Nebbits and cat problems

F1E01D6B-8E21-4EB5-AF89-E8A78BDC8F8D

When I had an HR job in a factory many years ago, a sick note came in from a rather wiley shop steward with the reason for his sickness absence as  ‘Nebbits’.

Now no one could ever have describe this guy as a new age man and he made it very clear that having to deal with a woman in negotiations etc. was very demeaning and was  just against the proper order of things. So I knew that this was his way of throwing the gauntlet down and the very last thing I was going to do was ask him what nebbits meant.

I rang the site medical department. These were the days of huge industrial sites employing many thousands that had fully equipped medical facilities with doctors and nurses at hand. But despite their undoubted expertise they’d never heard of the condition. I checked with my team and rang other HR people but I continuously drew a blank and then determined to crack it, it struck me –  nebbits was short for  nether bits in other words rear end problems. Well poor Felix, our grey Tonkinese cat, had similar trouble and proceeded to lick the offending region, which I’m quite sure my shop steward couldn’t have done,  to such an extent that that region became quite bald of hair.  As a consequence Felix, aside from a course of pills, pain killers and a probiotic, had to wear the dreaded cone of shame. Does this picture remind anyone else of the handmaidens in The Handmaids Tale?

03E14DDF-1EF2-4957-ACC5-656F4E2741CC

6fcd5ccb-6c7d-4cdb-a20f-eb73894e867c

 

I’d made Skye a fabric cone when she was spayed a few years back using the cheap plastic cone she was given by the vet as a template. She didn’t like it but it worked and must have been more comfy. I tried that one on Felix but it was way too small. So it was just a case of making a new one and just extending the pattern to make it longer.  I used headliner as wadding to give it more structure. Then to secure it I added some buttonholes.

Now my machine does beautiful automatic button holes but it failed here. The extra thickness meant that the automatic buttonhole foot couldn’t cope so I made some pretty rough and ready ones just using a zig zag stitch. I certainly wouldn’t want anyone  to have a close look at the sewing but it worked a treat.

But it never rains but it pours because Bella having been spayed also had to wear a cone to stop her licking her wounds. But of course she fits Skye’s cone perfectly. I can’t work out whether she looks cross  because of the after-effects of the anaesthetic or she’s just cheesed off with the cone, I suspect the latter!

3D9F4AB7-24B5-4E87-84CF-05BC1FCC4727

But cross or not it does look comfy here doesn’t it

3222AEFE-AD6B-4029-8BAB-01761E4B4F46

In fact because of complications with the operation she had to wear the cone for 10 days poor thing.

If you have pets and want to make something similar then using a plastic cone as a template or make a cardboard version just to check the size, it’s really easy. I used the earlier cone I’d made.

DDD96E21-5E42-4520-82F2-030AA6FDD5FA

I just cut out a 2 pieces of fabric preferably something soft like flannel or fleece then a third piece as the wadding, chose the stiffest you have. Rather like a bag it needs to have some substance otherwise it will just drape over the head rather like a headscarf.

12CC94AD-8CA5-4FEF-BCFE-1B33C064924E

Sew round the outer edges leaving the neck unsewn so you can turn it out. With fleece in fact I left the outer curve unsewn and just oversewed the outer curve as you can see above.

For Felix’s flannel one I now had an open edge.  I guess you could hand sew this closed but I used shop bought bias binding.  I didn’t worry that it was all a bit rough and ready and the binding, because of the sharpish curve, was a bit twisty.  Needs must, but careful hand sewing might have given a neater finish. On the other hand I like the two tone finish it gives.

And then the need to secure it to your pet.  We found attaching it to a collar helped so I added a three straps to hold the collar. They need to big enough to allow the buckle to thread through.

52e75b8f-1755-4535-99fa-60cacd437434

And then the button holes. You can use safety pins although that would worry me and occasionally the cone has to come off as eating can sometimes be a challenge. Velcro strips can also work and that’s what I did on the fleece kitten version but with an adult cat or dog who will be stronger and more agile something stronger is needed. Well that’s been my experience.

9970c823-41cb-4432-8685-d8137dbfc3da

You can of course buy soft pet cones and I suspect they are very good but if you have the supplies and you like making things for the people and pets in your life then this can work very well.

I’d like to think my cats were grateful but I fear not….

 

 

 

Siblings Together Bee 4 – January block, clean and cool

1E02D604-FFC6-4920-B114-1D9FD10ECA8D

Happy New Year everyone and so sorry this is a day late. I thought I’d checked all my Mama commitments for January but this slipped through….

Anyway this  is a block I’ve wanted to play with for a while. It’s been sitting in my Pinterest quilt pictures for a few months and it always struck me as a great design for an older teen boy provided the colours were kept cool and clean. So in effect I have minimised the colours and kept it to a very restricted palette  and mixed in lots of greys and whites.

Do feel free to play with the contrast between the two fabrics  in each block. You can see from examples in the top picture in one I’ve gone for minimal contrast in others fairly strong contrast.

In terms of that restricted palette…. just dark, medium or light grey, white, they can be prints or solids. If you do want to mix in a bit of colour as I have done then can you please keep to yellowy greens. The colour of the fabric in the block I’ve made is an olive.  Knowing how subjective colours are I’ve put a picture below showing on the left bluey greens that  I definitely don’t want and over on the right yellowy greens that I do. In the bottom picture I’ve even put a muddy gold colour  which I think works well.

02CA5310-DE81-413E-AE59-05317A129A47

B58CAF7B-FFCD-4067-9DFC-01A5EB03FDCA

It is the simplest of blocks, but certainly when road testing designs  with my teens  they like very simple graphic  designs  more than complex blocks ! Well if you are like me trying to restore the house to some sort of normality after Christmas then simple is good….

Anyway for each block you will need

4 rectangles   5.5” by 4” in one fabric

4 rectangles 5.5” by 4” in another fabric.

Arrange in a chequerboard fashion and sew together with a scant 1/4” seam.

CAB2CEE0-0EE2-42C5-A740-7A1EFF03D318

You should end up with a block 14.5” by 10.5” . Please trim to this size

Any problems or concerns please get in touch.

Many thanks

Review of 2018

Its that time of year to look back given the watershed that a New Year presents. I’m joining Cheryl for the Best of 2018 linky party for her annual link up of a review of the year and will grapple with the future in another post.

It’s been a year of two halves sewing wise.  First year pretty full on, second half rather arid.  Through circumstance and the vagaries of life sewing got pushed to the back burner in the summer. And once on the back burner I found it hard to bring it to the fore with time and brain deficiencies!

Looking backwards, and I hope Cheryl doesn’t mind but I’m not just going to focus on the best as I like to be a bit more retrospective so I will be looking at the good, the bad and the ugly. Lets start with the Good.

The Good

1.My favourite finish

I’ve chosen two.

D63962AE-5D55-4AB0-A84C-6B57C8A998F8

This one above I love because of the colours and while I suppose it’s my own design in reality I made it up as I went along. Yes I did start with some graph paper and realised that for a medallion quilt multiples of 3 worked well but as to the rest it was a bit of a gamble but it paid off and this one will be heading to Siblings Together. Most of the corner and centre blocks were made by ST bee members.

93F326B1-9FD3-4135-8FA0-6C6E3F0E7527

The next one is the table topper I made my Mum for her birthday. I saw it in place when we were down at their’s for Christmas and I have to say it looked very good.

2. The blog post with the most comments

6F9976C7-20C7-484B-BDCC-D8E616EFB537

This post with a Royal title I’m guessing  might have been the key here. Perhaps it attracted more viewers? Anyway lots of insightful comments and again much interest in the design. This is the third quilt I have made using the block from the free quilt design Fieldcrossing by Elizabeth Olwen – more details in the post.

3. The post with the most views

3349461F-0AC7-413D-86E3-2980A0CCF843

I suspect it was the hint of wickedness in the title of this post.  It reminds me of trying to get the attention of our in-house lawyer on a particularly boring share plan question. After many emails, which he completely ignored, I sent one with ‘Sex Scandal’ in the title of the email and he answered it  instantly!

4. My most useful make

D0A2A76D-5118-4E72-BA9F-BEC06F398E041936383A-EE9A-4DD5-B6BE-5F6FD5CC8F86

After yet another request to look into my bags at airport security this was made. Mind you it’s  yet to be tested. I may just get stopped because I look dodgy.

5. The quilt my family like the best

2CCEBC58-F735-4ABF-8B4A-FBAF53C19785

This lives in our lounge and being large, backed with flannel its a favourite with all of us as I am forever having to refold it.  Obviously re-folding is a skill my children have yet to learn.

 


The Bad

6. My greatest failure

7CD3543B-6F8C-47B5-9F1D-B94F47EAAE74641B7705-7597-487D-8301-603595E8B176

This was the triple pouch from Aneela Hooey’s book Stitched Sewing Organisers. Don’t let me put you off the book, it’s excellent but this one defeated me.  Yes it got finished but I had to hand sew a raw edge and discovered a fourth pocket, which apparently wasn’t a mistake. It takes masses of material and is useful but, and its a pet hate with me, not all the pouches are  secured with a zip so things can slip out.

The Ugly

7. My least favourite quilt.

842DCFB0-CD9C-49C9-81D5-E5F556BDF1E8

This is a good example of both the highs and lows of quilting.  I loved the experimentation and in many ways I liked the final top but dislike the quilting which is underwhelming. Now I could add more quilting lines but I used a variegated thread which on the plain fabric looks like it’s  marked or stained! I could unpick it but can’t be bothered and I’m not sure I like that strong blue colour anyway.  But on the plus side I learned loads but I wish I knew what to do with it!

8. The quilts I would have like to have made

And finally a tribute to two very prolific, talented and inspirational quilters whose originality and creativity have produced these beauties which are deservedly heading off to QuiltCon, the juried modern quilt show. They each have multiple entries but these are my favourites.  Eclat by Sophie of Luna Quilts, is simply stunning it was at the UK Festival of Quilts this year and Geometry by Jayne of Twiggy and Opal, beautiful, clever and entirely made in solids which I find a challenge.  I can’t recommend their blogs enough.

2019

I’m back to sewing which sounds vaguely like a threat. But with a month of being limited in what I can do because of eye surgery and then the frantic run up to and then post Christmas switch off I’m determined to crack on and a baby quilt is on its way for a prem baby born just before Christmas. I will give some though to what next….