10 December, 2017

Guinea Pig Presents

A guinea pig tunnel.

For a cousin in frigid North Dakota who recently embraced guinea pigs.

 I did a quick internet search one morning before another 11-hour work day and found that there is a thriving pet market for polar fleece hand-sewn cozies. Who knew?

And PDF sewing patterns for really simple toys for mucho dineros.
I didn't buy a pattern for a tunnel - I just winged it with some remnants from Fabric Depot that matched.
If you're interested in making your own, I added some dimensions at the end of this post.

Image may contain: food
His name is Fluffy Nocturnal

These tunnels come un-done - held together with velcro. You can use it as a lap mat to hold little Fluffy or you can connect it and let Fluffy run through. Some sites sew together one end to create a Cuddle Sack.

Apparently guinea pigs like to be cocooned. And cozy.
 I rolled back the ends to add structure to my tunnel.

 I used this super cute turtle remnant. I was in Fabric Depot for some pearl cotton for  some hand-stitching in the photo below. I didn't have much time -- so finding small remnants that matched meant I didn't have to spend an hour looking at all of the Polar Fleece available.

This is a sneak peak at a Christmas present that I've been working on since October. I decided to do a sashiko stitch to quilt the layers together. Sashiko is just a fancy-schmancy word for a running stitch.

Guinea Pig Tunnel Tutorial

About 8" in diameter.

You'll need two pieces of matching or coordinating polar fleece and one piece of batting. I used a thin batting and my tunnel collapses unless you roll the end out. You might need two layers of batting to make this stiff enough to stay up.
10" velcro or longer if you make the tunnel longer.

Polar Fleece x 2. Cut each 26" x 13". If you want your tunnel longer, then cut 26" x 16".
Batting: cut to same measurement.

1.   Layer two polar fleece pieces rights sides together (RST), place batting on top.

2.  Sew around edges with a 3/8" seam leaving a 5 inch gap for turning. Turn right sides out and poke out corners with chopstick. Don't poke through - just enough to get corners rectangular.

3. The velcro goes at the short ends. Sew hook tape to Solid polar fleece and loop tape at opposite end to Print fleece. (I used a Print and a Solid). I double stitch at ends to reinforce.

4. Stitch parallel rows (to the velcro) about every 1 1/2". If you need to mark a straight line, use a disappearing ink pen. This quilts the sandwich together and adds structure.

5. Stitch around entire edge about 1/2" in, making sure loose fabric at gap (for turning) is tucked in.

That's it. If you want to make the Cuddle Sack, connect into roll and then sew one end flat.

I  liked the idea of it being a lap mat for holding Fluffy and that it did double duty as a tunnel.


  1. Ummm.. Fluffy looks more like a hamster to me.. are you sure it's a guinea pig? But very nice of you to make his little tunnel!!
    *H*A*P*P*Y* * *H*O*L*I*D*A*Y*S*!*!*!*
    ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  2. Thank you so much for confirming that Sashiko is just a running stitch - I thought I was the only one!!!!

    1. It's a more purposeful running stitch. For instance, when you cross lines, there should be an empty space in the middle, not intersecting stitches.

  3. I love your guinea pig tunnel!
    I wonder if this would work for cats!?! I’d make it larger, it would also give me a lap quilt for said cats to sit on ..... much needed ...... but as regards toys they do lose interest so quickly! Still, I think this has to go on the list! Thank you for the idea!
    I never thought of Sashiko as a running stitch, sounds less daunting somehow!
    Happy Christmas!
    Barbara x

    1. I think cats would like the cuddle sack too. They like to lie in boxes, why not a tunnel?

  4. Love your definition of Sashiko - that's what I've always thought, but have never been game to say out loud.

    I used to have guinea pigs with some of my classes I taught. Your tunnel would have come in handy.


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