The February challenge for the Island Batik Ambassadors is to make one or more Kennel Quilts – which are used in animal shelters across the country. This project is coordinated by the volunteer organization TQPM Small Kennel Quilt Team sponsored by The Quilt Pattern Magazine (TQPM). Island Batik is also among the industry partners.
When disasters strike, team members get busy sewing small kennel quilts for animals in need -some may be separated from their humans and others possibly injured. There is always the need for more team members or random donations!
How to Make a Kennel Quilt
The guidelines suggest a 12″ x 18″ quilt that will fit in a kennel. In addition the quilt should not have a binding as little claws could rip off the fabric. There are other stipulations, such as prewashing the fabric, so be sure to read carefully.
I rummaged through my collection of Island Batik precuts and found a set of 5″ squares to work with as well as some scrap batting and away I went to the sewing machine! Note: I do not pre-wash my precuts, but I will wash the completed quilt before donating.
I love simple mindless sewing…the relaxing hum of the needle, the feel of fabulous fabrics under my fingers. An audible (book on tape) playing in the background or perhaps my favorite Christian radio station….just in the zone…sew sew sew!
In no time I had whipped up a little 3 x 4 arrangement from my 5″ squares.
After careful pressing I layered the pieced quilt top right sides together with the backing fabric placing the batting under the wrong side of the backing to sew all three layers together at one time, leaving a 5″ area unsewn for turning.
After sewing I trimmed the edges with pinking sheers – just because they were handy. You could easily use your rotary cutter or regular scissors. The idea is to have a narrow seam allowance for reduced bulk.
Time to turn the little quilt, press around the seams to lay flat and press the opening to the inside even along the edges.
I then topstitched along the perimeter carefully closing the opening. Followed by simple “stitch in the ditch” quilting to hold the quilt sandwich together.
Betcha’ can’t make just one!
I think making these little quilts is a lot like eating potato chips. You can’t just make one! I decided to get a little more creative with the next one and instead of just 12 plain squares I wanted to add pinwheels.
The method I used is fairly quick and easy. Simply layer two 5″ squares right sides together and sew a quarter of an inch around all four edges. When complete take a rotary cutter and ruler to cut from corner to corner to produce 4 triangle shapes. Press these open, trim the dog ears, and then piece together as a four patch to form the pinwheel. It’s important to note that once the blocks were pieced I did trim them down to 5″ square to match the precuts.
I chose to lay the pinwheels every other one with the squares in a checkerboard fashion. Repeated my process and in no time I had two little quilts!
My Kennel Quilt Challenge
My local guild makes quilts to share with various local charitable organizations but I have to admit, I had never thought about making something for our little four legged friends who are in need of comfort.
I’m going to challenge myself to make more of these small kennel quilts as the month goes by – I would like to at least fill up a box! There is information on the website concerning where to donate the kennel quilts as there is always a call to action when disaster strikes. I may even check with my local shelter to see if they have a need.
How about you? Want to take up the challenge with me and make a few kennel quilts? It’s a great way to use up your scraps or practice a new block pattern.
I hope you have enjoyed this month’s Island Batik Ambassador challenge. Check the Island Batik blog for links to other ambassadors and their projects.
This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, Telling YOUR Story One Quilt At A Time….
Please leave a comment below as I’d love to hear from you. Are you going to take up the challenge with me this month? Inquiring minds want to know!