Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Big Cats, Little Cats

I am participating in a book bee, reading and quilting our way through Carolyn Friedlander's Savor Each Stitch. Simultaneously, I saw a couple of Janeen van Niekerk's foundation pieced cat silhouette blocks on Pinterest and then found her patterns on EQ7 ( ). I thought the cats would be fun, if a bit challenging to make, and was playing with arranging them in a custom set. The reclining cat 'accidently' set itself as a HUGE block behind the smaller ones. VOILA... Scale.
EQ7 Mock-up

Pre-cutting pieces for paper piecing.
Live cat helping piece the fabric cat

Little Cats pieced and testing out background

After making the little cats, I had to piece the big cat, with adjustments to the pattern to 'piece in' the little cats. I printed the pattern at Kinko's, full size, arranged the little cats, adjusted some of the lines, and then traced onto freezer paper to cut apart and make the piecing templates.

Kinko's printed Big Cat pattern with pieced Little Cats positioned

Freezer paper pattern ready to cut apart

Sections pieced and ready to join

Vinyl overlay to test out quilting choices
Quilting was done with various 100wt Silks to match the backgrounds. The gray background is quilted with a loose fill reminiscent of balls of string, unraveling string, a cat toy, and a mouse.
Helper cat ready to pounce in case the quilt tries to escape
Mouse quilted into the gray background.
Each cat has a different background fill, and spikey fur in a matching thread
Top quilted and waiting for binding (~40"x54")
After auditioning some binding choices (see above), I've decided to go with gray, matching the background, with an accent of navy blue perl cotton couched in the ditch. I love how this is turning out and have learned a lot about foundation piecing while Savoring Each Stitch. This is my work in progress, not just for the week, but pretty much for the summer. Hope you are making progress too.


(As always, thanks for stopping by. Comments welcomes.)


Final quilt, with binding and couched accent


  1. I really like how you manipulated the scale of these cats- it makes the whole piece really dynamic! The way the smaller cat blocks in the center seem to interact with each other also adds to the fun.

  2. This is fabulous. I know of a couple of friends who would love a quilt like this... Love your quilting choices too, the mouse, the spiky fur. And cat helper!! Always have to be in the thick of things, right?! Hope you're entering this in Pets On Quilts.

  3. Love the cats. Great color choice and the mouse in the background is too cute! I also have a helper cat - 3, in fact. I especially love how they "help" by laying on my WIPs and adding cat hair to them if I don't have a lint roller at the ready!

  4. Awesome! I love the little kitties on top of the big kitty. Looking so good!

  5. Great job adapting the patterns, and a great concept too. I'd be interested in seeing a close-up of your binding with the perle cotton accent.

  6. Wow! I love your cats quilt. It's wonderful. Very creative way of working the patterns.

    1. Janeen -- I'm delighted that you got a chance to see them. I really enjoyed making your blocks and absolutely love how the quilt turned out.

  7. I like your post. I see me doing one with dogs. I'm a dog person not a cat. But you did a great job designing your quilt.