Surprise Fun Mail!

A lovely little package came to the door today. Nothing beats fun surprise mail! Thanks to my mom for thinking of me.

I've mailed out some fun mail packages to several spots including London this week to get some newbies started. If you're new to any of this and/or you'd like to encourage some quilters/piecers/applique beginners, please do so in the next couple of weeks and look to the blog for some itsy bitsy steps into the wonderful world of simple applique shapes for starters and then eventually piecing. I'm sending out 5" charms, mini sewing kits and some other basics. If you'd like a list, let me know and write up a quick post.



More Goodies Arrive

My second order from the Fat Quarter Shop arrived and everything is lovely. There were a few more things on my list that I put off a bit because I knew the Heather Ross 20th Anniversary release was due any minute...those collectible fabrics were ordered as soon as the email arrived and should arrive in a couple weeks.

I finally finished grading for the high school and the university this afternoon. It feels good to have that off the to do list for sure. I may pick up a friend and visit my classroom tomorrow if all goes according to plan then back at the end of June or first week of July to tidy my room and get ready for fall, assuming we're heading back and not on virtual learning. Only time will tell. Here's to getting into the sewing room for zen by the weekend...I know I can't be the only one that needs some crafty time.


Organization is Key

The new face mask caddy keeps me fairly organized and Clover Wonder Clips are the new must have.  The Bias Tape Making Kit is also well worth the splurge. I used to make bias by hand, and no surprise, it was my least favorite sewing-related activity. Not anymore! If you haven't purchased these tools and are making masks, do yourself a favor and make life a little easier.

Also, I did manage to organize the "shoe box" fat quarter storage and am fairly pleased with the results. Looking through them no longer makes my eye twitch. 😆 The second set in the stacked cubes has been combined with the shoe box to make more room for the 30s FQ sets...now there's room should a purchase or two come my way. 




Featuring Snug Fit for People Who Wear Glasses (Anti-Fog)

focus fabric (preferably quilters cotton)
quilter's cotton fabric for layering
Elastic 1/4 inch or Fabric binding (bias or straight) ties
Staples' 2 Inch Metal Self-Adhesive Fasteners
6 Clover Wonder Clips* Optional

Choose your fabrics. You'll need 3 pieces approximately 7" x 9" for each mask plus the two 7" each elastic or four approximately 18" fabric bias or straight binding ties.

Next, you'll line your fabrics up with the middle layer on the very bottom, the face or front fabric next and your elastic strips (7" each for average adults when using thin seams) kept in place with Clover Wonder Clips *may substitute with pins or small office binding clips but these are WELL worth the investment and you'll use them constantly. I use 6 to keep everything in place as shown in these photos.

If you're using fabric ties, you'll need to attach each with your Wonder Clips and keep all the lengths as close to the center as possible to avoid sewing through them. I stand 2 clips up to catch most of it (see photos).

When you have your clips in place, add the back fabric next (that will be closest to the mouth/nose when complete) but make sure to keep the outer side facing down towards your focus fabric since you'll be turning the fabrics inside out once sewn. If you are working with directional fabrics, be sure to mark the correct up and down on this layer with a little arrow in the seam allowance.

Your fabrics should look like this sandwiched layer of goodies before taking it to the sewing machine:


At your machine, you'll be starting sewing near the middle of the top side of the sandwich. Once you get comfortable doing this, writing directions on the visible current top layer will not be necessary. Be sure to tack down the start to prevent issues in turning. My seams tend to be about 3/8" for the inner layer then I trim before turning.

As you make your way around the rectangle, tack the elastic/ties several times and tack down the final segment, leaving about 2 inches for turning and placing the metal nose piece. 

Trim excess fabric to about 1/4" seam. Turn your fabrics out carefully and be sure to use your pointer or finger at the corners.
Press your rectangle top (focus) fabric and backside 3rd layer flat first. Next, place 2 folds and press those as well. I reinforce the folds with Clover Wonder Clips. Next, I fold down the sharper, thinner points on the Staples' Self-Adhesive Fasteners so that it looks like this:
Turn over the fastener to remove the sticker backing, allowing the adhesive to show. Tuck the strip into the opening but make sure that it is not close to the top seam as you'll be sewing a scant 1/4" topstitch there. I place the folded points outward so they don't irritate the nose over time and after multiple washes.
Next, you'll be closing the top opening and securing the folds with a topstitch using scant 1/4" seams. You may need to guide the bulk of the folds with a seam ripper. If so, be careful not to go too far in as you'll break the needle of your machine. 
Once the topstitching is complete around the mask, loosen the adhesive side within the layers and move it up next to your scant 1/4" seam allowance. You can use the adhesive to keep it in place. I reinforce with a couple of the Clover Wonder Clips to remind me to go back and do a second line of sewing beneath it. This creates a little pocket to keep your nose piece in place after multiple washes.

Make your final row of sewing, locking the nose piece within the channel and you're finished. 

Fabric Masks

Erica Arndt's Face Mask with Fabric Ties Tutorial

After searching and playing around with a few earlier versions, I found Erica Arndt's video most helpful, easiest and best fitting for quick projects. I'm working on a tutorial to help walk you through this mask pattern with lots of photos but it may be a day or two until it's complete.