Rainbow HeartStrings #3 is assembled! This is the last one for now although I have some blocks leftover so eventually, I’ll probably make enough to have another top but that’s way down the list for now.

All three of these will go back to Tampa to wait their turn for quilting and just like that I’m behind again! I don’t mind so much because even though I’ve got lots of quilting to do … everything I’ve started so far this year is either finished or at least a finished top. I expect to end up with over 30 new starts this year … that’s a lot for me and due to us buying the Big Canoe house in April and spending lots of time here.

Eventually, Keith will end up back to a more normal work schedule where he is traveling again which will mean we won’t be here in Big Canoe as much. Unfortunately, the airport is 2 hours away and it’s not just feasible for him to have to do that every time he travels or I think we would both be ready to move here full time.

Keith will drive Rae home tonight after he finishes work … we’e enjoyed our time with her and she’ll come back on Sunday to do it all again next week.


Rainbow HeartStrings top #2 is assembled … it pretty much looks like top #1 but the third one will look a bit different since I decided to go with light colored sashing for that one. I made a start on it today and will hopefully finish it up tomorrow. I should be ready to work on something new on Thursday!

The schoolroom

We set Rae up in the nook outside my sewing room this time. She has several zoom calls during the day so she’s close enough I can hear what’s going on and help when needed but my sewing machine doesn’t interrupt her class!

We also did a little yoga to burn off some energy and to calm down at different points during the day. I don’t do yoga so we had to look up some poses!

A visit from the deer gave her something to write about!


I always get a lot of questions when I post about making masks and I’ve gone through several variations since I started making them this spring. I thought I’d put some details here so I can refer people to this post rather than repeating myself in emails!

I’m using templates that were designed by my sister and a friend of hers and are available for sale. I ordered a set for here and at home. Face Masks templates. You can also search online for free patterns that use a similar design but I like the ease of having the templates and I adapt the size by adding or subtracting a little. For example for the kids masks, I use the smaller of the two templates and cut it 1/4 inch smaller all the way around and for Keith’s masks, I ended up making them a little larger than the template.

I started making these using ties cut from old t-shirts which work really well. Cut off the hem of the shirt and cut 1 inch strips from the bottom of the t-shirt, cut the loop and pull on the two ends and it curls up to just the right size. I feed mine through both casings and have it tie at my neck. T-shirts without side seams work best.

Even though these are very easy to wear and tie, Keith kept wanted something easier like the disposable masks so when elastic became more available again, I decided to try that for him. I buy a “cord” like, 1/8 inch elastic from Amazon which I like better than a flat elastic although it’s probably a little harder to sew the ends together. Click here to see the Elastic from Amazon. I use about 20 inches of elastic for me, 22 inches for Keith, and about 18 inches for the kids but you can make one and adjust it to the size that fits you best. Also, these ties go around your head, not loop around your ears so I find them more comfortable. You have a casing on both sides of the mask so you could always try making ear loops if you prefer that but I like them going around the head.

Using a safety pin, I thread a piece of the elastic up one side and loop it around and down the other side, overlap the edges and pin, making sure not to twist the elastic, and I sew back and forth in 2 or 3 places. .

I then move that join to the side and hide it in one of the casings so it’s not seen.

I wear the masks with both the t-shirt and elastic ties and find they fit well and are comfortable for me.

Helping out

Rae’s going to stay with us a few days and I’ll help with her online schooling to give Becky a bit of break. She’s been working full time from home, caring for a 2 year old, and dealing with Rae’s school – a tough job all the way around so we’ve offered to help out while we’re here. Chris will bring Rae on Sundays and Keith will drive her home Wednesdays after he finishes work but today they all came for the afternoon and dinner. We watched some of the Tour de France, some of the Lightning game … and I did some crafts with the girls.

I taught Rae how to do latch hooking on my last trip and it will be an ongoing project for her to work on here.

Mo was just watching Rae when I took this photo of her but she played with a sticker book. So easy to entertain her … give her some stickers and a piece of paper to put them on and she’s happy!

I must be crazy!

There are several quilts on my immediate radar PLUS a list of quilts I want to make one day … and I still can’t stop looking for inspiration for new quilts. I’ve said before that one of the places I look for inspiration is eBay. I search for antique or vintage quilts and have created many quilts over the years inspired by those old quilts. I couldn’t sleep the other night and was browsing ….

I’ve got the Accuquilt GO Fan die and I’ve only made one quilt using it. I also cut a quilt for Mom to make so it has been used twice but I love fan quilts and I saved this one the other day.

I’ve also got the 6 inch Bow Tie die … a more recent purchase that I’ve also used once. I want to make a couple more using this die. Here’s one I found the other night … plus I already have another vintage one saved that has a plain alternate block that I also want to make.

And how simple is this? A RWB pinwheel. This one looks “newer” to me but it did come up under a search for vintage quilts.

Before I can even think about these … I have my September precut top to piece (Layer Cake), two more Rainbow HeartStrings tops to assemble, my RWB Rail Fence and Friendship Star … and when I get home, the 9 patch and friendship star and the snowball and 9 patch quilts.

I create these posts and label them Inspiration ( see the sidebar on the right) so I can find them when I’m ready to start something new!

And what did I sew today? A few more masks. I might have been talking to someone who mentioned how much she love unicorns … I snapped this photo before adding the elastic band. I have to admit this is my favorite combination now, this mask made with the templates my sister created with her friend and the thin, rounded elastic that is fed through the side casings and goes around the head, not the ears! I also made 3 more for me that I didn’t photograph … for someone who doesn’t go out that much, I seem to have a lot of masks but that’s OK because we’re going to be wearing them for a while!


I always feel like I’m behind! Traveling seems to eat away at my productive time whether it’s going between Big Canoe and Tampa or the frequent pre-COVID trips I took but I’ve made a good start on my list.

This is the first of 3 of these Rainbow HeartStrings blocks on my agenda over the next few weeks. You’ve seen similar quilts from me since we’ve done these blocks before and as much as I dislike sashing blocks … I love these blocks with black sashing and bright cornerstones so all 3 will get the same treatment.

This one is about 53 x 75. There will be one more this size and I’ve already put the next blocks up on the design wall. They might get moved around a little before I start to sew.

I’ve also laid out the smaller one which will be about 42 x 53. Originally I intended to make one or two of these and take rest of my blocks to Maine for group quilts but the Maine sew-in has been canceled this year so I’ll make all 3 of them. I was a bit heavy on pink and purple blocks so this one is less random than the other two. I do know that one purple block is rotated the wrong way in the photo below but I’ve already fixed it and picked the blocks up off the floor.

There are brief instructions on my website if you’d like to make one of these Rainbow HeartStrings quilts.

Big Canoe

We made it to Big Canoe late yesterday afternoon after an uneventful drive. I’m excited about the next few weeks … it’s already about 10 degrees cooler than it is at home and I can’t wait for the leaves to start changing. For now, it’s still mostly green but you can see a few leaves turning in a tree here and there. I’m going to post this photo of Sconti lake I took today and I’ll post another one later this fall.

I had a few errands to run and then I set about unpacking and organizing the projects I brought with me. I have lots more here than I can even begin to work on but the plan is to have plenty to choose from when I’m ready to start projects.

And then I put the first set of Rainbow HeartStrings blocks up on the design wall. This will get black sashing and I might move a couple blocks before I start sewing but I’m all set to work tomorrow!


More packing, some errands, and since I’d finished up in the sewing room … crochet and knitting to fill the remaining hours of the day. My Woodland Ripple is moving along quickly thanks to the Lightning game last night and the Tour de France tonight (we tape the race and watch it in the afternoon on weekends and in the evenings during the week). I love the texture of this ripple pattern and while it’s a little more involved than a simple ripple, it’s still very easy.

Since I want a smaller project to work on in the car, I also started a knit scarf.

  • Pattern – Feather and Fan Scarf – found free on Ravelry.
  • Yarn – LionBrand Heartland – colorway is Olympic
  • Needles – size 9

Just like my fabric stash, my yarn stash is extensive … probably more than I’ll ever actually knit or crochet into finished projects but I love being able to dig through it and find yarn for a project and just get started! Both of these projects are from stash yarn.

Off my needles – finally

I don’t know why this one took so long to knit but it’s finally done! This was a kit from BluPrint and while I love cotton yarn, this one was rather splitty and even worse had a ton of knots in it. The blanket just took 1 and a half skeins but I had lots of ends to weave in which was very disappointing. Not weaving ends in is one reason I like big skeins of yarn! This isn’t a large blanket but it’s perfect for throwing over the baby in the stroller or car seat.

  • Pattern – Little Bundle Baby Blanket
  • Needles – size 6
  • Yarn – Spritely yarn Cotton Worsted – colorway Dusky Pink
  • Size is about 33 inches square

This is the 3rd blanket finished since I’ve been home – 2 were already in progress and one was started and finished in the last few weeks – I’ve got to get some quilts and blankets donated while I’m in GA!