My Ombre Quilt

I can’t remember when I acquired a set of 2-1/2″-wide ombre strips. All I know is they’d been sitting in my sewing studio for quite some time.

About a week ago, I hit on an idea of what to do with them.

First I determined how many squares and rectangles I could get out of each strip. I started with a basic log cabin design, and then changed up the design to start with a four-patch in the center.

I sorted the 20 strips into two groups of ten. The color gradation on all the strips was such that the lightest tint was at the fold. On ten of the strips, I cut the rectangles first so they would be the darkest. On the other set of ten, I cut the squares first, so the rectangles would be the lightest.

The four-patches use the two darkest and two lightest squares from each cut.

The blocks are arranged alternating the “dark” and “light” blocks.

ombre

I am really pleased with how it turned out. Many of the quilt tops I make anymore get donated to Project Linus, but I think I’m going to keep this one.

 

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Scotch Eggs

Over the last couple of weeks, we have been watching season 1 of “Pennyworth.”

During one episode, there was a scene in a pub where the characters were eating Scotch eggs. I asked my husband to pause the show, and inquired, “What are Scotch eggs?”

“Well,” he said, “let me show you a Youtube video.”

Basically, they are boiled eggs wrapped in a shell of pork sausage and then either deep-fried or baked.

I said, “Hmmm. We should make those.”

So I found a couple of recipes for baked versions. They were very similar, but there were some differences. One was from bettycrocker.com, the other from allrecipes.com. Here is my adjusted recipe:

Ingredients

1-1/4 lbs hot Italian sausage
Spices to taste: dried minced onion, minced garlic, sage
8 soft-cooked eggs, peeled (we used this method for cooking the eggs)
2 eggs, beaten
flour
panko bread crumbs

Steps

Heat oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, mix the Italian sausage and spices. Divide into 8 equal portions. Between two pieces of plastic wrap, flatten each portion into a patty about 1/8″ thick.

Wrap a flattened patty around each egg.

scotch eggs 1

Coat each wrapped egg with flour, then dip into the beaten egg, then coat with panko to cover completely. Place on a rack over a foil-lined baking sheet.

scotch eggs 2

Bake for 35 minutes. Serve with garlic aioli. Yum!

scotch eggs 3

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100 Face Masks

Last week, I responded to a call for volunteers to make face masks. On Wednesday, I received everything I needed to make 100 masks — fabric, nonwoven fusible interfacing, twill tape and thread — donated by the fabric store I work for and from which I am currently on furlough.

After prewashing and drying the fabric, I made one mask to test the instructions and make sure I understood them.

01 sample

The method described for making the pleats was more complicated than it needed to be, I don’t know why the straps were made from four pieces rather than two, and the straps were too short to tie a proper bow. We also added a layer of interfacing, which wasn’t included in the original instructions.

Then it was time to get my assembly line going.

Wednesday evening was devoted to cutting the fabric and the interfacing pieces. I also started to fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of each fabric piece.

Friday morning, I returned to the task, first finishing the fusing.

02 interfacing

Next up, folding each piece in half, right sides together, and sewing the edge opposite the fold.

03 sewn

Then each piece was turned right side out and pressed.

04 pressed

Then, I used my white Chacoliner to mark the pleats. With the stitched seam to my left, I drew lines at 5-1/2″, 3-3/4″, 2-3/4″, and 1-1/4″ from the seam.

05 marked

Rather than marking all the pieces and then folding the pleats, I marked one piece and then folded it. I was concerned that if I marked all of them before pleating, the chalk lines might disappear.

06 pleated

Once all were pleated and pinned, I sewed along each side.

The last step was adding the straps. This seemed to take nearly as long as the whole process up to that point.

I cut the twill tape into lengths of about 36″, using my pinking shears to cut the ends so they would be less inclined to ravel. Most of the tape was 3/4″ wide, which just barely wrapped around all the layers. There was one length of tape that was 1″ wide, and that was much easier to work with.

07 straps

These masks are not intended for health care professionals, but will go to non-medical hospital staff (front desk, cafeteria, housekeeping), people in the homeless community, and other communities in need.

 

 

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A New Blog

Yesterday, I launched a new WordPress blog called “Living in the Time of Coronavirus.” I had wanted to call it “Life in the Time of Coronavirus,” but that name was already taken.

Anyway, now that I am on standby status at my job, I have all kinds of free time to fill.

I will try each day to write a short post commenting on something that would have formerly passed without notice or would never have happened.

Please check it out here.

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French Star

The quilt top made from my French fabric is done.

french star quilt

The color palette is very different from something that I would normally choose. But as I mention in my post of January 5, when I was shopping in Paris, I wanted fabric that I would not find in the U.S.

I also incorporated into three of the blocks the ribbon tape that was wrapped around the fabric, to commemorate the shop where I had purchased it.

french star detail

The background fabric — which coordinated perfectly! — was purchased locally here in Seattle. It is from Windham Fabrics’ Wonder by Carrie Bloomston line.

 

 

 

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My Pattern Line

At Sew Expo this weekend, my pattern line debuted at the Pacific Fabrics booth.

patterns

I had previously offered them at my Craftsy page. But then in 2017, Craftsy was purchased by NBCUniversal and rebranded as Bluprint. At that time, all but one of my patterns (the one that sold on a regular basis) were booted off the site.

I then uploaded some to an Etsy page I’d created a few years ago. But there are so many vendors on that site, that in six months, just two copies of one pattern were purchased.

So back in January (and I don’t know why this hadn’t occurred to me earlier), I thought, “I work for a fabric store. Maybe I can sell these through Pacific Fabrics.”

So I approached the general manager and the buyer, and they were both totally on board. Yay!

I offered to make the patterns available exclusively through Pacific Fabrics. So, the only places you can purchase them as at one of our two stores and (soon) online.

Of the 13 patterns I offered, they selected 8 to start with. With any luck, the other 5 will be added soon!

 

 

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Knitty Bear

Yesterday was the first non-rainy weekend day in quite awhile. So I took the opportunity to walk down to the salon for my hair appointment.

According to my map app, it was a distance of 3.7 miles. Totally doable. So I set off. I didn’t have a specific route in mind, but I knew generally how to get there.

My path took me down a street that I don’t normally traverse, either on foot or in the car.

A significant advantage of walking, I’ve found, is that you see things that you would otherwise miss. My great find of the day was this image painted on a garage door.

Bear mural

 

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