[This post is written as a tutorial for Celia's Cat Mats as described in the novel, The Fourteenth Quilt. You can find this tutorial on page 50 of the novel.]
(Instructions assume the reader already has some crocheting experience.)
When trimming fabric for cutting quilt pieces or quilt backing, place the pressed fabric on the cutting board. Line up the selvages and trim using a rotary cutter so the cut selvages are a minimum of three-eighths of an inch wide. Strips may be any length as long as there is enough to tie into a square knot on both ends. A little planning ahead so the selvage strips are at least a foot long will mean less tying together later.
When trimming pressed fabric crossways on the grain to square it for cutting into quilt pieces, trim the edges wide enough so the strip is a minimum of one-half inch wide. If trimming a loose weave fabric, cut the strip slightly wider. If the fabric has been pre-washed and there are loose threads balled up on the edge, leave them in place since they will add texture to the cat mat.
Tie the strips of selvage and waste fabric together using square knots. Roll into a ball. Cats are not concerned with color-combinations, but alternating white selvage strips with color strips may make the finished mats more visibly appealing to humans.
A size J or K crochet hook works best. Some of the wider strips you will want to double over lengthwise as you crochet. Crochet a LOOSE chain stitch long enough to equal the length of a large placemat. To create the body of the mat, skip one stitch and then single-crochet loosely, catching every loop, until to the end. At the end, make one chain stitch, turn mat over and repeat the same crochet pattern. Continue until the mat is about the size of a large placemat or small bath mat, and then finish it off. If you run out of the selvage “yarn,” knot more lengths of cut selvage and scrap strips to the end until you have enough to complete the project.
Place the mat in a small pet carrier or your cat’s favorite napping spot. Donate extra mats to your local cat shelter. Each mat will add padding and insulation from cold surfaces. The knots will provide texture to help the cats shed as they roll around on the mat.
To learn more about the author, visit her writing blog, Robyn Echols Books by clicking HERE.