Monday, July 6, 2020

Dust Bunny Hunting Season Opens Today

Dec & Dust! DONE! 

Having trouble managing the house and work when you are working from home?  I am very productive either place, but when I am at the office I do artwork, studio work, help with orders if needed, organize, make phone calls, videos, etc - it is all about Quiltsmart.  When I am home, I find it difficult to not put in that load of laundry, or go on a dust bunny hunt, prep that chicken for dinner, make the bed, and on and on, and still work.

I'd fix the curtain rings up high that have come undone (note to self, will need ladder), sit outside in the sunshine, organize that closet, paint that dresser - because, of course, my time is open and I can mix work and household things...not to mention a quick bike ride, walk....  hmmm it is a beautiful day! And then the end of the day comes, and I better get some work done, so I work at night, 

weekends, early mornings, and during the day, and it all blends together like a delicious smoothie - did I eat breakfast?

Paint that dresser.  DONE!

The duster is right there - I see it in my peripheral vision.  I put it out to remind me to use it. It would be nice to put out the summer quilts (Baskets Around, MountainTops, Dahlia - shown is the Little Dahlia Variation) before fall, and I could do that simultaneously.  Maybe pull something to thaw from the fridge.  I could get under the refrigerator at the same time.  Cutting out that table runner, and quilting that top would open up my dining table to be actually used for dining - if not a cutting board and a mat. 

I grab the weapon of choice - the duster mop -  and leave the computer.  BUT - I do one thing (this is NEW to me - since yesterday, so I don't know if it will stick) to get me back on track.  I ask Alexa (my digital personal assistant) to set a timer for 1 hour for "Mattie, get back to work".  You can now name the timers - this is great because otherwise if you set a bunch, she just beeps all day and you can easily forget why.  I'm sure I'll get back to the artwork at that time... I LOVE doing the artwork....but, I get distracted, too.

Make bed...DONE!

I'm now officially on the hunt.  I've fixed the curtains - there were bunnies up there...can you believe it, didn't know they could climb - (maybe they unhooked the curtain rings), made the bed, pulled out some quilts and got some bunnies in that closet, caught a few of those little dust bunnies in the dining room, and got the chicken out.

I am just passing the computer, heading to the under the bed sanctuary for the little buggers ... onward....when....the blue light flashes ...  It's Alexa.  That was quick, I think with a hint of dissappointment.

Alexa says, "Mattie, get back to work."  I thought, "really? - what have I been doing, Alexa"....but, instead...
Quilting... not done.

I say, "Alexa, thanks! - You do such a good job!"

She replies, "That's nice of you to say."

Whew, that all feels good!  Back to the computer.  All in all, I am quite pleased - I got my season limit of dust bunnies. No license required.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

On...the Ceiling

The sun was streaming in and I laid down to bask in it for a moment.  It was so warm, about as close to laying on a beach as you could get without being there.  I looked up at the ceiling and realized how simple and relaxing it was. Life has been so complicated lately.  We don't really know what to do with that.
There is no quilt up there.  The ceiling is painted the same taupe "pink" as the walls.  I love that color. Calm. But, until I laid down on the floor and looked up - I would have said it was white.  That is what I would expect.
Like a quilt without a border.  A round quilt.  An oval quilt.  An unfinished quilt (ok - that one we might expect).  A sentence that is not a sentence - eh - maybe that too.  Dinner with friends on Zoom.  Unexpected.
Having just started with writing blogs my attention had to be diverted to Facebook Live (does that mean they can see you NOW - what, they can ask questions - yikes!), Zoom, Discord, Virtual Yoga (they can't see me - there is something so comforting with that), Virtual Therapy, Curbside pick-up for my dog & food (I did that anyways "before"), being fine with going out in my jammies....because NO ONE will see the bottom half!, "Dinner for 1 please, in your finest box".  Lots of things to learn.  But the one I love the most is that my granddaughter and I call each other, text, and send emojis.  We made dirt cups one day.  We both have the same book, and read to each other.  Sometimes I fall asleep, sometimes she does.  And, even though we are 2000 miles apart, those times we are right next to each other.
We all have had some things to learn.  So my blog took a bit of a back seat.  I had thought, "I'll have all this time to write."  Nope.  My family and I Zoom, and I Noom - getting ready for a skate trip that may or may not take place. 
But now that I think I have Zooming and Nooming under control - I would LOVE to get back to the blog.  No promises to myself - because there are now a ton of projects and quilts that I started because I was going to have all this time to quilt.  Ha ha!  Just a few more hours a day....just like things were "before".  What used to be unexpected is now normal.  The calm that resonates from laying in the grass and seeing the unchanging yet everchanging canvas above.  The peace that settles inside me while looking up at an uncomplicated ceiling while the yoga lady talks and I plan quilts in my head.... but calmly.
I wish to pick the blog back up, but I don't want to lose the closeness of being far apart, and the feeling of the uncomplicated sky.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Face Mask Mania - having trouble keeping up?

“Will you make me a mask?   I’ll actually need 2, and some for the kids. And, some for the neighbors, and the dentist office.   One could be in super light pink with a little tiny embroidery over the left ear.  Another could be flowers, not too big, but not too small.  One medium gray, no two, no three, not too dark, but not too light.  Should the dog have one - I heard they could get Covid19?  What about the microwave - I heard they should not go in the microwave?"  We want to say Yes, Yes, and Yes to the requests as we want to please, and we want to answer all the questions, but we don't know all the answers either.  Pretty soon you aren’t sure who you sent one to and who still needs some.  To make matters more complicated, there is a lot of mis-information out there about the masks.  I will try to answer those in the blogs and videos as much as I can.  Our mask pattern is based on our local hospital's design.  There are a lot of variations in ties that can be done.  So, that makes for complications, too!  The tips below helped me get organized and made for a much happier (and neater) sewing experience.


I’ll share here and take it for what it is, but it sure helped me out!

First, I dedicated a bag for each family group or friend and put their name on it. 
The bags would be a great place to write notes as to what colors or types of ties were wanted.

Second, I started cutting the mask cotton lining apart with a rotary cutter (you could use a scissors).  Face Mask Panel
Each panel makes 8 mask linings.
I cut “a bunch”.  Depending on your numbers, you might want the Face Mask Bolt
The Bolt makes 80 (10 panels).

There is a how-to video at each of the above links.
Third, I put all suitable (at least 7.5” x 9”) fabrics into one bin. 

Fourth, I took one lining and placed it on the fabric.  I cut out the fabric using the mask lining as a guide.  I did not use a ruler or try to hard to cut straight, but I did use the rotary cutter and a mat.  I pinned the two together and put it in the bag of the person who I thought would like that fabric.  You can have fun here fussy-cutting some of the fabrics as I did in this Marvel Comics (TM).  The fabric design will generally show through the white cotton lining, so it is easy to see what you are doing.  Be Careful what goes along the nose line - that might not be where you want to cut off heads of of superhero’s.  Put the appropriate amount of twill, bias tape, elastic, ribbon elastic, shoe strings, or whatever type ties I was using.

Fifth, I opened the bags in any order and calmly pressed the pleats in using the lines on the Face Mask Lining Pattern.  At this point, the masks are made in different ways depending on the variation you choose.  But, after I finish them.... (I’m not done yet.) I plan to take a pic of the bag with the name and the masks, then back in the bag they will go and in an envelope to the Post Office.  

Don't put your masks in the microwave to sterilize them or for any other reason!  And, if there is metal nose-piece, or the earlobe ties are made of a fabric that will melt!  Yikes!  Just wash them in the wash and press again if you want them pressed nice.  The dog should not need a mask - as far as we are told to date!  Be careful if someone touches your pet - that is one way the virus can be passed on according to sources on the news (my disclaimer).

Happy mask making!  If you have any tips for organizing yours....let us know!  We would love to hear!

Play it Safe...

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

What I googled so far today...

...while making a new Quiltsmart bag (sneak peek to come):

1) How to make chocolate chips (not cookies, chips!). 
You can!  Yeah!  And, they look pretty easy.
But, I didn't make them, because my girlfriend Kathleen got me the Unreal Chocolate Almond Butter Cups that I love, but she got 4 bags of 6 instead of 4 bags of 2!  Still even that is incriminating. Go Kathleen!  Yeah!  So, those will satisfy...but, when I am ready I am going to...try these

2) When was the Tupperware burp seal invented? 1938 - but check it out - interesting story about Earl Tupper!

3) Images for unusual face masks - mostly you will get things like a chocolate or avocado mask to put on your face.... not the face masks we have been making in our sleep. Maybe we all need the chocolate or avocado ones!  My daughter sent me a chocolate one and I am excited to try it!

4) Images for really comfy bar height chairs with wheels for working on a computer.  They look like tall work chairs.

5) How far do you need to walk to negate eating 1 Unreal Chocolate Almond Butter Cup! info - there are 80 calories in one piece - I could have read that off the back of the pkg, but I tossed them up into the highest cupboard, and I can't reach it without a ladder.  I could get out the ladder, but I gotta get back to sewing! Though I wonder how many calories are burned by getting on the ladder.

6) How many miles do you need to walk to burn 80 calories? I would need to do more investigating and I need to get back to the bag - but a rough estimate might be (for me)...because it varies, about 1 minute per calorie.  So if I eat one of the candies, I need to walk for 80 min.  Hmm.... I will investigate further.  I could run in place while sewing.  I wonder if there is a treadmill that could be hooked up to a sewing machine..... you know?

Monday, April 13, 2020

Quiltsmart Printed Cotton DIY Face Masks

EASY with printed cotton!  See video for step-by-steps!
This mask is supported by the Central Oregon Emergency Mask Makers (COEMM) & St. Charles Hospital, Bend, Oregon. 
Information is posted on the Quiltsmart Home Page (, and on the COEMM Facebook page.  Mask panels are available for groups - email us your needs at, a little about your group, and how many panels you are looking to get - we will try to support!  

Stay home, save lives!

Each panel makes 8 masks.  The panel is the lining of the mask.  It is printed with pleat lines, sewing lines, nose-piece lines.... it's great!  The mask is open on the bottom so a filter can be placed inside.  You will need ties (2 ties at 36" long each) and the mask-front fabric (1 mask: 7.5" x 9" - 4 masks: 9" x 32" - We suggest you watch the video first).

Proceeds from the online Face Mask Panels at this time go to the Central Oregon Emergency Mask Makers.
Great project for beginners!

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We will be having more LIVE classes for the masks (and other Quiltsmart Patterns) as the need warrants.  Kids at home?  What a great family project!  If you need help, let me know (I was a teacher for 12 years.) 

Take Care,