Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Explorations :: In Masks :: An Update

April 14 2020,

Buenos Dias todos. Today is a good day, I can feel it. I'm sitting here listening to Andrea Bocelli Mixes on youtube. Did you know that Andrea Bocelli has a son, Matteo Bocelli that can sing? If only I was a few decades younger.

I have stopped trying to finish my quilt when Vermont Quilt Festival said that they were cancelling their show that was to happen in June. Since the cancellation, I have focused my energy on making masks.

Below is the first reiteration of the mask. This mask has three pleats. At the time, I did not have elastic so I made ties. For me, the pleats were difficult, even though most people were doing this pattern.


This is the second reiteration. This came from a youtube video that I stumbled upon on my first day of investigation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2B7Twkh2SI It is a pattern from Sewing with Sara. This one I made it with a filter pocket and ties.


This is the third reiteration. This was also from the same pattern from Sewing with Sara, but without a filter pocket and with elastic bands. I was able to get 10 yards of elastic from a local quilt shop. It didn't go as well. Hubby said it hurt too much. 


Here is Paula the Koala, that's really her name, showing off the final result of the first finish of the masks. What that means is, after I made a bunch of these and gave them away, I perfected them further.

The first picture of Paula the Koala, is a fabric called, Mi Familia by Jesus Cruz by Andover Fabric created in 2013. I don't have a lot of that, it was an impulse by from way long ago. If anyone wants to buy me a present, there is some on ebay. Just Kidding.


Paula the Koala, below is wearing a fabric by Cranston Cotton Salamander Chamelion Gecko Lizard Iguana. I didn't fuzzy cut it properly, so you can't see the freakin' animals. This I bought in 2008.


Here is the pattern. The top one is the outside, and the bottom is the lining.


The first finished batch, I made the ties by hand, without a bias tape maker. I mentioned it to one of my girlfriend, and she went on a hunt looking for a bias tape maker locally. She was able to find one, and purchased and delivered it to the house. We had a hard time figuring out what size to use. Single fold, double fold... ugh, it hurt my head too much. She couldn't figure it out. The explanation on the websites didn't make sense, and finally I found one with an actual picture. So the final result was I needed the Bias Tape Maker 25mm, which makes a 1" single fold or a 1/2" double fold strip. Note that I am not cutting it on the bias, I am cutting it on the width of the fabric. So it's 2" x 40" or 42" (depending on the width of the fabric).

I also figured out that if I notch the inside of the strip, when I fold it in at the ends, I have less bulk and it makes it easier to sew through.


Below is the strip that is attached to face mask.


A week ago, I read a blog post by Kathleen Loomis, Art With A Needle, and adapted a few of her ideas onto "my version".

She writes that she puts interfacing into the mask. After researching more about interfacing, I learned that it is a good extra layer, and still making it breathable. The key was to make sure that it was non-woven. As I was researching, I stumbled upon a youtube channel called "The Fabric Patch". It talks about interfacing and the different type of masks to make. It was very informative.

From Kathleen Loomis' rendition, she says to turn the top ties 45 degrees, and the bottom ties 90 degrees. I asked hubby to try it, and he said it was much better.



I zig zagged this portion. I gave a finished one to my friend who was also making masks and told her to make this version and she did. She said she was not going to turn the ties. A few days later, her husband said the ones that were angled were better. Now she is doing it this way. She was also doing the pleat version and since then, have changed to making this version.


I think I have the final version of a mask that I am very happy with and that I will be mass producing, I meant making. I can only make 10 a day, so it's mass producing. There's only one me, and many stuffed animals who want to model.

Below Paula the Koala is modeling off more masks. 




This one is all black, at a request of a friend, who's husband needed it for his uniform. I think Paula the Koala liked it, because she felt like she was a Ninja. 


Here's Paula the Koala peeking.



Besides sewing masks, I have been cooking. I go out once a week, usually when it is raining, either on Sunday or Monday to the grocery. My thinking is, if it is raining, less people will be inclined to go out. I did go yesterday morning, just before the monsoon. I have been cooking a lot. I cook three big meals over the week, and then eat leftovers when I really don't feel like cooking.

Below is Beef and Broccoli from The Woks of Life. I think I use skirt steak for the recipe below, but I have used flank steak before. Their recipes are to die for. I have tried a bunch of their recipes, and it has never failed. Some are recipes that I grew up with, so it hits home and is a home run.



This, my friends, is another to die for. So my friend and I went to Bon Chon in Salem, MA for lunch a few months ago, before the whole lock down. On the menu was fried chicken. Bon Chon is well known for their fried chicken. For years I have heard about it, but never had the opportunity to try it.

OMG, to die for. I dream about it.

On television the other day, they were saying that there was a surplus of chicken wings because there is no basketball, I'm assuming it is March Madness .

Back to chicken wings. So I put chicken wings on my list of things to purchase. Got to BJs, and bought BJs size chicken wings. It was messy, with the frying, but worth everything. I also bought BJs size canola oil, to make sure I don't run out of oil. Below is the result, it won't disappoint. The recipe is from Foodiepinoy.com, and I didn't change a thing, except I didn't strain the garlic and ginger from the sauce. For the next 3 days for lunch, we will be having chicken wings. Hubby doesn't like messy food, but he ate this one!


Our dishwasher is also running on overdrive. Usually we run it once a week, but now it's once every five days. Again, plenty of dish washing tablets.

Okie, so below is a preview of the quilt that I am trying to finish. The new deadline is end of July, plenty of time, plenty of time. It is going to be a king size, and I can make it as big as I want, because there is no restrictions now since Vermont Quilt Festival is kapot temporarily.


My pajamas and sweat pants are overused, and the jeans and "go-out-clothes" are currently going on time-out, I meant hiatus. When I do curb side pickup, I'm in my hello kitty or seven up Old Navy pajama pants.

I still have a days where I absolutely do nothing. Tears still flow. Fear has taken over. One day last week I said to myself, "Will we see the other side? Will we ever come out of this? What if we don't?" I can't even talk to people without crying. It is so hard. Keeping busy is hard, there is only so much busy one can do. So doing nothing is a good thing.

So thank you for reading, be safe, be well.

Quilt & Bitch

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Exploration :: Carving Stamp Workshop

April 7 2020,

In February 2020, before all this crap started happening, my quilt guild had a workshop  with Liz Shepherd on stamp carving and printing.  Awesome class. The seed pod below is from a book called "Print, Pattern, Sew: block-Printing Basics + Simple Sewing Projects for an Inspired Wardrobe" by Jen Hewett. It's a great beginner book.

We learned how to carve a stamp out of rubber (Speedy Carve Block). She has really nice carving tools that we were allowed to borrow. The really nice ones are really expensive. I have my eye on Flexcut Carving Tools, Deluxe Palm Gouges which is currently going for $125.00.  During times like this, I think I will stick to the ones that my niece gave me a few years ago which I have not used.


On the left is Liz Shepherd. I thought the class was wonderful and informative. 


This is my seedpod.


I love blue. So I used blue to stamp. We had a choice whether to use the Speedball fabric ink or the Dick Blick Screen Printing Ink, and I used the Dick Blick.


Below is a rubber stamp that was carved out by somebody. I love it so I used it.


Below are the results that my classmates and I did. Mine is the one all the way on the right side.



If you are interested in screen printing, silk screening, Cyanotype and in the Massachusetts area, I highly recommend that you check out Shepherd Mausleigh Studio.



How are you all holding up?

Quilt & Bitch

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Explorations :: January 2020 :: ICA Boston

March 29 2020,

Still catching up on old stuff that I found.

I had the privilege to go to Yayoi Kusams at the ICA (Institute Contemporary Art) twice! The first time was in July with Laura. The second field trip, our neighbors, two doors down had two extra tickets to see the Yayoi Kusama exhibition, thinking that hubby and I would go. I told them I had already gone, but if they couldn't find someone to go, I would be more than happy to go again.

So I did. I didn't take hubby, because he had no interest, and I took my friend, Karen, who loves art.










Just in case you want to make a Yayoi Kusams tentacles, instructions are available on the ICA website.

There was also an exhibition called "When Home Won't Let You Stay: Migration through Contemporary". It was very touching.




Below is a "house". Unfortunately, I can't find information on this on the ICA site, or information on the artist. You can actually walk through this building and the different rooms.





This exhibition below was facinating. It is by an artist name Yinka Shonibare, please make sure you visit his website, his work is absolutely stunning. I love African fabrics.

If you want to learn more about "The American Library" there is a whole website dedicated to it.








I apologize for the blurry text below. This is an interesting mirror by Adrian Piper.


Yes that's me. :)



Quilt & Bitch