Friday, May 29, 2020

Love In The Time of Covid-19

I have my first finish of 2020, Love In The Time of Covid-19.

I used the pattern Piece & Love Quilt by The Cloth Parcel.  Well, I used the pattern mostly as inspiration because I changed the size and the construction method.  The pattern makes a quilt 70" x 80" or 70" x 92" while I wanted a smaller quilt to fit my kitchen hanging space.  The wooden quilt holder is 40" wide so I resized roughly proportionately.  

I used a charm pack of Braveheart fabric from Laundry Basket Quilts, actually parts of two charm packs because I didn't use the lightest prints.  I used the charm squares to make quarter triangle squares that finish at 3 inches to form the heart.  I used two tone-on-tone fabrics from my stash for the background, one a mini polka dot and the other a subtle paisley print.  The background stripes finish at 6 inches wide.  The finished quilt is 38" by 48".


The backing and binding also came from my stash so it was a pretty good use of stash fabrics.  I sent the finished top to my long-time quilting collaborator, Karen Thompson of Greenbriar Designs.  She used pale pink thread to quilt a pantograph pattern of a vine with hearts and curlicues.  I like the way it came out and the pale pink thread shows up just enough against both the off-white background and the darker pinks and reds and in the heart.  

The binding is a beige and tan mini hounds tooth print; it's one of my favorites for binding.  I like the way it finishes the edge against the lighter background fabric.  

My fabric choices resulted in quilt that is less "modern" in appearance than the original on the pattern but it fits very well with my decor.  You could get a similar, more traditional look with Laundry Basket's other red and pink line called Anna or a modern look with Just Red by Zen Chic or red and pink batiks.

As for the name, Love In The Time Of Covid-19, I chose it to commemorate this time.  I started the quilt in late January by making the blocks that would form the heart; at that time, we thought Covid-19 was a flu-like condition confined to China.  I took a break while I went on a vacation in Florida then started assembling the heart and adding the background in late February.  By the time I finished the top, Italy was in quarantine and New Jersey entered stay-at-home orders just as I mailed the top and backing to Karen in North Carolina.  My husband and I are in our 11th week of staying at home to "flatten the curve" and while neither of us, nor any other family members, have caught the virus (or have been asymptomatic if they have), over 100,000 Americans have died to date.  I hope it is over soon.

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Friday, May 22, 2020

Friday Finds

I've found a few new-to-me things recently that are enhancing my life right now so I'm sharing them with you.

IT Cosmetics Anti-Aging Armour Tinted Sunscreen SPF 5-+
I'm a redhead with very pale skin that always burns, never tans.  Gyms have been closed in NJ for 9+ weeks now so I go on long walks outside to get my exercise; sunscreen is a must for me (and you should use it too).  I recently discovered this mineral sunscreen (titanium dioxide and zinc oxide) for the face that is tinted.  Unlike foundation, it doesn't really cover up anything but it blurs my uneven pigmentation areas and gives me a dewy glow without looking shiny or feeling greasy.  There is only one, "universal," tint and when I saw it out of the bottle, I was sure it would be too dark for me but it blends right in.  I put it on over my moisturizer and I think you could put makeup on over it but I don't.  The link above will take you to the company's website which includes ecommerce.  I bought mine at Ulta and Sephora stocks it as well.

Note, the bottle is quite small (1 fluid ounce) and I use it only on my face.  For the rest of my body, I like Neutrogena Hydroboost Water Gel sunscreen.  It has a great texture and doesn't feel greasy.  The scent is overpowering out of the tube but I find it fades quickly.  I also like Aveeno Protect & Hydrate sunscreen.

Adapter for Bose Sounddock
I like to listen to music when I'm sewing, with a preference for classical music.  My music collection has transitioned from records to cassettes, then to CDs, and finally to digital files on an iPod.  I got an iPod Touch for the capacity and converted all my CDs to digital files.  I could listen with earbuds and I got a Bose Sounddock to play the iPod through its speakers, eliminating the need for the earbuds and also great for when listening with another person.  When I got an iPhone, it held all the music as well but I continued to use my iPod.  That is, until last summer, when my iPod died on me.  Apple no longer makes iPods and my latest phone has a newer pin configuration so it doesn't fit in the Sounddock.  I lived without it for a while and thought I would have to get a new listening device until I stumbled across this adapter.  It basically adds Bluetooth wireless connection to the Sounddock, so it connects to the phone without the phone being connected on the pins.  It is super easy to use (just take it out of the package and plug it into the Sounddock, go to "Bluetooth" under "Settings" in the phone and connect it - no advanced degree in IT required.  It has given new life to my music collection, which I am listening to more than ever while Staying-At-Home. 

Raspberry Lemon Cake 
The View From Great Island blog is a good source for dessert recipes.  I don't bake often but was feeling like we needed a sweet pick-me-up last week so I made this cake.  Wow, is it good!  And not difficult to make.  That photo above is from the recipe website because mine did not look nearly as good and I forgot to take a picture anyway.  I'm thinking of trying her Strawberry Lemon Blondies next. 

Back to the regular quilting content next week.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Sew Many Projects

Lots of stash whittling going on here, with 256 blocks made from my hoard of faded floral fabrics.  Each block is 6" square.  Now on to assembling the top.  

But this is not the only project I've been working on.  I seem to have some kind of pandemic induced attention-deficit problem as I often find myself flitting from one thing to another.  I currently have two quilt tops quilted and ready for binding, the completed blocks above, pieces for another quilt partially cut but now yet sewn, my English paper piecing hexie project, and two smaller projects waiting in the wings.  And a sewing room that badly needs a clean out!

Time to focus.

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