Friday, November 15, 2013

JW's: "Connoiseurs of Comfort"

This 'cat comfort' photo collage was inspired by a quote from British author and Yorkshire Dales country veterinarian ~ James Herriot.
(1916-1995 aka: James Alfred ‘Alf’ Wight)
     “Cats are the connoisseurs of comfort.”    

My daughters cat ‘Oscar’ debuts in the collage’s upper right-hand corner.  She begged the question, “How can this possibly be comfortable?”  You will wonder the same when you view the outrageous poses cats visually define as their Comfort Zone.  I cannot help but smile.

Hours of computer manipulation and photo cropping helped me achieve the look I sought.  Unfortunately I can’t share how it happened because note taking proved fruitless.  I hope I can repeat my printing process for reverse images and text in future efforts! 

Transferring the Image:  Ink Jet printing on Crafter’s Images™ Photo Fabric™ 100% Silk Habotai (purple package) is fine if you desire a more fluid image but does not display sharp photo clarity.  Further image definition is literally washed away in the cold water rinse to remove excess printer ink.  Photo Fabric™  does allow you to print without reversing your images, which is why I chose it first.   This sheer fabric  requires spray basting or light fusible for easier handling prior to quilting.
(apologies for the blurred photo - my camera needs replacing)
Top transfer is on a T-Shirt Transfer sheet.  Bottom left transfer is on Silk Habotai.  Bottom right is a paper print out for comparison.

My second attempt on Avery Personal Creations™ T-Shirt Transfer Sheets for Ink Jet Printers (teal package) required flipping the image (and text) separately before printing. The results were beautiful and no rinsing is required.  This transfer product has a somewhat glossy sheen when dry ironed to cotton or cotton/poly blend fabric but can be dulled down according to enclosed directions.  It does have a slight plastic feel which is ideal for washable items.  Note: I did not trim the 1/4” white border around my collage before transferring to fabric.

Construction: Fusible Pellon was ironed to the backside of the quilt top.  Quilt basting spray was applied to the wrong side of the backing fabric and then hand pressed to the back of the Pellon before a light iron pressing.

Finishing Details:  Machine straight stitched with white quilting thread and smoke colored mono filament in the bobbin around each photo.  I use my machines Even Feed foot and a 75/11 quilting needle.  After straight stitching just inside the 12” square quilt edge, I trimmed the quilt to size before machine button hole stitching the eyelash yarn edging.  I twisted 3 colors together and secured with clear mono filament top thread.  Scrabble game tiles were sanded on the backside before gluing to the quilt surface with E6000® multipurpose adhesive.  (I recommend buying in small size because it thickens over time once opened.)

Cat fabric had to go on the back of course with a label I made several years ago that seemed just right for this  occasion.  Notice the cat/comfort correlation.  This will most likely become a Friends of Pets silent auction item.

This was my first quilt project produced in my newly remodeled quilt studio.  Check out photos of the makeover on my WedeWorks blog.


  1. Wow! Spectacular! I love love love it, and I am not even a cat person. I have lots of questions but think I'll email them and not take up room here--chiefly about your products. But this is so different, so original, and you're making ME feel better about using photographed imagery in my own quilt! Love the eyelash yarn edging, so perfect for this!

  2. What an ambitious creation. It's wonderful. So many great elements, and so much love put into this quilt. Love the scrabble pieces, the eyelash fringe edging, and who does not love cats!!!! I am going to study this for a while. :)

  3. This is great Judy!! Cats surely do redefine comfort don't they?? The collage is nicely arranged and I love the addition of the scrabble tiles and eyelash yarn. They add just the right finishing touches to your very unique piece.

  4. Thanks for the photos of the cats and the quotation. So funny, the head of my JQC last night just found her daughter is no longer allergic and is so excited to be getting a Maine Coon cat on Monday. I am envious.I think those poses can be developed into further art work. I wish I could enlarge them even more. Fun!

  5. The cat photos are hysterical. So much fun. I love the eye lash edging and the scrabble pieces

  6. HI Sistah ! Great job, as usual ! I can only imagine the hours it took to get all those cat photos in place, and the experimentation you did with the different products. Do you still have that Cat Quilt wall hanging we exhibited in Anchorage ? I LOVED that one, and I think the other MMs would enjoy seeing it too .... It was literally... the Cat's Meow ! I'll check your blog to see your new studio ... totally exciting :-D Bunches of love to you, Sistah ! Kath

  7. Who could not help but smile? This is such a fun and beautiful quilt. We do not have a cat as family members are allergic and Dear Husband is definitely not a cat person. I can almost see a kitten batting at the eyelash trim with its paw. Love it!

  8. Great quote from James Herriot. So fun to see all the photos and the way you used the eyelash yarn to create a furry frame. Fun use of the scrabble tiles too. If those tiles were loose I know that when the cats woke up they would be batting them around the room.

  9. Great ( and so true! ) quote. Just have to smile when looking at your a cat lover and owner of 4, know first hand what kind of contortions they can put their bodies in, and think they are comfortable?

  10. As a former cat owner, I had to laugh at all the comfort poses cats take. This is so clever - and I love the addition of the eyelash yarn and the scrabble letters! Meow!