New Pet Bed

Red Peacock Pet Bed
Red Peacock Pet Bed

I have plans to cut up scraps with my Accuquilt Go! on Monday. I figured that I had to have somewhere to put all the schnibbles, so I made a pet bed.

In the past, I have put the schnibbles into the bag I keep clipped to the side of my cutting table. It is, however, nearly full, and why take that interim step? I will probably have enough scraps after my Go! session to fill the whole pet bed. Yay! More comfy pets.

Boring Green Cat Bed

Bron was kind enough to give me some fleece from FabMo a few months ago. Last Saturday it fell on me from its precarious perch in the Fabric Closet one too many times. I pulled it, and the pattern out, cut all the fleece up into the shapes needed for cat beds and began sewing.

Boring Cat Bed
Boring Cat Bed

My intent was to make a bunch of them and present them to Amanda at the next BAMQG meeting. My machine sincerely disliked that fleece as did my hand, so I made one and put the rest of the parts into packages to bring to the meeting. What Amanda got was a sad email explaining the situation. 🙁

She was very gracious about it and said to bring the parts for the other cat beds for other BAMQG members to make.

I was able to finish one [boring looking] cat bed and stuff it nearly 3/4s of the way full with schnibbles.

Turquoise Cat Bed

Turquoise Cat Bed
Turquoise Cat Bed

Really, the only thing Amanda is getting out of me in terms of this cat bed is scraps. She made the cat bed and all I did was transfer my overflowing scrap bag into it. That is certainly something, but I have to get myself in gear to made some more cat beds for her.

It is pretty and I do like the fabric combination Amanda chose.

More from the Cat Bed Department

April Cat Beds
April Cat Beds

I whipped these up in order to get them done in time for the meeting, which was yesterday. I love the combinations that Amanda comes up with! I am wishing I had some quilting fabric in that yellow and black. Isn’t it great? It reminds me of Jane Sassaman’s work. I can see cutting out the leaves and things an rearranging them, then satin stitching them down. What do you think?

Cat Beds

Owl Cat Bed
Owl Cat Bed

I was able to procure a couple of cat bed kits at the BAMQG meeting on Saturday. I had no time to sew on Saturday, but pinned the gusset to one side of one cat bed before I ran off to do my political wifery duties on Saturday evening. Then Sunday, I put the two kits together and made a third.

I am not sure why I sewed three cat beds when I had a lot of time to sew over the weekend. There was a lot of chaos in my workroom and I think the cat beds were something on which I could focus.

I picked kits with the same pattern and gusset color. I don’t know why, but perhaps that was what my eye could take in. As a side note I have pajamas with the same pattern

Yes, I took one top from one of the kits and made a pattern then cut out a cat bed from my own fabric. the fabric is burgundy with teapots on it. I like the teapots, but the background is an unfortunate color. The gusset came out too long, but I cut it off and was able to finish a third cat bed for Amanda. I’ll have part of a gusset for the next cat bed.

Green & Pink Cat Beds

I hopped back on the Doing Good bandwagon this past weekend and I feel great about that.

Green Speckle Cat Bed
Green Speckle Cat Bed

I had some Cat Bed kits from the last BAMQG meeting I attended and I decided that sewing them would be a great way to get back on the sewing bandwagon.

These cat beds were using the same fabric Amanda used in the last round of Cat Beds – regular quilting cotton. I thought they were a lot easier to sew, but wondered about durability? I will sew whatever she gives me. It was just a thought.

I only had two and really had to force myself to sew at all and I worked very slowly. It took me much longer to pin these than it has in the past and I think my mind just kept wandering off somewhere.

This color scheme reminds me of the green and pink donation quilt I made last year. It is a fun combination that I don’t think gets used as often as it should.

Green Speckle Cat Bed detail
Green Speckle Cat Bed detail

It was also fun to see that green speckle fabric again. I had some of that at one point, but thought it was long since out of print. I wonder if it has been reprinted?

Both of the cat beds used a fun French cat fabric for the gusset. Again, this a fabric that I wouldn’t normally use, but this is a perfect application for it and it was fun to look at while I worked. As an added bonus, I forgot how much I liked the word “parapluie”.

Green Swirl Cat Bed
Green Swirl Cat Bed

Amanda did a good job choosing the fabrics as the greens she chose go together very well.

The cats are engaged in a number of different activities, which I found amusing. I hope the cats will as well, though I suppose they won’t care.

Green Swirl Cat Bed detail
Green Swirl Cat Bed detail

I was able to stuff both with a small amount of scraps, but Amanda will be able to use up more of the scraps she has as I didn’t have anywhere near enough. I haven’t been sewing and that is the outcome.

I have to say that doing these wasn’t enough, so I cut up some grey and black squares and have started to work on another donation quilt. I know it sounds a little depressing for a donation quilt, but my grey/black scrap drawer is overflowing. There will be little sparks of color that I will scatter throughout the quilt as some of the prints are mostly black, or have a black background, then have a colorful motif on top. Perhaps I will make it large enough for a teenaged boy. All teenaged boys like black and grey, right?

I don’t have many more scraps that will make a whole quilt from 2.5″ squares, so I may need to go down to 2″ to clear out more. I’ll finish this one and then we’ll see.

 

More Cat Beds

Autumn Cat Bed
Autumn Cat Bed

The BAMQG Meeting was yesterday. I turned in some cat beds to Amanda and was very happy I did. Amanda was having a bad week, so I was glad I made the effort.

These two cat beds were different, because they were both made of cotton rather than Polartec/Polarfleece. I like working with the Polartec/Polarfleece, but it is a little more difficult to work with than cotton. It was a relief to work with the cotton. I made the cotton cat beds pretty fast compared to the Polartec, but I still don’t mind working with the Polartec.

Cotton Cat Bed
Cotton Cat Bed

These were interesting fabrics with which to work. They are fabrics which remind me of fabrics that were very popular when I started making quilts.

I wasn’t the one who brought the most cat beds. Someone brought a whole shopping full of really cute cat beds. Someone had made about 30 and appliqued  (using blanket stitch) one adorable heart on each cat bed.

All of these cat beds made Amanda really happy. It was great to see her smiling again.

Plethora of Cat Beds

Monkey Dot Cat Bed
Monkey Dot Cat Bed

You know, sometimes you just have to sew like a demon and make a lot of cat beds.

Happy Cake Cat Bed
Happy Cake Cat Bed

I have to say that when I sew these cat beds, I think about the two cats we had growing up, Spooky and Sunkist. they have long since gone to that giant cat bed int he sky, but I still remember them fondly. Spooky used to crawl under my covers and sleep there, hogging the entire bed, of  course. Sunkist was what we would call “A Big Guy”. He weighted about 18 lbs and liked to park himself in a convenient lap. Once he parked, the lap was not going anywhere. You would be lucky if you could move at all!

I made a lot of cat beds over the weekend. Amanda was kind enough, via Kelly, to send along the parts for about 5 cat beds. Now that I am pro-cat bed maker, I can make one, start to finish in about 20 minutes. The first one, which I mentioned, I made at Sew Day. Everyone stuffed their schnibbles in, but Amanda will still have to stuff it some more.

Grey Star Cat Bed
Grey Star Cat Bed

I heard Very Lazy Daisy’s podcast #1 where she was talking about the tiny slivers of fabric she keeps for collaged art quilts. I kept yelling at her, in the middle of the gym no less, to make cat beds and stuff them full of those tiny scraps. The kitties will love them.

The other thing I like about the cat beds is the fun fabrics. I would never buy many of these fabrics, but they are fun. How often do you get to work with smiling pieces of cake? I like thinking up funny names for them.

I also think that I should try more patriotic fabrics once in a while and this project gives me an opportunity to do so. I like the idea of helping animals, especially since they provide so much comfort to people without children or other family members nearby.

You can make cat beds, too. I previously posted the pattern and it is still valid. I will get them to Amanda if you make some and get them to me. You can also talk to your local shelter and see if they accept cat beds and what the parameters for making some are.

Green Stripe Cat Bed
Green Stripe Cat Bed

Monkey Dot Cat Bed

Monkey Dot Cat Bed
Monkey Dot Cat Bed

I might be back in the blogging saddle. I spared you my Special Whine that I intended to post on Thursday when my frustration level was over the top in terms of computers. I rethought and reworked what I had available to post and now I have my new computer and, so far, so good. It stays connected to my network (yes, first world problem), which is awesome.

I spent the afternoon and evening with BAMQG yesterday at a special event. The day was a Sew Day, then starting at 6:30 Bill Kerr of the Modern Quilt Workshop gave a class. More on that later, but I’ll tantalize you with this: I want everything that man has to sell and then I want to crawl inside his head and suck all the design theory out.

The very first project I worked on was a cat bed for Amanda. I sewed that baby up and then we all used it to stuff our schnibbles in. It wasn’t nearly full enough when Amanda took it home, but she has a lot of schnibbles with which to work, so I am not worried. Stay tuned for more Sew Day fun!

Dark Blue Cat Bed

Blue Lion Cat Bed
Blue Lion Cat Bed

After trimming all the t-shirts for the Young Man’s t-shirt quilt, my scrap bag was overflowing. The cat beds don’t take long to put together, so I sewed the pieces up and stuffed the bed with shards of t-shirt material and cotton scraps. My scrap bag is nice and clear now and the cat bed only needs a bit more stuffing.

I can’t make the next meeting either, so Kelly and I may meet downtown to exchange stuff for the meeting. The cat bed is heavy, however and I don’t want her to have to haul it around while at the Exploratorium with her daughter, so I may just mail it to Amanda.

Look for the pattern and information in this previous post.

Cat Beds Again

As you saw in a previous post, I am back on the Cat Bed wagon. Some people had some good questions, so I thought I would gather up the information and put it in one place, to the best of my ability.

Schnibbles
Schnibbles

Kati asked “How large are the scraps you’re stuffing? They look pretty big to me.” These are the size that I put in the cat beds.  the little triangles are the ears off 2.5″ and smaller half square triangles, so you can get an idea of how big the shards are. I might be a bit crazy, but I really only throw away tiny schnibbles that really can’t be used at all.  For the longest time I worried about tossing even these tiny shards away. They seemed like they could be used for something. I just didn’t know what. As I read some Victorian novels and ‘rag & bone’ men were mentioned, I kept trying to figure out what could be done with these shreds of fabric. Amanda saved me when she asked for these cat beds.

Cat Bed March 2013
Cat Bed March 2013

One reader said “It’s easy until I come to the stuffing the tube…do you have any secrets to make it easier than having to put my arm into the tube up to my elbow to push the stuffing around? I am going to have to redo the second one because it is too stuffed/firm.” My answer was “I just dump it in and then once it is as full as I want it (about 3/4s full) I just kind of mush it around until it is ok. I think the cat will knead it to the cat’s liking, so I don’t worry too much about it except not making it too firm.” Amanda confirmed when she said “For the scrap pieces, I try to use nothing larger than an approximately 3×3? square. If it is too big a scrap, then they are hard to dry thoroughly in the dryer. You can also you the strippy castoff pieces that are thin but long – those are okay and don’t necessarily need to be cut down as long as they are thin. I think the best stuffing to use is leftover batting scraps – they dry really well, and make the bed nice and soft. But of course, cotton fabric pieces are always good too.

For the issue about the tube – just cut it shorter! When you are sewing the “side” part of the bed onto the base, if it overlaps more than 5 inches, just cut the extra off. You don’t want to have a big overlap because this does make it a pain in the booty to stuff.”

For the short version of the Simplified Cat Bed Tutorial, I am posting it again.

Froggy Cat Bed

Cat Bed #2
Cat Bed #2

When Amanda had the new kits out at the BAMQG meeting earlier this month, I wanted to take them all. There were about 6, but I restrained myself and just took one. These cat beds are really easy to make and as an added bonus, I get to dump my schnibbles into the center as filling when I am done.

I had to do a bit of unsewing on this cat bed, as I put the wrong tail on the outside when sewing. You have to put the end you want to hide on the outside when sewing the middle strip to the ovals so that when you turn the cat bed right side out, the hemmed end will be on the outside. I started to unsew the entire thing and then realized I only had to unsew the ends. I did the unsewing then re-sewed and have another great cat bed for Amanda and the Homeless Cat Network.

Cat Bed #2 Side-ish View
Cat Bed #2 Side-ish View

One of the things I like about this project is that I can put my schnibbles in it.I save, as I have said, the bits that are really too small to save. I used to throw them out, but putting them inside cat beds is better. I had the ends of a quilt (that get cut off after machine quilting) that I also cut up and put inside this one.

The second photo shows more of the frog fabric used for the side. I hope the cat likes it.

Cat Bed #1

Cat Bed #1
Cat Bed #1

This is the cat bed that I made from the kit I got at the last BAMQG meeting. I didn’t think that I would enjoy it, but it went very quickly and in no time I had the thing done.

I had some schnibbles so I put as many as I could inside to stuff it. Amanda will have to stuff the rest of it with all the schnibbles she has collected.

The polar fleece only caused me a bit of pain and suffering, but not much. I am quite pleased with how it came out.

I have to admit that I enjoyed making this. I find satisfaction in making the donation quilts and also in making this cat bed. If you want to make one, Amanda has kindly allowed me to post the revised, simpler Cat Bed Pattern .

Cat Beds

For a long time I have been wondering why tiny bits of fabric couldn’t be recycled. As I tossed out stockings and holey socks, I wondered if there wasn’t something that could be done with them. Reading Victorian mystery novels didn’t help, because they describe ‘rag pickers’, but who wants that job?

How Much Work?
How Much Work?

I have often judged the amount of work I have done over the course of a week by how full my garbage can was. Still, I wished that I could put those bits of fabric somewhere to use without having to store them myself.

A few months ago, Amanda came to the BAMQG meeting and solved my problem! She told us that she and some friends were making cat beds for a local homeless cat shelter. She asked us to save our tiny bits of fabric including worn out clothing (no underwear!) such as t-shirts and sweatshirts. She would use them to fill the cat beds she was making so the beds would be soft and comfy for the cats.

Despite the fact that I had long thought about saving tiny scraps and doing something with them, I thought saving the tiny bits would be too much trouble. Then I remembered 1) all the times I had been reluctant to toss tiny bits; 2) Pam and what what good care she takes of her cats; and 3) how lame I was acting.

Cat Bed Filling
Cat Bed Filling

I got myself a zipper bag and started tossing scraps in. Thread, schnibbles, bits of batting, and selvedges all go into the cat bed filling bag. I was shocked at how many tiny bits I had and how quickly I filled up a bag. I brought two bags of bits to Amanda the first time she collected them!

Trimmings from quilting, e.g. the edges of the quilt sandwich fill those bags up faster. It is another kind of sorting I have to do daily and I haven’t quite found the right place for the bags. I am really happy to do one small thing to make a cat’s life better and to help Amanda, who is doing the heavy lifting on this project. The other good thing is that my garbage can is a lot emptier, which means less stuff going to the landfill.

I am really good at doing one small thing for various projects that all need time, attention and money. In other projects where this has been my M.O. I have found that I can see the difference – how my contribution changes things-when I do one small thing.