Sunday, March 29, 2020

Face Mask according to the AB Mask by a nurse

Many of my quilting friends are making face masks according to the AB-Mask-for-a-Nurse-by-a-Nurse pattern.  I made 5 of them this week, but changed the instructions slightly.  The great thing about this pattern is that you don't need elastic, which is almost impossible to find. 

Here's what I changed:

1.  I added a layer of non-woven interfacing between the layers of cotton.  This is to provide an extra layer of protection for our health care workers.
2.  I added a pipe cleaner (cut in half and used just the half) inside the top binding so that it can be molded around the nose.
3.  I placed the cotton pieces wrong sides together, instead of with the right sides stacked.  I think this makes the masks prettier.
4.  I cut the 1/2" seams down to 1/4" after sewing in the pleats, and before the darts were made at the top and bottom.  I found that if I did this after the darts were sewn, the dart seams popped open.  I did mark them while there was still 1/2" seam to insure proper placement.
5.  I sewed the binding on the sides before I sewed the darts and while the mask was still flat.
6.  The binding strips can be cut out of any fabric and don't need to be the same as the mask. 

There you have it.  It takes about an hour to sew one.  But if you do them assembly style and cut a bunch out and sew the steps on all of them at the same time, the total time per mask is reduced.

I have 3 nurses in my family.  One works in a Salem, OR hospital; one works in a hospice facility in Albany, OR, and one works in an Issaquah, WA hospital.  In addition, I have one doctor in my family who works in a private practice.  If you talk to any of them, they will let you know if they need these masks or not.  At least one of my family members is working with no PPE!  So even if you don't have any family members working in the health care industry, please use your fabric and skills to help them out.  And don't forget to make one for yourself!

Stay home and stay safe.  We are all in this together.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Face masks

The call for face masks has been circulating among quilters and sewers, who are working fast and furious to make them out of our stash of cotton fabrics.  I hope that this doesn't turn out to be hype like what happens after a natural disaster and people start making and sending quilts that end up in the trash.  The COVID-19 pandemic is REAL, and the need for medical equipment is real.  So maybe this is real too.

Most of the  YouTube face mask videos  that I've seen have you start with a small amount of fabric, and a little bit of 1/4" of elastic.   There are tons of them, so be sure to check them all out.

Silhouette Patterns  has a PDF and pattern for a more fitted and darted style.

Again, I don't know if this is a real thing, but it won't take that much time to make some for my family.

Here are the ones that I made.  I found that the 3-1/2" final size works the best, and I used pipe cleaners for the top so that it can be molded around the nose. 

I didn't have 1/4" elastic, so I cut strips out of some 2" wide black elastic.  It's not ideal, but it works for now.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Elongated Hexagon - Part Two

This is a continuation of a previous post about the Elongated Hexagon quilt that I made, based on a Ricky Tims pattern.

I fussy cut out the hexagon pieces from the Marcia Derse fabric.  This is the left-over fabric - Swiss cheese from the fussy cuts!

Then I started to cut the hexagon pieces from the strip sets, all at an angle.  I marked the freezer paper template with grain line direction; both right and left.  This way of cutting the hexies left way too much fabric in the strip sets.

I decided mid-stream that I needed to cut more with the lines of the piecing. I knew if I did some of the cuts this way, I could at least sew together the left-over fabric and get more cuts out of the strip sets.  In fact, if you want to do it this way, there is very little waste.

Here is what the original design looked like on my design wall, using only the diagonal cuts.

And here is what it looked like after I changed the placement of the Marcia Derse fabric and added vertical rows of straight cut hexies.  I liked that this showed off the theme fabric better, but still showed all the strip piecing.  It's busy!  If you like color, then WOW, this little quilt has it.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Retreat quilt- Elongated Hexagon - Part One

I went to a 3-day retreat with my Vagabonds group in February and needed something to work on!  Believe it or not, I had nothing in progress, except for some clothing.  So, I had to scramble and put together some fabric and a plan for what to sew.

I remembered an elongated hexagon quilt that Ricky Tims demonstrated on The Quilt Show, and looked through my paperwork to find the template that was a free download from their website.   It is a pattern where you sew strips together, kind of wonky.  Then cut out the elongated hexie.  Some of the hexies were made of solid fabric.  He called it Double Tumbler/Lantern. 

Anyway, here is what I did, with some of the steps shown.  I started with a fabulous print fabric made by Marcia Derse.

I pulled fabric from my stash that was either more of her coordinating fabrics, or other fabrics that had similar colors in them.  I didn't do anything else before the retreat.  After I got there, I just free cut strips from my fabrics and put them all into a big brown grocery bag.  (Yes, we still can get those at the grocery stores for free in Washington State.)  The strips varied from 1" to 2-1/2" and I didn't pay attention at all to whether they were straight or ironed.  I mixed up the strips in the bag.  And then just sewed for the 3 days until I had all the fabrics sewn into strips sets.  Here is what I ended up with:

I didn't have a plan on how to cut out the hexagons from the strip sets.  So, I pulled out my handy design book, and sketched up some ideas.  Here they are:

I think I like the one where the stripes are going neither vertical or horizontal, but on the angle. 

Stay tuned for more posts when I start cutting and piecing the quilt together.  Who knows how big it will be when I'm done?  I love the spontaneity of this free cut and sewn quilt. 

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Clark County Quilters show - POSTPONED!! - COVID-19

My local quilt guild, Clark County Quilters, was all set to put on another stunning display of quilts made by our members in early April.

We were all on pins and needles while we wondered if our event would have to get cancelled due to COVID-19.  Almost everyone in our quilt guild falls into the high-risk category (over 60, and many with underlying health conditions).  We usually get large crowds at our show and so we knew that there was a bit of a risk going forward.  In the weeks leading up to our event, there were over 20 deaths in Washington State, and many more confirmed cases.  The Governors of Washington and Oregon banned events of more than 250 people in many counties.   Schools and universities were shut down.  This was all to stop the "community spread" to hundreds and, likely,  thousands of more people.

So, the leadership group of Clark County Quilters made the difficult decision to postpone our quilt show to November 12-14.  Here is the postcard with the announcement of the new dates.

I hope that those who planned to attend in April can still make it to our show in November!

Monday, March 9, 2020

Sewing together 9 shadow selfies

I made 9 small (12" x 12") quilts that were all shadow selfies as a series.  I previously wrote blogs about all of these little pieces.  They were exhibited at my solo show in October 2018, but they haven't been entered in the Clark County Quilters show yet.

I was inspired to group them together into one quilt after I saw a grouping put together by Lynn Czaban of the portrait quilts she made of the Vagabonds.  She used zippers and tabs to sew hers together.  Here's a photo of that quilt:

Although the zippers were an unexpected and fun way to sew some of them together, I'm just not as talented as Lynn is, so I decided on adding tabs only. Here is my sketch of the idea:

I used black fabric (with a stabilizer on the back) and sewed with decorative stitches and couched yarn and trimmings on top.  

Here is what that looked like before I cut it into tabs.

After I cut the strips into the tabs, I placed them on plain black fabric and satin stitched (zig zagged) around all the edges.  I used a machine setting of 3.4 mm width and .4 length.  

To keep the corners from fraying, I added a dot of  fray check, let it dry, then cut out the tabs.

I placed the tabs between the little quilts and stitched right through the binding and the tabs.  I like the effect that this has given the grouping.

I hope you like it and will try grouping smaller pieces into a larger one for exhibit.  

OH, and P.S.  It costs $10 to enter a quilt into our show.  Sewing these 9 quilts together is going to save me $80!

Monday, March 2, 2020

Vagabonds Challenge for 2020

Vagabonds has picked the challenge for 2020.  We're all making quilts based on a photograph that was taken by member, Ada Levins.  Ada has been taking all kinds of photography classes and she has quite a stash of amazing photos.  Last year, she took a lot of abstract photos, using all kinds of techniques.  We were all allowed to select our picture from her portfolio, and we didn't restrict the choices if two people wanted to use the same photograph.  Here's the one I chose.  She made this photo by putting glass over some Christmas tree lights, and adding oil to water.

I played around with the color and cropped the photo to this:

And here are some of my quick sketches for ideas on how I might make this quilt.

We have a year to complete the quilt, and this one may take most of that time!

I hope you stretch your brain and step out of your comfort zone to try new techniques. 

Monday, February 24, 2020

Binding made before quilting

Sometimes I make the binding for a quilt right after I'm done piecing the top.  That way, I insure that the binding will match the outside border.  If I wait too long, I'm likely to use up the material for something else.  When I'm done pressing the binding in half, I roll it up and place it in a baggy.  Here's the binding all ready for the graduation quilt I'm making for my granddaughter.

When I make a quilt top for Connecting Threads, they always ask me to make the binding, and I use the same idea.  

Putting it into a baggy makes it easy to sew onto the quilt later, as it easily rolls out of the bag and doesn't drag all over my dirty studio floor.  

I hope you have some good tips to share with your quilting friends too!

Monday, February 17, 2020

Happy Teachers

Wilma Fletcher Scott and I taught some of our fellow Clark County Quilters how to paint a rose onto fabric at the end of January.  We had the best students EVER and had a lot of fun teaching the class. (I wrote a previous blog about the pattern and technique.)

Here are the happy teachers:

I hope your quilt guild offers classes to each other so that you can learn new techniques too!  Happy quilting.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Sewing a knit top

I purchased a really comfortable shirt and wanted to reproduce it in a different knit fabric and different colors.

Here are some of the details of this pretty little top:

The collar is one piece and it stands up because it has some boning in the middle of the collar, which is cut slightly shorter than the collar itself.  I purchased another blouse that had this detail last summer and liked it too.  It's a fun way to make a collar without interfacing.

The left front has two patch pockets that were placed on the diagonal, which is a really cute idea.  Two small buttons are sewn onto the top of the pockets.

The bottom has a small peplum sewn onto it,   The back and front are separate and they overlap slightly.  It's a nice little feminine feature.

There is a piece cut on the bias that is sewn onto the front right corner.

Have you ever taken a pattern off of an existing garment?  It's pretty easy, and although I didn't take any pictures along the way, this is how I did it.  I laid a large piece of foam core board onto the table.  I placed a Pellon gridded interfacing on top of the foam core.  Then I spread out the shirt and either drew around the edges, or poked a large pin through the seams.  I did this for every piece, front and back.  Then I drew a line through all the holes made in the interfacing to get the outline of the piece.  (I use 3/8" seams for my clothing, so I added 3/8" seams to the outside edges of the pieces).  I noted where the seams might be larger, such as the hem.  The final step was to make sure the seams that were to be sewn together actually matched.  There are several really good articles and videos on the internet on how to do this process.

I looked over the shirt to figure out the sewing steps and typed up a set of sewing instructions to follow.  The final step was to lay out the pieces on a quick sketch, using 60" wide fabric, to calculate the yardage.

And voila!  The pattern was all ready to go.  I misplaced the pattern for almost a month and panicked that I had to start over again.  But, luckily, I located it!

Here is my finished top.  Because the fabric was multi-colored and geometric, I left off most of the cute little features of the original top.  You can't even tell that there is a peplum on this one.  Oh well, I still like it.

I hope these quick instructions give you the confidence to make copies of some of your favorite tops too!

Monday, January 27, 2020

Making leggings

I am determined to get my leggings pattern accurate!  I've made two pairs off my pattern, and they are still too loose in the legs.  I'm guessing that by the time I get the pattern just right, leggings will NOT be in style any longer.  Oh well, us old ladies usually lag the pop culture dress styles.  I never did like the "cold shoulder" look, did you?  And definitely not the cut up jeans, which cost close to $200 at Nordies.  What??!!!

I downloaded a free pattern from Mood Fabrics, which has a lot of extra pieces and am comparing that pattern to the one I've already used.  I think it just might be easier to go and peg the first couple of pairs, then measure and draw my own pattern!  I'm not that hard to fit, usually.  I do have long legs, so I know that I need to add length to every pattern.  And I have that old lady flat behind, so I have to take out some length at the waistband center back.  Other than that, the pattern should be good to go.

Later - I decided it was just better to peg the leggings that I had already made, and skip the idea of an ideal leggings pattern for now.  I had to take out about 2" from each leg, and remove some depth of the crotch.  It's the negative ease on stretch knits that has me slightly baffled,  Make them one size smaller?  Two sizes smaller?  Well, in the end, it was just easier to measure a pair that fit and use that measurement to alter the pattern.  Who cares what size they are anyway.  As long as they fit.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Quilting design and start of quilting

I finally landed on a quilting design for Emily's quilt.  In a previous post, I lamented the fact that I hadn't drawn anything that I liked.  So, I hit my collection of books, and friends gave me inspiration from some of theirs.  Here is what I landed on overall and the center motif:

I'm marking the design lightly on the squares, using a circle template and a straight edge, along with a Bohn water erasable blue pen.

And here are the tools that I use while I'm quilting the design:  both of the quilting templates are from Jamie Wallen, Quilters Apothecary. There is s 3" inside circle and a straight edge.  I really like his quilting templates because they have handles to hold the template steady on my sit-down long arm machine.

And here is what the block looks like all stitched out, which is slightly different than my sketch.

  I hope it will feel young and bright!  What do you think?

Monday, January 6, 2020

Polka Dots and Spots - Final - "Circle Mania"

I finished the polka dots and spots quilt and named it "Circle Mania".   Too bad I forgot to take pictures along the way.  Oh well, most of the techniques have been covered in other blogs on other quilts..... I hope.

After I finished quilt the top, I evened up all the edges.  Then I took my rotary cutter and made the wavy edges and rounded corners.  I made a 3" wide facing, which is wider than I usually make.  It needed to be wide enough to take care of all the large dips in the edges.

Here is a picture of the finished 50" W x 69" H quilt:

Circle Mania by Joanne Adams Roth

I hope you like it. And huge thanks to Jody Bowyer, who made the center medallion.