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Protective Pet Throws for Furniture

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If you share your space with a pet or two (or three...), you also share a certain amount of fur, dirt, and other messes we won't go into here. Fluffy and Fido know they're supposed to stay off the special chair, but that's only when you're watching. Thanks to YouTube, we know what really goes on when we leave the room. Protect your favorite furniture with an easy-to-launder pet throw. Yes, of course you could use an old sheet, but you sew and fabric companies make adorable pet prints. Shield your surfaces in style. 

We used three different batting options for our three samples in order to show some variety. Kitty Throw A is a single layer of high loft batting, it's great to toss over a chair or the corner of a bed. And, it easily folds up to tuck away when a real human gets to sit in the chair.

Kitty Throw B has two layers of high loft batting. It's a bit cushier and comfier, perfect for an older pet or to create a mobile pet bed.

And the Puppy Throw uses a single layer of ½" NU-Foam, which makes it a bit more rigid but still soft and comfortable. Use in on the floor or to cover a larger area.

All three throws finish at approximately 34" x 34". This makes great use of a single yard of standard 44-45" wide fabric for both the front and back, while still allowing enough extra back fabric to create the cool contrasting corners. You could certainly increase or decrease the size of your square to best fit the surface you need to cover as well as the size of your pet(s).

Those cute corners are both decorative and functional. You won't trim away the back layer, providing reinforcement at the corner stress points.

We chose adorable kitten and puppy themed quilting cotton prints for both the front and back layers of Kitty Throw A and the Puppy Throw. Kitty Throw B features cotton on the front with soft Minky on the back and for the contrasting corners. 

Cotton provides a cool, smooth surface animals love, but combining with the extra softness of fleece makes a nice reversible option. Cotton when it's hot, fleece when it's cold. Or, simply fold and/or flip for a new clean surface. Flannel would be another options for either panel.

Of the original fabric used, only the retro Atomic Tabbies (Kitty Throw A) is still readily available, but there are always lots of new pet-themed collections that come out each year. Below are a few of our favorites from Fabric.com. These alternatives would all be super cute as the main front panel. As mentioned, you can mix and match a second pet print, a fleece or a flannel for the back panel and corners. Ask your pet for his/her favorite color. 

            

            

All the options are easy to machine wash and dry, even the stiffer NU-Foam launders without problem. We securely tied our layers together to keep things from shifting and twisting, and outline two alternatives below for each throw's twenty-five ties: 1) standard hand-tying and 2) hand-stitched Xs with hidden tails to help keep kitty clawing at a minimum. Remember to pre-wash all your fabrics prior to starting the project.

Sewing Tools You Need

  • Sewing machine and standard presser foot
  • Walking or Even Feed foot; optional but helpful when working with thicker layers – if appropriate, you can also engage your machine’s built-in fabric feeding system, such as the Janome AcuFeed™ Flex available on many of our Janome studio machines

Fabric and Other Supplies

Supplies listed below are for ONE throw.

  • 1 yard of 44"+ wide quilting weight cotton fabric for the front of the throw
  • 1 yard of 44"+ wide quilting weight cotton, fleece or flannel fabric for the back of the blanket and the contrasting corner triangles
  • 1 yard of 36"+ wide high-loft batting; we used one layer, two-layers, and a layer of NU-Foam for our three samples. All worked well.
  • All purpose thread to match fabric
  • Decorative thread in a contrasting color for the front corner triangles; we used both black and white
  • Embroidery floss or thin yarn for hand-tying and stitch-and-knotting; we used Aurifil floss in gray for the kitty throws and turquoise for the puppy throw
  • Tapestry needle or similar for hand-tying and stitch-and-knotting
  • See-through ruler
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Measuring tape
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Fabric pen or pencil
  • Seam gauge
  • Seam ripper
  • Straight pins
  • Large safety pins

Getting Started

  1. Download and print out our one pattern sheet: Pet Throw Corner Template
    IMPORTANT: This pattern is ONE 8½" x 11" sheet. You must print the PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page. There is a guide rule on the page so you can confirm your final printout is to scale.
  2. Cut the fabrics for the front and back of the throw into 35" x 35" squares. 
  3. Make sure all four sides are straight and true so the layers will stitch together smoothly. We have a tutorial on Rotary Cutting Large Panels, if you are new to working with larger cuts.
  4. From the remaining back-panel fabric, use the Corner Template to cut four corner  triangles. 
  5. Any time you're cutting triangles, remember that your edges are now a bias cut and so are prone to stretching. Be careful how you handle them so you don't accidentally distort the edges.
  6. Cut your batting. As mentioned above, it's your choice how much batting you'd like to use for your pet throw. Our samples feature a single layer of high-loft batting (Kitty Throw A), two layers of high-loft batting (Kitty Throw B), and a single layer of ½" NU-Foam (Puppy Throw). As above, take the time to insure your batting square is straight and true.
  7. If you choose a foam or foam alternative, such as NU-Foam, it may not come as wide as needed for these throws. To create your desired width, you can butt together two pieces. Simply whip stitch the pieces together along the cut edges.

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

  1. Fold back the long raw edge of each corner triangle ½" and press well. 
  2. Place the front panel right side up and flat on your work surface. 
  3. Place a corner triangle in each front panel corner, aligning the raw edges of the panel and triangle. Pin in place across the folded edge of the triangle.
  4. Thread the machine with the contrasting thread in the top and bobbin. Lengthen the stitch. 
  5. Edgestitch along the fold.
  6. Place the batting layer flat on your work surface. 
  7. Place the front panel, with its sewn corner triangles in place, right side up on the batting. 

    NOTE: In traditional quilting applications, when attaching a corner, you often trim away the fabric behind the triangle to reduce bulk, leaving just a ¼" seam allowance. In this case, you should leave both layers in place. This helps reinforce the corner, which is a good idea for the rougher use a pet throw will encounter. 
  8. Place the back panel right sides together over the front panel and pin all around, leaving a 8" - 10" opening along one edge for turning. We pinned around the perimeter and also used the large safety pins to "pin baste" through all the layers across the center of the throw. 
  9. Re-thread the machine with thread to best match the fabric in the top and bobbin. Re-set the stitch length to normal. 
  10. Sew together, using a ½" seam allowance. We used our Standard presser foot. If the thicker layers cause your machine trouble, you could also use a Walking or Even Feed foot or engage your machine's build-in fabric feeding system. 

  11. Remember to pivot at each corner and to lock the seam at either side of 8" x 10" opening.
  12. Trim the corners.
  13. Turn the blanket right side out through the opening. 
  14. Use a long, blunt tool, such as a knitting needle, chopstick or point turner, to gently push out the corners. 
  15. Press the throw flat, folding in the raw edges of the opening so they are flush with the sewn seam.
  16. Pin the opening closed.
  17. Slip stitch the opening to secure, keeping your stitches small and neat. 
  18. The steps are the same for any of the batting methods. Either the double-layer of high-loft batting...
  19. ... or the stiffer NU-Foam alternative. 
  20. In all cases, the layers compress nicely, making it easy to hand stitch the opening closed. 

Stitch and knot the layers

  1. Measure for a balanced spacing of ties/knots. Our ties are 5-6" apart. First measure 5" in from the finished edge of the throw for the outer ties. Then, measure from this first set of marks to evenly distribute the inner marks, which are 6" apart. 
  2. You should end up with marks for TWENTY FIVE ties total. 
  3. All the throws need to be easily laundered, which means you want the layers to hold together to prevent a lot of shifting or twisting in the washer and dryer. 
  4. For the kitty throws, we wanted the ties to lay flush against the blanket to keep the temptation at a minimum for a cat to claw or bite at any loose thread/floss tails.
  5. Thread a tapestry needle (or similar large-eyed needle) with an approximate 10" length of embroidery floss. Tie a knot in one end, leaving an approximate 2" tail. 
  6. Insert the needle from the back.
  7. Come out through the top at the marked point.
  8. Re-insert the needle approximately ¼" away from the center. You are creating one-quarter of the "X".
  9. Take a full stitch at the back, then come up through the top and take a full stitch on top, overlapping your first one-quarter stitch. 
  10. Go back through to the back and take a second full stitch, coming up through the top at the same point. This time, instead of taking another full stitch, go down through the center point. This will give you a tidy double stitch on both the top and on the bottom.
  11. Repeat to create the second half of the "X" in the same manner. 
  12. Tie-off the tails securely at the bac with a double or triple hand knot.
  13. To hide the tails, insert the needle through the back layer and into the batting. Pull the needle out about an inch from your stitching. 
  14. Trim the floss close to the fabric. When you release the tail, it will disappear and be hidden within the batting layer.
  15. Thread the opposite tail through the needle and repeat to hide this tail as well.
  16. Your "X" tie-and-knot is pretty from both sides and all loose ends are hidden from little kitty claws,

Hand tie the layers

  1. For the puppy throw, we used a traditional hand-tie.
  2. As above, measure for a balanced spacing of twenty-five ties.
  3. Thread a tapestry needle (or similar large-eyed needle) with an approximate 36" length of embroidery floss. 
  4. Insert the needle from the top through to the back.
  5. Come up from the back to the top about ⅛" away from the original insertion point. 
  6. Leave approximately 2" tails against the top panel. Double knot the tails.
  7. Trim back the tails to approximately 1". We added a dab of seam sealand to the end of our floss tails. 
  8. Repeat at each marked point. 

Contributors 

Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation: Leah Wand

Section: 

Comments (10)

Kimber59 said:
Kimber59's picture

I purchased the Atomic Tabbies fabric a couple of months ago to make just this very thing!  I plan on adding a little bit of catnip as well.   Thanks again for another great tutorial. 

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@Kimber59 - That is such cute fabric - glad to hear you scored some! And... a bit of hidden catnip sounds like a great idea!

Deon said:
Deon's picture

On the link you provided, the price for Nu-foam was outrageous.  $99 - and it wasn't even as large as the width you called for!  Is there some sort of reasonably priced alternative, because this isn't a realistic project as listed.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Deon - the link above takes you to the full selection of Nu-Foam at the Fairfield site. One larger and much thicker option was that price, but there are many others as well at a variety of price points (remember, as listed, we used just 1/2"). You can, of course, use other types of traditional upholstery foam. Fairfield also has a less dense Project Foam that is often available at the larger chair stores (there's a link to that selection below). As mentioned above in the instructions, you don't have to have the exact single cut: "If you choose a foam or foam alternative, such as NU-Foam, it may not come as wide as needed for these throws. To create your desired width, you can butt together two pieces. Simply whip stitch the pieces together along the cut edges."

Hope that helps.

https://www.fairfieldworld.com/store/?fwp_category=foam&fwp_foam_type=pr...

Barbara F said:
Barbara F's picture

Looks like my 2 granddogs will be getting new blankets. One is a rat terrier, 8-9 lbs other is a corgi/black lab mix she looks like a lab with short legs. Hers has to be bigger though Thank you

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@Barbara -- the doggies sound so cute! Let us know how your throws turn out!

Deborah W said:
Deborah W's picture

Thinking of these for someone with 2 dobies, of course would need to be bigger! Two questions, though: looking at the NuFoam website you linked, I don't see anything listed as 36" wide. Which NuFoam product did you use?  Also, what thickness?

LOVE your website, fantastic ideas always made as simply as possible, lovely photos of each step, new hardware and fabrics showcased. Always a pleasure to check here weekly!

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@Deborah - thank you so much for the compliment! As we mentioned above, "If you choose a foam or foam alternative, such as NU-Foam, it may not come as wide as needed for these throws. To create your desired width, you can butt together two pieces. Simply whip stitch the pieces together along the cut edges." Also listed in the instructions was our thickness for this sample at 1/2" -- for the puppy throw. You can, of course, change that to best fit your size and style. The Fairfield site itself really has the most complete selection of Nu-Foam, but the product is available in stores as well. However, don't forget that there isn't any type of gusset around the side of these throws, so you can't get too thick or you won't be able to easily use a simple seam around the sides. As an option, you can look at our pet bed with sides: https://sew4home.com/projects/pillows-cushions/pillow-personality-fairfi...

Linda Cole said:
Linda Cole 's picture

What great project to keep our fur babies warm. My two doxies would luv them.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@Linda - thank you! Let us know if you make a set for your fur babies!

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