International Quilt Festival Quilt Scene Magazine – Elephant Cat Toy Pattern!

My family is definitely made up of cat lovers with seven cats between three households. I like to make handmade gifts, so last year I decided to make some little catnip toys as stocking stuffers for the holidays. I made a few different designs, a fish, a mouse, a turtle, and an elephant. After much convincing, I got Zoe to briefly pose with one. The cats really do love playing with these, but they are not as fond of a chunky DSLR aimed in their direction!

Elephant Cat Toy

The little elephants turned out so cute that I decided to submit the pattern to the annual International Quilt Festival Quilt Scene magazine and…it was accepted! The magazine was recently released and is available for purchase on Interweave. The pattern can be found on Page 70.

Elephant Cat Toy

These little elephants are really easy to make and are a perfect gift for anyone with a cat. They only require basic sewing skills, so it’s an easy project even if you’re new to sewing. They’re a great way to use up scraps, and only require minimal materials.

Elephant Cat Toy

The magazine has lots of other cute projects including a Hexagon mini-quilt by Malka Dubrawsky, a knitting needle case by Rosemarie Deboer, a quilted table topper by Erin Daniels, and lots more. This is the first pattern that I’ve had published, and I’m looking forward to developing and submitting more ideas in the future!

And, on another note, I’ll be taking part in the Virtual Vegan Potluck again which is coming up on November 16th. The deadline to sign up as a participant is tomorrow, November 9th. It’s always a lot of fun to see what everyone posts, and it brings the vegan blogging community together. If you want to join in, sign up now!

The Free Motion Quilting Project – Practice Place Mats

Here’s a break from the food posts for a craft post! This week, I made a goal for myself to work on improving my free motion quilting skills. It’s of course an on-going process, but one that I finally decided to tackle. I love hand piecing and hand quilting, but it’s led me to avoid learning free motion quilting for a while now. As much as I love quilting by hand, it’s a slow process. I really want to improve my FMQ skills so that I can finish up some projects quicker. It also just opens up a whole new world of design possibilities! After going to the Quilt Fest of NJ with my mom last week, I was really inspired by all the amazing free motion quilting. I hope I can be that good someday, but it will take a lot of practice!

A huge resource in this endeavor has been The Free Motion Quilting Project. The creator of this project, Leah Day, has posted hundreds of different free motion quilting designs. You can sort them in various ways, including by difficulty level. I’ve been tackling some of the beginner ones. My stitches are definitely a bit wobbly, but you have to start somewhere! While my FMQ still needs a lot of work, I can already see that I’m starting to improve and gain more control over my stitches.

To practice, I’ve been making place mats. I bought a couple of panel fabrics to use as centers. I pretty much never use panels, but I thought quilting around the images would be good practice. I’m using up bits of fat quarters that I won’t really use in other projects. These aren’t my favorite fabrics, but that also makes it much easier to practice on them. I’m not hung up on making mistakes or messing up the fabric or quilting, since I don’t really have a strong attachment to these.

The guild that I attend has a community service project through Meals on Wheels. They deliver place mats to their clients around the holidays to brighten their day. So not only am I getting tons of practice in, but these will go to a good cause as well, and I’m using up some of my fabric stash. It’s a win, win all around!