This February, Bernina USA held a contest to make small pads for kennels. These ‘kennel quilts’ will be donated to local animal rescue organizations for use with cats, dogs and other small animals. The contest fell within my ‘work on my basic sewing skills’ goal for this year, and ‘do anything for animals’ goal for all the time.
A kennel quilt is really just a little pad sized 12″ x 18″ (about the size of a place mat), that will keep a scared little animal more comfortable in a cold, hard kennel. I have a real soft spot for animals so this project is right up my alley. Plus, I’m a sucker for beautiful cotton fabrics in either lovely or novelty patterns.
I don’t actually know how to quilt, but that isn’t necessary. That said, I’ve used this as a skill building exercise to learn how to piece and quilt, and sew straight topstitching.
The kennel quilt is basically just two pieces of fabric with a layer of batting inside. Sew up all of the sides, stuff it with batting, flip it out and seal up the edges. You need to do some topstitching (or quilting) to keep the batting in place, and all of the stitching has to stand up to little paws scratching, little teeth chewing, and multiple trips through the washer and dryer.
This was such a simple project, just wash and dry the fabric and batting (I used a poly blend batting). Then cut it into the right sized pieces and shapes, sew it together, and embellish with quilting stitches as you like.
Years ago I was into sewing fabric bags so I had a lot of pretty cottons around – many in cat prints (how apropos!). But I did wind up buying some fabrics especially for puppies. And I discovered fantastic bargains in the Spot the Bolt section at Hancock’s. I wound up making a total of 12 kennel quilts. Two were tests and they’re staying here, the other ten were donated.
This was a fun project and great way to practice my skills. I know I’ll make more – there’s plenty of fabric in my closet, and this was a rewarding way to spend a couple of hours. I see this being a project for days when I feel like sewing something, but I’m not in the mood for the rigors of garment sewing. Plus, how many tops and dresses can a girl have 😉
If you’re interested in this ongoing project, please check out the organization’s Facebook page, or find them on the internet.Or just make up a little quilt and drop it by your local rescue organization or shelter. You know they have animals that would love to have a warm place of their own.