Tag Archives: #stayhomesavelives

Stay home, save lives, sew masks

You’ve probably seen the slogan, “stay home, stay safe.” But that’s not strong enough. It’s not all about us. “Stay home, save lives” is a stronger statement, and addresses the greater good.

But what if you *have* to go out for that rare trip? Grocery shopping? Pharmacy pickup? Or if your work has been deemed essential? I think a face mask is in order. Even if it doesn’t protect *you* from everything, it helps protect *others* from us. And it makes us all remember to keep a distance, and not touch our faces. I’m in.

Face masks

I spent a recent afternoon sewing masks using this pattern. It’s simple, and it works. They’ve added a version with ties, since elastic is in short supply these days. Also, people who have to wear them for long periods say that the elastic can be irritating behind the ears. I experimented with elastic and ties.

Face masks

Top to bottom: Elastic, beading cord, ribbon ties.

Elastic: I cut 1” elastic lengthwise to make 1/4” strips. It frayed a bit, but I think it’s done fraying. I’ll put a few drops of Fray Chek on the edges, but not all over because it has to be able to stretch. This is the only elastic I had in the house, and now it’s all gone.

Beading cord: I have a small supply of this. If you make knots at each end, there’s a better chance it won’t slip out of your seam. And if you cut the pieces a little long (7.5” between knots) the wearer can tie a loose knot in the cord to shorten it up to the right size. Too short, and it will be uncomfortable, so it’s nice to be adjustable.

Ribbon ties: I tried this before the second pattern was added to the website, so I just put ties at the corners. I used 14” lengths, but 16” is going to be better as far as having enough to comfortably manipulate the ties. I don’t advise lightweight ribbon like this, though; it wants to tangle. This ribbon was from when Son1 went to camp, 24 years ago. I had to put his name inside his clothes!

Singer sewing machine and catHow do you use this thing?

I don’t think Bisquee had ever seen the sewing machine before! I don’t sew much.

Face mask model

Success! But my sewing machine is having tension issues, so I’m going to have to figure out what’s going on inside the tension knob. YouTube to the rescue!

More on this lovely old sewing machine in this blog post here.

Edited to add: the 6” x 9” masks are fine on me, but short on DH, so I’m increasing the size to 6.75” x 9” for a little more coverage. Onward!

Baking for fun and comfort

I spent some extra time in the kitchen this weekend. I had a hankering for bagels, and we didn’t have any.

homemade bagels

I’ve used this bagel recipe before, adapted to use some whole grain flour, with good results. Here’s my version of the recipe, in a previous blog post. I was a bit worried, because my yeast had a “best by” date of February 2019, but it worked just fine. You know at the beginning of the process, so no problem.

The bagels are delicious! Fabulous straight from the oven, but I actually like the slightly chewier texture the next day.

I’ve seen on the interwebz that lots of people are stress baking during this COVID-19 stay-at-home order. Apparently there’s been a run on flour and yeast at the grocery stores. I don’t think I’m stress baking; I just like to bake! I’m not ready to use more of my dwindling flour supply yet, but that didn’t stop me from making dessert.

Peanut butter cookies

I baked some flourless peanut butter cookies, using a mashup of The Nashville Food Project’s 3 ingredient peanut butter cookies from Judy’s Chickens and Smitten Kitchen’s 5 ingredient version. The 2 extra ingredients? A splash of vanilla, and some coarse sea salt sprinkles. Those two extras make my day.

Peanut Butter Cookies (makes about 18 2” cookies)

7/8 cup peanut butter (just a little less than a full cup)
7/8 cup packed light brown sugar, or a mixture of light brown and white sugar
1 egg
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
coarse sea salt, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (no mess to clean up!)

Whisk sugar(s) and egg together in a mixing bowl. Whisk in vanilla, then peanut butter, until smooth. Use a mini ice cream scoop to form balls, and place on cookie sheet. Criss cross slightly flat with a fork. Sprinkle with sea salt.

Bake 12-15 mins, or until lightly browned at edges. Let them cool slightly, then move to wire rack to finish cooling. Store in airtight container, if you don’t eat them all immediately!

If you used a full cup of sugar, and a whole cup of peanut butter, it would still be fine. I used all brown sugar this time, but I’ve used half brown and half white before. This is not the time to stress over your baking!

How are you managing? Are you staying at home? Baking? Knitting? Cleaning house? OK, that last one isn’t high on my to-do list!