Monday, June 15, 2015

Mouse Tutorial Part 1

Today Lizzie the Cat learned how to take a selfie. I named her Lizzie, a nickname for Elizabeth...because she is the queen mother. The shelter, for reasons I can't explain, gave her the name Sardine. In any case, due to her presence, the mice have gone into hiding and have taken their genomics breeding program with them.

This means that I will be the one explaining how to make the mouse...but I can only explain using old fashioned patchwork techniques. Sorry about that.

It all starts with a drawing on graph paper...and depending on the finished size I either choose a 1 inch square grid or a .75 inch square grid. For this mouse, I'm using a one inch grid and the final mouse will be 11 inches square.

Before I begin, I like to cut strips of fabric, choosing strip sizes that will make the process easier. I often have lots of scraps left over, but this just feeds into other scrap quilt projects.

For the mouse, I would cut 2 strips for background fabric: one 3.5 inch strip and one 1.5 inch strip.
I would also cut one 3.5 inch strip of a light fabric and one 3.5 inch strip and a 1.5 inch strip of a darker fabric. (One 3.5 inch strip would work as well.) You will also need three 1.5 inch squares of black or whatever you might want to use for the nose and eyes.

The diagram on the right shows the gross anatomy for the mouse. It is constructed in four large sections. Each of these sections are built from smaller units.

Today we will be building the mouse's main sensory organs: the ears, eyes and nose. The ears are simply snow ball blocks. Cut two 3.5 inch squares of the light fabric, six 1.5 inch squares of the background and 2 1.5 inch squares of the dark fabric. The 1.5 inch squares are placed face down in the corners of the 3.5 inch squares and sewn on the diagonal. For each ear, sew on three background squares and one dark square.

Then the flap of each corner square is ironed over to make what I call a flip triangle. The bottom two layers of the triangle can be cut away (leaving at least 1/4 inch from the seam line). Now watch your language, because your mouse can hear you now.

The eyes are very simple. Just sew two 1.5 inch squares of black fabric on either sides of a 1.5 inch square of the dark fabric. And the nose is simply a 1.5 inch square of black fabric sewn to a 1.5 inch square of the dark fabric.

But don't forget that there are other ways to make eyes. For example, you can fussy cut black on white polka dot fabric to get googly eyes. You can center them or have them look to one side or the other...mice tend to be shifty eyed.

And now your mouse can see, hear and smell.

And while you have been making mice, Lizzie the Cat is busy building killing machines.

The kittens are very active...a constant whir of activity that is quite difficult for me to catch with a camera.

Beginning tomorrow, I'm going to start reading Tommy's policies and procedures manuals to them so they can get a leg up on their competition.


  1. Well, at least the mouse can now see the kittens coming. It can't run, of course...

  2. too cute! the mice are pretty smart for hiding. These guys will be forces to be reckoned with!

    glen: president of the local rescue shelter

  3. I may have to break out my notes taken from Tommy's policy and procedure manuals. A cat and her 3 kittens have decided my front porch is their new home. The mother is very friendly and the kittens are still nursing. Oh my.

  4. K is for Kittens and for Killers. Just one look at the evil in those faces tells you all you need to know.

  5. Oh Sally, your kittens are adorable!!! So glad to see you have given some very deserving kitties a new home. Lizzie is beautiful .. and a much better name than Sardine... that's just stinky.

  6. Loved your mouse tutorial! Mine is just waiting for a body! Any chance you can explain how you make the owl? He's my favorite! Thanks so much.

  7. well, obviously the kittens have driven you around the bend. You have now done a mouse tutorial but no poodle pattern for your friend LeeAnna. Making me figure it out myself, grrrrr. Seriously those kittens remind me of my friend Martha who fostered kittens recently. I sent her your link, since hers have all been adopted now. There's hope! LeeAnna

  8. I'm a devoted foster mom (after being a failed one with three grown former foster kittens). And I admire all animal lovers who will love and care for these little furballs and find forever homes for them. I hope your mouse population can be brought under control with the addition of these helpers. LOL. My grown cats were terrified of the kittens even after the mama was adopted because I suppose they feared she was still here somewhere ready to attack them. It's too quiet without the kittens but I do not miss the little claws up my back. Good luck with this beautiful family. To see pics, look back in my blog...