The Cat in the Hat / 2017

Hello Piece O’ Cake People! I am Becky’s daughter-in-law, Lorna. And here’s my first quilt story.

2016 was rough for me, especially the last part of it. Stress was a real issue. So as we went into 2017, one of my goals was to make a quilt. It killed several birds for me: to stretch my mind and learn something new, to do something that made me happy and fulfilled, to connect better to my mother-in-law and my work.

Becky started me on my quest in style. She gave me some fabric she had been saving without a purpose, and pointed me at her fairly new piecing book, Piecing the Piece O’ Cake Way Revised Second Edition. I used the first project, Fields & Fences, for the quilt top. Through the year, I made progress in spurts.

For the quilt top, I “followed the recipe.” Because I had vastly different fabric than the instructions called for, I did get to use a lot of creativity in the color combinations. Once I had everything cut, I would switch the strips around over and over and over. I used the yellow and white fabrics as my accents. I don’t have a design wall (yet), sometimes I’d stand on a chair and take a picture of them from above, look at it, and move them around again.

One of the pieces she had given me had these large whimsical pictures, so I decided to cut them out, frame them with extra strips, and put them on my quilt back. That was totally like unloading the refrigerator and using everything I could to make something weird and delicious.

I did have to run to the store of Becky, and I was surprised and delighted that her gorgeous batik worked to fill in either side of the quilt back.

I made mistakes, I had to fix things, and I learned a lot.

When I texted Becky a picture to let her know I was FINALLY basting, she let me know I was basting TOO MUCH. Then it all moved quicker.

I love piecing, and I think I did a pretty good job. Now quilting… So, I machine quilted on my Singer 401A with the walking foot. It performed beautifully, I performed terribly. I mean, I’m not exaggerating, the quilting is very bad.

But it got done, actually in early November. So I figured I was golden. I had fortuitously found more of The Cat in the Hat fabric for the binding in a thrift store in Fayetteville, AR, in October.

Leading up to Thanksgiving, my dad was in the hospital, and then, you know, holiday stress. Still, I just knew I’d get to it, if not before, certainly by the time Chris went on Christmas break. Duh duh duhhhh. My health had been a bit dodgy through the year, some annoying, inconvenient stuff, but the Saturday after Thanksgiving it really hit, and I’m still dealing with fatigue as I’m recovering.

When the new year rolled around, it made me sad that my quilt was not done. Becky offered several times for Steve (my father-in-law) to hand-sew the binding for me, but I had planned from the beginning to do it all myself. Finally, I asked him. And there’s a reason Steve does most of the bindings on Becky’s quilts. He’s really crazy good at it. It’s the only perfect thing on my quilt.

2017 was another roller coaster, but in all honesty, so much more hopeful and fruitful than 2016. I love my family, I love my friends. I’ve had the opportunity to see beauty and generosity all around me. I’m proud of my world. AND I’m ready to make another quilt!

26 thoughts on “The Cat in the Hat / 2017

  1. Congratulations Lorna! Very nice! I wish Steve would come do my bindings. I always feel like I’ll never get all the way around the quilt!

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  2. Lorna — I absolutely LOVE your quilt. You did a fantastic job on it and should be proud. Doesn’t matter that it took a whole year. The fact is YOU DID IT !!! And the best part is that you’re ready for another one! I hope your health improves soon!

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  3. Great job Lorna! All quilts tell a story, even if it’s only completely known by the maker! Thanks for all you do for all of us who order on the website. Here’s my hope for a healthy and relaxed year for you and all those around you.

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  4. Congratulations on completing your first quilt!. Finishing a quilting project always feels good and I know your family will love using this quilt. Great job. Hope you are inspired to continue.

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  5. Your story and quest touch my heart. I am thrilled that you found quilting to be a therapy, it is so much for me as well. Sometimes my therapy becomes my addiction, but that is my husband’s opinion. LOL. I so hope your health stays in a positive uphill manner. Will keep you in my prayers. Becky is a special lady and you are truly blessed that Steve can do your bindings, because those are the worst part of making the quilt in my truthful opinion, no machine to do the work for you.

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    • This made me laugh – if I was every going to be addicted to something, I think quilting would be awesome! Becky and Steve were always good people, but I had no idea when we got married that they would be such incredible in-laws. People don’t even know… generosity of spirit definitely applies.

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  6. You also touched my heart. Im older (as you see I didn’t say OLD) however that is what I am. I too have had many health issues and after loosing a son I have not been able to get back to sewing..I have had a counselor tell me JUST DO IT as it is good therapy. Ive tried several times and now it looks like we will be moving probably within the next 3 months. So now time is an issue however after reading your blog I know time is on my side. I have several quilts I need to finish but I think Im going to do one like you have as it would be FUN…..so I have many books by your mother in-law so I am going to see if I have the one you referenced. So thank you for your inspiration.

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    • Oh Judy, my deepest sympathy to you. We say, life is hard, but that’s not adequate. It’s awful sometimes. No words. I agree with your counselor! I’m so glad you’re jumping in. Becky in general makes things more simple and doable, and also fun. It’s not lost on me, how lucky I am, to have her for a mother-in-law. I saw your note in our store, thank you. I hope you get a quilting fix quick! Take care, and keep in touch!

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  7. Goodness, Lorna, your first quilt is TWO quilts! I am impressed! After hearing about you from Becky (all good, not to fear), it’s so fun to see that the bug has bitten you and you are now quilting, too. I see many wonderful quilts in your future!

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  8. You did a good job! To finish is something we all struggle with. Starting is the easiest part and there is nothing wrong with asking a friend(even your FIL) for help. Congrats to finishing! Here’s to a better 2018!

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