A Birthday Give Away, 7-3-22

Did you know that today is the beginning of Dog Days? It runs from July 3 to August 11 – these are the hottest most sweltering days of the summer. Our mom had all three of us during this time – no AC, just a tiny oscillating fan. Can you imagine?

Today is my 74th birthday – I can’t believe I’m this old! To celebrate the day I’ve got two baskets of leftover scraps and pieces from the big improv quilt. I can’t throw them away and I do not want to make another improv quilt so Connie will draw two numbers between 1 and 500. The reader who gets the actual number or closest will get a prize, the second closest or tie will also get a prize. Honestly if there’s a third I have another prize. Winners will be announced on the blog on Wednesday and you’ll have 24 hours to claim your prize. I’ll need your mailing address.

Having a birthday on July 3 can be a disappointment – as a kid I never got a party because “we’ll celebrate tomorrow on the 4th when we meet the cousins for a picnic”. On the other hand it’s a very festive few days especially around here when Clear Lake is so close. Clear Lake has the largest Fourth of July celebration in the state of Iowa!

Reader quilts

Connie’s granddaughter, Claire, is spending time at the lake and making pillows for her cats – here’s what she’s made:

Here’s what I got for my birthday – a new blower! One year I got a hose – do you see a pattern here? I love my new blower!

So here’s to the start of Dog Days on my birthday!

316 thoughts on “A Birthday Give Away, 7-3-22

  1. Jean Elliott

    Oh I’d love to win some scraps!! I like working with small items.

  2. Deborah Kuchta

    Today is also my birthday. I think it’s the best day because there are early fireworks and always a day off. Happy birthday to you too!

    1. Cynthia from SWMinnesota!

      Happy Belated Birthday, Mary! So many cool completed projects that were shared today! I better take a look for my #10/pink project for July!

      I am guessing #224 for Connie’s number choice! Happy Mid-Summer! And Happy 4th of July!

  3. Jill Klop

    Happy Birthday!! I hope you have a great day! Have fun with that new blower!! I have heard of the dog days of summer, but didn’t know there were actual date! I think here in south Texas, our dog days started back in May this year! I hope I’m doing this right…I’m guessing one of the numbers drawn will be 329.

  4. Jo in Wyoming

    Happy Birthday to you. I hope YOU get to enjoy your new blower.
    I’m picking #265. No particular reason.
    Loved the show today…the patriotic wall is very impressive. A busy quilter lives there.

  5. Patsy

    Happy, Happy Birthday. Just as an aside….a friend of mine received a compost maker for Christmas one year. 🙀🙀

  6. Cherie Moore

    Happy, happy birthday!!!! Practical gifts are the best because they usually have some nice bells and whistles that I might not spring for :). My guess, 348.

  7. Denise Weise

    Happy Birthday Mary

    My number is 369

    Address: 102 Mountain Laurel Way
    Georgetown TX 78633

  8. Evie H

    Happy Birthday and enjoy your day! Got you beat — I’m older than 74. =) My guess is 213 pieces.

  9. Joan S

    Happy birthday to you, Mary!! I hope you have a wonderful day.
    My number is 92.

  10. Donna Sproston

    I am going with my age plus your age. 152
    Happy birthday. Love that you appreciate getting a new blower. I would ask hubby what is it!

  11. Bonnie Coleman

    382 for the prize! I hate DOG Days! Living in the Deep South is hard in the summer!
    Happy Birthday! I am 74 also! 🎉🎉

  12. Judith

    Happy Birthday Mary!
    I have a holiday birthday as well- December 31st.
    My guess is 83.

  13. Sherry Whalen

    Happy Birthday Mary! Such a wonderful quilt show above. That blower is amazing, I bet it will move a lot of debris. Thanks for the chance to win – my guess is 140.

  14. Bonnie

    Happy birthday! I hope you enjoy your special day.

    One year I got a vacuum cleaner. Cleaning up after five kids was hard on my vacuums. I’ve always favored practical gifts so that vacuum was very welcome. Enjoy your blower, it looks like a good one.

    I agree with Jill. Our dog days here in then desert started in May. Today will be 105 or so. Humid too by our standards. I’m ready for autumn!!!!

    Loved all the quilts. Happy birthday and Happy July 4th.

    I could have a ‘give away’ myself with all my scraps so I won’t pick a number.

  15. Vivian in Idaho

    Happy Birthday! Hope your day is extra special!! Love all the quilts and I really like the beautiful deck and yard.

  16. Marsha from Kansas

    Happy Birthday, Mary! The best gift is the one you are hoping for! Wishing you a wonderful day!

    My number is 234.

  17. Julie Erickson

    Happy Birthday Mary!
    I’m not a fan of the dog days. I grew up in a family of 8 kids and of course “no A/C”. I don’t remember much complaining either 🤨.
    My guess is 51.

  18. Diane in Maryland

    Happy Birthday! Since your birthday is #74, I will guess #74! Love your leaf blower! It looks very big and powerful. I got an electric one for Christmas one year and love it since I don’t have to pull a starter cord. Husband Mike now has a couple battery ones which he likes.
    Happy 4th of July to everyone!

  19. Tina W in Oregon

    Hope your birthday is the best one yet. I see you’ve shed the boot.
    Vicky in Seattle has been very prolific. Love her quilts. And the red, white and blue display is marvelous!
    If we’re supposed to pick a number, I choose 325.

  20. Sue

    Happy Birthday Mary! I’m right behind you – hope I can age as well as you. Your mom always had lots of energy too. Must be in your genes, or maybe it’s that country life? Enjoy your leaf blower. I like mine. My guess for the birthday prize is 76.

  21. Bonnie

    Happy Birthday. The older we get the more precious each birthday becomes!

  22. Paula S.

    Happy Birthday Mary! I love your practical birthday gifts. I’m the same way!

  23. Cindy Nelson

    May you have many more healthy years to come. You have touched so many of our lives. I want to thank you for sharing all of your animals and your love for them. You are such a blessing to your church, quilters and friends. Cindy Nelson

  24. Joan Schueffner

    I pick # 253 . Hopefully I’ll win. My husband picked it!
    Love your blog!

  25. Deb E

    My favorite number is 26 – my birthday and BOTH of my childrens is the 26th. My husbands is the 27th!
    Happy birthday to you!

  26. Beth

    Have a very happy birthday! I know you’ll enjoy that new blower! My number is 44.

  27. Cathy D

    Happy Birthday Mary 🥳! The heat and humidity will make the corn and beans grow so I guess it’s not all that bad. I did not know about Clear Lakes 4th celebration being the biggest in Iowa. We’ll have to check that out sometime! My guess for the prize is 432.

  28. Nancy

    Happy, Happy Birthday! Those holiday birthdays are hard. And summer birthdays are hard for children, I think. You got both! I hope you have a wonderful day that your family celebrates your day and friends remember it.

  29. Nicole Hanson

    Happy Birthday!! I guess a leaf blower as a present is better than nothing at all, which is what I have received for the past three years! 🙂 Trying to finish up UFO’s and start a quilt for a friends granddaughter who is getting married in October!
    Take care, Happy Fourth of July! God bless our country and those who keep our freedoms!

  30. Charlotte Shira

    Happy happy birthday Mary!! 🎈🌼🎂 I also have a holiday birthday…Christmas eve! Not fun!
    Wonderful quilt show today!
    My guess is 372.

  31. Judy

    My husband loves his battery powered blower and hedge trimmer. So much, he got a battery powered string trimmer this summer. I’m sure will enjoy yours, also. Beautiful colors in today’s quilts. I will go with 472 as my choice for the drawing.

  32. Diane, Squeak, & Buddy in Central Ohio

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MARY! Kudos to Vikki and all the quilt makers today. They are stunning.
    My pick is 229.
    Enjoy your day and the new blower.

  33. Nanette in Utah

    Hello Mary! What a Wonderful way to grow up! Who Who knew so much could change in 74 years! Wishing you a very, very happy birthday 🎈

    I am anxiously awaiting my five dollar pattern of the iris. I have never done this before. I hope you have received my SASE. I check the mail every day!

    My guess is 65. It is the age my, “One of a kind husband”will be this year. I am so blessed.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      If it does not arrive, please let me know – I don’t always trust the usps

  34. LAUNA

    MY NUMBER IS: 30, thank you!
    Had a good rain shower earlier…OLD SOL is out, but it’s a breezy 63o near 1pm!
    So glad you have a new gift Blower!
    Please enjoy your entire BIRTHDAY,
    Thanks for the contestL

  35. Karla T

    Happy Happy birthday, Mary!! I wish you many more!
    Great quilt show today! I thought those first several were Vicki’s in Seattle! I recognize the beautiful deck and scenery! I for one LOVE the dog days of summer. It’s cold in February when my birthday is. I pick #107.

  36. Leslie in Mayland

    Happy Birthday Mary! So enjoy keeping up with you! I too like practice gifts, glad you got a useful one!! We watched fireworks last night with Bobby and Diane, competing with the lightning. Eerie, but beautiful.
    My number is 479.
    Enjoy every day!

  37. Nilene Thompson-Finn

    Happy, happy birthday dearest Mary!!!! Love your blower too. I got an air fryer for my birthday once, so I truly appreciate the notion of a practical gift. We have dog days here in San Diego as well. Plus we are in a drought and fire season is now year ‘round. Sigh. There are dangers anywhere one chooses to live and we love Southern California sooo much. My number will be 53, my birth year. Best, Nilene

  38. Judy Shaw

    Happy Birthday Mary! Nothing better than a useful gift.
    My granddaughter’s birthday is today also. She is 20. When she was a little girl she loved her birthday, as she was sure all the fireworks and decorations were in honor of her day.

  39. Sandy N

    Happy Birthday, Mary!! Wishing you many more wonderful years! Love reading your blog❤️

  40. Susie Kepley

    Happy Birthday! I got an 8″ chainsaw for Mother’s day. Enjoy the rest of the “dog” days of summer. 🪡🧵

  41. Nancy M Seaton

    Happy Birthday, Mary!!!!!:) Looks like Connie’s granddaughter, Claire, is having fun in the sewing room!:) My guess is number 223!:)

  42. Margaret

    Happy glorious Birthday.. I got a blower recently and love it also. Enjoy your day, My bday a week from tomorrow, 82 here.. hard to believe but thankful for each day.. what kind of cake will you have? Love, cake……

  43. Meta OConnell

    Happy Birthday Mary! Have a wonderful day! 🎂🎂🎉🎉🥂🥂

  44. Marylou in VA

    Happy Birthday Mary! I love the gift you were given! That’s my type of gift!
    Tuesday is my birthday. I’ll be 78. Yikes! And I have another Yikes! That day I am having cataract surgery. It was either have it that day or wait until August when there was an open spot. Happy Birthday to me!
    I’m choosing number 423. What fun it would be to win your scraps!

  45. Linda G

    I also love my leaf blower! Happy Birthday! I hope you enjoy your day. I guess 421.

  46. Maggey

    Happy glorious Birthday.. I got a blower recently and love it also. Enjoy your day, My bday a week from tomorrow, 82 here.. hard to believe but thankful for each day.. what kind of cake will you have? Love, cake……

  47. Peggy

    Happy birthday Mary. Have a great day. I know the feeling as our anniversary is on Boxing day. This year we will be celebrating on the weekend of July 30th. Our 60th. Take care.

  48. Cheryl

    Happy Birthday Mary, I pick number 74 because you and I are now the same age. You truly amaze me with how much you get done evedyday, you inspire me to do more. Hope you have a wonderful birthday and holiday weekend.

  49. Carol Eberhardt

    Happy Dog Days/birthday celebration! Enjoy your beautiful gift! I got fabric! I picked it out myself! Ha!

    My number is 423. It’s a special number to me so maybe I’ll get lucky a second time (husband’s birthday!).

  50. Janet Snyder

    You share a Birthday with my middle grandson. My birthday is August 3. Because of of all the same numbers. I will choose 3. Happy Birthday.

  51. Kelli

    Happy 74th Birthday Mary! Enjoy every minute of it! I guess 259 who knows why!

  52. Shirley R Mann

    Happy birthday! My birthday is December 22nd and birthday and I never received a gift wrapped in birthday paper, always Christmas paper. I couldn’t tell whether it was a birthday gift or early Christmas gift.

  53. Catherine

    Happy Birthday! My mom’s birthday was July 4th, & it always held A-#1 importance for us! We we’re geographically scattered as we grew up, so we’re so glad that the entire nation celebrated her with a national holiday. 😉

  54. c

    347. Happy birthday Mary. I’ll be 82 in 20 days and I want a pressure cooker. when we age we look forward to more practical gifts. Happy 4th of July. My brother,s birthday is today also. We stay home and watch fireworks from a mountain resort. Carolyn b Shenandoah Valley VA

  55. Liz Schrader

    My guess is. 281. Hope you are having a great birthday! Bill would have been 84 on July 5😔

  56. Jeanice Domino

    First of all, happy, happy birthday! Secondly, I would be honored to win scraps from Country Threads. My guess is the number 395. I really like your birthday present!

    1. Janet Wiggins

      Janet from Ill. Hi Mary Happy Birthday I have enjoyed you for many years, always looked forward to seeing you at the Chicago quilt show. Even came to COUNTRY THEADS . See you don’t have your boot on. I also have been wearing oneI am 80 seems body is worn out

  57. Linda Zanatta

    Happy Birthday Mary! I turned 74 the 1st of May and got a cordless blower! Hope you love yours as much as I love mine!

  58. Sandi

    Happy Birthday Mary!!! You look wonderful and you always will. My guess is 79. I turned 71 in Feb and I’m happy to still be here enjoying life. Hugs,

  59. Vicki in Seattle

    “Happy Birthday,” Mary! Hope you have a great day. Enjoy that gift!

    My guess is 227

    1. Diane, Squeak, & Buddy in Central Ohio

      Hi Vicki, You have been very busy making quilts! They look so beautiful and the back drop you chose is stunning.

      1. Vicki in Seattle

        Thanks Diane!
        It was a cool, wet spring in Seattle so I got more sewing room time! Now it is time to catch up in the gardens!
        Have a great 4th!

  60. Jean Holt

    Our youngest daughter’s due date was July 4 but she waited until the 14th. My other two girls were born I. July and August. Your poor mother – I was miserable and had AC!
    My guess is 263.

  61. Vicki

    Happy birthday! My guess is 50.
    I remember no AC on the farm. Thank goodness for the trees that surrounded the house! Of course, as a kid I don’t know how much the heat would bother me. As an adult, well….heat and I are not friends. I tell my husband I plan to do all my yard work in the mornings so I can be inside in the afternoon.
    Again, happy birthday.

  62. Nancy Schulz

    Happy 74th Birthday! Stay healthy and happy, and keep on quilting and sharing!
    I will choose #283 as the lucky one for those beautiful scraps… new and varied scraps are more fun for me than new yardage!
    Love your posts of quilts, farm life, animals and your collections!
    Have a great year ahead, best wishes.

  63. SandyO

    Hi Mary, Happy Birthday to you, they do creep up on us for sure. I will be 80 on 8-13. So blessed to reach that age. Congrats on the blower you received, love that big smile. I will say 230.

  64. NancyTD

    Happy Birthday,Mary!, Hope you have a very special day. Like your blower-enjoy.
    I have to pass on the drawing. I have more than I know what to do with. I have started giving some to people who sew charity quilts. Even cutting strips for my sewing machine repairman so he can test stitching.
    Quilt show was great today.
    Good luck ladies on the drawing. Hope the winner shares what they make!,
    Happy 4th!

  65. Candy

    Have a wonderful birthday, Mary! Enjoy a cold beer and some yummy goodies! My daughter’s birthday is December 24th. We always celebrated her birthday on the 24th (with a kids’ party a week or 2 earlier) and Christmas on the 25th. It wasn’t until she was an adult that she complained about her birthday. Everyone else got to go out to celebrate on their birthday, but everything closed early on Christmas Eve. Oh, well … she was supposed to be a New Year’s baby … LOL! Enjoy the 3rd and 4th!

  66. janet

    hi mary…. happy happy birthday to you. i hope the year ahead brings you only good health and much happiness!!!!
    my guess is 327 hahahaha my birthday
    thanks for the chance to enter

  67. Helen Jane

    Happy Birthday Mary! Your foot must be much improved. Thanks for your offer as I luv fabrics. Today I saw a sign that says…If you like a soldier, raise a glass…if not raise your standards…. (#97)

  68. Henners

    My guess is 158

    Happy Happy Birthday Mary 🎈🇺🇸🎈
    I sent you a private msg but here’s another one. Enjoy your leaf blower 😉

  69. Mary Howland

    Have a happy birthday – hope you have cake and ice cream. I’ll choose #19.
    Happy 4th to all of you on the farm.

  70. Anna M

    Happiest of birthdays to you! I hope I’m half as active as you when I’m that age. 10 years and I will be! You amaze and inspire me!

  71. Celine Kingsland

    Thank you for the chance to win…I love other people’s scraps! I guess 347.

    Happy Birthday! I hope someone makes you dinner or takes you out! It might be too hot to drive somewhere, though.

    I loved all the quilts!

  72. Celine Kingsland

    Mary: Can I change my guess. I put down the same number as someone else!
    I’ll guess 428 – I didn’t see that one.

  73. Deb Oscarson

    Hi, happy birthday to you!! My number is 69. Have a super day. Thanks for your blog.
    Deb Oscarson

  74. Judy A.

    A new blower for the outside is almost as good as a new sewing machine for the inside! Something that makes something less work or more fun. I personally like pressure washers 🙂 Happy birthday, and happy dog days!

  75. the cranky crabby creaky Mrs. G

    Happy Birthday and many more healthy ones to come. A girl can never have too many power tools.

  76. Jane from Blaine, MN

    Happy Birthday Mary!! Enjoy your special day. Thanks for making our days more special all year long! 🎉💕

  77. Kathy Z

    Birthday blessings, Mary. Thank you for keeping us entertained and informed. I pick # 455.

  78. Amy Kollasch

    Happy birthday! I live about an hour from Clear Lake. Watching the fireworks over the water is always one of my favourite memories of the 4th. My guess is 322. Good luck everyone and have a safe 4th of July weekend.

  79. Tina H

    Happy birthday. I am always amazed at how much you do…makes me seem extremely lazy. My guess is 10.

    1. Diane in Maryland

      I got 74 first….haha. Do I sound like a 2yr old? It is amazing how many numbers have been picked.


    Happy Birthday Mary! May this be the beginning of a happy healthy year! My guess is 378.

  81. Janny Schoneveld

    My Son has his birthday today
    37 years
    So that is My number.
    Happy birthday Mary
    Greetings Janny S.

  82. Patty

    I pick the number 322.

    And I got a blower for Christmas along with a weed eater. I love it.

    Happy birthday!

  83. Susan NY

    Mary, Best Wishes for a Happy Birthday. May your day be filled with smiles and sweet memories.
    I will pick # 29.

  84. Patty in Central GA

    I need to change my number because Amy chose that same number…let’s go with 111.

  85. Sandra Goddard

    Happiest Birthdays to you Mary. You bring great joy to many of us with your blog. Hope it continues. Much happiness and good health in the coming year. I will select 217.

  86. Sheila in WI

    Happy Happy Birthday, Mary! Hope you have fun celebrating your special day! 🎂 🎉
    Love all the quilts today too. And that”Americana wall” beautiful!
    I’ll pick # 252.

  87. Lois Ann Johnson

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, dear Mary! I hope you have a great birthday and there is cake involved! I love your new blower; it is almost bigger than YOU are! I have one with a cord; it is over 20 years old but still works! I loved seeing all of the colorful quilts today; all are beautiful! I played my violin with the praise team this morning (in church) and we opened with “America.” I never tire of hearing those old, patriotic songs we grew up singing. I love The Fourth of July, but I do not love the new fireworks ordinance that Iowa has adopted. It is not a good time for my Bailey as she is very afraid of not only thunder but also fireworks/firecrackers. But we discovered that my closet helps comfort her. I put in some nice, soft blankets and it is like her “club house.”

  88. Sue franke

    Happy birthday. I can see a pattern on your birthday gifts. I envy your energy at 74 with all you do. I would guess 187. Thanks for the fun.

  89. Karen Juergens

    Happy birthday Mary! I can relate to the
    Difficult date of your birthday. My own is December 26, so much of my childhood was one of
    Disappointing presents, some leftover
    Christmas presents!no parties either because
    Every parent was either broke or exhausted from
    Christmas prep! No AC in my childhood home
    In the desert southwest-ugh! Does the blower
    Kill rats too?😬

  90. Sharon

    Happy birthday 🎉🎊🎂🎁. You sure don’t look or act like 74! Have a great day.For my birthday one year,my husband gave me bags of dirt! Potting soil I wanted ha ha

  91. Cheryl

    Happy Happy Birthday Mary!!! Congrats on the blower. Last year for Christmas I got a step ladder! I love it!

  92. Suzanne Golden

    Happy Birthday 🎂🎈🎊. Hope you have a bright celebration.

  93. Lynne from NJ

    Happy Birthday Mary! I hope you have a wonderful day. I’ll be 74 in November. Great quilt show today.

  94. Lynn in Scottsdale

    Happy, happy day Mary!

    Hope your birthday is filled with joy. Looks like the leaf blower is in the Joy category.

    Love all the quilts today and the patriotic ones are so appropriate for the summer.

    I choose number 1.

  95. Marsha B

    Have a Happy Birthday! July is a great month, my son’s birthday was yesterday and mine is the in a couple weeks. I’ll only be 72! Have a wonderful day . My guess is 24 for a number drawn.

  96. Cecilia Mire

    My no. is 50. I love reading your blog every day and seeing the reader quilts. So thoughtful of you to do that. My address is 26 Webster Manor Drive #3, Webster, NY 14580 in case I win. I will keep my fingers and toes crossed.

  97. Mary

    Happy Birthday Mary!, yes we get to a certain age and it doesn’t matter what type gifts you receive, at least you got one!🥰 Enjoy your day and enjoy the 4th tomorrow.

  98. Sue in California

    Happy Birthday, Mary!
    Have fun with your new blower. I love mine and have been trying to figure out how I can use it to clean house. 🙂
    I love your blog and all the photos you post.
    I have to ask, do your cats ever try to catch a rat?

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sue in California – my cats are great mousers but I think the rats are just too big for them – that’s so gross but also true.

  99. Betty Klosterman

    Happy Birthday, Mary. What a great way to hear from everybody — free scraps! What a treasure trove. I have lots of scraps, but they are always in the things I make so the quilters know who made it. My pile of scraps could use some new blood??? So, my number is 123. Guess we are at an age when “little” things excite us??
    Many, many years ago our family met at Clear Lake for a picnic. We kids were thrilled as there were huge schools of baby bull heads all over the place. The schools were probably at least 5′ square full of 1 1/4″ little fish. We found empty beer cans and managed to catch a bunch. Mine lived is the rain tub until winter. My cousin had a basement and she had hers for several years. They were so cute.
    Have a nice birthday and hope it doesn’t get to hot.
    Betty in Rapid City

  100. Cathy W.

    My guess is 60. Have a Happy Birthday Mary! I don’t comment often but I read every entry on your blog and have for years.

  101. Teresa

    Hi Mary, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! It’s pretty warm here in WV too. To make it worse we are packing to move to Indiana. My guess is 267. Have a great birthday!
    Teresa K

  102. Chris in Alaska

    I’ll pick my favorite number 13 . I was born the day before Valentine’s Day so I know how you feel about your birthday being so close to a holiday ! I hope you have a wonderful birthday Mary !

  103. Jeanine from Iowa

    Happy Birthday, Mary! I am just a little over a year older than you are, and my birthday is in December, but I usually had my own day for my birthday, even though it wasn’t very much. My number is 13; it has always been my favorite number because I was born on Friday the 13th. We didn’t get any rain this week in Oskaloosa, and we really need it. Hopefully some will come soon.

  104. Jeanine from Iowa

    I just read the comment before me which was posted a minute before me, but will leave it at 13.

  105. Kimberly Lusin

    Happiest of birthdays to you, Mary! I can’t live without my blower and I love a new pair of clippers and garden gloves anytime! Best gift! I’ve always admired your energy but now that you say you’re 74, I REALLY admire it. I’m 68 and I believe in the old adage, if you don’t use it, you lose it. However, I’m sure not as fast or as motivated as I used to be. All I really want to do now is QUILT! Lol. Have a wonderful day and blessings for a fabulous year ❤️

  106. Jayne Lancour

    Happy Birthday!! Summer birthdays really are not much fun as school is out and all your friends are in school and together whereas in the summer time you only have the neighborhood kids – not a bad thing at all. I was born during the years when your mother kicked you out of the house and told you not to come back unless it was lunch or dinner time or you or our sibling(s) were down to their last pint of blood!!! LOL!!!

    My brother was disabled; so, I was forced to be creative with our activities as he was confined to a wheelchair and yes, this was during the years when if you were in a wheelchair people stared at you. Today, thankfully, we don’t give it a second thought BUT people are willing to help you out if you need a door opened, etc!!!

  107. Linda

    Happy Birthday! I got a similar blower for my anniversary….so wonderful, no cord, no gas! Hope you got a second battery pack!

  108. Sue in Oregon

    Happy Birthday, Mary. Wishing you many more happy and productive ones.

    For my 40th birthday, I got a Kitchenaid stand mixer. 43 years later it is still going strong. How old am I? Easy peasy.

    I pick #83.

    PS: The readers quilts are wonderful today. A very nice holiday show. Some people have been very busy.

  109. Doris Gardner

    Happy birthday sweet Mary!! I hope you have a great day! My guess would be 77. Thank you for all you do to entertain us! ❤️❤️
    Doris from Alabama

  110. Karen

    My guess is 246. I enjoy your blog Mary and a very happy birthday to you. May God bless you with all His best blessings in this your new year.

  111. Deb Keno

    Happy Birthday Mary! Beautiful quilts shared today. Tomorrow, July 4th is my first class at Quilters Affair in Sisters, OR. Very excited to see what it’s all about. The world’s largest outdoor quilt show is the 9th in Sisters. I live in Central OR about an hour from Sisters. Hope you have a wonderful day! I will guess 350.

  112. Joyce from NY

    Happy Birthday Mary, I wish you the best. I really love the quilt show today. My number is 222, have a great day, love the blower! Thank you for the giveaway!

  113. Rita in Iowa

    Mary have a very Happy Birthday! And tomorrow a grand Fourth!
    The quilts were gorgeous and thanks ladies for sharing.
    My number pick is 271.
    My husband and I Just celebrated our 50th on Friday on my sisters house boat on the Mississippi River.

  114. Lynette in Orlando

    Mary, Happy Birthday to you!!!! I think as we get older we treasure the more practical gifts, I know I sure do. 🙂 Today is also my son’s birthday – the big 43. The city where we live always have done fireworks on the 3rd, guess because Orlando does the big show on the 4th. He always said the fireworks were for him and his birthday. Never corrected him – thought he deserved that. LOL.

  115. Pam in NC

    Happy Birthday Mary! I’m jealous of your birthday gift! Those first few photos of fellow quilters’ quilts are amazing. All the bright colors in the sunshine! Hope you have a great birth day and some fun this holiday in Clear Lake. God Bless America!

  116. Jan B from TN

    Happy, happy Birthday, Mary! I firmly believe age is just a number & 73 isn’t really a very high number. When you get to 100, that’s a high number! 😅😉
    I’m glad you love your new blower! I’m sure it will come in handy!

    Such beautiful reader quilts! Wow!

    My dog, Brody, is so scared if fireworks & storms & today we’ll have both. Poor baby!🐾 But the rain is mucho needed here in Middle TN.

    I’ll enter my guess as 777. Have a great birthday! 🎂🎈🥳

  117. Brenda in Iowa

    Happy Birthday, Mary!! Will you be attending the Independence Day celebration in Clear Lake? One year, we were at camp during the week of the 4th. What a wonderful time we had watching the fireworks. I must say it was probably my 2nd favorite Independence Day celebration. My very favorite was in the early 80s when I lived on a military base in Sicily. Between the fireworks and the fighter jets, it was an amazing day.

    I LOVE the reader quilts hanging from a clothesline on a deck. If the reader is reading this – I would love to know the names of the patterns.

    My number guess is 314.

    1. Vicki in Seattle

      Brenda, this spring I challenged myself to use up strips and scraps. Most of my quilts are comfort quilts for children so I use lots of bright colors. The first one is just 8×2” rectangles with a light 2” square sewed on and then the strips are flip flopped. The second two are Box in a Box pattern, the 4th and 5th were inspired by Stacked Coins but I mixed the strip widths and the 6th was inspired by a photo I saw several years ago and I adapted it to the strip sizes I had. I like to work with color which helps tie these mixed scraps together and hopefully something that will brighten the recipients day! Happy sewing!

  118. Renea Yarolim

    Happy Birthday!! I am also from Iowa and would not want to be anywhere else. I pick the number 226. Thanks for the generous giveaway. I mainly make scrappy quilts and my family and friends love to be gifted a scrappy quilt. Hope you have a great birthday.

  119. Nancy

    Mary, I get gifts like that! My latest is a small hedge trimmer. I call it my girl toy! My grand boys are cracking up seeing granny welding her girl toy! I want a blower next!

  120. Heidi

    Happy Birthday Mary, may you keep going strong another 10 years. Well, I do hope the Lord will take us home before that though. You are a true Iowan. I am surprised you didn’t think that celebration was all for you when you were a kid. Imagine a Christmas birthday. My guess number would be 283.

  121. Denise from Massachusetts

    Happy Happy Birthday! You were born on the very day my parents were married in 1948! Special day! They were married near Buffalo Center, Iowa. Please put me down for No. 468. Thank you for your wonderful blog and making life more interesting. Denise

    1. Mary e

      You’re kidding!!! I wonder if I know anybody in Buffalo Center who might remember them. What a neat coincidence!

  122. Mandy Stewart

    Happy Birthday!! Love the blower. My mom one year asked for a ladder for her birthday. Us women just know what we want or need. No foo-foo for us!! Celebrate !!!

  123. Paula Ziegler

    Happy Birthday! My birthday was on July 1st! I am now 63 and can’t believe it! I would like to choose #113. Thank you!

  124. Nikki in Tx

    HAPPIEST of BIRTHDAYS !!! Been hotter than h… here in Texas…& I no longer tolerate the heat very well. A lot to catch you up on..the fire missed the ranch ( not by much but at least it missed us), don’t think could have handled a fire on top of everything else.. cleaning up is going slow& my patience is tested at every turn.

  125. San

    Happy, happy Birthday Mary! A leaf gun will come in very handy when Fall hits. Thanks for offering a chance to win some fun colors. I’m all in.

    San / Gypsy Quilter Designs

  126. Carol Nichols

    Happy Birthday! I appreciate the issue of a birthday near a holiday. Mine is is around, or sometimes on Memorial Day. I was 80 this year so that will be my number.

    My number is 80!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Holly – I found your guess – there were others even closer than you but I will honor my wire and send you scraps – just send me your address

  127. Dee in Ohio

    Happy Birthday!!! My guess is 399. Hope you have a beer and not metamucil!

  128. Brenda

    Happy Birthday! I have one of those dog days birthdays in early August, and growing up on a dairy farm, it was always way too hot and way too busy for any party…generally there would be anything fresh from the garden along with hand churned homemade ice cream. Please count my number as 411.

  129. Carla

    Happy birthday, Mary! May the coming year shower you with blessings. No entry for me, although your contest is so thoughtful.

  130. Diana in Des Moines

    Happy birthday Mary! Today is my dad’s birthday – he would have been 93.
    So my number is 93!

  131. Meredith in Cincinnati

    Looks like a lot of people want your scraps! Let me guess 187. Happy, happy birthday, Mary! You make 74 look great.

  132. Elizabeth Underwood

    Happy Birthday Mary!!! I enjoy your blog.
    My guess is 527.

    ELizabeth Underwood
    3321 SW Regatta CT
    Lees Summit MO 64082

  133. Diane from Colorado

    Happy, happy birthday!! Glad you got a gift you love and will use a bunch!! I love my blower, too!! Haha!!

    My dear niece is a “firecracker baby”, born on the 4th of July. My maternal grandmother and a paternal great-grandmother were also firecrackers!

    My guess is 375. (Oh, my!! However will you ever read all of the comments today???????)

  134. Susan Wise

    Hi, Mary! Happy birthday to you! My oldest son turned 40 today, so it’s indeed a great day! My guess is 247 and I hope I win! You certainly don’t look or act your age! Hope you had a great one! Wishing you many more!

    1. Jeanne S., Colo

      July 3, 2022 .
      Hi Mary,
      I hope you had a wonderful 74th birthday today. Love your blog and seeing all the wonderful quilt pictures that the readers share with all of us. I just celebrated my 90th birthday a couple of weeks ago and had such a fun time reading and rereading the 93 cards I recieved. But that is nothing compared to the 260 well wishes you have already gotten today from friends all over the world. I’m still quilting every afternoon and looking forward to finishing several quilts in the year ahead. My number for the drawing is 90, the number of years God has blessed foe me.

  135. Christy Scales

    Have a wonderful birthday & enjoy the fireworks tomorrow. My guess is 57. Enjoy your new blower – my husband bought a used one at a garage sale and is very happy with it.

    1. Mary e

      Christy – send me your email address – I think you might be a winner

  136. Dortha

    🎉🎉Happy,Happy Birthday. Hope you have had a great day. I guess 250 for my number. Love your blog.

  137. Barb Onnen

    Happy birthday Mary. Looks like you got your hair cut. My number guess is 108

  138. Rachel Summy

    Happy Birthday Mary!! Thanks for giving prizes in honor of your new year!
    My number is 322
    Rachel S

  139. Kathy in western NY

    Wishing you dear Mary the happiest year ahead and a healthy one too. You deserve all the best! All I ask for is a pizza for dinner now on my birthday!

    Because my rescue dogs tremble and shake hearing any fireworks or thunder, I got ahead of it last night and turned the tv on pretty Loud. American Pickers was our choice cause they all talk and laugh and banter back and forth so it was constant chatter. I fell asleep on the couch and my husband woke me at 11 and said pickers is over and I haven’t heard any fireworks since 10:30 so it worked.

    Quilts are stunning and I am glad Vicki explained about her colorful ones. Love the one on the table too! And what a patriotic wall! Thanks readers for sharing!
    My scraps are reproducing overnight but I will pick 100. Thank you for your kindness in sharing,

  140. Diane Deibler

    Have a great day,Mary. Hope you are relaxing and doing what you enjoy.

  141. Sandy

    Happy birthday Mary! Have fun with your blower! If the 3rd prize is a kitten or puppy, count me in! Now l have to read 212 comments by your fan club! Take care everyone, enjoy the 4th of July, best wishes from Sandy

  142. Montana Kathy

    Happy, happy birthday Mary! Love your birthday gift. Here in Montana we’re getting some heat, but mainly thunderstorms and endless rain EVERY single day!! Even as I write this, it’s thundering, lightning and rain is slamming the windows! We’ve never seen so much rain! Fortunately, we live on a mountain overlooking the Yellowstone and don’t have to worry about all the flooding but, sadly, so many others aren’t so lucky. (At least, with the rain, there won’t be fireworks going off everywhere scaring the dogs! Something to be thankful for.) As much as I’d love your scraps (🤗) I’m not entering a number as I’m seriously overwhelmed with all the fabric I’ve accumulated during Covid season! But good luck to everyone and we’ll all be waiting to see what is created with those scraps. What fun! Enjoy your day!

  143. Marie Fibelstad

    Happy Birthday, we are hoping for rain in Storm Lake, IA, We have great celebration for the weekend , starting last nite with free concert by the Senders in the park. Car show tonite and concert in the park nad
    Monday, July 4th, big parade at 10:30 and all kinds of food booths and all kinds of booths with things for sale. Fireworks from lake in the evening.
    Enjoy your animal pictures and stories very much. Marie, from Storm Lake, IA.

  144. Mary Says Sew!

    Happy Birthday, Mary!

    Your present looks like it could be a flame thrower or shoot drones out of the air, or both!

  145. Lorraine

    Happy Birthday. Hope you had a wonderful day. You look great and seem to have so much energy. Wonderful birthday present and I am sure you will use it a lot.
    Love the quilt show-so many beautiful quilts. Thank you for sharing.

  146. Beth T.

    Happy Birthday, Mary! I’m hunkering down in anticipation of another night of “booms”, but I’m grateful for our cloudy Oregon weather this year. My number is 5. Thanks for the giveaway!

  147. Kris in WI

    Happy 74th birthday, Mary!!! May there be many more and may there be cake, too. I made it to 74 in April and so far, it’s been a great year. I hope yours is, too. I’ll pass on the scraps even though I would love them. (I can’t believe I actually wrote that!) What a colorful quilt show for the 4th! Thanks for sharing pix of the animals and life on the farm…the corn is shoulder high in this neck of the woods. But then, I’m short! Happy 4th of July, everyone!

  148. Donna Schoenwetter

    Happy Birthday! My husband’s birthday is tomorrow!

    My guess is 463

  149. Patty

    🎶Happy Happy Birthday‼️🎉🎶

    Tomorrow is my son’s happy birthday… when he was little he thought it was only him that was celebrated so much..
    Here’s me hoping you have a wonderful whole year!
    God Bless You

  150. Debra Reber

    Happy Birthday! Hope you have a great year! My number is 184 since July 3 is the 184th day of the year!!

  151. Bonnie McKee

    Happy Birthday Mary!
    Tomorrow we will attend a sweet and very patriotic parade in the neighboring town of Mt. Angel.
    While we wait for the parade to roll by we’ll have lunch at one of our favorite restaurants. Our youngest daughter and our granddaughter will join us.
    I choose number 19 because I will turn 70 on the 19th of this month.
    Happy 4th to all! 🇺🇸
    Bonnie in Oregon

  152. Nancy Olson

    Happy birthday!! My birthday is tomorrow, the 4th–yes, a “fire cracker”. I’ll be 76 years old. How has that happened?? I have been using odds and ends of fabric to clear some of my cabinets, but golly there is so much that I have collected over the years. I have found many of your patterns in my “pattern collection”, and I still love them and plan to make some of them. I hope that you have enjoyed your birthday today!
    I’ll guess 76.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Nancy – Happy Birthday! There will be fireworks in your honor!

  153. Mary R. in Louisiana

    Happy Birthday, Mary. I, too, will be 74 on December 29th. I was never given a gift as I was told it was given to me on Christmas Day! I always complained that the 25th was not my birthday.

    I am going to guess 125.

  154. Polly Blank

    Happy Birthday. I have a friend who will be 99 tomorrow so you are still just a young chick. I pick #374. I love scrap quilts. Thank you for sharing.

  155. Susie from TEXAS

    🎼Happy Birthday to you!🎂
    🎼Happy Birthday to you!🎂
    🎼Happy Birthday sweet Mary!🎉
    🎼Happy Birthday and blessings to you!🎂

  156. Jan

    Happy birthday, Mary! Hope you celebrated with a beer or two.
    I haven’t done much sewing lately with all the gardening to be done, but love looking at what others get done.
    I choose #53 since we will be married 53 years this month.

  157. brendalynne1

    my hsb gave our daughter a blower for Christmas. She was free to borrow ours but he felt it was too heavy and cumbersome.

  158. Debbie G in SE WI

    Hoping your day was great! Another night of bangs and booms in my subdivision. Our town celebration was yesterday, but my neighbors take advantage of the WHOLE weekend. Fine by me. It’s so good to see people having fun. 2 little kids down the street had a tent set up in their yard today. For $1.00, they would draw your portrait and color it for you. Hoping for some rain here. It’s so dry! My guess is 20.

  159. Agatha B

    Happy Birthday and many more!
    Hope you day was fun filled and not all work.
    And a little cake and beer!!
    We have lots of trees here so we have two blowers. Need to get upon the roof and blow the stuff off again and the deck and the porch.

  160. Gayle Shumaker

    Happy Birthday Mary. I hope you had a nice day today. Here’s hoping the coming year brings good health, the absence of rats and wonderful inspiration to continue quilting.

  161. Susan K in Texas

    Happy Birthday! I hope you had a good day and didn’t use the blower! I would rather have something practical than flowers or jewelry.
    My poor kitties are scared of the fireworks. We can hear the big firework shows from several nearby towns. One last night, one tonight, and another tomorrow night. Plus we will have neighbors shooting them off (illegally) tomorrow night. I know quite a few people with pets who dread the fireworks every year. It’s so hot and dry that they are warning people about the fire hazard of shooting off the fireworks.

  162. Lori

    Oh geez, I didn’t read instructions correctly, sorry.
    I will guess 12. 🇺🇸

  163. Jackie in NY

    Hi Mary – Happy Birthday! I hope you had a great day! I typically request and receive practical gifts for my birthday too! The reader quilts are fantastic today! Such talent! My guess for the scraps is 333!

  164. Sharon

    I wished you happy birthday earlier,but forgot to choose a winning number! I’ll choose. 425

  165. Barb Kaup

    Happy Birthday, Mary!! You are a young 74. I am going to guess 88 for my number. Thanks for the chance!

  166. Mary

    Happy birthday Mary! My sister and daughter-in-law share your day! Lovely quilts from your readers, thanks for sharing! I choose #58.

  167. Susan F

    My number guess is 195.
    Happy July 4th tomorrow, I sure hope we get some rain!

  168. Karen

    I would love to have some of your beautiful scraps. My guess is 369.

    Happy Birthday!!

    Thank you,

  169. Mary Hehlke

    My guess on the quilt scraps is 174. Hope you had a blessed birthday today. I was born August 1, so that would be dog days hot also. May you continue to enjoy your quilting days and good health also. Hugs from Mary H

  170. Dianna in Wisconsin

    Birthday Blessings Mary. Have a wonderful healthy enjoyable year.
    You deserve the BEST!

    I would enjoy a gift like that too. LOL.

    Hope your foot feels better soon

  171. Debbie Miller

    Happy Birthday! We have a back pack blower and once someone else helps me put it on and starts it-I love to blow leaves! I go until it runs out of gas and then get refills. My husband says I try to clean sweep the yard! Beautiful reader quilts! My guess is #176.

  172. Jan

    Happy birthday Mary! I love reading about your adventures on the farm and also all your wonderful quilt patterns. You and Connie are very talented.
    Happy 4th. God bless America!
    My guess for one of the winning numbers is 69.

  173. Robin Anderson

    Mary happy birthday and many more to come.
    I choose 345. My hubby passed three years ago and I have bought myself a blower, hedge trimmer and a new weed eater. He always did the yard and I did the flower beds and the vegetable garden. I’m enjoying these practical gifts. I have to have someone no the grass as I can’t start the mower. I also have two children born during the dog days and I was so miserable being pregnant… no ac either.
    Thanks for the drawing and I love new y
    to me scraps
    Thanks for all you do for your blog readers

  174. Nancy G

    Happy birthday! My great grandmother’s birthday, the only grandma I had, was also July 3. Tools that we can use are fantastic presents. Hope you had a wonderful day. Would love to win some fabric scraps. My number is 113.

  175. Meri in SoVa

    Happy, happy birthday to you, Mary! Let the dog days begin!! Enjoy your new blower…I love gifts that are practical 😁

  176. Sandy in Indiana

    Happy Birthday Mary!!
    Beautiful quilt show 🙂

    Enjoy your 4th of July

  177. Alvera Dothage

    Happy Birthday!!!
    Age is just a number. I will be 74 in September.
    My number is 74

  178. Donna Israels

    Happy birthday!! Hope it’s been a great weekend!!
    My number 324


    Hope you had a great birthday and you have a great July 4th!
    My gues 351!

  180. Patty Fess

    Happy Birthday, Mary.
    I enjoy reading about your barnyard and quilting adventures. Your passion for dogs and fabric scraps is inspiring. Hopefully you will stay healthy throughout your seventies and continue to do your work and be creative with your quilt designs and gardening.
    Many thanks,

  181. Sue in Marion, Indiana

    Many happy returns on your natal day!🤓. I’m going with 92 for out temperature today in east central Indiana. Love the reader quilts today!

  182. Jeanne

    241 is my guess between 1 – 500
    Happy Birthday Mary! Enjoy your new leaf blower.

  183. Lynn

    A very happy birthday to you. Wishing you all that is good. The reader quilts are spectacular. Especially the Americana wall, so impressive.

  184. Alice

    Happy Birthday, Mary! Love the blower & such a practical gift to make life easier! I live in a community where my grass is mowed, but the crew blows the mulch & grass all over my porch & patio. Going to buy myself another blower….gave mine away when I downsized & moved here! Tired of sweeping up their mess! I’m going to guess #77, my age! Just finished a QOV for a dear friend who just turned 89 on 7/2! It will be presented to him on 7/7 at a ceremony our guild has each July for veterans. Will share a picture after it’s presented. Happy 4th everyone!!
    Alice in SW Ohio

  185. Linda Blewett

    Happy belated birthday from Lindsay, Ontario, Canada. I totally enjoy reading your daily edits as I was raised on a farm and we also had a problem with rats when my parents bought the farm. I am also in my 70’s and this year I received a new garden hose for my birthday. I was told that at my age you received gifts that are useful. Hope you have a great day and stay cool during the dog days of summer. Enjoy.

  186. Kim from TN

    I’m going to guess 301. Wishing you a very happy birthday and the blower is the perfect gift for a lady who works outside so much. Hope the sun shines for you so you can use your new toy.

  187. Tanya T. in Houston


    Isn’t it funny how many of us have a favorite number? LOL I think it is so creative of you to make all of us read every blog post carefully to see if our number has already been chosen! Thanks so much for sharing your scraps. Everyone LOVES scraps!!

    Happy, happy birthday all week long. You look great! With that new weapon in hand you look like you are armed to be in a Transformer movie to defend America! On a trip to town years ago, my parents bought a new iron skillet. Mother always teased that was what my father gave her for their 25th anniversary!

    Hugs to that sweet and talented Claire, too.

  188. Marie

    I have been reading your postings for nearly 10 years (I think) and really have been enjoying them, however most days I don’t bother with it due to those pesty advertisements, they are most annoying and no one probably reads them anyhow. Today was a huge pleasure to see no ads and so I read and enjoyed the whole thing. Happy Happy Birthday to you from a faithful fan in Canada!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Marie – thank you so much for mentioning that you hate the ads! The ads help pay the bill but I would rather foot the bill myself than endure the ads.

  189. Karen Hamilton

    Happy Birthday, Mary! My birthday is today, the 4th. I love having a 4th of July birthday. I’m 61 today, born in 1961. Kind of cool. 🙂 Love all the reader quilts, so many pretty ones! I’m picking number 73. Thanks!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Karen – Happy birthday! They’re having a parade in your honor!

  190. Carol D.

    Hi. I’ve been reading your news for a while now but this the first time I have commented. Not sure why. Really enjoy it as I grew up on a farm in Indiana and we are close in age. A lot sounds familiar.
    My guess is 351.

  191. Nancy J Finch

    Happy Birthday fellow July 3 girl!
    I know exactly how you feel about having a July 3 date. Either everyone was on vacation or as you say, everyone will be celebrating the 4th.
    My oldest daughter day is 12-28 so I told her I would trade! Lol

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