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Read excerpts from the book 'Cats Who Quilt'
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More Excerpts from "Cats Who Quilt! The First Quilting Book for Cats!"
Written by Judy Heim, Illustrated by Irina Borisova
"Lollipop & Wedding Ring With a Cat"
Lollipop, a long-tailed fairy of a cat, is the happiest cat in the world--that is until her mistressís new husband, Frankenmuth, comes home at night.Frankenmuth carries a long, dark briefcase. Lollipop is convinced that in it he carries all the dishes of cat food he has stolen from her.(Why else would he pick up the dishes of dried cat food from the floor each morning and drop them into the sink if he didnít plan to steal them?) Frankenmuth throws cat toys like a sissy. Frankenmuth smells like insecticide after he takes a shower in the morning.
At night as Frankenmuth sleeps, Lollipop climbs on to his chest and tries to steal his moustache. One time, she clamped a paw on to his nose and nearly prevented him from breathing for three seconds. Another time she scratched his scalp, and it developed into an infection for which he had to get shots. Often, along with the hair she pulls from his moustache, she also pulls out other things, like his sideburns. Sometimes Frankenmuth jerks awake at night screaming, as Lollipop races from the room, mouth full of hair.
In the morning, Frankenmuth stares into the mirror. He despairs that he is balding early.
All of these bits of Frankenmuth find their way into Lollipopís quilts, which can be described as explorations of female despair at having to live with a man who does not know how to throw cat toys properly. To the untrained eye, Lollipopís quilts look like any other quilt one might see covering a bed or hanging in a quilt shop window--a wedding ring quilt or a log cabin one. But shine a black light on them and one will detect, tucked beneath their surface fabric, storehouses of moustache hair, and even a stolen sock or two.
"Mr. Snuggles & Folk Art Wasnít Meant for the Innocent"
But soon she tires. As her fingers and sewing machine needle slow, Mr. Snuggles, crunched at her feet like a solemn rascal dybbuck, sets to work. With deft slashes of his scythe-like claws he transforms bright folk art-inspired quilt blocks into dark Hitchcockian scenes. Since his mistress is too tired to pick up Mr. Snuggles and lug the thirty-pound tabbycat from the room--and she knows that if she does he will only sashay back, grumbling complaints at his unfair eviction--Mr. Snuggles sometimes labors till dawn on his quilts. He bats patches, teases thread, transforming innocent paper-pieced objects like fish and antique cars into dark totems of his jungle predator vision.
In Folk Art Wasnít Meant for the Innocent, millions of black silk birds descend upon a gentle folk art-style village while Overall Bill crawls up a nearby church steeple to save a suicidal Sunbonnet Sue in a kitschy, patchwork rendition of a scene from Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo.
The quilt was banned from juried exhibition at Pawducah after a dead starling fell out of the haphazardly stitched border. Mr. Snuggles defended his work by tearing his quilt off the wall, kneading it into a pile on the floor, and taking a nap on it in front of horrified onlookers.
"Pickles & Fur & What Stupid Dogs: The Imagery Continues"
In Dogs Around the World dogs are depicted running in circles chasing empty plastic bleach bottles around tiny square patches. In Where Did All the Fur Go? A Nine-Patch Legacy, a large hound is shown cowering under a womanís patched skirt. Quilt lovers claim that the fur coating the disordered Nine Patch blocks is not that of the two cats, but fur shed in hysteria by pooches the cats have chased out of their sewing room and terrorized by hissing and ear-cuffing. In answer to criticism, the cats claim that they are merely reflecting in their quilts the grim reality that not every creature is as dapper, witty, and sophisticated as a cat.
In their latest opus, What Stupid Dogs: The Imagery Continues, Pickles and Fur have pieced the silhouettes of two long-eared mutts bouncing up and down in front of a window, barking at nothing in particular. Detractors claim that this time the cats have gone too far, that the quilt looks like dogs have indeed been bouncing on it, as evidenced by all the muddy paw prints blotching the trapunto. The cats, in their defense, claim they are not responsible for hand-quilting blundered by subcontractors.
Cats Who Quilt is a trademark of Fruitful Plains. Text on this Web site Copyright 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 Judy Heim. May not be reproduced in any form--in either e-mail messages or on Web sites without written permission. All illustrations are copyright 2000, 2001, and 2002 Irina Borisova. They may not be reproduced without permission. Photos and quilts are copyrighted by their respective artists, and may not be reproduced without their permission.