A day of rest, 3 -26-24

I researched bursitis and found the only relief is ice packs and rest so that’s what I did today. I recently hurt my lower back, too, which also requires ice and rest so today I used this icy bitter cold windy day to rest with ice packs and I definitely feel better tonight. But since I don’t sleep well that means I won’t be able to sleep tonight.

I really do try to answer all questions here on the blog but some require a personal answer which must be done via email. For those who can’t find my home page with the address, here it is:


The purpose of this blog is not to sell patterns but if a pattern is requested I will sell it. Sometimes it takes me awhile to find old patterns but I do make note and try to keep in touch with the reader. I know I should spend the time to gather all patterns and get them in order – this will take days and it’s not something I want to do. Anybody want to help? Haha! Like I have said many times, when we closed we assumed that was IT! It was not IT!!!!! And some times I struggle with requests.

Reader photos

TV under quilt but how does she raise the quilt to watch tv?

A reader calls this Carpenter Square because all pieces are 2 x 4! I love it and that’s going to be my next strip project.


These are frozen solid!!

Look at all those blackbirds!!

SUSAN SUNDERMEYER – I can’t find your email and I want to contact you. You know why!!

How to twirl a seam reducing bulk at the intersection of seams:

Take out those few stitches freeing the seam
A perfect hourglass block

57 thoughts on “A day of rest, 3 -26-24

  1. Kim T

    I have bouts of bursitis also. In addition to rest and ice, my doctor has prescribed a muscle relaxer which is helpful with sleeping. I only take it at bedtime.
    I always enjoy all the pictures shared!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Kim T – I do have some leftover muscle relaxers – sleep is hard because I can’t lay on that hip so then I can’t sleep. I’ll give it a try – or I considered sleeping in my recliner.

  2. Martha W in WY

    I really like where you hung the flower garden quilt.
    Thanks for showing the twirling of the center seam. Won’t that weaken that intersection and eventually it will pull open?

    1. Diane, Squeak, Buddy

      No. They stay together just fine. I have made hour glasses like that for years with no problems.

    2. Mary Etherington Post author

      Martha – I’ve never had it happen – just don’t remove the cross seam.

    3. Jeanine from SE Iowa

      Martha – I agree about where Mary hung the flower garden quilt. It fits in perfect in that space. Love it, Mary!

  3. Diane, Squeak,& Buddy in Central Ohio

    Aww, Mary. Take it easy more often. Back problems are awful as my husband can tell you! Speaking of, he wants to know if there is a pattern for the three cute flower pots and flower? I am guessing I will be making one soon😀. He is a Blog reader, too! 😀. The quilts are so pretty. I have one finished, but it has been too dark and dreary to take a photo outside. Did you get lots of snow? I saw a photo of Northern Iowa with lots of snow. The Buckeye men lost by 2 pts in the NIT. Sad for them, but they have had a pretty good end of season. The new coach has done well. Cool and rainy here. I’d love some sun.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Diane – we barely got a skiff of snow – just some freezing rain and wind. It was a good day to spend in the chair.

      1. Diane and the gang in Central Ohio

        Well, I must have misheard that–LOL. Glad you weren’t snow in:)

      2. Sherry Whalen

        I’m glad you didn’t get much snow – we in Kasson took one for the team and got about 6 inches of the heavy wet snow that also got rained on, so I guess it was over 2″ of moisture! Today it is so cold that the rolled up blocks of snow are frozen solid, but much of the snow spread on the ground has squished and melted down to none – two inches. This morning’s walk was brutal in the wind chill, but hopefully it will be spring again soon.

        I’ve returned from 2 retreats over the past 2 weeks – so much fun but I am glad to be home for a while now, especially since I also brought home a cold, and a dead machine foot pedal, what the heck.

        Organizing the patterns sounds fun to me, let me know – remember, I used to work in inventory at IBM! GFG turned out lovely, and I try to spin seams when ever I can, it really does help I think. Thanks for the tutorial pictures, I’m sure there will be some converts.

        Sherry in Kasson MN 25 degrees – feels like 12……

        1. Mary Etherington Post author

          Sherry – of course you brought home a cold! You were around how many people???? Ugh. I do have a volunteer for a day and if we don’t get done, I’ll get in touch with you.

  4. Carmen M.

    Love that Cow pillow, those eyes are great! And really like where you put your flower garden quilt, it’s just perfect there on that wall! Also, Thanks for the tutorial on twirling a seam! Have never tried it but I want too! The Carpenter Square block looks like fun, another one to try! Hope you feel better soon!

  5. Karen Isham

    I feel your pain & hope it gets better! I have chronic bursitis in my right hip. If ice/heat does not help after a time, then about once a year or so I get an injection. Same with my shoulders & then I carry on! I feel your pain & hope you get better, I was a hair stylist for 47 yrs. If I had known what it does to one’s body I would have chosen a different path! Now, I am trying to do what I can to avoid surgeries, 🙈😎

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Karen – I have had shots and I got one about two weeks ago which lasted just three days this time and the pain was back. I have a small shoulder tear as well.

  6. Rosie Westerhold

    I know the Carpenter Square as Potato Chip Block because you can’t make just one.
    And you really CAN’T make just one. They are addictive. You can make them in so mat different combinations of fabrics. The initial ones I made were all BRIGHTS!! Each individual one was wonderful, but set together side by side, they were pretty overwhelming. Am in the process of making more with light in the center and in outside row to give the eyes a place to rest. If you join the FB group Conquering Mt Scrapmore with Brenda, there is a .pdf document in the files with about 32 different variations of the block. You can download it to your own device. REALLY fun block to make. It can also be made with all 2” x 3.5” pieces as well, put together the same way. It’s pretty easy, mindless sewing when I don’t want to concentrate really hard on something. I’ve been going through scraps and cutting pieces into 2.5” x 4.5” pieces. I have a HUGE tote just ready to be sewn together. Will probably get 3-4 donation quilts from that tote, possibly more, depending on how many blocks I use/quilt. Have fun with this great block.

    Now, could the person who made the first picture of the bag share the pattern source? Looks like a great bag to carry quilting supplies to and from sew days👍. Please and thank you.

  7. Patty

    I love where you put the Flower Garden quilt. Looks like it was made for just that spot. It’s very pretty.

  8. Diane In Colorado

    I LOVE your barn no matter the season!!

    I thank you, Mary, for the card you sent when Akira crossed the Rainbow Bridge! I so appreciate your thoughts—I know you totally understand how I’m feeling. I love the mini quilt and pocket cross. It will go into her memorial album!! She truly was and is “my heart dog”.

    I’m excited to head to Colorado Springs tomorrow to deliver Easter baskets to my Grands. I need a hug or two and am looking forward to seeing them again!!

  9. Judy

    It must have been a busy weekend. I just read the blog from Saturday evening. I promised Mary that I would comment on my pictures. Since many of you have probably read the Saturday blogs and moved on, I decided to copy them here.
    This paragraph is about suit of armor in the blog with the owl. “The earlier posted armor suit reminded me of the trip I took last summer to the 1000 Islands area of the St Lawrence Seaway. We cruised a couple of days in the area and visited the Singer Castle on Dark Island. The suit of armor is in the entry way of that castle and you can see the edge of the sewing table. Enlarge the picture before it and you can see the Singer sewing machine by the armor. There were several Singer machines on display in the castle. It was an interesting trip. I have crossed the Mississippi River into Iowa, but that was nothing compared to the width of the St Lawrence Seaway. On the boat we even crossed the border into Canadian water. We could as long as we stayed in the boat, didn’t dock on the Canadian side, and didn’t fish or swim. For more information look up singercastle.com, Frederick Gilbert Bourne (original owner of the castle) on Wikipedia and facts about the 1000 Islands region. The Judy quilts are doll quilt donations for the local Christmas Toy Store for the low income. The quilts were made from scraps and I even used some double knit left from my earlier sewing days.”
    This paragraph is about my quilts in the second part of Saturday’s blog. “The first 3 quilts are more doll quilt donations for the Christmas Toy Store. They were made with blocks I found in stash that was donated to our church group. They weren’t going to go with what we usually make so I made the doll quilts. The blue, yellow, green blanket Is what our church group makes. I piece and layer and we meet once a month to knot. The next blanket is on my granddaughter’s bed. I made it about ten years ago with fabric purchased at the local quilt shop sale for $1.00 a yard. (I had my husband read the email advertisement. I couldn’t believe the price.)”. Someone asked about the read quilt block. I don’t know what it is called. It was part of stash donated to our church group.
    Mary, this was a good post for showing the twirled seams.

  10. Sandy

    Hi Mary, love your grandmother garden quilt in the perfect spot, another show of fabulous quilts! TomTom is a cute cat, is he yours?Very windy today in windy wellington, and a little bit of rain. I am on the 2nd last row of the wedding quilt, so happy with progress, but my left shoulder is still sore from my fall a couple of weeks ago, not as painful as yours Mary, growing old is not for sissies as they say! Take care everyone, best wishes from Sandy

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sandy – TomTom is not mine but I’m not sure he belongs to anyone. If the weather turns nasty, he shows up and is always pretty hungry. He can eat an entire can of cat food in one feeding. He’s very welcome here as long as he stays in the barn – he’s not fixed and I don’t want him in the house!!!

  11. Susan K in Texas (Iowa too)

    For Rosie Westerhold – not my bag but the pattern is The Classmate by Atkinson Designs. I have made two in the past and they’re great for carrying small projects and tools.
    Mary, I’ve had bursitis before and it’s no fun. I’ve found it usually goes with my back pain. When the back is out of alignment it changes my stride which affects the hips. Rest, ice, chiropractor visit, and pain meds is how I work through it.
    I always love your barn pictures. And the flower garden quilt looks great in its spot.
    We’re here in Iowa trying to get things done at the house. Lots of decisions to make and tradespeople to meet. And dinner with my son and family in the evenings – my most favorite time of the day.

    1. Rosie Westerhold

      Thank you, Susa for the info about the bag👍👍. Will check out patterns from Atkinson Designs. She is one of my favorites, too!

  12. Sharon F

    It was a day of rest for me too, as I have a wicked cold. I hand quilted for a while and that was about it.
    Thanks for the pictures showing how to twirl the intersections. I need to study it and then give it a try. But it makes me nervous to pick out those stitches in the seam width.

    1. DebMac

      Don’t be nervous; it is a snap! All you have to remember is to pick out the seam (probably 2 or 3 stitches) up to the cross seam. Don’t pick past that and you will be fine.

  13. Tina W in Oregon

    Where you hung the GFG quilt is perfect. It looks so “Spring timey”. I twirl the seams on most seams that come together like that. If the seam doesn’t naturally want to be pressed a certain way, I just make a little clip next to the twirled seam. Works great and I’ve never had a seam come apart.
    We’re having blustery days with a passing rain shower or two. There’s more snow in the mountains too. The wheat is 8-10” high and growing great. Looking forward to warmer weather though.

  14. Kathy in western NY

    The flower garden quilt looks so springy on the wall. Pretty for Easter time.
    Wonderful pictures as always and thanks for the seams tutorial. I have so many 2” strips in a clear shoe box so will start making carpenter blocks too for donation quilts. Bursitis is no fun – I’ve had it in my arm so the days it flares up, I know not to use the rotary cutter and do something else. Rest your back as that has to be so painful there to get comfortable.
    We drove an hour today to our new to us campsite we will park our motor home on and picked up sticks we threw in the fire pit. Too windy to burn it as well as dry conditions. We drove along the lake and bay near the lighthouse and saw all the white caps. Got up to 60 degrees again like yesterday and one more day tomorrow of spring. Easter will be in the 40’s though. Came home and made a pot of Beef Barley soup so have lunch for few days.

    1. Jo in Wyoming

      Kathy, I used a thin, padded shelf liner under my cutting mat when I’m cutting a lot of pieces. The liner keeps the mat from scooting around plus, the tiny about of cushion kept my hand, wrist, elbow, and shoulder from getting sore from applying pressure while using the rotary cutter. A roll is inexpensive, but it makes a difference.

      1. Kathy in NY

        Thanks Jo for this handy tip. I think I have a leftover roll of it in the motor home as I used it for shelves to keep mugs and glasses from shifting around when driving. I’ll cut up that roll and make my life easier cutting. I need some log cabin strips. Good idea Jo.

  15. Jo in Wyoming

    Mary, I love the GFG quilt. You did a great job on it. Thanks for the twirling tutorial.
    It was cold, snowy and a little rain here today. I had gravel spread on my driveway…wow, what a difference.

  16. Linda in MI

    Boy do I feel your pain in the hip, but mine was found to be stemming from my back. I was being treated for bursitis and even had a doc put a huge needle in my hip into the bursa which was worse than childbirth. Other than hurt, that did absolutely nothing. I suffered with that until it got to the point not only did my hip hurt the pain went from my hip, down my thigh, across to the inside of my knee and down my leg to my ankle. I couldn’t sleep unless I was on my back with my knees up in the air, feet pulled up to my bottom – and I’m not a back sleeper. I couldn’t sit and riding in a car was miserable. On a short trip home from a city about 45 minutes away I made my husband stop and I tried laying on my right side in the back of the SUV so I could get home. I really didn’t want to get back in the car, I was in tears. I was so miserable I told my doctor if I could I would cut my left leg off and that started more tests.

    I have degenerative L1-5, scoliosis in the lower back and spinal stenosis which occurs as we age. I was sent to the pain clinic and the first treatment of shots down both sides of my spine did nothing so I opted for the nerve ablation where they severed the main trunk nerves that go out your hip and down your leg, along the path were the pain radiated. Relief! It was such a blessing. I still experienced lower back pain but nothing like it was. That worked for about 10 years! I was told not to lift anything over 10 pounds, to hire someone to do the vacuuming and house cleaning, don’t lift hay bales or clean the barn. I didn’t laugh when the neurosurgeon told me that but said that was impossible and she told me if I want to take care of myself in 15 years I would do what she said. The 15 years have gone by and I am going back to the pain clinic because the two best neurosurgeons in Saginaw told me there is nothing that can be done with my back other than treat the pain. I take an antidepressant that blocks the pain transmitters in the brain that helps somewhat but I’m hoping the pain clinic can help more. My pain is more in my back and my spine and pelvis are always in pain but I still can’t lay on my left hip.

    So if you have back pain you may want to investigate that possibility for the severe hip pain! Good luck, you have to be your own advocate because someone who has never had that type of pain doesn’t understand how debilitating it can be.

  17. Donna Jo

    Hope you’re feeling better soon Mary. Wonderful photos again today. That purse is super cute. I agree with everyone else that you found the perfect spot for your latest quilt.

  18. Janet S

    Love the photos and quilts today. Quilts don’t have to be large to be great. Weather in Minnesota is cold today which tells me to stay indoors.

  19. Lynette in Orlando

    Mary – glad to hear you had a day of rest. It is a challenge, but our bodies tell us what we need. Hope and pray you feel better. If I lived closer, I’d be happy to help you organize the patterns……. but then every time I go into my sewing room to organize I end up finding something and then start sewing…… 🤷🏼‍♀️

  20. Fran Dixon

    So enjoy your blog (from the evening before) every morning, Sets my day. Your photos always make me smile.

    We have a group meeting today for Git ‘Er Dun. UFOs. We show what we have completed on item drawn from 6 UFOs each of us listed. We have two months to git er done. Ha We meet for the last time at Log Cabin Quilting in Elk Horn, IA as this store is closing the 30th. But good news, it has been bought and moving to another store front in Elk Horn. FYI local quilters who might shop hop!

    1. Marilyn in Southern Iowa

      Thanks for the info about Log Cabin Qiilts. That has been a favorite place to stop when driving between Iowa and South Dakota. Will the name stay the same? When will the moved business open?

  21. MaureenHP

    I hope you are feeling better after resting and icing. It’s so hard for us to slow down, but so important for our bodies.
    I appreciate you taking the time to post all the photos.

  22. Brenda in Iowa

    Hope you’re feeling better. I’d love to come up north and help you organize your patterns!!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Brenda – I’ll put you on my list of volunteers if I need someone but right now I’ve accepted a volunteer’s help.

  23. Diana in Des Moines

    Great photo of the flower garden quilt, and perfect spot for it!
    Heading to the funeral home today to make my mom’s pre-arrangements. She wants nothing to do with it, but I would feel better if I didn’t have to do it when she passes. She’ll probably outlive me, so one less thing for my hubby to do, lol.
    The cataract surgeries were a success. See the dr next week to check the eyes and get reading glasses. Can see great far away, but still need glasses for reading and quilting.
    I agree that your pain could be back related, but I’m sure your Dr has explored all reasons for your pain.
    Take care, and rest when you can.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Diana – I needed the same type of correction after cataract surgery. When I’m doing yard work or housework I take my glasses off but I can’t read my phone without them. I didn’t want to look for reading glasses all the time. You’re smart to make all those arrangements for the funeral. I made mine a couple years ago and paid for it, too.

  24. Peg in MO

    I love your flower garden quilt! It looks like an art piece on your wall! The twirling technique works great for me on 4 patches too … especially mini units.
    Rest & feel better soon. I’m sure you have a very busy Easter weekend planned.

  25. Fran Fagan from Dubuque

    Mary, I just finished reading the best book, The Women by Kristen Hannah. In my opinion it was wonderfully written and researched. It told the story of the strong women who served in Vietnam and their story returning home and being told that there was no women served in Vietnam and their struggles. It was so hard to put down. Take care with your pain. I’m off to cut scraps and do something with them. Thanks for the ideas in this blog.

  26. Marsha in MI

    Travel trailer quilt question. I made a rod pocket on the back at the bottom of the quilt. There is a thin flat strip of wood inside, so i can roll it up (it also weights the bottom so it hangs down fairly straight, and there are straps made of coordinating fabric with buttonholes near the ends of the straps. The straps are “buttoned” onto clear plastic Command hooks mounted above the quilt.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Marsha in MI – well, aren’t you the most clever reader!!! And I’m sure it works great. Your trailer looks so nice!

  27. Carolyn in GA

    Absolutely love the “grandmothers flower garden” quilt that you created. Taking something that someone else made and coming up with such an impressive finish is a tribute to the person who made the squares, whoever that is. No doubt you will feel better (hopefully soon) when the weather warms up, I am not a cold weather person.

  28. carlene buck

    A reader calls her block “Carpenter’s Square”. I have made several quilts from “Successful Scrap Quilts from Simple Rectangles” by Judy Turner and Margaret Rolfe. They use 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ unfinished rectangles for their blocks which finish 2″ x 4″. Actually you can use any rectangle which finishes twice as long as wide (finishing 3″ x 6″ or 1″ x 2″ or 5 1/2″ x 11″ etc.) My favorite block design in the book is 18.1. I divide my rectangles into lights and darks. For example, the center is two light rectangles side by side to make a square. The next round of rectangles would be 6 dark ones to form another square. The last round is 10 light ones to finish the block into the final square. Half the blocks are made this way and half are switched to start with 2 dark rectangles, surround with 6 light rectangles and finish with 10 dark rectangles. When the blocks are set together, the contrast really pops. Each block contains 18 rectangles, thus the “18.1” name. This is an easy quilt to cut out, sew and set. I found the book recently on Ebay on sale.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Carlene – I think I may even have that book!!! Thank you – I know exactly what you’re describing because I’ve seen it and it’s a great quilt!!!

      1. Pauline Speck

        I can highly recommend finding your copy of the book! Mine is signed by Judy Turner in 2002 when it was published, and I’ve recently had it re-bound with a spiral spine, because I wore it out. I’ve made several of the quilts in large and smaller sizes. My favourite is Bondi Beach in yellows and blues. I donated it to the Children’s Cancer Foundation for auction.
        I’m currently working on one to use up a stack of 2” x 3.5” bricks, and I’ve tagged another to use up my mountain of blue 2.5” strips. The beginning of the book has excellent information and coloured photos with references to the appropriate pattern, for choosing light/medium/dark tones, sewing, seam pressing direction, and assembly options. So many idea!
        Cheers, Pauline in South Australia

  29. Carolyn Rector

    I agree with everyone who said the grandma’s flower quilt is beautiful, spring-like, and in the perfect spot!! Loved your demo of twirled seams. Such a good idea and a reminder. I loved all the quilt pictures. I loved the Home Sweet Home cross stitch sampler. I used to do cross stitch many years ago. That’s so much for the best bolt ever. You’re good to take care of Tom Tom when he comes around! God bless you and all of your blog readers!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Carolyn – THANK YOU!!!! It’s good because everybody “talks” – I couldn’t do this by myself.

  30. Sue in Marion, IN

    I love what you did with your flower garden blocks. I have a bunch of them myself—seems like there are always a few around in boxes of miscellaneous textiles in thrift stores. I need to get them out and take another look. I’ve developed bursitis in my hip from walking on the treadmill at the Y. I quit walking on the treadmill and started riding the exercise bike instead and that has helped a lot, although it still hurts to sleep on that side sometimes. I need to ask the doctor about muscle relaxants. Big plus: I got a Kindle and I’ve done a ton of reading on the bike!

  31. Jeanie S, Central IL

    Thanks for the twirling seams lesson, Mary. I love your March Madness quilt and want to make one, probably throw size.
    TomTom is a cute guy; I would love to know his story.
    Love your blog. 🥰

  32. Li

    What a blast from the past. I made that Dozen Variables quilt and called it Chocolate/Vanilla. It was at a time I could eat a lot of pistachio ice cream. I would buy a quart of half coffee, half pistachio almond from Baskin Robbins. My vote is another March Madness to bind it.

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