We Made Masks

Honestly, I didn’t want to, but we did.

Here’s my quick soap box… I don’t feel like in a country like ours there should be a shortage of any health care PPE. Not in this day and age. Hospitals should not have to worry about getting PPE to protect our healthcare workers. We live in a land of plenty. A land of mass wealth, but we can’t supply our own people with protective gear to us safe from disease. Most of us in the US are very lucky and blessed to be in the situation we are on a typical day in the United States of America. But today we aren’t. States are not getting the supplies they need as a UNITED country. We are being led by a group of people that don’t believe in science and don’t see the need for PPE or clean air, etc. This is why I didn’t want to make masks. It makes me angry.

But here’s the flip side to why I didn’t wallow in my anger and protest the making of masks.

And yes, I’m stubborn and have been known to protest things!  Some funny things, some very personal and political things. Here’s a funny story. Back in the day there was a local drug store in New Orleans that was bought out by another store that didn’t sell Coca Cola products, only Pepsi products. I never went to that store again while I lived in New Orleans. Ha!

Ok, back to why I did make the masks.

Two reasons.

The first is that I’m lucky enough to still have a job, to be home and safe with my kiddo, husband and dog, and I have a stash of fabric and elastic. And the biggest thing is I have the skill and machines to make masks. Not everyone has these things. And I know that and I can’t take that for granted during these times.

The second reason comes from my job. I spend a lot of time in hospitals as an architect. I design rooms around codes that deal with the safety of workers and patients. Where does the PPE go, where do they put on the PPE, where are the hand wash sinks in relation to all the movements of the healthcare workers. And where are the trash cans for all the PPE to go. I see all the one time use, non recyclable products that we use in this country for PPE to protect ourselves. And it’s really depressing to me to see all these one time use products. Not that my masks are going to take the place of the disposable PPE in the hospitals, but my hope is that maybe this mass movement of sew-ers and quilters making masks, just maybe, there could be a shift in thinking from disposable to reusable. It’s hope that kept me moving as I made 47 masks last weekend.

OK, that’s my soap box.

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And these are my masks. I had a small list of friends and family that I wanted to make them for, but as I was cutting, I kept cutting. I didn’t keep count and had no idea how many I was actually making! There are probably a million tutorials out there. Between working 50 hours a week and trying to homeschool the kiddo I didn’t have the bandwidth to do a lot of research. I’ve always liked Dana’s tutorials from Made Everyday, so I just went with her tutorial that you can find here.

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A couple of things I do like about her tutorial is that that fit over the N95 masks if anyone can ever get those again and it has a pocket to put a filter in.

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I added a step from her tutorial. On the bottom of the front and back of each masks I did sew a 1/4″ hem so that when they get washed they won’t fray.

There has been a lot of discussion debating ties or elastic. I went with elastic. If I tried to tie a bow behind my head every time I wanted to put this on, I would never wear one. I’d tie my hair in knots and curse and complain every time! And the thought of constantly tying my sons mask to his head did not interest me in the least. So elastic it was for our family! And therefore, our family and friends, ha!

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There four different sizes in the tutorial. I made the kids and adults.

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And we ended up with 47 masks. Most all of them have found homes. I feel like I may have to make another small batch before I’m done with masks.

Last night at our Seattle Modern Quilt Guild one of our members did a very through presentation of the pros and cons and in and outs of making masks. You can find here presentation here. There’s a ton of information collected to help you make the best decision on which masks are right for you. Be sure to check it out!

Stay safe and healthy everyone!

Doggy Bandana Tutorial- Holiday Edition

Ok, there really isn’t any other edition other than the holiday edition! But you can make these dog bandanas for any occasion you’d like!

They are super simple, reversible and just fit over the collar so that there’s not another thing around the pups neck!

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Oh, and did I mention stinkin’ adorable???

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Here’s the story… I’m kinda obbessed with my dog and follow a lot of big white Great Pyrenees on IG (mine’s a mix, but very much a pyr in her own right!) and I see so many with these cute bandanas. Then the other night, when I was supposed to be making Christmas presents, this whole bandana thing popped in my head as a super easy thing to do. So I made two!

I put the kiddo and pup to bed and took Lulu’s collar. She was soooo not happy about me taking her collar! I don’t know why. And she seemed very happy to have it back the next morning.

I’ll show you how I made mine.

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First step is kinda obvious… You have to cut the pieces out! You can download the pattern here. And cut out two pieces.

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Along the top edge, the squared off edge, sew a French seam. First, sew along the top with a very scant 1/4″ seam, fabrics wrong sides together. Then fold the fabrics over at the seam, now right sides together and sew a 1/4″ seam. Easy peasy, but if you would prefer a more detailed French seam tutorial, they are all over the internet.

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Now you are going to sew a 1/4″ hem along the short, straight side. (the sides perpendicular to the French seam. Sorry, not a great photo for this step.) Fold over a 1/4″, then fold over another 1/4″ to hide the edges and stitch.

Then fold over, right sides together, and stitch along the triangle edges.

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Be sure to trim the edges at the point of the bandana to avoid bulk before turning right side out.

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Turn it right side out through the collar holes. Next I marked my stitching line from corner to corner, about 1 1/2″ from the French seam.

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Then topstitch and you’re ready to insert the collar!

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Look at that model pose!

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They really are super cute and quick! Now this one is sized for about a 65/70 pound dog with a 1″ collar. You can resize for a smaller dog and use the same process.

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I ended up giving the reindeer one to her cousin before she had a chance to model that one. I might just have to make another one! A quick and easy sew for a festive pup! Let me know if you have any questions!

 

One Hour Basket Teacher Gift

With the holiday giving season coming up, I want to share a bunch of the gifts I’ve made and never shared!

You probably remember the last gifts I shared about and probably remember the UW color scheme… Well, I kinda bought a lot more fabric than I needed for the first gift. So, I decided the end of school year present would be made with he same fabric! Every year since preschool, I have made tote bags for his teachers, with this label as a pocket on the outside.  Last year was the first year he had a male teacher and I wasn’t sure he’d want a tote bag, but I couldn’t not use the label… You can order the printed labels from Spoonflower. And you can download the label here.

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So I went with a one hour basket. Yep, one of those one hour baskets that take longer than an hour! I always use the same tutorial I used the first time I made this, from Kelby Sews. It takes me longer than hour becuase I alwyas make them pieced, rather than just a piece of fabric on the exterior.

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I started this one by cutting out a bunch of triangles. Did I say a bunch? Way too many… I have no idea what I’m going to do with the rest of them!

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I didn’t measure anything when I cut the triangles, but I did try to cut them as close to right triangles as possible without measuring or rulers. Then I sewed them together. Then I trimmed them. I wanted a certain height, but width I wasn’t concerned about. So I aligned my ruler so that I got a 5″ rectangle with the top and bottom edges aligned with the corners of the blocks.

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You can tell that they aren’t all the same width, right? And lastly, I quilted as you go onto the batting that gives the basket it’s shape.

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These baskets are great and you can give them to anyone for any occasion really! Every year I give the neighbors cookies. How awesome would it be to deliver them in one of these baskets?!? How about one ot hold all the Christmas cards? What would you gift these for?

 

 

Another 1 Hour Basket

I’m going through all the pictures I have of unshared projects and here’s another one!

Even though this one is old, I love it! This is a 1 hour basket that I made for a SMQG swap ages ago! This wasn’t my first rodeo, as they say, with the one hour basket. Which technically isn’t one hour if you are piecing and quilting it. Well, at least not for me! I made another one back in 2015. Both times I used the tutorial from Kelby Sews.

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For this one I used the techniques from Sew Katie Did’s Psychedelic Baby Quilt Class. I made a bunch of triangles, sewed them together and then added a top and bottom border.

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For this one, I used ribbon for the handles, rather than making actual handles. And I used some of my favorite fabric, the sprinkles from Cotton and Steel!

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I mentioned this was for a swap. And in the swap, I got this awesome Sew Together bag made by Kristy. I LOVE this bag! I use it all the time! But I’ve always been scared to make my own, so I was so excited to get it in the swap!

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OK, here’s where I need your help! Every year, I make the kiddo’s teacher a tote bag. This year his teacher is a Mr. Do I make a Mr. a totebag? Or do I make a Mr. a 1 hour basket for his desk? Or do you have an even better idea for a Mr. teacher? I was kinda thinking a 1 hour basket might be a nice idea…. Hmmm! Love to hear your thoughts!

Harry Potter Snitch Valentines

We still enjoy making our own Valentine’s over here! What about you?

This year we went with a Harry Potter theme, because we all love Harry Potter of course! (Ok, do you want in on a little secret? The truth is, I’m not the best planner and to get my Valentine’s done early enough to share, doesn’t actually happen… So the truth is, these were from last year! shhhh…)

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We designed the card, ordered the lollipops and gold paper and they turned out really cute! If I say so myself!

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We ordered the lollipops and the gold candy wrappers from Amazon.

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Super easy, just wrap the lollipops in the gold wrappers so they look as round as possible. Repeat for as many Valentine’s as you need.

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You can download the free Snitch Valentine by clicking here. They print two to a sheet, so print half as many pages as you need Valentines! And then cut out the 5×7 Valentines.

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This next part is a little more lollipop specific. The printable does show a circle of where to cut out the hole for the lollipops. I found that I had to enlarge the circle a bit and make a slightly different shaped, a little elongated shape. I suggest you start with the printed circle and then put in your lollipop and see how you need to enlarge it for your specific lollipop to fit halfway in. You also want to cut two little strips at the bottom to put your stick through.

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And repeat and repeat!

Oh, yes, don’t forget to sign them!

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According to the kiddo, the Harry Potter Snitch Valentines were a hit! Do you think they would be at your house too? We’ve broken out my Harry Potter books from when they first came out and we’re reading our way though the books! We’re only on Book 4. Have you read them? Re-read them? With your kids?  I’m loving re-reading them with my kiddo!

We’ve also made Penguin Valentines, Out of this World Star Crayon Valentines, Lego Valentines, Quilted Postcard Valentines and Pixelated Valentines.  And now Harry Potter! Enjoy!

Happy Valentines Day!

 

A Quickie Halloween Decorating Upgrade

I looked at my blog and noticed that I’ve posted about 8 times since last Halloween! And I have about 4 Halloween posts for this year… That goes to show you how much I love Halloween! And how much I miss blogging more often! Anyway, here we go with more Halloween fun!

My sister in law also likes to do it up for Halloween and she posted a a picture of her mantle with these fanastic mirrored skulls! They were beautiful. They totally inspired this project!

 

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When I went to Value Village I found these pumpkins that I thought would be fantastic nice and shiny silver! They are a little too ‘country chic’ for my décor, but a little paint can change that in about ten minutes. So I grabbed them! Not only does Value Village have a ton of costumes, but there’s also a lot of fun décor to be found there.

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And I just happened to have this mirror spray paint at home. So I decided to use it for this project. Notice the bottle says ‘Looking Glass’…  Well, it’s meant for painting on glass…  But whatever, right? Why not give it a try. These aren’t fine heirlooms that I’m dealing with. Just some nice secondhand decorations that need a new life, so let’s give it a try!

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The first coat had the look of old glass that the spray paint is supposed to give, so I was having some high hopes that it would work. The second coat covered it and gave it a just a nice flat silver color. Not exactly the look I was going for, but I love them none the less!

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The experiment did not get me the fabulous mirror look that my sister in law’s décor has, but I do love my new pumpkins! And the more matte finish may even be just the right finish for my décor!

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I love them! What do you think? How many projects have you updated with a quick bit of spray paint? You check out others I’ve done, like Christmas reindeer and more reindeer, sea shells and Easter bunnies!

 

I have been compensated with either payment or product for this post. All opinions are my own, honest opinions!

 

Halloween Decorating with Value Village

My husband always decorates the front porch for Halloween. For years we had this paper mache alien head that he would use for our ‘scary front porch friend.’ The last couple of years the head was getting damaged, and then it got so beat up that he went away…

So this year we needed new pieces to make our ‘scary front porch friend.’ Then I was contacted by Value Village to post about using the resources at their store for Halloween costumes or decorations. So I said, ‘yes,’ of course!

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So the whole family headed to Value Village to see what we could find! It’s always fun to try on masks! We love it! The store had a huge selection of new masks, but some of our favorites were the used ones!

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Tons of costumes! They have so many new costumes, but I wanted used. It took me a little while to figure out the difference between the new and used. Tons of everything else you need to make a scarecrow from just the normal everyday selection. And tons of heads! Mannequin heads. Why I wonder! Are they for Halloween? Or do they always have such a huge bin of Styrofoam heads?

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We came home with more than we needed, actually!

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We got the skeleton costume for $4. I thought it was going to great on the ‘scary front porch guy.’ I thought it would be cool to see the inside of our friend. Then we thought he’s wear the flannel. When we actually started stuffing him, we ended up going a little bit different route. But we did use the knife, the mannequin head and the creepy mask! Everything here is used except the knife. I almost didn’t get the knife because I thought I could find it cheaper somewhere else. I got it anyway and I’m glad I did. I haven’t seen another one at all and especially not one cheaper!

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We were going to use the flannel shirt for our friend, but thought the kiddos might get a kick out of seeing him in their school sweatshirt!

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Another new purchase we made was this skeleton guy! We love him! He’s fully articulated and posable! He and ‘scary front porch friend’ are going to be great friends for years to come!!

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Do you love to decorate for Halloween? Halloween and Christmas are my favorites for decorating!  What’s your favorite holiday to decorate for?

 

I have been compensated with either payment or product for this post. All opinions are my own, honest opinions!

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

This year was a bust… First off, I didn’t get to make a costume. The kiddo decided to be Harry Potter and we had already purchased most of the pieces. He’d been planning this for months! And then tonight he came home from school with 102 degree fever. So, while the other kids were getting dressed and heading out for some haunting, we hunkered down and watched a movie. The worst Halloween he said. Poor Kid!

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But I made another Halloween pillow! I’m so excited to trade it with a friend for a piece of art!

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I used my bat pattern that I have on Etsy! It was fun to break out the pattern again! It’s pretty quick and easy!

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I through is a little piece of with one of my favorite Halloween fabrics! I used this same fabric on my Halloween quilt from a few years back.

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I always say I’m going to add a zipper back, but then I never have one when I need one. So I always resort back to the envelope style back. And I’m fine with that! At least until I buy a stash of zippers…

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According to this guy, it’s pretty comfy too!

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If you decide to make a bat pillow, be sure to tag me, @imfeelincrafty, and the block, #thebatblock! I’d love to see what everyone else makes with them! I hope you all had a wonderful Halloween! I can’t wait until next year!

Left and Right Quilt Tutorial

Remember my do Good Stitches Left and Right quilt that I wrote about last month?

Honestly, It’s pretty easy…. I’ll show you how we did it. You’ll need 3 colors of fabric for the flying geese, white and a pile of grey scraps. Unfortunately, I don’t have a quantity of how much of each fabric you’ll need. You’ll need to do the math on that based on how large of a quilt your looking for.

image via A Quilters Table

First, we’re making a big batch HST. Have you tried my friend Debbie’s tutorial for big batch HST’s? It’s awesome! You can find it here.

To make your big batch HST’s you’ll need (1) 9×9 square of white for every color 9×9 square. (1) set of 9×9 squares will give you 18 HSTs.

You’ll also need to cut:

(9) 2.5×3.5 white rectangles- (1) for each set of HST (which will make 1 flying geese).
And grey scraps

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Once you’ve got your HST’s, we need to add the grey bits! Then line up the ruler so that you are cutting off the tip of the colored edge of the HST, 1.25″ away from the center.

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Add small scraps of grey to each corner. I suggest chain piecing at this point. I also didn’t trim the grey scraps. I just made sure they were big enough that once they are folded over, they cover the corner.

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Trim each HST block to 2.5 inch squares.

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Next, let’s make some flying geese! Sew together 2 HST’s to make your flying geese blocks. Chain piece again.

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Sew the 2.5×3.5 rectangles on to the left side of each HST block. Make sure they are all pointing in the right direction.

Then do it again and again and again for each of the three colors.

OK, from here on out, I don’t have very good pictures!

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Sew the blocks together along line 1, shown above, first. Do this with all the flying geese blocks.

Next take the double flying geese blocks and sew them together along line 2, shown above. Be sure to backstitch at the top and bottom of each!

And do that until you get length you want of the each of the rows of each color. Add strips of white between and you’re done!

There are a lot of little blocks, but they go pretty fast, especially if you chain piece them!

What do you think? Will you make it? If you do, please let me know! Can’t wait to see it!

Easter Cupcakes

Have you started planning for Easter? Easter baskets, snacks? Family meals? Egg decorating?

I admit that I am not a great cake decorator, but we had fun with these cupcakes! I came up with three different ones! It was just one of those days where you weren’t planning on making something, but the idea came and you had everything you need. I love those days!

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So, I am trying to come to terms with my cake decorating limitations, but I have another kitchen flaw… I’m also not good at boiling eggs! It seems like one of those things that everyone can do. You put eggs in water and boil the water, right… Well, I still have not made a batch of hard boiled eggs without cracking at least a few.

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So I had an idea of what to do with those broken ones! I carefully cracked them and removed the eggs. Then cleaned out the shells and dyed them just like the hardboiled eggs. In the nice little old fashioned Paas dye kits!

For these I just filled the eggs with robin’s egg candy and secured the egg shell in the icing!

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Here’s the OMG moment when I realized I had a whole bag of pompoms down stairs! A bag of different sized pompoms, a bit of red paper and some hot glue and you’ve got some chicks!  Oh, yea! You know that crafty feeling I’m talking about, don’t you? I was running back and forth with this big cheesy grin, decorating cupcakes and making pompom chicks!

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And for my third idea…

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I wanted to make a birds nest! The kiddo says it looks like a birds nest…  With jelly bean birds eggs. I think they turned out cute, too!

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But I’m pretty sure the pompom chicks are everyone’s favorite!