Posted on 14 Comments

Keeping Busy


It is very hard to comprehend what has happened to our world in just the last month. All of us have been affected in one way or the other. Many have been ordered to shelter in place, food and toilet paper have disappeared off grocery shelves, events have been canceled or postponed, air travel has been disrupted and we worry about the well-being of those who have come down with the virus and the health care providers who are treating it. We mourn those who have succumbed to it. We all react differently to such circumstances. For me, I’ve had to postpone the memorial service we were planning for my husband.

To take my mind off of so many things I keep myself busy with other activities. Weather permitting, I walk every day. We’re lucky that we live close to the Potomac River and I’m able to walk along the river.  I have been watching the bald eagle in her nest that I see from the riverbank.  I’ve also watched the bluebells pop from the ground and now growing so tall and full of buds that are ready to burst open at any moment. The Dutchman’s Breeches and trillium are about to bloom as well.



I am also baking bread. Just the process of kneading the dough is somehow therapeutic. I have a sourdough starter that I began from Water Buffalo milk when I lived in India. That was 50 years ago, and it is still alive and thriving today. The sourdough boule is one of my favorites to make.



In times like this sometimes it is just calming to design or start a new sewing project. Many of you who have traveled with me on one of the Craftours trips I have taken in the past know I always plan a sewing project to work on during “found moments” on the trip when our hands and eyes might otherwise be idle. So, I decided to finally plan the project we will be working on during my Greece trip. Originally scheduled for this May, the trip has been rescheduled for May 15-25, 2021. Hopefully all traces of the virus will be gone by then and we can relax and enjoy a wonderful trip to this magical place.

For the project, I wanted to have a design that would cover all of the basic techniques of hand piecing so that even a beginner would be comfortable tackling it. I also wanted to incorporate the traditional Greek Key motif into part of the design. I selected one of my favorite traditional blocks, Rolling Star, (Block 59 in our Quilters’ Block Library free pattern section) and drafted it into a 20” square for the central motif and used the Greek key design as a border.



This year I am doing a series of on-line tutorials on working with border prints and the first lesson is Border Print Squares (See the five minute video here). I used that same technique for making the square designs around the Grecian Star.



This might be a good time to try something new since so many of us are spending a great deal of time in our homes. Watch the video shown above and check out the free Tips and Lessons on my website. Then, pick up a needle and thread, a few fabric patches and give it a try. I hope you will find this simple task as soothing as I do.

14 thoughts on “Keeping Busy

  1. I just love this. I especially love the border and want to add it to my next quilt.

  2. I love the project. Are you going to make up a kit with the fabric and instructions to be purchased?

    1. As this project will be specific to the Greece trip, kits will be available but instructions will be covered during the trip.

  3. Thank you Jinny, for everything you do for us. I am not, however, in my home as much as everyone else. Nothing has changed for me. I am a nurse. I am 61 years old. I have been through AIDS-HIV, ebola, swine flu, SARS, H1N1, and now Covid-19. If anything, life is busier for me. I do appreciate it when I finally get home, and have a few brief minutes to settle in (and I don’t want to talk about work) that there are people like you who can still find beauty in the world, for those of us who are busier than ever. I appreciate your art and have made a few of your quilts. Please keep sharing pictures of Spring with those of us who haven’t the time to enjoy it at home.

  4. You are so inspiring. So sorry for your loss. Thank you for the gift of projects

  5. Thank you so much, Jinny…for the thoughts and quilt ideas.

  6. Thank you for the inspiration, not just for working with fabrics but for daily living in a very different world. The boule loaf looks so good, makes me want to work with risen dough again. Nowadays I only do that at Christmas time when I spend a day making German stollen which needs to rise 3 times in the process but oh, does the house smell good!
    Working on a sachiko project currently, so soothing.

  7. Oh gorgeous! Thank you for your grace and generosity!

  8. Thank you for sharing your life with us. I think of you often. I absolutely love your new design! Especially striking is the Greek key design! I am currently working on a diamond quilt but I look forward to working on this new idea in the future.
    Take Care 🤗

  9. March 26, 2020
    I have been working on Navajo Seasons while self quarantining. I was trying to find the video on bordertips. It says it is no longer available. Is it possible to repost? I love the quilt but would love to watch the video before metering the borders. Sorry for your loss. I live in St. Croix Falls and know Bill and Marsha quire well. Our boys were in scouts together too. Sympathy Nd prayers for your entire family. Laurie

    1. Our tips and lessons page offers many useful videos and tutorials to help you with your quilt. Happy quilting!

  10. Thank you for sharing your picture. My river is a 10′ wide creek with native azalas, Jack in the Pulpits and more including my favorite wild Easter Lily all blooming now. This is a time when we have to remind ourselves that beauty and kindness is still alive and well in our world. Quilting is good for body and soul. Thank you for adding to the beauty.

  11. I admire what Jinny has done with the border print. So creative, really thinks outside the box. I designed some squares using her new stripes fabric, but nothing so creative. I’m glad people are being creative while at home. Best to all.

  12. Dear Jenny, I just read this – somehow I missed this post. I am so very sorry for the great loss of your husband. I pray that by now, your family has had the opportunity to gather together, and honor his life with your memories throughout a lifetime with him. Grace and peace in your heart as you stitch beauty.

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