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Applique Patchwork Cats

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I have two different applique quilt projects for you! One is a table runner made with patchwork applique and then I have a couple of simple mug rugs where the cat applique is just one piece of fabric.

Applique Patchwork Cats Table Runner

This is another fun quilt project to use up those small scraps of fabric in your stash. The Applique patchwork cats project is really supposed to be a table runner but I had a blank space above our couch and thought…why not! It would also be cute hanging in a child’s bedroom.

Applique Cats
10-inch x 38-inch

Applique Cat table runner used as a wall hanging

I used 1½-inch squares of batik for the patchwork that covered the stretching cat applique.

Applique patchwork cats

Fabrics

  • Scraps of 1½-inch squares or cut solid applique cats from ¼ yard of fabric
  • Heat n Bond Lite fabric adhesive
  • 1/3 yard cream fabric for blocks
  • 1/3 yard backing
  • 3 – 2½-inch strips x width of fabric for the binding (1/4 yard)
  • batting

Every time I finish up a quilt project, I try and cut up the scraps and put them in my scrap stash. I keep batiks and regular quilt fabrics separate. I am using the batiks for this quilt project.

Piecing the patchwork for applique

Use an assortment of 1½-inch squares.

I started sewing the squares together with a scant ¼-inch seam allowance and then laid the rows on top of my template so I would know how many to sew together.

Here are the number of blocks I used to cover the template – the diagram below shows the template for the cat with the tail to the left.

Cat with tail to the right

  • row 1 – 1
  • row 2- 1
  • row 3 – 3
  • row 4 – 3
  • row 5 -3
  • row 6 – 4
  • row 7 – 5
  • row 8 – 6
  • row 9 – 8

Cat with tail to the left

  • row 1 – 8
  • row 2 – 6
  • row 3 – 5
  • row 4 – 4
  • row 5 – 3
  • row 6 – 3
  • row 7 – 3
  • row 8 – 1
  • row 9 – 1

The row with 8 blocks is for the tail

Laying out the squares to cover the cat applique

Trace the cat templates onto Heat n Bond Lite. Follow the directions on the package for the correct heat.

I never worry about being too exact on my cutting or tracing for that matter.

Showing the template for the cat on patchwork

Center Cat Applique

For the center cat, I decided it was easier to just sew a bunch of the 1½-inch squares together. I made 7 rows of 5 squares.

Center cat and patchwork

Cut the background blocks

I cut my background blocks 10-inches tall by 12-inches wide. If you would like a wider table runner you could cut 12-inch square blocks.

Peel off the Heat n Bond backing and layout your cats how you like. I tried to have the feet of each cat be the same distance from the bottom of the block (a little over 1-inch).

Applique

There are several ways to applique. My favorite is actually a free motion wiggle line but I thought a blanket stitch would look nice with a black thread. I forgot to take pictures before I did the quilting, sorry.

Caution! I have a sewing machine that does a beautiful blanket stitch but it is terrible about going over different thicknesses of fabric. I jammed the thread and broke a needle the first time I hit a section with multiple thicknesses.

Stretching applique cat

What I had to do was stop every time I came to an area that was too thick, lift up my needle and foot and advance just a little. My stitching isn’t perfect but I’m okay with it.

Middle patchwork cat appliqued

I will try and remember that the next time I want to applique around a piece like this to either do a free motion stitch or a straight stitch along the edge.

Last patchwork cat appliqued

Add sashing between blocks

Next, sew 2 rows of 10 – 1½-inch squares together. (yep, forgot to take a photo of this step too). Add these to the left and right sides of the center block. Then add the side blocks.

Sashing between blocks

Choose your backing and batting and quilt as desired. I chose a tan thread for my free motion quilting on my vintage Singer 15-91. Using a thread that was a little darker than my fabric makes the quilting show up more. I didn’t do any quilting on the patchwork sections.

Here is the table runner on our kitchen table. If I was going to use it here, I should have added a border to make it wider.

Cat applique table runner on the kitchen table

It looks nice on the table in the sunroom.

Table runner on table by the mini scattered wall hanging

This is a better view of it.

Stretching cats table runner

Want to see what is by this table? LOL, this is where I keep all of my birdseed. The garbage can (I was going to paint it yellow last summer) holds 80 pounds of Black Oil Sunflower seeds which is what I mainly feed the birds. I have corn and peanuts for the blue jays and thistle for the finch feeders.

Bird seed for the birds
Stretching cats on wall

Applique Stretching Cat Mug Rugs

Cat mug rugs

7-inches x 9-inches

Applique is always fun and perfect for mug rugs. I made two that are 7-inches by 9 inches which is a perfect size for a cup of coffee and a cookie.

Cut a piece of fabric 7-inches by 9-inches. I had some leftover quilt blocks that I decided to use. One was too narrow so I sewed a strip of the same fabrics that I used for the cat applique.

Applique Cat mug rugs

I used the small stretching cat templates and traced them onto Heat n Bond Lite. I just used some scraps of fabric.

Mug rug made with string block

I used the blanket stitch for the applique but this would be a good project for just doing a straight stitch right along the edge of the applique.

Stretching cat small applique

I used one 2¼-inch strip the width of the fabric for the binding on one mug rug. Wonder clips are my favorite way to hold the binding in place until I’m ready to machine stitch it down.

Magic clips to hold binding on mug rugs

Bob made some Oatmeal raisin cookies to put on the mug rugs. We normally have coffee in the morning so the cups are empty right now.

Mug rugs with cookies and coffee cups

Patchwork Cat Tutorial and templates

The pattern includes full-size templates for two different sizes of the three cats with reversed templates included and complete directions for making the table runner and mug rugs.

Get the Patchwork Cat Tutorial and templates

Patchwork pattern

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Hi, I’m Connie Kresin Campbell, the quilter, writer, and photographer behind Freemotion By the River. I enjoy inspiring others with my quilt tutorials and patterns.

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36 Comments

  1. I love the cats and would love to use them. Is there a way to buy a paper pattern. I don’t have a printer and would be happy to pay whatever the cost would be. I love following all your posts all your interests!

  2. I love the cat appliques and would love to make some mug rugs and table runners. I am wondering if there is a way to buy a printed pattern as I don’t have a printer? I would be happy to pay extra.

  3. Love the designs, will make the patchwork kitties for charity child’s quilt. Most children enjoy kitty-cats. Thanks, Connie.

  4. Love the cat quilts – and have so many friends who would love to get this for Christmas! Never too early to start planning! Seems like Christmas gets here faster every year!
    Thanks

  5. Hello Connie Dear. I do love kitty cats and these are all wonderful. Love the bird cup on the kitty mug rug. You are so sweet to feed all your wild birdies and animals. Mr. Mickey looks content on the runner. Stay warm and well.

  6. Oh Connie, you made my evening with the cat appliques & tutorial! Of course, I just had to go shopping. I guess after I finish my Heart lap quilt I will start these charming cats!
    Mickey is so precious – he is well loved (I know the feeling is mutual with you & Bob!)
    During our early years of marriage we had a basset hound named Sam (Samantha) – she was such a joy to have and love. Since then we started adding cats to our home over the years – now we have just one kitty named Peaches (but goes by numerous other loving names . . .). Pets bring us so much love and understanding. They do make our lives richer.

  7. As a former “cat Mom” I love these patchwork kitties. They would be wonderful on a baby quilt or wall hanging – so versatile for a range of projects.
    This brings back fond memories of my Benji and Lucy and all their funny antics.

  8. Thank you so much, Connie for the Cat applique! It’s the perfect thing to add to a quilt for my daughter. I enjoy reading your posts, especially when you talk about the enjoyment you get from feeding the animals who visit your yard. We also feed the birds and love to watch them fly back and forth getting their food.

  9. Glad to hear Mr. Mickey is doing so well. Such a trooper and you are such a good Mom. Love the colorful cat placemats against the snow outside. So many ways to use this. Might just start (another one) for the kids hospital. Animal quilts do well there. I promised no more “starts” – only finishes. But sometimes I just want to see if it will fly. Thanks!

  10. The cats are darling Connie. Although I’m not a cat person they are really cute. Loved hearing about Mickey this morning. What a lucky little dog to be so loved. Have a great day!

      1. Hi Connie! Another great project and tutorial! Thank you again for sharing! You are so creative!
        I’m a dog lover but cats are great too, I love all animals! You take such beautiful care of Mr. Mickey and all your critters outside too! Bless you! Carol S.

  11. Hi Connie,
    Love this cat appliqué and couldn’t help but want to purchase. I have two kitties myself. I just love it when they stretch they look so cute. I was always a dog lover but after putting my last dog down I got one kitty and about a year or so later got another. Adopted both from the same shelter. Bella and Pekoe. Mama loves them😊. Have a great day.

  12. Hi Connie,
    I could not resist buying your cat appliqué pattern today, since the table runner and the mug rug you featured are so creative and different. I know several friends who would love to have me make them one of these items, and I will add these to my list of things to make in 2022!
    Your story about your daily routine with Mickey is so heart warming and especially poignant for me. In the first week of January we sadly had to have our little twelve year old dog, Wally, put to rest. He had multiple health issues in his last year, including blindness, but he soldiered on amazingly well until his last week, when we knew it was time to let him go in dignity.
    Like Mickey, Wally also greatly benefited from a daily routine and was happiest when we could stick to it faithfully. It certainly helped him to get through his last year in an almost normal way, and we live for those memories.
    Mickey is lucky to have such wonderful human “parents” and I am sure that your thoughtful and loving care of him is prolonging his life in a very happy way.
    Your outdoor “pets” are lucky to have you too!
    All the best to you and your family, both humans and animals!
    Johanna

    1. Thank you Johana for your sweet comments and I hope you really enjoy the pattern. I am so sorry for your loss of Wally. We try to help them and keep them with us as long as we can. It sounds like he was much loved!

  13. Hi Connie,

    Thanks for giving me ideas for my next baby quilt. These patchwork appliques will be great for using up my scraps. The bunny looks easier than the cat, and I’m always in favor of easy! Stay warm, Wendy

  14. Great way to start the day… Love the various cat projects. I will just have to get going. Anyone else who STARTS many projects, is inspired by even more, but COMPLETES them slowly??

  15. Connie, love the cats! My mom’s cat is black and a black cat placemat would be so fitting! Have to finish a couple quilts first. Also, glad Mr. Mickey is feeling better. Your so fortunate to have each other. Deb

  16. Hi Connie,
    The cats are just wonderful! You really captured their exact movements as they roam about during the day.
    I am excited to make some cat projects. (The rabbit was a favorite also)
    Thank you so much for all your posts.

    Judy

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