Please join me in welcoming today’s guest blogger Nan Baker of Purrfect Spots – A place where needlework and animals are loved. She’s sharing her love of crafting and the inspirational work she’s done teaching and helping others to learn how to take care of pets during disasters. She’s also put together a slide show on “Safety Tips for Pets” and is giving away a gift too.
My grandmother taught me to knit and my first project was a doll skirt. My first cross stitch project was a rooster on a red cloth with black floss. I embroidered a pillow case at camp. I made my first outfit in middle school (then it was called junior high)! And I made all my clothes when I went to college. And it didn’t stop there. I always had a project going my entire life and I still do today. But if you would have told me that I would become a designer with my own company because of a cat – I wouldn’t have believed you.
Twenty years ago we moved to Florida with our 2 cats. My family had vacationed there and I loved it. It was my dream to become a "little ol’ lady on the beach with lots of cats"! Be careful what you wish for! Thanks to a loving husband, I am living my dream!
However, one thing I didn’t anticipate was having lots of hurricanes (a few maybe, but not lots)! We evacuated many times. Not much fun, but very necessary. We always took our cats – there was no way I would leave them behind. But 20 years ago, not much thought was given to animals in emergency situations. Hurricane Andrew in 1992 changed all that thanks to the many animal agencies that responded to that disaster. Emergency Management officials saw the need, but it was a slow learning process. The issue was raised again with Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and fortunately, since then, emergency officials have listened.
There was a little black cat that came into my life right before Hurricane Opal in 1995. Casey was a feral cat and I couldn’t get close to him when we evacuated, so I had to leave him behind. The next day when we returned (and that is another story) Casey ran to my arms. I became very attached and when he passed, I decided his little life should not be in vain. Read the complete story of Casey on my blog!
Because of Casey and my love of animals, I became involved with The Humane Society of the United States and was part of their Disaster Animal Response Team (DART). As a result I worked fires, floods, tornadoes and hurricanes. I saw firsthand the need to get the word out about taking care of pets during disasters. Therefore I created The CASEY Plan (Caring for Animals Safely in Emergencies during the Year) in memory of my little black cat to help promote animal disaster preparedness.
And that is also when I created Purrfect Spots. Living in a resort area, I designed cross stitch patterns of local landmarks. A portion of my sales goes to The CASEY Plan which promotes animal disaster preparedness. My first effort was the Seaside Post Office (Picture).
One thing led to another and I started creating all sorts of cross stitch patterns and then added needlepoint.
Well it was only natural to go into quilting as a lot of my patterns worked beautifully as appliqué.
I fell in love with quilting and that is what I design today, both applique and pieced.
I love to hand quilt as I find it very relaxing and good therapy. It is one place in my life that I can make the pieces fit (if they are cut right). I am also the Marketing Director for The Quilt Pattern Magazine. However I still am very much involved in the promotion of animal disaster preparedness and safety. Casey’s legacy lives on! That is why I created this “Safety Tips for Pets” slide show for all my sewing friends with pets.
I have enjoyed being a guest on the Quilting Gallery today and I hope you have enjoyed the story of my journey as a quilter and animal lover. In appreciation of your visit, I do have a contest!
Leave a comment below telling me if you have a pet, (name & description) plus what poses a threat for them in your sewing room. There will be a random drawing for a special gift next Wednesday!
Thank you again for visiting.
For the animals,
Nan Purrfect Spots
This give-away is now closed. Congratulations to #14 Jennie P. for winning.