Archive for February, 2008


I made my wonderful friend Candice a Toby Tote for her birthday, after she…um…subtly hinted that, you know, maybe she’d like one.  

Toby Tote

My original design called for red polka-dot handles, but I couldn’t resist using this charming yellow fabric instead after purchasing it last weekend.

Toby Tote

The black and white liner, however, was a sure thing from the beginning. The fabric is very much her style, and I purchased it because I knew (hoped!) she’d really like it.

Toby Tote

Candice is one of my only friends (if not my only friend) who’s into crafts, and she recently took a class to learn how to knit. She lives about an hour and a half away, otherwise I would have taken the class with her. In fact, I was sad that we weren’t able to learn how to knit together.

Perhaps I could drop a subtle hint that I’d, you know, maybe like a scarf for my birthday. I know it’s in May, and I know I live in Tampa, and I know it will probably be 100 degrees here by then, but still. Subtle hint vibes comin’ your way, Candice.

Happy birthday, my friend!


February 28, 2008 at 12:47 am 6 comments

The Princess and the Pea she is not

Nola between laptops

When Alex and I are both on our laptops, Nola likes to lie in the “tunnel” that forms between the two lids. 

She doesn’t care if her favorite spot is clear. If there’s something where she wants to be, she just ignores it and plops her chubby little self down there anyway.

Notice anything?

Nola with pen

Neither does she.

February 26, 2008 at 9:50 pm 8 comments

Weekend in Fernandina

I had to come to Fernandina on Friday for business, and I was able to turn it into a weekend trip so that I could spend ample time with my parents.  

downtown Fernandina

When I say I “had” to come to Fernandina for business, it makes it sound negative. I was thrilled to come up here. The “business” that I handled on Friday was presenting a high school student with a prize for winning third place in a contest. It was so much fun, and I hardly call it “work.”

The Quilt Expo was in Tampa this weekend, and I planned to go before this business trip came up. My mom and I were driving around after the award presentation on Friday and noticed a large sign that said “Quilt Show” at one of the local rec centers. So of course we went. And even though it was much smaller than the Tampa show, it had that pride, charm and sweetness that you only find with these sorts of small-town events.

The show boasted about 100 of the most gorgeous quilts I have ever seen, all of which were made by ladies from a local quilting guild. Seeing all of those stunning, intricate quilts made me that much more excited to take my quilting class.

I also picked up fabric from one of the vendors at the show.


This morning, after a delicious brunch at one of my favorite Fernandina cafes, my parents and I walked to the Farmer’s Market for some fresh fruit and a loaf of bread. 

farmer's market

The colors at the market are always so fresh and vibrant. 

farmer's market

Fernandina is one of those towns where everybody knows everybody, so we stopped and chatted with several people while we were downtown.

farmer's market

And, because I think he’s the most adorable thing in the entire world, here is a gratuitous shot of my parent’s 10-year-old yellow lab, Jazz. My mom will probably say his nose isn’t really that big in person…but it kinda is.


February 23, 2008 at 6:54 pm 5 comments


I had three projects on my plate for tonight. I should have known better.

1. Finish my custom Etsy order and prep it for the post office. Check.

2. Start — and ideally finish — the project I’ve decided to do for my blog giveaway. Well. Um. No check there. Not even close. But I am still planning to do a giveaway. I don’t mean to tease like this.

3. Start a gift for my friend’s birthday. I’ve purchased and washed the fabric and determined exactly what I’m going to do, so I’ll consider this one checked even though I haven’t technically started it.


I’m not sure if you can tell from the photograph, but the black and white fabric has a subtle metallic sheen to it. It’s quite beautiful.

I hope she doesn’t mind a little cat hair with her birthday present.

Nola on fabric

February 20, 2008 at 10:11 pm 5 comments


Alex and I chose simple black frames for the four prints we found on Etsy.

Etsy print

We thought the clean frames would keep the focus on the artwork, where it belongs. The above print is from The Black Apple, and the following three are from Elsita.

Etsy prints

Etsy prints

Now if we could just get around to hanging them.

I did a little organizing this weekend.


There is something so very pleasing about seeing things arranged by color. I’ve learned through other crafters’ blogs that many of you do the very same thing.

So tell me…what do you organize by color? And if not by color, how do you organize things? Alphabetically? Chronologically? There’s a wonderful scene in High Fidelity where John Cusack’s character is rearranging his thousands of records “autobiographically” — in order by the date he purchased them. Clearly, that method would only make sense to him. I love that.

February 18, 2008 at 10:08 pm 5 comments

Quilting story

Once upon a time, I made quilts.


I made this quilt top five or six years ago out of leftover fabric from several other quilts and a pair of curtains that I found at the thrift store.

I have several quilt tops that I made years ago, but I find it difficult to get past that stage. One of the things holding me back is not knowing how to do the actual quilting. All of my completed quilts are tied, not quilted, and I think they look unfinished and amateur.


One of the problems with teaching myself how to sew and quilt is not knowing the “right” way to do things. Usually, it turns out okay, but sometimes it makes more sense to have someone teach me. I finished quite a few quilts before I learned what binding was and why it’s important. Until then, I sewed the layers together like a giant pillow, turned it inside out and hand-sewed the opening.

Quinn and quilt

Self-taught quilter over here!

I’m ready to learn how to do this correctly. My local fabric store offers a Quilting III class. To take the class, I must have a finished quilt top, and the instructor will teach the right way to complete it. I am very ready for this.


February 17, 2008 at 3:31 pm 4 comments

Just the other night at a hometown football game

The title of this post is the first line from an old song that’s been running through my head. Anyone know what the song is?

fiona messenger

Except for a few tiny finishing touches, I’m done with my latest project, a custom Fiona Bag for a lovely lady who found me on Etsy and has been an absolute pleasure to do business with so far.

fiona bag

She was specific with some of the measurements, and she definitely wanted a black corduroy bag with the black geometric stripe. She listed several options for the other color, but ultimately she left the liner fabric choice up to me.

fiona bag 

I went with the red Alexander Henry fabric because I like how the two graphic patterns look together. And I think red, black and white is a fabulous color combination.

fiona bag closeup

I’ve mentioned before that I love doing custom orders because I often end up creating something that I may not have thought of on my own. For example, I love bold reds, but I tend to pair them with aqua blues or kiwi greens.

Tonight, Alex and I are off to purchase frames for several wonderful Etsy prints we’ve collected.

February 15, 2008 at 7:06 pm 4 comments

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Fat Orange Cat is a site about finding the beauty in all things homemade, appreciating the secret story of dusty vintage pieces, and realizing there is nothing cozier than curling up under an old quilt with a glass of wine. ::: If you feel inspired, please leave a comment - I'd love to hear from you! ::: Email me at karynjeanne12(at)gmail(dot)com.

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