So after making so many, many face masks to donate to clinics, friends, and family, you quickly realize that one size does NOT fit all. Not only are there different size heads, but even the distance from the mask to the ears is different from one person to another.
After doing some experimenting, I’ve come up with a way to make a face mask adjustable by adding 3 easy steps.
START WITH MY INSTRUCTIONS for making a rectangular, pleated style mask HERE, from my previous blog post.
To make this pattern adjustable, you’ll need two lengths of 1/4 inch elastic cut 12 inches long each, and two 6x9mm pony beads.
Step 1: Using the instructions at the above link, use the two 12 inch elastic ear loops and finish the mask the same way.
Step 2: After the mask is finished, fold the end of each elastic ear loop and thread each of them through a pony bead*.
Step 3: Tie a slip knot at the very end of the elastic loop.
DONE. To adjust the mask, simply pull the bead closer to the mask, or further away from the mask, toward the slip knot. Ta-da!
*HINT: if you have trouble inserting the folded 1/4 inch elastic through your bead, cut a length of thin wire or strong thread and thread one end through the bead, then through the elastic loop, and back through the bead and (grasping both ends of the wire/thread) pull the elastic through the bead. Easy-peasy!
Hope this is helpful. It’s great to be able to adjust the mask, and this makes the mask so much more comfortable.
Now that masks are readily available for everyone, I’ve cut back on making them. But I will sew just a few more for my family. Since it’s nice to keep a few extras in the car, or by our back door. And wouldn’t you love to have a few that actually coordinate with outfits as we venture out more and more, and actually begin to wear “real” clothes again.
Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING (and mask making),
Wow! 2020. This has been one crazy year so far, hasn’t it? And I just realized I haven’t posted a thing since it all started.
One reason I haven’t posted is that I‘ve been busy making face masks. I started making them back in March when there was a shortage masks. I got a few requests from family…and then the requests rolled in from all over—our local EMTs, my family doctor’s clinic, friends who are medical techs, nurses, and of course family and friends. It was my pleasure and a labor of love…a way (however small) of helping.
After fulfilling requests for 250 plus masks, I finally think I’ve perfected a pattern that I really like. It’s an accordion pleat style mask that includes a pocket in the lining (for those who want to add an additional filter), a nose wire (to help conform it to the bridge of your nose), different fabric on the front & back (so you can remember at a glance which side goes towards your face) and ear loops.
Now that face masks are more plentiful and easy to find and buy everywhere, I’m not making many masks anymore. But because many cities, counties, and even states in the US are requiring people wear masks inside public buildings—and with this pandemic staying around much longer than we had hoped—I thought I’d share my pattern step-by-step with you in case you’d like to try making some for your family.
There are a lot of face mask patterns & how-to’s out there to choose from. What I like about this pattern is that it includes all the features I want and it’s comfortable to wear. I can use scrap cotton fabrics I have on hand from my quilting stash, and it only takes about 15 minutes to make. Here’s how…
Materials: You’ll need a rectangle of cotton lining fabric cut 9×6”, and some pretty cotton fabric for the front cut 9×7-1/4”. You’ll also need either 1/8 inch or 1/4 inch elastic (white or black), each cut approximately 7”, and a 4-5” length of nose wire.*
Place the lining & front fabrics right sides together & make a mark 1/2” down & 2” from each edge the top (see photo below).
This is the only time you’ll use a 1/2” seam, …sew from one edge to the 2 inch mark & stop/backstitch. sew the other edge to the 2 inch mark & stop/backstitch. (This will leave a 5 inch opening in the middle. Take it to your ironing board & press the seam open.
Open it up & topstitch across the lining seam allowance only, about 1/4” from the seam/hole, which will finish that seam allowance. (Do NOT topstitch the fashion fabric front seam allowance.)
Next place the opposite ends right sides together & sew 1/4 inch seam across the bottom. Then press from that stitched edge (bottom) to the top. As you do this, you’ll notice the seam you just topstitched will automatically “roll” to the back/lining.— see photo below.
Elastic Ear Loops. Take the one of the pieces elastic and place one end inside the top edge of the side seam and begin sewing 1/4” seam, backstitching over the elastic, and continue sewing about half way down the side…
Then reach inside and (being sure the elastic doesn’t twist & that it lays flat) grab the other end of the elastic and place it in the bottom of the seam. And finish sewing the edge backstitching over the elastic. It’s ok to let a bit of end of the elastic hang out.)
This diagram (below) might make that step clearer…note the elastic is inside (between) the two fabrics.
Do the same with the second piece of elastic on the opposite side.
Turn the mask right side out through the hole (pocket) at the top and use your favorite tool to “poke” the edges out and give it a nice press with your iron.
*The nose wire. I’m using coated speaker wire a friend gave me. It keeps it’s shape and the plastic coating keeps it from rusting in the wash. But you can use floral wire, twisty ties, or pipecleaners.
I like to create the casement for the wire first, leave one end open to insert the wire & then sew it shut. Start sewing from the top edge about 2” in from one side, going down about 1/2”, pivot & continue topstitching parallel to the top edge. This will create a casing. Stop & backstitch when you’re a few threads from the end of the pocket so you have enough room to insert the wire.
Insert the wire into the casing and finish by topstitching starting at the top edge, pivot and topstitch until you’ve closed the opening of the casing.
Pleating. Now it’s time to make the pleats. I like to put three pleats on each side of the mask. Be sure your pleats face down when folded. If you’re making just a few masks it’s easy to make equal folds (pinches about 1/4” each) and either pin or clamp them downward and topstitch about a quarter inch from each side.
However, if you’re making a bunch of masks, I have a much better way of making consistent pleats that I learned from a YouTube video, and no pinning required! You can create a pleater to do the hard work for you. Here’s the link on YouTube created by Hilary Mark Nelson…genius! https://youtu.be/iUgZWfko_d8https://youtu.be/iUgZWfko_d8
His gadget is made from lightweight cardboard (like cereal boxes) and then is taped together with packaging tape. I was lucky enough to have a friend‘s husband make one for me…thanks Rodger!
Topstitch about 1/4” from each edge.
At this point I also topstitch across the bottom of the mask. It’s not necessary but I think it helps the mask keep it’s shape after washing.
A little press with a hot iron and you’re done!
I hope this tutorial encourages you to try making a mask or two for your family and friends.
Until next time,
PS: Please note that these are not medical grade masks.
I’m participating again this year in Project Quilting, and this week’s Season 11.5 challenge is “Give It Away”. TRISH we must be on the same wavelength (LOL)!! Just the week before the challenge I made ten baby quilts for one of my favorite charities, Mikayla’s Grace! What are the chances?See that blog post here.
BUT those quilts won’t count for entry into this week’s challenge. The rules clearly state the quilt has to be made–beginning to end–during the challenge week. That’s not a problem… I see by their website that Mikayla’s Grace is still in need of baby quilts in their “large preemie” size. So I made two more quilts during the challenge this week.
Last time I used leftover blocks to make the quilts. This week I thought I’d change it up by using leftover jelly roll strips from a recent quilting project. I gathered up all the 30s reproduction strips I could find in my stash and started sewing them together.
If each strip has been 42″ (WOF), this would have gone faster–but most of the strips I had left were only 10″ …but it still worked just fine.
My “plan” (and I use the term loosely) was to make two similar baby quilts, each about 22″ square. Why two quilts? Because Mikayla’s Grace requests that donated items be made in sets of two. I also knew I wanted them to look “scrappy”, so I grabbed strips randomly and sewing them together until I had strip sets 11 strips wide (my simple math plan was 2″ finished x 11 =22″)… at least it sounds like a plan.
Once several strip sets were made (and I’d exhausted my pile of strips), I sub-cut them into 2-1/2″ strips and joined the edges together to make four identical really, really long strips.
I laid the subcut strips side by side and offset them by one square–“un-sewing” the last square from the bottom (see photo above) & re-sewing it to the top (see photo below).
I did the same thing with the third long strip, only offsetting it by taking two squares off the bottom & resewing them at the top… etc etc.
You get the idea!
If I had begun with full size (WOF) strips, or if I had more strips left to plan it all out perfectly, I could have figured out the exact size I needed to make the two quilts…but of course I didn’t have quite enough strips, so once I sewed all four long strips together, I simply un-sewed them into four sections and then combined two sections into each quilt…make sense? You can see in the photos how the diagonal stripes change color at their centers. But I don’t think it matters. It makes them more interesting.
I didn’t have quite enough subcut strips to make them square, so I added a strip to each side.
Both quilts are backed with the softest cotton flannel, sewn right sides together, then turned right side out, with just enough quilting in the ditch to hold the layers together nicely.
Off these go in the mail to Mikayla’s Grace in McFarland, WI. I hope they’ll bring comfort to a little one in the NICU of one of our area’s hospital, and that these quilts will offer love, hope, and comfort to their families as well.
Do you have some jelly roll strips left over? Why not consider making a baby quilt for Mikayla’s Grace, or a charity near and dear to your heart? I hope this blog has inspired you to give it a try!
Need more ideas? Check my blog on using your leftover blocks here. Or click “Charity Quilting” under “Categories” on the right side of this blog to see even more ideas.
Enjoy! I’d love to see what YOU create.
And I’m excited to see all the charities supported and ideas by the wonderfully generous and talented quilters make for Project Quilting this week.
So this week’s challenge for Project Quilting is “Put a Heart on It”. I’ve been wanting to do another Lil’ Twister tool quilt AND break into a beautiful Moda charm pack I just got by American Jane called “Merry Go Round”. I love the bright & pastel spring flower-like colors.
So here goes! How do you make a Twister heart? First position all the 5 inch squares into a large patchwork quilt top, kind of in the shape of a heart. This one is 7 x 7 squares.
Sew it altogether, then add a border out of the same background fabric and start cutting with the Lil’ Twister tool, lining the marks on the tool up with the seam lines.
This is the fun part! … it’s fun to see it change.
The hardest part is that first cut… then you line them up into a whole new “twisted” design and sew up the rows and columns again. So cute.
I was able to square up the fabric left between the cuts to use as a 2-1/2 inch square scrap border. There were just enough.
I decided to do a faux piping binding in green and red for a quick finish.
And did simple straight stitch quilting around the pinwheel shape, the border, and a zig zag through the scrappy border. I may go back at a later date to add free motion quilted “petals” in each pinwheel shape and more quilting in the background–either straight stitching or free motion meandering.
So here’s this week’s entry in Project Quilting Season 11 (2020). There’s no voting this year, but come see the entries here.
So as you’ve heard me talk about before, Project Quilting is similar to Project Runway–you’re given a challenge & a limited period of time to make it, start to finish…but no one is voted off! It’s the creation of Kim Lapicek with her friend, Trish (AKA Quilt Chicken), and helps take the “cabin fever” out of the middle of winter here…although they have quilters from all over the world entering!
This is Season 11, Challenge 2: And the phrase is “Team Colors”. Well, I’m from Wisconsin, so of course (being football season) it’s either the Green Bay Packers or UW Badgers. I happened to have green & “gold” fabric in my stash & a technique I wanted to try…a perfect combination.
So info my stash I dove & cut strips of varying widths…even some with curves.
I layed them on a square of fusible interfacing (slightly overlapping) & just ironed them in place. Then I turned it upside down (photo above & below), and re-trimmed to size.
Then comes the fun part! I added yarns, ripped twisted thin strips of fabric, and zigzagged it all down.
Here’s a close up…
Then I simply put four squares together, and added the border on top of tge batting/backing and bound it.
I love the texture it creates. Fun!
It’s posted for this week’s challenge. There’s no voting, but check the Project Quilting website to see how other quilters have interpreted it. And give this fun technique a try.
Everything I need is in the box (except for the batting & backing).
I loved this fabric and pattern, but every year around Christmas I never seemed to get around to it. Well, now’s my chance! …even if the holidays have come and gone, I don’t mind. At least it’ll be done before NEXT Christmas. Yay!
The only problem…can I get it cut, stitched, quilted & bound (beginning to end) by the PQ deadline, in only one week? We’ll see.
It comes with this pre-printed panel (see above) to make the cute numbered pockets. And inside each pocket is a tag. The idea is to take out a tag each day in December and do a kind act that’s written on it… Don’t you love that idea?
Here the labels are… all fused & ready to put in the pockets. Or you could make up your own labels with your own ideas written on them to put in the pockets.
It’s so much fun sewing on all the cute little pockets.
Here’s the layout. After making the pockets & topstitching them to the center of the quilt, she has you surround it with borders of her cute fabrics. It has a Glad Tidings banner at the top, and pieced pinwheels at the corners.
I did simple straight stitch quilting with my walking foot so I can get it done in time to upload for the challenge. But I can always go back and embellish more later if I want. But I don’t think it needs much.
And Beagle approved!
I love the concept of doing an act of kindness each day.
I was so happy to get to actually meet the designer, Leanne Anderson, at the Quilt Expo in Madison. Her fabrics (Henry Glass & Co) and patterns are all so cute. She’s an amazing artist. She looks great (that’s her on the right). I, on the other hand, look a bit exhausted by all the shopping at the Quilt Expo…lol.
So I’m done in time to enter it in Project Quilting. There’s no voting this year, but if you’d like, follow the link above, you can see what everyone created for the first week’s challenge: Notably Numeric.
It’s so nice to be able to place your fabric pieces on the wall when you’re piecing or designing your quilt. I had a small design wall in my tiny quilt studio at our old house. But after gaining a little square footage at our new location (and more wall space), I decided that a larger design wall was in order.
It’s easy to do-it-yourself! Here’s how I did it.
Insulation board— I headed off to my local home improvement store to pick up some insulation board. Since I have a small car, we can’t fit the standard six feet sheets into it, But I was able to find some the perfect size … 2 x 2 foot.
Measuring the space available on my largest wall, I found making my design wall 6 feet x 6 feet would use the 2×2 boards most efficiently, and still be enough space for most of the quilts I do. So I bought 9. If you’ve got the space in your car, it’s a little cheaper to buy the 6 foot boards. But this was ideal for me.
Next I taped the boards together using heavy duty strapping tape. I did both the fronts and the backs of each seam. Duct tape will work, but it’ll show more easily through the flannel covering. The hardest part was finding an area on our floor large enough to lay them all out. A carpeted surface isn’t ideal, it’s best to do this step on a hard surface.
I found it easiest to tape my insulation board pieces in columns & then tape the columns together by rows. Hmmm…kind of like putting together a quilt.
Here it is (above) all taped together on both the front and the back sides.
FLANNEL– You’ll need a soft material (like cotton flannel) that fabric pieces will cling to to cover your insulation board. White or a soft light neutral are the best choices of color. I headed off to my local big box fabric store thinking I could find some inexpensive white wide flannel by the yard. Nope! Any other color or pattern BUT not white! Ugh!
So instead I found these white flannel sheets at a nearby Kohl’s…on sale!…perfect! This one was full size & I only used the flat sheet so the fitted sheet can be cut up and used in another project(s), like my charity baby quilts.
Sorry, I forgot to take a photo–but I laid the flannel sheet on the floor, placed the best looking (& smoothest) side of the taped insulation board on top of it, and worked folded the flannel over, trimming it as needed, and taping it to the back with duct tape. I worked the wrinkles out (taught but not too tight) as I went. You could also use a staple gun, but be sure your staples are short enough that they don’t go all the way through the board.
All that’s left to do is to mount it on your wall. How? There are a few options. You could try heavy duty sticky-back Velcro. Or picture hangers. But I chose to use drywall screws with washers. The insulation board is light weight, so I only needed about ten. They’re not pretty, but I hardly notice them. And it’s very sturdy.
You’ll notice in the photo above that I used a couple of boxes to hold it up so I could stand back and judge the placement on the wall before I committed to it and screwed it to the wall.
Here’s a closeup of the washer & screw. The washer needs a hole large enough for the screw to fit through, but small enough to keep the screw head from going through. I imagine you could camouflage it with a dab of white paint.
I can’t tell you how helpful having a larger design wall is. I love it. Most fabric pieces stay put without assistance, but I have the option to stick pins in the fabric to insure they don’t fall off before I get the chance to sew them all together. And it only took an afternoon to do make it.
So get going and give it a try. I’m sure you’ll love yours too.
You can make yours as small or as large as you like. You’re only limited by the size of your wall and your flannel covering.
Is it a sewing room? A quilt studio? What do you call your spot? Whatever you call it, it’s a space set aside to create something beautiful; a special spot to get those creative juices flowing and enjoy some time doing what you love.
We’ve just moved into a new home, so of course I immediately claimed one of the extra bedrooms for my sewing/quilting/creative space. What I love about this room (besides the fact that it’s larger than what I had before), is the view and wonderful lighting.
Where to begin?
So where to start? It was like a fresh canvas… Where will I put everything, and (hardest of all) where should I begin? I guess the layout comes first.
I’ve got an app on my iPad called “Floorplans” by Green Tea LLC Software. In this app, I can draw the floor-plan of my room and add furniture and move around on the screen to see how it looks. It’s a great way to rearrange everything without physically having to move it.
Here are some of the many layouts I tried. Note: there’s a large window at the top, and a closet and door at the bottom of the pictures. The app has alot of built in furniture to choose from, but not a sewing cabinet, cutting table or ironing board, so I improvised with their computer table and tables just changing their size to match my furniture.
Layout #1. Not bad, I can see out the window while I sew, but the light’s not coming in on my left side and I also want the left side of my sewing table away from the wall so I can fit larger projects under my needle.
Layout #2. No…this one’s not quite right either. I don’t want the ironing board jutting out over and blocking the window.
Layout #3. So this is it (above). I finally decided on this layout (although I switched the bookcases around). And after moving everything around to match the layout drawing, I’m pretty happy with it.
I like the proximity of everything to my ironing board… I can walk all the way around the cutting table, and easily have access to the design wall and storage closet.
I like to glance out the window every once in awhile as I’m sewing away…and the extra daylight on my sewing is very helpful.
Note about the view–It’s hard to believe we’ve had 3 snowstorms since October! Looking out the window now, you don’t see any snow…only bare trees and green grass (and some leaves that missed the last raking!). The temps are now up to 50 degrees, but they’ll dip back down with more snow in just a few days. It’s “anything-can-happen” weather in Wisconsin!
Most of the bookshelves from my old quilt studio fit inside the closet here, so when we moved in my sister and I took the doors off the closet for easier access. (BTW, I’m indebted to my wonderful sister, who drove over & spent a few weeks helping us purge, pack, clean, & get ready for the move. I don’t know what I would have done without her!…thanks again Judi!!)
In the next post, I’ll tell you about the design wall with a little DIY hints.
Hi! Thought you might enjoy a quick tip when you need to join half square triangles (HST) the traditional way–by sewing two triangles together.
I’m working on a Christmas quilt, and the pattern calls for cutting squaresin half (corner to corner) and sewing them together.
I usually make my HST by cutting squares a bit larger, stacking them right sides together, drawing a line from corner to corner, sewing 1/4″ on either side of the line, cutting between the lines, pressing and squaring them up to size. You know the drill.
Or (if I have the right size die) I’ll use my Accuquilt to cut perfect triangles with the dog ears pre-trimmed. But for this pattern, I didn’t have the right size die.
So…I happened to remember a sweet little tool I got at the Quilt Expo quite awhile back (and amazingly was able to find it)! It’s a Porter & Fons Triangle Trimmer. It made the job so much easier.
Just line it up with the corner and trim!
Why? Because it makes the triangles easier to line up, and easier to feed through the machine (easier to get the trimmed edge under to needle than that tiny point).
And because once they’re opened up and pressed, there are no dog ears to trim.
I was lucky…these HST finished up right on target, so there was no need to spend time squaring.
So if you’re into a project that calls for sewing HST the old fashioned way…take a look in your tool stash. You just might have forgot about this great little tool.
First, I cut dozens of little squares and fold them in half and iron
Then I center the Perfect Pointer & use it to fold down the sides…slip it under the iron and use my new wooden Riley Blake Tailor’s Clapper to help them keep their crease while cooling.
One by one, I pin each one to the styrofoam egg base…
And they’re finished! Aren’t they cute…?
Four of these (in fall colors of brown, rust, & gold) are on their way to a wonderful customer in Virginia. But I made a few extra pine cones that are in my shop now, and plan to make more to add in the coming months.
If you’re interested in getting a pine cone ornament (or Christmas or Easter ornament), be sue to stop in my shop, Mulberry Patch Quilts and go to the “ornaments” section.
This week Trish (our challenge designer for Project Quilting) chose PIXEL PLAY for our 10.4 challenge.
This week, I’d like you to be inspired by these particles, whether you pixelize a picture, make use of low resolution like 8-bit graphics, or are merely inspired by these hard-working colored boxes.
Since I love to work with mosaics, the thought of working with pixels was inspiring. So I’m definitely IN this week. Thanks Trish!
I found a website (Pixel Stitch) that will convert a photo to an embroidery pattern made up of squares. Although it’s made for embroidery, it creates a grid of the pixels in the photo with colors, so it works for pixelated quilt patterns just as well. All I had to do was figure out how big each square would need be to make a reasonably-sized quilt that I might actually be able to finish during a busy week.
We had an juvenile owl, called a “jumper” (because it was just learning to fly), in our back yard a few years ago. You can read about it HERE. It was rescued and placed back in its nest. I’ll never forget the surprise I got when I saw the little guy several days later. He had learned how to fly and was sitting on our back yard fence staring at me with those big yellow owl eyes, almost as if to say “thank you…I’m fine now…and I’m fearless”. I knew that I had to capture the fierce look in those riveting, yet beautiful eyes in a future quilt.
I thought I needed to print the pattern to the full size, but later realized all I really needed was a copy large enough to follow alongside my gridded work surface.
The printed pattern sheets taped together
The next decision was what technique to use to get all those little squares (half inch) together on a quilt? The squares are far too small for me to piece. I’ll have to use a raw edge technique. Hmmmmm… how about placing squares on some sort of foundation and stitching over them to keep them in place. But what kind of foundation? I’ve used fusible woven interfacing before and ironed them into place. I’ve also used Steam-a-Seam II. Or I could use a temporary glue on muslin to keep them all in place until they’re stitched down. Or even pin tulle over them before stitching.
I decided to use a technique I used to do the quilt of my father in a previous post. It involves marking a quarter-inch grid on a fusible light weight interfacing and ironing each 1/4″ fabric square to the grid using the printed pattern as my guide.
Half-inch squares of batiks sorted by value
Placing squares side-by-side on the fusible interfacing grid
Original print out helps keep me on track
I placed a shear tulle over the squares before I started free motion quilting.
COME JOIN IN THE FUN…go to their website to see this week’s entries and to vote for you favorites (hope one of them is mine, #36 “Fear-less Owl”, hint, hint). Voting starts Sunday afternoon, Feb. 24th and runs through Friday, March 1st, 2019.
HOW TO VOTE: Just go to the link above, scroll down to the bottom until you see the thumbnail photos of the quilts. Then click on the heart in the upper right hand side of the photo of the entry you want to vote for ❤️ and it’ll fill the heart in & tell you how many votes you have left. If there are over a hundred entries, you’ll get 10 votes. Enjoy!
The challenge states you can use reds, whites, and blues…any shades…no other colors, but you DON’T have to use all three colors.
RULE#1…Your project should contain ONLY the colors RED, WHITE, and BLUE. It does not have to use all three, but it cannot include any additional colors.
So I decided, with Valentines Day coming up, I’d limit my colors to just the red and white. I went to work scrounging in my fabric stash for every shade of red and white (with no other colors in them) that I could find.
After going through my patterns, searching Pinterest, and having a desire to use my Lil’ Twister tool again, I found a tutorial by Connie Kresin on the cutest little Twister heart pattern and decided that was the one!
I made a quick sketch of the layout of the square colors on paper, and then cut the fabric stash into 5 inch squares. Here they are (below) pinned on my design wall. I realized quickly that it’s best to have contrast between each square (except for the background that’s all the same white with red print).
I sewed the squares together.
Question: do you press the seams to one side (each row in opposite directions) so the seams nest together making the columns easier to sew together? Or do you press the seams open so there’s less bulk at the intersections, making it easier to cut and piece the pinwheels later?
I decided to press the seams open. It takes longer, but it sure makes cutting & sewing the pinwheels easier later.
The next step involves the Lil’ Twister square template. Just line the black lines on the template with where the seams intersect and cut. I twisted them slightly and carefully placed them side by side in a row as I cut them.
Before going on to cut the next row, I like to sew the row together, and even sew the rows together too…less chance of getting them mixed up.
after cutting everything out, you’ll end up with lots of tiny pieces of leftover fabric… I like to trim them to 2-1/2 inch squares to use in another project. I ran out of the background fabric, but if I had more of it I might have used these squares in one of the borders.
This is the fun part! I love ❤️ seeing the pattern–in this case the heart–emerge as I piece it together. Magical!
To keep everything nice and flat, I used Best Press on each row.
All that was left was to add a couple borders, add the batting and backing, and quilt it on my domestic machine (my sweet Bernina 570QE).
Using various reds (Aurifil and Sulky threads), I free motion quilted petals in each pinwheel. And with a walking foot and white thread, did a straight stitch around the heart shape and around the border.
and here it is!
I’m entering this Twisted Heart wall hanging in this week’s Project Quilting.
UPDATE: The voting is now closed. No prizes this time, but it did rank #11 out if 118 entries. Thanks so much for your vote!
So after seeing the gorgeous quilts by Heidi Proffetty (see my earlier post) and not having access to a digital fabric cutter (which is really a necessity for her technique), I thought I’d try creating another small mosaic art quilt using the simpler tiny squares recommended by Cheryl Lynch (see previous blog post).
I thought you might enjoy following along with the process.
The first step was to find a very simple, but inspiring photo that I could trace to make the pattern outline. I found a photo that I had taken last spring of a Trillium (my fav woodland wildflower).
I downloaded a tracing app for my iPad and used it to roughly trace the outline of the petals & leaves. Note: There are a lot of tracing apps out there (and I certainly haven’t tried them all), but this one (free) allowed me to upload my photo and trace over it with my finger or my computer stylus. It’s rough, but that’s okay…I can go over the lines again with a black Sharpie pen after it’s printed.
This particular app allows you to fade out the background (photo) so you can print only the lines, which saves printer ink. That’s a nice feature.
After saving the tracing as a jpeg file, I needed to enlarge it at 200% to get it to print to the size of a sheet of copy paper, which was the size I was looking for. Once my outline was printed, I used Cheryl Lynch’s technique of taping it to a piece of core board and then thumbtacking a sheet of Steam-a-Seam 2 over it, uncovering the top of the fusible to expose the sticky side up.
Next, it was time to go through my collection of cotton batik fabrics to see what colors might work for the tiles. I cut them into 3/4 inch squares, using Cheryl Lynch’s mini mosaic cutting guideandfound that the more variation you have in the light/dark of each color, the better it looks.
Now for the fun part…placing each individual square fabric “tile” with a tweezers. It’s somewhat like putting a puzzle together…one area of color at a time, but you don’t have to make them all fit…you can trim pieces to fit as needed.
For a project this small it doesn’t take long to cut enough squares of fabric to get started. The variation in the value of each fabric color is the key. You don’t want them to look too flat by having each tile exactly the same color value. I added some bright yellow strips in the center of the flower.
It’s slowly progressing! It takes quite awhile to individually place each square with a tweezers, but it’s surprising how much is accomplished by working on it in 30 minute segments throughout a couple of days. Before you know it, it’s finished and ready to fuse to the “grout” fabric and add the tulle netting over the top …
…adding the borders, batting, & backing …
and do the machine quilting using white cotton thread and a walking foot. I stitched between the rows of mosaic squares in the “grout area”, and outlined the petals and leaves. I added a few quilted veins into the petals of the Trillium too.
Close up of the quilted veins & center of the Trillium
What do you think? Originally the background was all browns and green, but I decided it needed more contrast, so I took out some of the squares and re-did the top portion of the background in blue sky.
Want to add a festive touch to your holiday table but don’t have a lot of time? Here’s an easy, no sew, way to make a colorful poinsettia napkin ring in 2 minutes flat.
It’s a technique my sister-in-law taught me over (well we won’t mention how many) years ago. I’ve perfected the pattern, but the idea is the same. There’s no sewing involved, and all you’ll need is some red and green felt squares (available at JoAnne Fabrics, and lots of other stores — be sure to use your coupon).
Click on the PDF pattern (below) and print it off.
It’s the very last challenge week for Project Quilting Season 11 (2020). A big shout out to Kim Lapecek (Persimmons Dreams);and her cohort Trisha Franklin (AKA Quilt Chicken) for making this challenge possible, and for cheering us up during a very unusual and difficult time.
They couldn’t have chosen a better challenge theme “Vibrant and Vivacious”. Working with bright colors was just what we all need to distract us from all that’s going on and to help cheer us on.
I chose a border print of red poppies from my stash. So bright and cheerful, the red and orange really pop against the black background. I used a 60 degree triangle ruler to make this pieced table topper.
Loved making it so much, I plan to make a table runner as well.
So what are you doing during this unprecedented time at home to keep your spirits up? A walk in the park? Cooking up a new recipe? Reading a new book? Why not get some colorful fabrics out of your stash and create something fun and cheerful.
Every year I like to make little quilts or knit tiny hats for Mikayla’s Grace. So when they put out an urgent request for specific needs, I signed up to fill the need for 10 medium size baby quilts to support families with small infants in the NICU (Neonatal ICU).
I had some leftover quilt blocks that worked perfectly for the center of each quilt. The “Fantasy Folk Art” fabrics by Contempo (Bernatex) are so beautiful, and I had enough coordinating fabric for the extra borders..
It’s a snap to figure out the math using EQ8 (Electric Quilt)…make a one-block layout and add borders until you reach the desired size. So easy.
Each center square finished about 8 inches, so by adding a 2 inch (2-1/2″ cut) white border around it, and then a 4 inch (4-1/2″ cut) border from a coordinating print, they turned out just the right size…about 20 inches square.
For some I made the second smaller border of a coordinating print and added a third white border, slightly larger than the first one.
Each baby quilt was finished with a soft cotton flannel backing, attached by sewing the edges right sides together and leaving an opening large enough to turn it right side out. I hand-stitched the opening closed.
A simple “stitch in the ditch” with my walking food and Aurifil cotton thread near each border was all the quilting necessary.
My hope is that these quilts will encourage and comfort those families going through the emotional stress and heartache of having their tiny baby in the NICU.
Do you have any extra blocks from your projects? Why not consider using them in a baby quilt for Mikayla’s Grace, or for a charity close to your heart?