A Cute Cat Jack O’ Lantern Block for Halloween

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.

Pattern

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″.

Time to get started on those Halloween projects!

~Jen

Black Diamonds Quilt

Hi everyone,

I completed a new quilt called Black Diamonds from the Fat Quarter Shop. This quilt features a new ruler called the half triangle trimmer, which helps you to create perfect 2″ x 4″ half rectangle blocks.

If you purchase the supplies for this quilt using the links in my post, I get a small percentage of the sale to help offset the costs of running this blog. I appreciate any and all purchases via my affiliate links!!

Quilt Kit and Pattern Available Soon!

The Fat Quarter Shop will be announcing this new quilt pattern and quilt kit later in August or early September so watch for an announcement on their social media. The quilt kit will feature a fabric line called “Create” by Alli K Designs.

The half triangle trimmer is now available to purchase.

Let’s Take a Look at My Project!

For my version of the quilt, I used the Too Cute to Spook line by Me and My Sister Designs. I thought this pattern would make a really cute Halloween themed quilt.

Supplies for my Black Diamonds quilt: Too Cute to Spook Fat Eighth bundle, background fabric, pumpkin fabric for center blocks, binding fabric, half rectangle trimmer, and pattern

This pattern is really simple to make because it only contains 2 blocks: a star block and a diamond block. Both blocks use the half rectangle trimmer. I decided to make a test block before cutting out all the pieces and chain piecing.

Here’s my test star block:

Black Diamonds quilt: a test star block

Usually, star blocks are made with half square triangles so I really like the look of this elongated star using the half triangle trimmer tool. It’s a really fun shape! I also made a test diamond block, which went together perfectly.

I decided to go for it and cut out all of my fabric pieces according to the directions. For my center squares in my star blocks, I used the same fabric for consistency. If you decide to go this route, then you’ll need a 1/2 yard of fabric. If you go scrappy, then you could use fat eighths or fat quarters.

TIP: A Stripology ruler saves you so much time and effort when cutting out strips of fabric.

I chain-pieced the star block units first and then the diamond block units. In this pattern, pay special attention to directions because you need to make right-side facing units and left-side facing units.

TIP: Use a Sue Daley rotating cutting mat when trimming your half rectangle units. As a bonus, I also use this mat to cut out pieces for English paper piecing.

Here’s a look at all my completed star blocks and diamond blocks:

Completed blocks for the Black Diamonds quilt

Aren’t they cute? When I pieced the units together, I didn’t worry about having 2 of the same fabrics touching each other. There is so much movement in the finished quilt that no one will notice!

After I had completed all these blocks, I laid them out on the floor with the help of my quilt assistant. As a way to check my placement, I usually take a picture with my cell phone. This picture helps to identify any block placement mistakes, and it also helps me to remember what order I need to sew the blocks.

My quilt inspector checks my block placement!

My quilt inspector sometimes likes to rearrange things when I’m not looking! I sewed the rows together and finished the quilt flimsy in time to take on a little mom and son hiking trip. My son was a good sport and held up the quilt top while I took a quick picture.

Black Diamonds quilt flimsy

Once home from our short adventure, I decided to quilt it with an open free-motion stipple pattern using white thread. For the binding, I used a striped fabric from the Too Cute to Spook line, which I think is the perfect finishing touch for this quilt!

Here’s a look at my completed Black Diamonds quilt, Halloween style!!

Completed Black Diamonds quilt

This quilt finishes at 60.5″ x 60.5″ so it’s a perfect lap size. You can easily enlarge it by making more blocks to expand it, and be sure to watch the Fat Quarter Shop for a blog post announcing the pattern and quilt kit plus a look at all the sample quilts. Watch for a live tutorial by the Fat Quarter Shop launching on September 8th.

Enjoy!

~Jen

Cats in Space Cuteness Overload!

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.

What do you think? A mini quilt or enlarge it?

Happy quilting!

Jen

Modern Quilt Guild Mini Quilt Swap 2022

Hi everyone,

Earlier this year, I participated in the annual MQG mini quilt swap. This swap event is an open swap, meaning that you and your partner are making mini quilts for each other. In contrast, most swaps are not open but secret, meaning that the person you are making a mini quilt for is usually not the person who is making a mini quilt for you. It’s a surprise when you get your mini in the mail.

For the MQG swap, many participants plan to attend and swap their mini quilts in person at the annual modern quilt show called QuiltCon. For those who cannot attend, you have the option of swapping with your partner via mail. That’s the option that my partner and I selected this year.

I received my partner’s name and quilt preferences via email from our “Swap Fairy,” who is the person assigned to a group of swappers to ensure that everything is running smoothly. My partner listed her favorite colors, fabric designers, and preferences so I could take those into consideration when making her a fabulous mini quilt.

I decided to do a modern traditional feel for this swap. I designed a mini quilt using the traditional churn dash block, but I made it feel modern by setting it on-point, elongating it slightly, and then added little color accents in each corner. My partner’s favorite colors are jade, green, turquoise, and yellow.

Here’s a look at the finished mini quilt:

Modern Churn Dash mini quilt for the Modern Quilt Guild 2022 swap

I took the mini quilt with me on a short hike to Latourell Falls in the Columbia River Gorge before mailing it to my partner. My teen did the honors of holding it up while I snapped the pic. He’s such a great quilt holder!

I used a variegated Aurifil thread to quilt the spiral on the mini quilt using my domestic sewing machine. The background fabric is a light-colored Spectrastatic print by Giucy Giuce, the churn dash fabrics are Kona cotton solids, and the yellow and green accents are from my scrap bin.

I usually like to make a small extra gift to go along with mini quilt swaps. For my partner, I made a Woppet bucket, pattern by @cleverwoppet.

Woppet Bucket

Isn’t it a cute bucket? I made the little charm pull and added it to the pink handle. You can pull the fabric handles up to carry it like a little bag.

I sent my little mini quilt and bucket off to my partner, and received a package from her in return. She made me this fun rectangular shaped mini quilt with bright colors, a low-volume background, and black and white pinwheel blocks!

Mini quilt that I received in the 2022 swap!

I really enjoyed the mqgswap this year! If you want to see more pics from this swap from other quilters, you can browse Instagram using the tags, #mqgswap2022 or #makeaminimakeafriend .

Happy quilting!

~Jen

Antique Table Topper or Giant Mug Rug?

My husband and I found a little table a few years ago while antiquing that we use to have our breakfast. The table faces a sliding glass door, looking out on our background. It’s relaxing to watch the birds flitting about while sipping coffee before starting work for the day.

However, we don’t want to scuff up the table’s surface more than it already is so we’ve been using various items like kitchen towels and coffee coasters as protection. Last weekend, I decided to make a table topper for this little table, but it also reminds me of a giant mug rug! When it gets dirty, we can just toss it in the wash.

Here’s what the table looks like without any topper:

Little antique table

I had some fun fabric in my stash with an outdoors theme that I thought would work well. The colors match the kitchen, and we love to be out hiking! I measured the diameter of the table, which is 25 inches. I selected 5 fabric prints, and cut out 5.5 inch squares that finish at 5 inches each. I placed them in a 5×5 grid, stitched them together, and then quilted this base shape.

Starting quilt shape for table topper

The fabrics that I used are:

  • 5130-15 (dark mountain print) from Smoke & Rust by Lella Boutique
  • 5130-14 (gray mountain print) from Smoke & Rust
  • 5135-13 (plus sign print) from Smoke & Rust
  • 5131-16 (orange text print) from Smoke & Rust
  • 55551-21 Timber Campsite Cream from Timber by Sweetwater

I quilted the project using meandering free-motion with Glide thread in Apricot Blush.

Once I had my square-shaped base, I took placed the table upside down on the back of the quilt and traced the circle. I drew a cutting line in about 3/4″ from the original tracing line so that my quilt would not extend to the edges of the table. I wanted a little peek-a-boo border of the table.

Table topper, trimmed to fit

I choose the orange text print for my binding. I needed to use bias binding to get a stretchy binding that I can easily sew to curves. It worked out so nicely!

Circular table topper, bound

Now for the reveal! Did my quick table topper project work? Does the coffee taste better while using it?? Yes, it does, because I don’t have to worry about leaving water marks anymore.

Completed table topper
Completed table topper with chairs that need to be reupholstered

We also have these 2 antique chairs to go along with the little coffee table. However, they are in sore need of reupholstering. I hope to tackle that project this year, and choose a new fabric that will go with the table topper fabrics.

Happy quilting!

~Jen

Cat Themed Fourteen Squared Quilt

Hi everyone,

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!

Romeo helping to 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.

Romeo approves the binding choice

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.

Cat Themed Fourteen Squared quilt front
Cat Themed Fourteen Squared quilt back

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!

Happy quilting,

Jen

Grinning Cat O’ Lantern Quilt

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:

A little quilted spider

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!

~Jen

A Completed Tula Nova Quilt!

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.

My “Tabby Nova” with the fall leaves and my husband’s feet!
“Tabby Nova” on a play structure at a local park
“Tabby Nova” back
“Tabby Nova” getting a quality cat scan from Cow in the dappled sunlight
“Tabby Nova” getting a second inspection by our neighbor’s cat. Do you see him?

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.

Enjoy and happy quilting,

Jen

A Nutty Quilt!

Hi everyone,

This past weekend, I did some traditional piecing and started work on a nut themed throw quilt for fall. What nut, you might ask? The acorn! I’m using the Acorn Woods pattern by Fig Tree Quilts, which you can get on sale at the Fat Quarter Shop this month.

I’m also using the Pumpkin & Blossoms fabric line by Fig Tree with beautiful pumpkin oranges, grays, greens, and creams. It is such a warm and cozy fabric line for the fall season so you can use it for months. I like that this fabric line isn’t Halloween-y but you could use it for Halloween-themed quilts.

I cut all my pieces and labeled them with Alphabitties so that I could just sit-and-sew all the blocks assembly-line style. The Alphabitties keep everything tidy and organized, and I don’t mix up some of the smaller sub-cut pieces when I’m at my machine.

Here’s a look at the acorn blocks. Aren’t they fun?

Acorn blocks

To add a little more fall theming, this quilt contains some leaves to sprinkle in amongst the acorn blocks. The bright green leaves add some color interest to the layout.

Leaf blocks

In addition to the leaf and acorn blocks, there are some low-volume setting blocks. The blocks come together pretty quickly, and I was able to sew them together over the weekend and on one evening after work.

Here’s a look at the quilt top outside in my backyard this afternoon:

Acorn Woods quilt top (not yet quilted)

I thought that I might have a cat come over and inspect the quilt, but they were too busy dozing in the sunshine.

This quilt top is really pretty, and I can’t wait to quilt it! I want to finish it soon so that I can take advantage of the fall sunshine and get some pictures of it on a lovely hike with beautiful leaves.

Happy quilting and happy fall!

~Jen

Fall 2021 Swatch Service from the Confident Stitch

Are you ready for fall? After a long, hot summer here in the Pacific Northwest, we are expecting our first soaking rain tomorrow. The leaves are beginning to turn brilliant colors, and the evenings are cooler and comfortable.

I’m starting to sew more now that summer is winding down, and I’m thinking about fall and winter projects. This quarter’s quilting cotton swatch fabrics and patterns from the Confident Stitch are absolutely perfect for the season, featuring the gorgeous fall colors.

In this quarter’s package, you’ll receive the following items:

  • (14) individual 5.5″ swatches of quilting cotton fabrics
  • (1) 5.5″ x 22″ strip of bronze solid fabric
  • (1) 5.5″ x 44″ strip of dragon fruit solid fabric
Fall 2021 Quilting Cotton Swatch Service Bundle

What is the best part? You can use the fabric in this swatch set to make the included pattern, Turkey Time Table Topper, which is perfect for your fall table settings. The table topper finishes at 17.5″ x 25.25″, and the Confident Stitch has an accompanying video for you to watch on how to make this project.

You also get an Information Card listing all the fabrics and prices in this quarter’s swatch service. The large project featured is the Faster Fourteen Quilt by Hunter’s Design Studio, and the Confident Stitch has a kit available to order or you can choose your own individual fabrics.

Fall 2021 Quilting Cotton Swatch Service Contents

I’ve used patterns from Hunter’s Design Studio, and they are great patterns that can you complete pretty quickly. Most recently, I’ve made these quilts to give as charity quilts to organizations such as Project Linus. They also make great baby quilts!

If you want to subscribe to quarterly swatch service, also known as Kate’s Swatch Experience, the cost is $15 every 3 months. The Confident Stitch offers 3 options: quilting cottons, garment fabrics in warm tones, and garment fabrics in cool tones. You can sign up for 1, 2 or all 3 swatch services. As a quilter, I highly recommend the quilting cotton service to get a nice variety of swatches plus a fun project as happy mail every quarter!

Let me know in the comments if you’ve joined! I plan on making a project with my swatches soon, and I’ll blog about it in an upcoming post.

Happy quilting,

Jen