Quilt ADD in therapy

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Colorado, United States
Other than my family, the passion of my life is quilting. An eclectic, I love a wide variety of styles and techniques encompassing both machine and hand work. I am a longarm quilter who can work for you. I enjoy any style, from pantographs to all-over to full custom, ranging from traditional to modern. I love bringing vintage tops to life and am willing to work with a challenging quilt top. Instagram: lyncc_quilts

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Desire to Inspire Project 7 - "Soft Kitty, Warm Kitty" with Time-Saver Tutorial

Soft kitty, warm kitty,
Little ball of fur, 
Happy kitty, sleepy kitty,
Purr, purr, purr.

"Soft Kitty, Warm Kitty"
Study #2 in quick cat quilts
(Pictured below on the right, seen with "Kitty Shuffle")
both originals made by Lynette Caulkins
34 x 34 inches
fabrics: "Miss Kitty's Colors" by Marie Cole for Henry Glass plus unknown white and Minkee Cuddle in Platinum
Hobbs 80/20 batting
quilted on a domestic Husqvarna Sapphire 875Q


I am in love with this little quilt! The name was influenced by the backing and binding made from Minkee Cuddle in Platinum, which gave it such a nice silky soft gushiness. Its size is perfect for either a wall hanging in a baby/child's room, an away-from home tummy quilt, a car quilt, or a drag-around blankie for a toddler.

~*~ "Soft Kitty, Warm Kitty" Tutorial ~*~

This is another quilt that is extremely easy to make and can be done up in a day or a weekend, and I'm going to show you a time-saver on the applique work. It's great for scraps on hand or charm squares.

Again, this is a free "pattern" that you may use for personal quilts or gifts, and can change up any way you like. There's a link below to share your rendition if you use it. :)

It is sized here to fit on a one yard purchase of Minkee if you are quilting it at a domestic machine. (You'll need a yard and a third for longarming.)


From your scraps or charms:

You will need 9 pieces that can fit a 4 inch square 

Inner Frame fabric: 
   Cut 2 strips that are 1" x 19.5 inch
   Cut 2 strips that are 1" x 20.5 inch

Fusible applique material:

Trace 9 of these patterns (see comments in the construction notes below). I think you can just right-click to save this image so you can check the size (or change it to fit your desires). It should be a 4x4 inch square size, and you can print one that you can trace.

From your background fabric: (I used 1 yard of white)

Center square: 19.5 inch square

Border strips: 
   Cut 2 that are 7.25" x 20.5" 
   Cut 2 that are 7.25" x 34"


Applique prep:  We're going to kill two birds with one stone during the quilting, so we'll only prep the applique during the construction process. Also, I'm going to show you how to reduce a lot of stiffness in your fusible applique work.

You need nine kitty faces traced onto fusible material. I use Steam-a-Seam Lite 2, but you can use any of the brands out there. (Pay no attention to the yarn balls I'd traced inside the faces - I was going to put some around the outer portion of the quilt, but didn't like the effect.)

Cut the faces apart (but don't cut on the traced lines yet).

Now for the first half of the secret to keeping your fusible applique quilts from getting stiff: You need to "gut" your fusible pieces. Just cut right across the line into the center and cut away the inside part, leaving an eye-balled 1/4" allowance inside the shape's line.

Lightly iron the fusible to the wrong side of your kitty face pieces, lining the cut-apart portion up with itself nicely.

A quick multi-press job will do just fine. Don't spend time doing each one separately.  :)  This is just to hold the fusible securely enough to cut out the shapes. 5 or 6 seconds does the trick.

While those are cooling off, give yourself some guidelines on the middle square of background fabric. First I folded it in half each way and lightly pressed. Then I used my long ruler and a water-erasable marker to make light lines on either sides of those press lines going in each direction: 
   2 inches away from the line
   1.75 inches out from those
   4 inches out from those
This gives you a nice grid to make sure your faces are evenly spaced. Here you can just barely see my lines:

Go back to your faces and now cut them out along the tracing lines. Peel the backing paper off the fusible, position the faces into the grid so that they make you happy, and mist-spray the blue marker away. (I like the Steam-a-Seam because it sticks to the fabric enough to let that keep these in place at this point, but if yours doesn't do that, you can pin them down enough that they won't move when you take this to the ironing board.)

Go eat eat lunch while you let this air dry. When you come back, you can make certain you don't need to spritz any blue lines again, and then fuse the applique pieces down permanently according to the material's directions.   

Let it cool a bit, then use the second half of the secret to keeping fusible applique quilts from being stiff: Carefully cut away the backing from the middles of the kitty heads. I pinch the backing fabric away from the kitty face, make a teeny snip, then carefully cut the fabric away close to the inside edge of the fused stuff. (It's much easier to do this with small, sharp scissors.) Just don't do this while you're distracted - it needs your full attention. 

(hmm- I don't have a process picture of that for this project, but this is what I'm talking about on another project, where the blue backing has been cut away from the inside of those cream ribbon pieces):

Back to our Kitties - Forget about stitching the faces down. It's not necessary!! Let's do something better with that time!  :D

Sew on the Borders:

First sew the inner framing border on. Attach the shorter strips to the sides of your center, sewing with the thin strips on top, and press the seam toward the border strip.  Then do the same for the top and bottom.

This is a skinny frame - just 1/2 inch finished, so when you add the outer background pieces to the sides, sew it with the strips on top again. Otherwise, the previous seam messes with your feed-dogs and makes your stitching line wobble. 

Press these seams into the frame, also. The dimension created is nice and logical, and gives you the base needed for stitch-in-the-ditch work during the quilting.

Add the top and bottom as well, and you have a very fast quilt top ready to go. Although, now is a great time to mark your quilting plan if you want. I used a wavy ruler I have to create the quilted framing lines, then just marked in an on-point grid to fill up the outer background.

Two-In-One Quilting and Applique Stitching:

You are going to stitch the edge of the kitty faces down as part of the quilting process, so layer and baste your quilt as you like. If you spray baste, I would recommend adding pins around the faces for added security during that stitching. And if you layer it up with Minkee backing, you'll want your pins closer than normal.

I used my machine's blanket stitch to finish my kitty faces, so I put on my walking foot. You can use a different fancy stitch on your machine, or instead free-motion 2 or 3 straight-stitch rounds on them. It's all up to your preference.  (You'll get a nicer quilting result if you significantly lower the pressure of the presser foot - on my machine, and with Minkee backing, I changed mine from the factory-set 6.0 to 3.0.)

My machine does this electronically. Some machines have a turn-dial, and others have a spring-loaded peg to push in. Maybe do a Google search on your machine if you can't find it. (Some machines cannot do it.)
If you have not blanket-stitched applique pieces before, you can search online for some great tutorials on how to do it nicely. There is a little bit of an art to getting it lined up nicely and making curves and corners look good. But don't be afraid of it - it's not hard!

Once that was done, I used thread that matched my background to quilt the rest. First I stitched in the seamlines on either side of the framing border. Then I quilted the double wavy frame lines. The on-point grid was rather fun to follow around (I carefully stitched on top of the pre-quilted wavy frame lines to travel to the next grid line - I didn't stop-and-start all those).  I then decided the center needed more quilting, so I put on my free-motion foot and echoed those at about 1/2 inch width. (Once again, I'm missing some process photos - sorry about that!)

Voila! Bind your quilt, and isn't that adorable? (I used a single layer of minkee this time)

Navarre sure thinks so. He's a happy, sleepy kitty, too - look at that yawn.  :)

And the Minkee back makes the quilting look so nice!

If you make a "Soft Kitty, Warm Kitty," go ahead and link it up here. This will remain open indefinitely.


Take a look at the other projects I worked up from the "Miss Kitty's Colors" collection. If you might be interested in taking on the Henry Glass challenge, their information is included here. Don't let it intimidate you - I am just a normal private quilter, and I also had a much longer deadline than the usual 3 weeks, so I went a little crazy with my work.  :)   

This is one of my Q4 Finish Along pieces (My goal post link)

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

I'll be linking up at:



  1. Lovely kitty tute! thanks for sharing.

  2. Another great project Lynette! Thanks for the tutorial and great tips for keeping the quilt soft and for saving time. The Minky is perfect!

  3. Lynette! Fabulous tutorial! It is a such a fun little piece and yet another pin worthy quilt on my eye candy board. Cxx

  4. More kitty love! And another superb tutorial! Something quick and easy before I pack all my scraps away for the winter! Thanks so much! You're a sweetie! XO

  5. Ooo. Great tip for the applique, will definitely be trying that! :)

  6. I really love that one, it's so sweet. Thanks for the tip and tutorial I can see both of these in my future. Does Navarre get to keep this one?

  7. Too stinkin' cute! I must make one. Thanks. Great tutorial.

  8. Purr purr purr,
    I really want to make this one!

  9. So cute my granddaughter would love it , thanks so much for such a Great tutorial .

  10. I love this! I laughed when I saw the name - my daughter and I are huge Big Bang fans.

  11. This is so cute! Maybe even a beginner like me could do this! Now I need to go look at Kitty Shuffle.

  12. I LOVE this! So cute! Thank you for the great tutorial too! And for linking up!
    xo jan

  13. This is so adorable!! Thank you for the tutorial. I'll link up when I make mine.


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