About thequiltedcat

Mom to a teenager, wife, quilter, hiker, cat wrangler, dog mom, lover of nature, and tech writer!

2020 Mini Series SAL – Week 3

Hi all,

Time sure feels different in this era of “sheltering in place.” I’m happy that, for my job, I’m able to work from home, but I’m missing outdoor activities like hiking and missing friends and family.

The Mini Series SAL, hosted by Alison Glass and Giucy Giuce, is a great help during these times because it is uplifting to be participating in a project with so many other quilters around the world. You can see my week 1 block here and my week 2 block here.

We are now on to week 3 in the SAL with the challenging Pineapple block. This block has many, many pieces, and it took me approximately 2 hours to sew a 4-inch block!!

I’m using a Kona cotton charm square pack called Mermaid Shores for my colors, and a wonderful batik with pebble like shapes for my background. I want to invoke all the beach feelings!

Here’s a look at my Pineapple block in my garden:

Here’s a look at the first 3 blocks all together (Log Cabin, Courthouse Step, Pineapple):

First 3 blocks with a little fairy garden statue

Let me know in the comments if you are participating in the SAL and your Instagram handle so I can give you a follow!

Enjoy!

~Jen

Dachshund Themed Face Mask Using the St. Charles Pattern and Jig

Hi everyone,

I tested out another face mask pattern that has a pocket for an optional filter and a pocket for an optional nose wire published by St. Charles Hospital here in Oregon.

I wanted to test this mask because of the optional filter pocket and because I liked the finished look of it with either elastic or fabric ties.

I decided to use a cute dachshund print from my stash mostly because my sister loves these little dogs. She is a nurse practitioner so I’m making masks for her and other providers at her location.

I also used a cardboard jig from an Eggo box and Halloween-themed duct tape, which I had on hand, to speed up the pleat making process. By using a jig, you get consistent pleats without needing to pin them or iron them.The jig instructions are courtesy of a quilter (bendphoto) in Bend, Oregon, and she has the measurements on her YouTube video so go check it out!

Here’s a look at my mask and cardboard jig:

Dachshund Themed Face Mask and Cardboard Jig

Here’s a look at the filter insert on the bottom of the mask. The wearer can insert a disposable or washable filter of their choosing or not.

Optional Filter Opening

Here’s a look at where the optional inserted wire can create a bend to conform to your nose. There is a little channel at the top, and I just used a pipe cleaner.

Optional Wire Pocket

The finished mask:

Two pleated finished mask, pattern from St. Charles

I’m going to make some more of these masks, both with elastic and fabric ties. I prefer the elastic because it fits my face better, and I have a little bit left. Fabric ties take much longer to make, but many people do prefer them.

Happy quilting!

~Jen

Tula Pink’s 100 Modern Quilt Blocks Project, Part 1

Hi everyone,

In 2018, I participated in an Instagram challenge, hosted by Angie, @gnomeangel. For the challenge, we had to post one block per day for 100 days, starting in July, using the blocks from Tula Pink’s City Sampler: 100 Modern Quilt Blocks.

For my project, I used all Tula fabrics plus various solids. I kept up with the challenge and posted all the blocks to Instagram on the assigned days.

Here’s a look at one of my blocks that I made and posted in 2018. This block is on a mini design board.

One of my Tula blocks posted for the 100 days 100 blocks challenge in 2018

Fast forward to this year. In January, the registration opened up for Quilter’s Affair, which is a week of classes leading up to the big Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show in July. I was able to snag a spot in one of Tula’s classes! I decided that I needed to pull out this old project and finish it so that I could take it with me to Sisters. Of course, all this happened before we really knew about COVID-19 and learned about social distancing.

Hopefully, the COVID-19 pandemic will crest before July and social gatherings will once again be able to take place. However, if not, then I hope everyone stays safe and healthy, and we can enjoy the quilt show in 2021.

I pulled out all of my blocks and my book to get started:

In the back of the book, there are several finishing layout designs. I decided to make the Trellis layout, which is a throw size using 64 blocks. However, I want to use all 100 of my blocks using this layout for a larger quilt.

I used Kona cotton in White for my block frames and Kona cotton in Lighthouse for the sashing.

I stitched together my first 3 rows in February:

First 3 Rows of my 100 Modern Blocks quilt

I’ve been working on this project little by little over the past 2 months. It helps to have such a bright and colorful quilt project to work on in these uncertain times.

I finished the top 5 rows recently, and my kitty quilt inspector gave it his approval:

First 5 rows of my 100 modern quilt blocks project

I have all 10 rows now completed, but I need to join them together. I will show you the finished quilt flimsy in part 2 soon!

Happy quilting!

~Jen

Add a Pipe Cleaner to Homemade Face Masks for COVID-19

Hi everyone,

I have made about 30 masks so far for my sister, a nurse practitioner, and her colleagues.

She asked if I could modify the mask to add a pipe cleaner along the top. Pipe cleaners are easy to bend into shape so that you can adjust the mask for a better fit.

I adjusted the Deaconess face mask pattern to allow for a pipe cleaner casing. I also slightly enlarged the pattern. This larger face mask will still fit smaller faces. If you are using elastic, just add a large safety pin to attach the elastic straps to each other around the back of the head. I’m running out of elastic so I made fabric ties instead, which allow you to adapt the mask to fit different sizes of faces easily.

I made a Star Trek themed face mask for my husband with the pipe cleaner casing  and fabric ties. It fits over his larger face with a full beard and mustache nicely.

Star Trek themed homemade mask with pipe cleaner

I put the Star Trek mask on my Tula Pink cat, pattern by Funky Friends Factory.

You can sort of see the shaping along the nose, provided by the pipe cleaner.

Star Trek themed homemade mask on Tula Pink cat!

If you’d like to make this homemade face mask modification, I put my instructions into a free Word document, Adding a Pipe Cleaner to a Homemade Face Mask. 

These instructions are free to use. Let me know if you found them helpful!

Stay safe!

~Jen

Quilters for Koalas Mini Quilt Swap

Hi everyone,

In January, I signed up for a mini quilt swap to benefit various wildlife rescue charities in Australia to help them out due to the massive wildfires. Each person who signed up for the swap agreed to donate $10 towards the charities in addition to making a mini quilt featuring an Australian animal.

Sharon (@shoppershaz_swaphost on Instagram) hosted the swap. We had over 250 swappers so she organized us into groups and assigned us each a secret partner.

I made a little koala on a tree for my partner using the Koalas pattern by Elizabeth Hartman. This is a traditionally pieced pattern rather than a foundation paper pieced pattern, and it was really fun to make!

My partner, Debbie, indicated that she preferred blues, teals, and yellows for her colors, and I knew that she liked batiks based on previous posts to her Instagram account.

I do combine batiks with quilting cottons, although some quilters cringe at the idea! I used a really pretty teal batik for the koala body with light blue Grunge for the ears. The background is also a batik in a warm neutral that is lightly patterned. I found scraps in my stash for the tree trunk, leaves, belly, and facial features. The binding is a dark teal batik.

The tree trunk fabric is directional so I had to make sure each piece faced in the correct direction. No drunken trees here with vertical and horizontal stripe mismatches!

I quilted this mini quilt on my trusty Bernina  Activa 145 S, my everyday piecing machine. For the domestic machine quilting, I used the Bernina free-motion foot #24 with Aurifil 50 weight thread in a light cream color. I did some free-motion swirls in the background, some leaf shapes in the leaves, and some ruler work on the koala and tree. If you look closely at the koala body, I added three free-motion heart shapes.

Here’s a look at my completed koala mini that I made for my partner:

Koala that I made for my partner

For my mini quilt, I asked for a koala, but I left the individual pattern up to the maker. I also mentioned that bright modern fabrics would work or more natural colors.

My partner, Sandy, made me a very cute little koala using a pattern by Joe, June, and Mae. She used natural colors and Essex linen for a rich texture.

Here’s a look at the mini quilt that I received:

Koala mini quilt that I received in the swap

This little koala mini quilt is now hanging in my sewing room, along with other minis that I treasure from swaps over the past few years on Instagram.

I’m happy that I was able to contribute to the wildlife rescue agencies in Australia during this swap! If you want to see more mini quilts from this swap, check out the #quiltersforkoalas hashtag on Instagram.

Enjoy,

~Jen

2020 Mini Series SAL – Week 2

Hi everyone!

Yesterday, quilters everywhere kicked off week 2 of the 2020 Mini Series hosted by Giucy Giuce and Alison Glass. You can read about my fabric selections and the first block, the Log Cabin, here.

The block this week is called the Courthouse Step, and it is very similar to the Log Cabin block with some minor differences. The Log Cabin took longer for me to sew because each piece slightly overlaps the prior piece, radiating outwards into the classic log cabin shape. Each piece must be pressed and trimmed separately before moving onto the next piece.

The Courthouse Step block sews together much quicker than the Log Cabin block because the little rectangle pieces on each step face each other, enabling me to sew two pieces before pressing and trimming.

For example, in the photo of my Courthouse Step block below, you can see each color is mirrored on the opposite side.

Courthouse Step block with a trillium

I love the look of these two blocks together. You can see the similarity between the blocks, but the differences really make them shine on their own.

Log Cabin and Courthouse Step with a trillium

While I was taking pictures of these blocks in a wooded area near my house, I saw a mama deer and her two fawns! Look closely in the background of this picture where you can see mama and one fawn.

Courthouse Step block with deer in background

Next week, I’ll post my completed Pineapple block. Are you participating in the SAL? It is completely free to join, but you do have to purchase the patterns either from your favorite quilt store or online at Alison’s website.

Happy sewing!

~Jen

Making Face Masks, Assembly Line Style

Hi everyone,

In my previous post, I mentioned that I’m making face masks for my sister, who is a nurse practitioner.

I’m making a few each day after work, and I’m mailing them to her in batches. I’ve made approximately 25 masks so far. I have run out of 1/4-inch elastic, but I do have some 1/8-inch elastic. I think I have enough of the smaller elastic to make another 20 masks or so. After that, I will start making fabric ties for the masks.

I’ve become really efficient at mask making. Initially, I was making complete masks, one at a time as I learned the pattern. Now, I’m making them assembly line style.

After work yesterday, I did the first mask making step upstairs in my sewing room. I stitched, right-sides together, about a dozen masks with the elastic inserts.

Then, I brought the masks downstairs to work on the next step while watching a movie with my husband and son. After turning each mask right side out, I’m use the new Oliso mini iron to press each mask.

This little iron is very portable and gets nice and hot for my smaller quilting and sewing projects. I do use it on a wool pressing mat so that I do not need to have an actual ironing board.

Once I press the masks, I eyeball the 3 pleats and pin them.

I now have a set of 12 masks to take back upstairs and finish the top-stitching.

Pressing Face Masks with an Oliso mini iron

I find that making the masks in batches of 12 goes pretty smoothly for me, and I don’t feel overwhelmed by the project.

I’m very happy to be able to contribute in this small way. My sister is sharing these masks with her colleagues until the medical grade masks are available again.

Stay safe and happy quilting!

~Jen