My friend, Carole Carter, runs Autumn Jubilee on her blog From My Carolina Home. I may have mentioned once or a hundred times. 🙂 HEY, it’s fun and I don’t want you to miss out! Anyway, the first project was posted on Monday and it was for a Wool Stitch Along. Kudo’s to Carole for rounding up sponsors for the posts. If you like wool…her sponsor, One Of The Flock, has some beautiful things in their shop online.
I contemplated going out and making a purchase to participate in this first project, but as the day went along, I just could not justify in my mind making the trip and the buying wool for hand applique. I am just not loving hand work (note two hand surgeries in last 5 years and cortisone shot just a month ago); so I decided I would give the project a whirl with cotton, doing fusible applique (thank you Heat n’Bond light) and doing some machine stitching instead of hand stitching.
I got busy, printed out the pattern pieces and set to work with my reliable felt pen, tracing the pattern bits onto the Heat n’ Bond.
Next up, I dug into my scrap drawers for fabrics that might make a good Cornucopia and for the various vegetables and leaves. I found some excellent pieces to use for the leaves, and I added probably more than the pattern called for, but I just “wanted to”. Initially, I used the leaf pattern but then I picked out some leaves on a scrap I had and fussy cut them out.
My background fabric is 18″ wide. I made it fairly large so I can decide as this month progresses what I might want to do with the project. Pillow? Table Topper? Wall hanging? Too soon to tell. I did reserve the other half of the yard for a backing of some sort.
I figure some stitching will be in order in the next couple of days. I have another wall hanging, hanging around, that needs the stitching finished on it, and both projects call out for my “cashmere” thread from Superior Threads. (Fantastico #5035 Cashmere Cone). May be time to get another spool on order. Looking at Superior Threads website, I began to drool over all the new colors that might work. Oh…I need to get to a big quilt show and shop in person!!!! Maybe the Hampton Roads show in February. I keep a spreadsheet with all my Superior threads, by type, color and number. There are a couple that are on my list for replacement soon, but others that I picked up “just because” and they languish on the shelf. I wonder if anyone else does that?
I’ll update the progress when I make some! What are you working on this week? Are you “stitching along” with the #AutumnJubilee2022 this month? Lots of other fun things to do as well, so do check it out.
Last week I posted about my class project, the To the Nines pattern, where I had a “fat seam allowance”. Those discarded blocks have been turned into something useful! I decided to use them as the basis for my new “tablet sleeve” for my upcoming cruise. Hubby thinks the cover / added keyboard give it protection, but I wanted to make a cover / sleeve for the device.
Since I only had 4 orphan/discarded blocks, I knew I would have to make a few more. The tablet is about 8 x 12 and I was using 2.5″ squares. I ended up with 8 squares x 5 squares for the front of the bag, and the same for the back. I quilted it using Bosal In-R-Form for the batting.
Here is the result –
I used a light fabric for the lining.
It is a fairly snug fit with my tablet. It isn’t going to fall out. There is some extra space along the top. Originally I was going to roll the top edge down to make a cuff, but then I decided the cord needed to go in too.
My husband suggested I add a velcro closure and handles, which I did AFTER the sleeve was made. Now, I guess it is a bag not a sleeve!
Boy adding the velcro and handles after the bag / sleeve was already made was a pain in the neck!! Lesson to self….think the project all the way through before rushing through the creative process. I probably should have unstitched the top edge of the bag where the lining joins the outside and opened up the side seam….but that would have been too easy. Instead I fought with the narrow opening and my open arm on the sewing machine. I got it done…but I should have thought that through better.
Anyway, I think the colors of the bag go nicely with my lavender tablet.
I showed my sister the bag I was making and it reminded her of the bag I made for her Kindle years ago. She gave the kindle away to one of the grandkids but still has the little bag. She has a tablet she will be bringing on our trip in a week, and I asked her if it had a sleeve or a bag. It does not, so I offered to make her one. When she sent me a photo of it, it looks like it is the same one I have and similar size. She asked for it to open on the long side like the Kindle bag. She also liked the short handles.
I went to work on her bag, last night after dinner, and pulled some left over half square triangles, and this is what the front panel of the bag will look like.
Those half square triangles were the abundance from Addison’s Quilt I made 5 years ago ! (I could have made two quilts with all those leftover blocks!)
I decided to “start bigger” with this bag, box the corners, and add a pocket inside for the charging cables and other “stuff” she might want to carry with it. Her device has the same detachable keyboard, but without having exact measurements, I am erring on the side of caution for size. My bag/sleeve could have been a bit bigger in hindsight.
I started by making two panels for the front and back of the project then stitched them together at what will be the bottom of the bag, then quilted it onto the Bosal In-R-Form. I used the same serpentine stitch with my walking foot for both bags. At the center bottom seam, I did straight stitch in the ditch and 1/4″ on either side of the seam.
When the sides are stitched together it will look something like this —
Of course, there will be handles, and lining and the bottom will be boxed . I think I will add a magnet purse style closure on the bag. It seems that magnetics and electronics aren’t a problem anymore, as the keyboard to my tablet attaches “magnetically”. (My husband loves that connection concept).
I hope to finish this second bag up today. I’ve picked out a print turquoise to go inside for the lining and the handles. She doesn’t want long handles, just something to slip over her arm, not her shoulder.
95% percent scraps used for both bags, just a little additional fabric from the stash for silly things like straps and pockets and lining. Between them both I only used one package of the In-R-Form that I had on hand. Very convenient.
I will take the bag for her tablet with me on my flight to California next Sunday. There simply is not enough time to mail it and ensure she has it before she travels to the port.
I took a picture of my phone next to the tablet to show her how it would be so much easier to see.
Honestly she had forgotten she had it, so yesterday she charged it up and her daughter helped her get some things connected and running. I’m really glad she is bringing her tablet, and my mission is to help her learn to use it, to use her phone as a hot spot, and get all her a favorite websites loaded. She has a serious vision issue due to her stroke last year, and the size of the screen on the phone has been making things challenging for her this year. I hope using it daily on the cruise will reinforce the simplicity of using it when she is at home.
That’s it for today! Are you working with scraps? Have you ever gone full steam ahead like me, only to realize later how you “should have” done something differently?
It HAS been a most busy week or two. I don’t feel like I have gotten much done but I have had my hands in the middle of a lot of “stuff”. Hubby had a train sale for his club and we spent several days getting things ready to go. We had to put cello sleeves on the boxes with small parts and he had to figure out pricing on every single item. I can “stick stickers” but didn’t have a clue about value without his explanation. They had a very large collection of HO trains that had been donated this year to DelMarVa Model Railroad Club.
We had to be up early last Saturday morning and at the show by 7:30 to set up all the merchandise.
Because we had all our items prices and sorted by types it was fairly easy to set up. The only problem was, not enough room on the table, and NOT enough customers. The sale was poorly attended and as a “vendor” highly disappointing. We had enough merchandise to fill 8 tables, but only had 2 reserved. In hindsight that was probably best. Attendance was dismal at best. We can only guess why….beautiful weather, advertising or people still afraid to spend a dime or go out out in public?
Anyway…I did have some fun this past week in spite of the weekend full of work. I had a gathering of the Queen Bees and we got to meet again at the local library for a day of sewing. FIRST time in 18 months that we could sit and sew together. We were a small but mighty group in a large space and just to hear the hum of the machines and the chatter was wonderful. It felt like old times.
For the bee, I took my squares to work on the blocks that Carole Carter requested for the SAFELIGHT QUILTS. I got a few blocks made to go along with the ones I already have finished. I think I should have enough done to stitch a top together fairly soon and get it in the mail to her. From Carole’s blog post – “This project is going to be ongoing for at least a few months, so if you have time to send a few blocks between now and December, we can use them. If you haven’t seen this project until now, my local guild area is making 60×84″ quilts for the beds at the Safelight Domestic Violence Shelter. We have just a dozen or so quilters, and we need 700 blocks. If you can help with making a few blocks, here’s a pdf of what we need for you to download – Safelight Quilt Blocks. ” The block I am making was originally called the Perkiomen Valley, and I have been making some of these off and on in the last few months. I tripped over a pile of half square triangles, already made, that will go in this block after they are trimmed. The rest is simple squares, and it does go together quickly. I cut the background neutral squares I needed when I was cutting a similar size for the class Carole is teaching at my guild on Tuesday. Having everything cut and in a basket, ready to sew means I can knock a few out at a time with out having to do a lot of planning. Our bee used this pattern a couple of years ago when Carole was collecting quilts for hurricane victims.
At the bee, one of our members was working on the cutest pattern from APQS. I have to say I was so enamored, I looked the pattern up on my phone and saved it right then! I can’t wait to see how hers turns out!
I loved it so much that I got busy the next day and cut out all the applique pieces.
My hubby and I debated about that faucet and I found some sparkly fabric to overlay on the faucet. Once everything was fused down on the background, I layered the piece with a bit of warm and natural batting and started the top stitching.
It took a while to get around all those curvy hands but I had a great time doing it.
I managed to get around 3 hands before I gave up for the night. Doing the rest of the stitching took a bit of time on Friday afternoon. I find this a very fun project!
Now that I am finished with the top stitching around the fusible applique, I need to figure out a backing, do a bit of quilting to anchor everything and figure out a plan for hanging it. Considering using few hanging loops for a different look, or maybe put a rod pocket on the back. Not quite sure if I am giving it away or keeping it, but it is fun to make! I’m calling it the “reminder” banner.
Do you ever just see a project you jump into making? The only yardage used on this one is the 1/2 yard for the background. All the other pieces came out of my drawers of scraps. What the heck, I needed another project!!
Coming up this weekend is another Wings and Wheels airplane/car show. This time, the show is in our own community. My hubby has been waxing and polishing his shiny truck to enter in the car show, and I was asked again to help with the Delaware Aviation Museum Foundation booth. We will be up bright and early for that, but no airplane ride for me this time. They asked me to consider to consider becoming a long term volunteer. They are such nice people and I had lots of fun when I flew in Panchito to the show in Hagerstown Maryland earlier in the month. I’ll be interested in seeing what their schedule is for next year and how it fits around my cruise schedule. I know this year they still have 2 other fall shows to do, and my cruise schedule conflicts. But, I am available on Saturday and was already planning to be at the airfield. This show is familiar to me as we have gone several times. Watch for some pictures (from the ground) next week!
Any fall festivals or community events in your area this weekend? Happy October!
Edit — The free pattern for Small Town Charm embroidery blocks is no longer available.
I wanted to share my completed Small Town Charm project with you. The blocks I have shared in previous posts have been incorporated into a tote bag for my friend June. The bag was made with short straps to go over her walker handles, and buttons to hold them in place. It also has ties on the side to keep the bag from swinging while the walker is in ‘motion’.
Before I made this project I took a look at her existing bag and measured it. Those measurements were important as I created the new bag, since I didn’t have a walker handy to test the fit.
I had fun figuring out which fabrics I wanted to use for the bag, making my choices from that one box of fabric I had dumped out and sorted. I really wanted to make the bag for June using her OWN fabric. My hope is the fabrics will be ones she remembers having. While they don’t have the same elegance as the beautiful blues and golds in the bag picture above, they do remind me of things she likes. And, when I agreed to make the new bag, June didn’t make any color requests. Well…you know that I like things scrappy!
I played around with lots of color combinations, and thought about how I wanted to “construct” the bag. Once the decisions were made, the extra bits of fabric came down off the wall, and the construction was pretty simple.
After the front and back of the bag was made, I layered it with Pellon 973F (Fusible Fleece) and did some quilting. I made the straps, and put the bag together.
Once the outside of the bag was made, I chose one of those pretty pink fabrics and made the lining. I added pockets for both sides of the lining. I used the fusible fleece in the pockets too, so it has some body.
Construction is similar to lining any tote bag. Once your lining is ready, you slide the main bag inside the lining, with pretty sides (right sides touching). You have to make sure you leave an opening for turning. My opening was on the side, just above the edge of the pockets.
Those little clips are great for holding the edges of the bag together and keeping everything lined up during the sewing process. You can see the stitching of the pockets on the back side of that lining in the photo above.
Below, is the inside of the bag showing the pockets.
Once the bag was pulled through the opening and turned “right side out, a quick press along that top seam, and of the lining before top stitching around the upper edges. I use my clips then as well to make sure there is no shifting.
Button holes in the straps for two closing positions, and some bright shiny buttons on the Flower Shop side of the bag.
The blue bag she had previously had a bit of velcro tab to keep the bag closed. I added a 3″ strip of velcro near the top edge of the new bag, skipping the tab. I also added two pockets on the sides of the bag, where she can keep a packet of tissues if she likes. The ties for the walker on the bottom are made from June’s stash of bias tape binding.
The bag has a “scrappy quilter” look to it I think. My husband, who knows her so well, thinks she is going to “LOVE” the new bag. I had fun making the Small Town Charm embroidery blocks, and building a bag that will be functional for her. I’m glad I have had a little experience making bags in the past few years, or I would never have tackled this without a specific pattern in hand.
If I was making this into a tote / purse for myself, I would not have used the dimensional awning on the flower shop, but I knew the bag would be stationary once attached to the walker, and I think the flower shop will face out, so it won’t get mashed during use. For myself, I would use a magnetic closure, and put a couple of key ring loops inside the bag to have a spot for hooking my car keys. (Hate hunting in the bottom of a bag for keys!) Because of where / how June lives, she really doesn’t use keys.
Do you enjoy bag making? Any tips? Do you have a favorite pattern that you make frequently?
As I was changing out a table runner this summer, I remembered that the project didn’t have a label on it. If I make something I usually put some sort of label on it to remind me later of “when” I made it and “what” I referred to it by on my blog posts, in my photo collections etc. I was also moving a wall hanging his summer and when I looked at the back of it I discovered it was lacking a label. I made a mental note to “make labels” and immediately carried on doing other things.
While I was out in my sewing room, working on the never ending scrap clean up (oh…do I have a mess…..) I took a break from cutting things up and grabbed a piece of fabric and made a couple of labels on my embroidery machine.
I have to tell you I haven’t totally figured out the Janome 11000 that I have been using now for a solid year. I can’t figure out how to get more than one line of text on the screen, so I sat down at the computer to work it out. I am using the software called Embrilliance, in EXPRESS MODE, which is FREE.
I’m learning more and more all the time about how to use it. When I started with this set of labels, I found a “frame” built in to the software options. I tripped over it while poking around in the program, and can’t tell you where I found it. (Don’t you just hate when you find something cool and can’t repeat it!) Anyway, I had this green and yellow variegated thread already on the machine, and thought it would make a fun stitch out.
I am having a little “bobbin thread” issue, with the bobbin thread showing on top with this blue thread for the words, but I’m not going to sweat the little stuff…the label is finished, stitched on.
I use the same method all the time when making a label to have a nice “finished” edge. I mentioned before that I learned the technique from Pat Sloan https://www.patsloan.com/ when she taught how to make a nice ‘circle’ for an applique project.
Essentially, you lay a piece of fusible pellon over your label, with the glue side facing the RIGHT side of your label. You stitch all around the edges, then cut a slit in the pellon and turn it “right side out. You smooth the edge where the pellon is stitched to your fabric with your finger tip and you have a nice finished edge. I iron the label to the project, then hand stitch around the edges. Most of the time two edges are enclosed in the binding, but since this was adhered after the project was made, I had to hand stitch all the way around. The beauty of the fusing is it holds your label in place while you stitch; no pins! Also, it is an extra security to keeping your label on the project. Not quite so easy to remove, depending on the type of pellon you choose to use.
The second label I made was for my FIRE AND ICE table runner. I used the same green fabric, but switched to bright orange thread to complement the “fire’ on the runner. It’s a funny name for a project, but the ice blue and the bright oranges were the inspiration for the name.
I had pins in it all around because I thought I would bring it in the house, pin to the back of the runner and hand stitch on last night. I decided to wait, and get the runner out of the closet and bring it to the sewing room to press on first. I hate to battle pins! And, I think the edge will be much sharper and crisper when I press it on first.
Note, this time I had NO problem with the bobbin thread peaking through. Sometimes those machines can be a bit finicky.
It’s been fun looking back on older projects, and getting the labels done.
I just love the different bright colors in batiks. Some can feel really dark, so they have to be used “sparingly” I think.
I can’t remember if I made 12 or more of these placemats back in 2018. I think I had given them all away to my daughters. When I was looking for a piece of fabric to use for the 2 labels I tripped over a basket of “partially made” placemats. That basket has been sitting around since 2018, so I must have thought about making more. I need a dozen for my “summer” table. I think they will all be a bit different from these I made early on. Something else to go out and work on I think. I really have to get rid of these baskets of partial projects in my next “effort” in my never ending clean up.
I am lucky to have the space, but the “clutter” is bogging me down. I am trying to spend a few hours every day this week to clear up and clean up a bit. I am on a self imposed deadline. Next week starts “Autumn Jubilee on the FROM MY CAROLINA HOME ” blog, and I always look forward to working with fall colors. Carole Carter did a Facebook Live Chat on the Friends of From My Carolina Home page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/591941124470566 ) last week and gave us a hint at what she has planned for October. She mentioned we might want to get a small “leaf” print, at least 1/2 yard in fall colors. I was able to pick up a piece this week that I hope will work. When the shop was unrolling it from the bolt, I realized it was the “end of the bolt” and took what was left. I got about 1 3/4 yard, so I will have plenty.
Since Carole has been doing Autumn Jubilee, I have kept a container with fall fabrics, and her patterns. It was always my “go box” when I had a quilt bee. I worked on bits and pieces for fall projects for years, and have made plenty of table runners and placemats. This week I took the bin out, sorted things, refolded and assessed what I had on hand. I have another similar sized tote with fall colors that were not “specifically” for Autumn Jubilee. I know I have used up my favorites over the years. Next blog post will be a compilation of my Autumn Jubilee projects from previous years, while I wait for the 2020 edition. I heard there will be opportunity for “machine embroidery” to be included, and I am excited to start something new. Meanwhile, I best get busy cutting up scraps and finishing up another old project left lying around.
Had some fun this week with a grandchild. My very youngest granddaughter (age 4) and her mom invited me for a bike ride around our favorite trail. The weather was perfect for getting out and getting some fresh air. The state parks require you to still bring a mask and wear it whenever you are near other park users. It gets a little tricky to pull the mask up over your mouth and nose when riding, but we managed. Sadly, not another person we saw had masks, around their neck, on their face at all. The park has big signs when you enter, but virtually ignored. We try to do the right thing, and that’s the best we can do. My daughter and I feel like we don’t want to hear about people complaining about those “bike riders”, so we follow the rules. Anyway, we had a great mid day ride, and then treated ourselves to a “take out lunch”.
Our take out lunch was from a little restaurant downtown (Cafe on the Circle, Georgetown DE). I phoned ahead and ordered the special for the day. It was a wonderful grilled chicken with avocado, bacon and ranch on a soft kaiser roll. My daughter chose potato salad and I chose coleslaw. The sides were both delicious. The Cafe on the Circle has lovely outdoor seating behind the restaurant. Highly recommend if you are looking for a take out lunch. I’m planning to pick up lunch again later this week. (We have only done take out twice since March, and I am SO ready to not be cooking every day!)
After lunch, my granddaughter and I went up to my sewing room to see about repairs to a much loved “unicorn backpack”. It seems that the poor unicorn had lost a leg, in what her mother referred to as a “shark attack”. (Kid shark, baby shark, doggie shark???) The bag also had a critical “loop” come undone that helped hold the straps in place. My granddaughter helped me with the sewing while her mommy took pictures.
It only took me two tries to get it right….Goofy Moofie! I forgot the first time thru to loop the plastic bit over the strap, so we did a little unsewing and re-sewing. She loved the pink thread I used to close up the lining. I did do a little reinforcement stitching on the other straps attachments. (Makes you wonder why they weren’t tacked down better!)
Then, we had to figure out what to do for the poor unicorn who had lost it’s leg in that “shark attack”. Did we want to make a new leg, remove the remaining leg, or perhaps we could learn about differently abled bodied unicorns…..Mommy and child discussed and we repaired where the leg had come off, and she has a great tale to tell of her one legged unicorn!
We learned how to use a needle threader and she and I stitched together, sewing up the wounded parts, just like a doctor would. Four years old and wanting to sew. Those little fingers did a great job holding on to the needle and thread. She got the concept pretty quickly of pushing the needle through.
All and all a great kind of Stitching Grandma day! (Don’t judge the messy sewing room….)
Finished the binding on Mama’s Garden and hand stitched the label and hanging sleeve too! I did the “binding with the flange” also known as Susie’s Magic Binding.
Just love the way that little pop of color looks.
Mama’s Garden is officially complete!
Just in time to take to the Material Girls Quilt bee on Wednesday morning! We are having an “outside” / “in the garage in case of rain” quilt bee with appropriate social distancing and wearing our wonderful hand made masks! It will be fun to have “something finished” to show ! It will be nice to catch up in person with conversations, and see how others are coping.
It is fun teaching a young person to do something you love! Last week I babysat and taught two grandchildren how to play backgammon. (They both beat me!). A year and a half ago I taught my husband to play while we were on a cruise. I love the game, and it is very fun to play. Next time I play with the grandkids, I am not going to give them all my “favorite moves”….but while they were learning the ins and outs, they learned all my secrets!
We are keeping our family circles pretty tight for a while, when things are starting to “open back up”. None of us want to be the guinea pig for the COVID-19 virus, so we are taking steps to ease back into community life very carefully, and not put the rest of the family at unnecessary risk. This way, we can spend time together, which we desperately missed in the months of March, April and May. We are “bouncing contact situations” off of each other to make certain none of us do anything the others are not comfortable with. It is MUCH more fun to see them in person than over a video chat! Social distancing from friends is not fun, but as long as we can see “each other” in the family, it is tolerable. We will “avoid” restaurants and hair salons, and such for just a little longer to see how the area responds to things opening up. My enjoyment of food is getting kicked up a notch with the take out lunch following the bike ride, and family dinner with pizza made by someone else, and NOT out of the freezer!!!
How are you doing with the “distancing”?? Have you had any fun with a project lately? Taught a youngster a thing or two??
Once all the applique was stitched down, I had to start thinking about borders. I re-read all the instructions, and I looked at lots of “other quilters projects” that had been made, including Pat Sloan’s. I decided to dig out my container of Pat Sloan “Bobbins and Bits” fabric by Moda and lay it all out around this project. In doing so, I shared photos on Facebook and got input from some friends.
The favorite by far was the red background sunflower. However, I listened to the advice of three people, one non-quilter and two quilters, and decided to follow their suggestions.
I went with a fabric that was NOT in the project, and did so to give a frame to the busy piece. The recommendation to NOT use a piece already in the project was strong and the logic was it would draw your eye directly to it’s matching bit instead of framing the project. I think the advice was exactly what I needed, so I changed direction entirely. My non-quilting daughter suggested finding a color that was in the project but not overwhelmingly so. That was also great advice. My other quilting buddy said pick a fabric that will give your eye a “resting spot”.
The green was a good choice, and I was quite happy to fold up the remaining fabric for another project.
I had fun with the quilting and thread choices on my domestic sewing machine. I did mostly “walking foot” but some free motion.
I used the same fabric on the back of the project as I did for the borders and had “just enough”. It is a neat fabric and I love the way the quilting shows on the back. I made color choices for the front with the thread, but stuck with Superior bottom line silver in the bobbin.
When I put the binding on, I will stitch down the hanging sleeve by machine along the top edge, and hand stitch the bottom and sides of the sleeve. I even have the label finished. I did it on my embroidery machine, and still have some “alignment learning curve” to get past, but I had to try and do the label and preserve the signature that was already on the fabric.
When I made this label, I added a strip of the backing fabric to the white on the top and the bottom, so it would fit in my embroidery machine hoop. I trimmed off the excess when I was finished with the stitching. Then, I used a technique I learned from Pat Sloan years ago for making circles. I laid a piece of fusible interfacing with the sticky side facing the label stitching, and stitched all around the edges of the label. I slit the fusing and turned it around to the back of the piece. Now, I had a nice finished edge along my label, and I could press the label to the back of the project. I will add some hand stitching to the label after the binding is finished.
Overall I am very pleased with the project. The binding will be put on today, using my favorite Susie’s Magic Binding technique. This has been a fun project.
Last week was a struggle to have any fun. I had “two emergency” visits to the dentist and another set for today. Seems an old woman with an old root canal and crown must say goodbye to the tooth instead of getting it repaired. Getting in to the dentist, endodontist and the oral surgeon are all tricky escapades during the global pandemic of Covid-19. The bright side is that once the antibiotics started to work, I could reduce all the pain relief medications; but it did take through the weekend. Slowed me down on having fun.
I was able to do a little stitch out on a couple of dish towels, one for each daughter.
The towel above was fun to do. I’ve found that the secret to doing applique on the embroidery machine is using Wonder under or Heat n’ Bond light on the back of the fabric before you place it. Then when you trim after the tack down stitch you get a nicer cut. That said, I should have used some water soluble stabilizer on top of the towel before the applique. It would have made close trimming easier, without fighting with the nap of the towel. I chose this design for my daughter who moved “home” to Delaware recently, after moving around the country and world for the last 12 years with the US Military. (Years ago, while in Texas, she and I were shopping and saw “TEXAS” state towels and discussed how they were made and could be done for every state, and if they would be “marketable” . When I saw this design I scooped it up!)
This towel, for my youngest daughter, was a LONG stitch out. Over 30,000 stitches, and I forgot to take a photo before I gifted it. My daughter was sweet to send me a picture back for the blog. This towel has more of a woven weave and I had to use a LOT of tear away stabilizer, plus water soluble on top. I have a couple of “oops” moments and can see them in the picture, one being an orange thread dangling above the back wheel, and one being a “skip” of stitches on the front wheel. Why is it you don’t see those things until after it comes out of the hoop??? Snipping the loose thread can be done now, but fixing that front wheel is never going to happen. You can only hope the rider doesn’t feel the bump in the road! (Oh, and don’t get me started on the beak of the bird…..it’s not there….). Anyway, both towels were fun to do and I tried to pick a design that suited each daughter. My youngest daughter loves to ride, and her “cruiser” is orange and white. Both embroidery designs came from Oh My Crafty Supplies
In the midst of my dental emergency, I was committed to pick up kits from the local quilt shop for another batch of masks. This batch was quilters cotton and batik fabric with ELASTIC !! YAY, no ties. No flannel. So, I picked them up on Wednesday and was able to hand them off on Sunday afternoon. My friend Pam offered to deliver this batch to the local hospital.
I told my hubby that this batik looked like a virus. When I cut these I layered the two fabrics right sides together and made short work of matching pieces together. I thought I was being efficient. After doing the first one, I changed my method a bit. I marked a dot where the elastic was to go on all the pieces, and tack stitched the elastic in place. I did this rather than trying to pin in place and hope it didn’t wiggle out while I was stitching the two pieces of fabric together with the elastic inside. It was taking a lot of time to “pin” the elastic and fabric. So, marking the placement gave me consistent placement of the elastic, and I could just “hold” the elastic in place while I tacked it down on the edges of the mask.
Once the elastic was managed it was easy to put the fabric pieces right sides together and just sew around the edges, leaving a gap for turning.
I used my pleating template and clips again and lots of steam to pleat the masks. The walking foot is the best foot for me when top stitching to secure the pleats.
Did you know with careful cutting you can get 28 masks out of 2 yards of fabric? (These are cut 6×9″) I was happy the quilt shop was able to provide elastic.
I just got an order in on Monday of some nice soft elastic and used it for masks for my son-in-law. He has to go daily out for his work, all day wearing a mask, and I made him 4 new masks yesterday. I much prefer making the masks on the embroidery machine using the Creative Appliques pattern . I was able to get 4 mask “fronts” and ear flaps from one fat quarter, and using two other batik fat quarters the pieces for the inside. I tried to “mix up” the insides a bit when I assembled so he could distinguish from one to another, though they look similar.
I have a bunch more mask parts cut out and pre-pleated and ready to stitch out. I took a break though and made some “ear saver mask extenders” using another pattern from Creative Appliques.
I used black vinyl on top and black felt on the bottom with medium tear away for stabilizer. The idea here is to keep the elastic off the ears which can be a problem for wearing for long periods of time. I used 9″ elastic and knotted it into a loop. The loop goes into the mask flaps and gets snapped into the extender. The Creative Appliques pattern is a fast stitch out. A couple of weeks ago I tried another pattern and it was way more stitches than necessary, but pretty! The tan ones were the original ones I made and I used buttons and snaps. (Of course I sewed the buttons on using my sewing machine. The tan ones are only about 4″ long, and the black ones from Creative Appliques are 7″. They come in a variety of lengths at C.A., the pattern gives you lots to choose from.
Of course, I had to “test drive” the mask with extender.
The good thing about a mask is it hides all the wrinkles, and you can blame the mask for COVID-19 bad hair!
I really like this mask because it fits close on the nose with a wire, and the part I called ear flaps (where the elastic goes through) hold it close to the sides of your face. Because of the shape it is a much nicer fit. Making them on the embroidery machine uses a lot of stabilizer, but I have said before how I manage that with the “windowing technique” I use. If I was more efficient I could probably “mass produce” them like I did the ones for the hospital, but I am only doing this style for “special requests” as they take me longer, but give you a better mask. Creative Appliques sells this style pattern for the home sewing machine also.Creative Appliques sewing machine mask pattern
I’ve seen masks for sale all over the place from $8 to $15 or more. I don’t think I could “earn a living” making them. I might make some to sell to help recover the expense of all the elastic, twill tape, stabilizer I have used in the last 2 months. Are you selling masks? What style? How much?
I took some time off from “mask making” to work on some fun projects.
I am doing the Scrap Dance Twist Mystery Quilt on the From My Carolina Home blog. It has switched from a once a month clue to every other week. Step 6 came out recently and I put the bits and pieces together to form Block A.
The units are now too big for my project box, so I left them on the design wall while I wait on Step 7 next Friday , May 15th. There are still lots of things in the project box, so it will be interesting to see what comes of the half square triangles and the other pieces.
This is a once a month quilt along on the From My Carolina home blog. Two blocks each month. The April blocks were the Ornament Block and the Twinkle Lights block.
These blocks had LOTS of pieces.
(The Vintage Ornament block before assembly )
(Backside of the Twinkle Lights block).
So now, I have eight blocks (12″) ready
and we have 4 to go on the quilt along. I have everything cut and labeled for the next 4, and I am considering adding in some other blocks from the Lori Holt book too. I look forward to seeing how Carole decides to set her quilt. I used 3 different background fabrics to add to the “scrappy look”. If you have been following along, you know that this is 99% vintage fabric.
I’ve been doing masks on my embroidery machine and was going through large amounts of tear away stabilizer. I realized I had gone thru about 20 yards of my 12″ stabilizer and I had a stack of 100 sheets of 8×8 tear away in my bin. After doing about 20 hoopings, I had a light bulb moment! My storage retrieval system (aka quarantine brain) suddenly remembered a video I had seen through a blog post LAST year! Lisa Capen Quilts shared a video about windowing stabilizer when doing the same pattern over and over. Some call it “framing” the stabilizer and others called it “windowing”. Lisa’s video was exactly what I needed to use!
I’ve been using my reposition-able hoop for the Janome 11000, called the MA hoop. It is essentially an 8″ x 12″ hoop so I can do two masks at a time.
So, now I hoop a piece of tear-away stabilizer and do the first stitch out.
The trick is to remove the mask “gently” from the hoop without tearing the surrounding stabilizer. Then I replace the torn away piece with a “square of 8×8” over the top. I use the Elmers glue stick to anchor it to the “frame” of the stabilizer remaining in the hoop.
They don’t have to overlap, but I was too lazy to cut it perfectly and I vary the overlap. The glue stick takes a few minutes to dry, and I use the heat of my iron in the frame to speed it up. My big iron fits perfectly in the frame with room to move it around. In my small 5×7 hoop I use my mini-iron to dry the glue.
This is what it looks like on the back of the hoop. You can see the very first ones were rectangles, then I switched to a different pattern about the same size. The stabilizer was starting to wear on the left edge of the frame, so I glued on a patch!
I did at least 7 set ups using this method before I ran out of Elmers Glue Stick!. I tried liquid white glue and I had to let it dry overnight. (Not expedient!) I over applied and it wasn’t drying with the iron so I gave up for the night.
I took a break for a few days from “in the hoop masks“, while I worked on the Community Mask Project for the local chicken processing plant. Got my 28 done for that request using the sewing machine and the information I shared about the pleating and ties – Fast Masks with Ties
Can I tell you how I got excited with the things in the photo below?
On the left are the directions for the mask project, and peaking out was Step 5 for the Scrap Dance Twist, which had to wait until my 28 masks were done. On the right, in the basket are two treasures! My order of elastic arrived! And I found another glue stick in the kitchen drawer! (I’ve used 2 up so far windowing stabilizer, so I am pretty excited to find this one!).
I got busy with my Scrap Dance Twist Step 5 chain piecing the units for a king size quilt! This is my FUN sewing time!
The directions on Carole’s blog post From My Carolina Home – Scrap Dance Twist remind you to “try to make the units as scrappy as possible”.
This step went together quickly. If you haven’t started, it’s not too late. Go check out Carole’s blog and look for the Scrap Dance Twist button on the right side of her blog.
I’ve got everything back in the container, with the directions and the units, waiting for the next clue which comes out on May 1st. If you are sewing along, be sure to go back to the blog and check for some corrections to units for a couple of the sizes.
Next up on my sewing schedule is working on the “senior quilt” for my church. This is a group project that we started in February, and since the quarantine, it’s been a bit of a “round robin”. The group made most of the blocks in February –
I finished up what didn’t get done during our group sewing and got it laid out on the design wall.
One of the group members lives nearby and offered to assemble the quilt top. I took pictures of the layout while it was on the design wall, and numbered the blocks /rows for her. Once she got a break from “mask making” she assembled the top and delivered back to me. Now, it is time for me to “clear my cutting table” and do some measuring for the borders and get them sewn on. One step at a time, but nice to be able to work on something fun.
Making masks has eaten up a lot of sewing time for many quilters, and taking a break to work on a couple of quilt projects has been fun. My sewing room is a full blown disaster (as evidenced in many of these pictures!) and some “clean up” time is also in order.
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