~ Arnie's Rising Stars ~
This quilt was made after almost two years off from quilting due to health problems and a move, and I was determined to get it done in time for our local quilt show to let people know I was alive and sort of well and back quilting. It was the first quilt I have ever made where I purchased everything new for it and all at one time. Arnie, my new stray cat, helped me with everything and as it was his "first" quilt, got in the way a lot! He also was an inspiration for the colors and looks good sitting on any block in it; he likes to roll around and take fake dirt baths on the quilting. Must feel good even through his fur! It is 85" x 98" and has Mountain Mist 100% cotton batt with Fairfield's Traditional poly in the trapunto. I drew the designs for the quilting and applied the trapunto to each block before I pieced the top together. It's quilted with nylon monofilament thread on top, cotton in the bobbin.
This quilt went from a blue ribbon at the local show to a second place award at the AQS Show in Paducah, KY in 1996 and then went on to become the Wisconsin winner in the Land's End/Good Housekeeping 1996 contest. An essay was part of the entry, and the theme was "If Quilts Could Talk:"
"Our stray cat Arnie came to us starving and sick and had never known about quilts. Shortly after he moved in with us, I became very sick with environmental allergies and had to leave my home. I had to abandon most of my possessions due to mold contamination, but within the year we moved into a new house and started over. Still very sick, that winter I managed to make this quilt, often in the dead of night when there were no chemical fumes or mold, and Arnie discovered the joys of quiltmaking with me. Finally the quilt was finished and as it glowed in warmth and beauty, Arnie, Nipper, Hillary, and Fluffy stretched out and purred. Making this gave my life new hope, and if quilts could talk, this one says you have come home at last."
~Detail, Arnie's Rising Stars~