Monday, April 27, 2020

Migration I and II are finished and more

I bought a layer cake called Migration by Michael Miller Fabrics, a few years ago. I liked it but had no current plan for its use. I decided a while back that I needed to use it so I made a couple of 47" square donation quilts. 
Migration I
Migration II
I free-motion quilted Migration I with a large meander stitch using Aurifil #2600 Dove gray thread.

The back uses 4 pieces of the layer cake. The backing fabric is a royal blue grunge fabric.

I free motion quilted Migration II using a motif called Matrix Rays. It is wavy lines going in two directions, crossing each other. The thread is Aurifil Dove Gray #2600. 

The 12 blue squares in the quilt, the binding, and the backing are a turquoise blue grunge fabric.

 The back uses 4 pieces of the layer cake. 


My pile of finished quilt tops has greatly diminished. I am quilting one top and have one that is pinned and ready to be quilted. That's it!


Of course, the making of masks continues. We are now using t-shirt strips for the straps. It is the most comfortable strap either of us has experienced with a mask! I had three new t-shirts (the $3.33 variety from JoAnns and Michaels) that we cut up - two blues and an orange. More shirts should arrive tomorrow.

This is our first youth size mask. We made it since we had a request for one. 

We donated a lot of masks to our hospital a while ago. At that point, they would take whatever you had. Now they prefer that we use their pattern. I finally received elastic in the mail and used all 10 yards on these masks. More elastic is supposed to arrive this week.

The pleated masks have no interfacing nor do they have nose pieces. They are quick to make.


We are still under Stay-at-Home orders in Illinois. We have only gone to the grocery store (every 7-10 days) and the post office (every few days to get our mail) UNTIL yesterday. The fire department in a neighboring village hosted a spaghetti dinner fundraiser for their captain who is battling cancer. We drove to the fire station, gave a donation, and were handed our spaghetti meals. We were only in a car line for 40 minutes which we though was excellent especially when we found out they served way over 1000 meals! It was a gorgeous sunny day. As we left the fire station, we drove by the captain's house (he and his family were sitting outside), waved and honked our get well wishes as did everyone else at the fundraiser. Then we went home and thoroughly enjoyed our spaghetti. 
Update: Fire department served over 1100 meals and with the raffle, donations were over $35,000. Warms my heart.

I hope you are doing well. 
Stay healthy. 
Wash your hands. 
Wear your mask!

Friday, April 17, 2020

Two finishes in addition to more masks

I quilted Blue with Yellow Jelly Roll Race while we were waiting for more interfacing to make face masks. I just finished hand sewing the binding down.

The jelly roll, Butterfly Effect from Benartex fabrics, has been in my stash for a long time. I grabbed it to take to a retreat in March. That retreat seems like it was years ago.

I decided to add yellow between the strips to add a little pop of color.

This donation quilt is 55" by 65". I quilted it with a walking foot, stitching on each side of the seams using Aurifil 50-weight, #2715 light blue thread.

I had the backing, a water spot, light blue, in my stash.


My other finish is a short sleeve sweater that I began a year ago. I frogged it (ripped it out) 6 months ago and started over. 
The color is off in this photo - the sweater is navy.
I had it almost finished in February but did not like the side detail on the bottom. A couple of weeks ago, I decided to just finish it. What a surprise - the bottom sides weren't done! The LAST line of the pattern had one more instruction. Now it looks fine!

The pattern is Sunbird Top by Quenna Lee and I absolutely love my sweater. I used Berroco Summer Silk yarn (Dk yarn with silk, cotton, and nylon). It is so soft.


We continue to make face masks. Our inventory went to zero a few days ago. Since then, we have made more. In addition to doctors and hospitals, we have sent masks to family and friends. 

Our newest design is using a casing for the strap. The loop goes behind the head above the ears and then the two ends are tied below the ears behind the head. This design uses a 4' strap versus four 18" sewn on straps. That saves 2 feet of material. Materials are hard to come by so we are doing our best to conserve what we have.

When things are bad, remember:
It won't always be this way. Take one day at a time.
When things are good, remember:
It won't always be this way. Enjoy every great moment.
-Doe Zantamata

Stay safe and wash your hands.

Monday, April 13, 2020

A Quilt Finish on Easter Weekend!

I doubt that I've ever had a quilt finish on a holiday weekend. Of course, this is a different kind of year. I actually finished the quilt this morning but I think that counts since today is Easter Monday.

I quilted Black/White with Teal on Saturday afternoon. Using a walking foot, I stitched 1/4 inch from the vertical seams on both sides. It was easy and quick, reminding me of the first time I made a string quilt. I quilted it the same way but by hand and our youngest son jokingly told me that was cheating - it was too simple!

This donation quilt is 52" by 59". I quilted it with Aurifil 50-weight black thread. I really wanted to add a teal border but didn't like it. Then I decided on black binding but didn't like that either. I settled on a teal faux piping (which is just a bit narrower than faux flange) with the black binding.

The piping/binding is stitched to the back, turned to the front and sewn down with the machine. There is no hand work. I did a pretty good job of sewing from the front; at least you can't really see the stitching on the back. Whew!

The backing is from my stash. It is black fabric with bits of color.

The black and white strings were made years ago. I've used them in a few other quilts and still have more. This is the first time that I added color within the strips.

I hope you had a nice Easter. Ours was okay. I must have eaten whatever I'm allergic to so the afternoon and evening weren't the best. Now, over 24 hours later, I'm doing much better. I spent some time in the sewing room this afternoon working on a quilt with tiny pieces. It's an ongoing process and I enjoy working on it every so often. I'm enjoying my break from making masks.

Wear your mask
Wash your hands
Stay at home
And I pray you stay well

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Flannel Baby Squares

I bought a flannel layer cake called Animal ABC Flannel when we were at Missouri Star Quilt Company in May, 2017. I used the layer cake and other fabrics in a baby quilt in June, 2017. Of course, I had pieces left. Recently I decided to use the rest of the layer cake in a donation baby quilt. 

There were already a few pieces cut so I cut the rest of the layer cake 10" squares into 5" squares. When I realized the layer cake was not a true 10" square, I resized the pieces to be 4.75" squares.

The quilt is small, just 43" square but cuddly. 

I used a piece of teal cotton from my stash for the binding and the back incorporating the last of the pieces from the layer cake. I used a walking foot to cross hatch the quilt with white Aurifil thread. 

 It's nice to have another finish for the donation pile.

Most of our time is spent making face masks. 

We ran out of interfacing again last night. Hopefully a new supply will arrive this coming week. In the meantime, we will enjoy our time doing other things.

Although life seems to change each day, I feel blessed that Ray and I are weathering this together. Tomorrow we'll celebrate Easter. It won't be the same but when we were first married,we celebrated holidays alone and we did survive. We found that anticipating the day was so much worse that the actual holiday. Our church service will be online complete with music. Happy Easter.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Courthouse Steps

A while back I decided to make some scrappy, wonky courthouse step blocks from Bonnie Hunter's tutorial. When I went looking for scraps, I came across some fabric left from a backing. There was enough for the blocks so I changed directions a little and made non-scrappy, regular courthouse step blocks. 
Yes, it was folded.
I finished the top a while ago and finally finished the quilting just before I began making face masks. It then took a while to get the binding sewn on. And now it is finished!

This donation quilt is 56" square. 

I free motioned a feather 'circle' in the white areas using  Aurifil #2600 Dove thread,

some horizontal meandering in the colored areas using Aurifil #2785 navy, 

and a loopy meander in the borders using the Dove thread.

The backing is from my stash; I thought the colors went well with the front and I really like wild, colorful backs.


I'm taking a break from making face masks since I'm waiting for supplies specifically non-woven interfacing. Hopefully it will be here tomorrow. In the meantime, I've pinned a few quilts and quilted two that now need to be bound. I have two to put borders on and a few others in various stages of construction. It's time to get the piles cleared! Of course, when supplies arrive, all of the quilting will be halted again.

How are you holding up with this Staying At Home? I really thought it would be easier than it is because  I like being home. I guess I also like the freedom to go wherever, whenever I want and spend time with people. Even going to the grocery store is strange - only one of us goes now and wears a mask. We also only buy groceries every 10-14 days. We see very few people and although I'm not one to spend much time talking on the phone, I talk on it most if not all days now. Ray has a doctor appointment for his shoulder on tomorrow - it will be done by phone. 

Take Care and Stay Safe!


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