Monday, August 10, 2020

Still sewing to beat the band

Masks, do I make them? Oh yes, I do. Lots of them. The good news is that this is a self-supporting endeavor, so I'm able to donate quite a few. I'm open to donation, so let me know if you need masks. 


On another note, Anna is having another baby (today, I think?) and I started her baby quilt. It's going to be made of Strawberry Shortcake printed quilt squares that are pieced together with strawberry fabric.

At the end of July, I couldn't sew a single mask. I needed to make a change. So, I got started. I have a long way to go, but I think it's going to be right cute! 

Another thing I've been doing is tie dying fabrics for mask backs. I had 30 yards of a really nice white cotton for the backings. Plus, I was buying all sorts of fabric for backs. So, with a little Rit Dye, some hot water, soap, and salt, boom! Red tie dye. I did black as well, but didn't leave the fabric in long enough, so I have a lovely gray tie dye. And yes, I use this fabric every single day.

And then there was Isias. The storm blew in with rain and wind, and we were ready. We prepped the deck, made sure we had fuel for our (not whole house) generator, and in general, did what we do before hurricanes. 
Nothing blew away and we had few limbs to pick up the next day. The plants are back on the railing now and all the furniture is back where it lives. 


The world continues to go crazy all around and still I sew. My coffee cup that says I sew to stay sane knows me well.


I hope you are remaining safe and finding your way through this pandemic, crazy behavior all over the world, and just the unprecedented weirdness of it all. Pick up needle and thread. You'll be glad you did. 

Thursday, May 28, 2020

The one where Ivan put on his masks in his very own way

Remember how that commercial went with the ladies and social media? The wall? That's not how it's done. That's not how any of this is done!

Well, that is what I was reminded of when I saw my buddy, Ivan, modeling his new masks. First, I laughed and then felt really warm and fuzzy about the whole thing. His parents loan him to me to try out my masks for children and I think he enjoyed receiving these. By the way, that sticker on his shirt was on the envelope in which I sent the masks.


Oh, Alicia? It looks like "Master" is still a thing! LOL https://classroom.synonym.com/how-to-address-an-envelope-to-a-young-child-12082670.html

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Still sewing masks every day - you can too!

Mask making is now my job and I'm fine with that.

I have a bag for masks to be donated, a box for a large job I'm working on that will be primarily a barter situation, and have moved move of my items for sale to Etsy.  Our governor has issued a mandatory mask order as of this Friday. I'd love to give one to anyone who needs it, but can only sew but so many in a day. I've lost count of the number I've given away, but it looks like I've sewn over 600 for eBay. I'm sending my sister in Virginia Beach one in a day or so, but shhhhhh, she doesn't know it.

I encourage all of you who can sew masks to do so. As long as the fabric is breathable (preferably cotton!), you can de-stash. I've used up so much of my older fabrics. I have Strawberry Shortcake fabric from 1980 that I'm cutting as we speak. In fact, I ordered a clear ruler so I can see what I'm cutting without my handy cardboard window template.


I've been cutting an old (but pristine) Smurfs sheet using the same window template method. I think I'll get more mileage out of the older fabrics if I use the clear ruler. I can be a little more precise with the rotary cutter.

Go sew. Be safe. Stay well. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

The state of fabric and notions

Have you tried to buy fabric lately? How about thread? It's almost as rare as toilet paper, but not quite. You can order from Joann and pick up curb-side, but you'll be lucky if they're not out of the fabric you want. You can go to Walmart to get thread, if they have any left.

Did any of us ever think that there would be "shortages" of our sewing items?

If you go to eBay, you'll see some fabric for amazingly inflated prices. After a couple of weeks, sellers got wise to the mask makers and started offering 1/4-yard pieces along with fat quarters that have been cut and are selling for way more than the initial yard it came from was. It's gouging and taking advantage. The fabric shouldn't be so expensive. Is it opportunistic and capitalistic to buy and then sell at high, really high prices? I have really mixed feelings about it.

I have purchased from these sellers because they have the fabric that mask buyers want. They also have the fabric that people who have masks donated to them want. I take the money made from masks and put it back into mask materials.

Even thread - thread! - is getting hard to find online, but I now have a stash of white thread and the variegated threads I like.

I've gone through most of my novelty fabrics, some of which are 30-40 years old. People love the old stuff - Smurfs, Sponge Bob, M&Ms, etc. I find they also have a hankering for dogs and other animals on their fabric. It's been interesting to see what people like.

I'm working on a large order for a local nonprofit and it's filled with not novelty fabric masks.

Anyway, get to sewing everyone! The world needs us and they need us to teach them how to do this for themselves. 

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Corona Donna

Like others who sew, I've been sewing to beat the band during this pandemic lock down. I personally am one of those at risk people - age and health stuff. Overall, I'm in good health, but I do have diabetes. I get groceries delivered and go out rarely. The newest "thing" is that my husband retired last week, so now life is changing again. Does change ever end? No, and thank goodness for that.

I've sewn literally hundreds of masks - donated, for payment with in-kind donation for buyer so they get money instead (nonprofit people get it), and for sale. I've given them in bulk to people outfitting their people for work and for free to a person wanting one for her child. I am an ongoing give to an emergency vet clinic. My daughter has had me make them for her friends. It's a self-supporting project in the end and the novelty fabrics I have had since the 90s are coming in handy. I don't need to save them any longer. Maybe this is what I was saving them for.

People who sew are heroes right now. It's a beautiful thing to give a mask to a person who needs one. I've posted earlier with the link to the pattern I adapted for myself. Actually, what I do now barely resembles any pattern I've seen, but it works! I've lengthened the ear straps a couple of times per suggestion of wearers. Here are a few:

Pride masks are super popular to sell. I've given away several. 

This is one of my early favorites. I called it the Annie. Now we're up to the Annie II (a different check) and people love it.

I had a little bit of this M&M fabric and used it up fairly quickly. 

My favorite brains fabric. I love this one.

David Byrne of Talking Heads can appreciate this one. 

Dexter anyone?

I bought Sponge Bob fabric eons ago. I'm using it all now!

German Shepherds. Why not?

Again, I've had Steelers fabric forever. Time to use it up. I have the black Steelers fabric too, but haven't used it for masks yet. 

I love this funky print. 

Candy bars are a good thing, right?

The Smurfs fabric is from the 80s. I had a couple of sheets that I had saved. Again, time to use it up. My husband made a custom cutting template for me so I can ensure each mask has Smurfs on it and not just background stuff. 

Newer M&Ms fabric. 

Sorry, Anna, I'm using the strawberry fabric I bought for your quilt since they're very in right now. I'll get you more!

Subtle skulls, barbed wire, and other cute prints. 

NY Yankees. Whew, this fabric was expensive, but as I'm selling these, I should make that money back. 

Alicia sent me some animal fabric. This is her pink/red cat faces that I made today. 

I highly encourage anyone who sews to make a mask or three. The elastic is not impossible to find anymore, but theme fabrics are super expensive on Etsy and eBay now. Sellers know what they have and they're charging a lot. My personal novelty fabric stash is disappearing and I'm fine with that!

I imported my Corona Donna posts and will no longer be using that blog.

Now, go sew something!

Sunday, April 26, 2020

How the world has changed

Some places (towns, states, etc.) have decided it's time to open up. I'm not on board, but am cautiously optimistic.

On a complementary note, this is the after. The before was my life for 64 years, almost 65. I really am torn about what comes next. There is one hope that is looking forward to concerts, events, markets, and all those crowded people places again. Just like they were before. I don't think that is going to happen. Another school of thought says we'll come to a new normal that we can all live with. And 20 bajillion thoughts in between.

It's going to be interesting to see what happens with the communities doing the opening. There are so many protests going on and though many people think these people are nuts for wanting an open society right now, you have to admire their persistence and stick-to-it-ness. They truly believe.

I don't know what I believe. I just don't.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Masks!

Masks are the topic of my life right now. They are my job. I make them to sell, to donate, and to trade. I am shocked how many of these things I've sold. I've had to come up with a new routine for my day to make it work, but it truly is my job.

I'm working on a dozen for the Peninsula Cancer Institute and for Nelson (I got his camo fabric finally!). I still have folks stop by and leave a donation (or not) for masks I've made for them. And the ones on eBay are selling faster than I can make them.

The bottom line is that if someone needs a mask and I can provide it, then that's what I'll do.

Please wear your masks people.

Quarantine life isn't so bad when you have something to do. 

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Sewing a lot

I'm loving the sewing. It's a shitty reason to have to sew, but I'm happy to make the masks for people. I'm doing them for free, for donations, and some are being sold on eBay. Overall, it's not a money making proposition. That's not the point.

Today, I sewed fairly nonstop except for when I was making cookies, then sausage balls, and then dinner. Oh yeah, there was a nap in there too. I didn't sleep much last night, so got up and did some sewing in the middle of the night. Mr. McQuillen is going to pick up 30 masks tomorrow. He's getting them for his workmates. Later in the week, I'll send another 25+ to Tracey. Tomorrow, I'll finish up Adam and Sandy's masks and start on (probably finishing) masks for Allison's mother-in-law's parents and her brother.

A gal on Twitter with whom I was interacting asked me to make her a couple like "Annie is wearing." Took me a minute, but there is a picture of Annie D on the blog wearing one like this. These will go out in the morning.

A couple doxie masks for eBay.

And a few Hershey chocolate ones to sell. 

Jenny asked for a few for her parents, so I grabbed an assortment. She approved :) 

Allison did the background of this photo for me to use on eBay. I don't mind that my neck looks a mess. It's who I am, right? I am selling the rainbow ones on eBay.

I'm open to making masks for anyone, regardless of whether they can pay or not. I want the world to heal and for the people in it to be safe. 

I didn't do my full walk today, but I did get outside a couple times. I got a little more than half my step goal down, so that's on the agenda for tomorrow for sure. If it rains, I'll fire up Amazon and exercise inside. 

Another day in quarantine, another day in life. 



Coronasomnia

Have you had it yet. Twenty Eleven thoughts running through the brain and the worlds don't flow to share with you. Ambien on board a will let it do its magic shortly. It's late/early and my super dry spell is justabout over

Yep. Sleep tiime. .

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Cussing time

This whole pandemic thing is a flubbed up mess. It's not martial law yet, but it's a wee bit close. It's not a Nazi world, but it's uncomfortably close with some of the suggestions coming out of mouths of bloviating fools.

#BoomerRemover is a popular hashtag. There are those who are saying it's okay for us "seniors" to die and leave the world to the younger folks. The youngs vs. the olds. What an odd concept. But it's out there and it's just strange to think that people are okay with people x age or older dying off because of a virus.

Cards to be given to people who have proven not to have coronavirus? What about the rest of us? I'm thinking we get arm bands. Yeah, that'll work. Have we heard of this before or something like it?

The sensationalism can be quelled if people would simply adhere to the CDC guidelines and stop spreading this frickin virus. It's not that hard. Limit contact with people. Stay the heck home. Wear masks and gloves when you go out and know how to use them and what their limitations are.

It would be wonderful to not have to order groceries, to visit my kids, to not make any more masks, to go to wherever, to, you know, get back to some semblance of normalcy.

I hate that people are being affected in every aspect of their being by isolation and a total disruption in life as they knew it. As we all knew it. Anxiety, stress, depression. Increased use of drugs and alcohol. Insomnia. Worry. Feelings both controlled and uncontrolled. I'm watching LivePD and they have to stop and check to see if people are in compliance in stores.

Enough grousing. I'm just done with it all today and tomorrow, I'll be back in chipper mode once more.


Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Let there be masks

People want masks. That's for sure. Some governors are requiring them to be worn. I'm totally not in it for the money, but I'm seeing people all over the place who are profiting on the backs of this need. To me, a person having a mask is more important than money. I accept donations and that money goes for replenishing supplies and postage. I have given many away, and will continue to do so. Enough preaching. LOL

These are going to a family member who have a child.

Tracey sent me a photo of her crew. I'm sending her a ton of masks tomorrow and will continue to make more for her.

Tom is coming by for masks tomorrow, but no touching! I love that 2/3 of my kids are taking this very seriously. It's their future at risk. Our leadership is failing and has failed from the word 'go.' I'm not sure how this will play out, but for now, I'm doing something that makes me able to keep going. I have a job. 

We chose not to watch the news this evening. I just can't anymore. I know we'll watch again, but the hiatus was so necessary. 

On another note, Winnie made our mom's pound cake today. The smell when it was baking was phenomenal. As the woman in the Popeye's commercial says, I was feeling some things. 



Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Masks - and life quarantine style

I'm making masks galore. I have a list of people who want them and also am making up to 100 for Tracey. I want to mail at least 20 to her this week. I will have all done and mailed or picked up this week. I may end up taking orders. I am not setting a price, though; I don't think it's fair to make money off of people who are looking for something like a mask. I am accepting donations and I keep them separate from my working cash so they can pay for elastic, etc. Okay, having said that, here are the latest:

Annie got one of the batch that Allison got. 

Susan and Art stopped by for a no-contact pick up of their masks. 

Tracey gave me a thumbs' up on fit, etc. She's getting the bulk of what I'm amking.

Here are a few I made today. 

The little one is for Alicia's son, Ivan. It was so fun making a smaller one.

And today's adventure - with a Smurf mask. (Ooops, forgot to brush my hair again!)

I took my car to American Pride last night and dropped it off. I wore a glove to drop off the key. Easy, right? I went to pick it up today and it was a process. I wore a mask and gloves, and was carrying my container of wipes with me.  I barely touched the door to open it, didn't lean on the counter inside, noticed the guy behind the counter was also wearing a mask, and didn't touch anything other than paper and my debit card (which I already had out of my pocket). When I left, I pushed the door open with a gloved finger, wiped off the outside door handle, wiped everything in the front seat that could have been touched (whether it was or not), wiped off my debit card and key fob, and finally took off the gloves and started the car. I went to turn on the AC and realized that needed to be wiped off too. Another wipe. Then I wiped down the wipe container and myself again. Holy cow. So many things to do that used to be mindless movement.

I sewed a lot today. I walked my mile and almost 1/2. I took a nap. I frickin fried chicken tenders. I don't do that! 

I hope to get a bunch of sewing done tomorrow too. It feels right to be doing something, anything to help. 


Saturday, April 4, 2020

Another day in the ApperGett household

I woke up early and took the dog out. I thought about getting up, but didn't. Therefore, I slept till almost 11ish. That should make for a restful day, si? No. Makes for a cranky day. The good news is that I got my ass up and walked my mile plus. That should make for a perkier day, si? Not sure. I had myself a creative lunch - Spam on a hot dog roll with cheese and ketchup.
Okay, not that kind of Spam, but you get the idea. Now I'm going to suck down some water and sew some more masks. I've made two today already. More later. 

Friday, April 3, 2020

New undertaking and yet another shortage

Tracey asked me yesterday if I'd be interested in making masks for her clinic. It took me a little bit because I really haven't been into making masks. I'm not sure why I didn't want to, but now I do and I told her yes. She sent me a pattern and I cut one out and gave it a shot.

(Patterns: https://sarahmaker.com/how-to-sew-a-surgical-face-mask-for-hospitals-free-pattern/ and
https://turbanproject.com/patterns and [added 4/8] https://refashionista.net/2020/04/08/face-mask-to-match-your-refashioned-dress-without-a-pattern/)

Picked out and cut some fabrics:
First one made. I did a little fine tuning and made a few to send to Tracey as prototypes. (Failed to brush my hair before taking this picture.):
Today, sent her a test batch of 6:

Now for the amazing thing: There is no elastic to be found. I thought I had a roll of 1/4" elastic, but after a thorough search, I don't. I have a small amount of 1/4", but not enough to make a bunch of masks. I can put ties on them, but I'm obsessed with elastic. I did a long internet search and ordered some that won't be here till the middle of next week. I contacted everyone I know locally who sews to see if they have any. I put a thing on Craigslist (more on that later) and on Freecycle (which is closed to non-Coronavirus postings). I also asked on Facebook. Freecycle paid off and I have 13+ yards that we picked up - it was in a bag on a porch. No contact pickup. As soon as Richard got in the car, I wiped the bag down and he wiped himself and the car down. When we got home, I emptied the elastic out of the bag to air out on the front porch. I'll wipe it down before I bring it in. The bag went into the trash and hands were washed.

Sidebar: No contact anything isn't really no contact. Drive-thru at the pharmacy requires a button to be pushed, a container to be taken out of the pneumatic tube and then put back in, and then the meds themselves in the bag. Hand wiped after pushing button, gloves if possible to hold container and if not, more wiping. Wiping of the meds and the bag. It never stops. 

This virus is just a pain in the ass, people.

Craigslist got me a response from someone who wanted to go to a store and buy elastic for me in exchange for masks. I told them not to go to a store and put themselves in harm's way. I'll make them some masks anyway.

A couple of people offered suggestions for finding elastic and alternative things to use instead. Plus, a couple of people have requested masks as a result of seeing them online.

I'm not sure how big I want this to get, but I do want to get Tracey's done first and foremost.

Who knew that elastic would be impossible to find?

I have officially gained 2 pounds from eating crap. Thank goodness that I'm walking every day.


Disclaimer I put together to give to people who get a mask from me:

Disclaimer: This mask should NOT be used as a replacement for conventional and approved Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). It has not been industry tested nor has it been industry approved. Homemade masks are not substitutes for regular PPE and should not be relied on to protect you from contracting the coronavirus/COVID-19. The decision to use this device is solely your own. Social distancing is key. 

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Some of my corona images/memes

I've been collecting pictures. Some funny, some stupid, some who knows what. I thought I'd share a few with you here.
Squirrel in a bag on Winnie's deck. He could care less about self-isolation, but a nurse friend of mine saw this and suggested the squirrel had better protective gear than she did!

Some beauty while I was walking outside. Violets bring some normalcy to life. 

I put on my pants today is an award a lot of us are trying hard to win these days. Another friend mentioned that in the evening, she took off her daytime PJs and put on her nighttime PJs. Yep, that's about right. 

Nothing to do with coronavirus, but cracked me up. 

Borrowed from a group on Facebook. They say this whole thing started with someone eating a bat. Who knows? 

Speaks for itself with all the crazies in the grocery store these days. 

Willie always calls BS when he sees it. 

Another fun one. 

Dog is pissed. NOT. 

We'd all like to know, but we're a patient people. We can wait. 

And a classic from Twilight Zone.