Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Much sewing, minimal quilting

Last August I decided I would make a table runner for my brother's dining room table. He has one old one Mom made decades ago as a "dresser scarf" for her bedroom, but it doesn't match the colors or decor of his dining room, and is quite worn. I heard him talking to my younger sister about wanting to get one that would fit in better. He has a quilt Mom made hanging on the dining room wall and wanted to pick up the colors from it. 
Mom's quilt hanging at my brother's. This is Pioneer Sampler designed by Eleanor Burns.
My sister was talking as though she would do it for him, but she has done very little quilting, and has very little spare time. Later I told her not to worry about it and I would do it. She was relieved. Within a couple of weeks I had pulled fabrics that matched the colors of Mom's quilt and had made a stack of 9-patch blocks, not sure where I would go from there. And then they sat. Last month was his birthday, so I took the blocks to his home and told him what I was trying to do and he gave me some input. I promised him it was my quilting priority. This is the results so far.
Poor lighting in this photo. Since this was taken I have marked it, basted it and completed the ditch-stitching. I tried to start free motion quilting Monday, but Gidget (my HQ Sweet Sixteen) was having tension issues. By the time I straightened it out the good late afternoon light that streams in my sewing room window was gone. I'm hoping to have some time to work on it Wednesday.

I had said I wasn't going to make face masks.The hospitals here won't take them, and there is so much contradictory info as to which pattern is best or whether any of them are effective. It made my head swim. But I wanted to do some sort of "helpful sewing", so I answered Lori's call for "pillowcase dresses" for little girls for her future mission trip.
Check out the link above if you want to join in. I used the first pattern option on the Nancy's Notions link she has listed, and they go together easily. These use the same elastic that are needed for the masks, so if you don't already have some on hand, you may have a hard time finding it. Luckily I already had a large pack.

Then ED shared a pattern for face masks that was requested by a health organization in her area. So I changed my mind, made a baker's dozen and sent them her way.
And now that it is recommended we all wear a mask when shopping, etc., I decided to try a different pattern. Trying to tie a mask behind my head just seemed to invite my hair to get tangle in the ties, and I could see it would be too frustrating. 

So I looked around the web a bit and found I liked this pattern from Lorrie Nunemaker. I decided to try making it with elastic loops instead of ties. I used batiks for the outside of almost all of them and lined them with T-shirt fabric. The pattern includes a pocket for more filter material, if desired. I included it on some of them, but not all. The tightly woven batik and  T-shirt material (which is recommended as one of the best options for filtering capability) combined make a pretty good DIY mask, I believe.
There is an adult-size template and a child-size one. The "Frozen" and "Cat in the Hat" masks were made with my youngest two grandchildren in mind. These were all made for my family and whatever they don't want I will find somewhere to donate. They make up quickly and there are no long ties to sew up (thank goodness). I understand that healthcare workers who have to wear these all day say the elastic can bother their ears after a while. But these are just for quick trips to the store, etc. And they used up the last of that big package of elastic.

One more brief quilty note--hopefully soon this border will be pieced and sewn onto the Flower Garden quilt. The center is all assembled. I get almost giddy when I see this top so near completion after 22 years!! I am so glad I didn't give up on this.

One last thing, it is Springtime in the Rockies again. If you have followed me for a while you may recall that this is when the resident llama on the family farm takes on "babysitting" duty. It sits, and baby lambs climb on. So fun to watch from my sewing room window!

Thanks to all who participated in my National Quilting Day party favor drawing. Names were drawn and notified March 30th. Prizes were sent the next day. I have heard from a few that they have been received and I am guessing that by now all but the two international winners would have theirs. If you are in the states and you have not received the party favor you won, please let me know.

Oh, such a long post. If I would make time to post more often this wouldn't happen. Honestly, just because we can't socialize doesn't seem to have made life less busy. Why is that, I wonder?

Until next time, as our current state campaign reminds us, "Stay safe: Stay home."
Janet O.