This Cat in a Mask banner is a cute way to promote fabric mask wearing and social distancing. Use my free pattern to make one for your door!
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Six months ago, fabric masks were the furthest thing from my mind. And now they’re part of our daily landscape. I’m honestly pretty surprised at how well I’ve adapted to mask wearing.
The first few times I wore one, it was hot and I kept fogging up my glasses. But once I figured out the best style of mask for my face and the best way to tie it, it became no big deal.
And while some people might see wearing a mask as an inconvenience or sign of fear, I see it as a sign of love. I love my mother, my neighbors, my community enough to put on a mask to help keep them safe.
As a way of embracing our new mask wearing habit, I made a fun banner to hang on my front door. And you know me – if it’s a banner on my front door, it’s gonna have a cat on it. In this case, a cat wearing a mask. How cute is that!
If you love kitties as much a I do, check out my Black Cat Brigade Halloween banner that features all 5 of my cats.
As for my cat in a mask banner, I’ve got a free pattern below for you to make one for your door!
This kitty is doing his part to promote social distancing! Just like the masks I make from my stash, his mask is colorful and pretty. And a big ol’ heart tells you he’s wearing it because he loves you.
Finished dimensions are approximately 16” wide x 18.5” tall. The applique is all done with fusible webbing. I stitched all the pieces down, but you could skip that if you wanted.
I used 1/8” elastic for the straps for a fun and realistic detail. You could also use 1/8” ribbon from the craft store if you don’t have any scraps of narrow elastic.
As soon as I showed my mother the sketch for the banner, she requested one of her own cat in a mask banner! And if your mama asks you to make something for her, you do it. So here is my mother’s cat banner, done up in jewel tones for her ginger kitty.
I love how the different fabrics gave him his own look and his own personality!
Cat in a Mask Social Distancing Banner
Background fabric – 2 pieces, 17” wide x 22” tall
Fusible fleece – 1 piece, 16” wide x 21” tall
Fusible webbing – ½ yard
Quilting cotton for applique design
- Cat – large scrap or fat quarter
- Grass –large scrap or fat quarter
- Heart – small scrap
- Mask – small scrap
- Eyes – tiny scrap
- Irises – tiny scrap (black)
- Ears – tiny scrap
- *Optional* – Matching thread for each of these fabrics
1/8” ribbon or elastic for mask straps – 4 pieces 2.5” long
30” cotton cording
½” diameter wood dowel, 19.5” long
You may or may not want to use matching threads for each of the different applique fabrics. I chose to use matching thread because it made any wonky stitch lines less obvious. The down side was a lot of thread changes, so your choice.
Tips for Using the Placement & Stitching Guide
This pattern includes a Placement & Stitching Guide to help you get all your pieces placed exactly right. If you’re good at eyeballing things, you can just look at the guide and recreate the placement and stitching on your banner. But if you’re like me and not so good at eyeballing things, here are some tips to help you us the guide to get the placement and stitching just right:
- For placing large pieces, try cutting part of the background away. That will give you the outlines of all the main shapes that you can use to line your pieces up.
- For placing small pieces, like the eyes and noses on the cat and jack o’ lantern, try cutting those pieces OUT of the placement guide to create kind of a “stencil”. Then you can lay the guide directly on the banner and place your fabric pieces through the holes of the “stencil”. Carefully remove the guide without disturbing the fabric pieces, and you’ll have perfect placement.
- To mark the stitch lines, first cut the guide on the stitch lines. Put the guide down on the banner, then place a fabric marking pencil through the slits you cut to mark the lines on your fabric.
Prep your pieces
Trace all of the pattern shapes on to the back of your fusible webbing. The shapes are already reversed for you.
One thing I like to do when tracing pieces that will be cut out from different colors of fabric is write on each shape which color it should be cut from. Then, when I’m done tracing all the shapes I can easily see which shape should be fused to which color.
Follow manufacturer’s instructions to fuse each shape to the back of the fabrics. Cut out each shape.
Follow manufacturer’s instructions to fuse the fusible fleece to the back of one of the background pieces. This will be the Background piece for the front of the banner. The remaining (unfused) piece will be the Lining.
Drill holes or cut notches at either end of the dowel.
Build the design
Place Grass across bottom of Background piece. Fuse, then top stitch close to the edge to secure.
Place Cat on the Grass. Fuse, then top stitch close to the edge to secure.
Place Eyes on the Cat. Fuse, then top stitch close to the edge to secure.
These are small pieces with tight curves so use a short stitch length and hand crank as needed. You could also just skip the stitching if you needed.
Place Irises on the Eyes. Fuse, then top stitch close to the edge to secure.
Place Ears on the cat. Fuse, the top stitch close to the edge to secure.
Transfer the markings for the whiskers and paws using an erasable fabric marking pen. Stitch the lines with a contrasting thread. For my black cat, I used a light gray thread. I used brown thread on the ginger cat I made for my mother.
Remove the paper backing from the Mask piece. Tack a Strap piece (1/8” ribbon or elastic) to the wrong side of each corner of the mask with roughly ¼” overlap (just enough to allow for a couple of stitches).
Fuse the Mask in place on the Cat’s face. Top stitch close to the edge to secure.
Now to stitch down the straps. Place each Strap where marked on the Placement Guide, and stitch down. The Strap will be longer than you need, so just stop sewing when you get to the edge of the Cat body and then trim the elastic at that point.
For the lower right hand Strap, you’ll need to just estimate the spot where the Cat body would end and the tail begins.
Place the Heart above the Cat, centered across his ears and roughly 1.25” from the top of his head. Fuse, then top stitch close to the edge to secure.
Assemble the banner
Place the Lining on top of the Background, right sides together. Stitch around all 4 sides with a ½” seam allowance, leaving 4” open at the top to turn.
Clip corners. Turn right side out and give it a good press. Press the raw edges at the opening to the inside.
Top stitch around all sides close to the edge. The top stitching will sew the turning hole closed.
Turn 1 ½” at the top to the back, then stitch across the bottom of the fabric you folded over to create a casing.
Finally, thread the dowel through the casing. Tie cord through the holes to create a hanger.
Your cat in a mask banner is finished!