Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Holly seems to like the new soft fleece blanket I made for her today. It was supposed to have been a Christmas present. Actually, I'd planned to make fleece blankets for all my pets but decided to wait until after Christmas to make them when I wouldn't feel rushed. I don't really think my four-legged friends realize they missed getting blankets as presents. They all received treats in their stockings and were happy with those.
For the blankets, I used fleece remnants I'd bought on sale a few months ago. They had been packed away in my sewing room, taking up space. So today I took them out, cut them to size, and hemmed them. Our dog, Mandy, used hers this evening, but then Holly claimed it as well as her own. I'm glad they like their warm blankets and I hope to make others to donate to our local animal adoption agency, along with some homemade catnip toys.
To make a quick and easy pet blanket, you need about 1/2 yard of 60" wide fleece for a small animal and about 3/4 yard to 1 yard of 60" wide fleece for a larger animal - or do as I did and just use whatever remnant is available. You can always cut it to fit your needs. Trim off selvedges and with a sewing machine, make a 1/2" hem all the way around - fold the edges over twice when hemming for a nice finished appearance. That's all there is to it. Start to finish, each one takes about 15 minutes.
Catnip toys are easy to make too. I don't bother cutting out cutesy mouse or heart shapes any more. My cats only care about the catnip inside the toys. I cut 4" squares from fabric scraps leftover from other projects and with the sewing machine, I sew two squares together on three sides - keeping right sides of the fabric facing each other. Turn the squares right side out and use a sharp pointed object like a pencil or the end of scissors to carefully round out the corners for a nice finished look. Fill the squares about 3/4 of the way full of catnip and with the sewing machine, sew the open ends closed.
For a fun touch, add some colored yarn to the catnip toys. Thread a wide-eyed needle with 4-ply yarn (I wouldn't recommend using thin sport yarn or Cro-Sheen) and make a "stitch" in the center of the square once it's been sewn shut. Pull up two loose ends of yarn and tie them in a double knot, leaving about a 2" tail. Cats love these!

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