Friday, March 27, 2020

Fun Friday ~ Revised, Quickest Handmade Cloth Tie Face Mask

When helping to make 300 cloth face masks,
you find as many short cuts as possible.
You'll find my original tutorial HERE.
Here is a picture outline of
my fastest way to make tie masks.

Press half
Meet center
Tie is 1.5 inch x 40

Folding the Tie
Turning under 1 inch each end
Start stitching 1/4 inch in.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Thoughtful Thursday 163~ Protective Masks

 Our local quilt shop & quilt guild like many places
all over the country have gotten many requests for face masks.
I was apprehensive
since these don't compare to the N95 masks that are needed to defend against Coronavirus. 
Then I personally got a request from
 an assisted living facility that simply needed
 to protect residents against the flu still going
 around and now pollen.
I didn't have enough elastic for 150 masks
 so I needed to make ties.
In researching
 I found the ties
are preferred for long term wear.
I also discovered
many like different fabrics on each side
 so they can remember which
 is outside/inside.
With my arthritis,
turning a 9×6" rectangle inside out
 becomes painful after a while. 
So even though
 there are 100s of patterns,
tutorials & videos out there,
here is my tutorial
with a few more tips
 to make the process faster and easier to handle.

And besides,
 wouldn't it be a lot more fun wearing these
 than those boring blue masks?
And they're washable for personal use
& not disposable.

So if you are lucky to be stuck home,
dust off that machine

 I've made both 9x7 and 9x6.
Can't tell any difference. 
Turn inside out
Press seams flat
Fold along seam lines

Each crease line line 
will be pulled up half way to next crease line.

Stitch down pleats with 1/8 " seam
on each end. 

Cut in straight of grain, not bias.
Easier to manage and they're not being sewn on a curve.
Plus, it saves fabric.
Meet edges to center to fold into 1/4
and press.
You can press entire tie half then meet center
to help fold.
I eventually was able to hand fold as machine pulled the tie through.
I did press in the beginning end to help start.

Stitch right side of center of a tie 
to pleated end on the INSIDE
with 1/4 inch seam.
(Note you do see a bias seam in my tie because I had to piece fabric together to acquire needed length.)
I love, love my edge stitch foot to sew the ties.
Makes for super fast work.
I hand tucked edges to center
by pulling the tie taut and then folding in half.

After making about 20 of these,
I found out I could save about 5 minutes and my fingers on each by not tying knots.
Instead, press in the end on each end.

No frayed ends visible.

I also have requests from family
 and friends for 6 more.
I see
I hear people are dusting off
 their machines
 to help this cause.
So think about it,
some folks
 have a need
 just for standard masks. 
I simply remind them
DO NOT let these give you
 a false sense of hope
in defending yourself against COFID-19.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

My White Bean Cooking - Today's Modern Version

I might have fixed pinto or white beans on the stove top once in my life.
When I was in about 6th grade, my Mother started working a public job. My Dad worked mostly on farm and when there were tobacco or hay jobs, the neighborhood "trading work" guys came over.
So Mother had to teach me how to fix that meal, which was not a light lunch, to feed these hard working farmers. I'm talking meat loaf, mashed potatoes, cornbread, beans and whatever else came out of the garden.
The lesson for pressure cooking beans stayed with me forever. 
It was much faster, but had to keep an eye on the cooker so as to turn down heat and turn off so it wouldn't burn or blow up.
I only had one to pop off a seal and I think it was dry rotted?
I LOVE today's electric pressure cookers, commonly known by a brand name Instapot.
I can leave it alone and not worry. 
It's also 100% quiet whereas the old pressure cooker made a racket of noise. 
So here is my revised modern day bean prep directions. 
Note that I dont use the typical 6 qt. cooker.
I found the quart and half works fine for me.
 Sort and rinse dried beans well.
 Place in pressure pot container.
Add plenty of salt to soften water.
I have about tablespoon for quart of water.
This will be rinsed away later.
 Use enough water to cover beans about an inch over.
After you've made several pots, your instinct will learn how much water your beans will soak up.
My pot came with a glass top.
Love that feature.
Cover the pot and turn on to keep warm.
Mine is automatically timed to keep warm 24 hours.
Soak for about 3 hours or more.
*I have also used a cover pot on the warmer eye of my stove top for this step.
At this time, I go to sewing room.
After about 3 hours in the sewing room, 
I checked my beans and they were swollen
and some split. They're ready for next step.
Trying not to cool down the beans too much,
rinse them VERY WELL with HOT water.
ALSO, rinse out the pot they were in.
After years of trying different tricks,
I found out some of the stuff that causes
indigestion pain 
(you know what I'm talking about)
are rinsed away at this time.
Using the saute feature on the pot,
at this point I cut up about 3 (9 for large) slices of bacon into pieces 
and saute to render fat.
However, Mr. G had saved bacon fat from his breakfast bacon and I used that.
Return rinsed beans to pot
 with bacon pieces & fat.
Add salt (remember you rinsed it off)
and pepper to taste.
Cover with water according to how soupy you want your beans. 
I knew mine would swell more so I more than covered. 
Not as much steams away as old pressure cooker.

I steam for 30 minutes while most recipes I believe say 15.
I like my beans very soft not still holding shape.
 When I took top off
 After I stirred them up
Dished out a bowl and salt & peppered more to taste.
This time I put a tablespoon of salsa on the edge.
Salsa reminds me of the "ketchup" Mother used to make to eat with beans.

Beans are a hot commodity these days.
Can hardly find a bag on the shelves.


This post compiled with my phone.
Took forever.
Dread buying and setting up new computer.
Since its 10 years old and its Windows will soon not run certain things,
guess I gotta get a new one.