March Project 

This is a quick little project for our feline friends. 

Clara Loves wool and loves her blue fish:

For a few weeks, I’ve wanted to make her some primitive fish out of wool. I finally sat down to make some this afternoon. Here is what I used: 

  • Hand drawn fish (I mimicked the long blue fish she loves) 
  • Fulled wool pieces
  • Wool batting
  • Catnip
  • Ribbon or cord or yarn
  • Thread (you can also use embroidery floss)
  • A poking stick 

I cut two layers of each wool. Some I cut with the tail on the fold. I like how this worked. You could do fish with two different sides. 

The wool needs to well fulled, like that for rug hooking, or felted. Loose weaves aren’t going to hold up as well. The black and white one isn’t as tight or fulled as I would like. I am going to have to put that through the wash several more times before so use more. These are all in pairs:


I cut a three to four inch length of the ribbon or cotton yarn. The ribbon just got folded and securely sewn down to the inside of one piece. The yarn got a know before it was sewn down to the inside of one piece. 

The fish are each sewn with the right sides out, with a small blanket stitch. Wow, black on black without great light is a pain. 

I left the belly of each open so I could stuff it with a pinch of catnip and a small bit of batting. It really is just a small bit of each. Then I closed them. 


They are Clara approved. 

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THANK YOU!

Readers, please pardon this personal post.

_20180216_074301This Valentine’s Day I went to bed with a truly warmed heart. When I took Clara to the vet earlier that day, I thought we were going to be treating hairballs. She was throwing up and had a little diarrhea. I did not expect the next few hours to unfold as they did. Her wonderful Doctor Dan showed me her xray, explaining her intestines were not in the right place, loosely filling the abdominal area. Instead, they were all balled up in one area, sound together with some areas swollen with gas. He explained what we were seeing often means an eaten thread* caused the intestines to draw up on themselves. Knowing just how much thread and other fibers are in the house, hit me in the gut.

After calling Dan to let him know and a few tears with Clara humming Grandpa’s song, her calming, sweet nurse, who’s name I can’t remember, took her back to immediately prep for surgery.

What happened next still has me in aww. The care for our Clara flooded in on FB and in my messages. Clara received gifts from a few people I have never met. I listed a few things I could find quickly on Etsy (the batwing bonnet, my bandeau, lace, gloves, some sewing things.) They were all gone overnight. My shop was empty and my heart full.

By the time I was able to pick her up, I had just the right amount to cover her surgery bill. It was such a blessed feeling to be able to say “yes” and be able to giver Clara what she needs.

We want to give a heartfelt thank you to those who helped these last few days, either financially or emotionally. I appreciate you more than I can say.

As we were leaving, I had the most humbling moment. I think I opened the door with a squee of “home!” I began to walk by a woman was standing at the counter with a toweled bundle wrapped in her arms. She had tears running down her face. My heart caught in my throat. I turned around and hugged her. This was such a heart breaking reminder that this could have easily gone the other way. If we hadn’t called the vet and brought her in, if it hadn’t been caught, if we couldn’t do the surgery. Oh, how I felt for that woman and her toweled bundle.

Now, as you’ve been reading and waiting. How is Clara?

Clara is home now. She is recovering with lots of sleeping and snuggling. She is eating little bits of baby food. This will be her diet for a few days after which we will add in soft canned food. We are going to keep her on a higher moisture diet. (she had been eating dry food in the mornings, wet in the evenings.)  We will be going back today to get her IV catheter out. It stayed just in case.

There wasn’t anything in her intestines – no string, no wool. Her intestines and omentum were balled/wound up in a ball up in one section of her abdomen. They should be loose, filling her whole abdominal area. The doctor does not know why this happened. Gummy, stickiness is usually from dehydration. She was not dehydrated. So, Clara has yet another mystery. xraysClara is resting and sleeping a lot, as she should for her recovery. Last night she did not leave me at all. She was okay with being next to me, but preferred to be on my shoulder, chest, or neck. I don’t think she likes that I am getting ready for work. I’ll be putting her cone on just in case.

Rescue Cat Warmers

imageI follow one of our local cat rescues, Keller’s Kats,  on FB. Last winter, they rescued so many cats and kittens who were nearly frozen. They did a fabulous job bringing each baby back to health.

I thought it would be nice, and hopefully helpful, to have kitty warmers; a way of gently bringing the cats’ body temperatures back up to where they need to be. After some pondering over my favorite rice bags, I came up with a pillow bed that heated rice bags could go inside.

I did two different versions. The darker green one with the raw edges hidden that took 2 machine seams and 3 hand seams. The lighter green is a quicker, mostly machine, method that has the raw edges tucked inside the pocket where the rice goes.

Each heatable pillow bed is made of a width of 100% cotton fabric cut 10″ to 14″ wide. I do want to make some slightly larger ones too.

For the quicker method, with the right side down, fold the ends in lengthwise.

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The selvages need to overlap. (I leave the selvages on.)

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Fold the folded ends back so the selvage ends are on the outside.

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This creates an M in the fabric, with layers that look like this:

imageI sewed along the raw edges with a straight stitch and zig-zagged the raw edges. This created  two pockets on each side. Each pocket was filled with batting. I played with the fullness trying to get the right loft I thought would be good for a cat that didn’t feel well.

Then, I closed the opening with a whip stitch. (this is where that selvage edge is neater.)

For the darker green ones, that I actually did first, I folded the long ends in right sides together. I machine stitched along the sides. Then turned them right side out for the pockets. Like above, I filled the pockets and whip stitched along the opening.

imageThis pillow bed was then folded in half. I whip stitched along the sewn sides to make the pillow. I did do a button-less button stitch in the middle to give the kitty a comfier place to sleep. I’ll see if this helps.

imageRobo Kitty shows how a cat can sit on top. You can see the pocket where the rice bags slide inside. I suppose, you could fit a cat inside in case of an emergency as well.

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The pillow beds are washable. This was a must so they could be cleaned and used. I debated about the batting. At first, I was thinking wool, my go-to. Quilt batting wool would give the advantage of being able to be sewn into the pillow bed all at once. (poly quilt batting could too. But, I didn’t have any.) Then I realized wool could have two issues – fleas might like it and it could lump during multiple washings.

Rice Bags
The rice bags are not washable. These are simply rice in a muslin bag. Each one is 4″x4″ or 4″x5″. The fabric and thread must be 100% cotton. I filled them so they would lay flat inside the pillow bed. Each has shy of a half pound of rice.
They are microwaved for a minute or two for use.
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I’ll share any feedback I get from the rescue about how they work or could be better.