Making Masks Again

The International Quilt Festival is back after a long hiatus and I’m excited to get the chance to get back out on the road and chat with quilters and sewists in-person again. (I’ll be teaching the Ellie Elephant–join me?) Because the event inside and the coronavirus has done a doozy on Texas over the last couple months, they are instituting a mask mandate. I’ve been using my masks for a while now, so I figured this was just the excuse I needed to make a few new ones.

I came up with this pattern about a year ago, incorporating the different features of other masks that I appreciated. Since I’ll be wearing it lots, I wanted it to fit comfortably over my nose, scooping down below my eyes and fitting snug around the chin. Since it works so well for me, I figured I might as well share it!

Supplies:
8″ x 13″ piece of quilting cotton
8″ x 13″ piece of batik fabric
8″ x 13″ piece of non-fusible interfacing or additional quilting cotton layer, optional
nose wire, optional
20″ – 26″ elastic
rubber elastic grips, optional
Crinkle Dreams 3-D mask pattern [click to download]

  1. Iron fabrics, then fold in half with fold down 8″ length.
  2. Trace around pattern and cut out with rotary cutter or scissors.
  3. Trim interfacing/additional layer to cut-line, if using.
  4. Press interfacing to batik fabric. Fold as one and pin chin dart.
  5. Sew chin dart with a 1/4″ seam allowance tapering at chin; backstitch.
  6. Repeat with quilting cotton exterior chin dart.
  7. Pin lining combo and exterior together along top edge, right sides together.
  8. Sew with a 1/4″ seam allowance, backstitching at point and valleys to secure.
  9. Clip off seam allowance at points and clip to seam on valleys, being extra careful to not cut any stitching.
  10. Turn inside out and use a point turner to push points out as much as possible.
  11. Press well.
  12. Top stitch about 1/8″ from seam edge.
  13. If desired, add channel for nose wire, by topstitching about 1/2″ away from seam edge centering the 4″ channel along the middle point.
  14. Bring bottom edge up to meet, right sides together. Pin a few times to nest the chin darts and sew with 1/4″ seam allowance.
  15. Turn inside out through side opening.
  16. Press well.
  17. If using, insert nose wire though side opening and topstitch ends closed.
  18. Mark fold line and press. Stitch with a 1/8″ seam allowance, making a tiny pleat across entire top of mask.
  19. Fold sides over 1″ then in half to create a 1/2″ channel for the elastic.
  20. Pin and sew close to folded edge.
  21. Using a bodkin or safety pin feed elastic through the channels.
    • If using over the ear loops, cut two 10″ lengths of elastic. Feed one through each channel and knot, then hide knot in channel. Attach rubber elastic grips, if using to tighten.
    • If using over the head elastic, cut a 26″ piece. Feed from bottom of channel, up and out, then continue to feed it from the top of the second channel to create a loop. Knot and hide knot in channel.

I really like the way this mask fits and you can lengthen the front easily if you want to make it more spacious for talking or for beards. ­čÖé

I hope I’ll see you from behind your own mask at International Quilt Festival in Houston next week!

Happy sewing!

10 Tips for Sewing with Cuddle Minky

If you are new to sewing with minky fabrics, I know they can be a bit intimidating. Minky is completely different than quilting cotton, requiring different techniques and tools.

I’ve found that lots of quilters have wanted to use minky, but when they’ve tried it with their quilter techniques, it’s been a frustration. Cuddle┬« is the Shannon Fabrics brand of minky fabric and I work with it exclusively (obviously, since I’m their National Educator!) and along the way I’ve learned a lot that can help learn to tackle this fabric in a way that makes is successful and not stressful.

For Sew Together Tuesday, we visited Red Roxy Quilt Co. in Decorah, Iowa and filmed this updated version of the 10 Tips:

You can read more about the tips that I shared and get the downloadable PDF over at the Shannon Fabrics blog!

Happy sewing!

Oops–a cutting mistake & how to “fix” it

Sometimes I shouldn’t be talking while using a rotary cutter and this was the result recently. I was making a sample for an upcoming Sew Together Tuesday and instead of cutting the square, I kept on cutting into the fabric. Oops! Considering this was nearly two yards of Cuddle┬« fabric, I wasn’t about to just throw it away and start over. I had to figure out a way to fix it.

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How to glue baste and machine stitch quilt binding

Truthfully, I always prefer a hand-sewn binding, but sometimes deadlines get the best of me and I have to take the faster route. I was able to finish four of the six quilt in the American Travels series by hand before I shipped them off to Accuquilt (they’ll be on display through March and April!), there were two more than had to get stitched on by machines. I thought I’d share my method with you since it works pretty well for being second best.

Continue reading “How to glue baste and machine stitch quilt binding”

How to Sew a Cotton Binding on a Cuddle Blanket [Sew Together Tuesday]

This week we got to join forces with my friend Liz from Sew4Home.com and share a tutorial that she did on their site years ago. The Soft Elegance Big Bound Blanket originally used a fabric that Shannon Fabrics no longer makes, so I substituted in the Buffalo Check Cuddle. Combine that with Luxe Cuddle Sherpa and Carolyn Friedlander cotton… ooohh la la, you got a beaut.

Continue reading “How to Sew a Cotton Binding on a Cuddle Blanket [Sew Together Tuesday]”

How to Sew a Minky Binding [Sew Together Tuesday]

There are lots of things that intimidate sewists about working with Cuddle┬« minky, but I think the task that freaks people out the most is using it for quilt binding. It seems like a crazy idea at first, then you do it and see how great it looks and feels. Sorta like using it for quilt backings; once you try it, you’ll want to do with most of your quilts.

A few weeks ago, we tackled Cuddle┬« binding for our Sew Together Tuesday and if you’re thinking about doing it yourself, this is a good place to start. I show different Luxe Cuddle┬« fabrics and which work best for bindings, which stitches you might want to try and give some tool tips that can be helpful.

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Happy Anniversary, Fairfield!

You know the good ol’ Poly-Fil stuffing, I’m sure, but did you know there’s a whole lot that Fairfield makes, beyond this basic stuffing?!

One of my favorite products is their Poly-Fil Royal Silk, a softer, silkier version of the standard Poly-Fil. I’ve used it in a variety of projects and I love how soft it makes stuffed animals without getting clumpy. Stuffing seems like something so basic that there can’t be much variety in the quality, but I’m here to tell you there is and it is totally worth the extra cost.

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Sew Together Tuesday: Quilt Cadets

This week we did a whole series of patterns (rather than just one project for the week) and focused on Quilt Cadets patterns, an offshoot of Latifah Saafir Studios. They are super cute patterns written with kids in mind, so there’s no fancy lexicon and easy step-by-steps to help kids of all ages complete these projects.

Whether you’re new to sewing or new to sewing with Cuddle, these are fab patterns to add your collection. Plus she offers some super cute little badges that you’ll earn as you progress through the patterns.

The first day, we made the Enchanted Travel Pillow, a pattern designed in conjunction with Little Pincushion Studio. Who doesn’t love unicorns? Okay, some don’t, but for them they can take off the horn and make a horse or just do the dragon version. Any way you do it, it was super simple and ridiculously cute.

Make a Unicorn Travel Pillow with me!
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Sew Together Tuesday: Sleep Mask

Teresa wearing the sleep mask she designed

This week’s Sew Together Tuesday class we finally got to do a sleep mask. This is one of those ‘duh’ projects–of course you’d use Cuddle┬« minky for it–but I just hadn’t gotten around to designing one yet.

I drew up the pattern and made a second version where I added some cute eyelash appliqu├ęs, though that isn’t required to be effective. I just like adding a touch of cute when I can.

Happy sewing!

How to Sew a Little Chick Pillow [Sew Together Tuesday]

This week’s Sew Together Tuesday for Shannon Fabrics is the Chick version of the Barnyard Buddies Jelly Bean Pillow pattern. The pattern is from McKay Manor Musers and it’s a favorite. All the designs are super cute and they have a wide variety: cow, chick, Yeti, unicorn, dog, werewolf, etc. You can see them and download your own preferred pattern on their site.

If you want to make your own Chick pillow, you’ll need:
* 1/2 yd. Luxe Cuddle Rose White
* Scraps of Cuddle 3 in Black, Scarlet and Canary
* McKay Manor Musers’ Barnyard Buddies Jelly Bean pattern
* Poly-Fil from Fairfield

You’ll notice a few tools that I really love: the Precision Stiletto from ByAnnie.com, flower-head pins from Clover and the BabyLock Crescendo sewing machine with a Schmetz 90/14 stretch needle.

Happy sewing,