/ / Meet Belinda Dill – the quarantined quilter!

Meet Belinda Dill – the quarantined quilter!


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Are you ready to smile and be inspired? Last week I saw this adorable picture of a quilter stuck on the Grand Princess cruise ship (quarantined off the coast of California) because a few people on the ship had tested positive for the novel coronavirus COVID-19. Belinda Dill was mentioned in part of an article from CNN about how people were coping in quarantine.

Well, that picture reached out and grabbed my heart – even though we had never met, I felt like we were kindred spirits! Remember when I took my sewing machine on vacation last year?


That feeling of connection with her led me to do something I’ve never done before – to contact a complete stranger through social media! So I found Belinda’s profile and sent her a quick note. I figured she was getting tons of messages now that she was famous and she probably wouldn’t answer, but I sent that message anyway – asking her how she was feeling and if she needed anything to help her finish that quilt.


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I was so happy when a little while later she answered. Through the miracle of technology we were thousands of miles away from each other and chatting through Facebook messenger. Belinda was just getting settled into a hotel where she will have to live in quarantine for at least 2 weeks (they say) and at the same time, I was in my kitchen making dinner for my family.

My kids were not pleased that I was distracted by my phone and their dinner was taking longer to make. They were not at all as excited as they should have been when I told them that I had made friends with the quilter in quarantine!


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The more I chatted with Belinda and got to know her, the more inspired I was by her optimism and courage. Belinda has been deaf since birth, but she communicates very well by reading lips and speaking.

Imagine how frustrating it must be (and probably scary at times) to be in the middle of a worldwide pandemic and not be able to understand people because all of a sudden everyone around you is wearing a face mask!

But in all our messages she is never negative or upset – just grateful to have her sewing machine and quilt to keep her busy, and happy that she and her husband are virus free so far.


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Belinda told me that as she was packing for her cruise to Hawaii, her kids told her she was crazy because she wanted to bring her sewing machine. ‘There are so many things to do – you won’t want to sew!’

But at the last minute she grabbed it, along with all the pieces of this huge wedding ring quilt she was working on.





As we chatted about the sewing machines we own we found that (besides wanting to sew on vacation) we have sewing machines in common too. I have a Janome like the one she brought on the ship with her (mine is hot pink). Plus we both have Berninas in our sewing rooms. Isn’t that funny?

I sent her a link to my sewing studio video tour, and then she sent me a tour video of her sewing room. It was so much fun. I’m posting her video to the video player that will play in this blog post. Make sure you watch!


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I wasn’t the only person who reached out and offered to send Belinda supplies. When she received the box I sent, she messaged me this picture with a big thanks. Some of the things are supplies that I sent her, and some are from other new friends she has made. With the backing, batting, and thread I sent her, she can now finish that queen (or king) sized wedding ring quilt!

Our sewing and quilting community is truly made up of the most kind, courageous, and generous people I know. I mean, really… can you think of a handmade gift that takes more time to make than a quilt? Or costs more money, lol? But we just keep making quilts and giving them away!


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I’m going to keep in contact with Belinda but as of the date of this post, she is healthy and positive – hoping to be released soon from the hotel where she and her husband are in quarantine together. She has no fever and no symptoms of the virus.

I’m so glad she didn’t listen to the nay-sayers and she took her sewing machine with her on that cruise.

Belinda’s story has made me decide to take a sewing machine on every vacation I go on for the rest of my life!

I hope all my readers are enjoying some extra time at home as we wait for this crazy pandemic to be over. Someday it will be something we look back and laugh at. We’ll all probably have an extra quilt or two that we call our ‘coronavirus quilts’ because we were able to make them with all the extra time we had to spend at home sewing!

Stay safe and healthy!


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17 Comments

  1. Maria Eugénia says:

    What an inspiring story! So glad you meet her. Hope it can be forever💙 Kisses from Portugal, ALL of us in quarentine, top. 🙏🇵🇹

  2. Congratulations on finishing what for me would end up a UFO. Keep up inspiring us quilters and get home safe.

  3. What a great story!! Thank you for sharing with us. Belinda is an inspiration!

  4. Janice Badeau says:

    Loved the story about Belinda!!! And a double wedding ring?!!!! It’s just beautiful! You go, girl!!! Truly an awesome story!

  5. Valerie House says:

    Wow, that is so kind! I am so shocked and blown away by how loving and considerate quilters are!

  6. Belinda’s story is just amazing and so are you for reaching out and sending her a gift to keep her even more positive. As for that quilt, oh wow, I can only dream, well done to a lovely lady.x

  7. As a fellow cross stitcher, sewer, crafter, etc I admire your work! I did try quilting & I have to say- it can be VERY tricky. Beautiful quilt I love it!

  8. What beautiful work! I am working on a quilt for an 18" doll bed and that is quilt enough for me! Ha ha! My husband and I have "buttoned down" as he says since we are in the senior age group. I don’t know what I would do without my sewing machines. Creating with my hands is the best medicine! Everyone stay well and stay safe.

  9. Loved Belindas story and her fabulous sewing room. So nice of you to reach out and to share some goodies.

  10. OMG……What an incredible story. Belinda this will be the great story about the time you took your sewing machine on vacation and made some great friends. I’m so inspired and impressed by your story. I hope your quarantine ends soon and you can return home soon. To all who reached out to Belinda it makes me proud of you and your kindness. Quilters are a whole different breed of people and you guys have proved this true. This story made me happy to be apart of that group. Good luck Belinda.

  11. I love how you have a reality picture of your sewing space!.

  12. Love this story of Belinda and her resourceful mind. She really rocks!! I have been ridiculed for taking my machine and a project on most of our vacations. Several of my friends keep small machines in their campers. A girl has to be prepared for for whatever comes up.

  13. Brenda Ackerman says:

    Caroline, I just want to say that this post was so uplifting and inspiring to me. I knew about the people quarantined on the cruise ships, yet had not read or watched any story about Belinda. I read your post first, which sparked my interest I had to watch the video. How fabulous that she was sent enough gifts to help her finish her quilt while in quarantine and especially that the two of you talked and have not become friends!! An especially uplifting story to share and help make my day and hopefully many other quilters day that much brighter. Have a wonderful day!

  14. I loved Belinda’s story. I can relate to taking a sewing machine on vacation! I do it every year whether I take a trip in the car or the RV. Pray everyone stays healthy and safe!

  15. Neva Bosch says:

    Belinda is so smart – her quilts are beautiful. Enjoy watching her demos.

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