A Trip to Calico Hutch, 2-23-21

I’ve been trying to take my Bernina 740 in for service for several weeks now but weather always got in the way. The owner, Carolyn, helped me for almost an hour showing me things to do and not to do with my machine. VERY HELPFUL!

(Look at those arthritic fingers! And yes, they do hurt.)

It’s been a week of fixing things – the ice maker, the email server, the sewing machine and now I need to take a deep breath!

It’s 40 degrees outside, melting, and has a feeling of spring!

Who can this be under the chair?

And I heard your requests to see Ernie Joe Mauer! Here he is in all his glory!

Look at those toes!

He’s much bigger than Hazel!

Remember those Hoya cuttings that I was rooting?

Just regular potting soil in a clay pot with drainage – I’ll keep you posted.

Here are photos from readers:

Here is the shirting fabric I bought for the back of my Farmers Daughter quilt for Jill.

I bought this Amazing Grace printed panel last summer – I’m going to put this black polka dot on the back and quilt it with straight lines to hang on my wall.

Yes, that’s Colton parked on top!!

That’s all for today – chore time!

44 thoughts on “A Trip to Calico Hutch, 2-23-21

  1. Jo in Wyoming

    Retail therapy helps everything. I has some this morning.
    Love that coat…I think we all love your coat.
    Thanks to all the pictures for a great show today

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Join Wyoming – you know, I have never owned a piece of clothing – ever – that I have gotten so many compliments on! I have many coats – they’re necessary living in Iowa and this one is very lightweight yet it is a winter coat. I bought it online but do not remember the brand or anything. I’ve been asked many times. I do remember it was more expensive than I would normally spend but I loved it enough to spend the money. I have never regretted it.

  2. LaNan Eldridge

    Isn’t it great to have the warm temps and melting going on!!! I was in Minnesota today and it’s even happening there!!! Promise of spring on its way 🤗🤗🤗

  3. Diane and Squeak in Central Ohio

    We had 48 degrees today. That is so much better than 6*🤪🤪. Ernie Joe looks great. Glad you got help for your machine in your beautiful jacket.

  4. Beverly in Texas

    Please post a picture of the Amazing Grace panel when you finish it ! I’m in the DFW area & last Tuesday we were at -2• 🥶today it is 80 •🕶🌞
    Only in Texas – gotta love it ❤️

    1. Sherrill

      Yes, Beverly, isn’t it BLISS!! MAN, it has been GORGEOUS the past two days!! I’m on the FW side of DFW.

  5. Launa

    Enjoyed all the pictures! Did a bit of online retail therapy, too!
    Yesterday it was over 40o up here so I sat out on the deck in sun about 20 minutes. Today it has been snowing more off than on, but we have wind chill and high of 25o! Tomorrow morning single digits are predicted.
    Ernie J.M. certainly looks relaxed!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Launa – I just ordered a bottle of CBD gummies – thanks for that recommendation!!

  6. Kathy Hanson

    What time were you at Calico Hutch? We went to Mankato today for a drive and go to the quilt shop and have Mexican food for lunch. Drove down highway 22 and stopped at Calico Hutch at about 3:45. Would have been great to be there at the same time. Also stopped at Pet Depot and picked up some things for Penny who will be with us after the weekend of March 6, 7, or so. Excited! (I didn’t buy anything at Calico Hutch!) They have lovely things but….!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Kathy Hanson – I told them I’d be coming to Rochester in March and I’d pick up my machines then! I left about 1:30 – we could meet there sometime! I was buying backing- have lots to quilt!

      1. Kathy Hanson

        Ah yes, you will be coming to Rochester in March for sure!! Looking forward to that! I think we need to have a week alone with Penny after she leaves her present family to join ours but then I am excited for you to come and see her. Not sure the exact day we will pick her up but the breeder talks about the weekend of March 6,7 or so. I will let you know for sure!!!
        Have you used “fireside” for backing before? I hear that it is nice. I haven’t tried it yet but hope to sometime. Would love to meet you there sometime too! Pine Needles will be opening their “New Store” a couple doors down from where they have been sometime the middle of March – that will be fun too!

        1. Mary Etherington Post author

          Kathy Hanson – just let me know – I’ll probably drive up to get my machines as soon as they’re ready and make a separate trip to Rochester when you say it’s ok to come.

          1. Kathy Hanson

            Sounds good. I would love to have you come any time but we do think that she needs to know who her family is and where she lives and so after a week I’m sure it will be wonderful for you to come and see her! Hate to have you come twice, but then it is a ways to Rochester from Calico Hutch!! lol

  7. NancyTD

    Mary, I almost went to Calico Hutch today. Then dug in the cupboard and found what I needed for my project. Instead I went shopping for the SUSPEND junior game. Found it ! Also found the card games Fish and Old Maid. Ready for my summer visitors. Just hope they will be able to travel.
    Quit show was great today. Fun to see what everyone finishes. This is a talented group of quilters.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Nancy TD – another reader just sent me a picture of her Amazon order – Suspend Junior and Scrap school! You gals are great blog supporters! Thank you! We could meet at Calico Hutch sometime?

      1. Nancy TD

        It would be fun to meet at Calico Hutch sometime. Just keep sewing on your machine and it will be come easier. It took me several years to master my 880. Not really mastered-just sewing.

  8. Sherrill

    I love the two paws and tail sticking out from under the chair. So cute. And both of those are big ole kitty cats but both so pretty!! That panel will be pretty for the backing on your quilt. You look so intense working at the machine. HA

  9. Rita in Iowa

    So Mary what kind of hints did they have for your machine? I have a Bernina also and sometimes a little temperamental. Or maybe it’s just me.
    Beautiful quilts as always ladies.
    Almost fifty here today and the snow is sliding off the roofs. Hope it just goes slowing so we don’t have flooding.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Rita in Iowa – the little hints I learned pertained only to the 740 which I am lost on most of the time. One of the things was threading and there’s a little video right in the machine!

  10. Kathy in western NY

    Love the cat pictures and seeing Hazel with them. Nice pictures from your readers as always. Talented group. I would be lost without my bernina so hope it comes back working well. I sure don’t use mine to it’s potential. I felt a little achy today from my second vaccine but other than that, I am so relieved it’s behind me and to have that added layer of protection.

  11. Brenda in Iowa

    I just love Ernie Joe Mauer. I think he’s one of the most beautiful cats I’ve ever seen. Does he have a sweet, gentle personality? He looks like he does.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Brenda in Iowa – yes, he’s very calm and laid back. Hazel sometimes “manhandles” him and he does not even protest!!!

  12. Teresa

    Mary, I’d like to recommend that you use red light therapy on your hands. The units are affordable now and come in many shapes and sizes. I’ve had one for a few years, it cost $350 and was well worth it and I see them for less now and bigger units then mine. I’ve used it on cuts, ringworm, my cats spay incision’s and of course my dodgy joints that ache. I’m treating a dislocated finger lately. I know your arthritis is at a painful stage but you may get some relief using Red light therapy a few days a week. I use it while I’m watching tv, my unit is only 3” x 5”.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Teresa – I use a heated paraffin bath for the best relief. It it’s only temporary of course. I’ve never heard of red light therapy – I’d better educate myself!

  13. Pat Smith

    I saved up to buy my Bernina 570QE, big mistake as it’s way beyond my ability. I’m not enough of a techie to understand how to work it. In truth, I only need to sew forward but was excited about some of the automatic things it does. I had big hopes for the BSR, but I’m just never going to be good enough at free motion quilting to make it work. I either take my quilts to a long arm person or quilt them with a walking foot myself. I should have bought a much lower level machine whose directions I can understand. I feel like I need a computer science degree for this one! I love seeing your well fed cats! They look very happy.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Pat Smith – I agree 100%! I did not need this much machine – I only wanted a good dependable machine – I don’t care if it can turn somersaults! If it’s so high tech I don’t understand it, the machine is not for me. Just the few things she showed me today drove me nuts – I could have threaded that machine 10 times by the time I got the threader to work once. I have always been unhappy with this machine.

      1. Kathy in western NY

        Pat and Mary, this was good to know about the BSR on Bernina models as I was thinking I should upgrade to get that feature but I don’t think I could ever master that free motion skill well enough. Like you I just do straight line quilting with a walking foot on a brother straight stitch only machine that works perfect every time or I save up to have a quilt done by a professional. My Bernina is 25 yrs old and does way more than I will ever know how to use but if I had to get another one, I would most likely go for a lighter weight Janome or a Juki straight stitch model. My brain can only handle so many bells and whistles and a cell phone is enough for me!

        1. Mary Etherington Post author

          Kathy in Western NY – I also have a Juki and it is a workhorse of a machine! This 740 was a mistake as far as I’m concerned – I’ve never used the BSR – don’t even know how.

  14. patti

    mary, i so understand machine frustration. last year i bought a new pfaff – the 720. i like how fast it sews. i cannot get a consistent 1/4″ seam with or without the 1/4 foot. but my biggest problem is that it DOES NOT have a pressure foot lifter. have to constantly push a button on the screen. it’s crazy. i am still not used to it. i find myself not sewing now. i found an older pfaff 7550 (which i loved forever). cannot believe how much slower it is than i remember. my original new 7550 is in a box in parts upstairs. dh was going to fix it – only pfaff people can get parts. the good news in florida is that tonite will probably be our last cool nite. its been in the mid 80’s. my son is in the dallas area and has complained so much and hasn’t received his electric bill yet. told him it isn’t any different than when people here prepare for a hurricane that may or may not come. didn’t mean to run on so much. i’m a people person and i’m so over this. finally we will get our vaccine next monday. patti in florida

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Patti – so glad you’re getting your vaccine! I absolutely love my old Bernina 1230s but they will soon wear out and no parts can be found – makes me so sad. I’m too old for so many bells and whistles! And I plan to keep sewing as fast as I can! Haha!

  15. Jan VanDeWalle

    The promise of Spring is beginning to show around here. The snow and ice are long gone my daffodils are a ft tall with large buds swelling up and today when I stopped to drop off a loaf of homemade bread for my son at his work , I saw a pussy willow with little fuzzys already. Parts of the road to town where lots of trees were damaged from the ice storm looked like a war zone. plenty of fire wood out there for sure We were without power for five days. But a friend of mine an hour south of us didn’t have any snow or ice. or outages. Jan NW Oregon

  16. Sue Smith

    It’s so hard to learn new machines. Now that I have finally learned my Janome I don’t think I will ever trade it for a fancier one. I have thought about it and then remember getting used to this one. Not again, please. Hard to teach an old dog new tricks.
    I don’t like my fairly new front-loading washer, either, for lots of reasons. Tomorrow we are going to Lowes to look at top-loading, old-school washing machines.
    Ernie Jo Mauer is a beautiful cat. We once had a 6 toed cat with big round paws like that. He was gold, too, but not huge like Ernie J.
    Glad your weather is warming up.

    1. Betty Klosterman

      Good luck on finding an old-school washing machine. They have been designed by somebody who never asked what things we would like to have……….. And they have never even turned a washer on or put clothes in to wash. I’d give anything to have my 27 year old washer back in working order.
      Betty in Rapid City

  17. Linda Schluchter

    Ernie Jo is beautiful! I love orange kitties and have always wanted a cat with extra toes, that makes them extra special! And the little white paws sticking out from under the chair just makes me happy, how can anyone be miserable when they see something so cute – if miserable people would open their hearts to a loving animal maybe it would turn their worlds around.

    Thank you for sharing, I love seeing your menagerie, makes mine look small!

  18. Susan K in Texas

    Love the kitty pictures!
    You’ve had a frustrating period of having to get things fixed! And having sewing machine frustrations is the worst! I have Janome machines. I bought a new one right as covid lockdown happened. I haven’t learned even a portion of what it can do but finally found a workbook for it. So far I love it for quilting and piecing which is basically what I need.
    I’ve been spending our sunny days cleaning out the mushy aloes. I lost less than I thought. Some of the plants will look a little weird though as I remove the mushy leaves and leave the rest.
    We’re headed up your way in March.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Susan K in Texas – oh my goodness, I’ve been thinking of you, Susan, and wondering about your aloes. So great that some survived – you had lots of them so hope some of your favorites made it thru the temps. Are you heading to Iowa? Minnesota? Traveling on I-35?

      1. Susan K in Texas

        Mary, our son lives in the Davenport area. We’re headed to see the grandson (and my son and DIL). He works for John Deere. We head east on I80 once we hit Des Moines. I lost some of my largest aloes but my oldest and dearest Big Mama survived. She got a little frostbite on the tips of her leaves and lost a couple of leaves but will be fine.
        On day I hope to stop by to say hello when we’re in Iowa. I would love to meet you.

  19. Lynne from NJ

    Thanks for sharing pictures of Ernie Joe Mauer. I can’t help it – he’s my favorite. Hadn’t heard about him in a while and was hoping he was ok. I look forward to your posts and hearing about your farm life. Thanks for all you do to keep this blog going.

  20. Tracy Peterson

    I was at Calico Hutch on Tuesday to drop off my 740 for service. Hard to believe we can be so familiar with sewing machines in general but have so much to learn about a particular model! I’m so glad I have a backup machine, I would be lost without a machine. There are certain things I really miss about my 740 (superb lighting, needle threader, thread cutter) but I still love the way my 1530 sews!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Tracy Peterson – I do love the light on the 740 but I can’t make the needle threader work and my scissors cuts only about half the time if I’m lucky. So – tell me what problems you have with your 740. Maybe we can help each other.

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