The road ends, but the journey continues...


ToDo for the weeks following March 24th:

  • Work on those darn face masks done
  • Finish Final edit of Michelle’s PhD thesis done
  • Work on Final score edits for Goat Suite (Saga) in progress
  • Sew up scraps have on hand neutral jellyroll fabric experiment ones done
  • Figure out what to do with various scrap ‘blocks’ medium one done
  • Continue to help Flatten the Curve in progress


stay home save livesI’ll start with the most important of these ToDos, albeit the hardest – Continue to help Flatten the Curve

It seems our diligent work in adhering to this small effort is reaping a discernible curve-flattening reward. Let’s not quit yet, let’s build upon this hard-won glimmer of hope and continue to soldier on in the best way we can: Stay Home. Save Lives.


homemade face masks COVID-19

No, these are not bikinis!

As for those darn masks. I finally got our three each for both hubby and myself done and done. I admit to not rising to the task of stitching up piles of homemade masks for those on the front lines…I just didn’t have it in me. I admit it. Slacker. Yes, you can hurtle that shaming label at me – but I applaud those who took to their sewing machines cleaning out fabric scrap piles in the name of solidarity for health care workers, family and friends. My own daughter who is in the throes of finalizing her PhD thesis and prepping for its defense made a total of 15 in addition to those she sewed up for herself, hubby and a few friends. I am so impressed. Heck, I’m proud! The darn things really aren’t all that easy to whip up even for experienced sewers – and they’re just too fiddly frustrating for me to do beyond the obligatory need-to-provide for us ones.
Do I feel better for this confession, maybe, but mostly I might have helped someone else out there with ‘experience in sewing’ who felt the same way.
Speaking of middle daughter, Michelle. She’s set to present and defend her PhD thesis this coming Monday. It’s been a long time coming and I’m honored to have been asked to assist her by editing various incarnations of that manuscript over these past few years…more boasting on her in another post!
Floating block experiment - upper lefthand corner, surrounded by pieced scraps

Floating block experiment – upper lefthand corner, surrounded by pieced scraps & circle cut from medium block I didn’t like

About a year ago I tried my hand at ‘floating’ a block using only selected fabrics from a purchased jellyroll fabric pack. The result of that is the large block in the upper lefthand corner of the photo at left. I plan to do some free motion machine quilting in the off-white Kona cloth negative space once I feel confident enough to do so. In the meantime, I pieced together the scraps as shown alongside the large block. I had a medium sized block that I didn’t like so decided to cut it up into a circle (shown). It will form the basis of a 3D fiber experiment that is rolling around in my mind.
Original medium size block I didn't like

Original medium block I didn’t like

That’s it for now. Thanks to Roseanne for sponsoring this linky party.



  1. Mary J Puckett

    Sounds like you have plenty to do without making any more masks! I made a bunch, but have now stopped–the place that had requested them surely has more than enough by now if they are washing and re-using as they said they would. Judgy, I know, but I never said I lacked faults!

    • laura bruno lilly

      Naw, not judgy Zippy. I think there are times to say ‘sorry not this time around’…especially after already having already done some!

  2. Sharon

    I’m with you on the mask making. I’ve only made them for those who have asked. My DIL is on the front line and was the first to ask for masks. The hospital where she works decided to allow homemade masks. Then another gal at the hospital asked for some. Family – one each for those who asked. Looks like another week or so before that curve is actually flattened around here. On to happy sewing! Your floating improv piece looks fun! Congrats to your daughter!

    • laura bruno lilly

      Hey Sharon, how special to make masks for those on the front lines and with a personal connection. All the more kudos to you as the mask-making-thing is a big deal!
      Thanks for stopping by –

  3. Dione

    Thankfully there is not much call for homemade masks here. I think they would drive me crazy, both in the fiddliness and the lost time. But I have seen some amazing masks out there, and take my hat off to those that are going above and beyond in this exercise. Congrats to your daughter on reaching the end of her PhD, and how wonderful that you could be involved with thesis feedback and general support. Thanks for linking up to the Chameleon’s Colour & Inspiration party.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Aha – yet another one who understands and felt the same regarding ‘the mask thing’…I’m in good company for sure! HA!

  4. Andy

    Our curve seems to be flattening, but any thoughts of lifting our lockdown are tempered by fears of a second wave of the virus.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Keep on keepin’ on…it is always best to ‘err’ (as perceived to be by some) on the side of caution during a Pandemic IMHO.

  5. Mariss Stevens

    I am relieved to know that there is another experienced sewer out there who also could not face making piles of face masks for front line workers. (I gave up after 8).
    Fluff your feathers and cluck over your daughter’s achievement, and congratulations to you on raising her and on reading her PhD drafts.
    Your floating blocks look enticing (much more exciting than face masks).

    • laura bruno lilly

      “High Five” on the mask-thing – ugh.
      And yes, I will indeed ‘fluff my feathers and cluck’ about our daughter! (love that visual, is it a SA expression or did you just make it up?)

  6. Catherine de Seton

    congratulations on all your endeavours…
    here in New Zealand, we are about to re-enter, moving down a level in our Lockdown schedule. There isn’t going to be any change much, and definitely no change for me, although it’s nice to think that some of more able bodied and ordinary (no underlying health issue) pals may get back to work or similar.
    A few days ago I found my list of “things I will do during this time…” and realised that actually in the end none of them seemed to matter. I’ve made things, but nothing is complete (WIP) seems to be the underlying issue here. Rather I’ve had to re-learn how to cook/bake/other ingredients that haven’t been selected by me. Some days that takes all my time, especially since my kitchen space is rather small…
    It’s been interesting how certain parts of my life…have moved onto a “branch line”…

    • laura bruno lilly

      Well, I hope your change in lockdown status goes smoothly.

  7. Janis

    Your masks look great! I wish I had more elastic as I find it much easier to use than ties. Best of luck to your daughter. Will her presentation and defense of her PhD thesis be done in person or virtually?

    • laura bruno lilly

      Yep, she’ll be ZOOMing her presentation and defense. Her hooding ceremony was to have taken place May 1st, but of course it got postponed right off the bat in early March…the good news is that the University does plan to reschedule the event – who knows when but at least it hasn’t been officially cancelled.

  8. Jane Chesebrough

    Congratulate yourself, you have got a lot done. Stay home; stay safe. Better to be 6 feet apart than 6 feet under.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thanks, Jane…I deserve a Twizzler (or two or three or…) wouldn’t you say?
      Not to worry, we practice social distancing, sheltering in place and even going out of the house with a mask…even if most of the townsfolks hereabouts don’t…

  9. Roseanne

    Hi Laura! Just reading your first paragraph made me smile. It is sometimes hard to recall just why the heck we are staying home . . . oh yes, to flatten the curve. I truly believe all this hard work is working. While we have oodles of folks protesting – that’s their right to do so. I choose to believe that those of us with some common sense know we have to stay the course. You may call me a mask slacker, as well. We’ve made about 15 or so – I just had to ‘whip’ up two more today. GOOD LUCK, MICHELLE!! My bestie got her PhD in 2014 and I was very much involved. Of course, I wasn’t in the room with her while she was defending . . . I was waiting in the hallway wringing my hands. Yay to you as well for the editing. A very important task – even if we don’t work in the profession of the topic, it is important that the layman can read it and (kind of) understand it. {{Hugs}} You’ll be SO proud to call her Dr. Michelle. Sue often goes by Dr. Auntie Sue. HAHA! I look forward to seeing more on the free-floating project. Take care and stay safe. ~smile~ Roseanne

    • laura bruno lilly

      Whew, looks like I’m in good company if you are a mask slacker also! HA!
      Tell Dr. Auntie Sue that even though she’s a bit quiet on the blog, we know she is a driving force on the quilting/sewing front!
      Thanks for all the happiness I can feel through your comment.
      Take care.

  10. Ally Bean

    Your masks are pretty. I think you’re doing your bit for flattening the curve in a stylish way. Best of luck to your daughter as she defends her dissertation.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thanks, Ally. Stylish or not, if there had been the opportunity to just buy the darn things, I’d be first in line!

  11. Vicki in MN

    I totally understand your feelings on the mask making. I too feel that way. I feel guilty for not helping out, but was stressful when I just made our own too. I am making donation quilts instead as they are always needed to.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Now, donation quilts are more my way of helping out, too! 🙂
      Glad to hear someone else felt the same way about those darn masks…thanks for stopping by, Vicki.

  12. L. Marie

    Wow! You accomplished a lot! Congrats on getting those face masks done! And how proud you must be of Michelle! Will she defend over Zoom?

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thanks for the Kudos, L.Marie!
      Yes, she will be defending via ZOOM – complete with a special ‘seclusion’ (chat) room for when she’s to exit the group while the panel does their own discussion/appraisal/etc before re-entering for the rest of the process.

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