Posted by Donette littlecottagequilts@gmail.com on

What a difference between this time last month and today. I really didn’t want to send out this newsletter/blog on April Fools day! I waited until today to do this. The last month has been a downward spiral into the Twilight Zone. It all seems so surreal and yet so very real. I’m sure y’all are feeling the same way I am, tired of hearing about it all and looking for a positive note somewhere. I’m hoping to be that positive spot for you. Let’s focus on the bright side.

The most precious thing we have in our lives is TIME. How often have you said to yourselves, or out loud, I need more time, I wish I had more time. Time is the only thing we cannot buy, bargain for or save up. Each day is a gift to use as we choose. How you choose to spend that time is completely in your control. Time to spend and connect with the ones you live with is a luxury that is rare in our society. Look at this time at home as a gift. Time to pursue our creative side is also a rare commodity we are now given to enjoy. Relax, catch up, experiment doing something new. But above all, try to keep the worry to a minimum and ENJOY this wonderful gift of time.

In this day of technology and fantastic devices, we can stay in touch with loved ones near and far. We are not as isolated as it may seem. We can shop for just about anything we need. (you can even renew your car registration on line) I imessage and FaceTime with my kids and grandkids regularly. (SKYPE works too) It’s not the same as a hug, but it’s still a great way to stay in touch and keeps us up to date on their lives. I had an interesting phone call with my 7 yr old granddaughter the other day that was hilarious. Such a good laugh ! Talking with friends on the phone is a great way to keep in touch too. And you can do it in your PJs !! LOL. Stay home and stay safe. This won’t last forever and we will all be so happy. We will have realized how much we take for granted and our lives will be better for it. Hopefully by next month’s newsletter, we will all be getting back to some sort of normal.

I’m catching up on projects that have been waiting in line to be done. I have been quilting the quilts you have brought me to do and working on the custom order quilts I have. I’m looking at this whole thing as a blessing, allowing me to “catch up” on a lot of things and relieve some of the pressure I have been under.

Weather permitting, we have been working on the never-ending house project too. We are just about finished with laying all the conduit and water lines in 1000 ft of trenches. Then the back-filling so we can actually drive up to our house! What a great feeling! Isn’t amazing how much we take for granted the simple things ?! It’s suppose to rain all week end so we will be working on inside projects. A year into the house building saga, and we are finally getting ready to start the framing as soon as the weather permits.

In the meantime, we have other projects that are on the list too. We are building new cabinets for the shop to hold the fabulous Cuddle Fabrics. We had a big shipment of them come in at the end of last month and now we are over run with fat bolts of soft and touchable wonderfulness. Awwwwwwwww, nothing as comforting as a snugly throw made of luxurious Cuddle !!

These great Sweet Strips were part of that huge order. Two different color ways of 10” X 60” strips. Perfect for all kinds of projects. And you can see the bolts of Cuddle are taking over the shop, and that’s not even half of them in the picture. We sooooooo need those new cabinets.

A reminder that the shop is closed during this mandated time. However, feel free to call and make an appointment to meet me at the shop for your needs. 830-589-2502 Our website is up and running and I am filling and shipping orders daily. littlecottagequiltshop.com You can also email your order to littlecottagequilts@gmail.com. Please bear with me during this unusual time and circumstances. Some days I am a bit flustered and might not seem myself. I’m just making the adjustment to doing business differently than the last 7 years. Thanks for your understanding and patience. We are all in this together and we will get thru it.

Keep Sewing & See you soon


Tip of the Month
March 2020 Tip:

When sewing strips together for strip piecing or a strip quilt, sew every other strip to the next with the seam starting at opposite ends. Ie: strip 1 to strip 2 start at the left end, strip 2 to strip 3 start at the right end. This will avoid the bias creep that throws the whole piece off.

Creative Stitcher’s Club : Is canceled for the month of April


Warriors Heart Quilt project. If you are looking for something to do while you are self quarantined, this is a great project, for a fantastic cause. Use up some of your stash, or you can order a kit from the shop. Check out Warriors Heart on their website. www.WarriorsHeart.com


Valuable Info

I would love to hear from y’all about things you would like me to write about in this valuable info article. What are you having trouble with? What would you like to learn? Please email me littlecottagequilts@gmail.com all your ideas. I welcome your input. Thanks

Making Masks

It seems the whole quilting world is a buzz about making the DIY face masks. It’s a good thing to do. However, many are struggling with mastering the feat. Including me. I have decades of experience in sewing just about everything there is to make with fabric and beyond. It mystified me the I was having a rough time getting it right. I have to confess, I am a perfectionist and that always trips me up a bit. But if you are a novice to sewing or have only ever made quilts, it could be a challenge. So far I have, optimistically, cut out 26 masks from the pattern I shared in the last newsletter. {Or maybe the one before that, I can’t remember exactly. This is newsletter #4 in 30 days. I never do this so it’s crazy}. Anyway, I have sewn up 10 of them so far. Here is what I have learned about that particular pattern and masks in general that might help you:

The pattern I sent out to y’all, was a pattern that was approved by a doctor as the best style. I have since learned, like everything else, other doctors have their favorites too. So I guess the conclusion is, they are all good. Make what you think will work best for you. If I ever get thru these 26, I might try a different design and see how I like it. Don’t do what I did and cut out 26 at once. Try one at a time until you find the style that works best for you. Then make them in mass. LOL

I posted on my FaceBook page a study of fabrics for DIY face masks. Breath-ability is a very important component as well as the effectiveness of the fabric to filter. As we have all seen, anything is better than nothing. But I have discovered that the “cotton tee shirt” fabric, either old tee shirts in good condition or purchased tee shirt fabrics, is the most comfortable for the lining fabric. Up against your face, it doesn’t chafe or rub when you talk. I’ve noticed that the mask jumps up and down as you talk. Regular cotton fabrics are uncomfortable especially on sensitive skin. Good quality, tight weave cotton, like quilting cottons, is great for the outside of the mask with the tee shirt fabric on the inside. This also is a very high filtering combination.

I found that 2 long twist ties (the ones that are encased in plastic for the big garbage bags) together make a better nose-piece. They have more strength to hold the shape around the bridge of your nose.

I cut the center top of the pattern down just a bit so it wasn’t such a sharp point at the bridge of the nose. I also tapered to the side, making the bottom edge of the mask about ½” longer than the top edge, holding the mask in place on your face better.

I used 7” of ¼” elastic for each ear. I also found that the two ends of the elastic need to be about 1.25” apart to hold the mask closer to the face at the sides. (instead of at each edge) Ribbons work well too if you are not sure of the size of the persons head, like a child or a larger person.

I also used ½” seams, enlarging the pattern by ½” all around, instead of the directed ¼”. (except top stitching) I found it was easier to work on multiple layers of fabric for my machine. (feed dogs catch on both sides of the needle)

I found the directions on that pattern to be a bit vague on some things. Trial and error will help you find what works the best for you. It took me the better part of one day to make the first one. Half a day to make the second one and by the time I made #s 9 & 10, it took a little over an hour. Once I figured out my system and tweaked the pattern a bit for a better fit, it’s going smoother.

All the best to you making these masks for you loved ones and fellow co-workers or the medical people in your area. Keep doing what you are doing!

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