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

Double Struck Star Quilt

Hi everyone,

I finished this fun modern quilt earlier this year called Double Struck Star by Krista Moser of The Quilted Life.

This quilt has an off-set, partial star shape, with each of its three star points featuring colorful fabrics. I selected some small-scale modern prints and solids to create my star points in greens, oranges, and turquoises.

The background triangles are from five different low-volume fabrics and one darker gray fabric. I used the same gray fabric for the inner star shadow border and the binding fabric.

Here’s a look at my fabric selections:

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Fabric Selections for Double Struck Star

I cut and pieced all my colorful triangles first and then added them to my design wall, tweaking a few here and there. I made a few fabric substitutions because some of the prints had the wrong scale or wrong shade in my initial fabric pull.

I did follow the pattern recommendation to have more of the lighter triangles towards the middle of the star with the darker triangles radiating out towards the star points.

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Double Struck Star points on design wall

Once I was satisfied with the colorful triangles, I pieced the neutral triangles. The triangles with the gray star shadow were a little tricky, but I used my pins liberally to ensure the seams matched.

For quilting, I used Glide in Cool Grey 3 with free-motion swirls in the colorful triangles. I used the same thread color in the neutral triangles, but I experimented using different free-motion designs and ruler work in each of the triangles.

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Quilting the Double Struck Star Quilt

For the binding, I used the dark gray fabric and added a very small color-pop section using left over pieces from the colorful triangles.

I recruited my hubby to hold the quilt while I took pictures of it at a local park earlier this year.

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Completed Double Struck Star Quilt

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Close-Up of Completed Double Struck Star Quilt

Isn’t this a cheerful quilt? It reminds me of all the beautiful spring flowers emerging after a cold, rainy winter!

Happy quilting!

~Jen

Introducing the Swatch Service from The Confident Stitch

Hi everyone!

I’m so excited to share with you a fun new quarterly swatch service program from a wonderful modern quilt store, The Confident Stitch!

When you sign-up for this program, you can choose to receive from one or more different swatch card options including Quilting Cottons, Garment Fabrics (Warm Tones), and Garment Fabrics (Cool Tones). The links in this post are affiliate links, meaning that I earn a small commission. However, I only endorse quilting products that I use myself and find valuable.

Each swatch card subscription features 8 fabric samples and includes delivery for just $13 plus a special discount code for all of the featured fabrics!

The advantage of having a swatch card for quilters is that you can see and feel the fabrics in person before ordering larger cuts of fabric. When you are matching fabrics for a quilt project, it is so important to be able to see the exact shades and hues in the fabric. I also like to feel the hand of a fabric before purchasing, and each 3-inch by 2-inch swatch is large enough to satisfy our tactile need for fabric petting!

The Spring 2020 swatch cards are shipping now. I really love the bright modern fabrics featured this month for quilters.

Outside of the Swatch Card

The outside portion of the card has a note about Kate McIvor, founder and owner of The Confident Stitch. See the color wall on display with the cute dachshund pillow? I made that pillow as a sample for the shop!

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Inside of the Swatch Card

You’ll find all the quilty goodness on the inside! Each card comes with a brief description, describing the theme of this quarter’s fabric swatches. For this quarter, the theme is “London in the 1960’s.” Each individual fabric swatch is 3-inches by 2-inches. The fabric designers featured this month include Kaffe Fassett, Tula Pink, Cotton + Steel, Carolyn Friedlander, Ruby Star Society, and Art Gallery Fabrics.

You will also receive a special discount code for all the fabrics listed in the swatch card. This discount is only available to swatch card subscribers!

Swatch Service, Quilting Cottons, Inside of Card

Peek Under Each Fabric

After you have lovingly petted each fabric swatch, lift it up for a description and pricing of each fabric.

Swatch Service, Quilting Cottons, Close-Up

Are you ready to subscribe? Hope on over to The Confident Stitch and sign-up today! Let me know in the comments if you’ve joined! I can’t wait to see the projects that you create using these fabrics.

Happy quilting,

~Jen

 

Quilter’s Affair 2019 Classes

This year, my sister and I took 2 classes at A Quilter’s Affair in the week leading up to the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show.

For our first class, we decided to take an English Paper Piecing class (EPP) with Violet Craft because we really haven’t used this quilting technique before and we both thought it might be a great technique to do while traveling.

We used the Fruit Basket pattern, and we both picked the strawberry for our practice block, and we learned some great tips in the class.

Start of my strawberry block:

Strawberry 1

Here’s a pic of us together with our strawberry blocks in August when my sister came to my house for a visit. I’m on the right with the blue shorts.

I have started working on the pineapple block, but I must admit that I haven’t made too much progress. I’ll pick it up again when the weather turns rainy, and I do less hiking and yard work.

For our second class, we took “Gertie’s Birdies” with Sally Frey. We used the pattern Feathers by The Pattern Basket. We signed up for this class because birds have a special inside meaning to us and these chunky little birds just looked so cute.

I made 3 birds in class using the Sweet Tea collection by Sweetwater for Moda Fabrics plus some solids by Cherrywood. I love these fabrics because they remind me of summer!

Here is a look at the birds from other quilters in the class at the end of the day. My 3 bird blocks are in the top left:

I’ve finished another 3 bird blocks in the months since our class. I plan on making 3 more so I can complete the smaller quilt, which will be a perfect little summer wall hanging.

The Quilter’s Affair is so much fun, and I’m glad my sister got to come this year. We hope to go again next year!

Here’s a view of the Three Sisters during an evening hike we took:

Happy quilting!

-Jen

Alpaca Anyone?

Oh my, I haven’t blogged in so long! I have been working on many quilting projects in my spare time, and you can see more real time progress on my Instagram account.

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend some classes at A Quilter’s Affair in the week leading up to the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show. I usually attend each year, but my sister got to join me after she missed the prior 2 years.

I wanted to surprise her with a fun gift as a memento of our trip. We stay at the Best Western Ponderosa, which used to have a llama herd. The hotel retired the herd and replaced it with an alpaca herd! These alpacas have been at the hotel grounds for just a few weeks so they are still a bit shy.

The lovely Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts recently posted a series of new mini quilts that she designed, including an alpaca! It was fate!! I immediately purchased the pattern and set out to make 2 alpaca minis.

This pattern is traditionally pieced and goes together pretty quickly. Here’s a look at the quilt tops with my inspector:

Romeo inspects the alpaca quilt tops

The solids are hand dyed from Cherrywood, the background is from Karen Lewis Textiles, and the alpaca body is the aqua Fairy Dust print from Tula Pink’s line called Pinkerville. The other prints are various scraps from my stash.

I quilted these alpaca minis 2-up on my HQ Avante. I did a combination of ruler work to outline the alpacas and some free-motion swirls in the background. I used a black and white striped print for the binding.

Quilting the alpaca minis

I surprised my sister with her choice of quilt last week. She picked the alpaca with the orange hair, and I’m keeping the alpaca with the green hair.

I just couldn’t resist getting a picture of the completed mini quilts with the alpacas at the hotel. One alpaca was very brave and came to check them out!

An alpaca inspects the completed quilts

We had such a fun week together! In my next post, I’ll talk about the classes that we attended at A Quilter’s Affair.

Happy quilting!

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:

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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

Cadence Court Quilt

Hi everyone!

I saw the beautiful Cadence Court Quilt by Sassafras Lane Designs on many Instagram feeds over the summer and decided that I really wanted to make one using sunset colors.

This quilt is mostly foundation paper pieced with a little bit of traditional piecing to add the background pieces and center pieces. There are 24 paper pieced wedges to make and each wedge took me roughly 2 hours to sew.

For my colorful sections, I used Alison Glass fabrics in 6 colors. Each color is repeated 4 times throughout the quilt. The white background is Alison Glass Sun Print Compass in coconut. The black fabric has tiny metallic hearts that look pretty in person and is called Yes Please Hearts by Riley Black. The gray fabrics are just solids.

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I started working on the quilt in August, and I finished it in November. Between working full-time and going on a family hiking trip to the southwest in August, I think that I assembled this quilt pretty quickly!

I used my Handi Quilter Avante longarm with Superior thread to do ruler work around the triangle shapes as well as custom free-motion quilting in the negative spaces. I used the Handi Quilter 3-inch slice ruler to create a beautiful swirl in the quilt center.cc_quilting_closeup

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If you live in the Missoula, Montana area, you can see the quilt on display at The Confident Stitch. They carry all the fabrics and the pattern that I used to make this quilt. For other color inspirations, go check out the #cadencecourt hashtag on Instagram!

Here’s a look at my finished quilt. Isn’t it just gorgeous?

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Happy quilting!

~Jen