Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Scrap quilt, scrap cat

The emphasis in this blog has always been on antique quilts but sometimes parts of one's life intersect in odd ways. Recently I bought an old scrap quilt in an online auction and won it--way cheap as I won't spend much. When the quilt arrived it had that familiar tang (eau de dust) so I threw it in the dryer after misting heavily with some lavender water. When the quilt came out of the dryer, both Gipsy and Earl Grey, our 10-month old kittens, ran to inspect it. Earl was soon distracted (it was almost dinnertime-) but Gipsy persisted in her examination. I think Gipsy especially liked the quilt because its muted colors mimicked her own fur. She sat on it all day.

That got me thinking about the origins of the quilt. I got very little from the seller. He could tell me that he obtained it at an estate auction in Texas and correctly placed its age as c.1900-1930. The pattern is Bow Tie. Sometimes a Bow Tie quilt was made for a man or perhaps simply an appropriate pattern for a quiltmaker's available selection of non-floral fabrics. The materials of this scrap quilt look like work shirt checks, striped tickings, and a few polka dots for fun. The mellow color scheme appealed to me, just as it did to Gipsy--who is a bit of a 'scrap cat' herself.

 Although her Mom was mostly Siamese, Gipsy's dad must have been a tiger tabby. Here is Mama, back in early June 2009, a-swarm with seven  kittens. Gipsy is determinately scaling Mom's hip, her small tail looking like a brush. Mama cat, later adopted and named Snowball, looks a tad shell-shocked. That must have been a wild night!