I will be starting a small knitting group here at Cattery57, in Gorleston soon, in aid of the Cats Protection League. They need knitted blankets and toys for the homeless cats that they take in.. Don’t worry if you don’t knit and want to have a go we can teach you. I will supply the wool if you bring your own knitting needles. Or if you can, donate any amount of DK wool, it would be very much appreciated. Please contact me for more details.
In my last post I showed you how I created these little rocks from pebbles taken from my friends driveway. They fit beautifully in the palm of your hand and are very tactile.
The only problem I had was how was I going to decorate them! So many things to chose from…… In the end I decided on a little embroidery with silks.
Just enough to give some contrast but not too much to cover over the lovely alpaca felt. There is a nice weight to the little rock, and when you hold it in your hand it becomes lovely and warm. And shabby chic comes to mind!
My friend Suzie, from Suzie’s Alpacas, kindly sent me some raw wool from her beautiful animals. I have never tried spinning or weaving, but have the needles for needle felting. Whether I have the right needles or because they were cheap, I don’t know, but it was soooo boring, and I didn’t seem to be getting anywhere. So I decided to do a bit of wet felting instead. Although it took alot of time too, it didn’t take alot of concentration or bloody fingers!
So, with a bowl of water, a bar of soap, 2 dog brushes, some cling film, bubble wrap and a cats ball.
I made this little purse, with two little felted pompoms as decoration.
So easy to make, I found the tutorial on Youtube. I didn’t have to wash the wool first, and only carded, with the dog brushes, as I needed it. The only slightly akward bit was sewing on the purse clasp. But as you do it whilst the felt is still damp, you can stretch it and as it dries it shrinks back to its original shape.
I will definitely be making some more of these, and embroider cats and things on them to sell in my cattery, along with felted soaps, which are also so easy to make.
I would love, love to be able to make 3d animals etc, with needle felting. Looking on the net there are crafters, true artists, who make beautiful, and so life like animals, I wouldn’t even know where to start. And I definitely don’t have the patience. So I think wet felting will be a new one for me!
Now that my new cattery57 is up and running, and doing quite well, I needed a crafty project…… the cats only want so much cuddling and play during the day. I wanted something that I could sit and do whilst being in the cattery with the cats, something that didn’t need a sewing machine, was easy to transport but not boring…………..
I had seen some beautiful hexie quilts, I do enjoy making all the hexies, but sewing them together is too repetative for me, especially for a quilt. Then I saw tiny 1/4 inch hexies, gorgeous but how many millions would I have to make to get a quilt size? So I went for 1/2 inch hexies……..I know, just as bad……………….. after making a few hundred of them I decided I needed to do something a bit more interesting or all of those little hexies would be put into a box and forgotton about. So this is what I came up with.
I needed something with different elements, so I didn’t get bored with the project……………
And here is my first hexie:
Applique, Embroidery, Quilting, Quilt as you go hexie, more Embroidery and Crochet. The crochet will make them so much quicker to put together to make up the quilt, not as time consuming as sewing the hexies together, also crochet gives, so they don’t need to be that exact.
Having so many things going on in each hexie makes it interesting and each one is different, but the same, if you see what I mean. So to keep me occupied I am going to make a King Size Quilt, I don’t know how long it will take but it will be an heirloom when finished.
I need to be doing something crafty and this has been a lovely project to develop.
My tutorials start here for Tinas Scrappy Vintage Hexie Quilt
I am looking forward now and thinking of my new years resolution………….more patchwork.
I put on weight when I worry, I comfort eat. The last few months of getting the cattery built, along with all of the paperwork and legal stuff and worrying about getting customers has been stressful as well as exciting. But it has also made me eat, so to help me lose weight I am going to do more patchwork.
My Patchwork Workout is accomplished by having the ironing board as far away as possible from the sewing machine and ironing every little seam as soon as it is done, be it one inch or 3ft!
This cat mat patchwork panel is made from 2″ x 3.5″ strips and for every seam that I stitched on the sewing machine I got up, walked across the room and ironed the seam flat, then walked back to the machine to do the next seam. I walked across my room 158 times just to do the patchwork panel. The room is approx 9ft long which means I walked 1422 feet (432 meters) as well as the excercise of getting up and sitting down in the chair at the sewing machine. Quite a work out!! With a lovely piece of patchwork to show for all of that excercise! And being busy I didn’t feel like eating. Think of the area I would have to walk to make a king size quilt using these little strips, could end up being miles!!! Goodnesss, just had another thought, how about putting the sewing machine upstairs and keeping the ironing board downstairs, that would give me a doubly brilliant workout. Who would have thought that doing patchwork could lead to a healthy lifestyle?
Yesterday I posted about my new cat mats that are in my Etsy Shop. Today I designed and made a new round, rag quilted mat. As with most of my designs I use recycled fabrics and some new cotton fabric for appliques, patchwork etc.
I enjoy rag quilting, I used to make alot of tote bags using this technique. It looks good on a cat mat too. Lovely and soft, this mat consists of 4 layers of wadding and 3 layers of cotton fabric, and the raggy bits will get softer after a few washes. The cat in the centre has been hand appliqued by me using the blanket stitch method with a contrasting silk thread.
Measuring approx 18″ these mats are an ideal size to leave anywhere in the home, ready for your little friend to curl up on. Now I have all the measurements etc I can go ahead and make some for the shop, so do visit Etsy and put in the search ‘cattery57’ for the shop.
I am having a lovely week at home, away from the cattery, before the little Christmas guests arrive. My sewing machine is working overtime making cat mats. The ones I made for the cattery have been a great success. The ones at home have too. Dillon and Stalker spend most of their days on my bed, I put two of the mats on the bed and they will only sleep on them now!!!
This week I have been rummaging through secondhand shops for fabric and designing, practicing and making lots of cat mats. Some of which will be going into my Etsy shop.
The beauty of them being padded mats is that I can do anything on the top of them. I will be making patchwork ones, appliqued ones and plain ones depending on the fabric I can get hold of. So from fabric that has been thrown out I can make beautiful, practical and cuddly mats for cats.