The Smorgasblocks: Whiskers

The Smorgasblocks: Whiskers

August7, 2016

I present this week’s smorgasblock, Whiskers. She’s a mighty big kitty. A jungle cat even.

Whiskers 5

It’s paper-piecing. I know I know, we’ve done paper-piecing. In fact, this is our third paper-pieced block. Let me explain my logic; each block or set of blocks used paper-piecing in different ways. In the No Y-Seam Feathered Star, you used paper-piecing to make a complex block that needs accuracy to go together correctly. Could you have done a feathered star without paper-piecing? Sure, but your accuracy is may suffer and your block may not have gone as smoothly. In the Spinning Pyramid blocks, paper-piecing was used to accomplish unusual angles (anything that isn’t a 45 degree or a 90 degree angle in a quilt is unusual in my book). I really don’t think you could have done the pyramids without paper piecing. Which brings us to Whiskers; Whiskers is the type of paper-piecing that I hardly ever tackle—paper-piecing used to mimic curves. There are lots of ways to tackle curves in quilting, and with the number of beautiful curvy quilt patterns out in the world, there’s one for everyone. Whiskers will familiarize you with another technique to accomplish them. That makes three types of paper-piecing for three different goals. Boom!

Back to Whiskers. Whiskers is a pattern by Anna of Six White Horses. Anna has a bunch of really pretty, and free, paper piecing and other quilty-type tutorials available on her blog, click here to see. I fell in love with the Whiskers pattern because it’s abstract enough that I don’t feel like a total cat lady for making it, and it was a way I’ve never seen a cat block done before.

To do the pattern justice I really wanted the whiskers on Whiskers to stand out, which lead to agonizing over what the whiskers should be. I knew I wanted the background to be calm, and the main kitty face fabric needed to be non-directional and a pattern that would chop up well. Whatever color fabric you pick, make sure you like it because this block becomes a really solid block of color in your quilt. As for the whiskers, I eventually wound up with the black and white stripe because it’s my go-to fabric. When it doubt, make it a stripe. And when really in doubt, make it a black and white stripe.

Whiskers 1

The pattern calls for ¼ yard or a fat quarter for both the face and the background. I am not an efficient paper-piecer at all, so this is what I had left from my background fat quarter. And I had even more left from the cat face.

Whiskers 2

This week, you only need to make one Whiskers block. Click here to download the pattern from Six White Horses on Craftsy.

There you have it, one jungle cat ready for your attention.

Whiskers 4

P.S. All you non-paper-piecing-people can rejoice because this is our last paper-piecing block!