Now that the Preview night has happened and the 2014 International Quilt Festival in Houston has officially opened, I can finally reveal photos of my quilt Summer Camp, which won first place in the special exhibit It’s Raining Cats and Dogs. Though it wasn’t as lucky, the Drew quilt Can We Talk About the Steak? was entered in the same show.

As you can see from the photo, we have two dogs and three cats all posing for the camera. Left to right: Max, Samantha Ann Marr (aka Sam), Pi, Buddy, and front and center Sara.

Each of these animals has been special to me, though none of them live with me. Sara is my aunt’s companion. Always attentive, supportive, and a great comfort to an elder living alone.

Sam is now a 75-pound sweetie, but was just a pup when I took her photo. She was sitting on my cousin’s lap as we took our pre-dinner cruise around Lake Cora one evening.

Max, who passed away not long after I completed this quilt, used to visit me on my front porch and hang out near the water garden. This is actually the second time Max has been featured in one of my quilts; Max’s owner purchased the first, The Eyes Have It, for his family’s Christmas present.”

Pi has claimed our yard as an extension of his own. He is very fond of the wicker chairs on the porch and has found a very cozy hideaway under the trumpet vine. Pi also understands that I have a key that lets me access his house, and hence his food. This makes me a very important person in his world and one worth talking to. 

Buddy is a stray that a friend took in, even though she was not going to have another cat. Funny how they can worm their way into our hearts.

When I was thinking about the name of the quilt, a friend mentioned that it would only be at summer camp that all these strangers would come together and pose for the camera. And so I give you Summer Camp.

Drew is a never-ending source of inspiration to me. This time it was that begging look I got as I ate steak and lobster for New Year’s Eve.  How could I resist that look? Well, I resisted long enough to grab my iPhone and snap a photo before he started drooling too.

Drew did get some of the steak to help celebrate his birthday. Because Drew was a stray, we had to pick a day for his birthday, and New Years Eve was just three days after he came to live with us. So we celebrate his birthday each New year’s Eve. Our best guess is that he was born in 2001. For an old dog, he is doing great. Perhaps sleeping a little more soundly or maybe it’s his hearing that is fading away.