Sunday, 4 January 2015

Cool for Cats

So I have a little time today procrastinating while I am supposed to be writing things to tell you about a super-fast project that I sewed up for my Mum's moggy, Millie - the cat who has everything.

Cat Dream by Andover Fabrics.It is really a dark green.

I was in John Lewis having a look at the quilting fabrics and found this one, "Cat Dream" from Andover Fabrics, and instantly fell in love. Being the crazy cat lady that I am I pounced on it thinking that it would make the best blouse ever. To my dismay, only half a metre remained but I decided to buy it anyway and use it in a little cat quilt to put on Mum's sofa.

This is possibly the easiest project I made last year. There are only four components: 
the top fabric, a half metre remnant of poly quilt batting, the same of some coordinating fleece and 4 metres of matching bias binding. The only thing that I needed to buy was the bias binding, I had the rest in my stash. I pre-washed all the fabrics.

I cut off about 20cm of the top fabric on either side at the same point in the pattern to make it a better shape. I placed the fleece remnant wrong side up on a table, smoothing it out. Then I added the batting layer and finally the top fabric. This was pinned together at strategic points using quilters safety pins, which are those ones where the bottom bar is sort of banana-shaped. The fleece and the batting were roughly trimmed round the outside leaving about a 4cm overlap round the top fabric. I then basted all three layers together around the edge being careful to smooth out everything from the middle to the outside to avoid any bunched fabric on the back. I also curved the corners using a French curve to get a nice even sweep which makes them easier to bind.

I used 20mm single-fold bias tape which I just opened out and lined up with the edge, stitching along the fold.

Once this was stitched I trimmed away the excess batting close to the stitching, being careful not to cut away the top fabric or the fleece.  This will get a bit messy with little bits of batting everywhere (as you can see). Because I hand stitch everything to keep it from shifting, I folded the binding over the raw edge keeping it nice and tight and basted it down so that the folded edge on the back was a bit lower than the stitch line at the front. You could just fold it over but the seams were thick and I didn't want to risk not catching the fabric in the back. I did use quite lofty batting as I wanted it to be really comfy.

I then "stitched in the ditch" which is just basically sewing in the join between binding and the top fabric. This takes some hand-eye co-ordination I can tell you but you don't get any visible stitching on the top. Yay!
Please ignore my big pink stitches but you can see that I made sure the binding edge was a good few millimetres over where the stitching line would be.

When it was finished I gave it a quick iron on the top just to finish of the binding. Please don't do this on the fleece side or you will end up with a big melted mess.

I think that it turned out quite nicely. It is folded in half over the chair here so that it could be photographed. Mum was chuffed to bits with it and has appropriated it for herself so I will be making another one soon. I think that this also makes a good lap quilt as it is quite warm and surprisingly heavy.

This was a very fast project. In all it took me about 5 hours but most of this was either unpicking stitches from where I had tried to quilt it as per my original idea and it got eaten up by two of my machines, plus all the hand sewing and unpicking that I did as I always baste everything. It takes time but makes the sewing a lot easier. I am so old school.

Do you have a cat in your life? Or dog even?  Have you ever made them anything?

Have a great week!



  1. That fabric is wonderful, what a lovely little project.
    As you know I have four cats in my life, but no, they don't have any bespoke garments or accessories! They do rather like the blankets on the sofa though... xxx

    1. Thank you. You are very lucky. I am not allowed any pets. I only have a timeshare on Mittens, the cat that isn't mine but spends a lot of time with us. I used to feed all the ferals/strays round here. There were seven at one point but we trapped them all and took them to the Cat Shelter and they got nice homes. Cats will always find the comfiest place. You cats are beautiful. Bless their wee floofy faces. Xx

  2. I adore that fabric so much! And what a cute little quilt!! Poor kitty will have to sit on your mom's lap to use it. :) I made the kitties a little fleece "house" bed which the dogs kept laying on until the foam stopped standing up. The cat still sleeps on it though. I make them pillows out of fleece remnants I find at the fabric store and little blankets. They prefer laying on my stuff to their own though....

    1. Isn't that so true! Mum has cat baskets galore but Millie won't even look at them. A little cat house sounds great though. They really love their little spaces. I was so hoping that they had enough of this fabric to make a top or a dress but my loss is Mum's gain. :) xx

  3. We have a naughty cat called Lily and I have to push her out of my study when I'm sewing or blogging as she is jealous of anything which takes my attention from her. She sits on my sewing, keyboard, sewing machine or anywhere else annoying!

    Happy New Year and I look forward to lots more more gorgeous projects from you in 2015 xx

    1. Happy New Year to you too, Josie. Lily sounds lovely and very typically cat. I have a time share on one, Mittens and she sits on anything I have going on too. She also checks out the keyboard when I am typing just to see if there are any food-related goings on. Xx

  4. No pets here, but I think this is a great gift idea for the pet lovers in my life! That fabric is just perfectly whimsical!

  5. Thanks Alicia, not going to lie. If there had been more of that fabric no pet would have had a look in. Got to make another one now as Mum stole this one from the cat. Xx ;)