Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Wandering Wednesday - Just Over the Line

We went just over the county line to have a masks-on, social distanced chat with my parents. They took the opportunity to drive the fun car. We sat in the parking lot in the shade, watching all the motorcycles and sports cars out for a Saturday drive.
This was the highlight of the week for me, probably the highlight of the whole quarantined month just to get to see them in person and see that they are doing O.K.
And we scored some oranges from their tree and a bonus jar of orange marmalade (thanks mom!)
How about that lovely blue hair on my mom? She said she's getting a little bored, I think it's beautiful on her. They're wearing masks that their neighbors made for them, isn't that the nicest thing?

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Covered Up

This has been my only sewing for the past week.

Two cheap-o terrycloth towels sewn together on three sides to put over our rear-view mirrors.

All three cars' side mirrors were getting used by the birds as their toilets. Bleah. There was a last straw situation when my DH washed the car, took the dog for a walk, came back and the mirrors were coated *again*.

So these worked out and were very easy to make, certainly not worth all the applause I received. I made six of them, two for each car, no closures or anything, we just slipped them over and pushed the mirrors back.

Sorry not sorry, birds.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

No Wandering Wednesday

I had to go out today and do a couple of errands, like getting my allergy shot and go to the dispensary. So strange how quickly going out of the house has become a Big Event. I think it's very exciting to get to drive somewhere all on my own which is....pretty wild. 

Check out the ceiling lamps, isn't that an interesting arrangement? I never would have thought of doing that, grouping them all together, but I think it looks very cool. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Still Stitching

 I've spent a few more hours stitching on my panel for the 25,000,000 Stitches project. Here's how it looks out on the clothesline in the bright sun.
 A little bit see-through, but a cool texture picture. Hey this picture would be a good jigsaw puzzle.

 I think I like the balance of stitching, but I'm not quite done yet.

Monday, April 20, 2020

On To Quarter Two

 This is my quarter two Finish-a-Long list. This time I chose nine projects.
Blue Squares - This was on last quarter's list, and then I didn't get it dropped off to the long-armer. I'm putting it on here again, in the hopes of actually getting to it. Hopefully there's a social-distancing way to do it.
 City Sampler - This was on the list last quarter as well, and I got as far as getting the first part of the sashing sewn on to each of the 100 blocks.

2016 Calendar Quilt - the blocks are all done, but not assembled. It won't be too huge, so it's do-able.
 May You Ever Return - Feeling like it's now or never on this one. I really love this one, and I'd love to get it completed.

25,000,000 Stitches panel, it's due in May. Not sure how much more stitching I'll do, but I'm enjoying working on it.

Gypsy Wife - I got part way into this quilt and have been wanting to get back to it, now that it's on the list, I have (my own) permission!

 Four Living Room Cushions - sitting around at home so much lately, has kept this project on the list.
Ebb & Flow - I have the sketch done, and it's up on my design wall, but hasn't gotten much further and I'd like to finish it!

Celestial Round Robin - This was on last quarter's list. I got pretty far on it, it's 75% quilted.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Say It Right

One of those things you never ever think about, until you do:



That's why it's:

The Quick Brown Fox Jumps Over The Lazy Dog

and not:

The Brown Quick Fox Jumps Over The Lazy Dog

This is the agreed-upon order that we use adjectives in the English language. If you do it any differently you'll sound strange, maybe even crazy. If you're writing the sentence yourself and you re-read it, the word that's in the wrong place will stand out as quite odd and you'll rearrange the words until it's *right*.

It's pretty wild. when you start thinking about it.

I think it'd make a great quilt series.

I'd use one of the OSACOMP words either in each piece, or as part of the pieces' title and then present it as a whole with the quilts having to be shown in a certain order and then see if anyone got it or not. This of course assumes someone wants to show 8 quilts all in a row with something obscure yet obvious tying them together. This likely won't get much beyond this point, so don't worry. But I'm still putting it in the "Quilt Series Ideas" tag just in case.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Walk Walk Walk

 We walk in the morning.
 We walk all the time
 Up and down our very hilly street

We parade up and down the street

again and again

And again, every single day,

Sometimes twice
We are very very tired.

Signed, Meg

Friday, April 10, 2020

Friday Bouquet

I neglected to take a picture of our Passover diner table from the other night, because I was enjoying myself so much. (And racing around making haroset and matzo ball soup). But here's a photo of the bouquet of flowers that I picked from my garden that we used as our centerpiece. I'm enjoying having the heady scent of the lilac and rose at the table. Also in there are calendula, forget-me-not and some Dusty Miller. Once again I wish there was such a thing as smell-o-vision for online content so I could share it with you.

We managed to video chat connect with my daughter and her partner in California, my brother-in-law in New York, my sister-in-law and her family in California, as well as her sister in-law (so my sister-in-law-in-law? is there a word?) who lives in Israel. She actually woke up just to have a glass of wine with us in the middle of the night and go back to sleep.

It was marvelous and technically glitchy and hilarious, and it was so lovely to see the people we miss so very much. We talked a lot about how in this year of all years, the Seder story means so much more. The Jewish people have survived a whole lot, including plagues of course, and they're still around to tell the tale. And that's kinda the main point, isn't it?

Thursday, April 09, 2020

A Whole Raft of Masks

My family put in their orders for masks, and I dug through my batik stash to find the ones that would work the best. Two pieces of fabric, one inside, one outside, with a big contrast so you can easily tell which is which.
 Here they are before adding the ties to the masks.

 Ack, so that was a whole lot of fiddly sewing. The instructions are clear, but there are a lot of steps. But these turn out really well, very sturdy. But hey, I'm done and these are all in the wash right now and ready to send out tomorrow. (in a lingerie bag so the ties don't get snarled up)

Hope your mask-making is going well!

Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Color Box Complete

 Another finish for the first quarter, from my finish-a-long list is Color Box. Hard to believe it's finally finally done.
I had to square it up and then bind it.
And adding on a hanging sleeve and label of course.

Here's a clothesline full quilt picture, not an official one yet because I have something on my design wall at the moment.
 And the obligatory bonus Meg picture. Sorry, buddy this one's going on the wall, you don't get to sit on it.

Monday, April 06, 2020

So Purple

 Here's one of the finishes I have for the first quarter of the Finish-A-Long. Made from the Park Bench Pattern Griffith Park skirt. **No longer for sale from the company, that's an etsy link.
I was sewing the hem by folding up and ironing it at the CQFA retreat in January, until friend, Jaye said why aren't you using a hemmer foot? Duh! I had to look up a how-to video, and then I used mine. It did a bang-up job, very easy once I remembered how to work the thing. And now my skirt is done and hanging in my closet ready for a nice day.

Sunday, April 05, 2020

Another Day Another Mask

Another try at this mask making thing. 

Thanks to friend Sonja for her advice on trying out this pattern which was designed by a nurse for other nurses. It's mostly a video tutorial along with lots of helpful notes. The pattern itself is very well done with useful and clear markings. 

This one fits much better and the integrated ties really made the mask fit well.  I used the same aluminum pieces as the masks from yesterday

By the way, I got the real story on where exactly my DH sourced his aluminum for the nose bridges. It is not 1/4" aluminum flashing, it is a 1/4" strip that my DH cut off of a roll of normal sized roof flashing which is 12" wide. Nice to know where my supplies are really coming from.

My DH really likes this one the best and has claimed it as his own, so I'm off to make a few more of these babies. Nieces have asked for black & white or blue/green, BIL wants pink, and my SIL said anything is fine as long as it has elastic loops because she has a broken shoulder and can't tie the straps behind her head herself.

Things we really like about this mask:

  1. The pleating which will accommodate all sorts of face shapes and feels roomy when you're wearing it. (It can actually be worn over an N95 mask.)
  2. The clever nose dart that helps the nose-bridge piece work so well to hold the mask to your face and come closer to making an actual seal.
  3. The under-chin folds which help shape the mask around the jaw.
  4. A pocket for an added filter if you want.
  5. The ties are really sturdy and make the mask fit very well.

It's a little fussier of a pattern compared to the one from yesterday's post, but I think it's overall a better mask. This is the one  I'll be making from here on out.

Saturday, April 04, 2020

Masks On

I've been sitting out all the face mask making drives so far. There was so much confusing information and so many medical professionals pooh-poohing home-sewn masks as being at all helpful. There are a lot of different types of patterns out there, and so many requests for one or another for different applications. Before I put in the time and effort, I wanted to make sure that the masks I made would actually be used.

From what I've gathered, having something on the bridge of the nose that will conform to the shape is most helpful. And elastic loops over the ears are easy to make but wear out quickly when the masks get frequently washed, so cloth ties are better as well as being more adjustable.

So now that the guidelines have been changed to recommend everyone wear a mask when going out, I'm going to practice and make some for our own use. My sister-in-law has asked for some. I think I'll also make some for my mom and dad as well.

According to the latest information, two layers of quilter's cotton, especially those very tightly woven batiks works the best to filter particles as small as the virus.

After our experience living in China, we got used to seeing a lot of people regularly wearing masks. Their society's experience with SARS and MERS made it essential for it to become the every day custom. So now when we go out here for our once weekly trip to the grocery store, it is good thing to finally see some people wearing masks.

* Wearing a mask tells other people that you are taking this whole Covid-19 thing seriously.

* You are wearing one not to keep yourself healthy but instead to keep others healthy.

* It also might help protect you, but it isn't a guarantee. At the very least it will help you remember not to touch your face.

Remember the whole thing with this particular virus is that if you have caught it, you may have no symptoms at all for up to two weeks! But during those two weeks, every time you are out and about, any cough, laugh or even talking can result in teeny droplets of saliva in which the virus is riding along going out into other people's noses, mouths or eyes. Then they have it, and you have no idea at all that you've been spreading it to others.

So wear a mask if you have to go out, keep other people safe from you, just in case.

Of course the key is to still stay home, ie, don't go out more often now, just because you have a mask.
There are no guarantees with this thing, it's an invisible enemy that we're all up against, and the more our fellow humans stay home or stay away away from each other, the faster we can go back to "normal".

Okay, so onto the mask making!

My super helpful husband made me the metal bits for the bridge of the nose shaper out of 1/4" aluminum flashing that we happened to have around  (?!?!? don't ask me I just live here).
We discussed how to not have the ends be sharp which would cut through fabric, thread or people's faces. At first we were going to go with duct tape, but I thought it might get messed up when getting washed over and over. He figured out how to round off the edges with some cutting and sanding. These feel just like the store-bought surgical mask nose bridges when they're sewn in, very flexible but still sturdy. Really makes the mask fit well.

Here's the first mask I tried making. Very easy directions and the pattern is well done. If you want a video tutorial, this is the one that goes with this pattern.

I thought it worked out pretty well, the curve in the center works well for the three nose/chin combinations in our household. I found that the elastic over the ears was irritating to my skin, but that might be just me and my sensitive skin.  I also think the length the pattern suggested for the elastic wasn't quite long enough.

So I tried making another one, this time with ties instead, and it was much more comfortable for me. Not as easy to put on, but not that much harder if you can tie a bow.

I liked the adjustable-ness of the ties instead of the fixed length elastic.
Also, this pattern has a bonus in that there is an opening to slip a filter inside, like a piece of vacuum cleaner bag, or a coffee filter for extra protection.
Tomorrow, I'm going to try out another pattern that is is a pleated rectangle instead of a curved center seam.

Friday, April 03, 2020

My Home Office

When it's not raining, I'm lucky enough to be able to say that this is my home office:
  1. Comfy cushions - ✅
  2. Charged up laptop (that is gets a better wifi connection outside than in for some reason?)✅
  3. Cut up Cara Cara Orange- ✅
  4. Nail Polish because I need some color on my toenails -✅
  5. A beautiful day ✅✅✅✅✅✅
Will I get anything done? Well...that's a topic for another blog post I suppose.

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

No Wandering Allowed Wednesday

Sigh. Feeling like the skeleton of this once productive and useful leaf.

So no wandering about for a while now. We've been pretty locked down in the house since the second week of March. And it's looking like we'll maybe be allowed out and about by the end of May...maybe? But, hey the lilacs are blooming like crazy:

Getting pretty bored in a house full of stuff to do, along with two of the people I love most in the world here with me safe (and also quite bored). Lucky lucky lucky we are. Oh the privilege to be bored, right? The orchids keep on blooming, because that's what they do, even in a pandemic.

So back to blogging, why not?