The Lives And Times Of A Quilter's Cats

Random thoughts of three or four cats and I about the importance of wearing slippers if you happen to share your home with a quiltmaker who drops pins, and other similar and related nonsense, from fabric to gardening and of course, about the cats who inspire all this madness. En inglés y en español.

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Location: Idaho, United States

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Of Tito And Learning To Love Brown

Let me start by saying I used to dislike brown with a passion. From the time I was a kid and mom did the clothes shopping for me, I really, truly, gut-feeling disliked brown. Funny enough, it was one of mom's favorite colors, top that off by having grown in the late sixties/early seventies when brown was everywhere, from clothes to kitchen appliances. If I was out of my school uniform, chances are I had a brown piece of clothing on. Then came the eighties and Color Me Beautiful. I am a winter, brown doesn't suit me (whew, was I relieved to find that out!). Then came rose, sage and cadet blue and brown was a far off memory.

In the late eighties, Tito came in the picture as well. I had just lost a cat to F.U.S and the last thing I wanted was another one. But like with clothes when we are kids, I had very little choice in the matter. Little did I know as well what sharing a home with a seal point Siamese would be like. Seventeen years into the adventure, I am still trying to point out to him that I am the human, he's the cat and that his voice, agreeable as he seems to think it is, can be hair raising if used full blast. His trademark howls are my life's soundtrack. He talks constantly, loves people, loves to be admired and listened to. His career choice should have been on a stage. He's as demanding as a king, and I admit, our lives revolve around Tito's follies ninety nine percent of the time.

Seems like having Tito around changed my perception of brown. Looking back, I started liking brown, little by little... by the early 90's, I actually requested tan and brown blocks in a block exchange I did with my quilting group. Tito's brown influence was slowly but surely creeping into my quilting. When I started piecing Dear Jane blocks and saw how many brown there were, I realized my brown stash needed some boosting. Boosting I did, and a lot of. By the time I was done with the top, I loved brown! The contrast of brown and muslin was soothing. I learned to appreciate the hues, the values, the richness of brown.

Seventeen years into the adventure of being owned by a siamese, my latest small quilt is a tribute to brown and Tito. It is made of two inch blocks, set on point with brown all over it and touches of fawn, beige, pink and blue. It's hand pieced and will be hand quilted. It's elegant, yet it has that coiled spring energy that Tito seems to have in spite of his years. It is going to be one of my two entries for the Seaport's Guild Quilt Show this year.

--Editor's Note: Tito is short for Vincentito, after Vincent VanGogh. The song Vincent is the reason for Tito's name: "Swirling clouds of violet haze reflect in Vincent's eyes of China blue". His full name: Sir Vincentito, Earl of Chester.