Did you know that animal shelters often use small quilts or blankets (called cage comforters) in the animals' cages to provide a soft bed and a sense of security? It's a great way to use up leftover pieces of fabric and batting and make something to help our furry friends at the shelters. It's kinda funny how I learned about this project...
So I actually made it into the gym last week after I dropped my kids at school, and when I turned on the tv on my treadmill, guess who was there? Nancy Zieman! I LOVE Nancy. At the end of her show, she interviewed someone (sorry, I forget the name) at an animal shelter who was asking sewists to make these adorable little cage comforters for the cats and puppies.
Evidently, these mini-quilts and blankets provide comfort and security for the animals and go with them when they are adopted to make for an easier transition in a new home.
I got these sewing instructions from the 'Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals' website, but you might want to call your local animal shelter to see if they want a certain size. When I called my local SPCA the volunteer coordinator was THRILLED that I wanted to bring some over. I'm going to get some help making a few more before I go.
The Mayor's Alliance website suggests an approximate finished size of 12'' x 18'' or 14'' x 20''.
Here's the instructions:
Construction: Feel free to try your own method, but "pillowcase-style" often works best:
Cut two pieces of material to use as top and bottom of the outside of the comforter.
Place the two pieces of fabric one on top of the other.
Make sure the "wrong" side of both pieces of fabric are facing out.
Sew 3 sides together.
Turn inside out so that the "right" side of fabric is facing out.
Insert a bit of cotton batting or fluffy material.
Fold over and sew the fourth seam.
Secure the poly fill by sewing an inner seam (like quilting) around all 4 sides and/or sewing a middle seam with the machine (this is so that the filling doesn't bunch up when washed).
As you can see from the picture above, mine are super simple. I started with 13''x20'' pieces of fabric and after following steps 1-6 above, I tucked my remaining edges inside...
And then stitched the opening closed 1/4'' from the edge. Then I quilted a rectangle around the blanket, about 1 1/2'' from the edge.
This cage comforter took only about 5 minutes to make, so I added a funny tag. I was careful to stitch all around the edges so no little claws get caught on it.
Then I let our dog Indy test it out for me. It passed! If you live in the greater Melbourne, Florida area, you can drop cage comforters off at the Brevard SPCA location in the Melbourne Mall.
Have you ever done this before? Does your local shelter take them too? Let me know in the comments.