"Kitty Titty Power"
made by Lynette Caulkins and Marissa Anderson
I am reblogging this quilt, which I finished in Oct 2015 and have kept on tap for the next friend who had to face breast cancer. I've decided that since none of them has had this trial come up in their life by this point, I'm going to send this to the Happy Chemo project for Hands-2-Help 2017, organized by Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.
As I said when I made it, I know this quilt's name will be a bit rough for some folks.
But getting cancer IS rough.
It sucks, and it happens all too often. Anyone my age or older has known someone personally who is/was battling one or another of those monsters - if we've not had it ourselves. I've gone through a bout of lymphoma, which killed my uncle and has challenged his son at least 3 times, and my mother died from a rare form of inflammatory breast cancer. Two of her sisters have had more common breast cancers.
Rough words help dissipate the anger when you're in the fight, and if you can combine that roughness with humor, it's most effective! So I let the quilt's working name stick instead of polishing it into refined civility. This quilt's purpose is to provide bolstering support during an active battle with breast cancer, and the name is perfect in that context.
The pink speaks for itself to identify it as a breast cancer quilt (I've always hated the commercialism of all those pink ribbons, but you have to admit the social power of the pink). The triangles evoke strength and dynamic energy. And those kitties are just so darned friendly.
I wanted the quilting to allow a more comforter-like feel for this one, instead of adding in some fancy fills. I also needed the quilting choice to soften the starkness I often felt when contemplating the top. I wondered if simple wavy lines would do the trick for this, and they really did!
I used my walking foot and a wavy stitch on my machine for everything. (Don't forget to loosen the pressure of your presser foot when you are quilting instead of sewing - which is different from thread tension, even when using a walking foot). I just followed each seam, and then on the hollow triangles I put in some super-wide echos. On the solid triangles, I quilted point-to-point between the halfway marks of each side to break up that space in a congruent way.
If I received this quilt, I would take it to every chemo appointment. And then I would want to wash it a lot. So the binding got machine stitched, which is highly unusual for me in non-children's quilts. There was a lot going on, color-wise and dynamics-wise, in this quilt, so I went with the background pink for that instead of my original plan for a super-soft framing of gray Minky.
And this quilt's feline lover? - Isabeau adores it and settles down on it every time I get it out. Navarre only liked it when it was a flimsy for some reason. Go figure! Good thing I have a cat-free room now where I can let it super-dry before I box it up tomorrow.