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During this frightening pandemic and isolation from work, friends and families, quilters find solace in quilting.
This creative outlet has always been a soothing therapy for many of us. However, for the past few months, I have not been inspired to create new designs.
I just want to sit at the sewing machine and keep my mind occupied with repetitive work. That’s exactly what I have been doing, making hundreds of masks and also little “Twirl” blocks.
*I think most of you know that Rosie the Riveter was an icon of the power of women during WWII, reinventing themselves to work in factories and shipyards
Quilters have a
Quilters know how to sew AND they have LOTS of fabric!!! I bet my grandchildren didn’t know I had a secret super power! We are the “Rosie the Riveters”* of 2020 working hard at our sewing machines mass producing thousands of fabric face masks for medical professionals, communities, family and friends.
The fabric masks I have been making are made with what I have on hand. Since I don’t have elastic, I use t-shirt fabrics to make stretchy cords. Here is a sampling of some of my masks. They are two-sided with a “wild” print side and a “calm” solid side.
Here is a helpful link on how to make fabric masks and also a video on using stretchy fabric to make ties.
The ties can either be tied around the head, which is a little awkward, or the two ties can create a loop around your ear. Tie the cords with a square knot that sits below the ear. Pull on one side to adjust for the perfect fit. The long ties can then be trimmed.
25” x 25”
In February I made this Yoga Circle for my daughter Juli Eckmeier who teaches yoga in Pennsylvania. Since I was scheduled to teach in Pennsylvania on 3 different occasions during the Spring, my plan was to surprise her and give it to her in person. Well, I still have it, since all of my teaching trips from March to June have been cancelled. Needless to say, she knows about it now and I would like to share it with you.
It’s based on my Colorific Quilter’s pattern, #4 in the Circle of Friends series. My daughter loves trees, leaves and nature, so I have each child doing a tree pose and holding different leaves. I’ve replaced quilt related items from the original pattern with leaves, sunprint fern prints and a lotus center. Each child wears the bright colors of the chakras and the t-shirts have different peace/earth/nature symbols on them.
Juli teaches at many venues in northeastern Pennsylvania. During these shut down times, you can find her classes online at Airmid Wellness & Counseling Center and Yoga Studio in Warminster, PA and Dragonfly Yoga Studio in Doylestown, PA
We are all adapting to online school for the children, working from home and exercising on Zoom. Here is the “Workout Circle” version of the Circle of Friends, I made over a year ago for Shannon Strong http://www.shannonstrong.com Thank goodness I still can work out with Shannon and my friends online.
NATURAL DIY HAND SANITIZER
I’ve always been fastidious about washing my hands and only used natural hand sanitizers. Now all of a sudden, even if you want any kind of hand sanitizer they are not available.
I was surprised to see that I had most of the ingredients to make this DIY Citrus Hand Sanitizer. It still doesn’t replace hand washing, but it does what it’s supposed to do and smells so nice. Here is the link on how to make it. It even comes with a pdf file to print your own labels! How cool is that!
You’ll notice in the right corner of the photo some chocolate chip cookies, fresh out of the oven. I’ve been doing a lot more baking and cooking since I’m not traveling. My husband isn’t complaining!!
In the beginning of the newsletter I mentioned that along with making fabric face masks, I was also churning out Twirl blocks. Since the beginning of March I have made hundreds of 3” blocks - some of my new inventions and some basics: Log Cabin Color-wash blocks, “Logbee” blocks, four patches, and Twirls (aka “Rose Twirls” from my book Wiggles & Waves). Inspiration on how to arrange these blocks was eluding me, no matter how hard I tried! Whatever I drew on paper or conjured up in my head, didn't work out in reality.
I kept telling myself I should just “let it be”….which I did on numerous occasions by physically packing the blocks away in a zipped bag and putting them in the basement, only to find myself getting them out again to play with other layout ideas. Nothing was speaking to me. Then yesterday, I remembered finding comfort in a traditional Amish design called Sunshine & Shadow. I worked on a quilt with this pattern while my Mom was dying from cancer in 1993. As I said earlier, quilters sew as therapy. It is a comfort during times of sorrow.
Here is a quote from the book “How to make an Amish Quilt” by Rachel and Kenneth Pellman, which is very timely during this pandemic:
“Life is full of sunshine and shadows. Death and life exist side by side in the Amish community where birth and old age are equally respected.”
After reading this quote and looking at the design, I knew immediately that that was the appropriate design for me to put my energies into during these troubled times. The photo above shows a close up of some of the blocks arranged on my design wall.
The title also has a double meaning.
Remember the Beatles song, “Let it Be”…..there will be an answer in our times of trouble. Here is a link to the lyrics, timely and beautiful. Most of us know the words by heart.
The little “Logbee” squares (look for blocks that have a yellow square with two white squares on either side) were literal stumbling blocks. At this point they simply look like bandaids! (good grief), but I will transform them with fabric markers and thread later into cute little bees after the blocks are stitched together.
Teaching Calendars 2020-2022
Sad news that I had to cancel all of my teaching trips from March to June(still one trip is hopeful for Quilt Wyoming in the end of June), but the good news is, we were able to re-schedule all of them for 2021 and 2022. Hopefully I can travel safely in the Fall and get back on schedule. I really miss teaching and meeting new people!
I hope that one of the workshop dates and venues will work in your schedule so we can meet again or meet for the very first time.
If you are interested in attending one of these workshops, please contact the guild or organization to get prices and registration information. If you need help contacting one of the venues, just let me know and I would be happy to give you the name of my contact person.
*new or updated since WINTER 2020 newsletter
Quilt Wyoming 2020, Rock Springs June 26-27 (6/26 eve Happy Villages & Accidental Landscapes lecture , 6/26 Large Logs workshop, 6/27 Color Twists & Leaves workshop)
*Hot Springs Village Quilt Guild, Inc, Arkansas Sept. 10-11 (Wiggles & Waves lecture, Color Twists & Leaves workshop)