This quilt falls under the “things I’ve been meaning to make” category. English paper piecing is a tedious technique. Each star is made from a wedge, and each wedge is made of two scalene triangles. The design I used for this quilt was a simplest mariner’s compass pattern in the book. The pattern comes from the book Mariner’s Compass Stars by Carol Doak. I’d bought it years ago to make a gift for my husband.
I had originally wanted to make all the stars with batik fabrics, but it didn’t take long to realize that I wasn’t going to have the effect I wanted with what I had on hand. The biggest goal of mine was to use 100% fabrics that I had at home in my stash already. I had the rainbow fabric for the backing and based my colors around it. This was definitely a “quarantine project.” In the end, the only thing that was purchased was some extra white thread. Not bad.
I did get to practice the colors and design on my new quilting software, so that was an extra bonus, and it helped me catch a mistake in my color placement. Can you see what I did?
I’ll admit that red fabric is notorious for running dye, even if one pre-washes like I do. This quilt had too much time and love put in to it to take any chances, so I pinned a color catcher sheet over the white sections of the red star. I did NOT come here to play.
The finished result is worth it, and I am in love!
Like everyone else who owns and/or has touched a sewing machine in the last decade, I’ve been making masks for folks.
I’ll admit that a lot of times when I see Call-to-Arms posts circulating, I am very cynical. I’ve seen too many follow up posts where well-meaning people have made things worse instead of helping as intended. So when my sister, a talented paramedic, messaged me that, seriously, they were in need of masks to help extend the life of their n95s at the station, I got to work. I even called on my friends and other crafters to lend a hand if they hadn’t already. I’m so proud that, between us all, they were soon in good shape. The Walking Dead fabric was a huge hit, by the way, as was the Mario and blood splatter fabric. Gotta love that paramedic dark humor.
From there, I made some more and messaged a couple of former students who are now nurses. They said that they could use them in the ER at Egleston – a large children’s hospital in Atlanta. I’m familiar with this hospital for a couple of reasons. More recently, we took my daughter there a couple of years ago for some tests, but it goes even further back. My dad had leukemia when he was young, and Egleston helped him survive that. So I was happy for a chance to give back to them. And they did NOT get the scary zombie or blood fabric if you were wondering. Nothing but cute and simple fabric patterns for the children’s nurses.
After that, I made some and offered them to the other teachers in my school language arts department. And then my mom messaged me asking for a large order, over 40, to donate to her veterans group. I’m happy that those were finished up earlier tonight.
All this being said, the making masks adventure continues to be both exhilarating and draining. It’s exciting because it’s an active role in an otherwise helpless situation, so I’m happy to have some sort of control in that regard. It’s also draining because the need is so high that I can’t possibly keep up, and there’s so many conflicting articles out there about effectiveness, need, etc that one wonders why even try. Of course, this is nowhere near the amount of stress on those receiving the masks: ER nurses, paramedics, veterans. So I’ll hush on that note.