Thursday, after finishing the binding for Red Scribbles, I rummaged around in the pile of leftover batting and edges I got back from Colleen looking for batting that would work for the various donation quilts I intend to send off to Alison.
As I was looking through the excess batting I came across the leftover edges of some recent (and not so recent!) quilts and decided to put together another ‘Ends‘ quilt.
Thus Ends n.9 came into being. I used the strips leftover from Warm Windmill and Warm Windmill n.2. I am not sure where the strips of dots came from. I think they have been around since at least last year. Perhaps from the City Sampler?
Mostly what I was trying to do was get batting for the donation quilts ready to send to Alison. I have been chomping at the bit to send these off, but didn’t want to use red thread for the Frankenbatting.
It was great to work on this top and back. I just felt good getting something done. I was happy to finish Red Scribbles, but this felt different. I really felt like, between the Frankenbatting and the donation top/back, that I really accomplished something. I don’t know why since I clearly finished something much more complex and interesting when I finished Red Scribbles.
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?
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.
I hopped back on the Doing Good bandwagon this past weekend and I feel great about that.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You know, sometimes you just have to sew like a demon and make a lot of cat beds.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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 .
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?
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.
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.
One of the reasons I buy fabric specifically destined for and make gift bags is so that I don’t have to wrap gifts using paper. I also like to have an excuse to buy holiday fabric that I know I will never use for a quilt. FabMo has created a whole new aesthetic for me for gift bags.
At the last CQFA meeting, Bron brought a few pieces of FabMo fabric and I scooped up a couple. You’ll see some of them soon, but I already made the gift bag.
This fabric is some kind of velvet like material and it changes the whole look of the gift bag. I didn’t take any chances when sewing it. I used the new open toe walking foot because I am not familiar with how this fabric acts in the sewing process.
The ribbon is also from another gift.
It is an odd shape, because I just used the shape of the sample and folded it in half. The edges were serged and I wanted to maintain that integrity.
One of the things I like about it is that it looks really special. That is a good reminder for me that the fabric really makes the piece – especially in other types of sewn accessories that don’t have the opportunity for quilting or embellishment, etc. I realize that the maker could do both on a gift bag, of course, if the design were different.
I actually think that gift bags would be a good way to try out new techniques, feet, stitches on your sewing machine, free motion quilting, etc.