Nesting Mat for Spoiled Doxies with Tutorial

We have a couple of spoiled wiener dogs who love burrowing and scratching, biting, chewing and rolling around in blankets. They seem to enjoy this process so much that I decided they needed to have their very own nest making bed. This is the result!

It's really just an envelope pillow case with blankets attached on each side. This allows them to dig and pull and scratch and bury until their little hearts are content! They seem to be enjoying it so far so I thought I'd share the instructions for other owners of spoiled beasties.

- 2"x15"x17" piece of foam (you could use any size or even just an old pillow)
- 1/2 yard heavy duty fabric such as upholstery or canvas
- 1 yard of fleece or other cozy fabric
- Scissors
- Sewing machine
- Thread
- Iron

Step 1 - Cut your fabrics
Cut your fabrics to the specs below. If you're using a different size piece of foam or pillow, adjust the other measurements, as needed.

From your heavy weight fabric cut:
Cushion top - 1 17" x 19" piece
Cushion bottoms - 2 17" x 13" pieces

From your fleece cut:
Top/bottom - 2 18" x 17" pieces
Sides - 2 15" x 18" pieces

Step 2 - Top stitch cushion bottom seams
Fold over one 17" side of both cushion bottom pieces and press. Fold over and press one more time and then top stitch along the right side fold.

Do this on both of your cushion bottom pieces and then set them aside.

Step 3 - Finish fleece edges
Stitch around three sides of your top/bottom fleece pieces - the 18" side, then the 17" width and back down the next 18" side leaving the last 17" side edge raw. Do this on both of these fleece pieces and then set them aside.

Stitch around three sides of your side fleece pieces - the 18" side, then the 15" and back down the next 18" side leaving the last 15" side edge raw. Do this on both of these fleece pieces and then set them aside.

I tried both a zig-zag stitch and also a blanket stitch on my sewing machine. The blanket stitch ended up looking cleaner and causing less stretching and curling of the fabric. Of course, if you had a serger you could use that. You could even leave all of the edges raw if you wanted - your dog probably won't care :).

blanket stitch on the grey, zig-zag on the green

Step 4 - Make a pillow sandwich
In this step, you'll be putting all of your fabrics together into a big layered sandwich!

Layer 1 - Cushion top piece, right side up

Layer 2 - Top/bottom fleece pieces
For this layer, align the raw 17" sides of each top/bottom fleece piece with the top and bottom edges of your cushion top piece, respectively. Fold over the top of each fleece piece so the bulk is in the middle of your sandwich and out of the way of later stitching.

Layer 3 - Side fleece pieces
Do the same thing for the side fleece pieces aligning the raw 15" edges with the 15" side edges of your cushion top piece. Fold the bulk into the middle so that it's out of the way.

Layer 4 - Cushion bottom pieces
Put the cushion bottom pieces, right side down and finished edges towards the middle, on top of all of the fleece layers.

It's important to be precise with this layering so that you avoid stitching the wrong fleece edge or getting tangled up in the bulk once you're back at the sewing machine.

Once you have everything aligned, pin like mad!!

As you're pinning, double-check that you're not grabbing extraneous fleece pieces in your seam. Each edge should be made up of a layer of your cushion top fabric, one layer of fleece only and your layer of cushion bottom fabrics.

Step 5 - Sew it up
Stitch around the outside of the entire sandwich with a ~1/2 seam. It isn't necessary to leave a gap in the stitching for turning as you'll be able to turn the cushion inside-out through the envelope you made with the cushion bottom fabrics.

Step 6 - Turn it inside out and stuff it
Turn the entire mat inside out through the opening in the cushion bottom. Gently push out the corners with a chopstick and cram your foam in! This might require some folding and squishing and maneuvering but just keep at it until everything fits properly.


Beatrice photo-bombed the final pictures I was attempting to take. I think that's a sign that she likes it! .

In classic doxie style, her ear needs turning right side out :).

The doxies immediately got the idea of this nesting mat and are now taking turns digging, tugging and rooting around in it. I think I'll need to make another one!

If you have questions about this project, or anything else, just holler!! 

Mid-Century Modern Holiday Pillow

First and foremost, HAPPY 2014!! I hope you had a marvelous holiday season and I truly wish you only good things for the year to come.

I have to admit, on the morning of the 26th, our Christmas ornaments were packed up, our Santa decorations went back in their boxes, the wreath was crammed into the yard waste bin and the pine scented candles were retired for another year. I love celebrating the season but once it's over, I'm done.

For those that feel the same way that I do about the holiday hoopla, let me apologize for sharing an Xmas'ish project in January. I promise to delay any further Christmas posting until December 2014.

This is a pillow I made for a swap partner who shares an appreciation with mid-century modern designs.

The design was inspired by an art print I found on Pinterest. I painted the white trees and rocks onto a piece of linen and then stitched on the pine trees using felt and embroidery floss.

I framed the linen piece with black fabric and then added the red circle fabric to make it a little more Christmas'ey feeling :).

This was a fun project to work on and I like the way it turned out. It was a little hard to send off because it happened to match our living room chairs quite well! It eventually made it to it's new home and was well received and that's what Christmas is all about!