Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Why Cats Quilt.

A few years ago Burnard Silver wrote a book called Why Cats Paint. The cover photo was a cat standing on it's hind legs painting a picture, brush in hand. It was very tongue in cheek, but I heard Burnard interviewed on Radio New Zealand once, and he said there was a small readership of well healed little old ladies who believed it to be all true. Obviously they had not come from a Sunday night tradition of watching Country Calender spoofs such as the remote controlled sheep dog and guinea pig farming in Wellington.

This weekend while I have been working on my yeo yeo vintage sheet inspired quilt, the Magpie Cats have never been very far away from the action. And whenever I try to lay a quilt top out or put a few blocks down to arrange them, they are immediately sat on by the nearest cat.

My Mum's cat sleeps on the finest of crocheted edgings, and considers it her absolute right to do so.

I planned to write about it in this blog post, and had the photos ready to go, text half written in my head, when this appeared in the letter box today, sent by my dear friend Katie of
An Angel in the Garden. She said she just had to send it to me.

It's beautifully written. The story of a tabby cat who loves her smelly old patchwork blanket so much that she goes in search of it in the rubbish bin when the mother throws it out.
The language is beautiful. The illustrations even more so. Tabby is very cross when her blanket is thrown out
"I think I should send this family away," she says.
"I shall have the milkman here to lodge instead."

When the inevitable happens and Tabby gets picked up and taken to the rubbish dump with her old patchwork quilt, it is the milkman who finds her wandering around looking for home, and gives her a ride.

And the mother washes the blanket, which is exactly what she should have done in the first place. Nobody I know would throw out any kind of patchwork quilt in any state of disrepair. Especially if it belonged to a cat. That's my only beef with the book. The mother in this book does not look the type to throw out a cat quilt. She reminds me so much of the mother in Margaret Mahey's The Lion in the Meadow. And she entertained dragons in her broom cupboard and all sorts of interesting nonsense, and hung out her patchwork on the washing line in the meadow.
This mother looks like one of those mothers, so I am absolutely sure she would not really have thrown out the patchwork.
Thank you Katie, it's the lovliest book.


  1. Just caught up with your last few blogs and very nice to read they are too. Lots of pretty pics and the baby shoes are gorgeous. Congrats for getting in the Homespun mag.

  2. aww what a lovely post my mum would have loved this as she is cat mad but sadly doesn't own a cat anymore, due to getting to attached and then very upset when its their time to leave, she would love this book though. Dee x

  3. Yeah it is terrible when they are old and you have to make that decision. Last time I had to do it Hubby took the old cat to the vet for her final journey and brought her home and buried her under a tree in our garden. I pulled the curtains so I couldn't see, and did the ironing and cried!

  4. What a lovely looking book and a nice read by the sounds of it.

  5. This is one I have to read! You're right the pictures and illustrations have class. Might even make a nice Christmas present for a fellow quilter :)


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