When making quilts, you always have fabric scraps left over, and for the nice fabric quilters will always find a way to use every crumb of fabric. In fact, there are even quilts called “crumb quilts” that feature all the little tidbits of fabric. I’m not much of a crumb quilt person, and I certainly don’t have the storage room for them. I do have a small 2 1/2″ square collection building up, though.
When it comes to t-shirt quilts, though, the scraps issue takes on a whole other meaning. Most t-shirt quilt blocks feature less than half of the fabric actually used in the shirt, and jersey knit doesn’t make for a nice scrap collection. So what to do with all those fabric scraps?!
I’m so glad you asked. I make dog/cat beds out of them and donate them to the Society of Humane Friends of Georgia.
I cannot begin to gush enough about this organization or the tireless people who dedicate their time and energy to these precious animals. Every Saturday you can find them, as well as other groups, stationed outside or inside Petco and PetSmart, trying to find families to adopt animals. And they are so patient and sweet. If the dog/cat damages their home, the costs come out of their own pockets. The time they spend trying to socialize and rehabilitate some of the more traumatized animals is positively angelic. Not to mention they’re always on hand to attend to the medical needs of neglected and injured animals. And they aren’t just trying to find any home for these animals. They’re trying to find the RIGHT home. They list the ideal circumstances for each animal to make sure both animal and owner are happy.
I sent out a call a while back asking friends if they had any thicker/non-quilting fabric that they wished to get rid of. The thicker fabric does better in the long run as beds – more durable. I’m proud to say several answered the call, and I have a ridiculous amount of fabric on hand specifically for dog/cat beds.
I tear the leftover t-shirt fabric into smaller pieces. There’s also leftover batting strips too small to salvage as well as quilting fabric way too small to use (for me, anyway). Then I’ll turn on a movie and stuff those scraps into the squares I’ve prepped, sewing the opening shut by hand. I can’t stuff them too full, though, or they won’t fit inside the crates.
It’s a small effort on my part, but the knowledge that maybe I’ve helped out the foster parents in some way makes me happy. They do so much and deserve so much more. We have two cats and a dog. All three are connected to this organization in some way.
Eleanor was part of a box of cats that was abandoned in front of PetCo one Saturday morning before adoptions started. Apparently a hearse drove up, dumped off a box of black and white cats, and drove off. The adoption folks couldn’t take them with their own animals because the cats weren’t vetted up, etc. But because they are the loving people that they are, they promised that anyone who took home one of the hearse cats would have the cat’s first round of shots and the spay/neuter paid for.
If I have cash on me and pass by that store on a Saturday morning (which is a lot considering it’s right beside JoAnn’s), I always try to donate something. One morning I went and saw a little orange cat. He twisted, turned, and did the “buy me” dance, licked my finger, and won my heart. I went home and spoke with my husband and roommate, and we all agreed Eleanor needed a friend. So in comes Jordan!
The last family member to join us is Diana (the Wonder Dog). She came after a lot of thought and consideration. We went back and forth for about two weeks when I saw a sponsored ad for her asking why no one had adopted her yet. I put in an application about an hour later, and the foster mom met me on Monday to take her home for a week trial. She’s been a blessing ever since. An added bonus is that she likes to slide down playground slides!
If you’re considering getting a pet for your family, I cannot recommend adopting from the Society of Humane Friends enough!
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