I know some of my gentle readers are about to pull their hair out by about now being confined to their homes. Sew let us all get up and do some stretching and bending. Ten reaches to the sky, ten toe touches, ten swings from right to left with arms out, and 100 in place marches. Ten deep breaths and giggle like a kid for ten seconds. Now! Grammy BJ (that’s me) suggests doing this several times a day and then get to work or play. Here’s what I have been working on this past week.
Yes I finally made a bunch of facemasks, primarily for my family and friends. A lot of my friends have devoted their entire work time to making these masks. There is a need, and now that the study came out showing the properly made cotton masks using high end “quilter’s cotton” in at least two layers is, indeed, fairly effective (79 percent for the best, but poorly made with poor fabric choice can be virtually no use at all. A surgical mask is 65 percent effective, and the N95 is 95 percent, jusf for comparison), we no longer have to contend with people saying it isn’t of any use. Sew if you want to make some for you and your family or more I highly recommend Bethanne Nemesh’s mask method shown here in her video. I made mine this way. Here are a few of them (100 percent cotton…cotton fabric, cotton t-shirt ties, and cotton thread are easy to launder and sterilize. I may be wrong, but I don’t like the idea of a non-woven interfacing. A third layer of cotton something like flannel might add some additional safety, but the study was looking at a two-layer tight woven quilting cotton):
Sew after I made a bunch of these, I am probably done with mask making, at least for a while. Now I am very excited about my current projects. I have four I am currently working on or planning. Yes, I know that’s a lot for all at once, but I can’t help it that all the ideas came at once. Hahaha.
My primary project is my Mom’s memory quilt I am centering around five beautiful ten inch crocheted lace squares I found in her workbasket after she passed. I have made substantial quilting progress recently, and am working on quilting the borders now.
- Here’s a peak…more quilting is in order here. I really really love that blue polyester dupioni and off white polyester satin. They quilt very well and did not break the bank like silk would have. I think the dupioni is clearly different from silk dupioni, but it does have a rich beautiful texture.
- A wool machine appliqued quilting project that includes both samplers for my book I am writing and a larger show quilt using what I am learning as I build this part of the book and its samplers. My goal is to take true advantage of the magnificent threads and machines we have today to produce wool applique quilts that are at once suggestive of hand applique and shows and teaches the use of advanced stitching by machine. I will also add considerable amount of beads and possibly other forms of embellishment. Here’s a little test I have done to determine what may be possible and think about the pattern.
I have determined to use my accuquilt go! cutter to cut out a bunch of shapes and in real time place them in a good design and add stitching, then make a pattern for the book. I have this nice tool, as many of you do or many have cutters of some sort, and I think it would be a fun approach, but I also plan on providing enough of a pattern for those who do not have one to make the resulting project. And yes, it will all be done on black boiled wool because that is what I have on hand. I am on a tight budget right now. LOL
- My appliqued bed quilt I started some time ago using a beautiful pattern by Sue Nickels. It’s sort of Baltimore Album like, but all done by machine applique. I don’t have a picture yet. This is my relax and stitch project where I don’t have to please a judge and I didn’t have to think of the design. I am, of course, making my own changes and it will be just for me.
- And the fourth project for the near term is a new deep space quilt. I love doing these. I have worked out the technique, have all the supplies I need for one, and I take the design straight from one of the NASA photographs they so generously share copyright free, so I only need to put some size and spacing marks on a wholecloth black top and away I go. I plan on putting how to do this either in my current book on embellishment or in its own book. So I will be taking a lot of pictures as I go. In case you are unfamiliar with such quilts, I have two below for you to see. Both have won ribbons, and the Sky Horse was in the juried Houston show in 2014.
These are so much fun to make. I make them at my sitdown longarm because they are all free motion stitching.
And finally, my oldest son Ken who designed Pendragon for me is working on Excalabar design for the next in my ancient manuscript series. If I manage to get all of these quilts done this year I will be doing very well. I don’t work as fast as some of my competors in the show quilt world…hahaha.
Sew happy everyone! I love you all. I hope you are keeping busy and making all kinds of fun things in your studio, or cooking, or gardening, or doing all of these things. God bless you!