Week in Review 2020 – 06/26

Where do life lessons come from? The answer to that question feels infinite. Certainly many of my life lessons have come from staying open to possibilities, observation and experimentation. I’ve been thinking of one, in particular this week. I learned it from my son, Adrian when he was 4 years old. He is 36 now.

His older sister attended a local private school and it was his turn to apply. Part of the application process included coming to school with other applicants and their parents so the teachers and principal could observe and interact with the applicants. The children were sent out to the playground to play. Immediately, the other children grouped together to dig in the sandbox, swing side by side or chase each other. Not Adrian. He climbed the slide and sat quietly for perhaps 10 minutes before sliding down and joining in.

Yes, that’s me modeling my first attempt at making my own face mask. The quilt in the background is Spring Chorus.

There could be several ways to interpret how Adrian handled himself. Was he anti-social, timid or overwhelmed by the activity? Certainly, that was the impression the principal got when she asked me about what I thought of how he handled himself in the playground. What I saw was a child who needed to get the lay of the land, decide what activity suited him best and then join in. When I explained this to the principal I could see her have a paradigm shift. She even complimented me for my understanding of my child.

What does this all have to do with my week? Well, I have been reading many posts about people making face masks, reading articles about the need for masks, reviewing patterns and materials and debating whether or not I should try my hand at making masks myself.

We have had N95 masks at home for years. I use one when I dye fabrics. My husband, a chemical engineer, used them in his lab when he worked and at home when he was doing something involving fumes best not inhaled. So, we didn’t “need” masks. However, I find my N95 not user friendly. The elastic straps adjust, but go behind my head vs. looping over my ears. Inevitably they slip down my hair, mess up my top knot, the material is uncomfortable against my face and the elastic gets caught in my earrings. Then there is the less than flattering appearance that bugs me.

Another strip of pieced diamond and triangle blocks is added to Turbulence this week.

The past months of observation and experimentation by others gave me the knowledge and courage to join in. I made my first face mask yesterday. Hurrah. It meets all of these criteria:

  • Washable
  • Attractive
  • Form fitting
  • Easy to make
  • Adjustable, soft ear loops for ease of removal and tightening
  • Soft inner lining made of a light jersey fabric
  • Second lining of the same material to create a pocket for a filter AND when there are two layers of jersey vs. cotton, the filtration is better.

I may not go into production mode, but at least I can have the materials on hand to make more as needed. One tip I picked up that I like is what to use for the nose clip. The recommendation that caught my eye is to use the strip that secures bags of ground coffee. It is both functional and a great way to repurpose.

You can see the upper right corner of Turbulence take shape. Hopefully, next week I will finish this strip and add it to the triangle in the proceeding image.

Before I made the mask, I did spend time moving Turbulence forward. I’m currently building the middle diagonal strip that travels from the upper right corner to the left corner. One more diamond block and I will be officially more than halfway through the piecing.

I am linking up with Nina Marie’s Off the Wall Fridays.

By Gwyned Trefethen

I am an artist who uses fabric, thread and miscellany to create designs gifted to me by my imagination.


    1. Norma, I used the Better Fitting Mask by PrettyHandyGirl based on your experience. It will be easy to make should I ever get into the rhythm. This was my first attempt and I made my share of missteps. All part of the learning process. You flatter me. I did think I looked a little younger in the photo. It didn’t capture my natural shade of grade. It’s been 48 years since I can legitimately call myself a teenager.

  1. Your Turbulence quilt looks intriguing!! Your mask is much cuter than N95, and I like the idea of the coffee bag thingy for the nose wire. I used pipe cleaners for mine. I loathe wearing masks, hated every minute of making them for my family, and have been feeling significant resentment towards people I barely know, even some people who have gone out of their way to snub me in the past, who have been reaching out to me asking me to make masks for THEIR families because they “know I sew” and they “would pay me.” Hello, I know you have a toilet brush! Get over here and clean my bathroom. Of course I’ll pay you… ;-). Feels good to rant! Back to my quilting!!

  2. I found the post with the EQ8 rendering! I thought I saw hints of Storm at Sea in the fragments of Turbulence that you’ve been posting! Gwyned, this piece is going to be stunning. I love how you’ve morphed the traditional quilt design in EQ until it’s so abstract and fractal, and how you’re expressing the violent energy, melancholy, and the unbridled power of a stormy sea and sky through all of those different scraps of batiks. Now I have to add you to my Following list, to be sure I don’t miss out on seeing Turbulence come together.

    1. I’m so honored by your email, Rebecca. Not only have you taken the effort to make your way through my Turbulence post, but you truly seem to get what I am trying to convey.

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