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Friday, December 14, 2012

The Cat Hair Returns

Do you remember the first quilt show you ever attended? Or, the first show you ever entered?

My very first quilt was a blue sampler that I made for my mother. It was a large one, full sized and hand quilted. I entered it in the state historical society show, and won an honorable mention in 1979.  It was really exciting to get a ribbon on my first quilt.
Ann's very first quilt completed in 1978

At the time, I knew nothing about quilt shows, I'd never even been to one!  But the judge made a comment on the back of the ribbon that said, "Pet hair is distracting."

After that comment I thought to myself, "I guess I'll have to watch that when I enter another quilt in the show!" That was something I never even considered doing.

Eventually, when I had more of a studio to work in, there is a procedure that I follow. I always clean off my cutting table first, lay out the quilt, and go over it with a lint roller front and back.  This has always seemed to work.  I always mention that first judge's comments in all my lectures with good humor; in the hopes that it might convince others to check over a quilt carefully before going to a show, or be given as a gift.

Every time a quilt comes home after a show, I open up the box and admire it, and hang it up in my living room. Nine out of ten times my quilt will come back with little threads on it, that were probably from someone else's quilt!  How do I know that?  It's because the threads are always the wrong colors for the fabrics I used. Many times I wonder what famous persons' quilt they came from.  Had they touched?  Did they get to be friends?  Where do all these threads come from?  Do other people find them on their returned quilts too? This is truly one of life's mysteries.
Garden of the Sun God, (c) 2012 Ann Fahl

Late November, my beautiful Garden of the Sun God quilt came back from the IQA show in Houston. It looked beautiful when I opened it up. After finding the judges comment sheets, I sat down to look them over carefully.  (This can be either a very trying experience or a pleasant one.) Their comments were OK this time, but one of the judges took the time to write at the bottom, that I should use a lint brush to remove the pet hairs from the dark areas of my quilt!!! I had to laugh. Like other pet owners, I make an attempt to limit the cat hair in the house, but there is only so much I can do. I looked over the quilt, and I didn't see any Oreo hairs, but perhaps I have selective vision.

Here is Oreo helping to fold up a quilt.  Could this be the problem?

So I have come full circle in my quilting life.  The first quilt I ever entered in a show had cat hair on it; and the best one I've made to date--also had cat hair on it. And, probably the hundreds of quilts I have made in between also had cat hair on them. What can I say?  I do my best.

I hope this brought a smile to your day.
Ann Fahl

3 comments:

Ann Marie @ 16 Muddy Feet said...

Maybe the judge had lint on her glasses, and she was seeing that and not cat hairs she thought she was seeing.

Lori R said...

I never want to be without a cat hair or two!

annieQ said...

Life is always better with cat hair. Ann Marie I think perhaps you are right, the judge probably had stuff on her glasses. Thanks for the idea.
Ann