Schminky: the Quilt

Schminky was a gorgeous cat! Tortoiseshell patterned cats have always appealed to me but she was especially beautiful – she had such a riot of rich browns in her coat!  I adopted her in Harrisburg Pennsylvania and she lived with us in Singapore, Shanghai, Tokyo and Colorado. Here she is at the end of a trip, helping with the unpacking…

I never wanted to collect cat “items” (my mother kept trying to give me cat thises and thats!) or do more than photograph them until I saw Sharon Maelec’s machine applique animal quilt patterns. They are so well designed and I really wanted to make one. Schminky was gone by then, but with my “vast” collection of brown fabrics, she was an obvious choice to sew. Happily I actually took a class with Sharon and it was very helpful. One very useful bit of information from her was about cats’ eyes. She said that they were the most important feature in a cat and if you got the eyes “right” then everything else worked. The fabric she liked to use, and had brought along for us to use, was palm frond patterns! I placed the eye pattern over the frond in the correct way – and – voila – Schminky had a perfect eye.

Here is Schminky, the quilt! It was such fun to make that I was sorry when the top was completed. Schminky lived on my design wall for quite some time as I auditioned each fabric choice. You really need to do that to make sure the lights and darks are in the correct places  so the cat looks as she should. When I did the first ear and moved back, I discovered I had the lights and darks in the wrong places so the ear looked like it was inside out!

In Googling about for links for you, it seems that Sharon no longer does designing for commercial patterns and is moving her animal work in a different direction. This quilt store carries her patterns and I was there for a recent shop hop! I did notice that the patterns were hung all over the store. Contact them for more info.

On an entirely different note, I must say that I am very sad to hear about the passing of Steve Jobs. We have been Apple people forever and have been delighted and inspired by every product we have bought from them. Apple makes such fun, creative and delightful things and at the heart of it all was Steve Jobs. I have been encouraged to create things I would never have dreamed I could do, and Apple helped me along the way. Peter had the great pleasure of seeing him speak at a MacWorld and he said the man was incredible; that his passion and enthusiasm was palpable. Thanks so much Steve! You will be missed in our house!!!!

4 thoughts on “Schminky: the Quilt

  1. You did Schminky proud with your quilt. The eyes are amazing, I agree. What a nice remembrance of her.
    I also feel sad about Steve Jobs. What an amazing man.

    Superior Threads


    • Thanks for the great comments! If you are an animal person, then Sharon’s quilt designs certainly resonate with you. I neglected to say that I bring Schminky out in the Fall and Winter when the house is full of the Colorado brown things…. And thanks Nicole, I like my name too! I was surprised that it was available, really.


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