Catching Up, 1-12-23

After my latest glitch with WordPress I am really far behind with pictures from the farm. I don’t understand why WordPress is so unreliable! My heart just sinks when I see the words “post failed to upload” across the bottom of the screen.

Hazel and I thank you all for the many birthday wishes and yes, that rabbit she was using as a pillow was indeed a real rabbit she caught in our grove and brought in through the dog door.

I left off showing you my sewing room and I rarely clean it – but I just did otherwise every surface would be covered with piles of stuff.

Now let’s talk about $5.00 Friday after Martingale announced they are closing. To be very clear we cannot copy pages from any book without paying $1500 per book for that right. We can however copy the original pages of directions. So….tomorrow we will start $5.00 Friday with this pattern from Connie called Say Please from the first book Country Threads Goes To Charm School.

Send $5.00 and a SASE to Country Threads for this pattern. Every Friday we’ll have another small quilt pattern for sale. Send any questions to my email shown on our home page.


It’s such an unattractive time of year with dirty snow and ice like this.

Two photos from readers:

This jacket was made from an antique quilt purchased at our sale last April. Wow!

Now….when I click “Publish” I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

66 thoughts on “Catching Up, 1-12-23

  1. Billie

    I thought that it looked real, but then figured it was just a real looking stuffy toy!!
    Have a great day!

  2. Jane Eilderts

    A great sewing room! Is it in your home or in your former shop building? I am in the process of doing a little cleaning/re-organizing in my room. I have two big desks in there and they are going-and I will just have one to make my cards on. Trying to get rid of stuff that isn’it needed and simplify a little! It is always a process isn’t it!

  3. RuthW in MD

    Hmm, fyi, I just typed my comment and hit enter and a notice flashed at the bottom of my screen, “Waiting for Facebook”. In this post you mention WordPress, so I was expecting something different, not Facebook.

  4. Brenda

    I love your blog. Look forward to it every time. Happy Birthday to Hazel. Many people are having technical troubles, including me. My cell phone just quit working and they could not figure out why, so I had to buy a new one. I have heard many other tech story problems, especially since the New Year. Some kind of Gremlins?

  5. Cynthia from Fort Worth, TX

    Love the pictures of your sewing room. I find myself cleaning/reorganizing my sewing room after Christmas every year….so many projects that were finished with leftovers all around and then those that I wanted to finish but ran out of time. I need to figure out a system to complete a small Christmas project to give to friends so that when the big day finally arrives I have little somethings for my special quilty peeps! Love love love your blog!!!

    1. Kathy in western NY

      I am with you Cynthia looking at some almost finished projects for next years gift giving yet I want to move on and finish them in fall so they are ready. I too need them in my face so clear scrapbook totes might be stacking up somewhere.
      Mary- I love the coziness of all your beloved treasures you’ve saved through the years making your sewing room a sanctuary! Having kitties sleeping above the bird cage is so sweet. Thanks for sharing it and for your patience to wait another day to see if your post worked. And yes indeed it did. This is technology today. We will always be here anxiously awaiting any words or pictures from you. Seeing that gorgeous coat makes me want to head to a thrift store to find a soft well worn vintage quilt.

      1. Diane, Sqyeak, and Buddy in Central Ohio

        Hi Cynthia and Kathy, I am not sure if you are in a Guild, but our guild is adding a Fall retreat so I am hoping to make some projects then for Christmas. It’s an idea😀. I also have a mug rug book I am Hoping to use for some small gifts. Mary, everything came through just fine😀. Pea soup outside here today. I did get to walk, not my usual 12,000 steps, but my shoulders and back are much better. No Tylenol today for the first time in 2 1/2 weeks! I love the reader quilts. Not sure how I feel about the quilt jacket. I have spent years “ rescuing” old quilts from becoming Teddy Bears etc. But, maybe it was in bad shape and she rescued !! Poor Buddy spent most of the afternoon hiding in the basement from the thunder. Poor guy.🥲

        1. Kathy in western NY

          Hi Diane,
          I belonged to 2 quilt guilds for years and one does have retreats that I attended on and off. But since Covid and my husband retiring, I am perfectly content to not go out evenings to meetings. I still keep in touch with some members. Plus to pack up things from my sewing room is much more work for me and I do love my time with my dogs too so would miss them being away. Yup I have talked myself right out of weekend sewing retreats! Ha! I think I will start a DD list of 75% completed projects to compliment my DD list.

          1. Diane and the gang in Central Ohio

            Hi Kathy, I get it. I go to one retreat a year! It dues take packing up etc, but I do get a lot finished. I am hoping to try to alternate projects—1 old project then 1 new project. I hope that will keep me moving! I saw on PBS that conspiracy theorists were putting out that Damar’s heart problem Was because he had the Covid vaccine which of course was not true. . I guess conspiracy people are doing that to all kinds of happenings with none of it being true. Ugh. I am happy he is home😀. Goooo Bills!

    2. Rita in Iowa

      Cynthia, do you go to the Shop, Quilt Among Friends in Arlington? My cousin Julie is the owner of the shop. She is a transplant from Iowa. Hope all is well in Forth Worth. My daughter lives in Rowlett, TX. They love Texas. My sewing room needs attention also but will have to wait as I am having knee replacement on Monday. Sewing projects are ready and my extra sewing machine is set up in the dining room.

      1. Cynthia from Fort Worth, TX

        Hi Rita – No! I did not know there was a quilt shop in Arlington! I will check it out and mention that I found out about it from you. Also, my husband had his 2nd knee done on 12/6/22. His first was easy peasy….this one, not so much. Hang in there and do the stretches!!! You will make it through – be determined to get to range of motion of 120 degrees!!!! Take care.

        1. Rita in Iowa

          Thanks Cynthia, I had surgery on my right foot in October and knee surgery is on the same leg. I’m anxious to get it done and be ready for spring gardening. I just found out yesterday that the cataracts in my right eye is worse and will need to have surgery also for that. Everything on my right side is going south. Lucky I have not had constant pain in my knee but it is bone on bone.

  6. Susan Boyd in VA

    I love the jacket made from an antique quilt! There was a lady at church on Sunday who was wearing a quilted jacket. I saw her walking across the parking lot as we pulled into church and hurried to find her before church started. It was made from a signature quilt made from feedsacks. It was really cute!
    As always, thanks so much for keeping this blog going even with all the technical problems!

  7. Jan Hebert

    I always thought that WordPress would be one of the best for bloggers to use. You have had problems with it though. Could it be because you use your iPad and not a PC? I know nothing about blogging, but I feel for you! I just found Colton in your sewing room, haha! What do the parakeets think of him being up there? My cat loves to terrorize my poor keets. We actually put them in the dining room with the doors closed when we go away for any length of time. I’m afraid he’ll pull them down off their cabinet and they’ll get out and that would be the end of them. Of course, he’s a lot younger than Colton. Colton looks pretty harmless up there! Got a dusting of snow last night, pretty but still gloomy here. No sun sadly. Jan in MA

  8. Jan Hebert

    Oh my goodness! It’s like playing “Where’s Waldo?”! How many kitties can you find in Mary’s sewing room? Just love it! Jan in MA

  9. Pat Smith

    That Hazel is just unbelievable! I thought I was seeing things when I saw that rabbit she was laying on. We used to have a cat door, but that got closed the day one of them brought in a snake! I had to get the corn tongs and carry it back outside quick! I’ve never seen a dog as driven as Hazel.

  10. Rita in Iowa

    Mary is that a wool army blanket on your ironing board. Is that what what you iron on or protection from the cats laying on it?

  11. Sibyl

    Love your sewing room sanctuary! It’s wonderful to have such a place to hang out (or hide!).

  12. Sue in Oregon

    I noticed the wool army blanket too. I bought a wool pad for my (small) ironing board and I really like it. I don’t even use steam anymore. So, is that why you put the wool blanket there? Brilliant idea! I just don’t have room for a large board in my room. I am going to make room, however, for a small flat TV that will go on the wall on one of the extender things so you can angle it. I want to watch YouTube videos while I sew. So modern me. LOL
    Love your sewing room. So clean and tidy. My small one is a huge mess right now.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sue – give me a week or so and my room will be back to its normal messy self!!!

  13. Vicki Ibarra

    Love the coat made from a quilt. The ideas of quilts from you, Mary, and the reader quilts give me ideas for mine. I seldom purchased kits, but did buy lots of fabric (and I mean LOTS!) and quilting books/patterns over the years. I am challenging myself to use certain pieces in my DD projects so that I can work through the stash. I seldom purchased large patterned fabric, but I have a few pieces of BOLD large patterned fabric. So, I thumb through quilt books and think. What is better than that?! Keep on sewing, everybody. I love the ideas.

    Mary, your sewing room is a wonder.

  14. Debbie G in SE WI

    Good Morning! Love this post. Especially all the pics of your happy place. I could spend hours looking and enjoying all the things you have. My space is smaller. And then I added my longarm room in the basement with lots of design wall space. Happy Birthday to silly Hazel. My Westie used to bring me moles from the empty lot next door. It was fun to watch her hunt them. In regard to the Martingale story, I’m so glad I collected your patterns and books over the years. I just bought Plow the Fields on a buy/sell FB group. Hoping to use my scraps of French General to make it.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Debbie – Plow the Fields! I had forgotten that one – what a great quilt to make with French General fabrics!!!

  15. Jan from Cosby, TN

    Hi Mary,
    I love technology. . . . . . . . When it works!!!!! I’m so glad that you don’t give up. So very many of us would miss hearing from you terribly!!!!
    Happy Birthday to Hazel! We have two doggie birthdays on the 19th. Both Jake and Beamer, who are large black labs, will be 13! Both have backend issues, but are still happy and plugging along – as are the dog mom and dad, too!

  16. Colleen in Oregon

    Couldn’t help but zoom in on your toy sewing machine above the door as I collect them. I didn’t have one as a child. As soon as Mom found out I liked to sew, she taught me how to use her machine and I was mending all my older brother’s jeans they would tear while jumping over the barbed wire fences!

  17. Wonda Myers

    Love your sewing room. Looks like a quilt Store!! Wonder why😅 wish mine was that big. I sew for our church quilt ministry now. We made 51 Christmas table runners to put in the Thanksgiving Baskets. Now quilts for different needs.

  18. Pattie from PA

    Love your sewing room. It looks so inviting. I am currently in Arizona, left Austin on January 3. Love being in the desert and my dogs love running free. Am headed to Quartzsite, AZ on Sunday for a couple weeks. Will be boondocking ( for those who don’t know), it means hanging out without means of hooking up to electric or water. This is the time of year where thousands and thousands of RVers head out for the Tyson Wells gem and mineral show and the big tent RV show and lots of other activities in the middle of nowhere. Love being in the sun in the winter. No dirty ice and snow here. 😉

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Pattie – I think you’re my hero, Pattie! You’re on the road in an RV by yourself and you take your dogs! You are very brave!

  19. Teresa from Port Coquitlam, BC

    So far so good with all your posts. Sorry you are having issues once again. Love the size of your sewing room. I’ve organized mine over the years and it’s probably the best it can be. Busy making a quilt for our first grandchild. It has so many pieces per block. I will send a picture when it’s done.

  20. Charlotte S in northern California

    What a great sewing room!! I’ve decided my room is too small or I have too much stuff. It really needs a good cleaning. Love your blog!!!

  21. Sandy

    Hi Mary, l always have to go back to your photos to see what other people spied (and l missed! ).can’t find the small sewing machine, but saw lots of cats and pin cushions! I too have several in use everywhere I work. My sewing nook is only 5 feet wide and 5 feet deep, a little area l made between doorways to bedroom and laundry in the main room in my granny flat, but fabric is in book cases throughout the room.l have finished the detaching, and now to sort out haberdashery bits! My 1965 Bernina has just died(hope it can be fixed) so now my Bernina 801 has come out of retirement, works a dream! Take care everyone, best wishes from Sandy

  22. bobbie rumler

    I love the pictures and little notes you write, it makes me feel good, thank you for including all us people that don’t know how to enter things on the computer love the quilts too

  23. Gina

    Funny, in every sewing room photo there is at least one (maybe more) fur baby visible!! Overrun with pets…I can relate. 🙂

  24. Betty Klosterman

    We all are envious of your repurposed quilt shop/chicken coup into your sewing room. So much room. We all look over and over and see so many different things. Like pincushions. Looks like you are using at least 6 right by your sewing machine. It might be Heaven in Iowa. Yes, it is cluttered, messy-depending on each person’s idea, but it is all yours and you love every bit of it. We each have our own problems that way, but who cares as long as we are happy with our piles of hope and dreams?

    Neatness is overrated. I worked with a man whose desk was neat with no files, just the phone, etc. BUT they didn’t get to look at the FLOOR BEHIND his desk!! Looks are deceiving….. And whatever you do, don’t mess up my files or sewing piles!

    Take care, everybody. Enjoy your sewing rooms and all the wonderful fabric and patterns. It is such a joy to create with your hands and mind. We are lucky to have such a hobby.

    Betty in Rapid City

    Right now I need to cut up my left over scraps taking up the largest part of the davenport. I just CAN’T throw them away. Blame it on Gramma!! When I finish something, I put the patterns and fabric away. Maybe the scrappy log cabin blocks are a record of my life?

    Isn’t Hazel a hunting breed? And the rats are under control….. A dog’s got to do what they got to do?

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Betty – you’re right, Hazel is definitely a hunter and yes, there are no more rats – that I can see any evidence of. The sewing room I showed you is in the house. I am lucky enough to have the entire quilt ship as well – you want to talk about STUFF! Since I do have so much room I tend to save everything.

  25. Marsha from MI

    That’s too bad about the books rights not being yours any more. Fortunately I have several of your books including Charm School.

    I love the quilt jacket. I have collected a number of jacket patterns with the thought of sprucing up my outerwear wardrobe which has mostly been pretty utilitarian. So many ideas, so little time.

    We are retired but raising a grandchild and kept her home today. Hubby just finished a table top with a lip so she can build Lego, do jigsaws, crafts and play with her Polly Pockets without pieces falling off. Have a couple plastic drawers units under the table for all her stuff. It’s time to purge again after Christmas toys from her doing uncles and auntie and Mommy. This afternoon I’m sitting in my Jeep waiting at the older grands’ bus stop as their sitter isn’t home today. So not much sewing got done, but the kiddos come first.

    I sure feel your frustration with technology. Can make one crazee!

  26. brendalynne1

    from my early days (decades ago) in my hometown, i recall the stories related when looking at the ugliness of melting snow and mud. we do know when it gets a chance to blend into the soil that will grow corn wheat beans tomatoes etc.
    Glad you have found a get-around for the $ 5.00 plan. thank you

  27. Sherrill

    Always such a good feeling to see a freshly cleaned space. I always get so aggravated at myself because when I clean, I think ‘ah, it looks so good; I need to keep it looking good’ but then I don’t. 🙁 Is there anything in that bird cage? I couldn’t tell. When I saw that little bunny pillow, I wondered how you were going to get it away from Hazel to dispose of it. Just wait til she was outside again? LOL

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sherrill – yes, there’s a parakeet in that cage. Got the rabbit away from Hazel when I took her to the barn – Rick then bagged the rabbit for the garbage. Ugh.

  28. Joy in NW iowa

    Ha! I had to go back-and look at the dead frozen rabbit. Too funny! Hazel had to have quite a time getting through the doggie door with that! Have a good night!!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Joy – it was lots easier than you probably think because it wasn’t frozen! Fresh rabbit!!!

  29. DianeX Squeak, and Buddy in Central Ohio

    Did I see 4 kitties in your super, wonderful sewing space? Love it❤️ My room is not as big and it is what I call a working room so definitely not always neat and tidy! I started in the basement rooms this week and am really weeding out to have more room. I will end with the sewing room. Your space is awesome. Enjoy😀

  30. Kathy L

    WOW, what a great sewing room, wish mine were that big and all the storage, just wonderful, Love it all

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Kathy L – my sewing room was added as a space/ like a breezeway between the house and garage. At the top of the steps is an office where my out of date computer sill lives. I really needed all that space when we were in business – now it’s a luxury!

  31. Janet in WV

    Mary, I sympathize with your problems with WordPress. I am one of the people in charge of our quilt guild website. It seems every 2 or 3 months WordPress is making upgrades and something changes. I always think it’s my fault that I can’t make a post to the website, but it’s usually because of WordPress. Thank goodness we have a tech consultant that I can contact. Keep up the good work. I always enjoy reading your posts and seeing pictures of the animals.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Janet – could I keep in contact with you to share problems? Maybe we’re both having the same – please send me your email if you agree. I have nobody to ask!

      1. Janet Baer

        I don’t know how much help I will be, if any. Our setups are pretty different. Go to to see the guild’s webpage.

  32. JoAnne from Wisconsin

    I liked both your and Connie’s sewing studios. Nice to see the spaces where other get creative, and maybe get ideas for our spaces.
    I have so many of your books from over the years and have made some quilts using them.
    Enjoy your posts so much!

  33. Diane in Maryland

    Mary, your sewing room is very nice! it’s just impossible for me to select fabrics, cut pieces and keep everything tidy when I am working on a project. Some very contented kitties are in your room!

  34. Susan K in Texas

    Oh the fun that can be had in your sewing room. Lots of areas to play with different projects! I straighten my sewing room up after finishing projects but it never lasts long. Creativity is best in a mess.

  35. Susan K in Texas

    There is an interesting situation going on at the Dallas Zoo today. One of their clouded leopards got out. They are small cats (up to 40 pounds). They have two sisters and one got out of the enclosure. They think it’s still on zoo property in the trees. They have zoo employees as well as the SWAT team looking for her.
    I hope they find her safe and sound. Being in the cat family I’m sure she’s watching the search and giggling.

  36. Mary Etherington Post author

    Oh, my gosh! Please let me know – I hope she’s ok. Wonder how she got out – oh, that’s right – she’s a cat! An escape artist for sure.

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