Cats Who Quilt -- Where Quilters and Cats Meet on the Web
Stories About Special Cats Who Quilt
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Buy the book "Cats Who Quilt." Buy your cat the "Certificate of Membership in the League of Cat Quilters." Make your cat very happy. Buy other stuff too, like some of the other cat quilt pattern books featured on this Web site.

Excerpts from 'Cats Who Quilt'
Read excerpts from the book 'Cats Who Quilt'

More Excerpts from 'Cats Who Quilt'
Read more excerpts from 'Cats Who Quilt'

Table of Contents
Read the Table of Contents of 'Cats Who Quilt'

Sewing Room Safety Tips for Cats--And Dogs
Please read these all-important sewing room safety tips for pets!

Free Cat Quilt Patterns to Download
Free Cat Quilt Patterns to Download

World's Biggest Cat Quilt Pattern Database
World's Biggest Cat Quilt Pattern Database. Find cat quilting patterns in this "shareware" directory of cat patterns around the world.

History of Cats Who Quilt
History of the Web site, and the book's rocky road into print.

Judy's Page
You can read about me and find out why I do these crazy things.

Needlecrafter's Computer Companion
Here's where you'll find tutorials for designing needlework on your computer, as well as everything you need to know about printing photos on fabric.
Unfinished Objects Prayer
Proof that all our needlework projects come from a higher source.

Men of Quilting
Is there a special guy in your life who runs your quilting Web site, who drives you to fabric stores, who humors you with "Honey, but that quilt looks lovely!" when you're too embarrassed to pull it out of the closet? Honor your special guy here in our special feature Quilt Guy of the Month!

Help for Handicapped Stitchers
Looking for information on how to use a sewing machine with a blow stick or help for quilting if your eyesight is failing? Here's some help.

Do You Have a Special Cat Who Helps You Quilt?

If you have a story about that special cat who stalks your sewing room--and your heart, and you'd like to share it with other quilters, please drop me a note at Cats Who Quilt.

Britainy Heller's J.J. Prince of the Universe Britainy Heller in Kirksville, Missouri writes: "I have 10 cats who quilt, thanks to one who didn't. In college I was given the greatest gift...a black and white tuxedo cat that I named JJ. JJ was my one true best friend. He went through a bad marriage with me and was there for me through at least 15 moves in the 1990's through 4 different states. No one was more important to me and he was known far and wide by my family and friends as "The Prince of the Universe".

This past winter in November I discovered a lump in my 11 year old baby and the story goes downhill from this point. JJ had gastrointestinal lymphosarcoma. His Dr. operated and removed most of his small intestines. Nothing else could be done. After a week in the hospital I took him home to wait. For the next three weeks I rarely left my bedroom. I stayed there just holding him and telling him how loved he was. I never went farther then the kitchen or restroom until the first weekend in December I decided I needed to go buy the biggest Christmas tree I could find,...because JJ wasn't gonna make it to see Christmas. I was out 10 husband brought me home and went back out to cut the tree so that JJ wouldn't be alone. Once the tree was home, JJ layed on the couch and watched us decorate it. On Dec 4th he went to be with God.

I was nearly insane with the grief and would probably have jumped in the lake if I hadn't discovered quilting. Completely out of the blue I took up quilting in Jan of this year. My first wall quilt was titled "JJ Running in Heaven with God". I have since with the help of our other 10 cats, made 20 wall quilts and a bed quilt. My cats are a constant source of comfort for me but no one will ever replace JJ. They all "help" me through my fabric, trying to steal sewing items like fusible web.......they keep me on my toes:) Cat hair of course comes with the territory......thats why tape was invented! They rule my projects and sometimes I have to put a quilt away because they want to help with the cutting..(a NO NO) or the sewing needles (another NO NO) the quilt has to wait until they are all asleep:)"

Sharon Doenitz says that her calico cat Shoufy "loves to sit on any tiny thing I might be trying to sew. When she was a youngster, I was quilting in an oval quilt frame. Every time I tried to quilt, Shoufy jumped into the middle of the quilt - making it sag down so I could no longer work. We love her and tolerated it. Finally the quilt was finished." Shoufy and Sharon live in the Kingdom of Bahrain in the Middle East.

Rebecca Speakes and Felix Rebecca Speakes from southern New Mexico sends this picture of her and her "gigantic cat Felix who loves to chew on my special gold thread."

Sarah in Istanbul, Turkey writes "I'm a would be quilter (being approximately 1/8th of the way through a huge, hand stitched pieced quilt-seemed a good idea 10 years ago..), and have my life run by three monsters. They don't help me sew much, apart from the usual spool football, although my eldest (Oscar) does have a thing about threaded needles, preferably darning. How do I know? I find them in the litter tray when cleaning it out. Oh yes-in, through and out with no visible effects!"

Caroline Scannell's cat Pharoa Athena writes from Smithtown, New York: "Since momi decided to stop quilting on that machine and sit down and quilt in the livingroom, we have become very close. Well, at least it was fun for a while. Now its too hot to quilt! Anyway, she has this plastic rectangular hoop or frame and she puts the quilt in that and sews around it. I walk across it several times while she's working on it so it doesn't get wrinkled. I have never been pricked by a pin! But momi gets them thru her hand and is always getting stuck with them. Guess I quilt better than she does."

Judy Webb's PatchesJudy Webb of Beaverton, Oregon writes, "I finished my first quilt in January, 2001 - a triple rail. Our 14 year old cat, Patches, is dying of kidney failure. Isn't she a beauty? For the past 5 years, she slept on a thermal blanket on a dresser at the end of our bed. Now, she will only sleep on the the quilt I just made in Jan. I'm making another quilt now, and Patches has been there for every stitch. I didn't know until now about the special attraction cats have for quilts.Too soon Patches will be gone. I cry everyday at the thought of losing her. But, I'm so thankful for these last hours we had quilting. I loved all the cat/quilting stories on your site. Thanks to al those cat lovers who shared their stories."

Deana of British Columbia, Canada writes, "I just wanted to share the story of 'Bandit' my Siamese cat. Whenever we would leave the house, Bandit would weave balls of yarn up, down and around the house. When we would arrive back home we would find the chairs were tied up so tight they were off the floor, lamps would be in different locations (usually strapped to other pieces of furniture). The balls of yarn would cover the entire upper and lower section of the house - making a spider web effect that would prove very difficult to walk through. I know this isn't a quilting story, but he really was an amazing weaver."

"I have read all your cat stories and love them all. I also love you web site. A few months ago I had to put my wonderful loving calico cat named Callie age 17 down from old age. I missed her dearly. I had this big huge void in my heart that I couldn't seem to fill. Callie always sewed with me and worked on the computer with me. It seemed she was where ever I was. I knew she was not replaceable.

"I always told people that bought my quilts that the Cat hair was free and would add warmth to the quilts. If they didn't like that they didn't get to by my quilt. All my quilts were made by Callie and myself and her hair was her signature on my quilt.

"About 4 weeks ago my daughter asked me to go with her to the pound because they said they had hamsters there and she wanted to check them out for my grandkids. So here we go to the pound looking for hamsters, but the first place my daughter went to was the cat rooms. She begged for me to come and I really didn't want to go in there. But at last I did, and after about 2 hours of sitting there with my daughter I had a pure black cat in my arms that wouldn't get down. She loved on me and loved on me and wouldn't stop. I started crying because she loved on me the same way Callie did. My daughter said "MOM I didn't come for hamsters, we came for you a cat and I think Callie has picked this one out for you, just you." Well, I came home with this black cat that was so shy and scared. She wouldn't come out from under the bed. I thought this isn't going to work out.

"About 4 days later I was designing a quilt on the computer using the mouse and guess who came and decided that the computer was hers and she thinks the mouse is for rubbing her tummy. She rides with me on my rolling chair and gets off at the place she wants to be. She keeps the quilt pieces that I am chain piecing from bunching up behind the computer for me. She drags them out and makes them fall to the back of the table. She either is in my lap, sitting on the arm of my chair or on the back or on top of the computer. This is the best thing that has happened to me in a long time since my Baby Callie died. So now we have a beautiful black cat with the greenest eyes you have ever seen and I have named her Emmy. I think Callie's spirit picked out a great addition to our family." Love Cheryl McKinzey and Emmy McKinzey

Moose on Her QuiltAlexandra K. Dmitrasinovic from Canada writes, "I had just laid out the blocks on the floor for my cream quilt and Motchka strategically reclined in the middle. He doesn't pretend to approve of the quilt, or give suggestions on block placement. He just knows he's a gorgeous Maine Coon which my Mum adopted from the local SPCA. This was the last picture on my roll, so I missed capturing the flurry of activity which took place about 15 seconds later, when my orange cat came flying into the room, into the blocks, chasing imaginary mice! This photo, therefore, is the calm before the storm!!"

The cat of Lori Weckesser of Connecticut, hard at work at the sewing machine.

"In October of this past year, I lost my 19 year old friend named Star. She had seen me through many things in my life, including my love of quilting. In my husband's kindness to replace my beloved pet, he gave me two new kittens for my birthday in December, Willow and Cuddles. Because that wasn't enough, and no one seemed very interested in my sewing room environment, we proceeded to rescue Clover, Ginger and our newest arrival, Aphrodite (D.D.) Well, DD takes the cake. Not only has she become my sewing room cat, but her favorite place to sit is at the base of my sewing machine, as I am stitching. Some day, I'm convinced, a black tail will work it's way into my quilt, instead of the thread from the needle. I am currently in the process of creating a special quilt for my new special buddy." -- Karen Johnson, Littleton, MA

Pumpkin, the Quilting Cat of Mary in Arizona. Notice how Pumpkin's method of work at the sewing machine is similar to that of Lori Weckesser's cat shown in the photo above. Remarkable, isn't it?

Mary Saxon writes, "My cat, India, is my constant companion when I quilt, cook, or do anything. Suddenly, she's taken an unhealthy notion to chew my iron and sewing machine cords. She's two years old and accustomed to seeing me sew since kittenhood, so it seems unlikely she's doing this to get my attention. It's gotten to where I sew only when she's asleep, but lately when she hears the iron being plugged in or the sewing machine engage, she rockets out of a dead sleep and homes in on the cords. Would the stuff for nail biters be helpful here, or is it not good for kitties? Any suggestions will be appreciated."

Tammy Seymour writes, "We are owned by eight cats. Two came from the pet shop like normal people's pets, the rest were rescued in various interesting ways. They all help me quilt and embroider. Red digs through the boxes of washed and sorted fabrics, throwing them on the floor. Phantom sleeps on blocks laid out for piecing and gets very annoyed if I move him. Felix thinks floss skeins are great cat toys. Boris gives his approval to finished projects by throwing himself on them and rolling around. Sherlock swallowed a two inch long threaded needle and needed emergency surgery to remove it. All eight love quilts in the frame for sleeping on. If I had to describe my quilts, I would be forced to say, "Wrinkled and hairy."

Randi Daeger of Rockford, Illinois writes, "I have five cats and they ALL like my little cat quilts I make for them and they like my sewing time, space, 'tools' etc. Cleo and Simba like to sit on top of the sewing box, Bailey likes to rip pattern pieces (I guess to see if what I am sewing has 'good taste'?) and GRACIE, my Abbysinian kitten loves to 'eat' the pins out of my pin cushion and pinned pieces. I was so glad to see you have a safety feature in your site!.Gracie hasn't read it yet so I have to keep my eyes on her at all times! Once the little devil unpinned one whole edge of a quilt and laid the pins down on the top before I got a hold of her............... And oh yes, they ALL love to watch the sewing needle go up and down and try to stop it. Needless to say I sew VERY slowly and care!fuly when they are around."

Billie Lauder writes, "This is a story that needs to be seen to be believed, but I swear it is true. My niece cat Sipsie is an actual quilter. I was visiting my cousin and had to get a quilt done for a sample on a Simply Quilts show I was doing. It was on using the Big Stitch as a quilting stitch. My quilt was basted and marked and I was lap quilting. I got up early and decided to work on it till everyone else woke up. Sipsie had been sleeping with me and of course had asked 'Why I you getting up?' in the way that a cat can only do and make you feel guilty. Well I pulled the quilt out of it's sack. Put the pillows behind my back and began to quilt. Now Sipsie wanted to know what I was doing. I hoped I could keep working alone and that she would curl up and sleep again but she sat in front of me - very alert and watched what I was doing. She decided she to could help so this is what we did. I got to put the stitches in the quilt and she pulled the threads. I wish I had had a video of this. When the thread was pulled up she put her paws back down and sat till it was time to pull again. We worked for about 45 minutes and got a lot done. Sipsie was 3 years old at the time. All black petite female. We haven't quilted together since, but she does great fabric approval and checks all the bags." She adds, in case we don't already believe she is completely insane, "My own Black male - Mauie has a great since of quilt block placements when I sew scrap quilts. He has moved blocks around and I have to admit they do look better."

Lil on Her Cat QuiltJane in Sydney, Australia writes, "I have one cat, who is 16 years old and going strong. He helps me to quilt by testing out the comfort level of a quilt before it is finished, and always looks beautifully decorative on any finished quilt adorning a bed. This is a picture of a cat quilt I made for my daughter. I enjoyed making it for her so much, happily knowing her adored cat Lilith (pictured) would like to sit on it too. The pattern is Plaid Cats from the book by Janet Kime, "he Cats Meow: Purrfect Quilts for Cat Lovers. My daughter tells me that when there is a blanket or something else temporarily sitting on top of the quilt, Lilith will burrow down so she can sit on the quilt only. I think she knows the colours in the quilt really set off her beautiful silky grey fur! Cats are surely very wise in their appreciation of quilts!"

Bettie Gordon from Sherwood, Arkansas writes, "My long hair black kitty, Chipper Jones, alias, Skip, loves to sit on my sewing table and sleep by the window. I found him there today on my rail fence pattern that I have been working on, so I just left the room and let him sleep."

An unnamed Web surfing quilter writes, "It seems my cat is always somewhere near when I am quilting. I am in the middle of making a flannel quilt for my daughter. As I constructed block after block, Zoe, my Devon Rex settled in for a nap on the newly ironed and still warm completed blocks. She looked so comfortable that I did not have the heart to push her down, so I just piled the rest of the warm, completed blocks on top of her. She is still down there on the ironing board, asleep under a pile of flannel blocks!"

"Cubby's Momma Dizzyray" writes: "Cubby has total control in my sewing room. He nests in the stacks of fabrics, helps to pin baste, and officially tests each quilt as is comes through the sewing machine. He loves to watch the fabric being stitched together and sometimes to send his human quilter into a frenzy Cubby will try to help 'rethread' the sewing machine! The shiny rayon thread is his favorite. LOL"

An unnamed quilter writes, "wow,i really thought i was the only one who had a crafty cat! i was in an accident several months ago and i was very lonesome mending at home. my husband took me to the animal rescue shelter for a companion...there in a cage by himself was a two-three month old siamese with a sign on the cage saying caution, he will bite! i opened the door picked him up signed the papers and took him home...he never moved on the ride home...i started some sewing,moved up to quilting and king has been there to help the whole time.he sits on my sewing and it seems like he is overseeing the project for me...between king and my quilting the time has passed...he is such a good little friend...also i thought i was the only one who couldn't pass up cat material! come to think of it i believe king was the one to give me the idea to quilt!"

"Last Christmas was the Cats' Christmas. It started when a friend who had been to africa was sent a quilt from another friend in Alaska for her "African" cat. She was amazed that anyone would make a quilt just for a cat. When my friend moved back to Alaska she had to leave the cat in Africa, but brought the quilt with her. Subsequently the owner obtained a new cat and gave her the cat quilt. Recently she had aquired a new kitten. So I knew what I would do. I made a quilt for the new kitten. But then, I thought it only fair that other Cats I knew should get their own quilts. As a result, I made 6 quilts for cats this christmas. I used various cat fabrics I already had, and each one was a little different. In fact, I spent so much time on the cats presents, the people's presents were mostly store-bought."-- Suzi in Alaska

Kramer the CatJudie Cole's cat Kramer writes to us: "I, of course, Judie's inspiration when she quilts. In fact, I designed a quilt for to make to donate to the animal shelter in our town. My sister Tiny Krazy is the chief Quilt Inspector. I am too creative for manual labor. I need my rest, you know."

Sharon Presley writes, "Bali, my 5 year old Balinese, and Samantha, my husband's 4 year old autumn torbie, are my harshest quilting critics. When I was working on 'Southey's Garden' (a cat kite charm quilt in the colonial garden style done in blues and purples) I'd have to pry the cats off before setting to work. They loved it! Unfortunately, the same can't be said for "Lone Star," a cat diamond charm quilt that I attempted. The materials at hand were reds, greens, yellows and blues with cat motiffs. To this day, I don't know what they didn't like about it (other than it was turning into an unsightly mess) but they hid the pieces every chance they got. Bali put his final seal of disapproval on it by depositing a hairball in the middle of the pieces during lay out. Needless to say, I abandonned that project."

Gay Meredith of Virginia writes, "We have over 30 cats, mostly rescues, but only Cowboy has managed to earn access to my quilting studio. He was formerly a dumpster cat, stupidly thrown out like trash to survive on his own along a busy highway. Our friend, a vet who also does rescue work, brought him and several companions to me after she rescued them from their plight. Cowboy, as well marked with black and white as an Holstein cow I've ever met, gradually learned not to open loaves of bread or bags of cookies he found on the counters, and simply to wait for the twice-daily cat food distributions. His grasp of spoken English is remarkable, and he always reacts to the terms "office" or "studio", keeping personal sleeping quarters in each for his leisure use.

Cowboy is fascinated with my sewing machine. We argue about whether the light (and power, of course) should be left on while he experiments with the machine if I am pinning, cutting, or otherwise busy with a quilt but not actually operating the machine. Once he decided to do the watusi (he's also a great dancer) on the presser foot while I was threading the needle, resulting in a row of stitches along my right index finger. He was disappointed to see that I had not managed to secure the thread for a really original 'digital design' before he powered the machine. He seems miffed at my suspicion of his motives every time we work together. Luckily, he has no interest in pins, rotary cutters, or even fabric scraps, and often pretends to be asleep in my sewing chair unless, of course, the machine light is on."

Helene Knott of Oregon City, Oregon writes: "After reading all the lovely stories on your website, I wanted to share my memories of Mecca. She was a petite tortoiseshell who loved to keep me company when I sewed. I have a rolling office chair in my sewing room so that I can swivel and roll between the sewing machine and ironing board with ease. It's not a very large chair but it's just big enough that we could share it if I scooted way to the front edge. Mecca liked to sleep on it and did not like all the swiveling and rolling while she napped so we had to come to a truce regarding the chair. If I was there first and she wanted to jump up and join me, she would settle down and patiently put up with as much rolling as I wanted to do. If, however, she was there first, she would tolerate my sitting there and sewing but grab and bite my backside if I dared to move around too much. She also liked to curl up in a box of fabric and I had to sacrifice a box with some of my less precious pieces to keep her out of my good stuff. When she was angry at me though, such as if I returned from a trip that I'd had the nerve to take without her, she would defiantly climb into a box of expensive fabrics just to punish me. Sadly, she died of a stroke a couple of years ago and I was too heartbroken to work in my sewing room for a few weeks. When I finally did return to it, I was working on a project and had draped some of the fabric over the back of the chair which fell onto the seat while I was scuttling back and forth. So engrossed was I in my work that without thinking I reached around my back as I always had to make sure she had room to curl up only to find a cold pile of fabric. It was another couple of weeks before I could go in there again. Time heals all wounds leaving only sweet memories and I now have a new cat that I am teaching to quilt. His name is Bosco and his main pastime when I sew is trying to unthread the machine while I stitch and run away with the pieces of fabric as they feed out of the back of the machine. Luckily he doesn't seem to be interested in eating the thread once he gets it out, like most little boys, his passion is paper airplanes that he loves to play fetch with. After reading the other stories, though, I will keep a close eye on him when he's in there and lock him out when I'm not. Thanks for the warning."

"Sierra does love to nap and curl up on the blankets I make for her! There is something so cozy and natural about a cat, a sewing project, and a cup of tea! Sincerely, Gwen"

Tammy Seymour writes, "We are owned by eight cats. They all help me quilt and embroider. Red digs through the boxes of washed and sorted fabrics, throwing them on the floor. Phantom sleeps on blocks laid out for piecing and gets very annoyed if I move him. Felix thinks floss skeins are great cat toys. Boris gives his approval to finished projects by throwing himself on them and rolling around. Sherlock swallowed a two inch long threaded needle and needed emergency surgery to remove it. All eight love quilts in the frame for sleeping on. If I had to describe my quilts, I would be forced to say, 'Wrinkled and hairy.'"

"We rescued Murphy Brown Cat (aka Mad Murph the Psycho Beast) from the pound 9 years ago. From the first she has shown herself to be a quilting cat and a quilt connisseur. I keep my fabrics in those Rubbermaid Rough Totes and, one day I had pulled out some fabric, turned away to put it on the table, turned back and just snapped the lid back on. About 5 minutes later I could hear Murphy meowing and I couldn't find her. The howling got louder and louder so I followed the sound and found I had accidentially shut her in the Rough Tote!

Mostly she loves to sit on my sewing table at the back side of the sewing machine and use her paw (she's a south paw) to make sure all the quilt pieces are in an orderly row as they come through the sewing machine. She also liked to sit on the ironing board and make sure I am putting the pieces through the machine correctly. I have had to deter her from doing that as she nearly put a steam pressed crease in her fur suit one day. If there is a quilt on the floor she is to be found sitting right where I need to pin. Such a help!!

She also likes to go for a spin on my sewing chair. Just hangs on with all four paws, flattens herself out and howls because she wants to be spun until she's so dizzy she can't walk. It's hysterical to see this crazy cat staggering around the floor. Just keeps coming back for more though.

I always tell people my quilts are 90% cotton and 10% cat hair and, that all my quilts have Murphy's paw of approval. No one seems to mind." -- Denise Clark, Calgary, Alberta

Dessa Durram submitted this picture of her daughter's cat Whiskey testing out a quilt. "My daughter has three cats and they all love to help her when she is quilting," Dessa writes.

"I haven't actually seen Brandy quilting, but sometimes I find my rotary blades duller than I left them, and once I got up in the middle of the night and the Featherweight felt warm. I haven't found any of her quilts--she's either sending them to homeless kitties or they are UFO's hidden away in the closet." -- Becky Wall, Wilmington, Delaware (The photo at the right is of Brandy working on a quilted self-portrait.)

"I was owned, some years ago, by a lovely long-haired black cat called Jedda (after the little black princess in the book "We of the Never, Never" by Mrs Aenius Gunn). Jedda was always in my sewing room whenever I sewed. At the time it was merely clothes, I hadn't discovered the magic of quilts then. Jedda would always find my dropped pins by picking them up and dropping them on the polished boards of the floor, making a 'tinking' sound repeatedly, so that eventually I would take them from her. She would go on like this until all the pins were found and then she would curl up on the spare bed to sleep - unless, of course - I dropped a pin. Then she would be instantly awake to retrieve it for me. She never ate the thread and to my knowledge didn't swallow the pins. I found her dead on the road one very rainy winter's night, on my way home from work. I still miss this most wonderful and compassionate of cats." -- Sharyn Bassett

"My 3-year-old tabby cat K.C. (that stands for Krazy Cat)is always ready to help me with my current sewing project. Patchwork, applique, clothing, it doesn't matter. K.C. will hop up on the sewing table and as I start sewing he uses his paw to turn the wheel. If I stop, K.C. continues trying to make the wheel turn until I can catch up with him and start sewing again." - Janine Kinney, Charlotte, North Carolina

Allena of Northern Ireland writes: "My own feline darling is called Matilda and it has to be confessed that she is more of a computing cat than a quilting cat, mainly because she can sit on my knee at the computer! She has a love/hate relationship with my quilting exploits though. She HATES it when I sew because it takes my attention off her (where it should be focused continually, according to her) and also because it sometimes means she gets her dinner a wee bit late! She tries all kinds of tricks to stop me from quilting. She stretches her entire body out on the bit of fabric I want to use; she paws my ruler and pushes it off line as I try to measure; she leaps up onto my quilting frame and swings on the work-in-progress as if it were a hammock; she nonchalantly kicks my spools into the dark recesses under the sofa; she asks to be let outside and then 5 minutes later knocks the front door to be let back indoors again (both of which mean I have to get up, leave the sewing room and go downstairs). Basically, any ploy to make me concentrate on her is considered fair play by Matilda. However, she does have a LOVE side to quilting and this is of course when the work is completed and she gets to curl up in the finished article. Then quilts are the best things in the world to my Miss Matilda."

"I'm the owner of a Russian Blue, his name is Charlie. I have been quilting for three years. I have made a lot of quilts and everytime I set a quilt on the floor to pin, you can bet that Charlie will be walking around the quilt. He walks around the quilt until he finds a spot to get under the quilt. Sometimes he'll be in another room asleep, when I start to quilt. Before I know it, he is under the quilt. I know because I can see a big ball in the middle of the quilt. When I put the quilt on the floor it was flat. I call Charlie The Inspector because the quilt is not done until Charlie has done his inspection." -- Gloria Farmer, Stationed in Okinawa, Japan

"My tabby, Samantha, really surprised me when I got back from work earlier today. You see, I am a devoted quilter and I had been stitching away at my millenium quilt before leaving for the office this morning. In my rush to leave (I always lose track of time when I'm quilting) I left the unfinished work on the table rather than carefully folding it up and storing it in my basket, as I usually do. I returned from work to find Samantha deftly wielding the needle. Well, this was nothing new - she completed a crazy quilt last month-- but imagine my surprise when I saw that she had worked a skyline of Manhattan (according to my pattern) into the quilt. Just more proof of the astounding abilities of these amazing creatures!" -- Becky

Sharon Thomson of Australia reports that her cat loves to curl up on whatever she's quilting at the time.

"I have a longarm quilting machine and my kitten likes to sleep on it while I'm quilting. When I'm loading a quilt on the machine, she will play under the material like it was a tent. Then she retires to the corner to sleep while I quilt." -- Carol Cook, Forks, Washington

Jacqueline's cat Puss "Naturally Puss is involved with every log cabin quilt I make, what with toying with the strips as they dangle from my machine, scrambling amid the finished squares as I lay them out on the floor, sitting on the exact part of the binding I am trying to pin, and sleeping in the batting. I do lint roll every quilt before I gift wrap it, and luckily I don't think I have ever given a quilt to anyone who is allergic to cats!" -- Jacqueline Gwynne

"I am a self-taught quilter, living in Sevilla, Spain who is owned by a large albino cat named Saul. Saul was a rescue cat who was 2 yrs old and when I got him. He had been mistreated, but at 10 yrs old now he has stopped drooling when shown affection, though he still dissappears if the phone or doorbell rings. He shows no interest in pins, needles and thread, praise God, though he will rip up patterns if I leave them around (or if he can snake one out of the box when my back is turned.) He loves crackly paper, which includes patterns, Bible pages, and--gulp--older books. He doesn't like me to sew/quilt, he doesn't like the noise of the machine and of course anything that takes attention away from His Royal Catness is a no-no. He has never scratched me but he will "bat" my foot with a paw to get it off the pedal or to ask me to get away from the frame! However, he will sleep on/under quilts with the best of them. And he *doesn't* knead them as he does with other blankets--he doesn't like getting snagged." -- Anna Crandell

Daisy on her Don't Worry, Be Scrappy quilt "All my quilts are kitty tested and kitty approved, this is what my husband and I say when we see Daisy sitting on one of my quilts in progress and refusing to move. I sing her a song when I am quilting and she keeps me company. 'Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer true, I'm half crazy all for your eyes of blue, your fur is soft and creamy, your eyes are blue and dreamy, and I love you, oh yes I do, oh my Daisy, Daisy do.......ooou.' She loves it. She also sucks on the tip of her long tail, as Siamese are known to do, and kneads my fabric like a baby when she snuggles up in one of my quilts. She is my baby kitty and such a loving friend." -- Sandy Tuzinski

"I have 4 cats: Zorro (he's black & white & 14 years old), Miss Baby (a 5 year old Himilayan), Squeaker (3 years old & all black) and Smiley (almost 1 year & part Maine Coon). Whatever I do, Zorro has to supervise from the top of the entertainment center. Squeaker & Smiley like to help me when I cut fabric & quilt. Whenever I'm cutting strips of fabric, Squeaker loves to lay in the box that I'm throwing the strips into & she'll catch the strips & make sure that they're in the box correctly. Smiley loves to help me get the batting laid out flat & then makes sure that all the layers are sandwiched together. All 3 of them leave the pins alone, but I make sure that there's NO loose thread or ribbon...Zorro cost over $300 to remove a piece of ribbon from his stomach, that was 12 years ago & he's still going strong. Miss Baby loves to nap & doesn't show much interest in sewing, but she's been know to speak her opinion if she doesn't like anything that I'm crafting." -- Melissa Powell in California

"Several years ago I was upstairs cutting out quilt pieces with a rotary cutter. My long-haired tortoiseshell cat Dust Bunny (when she was a tiny kitten she would come out from under all the furniture with dust balls on those long whiskers--does that say something?) flopped down on my cutting board with no warning and the rotary cutter sliced through that long fluffy tail, cutting off two inches of fur and missing the tail itself by about a quarter of an inch! She didn't notice a thing and just lay there washing her face and purring, but I had to sit down in the nearest chair, since I was shaking all over. No more rotary cutting that day! She is still around at age 10 and still a sweetheart, but she doesn't go into the sewing room with me any more!" -- Joy Branham, Eidson, Tennessee

Tiger on *his* quilt"Tiger loves to 'help' me lay out the pieces. He actually reorders some for me!" -- Lynn Slomsky, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Baxter on his quilt "Baxter is a stumpy (stump of a tail) that I got at the SPCA. He has taken over our house and hearts completely. He also took over this quilt from the day I began designing it. He used it as a trampoline all the while I was quilting it. Naturally when it came to putting a name to the quilt I decided on "Manx Mania". I guess it isn't going to be as easy to quilt now as he thinks they are all meant for him to sleep on or to watch while you are quilting and every so often he just can't resist chasing that thread. Right now he is trying to help me type this letter." -- Joanne Hunter, Shediac, New Brunswick. Canada (the lobster capital of the world)

"Everytime I sit at my sewing machine, one cat will perch himself on the far side of the machine and either paw at or chew the thread, while the other stretches out between myself and the machine and sleeps. I have to time my sewing when they are both asleep or outside." -- Ann Saywell

"Pumpkin is a quilting cat. He likes to sit on the top of my sewing machine and often reaches down to adjust the tread tension when he--and only he--perceives there is a problem. He also likes to sleep on the table by my machine and generally places himself in the most uncomfortable and inconvenient spot available. He has developed a healthy respect for rotary cutters and irons. He likes to pose for the camera during these quilting sessions and show off his orange and white chipmunk-like stripes. Cats are like quilts;they come in an endless variety of colours and patterns and can only truly be appreciated by those who spend such significant amounts of time and money on their development. Both are worth it." -- Bev

"My oriental shorthair, Mylon, enjoys pulling the needles out of my pin cushion. (He actually taught my toddler how to do that too. ) Mylon had a linear obstruction last summer due to eating half of a crocheted potholder. I will not let another crocheted potholder in my house. One hefty vet bill later, Mylon is still around. I'm more careful about where things are and what is left out. My tabby, Megan, helps by "holding down fabric" as I sew, as well as checking under the cutting board for invisible mice. Did I mention that they use my quilt frame as a hammock?" -- Lisa LeFever

"My husband bought a tall upholstered chair for the tall table he'd built for me. Immediately, our cat 'Charleigh' (female version of Charlie) adopted the chair as her own. I have to dislodge her every evening when I want to sit tod do my quilt thing. With or without me, it's her chair, so my work goes on around her curled up smack there in my lap!
Fun tip: I love the silhouettes of the 3 cats on the label of the large container of Tidy Cat litter. I took the label to the office and enlarged it to a variety of sizes, and I've used them for appliqués in two quilts already." -- Jennifer Neighbours, Oro Valley, Arizona

Sue DeHann, Webmistress of the Grandma Glenn's Quilts page writes, "My quilt-loving cat is named Petey. He much preferred my husband's company to mine until I started quilting again. He seems to have a sixth sense, the minute I start working on a quilt, whether piecing or quilting, he's right there trying to help. I try to keep him off them, as I always worry that someone might be allergic, but the minute I leave the room he makes himself comfortable."

"My slogan is: A quilt is not a quilt without a few cat hairs. In the attached picture, Pepper is adding a little extra love to the quilt made for my father's 93rd birthday." -- A quilter

Pepper the Cat working on his newest quilt

"Tacy likes to steal sewing tools! She will knock tins of needles, rulers and even scissors from any table to the floor, bat them around and hide them all over the house. She hooks them with her claw and scoots them away. Her favorite toy is a green brush for machine cleaning. She can find it no matter where I hide it and I generally don't have the chance to hide it from her, since she has hidden it from me! She also likes to hide herself in a pile of batting scraps. She's a slinky little tortoise shell kitty, who looks so lovely all wrapped in white!" -- Becky Valcante

"Cyrano de Burga-cat, for his own good has unfortunately been banished from my sewing room. Why? He steals. Pins and thread were never a problem. He steals yards - yes yards, of material. What's more, he actually selects the material. I've found countless piles of material knocked onto the floor and one of the materials from the middle of the pile will be missing. Usually, he pulls out material with a darker blue background. Occasionally browns. If I find that there is material missing, I go on a search and will often find it in the current nest, which is where-ever he's decided is comfortable at the time. I worry that he'll hurt himself hauling so much fabric from my third floor sewing room down the stairs! My baby is 10 years old and as with most coddled felines, he's--um--larger!" -- Debbie Syzdek

"I have actual photographic proof that cats quilt. My only attempt at quilting to date, a small cat theme wall hanging, was layed out for layering and basting on the only space big enough in my small appartment--on my bed. Maxwell Murphy O'Shagnessy, blarney artist extroardinare, has a love of plastic, especially polyester. He took over arranging the quilt batting for me, and I have the pictures to prove it. He is imortalised in this quilt; a fair amount of his hair is quilted inside it. I finally had to give him his own piece of patting to play with so I could rearrange the batting MY way." -- Karen Pauli

"While I sew the binding on my quilt while I am in bed, my Tammy cat (in the quilt), I'm sure thinks, 'Ah, another one she's making for me.'" -- Donna Brokenshire

Toni's cats Minni & Millie "I am the keeper of four rescued cats. They run my life very effectively and are really cross when I am gone. Since I travel a lot with my lectures and teaching, they throw themselves into the suitcase everytime I try to pack. They give me the 'cat language' when I get home." -- Toni Baumgard, "The Redwork Lady"

"One of my cats, Thimble, writes a column for the guild newsletter. Every month, 'Thimble's Corner' gives quilting tips and observations from a cats point of view. Thimble is a ball of black fluff. We found her on the doorstep one Sunday morning in October 1998. She and a friend had been dropped off at our gate the night before, victums of abandonment. Thimble spent her first few days with us asleep on a chair. She was extremely polite, a real charmer. Our Siamese and our Ocicat didn't seem to mind her at all. It was as if she had always been with us.
Thimble was 5 months old, and although had manners, was not at all familiar with life in a studio. Many patient hours have been spent training her in studio eticate, the most important being 'Don't Touch!'
I am now learning bobbin lace, which is all pins and thread. And not just lacemaking, but miniature lacemaking. Tiny pins and very fine thread. The Siamese especially likes to pick up pins and I keep a close watch on her.
Luckily, the cats are most active in the studio when I am there. Although, there are times when things have been rearranged when I haven't been there." -- Pat Menary, Innerkip, Ontario

"My cat, Percy, is about 15 years old and knows when I am quilting. He has to sit right in front of me in the middle of all my fabrics. He even sits on my lap while I machine quilt and he loves it when I make yo-yo's. Quilting Bees are his passion!
I had laid out my quilt penguin quilt blocks on the floor of my trailer and he had tons of fun running down the hallway, sliding into my various blocks to dig them up, then turn tail and run back down the prepare for another attack on my defenseless penguin blocks!
Quilting would not be the same, with out him in the meddle--I mean middle!" -- Laura Graser

Sharon's cat Yankee on his stash "I have three cats, Yankee, Cricket, and Oliver. Yankee doesn't quilt, but loves fabric. (The picture is of Yankee on her stash.) Cricket is deaf, but he loves to sleep where he can feel my sewing machine vibrating. His favorite place is in the window above my sewing table, where he can feel the vibration through the wall. Occasionally he sleeps under my sewing light for the warmth. They are all unique and I truly don't know how I'd get any quilting done without them!" -- Sharon Holliday, Sunny Side Up Quilting

"My Siamese cat, Bashful, has only to see me getting things ready to quilt and he's up on the table checking out all of the fabric for the most comfortable one to recline on. He helps me through every phase--cutting, sewing, layering, pinning, and quilting. At his most helpful, he will sit on the other side of the sewing machine and stick his head through as I piece a quilt. Then all of my eleven pattern weights (i.e., my cats) want to help me lay out the backing, batting, and top of the quilt. You must be sure that all of the large lumps are out before finally pinning! And then, as I quilt the quilt, they help by testing it. I always say that all of my quilts have been cat-tested and approved. I am getting ready to start quilting a lot again, and I can tell that Bashful is watching with much anticipation!" -- Jan Scott

"Many years ago, my Siamese cat Chink swallowed my quilting needle. We have the x-ray to prove it. Sshe loved to sleep on the quilt in a frame. This taught me to never leave a needle in anything. Chink lived another 10 years and lived to be 19. She spend many years sleeping on the edge of a quilt I was trying to finish. I think I need to make a cat quilt this summer, thank you for the memory." -- Pat H.

"I have five cat quilting associates. One of our Himalayans loves to pose on any quilt, while the other considers it his duty to assist with the initial quilt prep-cutting, so he is always being located to another quilt 'duty'." -- Regina

"I have a very special cat--he likes to sleep on my cutting table. It's a very big surface, but always cluttered. I keep the middle clear for cutting, but he thinks I keep it clear for a nap spot for him, and he doesn't like to be disturbed when he's sleeping there. He is the king of my quilting kingdom, or so he thinks." -- Frances Sheakley

"I have a Q-snap quilt frame that I used to use in the family room. I liked to sit in there as my husband watched TV. Unfortunately, everytime I left the quilt frame my cat Bonnie would jump into the middle of the quilt in the frame and send the top pieces of the frame flying. Both the cat and the frame would end up on the floor. I finally gave up the frame and tried using a hoop instead. But when I used the hoop, Bonnie would try to crawl underneath the quilt I was working on and upset everything. I finally gave up trying to quilt with the cat around." -- Mona Clark

"My cat Sam loves to get on my fabric, quilts, batting and anything pertaining to my quilting. One day I went to quilt on my sewing machine. As I stitched, I noticed that the quilt felt heavy, but assumed it was due to the quilting so I continued to sew. All of a sudden a scream comes from inside of my rolled quilt and out crawls a very angry and upset cat. I had pulled out some of her fur when I quilted. The fur on her tail was missing in one spot. I picked it out of the quilt, but still, some of the fur today remains in the quilt and we call it the Sam quilt. So when I go to quilt on the machine I always feel inside of the roll of quilt and look around. Sadie, the younger cat, loves to eat anything so please watch anything around cats they do eat everything, thread, pins etc." -- Maggie Taylor, Silver Spring, MD

"My Mr. Smokey, the Russian Blue who rules the house, knows when a quilt is in progress, about to be cut out, sewn, appliqued, you name it. There he is in the middle of everything. Each morning when I make the beds, he makes a bee line for the upstairs. He loves to wrestle and has very sharp pickers. We have developed a successful routine for his playfulness. When I smooth out the sheets, he hunches down by the quilt which I throw over him. Sometimes he flops over on his back with all fours skyward before I can even get the quilt. Once he is covered, I play with him with my right hand and I sneak my left hand under the quilt and scrub his head and neck. The cat who never sings starts purring like mad. This is his died and gone to heaven game. When we have house guests who like to make their bed up, I have to warn them about him. An uninformed person making a bed in my house would be in for quite a shock. This has been going on for the 2 1/2 years I have had him. My husband says he can hear me laughing when I make the beds and he's watched these antics. There will never a quilt made in this house that is free of his little gray hairs. He loves my quilts and I love him. A match made in heaven." -- Marilyn Jewell, Concord, New Hampshire Mr. Smokey on his quilt

"My cat Kizmet used to lay on the afghan I was knitting and then claimed it as his own. I now have been quilting for two years and my silly cats love to get in my lap underneath the quilt. They also climb and play on the quilt that is on the quilting frame waiting to be quilted. I tell my friends that it is actually a cat toy." -- Althea

Renee's quilt and her cats helping "I am a newcomer to quilting, and I have completed my first quilt--and it happens to be cats! I'm so excited. I'm 27 and my grandmother taught me. Then I found a quilting club at work and those ladies have been helping me along the way. I did a lap quilt with a small hand-made frame (that my grandpa made). I modified the pattern from the Quiltmaker Jan/Feb 95 Calico Cats on page 12. The photo is of my 2 cats helping me decide how to arrange the blocks. I enjoy looking at my quilt every day." -- Renee Stokes, Costa Mesa, California

"My kitty definitely quilts! She helps me remove my straight pins from the quilt and deposits them in a corner. When I'm arranging blocks on the floor - she moves them around to suit her taste and she'll go to my piles of fabric and select those she wants me to use.
Priscilla is a delightful stray that my mother and sister found. She's made herself at home in my sewing room. She's very good about not swallowing threads and needles, but she's nuts about the craft brushes I keep in a coffee mug. Needless to say, I keep a close eye on her whenever I'm sewing." -- Sophia Hoefer

"My black-and-white cat Spot ate a needle and thread. Luckily, I realized what he had done and rushed him to the vet. I now own the most expensive alley cat in town! He survived and still wants to eat thread on the projects I'm working on, but I no longer leave threaded needles lying about. When I call to make appointments for his annual visits the receptionist always says, 'Ah yes, the needle cat.'
I recently made him a quilt which he lies on to watch me when I'm at my machine. Guess he's waiting for some thread to fly his way. My other cat, Trouble, plops himself on the paper when I'm trying to draw. Love my cats." -- Jackie Dodge

"I walked into the livingroom one night to find my two cats chasing a mouse across the floor. As soon as they spotted the sewing basket and tape measure in my arms, however, they abandoned the mouse and came running to me. As they played with the tape measure, I chased the mouse through the house." -- Judy, of the Cats Who Quilt Web Site

"My two cats love to sleep on cotton batting. It's the only time they actually sleep on my lap! --Wendy

"I too have a special cat. His name is Tommy. He was a stray who found his way into my backyard one winter morning after being in a horible cat fight, with one eye all ripped up. I rushed him to my vet and his eye was saved. We brought him home to mend. I began my search for a home for him (you see we were not allowed to have cats in my apartment building). Well, that was 9 years ago. He is part of our family and he to loves to get in to everything in my sewing room. When I'm in my chair stitching, he will crawl on my lap as if to tell me, okay stop I want some attention. Some cats can just grab your heart and never let go. That's my tommy." -- Becki Cook

"My two cats are Bows and Clara. They were thrilled when I put up my quilt frame to quilt a "Star of Bethlehem" quilt that was left to me when my husband's Grandmother died. They thought it was a wonderful place to rest when nobody was around. We tried our best to keep them off the quilt but the cats were determined to call it their new bed." -- Doreen Graham, Cold Lake, Alberta

"I am not a quilter, but an educated consumer with a great admiration for quilters and the works of art they create. My cat, a large black moggie called "Buster," is what you might call a quilt connoisseur. He is the self-appointed quality tester of quilts in my home. On any given day he can be found testing and assuring the quality of my quilts through a series of highly disciplined tests:
-- languorous stretching on patched surfaces; -- the creation of precision-coiled rest depressions; -- finding those sun-warmed spots with pin-point accuracy; -- using his own body as the chief design element to highlight the beauty of the patched and quilted surfaces he graces." -- Robyn Wasson, Faculty Director, Arts & Media, an Australian university

Quilty Line Break

Cats Who Quilt is a trademark of Fruitful Plains. Text on this Web site Copyright 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 Judy Heim. May not be reproduced in any form--in either e-mail messages or on Web sites without written permission. All illustrations are copyright 2000, 2001, and 2002 Irina Borisova. They may not be reproduced without permission. Photos and quilts are copyrighted by their respective artists, and may not be reproduced without their permission.