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

Yoga Mat Carrying Bag

Happy Friday, everyone!

I hope that you and your family are healthy and safe in these uncertain times. I usually attend a yoga class twice each week during my lunch breaks at work. While these classes are temporarily canceled to keep everyone safe, I decided to keep up with my stretches by using yoga videos online.

I have a home yoga mat that I wanted to keep clean while not in use. Why not make a yoga mat carrying bag?

I had some fun yoga themed fabric in my stash from Michael Miller’s Namaste Spa collection. This fabric is mostly sold out, but a few quilt stores may have some left if you do an online search.

I used these supplies:

  • Main body is Good Postures in gray
  • Bag bottom is Namaste in orange
  • Handle is Chakra Stripe in Happy
  • Liner is muslin
  • Thread is Aurifil 50 weight in cream

I have a standard sized yoga mat so I searched online for some yoga bag patterns. I wanted a pattern with a draw-string instead of a zipper because I didn’t have a large enough zipper in my stash.

I used a free pattern by Laura Pifer called DIY Yoga Mat Bag available on the Brother website. This pattern is quick and easy and, if you are a quilter like me, you will have plenty of fabric options to choose from your stash! I made the bag in under 2 hours.

Now when I practice my yoga at home, I have a cuteĀ  carrying bag to keep my mat clean and mostly free from pets when not in use! Of course, my cat and dog both try to “help” me when doing yoga!

Happy sewing!

~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:

star_struck_fabrics

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.

star_struck_design_wall

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.

star_struck_quilting

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.

star_struck_finished1

Completed Double Struck Star Quilt

star_struck_finished2

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!

Swatch Service, Quilting Cottons, Outside of Card

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