The Vintage Home: cat quilt block!

Laura's cat quilt block

We’re immersed in the appliqué zone this month, so our Technical Editor Laura leapt at the chance to create her own version of Jo Avery’s cat-themed block of the month from issue 40!

Somehow, our popular Block of the Month series: The Vintage Home has reached it’s final issue. Jo Avery has been taking inspiration from all sorts of must-have items around our homes to create new quilt blocks every issue for a year. And this time she’s turned her attention to ornaments and art. “We’ve been stitching useful household objects for this project, so it’s time we became a little more frivolous,” Jo explains.



We never knew Jo was such an avid collector until now. You can read more about her collection of ornaments and art, and about how she caught the bug at car boot sales in the ‘80s, in issue 40. Picking which ornaments to feature this month must have been a challenge for her! As she puts it, “I would have loved to produce a design of everyone’s favourite knick-knack, but as that is not possible, we will all have to stitch my Wemyss Ware cat!”

TQ40 vintage home block of the month

Find out how to stitch Jo’s cat quilt block and her Home Sweet Home block (inspired by cross stitched samplers) in issue 40 of Today’s Quilter magazine.

So how did Laura get on stitching her own version?

“It is no secret among those who know me that I am cat-obsessed, so this month’s block was an obvious choice for me. I love a bit of appliqué too and I enjoyed that this block had some nice, gentle curves which are easy to needle-turn. I was short of time (the magazine keeps me busy!) so I cheated and did a little fusible appliqué for the smaller details. My cat ornament is an oriental one, and I love this dramatic red blossom tree print (from Kimono by Makower) with its touch of metallic gold against the black and white details”

The Vintage Home Cat quilt blok

Laura’s 3 top tips for stitching this block

  1. It can be difficult to transfer an embroidery pattern through multiple layers of fabric. I copied the face onto tracing paper and pinned this in place on top of the fabric. I then stitched through the paper, following the lines and carefully tore the paper away when finished.
  2. Needles are a personal preference, but I like to use a size 11 Milliner’s needle for needle-turn applique, as the narrow shaft glides through the fabric, and its length is useful for sweeping the seam allowance under.
  3. Visit our appliqué blog post for a detailed walkthrough of different applique methods you could try when stitching this block.

Cat and cat block