Tuesday, March 31, 2020


This was Friday.  Or maybe it was Saturday -

Or could it have been Sunday?

I know many of us are feeling like the days are running together.

Yesterday afternoon news came down that the governor of Virginia:

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has issued a “stay at home” order, directing Virginians to stay home except for getting food, supplies, medical care, to go to work and to get fresh air and exercise. Northam’s order follows a similar directive from Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan.

The governor’s order goes into effect immediately and lasts until JUNE 10, although the governor could cancel it earlier. Violation of the order is a Class I misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine. [source]

The way things were worded sent me unto a bit of an emotional tail spin. I won’t ie.

JUNE 10th?!

Well, there go all of the May events that I hadn’t cancelled yet – so I got on the computer and made contact with everyone.

I am focusing on the “although the governor could cancel it earlier” part – but still trying to be realistic.

I was forced to cancel my Virginia/North Carolina guild venues (3 of them for May!) and luckily the return emails were very caring and supportive because we are all in the same boat.

One email from the group in Williamsburg, VA said that they all understood and are joining in with me on the Unity Quilt Along during this time.  So we are still together.  In a way.

And so we move forward.  Day by day.

So on this day – the day in the photo above. (I really do think it was Saturday) My car was running on empty, and I wanted to go to a place with a pay-at-the-pump.  We are so very rural that most little gas station/mini mart places are independently owned with old 1970s style gas pumps. Nothing digital.  Remember those days?  You pump your gas and go pay inside.  But we are to socially distance.

So I took myself up highway 58 about 1/2 way to Independence and stopped at Wilson’s – the nearest station to me where I could throw on my purple nitrile gloves, pump my gas, pay with my credit card at the pump, wipe down and sanitize my card before putting it back in my wallet, remove my gloves, clean my hands, get back in my car and drive the few miles back to the Quiltville Post Office where I had been working on mail order behind closed doors.

Down the road and up the hill -

There is a little cemetery on a hill that I had barely glimpsed a few times while driving by – but I was always driving by with a deadline so had never stopped.

The sunshine was so lovely this day – and the grass greening up so nicely, that I took a 10 minute detour.  That turned into about a half an hour of wandering.

After all – this shelter-in-place thing also encourages us to get fresh air and exercise, just away from folks.  I don’t think it matters to THESE folks.


So many civil war vets buried here!

It is so wonderful what a bit of internet searching can do.  God bless Google – seriously!  Jones survived the war, and lived to the age of 78. 

The part of this photo that thrills me the most?  The “Courtesy of W.J. Fields.”  Who owned the house that is now Quiltville Inn.

Another story that wouldn’t let me rest -

A search for family history didn’t unearth much – but it isn’t hard to put together that 19 year old Attie gave birth to a son who died the same day, and she followed her son 4 days after. Heartbreaking.

Attie was a nickname. Full name was Cora Beatrice Attie V (Kirk) Halsey  I couldn’t find what the V stood for.

John McNeal “Neal” Halsey -
Was a handsome fellow!

And through searching I found that he did remarry, and fathered 8 more children, naming one daughter Attie L. Halsey in memory of his first wife lost so young.

Halseys are also interwoven with the Fields family in the history of Mouth of Wilson, Virginia.  I just find it so fascinating.

Acknowledging. Connecting.

Some may find it morbid that I was wandering a cemetery in the midst of a pandemic.  I found it soothing and centering.

There isn’t one person here in this place who hasn’t gone through something dire.  They’ve seen war, illness, death, loss, Spanish flu, more war, the depression, more war, you name it. 

Many of them lived on through those hard times and beyond with stories to tell.  We will have stories to tell.

Get outside when and where you can, stretch your legs, breathe deeply, feel the sunshine if it is shining where you are.  There are safe ways to do this.

I stopped here on the way home from the pay-at-the-pump gas station. I wouldn’t have made a special trip out with just this in mind, but I was the only one about and it was directly on my way back home.

From home we also have some of THIS going on!  Click to Play:

Zoey is feeling much much better – though by the time I decided to get a video most of her zoomies had run out.

Silly girl didn’t want to fetch any more – but she was fetching plenty BEFORE I turned on the camera.  It’s as if she was saying “I’m done!  YOU go fetch it!”

Evening snuggles with some TV watching before bed.

More Unity Quilt Info:

Yes, I know I am out of all rulers in the Quiltville Store.  More are on order, but warehouses and distributors are also on social distancing measures, so it may take a bit longer to get my order filled and delivered to me.

I will be providing regular rotary cutting and alternative methods for each step, and the rulers are only optional – so you will be okay. 

Many small online shops are also pulling together bundles so if you fall short in any color way, support them by checking. We can help each other through this.

Quite a few of you have already finished your centers!  Check out the shares on Instagram with our hashtags #unityquilt #unityquiltalong #sewinplace and #quiltvillemystery for so much inspiration – after just ONE DAY!

If you are sharing through social media, please tag your photos with the above, and also tag me @quiltville_bonnie so I can follow along with you too.

I know the center is fast and easy to make.  Many of you had it done in a couple of hours, which frees you up and gives you time for more mask making, and even bouffant surgical head covering making as is becoming more and more of a need in areas where masks are or are not being accepted. 

I am so grateful that so many of you are doing all you can do – and the need will continue.

And there is one other thing I need to do this morning before I get caught up in today’s must-do agenda.  We need to draw for the 3 winners of our IronEZ Gift-Away!

Before I announce our lucky winners, I need to let you know that Scott and IronEZ are donating 10% of any sales through the IronEZ website to Coronavirus charities for anyone using our BH15off discount code. So head on over to IronEZ, use the BH15off code to save 15% off your purchase – and IRONEZ will be donating 10% off each purchase to Corona Virus relief!  SEW AWESOME!

This will be in affect from now till the end of April.

And out of 3407 entries our 3 winners are:

1504 Robin Musher

2292 Cyndy Garris

755 Nancy Adams

Congrats ladies!  I have emailed each of you.  Please reply with your mailing address so I can have the fine folks at IronEz get your prizes out to you!

Sew in Place, and Stay Well!

And the Gift-Away fun isn’t over yet – I’ll be drawing for our March Quilty Box Gift-Away winner TOMORROW!  So there is still time to get your entry in ON THAT POST.

Today was supposed to be the last day -

But I am extending it for the duration of lock down.

I have placed my Addicted to Scraps Book at deep deep discounts in the Quiltville Store.

Only $15.99! (retail priced at $27.95)  And it comes with a free PDF download for my Wanderlust Table Runner.  A $10.00 value.

Folks, it looks like we are going to be sheltering at home with our sewing machines and fabric for quite a while – let’s make good use of what we have on hand!  There are 12 projects in the book destined to make the most of your scrap stash.

If you’d like to preview the quilts in any of my books, click the BOOK TAB at the top of the blog.  Under each book cover photo is a link to view the quilts within each book.

There is also handy a handy chart (Seriously needs updating) that gives you the strip width needed to create many of my quilts.  Find it HERE. I hope it helps you put your own strip stash and Scrap User’s System to good use.  

In other words – what else are we saving this fabric for?

Quiltville Quote of the Day -

Everyday I am learning more and more that the longer we shelter at home, the more important it is for me to set a purpose for each day ahead of me

I feel great when I can set a goal and accomplish it, even within the span of a day. Even with simple tasks and ordinary efforts.

In the past there have been times I have wished I could go on hiatus just for a while to regroup my life and spend some time making some changes and accomplishing various things.

Now that this is in front of me, how can I get these things done without squandering the days away and feeling lost?

Set a goal for the day and DO!

What kind of things are you choosing to do that lift your spirits, have a positive impact on your life right now, yet still keep you safe and sheltered?

Please share in the comments section below, and let’s connect!

Have a wonderful Tuesday, everyone!


  1. Two weeks ago my husband & I walked through the Old Burial Ground in Groton, Mass. Burials predate the Revolution. My husband is an avid user
    of an ancestry site, quite pleased to find my early ancestors here. His came later :)

  2. My sewin mojo is slowly coming back. I did bake some cookies this morning. I have been crocheting small afghans that I plan on donating. I will do some sewing after lunch. Thank you for the sew a long.

  3. There has been very little sewing as my son who is out of work has begun doing outside work on my yard and building us a back porch. He is bringing my youngest grandson so my days are definitely busy. We are practicing being outdoors. Lifts this old girls spirits.

  4. Zoey Jo sure perks up the day. She's adorable. Trying to get a quilt to a stage that it can be put aside for the LA, so I can start on Unity, plus 2 other SAL I want to do. I'm trying to set my "to dos" with room for distraction, naps, etc.. Though I feel pretty safe where I am, there is that worry staying tucked in the back of my mind. Having access to so many wonderful quilting blogs, groups, and FB groups helps to ease those worries. We are all in this together, and we will get through this together. Thanks for all you do, and for sharing Zoey's adventures.

  5. I always looked forward to retiring. But these days of 'working from home' have made me miss the hustle and bustle of the office. I miss the people most of all! I now know I will never retire. I need the people and the schedule. And I get just as much done from 4:40 to 9pm as I would if I had all day. Glad that is off the table. Yes, you have to have a reason to get out of bed in the morning. A 'to do' list is mandatory. There are lots of silver linings if we only look for them. I challenge you to find at least one everyday, girls! Bonnie, you are the master of finding the silver lining. I look forward to what you have to say each and every day! Thank you!!!! xoxox

  6. some humor for keeping track of time https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MH4TVYT1OYQ&fbclid=IwAR3dEDqj41dAl4FcrxjkuSq4bNTRAAQENVHWl0S2RCHLV2ILNbo2QuoIUI8

  7. I had a little giggle at who is doing the fetching in your video! Silly Zoey! lol

  8. We got back home to Wisconsin a week ago from our winter snowbirding in Arizona. It's been cloudy and rainy or drizzling almost every day and it's beginning to feel like we haven't seen the sun since being in Arizona. Thanks so much for your daily posts and uplifting inspiration. I'll be getting back to quilting activity later today. I think I'm caught up with other tasks that needed attention first.

  9. Thanks for the new mystery pattern you are doing!

  10. Bonnie, I think this is one of your best blogs, ever. I too can get totally lost in cemeteries figuring out what the stories behind the stones are. But I never thought of looking up anyone on a tombstone (under, really). The pictures along with the stones are just wonderful. And how special that you found a connection with your new Quiltville Inn. Your plan for accomplishing something every day and Barack Obama's quote are meaningful and might be just exactly what one of your readers needs right now. Thanks again for all the time you put into this blog and for all the free patterns you have given us! Alice Woodring

  11. I wandered Arlington National Cemetery, in the bitter cold, ten days after my father's sudden death, and found it oddly comforting. Now I am staying home making quilts from his shirts.

  12. Love everyone's center medallions! The colors are great. This block is very similar to the "Nearly Lemoyne" block in Quiltmaker that just arrived in my mailbox yesterday. Thank you for all that you do!

  13. Watching the video with Dave and Zoey made me laugh out loud; so funny! As a church office secretary and organist/choir director, my life is always centered around the church year. With all the shutdowns, I suddenly have WAY more time. So I'm finishing up my DGD's Easter dress (who cares if she wears it to church, lol), and starting my spring gardening, enjoying the tax reprieve so that I can have an extra week to finish taxes, and just generally living life at a peaceful pace instead of the frantic pace that's the norm in the two weeks before Easter. So that's my silver lining. I won't be sorry to be back to normal next year, but I can't be entirely unhappy with the changes this year. :-)

  14. Thank you for your wise words and great example. Aaand UNITY!

  15. I’m a home body and I’ve been a stay at home mom since I was 25...pushing 57 now. This is normal routine for me, except I’m not running any errands except for the chiropractor once a week. But, I have included into my schedule (before the virus) to de clutter some area of the house each week. I’ve made it through about half, but I’m stalled right now, because anything I want to donate, will have to be sitting around in my way till the thrift stores start taking merchandise again. So for now, the clutter is staying where it is. But, if you have an outside space you can put things, I highly recommend simplifying during this at home time. It lightens a load that we don’t realize we even have.
    I have been doing more sewing, and enjoying that. Going to start my Unity quilt today. Will be a gift for my eldest son. Have been scouring Facebook and enjoying all your beautiful finishes. Look forward to more Zoey antics! We don’t have pets anymore, so I’m living vicariously through your new family member...😂

  16. I love the history lesson in this today. And until I read the paragraph after the video it looked like Zoey was exercising your DH! What a delight pets can be for our homes though currently I don't have one due to frequent travels. Deep spring cleaning the majority of my home is my goal with the sewing area on the list. No sewing for me as yet. I live alone since being widowed a few years back. I am video chatting with my daughter and preschool grandchildren that live in a different state and spending more time chatting with friends that live in other cities/states. I try to call my mom daily as she lives in assisted living in another state. And before I know it another day has gone by.

    1. I forgot to mention that I'm self-employed and am one of the "essential services" so I am still working less hours each day 3-4 days a week instead of 5-6.

  17. Thank you for your daily encouragements - so uplifting! Since you are such a history buff I thought you might like to know how the little town I grew up in, a suburb of Cincinnati, OH, got its name: "Mount Healthy was founded in 1817 as the village of Mount Pleasant. In 1850, the village renamed itself "Mount Healthy", following a cholera epidemic, in which many of its citizens survived while those in the surrounding territory did not. The village became a city in 1951." I was born in 1947 and moved into the house my dad finished building when I was 3 months old, so Mt Healthy was still a 'village' at that time! I left there at the age of 15 when we moved to CA but still considerate my home.

  18. I am blessed to be working full-time but from home. Amazing how much I can accomplish in the 2-3 hours I normally spend commuting.

  19. Besides quilting, I do yoga and try to find time to sing every day.

  20. Thank you Bonnie for your dedication to life. Your unwavering goodness, constant concern for others, and quilting skills adds days to my life.

  21. I love old cemeteries & think their people would be glad to know that folks stop to visit, to “see” & remember them. I stop to visit any I can and even enjoy picnicking (all respectfully, of course) in them.

  22. Bonnie I loved your blog post! I love history and I would have loved to rambled in that cemetery with you. We think of people that have gone before us naturally in the past but I love to see how God weaves a thread through their lives and into ours by connecting us to them by historical accounts, genealogies, internet. They lived in another era but loved, laughed and cried like all of us. I guess that is why I love antique quilts... Blessings to you and that is one adorable, lovable, and handsome puppy you have! Aren't you glad you listened to that inner voice and went and got him home from the shelter before we are were to be contained?? Your family and Zoey Jo are healthier and happier( besides the puppy mishaps) for it!

  23. I loved your history lesson today. I am still working during the week - elementary school secretary - we are providing daycare to healthcare and emergency workers. I struggle with the weekends, but that will change going forward. I will have a goal each weekend until this is over. Spring planting will arrive soon and as we are farmers, we will work. Thank you for the sew-a-long! Please keep writing - I enjoy it so much!

  24. Cemetery wandering had me find the wooden grave marker for Wm. Wray, died June 1899 in the Skagway, AK. I linked it to the Gold Rush where a young man from Northern Ireland met his Maker. My father-in-law's brother was William, and would have been born about the start of the 20th century. Could there be a connection? I feel I was lead to this grave on purpose. I had planned to be sailing to Hawaii and enjoying some ocean breezes while quilting on my new Featherweight, dated Aug. 19, 1947. She's a sweetie and I've named her Annie after my grandma. Annie has a cloth draped over her with a crocheted inset "Annie" which Grandma made. Thank you, Bonnie, ever so much! I'm about to get educated by you! I've put away my suitcase now that the cruise to Hawaii is cancelled and pulled out several bins of fabric to play with along with my new Accuquilt Go Big! Happy days are here again!!

  25. I find grave stones fascinating - some have the most intricate carving (I have seen 2 separate anchors made from one piece of stone - including the chains that appear loose and drape around near a sea port) and so many sad ones. In another place I found a family name - though I haven't yet found the link to them. Some even have a brief history of that person - and usually an amazing read. Sad that so many have been broken or just weathered away that you cannot see who they belonged to. So thank you for the fascinating tour with the history included.
    Oh Zooey - "you threw it, you get it, dad". Nice to see her back in the swing of things. She is a very pretty dog.

  26. I sure hope this virus shut-in doesn't go on too long. Eventually, I will have nothing left to do other than go down & clean out the storage room. That would be awful, even if it needs to be done!! Then again a clean house is a great bonus. Right after I get a few more quilts done.

  27. Thank you so much for your blog. It's a ray of sunshine in cloudy Wisconsin. I'm loving Zoe videos and quilting bits every day.

  28. Think I can, I think I can and I think I can wins over 'con't or won't'. Idle hands are the hands of the Devil. I am finishing 'Frolic' mystery with 3 different kits, two from Quited Twins...one regular, one Bakit and one from my own stash. The first one is the one I am working on and I finally laid together the first block. Wow. I love it.Working on Clue 9, and its going slow, but going onward into completion, I hope. I wonder where you find all your energy, th realize you are 20 years younger than I am. I have been a lunker, and finally joined you this past year to do a mystery from you. We lived in Texas, Corpus Christi Area for almost 20 years, until we retired back in the MidWest. The MidWest and the South seem to be freer of the virus than other places, so maybe we will be freed from staying at home first! Easter would be nice. Its the earliest Spring on record in 100 years, and I am enjoying seeing our flower beds grow and will welcome the Spring flowers. Counting my blessings, and we are planting our seed potato eyes.

  29. Many years ago, when my mother was diagnosed with cancer, my sisters and I went for a ride. We came upon a huge cemetery, in Albany, NY, and decided to drive through it. There were lots of epitaphs and some tombs of famous folks. There were some side roads, leading to other parts of the cemetery. They had signs at the beginning of the roads: "Dead End". We got hysterical over the signs!! Now, don't you feel better? I bet you didn't find anything funny at your cemetery!!

  30. Hi Bonnie! My sewing has changed focus a bit & I find I’m really missing quilting. I’ve been sewing face masks since this thing started - we live outside Seattle & have been at home since the first week of March. I also share a home with 2 grandsons - 10 & 13. To round out their elective time from online classes, I am teaching them to sew & cook. 1 2-hour class each, twice a week. That has been keeping me busy! The oldest one has already made a mask for himself & will begin a small quilt this afternoon. The youngest one is getting comfortable with my machine & made a cat toy yesterday. We are all enjoying our “Nana” classes. I have 3 quilts basted & ready to quilt now, so I’ll be spending lots of time on my Sweet 16 to finish them. Plus, working on Unity. Hang in there & stay safe everyone!

  31. Hi Bonnie, We have been busy here, tore down the old chicken coop so we can build a better more efficient one (after the rain stops), collected oak fire wood from a tree that fell across our road and took out the power last Friday night. I have planted seeds starts in doors to get ready for our garden this summer (after the rain stops) hopefully by Mothers day. I've been working on making masks for my fellow nurses and now I will be making them for my husband's employees working on construction sites and keeping 6 feet away from each other. We are keeping busy and I think the more you do the less stress you feel. We have a 9 month old yellow lab that loves mud so he's keeping us busy too.

  32. Just for the people that don't know, buying your "Addicted to Scraps" book, might be a mistake.... because, there are so many quilts in there, I want to do, I am goind to run out of scraps and then what do I do?? lol And I thought your journey through the grave yard was interestihg. And then to find you have a connection to your house there!! Liked reading that. And this keeping your distance thing is, well, interesting. Not sure how I like it. Miss being social, but also want to be healthy. And I want you to stay healthy to, so am glad to read you are keeping yourself safe. Keep that needle sharp and huge hugs, which is easy, long distance through the computer!!

  33. As a genealogist I LOVE seeing the cemetery photos and old portraits. Thanks so much for sharing. On another note, I hope you quarantine doesn't last until Jun 10th. Her in the SF Bay Area we have been quarantined since March 17th and just got notice yesterday that the new date is May 3rd. As one who lives alone it has been getting harder and harder each day but not to whine - we will get through this.

    Take care and stay healthy!

  34. I loved seeing the centers for the Unity quilts. I especially liked the one with the orange pieces and the green outer pieces. I think a good name for it if it were mine would be Orange Salad. I fixed salad this evening and added orange slices to it which I often do. Our orange tree has out done itself this year. As soon as I can get some sugar i'll be making Orange Marmalade. Yummy. My friends love to get a jar of my Marmalade. Joey is so happy and cute playing fetch. I keep myself busy with getting my vegetable garden growing. We can plant anything we want here in Southern Ca. We just finished off eating the sugar snap peas and getting ready to plant more some more seeds. I also like to grow flowers for the butterflies and humming birds. So far I have finished an afghan for one of my daughters and started another for my other daughter. Before the virus began I finished an afghan for my oldest son and gave it to him. When I finish the one i'm working on for my daughter I will begin another for a son and when it is finished one more for my youngest son. I finished making 4 twin quilt tops for my 4 youngest great grand children. So i'll be machine quilting them when I have finished all of the afghans. I am so thankful to God that I can do all that I do at my age of 83. God is good. May God Bless all of you.

  35. I have not yet used my Ironez but I bought one as soon as I followed the link on your website and watched the demo. I broke 2 water spray bottles in the last month when they toppled off the ironing board... I instantly knew this would fix my clutzy problems. I am grateful for the timely suggestion!

  36. Over 40 yrs. ago when we lived in rural VA. the gas pumps had slots where you could insert $1.00 bills. The pump would stop when it got to the amt. of money you deposited. Where did that technology go?

  37. Dave is getting pretty good at fetching ;-) ! Our frisbee catching dog would do that too when she got tired, she would take the frisbee farther away and walk back. Thanks for the Unity quilt along!!

  38. Thank you for sharing the history of the people in your area, I read this blog for your amazing quilting but that was fascinating


If you are commenting as "anonymous" please leave your name at the end of your comment.

Did you know that ad space on this blog provides for all of the free patterns and free mysteries and challenges at no cost to you? Without ads, this blog would not be possible.

Thank you for understanding the many hours that go into this blog 6 days a week, 52 weeks a year. :)