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?!


Mom’s Wallhanging is quilted but it’s a total fail … it’s not often that I’m completely unhappy with my quilting but this is one of them. Many mistakes were made … I should have quilted something else first after not quilting for a few weeks, I shouldn’t have done an overall design, I shouldn’t have chosen brown thread …. but it’s done and I’m not picking it out. I feel completely disgusted with myself.

Moving on … that’s one binding done and one top quilted … I’m starting another binding tonight.

Back to work

Yesterday after dealing with tasks related to the house purchase, I unpacked from our trip and straightened up some in the sewing room. I had just dumped stuff in there after returning from the VA trip and things had to be moved around for the tenting … when we got back from the hotel after the tenting, I just had a couple days to clean everything and get the kitchen put back together before the GA trip.

After straightening up, I pieced a backing and loaded it on the longarm, the first top to be quilted will be a Wallhanging of Mom’s. I started hand stitching a binding last night and finished it this morning…. one of the quilts from Maine that I was saving to finish up in Maine but since we’re not going now, I need to get those finished.

So … 5 more to bind and after quilting Mom’s Wallhanging, I’d like to get 2 more of my tops quilted and finished … I’ve started 5 new quilts this year and only finished 3 of mine so I’m running behind. The goal is to finish at least as many as I start to keep my UFO number the same or lower than last year. The Chisel blocks need to be assembled into a top too so I’ve got a plan and it’s time to get to work!


These are crazy times we’re living in … schools, restaurants, businesses closing. The consequences will be far reaching for us all and I know it seems like an insane time to buy a house but Keith and I started this process before the current crisis and after a lot of thought and discussion decided to follow through. This is going to be our retirement home and we pulled money from the Market to fund it … Keith would say property is probably a safer place to park our money right now so if it seems I’m just merrily going about my life without a concern for what is going on … that is NOT what is happening here.

So while I’ll talk here about the new house, I’m not ignoring what’s going on around me. If you remember, I posted these photos the other day of the house we were making an offer on … two stories with all the main living spaces on one level but with room for my quilting and guests on a terrace level. Our offer was accepted and we are in the process of assembling all the documents and scheduling inspections for a closing on April 8.

I did manage to get a little sewing time in today … after clearing off spaces and doing some organization, unpacking from my trip, and various tasks required for the closing of the Big Canoe house, I pieced a backing, loaded it on the longarm and reviewed my pantographs. I may, or may not do a pantograph on this wallhanging of Mom’s. It makes sense to freehand quilt it but I’m not sure about my ability to do a good job on it so I’ll sleep on it and decide tomorrow. This evening ….. I’m starting to hand stitch a binding on one of the Maine quilts … I’d put that off thinking I was going to bind and crochet during the month we had in Maine but that trip has been canceled so I have 6 quilts to bind now!