Friday, January 28, 2011

Tammis Keefe Day 5 - Pet Bed

Pet made made with "Tammis Dogs"

I’m going to be honest.  I had a frustrating night of sewing last night. My thread kept breaking.  I tried 4 different spools of thread and it happened with all of them.  So, I tried changing the tension.  That caused the needle to break.  I put in a new needle and then the bobbin thread ran out.  What I planned on doing had to be revised over and over again, and most annoying of all, Copper the beagle was being extra “helpful.”  Grrrr.....
Copper the Beagle helps by sitting on the fabric when I need it.

But, I persevered and finished this dog/cat bed!  This could also be used as floor pillow for the kids.  Of course, once finished, Copper was no longer interested in helping me by posing on it and neither Frank Borman (the cat), nor Little Ruthann (the other beagle) volunteered to step in.  You’ll just have to imagine a big, grey cat curled up in the middle of this cozy-comfy bed.  It is, of course, made of Michael Miller’s Tammis Keefe Tribute fabric.  I used “Tammis Dogs” in the red colorway.

I mentioned that what I planned on doing was revised several times.  Consequently, I’m going to tell you what I now would consider the best way to make this, not what I did.  If I had done this from the start, I could have finished this in under an hour!  You’ll need 2 yards of fabric, a fat quarter of a contrasting fabric for the “button,” a milliner’s needle, strong thread(!) and two bags of polyfil.

Step 1:   Working with the entire 2 yard piece of fabric, fold the fabric in half with right sides together, matching raw edges.  Sew a seam on the raw edge.  

Step 2:  Gather both selvage edges.  Pull up gathering as tight as possible. You’ll have something that looks like this:
Gathered selvage edge

Step 3:  Still working with the right sides in, bunch up one of the gathered edges.  Take a scrap strip of fabric and wrap it around the bunch several times, pulling tight.  Tie off the strip. 
Gathered edge all bunched up and ready to turn.

Step 4:  Turn the bed so the right sides are facing out.  Stuff with polyfil.

Step 5:  Bunch up and tie the gathered edge as in Step 3.  The difference this time is that your bunch will be on the exterior.

Step 6:  To tuft the bed, use a really strong thread or yarn (I used the kind of cotton yarn you knit dishrags from) and a milliner’s needle, go in from one gathered edge and come out of the other, pull tight, and take a couple of locking stitches.  Go back in from the side you are working on to the side you started on, pull tight, and take a couple of locking stitches.  Do this a few times then tie of the yarn/thread.

Step 7:  Cut two 8” circles of fabric.  With right sides together, sew around the edge leaving an opening.  Turn and stuff with polyfil.  Sew opening closed using a blind stitch.  You now have a mini-pillow that should look something like this:
The mini-pillow we're going to sew to cover the bunch up fabric that is showing.

Step 8:  Place the mini-pillow over the exposed bunched up edge and tack it in place.  Go all the way around the mini-pillow tacking every inch or so.  Tie off thread securely.
All done and ready for my pets to ignore

You now have a new pet bed.  If your pets are anything like mine, they will completely ignore it in favor of the spot on the sofa where you would like to sit.  This bed is big enough for my beagles, but it will be too small for any dog that is bigger than that.  

Come back tomorrow for another fun Tammis Keefe project!  And don’t forget about the fabric giveaway which starts on February 2nd.

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