Thursday, September 17, 2020

New Project: EBHQ Lone Robin Part 1 of ?

 I've started another project (without finishing anything I have previously started).

This one is EBHQ's Lone Robin.  Each month there is a clue to add to a quilt - pictures are shared, we work at home.  Similar to the Liberated Round Robin I hosted a few years ago...  

I'm late to joining in, but have had fun getting things together.

#1  Make one or more blocks that feature curves.  I decided to start with the blocks I made in February 2020 while I was up in Berkeley for a EBHQ workshop.  But these blocks were made in a Circular Rectangles workshop taught by Claire Sherman at Hello Stitch.  A really fun class.  I put my untrimmed blocks on the class design wall. We decided it was good to have some plain blocks to highlight the special blocks made in class.

#2  Add one or more Flying Geese.  I thought I would try to use only the orange Marimekko fabric that I got a few years ago.  By cutting areas of the orange and red fabric, I would have some very cool looking flying geese to add to the Lone Robin.  The blocks were getting smaller in size, so I decided to add a larger circle from the Marimekko fabric too.

#3  Add stripes or strips. Any size, any width, anywhere.  I already broke my internal rule of only using the orange fabric when I remembered the blocks I had started making for a baby quilt a few years ago... These herringbone blocks were supposed to be easy, peasy - but they were very hard for me to trim up correctly.  They are made of strips and have the colors in the fabric that I used for Claire's class. I will add another stripe block next to the four flying geese (or move the lower strip block so it is next to the lower flying geese).

#4 Squares are the next motif to add.  Again, any size, any location.   I could put the plain large blocks back in and be done.  Hmm.  Thinking about this now...

Guess I will sew what I have together now, that will be more in the spirit of the challenge I know.  I will sew them in the order the clues were given out...

See the 2nd Liberated Round Robin I started (and haven't finished yet) in 2012. That one starts with the first block being anything, then rounds with triangles, squares, rectangles, curves.  I did liberated blocks, but I arranged them very traditionally.

I decided to put batting on and to start quilting it at this stage:

Nothing more has been done on this project - yet!

Having a lot of fun working on the EBHQ Lone Robin now!


Incredibly strange times.  Scary times.  Glad to be healthy, to have our son with us now, to be able to work on quilt projects and use zoom to get together with others.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

EBHQ: Online Workshop: Latifah Saafir: Molehills Quilt - First Prep

East Bay Heritage Quilters is wonderful. I joined a few years ago when Claire became one of their Workshop Chairs. I knew her only from the Liberated Quilters group on Yahoo. Anyway, she needed more people to attend a workshop and offered to host me if I could come. So I did! I have had a few years of wonderful quilting and friendship filled weekends since then.

Since the Covid-19 shut in order, the guild has been organized so locals can pick up supplies to make masks, and kits to make charity quilts. Once made they are dropped off and then distributed to various places.
From on 8-16-20. At last count EBHQ sewists have made and given away over 6,900 masks, 150 gowns and 150 surgical caps to various local medical groups and community organizations.
They have had zoom meetings and meet-ups. At first there was a presentation by Pati Fried who was going to teach the workshop and give the lecture at the meeting. She gave a very nice presentation, Quarantine Quilting: Listening to Your Inner Self to Spark Your Creativity, that coincidentally brought in several Ed Tech concepts when talking about quilting. I really enjoyed it and had fun sharing with my husband (the Ed Tech professor) afterwards. When I have attended the member meet-ups, they suggested a topic so every one got their turn to respond to the topic, and show off anything they were working on. Very nice. Smart to give us guidance so it wasn't just a chit-chat event.
And this month they are having their first online workshops!  I signed up right away.

Molehills Quilt

The design is made using paper piecing.  We can do a block so the curve is just one piece, or many, or can insert what ever shapes we'd like.  It reminds me of an echoing clam shell pattern or a Baptist fan type of design - but with fabric not with stitching.

I printed the templates and made them so the pieces would be all with one kind of fabric, so I can trace around them to get my fabric marked.  I glue sticked the pattern to a file folder, then cut it out.  Then I used regular liquid glue to put that on top of another file folder.  Waited for it to dry then cut that out.  I used scotch tape to position the templates with more than one piece together, then finished by putting packing tape on both sides of the joining parts of each template.

Later I will print more and cut them apart so I can have at least a few curves made with many pieces of fabric. These will be good also to help me check the sizes of pieces that I create with little pieces.

I'm getting excited about the workshop and getting ready for my full day of sewing!

It will be very nice to know how to join these all to make a quilt, that's for sure.

Her other workshop looks so interesting too - but I would have to give up one of my exercise sessions as the events overlap. Right now I'm leaning toward keeping with the exercise appointment.  Subject to change depending on other things.

I'm so glad that Claire and I have become friends, and so pleased to now be a member of EBHQ!

I'm delighted to feel like I know how to get food and supplies for my family, so even during this time of crisis I can spend time sewing and having fun again!

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Fooled Again Shame on Me

Last post I shared a link and information from the

San Diego Community Volunteers for Coronavirus Response

It was incorrect, and I apologize for contributing to the spreading of misinformation.

It may be that that San Diego hospital runs out of face masks, but it was not a true statement then to say they have and are asking for home made masks.

If you have made masks I understand they may be welcomed by grocery clerks, delivery people, home less people, nursing homes or rehabilitation centers (for example).

I have now subscribed to my local newspaper, so I am better informed on the local situation.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Time to Sew for Hospitals? How to make a Face Mask?

I admit, I was thinking that after getting our food inventoried and more orders made, I was going to spend the day working on one of the many online quilting projects.  But now I'm going to get set up to make masks....

Targeted for San Diego, but unfortunately I think all areas now or soon will need these.

UCSD Hospital is completely out of masks, no joke. They are pleading for home-made masks. Scripps says they will be out in 3 weeks. Anyone who sews and has close weave cotton material is asked to fire up the old Singer. There is a tutorial on how to sew them on If you have collected extra manufactured masks you don't really need, they need them badly. Either way I'll have a box on my front porch at XXXX Poway . These cotton masks will be washable and reusable.

The masks that you may have heard are coming from construction and 3-M will help but not not be anywhere near enough. Each health worker goes through many each day. I don't sew so I can't answer your questions but I think the CDC website may be able to.

Posted by a member of the:

San Diego Community Volunteers for Coronavirus Response

Facebook Group

How to make a Face Mask (there is a video to help make too)

What you will need

  • - Cotton fabric, a pretty print is best.
  • - Rope Elastic, beading cord elastic will work (you may also us 1/8” flat elastic)
  • - Cut the elastic 7” long and tie a knot at each end (DO NOT knot the ends of the flat)

You can make two sizes: Adult or Child

  1. Put right sides of cotton fabric together o Cut 9x6 (Adult) or 7.5 x 5 (Child) 
  2. Starting at the center of the bottom edge, sew to the first corner, stop. Sew the elastic with the edge out into the corner. A few stitches forward and back will hold this. 
  3. Sew to the next corner, stop, and bring the other end of the same elastic to the corner and sew a few stitches forward and back. 
  4. Now sew across that top of the mask to the next corner. Again put an elastic with the edge out. 
  5. Sew to the next corner and sew in the other end of the same elastic. 
  6. Sew across the bottom leaving about 1.5” to 2” open. Stop, cut the thread. Turn inside out. 
  7. Pin 3 tucks on each side of the mask. Make sure the tucks are the same direction 8. Sew around the edge of the mask twice. 
East Bay Heritage Quilters  posted these links:

Here are 4 patterns to choose from:

The Fu Face Mask has links to a how-to video and instructions and is made with “ribbon" and not elastic (something in short supply). 
Link for the pattern and video instructions:
This Deaconess pattern is easy and can be made with elastic or ribbon.
Click on the link below to see the instructions and a video demo.

Another one: A.B. Mask -- for a Nurse by a Nurse is made with ties. It can fit over a N95 mask so it's a bit more complicated. Has pattern and step by step picture instructions.

And yet one more link to Kadiddlehopper for an easy pleated mask with elastic or ties.

If you get online and google "face mask patterns" you will find many more patterns.


Note the date on this article - January!

The Atlantic

We Don’t Have Enough Masks

JANUARY 30, 2020

And then there is this from Times of San Diego

Behavior Tip

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Long Weekend: Not Quilting: Dana Point Weekend

So, my husband and I took a few days and drove up the coast to Dana Point for a little holiday.  I thought when we married that we'd be doing this on a regular basis, but that hasn't been the case.  Oh well.  We started by dropping some things off to Goodwill.

A little cat my mom used to have on a shelf.
Cake decorating books from a friend in Australia, a basket it the shape of the state my son's ex-wife was from, assorted blankets I tied with my mom.

Am empty case for dinosaurs.
I hope they can distribute party paper goods.

My mom's jacket.  Destroyed by moths.
I like the way it is designed.  Should have had my husband take a photo actually showing how nice it looks....

After emptying the trunk, we drove up Pacific State Highway.  It's a pretty road, has the Pacific Ocean on the left and houses or businesses on the right.

We stopped in one of my favorite cities, Encinitas for lunch and had a visit to their beautiful library.

I didn't take photos of the library, but it's the best.  They have a place to buy coffee (as a fundraiser), and you can settle into chairs to look at books and the ocean!

 Brave New Quilts was organized sort of by different design principles of different artists.

Quilt with Tula and Angela, had a nice combination of color theory, piecing, and fun free motion quilting.

I've heard of Christina Cameli, but this was the first book I'd seen by her.  There were lots of ideas for different designs, but for a beginner like me, there was not enough step-by-step instruction to actually do the designs than she has in the book.

Once we got to Dana Point we stayed at the Best Western.  Walked for dinner to a BBQ place, read, next day walked to the harbor, had seafood dinner, we left after breakfast the next day.  Drove up to Irvine to go to another bookstore, then back down to San Clementine for a super used book store. Then home.

The only picture I seem to have taken is the design on the duvet at the hotel...

Oh we went to lunch in Irvine, this was outside the restroom. It was huge, so I only took the corner.

and this is the book my husband checked out of the Encinitas Library!  He is teaching a class on Educational Games...

WIP Charity Top: Jordan Fabrics How to Cut A Rail Fence Quilt

I've never made a rail fence quilt.  September is charity top day at my once a month group, so since I had found this YouTube, Jordan Fabrics How to Cut A Rail Fence Quilt, I decide to find some fabric and make a top.  Several people were also looking thru the fabric, so I think that part could have gone quicker, but it was nice to chat to folks.  I found four fabrics each about 19 inches wide and started cutting 2.5 inch strips.  I followed his tips and cut several fabrics at the same time.  I subcut those into 8.5 inch strips and got to sewing the blocks.  At the end I needed more of the darker blue.  I was going to use some different fabric, but then I discovered that I could piece together enough to make the final strip.

It's unusual for me to follow directions!  I cut the fabric for a top all at the same time, used only a few fabrics, and cut several fabrics at the same time.

It felt like I was working rather quickly, but I'm not sure...  I think it took about five hours for me to get this top pieced (including picking the fabric, ironing, cutting, sewing, chatting).  Unfortunately, I did not pick out backing fabric, so I was not able to get the batting for the quilt.  But I'll get that and work on it the next Saturday group that I can attend. Gosh, that won't be until January.  : (  But at least it's a start of a charity quilt!

Since I have more time, think I'll add some borders to make the quilt a little larger than 40 inch square.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Crumb Quilting Adventure - Making an Odd Shaped Block Square | Ep. 8

I'm continuing with making crumb pieces that will eventually turn into blocks following Darlene's directions.  

Crumb Quilting Adventure - Making an Odd Shaped Block Square | Ep. 8


1.  She prefers to make the blocks larger than they need to be so she has 'good' pieces that are cut off and can be used in a different block.

2.  For pieces near to the end size, try putting on paper and drawing what shapes you need to add to make it the correct size.  'Build it out'
  • Anticipate how it will look after sewn (remember you will lose fabric with the seam), try to have a straight edge (rather than sewing two pieces on to make it straight). So either trim it so it's straight, or plan where to insert a little piece so the edge will be straight.
  • Maybe try a little piece of 'sashing' so the meeting of two pieced units is not full of seams!
  • Have generous ends so they line up, put straight edged fabric on top to use as the sewing line.
  • Place the new strip so it is wonky, so when you sew it on the block pieces get squarer.

Now that I have larger units sewn together I was able to use these tips right away!

First here is my larger than needed piece of work.  At first I thought to put the cut lines at the side.  In looking at it though I thought how the bottom seam then would have a lot of seams.

So I moved the template down.  This way I would get three pretty good pieces to be used in another block, and what remained was interesting too.

Cut, and I have the block!  Also see the larger pieces that can used in another block!

Now here is a piece that needed more to be the correct size. (Instead of using a piece of paper, I used the template.)  It is tall enough but needs material added to the sides.

I found two pieces that looked like they would be perfect.

But then I remembered the seams would take away a lot of fabric, so the extra pieces that had seemed so perfect, just weren't!

These next pieces were larger, but when I put the cutting template on the top, I could see again the seams would make it too small.

I remembered Darlene's suggestion to use the double strip piece as a sort of sashing to help minimize the number of seams when pieces were joined...  This arrangement seemed perfect so I took the pieces to the machine...

But the way I placed the fabric made a little corner be too short.  I had to add fabric.  I added so it was slanted.  The first piece wasn't enough, so I added another one.  I also sewed a piece of fabric to the part that would be cut off...

And here I have the block with three bits with parts that are large enough to add to another block!

Even though I didn't use the paper idea, using the template and being reminded about the seams really helped.

On to Episode 9 for more inspiration!

Aside:  My husband tells me the wind currents will not send the Brazilian smoke our way.  I searched and can't confirm that for myself.  But who ever will be getting that smoke will need to stay inside on some days to protect themselves...

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Crumb Quilting Adventure - Sewing Vlog - I Make Mistakes | Ep. 7

I'm continuing with making crumb pieces that will eventually turn into blocks following Darlene's directions.  

Here are the tips from this video:

1.  Use the sewn together strips as the base, and add various parts of blocks to that strip.

2.  Add interest by sewing a strip on another piece so it's on a diagonal.  Then add another strip or piece of a unit to the other end so you end up with two pieces.

So I did my version of this with these two groups of fabrics.

And this is what I ended up with!

I think the sewing to put strips together is a great one and I will get going with doing more of that.  Since I do not have larger pieces of fabric put aside for this project, I will use the strips I have.

On to Episode 8 for more inspiration!

A non-quilting aside.  

It is 90 degrees here this evening.  To do our bit, we are old-fashioned and only use fans in the house.  We have several window air conditioners but huddle together when we use them.  We haven't turned them on (except to check that they work) for several years now.  Today I put ice packets in front of several of the fans, so the wind is blowing the ice temperature toward the room, and that seems to help.  But can't do that easily in the sewing room so I'm turning off the iron and sewing machine for today.

I wonder when the smoke from Brazil will make its way up here?  And if it will be strong or diluted.  Several years ago we had two very big fires around us a few years apart, and we followed directions and stayed inside.  We could see the flames, but it was separated from us by several blocks, streets and gullies.  We saw an ember blow on top of a neighbor's shake roof and ran over to help them put it out before it took down their home.  Days later, when I did go to the store, there was enough ash swept up in the parking lot that it looks like snow.  The air was clear, but it was difficult to breathe.  We had enough food and electricity to keep things cold so that wasn't a hard environment to live (in the house looking at the fire and listening to the news) as long as we stayed inside. Everyone got new roofs after those fires. The second set of fires were farther away, but there was one out the front and one in the back yard so I really felt surrounded!

Can't remember when it was but once the electricity went out. (It was 2011!) Not just the city, but in our entire county, or maybe it was the southern part of the state!  What a mess the traffic was.  We couldn't cook.  We couldn't go out to a cafe as they were closed.  We couldn't watch TV.  That was really difficult to live thru.  And it was only maybe 12 hours starting at 3pm.  We had and have flashlights handy in different closets just in case.  But it was scary and uninteresting. Our son's friends came over for company, we tried to play cards to entertain ourselves.

We are using public transportation most of the time now.  A very un-Southern California thing to do.  But we investigated and now have pretty much mastered the system, and it is quite nice.  During a good month I probably drive two or three trips.  But I don't know if that is enough to do for the environment.  I guess we could plant some trees, but the use of water here for so long was restricted, something in me thinks it will be again. We should get a new, more environmental car soon.  After I go thru and get rid of our garage and storage boxes!

I haven't used a plastic bag for storing food all year, unless it was already used so I washed it out before using it again.  It was been rather easy to switch to using glass containers to store left overs in the frig or freezer. Glass is easier to clean too.

I remember when plastic bags at the grocery store were first started being used.  And liquid soap.  1973-74 when I was at university in Sweden.  It was such a new thing.  The first liquid soap there came in containers shaped like a bar of soap. You'd squeeze a drop on your hands then sort of rub them on the container.  Funny.  But think of all the containers that are floating in the ocean now.  : (   I am glad California sort of forced us to use reusable bags for grocery.  It's pretty much second nature to put a few in my backpack so they are handy in cases when I stop at the store in between the trolley and the bus on the way home.

A bag from store I went to in South Africa. Says it all. 
I think of it as I go thru things to get them ready
to donate or 
give away.  Freecycle is great for
things that Goodwill won't take.  (Opened
containers, food, non-working items)

We always have days here that are 90 degrees.  I just thinking of all these other things now.

We are planning another trip to Europe next summer.  For a family wedding and to tour a bit.  To make up for the flight I have to not drive for 8 months.  I read that in an article about the Swedes cutting back on their flights to help with the environment.  It cost so much more in time and money to take a train, but I guess the bigger picture is that it needs to be done more....

Oh gosh, and we are going to Eastern Africa in the fall.  I should never drive again, or eat meat!

Crumb Quilting Adventure - New Piecing Technique - Easy Tiny Wonky Blocks | Ep. 6 Part 2

I'm continuing with making crumb pieces that will eventually turn into blocks following Darlene's directions.  It took me a little bit, but I found some larger pieces of fabric to follow her steps!
But first I tried to make do with some strips that I found...

1.  I sewed the together.

2.  Then I cut them apart and rearranged them, then sewed again.

3.  Then I added them to units that are on their way to being parts of blocks.  After pressing and cutting, this is what I ended up with!  I like the way the pieces that were added are different widths.

So today I did a better job of actually following her directions.  I'll paste them again below and will insert photos.  Hmm.  I didn't reread these before I sewed.  We'll see how well I remembered the tips in episode 6!  


Start with four or more pieces of fabric about the same size (say about 5 x 8 inches-ish).
Hmm my pieces are much larger than 5 x 8, but I think I estimated
that measurement anyway while I was watching the video.

Put two together, straighten one edge. I marked the sewing lines - that was suggestion in her video.  
Sew on that edge.  (Hmm.  I started sewing on the line.  In the end it turned out the same.)  Then move the presser foot about 1 or 1.5 inches and sew the fabrics together with a straight line.  Can do these wonky or straight.  

She turned the fabric each time she came to the end to continue with the seams about 1 to 1.5 inch apart.  Since I had three pairs of fabric, and didn't want to have these fabric over represented in the quilt, I chain pieced one one on each, then cut thread and sewed the next line.

Skip the initial line and then cut to separate the fabrics so each line has about 1/4 inch seam. I started to the left of the first seam and cut - again it looks the same as hers in the end.  Except I had forgotten to trim the extra dark purple off so to not waste those bits I added a step.

I sewed another piece of fabric to the end of extra dark purple... Pressed the seams to see the fabrics.

So when I was finished I had the longer double strips and also a few two fabric blocks.  I also used her trick to add one of the pieces to a larger piece that had too much of the same fabric, so this cut that fabric in half.

Continue and make a bunch of these.  Hmm I had a hard time finding the initial six pieces of fabric, so I didn't do any more fabric picking for this next step...

Repeat the initial steps again.  This time instead of just two strips you will end up with two strips each made up of different fabrics!

And yet another Hmm...  I forgot this step when I was originally sewing.  But sewed some left over strips for this blog post...  Sew two sets together until you have another little pile of fabric strips sewn together and cut apart.  (Goal is to have some that measure the same top to bottom.)  Depending on how to cut there could be a different number of strips needed to get the same measurement.  

Now you have a bunch of different strips sewn together - about the same measurement in one direction.

So then I flipped back to her previous tips and used the double strips as the base, and added already pieced pieces to that.  I didn't take photos showing sewing onto the strips, but this is what I had before pressing.

One of the pieces that I added to a double strip did not have a straight edge, so I used the edge of the strip to determine the sewing line.

Here they are after pressing open.

 Here are the double strips sewn together. I found another piece about the same length so used that too.

Here I used the double strips and filled in with other pieced units.

And here they are trimmed!  I used a longer ruler to be sure the edges were all straight.

So then I sewed things together, and this is what I ended up with:

Sew these together to make a crumb block all of little pieces, or combine with larger pieces of fabric for a different look!

I'll let you know right now that I'm sort of blocked on how to get these pieces of fabric together.

On to Episode 7 for inspiration.