Friday, April 24, 2020

More mask making and a lot of ironing

After being a part of the sewing volunteers in my Woman's Club to make masks to cover the N95 masks, it was decided that we had made enough. Not sure of the number, but it was a lot.

So since CT has decreed that everyone out in a public space (like a grocery store, drug store, etc.) must wear a mask. And since we have many members who cannot sew or find masks that this same group of volunteers would make masks as a fundraiser for the club. Since these are not meant to be used in a hospital situation, we are not putting extra pockets in for a filter. We are selling them for $5 apiece. A pretty good deal for a pretty handmade mask. All of our profits go to local charities.

I found this mask on a terrific blog where she showed a lot of pictures and a link to the tutorial. I made one and I was hooked. It was so much easier to make than the previous ones and I liked the way it fit so snugly against the face. I wore mine one early (6 AM) grocery store run with the other old folks and it worked out fine. I never felt the need to adjust it or touch it al all.

So I made 10 the next day. I thought that I would wash them after I made them. Big mistake! Most of the pipe cleaners I had put in the top channel came out and they all had to be pressed again. Extra work.

Just a few before the cording went it. Ribbon also works fine, as do shoelaces. They sort of look like bra halves.

I thought it best to wash all my fabric first. I went to my stash of batiks and pulled out any that I thought were suitable and tossed them in the machine. It was a big stack, but I laughed out loud when I pulled them out of the dryer and saw this mountain of fabric.

Off to the ironing board where they were separated into categories, not always an easy task since batiks so often have many colors in one fabric. This is what I came up with. Enough fabric for a LOT of masks, but it is all nice and organized for other projects.

Light multi

Browns and burgundies

Olives and multi

Dark Multi. I may have to have one of these.

Neutrals, sort of

Navy, bright and subtle. Does the second from the bottom look too much like Corona?

Warm colors

Cool colors

BTW I am finding that some of my photos are not showing up in my blogs. Instead you see a big white square with a gray circle in the center. Does anyone else have this problem and do you know how to fix it? I did see it on another blog.

I am linking up with Off the Wall Friday. Do stop by and leave some comments. We all like to know if anyone is viewing.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Keeping Busy

I've given up on sewing masks for awhile, but I will get back to them.

My dear friend, Dora, died a couple of years ago. Her daughter, Kristy, was going through her things and came across a package of fabrics from Key West, FL. The receipt was in the bag, dated 1977. Dora intended to make a quilt for her daughter, but obviously never got around to it. I had made a wedding quilt for Kristy and baby quilts for her two children. Kristy's daughter, Sarah, had a special connection with her grandmother and Kristy asked me if I would be willing to make a small quilt for Sarah.

When the fabric came last Fall I was thrilled. It was so happy and sunny and so like Dora, who loved bright colors. It reminded me of Lily Pulitzer fabric. I told Kristy that it would have to wait until I got back from Florida and now here I am looking for things to do.

These are the squares, all nine inches, mostly large, bold patterns. Some squares had one or two and some had several. I wanted to do one plain block next to a nine patch and was having trouble putting them together without it being a mish-mash. 

Then I decided to put all blue/green/yellow blocks in the center and the pink/orange blocks around the perimeter and I really liked that. I have since moved the blocks around so that it is now 5 blocks by 7 blocks, not square as it is here. The finished quilt will measure around 38" x 53". I have some squares left over, but not enough to make it bigger, but I will use the blues to make a binding and piece the rest into the backing. I don't have enough of the blues, but I can make my own fabric by copying on my printer. I have done this before and it works. I also went through my stash of blue prints and I found a few that I think will fit in with the others. But first to finish the piecing and quilting. I will be sure to share it with you when I'm done.

While I was straightening up my work table after making the masks I came across this top. I had bought it at Talbot's last year and the first time I wore it I got a stain on it that wouldn't come out. I thought I would dye it, but kept putting it off.

I put it in a navy blue dye bath, thinking that the red embroidery would not take the dye. WRONG! It took the dye so much that it is hardly noticeable. I guess I should have done it in a lighter blue or at least a weaker solution. It has a mottled look and that's OK and actually what I wanted. I'm hoping it will look nice with white pants this summer when are are paroled.

I'm linking up with Off the Wall Friday.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Masks and more masks.

There are hundreds of sewers making masks for themselves, family, friends, and hospitals. I was asked to join a FaceBook group called Sew to Stop Covid 19. The group numbers 739 the last time I looked and imagine how many more who are not counted. There is now even a mask emoji.

I delivered twenty to our local Hospice today, who had requested them and had provided a pattern to cover the N95 masks.

Below are a few of the fabric combinations. I used all batiks and I was hoping that the pretty or zanny fabrics might bring a smile to the wearer.

This  pattern called for fabric binding and ties and I was so glad that I had the Clover binding tool. It made the job so much easier.

Reflection made it hard to photograph.

Cut your strips two inches wide and pass thru the tool. It comes out folded in half with the raw edges in the center. Press with a steam iron as it comes thru.

Then fold in half, again pressing as you go.

I am taking a break from masks for now. That's all I've done since I got back from Florida. I need to do some serious house cleaning (no cleaning ladies) some much needed organizing of my studio and basement. I hope to make all this time inside productive.

Those of you who follow my blog know that my niece always puts on a fabulous Easter dinner....gourmet cooking and decorated to the hilt. Well, of course that's not happening this year, but we are going to Zoom at 2PM with all the usual participants. Aren't we glad to have this fabulous technology in these trying times!

Happy Easter, Happy Passover to all and may this all be a memory soon.

I'm linking up with Off the Wall Friday.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Sign of the Times

You may have surmised that I have been in Florida. We (my sister and my good friend, Claire) went down to my Florida home in mid January and planned to stay until April 22. We were having a grand old time going to the beach, the pool, shopping, eating out and visiting friends, etc. The weather was glorious and I walked for at least an hour every morning. My son came for visit, followed by a good friend and then my niece. And then the s**t hit the fan. The virus! Bit by bit things closed down....the restaurants, the beaches, the pools, the stores. And then it started to get hot, 90's in the afternoon. So other than our morning walks we were mostly inside in the AC. We had done a few projects and they were finished. I do not have a studio there and there was nothing to do other than read and watch TV. I wanted to go home where I knew I would have so many things to do. I also was afraid that we would get stuck down there indefinitely.

We were able to change our flight to March 31 with no charge from Jet Blue. I had shipped my car down and I had to coordinate the car pick-up with the flight. We had flights cancelled three times and I was so afraid that we would have to drive home, a three day ordeal with stops for hotels, meals and restrooms. Jet Blue did come through and we had a 7:30 PM flight home.

The airport was empty and the plane left 1/2 hour early. There were only 22 people on the plane and everyone had on masks and gloves.

I had a message on my phone at home asking me to make masks for the local Hospice. These are not the easy-peasy ones that abound on YouTube, but ones meant to fit over N95 masks, so that they can be washed and make the N95s last longer. They are a little fiddly but not that bad and I plan to make a lot. You have to make binding and do some darts, but we sewers are used to that.

The pattern calls for an 8 inch by 44 inch fabric to make one mask, with a pocket inside for an added filter, if wanted. I heard that batiks are better because of the denser weave. I went thru my stash, which is large, and although I didn't think I had enough of that size, I had more than I thought.  I made my first two today.

I liked using coordinating fabrics for the masks and the ties and will do some more that way.

I am so glad that I can do a little bit to help in this horrible situation. I do not plan to go out of the house for the next month, other than a morning walk and maybe another grocery store run in a couple of weeks. I should be able to do a lot of sewing.

I am linking up with Off the Wall Friday. Go see what other artists are doing in this trying time.