This is for any and everybody who has solved the dilemma of a growing heap of fur scraps!! After 8 years of making bears, I have accumulated a mountain of them. Before my sweet ferrett died (after nine years) I would put piles of fur scraps in her cage and she would burrow into them and nap. I now have a mesh laundry bag that drapes over a plastic tubing frame near where I cut out my patterns, and I throw the remnants in there as I cut. My cats (5 of them) enjoy sleeping on the top of that mound (one at a time, of course), but the top of the fur is now even with the top of the frame; the cats kind of hang over the edge when they nap. I can't stand the thought of throwing fur in the trash and having it go to the landfill. Any pieces that are big enough to keep, I can use on my roosters or a smaller bear, but the tiny stuff that can't be used is about to take over my room!! HELP!!
Hi Sue Ann,
I have chucked all my little bits of scraps (the bigger peices left over from the mohair I'm keeping in case I order that mohair again of course) into a plastic bag. I have always planned on getting a cheap carpet mat, and gluing the mohair scraps ontop of that. It will be a big job, but I think my cats will adore it. I have a cat that's crazy for our Maltese dog, he loves anything soft and fluffy and goes ape when he sees any mohair LOL But then I have more than one cat, so they'll fight over it, so I'm trying to plan three matts LOL That's the plan anyhow - not sure if it'll eventuate or not!
I donate my little scraps to my local elementary school. The art teacher uses them. To be honest I have no idea what she does for projects. I know they've discussed the topic of goats, alpacas, sheep etc. and may use them for a related art project. She's mentioned multi textural collages. I ought to ask her if I can come by sometime and SEE what the kids do. We met at the quilt shop I used to work at where she learned about my bears and asked for the scraps. We still meet there once or twice a year to exchange the scraps so I never get to the school.
I've also been asked for my scraps by a woman who makes folk dolls. They are very whimsy and she uses the longer pile mohair for hair.
So, I have a big "School" bag of scraps and a little "Doll Hair" bag.
One of my bear making students lined her mocassins with scraps on a cold winter's day during class last year. She said they kept her feet so toasty warm but the cat kept snitching the pieces. So Danni, I think you've got a great idea too!
PS. I've known folks to use their little scraps as part of the stuffing inside their bear bellies. I have no idea if this is a good practice or not for those of us who sell them.
AAAAARRRRGGGG . . . Dale - deep fried???? And I suppose you've tried this??? Yes, I've contemplated stuffing bears with the scraps, but feel like they wouldn't "pack down" very well and would produce a beary "lumpy" creation! Have you tried oven baked?!
I'm saving mine. I will sew them all together and make a big piece out of them and when I have a big enough piece I will cut out a patchwork bear. I believe the head will be one solid color though-so that the personality can come through.
So it will be a patchwork mohair bear.
I made a bear out of an antique quilt for a friend. i sting jointed though- I was afraid the fabric wAS too fragile for reg. joints.
Dilu - once a quilter, always a quilter!
I've made patchwork mohair 'quilts' for my bears out of the scraps. A tedious job but if it's bear sized it's not tooooo time consuming and backed with wool felt it's the perfect compliment to a mohair bear! Although the pieces can't be toooo tiny and you can't press the seams to reduce bulk inside the quilt, but bears don't care about those things!
Bear Hugs and Warm Snuggles on this cold, wet, raw day in NH - spring, my paw! 45 degrees is NOT spring!
Schools are usually very grateful for scraps. They are great for collage pictures in art. We also use them to add ears or wings or general decorations to stuffed animals made in design and technology classes.
You could also contact the local wildlife sanctuary, they may be glad of it to use for bedding.
I remembered reading "somewhere" (can't remember where...) about doing patchwork bears with scraps... and this person took all of her (or his?) scraps and put them all in a light dye bath of some sort. All of the scraps were different colors... but with the lightly tinted dye bath it gave them all a similar - yet different - tone so they'd all "go" together...
this is sorta off topic BUT - i got a tip from a workshop a couple of years ago. maybe some of you already do this. be sure to include a good size piece of the fur (like enough to do an ear) you have used stuffed inside the back of each bear/critter. sometime in the future a piece of your bear might need restoration and the restorer will be thrilled to find that piece inside. i just wonder how they would know it is in there.....hmmmmm?
Yes, Rita just mentioned that in the "designing" topic here. I wondered how anyone'd know to look there too. I've restored a few old bears and wished I'd had that extra piece.
What a great idea with the light dye. But dyeing all those little pieces, laying them all out to dry. SIGH! I'm getting too lazy for all that work these days! :/
I do save whatever scraps are big enough to use for something . . . like a small bear, pieces for my roosters, etc. But a lot of them aren't big enough for that and I toss them in my "scrap holder" after I cut out my pattern. Think I have a lot of ideas I can work with after hearing from all of you, so thanks bunches!! Yes, Diane, what you said made perfect sense!