April 7, 2011

New fun project: Cat Toys

During my spring cleaning a few weeks ago, I decided that "skinning my sewing machine" would be a fun thing to do. It was bought refurbished. It was out of warranty, and had been broken for 6 years. I took the plastic covering off the entire machine, and it made for a very 'Machivellian' desk ornament! Unfortunately, it was a big item of "clutter". So, I threw it away after I took all of the "potentially useful" items from it. That was a machine I paid $399 for (in 2005), in the trash! *sigh*

Once I junked the old machine, I decided that for the price of fixing up the old one - I was quoted about $80-120 - I could buy a brand new, basic machine *with a warranty*. That's what I ended up doing. I got a Brother (I forget the model #). It arrived promptly on the day it was supposed to, undamaged. It took me a day to get up the nerve to wind a bobbin and get it threaded, and another 2 days to get up the nerve to start sewing.

When I fired 'er up, it was like lighting that sewing fire under my butt again. I'm so happy to have a nice, working machine again.

The first project? Let's make cat toys! So in my usual "it isn't worth it unless I can make a hundred of it" way, this is what I did... I got a pattern from a random toy floating around the house. (My landlords have cats. I don't.) I sat down and for 5 hours over 2 days, I made over a hundred toys. I'll offer them up on Etsy once I've finished the embellishment. Watch for them because they're really cool!

What's nice about cat toys is that they don't consume a ton of material, and cats love to hide the toys, so you always need new ones... If you have a new kitten, or older cats, a little time (about 10 seconds of sewing per toy), and even a fat eighth of fabric... you can make a few toys. It's FUN! Even if you don't have felines, or ferrets - who also love these toys - you can still use up clothes you can't donate (or would be ashamed to!), and you can make some critter's life better: you don't even need to sell them. You can give them to your local animal shelter. So go for it. Cat toys are a fun and good way to play with your sewing machine!

(grown-ups do love their toys!) :)

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