fur machine embroidery design
Filaine Thread,  Homemade Holidays

Fur Cat Machine Embroidery Design Debut

Chilly Cat – Brushed

Fur Cat Machine Embroidery Design: Chilly Cat

Create fun fur effects with our fur cat machine embroidery design: Chilly Cat! Chilly is ready for the holidays in his Santa hat, too. Ramp up your Christmas in July stitching with this free fur cat machine embroidery design, available free for a limited time. This design freebie will expire July 31, 2020, so get it while the getting is good!

The fur on Chilly Cat as well as the fur on the Santa hat is stitched with Sulky Filaine acrylic thread. The elongated stitches made with this 12 wt. thick thread allow you to fluff the fibers using a Filaine Wire Brush, resulting in this fun thread effect. Be sure to pick up a size 100/16 Organ needle for embroidery to be sure the needle eye is large enough to accommodate the thread thickness.


  • Sulky 12 wt. acrylic Filaine in colors:
    • 864-3976 Light Mist
    • 864-3613 Dove Gray
    • 864-3979 Dark Amber
    • 864-3431 Med Tawny Tan
    • 864-3406 Light Ecru
    • 864-3977 Dark Whisper Gray
  • Sulky 40 wt. Rayon Thread in colors:
    • 942-1177 Avocado
    • 942-1005 Black
    • 942-1001 Bright White
    • 942-1219 Gray
    • 942-1148 Light Coral
    • 942-1016 Pastel Coral
    • 942-1001 Bright White
    • 942-1147 Christmas Red
    • 942-1169 Bayberry Red

Purchase the Fur Filaine Thread Collection to have 12 Maxi-Spools of thread in gray, white, yellow, brown and black shades, perfect for embroidering pets and other animals. Grab this thread collection to embroider the exclusive Chilly Cat and be able to change the thread colors to create all different colors of cats using the same design. With 12 spools in the most popular fur shades, you’ll have the ability to swap thread colors within the palette to create gray, white, brown, yellow or black threads.
Included threads in Fur Filaine Thread Collection:
864-3406 Light Ecru
864-3402 Light Beige
864-3120 Primrose
864-3979 Dark Amber
864-3431 Med Tawny Tan
864-3407 Beige
864-3617 Rich Brown
864-3976 Light Mist
864-3613 Dove Gray
864-3977 Dark Whisper Gray
864-3625 Charcoal Gray
864-3635 Piano Black


Never use Filaine in the bobbin. The thread is much too heavy. Pair it with Sulky Bobbin thread for best results.

Turn off the auto thread cutting at the start of a new thread color. This creates knots on the fabric wrong side, making it difficult for the needle to penetrate through the fabric.

Slow the machine speed by half to ensure the friction produced by the design doesn’t cause thread breakage.

A 100/16 Titanium Organ needle is a strong needle that produced nice stitches.


To make different colored cats, simply swap thread colors within the Fur Filaine Thread Collection and create the pets you love! Here’s Chilly Cat shown with more gray in his beard.

fur cat embroidery design
Chilly Cat – Gray Thread Swap; Brushed

Feel free to also change the cat’s eye color to suit your preference!

The more you brush the Filaine fibers, the furrier your cat will become. Pass the Filaine wire brush over and across the thread in different directions, being careful to not snag the thread loops. Also be mindful of the fabric you’ve chosen for embroidery. A heavier weight fabric, such as canvas or denim, will support the stitches very well. If using a napped fabric or textured fabric, like fleece or felt, don’t touch the Filaine wire brush against the fabric or it will also be fluffed by the brush.

You also don’t have to brush the finished design. The Filaine thread looks really neat and fuzzy, creating a vintage hand-done quality when not brushed.

fur design not brushed
Chilly Cat – Not Brushed

Make sure to follow the thread chart to stitch the Rayon thread in the proper areas (eyes, whiskers, etc). The design is digitized for 12 wt. thread in certain areas and 40 wt. thread in others. You don’t want to switch the weights, whether accidentally or on purpose.

This Chilly Cat machine embroidery design is part of a larger collection of Peekaboo Pets, coming soon! This sneak peek is to whet your appetite and get you inspired for holiday stitching. Look for more Peekaboo Pets coming your way soon.

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I am the Director of Content for Sulky of America. The former Editor in Chief of Sew News and Creative Machine Embroidery magazines, I hosted Sew it All TV on PBS for nine seasons. I've appeared on It's Sew Easy on PBS, DIY Network's Uncommon Threads, Hallmark's Marie Osmond Show, MacPhee Workshop and more! Come sew with me!


    • Ellen March

      HI Sharon. Yes, you have to be sure that the design you’re using is digitized for 12-wt thread. Most are labeled “fur,” “heavy,” or “thick.”

  • Sissy Bain

    I have slowed my machine to 350 spm, inserted a new 90/16 needle, eased the upper tension per the instructions of CS, tried the design on fleece and denim and can not get more than 50 stitches before the thread breaks. Can someone test on a Brother machine and share the secret?

    • Ellen March

      Have you turned off the auto thread cutting system? This creates a small knot when the thread is pulled to the wrong side at the start of each thread color stop. It needs to be disables to avoid too much density for the needle to handle. If your problem persists, please email us at info@sulky.com for a faster and more lengthy response.

  • platexas

    I really want that free cat design using the new thread. Love it! I’ve looked everywhere on the Sulky site and blog. No luck. Can you help?

    • Ellen March

      The design was a freebie for the month of July, and will not be available for purchase until later this year. I apologize for the frustration! Thanks for reading!

  • Dorothy Le

    Unfortunately, I just noticed this design When will it be available? Perfect for my daughter in law. She has rescue cats. Her brother and wife raise rescue dogs. Are you planning any animal designs without the Santa hat? I’m thinking of creating a wall hanging. Just thinking, since the thread is new, maybe plan as next years project. I’ve ordered the pouch with dandelions to play with but it hasn’t arrived yet. Thank you

    • Ellen March

      Hi Dorothy,
      We will be releasing it with a collection of dog and cats very soon. I apologize for the delay! You can subscribe to our newsletter to be notified as soon as it’s available.
      Thanks for reading!

    • Ellen March

      Hi Karen,
      There are a number of adjustments that need to be made in order to use this thread for machine embroidery. Please email us at info@sulky.com so we can give you a thorough answer.
      Thanks for reading!