This weeks sewing news…

Not much news! No news this day and age, is good news. However, it makes for a meager blog post.

I am still making masks. Have sold some, and will be a billboard for more sales. People love to accessorize!

I have sold these masks:

The red El Camino was snatched up by a coworker for her hubster.

This is the same piece of cloth as the red El Camino above, but a different cut of the novelty within. This is going to my son, SOLD!

Here is the flip side of the mask going to my son.

The guy I sold the Packers mask to was so elated, he took a selfie and sent it to his friends. (I think he is in his late 50s, I hope he felt young doing that LOL.)

I made a bio hazard mask for myself. Here is a scrap of the fabric. It is currently in the wash, ready to wear tomorrow. Yeah I have to work this weekend again.

I am debating keeping this one for myself. I love it! A screwdriver is a useful tool, and by golly some days I use one all day. This one will probably drum up some orders.

And now, onto the quilty side of things, I got a few more blocks sewn.

This 6 inch block has 56 pieces! It took a long time to pick fabrics. I figured out that if I repeated the grid fabric on the lighter side and on the other side of the darker side, it would work. I am pleased at the gradient!

The simplicity of this block withe the calico blue, feels very patriotic and I think this is my favorite block so far. Pleased with fabric selection on this one too!

Well this is a meager post. One of these days I am going to go full steam ahead and quilt up a storm. But, timing is everything. I am not going to get frustrated or upset. I am probably too tired to do that anyway. My energy levels will return I suspect in about a week. I find if you work enough overtime, your body clock then gets used to doing things for a longer period of time, building your stamina. I assume next weeks post will out do the last several posts.

Enjoy your weekend folks! Take care….be safe, and thanks for reading my blog!

Kill’em with Kindness!

I made a few masks in the past weeks. More and more people are requesting masks. Some are willing to pass me a $20 and not even blink an eye. I will take what they offer. My list of mask making grows.

The plan for the coming week is to make a few of these when I can. I have requests for Chevy, ElCamino, Green Bay Packers, V8 engine, Flight Deck controls, Screwdriver tools, Sine Wave, and Remove Before Flight. A lot of this fabric is being purchased from Spoonflower and has not even arrived yet. They love the personalization of the mask. I guess by accessorizing themselves they are willing to dole out the money as if it were a piece of specialized clothing.

I sold three masks this week and made $50. I gave away three more, which others saw and now want to buy. So my billboard campaign of those wearing them (free) are advertising and are free models to show them and refer them for sales. I help a friend, and they help me. How it should be.

I am washing fabric now. Tomorrow I have a day off, yay! So I will be working to make masks.

I have no elastic, and after checking inventory online of chain stores who carry elastic in the area, are all sold out for what I want. So, improvise it is! Spandex style fabric and stretchy tshirt fabric has been sacrificed, digging deep in the fabric buckets. Glad to get this used. I even had someone say, I did not have to put elastic in, they would provide it. Great, works for me!

I maanged to get more 365 quilt block challenge blocks made. I really struggled with the first one. So it was made twice. And it is still odd and imperfect. As imperfect as it is, I can call it done!

And my readers know, I have been working overtime. I will have 26 hours logged on this check. I hate working overtime because it wears me out. I hate even more the extra cash earned puts me in a different income bracket and dang ole uncle sam takes waaaaay too much!

At the same time, I consider myself fortunate because of the unemployment numbers. Right now, 10% of the people cannot afford to eat! They speak of electric bills and the coming month many people will get disconnected. Evictions will be high. When you get poor like that, crime rises and I worry for the good of the whole world in the coming months. Please readers be loving to others, regardless if they are in need. Kill’em with kindness! It will never be forgotten.

I have been there, I know how bad it is and can be. I have had a year when there was meager Christmas toys purchased for my eldest son. I bought used toys. I felt terrible, but I know I did not have money to go buy in the stores. I have had my electricity turned off. I have deemed I will never return to that horrible time in my life. The odds were all stacked against me, this crab had a hard time getting out of the bucket. My crabby peers kept pulling me back into the bucket. Glad I am out, and know how to survive when there is no food in the house. Coupons, lists, grocercies, no extras. Not even a penny laying in a jar in the house. Ramen soup and lots of eating from a can…..sandwiches too! Life has turned out better, and I am a better person to have gone through it!

I challenge all of you to make the world a better place. One step, one day at a time. Have a different mindset, think of others. Kill them with kindness! Kindness has become almost extinct. Make it flourish again, it does not have to be with money. It can happen with a kind gesture. If you see someone struggling, help them. It may be as easy as opening the door for them, or just asking if they need help. Who knows a friendship may result!

Be safe readers! And thank you for reading my blog!

Tubs

Well, working overtime certainly impacted my sew time. I have one block done for the week. It is not ironed, nor did I photograph it. *sigh*. Time was well spent doing other things. Just not sewing this week.

But I did manage to tackle some scraps. These scraps have been laying around for more than a year. Some were bagged, some were wadded up, most within arms reach of my machine.

You touch them and move them out of the way, and sure enough they are in your way again. It was high time they become useful.

Perhaps useful is the wrong word, tamed is more like it.

I had Frolic scraps, Kaffe scraps, red scraps, in my way for one last time. Strings are saved and hung up next to my machine, and when that area becomes unroomy (lol), they move to a baggie and placed in the tote. Well, not now LOL. They are now tamed into 2 1/2, 2, and 1 1/2 inch squares. I filled a couple of tubs. This only took me a couple of hours last weekend. And it sure was nice to get that stuff out of my work area.

This is all I have for the week, and the coming week looks even worse. I would not call overtime mandatory, but certainly frowned upon. I am a team player, so work play it is!

Sorry readers. Stay tuned, it will be better soon. Thanks for reading my blog!

Uno Mas

I knew this weeks post was going to be meager. Overtime ruled my life this week. My 8 hour days turned into 10. And when you add an hour commute, being away from home for 12 hours, basically leaves the necessities left; eat, sleep, cook, bathe.

I did get one more block done!

That is why I am calling this post Uno Mas. That is Spanish for one more. There is a famous movie line in one of my favorite movies with Jackie Chan in Shanghai Noon. Click here to take you to that scene on Youtube.

When I looked this up, I found out that they have announced a 3rd movie with Jackie Chan playing Chon Wang (prounounced John Wayne LOL). I look forward to seeing this one.

I also had a moment of brainstorm that resulted in a larger pocket bag. Daisy and Grace and Missouri Star have given excellent tutorials for making this zipper pouch.

Right now we are in a time of use what you got. If you do not have any of the poly or see through fabric but want to make one, or if you do not have a zipper in the house, I have figured out a way to get you working on this project.

All of us quilters have baggies. Ziplock baggies full of scraps, strings, fat quarters, projects, notions, and thread even. Ladies, you could make this project with the ziploc if you wanted to. Or if you want a zipper bag, go through your baggies. If you have ever purchased new bedding, they come in a zippered bag. Don’t let the shape of the bag fool you. It is not square, it is actually flat with the top and bottom sealed into a square like pouch. Cut the bottom and top off your bag. It will result in a flat piece of clear poly with a zipper already installed! You can also use the rear of the bag for a see through pocket on the back without a zipper. You cannot tell in the photo below but there is another clear pocket within this one. It was for the sheet manufacturer to place the picture of the sheet set. Not sure that will ever get used, but it is there invisibly if the need ever calls for it.

Not the prettiest bag, but it will certainly get the job done. And for whatever reason, this zipper was easier to sew over than the nylon zippers I previously showed you in their respective pouches.

If you would like more details on how to make this pouch click here for my full post.

And I decided yesterday to take the whole weekend off. I vegetated most of the day. When I wasn’t one with the couch, I was doing laundry or making masks. My order from Spoonflower came in and I am making masks for coworkers. This will lead to the intent of selling masks to those who want one too. Spoonflower fabric is expensive, the most expensive I have ever purchased. You can get anything you want put onto fabric, that is why it is so much. It has a 6 week lead time before arriving.

One of my coworkers wanted a plague doctor’s mask. I was going to make him one, and saw how ridiculous and meticulous it was and opted to simplify by just making him a reg mask out of plague doctor’s fabric. He is going to love it!

I made a monarch butterfly mask for a lady who gave me a gob of tomatoes from her garden. She love the color orange. And I bought PC board fabric for a lady I work with who works on PC boards. She will love that!

The farthest I got this week in the quilting dept is printing off another months worth of patterns for the 365 quilt block challenge. I have more than 30 days of blocks ahead of me, and just do not want to work on it right now.

I am very close to having the Sew Quester quilted. But I am tired. Maybe one of these week nights I will make it down there to work some more on it. I lack probably less than 4 hours. Not sure how many hours I have in it. I probably need to get me a timekeeper on my machine so I have a clue how long my quilts are taking. Pebbling takes a long time. Ruler work takes a long time. But I am in the home stretch.

I am ready to buy a new house and move my machine into a house I occupy. It would just be more convenient and less planning involved. I am waiting to see how many lovely homes go on the market due to the non-essentials not working. I think there is an executive order to keep those people in their homes, but I have money and am an opportunist.

I fantasize about living in an old house, one that has been renovated (I already live in a old house, but this one is in the primitive state still). I dream of a day I can run the vacuum while the air conditioning is on. I fantasize of the day I turn the hot and cold water in the bathroom sink and it comes out of one spout mixed (yeah I have two spiggots on my bathroom sink, one for cold one for hot, it is OLD and probably worth a lot of money LOL) I dream of a day turning on the hot water without the clatter of the pipes LOL. I dream of the day of adjusting a thermostat on the wall to regulate the temperature of the whole house. I dream of the day I can retire the high velocity shop fans that push air from the window air unit to move it all through the house with it’s deafening sound. That noise interrupts the serenity of the mind and can put you on edge all by itself. A torture of noise, an increased frequency, seems to decrease patience. And the dream of more square footage for my machine to be just in the next room ready for 15 minutes of quilting, or whatever each evening would permit.

Well, I am off to get some breakfast in my tummy. Thank you for stopping in and reading my blog!

Boxers or Briefs?

Boxers or briefs? Heard this question before? A question of the most comfortable underwear, which has nothing to do with quilting! HA! My random thought generator was thinking about this very question with the new accessory we are all wearing, the facemask.

There are the gator style masks which are like boxers, they hang low and loose. And then there are the snug ones that fit the shape of your nose, more like briefs. I have both styles and for breathe-ability, I like the gator style. But for comfort on the face I like the briefs. LOL! Enough about the new face underwear. (I think of it as underwear for your face, because it resembles a speedo or a bra when not on, it holds it shape.)

I had much block progress this week! I am now working June blocks, YAY!

During the construction of these small pieces, you have tremendous bulk up of seams. A pressing nightmare as there are no pressing instructions. It is marvelous when you outsmart the block and manage to nest all your seams! BLISS!

I saw a post of those currently working this years 365 blocks and realized the lighter 6 inch block rows are sewn together in July! I am 28 blocks out from this and thought I might as well layout what I have done to see how busy it is. I worried about too much red making your eyes not be able to focus on the individual blocks.

I am pleased as punch! or a Strawberry Smoothie in this case! The darks are not too dark and are defined as blocks. The lights are a nice variety of different shades of light with just a pop of color. This is coming along! I love the pace, I love that I am going outside my comfort zone with the dreaded color of red. I love that I have made two very wise decisions during the assembly, which impacted my quilt greatly. This quilt will sparkle with the right intensity! Perfection? Heck no! Happiness? You betcha! More fun to come? Absolutely! July 1st will be the halfway point! Satisfied? Very much so!

This post almost did not happen. My progress will probably come to a grinding halt.. Working overtime now and will probably be too tired to do this in the evenings. I will be checking in from time to time, but probably not posting as I will have little to offer.

Sit tight, Perhaps next weekend I will be sewing up a storm and post late Sunday or on Monday.

Today is laundry, cleaning, making macadamia nuts cookies with white choc goodness, and cooking supper. Work, yup. Happiness, you betcha! Be safe, and thank you for reading my blog!

All the Sanity with Insane Quilt Blocks!

The project pocket featured on Daisy and Grace’s youtube channel, and now featured with M*QC, has been used for one of the 365 quilt block challenge blocks. It worked. It had to accompany my home made alpha bitties. So, that means I can only use one pouch and cut one block and then I am at a stop. So it kind of worked with a cutting stopage, LOL

This block had soooooo many pieces. Went up to the letter K for cutting. And it took me a few hours to assemble. Insane! 81 pieces!

I present May 21st!

I rather like how it turned out!

Here are a couple more blocks I have completed this week. I aim to do some more cutting and piecing over the weekend.

And here is this one. I like it’s negative space. It seems to simplify a complicated block! It has turned out to be one of my favorites so far.

Those of you quilters who are keeping their sanity right now by making stuff with your sewing machine, it is good for the soul. It helps mend. So the more insane some of these blocks are, the better for my sanity. Does this make any sense? It is a true exercise of patience and fabric play. A bit of drama with color, cut to bits, shaped into blocks. It is a happy existence. Some of you know what I speak of. For those of you who don’t, I highly recommend a creative, colorful hobby to keep things in the mind at peace. It truly works!

The sun has set, the holiday weekend is upon us. I hope everyone has a safe holiday! And thank you for reading my blog!

Mesmerizing Fields

I grew up in the midwest. Any car trip during growing season yielded looking out the window at vast fields of soybeans, potatoes, corn, and wheat. When gazing upon those fields, most farmers would plant them so that the rows would be perpendicular to the road. I am not sure if this was coincidence or for a reason. But when driving by the “V” would catch your eye, and it would follow you to the next field. The “V” was the formation of the plants on each side of the row. It formed this “V” and it was truly mesmerizing.

Here in Texas, growing seasons are different, soils are different, and very few fields are planted with rows perpendicular to the road (I assume this is for erosion control here). So the mesmerization of the fields has become of a thing of the past (except for winter wheat. Winter wheat mesmerizes you because it is so lush and green, and everything surrounding it id brown and dull).

Every 5 years or so, some of the crop rotation here is cotton, corn, beans, and then my favorite crop!

I noticed about 3 weeks ago, a field of sunflowers was planted right next to an unfenced cemetery. I knew this would be a lovely photo op. And photo op it was this week! Because of the virus, there are so many things you are not allowed to do. But going to a cemetery, well, let’s just say the dead people don’t care! I find cemeteries peaceful. I found the name of my youngest on a headstone from the 1800s. Looking for a perfect old fashioned name uncommon today. I was successful. My daughter is perfectly named Tully.

With the light high in the afternoon, and a warm windy day, the photos came across as light. But because of the high Texas sun in the eye of the lens, it softened the pictures a bit. It captured how the sun was in my eyes that day. It captured it as I saw it, but not how I wanted to see the pictures turn out.

Every morning while driving by on my commute, this field just smiles at me. It makes me happy. Not sure if it is due to the color of yellow, or the effect of so much yellow. As you come upon it, it glows like a yellow carpet in the distance. The closer you get to it, the more it smiles. Perhaps the sunflower represents a happy time in my childhood. I recall these flowers being planted. I recall I thought they reached the sky at my ripe ole age of 6. Perhaps the happiness is within, within the fondness of a different time. Regardless, it is a happy thing to see and think about in the throws of what we all face each day. Nature is beautiful, even if this was helped along by a farmer. It will feed many. That farmer works so hard to bring the food to our tables. When they are sick, they cannot call in sick, they still have all their chores to do. It is a hard life.

When you celebrate your fourth of July, please remember, every bite you take, it because a farmer worked hard for a meager salary, to help you nourish your bodies. Thank you to all farmers, past and present! You make every one of my holidays a feast!

Have a happy 4th of July, and be safe! Thank you for reading my blog!

Uneven Odds

This week, I hesitated posting! I thought to myself, I have hardly sewn. Two nights this week I worked overtime. One evening I mowed. One afternoon I got the car tags renewed (that was an experience!). And I thought my meager picture post, readers/subscribers would be less than enthused. And then I downloaded the photos to edit, and realized, I got a lot sewn! So my thoughts got in the way of evening the odds.

I present to you, this weeks 365 challenge blocks.

As these become more difficult, it is more difficult for me to schedule them into an evening. And I really don’t want to cut one night, and sew another. I may get confused! I mean the flying geese chevrons have 45 pieces! But I have worked on a solution, we will see how this goes in the coming week.

What is my solution? Well, yesterday a youtube channel I follow, called Daisy and Grace, posted a project pocket tutorial. And I had all the materials to make it so. And sew I did, LOL! I did not have the cute ribbon, but I did have fat quarters bundled in the fabric makers logo, so I used that on the first one. I substituted their poly for marine vinyl, and a quick project happened, one in which I can cut out a project, and sew it the next day.

I must say for those of us who do english paper piecing, this is genius!

Here is my first attempt, and pretty lack luster, but has value, and I will use it.

My daughter saw what I was making and wanted one. It was very late in the evening, and said in the morning you can pick your zipper color and then your matching fabric.

Her fabric picker is probably better than mine!

Because I used marine vinyl, I was able to skip the ribbon step, which I wish I would have done on the first one above. Here is hers:

She placed a bunch of hodge podge stuff in hers, but it held quite a bit. And if you have a larger zipper you could certainly make this the larger size with a larger zipper. For mine, I only have 7 inch zippers.

And at work, we have been wearing masks, for about a month. And I was tired of having to do a load of laundry mid-week to wash them, so I made several. Here are a few of those. I used an old tshirt I cut up for the ear straps. They are very comfortable. As long as my eyeglasses rest over the cloth, they do pretty good at not fogging.

I have ordered a gob of Spoonflower fabric with specific work related cloth to make for me and some coworkers. Spoonflower fabric is back logged by about 4 to 6 weeks due to the virus. I know a lot of online fabric shops have been slowed by this, I assume they are staggering shifts and therefore my order may get filled on a Friday night after UPS or whatever shipping service has ran. I also suspect, like at Christmas time that the shippers are extremely overwhelmed right now, which slows it down even more. And perhaps, the slow boat from china is the new norm LOL. Most things are made in China, and I do believe this is another hold up.

I am off to make my beef mix, and then transform that into tacos! One kitten (Firecracker), given away. So many more to go, but they are not yet quite old enough. I aim to be down to one cat, who will get fixed. She is such a sweetie.

For Father’s day, I gave away my On Ringo Lake. They are my Dad’s colors. I did not mean for it to happen that way, and it took me a while, but it was the right thing to do. My house is busting at it seams, and it is one less thing in it. I washed it up for him, and told him to use it. I hope he liked it.

This concludes another chapter in life, called the week. As it winds down, so am I, LOL. Be safe! And thank you for reading my blog!

A New Batch

This week in the quilting dept, seemed to be a week of Deja vu. I would build a block for the 365 quilt block challenge, and then due to operator error, or instruction error, I would have to redo the block. Because I have been a quilter for so long, ripping times are less and less. And then a cluster of events with the seam ripper (or seam reaper LOL) occurs. I fouled up so badly once, I just had to remake the block. I opted for recutting, instead of undoing all those tiny pieces.

It all started with this block.

This grayish block above, turned out rather well, other than, I do not like it. When you are working on the light side of things, it is HARD to come up with light, light, light medium, medium, and so on. So, I do not like the block, but it will work into the quilt just fine. NOT redoing.

Then there was this 9 patch nightmare. I accidentally cut the small squares 1/4 inch too big (dimensions for the squares cut out at 1/16 which I do not have that marking on my ruler, thought I was in one spot, and cut it too big). I achieved block goodness, and went to iron it, and thought it looked a bit chubby. I went to trim, and I would loose my points of the 9 patches by trimming, and it was a significant trim. So I did it all over. It will make nice pot holder. I really like the color scheme of the first one compared to the second, but done is done.

This one turned out fine, but again, making light, and light, and light medium, medium, your color pallet is very limited. Very little red is going into this part of the quilt. I am trying to put neutrals, tans, pinks, and corals. It is working, but I am afraid if I insert too much red in these blocks it will make the quilt very busy. I really want the neutral areas to be calmer than the dark red areas.

And here is the one I chose NOT to redo. In making my cuts, this block went all the way up to the letter “O” on my alphabities. NOT redoing this one. It is a scant smaller in spots. I will fudge this when I sew this in.

Covered corners, mitered corners, a very challenging block. I really like the color scheme on this one.

That sums up my week’s worth of blocks. Not many, but some of these blocks take up my evening. I am ok with that, it occupies the time, and I am not racing.

And here is another batch of kittens! These babies are a few weeks old, they now have their eyes open. I went to check in on them in their box, and giggled how the black and white one was sleeping, isn’t she adorable? Little chubby kittens are soooooooooo cute. I just had to share this batch with you. There are still other kittens outside that I have yet to see. Not sure if they are alive, I suspect they are. Rarely do I see the momma unless it is at the food bowl. Those babies should just be starting to get around.

Well this wraps up my most meager of quilting posts. Due to the heat, it is just hard to juggle things, and keep my temperament. Right now, keeping that is key. I find with all the stuff going on that I snap faster, and probably even run my mouth more than usual. I have grown tired of our new norm. I am ready to look someone in the eye, and know if they are smiling. I did not realize how important it is to see this! The first day I had to wear a mask, I rounded the corner and ran into someone I knew, and smiled at them, and then felt extremely stupid because they could not see my smile, and I could not tell if they were smiling. It ended up being a deadpan stare, instead of a friendly greeting. That is a bummer for me. I really like looking at someone in the teeth LOL.

Butt on couch as the weekend starts, and I aim to be here for a bit! May your butt find your couch too! Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog!

Running Barefoot

As adults, during summer we long ago learned to wear shoes. As children we had too much to do, to worry about protecting our feet. There is nothing more relaxing, after a long day at work, to take off the socks and shoes and let them feel what you are walking on. Whether it is in the carpeting in the house, the cool hardwood floors, the nobby bathroom rug, or the warm concrete on the porch steps, having these sensations feels wonderful.

Do you recall in your youth in summer going barefoot most days? Not caring if the mudd pushed between your toes? Wondering while running through the soft grass your foot would find a stick? Or running on a concrete sidewalk full speed to step on a rock right on your heel? OUCH!!! I recall the pain associated with this last example as almost take your breath away pain. It would take a bit, and as a child you were fully recovered, but reminded with every step you take of your carelessness running barefoot. And then in the coming days you would experience a blood blister on your heal and the pain would slowly fade.

Summer is here, and with sommer comes barefeet. But I am also thinking of todays current events and going bare vs. covered. As an adult, we are wearing masks for various reasons, I for one am only wearing a mask because it is required at work. But my running barefoot has got me thinking. As children we learned our behavior could cause damage or pain, so we slowly started wearing shoes, and usually as adults, there comes a time when the finest grain of sand can cause us much pain when foot meets ground. Perhaps I should start thinking of the wiseness of a learned behavior as a child, and parlez-ing that into the mask thing.

And here our spring was so lovely for such a long time. And it abruptly ended and hot is here to stay. The heat zaps me of energy. And to keep things afloat, I get the chores done, or atempt atleast the have to’s. And then the hobby? I have time, but the energy is kinda zapped.

Not much progress happened this week. I managed to quilt another 1 1/2 passes on this:

I only have 3 more passes and some borders to finish this, but I am still a long way from being close.

And on three different nights this week I made three 365 blocks. These 6 inch blocks have become more time consuming than their 3 inch counter parts. More fabrics are used in each, with way more pieces. So, I don’t think I will ever catch up in time to finish this year. If you missed my last post late last weekend, you missed my post of the sewn center medallion.

Here are the three. I am glad I get to play with lighter fabrics. I really have to think about how to lighten up what will border this. If I use dark reds, I think it will become too busy. So an occassional dark red fabric may find it’s way in, but now I am focusing on grays, tans, pinks, and it has become quite challenging.

This last block is in its natural un-ironed state. I have found for these small pieces, if you prestarch the dickens out of your fabric, finger pressing your seams does make it go quicker, and you still get good points and matched seams. One press of a hot iron onto the woolen mat will make this flat as a pancake. I wish in my “youth” years of quilting I knew about this technique.

Let the weekend commence, and thank you for reading my blog!