Patchwork Cat Quilt Pattern

Patchwork cat quilt

Patchwork cat quilt

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

Make half square triangles

Make half square triangles

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.

Make the tail section

Make the tail section

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.

Make the ear section

Make the ear section

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.

Patchwork cat quilt block layout

Patchwork cat quilt block layout

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.

Patchwork cat quilt block variations

Patchwork cat quilt block variations

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.

Arrange the cats in columns

Arrange the cats in columns

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 blue strips to top and bottom

Sew blue strips to top and bottom

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.

Use the heads for the border

Use the heads for the border

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:

Treadle sewing machine

Treadle sewing machine

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.

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  1. Margaret says:

    I’m not a cat person, but I know someone who is, so I think this quilt might be added to my to do list. I think you must have hundreds of quilts stashed away somewhere Rose, for surely you don’t have time to make a new one each week, whilst still continue to do the other things you tell us about ??. Your visit to the beautiful house must have been so enjoyable and thank you for sharing the photo of the Singer Treadle Machine which brought back so many lovely memories of my mum teaching me to sew on hers.

    • Hi Margaret. That photo seems to have brought back happy memories for many people. You’re right – I can’t finish each quilt each week so I have plenty of quilt tops waiting for completion. Some weeks I don’t go out at all and instead I concentrate on finishing some quilts – many of them go to Linus, which is such a worthy organisation.

  2. Colleen McKinlay says:

    Hi Rose,
    Another great quilt. Always enjoy your emails. This is a must make quilt for our family. Our beloved ginger cat passed away …18 years young…and we miss him terribly. Love hearing about your travels… looking forward to returning to England, Wales and Scotland in the near future. Sunny and very warm in Vancouver Canada this weekend. Hope you have a great outdoor weekend too. Cheers

    • Hi Colleen. Losing a pet is hard, isn’t it. They always seem to become part of the family. Our weather has cheered up this weekend, so it’s definitely been an outdoor weekend. I hope you enjoy your trip to the UK when you make it.

  3. What a fun quilt – and most unusual. Great choice of colours again. I remember my mother sewing all our clothes (including underwear) on a gorgeous Singer treadle machine. I even used to have a go on straight seams.

    • Hi June. We used to make all our own clothes, didn’t we. Do you remember being allowed only 3 dresses per term. I can’t remember having homemade underwear, but another reader has told me that she used to have underwear made using parachute silk – what a luxurious idea!

  4. I really like this quilt.Thanks. I think I might be able to make this one.

  5. Anne Coldron says:

    Hi Rose. I love getting your e mails they warm up my Saturday mornings especially when it is frosty outside like today. Can’t grumble too much we have had a fabulous autumn and this holiday weekend is promising to be just as fabulous. Always amuses me that here in the antipodes we celebrate Queen’s Birthday with a public holiday and you don’t!! I think I might try the cat block, I like the idea of multi-coloured cats, maybe not in a quilt though. I need to live to a hundred and fifty or even longer to finish all the quilts I want to make. How about you? I too learned to sew on a treadle machine, my mother hated using the machine so she cut and tacked and I machined. I do remember sewing through my finger once trying to push the enormous gathers of a net petticoat through (this was the late fifties the time of big bouffant skirts reminiscent of the crinolines lol).Sorry about the long post

    • Hi Anne. Yes, it’s odd, isn’t it – we have plenty of pomp and ceremony for the Queen’s Birthday, but not a holiday. It might be because we have only just had a bank holiday last week. I can remember my mother sewing through her finger once – it looked very painful!

  6. Hi Rose, thank you for the pattern. If you watch Sky News you will see that we in Ireland are basking in 20degree (c) temperatures while the UK is having miserable weather. It is freaky as I heard it described. And Paris being flooded! What is the world coming to. Hope it takes up for you soon. Regards, Jean

    • Hi Jean. Yes, I had noticed that Ireland was having lovely weather. Thanks for sending some to us – the sun came out yesterday and we had a lovely day. My daughter is going to Paris for one of the Euro 2016 football matches, but there seem to to be lots of things conspiring against her – both weather and strikes.

  7. Fabulous. I’ll be making this.

  8. Moira Hewitt says:

    Hi Rose
    It certainly does make me smile. Thanks for sharing the pattern and instructions. I fancy doing a scrappy version as a baby quilt.

    My first memories of sewing involved me providing the leg power when my gran used her treadle machine.

    Have a great weekend.


  9. Tina Madison says:

    Hi Rose!
    The cat quilt is so cute!
    Thanks so much for sharing your quilts & patterns.
    I always look forward to your emails.
    I live in the state of Indiana (USA).
    The weather is beautiful here today!
    Keep up the good work! ?
    Sincerely, Tina

    • Thanks, Tina. Glad you like the cat quilt. In the end, we had a lovely day here as well, but I suspect Indiana would have been even warmer than we have it. It’s so lovely to be able to strip down to summer clothing.

  10. Hi Rose,
    Now how cute is that! I can just picture the quilt on a child’s bed or just draped over the side rails of a crib. The photo you took of the Singer treadle sewing machine brings back memories of my youth when I used to watch my mother sew on one. We’ve come a long way since then. Looks like you have found an exiting new life since you have moved to Birmingham. I’m glad for you.

    • Thanks, Claire. It’s a happy quilt, isn’t it. I definitely appreciate my electric machines when I see (and remember) sewing with manual machines. My mother used to cut sheets down the middle and then sew the sides together down the middle to make the sheet last longer – such long seams, and all done on a manual sewing machine.

  11. Julia Riding says:

    Rose, I was wondering if I could adapt this to a scrap-cat quilt, with each cat in different fabric? Patterned with a plain collar, plain with a patterned collar, but co-ordinate the background in one fabric. What do you think?

  12. Marjorie Hesketh says:

    How can I possibly resist this? I have a ginger cat and can’t wait for my parcel to arrive! Thanks so much Rose for all your work in producing such wonderful quilts. (Also with it being slightly smaller its something I feel even I can tackle).

    • Hi Marjorie. Thanks for the order. I’ll try and get your quilt kit in the post this afternoon. The quilt is definitely a manageable size.

  13. Estelle says:

    Hi Rose, Went to the Winterbourne website, so beautiful and interesting. I feel like I’m traveling through you, love England. Keep us posted on quilting and your travels!
    Best, Estelle

    • Hi Estelle. Winterbourne was somewhere that I had often driven by without ever having the time to call in. I am so glad that I found the time this week. The gardens are grade II listed and they are quite enchanting.

  14. We loved Winterbourne when we went ladt year. Kids from the two schools (our daughter went to the girls’ high many years ago) are allowed in. The photo club was there. Boys all trying to get nice pix. Lovely house & garden

    • Hi Jan. You’re right, it’s a lovely place – somewhere I will definitely return to at different times of the year. The staff were also very helpful and friendly.

  15. Hi Rose yes it’s terrible weather here in Scotland for this time of year!!! Think I’ll go back to the sun?. Suppose look on the bright side – more projects will get finished by having to stay in whilst it’s raining?. Nice pattern again. Have a productive weekend??.

    • Thanks, Dianne. Actually, after all my moaning, it’s turned out a lovely day today and I shall be outside tidying the garden while I can.

  16. lyn young says:

    Hi Rose thankyou so much for the pattern–it really looks fun to do. Did I get mixed up with someone else though? I had emailed you about the Peg quilt which I love. You had commented in your video that you wished you had made the rectangles a little bigger, but didn’t say what that would be. I am going to make this quilt and wonder what size I should cut them to get the points right. Many thanks Lyn.
    ps cant believe how you fit everything in!! –Lovely day today–no coat or sweater!

    • Hi Lyn. My apologies if you didn’t get my reply regarding the Pegs Quilt. I feel that if you cut the rectangles 7.1/4″ by 4.1/4″ and then trim them to size you should be able to keep your points. Try making one or two just for practice so that you can be sure that it works. Hope that helps.

  17. Really cute cats. Lots of possibilities. Thank you. (I make most of my quilts on treadles and hand-cranks.)

    • Good for you. We had a treadle machine when I was small, but I have to say I’m very fond of my electric machines. We had a hand crank machine, and it was much more difficult with only one hand free to guide the fabric. I think my sister still has that machine (she lives in Zimbabwe).

  18. HI Rose, I love this Cat Quilt. So novel! I definitely have to make this for my daughter, she will love it too. I have an old treadle sewing sewing machine I picked up at a yard sale about 40 years ago. It still works but what a work out for your legs…thank goodness for electricity!

    • Hi Linda. My feeling also – although I suppose it wouldn’t hurt my legs to have a workout whenever I’m sewing. I am very thankful for my electric machines.