I hope all of you enjoy the CURIOUS CATS block. I had fun designing it. I was on the lookout for mouse fabric while on our trip to the Upper Peninsula, and found this one at The Quilted Moose Quilt Shop.
My inspiration came when I found a photo of a block on the internet. I sketched it, but did not write down the website or blog it came from. It made me think of cats watching something interesting. Maybe fish or mice or bugs!
The traditional name of the block is Missouri Star according the The Quilter's Album of Patchwork Patterns by Jinny Beyer. The book has more than 4050 pieced blocks and it took me a bit of time to find one that matched. Below is the block as I first drew it in EQ7:
I changed it a bit as you can see in the block below.
Once I drew Curious Cats in EQ7, it was easy to cut the pieces for this block. EQ7 showed me the the rotary cutting requirements for the pieces and I just had to follow the directions:
For my Twisted Traditional Block, I used only 2 colors for the cats. But as you can see, more colors can be used.
If you would like to make this block here are the sizes of the pieces:
From Background Fabric cut:
- 4 A squares 3-1/2” x 3-1/2”
- 1 B square 7-1/4” x 7-1/4” and cut diagonally twice yielding 4 B Triangles
From each Cat Color cut:
- 3 C squares 3-7/8” x 3-7/8” and cut each diagonally once yielding 6 C Triangles of each color
From 5” Center Fabric cut:
- 1 D square 4-3/4” x 4-3/4”
I placed all of the pieces on the table as they were going to be sewn so I did not sew calico cats of different colors! (I have no photo of this step.)
To sew the block, begin with the center. Sew 2 C triangles (longer sides) of grey to opposite sides of the center square.
Sew the 2 C triangles (longer sides) of black to the other sides of the center square.
Trim off any dog ears from the triangles to reduce the amount of fabric when stitching all the units together.
Sew one of each color of C Triangle (longer side) to the larger B Background triangle (shorter side).
Two B background triangles will have C triangles of color 1 on the left side and the other 2 B background triangles will have C triangles of color 1 on the right side.
My 1/4" foot really helped keep the units the correct size when sewing!
Sew the units into rows.
See how two of the Flying Geese units have gray on the right side and the other two have the gray on the left side?
Then sew the rows together.
And the block is done.
To get the faces on the cats, I used thin copy paper and traced the outline of the cat's head. I folded the shape in half, drew an eye and half a nose and mouth on one side of the fold. I cut those areas out with tiny scissors and had a template.
For illustration, the photo above shows the template on the block after I had stitched the face. I placed this over each of the cat heads and used a chalk pencil to outline where I would stitch. I have not embroidered in a long time and think magnifying glasses would have helped to do a really great job. But, I got the facial features on each cat (and each one is different). I realized after I had done 2 cats that fusible interfacing would have helped keep the fabric in its proper shape. But overall, I know they are cats (as did my husband, thank goodness). Fabric paint pens could have been used and it would have been much easier.
This pattern is available for free
for 2 weeks at PATTERNSPOT.COM after that the pattern will be available for $1.
If you make the block, please send me a photo and I will post it on my blog. It would be great to see how everyone interprets this block.