Felicity Petrie

9 Feb 2010
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The Quilt - The Cheat 

The Cheat (a Tawny Abyssinian) is my companion, muse, and sometimes my evil alter 

ego. When I am working on my craft he comes and sits by, casting a discerning eye over 

my work, and will show his approval by sitting on my projects. I recognise elements of my 

own personality reflected in his, and I admire his cunning. 

He was relaxing on the couch under the Christmas tree on a 38 degree Aussie summer 

day. I had my camera handy and he looked just how I wanted to feel, so I snapped a 

picture of him. Moments later my six month old son made a lunge for him, and The Cheat, 

somewhat startled, did an ungraceful and totally un-cat-like back roll, through the lower 

branches of the tree and on to the floor, taking lights, tinsel and decorations with him. He 

looked at me pointedly, then slunk off to a quieter spot. I felt this little spectacle summed 

up my hectic life with two under three in the festive season madness, and decided to 

capture the moment in quilt form for the competition. 

Materials and Method 

Commercial fabrics (cotton homespun and printed cotton), scrap of polyester batting, 

fusible web (Vliesofix), Pentel Fabric Fun Fabric Pastels, Gütermann threads in cotton, 

polyester, and filament, and a calico scrap for backing. 

I began by printing out the photograph in colour and sketching the primary design 

elements onto paper. I then traced these and cut them out forming rough templates. I 

returned to my sketch and added the primary ʻdesign linesʼ (blacks, whites, highlights and 

shadow, elements such as facial features). I decided to make a mock-up quilt on calico 

first to test the concepts. I selected my colours for the primary design elements in both 

threads and fabrics. I created the Christmas tree from hand cut commercial fabrics, fused 

and then overstitched. I cut the design elements from plain homespun, then added 

sketching and details with the fabric pastels. These design elements were then fused to 

the background. I shaded the quilt using my favourite technique which is a combination of 

machine thread painting and quilting, working from darkest thread to light to achieve the 

desired effect.  I added the tinsel in swirling, overlapping quilting in two specialty threads to 

add sparkle, and finished the image with The Cheatʼs whiskers. The quilt is bound in a free 

motion zig zag stitch in a bright orange to highlight the brown tones of The Cheat and 

make the blue and greens ʻpopʼ. 


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Comments

on 11 Feb 2010 8:58 AM

It's lovely, his face is perfect.  What a handsome boy.

trish236 wrote
on 15 May 2010 12:51 PM

Felicity, your quilt  "the cheat" is awesome.  Thank you so much for detailing how you were able to achieve such realistic effects.  I'm a 20 year quilter who is just starting to branch off into art quilts so I always am wondering "how did they do that?"  I appreciate that you took the time to teach us about what you did.