Are you looking for a cute and not scary block for Halloween? How about a cute little cat face on a pumpkin? This adorable block will work on trick-or-treat bags, table runners, mini quilts, and larger quilts.
For a limited time, this cute cat jack-o-lantern quilt pattern is on sale in a favorite Halloween craft magazine. You can choose to purchase a hard copy that is mailed to you or a PDF download, which you can download to your computer.
Here’s a look at my block:
I loved using a pumpkin-themed fabric for my cat face! Aren’t those little cat-faced pumpkins with fangs just adorable? I want to make several different fabric combinations using different oranges, blacks, and low-volume backgrounds and create a lap quilt.
For my block, I used the following fabrics:
Background fabric: white dotted fabric from “Too Cute to Spook” by Me and My Sisters Designs.
Cat and handle fabric: purple/orange pumpkin fabric from “Bring Your Own Boos” by Cotton + Steel
Pumpkin fabric: orange fabric from “All Hallow’s Eve” by Fig Tree Quilts
This block is a great stash buster, and you can really have great fun with different fabric combinations. I love seeing a cat face block with the whiskers. It adds a nice element of whimsy to the block.
The quilt pattern in the magazine has a great layout with plus-shaped blocks added between rows of cat jack o’ lanterns and makes a finished quilt at 45″ x 48″.
It’s no secret that I’m a cat lover! I’m currently owned by three cats, including one special foster kitty named Gracie. The three cats take turns playing musical laps, rotating on my lap so that each one gets some special petting and snuggle time. When I saw a new pattern by Elizabeth Hartmann called Cats in Space, I just knew that I had to make it as soon as possible.
I had a short quilt retreat recently with my sister and two of our quilting friends. I tossed this pattern into my bag along with some fabrics to make one cat block. Usually, I like to precut pieces for a quilt retreat, but I didn’t have time with this project.
I started by cutting out each section according to the pattern, and I labeled the sections with these amazing little plastic squares called Alphabitties. I take each label and clip it to the fabric piece using a Wonder Clip. These Alphabitties labels are game changers for patterns with tons of little pieces that can be easily confused with one another.
I did notice a possible pattern error related to the diagrams. If you look at the picture on the pattern cover, the space pack on the cat’s back is higher than in some of the pictures inside of the pattern. The pattern pieces (V, GG, and HH) are sized so that your space pack comes out shorter than the pattern cover photo. I adjusted these few pieces so that my kitty’s space pack is the higher version.
Here’s a close-up view of the space kitty:
Isn’t the background fabric fun? It has little fireflies, shooting stars, and constellations. It’s called Night Sky by Dear Stella. The other fabrics are from my stash. I used some Alison Glass pink fabrics for the space suit details, some sparkly Essex linen for the helmet, and Kona cotton solids for the kitty.
Once I had created my kitty block, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to keep it as-is or go ahead and add the three stars surrounding the kitty. I’m pretty sure that I’m going to turn this block into a mini quilt so I thought that the three stars would just up the cuteness factor.
Here’s a look at my finished block:
Swoon! This block is so adorable. The kitty looks like she’s coming in for a hug with her favorite human. I love it so much!
I’m still leaning towards keeping this space kitty as a mini quilt to hang in my sewing room. If I decided to make the small size quilt, I’d need three more space kitty blocks.
I’m catching up on some quilts last I finished in December. I made several fat quarter friendly quilts last year to have on hand to give as gifts. The pattern that I selected is called Fourteen Squared by Hunter’s Design Studio, and it is a quick and easy quilt to make. I love it so much because I can work from my stash and find ways to use up some of my fat quarters.
The first one that I made is cat themed, of course! My quilt inspector practically demanded it. He was so happy with the cat fabric that he couldn’t wait to help me piece the backing!
For quilting, I did an easy all-over meandering with some free-motion hearts thrown in for good measure. My goal on these quilts is to use everything from my stash so I pulled a fun chunky stripe for the binding, again with the inspector’s help.
I used pinks, oranges, dark grays, and low volume fabrics for this quilt. The cat prints are from a variety of manufacturers that I’ve collected over the years.
I finished the binding just in time to get pictures of this quilt outdoors with a little snow that we had in December before it melted. My teen helped with the photo shoot while my outdoor quilt inspector lingered just out of view.
I have so many ideas for this quilt! A Halloween version is a must for me at some point. I plan to make a few more this year to give as gifts and to donate to charity. The pattern is such a great stash buster.
I’m participating in a couple of swaps that I will blog about soon. One is a block swap, one is a bag swap, and one is a mini quilt swap. Stay tuned!
Have you heard about the Spooky Box from Fat Quarter Shop? Each year, they release a Halloween themed mystery box, filled with quilting goodies including a project with fabric and notions! You can still buy the 2021 box at Fat Quarter Shop with this link.
For last year’s 2020 Spooky Box, the quilt project was a fun Cat O’ Lantern mini quilt. I pieced this quilt last October, but then set it aside in my to-quilt pile. I was inspired to pull it out and quilt it recently as I was decorating my yard for Halloween.
I made a few modifications from the original pattern. I swapped the black and purple fabrics so that I could have black cat popping up from behind the pumpkin. I also changed the shape of the cat’s eyes and nose from squares into diamonds and a triangle. I knew that I’d quilt in more face details such as whiskers and the famous cat grin.
I did all free-motion and hand guided ruler work using Glide thread in Apricot Blush for most of the quilt and Glide thread in Black on the cat.
Here’s a look at a little spider that I added to each of the black triangles at the top and bottom portions of the quilt:
In the orange triangles, I quilted little ghost shapes. I did some basic fills in the background portion, and a swirly pumpkin fill in the purple behind the cat.
For the cat face, I added some eyebrows, whiskers, pupils, and grin. I later enhanced the pupils with an outline of black thread.
I gave the cat a little dimension by quilting some swirls on the forehead, checks, paws, and tail. For the pumpkin, I kept it simple with straight-line quilting to keep the emphasis on the sweet cat!
We went to pick pumpkins last weekend, and my son held the quilt up while I snapped a quick picture in between other pumpkin hunters. I love a striped binding so I used this black/gray/white striped fabric in my stash that I think really frames this little Cat O’ Lantern quilt perfectly.
Happy Halloween from the cat at the pumpkin patch!
I started working on hand piecing my Tula Nova quilt during summer of 2020 and just finished the binding in October 2021. I’m going to call my quilt “Tabby Nova” because I used a great deal of Tabby Road fabric by Tula Pink (now out-of-print).
This quilt is entirely hand pieced using a method called English Paper Piecing or EPP for short. In EPP, you use paper templates and baste them to fabric, using either thread basting or glue basting. I use the glue basting method because it is much faster. I used Aurifil 50 weight threads for the piecing, in colors to match the fabrics.
Once the pieces are sewn together and stable, you remove the paper backings. The advantage to EPP over machine sewing is that this method is portable so you can take your sewing with you. I often stitch while waiting for my son at sports or other appointments. I even stitched the initial center block while camping last August.
I decided to quilt my Tabby Nova using a combination of ruler work and some free-motion swirls. I used straight lines to echo the pieced shape out into the background 5 times. Then, I quilted swirls in the remaining spaces. I used a Rainbow thread called “Lilac Bouquet” by Superior Threads, which is variegated and beautifully accents the colorful fabric.
My backing is another out-of-print wide back fabric by Tula Pink called Free Fall with large dots and birds. I had this small piece in my stash for a few years, and I thought it went pretty well with the quilt top. The backing fabric is a purple Moda grunge, and I used Tula’s True Colors in Tourmaline Mineral for the binding with a small color burst of Citrine Mineral on the lower right-hand side.
Are you ready to see this quilted explosion of color?? Here are a few pictures that I took this weekend, with the help of some very special quilting inspectors and assistants.
I really enjoyed making this Tula Nova quilt. It is my first completed quilt using EPP. I have since started a second quilt called La Passacaglia using Tula Pink fabrics. This one is going to be huge and take more than a year to complete.
Happy spring, everyone! The days are getting a little longer, bulbs are blooming, and birds are singing. I’m very happy that we’re heading into the warmer spring days because it means more hiking and gardening.
For Christmas last year, my sister sent me the Cheetah Abstractions pattern by Violet Craft. This is a foundation paper pieced pattern that usually finishes at 48 inches by 60 inches, but I decided to shrink it down to 75%. I like to print my foundations using Carol Doak’s Foundation Paper because it is really easy to remove after sewing.
I challenged myself to use only fabrics from my stash. The fabric audition process can take a few days and, for this quilt, my hardest decision was the background. I knew that I’d need about a 2 yard piece in a solid or mostly solid color with enough contrast to make the cheetah body pop. I auditioned creams, grays, grunges, and others until I came across a mottled light aqua fabric. Perfect! It reminded me of a partly overcast day.
Once I had the background fabric, I pulled different solids and lightly patterned fabrics to audition for the cheetah body. I like to use Violet’s included color palette to tape small swatches of my fabrics so that I remember which fabric goes with which symbol while paper piecing.
I started with the cheetah face first. I was just so eager to see it come to life in fabric! The head section is the most complicated, especially at just 75% size. If you’re new to paper piecing, just go slow and remember to reduce your stitch length. Here’s the start of the cheetah with the pattern for scale.
Over the next few days, I tackled sections of the cheetah body. I sewed the smaller sections and laid them out before joining sections together. It is much easier to fix mistakes this way! Isn’t her expression great? Her gaze is so intense and focused.
I pieced my cheetah fairly quickly in just a few weeks. I put all my other projects (mostly) on hold. Once pieced, I thought about how to quilt her for a week or two. I didn’t want the quilting to detract from the magnificent cheetah mama.
I decided to do some straight-line quilting all over the cheetah face and body using Glide thread in Sand Dune. For the background, I did some free-motion leaves using Glide thread in Cool Mint. I also used 2 layers of Quilter’s Dream Poly Select batting for extra texture!
The double batting does make this small quilt heavy, but I plan to hang it on a wall rather than using it as a lap quilt. For the binding, I used a dark brown fabric for three-quarters of the quilt and then used a piece of the backing for the remaining one-quarter to accent some of the colors from the cheetah.
The backing fabric is called Kenyan Cats by Alexander Henry Fabrics, which I thought worked so well with the cheetah theme.
I really love how this fierce mama cheetah quilt turned out, and I can’t wait to display her on a wall behind my work desk at home.
Two years ago, I attended a quilt retreat with my sister and some friends. We decided to do a Ghastlie themed round robin, where we would each create our own center block. We determine a round robin order, and then send our centers to the next person. We had 4 total members and had no restrictions other than using Ghastlies fabrics with blenders.
The Ghastlies is a line of fabric by Alexander Henry, featuring a splendidly creepy family including a cat! It is unusual, whimsical, and funny fabric, and definitely outside of traditional quilting.
For my quilt, I really wanted my theme to be Sebastian, the Ghaslie cat. I used a foundation paper pieced pattern by Linda Hibbert of Silver Linings Originals called Miss Teree. I don’t see the pattern on her website, but you may be able to email her if you are interested in the pattern.
Here’s what my center looked like in December 2018:
Coincidentally, the other 3 members of our round robin all selected the same Ghastlie fabric for their center block, but added personalized details:
Aren’t they fun? From 2018 to 2020, we added rounds and mailed them to the next person. The last round finished up this September, and we each received our completed tops in October.
Here are the completed Ghastlie quilt flimsies!
Our plan is to quilt them and enter them into a quilt show in fall 2021,and we’re hoping for the COVID crisis to be lessened by then so that we can have in person quilt shows again.
We had so much fun with this round robin, and we’re planning another one. The next round robin will be different. Instead of complete quilt flimsies, we are thinking about a Ghastlie themed block swap.
This summer, I started an English paper piecing (EPP) project so I could have some handwork to do while waiting in parking lots due to Covid restrictions. I blogged about starting the Tula Nova quilt here.
I’ve had a bunch of time in the past few weeks due to my son’s taekwondo classes and surgery follow-up appointments for my dog. We used to be able to go inside, now we must wait in the car. I’m not sure what will happen will we start getting below freezing, lol!
I’ve added some more rounds to my cat themed Tula Nova. I’m using as much of the “Tabby Road” line as possible, but I don’t have many of the coordinating prints so I’ve been trading with people on Instagram for different pieces. I’m also using fabrics from the True Colors line, such as the mineral prints, hexy rainbows, and fairy dust.
Do you see the cute cans of cat food in the star blocks?
Once I complete each round, I audition fabrics from my stash. It’s quite a messy process! I have fat quarters and half yards scattered about the room, until I decide on something.
The next round has 10 stars and 20 medium hexagon shapes. I decided on some purple stars to pull out the purple in the center of the quilt.
I fussy cut a striped print from the “Chipper” fabric line so that the dark purple fabric was more or less in the middle of the star points with some green on each side. I had just enough of the cat eyes print from “Tabby Road” to make enough small hexagon centers for the 10 stars needed.
“♪ ♪ ♪ I always feel like someone is watching me . . . ♪ ♪ ♪”
After I finished hand piecing these 10 stars, I placed them next to the my Tula Nova to decide what color I wanted for the medium hexagons in between each star.
Well, my quilt inspector had a strong preference, which I will reveal in a future blog post! He is really loving this cat themed quilt, and loves to help me “arrange” fabrics.
This is a bright and cheerful quilt, and I’m so happy that I started learning how to EPP.
Recently, I decided to tackle my first pattern from ByAnnie, the Zip It Up large organizer. I almost only do quilting projects so anything with a zipper seemed to be a good challenge. So instead of making just one organizer, I decided to make two!!
I made one for me using the HomeMade fabric line by Tula Pink. I just love the sewing machines and notions in this line so I thought that it would be perfect for a sewing project bag.
The pattern calls for quilting together the bag outside, Soft and Stable (the material inside that gives the bag its shape), and the bag liner. At first, I thought about quilting it on my domestic sewing machine, but then I thought why not try and quilt it using my HQ Avante? I wasn’t sure how my longarm would like the Soft and Stable project, but it quilting like a dream.
I used Glide thread in Cool Mint, and did some pretty floral swirls.
Romeo inspects my quilting
Quilting the Zip It Up panels
For the second organizer, I decided to use llama/alpaca themed fabric for my sister. I did straight-line quilting on her bag.
I surprised her with this organizer several weeks ago when we had a mini sewing retreat together.
Here’s a look at her completed organizer, with some alpacas giving it an inspection:
Alpacas inspect a Zip It Up organizer
Inside the organizers, there are 2 separate zippered pouches. One is a clear vinyl pouch, and the other one is a mesh mesh. There is also a second zipped pouch on the outside back of the bag (the pattern has it on the front but I decided to add them to the back instead).
I added some fun goodies to the inside of the organizers including a little cutting mat, stickers, pencils, a notepad, and some Tula Pink ribbon. The zipper pull is a cute fluffy llama that I found at a local craft store.
Zip It Up organizers, a look at the inside
Finished Zip It Up Organizers
I really like how these Zip It Up organizers turned out. These are the large size finishing at about 11.5 inches by 14 inches, which is perfect for taking a little sewing project with me while traveling.
A family member just had a baby this past week, and I wanted to send her a little gift to welcome the precious little one.
I decided to put together a simple and quick baby quilt using fat quarters and scraps from my stash. I had some super cute safari themed fabric with giraffes, zebras, and alligators that I thought would be perfect for a baby boy.
I cut out 48 squares at 5.5 inches unfinished, and then set them out in 8 rows of 6 blocks each.
Arranging the blocks
It’s was a pretty quick process to sew these blocks together, and then sew the rows together. Once I had assembled the top, I decided to add borders. However, I only had fat quarters and odd scraps, so I had to piece the borders together. I used 3″ borders all around the quilt, with giraffes down the sides and zebras on the top and bottom.
For the backing, I used a piece of minky called “Safari Jeep” by Michael Miller Fabrics. I did purchase this piece from a local quilt shop because I wanted the softness of minky, but I didn’t have any in my stash.
I did a simple stippling for quilting using Glide thread in Lemon Ice. I loved the look of the yellow thread against the quit. The minky back quilted up beautifully on my HQ Avante. The binding is a navy blue and white striped fabric.
I forgot to measure the finished quilt before I mailed it off to the new mom and baby yesterday. I think it is close to a crib size.
Here’s a look at the finished quilt, with my inspector helping:
Cow inspects the baby quilt
The completed baby quilt
I hope the mom and little one enjoy this quilt for years to come!