor bored." He goes on to say that this is exactly the type of life humans want but we are incapable of having such a life because we have memory and therefore history, whereas animals don't. And if a human asked an animal why it didn't talk to her about its contentedness instead of just staring at her, the animal would want to explain about happiness, but it couldn't because not only does it immediately forget what it was going to say, it also immediately forgets the topic of conversation. That's what I think happens to Lenny - he forgets that I want him to be quiet immediately after I 'shush' him. So he was laying there being himself, and I began to notice a particular smell that is associated with male cats even if they've been neutered, which he has. He sat up and began cleaning himself, paying particular attention to his tail. Lenny has a looong tail that very cutely sort of curls at the end. It's somewhat endearing, however, it has sometimes posed a cleanliness hazard, and that was the situation tonight. I shooed him off the table and picked up one of the rectangles his tail had been on and sure enough there it was: the unmistakable smell of cat pee. Lenny will sometimes pee standing up - spraying, it's called - equally marking his space as relieving himself, and sometimes when he does this, he sprays the tip of his tail that is hanging over. Yuck. He did that tonight then put his dirty tail on a couple pieces of my fabric and on my cutting board. I put those fabric pieces in the garbage, wiped down the cutting board and cleaned his dirty tail. Until recently I had a "no-cat-on-the-sewing-table" policy, but I thought since they don't really bother me too much just sitting or sleeping on the table, why not let them on? Well, here's one REALLY good reason to not let Lenny on.

Here he is, already forgotten what he's done - just stretching his little paw out for me to touch.

After that interlude I returned to the 9 patch. I sewed the rectangles together and made several blocks, then ironed them out. Notice the problem? Have a look at the tutorial again.

I noticed it right away, and laughed and laughed. I must have some sort of patch/block dyslexia as I do this quite often - reversing the position of patches/blocks. Oh well, I thought, what the hell. I then cut them into quarters and

began arranging them in various layouts. What do you think?
It was good to get something done today, finally. It seems as if it's been a long time since I've been in the sewing room. Hope you all are getting into your sewing rooms as often as you'd like. Until next time, keep your foot on the dogs.


Jacquie said...

This is so cool! The versatility of this block just astounds me. I like all of the layouts, but the first one really hits me as the most interesting. Thanks for mentioning my blog...I almost fell over!

Jacquie said...

I tagged you. If you want to play...great...if not it's just my way of saying you have a great blog and I appreciate your stopping by. Have a great weekend.