Kitten Toy Bags in use

Snapped a few pics at the rescue today of the toy bags in use.

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Fat Quarter Kitten Toy Bags

If you have any contact with your local shelters or rescues, you must know that kitten season is upon us.  One of the big challenges of having so many litters coming through is stopping the sharing of illness before symptoms show up.    One of the ways to do this is to have dedicated bedding, bowls, boxes and toys for each litter.  With enclosures, the first three are relatively simple.  Keeping the same toys with the same litter is a bit more challenging.  Another rescue suggested toy bags so that each litter’s toys can be kept with them.  The one my son and I volunteer with on the weekends reached out to their volunteer community for help in possibly making these bags.

Last weekend I worked up two dozen bags in addition to the six I made the week before.  The pattern and instructions below were written up as a quick method of creating these for shelters, rescues and their fosters.  The information is free to share and reproduce for non-profit purposes only.   For ease of printing, a link to a PDF file is included at the bottom of this post.  Happy Stitching.

Supplies & Notions:

  • Fat Quarter in fabric of choice
  • Twine for drawstrings
  • Large eyed blunt needle (Eye should be large enough to accommodate the drawstring material.)
  • Thread (coordinating or contrasting)
  • Sharps if sewing by hand


  • One fat quarter will make two Kitten Toy bags approximately 8” x 10.5”.
  • Do not prewash the fat quarter.  Iron as needed.
  • Cut in half on the 18” side (see Figure A).  This will result in a 9” x 22” piece (see Figure B).
  • Using as small a hem as you are comfortable sewing,  one long side and at least one inch down each short side from the hemmed long side noted by blue lines on Figure C.  I used a rolled hem foot on my machine and simply hemmed the three sides.
    • Note: While hemming is not strictly necessary, considering that these are expected to be laundered in a sanitizing manner, I recommend it.  This is to increase durability and will also reduce the strings that result from washing.
  • Fold over the long side a half inch and sew in place the length of it.  This will create the casing for the drawstring.
  • Fold in half with right sides together. Sew along raw edge of long side and up the short side stopping at the very beginning of the casing. See Figure D.
  • Turn right side out.  Cut a length of twine 28” long.  Knot one end.  Thread the large eyed needle with the other end and thread it through the entire casing.  Remove the needle from the twine and knot that end.


Additional information:

  • The pattern can be altered if the fat quarter is not the typical 18×22.
  • A half yard will net 4 toy bags.
  • Smaller cuts can be utilized for smaller bags.
  • Yarn, ribbon or shoes laces can be substituted for twine.

© 2019 AblyAnnie (Pam Willars) All Rights Reserved
This pattern may only be reproduced for non-profit purposes.  You may use it to create toy bags for your own use or for donation purposes only.  Neither the pattern itself nor the resulting products may be sold.

Link to Free Pattern Fat Quarter Kitten Toy Bags

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English Paper Piecing & Templates

I like small, portable handwork.  It’s something I can take with me or just a bit to get my hands busy while I’m watching TV or a movie.  I have a couple crewel pieces that I’ve actually finished and  few more in various sates of completeness, but even that was needing a bit too much attention.  In every issue of Today’s Quilter there was a few pages on English Paper Piecing (EPP).  I didn’t really know anything about it so kind of skimmed until a few months ago when it had a hexie pattern in it.  (Once I tried the other kind of paper piecing and really didn’t like it.  That’s a story for another day.)

I love the hexie shape.  There is just something about it that speaks to me.  So I actually read the article that time and a light bulb went on.  Oh!  I didn’t start on anything right away.  Still too much RL chaos, but I did order some hexie templates.  Those came in and went up on the peg board as I ruminated over what fabric I might like to use.  I have a set of bee and honeycomb themed fabric I was considering, but it never quite got there.

One day in late March I was rifling through my scrap fabric and came across the pieces left from my Candy Pop quilt.  Just the thought of the bright mostly geometric prints in small hexagon shapes gave me a thrill.  Fortunately for my, IT had to remote in and work on my computer.  So while I waited, I started experimenting with the templates and the fabric.  I would snip of piece of a scrap just large enough to turn under the 1/4″ seam allowance for a 1″ (length of one side) hexie and baste it into place.  Since then I’ve been randomly making these hexies.  I haven’t joined any of them yet as no one single idea has made itself The One but I am having fun.


I probably have about 50 hexies done of the 100 templates.  In looking at my stack of scraps that I’ve also supplemented with a fat quarter here and there, I knew I didn’t have have enough.  The idea of cutting more by hand was beyond unappealing, and I had not yet stirred myself to ordering more.  Then I remembered the Cricut.  Pulling up the design space and reading through the how to sections as a refresher resulted in a sheet of 1″ hexies to cut.


I pulled the machine out this morning and looked at what I had: a couple of blades and three different cutting mats.  All I needed was lightweight 12×12 cardstock.   A trip out to the store solved that.  Of course, it had been long enough since I last used the Cricut that I had to review the instructions on how to use it.  It took a little bit to get it all set up and connected (I had not previously used it with this computer) but we had success.  I have an additional 30 templates from the test run.


The top center is one of the purchased templates.  The bottom left is one of the cut templates.


I am well pleased with how it worked.  Next step is to redo the project so the nearly the whole sheet is used to see how many templates that nets me.

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Though I have been managing to write the date correctly since the year turned, it still seems surprising that it is already 2019, and tomorrow is the beginning of the 2nd quarter at that.  I’m old enough to remember when we were sure all tech was going to come to a grinding halt on January 1, 2000.  That’s twenty years in the past now.  Yup, I’m old.

Munchkin’s last hospital stay was in October.  That seems to have done the trick as his follow up visits are fewer and farther between.  He is still under long term observation to be on the safe side, but he’s back to being a happy spaz of kid.  He’s managed to catch up with his school work despite missing a month plus and is keeping up.  All good things since middle school is on the horizon.  His principal, teachers and case managers all assure me he will be fine.  He might be, but I won’t.  My baby (he hates when I call him that) is getting too big, too fast.

My day job has been keeping me busy.  A work colleague and dear friend is dying.  He and his wife have returned to her home state so that she will have her support system nearby when he passes.

The creative efforts have been minimal.  Part of that was due to a massive reorganization effort of the studio that is not quite there yet.  It is done enough to allow me to do some minor things.

A local thrift shop had a donation from someone who used to do a lot of fashion and costuming sewing.  Guess who scored a ton of amazing fabrics??  Silks, satins, brocades, velvets.  Yards and yards of them.  One was even one of those industrial size bolts of an embellished dark wine silk.  So many, ideas and thoughts and plans.

And a shout out to those magazines that give me even more ideas:

  • American Patchwork & Quilting (US Publication)
  • Threads (US Publication)
  • Today’s Quilter (UK Publication)

There’s more to share but it will wait for another time as we need to answer the call for sleep.  To tide you over, here are some random photos.

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The Worst Summer Ever

Post title is courtesy of my munchkin who really has had the worst summer ever.  We got through summer school without any  problem during June.  Then July arrived, and the start of medical issues that are still ongoing.

It has been trying and exhausting for both of us with two hospital stays and many clinic visits.  He is under excellent care however we still do not have answers regarding cause and continue to treat the symptoms.

His biggest disappointment was the cancelling of the trip to Legoland.  Honestly, I was very much also looking forward to it.  Instead we spent a that time at the hospital and clinic.

Mom came up the Saturday after the first hospital stay and has been here since.  I have desperately needed the extra support.  We are not sure when she will be leaving, and dad has called her more in the time she’s been here than in my entire life.

The closest we have gotten to crafting, artwork or stitching is looking at magazines and carrying around a sketch book and pens and pencils.  We’ve barely managed to keep the food bearing plants watered.  Fortunately we live in a high humidity area where nightly mists / fog / rain is common.  The summer vegetables have not done well, but the tomatoes carry on at least.

It will likely be some time before any more posts happen as my focus has understandably been elsewhere.


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Dragon Fruit progress pic 13

Finally stacked and ready for quiting. I am hand quilting this one with a variegated no. 16 Finca perle cotton from Presencia.

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Filed under Quilting, Works In Progress

Kitchen Kraft

Finally got around to mixing up enough pancake mix to fill the 6 cup mason jar after using the last of it a couple weeks ago. The starter recipe is from an old Joy of Cooking cookbook which I have altered to my own taste. It has also spoiled my son for pancakes at restaurants. They just do not taste like mama’s. 😁

There is also a small stack cooked up that will go in the refrigerator so we can simply warm them up in the mornings.

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Filed under Kitchen Kraft