Quilt for a good man

The first quilt I designed in my new studio

I really didn’t think I’d get into the studio today.  Once back from the Co-op training, one chore came up after another.  Running my car to the service station, walking the dogs, bringing in wood, feeding the animals, checking my email and packing up potholders and pillows to bring to the post office tomorrow.

Then the cat showed up.  The same one I once thought was Mother.  I’ve been seeing her almost every afternoon running from the pasture into the wood shed.  But I could never get close to her and honestly, I didn’t try.  But then, a couple of days ago I saw her looking in my studio window.  She ran when I opened the door.  I think it was yesterday’s  snow that broke her.  I went into the barn to feed Minnie and heard a meow coming from the hay bales.  She was sitting right on top, looking at me and meowing.   I knew if I gave her food I would cross the line between her being a stray or being our cat.  I didn’t want another cat, we don’t need another cat, but it was snowing and she seemed to be talking to me, trying to communicate.  I put some food in an extra bowl and brought it to her.  She didn’t run, she even let me pet her.  Not a feral cat, one used to people.

Today, at feeding time, she was back.  So I fed her.  Jon came into the barn grumbling about not wanting another cat and immediately started taking pictures of her.  She let him get close, didn’t run away, even looked at the camera.  I knew she was ours.

After climbing up into the attic of the woodshed and putting a blanket where the cat was obviously sleeping, I finally got into the studio.  I started laying out the quilt yesterday.  It came together pretty quickly tonight.  It always surprises me how my head gets into the space of designing and how I know what to do, what looks right and what doesn’t.  It’s not a process I can explain, but one I’ve come to trust. When I finished, what I guess would be a first draft, I looked at it not really being able to see it, but knowing enough to leave it for the night.  When I stepped to the side of it to take a picture and looked at it horizontally I was happily surprised.  That I could see and it looked good.

What the quilt looks like from the side

17 thoughts on “Quilt for a good man

  1. Oh Maria, That’s going to be an awesome man quilt.
    I wished that the stray you saw those few times would become a part of your life. I’m thrilled! Oh how I hope this works. 🙂

  2. Cats seem to find me even if I wasn’t planning on having any more. Currently have two that were found in the middle of the road on State Forrest Lands miles from any houses. I’m guessing somebody dumped off a litter of kittens and the two my daughter found were the survivors. They were more dead than alive, but a year later have grown to be beautiful cats that are part of my family.

    Good luck with the new cat. Hope she earns her keep as a mouser.

  3. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing a lovely story about your new kitty and extra thank you’s for being willing to take her (him?) in!
    I’ve just had returned to me my precious little black cat Simon who went missing on December 4th, spent three full weeks out in cold, blustery northern Vermont where predators abound, A lovely family took him in on Christmas Eve and thanks to our animal control officer who gave them my phone number, Simon is back home with me.Like your new little one, I think the approaching snow storm was the deciding factor in his decision to find some help. Fortunately he picked a compassionate household!
    So, he’s home, painfully thin and ravenous, where we are looking forward fattening him up and bringing out his Christmas presents which we had tearfully put away.

    Thank you for you inspiring and comforting messages and photographs!

    Happy New Year!
    with love ,
    from Fran in Jericho, Vermont

  4. PS
    Thank you for beautiful potholders!
    The manly potholders I purchased were appreciately received by my grandson who is an aspiring chef, as well as by his employer who is a well known chef in our community!
    From Fran again,
    Jericho Vermont

  5. Good manly quilt, Maria. I always wonder if Frieda ever wanders over and lays down on your work while you’re laying it out?

  6. Wow, Maria, you have a lot going on! Its a compliment, they say, to have a cat pick you. Every cat that ever got dumped or lost always found my Mom, and they were usually pregnant. Thats what made them give up there natural independence and seek her out. Wonder is this is the case with Florence though she looks to….mature for that. lol. I love the man quilt. Im wondering if I could afford one. Could you please post a price on it, with the streaming block included of course.

  7. You have inspired me to get out all those old jeans I’ve been saving for a rainy day quilt. Or snowy day anyway. I had a stack of them. And a nice long piece of denim fabric I had bought at a thrift store a few years back. I’ll use that for the back. I already have it all pieced together. I’ll have to hand sew it all. Always fun. I have a small Singer machine but messed up the tension and have no idea how to fix it. I have tried every which way but still too loose at the bottom. SO I will sew it together by hand.

    Just wanted to say thanks for inspiring me to finally get this quilt done for my husband. A late Christmas gift for him to take in his truck on these cold winter nights.

    1. Brave woman sewing it all by hand, but I’m sure it will be truly appreciated by you husband. Send us a photo when it’s done, I’d love to see it and I’m sure others would too

  8. The way you describe laying out the quilting pieces and fitting it together just so, reminds me of the writing process, Maria…I so know what you mean about “knowing enough to leave it for the night,” too – that is exactly what it feels like to work on a writing piece all day and know that leaving off for the night, stepping back, is the right thing to do.

  9. Dear Maria, Your pics of the new quilt, your studio, and Frieda are so great!! I love your pics of Frieda, she looks so much like my dog Ellie did. This is certainly a manly quilt for a good man. How I love the way you mysteriously create the purpose of the quilt, potholder, streaming piece right into it! And another calico cat has been sent to you!!!! She fits right in. I always thought calico cats looked like quilts. Annie

  10. Another beautiful quilt, Maria. Nice that you brought out the point of knowing when to walk away from the design process. I’ve been guilty of too much futzing with pieces and then not happy with the finished product.
    Very sweet that you have adopted Florence. She seems to have a little orange mixed in to her tabby colors…..that makes her a torbie. She chose wisely for a new home.

  11. I love the floors in your studio Maria! And all that wonderful space that you can lay out a new quilt and still have room for Frieda sleeping nearby!! 🙂 The quilt will be a really good man quilt ~ hope he loves it! And a welcome to your unplanned kitty ~ I’m sure Minnie will appreciate the company and there are probably more than enough mice for both.

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