Back To Winter

After some very warm temps last weekend we are back to the single digits with a strong NW wind – typical Iowa. Most of our snow melted but I have a feeling it will be replaced.

All 6 chicks are doing well and Reed loved them!

I’d love them, too, if they lived at somebody else’s house.

He is doing so well on his log cabin quilt for the fair next summer. He has learned chaining as well as leaders and enders and just look at these perfect seams and nice pressing.

I rarely have to help him at this point – he’s making 48 blocks for a quilt that will fit the top of his double bed.

Jackie helps.

While Reed was making log cabin blocks, I got one Rectangle Wrangle block done – I was too involved in the Puppy Bowl to sew much. Didn’t you just love all those puppies? Whoever created this phenomenon deserves to make a lot of money in advertising – and it’s sponsored by Chewy and what pet owner doesn’t love Chewy? Just a win-win all the way around for any dog or cat lover!

And in my house sewing room I’m sewing rows of Bullseye blocks – 11 rows of 11 blocks each equals 122 blocks – wow! I’m going to love having it on top of my king size bed knowing that it won’t have an overhang which makes it too big for my washing machine.

And some blooms to show you – paper white narcissus bulbs in the piano room.

And in the basement green house are last year’s amaryllis bulbs and one is going to re-bloom! I have never been successful at keeping them over the summer but I kept both Reed’s and my bulbs and it’s possible, I guess, to get them to bloom again. One only grew leaves and one has a flower stalk about 30″ tall with 2 flowers. Better than nothing!

I’ve decided I’m no good at regular houseplants and my success with succulents is lack of watering. Yikes! I forget to water the philodendrons, the ferns, the Moses in a basket, the schefflera and it shows!

The succulents however are very happy!

Time to get to work – love checking in with all of you – tell me what you’re working on!

81 thoughts on “Back To Winter

  1. Carol

    I love your posts, so down to earth and lovely plants and animals mixed in with my favorite hobby, quilting! Reed, you are an exceptional young man, soooo very proud of you, I know you make Mary, Rick and your family very proud. Keep up the good work, love your log cabin blocks.

  2. Nikki M. (Texas)

    Have three bed rugs that need binding,finally decided on border fabric for a square in a square set on the diagonal..and of course auditioning fabric for my bullseye 🎯 that is set in drunkards path form. High today projected to be 83… plan to do something..anything outside as winter supposed to return later in the week.My northern friends please stay warm & safe.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Nikki M – are they called bed “rugs” because they just fit the top of the bed? I’m not familiar with that term. Hugs to Maci!

      1. Ann Barlament

        Bedrugs are a term used for truck bed liners. So I’m curious what she is referring to, as well! LOL

      2. Julianna in WNY

        I wonder if it’s a Bed Runner? In colonial times they added a piece to the bottom of the bed to keep feet warm. It was placed on top of the quilt. I made a couple, they are approx. 25-30 deep by width of bed. They wrapped a warmed stone from the fireplace in batting or old blankets to place under the covers. This added warmth if the stove went out in the middle of the night – which would happen unless someone got up to stoke it. The addition of a bed runner kept the warmth in as well.

        1. CountryThreads Post author

          Julianna in WNY – she did not respond to my question but I’ll bet you’re right!

  3. Lynne

    I’m not surprised that Reed is doing so well with his log cabin quilt. He has a great teacher. Enjoy all your posts.

  4. Diana

    Snowing here in Des Moines. Working on a Kathleen Tracy small quilt for Valentines day. I hang a small quilt on my work office door to cheer me up. Bought a new rotary cutting may today. The other one was old and I think was dulling my blades, we’ll see if this make a difference. Sleet and freezing rain coming our way according to TV 13. Stay warm.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Diana – gosh, maybe I need new mats – I never thought about it! Thank you!

      1. Launa

        My new Olfa cutting mat has a warning about being made with cancer causing ingredients printed on it IN FINE PRINT.

  5. Judi L.

    Some 15+ yrs. ago, my Mother brought me amaryllis bulbs from the arboretum in New York. Not knowing what to do with it after blooming, I planted the bulbs at the base of a tree. Over time, the three bulbs divided and divided again and again. The tree has since died, so I divided the amaryllis bulbs to encircle the stump. They all tend to bloom every year around Easter. I never dig them up. They stay in ground year round. I have a plethora of blooms. I’ve even split the bulbs and given them away. Of course, I live in Houston, TX so our winters are pretty mild (for the most part).

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Judi L. – that must really be fun! Impossible here but I will try again next year with this years’s bulbs.

  6. Rita Mulvey in CT

    My book was just delivered I ran right out to get it. I am going to start reading as soon as the supper dishes are done. The animals will be finished by then and I will have an hour before I fall asleep.
    Sewing wise I finished a runner top over the weekend, it was a quick simple runner with four stars. Quilting will have to wait, it is my least favorite part of the process. I am making a goody goody binding kit for a friend, her birthday is on the 19th. I am ready to handsew the binding and it will be finished. The chicks are adorable glad they are at your house and not mine.
    Your plants look great. My Christmas cactus is reblooming the have been blooming since Halloween. Oh and the african violets are also blooming. One of them is very special to me it belonged to a dear friend’s mother. Both have passed and I am the keeper of this plant. I’ve had it for 15 years. Well it’s back to work for me, I just wanted to let you know that the book arrived.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Rita Mulvey in CT – I am thrilled that you already got your book – I believe I remember that yours was the first order we received! Thank you!

  7. Sherry Whalen

    Hi Mary! My poor plants look pretty sad – I don’t think I have ever lost so many leaves. The only ones that look good are the Pothos – and one of them is struggling. I tell people that I train my house plants to be watered only every couple of weeks – they generally ask HOW I do that. My response – they get watered every couple of weeks…if they don’t like it they don’t make it, end the training! Only the strong (and dry) survive the winter at my house to earn the chance to spend the summer outside.

    Did you get rain last night? We got some and we also had slush left on our street, and lots of snow in our yard. The rain plus the slush plus the quickly dropping temps early this morning has left a skating rink on our street. And oh – the wind is howling. Winter is back.

    There weren’t too many ads to click today – interesting how some days there are 4 or 5, today there were two. BUT everyone reading this- make sure you are click on the ads that you can!! We want Mary to keep writing her blog!! Sherry

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Sherry Whalen – thank you for that reminder to everyone! The only plants that look good are in the basement with the grow lights! Love your philosophy on watering – it’s basically mine, too, but I gotta get rid of these houseplants that need more attention! Yes, Winter came back today – yesterday I had all the barn doors open!

      1. Launa

        The Redlands Sewing Center ad is the one I enjoyed recently. They have a Mug Rug Club and many other interesting classes, fabric, etc!
        Hope my book arrives soon, too. We had a few inches of snow today, but the temperature rose and the rain gutters were running a lot. Sun came out for about an hour. It can be quite intense at my altitude.
        Your plants look great, Mary. Good to see Reed and his log cabin blocks in progress.

  8. Donna Sproston

    I am oohing and aahing over your latest book! I love the historical bios of heroic women, and the quilts are just the brightness I need as another bout of lousy weather approaches. Our winter wonderland of the last month has disappeared, but that apparently won’t be for long. I am working on a couple of mini quilts with charm hearts for Valentine gifts. Next up is a mini string quilt. Perfect days for sewing. I knew Reed would love those chicks!

  9. catherine

    Be careful of the paper whites. I don’t know which part is poisonous – flowers, leaves, roots – but some part of it is poisonous to cats. Don’t let them bite the flowers.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Catherine – thank you for that warning – many of my plants are potentially poisonous if eaten. I’ll watch carefully!

  10. Lisa

    I love all you share in your blog. I have a hard time throwing a plant out , even one that’s mostly dead. I always think I can resurrect it somehow. So I kept my amaryllis bulbs for about five years and they finally rebloom this year! I’ve asked myself if the reward was worth the years I kept the bulb or not.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Lisa. – I understand – do I really care if they bloom again? New bulbs are $5.00!

  11. Diane in Central Ohio

    Reed is doing a wonderful job with his quilt blocks. They are so straight! His teacher must be a pro:)
    I spent the weekend at a quilt retreat which was lots of fun. I worked on an Easter Bunny table runner and a zigzag baby quilt. I hope to finish both soon. I love retreats because there are so many creative people making so many different kinds of quilts. It was fun.
    My husband planted 12 or so Amaryllis bulbs on the South side of our house under a very wide eave. They bloom every summer. Yes, we do get cold winters–usually not as bad as the minus 17 and minus 24 wind chills this year, but cold. However, he thinks the direct sun and protection by the heat of the house and the wide eave helps them. They are gorgeous. I will love getting my book.
    Sorry your cold weather is back. It will come to us from you soon.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Diane in Central Ohio – I remembered someone telling about the bulbs planted on the south side of their house….but forgot it was you! Next summer take a picture of all of them in bloom – we’d all love to see it! I could never do it here but appreciate the knowledge that someone can!

      1. Diane In Central Ohio

        I will, Mary They are beautiful–some bright red, some light pink and some striped:)

  12. Jo in Wyoming

    Wow Mary, your chicks have multiplied.
    Today is nicer so after errands, I’ll do poop patrol😕, but somebody has to do it.
    Love your updates.

  13. jan VanDeWalle

    I read some where that cutting mats need a bath on occasion. Soak them in the bathtub and scrub with a soft brush to get all the fuzzies and threads out. Let them dry and they are good as new. I have never tried it but probably should, I got my big one at an Estate sale several years ago. We may or may not get some snow here in the Willamette Valley this week, looks like some very fine stuff is trying to make an appearance. love the chicks and Reed sews much better than I do. better get back to cleaning, a friend is coming up from Mexico for my 80th birthday next Sat and this place is a mess. 😉

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Jan VanDeWalle – thanks for that cutting board tip – I probably should do that!

  14. Sue in PA

    So now there are six chicks! Do you think there will be any more? I am a city girl so I know nothing about chicks. When will you find out how many, if any, are roosters? I am finishing up a log cabin wall hanging made up of all aborigine fabrics. Also putting the binding on a queen sized tumbler quilt that I made using many “memory” fabrics that I used to make maternity and toddler clothes, stuffed animals, curtains, and other quilts. I am also working on the Bullseye quilt. I cut out some circles wrong (on the wrong side) when I wasn’t paying attention and have to take about eight off and re-do. Ugh! Now I’m going to run to the mailbox and see if my book came. Can’t wait! Love your blog, your animals, Reed, your quilts, everything. I’ve been clicking the ads.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Sue In PA – I won’t be able to tell if they’re roosters until they actually try to crow – the first few crows are very garbled and like an adolescent boy, they vary from low to high! It’s pretty funny. I can also tell by the feather colors, the points on the feathers and the growth of their comb – haha! Again, just like a teenage boy- did I really say that?

      1. Betty Klosterman

        The young roosters sound like they are being strangled when they learn to crow. It is so funny.
        And Reed’s sewing is great. He makes the rest of us and our seams look pitiful??

  15. Marian Stever

    I love Reed and the chicks. He is so gentle! Your plants look wonderful to me. I have an amaryllis ready to bloom. My daughter sent it to me at Thanksgiving and it has taken this long to put up the tall shoots! Maybe blooming in time for Valentine’s Day! My bullseye quilt is ready for the next step. So enjoying this adventure. Mary, thank you for letting us tag along. More snow coming here in Minnesota.

  16. Sue in Oregon

    Does anyone else make grooves in their cutting mats? Eventually, I cut through my mats. Joannes puts them on 40% off sales regularly. That’s when I get a new one every now and then. I cut an old one down and use it on a wood TV tray. Then I can just sit and cut the small things.
    I love Reed’s quilt. I need to make a log cabin. I have never made a big one.
    I had to start putting blocks and rows together of a mini quilt that was on my design wall. That was so I would have more room for the bullseye. The mini is one of yours from a year ago, I’m ashamed to say. Its very cute and I AM going to finish it.

  17. Beth Meier

    I just finished a kit I bought from you the first year of the AQS show in DesMoines ! It is “My Sled”. I loved it so much, and finally made it! ( it may have been lost in my stash for awhile🤪).

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Beth Meier – congratulations! That’s a great quilt – I’m so glad you finished it!

  18. Ramona Tankersley

    Mary, they have people at McMurry hatchery who sex the chicks they send out. Saw it on Dirty Jobs once. I grew up in Iowa (Clare’s niece) but live on Whidbey Island in the Puget Sound north of Seattle. We had a big snow overnight here. 2 inches here and the schools and Navy base closed. I find it quite amusing how they freak out over snow here. While I know how to drive in snow, most all the people here don’t so I stay home so they won’t hit me on the road. I think the Island owns one snowplow! We don’t get snow very often. I enjoy 😊 your posts. Keeps me connected to my roots.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Ramona T – so nice to hear from you! We got our chicks from Murray McMurray Hatchery last April and paid big bucks to guarantee hens. We ended up with a rooster that Reed took to the fair, to our chagrin. I complained to the hatchery who told me they are only 90% accurate, which did not make me any happier. Crazy that they think 2 inches of snow is worthy of closing school!
      Will you tell Clare HI from me?

      1. Launa

        The many different steep, hilly streets all over Seattle are treacherous when it snows. I’m from that area originally and there is on- street parking in many areas. I doubt the city has many street plows. Traffic is awful, too! Just sayin!

      2. Judy Linn

        Y’LL – if snow is even in the Texas forecast they close schools and grocery stores are zoos!

        Tonight I am not even close to catching up on Bull’s Eye, but making progress. Just me and the bugs in my sewing room! Flying bugs that half walk and half crawl like an ant – kinda look like an ant. I would take a picture but I hope I have smushed all of them! Today I had windows, transoms, doors open and attic fan blowing out the house. Dear Hubby has been sick coughing for over a week (O the ‘joys’ of sickly man in the house!) He is already in bed snoring and I can hear him a half a flight of stairs away. 🙂 So I guess the bugs are attracted to the light of the sewing machine. HA!
        GNite All Y’ll!

      3. Rita Mulvey in CT

        I have had pretty good accuracy sexing day old chicks by looking at their wing feathers. It really has to be done in the first 48 hour of hatch since they grow so rapidly. The pullets will have different length primaries and covert feathers and the cockerels will have feathers of the same length. I vaccinate for Mareks so need to handle all of my newly hatched chicks. Each chick gets a health check and wing check when they get their shot.

        1. CountryThreads Post author

          Rita M – well, it’s already been more than 48hours and I doubt I really understand what I’m looking for. The judge at the fair did show us the feather points but I’m on a steep learning curve here. When I buy chicks I have them vaccinated but I’m not going to learn myself. Why can’t YOU be my neighbor? Believe it not I’m the local authority on fancy chickens! Probably because I’m the only one with chickens – haha!

  19. Jeanine

    I have my Bull’s Eye quilt all sewn together and the borders on it. I made mine 7 by 9 blocks. I found some fabric for the backing, but have to sew it together yet. I am anxious to see how you quilt yours, as I don’t think you can do straight line quilting since there are raw edges. I have quilted a small one of mine that I made in 2002! I couldn’t believe it was that long ago I made it. It is only 4×5 blocks, so have it hanging in my sewing room on the wall. I love this pattern. Thanks for getting it out again and doing the sew along. I have your book. I so enjoy your blog. This is the first time I have seen a picture of Reed with his mouth open when he smiles! What a great kid. He’s doing a great job on his log cabin. Cold again in Oskaloosa, Iowa. Not going to be very nice tomorrow, but we did get rid of a lot of snow the past three days, and we had a lot.

  20. Dee Trzaskowski

    Mary: Is it too late to order the Bulls-Eye instructions along with your new book?

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Dee T – the Bullseye pattern is still available for $3.00. Book is $31.00 and both can be sent together.

  21. Diane in WI

    Reed’s hands look so gentle around the little chick. His quilt looks like a winner; I like the squares of chicken wire print fabric. How appropriate! My amaryllis only produced leaves this year. One of my Christmas cacti has buds. I water may regular cactus once a month. I put the pot in a large plastic dish and let the cactus soak up the water until the soil is damp. It seems to work well. I also have a paper white narcissus bulb growing. My husband doesn’t care for the smell of them. It is a little strong. I taught sewing today; we made pajama pants. I have to make the next blocks for the mystery quilt I am working on.

  22. Paula S.

    Love your blog, Mary. I’m glad to see the chicks are with mama, and love seeing the progress you and Reed are making on your quilts! I’ve gotten all my bullseye blocks together and pressed. I’m almost done cutting them apart and can’t wait to see what they look like once “back together”.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Nancy – I’ll take a picture of one and post it – you may know the plant by another name. My first Moses came from my neighbor Emma.

  23. Kate

    Working on a second Bullseye quilt in Christmas colors. Also working on a mystery quilt on another blog. Got your quilt book in the mail today. Yippee!!

  24. Gloria B.

    Ok. This may be a stupid city girl question. Why don’t you want any of the chicks to be roosters? Because they don’t lay eggs?

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Gloria B. – roosters tend to fight and defend their territory and their group of hens. They continually mount the poor hens tearing their feathers out. In my book it’s rape and any hen, old, young, crippled – it doesn’t matter to the roosters. I think it’s so cruel and I feel so bad for my hens. Killing beautiful roosters however is also not at the top of my list of fun things to do.

      1. Judy Linn

        OH, Mary,

        Talk about ROFLOL when I read your answer to the city girl!

        Hang on Gloria! No Little House on the Prairie answer for your question today.

        Signed by one who learned from my friend not to go in her back yard without carrying a stick ’cause the rooster would come-from-behind!

        1. CountryThreads Post author

          Judy Linn – I don’t even know what ROFLOL means! No sense in mincing words – I wouldn’t know how to explain it – so sorry if I offended anyone!

          1. Joyce C

            ROFLOL… Means …Rolling on the floor laughing out loud 😊. And no.. you don’t want roosters! Fingers crossed they’re all hens!

          2. CountryThreads Post author

            Joyce C – thank you for the interpretation of ROFLOL – I need educating, don’t I? Yes, pray for hens!

          3. Judy Linn

            No way – no offense – you made me laugh!

            No mincing words here either – my kids just roll-their-eyes! (They are adults now and don’t mince any words with their kids either!)

            Fingers crossed here for hens!

            🙂 Judy

  25. Jan from IL

    I received my book today! LOVE it! Thanks for mailing it so quickly! I’ll had a number of these quilts to my long, long, long quilting bucket list! LOL!
    I wish I had the green thumb you for even succulents that you do. I do, however, still have my poinsettia from this past Christmas & it while it has really “bloomed” anymore, it’s not dead! Hahaha!

  26. Mary Ann

    Received my book today. I want to make every quilt, they are all beautiful. I apologize for not including a label. I had ordered the bullseye pattern and forgot to include a label for the book. Love everything you post, look forward to reading it.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Mary Ann – not to worry! You can include one next time! And thank you for your order!

  27. Diane in Maryland

    Reed is a good looking young man! Reminds me so much of my grandson who just turned 13. He loves 4H and has lots of animals but I haven’t talked him into quilting yet. His sisters love to though. Reed’s work looks wonderful!

    My book arrived today and Leslie said hers did too! Have already read a little and love it!

    The only time I had good luck with an amaryllis was when I put a bulb in a paper bag one time meaning to repot it later and laid it on a shelf in the garage. I forgot about it. My husband, laughing, handed the bag to me many months later. I didn’t even remember what it was and then saw it blooming in the bag! No soil or water! They never rebloom when I give them care.

  28. elizabeth a hinze

    I’m working on a T-shirt quilt. My second I really hate them
    but my family loves them…

  29. Carol

    What I’m working on:
    1) just finished a tumbler quilt, tumblers cut with Accuquilt, so all the work is done! I used Moda line, Garden Notes, which is botanicals and bees and ginghams… greens, blues, yellows and creams. I embroidered bees and flowers and a honey pot with my Bernina embroidery machine.
    2) I had a jelly roll, made half square triangles blocks, black and white out of Kona cottons, and then cut up the jelly roll into smaller strips to surround two sides of the half square triangles with “logs”. Finished today, had to order more fabric to make borders.
    3) Saturday I took a little class using punch needle and made a tiny “valentine” which will be the center of a pillow.

    I bought lots and lots of your punch needle kits when you did your going out of business sale, but the hoops, needles and two kits I bought from Connie at the Columbus, Ohio Country Living Fair. I don’t think you were there? Anyway, fast forward to this week, finally punching! Love it!

  30. Kathy in western NY

    I can hardly wait to see Reed’s finished quilt. I am so fond of scrap log cabin quilts. Having been with 4-H I know this sewing experience has been one he will remember long into his grown up years as he drags that quilt to every place. Chatting with 4-H alumni is so fun remembering what they learned creating their projects.

    I got my book today and thank you for letting us obtain them from you. Warm day here with a record high for us, snow gone and rain expected soon. You can imagine the muddy paws on my kitchen floor…..oh well, it’s just dirt after all and not 24 degrees below zero for them.

  31. Marcia Rocheleau

    I cracked up at your comment about loving the chicks if they were someone else’s. 😂
    My Gypsy Wife quilt recently came back from the long arm quilter and I (at long last) had Barbara Brackman’s BOW, Grandmother’s Choice, ready to go. I believe she posted the patterns in 2013. This year marks 100 years since the 19th Amendment was passed so I was inspired to set my blocks and complete my project. Ha
    I’m on a mission to finish ‘waiting’ projects this year. I have 2 more cut out, one of them started. I’m always inspired by all you do. Thanks for that!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Marcia R – baby chicks are just a nuisance this time of year – thank goodness Mama sits on them to keep them warm!

  32. Minnie Homans

    I put my amaryllis bulb in the ground in the spring.bring it in before frost and put it in a paper bag until after Christmas. All the green dies off and the strength goes back into the bulb. Then I plant it in a pot and start to water it. Before long it starts to get leaves or a stalk with new buds. I am working on Edita Sitar’s Winter Village pattern. I just finished her Harmony applique blocks and need to send it out to be quilted. It is by Laundry Basket Quilts.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Minnie Homans – I love the Winter Village quilt. How does that woman get so many quilts made? Does she have help? I’m going to try your method with an amaryllis – doesn’t it need to have a period of cold?

  33. Beryl Hoff

    I can’t wait to get my book!! I also ordered the Bullseye pattern. I think I put a self addressed envelope in the order, it has not come yet. My check is dated 1-3-2019. Maybe it will be in with the book?
    Reed is quite the young man!! I am amazed at all of the things he does and so well too. Maybe you have a quilt designer on your hands. Does his twin quilt also? I, too, love the way he handles all of the animals, he is so gentle.
    I have been making quite a few things. I did 2 circular valentine table toppers and a valentine runner. I took those to a local cafe’ to sell. I finished a quilt I was making for Christmas. It can really be used as a throw any time. The colors are more of a moss green and a rusty red so don’t scream Christmas. I just finished log cabin quilt kit that my mother ordered from Woman’s Day magazine about 1981! She had Alzheimer’s so never even started it. The instructions were made before rotary cutters!! I used a cutter!! It took almost 2 years, I got frustrated at it so set it aside! I do the line quilting also. I don’t make real fancy quilts so the line quilting is perfect. I do meander on some of the baby quilts I make. I have some curtains to make for a ranch here, an apron from an old canvas feed sack, another quilt to make from sheets and some alterations too. I keep busy.
    We have had a mild winter here in MT this year. We have had about 24 inches of snow or so but temps have been mild until Saturday!! The bottom dropped out. 45 Friday and the high was _5 yesterday and it got up to 0 today. I think the same for tomorrow and more snow. The days are getting longer and I heard a Killdeer the other day, I am not sure how he did over the weekend!!
    Thanks for the wonderful blogs, i really enjoy reading them!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Beryl Hoff – did you specifically tell us to send the Bullseye pattern with your book? If not I believe we would have sent it separately because so much time would elapse. If your check was written on 1-3 yours had to be one of our first orders – I sure hope it arrives tomorrow- the New York readers got theirs today and all were mailed on Friday. Please let me know either way.

      1. Beryl Hoff

        I will let you know when they come. I enclosed a self-addressed envelope for the pattern and a mailing label for the book. i will be going to the PO tomorrow, we don’t get delivery here. Thank you!

  34. Kathy Hanson

    Got my book today – have looked at it front to back twice already! Can’t think to start one as I have only cut my Bullseye blocks in quarters – I am really behind. Have been spending today at the hospital with a 89 year old gentleman whose family have been my daughters and my extended family for years. I will be there tomorrow too but he was better this afternoon. We had taken him to the ER last night. The picture of Reed is so special – and with such a nice smile too!! Glad he loves the chicks. Your flowers are fantastic – I don’t have good luck with “houseplants” either because they have to say “Water” as I walk by or I forget. I haven’t done well with succulents either so I don’t know!! Always look forward to opening your blog!!

    1. Kathy in western NY

      Kathy – I too am behind finishing my blocks but finding it so therapeutic to sew when I can after spending 10 days with hospital stays next to my MIL. We said our goodbyes, she passed peacefully, and we are planning her service but hospitals are no place to be with so much flu and pneumonia coming into them. Seeing patients in hallways being so tenderly cared for by nurses cause there are no available beds can’t be easy to do their jobs. All I could think of was the humiliation of no privacy. I don’t think It’s just our area. So you stay healthy but thank you for being an advocate for an elderly person who needs you by their side.

      1. CountryThreads Post author

        Kathy In W New York – I didn’t realize your mil just passed away – that’s very stressful to spend days sitting in a hospital. I’m not sure I could do it. Our mom ate Jr. Mints for supper the night before she died. She wasn’t feeling well and we said we’d come back later in the evening – she said “what for?” She died in her sleep just hours later. She made it easy for us.

  35. Jess

    Wow! Reed’s log cabin quilt is coming together beautifully. One question: has he been filling out the project sheet for the fair?! I remember your post from last year’s fair where you said you were both having issues recalling what was done back in January so many months later. Cant wait to see the finished project.

    Your posts bring me so much happiness. I truly look forward to each and every one.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Jess – thank you for bringing this up because I’m going to show it to Reed. I’ll bet I’ve asked him 15 times to jot down some points that he’s doing now. He even said he’d do it in school yesterday but as we all know, taking the notes is not the fun part of a fair project. He is loving making the blocks – so do I – but we all know that blocks alone don’t make a quilt. I see another life lesson coming, don’t you? With a smile and a hug!

  36. Debbie Bowmer

    I received my book yesterday and have thumbed through it and loved every quilt in it. Thank you. Kudos to you two. I can’t wait to make one. I love Reed’s face while holding the baby chick. He’s doing a great job on his quilt. He must be such a pleasure to have around. Have a great day and stay warm!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Debbie Bowmer – you said it all – “he’s a pleasure to have around”.

  37. Felicia Hamlin

    Mary, I am envious of Reed’s sewing skills, maybe he should sew my quilts. Even with a quarter inch foot I manage to sew crooked seams. Honestly! Maybe I should come and sew with you two.

    I love paper whites, but my husband can’t stand their fragrance. I have an amaryllis bulb that also has a very tall stem,, it is over a year old, I had it outside last year but brought it in kind of late. It only has two buds that will probably open tomorrow, so I am tickled. A friend of mine has a few bulbs that bloom for him every year. Stay warm.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Felicia Hamlin – we’d LOVE to have you sew with us! Connie hates the smell of paper whites, too! I think the blooms are so beautiful I don’t care how they smell!

  38. Ann Barlament

    Cactus were my specialty, especially with a southern exposure window. Watering day was the 25th of each month (birth day of month).
    I bought a 3-foot cactus in 1985, for $10 at Wal-Mart and when I left my house Nov 2012 (due to medical issues), those cactus plants were a foot from the ceiling. I certainly got my money’s worth, as every year my plants would flower. Every time I had a garage sale, I’d take baby cacti off the mother plant, put them in tiny clay pots and sell them for a quarter (most popular item at the sale)!
    I love Reed’s quilt ~ how awesome to have you as his mentor and sewing buddy!
    I also googled “chicken sexing”, seems like an art to those with the skills. But done on the first day of life. I hope they are all girls. But if boys, they could go into the stew pot!!
    I truly miss the process of quilting, and did save my Janome from the auction (light weight and easier to hide, here in the nursing home). But I thoroughly enjoy reading about everyone else’s projects, as well as your own.
    For me, I crochet hats with ear flaps. The majority of staff are from Kenya. I get Swahili language lessons, in exchange for something colorful, that keeps them warm, in our frigid temps, in Minnesota!!

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