Sewing for National Pet Day

National Pet Day is April 11, and I’m celebrating by making my dog, Pearl, a new bed. Like most dogs, Pearl sleeps for hours and she’ll snooze contentedly while I sew (if she’s not rolling around in any quilt blocks I audition on my “design floor”).



National Pet Day isn’t my only impetus for sprucing up Pearl’s bedding—I’m also in the mood for some spring updating. Her scruffy, brown bed doesn’t fit with my green-grass-and-daffodil outlook.


Luckily, Summerfest by April Rosenthal of Prairie Grass Patterns matches my mood perfectly, and after perusing the Internet for patterns I decided to use it to make the 3 Dog Night dog bed from

Pearl—who is a wire fox terrier—weighs in at 20 pounds, so I opted for the medium-sized bed. I didn’t add the suggested piping but now wish I had—April’s argyle plaid would look fabulous on the bias and I love this seemingly magic method of making continuous bias binding. I also think it would look fabulous with a line of hexagons snaking around the side.



The pattern was very straightforward and there’s a great graphic on the web site showing how to sew together the side and top and bottom rectangles at the corners.


The bed comes together quickly and I’m contemplating making others—I envision a cute bed that complements the decor in every room where Pearl snoozes (and that is a lot of rooms). By adjusting the sizes of the top and bottom and side rectangles this project could be adapted to fit any size dog. It could also be adapted to fit pre-made cushions, instead of the polyfill stuffing the pattern calls for. Finally, instead of basting the muslin pieces to the outer rectangles, you could make and stuff an inner pillow, then insert a zipper into the outer cover, making it simple to zip off for washing.


Have you done any sewing for your pets? Let us know if you’ve got any favorite projects to recommend, or just tell us about the pet who you’ll be celebrating on National Pet day.


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14 thoughts on “Sewing for National Pet Day

  1. Oh! That sounds wonderful! I have some slightly fuzzy blankets that my two dogs, Sammy (a little 11 lb mix rescue) whose goal in life is to see how tall his pile of toys can get, and Porscha, our black Schnauzer, about 25 lbs. I’ve been thinking of converting those blankets to some type of cover for a pillow with a zipper that I could wash….this sounds like the perfect pattern….

  2. I’m a lazy pet construction person. My pets are fosters. They scrounge, they drag, they chew and they chew… Also volunteer at the local Animal Foundation – that’s where the fosters come from. So my practice quilting pieces – those muslin sandwiches that I use for thread tension, testing patterns and stitch length and general playing around, get sliced and diced with a pinked edge rotary cutter blade. They are cut to “cage size” and given to the “cat” department at the Foundation for lining cat cages. These wash fairly well and generally last through 4-5 cats. When I find a good buy on yucky fabric…that stuff we don’t make into quilts – I make a simple bag out of it and drop it into a clean waste paper basket. Into this “bag” go my scraps and threads. When the bag is full, I stitch up the end and they become “squishy” beds. Most are about 24″ x 36″ before they are filled. The shelter pets like to nest and these make perfect nesting beds. They are also throw away beds. Dogs don’t take these home and when they get dirty they are a bit too heavy to be washed. My fosters also like these beds and drag them all over the house.

    1. These sound like a great way to make simple pet beds and I know shelters, etc. appreciate the assistance. Well done, Ruth!

  3. I will making Chippy a long hair jack russell terrier a new coat for spring and maybe some new bandanas. I will make some quilts for the local humane society. Chippy loves his quilt and I am sure the dogs at the humane society will love their’s too.

  4. I have a Great Dane who has his own couch. But I would love to make these for the local shelter. Or for my cats.

    1. Wow! An entire couch! But I guess that makes sense with a Great Dane. Ruthquilts55 above has a great idea for making simple shelter beds, too.

  5. Wires’ rule! My WFT, Gracie, is the beneficiary of many sewing projects and my constant sewing room companion. She’s always eyeing my stuffed animals, have to remind her they are not terrier toys 😉

    1. WFTs are great dogs, indeed, Pamela! Pearl doesn’t chew up much these days—she’s 10—but she does have a thing for yarn. I have to be sure to keep my knitting projects away from her. Hi To Gracie!

  6. I came home from work one day this week to foam rubber all over the floor from a chewed up corner of a dog bed. So, unfortunately , I don’t make dog beds, but I do spend a lot of time & energy mending their old ones.

    1. This made me laugh, Rebecca, because I had Pearl sit on this bed before I’d finished sewing the seam shut and she immediately began pulling out the stuffing.

  7. Pearl is adorable! Now I want a Wire Fox Terrier! Having had a Welsh Terrier for about 12 years, I learned to know and love their personalities. Thanks for showing the pictures of Pearl – what a love she must be!

  8. I have a huge13 month old Black Lab / Am Pointer mix named Gibbs. Yes, we are NCIS fans!! I won’t be sewing a bed for him, as he has a huge one from Costco, but I had heard of the scraps idea and my wastebasket (lined with an old pillowcase) is filled and ready to sew shut! I have some fun fabric with dogs on it – so I thought I would sew a pillowcase for the outside cover and donate it to the local Humane Society!

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