March 2021: Cat & Dog Sleeping Mat
Date Posted:1 March 2021
Little Legs Dog & Cat Rescue Qld Inc is a small charity dedicated to rescuing and rehoming dogs and cats of all sizes from pounds or in need of private surrender. These animals are well cared for and placed into loving foster homes, until a forever home is found. They rely solely on the support of the community and their foster carers.
For this month’s sewalong, we’ll be creating dog and cat sleeping mats to donate to Little Legs. These mats will be given to these animals in their foster homes and will take it with them when they find their forever home. Let’s start sewing and create something special for these beautiful dogs and cats!
We have created one cat sleeping mat and one dog sleeping mat for this sewalong. We've provided you with quilting designs for this project so you can try in-the-hoop quilting! If you don't have an embroidery machine you can quilt your mat with a walking foot - just follow these instructions →
Quick tip: Don't forget to adjust the presser foot height when working with embroidery designs on a quilt sandwich. Remember, the embroidery foot should skim the top of the fabric.
The paw and fish designs for the cat sleeping mat have been designed to fit a 4" x 4" hoop. Please ensure that you use the single file not the continuous file for these designs.
- 2 x different fat quarters (we used flannel fabric because it is so snuggly)
- 1 x piece of batting 2" bigger than the fat quarters (or batting scraps joined together)
- 3 x strips of contrasting fabrics 2½" x width of fabric (this is for the binding)
- Thread for quilting (we used Hemingworth Brilliant Blue 1204)
- Bobbin - wind with the same colour as top thread
- Rasant thread
- Frixion pen
- Batting joiner
- Sewing & embroidery machine
- Dynamic walking foot, walking foot or even feed foot
- Quilt guide
- Quilting designs (cat paw and fish)
- Iron fat quarters to remove any wrinkles.
- Create a quilt sandwich by inserting the batting between both fat quarters. You can pin or spray baste the three layers to secure together in preparation for quilting. This is a great project to use up batting leftovers. Simply iron the batting joiner on the smaller pieces and continue to join the pieces together until you have the desired size.
- Using a Frixion pen, draw a grid onto the fabric, dividing the square into 9 blocks.
- Attach the dynamic walking foot and rasant thread and stitch (stitch length 3) on the lines to create a sewn grid formation.
- Change to machine embroidery and download the embroidery designs onto a USB. There are several embroidery design options, ensure the chosen design is the correct size for your hoop. As the cat sleeping mat is small, we have selected the single paw and single fish design to quilt the sleeping mat.
- Select the thread colour for the quilting design and wind the thread onto a bobbin so the thread matches top and bottom when quilting.
- Hoop your quilt sandwich, select your design and stitch. If using a small hoop, remove sleeping mat and reposition to stitch another design. Repeat until the cat sleeping mat is covered with quilting designs.
- Remove sleeping mat from the hoop and square it up. The finished result should measure 18" x 19½".
- Stitch the three binding strips together and bind your sleeping mat.
- 2 x pieces of fabric approximately 1.10 x 1.10m - flannel fabric
- 1 x piece of batting 2” bigger than the fabric
- 5 x strips of contrasting fabrics 2 ½” x width of fabric (for the binding)
- Thread for quilting (we used Hemingworth Dark Blue 1264)
- Bobbin wound with the same thread as the top thread
- Rasant thread
- Frixion pen
- Sewing & embroidery machine
- Dynamic walking foot, walking foot or even feed foot (if not using the embroidery method of quilting)
- Quilt guide
- Quilting designs (dog bone and paw)
- Iron your fabric to remove any wrinkles.
- Create a quilt sandwich by inserting the batting between the two pieces of fabric. You can pin or spray baste the three layers to secure together in preparation for quilting. This is a great project to use up batting leftovers. Simply iron the batting joiner on the smaller pieces and continue to join the pieces together until you have the desired size.
- Using a 6" x 24" ruler, draw horizontal lines down the quilt sandwich approximately 8" apart. This provides an area to work in when using the continuous embroidery design.
- Stitch down these horizontal lines using your rasant thread and your walking foot of choice.
- Select the thread colour for the quilting design, wind the thread onto a bobbin so the thread matches top and bottom when quilting.
- Download the embroidery designs on a USB and load into machine. We are working with continous embroidery designs. Choose the designs that will fit into your largest hoop - we used the continuous dog bone and paw. For the larger hoops, each design has been digitized with a beginning tail and an end tail. These tails are used to align the next design when you hoop. The tails should meet. There is also a single dog bone and single paw design with tails that can be utilised in a smaller hoop if you prefer.
- Switch your machine to embroidery. Don't forget to wind a bobbin with matching thread for the underside of the sleeping mat.
- Select the hoop for your machine, and hoop the quilt sandwich with the already stitched guidelines in the middle of the hoop (as shown below). These are guidelines only.
- Stitch the first continous design.
- Remove the quilt sandwich from the machine and rehoop keeping the stitched guidelines in the middle of the hoop, like previously done. If you have a machine that uses camera or projector technology, use these features to align the next design in the hoop. Otherwise, use the plastic grid or paper template to align the tails (this is included in the .zip designs download file).
- Repeat this process until the entire dog sleeping mat is quilted.
- Should there be large spaces that aren't quilted, feel free to use your walking foot and fill in the gaps (like in the photo shown below).
- Square up the dog blanket.
- Stitch the five binding strips together, iron in half and attach the binding onto the sleeping mat.
You can follow this video for an explanation on this method. It demonstrates essentially the same technique. Steps below are a summary. Refer to the 'Materials Required' lists above for your chosen sleeping mat.
- Iron fabric to remove wrinkles.
- Create a quilt sandwich by inserting the batting between both pieces of fabric. You can pin, or spray baste the three layers to secure together in preparation for quilting. This is a great project to use up batting leftovers! Simply iron the batting joiner on the smaller pieces and continue to join the pieces together until you have the desired size.
- Draw a diagonal line with a water erasable pen through the centre of the fabric.
- Attach the dynamic walking foot, adjust the stitch length to 3 and sew on the drawn diagonal lines.
- Next, attach the quilt guide to the walking foot and align the guide on the previously stitched line. We have chosen a 2" gap for the cross hatch. Stitch the next line. The quilt guide will keep your lines parallel and even. If you don't have a guide for your walking foot, you can rule each line on the quilt top.
- Continue stitching until the cross hatching is completed in one direction.
- Draw another line the opposite way on the diagonal centre of the fabric. Repeat steps 3-5 as above.
- When the cross hatch is complete, square up the cat blanket.
- Stitch the three binding strips together, iron and bind the blanket.
How long do I have to create the project?
This sewalong will run from 1st – 31st March 2021.
Things to remember
Sewalongs are a great way to get inspired by what everyone creates, while giving to a worthy cause. If you’re new to sewing or embroidering this is a great chance to get involved and have fun no matter what the outcome. Any excuse to put your sewing and embroidery machines to good use is a great one.
Sending in your donations
The sleeping mats can be dropped in or posted to any of the Echidna stores during the month of the sewalong. Please send any donations made after the sewalong month directly to the charity:
Little Legs Dog & Cat Rescue Qld Inc
61 Winchester Road
Alexandra Hills QLD 4161
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