Cats in the Sampler

Materials

Light weight cottons are recommended

  • 3m of plain black fabric
  • Lots of fabric scraps in light, medium and dark tones
  • 173 x 262cm of wadding (68 x 103")
  • 173 x 262cm of backing fabric (68 x 103")
  • 0.75m of fabric for binding
  • Template plastic or tracing paper
  • Sheet of fine sand paper for hand appliqué
  • Freezer paper or similar for machine appliqué
  • Sharp fabric markers for light and dark fabrics
  • Neutral thread for hand or machine piecing
  • Black thread for appliqué
  • Invisible thread for machine appliqué and quilting
  • Quilting thread for hand quilting
  • Black embroidery thread for whiskers and tails

Finished Size

64 x 99" (163 x 251cm) This fits a 4'6" bed lengthways, but with no overhang

Skill Level

Intermediate

You can download a pdf copy of the original magazine pages for this project here, Cats In The Sampler Part 2

In Part One, Dilys introduced you to the first ten blocks in this quilt, plus gave sizes for five classic block designs. This installment has three more block designs plus the remaining cat appliqué templates. The blocks this month are a good introduction to reverse appliqué and curved seam patchwork (with two methods for sewing). In Part Three, there will be instructions for completing the 3D effect of the boxes.

Figure 1: Cats in the Sampler blocks
Figure 1: Cats in the Sampler blocks

Sizes of blocks in Part Two

15 Love Rings 12 1/2in square
16 Millwheel 12 1/2in x 24 1/2
17 Star Flower 12 1/2in x 24 1/2

 

Block 15 Love Rings

Figure 2: Love Rings
Figure 2: Love Rings

Template method by hand or machine

You will need 4 corner shapes in light and 12 in medium and 8 quarter circles in both light and dark fabrics.

  1. Use templates A and B and draw round on the WS of eight dark and light fabrics for each template, taking account of the fabric grain. Transfer the template marks onto the fabric. Add 1/4" seam allowance and cut out.
  2. Make small clips about 2/3 into the seam allowance on the inside corner of patch B only.
  3. Place a dark and light A and B RS together. Match the centre marks and pin through them to line them up (Figure 3).
  4. Match the corner marks and pin through them to line them up. Match the other marks to align the curves. Sew along the marked line, by hand or machine with the corner shape on top, taking the pins out as you sew.
  5. Iron the finished square, pressing the seam towards the larger corner patch A.
  6. Repeat with the other fifteen patches and lay them out in sequence as shown in the diagram above. Assemble the block.
  7. Appliqué the cat silhouette from the template in place, using your preferred method.
Figure 3: Sewing the curved seams
Figure 3: Sewing the curved seams

Machine piecing with freezer paper method

  1. Cut four 3 1/2" squares in light and twelve in medium fabrics.
  2. Trace template C onto freezer paper four times and cut out. Carefully fold and crease each circle into quarters and cut on the crease lines to give sixteen quarter circle templates.
  3. Taking account of the fabric grain, place the freezer paper templates onto eight light and eight dark scrap fabrics. Cut out with 1/4" seam allowance.
  4. Peel the freezer paper off the RS and place it centrally onto the WS, with the shiny (glue) side uppermost. Working with the tip of a dry iron on a cotton setting, iron the seam allowance on the convex side onto the freezer paper, keeping the curve smooth (Figure 4).
  5. Iron a prepared quarter circle onto a square, matching the corners (Figure 5).
  6. Sew along the edge of the curve by machine, using a straight stitch at the edge, small zigzag, or invisible blind stitch (Figure 6).
  7. Remove the freezer paper and trim away the excess fabric behind the quarter circle.
  8. Complete all the squares for the block and lay them out in sequence as per the diagram above. Assemble the block.
  9. Appliqué the cat silhouette in place, using your preferred method.
Figure 4: Ironing the seam
allowance onto the freezer paper Figure 5: Iron the quarter circle onto
the square
Figure 4: Ironing the seam allowance onto the freezer paper
Figure 5: Iron the quarter circle onto the square
Figure 6: Blind stitch the appliqué
Figure 6: Blind stitch the appliqué

Block 16 Millwheel

Figure 7: Millwheel
Figure 7: Millwheel
  1. Using either of the methods outlined under Love Rings, cut sixteen corner shapes and cut (or prepare with freezer paper) sixteen quarter circles in both light and dark fabrics, using templates A and B.
  2. Assemble the block according to the diagram above.
  3. Appliqué the cat silhouette in place, using your preferred method.

Block 17 Star Flower

Figure 8: Star Flower
Figure 8: Star Flower

Turn-through appliqué method

  1. Cut four 6 1/2" squares in both light and dark fabrics for the backgrounds. Cut four 5" squares in both light and dark squares fabrics for the star flowers. Cut eight 5" squares of medium weight iron-on Vilene. (All measurements include seam allowances).
  2. Trace the template D onto the smooth side of a Vilene square.
  3. Place the Vilene star rough (glue) side down onto the RS of the 5" squares. Do not iron yet! Sew all round, on the line, using a small machine stitch. Cut the seam to 1/8", trim off the points and clip into the ‘v’s (Figure 9).
  4. Cut a cross shape into the centre of the Vilene (Figure 9) and turn the sewn shape RS out, easing out the points carefully. Finger press to sharpen the edges and to make sure that no Vilene is visible on the RS of the flower shape. The glue side of the Vilene is now facing out.
  5. Position and press stick the Vilened flower shape onto a contrasting 6 1/2" background square (Figure 10). Sew down the edges by hand or by machine with a concealed stitch, a straight stitch at the edge, a small zigzag, or invisible blind stitch. From the back, cut inside the sewn line of the shape, to remove the background and Vilene to leave a 1/4" seam.
  6. Complete all the squares and lay them out in sequence according to the above diagram. Assemble the block.
  7. Appliqué the cat silhouette in place, using your preferred method. Note that on Dilys’ quilt, her cat extends slightly into the 3D box. If you want your cat in a similar position, wait until the next issue which has instructions for adding these boxes.
Figure 9: Sew the Vilene, cut the
cross and clip at ‘v’s Figure 10: Iron and sew flower onto
background
Figure 9: Sew the Vilene, cut the cross and clip at ‘v’s
Figure 10: Iron and sew flower onto background

 

Cats in the Sampler quilt
 
Cats in the Sampler quilt

 

Part Three will contain instructions for the final three blocks.

First published in Popular Patchwork March/April 2001