A Tail of Two Fabrics 😻

Recipe for a very fun art quilt:

-1 mischievous black cat for inspiration 

-2 fabulous pieces of fabric: Cherrywood’s awesome black and Carol R Eaton Designs’ luminous ice-dyed green

-2 favorite threads from Superior Threads: Metallic in black and Fantastico in a medley of greens

-MistyFuse, of course…

First, fuse both fabrics with MistyFuse (the black background will be fused to a piece of batting and backing for ease of quilting…a small piece reserved for kitty ears ;))

Make sure your rotary cutter has a fresh blade! Cut fabric into a stack of rectangles…

And then, cut freehand into leaf shapes. Don’t try too hard for uniform shape and size, Mother Nature doesn’t. Save 2 pieces to cut into kitty eyes…I went for a rounder kitten look here.

From the scraps, slice some curving stems for your “vine.”

Arrange to surround the face you will bring to life with thread:

One of the things I love about MistyFuse is the ability to reposition a piece if you change your mind. Use a Tsukineko black pen to ink in his pupils. Now take those ears and position appropriately over the eyes…

Suddenly you do begin to see the cat’s face, right? It is helpful to sketch in a jawline and nose here with that black pen…subtle but a great guideline to follow while stitching in his “fur.” If your subject has gorgeous glossy black fur, a metallic thread in black is the perfect choice. 

After your kitty has enough fur, switch to your leaf-colored thread and swirl some stitching through the leaves and, using a somewhat dense file stitch, flattening/defining the areas that are not the kitty. I used a simple lasso and broke every rule of the quilt police by crossing over a line whenever I felt like it…after all, the stems of my creeping myrtle go every which way!


You’re nearly finished…time to stitch the eyes (using the center of the eye, stitch radiating lines to the edge of the eye and back) and, of course, don’t forget a touch of white ink for highlights:

For bobbin thread choice, I always recommend using Superior Threads’ monofilament. Here is the back of the quilt:

This would also be a very fun design if you imagined the kitty in a bed of flowers! This little guy is off to the Quilt Alliance’s “Playing Favorites” benefit auction :)…have you begun your entry yet?


Published by neonkittyquilts

Laurie is a fiber artist who combines her passion for animals and quilting by producing pet portraits though a technique she calls "Pet-lique." A frequent teacher at IQF's Open Studios and The City Quilter in NYC, she has been published in Quilting Arts magazine and The Canadian Quilter. Her art quilts have been juried into special exhibits in Houston and the National Juried Show of the CQA. She sits on the board of the Quilt Alliance and is an enthusiastic member of SAQA. Laurie lives in NYC and Connecticut with her husband, their two angelic German Shepherds and three mischievous felines.

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