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

HQ Sixteen on a Phoenix Frame for Sale!!

Hi everyone,

The HQ Sixteen is now sold!!!


I’m upgrading to the HQ Avante! I’m very excited to get this new machine, but I need to sell my HQ Sixteen because I don’t have room for both.

The HQ Sixteen has been such a great machine to learn free-motion quilting. I’ve only used her for personal projects so very light use. If you’re in the Portland, Oregon area, I’m selling my machine and frame for $3500.

If interested, please let me know! The buyer needs to be able to pick up the frame and do your own assembly.

I’m including the following items:

  • HQ Sixteen with stitch regular on a 12′ steel Phoenix frame that we modified to fit the machine specifically.
  • The frame also comes with a separate carriage that fits the TinLizzie 18.
  • Separate bobbin winder.
  • Fourth rail for batting (does not include by batting roll as shown in the pictures)
  • 2 clamps.
  • Cloth leaders.
  • All product manuals for the HQ and the Phoenix frame

Bountiful Mini Quilt Challenge

Hi everyone!

I’m excited to share with you my mini quilt entry for a collaborative contest between the Portland Modern Quilt Guild and Art Gallery Fabrics. We used the Bountiful Fabrics collection by Sharon Holland. Our challenge was to create a mini quilt to celebrate the beauty and scenery found across the mid-west.

My entry is called “Bounty in Every Direction” and is inspired by all the wonderful farms and ranches that I’ve seen while flying. The arrows are my own foundation paper-pieced design. I used free-motion quilting in a circular shape to represent the center-pivot irrigation system used on many crops.

The dark brown border is made from faux leather and represents the ranches in the mid-west. The appliqued flower with beaded center represents the farms and growers.

I hope that you enjoy this little quilt! It will be on display, along with all the other entries, at the PMQG Quilt Showcase on October 19th at the Lagunitas Community Room in Portland so come check it out if you’re local.

“Bounty in Every Direction “Mini Quilt

“Bounty in Every Direction” Mini Quilt

Close-Up of “Bounty in Every Direction” Mini Quilt

“Bounty in Every Direction” Mini Quilt

“Bounty in Every Direction” Mini quilt

Happy Quilting!

~Jennifer