Cat finds sewing entertaining

BDN photo by Ardeana Hamlin
Sissy the cat tries a few shenanigans while her human attempts to sew a fine seam.

After many weeks of never finding time to sew, I found an hour in the middle of the afternoon on a Saturday. I set up my sewing machine on the kitchen table and commenced a tea wallet project for a friend who had requested a few. It wasn’t a lot of sewing and I figured it wouldn’t take but half an hour.

Like so many days in November, it was a lowery day, pewter colored clouds scudding across the sky like giant buzzards. It had rained, and the wind had a sharp edge to it. Even Sissy, my cat, didn’t want to go out again after a morning spent prowling the woods beyond the back lawn.

The minute I sat down to sew, Sissy jumped up on the table, got close to my face, inquiring apparently, if I wanted to play with her instead of sewing.

“Not now,” I said. “Later.”

She rubbed her ear on the wheel of the sewing machine, gave me one of her what-fun-are-you looks, turned her back to me and licked her front paw, clearly indicating that she had other things to do more important than begging me to wave the feather wand.

I figured that stance wouldn’t last long, and it didn’t.

A few minutes later, she stretched out along the length of the sewing machine. I pushed her paws off the sewing surface. She looked at me, blinked her yellow eyes twice and laid her head on her paws.

Thinking that Sissy was settling down for a nap, I started stitching. But she rolled over on her back in the kind of contortion only a cat can achieve. As the fabric came through on the back side of the presser foot, Sissy cuffed it. I stopped sewing and moved her paws out of the way. She behaved long enough for me to finish that piece.

When the second tea wallet began to come exit from beneath the presser foot, Sissy very gently sunk her teeth into it and pulled. I extricated it from her mouth and pushed her gently away from the machine. She napped for a few minutes.

As the third piece was going under the presser foot, Sissy opened her eyes, caught the piece in her claws and simply held it, looking at me, as if to say, “If you put a little catnip in this thing, it would be way more fun.”

At that point, I knew two things — Sissy wasn’t going to give up her game and I was running out of patience. I picked her up and deposited her on one of her favorite perches, an old steamer trunk by the east window. She flicked her tail in protest, jumped down and stalked off to the living room.

I finished the last tea wallet in peace, but it wasn’t nearly as much fun.

A class on how to crochet rag rugs with instructor Beverly Richards will be held 6-8 p.m. Tuesdays, beginning Jan. 29, for three weeks at Reeds Brook Middle School in Hampden. Registration is $5 plus $20 for supplies. For information or to register for the class, call SAD 22 Adult Education at 862-6422 or go to

An old-fashioned “bed turning” showcasing 19th and 20th century quilts either made or acquired in Maine will take place 2-3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, at the Penobscot Marine Museum Gallery, 40 East Main St., Searsport. Learn from the Friendship Sampler Quilters of Belfast about what makes these quilts unique to Maine. Admission is free.

Coastal Quilters will meet at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, at the Camden Lions’ Club on Lions’ Lane in Camden. A workshop, “Template-Free Applique,” featuring Coastal Quilters member Barb Melchiskey will begin at 10 a.m. For information, call Prudy Netzorg at 354-0938 or Stevie Kumble at 236-2352.

Call Ardeana Hamlin at 990-8153 or email Don’t forget to visit her blog at