Maria’s Potholders

My guild had their first in person meeting over the weekend. Maria organized a swap as a fun thing to welcome everyone back. I joined and was assigned Maria who wanted potholders.

Maria's potholders
Maria’s potholders

Potholders are almost the last thing I would consider making. When I use potholders I want them to protect my hands from the heat and I have not found that homemade potholders do that. Still, Maria wanted potholders, so I made potholders.

I had some Insulbright on hand, so I used that in addition to two layers of batting. The sandwich was super fat. I didn’t want to do very much thread sinking, so I didn’t quilt it as much as I could have, but they turned out pretty thin in the end. I hope all the layers will protect Maria’s hands.

She also wanted lime green. Since I made her a pillow before, I decided to stick with that theme and use the same block. I had to redraw the block in EQ8, because I couldn’t find my block from the swap. The proportions came out a little different in this piece, but I think they still look good.

I didn’t think about a hanging loop until it was too late to put one on. Oh well.

I added in pink because I like pink and it made the potholders look cheerful and celebratory. The theme of the swap is Celebration! so the colors fit. I made a gift bag in the same fabric as the binding. The gift is ready to go.

Finished: Eye Mask for Mom

3 Eye Masks
3 Eye Masks

Finally, I can show all of the eye masks together. I delivered the last eye mask yesterday to my mom for Mother’s Day.I know Mother’s Day is a week away, but she came over and refused to wait to open her gifts. It was fun to see her open it.

She has a gel mask, but I had already started making her this when I found that out. She said the one I made is much softer and larger, so will work really well for her.

You might remember that I showed my mask in January, which is when I finished all of them. Then, I showed Gerre’s mask in March after International Women’s Day.

You can see that I used Mom’s fabric so this goes with her set of small items. I have used the Dia de los Muertos fabric for Gerre before and this is now the fabric I am designating for her gifts since I ran out of the purple Asbury fabric.

Gerre’s Eye Mask

Gerre's Eye Mask
Gerre’s Eye Mask

I wrote about the eye mask I made for myself in January. At the same time I made two others and this is the second one, which I delivered to Gerre for International Women’s Day. It went with the Purse Organizer.

These eye masks are simple and quick to make assuming you have some rice on hand. I want to try adding some lavender, but don’t have any so I haven’t done that yet.

Renee’s Eye Mask

Renee's Eye Mask
Renee’s Eye Mask

Yes, I seem to be on an eye mask kick. I bought a large bag of rice and, with this mask, have used it up, so my eye mask efforts are finished for now. I like making a project a few times so I can get it right. This project will be a good quick gift going forward, assuming I buy more rice I want to use in eye masks and don’t want to eat.

Renee's Eye Mask - back
Renee’s Eye Mask – back

Renee is the Grand President of the Native Daughters of the Golden West. NDGW is the female version of the Native Sons of the Golden West. There are more dresses and more pomp and circumstance as well as more efforts to assist with various California History related projects. They also have a vibrant effort to help kids in various ways through their Children’s Foundation. If you are interested in joining, check their website. It is definitely an organization trying to find its way with a new generation, but there is potential and they do a lot of good.

The Grand President will be having a Parlor visit in April. Apparently, people make gifts and the Grand President opens them at this event. I am not able to attend this year, but I feel a special rapport with Renee, so I made her a gift. I will drop it off with the District Deputy and it will be sent on to her. Her theme is butterflies, which guided my choice of fabric.

Gift Post: Eye Mask

A friend of mine has Stage Zero Breast Cancer. I have never heard of Stage Zero Breast Cancer either, but she explained that it has something to do with calcifications. You’ll have to look it up, if you are interested. She said that her health system is one of the few that actually treats Stage Zero Breast Cancer. She will be having surgery on Friday.

Eye Mask gift
Eye Mask gift

I decided to make her an eye mask as I wanted to make her something that would provide comfort. After finding a piece of pretty fabric, I whipped it up and will be sending it off this morning.

After I made it I thought the curve would accommodate using it under her arm as well. I don’t know if that will feel good, but it is an option. I used the small amount of leftover fabric to make a small gift/storage bag.

Eye Mask Finished

My eye mask
My eye mask

Some time ago, I though about making some eye masks as gifts.This came up when my eye doctor said to put a hot compress on my eyes every night to prevent something I can’t remember now. I was suffering from whatever it was (stys?) at the time and the doc was concerned. I had never had them before, but when I told my mom, she said she gets them all the time. Then another friend said the same thing and here I am.

I know the side I closed after filling the eye mask is oddly shaped. The others came out better.

I used the Chloe Mullaney pattern with some changes. I guess I basically only used the pattern piece. This isn’t a difficult project: cut out the pattern piece from fabric, sew right sides together, fill with rice and close up. Yes, I used rice, because I wasn’t sure how other fillings would act in the microwave.

I bought a hand towel at Tuesday Morning to use as the back, which was not part of the pattern. I thought a towel would be more comfortable and more absorbent than quilting cotton. I wanted something pretty for the front, but purely functional for the back. I was able to get 3 pieces out of the fluffy part of one hand towel. The Tuesday Morning towel was very good quality, but not expensive.

 

Swap Gift

Minikins 2: Sewing Room Stand
Minikins 2: Sewing Room Stand

Yesterday we all opened our  swap gifts. Thus I know my swap giftee received the gift I made back in May. I mentioned that I had made it for someone, but didn’t say who.

The parameters of the swap were to make a pattern you have been wanting to try.

I did end up following those parameters by making a Boxy Clear pouch for Angela.

Minikins 2: Sewing Room Stand tool side
Minikins 2: Sewing Room Stand tool side

For the swap gift, I used colors I thought Sue S. would like and use. Angela helped me out by asking Sue about her decor and preferences. Originally, I thought I would make a cushion cover, but then I changed my mind. I have seen Sue S. at Sew Days using her tablet to follow a pattern. Thus I thought the Minikins Sewing Stand would be great. It isn’t a pattern I have been wanting to try specifically, but I have been wanting to try all of the Minikins.

Minikins 2: Sewing Room Stand tablet side
Minikins 2: Sewing Room Stand tablet side

I confused the lining and exterior, so the light is on the outside and the tools have to be against dark fabric, but at least Sue gets to look at pretty fabric.

I really hope she likes it and it is useful to her.

Gift Face Masks

I had some large-ish ‘scraps’ recently, so made a couple of masks for the YM. Since I was mailing him a package I also made one for his girlfriend. She is S-i-Ping 4 hours away from the YM, but I know that that they are trying to see each other as often as possible.

Black Circle Mask
Black Circle Mask

By ‘large-ish scraps’ I mean pieces too large for my scrap bin, but too small for filing in the bins I use for my larger pieces of yardage. For me, it is better to cut them up either for future projects or into usable sized patches. Some of the pieces were large enough that I had enough for masks. I want the YM to have enough for at least two weeks, so he can have a fresh one every day, so cutting mask pieces has been on my mind.

Green Vine Mask front
Green Vine Mask front

Of course, I didn’t have any dark green scraps, so I had to delve into yardage to find the YMG’s favorite color. I have very little dark green, but I found this Jinny Beyer print that I bought pre-blogging and decided it would work. I hope the horizontal vines don’t come across as having a passive-aggressive meaning…or something.

Black Circle Mask Elastic
Black Circle Mask Elastic

This is the same video pattern I have been using. I described some issues I was having in the last Face Mask post. I worked on redoing the way I insert elastic on these. I sewed similar rectangles on the ends, but inserted the elastic so that the ends are covered by folding the ends in. I might have made the elastic a little small, but we will see. I don’t try on masks I am sending to other people, so I don’t know if the edges will flap out like my previous batch. I know it is a small thing easily covered by hair, but the detail bugs me.

Face Mask Details

I said in a previous face mask post that I needed to fix some details in the DIY Cloth Face Mask pattern.

Chrysanthemum Face Mask -closed gusset raw edges
Chrysanthemum Face Mask -closed gusset raw edges

First, the gussets needed to have, for certain, the raw edges covered. After adding the nose pieces, I did one fold and sewed the raw edge closed.

This adds an extra layer of fabric, which is a challenge later, but with the covering of the longer main mask panel (you can see it sticking out past the 12 on my mat), I think it will keep the raw edges from unraveling.

I could have sewed the raw edges closed before adding the nose piece, but I didn’t. Feel free to do it that way.

Chrysanthemum Face Mask Elastic
Chrysanthemum Face Mask Elastic

In my post the other day, I mentioned using elastic. My elastic goes all the way around the back of my head as opposed to just over the ears as the video shows. With glasses and headphones, I have too much stuff on my ears already to add a mask to the poor overburdened body part.

I am not sure this is the best way to add elastic across the back. The folded over edges stick out a little so the look isn’t sleek.

Once the raw edges of the gussets were secured, I fold over  the edges of the main mask panel and tucked the elastic inside. Then I sewed in a rectangle, going over the stitching closest to the middle of the mask twice.

Chrysanthemum Face Mask -changes
Chrysanthemum Face Mask -changes

I add the nose piece to the pattern by aligning the middle of the nose piece with the mark on the fabric, then surrounding the nose piece with pins, so I know where it is. I sew around it, removing the pins as I go and being careful not to sew over them or the nose piece.

The top arrow shows where the  nose piece is.

The bottom arrow shows the two strands of elastic. I measured them at 10 inches for my head. Of course, you can adjust them to your needs.

I don’t know when I will have the opportunity to wear this mask out. When I do, I will report back.

 

Face Mask Saga Continues

The guild had Virtual Sew  Day on Saturday. There were 9-10 people at any one time, which seemed  like a good number. After I put some rectangles on the design wall (empty after taking FOTY 2018 to the longarmer), I worked on masks.

I am still using the DIY Cloth Face Mask video pattern and I am getting more familiar and more confident with it. After wearing the mask I made with this pattern and a cord lock for several hours on Friday, I decided to make another mask using this pattern with elastic instead of a cord lock.

This pattern works very well with my glasses. I added a nose piece, thanks to Friend Julie and her husband for keeping me supplied! With the nose piece well adjusted, I get very little, if any fogging. Allergies are torturing me, though, so I sneezed a few times while wearing the mask which reminded me why I need multiple masks.

Also, the cord lock and cording works well if I am wearing a ponytail. I can hook the top cord over my ponytail and then tighten the cord lock behind my neck. Getting the mask tight helps with preventing fogging. The problem is that I was wearing my hair down and by the time I got home I think large chucks of hair were embedded in the cord lock. πŸ™

Chrysanthemum Face Mask
Chrysanthemum Face Mask

My new mask, which is the exact same pattern as the red dot mask, has elastic instead of a cord lock. It fits well and the nose piece fits tightly around my nose. The real test will be when I wear it out.

The elastic is slightly better for this test on the couch, but I can tell any kind of mask wearing is better with my hair up. I think a hairdresser/stylist who designs a hair cut for mask wearing will be a genius.

DH has his collection and didn’t want anymore for the moment. I will make him one to wear with his tuxedo, assuming we ever get to dress up again, but I am going to wait until I get the pattern exactly right.

Four Masks - early July
Four Masks – early July

I made four masks. I experimented with fussy cutting and was pretty successful on the mask main panel. I wasn’t as successful with  the gussets, but I can do better next time.

One is for the YM, because it makes me feel better to make him masks. The other two are gifts as well.

Best Face Mask Yet

Best Face Mask Yet
Best Face Mask Yet

I feel like I made progress on a face mask I can make quickly that will work with my/DH’s/ YM’s glasses. The original pattern for this one came from the video tutorial I talked about before. I like this pattern because of the shape and the ease of making it. I tweaked the pattern to make it work better for us.

Some of the changes I made:

I added a nose piece. Julie sent me some nose pieces, which work really well. Since they help keep our glasses from fogging up, I have been adding them to masks I make.

I made the top and bottom gussets (not sure if that piece is a gusset or not) longer to try and ensure that the raw edges were covered. That is something that didn’t work as well as I had hoped. All the pieces were too thick and hard to sew through when I went to make the channels.

Face mask with stretchy cord
Face mask with stretchy cord

I used stretchy cord from Maker’s Mercantile and a cordlock. This allows me to really pull the  mask tight around my face. The bad part is that I was wearing my hair down and the cordlock got caught in my hair. πŸ™ I think it would work ok while wearing a ponytail. I don’t, however, want to have to always wear a ponytail.

It is still not ideal, but the good points are:

  • doesn’t fog up my glasses as much
  • I can pull it tight because of the cordlock
  • relatively quick to make
  • The good part of the stretchy cord/cordlock combo was that it didn’t add more stuff to my ears. I went out to drop off a gift wearing this mask and wearing glasses, headphones and elastic on my ears is too much.

Points on which to work

  • encasing raw edges  – I think I will keep the gussets the original size from the pattern and sew the raw edges closed.
  • try adding elastic around the back instead of stretchy cord
  • The channels were to small to insert the cord. I used the Purple Thang, which worked pretty well, though it kept getting stuck on a seam, I think, inside the channel. Inserting the cord was not a smooth process. Deirdre talked about using a stainless steel straw to keep the channel open. I don’t have one of those, but my get one and try it.
Face Mask front
Face Mask front

This is not the same pattern that I used before, but I did use the same fabric. It is double gauze and I thought it would be comfy.

I haven’t given up on other patterns, especially the one my friend Deirdre sent me. I will try that one with a nose piece and elastic around the back to see if that works for me.

Mask Collection

PDL Mask Collection
PDL Mask Collection

DH got some masks in the mail from my mom. He now has quite the collection! She uses different patterns than I have used, but she has also made a lot more.

I am still experimenting, as I have said, so I try and pick fabrics that he will wear, but may not be fabrics that he will wear to work. That will come when I find the pattern and style that works for us. My mom made him a black one that he can wear with his tuxedo. Of course, I have no idea if we will ever attend a black tie event again.

More Masks

Gail's masks
Gail’s masks

In an effort to help out my neighbor, I made her some more masks. I am also using her as a guinea pig. She will tell me what she likes and doesn’t like about the masks, I hope.

The top one (Martelli pattern) I modified and put a nose piece in it. I like the pattern for that mask, because it goes together really quickly. We have decided, however, that we prefer straps that go around the back of our head, so we can loop the masks around our neck when they aren’t actually covering our faces (in the car or when we aren’t around people). Also, additional things around our ears compete for space with glasses and headphones. I’ll probably make this one again with straps/elastic that go all the way around the back.

The bottom mask is from the video pattern I talked about. It has those wings on the top and bottom. I need to try making it with straps around the back as well. I wonder how it would be if I made an X on the back with the straps (elastic)?

I don’t think I mentioned it before, but our neighbor only had one mask which is why I offered to make her some. She is keeping that one for ‘good’ and since I had more of the same fabric, I made a couple more. I don’t think she understands how much fabric I have. It’s nice for me to be able to do something for someone. She also makes lemon curd for us and supplies us with lemons. It’s a fair trade.

Inside Outside Pouch

Inside Outside Pouch in process
Inside Outside Pouch in process

After making the Boxy Clear Pouch, I decided to try the Inside Outside Pouch. I was so pleased with how quickly the Boxy Clear Pouch went together that I thought 2 additional zippers wouldn’t be so bad. I am still working on small projects while I wait for my design wall materials to arrive.

I cut the pieces out during Virtual Craft Night on Monday and felt like it didn’t take much time at all. I think I felt like I was cutting out similar pieces to the ones I cut for the Boxy Clear Pouch.

On Tuesday night, I started sewing right after work and spent about an hour on the project. I really got a fair way into the process before I stopped because it was getting late.

There are many aspects of this project that are the same as the Boxy Clear pouch so it feels like I am reinforcing skills or pattern steps that I did the other day. also, I think I am used to working on the complicated (but fabulous!) ByAnnie patterns and this one is much easier, though just as effective.

I did not want to stop working on it. I was having such a good time and making such good progress that I wanted to keep the feeling going. I may be able to finish tonight. Then I may have to start working on a second version!!!

Boxy Clear Pouch pt.2

Boxy Clear Pouch
Boxy Clear Pouch

I talked about the Boxy Clear Pouch yesterday. I realized I had more to say about this project, which surprised me since it is a small project.

Boxy Clear Pouch - zipper end detail
Boxy Clear Pouch – zipper end detail

One of the things I liked was the finishing on the zipper.  On the stop end, the designer, Aneela Hoey, has the maker stop 5/8 inch from the end. I didn’t know why, but realized that it was to accommodate the zipper draping over the end of the pouch.

Boxy Clear Pouch - inside detail
Boxy Clear Pouch – inside detail

In general, I try to avoid zippers hanging over the end of a pouch, but this pattern’s design makes me realize what the designer is trying to do.  Utilizing a long zipper makes the pouch into one that opens wide. This means that things can’t get hidden inside. Somehow I didn’t realize it or realized it only briefly and then forgot.

Boxy Clear Pouch - zipper detail
Boxy Clear Pouch – zipper detail

I could have done a bit better job on the beginning of the zipper, but, again, Ms. Hoey does a great job with the design. The beginning of the zipper is far enough back so the binding doesn’t get in the way and there is no issue with sewing through a million thickness layers on the end.

My one criticism, which is the same criticism I had with another one of her patterns, Speedy Pouches, the binding ends. The designer doesn’t really say what she does to tuck in the ends. I cut them off and tucked them in as well as I could to make them even with the top edge of the pouch, then I handstitched them down. I’ll have to take a look at her website to see if she ever talks about it.

The one thing I did wrong, which ended up not mattering much, was switch the lining and the exterior fabric. The pieces were fairly uniform and the pouch ended up looking fine with the lining fabric on the outside.

I am pleased, as I said, with how this project turned. The pouch was larger than I expected even though I made the small size. I would have liked an even smaller version