The Cool Cat – A Free Motion Quilt Tutorial

The Cool Cat, Free Motion QuiltingAre YOU a Cool Cat or a Cool Cat-Lover?

If you love cats, today’s Tuesday Tutorial is for YOU.

Whether you choose to stitch a single cat in the center of each quilt block or stitch a clutter of cats along the border, this motif is sure to please all Cat Fans!

The Cool Cat, Free Motion QuiltingBegin by drawing a circle head and an oval body.

In the sample below, the head is approximately one inch and the body is twice as big-two inches.

The quick sketch will help keep the cat proportional, but don’t fret about this too much–there are Fat Cats and Skinny Cats–everywhere.  It’s more fun to have cats with personality than cats that are perfect.

The Cool Cat, Free Motion QuiltingStart stitching at the top of the circle.  Stitch around the circle twice and stop at the top.

The Cool Cat, Free Motion QuiltingStitch two double triangles to create ears.

The Cool Cat, Free Motion QuiltingNext stitch several stitches around the left side of the circle.

Stitch IN to the center of the circle.

Then stitch ON TOP OF those stitches and OUT of the circle.

Stitch over those stitches to end in the center. (IN-OUT-IN)

End in the center of the circle.

The Cool Cat, Free Motion Quilting

From the center point, stitch out and in five more times to create all the whiskers.

End in the middle of the cat’s face.

Finally, stitch out along one of the whiskers and around the head to begin stitching the cat’s body.

The Cool Cat, Free Motion QuiltingStitch around the cat’s body twice and  spiral into the center.

OR be creative here and stitch a flower or other design.

Stitch to the bottom of the oval and stitch two paws.

The Cool Cat, Free Motion Quilting

Stitch to the right or the left to create the tail-a curved line and echo back to the bottom of the cat.

Now that’s one Cool Cat!

Stitch five more Cool Cats and you’ll have a clowder.

The Cool Cat, Free Motion QuiltingWouldn’t this motif look great along the bottom of a skirt or on a small pillow?

Make the cat much bigger by maintaining the proportions and adding more detail to the cat’s body–add a mouse or a ball of twine and you’ll have a small whole cloth quilt.

Or use The Cool Cat to tie YOUR next quilt.  (See Tying Quilts with Free Motion Quilting)


Special thanks to our friend, Bea who provided the idea and inspiration to create The Cool Cat…she was persistent but patient!

Hope you have a ball with this new design!


PS…All tutorials, information and images are the property of Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt and are intended for personal use only.  Feel free to re-blog, Pin or share with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at  Thanks!


25 thoughts on “The Cool Cat – A Free Motion Quilt Tutorial

  1. Oh Lori…Thanks so much….it has been such a rough year for me that I look for a smile when- and wherever I can. Smiles came unbidden this morning. DO I love cats!!! One 17 pounder inside and 13 outside rescued kitties…all “fixed”. I can hardly wait to quilt my own kitty. Happy Thanksgiving…hope you have a wonderful, blessed day.

  2. Rosemary B here:
    I love kitties. You are right, there are no perfect cats. They are all very silly and naughty at times. I love these “puddin’s” you made.
    I am going to try this today!!
    Thanks for this idea Bea and being persistent about it with Lori 😀

  3. “A clutter of cats” hahahahahaha! I think you coined a new phrase Lori and a very apropos one at that. I can just picture someone trying to work in the kitchen while cats weave in and around their legs. Love your cat pattern! It reminds me of the old wall clock cats.

  4. This is SEW cute! Thanks so very much for all the inspiration you offer on this blog. I’m leaning so much from you. 🙂

  5. Super cute Lori! I am so excited to try this on some Christmas gifts for my cat loving family members! Meow!

  6. Love, love this kitty kat and can’t wait to try it on my next quilt. Have used many of your designs on a king size quilt and makes me smile when I look at them. The quilt will be given to my daughter at Christmas and can’t wait to see her smile!!

  7. I was looking for a motif for the corners of a border where I quilted boys and girls holding hands – the cat will be perfect. The quilt is for my granddaughter. Thanks for the “just in time” answer to my problem.
    BTW- I am honored that you featured the pincushion that I made for you yesterday – he does make one smile.

  8. Lori, your tut’s are the BEST, and you share them so willingly with us, thank you sooo much! I am going to make a Christmas ornament with your design…. my daughter loves cats, the idea is quilted in my head, lol Thanks so much!

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