Last summer, I left the patio door open for a few minutes while I went downstairs.  When I came back, I could hear my husband talking to the cat and saying things like, “Don’t drop it.”  Since he’d been on a campaign to teach the cat to be a dog, I assumed hubby had moved onto “fetch” and was trying to get the cat to hold a stick in its mouth.  When I entered the room, it was to see my husband in his bathrobe looking down at the cat, and the cat looking up at him with a small bundle of wet leaves sticking out of his mouth.  And then the bundle moved.  And squeaked!  In the 2 minutes it had taken me to go downstairs and back, the cat had gone outside, caught a mouse, and happily brought it back to my husband, and laid it at his feet.  The mouse had scurried away, only to be recaptured by the cat.

Now, if you have a cat, you know that the greatest compliment in the cat world is to bring lunch to your human.  Greater still is to bring it still alive and kicking so that you can teach your human to provide for himself.  The preferred “lunch” is a mouse, and cats LOVE to play with them, toss them up in the air, bat them with their paws, and generally play them to death.  Morbid game, from a mousie point of view, but lots of fun for the cat.

This block is not morbid at all, and has a lot of movement in it, making it somewhat playful.  It uses two contrasting fabrics.

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I laid out all my pieces and had all those tiny triangles that needed to be sewn together, so I decided to chain stitch them, and you can see them here, all arranged together beautifully, almost like a necklace.  See how they’re sewn along the long edge?  Yeah.  THIS IS WRONG!!!  Don’t do this.  Sadly, I didn’t realize my mistake until I’d pressed all the seams and tried to put them back in place.

 

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With my trusty seam ripper, I patiently took them all apart, pressed them flat, laid them back out so I could see them in their proper places, then paired them up again and sewed them all along the short edge.  Surprisingly, following the instructions seems to make a difference.  Who knew?  Once this mistake was corrected, I sewed the pairs together, creating small hourglasses.  A little pressing and it was onto the next phase.

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The next thing I did was sew the four remaining small triangles located at the outside corners to the dark squares that are located just below them.  To these I sewed the small hourglasses.  This left the four large light triangles and the center dark square unattached.  Starting in the top right, I sewed the hourglass segment to the center square, then sewed that whole piece to the lower left hourglass.  Once pressed, this gave me a nice long strip.

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Starting in the top left, I sewed the large triangles to either side of the hourglass segment.  I repeated this process in the lower right.  This left me with two large triangle units and the center strip.  From here, it was easy enough to attach the triangle units to the center strip.  I used pins to line up the seams, and had to ease the fabric a little here and there to make sure they fit properly.

And here they are, my lovely Cats and Mice.  I wouldn’t mind a whole quilt of this block.

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