Monday, January 28, 2013


If this crazy/scrappy 'quilt-as-you-go' idea is firing up your creative juices and you want even more information, pictures, ways to use your pretty scraps without needing a quilt guild or expensive books to get you started, check out this site by clicking on the picture below.


Another quality site to gain knowledge and proper quilting techniques for a scrappy process, is available with the following you-tube from Missouri Star Quilt Company - a great tutorial.

If you prefer a more traditional approach to this crazy/scrappy look, Pepper Cory from has a class that leads you through this process. I'm considering this informative course and will let you know how it goes.

In the meantime, if you haven't tried this easy, SO FUN way to make anything from mug-rugs   to potholders to wall hangings to full-size bed quilts - get started right now!  It can be an addictive way to satisfy your creative streak while producing items to fill your space with the you that is figitting to be acknowledged.  Besides, quilting with this scrappy, crazy quilt-as-you-go process is no less than fun and relaxing.

Potholders of course - are the easiest and IMHO the quickest way to practice, practice till you feel secure enough to go on to larger projects. Does that create TOO many potholders? I say...there's always room for one more.

Don't forget to comment below and take a chance to have your name drawn to win the 2 kitty potholders. Drawing - February 1, 2013.  Or e-mail me at

Sunday, January 27, 2013


PHOTO BELOW taken from www.sewisee.blogspot,com

I found this cutie idea On Michael's blog, sewisee and HAD to share.  Michael recommends a plastic jar for traveling; I think the plastic is a durable idea, though the glass gives a more vintage feel and shows clearer.

The reversing cushion idea holds some added creative promise, I think...just haven't found a good idea for it yet???  Your ideas, perchance??  Please leave a comment below...or e-mail me at  I'll throw your name in the hat for our February 1 drawing for 2 new potholders for your kitchen.  If you are a 'kitty fan', don't miss this free opportunity.

Martha Stewart has her own 'kitty collection'; don't miss seeing her myriad of cat photos through this link.

Happy potholdering...or any other 'plus' you are deep into at the moment.  Stop by; rest a spell; chat for a few; give us a glimpse into your special little sewing corner.

Remember - with potholders...there's always room for one more!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


When you think you’ve read it all, another wrinkle presents itself: an Italian cat political drama! This well written article in the L.A. Times is too funny and predictable in its political playground, yet profound in its cultural and feline connection.  Since we are threading some cat-sewing into our quilting here, let's look at yet another reality that is cat.

Largo di Torre Argentina square currently houses the Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary and has recently become the center of a heated debate between local politicians and Silvia  Viviani, a 73 year old former opera performer.  This cat-fight over her sanctuary and her charges may have broad ramifications both historically and culturally.

Politicians want her and her many feline friends evicted from this site where history says "Julius Caesar was stabbed in the back, on the Ides of March, in a sunken piazza here in the heart of Rome"...about 2000 years ago. These local politicians - newly self-appointed caretakers of history, want Viviani and her 'friends'...gone. But sticking by her Sanctuary and its protected charges.

What may appear as a reasonable request from a western scientific perspective, runs in different colors within Italian culture.  "Cat colonies are a common sight on Rome's tourist trail, enough so that guidebooks mention them and shutterbugs go in search of them. Souvenir stands hawk calendars with photos of fluffy felines clambering over pillars and statues..."

Viviani stands firmly behind her right to be there and brings humorous and yet profound logic to bear, according to the article's writer.  "Viviani suspects that her organization is caught in the middle of a cat fight between national and local officials, and pours scorn on the idea that her four-legged wards could cause any more damage to Italy's heritage than the two-legged invaders who toppled the Roman Empire."

The dialogue continues as the furry four-legged tenants remain oblivious to their possible eviction.  A memoir to old Julius...or a continuing haven for a cultural part of Italian tourism...

"She and the co-founder of the refuge, Lia Dequel, have enlisted some high-profile allies in their fight to save it. One of them is the mayor of Rome, Gianni Alemanno." says Henry Chu in his entertaining article.

Viviani has at least - a little political backing; "I'm on the cats' side," the mayor declared in a message on Twitter, then acknowledged the power behind the throne: "So is my own cat, Certosino."  HMMM...

This cat sanctuary is no backyard endeavor, nor is it a recent Italian concern.  "In the 1990s, the city government declared cats to be part of Rome's "bio-heritage," recognition that at some sites, the animals have been around for decades, if not centuries. In the Largo di Torre Argentina, cats have roamed the square and claimed it as their own for at least 80 years, their colony swelling in size from births and from the abandonment of pets. When Viviani and Dequel started their shelter, there were about 90 cats; now they care for double that figure."

It seems that not only is this cat colony almost indigenous, but also a cure for the city's feral cat condition. As the argument goes,  " not just about keeping their charges happy with full stomachs and sleek coats; more important, the shelter has helped Rome control its population of feral cats by spaying and neutering about 27,000 of them over the years, and vaccinating others."

Only time will be the judge of this tug of war over a historic - yet modern facility.  Viviani fights a strong fight, for the cause of not only her beautiful charges but also for the ultimate Roman/Italian archeological meaning of the ruins of the Largo di Torre Argentina square;  "All around, there are people who look at the columns, capitals and so on. And they are there — cold, indifferent," she says. "As soon as a cat jumps on a stump of a column, on a capital, on a sarcophagus … the ruins are living.

They're no more dead things. They have a new life because of the cats." (my bold)

Maybe you can give new life to some of your new creations; add a cat motif of some sort to your potholder (as we've done with the giveaways for February 1st here on Potholdersplus), or to any of your quilted creations.

And don't forget to leave a comment or drop off your name to my e-mail,, to be automatically entered into our February 1 giveaway.

So continues the mystery that

Saturday, January 12, 2013


Our potholder giveaway now has a buddy; 2 kitty pretties will go to a new kitchen on February 1st.

Leave a comment below and these kitties may follow you home. Let us know how you put together your scraps.

-Do you use matching sized strips as Chantilly does on mygirlthursday, and Liesl on lieslmade?

-Do you cut your center piece with 4 or 5 sides or another particular shape?

-Maybe you cut your square pattern into even pieces?

-Or you take the time to apply detailed heirloom stitching along your seam lines?

-How do you fill your pretties?  Do you use Insul Brite, a Mylar/poly batting that is made specifically for heat resistance? How about Warm and Natural brand batting?  I use both.  I've seen other quilters do well with different fillings; there are sites that use denim, fleece, old towels and washcloths. What's your favorite method?

-What is your favorite way to finish a potholder?  Do you turn them inside out, or use the traditional quilt binding method or do you bring the back around as I did in the 2 giveaway potholders?  (My binding skills are a struggling work-in-progress!).  Maybe you have some hints that have helped you improve your binding skills?  I'd so love to hear them! 

Lets take a hint from the two kitty cuties below and let's talk sewing!

Have you tried the scrappy/crazy/quilt-as-you-go method on a new potholder yet? This quick, creative method utilizes your scrap bin and lets your imagination go wild.  No two creations are the same and the variations of this quilting method are numerous. Take a chance; if you are a new sewer, wanting to learn to quilt, this is the perfect beginning.

Let's hear from you and get your name into the hat.  Less than 3 weeks remaining till the drawing. Make a comment below or e-mail me at

With potholders, there's always room for one more!

Friday, January 11, 2013

SCRAPPY, CRAZY Quilted Potholders

Is it Scrappy quilting? Or quilt as you go?  Or maybe Crazy quilting.  Better yet...a bit of each?

I'm not sure of the quilting method featured below, though it's grabbed my creative juices with a vengeance, and seems to have taken over many a stitcher's site throughout the net these days.

I'll post a tutorial next week on my own scrappy project; for now, lets look around cyber land in the creative nooks of cyber-quilters and get a feel for this easy, ancient - yet also new method of making the pretties that grace our kitchens.

Christine from, made some showy and creative potholders for gifts this year.  Her tutorial is quite detailed and clear - a good place to research if you wish to learn this great scrap-busting quilting process.

Then there is a scrappy-type String Quilt process tutorialed (is that a real word??) by Penny at  This method also uses scraps but in a more organized, repetitive, traditional quilting fashion. Even though this is a quilt example and not a potholder, the method is the same - and much easier for potholders since 2 blocks...completes the project!  Take notice how Penny arranged the string blocks so they look like regular square blocks on the finished quilt; neat!

Deborah Schlegel from Art Threads has a tutorial on, that details, step by step, how to create stunning, round potholders fit for a queen's galley. Her photos are clear and her instructions, easy to follow.

Last but most varied, this Etsy site,[0]=tags&q=patchwork+pot+holder&page=1, goes on for pages with seemingly every type of home-made potholder imaginable. Several appear to be the scrappy look featured here today. Sometimes I find that looking through someone else's creativity - even if a bit off-track from my present focus, can spark new and unique imaginings in my usually fizzing brain.  One can never have TOO many imaginings, right?  RIGHT!

Here's a video on yet - another, slightly organized version of this scrappy quilting process.

Wow!  Does this type of quilting have any limits?!  From traditional shaping to absolutely any design - or lack thereof.  The limits stop only as far as your imagination of lines, colors, textures..that you create at any given time.

Do you have a scrappy project you might want to share here?  Maybe you've found a little trick that helps the way the odd pieces go together, or maybe you found an easier method for binding (hate, hate, hate to bind anything!!)  I DIDN'T SAY THAT! Seriously...there MUST be an easy binding just hasn't been invented yet???

Let is know that you stopped by and please leave a comment. You will automatically be entered into our free potholder contest...drawing to be held on February 1st, 2013.

Happy sewing.  And remember, when it comes to potholders...there's always room for one more!


Friday, January 4, 2013

EGYPTIAN MAU: the mystery that

Close to one hundred cat breeds exist according to Wikipedia.  Some are old, some new, but all stunning and awesome in their own rights.  Let’s take a few weeks and look into the history of  several breeds; we may demystify the sometimes strange reputations attributed to cats as well as better understand the connection we humans embrace with the mysterious and sometimes elusive Felis Catus.

The Egyptian Mau seems to be the oldest domestic cat in history, originating in Egypt 2000 to 4000 years ago.  "In fact, the breed is so ancient that its name is the Egyptian word for “cat.”"

 Listed as one of only two domesticated spotted felines, the breed sports unique gooseberry greenish eyes, high intelligence and speed and agility.  Clocked at about 30 miles per hour, their speed is attributed in part to the extra fold of skin over their hind quarters and adjacent underbelly, similar to the Cheetah, allowing for greater freedom of movement.  This breed shows other ‘signs of antiquity’ such as the continuous line along its back and higher hind legs than front ones.

It is believed the Egyptians worshiped this breed as gods and held them in such high esteem that Egyptian females used eye makeup to simulate the cat-look.  As well, they were honored in death with mummification and entombment.

The Mau breed is sensitive to loud noises, is more sensitive than other cat breeds to medicines and anesthesia, and is not readily social to any species including their own.  Maus are highly loyal to their owners and do not blend well with strangers. They are also known to be highly adaptable to the wild and to be excellent mousers.

Exiled Russian princess Natalie Troubetskaya is credited with saving the Mau from extinction around 1958.  Several other importations along the years have expanded the gene pool but this breed remains a rare one; less than 7000 cats were registered with the Cat Fancier’s Association in 2006.

Egyptian Maus come in three acceptable colors, Bronze, Silver and Smoke.

Enjoy the mystery that


Please visit us and share your comments, thoughts and ideas on anything cats and sewing. Does your Precious Featherweight look particularly cute today, did she perform especially well during her last project? We'd love to see the project, too, as well as your Featherweight's (or any vintage lovely's) best side. 

You'll get a chance to win the cute potholder below. Someone will win this potholder pretty February 1st, so hurry and enter.

Make sure to take a minute and leave a comment, or e-mail me at

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

(The Little Cat)

Cats thread through the essence of humanity as they wander through books, movies, zoos, animal shelters, back yards, in the wild as well as in wildlife preserves, back alleys, pet shops, our laps, etc.

Cats teach us independence, relax us with their indescribable purring.  Their sleekness, flowing movements, and softness touch our souls.  Their claws can sometimes instill fear.  But always, they leave us in awe.

They sport colors and patterns that rival a rainbow, yet their cunning can be and often is, lethal. 

Books like The Tiger expose their intelligence and ferocity, give us insight into the soul and depth of the largest feline on our world.  Books such as the The Cat Who series gives credence to the extent that cats are ingrained into our culture, our thinking, our deepest feelings.  Magazines such as Cat Fancy share cat beauty, stories and information. (NOTE: the December 2012 issue showcases a "Snowshoe" breed). Our mere housecat shares our intimate moments, our joys and our sorrows.  Humanity walks with cats.

Though the big cats remain, for the most part, in the perimeter areas of our world, the myriad of little cat breeds thread through our every-days in uncountable ways; they enhance our existence.

This new corner of will cater to all things cat.  We will wander through the depths of cat history and the latest news about cats, while creating, showcasing and sharing tutorials regarding potholders ‘plus’ things with fabric, design and utility – centered on the beauty that is – cat.

Need a new potholder or pillow to add to your ‘cat collection’? Enter our contests and giveaways; learn little tips and shortcuts to the easy art of potholder and pillow-making and maybe add to your cat-collection of goodies.  Visit us as the weeks and months pass; interact with our site.  All comments, ideas, sewing and quilting tips/tricks, questions on anything sewing/quilting related or about cats - are WELCOME.

Read some of the books we’ll showcase and share with us your opinions.  Stop by.  Visit a spell.  Be a part of this little corner of cat-land. Grow in the wonder of everything…cats.

Our first giveaway is the kitty potholder above.  Made with double insul-brite inside, durable muslin backing and edging, this pretty can live in your kitchen for FREE.  Send us your thoughts on cats, a potholder trick or tip to share with our readers and fellow quilters/cat staff. Maybe you design a variation of the above scrappy quilting - we'd enjoy hearing from all of you.

*****February 1st will be the drawing for this little kitty-pretty.*******

Remember our motto...There's always room for one more!

E-mail me at 


We dedicate Le Petit Chat to our Lilylou, our 17 year old Snowshoe feline who tiptoes through our days on her little white cat feet.  

She fills my dreams as she settles herself through the dark hours with her ‘cheekie’ snuggles around my neck.  Sadness fills my heart as I watch her aging process slowly steal her energy, her vitality and her life force.  But she never resigns her capacity for Love and tenderness. 

Her enduring tenacity as she gives her utmost bravery through each day with her waning hind leg strength, her failing eyes and loss of hearing…perseveres. 

She strengthens my own - sometimes waning engagement with aging; she sets the bar I cannot ignore.  I sometimes lose my thoughts gazing into her wise, wide, blue and aging eyes. Her Love and purring never fail; she is my shining light, my beacon of Love and caring. 

Lilylou, my life-light; I dedicate this endeavor to you…mon petit chat.

Happy New Year!