Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Fabric face masks - some tips

There is so much information about reusable fabric face masks, making them, buying them, using them, that no-one can  keep up with all of it. These suggestions have been made by some of our members, and might be a useful place to start:

One recommends the Jesse Mask from The Fabric Patch. The website has six You Tube videos about various aspects of mask making:

She used Vilene interfacing as the filter layer in her masks (because that was what she had). The videos cover a number of options.

Another has investigated mask making and use deeply, and makes these recommendations:
  • the podcast Just Wanna Quilt (probably best summarised on Homemade Mask Summit Parts 1 and 2, 19 and 27 June- nearly 10 hours in total)
  • batik fabrics are considered ideal by the experts, due to the very tightweave and heavy dye
  • I also use interfacing for the middle layer; it is suggested not to use fusible interfacing due to inhalation of the adhesive, although I think that is probably only an issue if someone was going to be wearing it for many hours/days/weeks/months at a time.
  • flannelette has been recommended as the ideal inner layer, which works well for a winter mask, but is probably too hot for summer
  • ties are better than elastic for fit and repeated washing, but since ours will not be used and washed in an industrial setting, elastic (1/4"wide) is probably OK and so much quicker! (Using my husband and daughter as prototypes, I cut the elastic 5-1/4" for women and 6-1/4" for men, using a 1/4" seam on a 3-pleat version, and it seems to fit people well.)
Spotlight has advertised packages of jersey 'yarn' suitable for ties that are soft and slightly stretchy.

Friday, July 24, 2020

More from our sewing day

Two excellent background fabrics are at play in Pat and Sharron’s distinctive quilts.

Pat started this quilt with the outer border, using 
fish shapes left over from her ‘Pickled  Fish’ 
quilt made in 2018-2019
The cross hatch grey background is a good foil 
for the Kaffe Fasset and other bright prints ...
... and for the embroidered felt flower shapes in the centre medallion

Sharron’s large hexagons are joined by a 
quilt-as-you-go process ...

The background fabric lends itself well to the process 
with an irregular pattern that helps the joins blend 
into the other shapes

Friday, July 17, 2020

Sewing day!

Twelve of us yesterday enjoyed our first sewing day since mid-March, adhering to distancing, disinfection, cleaning and ‘no sharing’ restrictions required by the current NSW Public Health Order. It was so good to catch up, and to actually see our recent quilts. We also handed in stacks of community quilts - here are just some of them, more photos to come.

Lynette has been particularly focussed on finishing a major contribution to our community collection. She brought in the first sixteen quilts that she has finished from donated blocks, panels from a charity shop and some that she has made from start to finish. And she still has some to be getting on with. Sterling effort, Lynette - thank you.

Lynette and Robyn took some stash donations to 
The Sewing Basket, and came away with a trove of panels 
to make up as children’s quilts.

A large collection of churn dash blocks from another
 member’s mother made this quilt and two more.

These two quilt tops were pieced by Robin W from her vibrant 
Kaffe Fasset stash, and were quilted and bound by Lynette.

The quilt on the left was pieced by Dawn, using fabric 
donated by a former member and quilted by Lynette. 
The one on the right is one of the panels from 
The Sewing Badket

Lynette made these blocks herself, many years ago, and
assembled them into a large quilt top that was never finished.
She has now disassembled them and made two smaller quilts,
with another still in progress.Their classic design and
colour palette has not dated.
Pieced from the community stash.

Another set of donated blocks, finished from
Lynette's own stash.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Sydney Quilt Show 2020 cancelled

Message from the QuiltNSW Committee, 12 July 2020

The Committee has carefully considered the Sydney Quilt Show 2020 in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and has decided not to go ahead with it. This does not mean that the Sydney Craft and Quilt Fair is also cancelled. At this stage, Expertise Events is still planning to hold the Fair from 29 October – 1 November 2020.

There are many reasons for our decision.

Firstly, BERNINA Australia, the principal sponsor of the Best of Australia Award has recently announced there will be no Best of Australia award for 2020. The quilts judged as Best of Show in each state and territory during 2019 will be held over until 2021. There will be no BERNINA Best of Show winners during 2020. This is a significant change to the nature of the competition we offered member entrants back in March.

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in many other changes and considerable uncertainty still remains. The Committee did not want to commit member funds and considerable time by members to planning and preparing for the 2020 Show that could not be guaranteed to go ahead. We considered it prudent to cancel now before further funds and volunteer resources were committed.

Most importantly, the Committee is concerned for the health and wellbeing of members during the preparation, installation, and management of our Show. We considered how we could undertake this safely, and we came to the conclusion that it would not be reasonable nor responsible to ask our members to volunteer their time.

The ramifications of this decision are as follows:

The raffle will not go ahead this year but instead be held at the Sydney Quilt Show 2021 and all subsequent raffle quilts will be held a year later than planned.

We will contact Sydney Quilt Show 2020 entrants soon regarding the return of their entry fees.

Whilst you, like the Committee, are no doubt disappointed that the Sydney Quilt Show will not take place in 2020, we hope you understand the difficult decision we have had to make.

We know that there will be a time when we can return safely to the events and activities that we love as quilters. We are already making plans for what we hope will be an exciting 2021!

Friday, July 10, 2020

Reading and viewing, quilts and other things

Lots of lovely and useful things to look at in these links about sewing, textiles and quilts ...

Hand Sewing Needle Size Guide - Type, Length
John James Needles (UK)
A comprehensive guide to hand sewing needles, free to download, images are at actual size when printed at A4. 

Kimono: Kyoto to catwalk at the V and A, in pictures
Zoe Paskett, The Standard, 21 May 2020
The V and A museum is giving viewers a second chance to see its acclaimed exhibition all about the history of kimonos. 
Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk opened at the end of February but had to close just two weeks later due to the lockdown. 
The museum has now released a series of five videos taking viewers on a 30-minute behind-the-scenes tour of the exhibition, led by curator Anna Jackson ...
Paul Nero, Radio Exe (UK) 25 May 2020
The Devon County Show may have been cancelled this year, but its Guinness World Record attempt for a length of knitted bunting has knocked the socks off previous record holders. In fact, it has almost doubled the previous puny length held by Upton House of 31,119 flags, measuring 7.5km in length ...

Log Cabin, Pineapple variation
Anna Hazel Burmeister
Circa 1894, Waukesha, Wisconsin
Jill Kaufman,  New England Print Radio, 29 May 2020 
... Since quilting is a tactile medium, Tarr said, it's hard to do on a video chat — though some quilting groups are managing to gather. While sewing may be solitary, people do get together to do it. 
“There is a community of quilters that's really missing each other right now,” she said ...

Gees Bend Quiltmakers
Souls Grown Deep
... Gee’s Bend quilts carry forward an old and proud tradition of textiles made for home and family. They represent only a part of the rich body of African American quilts. But they are in a league by themselves. Few other places can boast the extent of Gee’s Bend’s artistic achievement, the result of both geographical isolation and an unusual degree of cultural continuity. In few places elsewhere have works been found by three and sometimes four generations of women in the same family, or works that bear witness to visual conversations among community quilting groups and lineages. Gee’s Bend’s art also stands out for its flair—quilts composed boldly and improvisationally, in geometries that transform recycled work clothes and dresses, feed sacks, and fabric remnants ...

Exquisite 2300-Year-Old Scythian Woman’s Boot Preserved in the Frozen Ground of the Altai Mountains
Open Culture, 22 June 2020
Nomads do not leave many traces, but when the Scythians buried their dead they took care to equip the corpse with the essentials they thought they needed for the perpetual rides of the afterlife.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Community quilts

We have been able to hand over the first donation of quilts to an aged care centre for the first time in several months. The collection is rapidly rebuilding as members sew their way through quarantine, and we expect to be able to resume our monthly sewing days in July. Here are just a few more community quilts in progress and finished, we know there are more ...

Helen found a good supply of small scale florals in
her stash for a pretty square-in-a-square quilt

Sue finished off a top started late last year, using the
 feature fabric left over from an earlier community quilt.

Janet had a large scrap basket of blues and creams to
 draw on - and she still does!

And a lovely finish from Helen, ready to be handed over
next week, at our first sewing day for six months.