Silver Seams banner

Diagram of compartments for first "page" of cats

Last year, it belatedly occurred to me that my mother-in-law was excited about the time my father-in-law’s sister sent him fifty little presents for his fiftieth birthday. And that she had given my husband forty ducks for his fortieth (we kept a flock of Khaki Campbells at the time)… and that we’d never done that for her.

Since I have entirely too much felt, the logical thing to do was make seventy tiny felt cats. (For the record: if you’re going to do this for someone I recommend getting it out of the way when they’re younger.)

Diagram of compartments for second "page" of cats

I started with the five tiny cats on Runo’s blog and for the most part just made variations on those patterns. I experimented with varying types of embellishment (and with varying degrees of success), and made cats with whatever theme struck my fancy. The black winged cat came about when I heard the news of Ursula K. LeGuin’s death, for example.

In my head, I expected the cats to be a throwaway thing, or perhaps she’d let guests take them home. But for the party, my husband and his siblings strung the cats as a banner over the living room couch… and they’re still there, a year later, somewhat to the unhappiness of my father-in-law. “If they get put in a box, no one will ever see them,” my mother-in-law explained to me. Clearly, the solution is a display box.

Diagram of compartments for third "page" of cats

Enter an even more ridiculous project for this year’s birthday: a custom box with a compartment for each cat. I had a couple of sheets of 1/8” Davey board, and for some reason decided it would be a good idea to make not only the box but its dividers out of that. Overkill? Well, yes.

The diagrams above came from my kitchen-table photo shoot of the finished cats, four hours before putting my husband and them on a flight at 5am - not only was the lighting terrible, the pink heart cat somehow didn’t make it into the shots and the only picture I had of it was on a red tablecloth. I was just trying to document each one so I could make a list of the inspiration for each before I forgot them.

Moire fabric

Naturally, I should have shipped this thing out Wednesday or Thursday, but turns out that lining all those little compartments with book cloth takes awhile. I picked up some discontinued home dec fabric at JoAnn, and used Heat-n-Bond to fuse it to some rice paper because it was a little too transparent to Heat-n-Bond directly to the bookboard. For proper archival book cloth it should have been pasted to the rice paper, but let me remind you this is for “throwaway” felt cats.

Compartments


Next post: Uploading embroidery files over wifi with a Raspberry Pi

Previous post: The best use of selvedge