I didn’t sleep last night so of course I slept late this morning … and by this morning I mean Tuesday… and now I’ll probably be up all night again. I did go up to quilt after Keith and Finn went to bed and got this UFO from 2017 quilted. Pantograph is Blowing Leaves and it’s made from the Boxed Squares pattern found on my website.

I don’t usually do borders on these but I used a kit I’d bought on sale and rather making the pattern in the kit, I made the boxed squares and since there was border fabric, I used it. It will probably be given to a family member or I’ll donate it. I’m not sure right now where it will end up.

And speaking of family members … Mom had emailed me tonight about trying to make some of the facemasks using the pattern from Joann.com but was having some problems. I sent her a link to a video that one of my HeartStrings members had shared for one that looked really easy and quick. And since I thought she might have questions, I decided to make one tonight after I finished quilting the boxed squares so I could help her if needed.

The guy is Czech and the instructions are not in English although if you look through the comments you can find some information. He said the square is 20cm but that’s too small so I looked up another pattern and they used a 9 x 12 rectangle so I started with that. He said to cut the ties about 90cm which is about 35.4 inches and I cut mine 1.5 inches wide. (Someone commented on my HeartStrings group that the 20cm must be the size of the square folded rather than 20cm cut which sounds about right.)

If you are going to make these with ties, I suggest you click on the link above and watch his video because he makes it look pretty easy. I’ve seen other more complicated instructions….and sometimes you just have to make one or two to figure it out!

I have mixed feelings about quilters making these since I think a lot of people are going to misunderstand that these masks are not going to protect you from the corona virus. I’ve read in some circumstances healthcare providers can wear them over an approved mask that they are having to reuse to keep it clean or in some cases when no mask is available but again, it will not protect against the virus. Mom commented that a physician in their area had suggested on TV that susceptible people wear a homemade mask if they went out but the only guidelines I’ve read for wearing a mask is if you are sick and then you should not be going out unless you need medical care and a mask could be worn by the ill person until they are able to be isolated to help decrease the chance that they’d infect someone else. I’m certainly not going to discourage anyone from making masks if they choose to, I just hope it doesn’t give people a false sense of security.

Hands2Help 2020

Making and donating quilts is what I do … I have also made a number of crochet afghans over the last 14 months or so … some still waiting to be donated so when I saw a blog post for Hands2Help 2020 and read through the list of organizations for this year I thought great, I can donate some of the afghans and a quilt or two.

If you’re interested in helping out, click on the link above to see the groups chosen to receive quilts (and afghans) this year.

H2H 2020 Avatar

Two more finishes

I can’t tell you how good it feels to be home and making progress with my quilting again! Both of these were tops I brought home from Maine, quilted and they’re now bound and will go back to Maine in September for donation.

I think this Strippie was pieced by Sharon

And this Sharon inspired HeartStrings quilt was pieced by Barbara.

The rest of the day I’ll work on more binding and I’ll get another top loaded on the longarm. Preliminary reports (from the realtor) of this morning’s inspection of the Big Canoe house sound favorable — we’ll wait to get the written report before we make a decision to go ahead with the purchase but it sounds like we might be heading back to GA in a couple weeks.

Several people have commented and I think they missed a part of my posts that said we are NOT moving to GA right away. We will continue to live in Tampa and visit Big Canoe when we can. Keith travels extensively for his job and that makes Tampa a much more practical primary home right now but with the kids being in GA, I’ll want to visit often!


I’m focusing on my quilting for now but I’m sure you’ve noticed the quilting world has been making facemasks due to the coronavirus pandemic. Chris called me today for help troubleshooting the sewing machine I had given him years ago … he made a bunch of bandanas a while back so he knows how to sew and he decided he’d make some masks to donate. Using one of the online tutorials, he finished his first one and shared a photo. He’s going to make some more and donate them.

There are lots of patterns and tutorials out there … just google it. These will not protect against the coronavirus but some facilities and medical staff are using them over other masks. There’s a lot of discussion about the usefulness of these but if it makes people feel better to make and use them then there’s probably no harm in doing it as long as people understand they’re not going to prevent someone from getting COVID 19.

This is the tutorial he used – How to sew a face mask.


My Light and Dark HeartStrings top is quilted and YES, I used the brown thread in the light areas. It works on this quilt … it didn’t work on the moose one! I knew better and used it anyway. You’d think I’d be afraid to make back to back mistakes but I was sure it would be fine on this one. This is a panto that came with the machine and I’m not sure what it’s called but I’ve used it several times already and really like it.

A full view of the quilt …

We biked again today … 10 miles. Still a lot of people walking along Bayshore … and I don’t think they’re meeting 6 foot distance criteria so I’ve asked Keith to stick to bike riding using the bike lanes for exercise right now.

It feels good to get outside even if we have to settle for carrying water with us instead of stopping for a beer and lunch like we usually do!

House Arrest?!

I like being at home and sewing but we also like getting out to walk, bike, and eat out at restaurants. I’m a little worried about what may be coming on Monday.

TAMPA — Mayor Jane Castor warned residents on Saturday to brace for an impending “stay-at-home order” in the coming days. If Gov. Ron DeSantis doesn’t issue a statewide order, then one may come from Hillsborough County leaders. “It will be soon, I would be surprised if it’s not by Monday,” Castor told reporters Saturday. “Time is of the essence.”

We got out today for a bike ride and then believe it or not we went swimming. It’s been in the high 80’s all week but it’s never warm enough in March for me to swim … except it was today. You can see there are still a lot of people out and about on Bayshore … that will end if they issue a Stay-at-home order.


This Quick Strippie was pieced by Susan and it’s the first of the 6 quilts from Maine waiting for me to bind. Freehand quilted with swirls and loops.

I was much happier with the quilting on this one than on the one finished yesterday but as Dee said, we don’t always like EVERYTHING we do. I would say I’m very happy with about 95% of my quilts so I’ll count the moose wallhanging as a learning experience.

Maine quilt #2 is almost bound and I plan to finish that up today as well as load a top of mine on the longarm AFTER Keith and I go for a bike ride. All restaurants have been closed in Florida by order of the governor so we won’t be able to get lunch out or even stop for a beer but I’m ready to be outside for a while.

Today is National Quilting Day, what are your plans for sewing today?!