In Case You Wondered

Just read a piece in the New York Post – “This is the fabric for DIY Face masks, according to science“.

“Much to the delight of many an American grandmother, the quilt fabric performed best as a protective shield against respiratory droplets.”

Anybody surprised? Of course face masks made with a good quality cotton quilting fabric stops cough droplets better than other sorts of home made face coverings.

“Without a mask, droplets from the simulated cough flew more than 8 feet and up to 12. They traveled 3 feet when the bandanna was worn; 15 inches with the folded handkerchief; and 8 inches with the surgical-grade masks.
The stitched, two-ply quilt mask, however, halted droplets after just 2 and ½ inches.
Why quilted? The study suggests that the masks made with quilting fabric fit faces better than loosely tied material. Plus, sturdy two-ply material gives a mask an added layer of protection, other studies have shown.”
So all my efforts haven’t been in vain! I’m now approaching 300 masks – I’ve really lost count. I keep making batches of a dozen. This last week I made another 36.

Latest Face Masks

I keep giving them away. Sent another dozen to my niece in Toronto last week. Have handed them out as I’ve gone to have my haircut, my nails done, had a filling repaired, saw the massage therapist…

This pandemic is going to be going on for a lot longer than people want to believe. Washable face masks are on the way to becoming essential for any socializing if we want to keep infection at some kind of containment level!

I’ve been using bolder, more colourful fabrics with each new batch. My personal collection is closing in on a dozen – I choose a face mask to go with my outfit. Why not, hey? It might as well be a fashion accessory if I have to wear it. And I do wear one whenever I’m in public, everywhere I go (except while actually eating in a restaurant -which I’ve done twice so far).

BTW, this is not all the sewing I’ve done since I last posted. I’ve finally got my latest quilt sandwiched, pinned, and ready to quilt; I made a cotton nightgown for a friend of mine having a birthday on Thursday; I’ve been puttering with Kaleidoscope Table Runners for a class that’s not going to happen. I bought small amounts of fabric yesterday to add to two different sets of octagon “blocks” so I can finish the runners and get on with sewing some summer clothes for myself. Oh yes, and I put elastic inserts into the waists of 7 pairs of pants! And took out excess fabric from the seat of three pairs of jeans I bought at Costco.

I’ve not been idle!

Still Knittin’

These socks took longer than usual to knit – I found the emerging pattern rather boring even though the socks are colourful; I was caught up with other stuff – nothing outstanding but the days slipped away and I didn’t end the evening by knitting as I would normally do. Maybe it was just Covid-19 getting through although my life has been minimally affected by the virus – I’ve been able to carry on as usual. The only disruption has been the absence of my three times a week exercise at the pool which I miss a lot.

Regia Blue Socks

These blue socks are my standard size – for a person wearing a size 7 1/2 – 8 1/2 shoe. They’ve gone into the give-away stash which is growing quite large. I definitely must give these socks away! Likely in the fall when the weather starts getting colder.

A Very Modern Quilt

A while back I saw an interesting modern quilt on Pinterest:

Pinterest Photo

I really liked the stark contrast between the two colours and the very modern use of drunkard’s path blocks. I printed the image and put it in my “think about” pile. I had 3m of an interesting red batik I thought would work with this idea but I needed something pale to contrast with it. This is just after everything shut down in mid-March so I went online, found a pale turquoise batik at the Missouri Quilt Company and ordered 2m. That fabric took quite a while to arrive – COVID-19 in action, of course, affecting both warehouse and the postal systems. After finishing the Crossroads Quilt I decided to try this quilt.

I began to deconstruct the image, but discovered this quilt was a 2018 Kauffman quilt pattern so I downloaded it. However, the finished dimensions (a twin size quilt) were larger than I wanted to make so I scaled it by 85% (now that I have the top completed I realize I probably should have scaled it 80%). That meant downsizing all the pieces.

First, I experimented with the size of the drunkard’s path block – taking it from 6 1/2″ down to 5 1/2″ – but I couldn’t go from there until I started assembling some blocks into larger units because I wasn’t sure what size the connecting elements would actually turn out to be. I started by constructing 10 drunkard’s path blocks (I knew I needed 39 in all) and created the first column, added the second column, then the sashing elements between as well as the outside left border.

First Two Columns Assembled

The next part of the assembly was less straightforward – I constructed the remaining 29 drunkard’s path blocks and began working on the central panel:

Centre Panel

I joined the first pair of drunkard’s path blocks with sashing, add the third block to one end, next the side sashing, put the second triplet with it, then add the end sashing…. I only knew what size the sashing elements needed to be by measuring where they fit as the parts of the “block” came together. It was easier figuring out what size fabric pieces to cut as I went along by measuring where they went rather than trying to work out 85% of each piece in the pattern.

Centre Panel Attached

Finally the right-side panel – same process:

Finished Quilt Top

Now I have a finished quilt top – 51″ x 68″ (instead of 61″ x 75 1/2″) – a large lap quilt.

Yesterday, I bought turquoise fabric for the back. I have all 39 pale turquoise “pie” shaped pieces cut from the “L” pieces as I built the drunkard’s path blocks. I plan on creating a dozen or so reverse drunkard’s path blocks using scraps of various red fabrics that more or less blend with this background batik for the “L” pieces so I can set up a strip to insert into the back panel.

That’s where I am right now – I have to cut out a dozen or so drunkard’s path blocks – downsizing the turquoise “pie”shaped pieces, cutting out red blocks for the “L” shaped pieces, creating the blocks and stitching the panel.

So on to that next.