Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Best of Cat Quilts! Part One

Every cat owner knows that cats love quilts... and we love cats. Thus it makes purr-fect sense that the cat is one of the most popular motifs in all of quilting.  In order to seek out the best cat quilts from around the world, we "previewed" over 150 Cat Quilts (and we are not making that up). We are so excited to show you our very favorites, in three parts, with our thanks to all of the artists for their inspiring work. Stay tuned... you won't want to miss any of 'em !

Look Out for Scout, 35 x 39, by Penny Sander

When we came across "Look Out for Scout", by Penny Sander, the word that came to mind was: breathtaking. The quilt won first prize for wall quilts in 2009 at the Rising Star Quilt Show. Scout's face contains 16 colors and over 1000 one-inch rectangles. In a word: Wow. The quilt will also be shown this November at the 2010 International Quilt Festival in Houston (if you're going, you can look for it there!) The quilt featuring Scout is not the first of Penny Sander's award-winning quilts: she also created the fabulous Where's Buddy as part of a 2006 quilt challenge (black and white with one accent color). "Where's Buddy" used over 2000 one-inch rectangles to depict the cat in pictorial form; that quilt won first prize for Challenge Quilts at the 2006 RSQ show (if you click on the link, you can read about "Where's Buddy" and ogle all of the winning quilts). Also note that the 2010 Rising Star Quilt show is coming up soon: October 16-17 in Lexington, MA !

In His Dreams, 30 x 34, by Sharon Malec, at Malec Designs

Sharon Malec is a contemporary quilter who creates original art quilts, and a line of patterns, under her eponymous site: Malec Designs. Sharon is best known for her realistic depictions of dogs and other animals. Her highly regarded books include The Dog Lady Speaks and The Dog Lady Goes Wild. However, do not be deceived by the unassuming moniker of "The Dog Lady"... among her achievements, one of her quilts -"Barking up the Wrong Tree" - is in the permanent collection of the Museum of the American Quilter's Society in Paducah. Sharon Malec's designs even include a lion, tiger, and bear. One of her recent creations is the magnificent "In His Dreams", shown above (click on the image to enlarge it and view the exquisite detail). Additional designs in the cat kingdom include a lifelike tabby cat and the dignified black and white cat shown below.

Black and White Cat, 25 x 11, by Sharon Malec, at Malec Designs

Finally, here is something truly wonderful: you can put your own pet into a quilt. Sharon will draft a personalized pet quilt pattern for you, starting with a photo ! This would also make a fantastic gift for any pet lover.  For more inspiration, visit Sharon Malec's online gallery and her animal collection.

Morning Mews, by McKenna Ryan, at Pine Needles

Many of McKenna Ryan’s wildly popular designs include wild animals, but "Morning Mews" is a three-quilt series that features felines of the domestic kind, from left to right: Dora, Clifford, and Chip. Each individual quilt is approximately 17" x 22", and each one is a miniature work of art. Clifford, the curious black-and-white cat shown above, is framed by the colorful leaves of a tree and by majestic mountains in the distance. Alongside Clifford, two yellow birds risk their lives (er, enliven the scene!) These picturesque quilts use McKenna’s own line of fabrics from Hoffman California. For more information, visit the Morning Mews page at Pine Needles, the home of McKenna Ryan Designs. Also take note of the e-postcards on each page, which you can send to friends and family!

Catching the View, 33.5 x 39.5, by Janet Wickell, at

The three silhouetted cats are the stars of "Catching the View", but the attic windows provide the perfect setting. In typical cat fashion, the cats are perched in the windows, staring at the scenery, which includes little butterflies that dart in and out of the windows. The rectangular windows are each pieced with 12 floral squares in the watercolor style, then surrounded by the sky-blue mitered frames. Note that the frames are on all sides of the windows, unlike an attic windows quilt that has frames on two adjacent sides. This pattern was developed by Janet Wickell as one of her "quick little quilt" projects. We admire this quilt because of its combination of beauty with simplicity (which is no mean feat!) For more information, visit Janet Wickell's site on

Next week:  Stay tuned for Part Two and Part Three of "The Best Of Cat Quilts"... we have some amazing applique and contemporary quilts to show you !


  1. This is Quite a Cat! If only this house cat would do my housework!
    Quilty Smiles and Hugs

  2. Wow. I would love to know how to teach a cat to do housework. Very cute!


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