Kitty Cats Quilt for 8th grade graduation

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When my oldest daughter graduated from 8th grade and left our little K-8 country school to attend high school downtown, I sewed her a quilt made from the t-shirts she’d acquired each year of school and at zoo camp.  I wanted to celebrate my middle daughter’s 8th grade graduation with her own quilt, but I didn’t  want to duplicate her older sister’s.  Instead, in a nod to my middle daughter’s obsession with cats, I used a sampling of all of the cat fabrics that she and I have collected over the years.

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You know when you buy a fabric because it’s just too awesome to pass up, but you have no idea what you’re going to do with it?  And over time, your collection of these fabrics grows and grows?  Well, that’s what Bella and I had going with cat fabrics.  This way, she can enjoy them all in one place!

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I grouped all of the black and white fabrics together on one side for a monochromatic effect, and all of the bright colors on the other side – I kind of like how the two sides contrast each other.  I wanted the quilt to feel especially cozy, so for the sashing, I used Michael Miller Organic Cotton Sherpa.

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In order to keep the focus on the fabric, I kept the piecing as simple as possible – just a single large square for each of the fabrics (I think they’re approx. 13″ square).  When it was completed, I didn’t like how the sherpa looked when I tried to machine quilt it, so instead, I hand tied embroidery threads at regular intervals throughout the quilt.

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I sewed the quilt as square lap quilt size, instead of a long, narrow bed covering because I liked how the size and shape of the overall quilt echoed the size and shape of the individual quilt blocks.  I love how a quilt can pull together such an eclectic group of fabrics and somehow unify them!

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