Sunday, September 5, 2010

Making “Stuffies” for Cat Toys Etc.

I haven't posted for a while and I know how much y'all love to see what I'm doing. It won't be fancy because I'm using my phone so bear with me (or bare with me—it's hot in here). Also, I wasn't planning on making a cat toy. It just sort of happened as I realized the design was one-sided. I didn't want to start over and I knew the cats wouldn't care if it were one-sided or not.

First, some iTunes.

I'll be using a design and tutorial from Urban Threads for “Stuffies (in the hoop)” .

Next, I'll plan and gather supplies; thread, hoop, scissors, felt…

I'm going to use baby-blue EcoFelt (made from recycled pop bottles—woo!) with a dark royal blue contrast stitching for the details.

It's still the same light-blue felt, trust me. My objective here was to stitch the outlines so I could cut them out. I failed a bit on the bottom one as you can see, but it will work out. No worries.

See? These pieces turned out okay. Those stitches were just cut lines and are completely gone now. This is what I was going for: two nicely cut-out pieces!

Now I have some backing in the hoop and I've stitched the shape out again. I'll put one of the cut-out shapes inside this line. The little X in the center is a sanity-check mark indicating the center of the hoop. I don't want to hit the hoop while sewing—don't ask how I know this. Better safe than sorry!

I was sweating a bit over hoping I had the shape oriented correctly. This piece uses three digital files. I hadn't switched to "file 3" when I should have. But it worked out okay, unless I was expecting a live fish.

The in-between step was kind of boring. Basically I attached the other cut-out shape to the back of the hoop and the first shape. The machine did the rest. Now I have two shapes sewn together into a little "pocket". But what to fill it with? I just realized I have NO stuffing, it's Sunday, and everything is closed!

Since this is a "test" piece now I'm going to stuff this little wad of fresh and dried catnip into the nose area using this wooden skewer and hope I can finish before the cat wakes up. I will finish stuffing it with small bits & strips of plastic grocery bag hoping for that satisfying crinkle sound cats love.

My embroidery machine, being industrial, does not double as a sewing machine and it's so not worth threading the sewing machine for a 1-inch closing seam on felt. I'm going to use the good ol' time-tested needle & thread.( *poke* OW!)

There! The open seam has been sewn shut and I have trimmed up the edges so they don't look so rough. There it is, a nice stuffed fishie—and made with recycled items too! How earth-friendly is that?

I have already hooped up and stitched one two-sided—easy peasy for me! And while doing that I realized that two-sided doesn't have to mean fish bones on both sides. What about personalization on the reverse side. Wouldn't Twinkles love his own personalized fishie? Yup, my brain fills up with ideas even as I work.

Now…where's that cat?

Update 11:00 pm: The catnip fishie is a success but not according to my cat, she thinks she's too good for it. My dad's little semi-feral tabby, however, was tossing it into the air, dancing, stalking, whirling, twirling, pouncing…you get the idea. She was delighted! And this is the cat that doesn't really react to catnip. Must make more…

-- Posted From My iPhone