1/25/15

A First Cat

This afternoon, as soon as I had my other stuff done, I wasted no time attempting to make a cat. Fortunately, the three books I'd ordered from Amazon arrived today, and so I had several cats to choose from. I chose to make this cat


from this book:


There are some really cute projects in this book. 

So the cat starts with making a cigar shape for the body, and a ball for the head. Then it says to wrap some wool around my finger for the neck and to use that to attach the head to the body. That wasn't completely clear to me, but this is what I ended up with. It also reminded me that the stomach of the cat is ideally more slender than the chest, and so I felted it a little extra there to slenderize its tummy. 


By the way, it was tempting to make a Smitty or a Gracie, but I decided to start with a George. Those of you who don't know George can see him at the bottom of my right side bar. Good old George.

After that I made some legs. The book points out that getting the proportions right is the hardest part of making the cat. I'm just about to demonstrate that to you.


I tested him out to see if he could stand on his own, and he could, although his legs seems a little flimsy to me. They probably should be compacted a little more before they're attached because it's hard to do once they've been attached to the body.

After that, I added the ears. I'm most proud of the ears on this first attempt. The book had me add the darker fibers to the inside of the ears after they'd been attached to the head. I think in future attempts, I'll do that first.


Then I did the rest of the face. There's something not right about the eyes. I think the green is too large, and I might have moved the white spot more to the center of the black and made it much smaller. I think the cheeks, nose, chin and mouth are pretty good for a first try. You can see the darker center of the ears in this image too.


He's a little fuzzy...obviously he needs some cleaning up too.

When I was in the workshop, Heidi pointed out that one of the challenges with wool felting is to decide how much wool to use for any given piece. On the face here, I did a pretty good job with the cheeks, chin and nose, but the eyes are definitely too bulky. I might be able to fix them with more felting, but for now, I'm leaving it as is.

Then I added the tail...probably a little thick, but there you go.


Finally, I gave him some whiskers, and voila!


It could be worse, right? I'm critiquing myself here, but I'm actually pretty happy with how he turned out for a first try. Hopefully, the next one will be better. 

I want to do a little more work on this one...try to make it less fuzzy, and I'd like to give him some stripes. That's as much as I'm going to do with him today, however. I need to let him sit for a while so that I can study him and decide how to proceed. His legs are a little too long for his body. I might be able to felt them closer at the shoulders to shorten them a little. We'll see. I had fun, and that's what counts.

26 comments from clever and witty friends:

Colleen Yarnell said...

i love felting and this came out awesome! I would have to hide it from Sofia as she would see it as another toy for her.

Donna said...

I love your little kitty cat! Great job!

Sher S. said...

he does look like George and that was what I thought when I first saw him. Great Job!!! you are doing a fantastic job, congrats!!

Shari said...

I think he's cute. You're more ambitious than I am to even try.

WoolenSails said...

He is a fun kitty and a bit goofy, lol.
I have been looking for eyes in the stores, guess I need to order some.
I like the idea of using small glass ones which might be easier than felting them;)

Debbie

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

I had been thinking about learning felting and found a tool at Hancocks Fabric (not Hancock of Paducah) that has a plastic handle and about 7 short needles. Is one better than the other. How much do you believe materials might cost to make an animal such as the cat? I don't have a teacher and I know you are so creative you are probably making it look easier than it is. What do you think about learning on your own?

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I think he is just wonderful - a little quirky, but that gives him character. Tweek his eyes and then let him be.

Christine M said...

I think you've made a gorgeous cat, Barbara.

Teresa in Music City said...

I think he's adorable for your first try!!! Great job! He looks like a grandpa cat, all grizzly, with fuzz coming out his ears, and those big bushy eyebrows :) Love him!!! Of course, he may look more youthful once he gets his grooming session :*) And yes, I have to agree the ears, nose, mouth and chin came out great!!!

Quiltsmiles said...

Meeow!!!! Cute

Lyndsey said...

A great little kitty. Felting is such fun as things appear so quickly. My son introduced me to it a couple of years ago and I love it.

Kirsty said...

Gorgeous, gorgeous George! Well done! I think you are taking to felting like a natural. Looking forward to seeing an entire felted animal menagerie!

Kate said...

Very cute! He came together pretty quickly. He looks like he's smiling.

Dana Gaffney said...

I think he's amazing, go ahead and be critical but he's amazing.

Sue G Johnson said...

He is absolutely beautiful!

Jeanie said...

Little George is quite cute! Every cat is different and unique, as it should be. Can't wait to see that you felt next!

Lou said...

Great first try!!!!

Patrica said...

I'm amazed Ge,orge looks to me as if he'll start grooming himself any minute so no worries about the fuzzies!

LethargicLass said...

I am seriously impressed!

Janarama said...

George is too darn cute and the Santa you made in class is beautiful. You continue to amaze me with the things you make. Are you going to make Smitty and Gracie cats to keep George company?

Brown Family said...

Excellent! Very impressed!

Tami C said...

You did a real nice job on George! Looking forward to your next design!

Lynne said...

I think you did a great job for a first attempt. It looks like a cat and the ears are beautiful. My DD used to be into needle felting -- prior to marriage and the arrival of two active toddlers now almost five and three-and-a-half! Those needles are too dangerous to have where curious little fingers can get hold of them!

Michele said...

Oh he is so cute but did Smitty approve or is he upset there is another cat in the house? :)

Celtic Thistle said...

He is recognisably a cat, so absolutely brilliant for your first attempt at cat felting!

quiltzyx said...

Great job! I think his face is even better - more 3D - that the one in the book! Fabulous First Feline!