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Tommy, Original One-of-a-kind Black-and-white Tuxedo Cat Art Doll by Max Bailey

Tommy, Original One-of-a-kind Black-and-white Tuxedo Cat Art Doll by Max BaileyTommy the tuxedo cat is certain of two things: 1) that he is extremely handsome, and 2) that he is remarkably popular.

Echo and Tommy, Original One-of-a-kind Black-and-white Tuxedo Cat Art Dolls by Max Bailey“Maybe it’s the cool striped overalls,” Tommy wonders, “or it could be the flashy red truck I drive.”

Echo and Tommy, Original One-of-a-kind Black-and-white Tuxedo Cat Art Dolls by Max BaileyWherever he stops his truck to make a delivery, the girls all swarm around Tommy. They giggle and nudge each other, and act very silly. The boys all shout “Hey! It’s Tommy!” They pat him on the back and shake his hand.

Tommy, Original One-of-a-kind Black-and-white Tuxedo Cat Art Doll by Max BaileyTommy, though a little flustered by all this attention, tries to do his job as best he can.

Tommy, Original One-of-a-kind Black-and-white Tuxedo Cat Art Doll by Max BaileyHe stops to deliver his goods to stores like The Kitty Emporium, and Katie’s Kitchen, where he is always welcomed.

Tommy, Original One-of-a-kind Black-and-white Tuxedo Cat Art Doll by Max BaileyInto each shop, Tommy carries case after case of fine quality aromatic catnip, for making catnip tea, or for filling pillows, or just for sprinkling and sniffing.

Tommy, Original One-of-a-kind Black-and-white Tuxedo Cat Art Doll by Max BaileyTommy loves his job.

Tommy, Original One-of-a-kind Black-and-white Tuxedo Cat Art Doll by Max BaileyTommy’s colorful overalls are striped in brown, yellow, orange, green, and blue. The blue matches the blue of his sweater. His undershorts are white, and his socks are yellow. He wears brown high-button shoes with gold buttons.

Tommy, Original One-of-a-kind Black-and-white Tuxedo Cat Art Doll by Max BaileyTommy is an original one-of-a-kind work of art, created from my own design and pattern. He is made from 100% cotton fabric which has been sewn, stuffed, and completely hand painted with acrylic paints. His whiskers are made from stiffened cotton thread.

Tommy, Original One-of-a-kind Black-and-white Tuxedo Cat Art Doll by Max BaileyTommy’s paws are needle-sculpted, and his arms are button-jointed so that he can pose. His face was sculpted from paperclay smoothed into his fabric head.

Tommy, Original One-of-a-kind Black-and-white Tuxedo Cat Art Doll by Max BaileyTommy’s curled tail enables him to sit proudly on a shelf or a table, or in a cabinet. He can also sit on a chair, or stand with a doll stand. (Chair and doll stand not included.) Tommy is meant for display only.

Tommy, Original One-of-a-kind Black-and-white Tuxedo Cat Art Doll by Max BaileyTommy is signed and sealed with matte varnish for protection and preservation. He is 8 and 1/2 inches tall.

Tommy, Original One-of-a-kind Black-and-white Tuxedo Cat Art Doll by Max BaileyUpdate: Tommy has been adopted. Thank you!

Echo and Tommy, Original One-of-a-kind Black-and-white Tuxedo Cat Art Dolls by Max BaileyTommy’s tuxedo-cat girlfriend is Echo, who can be found by clicking here.

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Love Stamp Quilt Block

Love Stamp Quilt Block by Elizabeth Ruffing, based on 2002 Love Stamp by Michael Osborne from the US Post OfficeI was looking at Facebook this morning and I saw a familiar postage stamp go by on my feed. Erika, of Miss Sews-It-All, had featured Michael Osborne’s 2002 Love Stamp from the U.S. Post Office, on her blog, suggesting it would make a great quilt block. I immediately remembered that I had thought the same thing, and had made one, back in 2003. I went rummaging and found it. I thought it would be nice to share for Valentine’s Day.

2002 Love Stamp by Michael Osborne from the US Post OfficeMy original pattern was more difficult to find, but at last it reappeared. I can’t even remember where now, but there were a bunch of quilt patterns I had drawn up with it. I put them all together for safe keeping. I will have to check the rest of them out another time. I saw a cute kitty quilt block in there too, which was based on a quilt my parents had.

Love Stamp Quilt Block Pattern by Elizabeth Ruffing, based on 2002 Love Stamp by Michael Osborne from the US Post OfficeMichael Osborne’s Love Stamp design was more oblong than perfectly square, as I recall, and so I fiddled to make quilt blocks that would imitate the look of the stamp “letters”. This afternoon, I traced my pattern onto 8 1/2 by 11 inch sheets of paper, with one “letter” on each page, and made a PDF of my Love Stamp Quilt Block pattern that you can find and download here. Obviously, this pattern, or set of four patterns, is based on Michael Osborne’s copyrighted design, and so it is for personal, home use only. No selling it or anything made from it. Just open it, save it, and print it on 8 1/2 by 11 inch paper. You’ll need four sheets of paper. The final quilt block is 12 by 12 inches square, once it is in a quilt.

2002 Love Stamp by Michael Osborne from the US Post OfficeThe measurements listed in my instructions include a 1/4 inch seam allowance for all the square and rectangular pieces you’ll need to cut.

I used freezer paper for the appliqué shapes, the heart and the circle. I cut those two shapes to size, out of the freezer paper. I used an iron to temporarily attach the freezer paper shapes to the back of my fabric, and then cut them out adding a 1/4 of fabric all the way around, to turn under. Then I turned under the edges, and sewed them to my backgrounds by hand. Marcia from Quilter’s Cache, a wonderful resource for quilt blocks and directions, has a tutorial here on hand appliqué.

Alternately, you can cut the appliqué shapes to size, if you’d rather use machine raw-edge appliqué, fuse them to your background with WonderUnder, and then machine zig zag, blanket stitch, or satin stitch around the shapes. There are a lot of options for appliqué techniques out there. I have a tutorial for machine, raw-edge appliqué on fleece here. With cotton quilting fabric, you can use the cotton setting on your iron, and you don’t need a press cloth. No matter which technique you use, I find it is best to cut those background squares a little larger than necessary, and then trim them down to size after sewing the appliqués.

The rest is pretty standard piecing, which can be done by hand or by machine, and goes together easily.

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Valentino is someone’s Valentine

Today is “Valentino the Hug Me! Slug’s” big day. He’s been waiting to hear who his new adoptive parent(s) will be.

He’s been talking about it to all his friends. As you can see, he’s developed quite a following around here, lots of admirers.

Well, here’s the big news………..Sam A. is our big winner. I will get in touch with you (so glad I figured out who you were!) to get a shipping address. Thank you so much to everyone who entered and left such lovely comments!

Valentino still has slug friends who are looking for homes over in my Etsy shop. I’ve added some special “I (heart) you” tags as an additional option to naming your own slug.

I hope you all have a terrific Valentine’s Day!

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Valentine’s Day Slugs and Toad Tags

I finally got my drawing done for my “Hug Me! Toad” hang tag. I don’t know what took me so long. I must have been making slugs like crazy. I’d like to grab some time to make some more toads and sock hippos especially, some sock zebras too.

I’m still playing with slug sizes. These are the newer “small” slugs, about 8 inches tall, next to the “large” I’ve been making all along. As I was saying before, I’m aiming for two sizes, instead of having a “medium”. I’ll try making the large a little smaller soon.

I made a batch of Valentine’s Day “Hug Me! Slugs” too and put them up in my Etsy shop. They are in my original small size, about 7 1/4 inches tall, and they’re made of cuddly fleece.

I think this magenta pink one is my favorite. I love his (her?) whimsical expression.

But then, it’s hard to pick a favorite. I enjoy discovering how they each seem to have a personality once I’m done sewing and photographing them.

They’re an amusing bunch.

There is still time to enter for a chance to win “Valentino the Hug Me! Slug“. I’ll be announcing the winner tomorrow on my blog.

Speaking of my blog, Blogger.com is making some changes in mid-March. They are discontinuing the ability to upload your blog to your FTP folder. That doesn’t effect most people who use Blogger, from what they say, but it does effect us unfortunately. They are promising a “migration tool” but it won’t be ready for another couple of weeks. So, I can’t say for certain yet where our new blog addresses will be, but they will change soon. I plan to post announcements on the blogs. If anything should go wrong with that, and hopefully it won’t, please check the home pages of our websites, ruffings.com and elizabethruffing.com, or our Ruffing’s Facebook page for the announcement. If you’re on Facebook, please “become our fan” on the Ruffing’s page.

Most likely, the new blog addresses will be blog.ruffings.com and blog.elizabethruffing.com. I haven’t published anything to those addresses, as of today, though. I’ll post more information about that when I have some.

Mostly, I’ve just been sewing and sewing and sewing, while watching so many movies that I can’t even remember what movies I’ve watched.

Good night. I will talk to you tomorrow when I post “Valentino’s” adoptive parent’s name on my blog 🙂