Face Mask Tutorial

Let us preface this post by saying that, although we are not medical professionals, many people feel that a mask “might” be beneficial to wear to prevent the spread of whatever. So you make the choice for you and your household, we will all stay six feet apart and hope that “the virus” doesn’t continue to spread like wildfire.

As elastic of any width is pretty well non-existent for the next while, here’s a simple tutorial to sew a face mask using elastic or ties. Our thanks to Erica Arndt from Confessions of a Homeschooler for such clear instruction! Check out her demonstration video below:

Hand Sewn Face Mask Pattern

PLEASE NOTE: These masks will NOT prevent you from catching a respiratory illness. They may be used by hospital staff over the top of medical grade masks to help make them re-usable. They may be used for someone who is sick to help reduce the spread of germs when coughing and sneezing.

*** Mask are re-usable, must be sanitized after each use! ***

• 2 pieces of 6” x 9” 100% cotton fabric of varying colors
• 1 piece of 6” x 9” cotton fabric lining or light weight interfacing for lining
• 2 pieces of 1/8” x 7” elastic OR Fabric Ties – Cut 4 strips of fabric 1-1/2” x 18” • Sewing machine
• Scissors or a trimmer
• Pins or clips
• Pencil or Hera marker
• read
• Iron
Alternate Sizes:
• Elastic straps: 1/8” x 6” (women), 1/8” x 7” (Men)
• Kids size: Cut fabric 5” x 7” and elastic 5” long

Tip: Use two different fabrics, one for the front and one for back of the mask so you can remember which side goes by your face. Keep in mind men and women will be wearing the masks when choosing fabric for masks that will be donated.

DON’T HAVE ELASTIC? Use ribbon or fabric ties 18” in length.
For fabric ties: use a strip 1-1/2”x 18-20”. Fold one short end 1/4” in, this will be your nished edge. Next fold the fabric strip long edges in so they meet in the center then fold in half length- wise again. Sew down the open edge to secure and backstitch on the nished edge. Tip: Make sure not to sew over the loose end of the tie as you sew around the mask.

Step 1: Layer 1 sheet of cotton fabric right side up on top of your lining.

Step 2: If using elastic, take 1 elastic piece and pin it 1⁄2 inch from the top and 1⁄2 inch from the bottom of the right side of your fabric. Repeat this process on the other side. Tip! Be careful not to twist the elastic! For fabric ties, place the raw edge of fabric tie along raw edge of mask, and pin in place, 1/2” in on all four corners as shown.

Step 3: Place your second piece of fabric right side down on top of your straps. Re-pin so that all three layers of your fabric and straps are secured together.

Copyright © 2020 Erica Made Designs, LLC www.confessionsofahomeschooler.com

Step 4: Sew around the perimeter of your mask using a 1⁄4” seam . Leave a 2.5 inch wide hole on the right side of your mask. (So you can turn it out later.) Back stitch at your stops and starts & double stitch where the elastic bands are because they will have some tension. Tip: Make sure not to sew through the strap of elastic!

Step 5: Trim the corners then turn out your mask right side out. Tip: Use a hera marker to turn out the corners of your mask. A pencil will do the job too!

Step 6: Use an iron to press your mask so the edges are crisp.

Step 7: Fold your mask accordion style so there are 2 pleats on each side. Clip the pleats on both sides. Your mask should be about 3” in height. Press again with your iron.

Step 8: Sew 1/8” top stitch around the entire outside edge to finish. Congratulations! You’re finished with your mask!

You can also download Erica’s FREE HOW TO SEW A FACE MASK PDF pattern here!


*** MASKS are re-usable, but must be sanitized between each use ***


Sew and Tell….Minecraft Pillow

Minecraft Pillow

Anyone know a Minecraft fan out there? Here is a great project to whip up as a gift or even better introduce patchwork sewing to child. This Minecraft Creeper pillow is simple, fairly quick and useful.

This pillow was created by my 10 year old son David, with the exception of cutting the squares. I will give simple instructions on how you can make one too!

You will need
4 to 6 – 2″ strips of green fabric
1 – 2″ strip black fabric
.50 approximately of 2″ Quilter’s Grid (8 -10 square grid)Minecraft Pillow 1 cut squares

To start select four to six green solid fabrics and a solid black.  I mixed up Kona Cottons and Bella Solids.  You won’t need much, only ten or fifteen centimetre strips of each of the green and one strip of black.  Begin by cutting one or two 2″ strips of each green colour, only one 2″ strip of black is necessary. Cut an 8 by 8 inch square on the printed line from your Quilter’s Grid (you could also make in 9×9 or more depending what size pillow you want.

Lay the quilter’s grid out glue/textured side up on a large pressing surface (bigger than your piece of quilter’s grid) or a cutting board where you will have the freedom to transfer your laid out design to your ironing board.

Begin laying your squares out (right side up if you have a printed fabric) onto the rough or textured glue side of the quilter’s grid in the Creeper face pattern. You will later press your squares adhering them to the quilter’s grid foundation.Minecraft Pillow 2 Minecraft Pillow 3a Minecraft Pillow 3

Once you are happy with the arrangement straighten out the squares within the lines as best as you can and give them a quick press. **If you used your cutting mat as the base under your project be sure to slide the grid off onto your ironing board BEFORE you press.** Your squares will now be held lightly in place and keep them from shifting or floating off your grid. You may also make any changes or adjustments at this time. When you are satisfied with how everything looks press all the squares down following the manufacture’s instructions.Minecraft Pillow 5 Minecraft Pillow 7 Minecraft Pillow 8

Next, fold your grid right sides together on the first line of one side (David chose to stitch across the face first) and stitch using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Continue to sew each line until you are finished all the lines in the same direction.Minecraft Pillow 8a Minecraft Pillow 10 Minecraft Pillow 11 Minecraft Pillow 11a

Snip to but not through the grid line between each square so that you are able to fold the seams on the lines in opposite directions.Minecraft Pillow 12

Give the seams a press. Each rows seam should lay in the opposite directions to the one next to it as pictured below.Minecraft Pillow 13

Now fold the first row on the fold line (up and down for this pillow) and stitch. The seam allowances are thicker because of the quilter’s grid so be sure to make sure the intersections are not folding the wrong way while stitching. I showed my son how to use the small screwdriver that came with my sewing machine to hold the seam in place while approaching the seam. Make sure to watch that those sneaky seams on the underside don’t flip the wrong way as well.Minecraft Pillow 13a Minecraft Pillow 14

Once you ‘ve sewn all the seams give your Creeper face a good press.

Now use your favourite method to add a back pocket for your pillow or use it as a block for a wallhanging or quilt! Minecraft Pillow 16 FinishedPS- Davis has asked to sew more pillows of his favourite Minecraft characters 🙂


Misty Fuse – Fuse with Advantage

For a long time now, we have had “Misty Fuse” available here at Hamels. Rolls and packages of this  ultra-fine fusible web have languished on the shelf and not too many quilters have discovered it. I took some home last week and started working with it and my, my, what a great fusible web it is!

Misty Fuse is an environmentally friendly product and the ultra-fine web stays soft and pliable in appliqués on quilting projects without adding bulk. It’s easy to handle, solvent-free and does not gum up your needle as you sew with it.

Although there is no paper attached to Misty Fuse when you purchase it, the Goddess sheet makes application a breeze and you can barely feel it on the backside of your appliqué pieces.

Here’s a video from the folks at Misty Fuse demonstrating how it works.

To order Misty Fuse and the Goddess Sheet  please look for them on the Hamels website, or come visit us in the store.

How to Spray Baste a Quilt Sandwich

Back a decade or so ago, basting a quilt sandwich took some time to complete. A “quilt sandwich” is simply the term we use once the quilt top, batting and backing are assembled together in preparation for quilting. In the “olden days”, we used to sew the layers of our sandwich together by hand with basting stitches or pinned 100’s of safety pins to hold the top, batting and backing together whilst the quilting took place. For a long while now there has been 505 Spray on the market and this has sped up the basting process considerably.

We knowSF515 that many of you out there have a few finished quilt tops out there waiting to be “sandwiched” and quilted. Perhaps you are a new quilter and are curious about this step in the quilt making process. Every week we have customers who ask us about how to use this spray and we want everyone to see how quick and effective this spray is.

It’s not difficult to use, just remember to apply sparingly. 505 Spray & Fix Temporary Fabric Adhesive is a temporary repositionable fabric adhesive designed for quilt basting, applique, sewing, embroidery and crafts. The adhesive will not transfer from the surface that is sprayed. It eliminates pinning and and allows repeated repositioning! It does not gum up sewing needles, cleans up with soap and water. It is odorless, colorless and acid-free.

Here at Hamels we offer two sizes of spray cans. What size do you need? Well, a small can should last for several medium to small  projects that you need to baste. However if you are busy making lots of quilt tops, invest in the larger can that will give you enough product to spray several large tops.


Here’s a quick video that shows how to use 505 Spray:

Quilts with Rounded Corners Using Dinner Plate

Just last week, Pauline brought in a whole line of “gauze-like” cottons into the store. The series of bolts are called “Color Basic” by Lecien. This lightweight cotton is going to be wonderful this summer! So many ideas bounced in our heads for using this fabric and then we decided to make a simple one piece quilt top using this new fabric. It’s amazing what we think of when the boss is away in Alberta at a quilt show! Linda cut us one metre of the dots for the top and one metre of yummy Henry Glass flannel for the backing.

To make the quilt we simply squared up the two pieces to the exact same size and put them right sides together and sewed all around the edge leaving an opening to turn it out. But wait a second… what if we “rounded the corners” on this super easy quilt? Why not?!Using a dinner plate from my kitchen drawer, I was able to make a nice rounded corner to sew around. Just draw a line with a marking pen, snip off the excess and head off to the sewing machine.  I was first inspired by a civil war quilt I saw in a book that sported rounded corners.


Rounded corners on a regular quilt that needs binding will require bias binding to be applied. But that  is easy to make. Refer to our post from a few weeks ago on “continuous bias binding“.c312969b917c194f8f99af67e9d9dc3f













Please let us know if this inspires you at all to try rounding the corners on your quilt project. We love seeing your comments.