Cat Quilt Block Pattern Tutorial

Make a modern cat quilt block - depict a cat head. Get a size chart for 12 inch and 9 inch block sizes. Plus, see what it would look like in a quilt pattern!

Cat Quilt BlockCat Quilt Block

Stitch and Flip Quilting Technique

To make this cat face block we'll use a quilting technique called stitch and flip to make the ears and the jaw line.

If you're not familiar with the technique, see step by step instructions of the stitch and flip quilting technique before continuing.

Cat Block Size Cutting Chart

9  Inch Finished Size

12  Inch Finished Size

Fabric A (cat head)

  • 2 (3 1/2 x 3 1/2 inch) squares
  • 1 (6 1/2 x 9 1/2 inch) rectangle

Fabric B (background)

  • 2 (2 1/2 x 2 1/2 inch) squares
  • 1 (3 1/2 x 9 1/2 inch) rectangle

Fabric A (cat head)

  • 2 (4 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch) squares
  • 1 (8 1/2 x 12 1/2 inch) rectangle

Fabric B (background)

  • 2 (3 1/2 x 3 1/2 inch) squares
  • 1 (4 1/2 x 12 1/2 inch) rectangle

In this quilt block tutorial, Fabric A (pink paisley) is our cat head and Fabric B (dark gray) is the background.

Cat Quilt Block Instructions

WOF= Width Of Fabric
Unless otherwise noted seams are 1/4 inch.
Refer to the Block Size Cutting Chart above for desired block size.

Step 1 Cut the fabric pieces according to the Block Size Cutting Chart.

Draw a diagonal line from one corner to corner of each square.

Step 1 Cat Quilt Block: Cut the patches according the the Block Size Cutting Chart. Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner of each square.

Step 2 Align Squares. Working with right sides together…

Align a large square on each end of the smaller rectangle. Align a small square in the bottom corners of the larger rectangle.

Align the square on the left side of each rectangle so that it faces like a \ (backslash).

Align the square on the right side of each rectangle so that it faces like a / (forward slash).

Step 2 Cat Quilt Block: align squares onto rectangles.

Step 3 Stitch a seam on each drawn line. 

Step 3 Cat Quilt Block: Stitch a seam on each drawn line.

Step 4 Place the 1/4 inch measurement line of a quilting ruler on the seam of each stitched on square and trim the corners 1/4 inch from the seam line.

Step 4 Cat Quilt Block: Trim corner of each stitched on square 1/4 inch from the seam line.

...the corner of each stitched on square trimmed.

Step 4 Cat Quilt Block: the corner of each stitched on square trimmed.

Step 5 Flip each corner right side up and press the seams.

Top Rectangle (ears): press the seams toward Fabric A (or away from background fabric). Bottom Rectangle (face/jawline): press the seams toward Fabric B (or toward background fabric).

Step 5 Cat Quilt Block: press seams.

Step 6 With right sides together stitch "ears" unit to "face/jawline" unit.

Step 6 Cat Quilt Block: With right sides together stitch

Step 7  Press the seam down, toward the face/jawline unit.

Step 7 Cat Quilt Block: Press the seam down, toward the face/jawline unit.

The finished cat quilt block is ready for a modern quilt pattern!

Cat Quilt Block II

Bonus Cat Block

There are many different types of cats. And even the same cat can show different sides of its personality. To mimic this in the cat quilt block change up the ears.

The diagonal lines on the squares that make up the ears do not have to be directly in the center of the square. Make it somewhere south of the diagonal center of the square.

  • Place a large square on a cutting mat within an area the same size as it is.
  • Use the markings on the cutting mat and and a quilting ruler to determine where to draw the lines.
  • Use a marking pen to draw the line along the edge of the quilting ruler.
  • Repeat for the second large square or change only one ear.

In the photo below I drew a diagonal line at about the 3 inch mark.

Cat Quilt Block II: Draw the diagonal lines on the squares that make up the ears  somewhere south of the 45 degree line.

For both squares that make up the cat's ears I drew the line at different heights on the squares.

Cat Quilt Block II: For both squares draw the line at different points on the squares.

After stitching on the lines, trimming the corners and pressing the seams I squared up the rectangle.

Align a quilting ruler along the top and side of the rectangle and trim the excess fabric from each corner in turn.

Cat Quilt Block II: Align a quilting ruler along the top and side of the rectangle and trim the excess fabric from each corner in turn.

To complete the cat quilt block stitch the ears unit to the face/jawline unit.

Cat Quilt Block II: stitch the ears unit to the face/jawline unit.

Cat Quilt Pattern Idea

The 12 inch cat quilt block would look like this in a quilt. Alternate it with 12 inch plain squares. The quilt is 96 x 96 inches, queen size. It has 20 cat quilt blocks and 15 plain squares. The alternating sashing rows and borders are 6 inches wide.

Cat Quilt Pattern Idea

This cat quilt pattern has a modern appeal. It uses three shades of mottled gray fabric for the cat blocks and a mottled dark gray/black for the background fabric.

Sassy Modern Cat Quilt Blocks

Give this cat quilt block pattern a try. Change up your fabrics and bring the jungle to suburbia - make some sassy cats with animal print fabrics! It's so easy for beginners...

Picture of three 9 inch cat quilt blocks.

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