Monday 7 January 2013

Paws for Thought

Country Cat Mug Rug Pattern

Have you ever wondered where ideas come from? We are all made up of the same molecules and atoms yet we regard our thoughts as uniquely ours.  However, how often have you thought of something only to find that somebody else has thought of it too almost at the same time?  Yes – me also. 

Patchwork Cow Mug Rug (includes block patterns)

For instance, when I made my Pumpkin Patch mug rug I thought it would be a good pattern to redesign slightly to make into an apples patchwork square ..... and low-and-behold Bee-in-my-Bonnet came up with a row of apples in her recent sew-a-row-quilt (and she did it so much better than I could’ve done with apple cores included).  
Sew-a-Row Apples courtesy of Bee In my Bonnet

It is often through several of us having similar ideas that a trend starts.  And it is one of the things I love about the quilting community - we share ideas, knowledge, hints and tips.  It has always been that way with stitchers and quilters - it is woven into the heritage of quilting.  One of the lovely things about the Across the Pond Sew-Along is the way we are sharing sources of free patterns and making them up together.  It is the modern version of the traditional quilting bee.  Why not jump aboard - there is no commitment.  Check out the latest project made by the members at the Flickr group here - you will also find a chat thread for this month's project.
Talking of ideas, sometimes I find they just present themselves to me as I am going about my daily routine, as in the Cats mug rug ...........
City version of my Cats mug rug from 
The Patchsmith's Animal & Pets mug rug pattern book.

There are two black-and-white cats in my neighbourhood – one old and cunning (he lives next door) and the other young and speedy (he lives over the back fence).   A couple of weeks ago as I approached the river on my daily walk, I saw the older cat had caught a mouse which was lying motionless on the grassy bank beside the cat.   The younger cat had obviously spied this and thought now would be a good time to challenge the older cat, especially with such a tasty reward if he pulled it off.   Backs arched, hissing and wailing ensued and the old cat fluffed up his body making him appear twice his normal size.  It was a dreadful din - enough to rouse the little field mouse who must have just been stunned, for he too scurried away into the undergrowth.   I have to say, the older cat didn’t seem very bothered at losing his treat – either that or he was just too old and tired to chase after it, for he lay down on the grass in the winter sun as I walked on by. 
Some cats like mice and some like fish!

And from all this commotion the cat design for my Animal & Pets mug rug pattern book was born.  It comes with two options - you can choose cats who like mice or cats who like fish.   Of course you could include a river with fish and then put mice on either side of the river and then the two cats – but then we are talking more a storyboard than a mug rug!  But hey, if that idea grabs you – then go for it.  (The pattern book is also available in paperback from Amazon.)
Until next time - and, in the meantime, if somebody creates something that you had an idea to do why not let them know what a great idea it was and how well it turned out - after all, if you shared the thought then why not share the praise.


  1. Adorable! I love the cute kitty faces.

  2. OK...this pattern is WAY too cute! I had to buy it!! :)

  3. Great story and very cute kitty mug rug :) You are very inspiring :)

  4. I love being in our global quilting bee!
    And meeting new sewists through it, who are so talented and full of creativity! It fascinates me how we start out with the one pattern, and then they all turn out so unique and clever and different!
    And I love your mug rug designs and ideas!!


  5. Oh, thanks for telling us that the little mouse was just stunned! lol The mouse is my favorite detail, but those goldfish are sweet, too! I love to find out how your patterns are born.