I sure am grateful for sewing during times of stress. Life feels both more normal (as in ‘new normal’) and more surreal at the same time. I’m not sure how to even describe what I feel like anymore. Partly because it changes from day to day.
Some days I’m fine, enjoying the less frantic pace of life, having all of my kids at home -including girls home from college – wearing the same two pairs of of my favorite joggers every other day, and not picking up carpools, etc. And I know I’m lucky that I have the luxury of working at home already. Other days I feel like a crazy lady: totally overwhelmed, dying for some time alone, craving my old life, worried about my kids and the uncertainty they’re dealing with, etc.
My guess is I’m not the only one. ❤ Hugs to all of you as you navigate this time as well.
Last week sewing time was sparse. I was trying to deal with computer issues (lame) which took up way too much time. What sewing time I did have I mostly spent making reusable cloth masks for extended family.
If you’re looking to make fabric face masks I’ve got thoughts, tips, and the tutorial I followed here.
The week before I helped with a pilot program in our state (Utah) – a partnership between a the largest healthcare system in the state and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In that pilot 300 women made 30,000 disposable, medical-grade masks in 3 days all with supplies provided by the organization.
I’m sewing more of them again this week as they’ve opened up the official program with a goal of 5 million masks – 1 million a week over the next 5 weeks – all made by sewists in their homes. (The masks will be returned to and sterilized by the hospital network before use.) It’s pretty amazing what many hands together can do.
If you’re local here on the Wasatch Front and want to participate, log in to Just Serve to sign up. Even if you’re not in Utah, you can check out JustServe.org, put in your Zip Code, and find projects in your own community.
I’m lucky I have the time to help. My kids are big and (mostly) self sufficient with their school work. (I’ve also been able to use this opportunity guilt them into cleaning up the kitchen so I could ‘serve the community’.) 😉
There are so many real heroes providing critical services like food and medical care. By comparison I’m just sitting at my sewing machine, watching Netflix, but I’m glad to be able to use something from my limited wheelhouse that contributes to the cause.
At the same time, I needed some creative, just-for-fun, sanity sewing. I’m enjoying the Riley Blake block challenge. They’re simple classic blocks and I’ve had fun playing with a new one each week.
I’ve also been in the mood for something a little more challenging. Here’s a view of one of the other projects on my cutting table over the past few weeks.
I pulled out my Steam Punk blocks that I started while back. They’ve been patiently waiting for when I had some time for slow-sewing – and here it is! (I can’t believe it’s been 3 years though! Yikes! Seriously, where does time go?!)
These have been so much fun to play with again. The Steam Punk quilt pattern is by Jen Kingwell. I am also using Jen’s templates to cut my pieces. You can find them both in Jen’s shop, or pattern and acrylic templates are also available from Etsy.
I have made one adjustment – I noticed I wasn’t doing a good enough job in my piecing to have adequate space for the seam allowance on the outside of the block, so I’ve been adding an extra 1/4″ to the outside edges of the two background templates when I cut out those pieces. This gives me a little extra wiggle room after piecing to square up the blocks to the same size.
I have always been a huge Jen fan. Her fabric choices are SO funky and fun and all together they just sing. She’s got a gift. This quick video clip shows Jen talking about how she picks her fabrics for a ‘controlled scrappy’ effect. And bonus, you can enjoy her Australian accent.
Here’s a big picture view of what I’ve got so far. I’m in love, I’m in love, and I don’t care who knows it!
I started this quilt when I had the chance to take a class from Jen. I was so in love with her very scrappy version, that I used it as the inspiration for mine. My goal is to really push the boundaries of my typical color and fabric combinations. Even pull out ‘ugly’ combinations or loud prints. It’s way outside my typical colorway and I’m still so smitten.
To help make this quilt extra scrappy and crazy, I’ve been pulling prints from the fabrics that have come from the Amitie Textiles Stash Club (Jen Kingwell’s shop so you know they’re Jen Kingwell approved). They’re so funky and fun and outside the range of fabrics I would normally buy. And having just a small piece (Fat 1/16th) is just enough to use to add some zip to a variety of piecing projects without having to invest in a lot of fabric. (I’m using them in my Round We Go blocks too.)
I’m trying to work on a block or two a week. I keep them out and when have a minute or two to sew I can usually piece a block, or at least get one started. It’s been good therapy.
And I’m determined to not let them get stuck back into a drawer for another 3 years…
Thank goodness for sewing to get me through this uncertain, upside down, surreal time. Feels good to both sew to help and sew to heal. A little bit of both is keeping me balanced right about now.