The patchwork cat quilt is a fun project that can be made larger or smaller as you choose. It’s guaranteed to bring a smile to any face – young or old. I have made it here with black and ginger cats, but I think that it would also work as a scrappy quilt with cats of many different colours.
Each cat quilt block is 9″ finished size and I have used twenty four of them, half facing to the right and half to the left. The quilt measures 39″ by 56″ and I have used 1/2 yard of blue, 1.1/4 yards of white and 3/4 yard each of black and orange – it’s actually only very slightly over 1/2 yard of these two fabrics, but I’ve called it 3/4 yard to be safe. You can buy these fabrics at a 10% discount in this week’s special offer.
Cutting requirements for the patchwork cat quilt
Blue fabric: twenty four rectangles 1.1/2″ by 3.1/2″, three strips 2.1/2
White fabric: twenty four rectangles 5.1/2″ by 4.1/2″, twenty four strips 4.1/2″ by 1.1/2″, twenty four rectangles 3.1/2″ by 1.1/2″, twelve 5.7/8″ squares
Black fabric: twelve strips 5.1/2″ by 1.1/2″, six 5.7/8″ squares, twelve rectangles 5.1/2″ by 3.1/2″, twelve rectangles 3.1/2″ by 2.1/2″, twenty four 1.1/2″ squares
Orange fabric: twelve strips 5.1/2″ by 1.1/2″, six 5.7/8″ squares, twelve rectangles 5.1/2″ by 3.1/2″, twelve rectangles 3.1/2″ by 2.1/2″, twenty four 1.1/2″ squares
Making each patchwork cat quilt block
Make half square triangle units with the 5.7/8″ squares. Place a black or an orange square right sides together with a white square. Mark a line along the diagonal and sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line. Cut along the line to produce two half square triangles which are now 5.1/2″ squares.
Using the 1.1/2″ strips of fabric, sew a 4.1/2″ white strip to either a black or an orange 5.1/2″ strip. These will form the tail section of the patchwork cat.
For the ears of the cat, you’ll need the 3.1/2″ by 1.1/2″ white rectangles together with pairs of 1.1/2″ squares in either black or orange. Place a coloured square at each end of the white rectangle, lining up the edges. Sew a seam from the top left corner following the diagonal of the square, and another seam from the top right corner following the diagonal of the other square.
Cut the excess fabric 1/4″ below the seam line as shown in the middle section of the photo. Fold the remaining black triangles down over the seams and press in place. You may find the video helpful for this stage to be sure that you sew and cut the correct lines.
Now the patchwork cat can be sewn together. Working from left to right, you have the tail section first followed by a half square triangle with a 5.1/2″ by 4.1/2″ white rectangle above it. The right hand column is made with an ear section at the top, a 3.1/2″ by 2.1/2″ rectangle for the cat’s face, a blue 3.1/2″ by 1.1/2″ strip for the collar and finally a 5.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ rectangle for the front of the cat.
Sew the pieces together within each column and then sew the columns to each other to complete the patchwork cat quilt block. Make six of these in black and six in orange.
In order to make the cats facing in the opposite direction, you can use exactly the same patchwork pieces, but just place them differently. On the left hand side you’ll need a face and body section, with a tail section on the right. In the middle you still have a half square triangle, but it is rotated so that the line of the cat’s back runs from top left to bottom right.
Make six of these blocks in black and six in orange.
In total, you should now have twenty four blocks: six black and six orange with the tail on the left and six black and six orange with the tail on the right.
Assembling the patchwork cat quilt
Lay the cats out in four columns of six. Column 1 is made with ginger cats, tails to the left. Column 2 is made with black cats, tails to the right. Column 3 is made with black cats, tails to the left and column 4 is made with ginger cats, tails to the right.
I have used strips of blue fabric between each pair of columns, so the layout begins with a blue strip on the left, then two columns of cats. In the middle I have put another blue strip followed by the remaining two columns of cats and finishing with a blue strip.
Sew the blocks together down each column and then sew the columns to each other. Finally add a blue strip to the top and the bottom of the quilt top.
That completes the patchwork cat quilt top. It is now ready for layering, quilting and binding. Full details of these steps can be found in the beginner quilting section.
I have made variations of this quilt many times and I thought that you might be interested in something that I have used in the border, although I didn’t use it for this particular quilt – I’ve made up heads of the cats and separated them with strips of white to make quite an interesting border.
Here’s the video:
Last week I went to see somewhere called Winterbourne House and Gardens. It’s unusual because it’s run by the University rather than one of the heritage organisations and it was a total delight. Both the house and the gardens were designed in the Arts and Crafts style. The gardens are quite simply gorgeous and inside the house I found (as well as lots of William Morris style curtains) this delightful old treadle sewing machine alongside a couple of very old needlework books.