Economy Block Cat Quilt for a Very Special Person

It’s been said that quilting is therapy, and for this quilt, that was very much the case. I began planning this quilt immediately after our sweet little kitty, Meadow, passed away. Her vet, Dr. B., was a huge help to us during Meadow’s last days, and I wanted to give Dr. B. something that reflected how grateful I was. I knew I wanted to use a fabric with cats on it, so I found this Robert Kaufman “Whiskers and Tails” fabric. I knew I wanted to fussycut and frame them somehow, so I found the “economy block” pattern that had been hugely popular a year earlier. I used low-volume prints from my stash (and a few new ones) and got to work.

I wanted a bright and cheerful color palate to match the personality of the recipient.

I decided to paper piece each block using a pattern from Red Pepper Quilts, even though I found tutorials on how to make them without paper piecing. I wanted them to be exact, and I like paper piecing. Since each block finishes at 5.5″, in order to make a decent size quilt, I realized I’d need a large number of blocks. I decided to make 64 blocks for a finished quilt size of approximately 40″ x 40″.

Dat first perfect little meemow.

The original idea had been just to use different colored backgrounds scattered all over. But 2/3 through the quilt, I started to lay out the blocks, and my husband pointed out that I almost had all the colors of the rainbow. I decided to add some purples and emeralds, and realized I could do a 45 degree rainbow if I was strategic in the rest of my blocks.

I always wait to cut my paper pieced blocks until they are all ready to be sewn together.

This quilt took me a long time to finish but I was motivated to finish so that I could give it to Dr. B. When I went to put all my blocks together, I realized with ABSOLUTE HORROR that some were 5″ and some were 5.5″!!! I must have printed a set of the pattern not at 100%. Luckily, only about 10 of the 60 had to be redone.

By the time I got around to finishing it, we had adopted a new baby into our family: Miss Ladyface. Here is my new sewing partner!


I decided to take the finished quilt to the new animal shelter where I volunteer.

The finished quilt!
The finished Quilt!
Detail of the quilting from Cosmic Quilting

I had a label made for the back. I dropped it off for Dr. B. and she called me and was so thankful. She said it made her cry. I think we both got a little emotional on that call! I’ll never forget how she helped our kitty during the time she/we needed it most. Dr. B. went above and beyond and it will always be appreciated.

After finishing this quilt, I realized I could sew two more of the smaller blocks to make a mini-quilt. I created this mini version as a prize in my guild’s raffle. My guild (OCMQG) has raffles every month for hand-made items. This prize went to a friend and fellow cat-lover, Elise. I was very happy to see it go to a friend as it was kinda hard to give away. 🙂

Elise reaps the reward of my earlier mistake.




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