Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Dog Bed 16

Katie Turbyfill  is the Director of our Humane Society's Spay-Neuter Clinic, AKA the Happy Paws Clinic.  I have written about it before, it is an awesome place where I get to volunteer every Thursday - the one day a week it is open.  Happy Paws is run by volunteers, Katie too is a volunteer even though she works the entire day every Thursday, plus untold hours outside of that getting us ready and organized every week.  The only paid staff are the vet and the vet tech. In addition to volunteering so much of her own time, Katie's two daughters, Eliza and Victoria are frequent volunteers as well. 

I finally got an opportunity to give Katie a Dog Bed when at Christmas she and her daughters adopted a new puppy.  They got this puppy, not because they had been looking for one, but because they were called up the day after Christmas by the shelter director and begged to take in this tiny puppy who was in very bad shape and desperately needed 24 hour a day attention, bottle feeding, and tender-loving care if she were to have any chance of survival.  Of course, Katie said yes.  When she a couple days after bringing the puppy home was able to take her to see a vet, she was told the little one had a 50/50 chance of survival.  When the puppy went back to the vet a week later, thriving and having put on some weight, the vet happily exclaimed that he had actually thought the pup was not going to make it!

But due to the love and care given to this little creature, oddly named Danny by Victoria, she now not only has a chance at life but a very nice home indeed.  She is definitely the tiniest dog to get one of my dog beds, and I was very happy because this is the smallest dog bed I have made so far - though it is impossible to tell from the pictures because Danny is so small.  To give you an idea of the scale, the coat Danny is wearing is actually one of Victoria's fuzzy fleece socks.  I had been wondering if I had made the dog bed too small, so I was happy to hear about and be able to give the bed to Danny, who quickly figured out how to walk all over it!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Marisela's Quilt

When I moved to Kentucky in 2008, and no longer worked, I started looking for other things to do with my time, and among other things signed up with Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the Bluegrass.  It took them a while to match me with a Little Sister, but on September 1, 2009, I was matched with Marisela Cruz, and since then it has been my privilege and delight to get to hang out with her for a few hours every week.  

She's a really cool kid and we have a lot of fun together, and it's been fun to see her grow and become more mature.  I don't know how obvious it is from the pics, but she has grown like a weed in the alomost three years I have known her, from being a little girl at age 8 1/2 - picture on left - to the beginning of a young adolescent now at 11 - picture on right.  We share the love of animals and dogs in particular, so that has been a great joy.  But in some ways we are very different.  Marisela has ADHD, so the idea of sitting down and spending a long time sewing little pieces of fabric together to make a quilt is very foreign to her.  She has very little patience and a very short attention span;  it is very near impossible for her to consentrate on any one thing for more than a very short time.  So trying to teach her to quilt would not be a god idea.  

Nevertheless, she loves my sewing room, all the fabrics and colors and all the unusual gadgets, tools and notions are very attractive and intriguing to her and from the very first time she came to my house, she has wanted to go in there to find out what I do there.  And, of course, I wanted to make a quilt for her.  So we decided that she could help me design the quilt.  She started out working exclusively from my scrap box and would design a bit which I would then sew and when she came back the next time she would continue to add to her design.  When the quilt top got to a certain size, however, the pieces of fabric left in the scrap box were no longer large enough for her and she asked for bigger pieces.  Initially we picked out some animal fabrics from my stash and at the end she asked me to buy some basketball fabrics.  

In Kentucky there is a heated rivalry between our two big school teams, University of Kentucky and University of Louisville.  Where we live in Central Kentucky, most people are UK fans, but Marisela's mother is a huge Louisville fan, so Marisela couldn't make up her mind whether she wanted UK or Louisville fabric and we ended up with both on the quilt.  When the top was finished, meaning big enough to cover her bed, I told her that I would make the back and she would have to wait until it could be quilted before she could have it.  For a while she asked about it a lot but then I think she forgot about it.
I used mostly purple, Marisela's favorite color, for the nine-patches on the back, and added some novelty fabrics of things Marisela likes.  Several dog fabrics, President Obama, the Simpsons, VWs - she loves to play punch buggie - and, of course, a zebra.  The zebra was for me, Marisela alternately loathes and tolerates zebras!The finished quilt measured 63" x 76" and Regina Carter quilted it using a "Bubble Meander" pattern which made it look awesome, as always.  It was finished just in time so I could give it to Marisela for Christmas which I think came as a surprise.  Although I think it hangs on the wall most of the time - Marisela's Granny, with whom she lives, asked me to make a sleeve for it which I did - she will have it and can use it later as she pleases even if Granny makes her hang it on the wall now.