This lil’ quilt has been in process for, my gosh, over a year now – and here it finally is – pieced, quilted, and bound in all its feline glory!
Let’s talk fabric; the muse that inspired it all – Kitty Garden by Jenny Ronen! It all started with a painting (below) of cute kitty faces with lovely foliage above their heads. A kitty garden playground emerged! We couldn’t stop there, we needed basics! A classy, painterly pin stripe and some magical clouds were the perfect accompaniment to the bold florals and curious kitties.
Finished quilt measures 60 x 72″, but is easy to add or remove rows or columns to get the perfect size you need.
Find the PDF download copy of the pattern here. Tutorial explains a slightly different construction, so decide which adventure you’d like before beginning to properly plan.
Above: Original Cats! painting by Jenny Ronen.
Supplies & Fabric
You will need 5 yards of 42-45″ fabric for the backing.
A cutting mat, rotary cutter, and long ruler will help make cuts easy and precise. Remember to press your seams, and note the direction in each step.
1/2 Yard of Each:
Start by cutting your width of fabric (WOF) strips, then sub cut each strip into the the pieces described in the chart below. I suggest starting with the largest pieces first.
You can opt to get extra fabric if you are prefer directional fabric to be directional. Personally, I like to maximize my fabric and I am ok with the occasional sideways print. In my opinion, it adds interest.
Sample cutting diagram for fabrics A and G which require the most cuts. This will work for direction as well as non directional fabrics.
This quilt is made up of two blocks, faces (odd rows) and bodies (even rows). Use the instruction below to construct each block. Before getting started, consult the full layout to keep all of your pieces organized.
Or alternatively, you can create individual full cat blocks at measure 12.5″ x 12.5″ unfinished and include pieces A-F. The PDF file uses this method.
I like to chain all my ear pieces to keep everything organized. I start by layering all D pieces in order by row. I find the coordinating F pieces, making an iron crease to mark my seam line as I go. Once my pieces are organized, I sew on the ears, row by row, only breaking my thread to move on to the next row.
After sewing the ears (the first step from the illustration below) proceed to trimming and pressing.
I also chain pieced this to keep things orderly. After all, if they are attached to one another, it makes it harder for them to wonder off.
Again, stack each row of completed ears with coordinating faces. Sew the ears to the faces, only breaking thread to move to the next row.
Above is a handy cheat sheet that illustrates the unfinished piece sizes as a quick reference guide.
Layout & Chain Piecing
After completing your body and face blocks, You are ready to stack your columns to begin chain piecing the rows.
OK, now we are getting to the good stuff! Stack your completed blocks in columns, from left to right ( A – E ), with row 12 as the bottom and row 1 on the top.
Sew piece 1A to 1B, DO NOT break the thread, and move on to piece 2A to 2B. Work your way down the column of seams. Break thread after you sew piece 12A to 12B. Iron your seams alternating left to right all the way down the column. This will make the seams lock together when you sew your rows together. To make this easy, press all odd rows to the left, and even rows to the right.
Proceed to sew column B blocks to column C blocks in the same fashion, and as illustrated below.
Once you are done piecing each row, your quilt top will look like the image below. The vertical dotted lines represent the unbroken thread that chains the quilt top together. Alternate pressing your seams, left and right, as you work down each column. This makes matching your seams easier when sewing each row together.
Here is a peek at what my chained quilt top looks like. At this point, all that is left is to sew are the rows together. Start at the top row and work your way down, locking the seams together as you go, allowing everything to match up perfectly. 🙂
Snip the threads, and give it all a really good press! (mine surely needs it, as you can see!)
Alas! My quilt top is complete, afternoon sun drenched and all. What is missing from this picture? A kitty of course! This IS a cat quilt designed around cat fabric after all! Well I wont leave you hanging, here she:
Freyja is typically a great little model, who generally always wants attention, flirting wildly with her tail. Not this day! Believe it or not, this is the best I could get before she scampered off down the hall. When you don’t want them in the photo, they are all over it, but the moment you request their modeling services, they are nowhere to be found. That’s a cat for you!
Finally, we are nearing the end of the road, and quilting and binding can be done! WOOT! A BIG thank you to my friends at Los Osos Quilting Company for doing such great work! I appreciate you so much, and for taking on extra, because I know you are SO busy!
Color Your Own!
I can picture so many lovely versions of this quilt! Chevron rows, mirroring kitties, you name it! To download the file to color your own, with a key to keep track of whats what, click here.
About the Author
Hello and thanks so much for the excitement around this new quilt pattern! It truly has been a labor of love, and I warmly appreciate it!
I have been with Birch Fabrics for 11 years now, and have been sewing garments and quilting for even longer. I still do not consider myself advanced or a pro, however I love creating patterns and tutorials nonetheless. I am constantly learning new tricks of the trade to incorporate into my projects. If you get stuck, spot an error, or even have a suggestion, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me! I go through great measures to proof check my work, however, typos and errors still find their way! Reach me at [email protected]
Happy sewing! xoxo