Cardboard box with colorful quilting cotton scraps inside

Fabric, Fabric, Fabric

When I was a kid, I got to go visit my Auntie Pauline back east a few times during the summers. I enjoyed the weird bugs, warm thunderstorms, and swimming opportunities we just didn’t seem to have in Alaska… and the fabrics. My aunt is a spectacularly talented seamstress and fabric craftswoman, and has a refined taste in textiles. Going fabric shopping with her was a treat. Just being in her magical sewing studio, among her collections of tools and materials, projects and commissions was a treat. I had already taught myself how to sew, but she taught me standards of sewing, and opened up the possibilities. Sad to say that despite our talents we are both mostly making face masks lately, but we’re making well-sewn ones with fun fabrics!

Recently I received a heavy box full of miscellaneous cotton quilting squares from Aunt Pauline. Though they smell faintly of her perennial cigarette habit, they also just bring back memories of her and her sewing, her wide-ranging tastes, her endless yet stunningly perfectly-executed projects. I’ve started making some masks from the scraps for some friends, and some strangers across the nearby town.

Two handmade two-layer cotton face masks, outside shown Two handmade two-layer cotton face masks, inside shown

These ones are a little girly. Hopefully someone will love them enough to wear them.

Our World in Data


This is just embarrassing. While other countries are getting their winter outbreaks under control, the United States is doing just the opposite, because, as the failing New York Times puts it,

The U.S. still lacks a coherent testing strategy, and large parts of the country continue to defy basic health advice.

Please wear a mask. The ones I’ve been making are wicked comfortable, and stay in place. They’re machine-washable and you can add/remove additional filter layers if you want. If you can’t sew, get someone to sew you one with my free (or by donation) mask pattern.

Hey, maybe your aunt has some beautiful scraps you could use. 🙂