Friday, April 03, 2020

Your Efforts MATTER!

Thanks from the nurses & health care workers in Winston Salem, NC!

Our plea for help a week ago was answered by so many of our local NC quilters and beyond!

I received these photos from Martha yesterday (Her sister is a nurse in the ER at Forsythe Medical Center in Winston Salem) and holding back tears I was told that they had received enough home made masks for every member of staff to have one as supplies run out.

You have done phenomenal work, and I know many of you are reeling and feeling mask burn out.

If you need to take a day for yourself (remember, put on your own mask first before helping others! HA!) do it.  Recharge your batteries by working on your own projects, switch gears.  Make it a day of secure errand running so you are ready for the next week ahead. Whatever it is – it is important to remember that you can’t let yourself run out of gas (for yourself, or your car either way!) and self care is important.

Yes, we know that home made masks can’t stop everything, but they can HELP.  And something is better than nothing.

There is now a thing floating around the internet saying to put a layer of non-woven pellon interfacing between the two layers of fabric to act as a filter. I’m not the one with the answers on this stuff.  I think the ones left with an opening to insert any kind of disposable filter helps  - so do some research and check with our medical peeps to see what their needs are.

Click for Face Mask Pattern.

Things to know – fabric ties may be more comfortable and adjustable than elastic  ear loops as elastic can rub the behind the ear area raw.

If you don’t have elastic – cut 1’’ strips across the belly of a tee-shirt and then TUG them so they curl up.  no need to sew them – use them as elastic or cording.  We all have plenty of tee-shirts that can be put to good use.

My heart and my thanks go out to all of those who are serving in the front lines of the medical field dealing first hand with what also could infect them.

These are hard times.  The cheery masks you make may brighten a nurse’s day.

My heart and thanks go out to you too! You ARE making a difference.

In other Nursey News:

This beautiful lady is the Hubster Dave's aunt Mae, his dad's younger sister.

In the midst of all of this crisis, Aunt Mae at 82 is about to graduate with her bachelor's degree in nursing

She received her nursing certificate in the late 1950s, at the time when there wasn't a need for a college degree. There was such a high demand that nurses were able to learn on the job.

She has persevered and with her journey back to college coming to an end her daughter, Dave's cousin Lisa said her high grades are evidence that she "rocked it.”

Mae was expected to graduate this month and bring her family together to celebrate. However, with the worldwide Corona virus pandemic forcing people to stay at home, that won't be possible.

The silver lining of aunt Mae's story is while many of us feel stuck or like we're missing out, there is time to accomplish everything life has to offer.

Much like her path to education, we are being faced with obstacles that seem too challenging to overcome.

But, with determination and the willingness to accept what we cannot control, we can conquer every hurdle, even if the end result doesn't look like what we had planned.

We are so proud of you, Aunt Mae!

Martha’s 2- color Unity Quilt Along center in progress!

We talked about making units as Leaders & Enders in between mask making (And bouffant surgical caps too!) and this is how far she was when she sent the photo.  GREAT JOB!  Yes, you can do much of our Unity Quilt Along as Leaders & Enders in between working on other things.  There is no need to feel like it is “just another project” but can be worked along the side of your main project, whatever it is.

This is Tracy’s 3 color version!

Aren’t her colors the BOMB!?

There is more to see by checking our #unityquiltalong tag on Instagram.  Keep up the good work, everyone – we’ll be ready for our next round on Monday!

Getting Instant Pot Inventive!

Along with all of the canned goods and other sundries I brought up to the cabin from Wallburg – a big tub of steel cut oats.

I’d tried crock pot cooking these before.  Didn’t like the result.  They take forever to boil on the stove – stirring constantly.

So I gave it a go in the instant pot – WONDERFUL! Just put in the ingredients, set the time and go about your business.  No stirring!

Not too pretty – but realistic!

And it was so so so simple.  2 cups steel cut oats to 5 cups water  add 1/4 tsp salt and 1 tsp vanilla.  Cook on manual for 4 minutes and let it self release the pressure for about 20 minutes.  Then switch the pressure valve from locked to release to finish the job.  Stir and serve.

There was enough leftovers for ONE more bowl – someone can have it as a snack later.  I would say that this recipe is good for 3 servings even though it was supposed to be four.  We like big bowls of oatmeal.

I brought a lot of different dried beans up with me and am anxious to try them out in the instant pot as well.  If you have a favorite instant pot dried bean recipe – could you leave it in the comments below?

When Mama comes home!

This was yesterday when I walked in the door from working at the QPO.  Evidently I sat in HER chair and she wanted in it too.  How could I say no?

One spoiled Kelpie girl at bedtime.

She is still not herself yet.  She is leaving her stitches “mostly” alone which is good, but her appetite hasn’t really come back yet.

I have found that I can take a piece of cheese stick, make a hole in it with the point of a knife, tuck her pill right inside and she will eat the whole thing, pill and all.  So I don’t have to poke pills down her throat.

Maybe today is the day that she starts to feel more “normal”?  It’s been a big and rough 3 weeks for her.  From shelter to new home to vet from being sick, and just when she was recovering from that and starting to feel better she had a surgery.  No fun.

And this continues!

Extended through Lock Down!

We have to continue to do something to make the most of social distancing!

I have placed my stock of the Addicted to Scraps book on deep deep discount at just $15.99 (regularly $27.95) and it comes with a free PDF pattern download for my Wanderlust Table Runner.

If you've been waiting for this book - now is the time. Put your stash to good use while you retreat away at home.

You'll find it in the Quiltville Store along with other goodies you may want to add to your cart - check the NEW category to see what else we've added.

And please let me add my thanks here for helping to keep my small business running. It is making a huge difference in the lives of my family.

Stay informed, take precautions, stay home, stay safe!

Wash wash wash your hands!

Quiltville Quote of the Day

I think the trick is to be open to the wonders of any experience from the beginning.

And through it all, seek out the good around you every day.

Don't wait until it's over having to look back to find the silver lining!

Have a wonderful Friday, everyone!


  1. Have a wonderful NEW day. It is wonderful to be alive and healthy.

  2. Your oatmeal looks good to me. I was raised on it. Can still hear my dad saying, "Only one spoon of sugar/honey!) hahhah. Good to know the masks are being used. I am getting ready to make some for the general public, if they desire. I am thinking of suggesting $1 donation. I have a long white fence facing the road that I can hang them on. And she is an awesome doggy! shhh my cats are listening.

  3. I was not happy with the outcome of beans in an instapot. Even cooking with more time left them a bit too crunchy. So, I tried soaking them overnight and that made all the difference.

  4. here is a link to a good baked bean recipe - I have used it and like it but there is a bit of moisture to simmer off after it says it is done - you can switch to saute when you take the lid off or put it on the stove in another pot and let the excess liquid simmer off. https://www.pressurecookingtoday.com/pressure-cooker-baked-beans/

  5. Good Morning,
    Today is my day to make masks. I plan to make enough for us and our immediate neighbors. All of us are in "that age group" except the young couple next door (both are still working). I'm glad Zoey is on the mend. She'll be back to full playful puppy mode before you know it. THanks again for all you do for all of us. Take Good Care

  6. Those photos are perfect.......they need to be framed!

  7. I was just texting my sister that I was planning a larger garden this year, and this would be a good time to green up my diet. This is my Silver Lining.(That and more time to piece quilts👍👍👍). I'm working on garlic knots block, I had to wait for background fabric from Missouri Star - bless that Jenny! I think the Tulip blocks will be next...

  8. Great blog today. From homemade mask to the remarkable Aunt Mae to Unity quilt and last but not least, adorable Zoey. We are all falling in love with her.

  9. I am making masks for The Heart Center where my daughter is a nurse. This is a big practice with lots of doctors. Your laugh for the day I also made two for the plumber who lives net door. His customers didn't want him to come in their houses without a mask.

  10. Here's the recipe I use for pinto beans: https://www.wellplated.com/instant-pot-refried-beans/#wprm-recipe-container-32677 Makes about the same as 3 cans of canned beans. As good as canned beans, not sure I'd say better, but that may be because I skimped on the salt for the sake of everyone's blood pressure.

  11. Thanks, Bonnie, I have already found a few thin silver linings and sososo much to be grateful for.
    So what I've learned about doing beans in the instapot is to add a little bit more cooking time to what they recommend. If they say 20-25 minutes I do 28. That way they come out creamy and soft instead of a bit grainy. I'm a vegetarian on weight watchers, so I eat a lotta beans! You can add salt when you put in beans and I also put the maximum amount of water your pot will safely hold, whatever is indicated on the inside of the pot. Have fun! Stay safe! And thanks so much!
    Sharon in Seattle

  12. https://sweetandsavorymeals.com/best-instant-pot-baked-beans-from-scratch/

  13. My dog has a allergy pill he has to take every day. I found the beat thing is sliced cheese. I keep a piece in a baggie and break a small bit off every morning and roll it around the pill. He swallows it down just fine !!! And its something that we always have in the house. Winning !!!

  14. Hello there, glad you are well and enjoying your new sweet puppy. I do enjoy your daily posts, keeping positive, keeping busy, enjoying the stitching community where we can, and do make a difference. I am a retired nurse. My heart is heavy for those on the front lines, but your story of Autie was a bright spot for sure.

  15. I love the quilt you posted the comment on - do you have information on it or a pattern for it? Thank you for sharing updates on your rescue - she's a lovely girl. My parents have a bigger version of her that they got at a rescue shelter. She too is a lovely gal - her name is Jackie.

    1. Hi there. The square in a square 9 patch is easy enough but the other block looks like a Periwinkle to me. Basically an hourglass block with a kite in the top point of each triangle. It sounds more difficult than it is. Bonnie's 'Serpentine Web' in her book 'String Frenzy' is a variation.She has a kite template in the book. Also check out Jenny Doan at Missouri Star Quilt Co. She has a video, template, and papers in 2 sizes. Although you could make your own template if you're a little more than a beginner quilter. Hope this helps.

  16. So glad you adopted a new puppy. Dogs are so happy and a great stress reliever. We got our last boy when he was 5 months. He is sooooo attached to my husband. When hubby isn't here, I'm his next favorite. You're quote is right....find the blessing. Love your posts and positive attitude. Patty McDonald

  17. I love black beans in the instant pot. 1lb of beans, 6 cups of water. Chicken boullion if you have it, or replace some of the water with broth. Add cayenne, chili powder, cumin, garlic, other spices to taste. This combo makes a more mexican flavor bean. Use for nachos, or eat alone with a bit of cheese melted on top! Also good in enchiladas.

  18. Thank you for this quote of the day and your reflection on it. I agree that being open to the wonders of any experience from the beginning is key to finding joy in the most unlikely of places. Thanks for all you do!!

  19. God bless Aunt Mae! You go girl! What an inspirational story that I intend to tell my granddaughters. Never give up your dreams!!! Thank you Bonnie for your daily blog. It gives me something to look forward to every morning. I so love your way of thinking and how positive you always are. Glad to see that puppy of yours is on her way to good health. She is a beautiful pup. God bless you and yours. Stay safe and healthy!

  20. I also make masks and found bias tape works well for a better fit. I also found that it is better to take a break after a few.

  21. After sewing masks for a friend who works in a hospital, I offered to sew some for close friends and their families. They took me up on my offer. I will sew a couple more...

  22. Thanks. I needed your comments about mask 'burnout'. I love how you are so down to earth about things. Thanks for 'Unity'. I think it would be a great leader/ender between masks!

  23. Thanks for the easy mask. We are using a more fitted one from craftpassion.com.

    Here's a link from a bean company for delicious instant pot beans.

    Hope you enjoy!

  24. Have made about 2 dozen so far & expect to make more over the wkend. Be well Bonnie..

  25. Love those bright cheerful masks who wouldn’t smile seeing them.
    So pleased that ZoeyJo is starting to get over her op, she’ll soon be born around again.
    Dates aunt is such an inspiration thank you for sharing her story. Have a fantastic weekend.
    Love and quilty hugs
    Anne xxx

  26. Zoey is so lucky to have you as family. She will definitely thrive in your company. As for bean recipes, the webpage “365 Days of Slow cooker / Instant Pot” recipes is my absolute favorite. She has tried and true recipes. I’ve never had a fail with her recipes. I do add more spices and garlic, though. I make her recipes about 3-4 times a week.

  27. Received my Book and Pattern a few days ago. Thank you Bonnie.

  28. Thanks Bonnie from the encouragement. Our Oakland County Quilt Guild in Michigan have been busy mask making 1,700 to date. I think a rest weekend is just what we need. Looking forward to finishing my Unity block.

  29. Hi Bonnie. I've been looking at all the tutorials for masks also. I looked at a Forbes article on what type of fabric is used in medical masks. They are made of MELTBLOWN polyester, which filters down to 1 micron. I was able to find meters of it inexpensively on Ebay, to put inside the cloth masks. I will be making as many masks as I can. I thought I would tell you, as you have such a big following. You can check it out here- https://www.ebay.com/itm/5-20M-Filter-Fabric-Meltblown-Nonwoven-Fabric-Original-Cloth-Material-Filter-US The diameter of melt-blown fiber can reach 1 ~ 2 microns, which belongs to ultra-fine non-woven fiber.
    The cloth can be used for various masks, thus making the filtering efficiency greater than 95%.

  30. I just made this wonderful 15 bean soup with sausage yesterday and it was so good. you do a 1 minute quick soak and let it sit for an hour, add the rest of your ingredients and cook for 4 minutes...perfect.

  31. Hi, I cook my oatmeal in a glass bowl in the microwave, it turns out well and takes no time at all. Sometimes add bit of golden syrup to it, yum. Each to clean the bowl too

  32. I can see that dog is playing you like a fine fiddle! LOL She has figured out how to snuggle in your bed and look darling doing it! Congratulations to Aunt Mae and thanks for the story. Also thanks for the story and pics of the nurses. I have made 40 so far for my family who are healthcare workers. Now I need to make some for the rest of my family and I can move on to neighbors, friends, and others in need.

  33. I made a few masks for the girls at the grocery store. Don't know if they're wearing them. I then made 4 more for 2 friends, one who works in a city office and another in a nursing home. Now, this weekend I need to make a few for my sister who works in the Post Office. Evidently the one she works in doesn't have them, the one in our town does (or the clerk brought her own). Then I plan to make for family, but then I'm done. Sounds stingy but I just got so burned out from them. Love the pics of you and your dog. And congrats to your hubby's aunt. Such a big accomplishment.

  34. What an adorable picture of you and Zoey Jo! I don't have any bean recipes for you as I don't have an Instant Pot, however, I have been making my oatmeal in the microwave for years! I use regular oats, not the instant kind (too many preservatives) use a one to one ratio of oats and water. Then I nuke it for a minute to a minute and 15, then add my milk and fruit. Yum! Another plus, you only have one dish to wash!

  35. Zoey Jo is just adorable! I would have named her "Willow" because of the two pussy willows over her eyes!

  36. Just a quick tip on giving your dog a pill, put it in a peanut butter sandwich and feed it to them in bite size pieces, this is how my dog takes her pills.

  37. Hi, another way to give pills to the dogs is with peanut butter. Hope Zoe is back to normal soon.

  38. Kudos to Aunt Mae! It is never too late to finish a goal, especially education. I hope she gets a huge celebration when this is all over.
    I too am dealing with a 4 month old puppy who had her second trip to the vet this week for dietary indiscretions (garbage gut according to the vet).
    We all persevere. I need to try the steel cut oats in the instant pot. Thanks for the idea and recipe!

  39. Here is the best information spot I have found for dried beans...thank you for all you do for us as a community, Bonnie! https://tidbits-marci.com/how-to-cook-dried-beans-in-the-instant-pot-pressure-cooker/

  40. Thank you Bonnie. This is certainly an uplifting communique today, on many fronts.

  41. Love the pic of you & Zoey. Will check out mask instructions. Thanks. Going to make some for my son & his family. See if they like. Will continue to make more for others. I want to make caps & bouffant caps for first responders & medical personnel. In the meantime, here’s a red bean recipe that I like. https://www.camelliabrand.com/recipes/instant-pot-new-orleans-style-red-beans-and-rice/
    I use garlic link sausage. If you do not have cajun seasoning, I’m sure you can find ingredients online & make your own. Does not have to be Camellia brand. I’m pretty sure I only cooked beans for 30 min. Always easy to add more time than cook too long and have mushy beans... I make my rice in my 3qt mini. Bon Appetit...

  42. Aren't Kelpies the best . I have a Red Cattle Cross with Shepherd and she's human
    too and does the same things that your Zoe does. BUT she doesn't sew - what a shame she would be so helpful if she does. LOL
    Love your postings. I'm from Australia and I enjoy reading your posts.
    Hugs from Me

  43. Here is the link to an EXCELLENT recipe for Instant Pot Baked Beans. The recipe calls for only 6 - 8 slices of bacon but I add the whole pound. No soaking of the beans required, but I do soak for about 2 hours. https://thisoldgal.com/instant-pot-baked-beans/ I enjoy your blog and your new dog. Stay safe.

  44. We love pinto beans and the electric pressure cooker makes them so fast and delicious. I usually freeze a few containers, too. One of our favorite meals is meatloaf, pinto beans and creamed corn sopped up with flour tortillas. Yum!

    Pressure Cooker Pinto Beans

    Dried Pinto Beans
    3 C beans, rinsed
    1 T canola oil
    8 C water
    High for 60 minutes
    Stir in garlic salt when done

    4 C beans
    1 T oil
    10 C water
    70 minutes


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