Watercolor Days

A couple of weeks ago I had trouble breathing, called my doctor’s office, and the nurse there called 911 for me. Wow. What an experience that was. Okay, it was a little surreal to be frank. One of the things that happened was the paramedic, after he had placed a needle in my arm vein, attached me to heart monitors and then placed me on oxygen, told me how much he liked my watercolor paintings of cats. What? This is really happening? Panting for air, I struggled for a moment to think of what he was talking about.

Cat Quilts
Oh. These cat pictures.

Those aren’t really watercolor paintings, but they sure do look like it, I suppose. They are actually art quilts made with handpainted fabrics that give them their “watercolor” look.

Siamese Cat quilt.
Here’s a close-up of one of the quilts. You can see that the picture is made by fusing down lots of painted and stenciled fabric pieces that were then sewn and quilted. 

The patterns for the quilts came from McKenna Ryan and I bought them at a local quilt store years ago. Over months I slowly assembled the fabric stash to get the colors that I wanted, and then I created the quilts in my own colors to make them show cats that I have known and loved over my life. These three cats are Morgan (the yellow sunflower cat), Zach (the tuxedo cat) and Teak (my beloved Siamese cat).  I love these quilts, especially because of the quality of the dyes on the fabric and the way the colors work together.

So, do you think that I am a sucker for handpainted yarn? Oh, my lord, that would be a huge YES!

The week after the exciting and exhausting ambulance ride my BKB (best knitting bud) Deb and I went up to the Interweave Yarn Fest to do some quality shopping.

Yarn booth.
The first booth in the door was this one by Western Sky Knits. Look at those yarns!! Look at those handpainted yarns in amazing colors! Look! Look!

Don’t those yarns look a lot like the colors that are in the quilts?

Yarns
Take a closer look. See what I’m talking about?

I saw these yarns and I was gone. I didn’t even do my usual pass through the entire yarn show before buying anything. I just started piling up the yarn that I wanted and that was that. I bought 11 skeins of fabulous, water-colorish yarns and wanted more. Let me show you what I got.

Yarn
I am a complete sucker for a good gold yarn. That was the first skein to jump into my arms. I love this gold. I bought two speckles to go with the first gold skein, and then had to get another skein of gold just in case. You know. Who can tell what I’ll need in the future? The stash cries for gold yarn. I’m on the hunt for the right shawl pattern now, but I’m also dreaming of socks and arm warmers.
Yarn
Then there was this. I needed these colors in my stash.  These yarns are the missing pieces that I needed to make some shawls that I’ve been organizing from the stash. Just like I did with the quilts, I have been assembling colors for projects that I dream of from a number of sources and putting them into my stash. These yarns, and these colors, filled the final gaps and made my vision come together.

Here’s the thing. Looking at these yarns, I realized that they are the colors of the quilts. Watercolors. Colors that make me smile inside. The colors of sunshine, flowers in the garden, cats, and summer days. I look at these yarns, I imagine the projects that they will make shine, and I begin plotting the knitting. And the flowers that I will plant in the garden next month. And the people that I will gift the knitting to. Some projects that will last as long and give me (and hopefully others) as much joy as the watercolor quilts that I have on the wall.

Watercolor days.

May you all have many of the same.

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Author: Midnight Knitter

I weave, knit and read in Aurora, Colorado where my garden lives. I have 2 sons, a knitting daughter-in-law, a grandson and two exceptionally spoiled cats.

14 thoughts on “Watercolor Days”

    1. I literally told Deb that the first booth we needed to go to was wsk. Their yarn is great, the price is pretty good at the show, and you know about the colors… I am doing okay. My symptoms continue, I’m seeing all my doctors in the next couple off weeks, and I’m in the middle of testing. Hopefully they will get this figured out soon. Meanwhile, I’m knitting up a storm. 🙂

    1. Thanks for the nice words about the quilts. You would not believe how I searched for fabrics in the exact colors to put them together. Now I’m going through the process with the yarns. This is fun and exciting, but such a long process as I go back and forth over colors and placement, not to mention the pattern!

      I do feel better, Can’t wait to see the pulmonologist this week. 🙂

    1. (Ooops – accidentally hit enter before I was finished.) Your quilts are incredible! It’s such a wonderful way to honor your special cats and have them with you still. Gorgeous yarn too! Can’t wait to see what you do with it. 🙂

      1. I’m still patting the yarns and looking on Ravelry. I am making good progress on a What The Fade?! shawl that I should blog about soon, but you know that I’m dreaming about color combos and designs with the new yarns while I knit.

    2. I have some other quilts that I’ve made that were just as exhausting to put together. I fuss over placement and color balance more than anyone should! The last few projects have been kits that I didn’t have to put much mental energy into. The other members of my family make fabulous quilts that go to county fairs and quilt shows where they earn ribbons, so I’m the underachiever in the family quilt-wise. None of them can touch me for knitting, spinning and weaving expertise, however. It’s good to sail in one’s own wind. 🙂

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