Friday, May 09, 2008

Year of the Rat Quilt

I'm not a huge fan of "rat". The chinese zodiac is riddled with serious translations of animals: boar vs. pig, ox vs. cow, hare vs. rabbit. Why the long face, chinese zodiac? Why so serious?

Who am to change tradition, so I'll stick with Year of the Rat. Here's the Year of the Rat quilt for my friend who's due with her second any moment now. (It is the year of the rat, right?)

This is my first quilt where I actually felt like I was being creative as opposed to some geometrical human calculator and a human guide for my sewing machine. I drew out the mice, um rats, and created the little appliques. I used fusible web, and then satin stitched around the edges. This was my first go at applique, so I wanted to go the easy route. The satin stitching took some getting used to, and boy does it take a lot of thread, but I liked the result.

I embroidered the tails and eyes, and thought better of including whiskers, and feet as I felt I wanted more of the idea of rat, than rats all over the quilt.

And then, the quilting. I started machine quilting on the rat blocks. (Oh God, I can't say it anymore. I'm switching over to mouse/mice.) Uh-hum, so I started machine quilting on the mouse blocks. I tried echo quilting on the first one, and then squiggly lines on the second block. They looked awful. The echo quilting made it look like a "kaboom! supermouse coming through!" The squiggly lines just seemed messy. So, I picked out the quilting - which I don't recommend - and hand quilted the four mouse blocks.

Finally, machine quilted the rest of the blocks in the same style as those fun coasters.

I love this quilt. I really wanted something muted and simple, but not boring.


quaint handmade said...

it is really wonderful. the design, the fabrics, and the quilting. oh, and the mice are so great!

Anonymous said...

ooooo ... is this for zc's sibling? s/he's going to LOVE it!! adorable.

Fer said...

So pretty and the mice/rats are too cute! I love the fabric you chose as well.

(Rufus48 de-lurking here!)