Limited Edition Liberty Box from FQS

Hi all,

If you are a subscriber or just a fan of the Sew Sampler boxes from the Fat Quarter Shop, they are offering a 2020 limited edition Liberty Box for advanced reservation for $4.99.

The box will be red, white, and blue themed, and will contain 5 items that you can only get in this box.

I really love patriotic themed quilts, but I don’t have many for myself so I jumped at the chance to reserve one of these boxes. The box ships in late June, when you’ll be billed the remaining $23.99 plus shipping.

You can reserve a Liberty Box at the Fat Quarter Shop now until they are all gone. If you order via my link, I get a small commission (about 30 cents), which helps me to offset the cost of this blog.


Let me know if you ordered a box! Can’t wait to see the project.

Happy quilting,

Jennifer

2020 Mini Series SAL – Week 7

Happy Thursday, everyone!

This week, we are working on block 7 called the “Curved Cabin” in the Mini Series sew-along hosted by Giucy Giuce and Alison Glass.

This block is comprised of 4 tiny sections, giving you the ability to create many different looks from one block depending on your fabric choices and fabric placement. Each tiny section is 2-inches by 2-inches (finished measurements).

I’m continuing my color scheme by using a Kona charm pack in Mermaid Shores with a batik background that reminds me of tiny beach pebbles.

The pieces in each section are tiny! I narrowed my final block assembly to these 3 options:

I think it’s so wonderful how this block can completely transform depending on my layout! I really liked options 1 and 2, but I ultimately went for option 1 because I do enjoy the center circle that emerged.

My Curved Cabin block with a little frog friend!

I think a quilt made just from this block would be a fun project in the future. I could make the blocks all the same, or maybe do an ombre effect.

Here’s a look at my blocks together:

Mini Series SAL, blocks 1 to 7

We now have 7 out of the 8 blocks in the Mini Series completed. There is 1 bonus block available to the participants only, so I plan to make it next week along with the final block.

If you are participating in the SAL, I’d love to hear about it. Leave a comment and let me know your Instagram handle.

Happy quilting!

~Jen

2020 Mini Series SAL – Week 5

Hi everyone,

Surprisingly, this week is going by fast for me. I’m balancing working from home with helping my teen with his schooling from home, and fitting in some sewing each evening. I’m also trying to keep anxiety feelings at bay with regular exercise, mostly in the form of long walks with my dog.

The block in our sew-along this week is one of my favorites. It is called Stretched Geese. I really like any form of the flying geese block, and this one is really fun!

This is my 4-inch block in progress:

Stretched Geese block during construction

I decided to alter the block slightly by adding little border strips to the sides of the flying geese using my one print fabric from Tula Pink. I’m working in a little bit of this fabric into each block.

Stretched Geese block, slightly modified

I love my growing group of little blocks! The beachy feel of the fabrics is quite soothing.

Mini Series SAL blocks, weeks 1 to 5

We now have 3 official blocks left to make in the SAL, plus I need to make the bonus block.

On one of my dog walks this week, I saw one of my favorite flowers, lupine, starting to bloom. Isn’t it pretty?

I just realized that the colors in my lupine photo below match the fabric colors in my SAL blocks! What a happy coincidence.

Lupine starting to bloom

I hope you are all staying healthy and making a little time to work on sewing projects other than face masks.

Take care!

~Jen

2020 Mini Series SAL – Week 4

Hi everyone,

The little block for this week is called Hexagon Step. This is another block that took about 2 hours to sew together.

When I first saw the block, it reminded me of radiation danger signs!

Hexagon Step Pattern cover

I decided to change up the look by not alternating my color strips with background strips in each row. Instead, I used full color row around the hexagon shape and then followed it with a full row of the background fabric.

Here’s a look at my Hexagon Step block with one of my antique toy sewing machines. Isn’t the little seahorse cute?

My Hexagon Step block with antique toy sewing machine

I’m enjoying piecing these little blocks each week. There are small but satisfying in these unusual times. We have four more blocks left to sew in the SAL, not counting the bonus block, and then we have a 2 week window to make and finish a project using the blocks.

Here’s a look at my first four blocks together:

Mini Series SAL blocks 1-4

Next week, I’ll post my Stretched Geese block for week 5.

Take care and 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

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

Making Masks for COVID-19

Hello everyone,

Yesterday, I had a phone call with my sister. She is a nurse practitioner who works in a cancer clinic. They are out of face masks, and they are not expected to get any more for a while. She has to treat patients without a mask.

I offered to make her some fabric masks. While they are not as effective as medical grade masks, they are better than nothing.

She asked for 2-layer masks in light colors. The light color allows her to see easily any foreign material that may have splattered onto the mask.

I’m using the Deaconess face mask pattern. Click the link to see printed instructions as well as a video on how to make the masks.

If you want to help make face masks, check with your local hospitals and clinics first. Not all places want homemade face masks. You can also check Million Masks A Day, organized by Just Wanna Quilt, for a list of places accepting homemade mask donations.

After work yesterday, I made 8 face masks, and I will mail those mails out today. I plan to make more each day this week. Each mask takes about 15 minutes to make.

The Deaconess face mask pattern uses double-layered fabric and elastic bands. They are triple pleated. I used batik fabric because it has a denser weave than regular quilting cotton. These face masks are double-stitched so they will hold up well to multiple washings. I made 7 masks with elastic and 1 mask with ties. My sister is going to let me know which style she prefers.

Here’s a look at the masks that I made:

My Tula Kitty Modeling a Homemade Face Mask

Homemade masks with elastic bands

Homemade masks: 1 with elastic and 1 with ties

Stay safe and happy quilting!

~Jen

2020 Mini Series SAL – Week 1

Hi everyone,

Have you heard about the 2020 Mini Series Sew Along hosted by Alison Glass (#alisonglass) and Giucy Giuce (#giucygiuce) ?

It’s a 10-week sew along with 8 tiny foundation paper-pieced blocks plus a bonus block for those participants who sign up on Alison’s website. The SAL is free; however, you do need to purchase the patterns. You can find the patterns on Alison’s website or from various quilt stores that she mentions

Here are my fabric selections for the SAL:

  • A Kona charm square pack called Mermaid Shores
  • A batik fabric for the background that reminds me of pebbles on a beach
  • A Tula Pink fat quarter from the Zuma line with little stars and seahorses

Fabric Selection for 2020 Mini Series SAL

I’m making the 4-inch blocks rather than the 8-inch blocks due to the length of my charm squares.

For week one, we are making the classic log cabin block. I’m an experienced foundation paper piecer so I already had an Add-An-Eighth ruler on hand as well as some very fine 80 weight piecing thread. The 80 weight thread is important with smaller blocks because it is less thick than 50 weight thread so your block presses flatter.

I fuzzy cut a little star for the very center of my block from the Zuma fat quarter. You can see it in the picture with the dime for scale.

Here are some pictures of my log cabin block:

Week 1: Log Cabin Block

Week 1: Log Cabin block with dime for scale

Week 1: Log Cabin Block on Tree

Week 1: Log Cabin block on a stump

I really love these colors together! I’m leaning towards making a small wall-hanging quilt with the blocks from this SAL. I may make a few extra of some of the blocks, but I have’t entirely decided.

Here’s a look at the back of the block. I will keep the paper on for stability until I sew the block to another block or sashing.

Week 1: Log Cabin back of block

Are you participating in the SAL? Leave me a comment below!

Happy stitching!

~Jen

Prince Cherrywood Challenge Finalist!

This past year, I entered a quilt into the annual Cherrywood Challenge for the first time. Cherrywood makes beautiful and unique hand dyed fabrics with a suede-like appearance. Each year, they sponsor a challenge where contestants can submit 20-inch by 20-inch quilts in a specific theme using a limited palette of Cherrywood fabrics.

For 2018, the challenge theme was Prince. The Prince Challenge fabric bundle contained 3 purples and 1 black. While we could use other Cherrywood colors as accents, our quilts had to “read” as purple. We could also use embellishments to enhance our quilts.

For my entry, I wanted to feature Prince and his wonderful performance at the Superbowl. In particular, I wanted to highlight the song “Purple Rain” because it was such a stunning moment for him and the audience.

Here’s a look at my completed quilt with a ruler to show the judges the 20-inch size:

DSC_0211 (2)

Prince Cherrywood Challenge Completed Quilt

I used holographic thread for the swirly quilting in the black background. In person, the thread has a beautiful shimmery look to it. The black background also has little beads with silver metallic threads to represent the camera flashes from the stadium audience. I used a purple Razzle Dazzle thread to give a hint of the “purple” rain during the performance.

For the purple background, I used metallic thread in the straight-line quilting. I used the thread to accent the guitar, guitar strap, and to add music notes.

The Prince symbol represents the stage while Prince faces the crowd in a decorated purple jacket.

Here are some close-up pictures:

There were 388 submitted quilts for the Prince challenge. Out of those 388 quilts, there were 165 finalists.

My quilt made it as a finalist! It is now traveling the country to various quilt shows as part of the Prince Live Tour. I will get to visit the show in person in 2019 when it travels to 2 quilt shows near me: the Clark County Quilt Show in March and the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show in July. Cherrywood will likely have book signing events at each of these shows, and I hope to be one of the artists signing books.

Here’s a look at the Prince Cherrywood Challenge book:

You can order a copy of the book, featuring all of the finalist quilts, from Cherrywood directly or you can buy a copy at the traveling exhibit.

Happy quilting!

~Jen