Friday, March 26, 2010

Quilt Inspectors, You Gotta Love 'Em

There is no quilt police, but there are quilt inspectors. Mine happens is black, furry, and of the feline variety. His name is Charley. He takes his work very seriously, inspecting partially completed tops, work laid aside for the moment like the quilt being hand-quilted below, individual blocks, pieces of fabric, and of course completed quilts.
His favorite technique is laying on the item in question, even if I'm in the middle of trying to work on it. Kind of like the little prince and the pea. Or perhaps seeing if he looks good on it. (He does look rather good on that purple backing, doesn't he?)

Then there's the ever-popular diving under the quilt top or even a mere block. Charley's inspections always take precedence over my appraisal of the work. Just ask him.

He inspects guitar cases too.

Since Charley was 4 months old, he's worn soft paws over his claws to protect our household items from his natural tendency to scratch. It's worked fairly well until recently. He was always a bit fidgety about the process of putting on the soft paws, but tolerated them well. Now, at the age of 5 1/2 years, he's suddenly developed a full aversion to having the soft paws put on, although he still tolerates them well once the process is done. I don't know why, but the simple answer is that he IS a cat.Not wanting to fight with Charley every few days over soft paw application (with 10 claws to keep covered, it seems we've got to re-do one or two every week), it was time to look into other alternatives.

I've got to give a big thanks to the quilters on the rec.crafts.textiles.quilting newsgroup. The majority of them have a quilt inspector of one pursuasion or another, so I knew I'd get lots of good help when I posted my questions. I was not disappointed. I now have a plan.

First of all, it seems the number one, all around, terrific cat scratcher is the cardboard cat scratcher. Tried to buy one locally, but had no luck, so I co-opted my dad into helping make one. He's been cutting the strips and I'm rolling them into a circle. It's not much to look at, but it ought to be effective. At approximately 9 inches in diameter, we're probably about half done at this point. Since this homemade variety needs to be able to stand on its own (no external container to hold it), it needs to be large enough to give it some weight.

Next, we'll work on other cat scratching venues--perhaps more cardboard scratchers, and some kind of posts. I'd like to have several cat scratchers around so Charley has no excuse to use the furniture.

The third part of the plan is the double-sided sticky tape. I'll apply it to any place on the furniture Charley can't resist. Here's where I've got to give a special thanks to Sherry in Oklahoma for sending me a sample to try. Thanks Sherry!

Hopefully, when this transition is complete, Charley will be happier and so will I. After all, it's important to keep our quilt inspectors in top form.


  1. Sweet Charley...just trying to do his job, I suppose. :) Hey, that cardboard scratching thing kind of looks like a jelly roll of fabric! Good luck with your alternatives. Wonder if that scratching thing they're hawking on TV lately works? Love that leaf quilt up on top!

  2. Your cat is gorgeous! I love black cats. And, as I'm sure he'd tell you, he looks good where ever he is.

    We tried that sticky tape stuff. It ruined the sofa. I do not recommend it. We wanted to remove it after the cat learned not to scratch on the sofa. This was three years ago. Remnants of tape are still a part of the sofa, and it has collected dust and who knows what else. It's not attractive. I'm thankful for slipcovers, for more than that reason (three dogs...teenagers).

    (I love that purple quilt, too.)

  3. Thanks Ladies!

    I appreciate your heads up about how sticky the sticky tape really is JKP. I'll bear that in mind. :-)

  4. Charley is just gorgeous. Looks amazing on the purple background on the table, and in the first photo too. :-)
    [have you tried the spray that you apply on the furniture? it worked for a friend of mine]


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