Saturday, April 25, 2020

Keep Calm and Quilt On!

I think we are all tired of making masks at this point. It seems as soon as I finish a batch, I get another request. I hear myself singing from “Fiddler on the Roof”, Maskmaker, maskmaker, make me a mask!

But, one cannot live making masks alone so here are a few more projects that kept me busy while emptying my thread spools. Eight and counting! 

I have even played thread roulette a few times. I won this time!

I have nearly emptied my “feeder quilt” box. My brother gave me this sweet tin years ago and I keep my current feeder quilt pieces in it. Time for more cutting! 
Ever since I started sewing, I have kept a “feeder piece” under my presser foot. It is something I learned from my childhood friend and neighbor. If you simply run a scrap (approx. ¾”) through your machine, it keeps you from wasting thread and before the days of automatic needle down, it saved me from having to re-thread in the event that the needle was on its way “up”. 
One day in my teens I figured out that if I could keep a few squares cut up beside my machine, I could actually make 2 quilts at a time! I have been doing it ever since. Bonnie Hunter has written a few books on her method of doing this and a lot of my friends now do it too. I still keep a dish of smaller feeder pieces for when I am in a hurry and just want to run something quickly under the foot. 

I repaired a few of my grandson's favorite shirts. As with many children with autism, he likes to chew on his shirts and many had some significant holes. I simply attached some ultra suede patches with not only covers the holes, but strengthens the color as well. My daughter in law thinks I should market this idea. We will see how it lasts first. 

My Mom is enjoying her new quilt made with Lori Lee Triplett’s panel and lots of my “feeder quilt” 4 patches. I miss being able to visit, but we are blessed to have a sister who is taking great care of her. 

We have a great need locally for veteran’s quilts. I participated in Kevin’s (Kevin the Quilter) “Simply Sensational Summer Scrap Quilt” mystery last summer and this is as far as I got…

 So, rather than make one big quilt, I divided up the blocks and made 2 quilts and perhaps have enough leftover to work into a third!  

I made a block with Sue Watters' pattern for Quiltmania. They will be assembling quilts to donate to first responders and health care workers during the pandemic. You can learn about it (here)

I’ve been working on my Cassandra’s Circle blocks and now the center block is quilted and bound. Yes, I am doing this in the potholder method after all. 

I am almost finished with my April mini and will post it at the end of the month. My Humble Quilts “Doll quilt swap” was mailed out last week and I will post that when Lori does the link up in May. I must say I had a hard time letting it go, but have had a lovely note from the recipient and she likes it as much as I do. Win, win!

It is amazing how something so tiny can create such havoc! All the sacrifices and changes in our daily routines have made me realize how lucky I am.

I am grateful for all the health care workers, grocery workers, garbage workers, postal and shipping workers and others who have made our lives safer and easier. And, I am to thankful all who practice social distancing!

I hope you are all safe and healthy and have had some added free time to quilt.


  1. that is a lot of thread to use up - I too used up a bit and have thread ordered! not that I will run out I have a lot but maybe not in all the colors I want. I have not done a leader ended but have lots of boxes with precut scraps - maybe it is time to put a box of my 2.5 inch squares near the machine!

  2. WOW! All those empty spools!! You HAVE been busy.
    I think my favorite project you posted about was your repairs of Caton's t-shirts. What a great idea.
    I'm sure he will be so happy to have his favorite shirts back! What a great Nana!!
    I am especially impressed with your practice of dividing up one project that wasn't appealing to you into three other ones. I usually have those unfinished projects languishing unfinished for years!!!
    You are an inspiration.

  3. You are really staying busy. I love the center for Cassandra's Circle all quilted. It quite lovely. Clever idea for your grandson's shirts.

  4. Congrats on your win at "thread chicken" and getting those quilt tops together! I like what you did with Kevin's Mystery quilt. Making a smaller quilts was SEW smart!

  5. Lots of sewing going on at your house, Wendy. I made 7 masks and was sick of them. LOL. I'll make more as I learn of needs. The hospital where my daughter works won't allow nurses to wear home-made cloth masks (even though they have to wear the hospital masks for several days).
    Ohhh, your tin with feeder quilt pieces is beautiful. It looks antique or vintage. What a wonderful gift!
    That's a great idea to repair your grandson's shirts. Do you think he will chew on the ultra suede patches, too? Just wondering if children who chew have a preference for certain kinds of fabric.
    Your veterans' quilts look great.
    And you Cassandra's Circle -- wow, just WOW!

  6. Love your tip about feeder pieces. 
    Which Bonnie Hunter book would you recommend I start with. Having made only two quilts I still consider myself a novice. Thanks

  7. You've been so busy with all those projects, every one is a gem in its own right. Good for you to keep up with all the cutting to make the pieces for your leaders and enders. I've tried to use my hst cutoffs the same way but have never been disciplined enough to tame all the scraps the way Bonnie does. Rotary cutting is hard on arthritic wrists.

  8. Hi Wendy! Your feeders look so organized. Im trying to do that with mine right now. I love the quilt you made for your mom! She reminds me of me, sitting in her recliner with a quilt! I never really got into the masks, but I volunteered to make some isolation gowns, which are more challenging than one might think. Your Cassandra's Circle block is amazing... no surprise there... ! Stay well ~

  9. You are incredible! I mean I always knew that, but still you have accomplished so much.
    What a great save on the t-shirts. Clever lady. and they look great too.
    What a sweet photo of your mom under that beautiful quilt. It must be sad not to see her, and it must be a relief to have her home with your sister with the virus around.
    You look so much like her!
    I use a feeder piece which I call a mouse - I never can quite get into the swing of doing a leader ender, but you sure have.
    Great QOV quilts. You are such a generous person and someone will treasure these.
    Four patches are the best.
    Gwen Marston had a sweatshirt that read "When in doubt, make a four patch" and she was right of course.
    Stay well friend

  10. I enjoy seeing the pictures of your quilts on the blog. I also use Bonnie Hunter's leader/ender method to keep a piece of fabric under my needle. I have all of her books. What I liked most about your post today was the picture of the feeder tray with the 2 pincushions behind it. I liked these very much and would love to make these. Is there a pattern for the mouse (?) and larger pincushion? If yes, please let me know where I could purchase the patterns.

  11. LOL that is a lot of thread to go through! But I have had the same issue and resorted to a super sized cone. I think your idea for repairing the tee shirts is a good one and I hope it lasts well. Your donation quilts look great, I especially love the red sashing.

  12. Okay, I've got your version of Fiddler on the Roof on the brain. I'm glad you've been sewing up a storm. What a wonderful photo of your mom and her wonderful quilt. This quarantine has been such a struggle for many families. I had used a feeder piece for a long time, but try mostly now to feed in quilt pieces, but that does take planning ahead.

  13. I was looking at that panel you used for the center of your mother's quilt just this past weekend....on the website and not in my stash. I was wondering how I would use it. I see you put it to good use.

    My but there looks like a lot of quilting in the Cassanda's Circle block. Looks very nice.

    In bits and pieces, I learn from you about autism. A creative use of a patch to repair your grandson's shirts.

  14. So much greatness in this post! Your Mom must appreciate the quilt so much - and by the way, strong family resemblance! How do you keep your leader squares so neatly stacked up? I have a box of 2" square scraps and it's a mess. I've only recently caught on to leader/ender and not sure the idea will stick. I think I'm too used to throwing any old scrap under my needle. Your fixes for your grandson's shirts - that's genius. The touch of a loving grandmother!

  15. Your Mom looks so comfy and knows she is wrapped in warmth and love. You have certainly been a busy sewer - look at those empty spools and finished projects! Everything is so organized - can you add my house to your appointment schedule??!! I go through periodic spells in my sewing room where everything piles up with too many projects in the works and then I just have to take the time to resort and straighten...that lasts about a week and here we go again. Lovely applique block.

  16. Wow, Wendy, you've been so busy! I've only made ten masks and struggled with those ties until I realized I had a bias tape tool which made it so much easier! I never got into the leader/ender thing but admire those who do. What a clever idea for patching your grandson's shirts. Your mom looks so comfy with that beautiful quilt. Not one but two veterans quilts--you are so generous! And Cassandra's Circle block is stunning with that red background!

  17. So true that we are all tired mask makers by now!
    I am excited to have finished my April mini quilt in between mask making. Will post about it today and send you the link.
    Love the quilt you made for your Mom!

  18. So many empty spools and exciting quilts! I love the photo of your momma and that beautiful smile and quilt!
    What a terrific idea for your grandson's shirts.
    Have a lovely week!