Catching Up, 5-3-24

Let’s start with reader photos!

This is just too cute!
So how did two of our very first patterns from around 1980 get to New Zealand???? The cat with the bow and the log cabin heart – #103 and 105????
So many readers were interested in the watercolor piano quilt – here’s another.

This is what I accomplished today – Hank arrived at 8 and he and Keeper have rassled all day except for the times I’ve forced him to come inside. He just has to be exhausted tonight – I know I am! Here’s just a few pictures from today.

He swished back and forth many times while Keeper watched. Then they started rassling again so he got very muddy. Now it’s dried on and crusty. His mom will have to bathe him tomorrow when he goes home. Grandmas just don’t have the endurance.
Where keeper goes, Hank follows.
Look at that totally lovable muddy body!!

Rick and I got ready for our summer vacation today, too.

We took off the porch covers – next is scrubbing the winter dirt away with the small power washer.

I bought plants yesterday and I’ve always wanted to do this – geraniums along the ramp railing.

I wish we could plant the pumpkins but it’s supposed to rain again tomorrow.

For anyone thinking they missed a post, remember I am forgoing the current daily evening schedule because there’s just too much to do in the spring. I’ll post when I can. If you think you might be missing a post, just search for the blog on your browser.

We just finished watching Caitlin and the Indiana Fever play the Dallas Wings tonight – Dallas won 79-76 but Caitlin did just fine which will be a disappointment to those naysayers. I am a fan who will watch whether they win or lose.

Do you see that robins nest built right into the wreath? It looks like it was made that way – another bird engineering feat.

Hank will go home after lunch tomorrow – just look at this cute puppy sit. More spring yard work tomorrow afternoon.

Muddy Puppy

This weekend is Tulip Time in Pella, IA. Connie and I attended this celebration many years ago and I don’t know when I’ve ever been so cold unless it was our visit to the Statue of Liberty. The tulips were gorgeous but it was windy, rainy and about 45 chilly degrees.

I hope everyone’s spring cleanup is going well!

40 thoughts on “Catching Up, 5-3-24

  1. Bonny

    A lovely, varied post today! Reader quilts always inspire, antics of pets entertain, and your projects exhaust me (respectfully!)
    Take it easy tomorrow, in case we get rain! Thrifting, found pattern 589 giggle. Snatched it up! 2007 printed…. Good stuff!

  2. Diane ln Colorado

    Oh, Spring Clean Up!! Jenica repainted my front porch rail today (looks FABULOUS!!!). I started the spring grass reseeding (female pups are hard on grass!!!).

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Diane – I saw your post and already have the grass seed waiting – just not enough time today. When I saw Jenica I wished I could post her picture with the horse again. Tell her I love that photo and it could be entered in a photography contest

  3. Dee

    I look forward to reading your emails every time you send them. Thank you so much for the wonderful photos, quilts and just wonderful life there at your home! I would love to make that cat with the bow and the heart too. New to quilting after teaching many years, never took time out for it, but now I can and I certainly do!

  4. Terry

    Please share where you got your rug. It looks a lot like one of Yoko Saito’s beautiful taupe quilts. Thanks!

  5. Peggy Grandberg

    I don’t know if this will help but the piano key watercolor was the cover on Watercolor Impressions by Margaret & Slusser. The one shown on your blog had a much nicer piano key board.

    1. Candy

      The picture Mary posted today is my “Window Box” quilt from the book “Watercolor Quilts” , also by Margaret & Slusser. For anyone interested, watercolor quilts are definitely not difficult, just a little time consuming … kind of like a jigsaw puzzle. A good collection of florals is definitely required. The pieces are all 2” squares. Once you get the pieces up on your design wall, you just move them around to get the look you want, but once you move one square, things kind of snowball, and others need to be moved too. This quilt probably sat on my design wall for several months while I pondered each move. Even my husband got into it and would suggest changes. The thing to remember is that you’re going to lose 1/4” on each edge of each square, so the look of the floral print can change considerably when it’s sewn together. In the end, there are only a couple of squares I wish I had charged, but that’s my secret, lol!

      1. Mary Etherington Post author

        Candy – that 1/4” seam could really throw off the progression of colors and I hadn’t really thought about that. Nice quilt.

    2. Dot in NC

      A small correction: the authors of the Watercolor books are Pat Magaret (not Margaret) and Donna Slusser. Watercolor quilts are amazing things to me. They take a large library of floral prints, and a good eye.

  6. Jo in Wyoming

    Wonderful pictures today. Hank is growing like a weed.
    I wish I had taken pictures. A friend of a friend bought one of the old vehicles I have for sale and commented on all the great stuff I still have around the barn. He found the original motor for the jeep he took and I told him to please take that too. What am I going to do with all that stuff? He took outhouse risers, old sand filters, cement mixer, barbecues, wagon wheels, cables. He called it “raw material “. I know everyone needs 5 outhouse risers. What he can’t use, he will take to the metal recycling. What a blessing it has been to find this workhorse. I hope he gets enough payment at the recycling to pay for his gas. He took solar panels, rebar, lawnmower, buckets of bolts…giant bolts.
    I wish I had taken a before and after pictures.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jo – every time I tackle a project and it looks great I think – why didn’t I take a before picture? But it always looks so bad I hate to share my mess. I’m so glad you found some help!!

  7. patti

    all the pictures are wonderful. hank and keeper had a marvelous play day. yes, they will sleep well. i laughed – grandmas watch and feed but don’t do clean-up. the dogs looked like they had so much fun. looking at hank’s paws, he is going to be huge. keeper better watch out. jo, you had a great day getting rid of things. i’m happy for you. everyone needs a helper like that. if any of the readers are in the path of the nasty weather (tornado and rain and floods), please be very careful. the pictures on the news are horrific. the ramp flowers are beautiful. patti in florida

  8. Susan K in Texas

    Oh those doggies! Hank is getting bigger by the minute. I’m sure Keeper will miss him when he’s gone home.
    I finished getting the aloes out of the greenhouse today. Several pots still need to be divided though. That will be another day. Rain rain rain. We’ve been getting rain on a regular basis. It’s nice now as we won’t get any for months this summer.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Susan K – the rain situation is much like ours – appreciate it now because we’ll be hoping for it by summer. Yes, both Keeper and Hank will need a rest – me, too.

  9. Sandy

    Hi Mary, l think the heart and cat blocks were from the free box at guild, but l remember the book being very popular in the guild library, waiting list of 2 years was common for some books! Hank is a live wire, keeper will rest tomorrow, he has a nice nature.l was picking up feijoas along the neighbors fence line with Bella and Misha ,the malamute barked, Bella did most of the barking, she is not friendly to dogs, just people. The geraniums look lovely!
    Take care everyone, best wishes from Sandy

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sandy – I’m still puzzled – what book were these patterns in? I just can’t believe our patterns from the kitchen table reached New Zealand. Yes, little dogs seem to be barkers – I know Hazel is.

  10. Vicki Ibarra

    Love the dogs in the tractor cab, the blue of the white cat’s eyes, all the quilts and collections, the pictures of the dogs, and those geraniums. My covered deck is one of my favorite places to sit, so I know the pleasure of getting your porch ready for “vacation”. It is always work to get it to where you want, but then sitting back with a drink and enjoying the peace and beauty of your yard will be joyful.

  11. Kathy in western NY

    The geraniums look so colorful along the walkway and will be easy for watering. I chuckled seeing Hank and Keeper rasling around like two young boys. I bathed my two dogs yesterday afternoon and what an exhausting job! It was wise you waited as mine turned into a calamity of errors with the water everywhere. I guess I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind doing it correctly.
    Your readers all have such varied interests and stages of quilting so it’s nice to see so much shared we can all see and admire. This morning our church women’s group is doing a brunch and a speaker talking on the Erie Canal in NY.
    Tomorrow church fellowship group is doing a Cinco M’myo luncheon with tacos and Mexican sundaes so some good eating and I’m grateful to the folks who coordinate all these events to enjoy. I stick with the sewing for charity group which is more up my alley for my service for others!

  12. Donna Jo

    The corgis and blue eyed cat are both adorable! Hank and Keeper are great buddies together! How fun! It’s supposed to rain all weekend. I will be in my sewing room; my happy place! We watched the game too. Caitlin did not disappoint.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Donna Jo – we’ve already an inch of rain this morning. So wet – so muddy. Hank is just crusty with mud and rain – his mom will give him a big bath when they get home and he’s had a wonderful time just being a dog and playing outside with Keeper.

  13. Diana in Des Moines

    Good morning! Raining and thundering this morning, so no yard work today. My granddaughter has dance pictures today, so grammy to the rescue. Hair, makeup, costume and shoes as her “mother” is on vacation and won’t be there. Sigh – such is the life of divorced parents of small children.
    On a lighter note – I bought myself a Mother’s Day gift yesterday. Went to Lowes and bought a mini Kobalt tool chest. Pink and oh so cute. Doesn’t hold much but is just so cute!!
    Hubby had retina surgery Thursday so is taking it easy, which means I am not! Doing well, but he did have a tear in his retina causing a large bleeder. I think we have paid the eye surgeons enough this past 6 months for them to buy a vacation home!!

    I am enjoying the rain after being so dry the last few years. Everything is so green and beautiful!

    May the Fourth be with you!!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Diana – and such is the life of a caregiver. You have way too much on your plate – it’s pretty obvious mommy shouldn’t be on vacation and leave the child rearing to you but I understand . Yes, you deserved a little treat. And your poor husband – hope he is recovering. The rain is wonderful, isn’t it?

  14. Linda from Estherville

    Good Morning! Mary we only got to see the last quarter, but it did our hearts good to see Kaitlin all comfortable with her new teammates. What a gal! We are in Des Moines and went to see our two grandsons run! They were excellent! I think Track is my favorite sport. A few years ago I would have said Cross Country…but I need to just stay put in one spot now a days and that ‘is no fun’! They placed 2nd overall…the boys did equally individually. Not bad for all these big schools participating!

    It is raining…there’s goes the painting Lynn planned to do to help in getting ready for graduation. So, I hear it will be cleaning a bit more in the garage. Ooh, I need to remember to send the photo of the graduation tee shirt quilt—-and no modesty here, it is beautiful….I have covered Caitlin, the weather, grandsons, and a quilt. What is more powerful than that! Have a great day.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Linda – we saw the whole game and I’m so tickled she had such a great game. Those jealous viewers got an eyeful,didn’t they? State meet? Yes, I’d say they did excellent competing against the big guys. You’re the first person I’ve ever heard of that track is their favorite sport.

      1. Linda in Estherville

        Not the state meet….Conference….Waterloo East, 5 Des Moines Schools, Mason City, Ottumwa, Ames, and several others!

  15. Lori

    Thank you for all the great pictures. How great to be able to use your porch now that it is uncovered.

    The third photo from the top with the white kitty, what pattern is that quilt? It is great, I love triangles.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Lori – maybe the reader will tell us the pattern name but I’m almost certain it’s just half square triangles and background rectangles. I hope the maker tells us.

  16. Barbara Yarnell

    I would love to work in that sewing room. So inspiring with all the cute quilts and notions! And then I looked at my own and thought I could do that too! But mine is always such a mess with fabric and “stuff” pulled out and stacked everywhere. Well, at least it has a door that I can pull shut when I need to. Great photos today, pets and quilts.

  17. Gayle in Tennessee

    Hi Mary. I am so in love with Hank. Such a sweet face and big paws. Adorable.
    In Tennessee the day lilies and peonies are blooming. Summer is arriving fast for us.
    God bless you and yours.

  18. Sandy in Indiana

    Hi Mary,
    LOVE the geraniums on your railing! Hank is just precious…Looks like he & Keeper had a fun day.
    Thanks for sharing & enjoy your day!

    Sandy in Indiana

  19. Diane, Squeak, and Buddy from Central Ohio

    Why do people have to be nasty? No one in our family will ever play pro sports, but we are happy for Caitlin and others who do. 😀. I am back from the retreat. Only one photo b/c I had to leave early for our granddaughter’s graduation from college today. Wonderful! Buddy would not sit on my lap for a while b/c I was gone. 😹😹
    The dogs, cats, and quilts are fun to see. All so different and cute.
    Thanks for the reminder about changing up posting. My kids say my job is family worried—LOL.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Diane – and I’ll bet you’re good at your job! Haha! I just have to post when I can these days. Although it has rained most of the week – the one really nice day we had I worked too long – I was exhausted at night!

  20. Suzanne in Michigan

    Tulip Time begins in Holland, Michigan (near us) this weekend, as well! It’s a wonderful festival. Love the puppy pix and your geraniums up the railing. I always enjoy your screen porch posts, Mary. They inspire me to make use of my own porch more often. Hubby just got ours all set up for summertime! This year I will try to get out there every single day until it’s too cold.

  21. Sue in Oregon

    Sandi in NZ…I love your canning jars quilt with all the different things in them. That must have been so much fun to make!
    Thanks Mary, for adding my sewing room pics. I must confess…you only saw the walls, not the flat spots. Give me a flat spot and I will fill it quick as you can say Jack Robinson.
    Your geraniums are beautiful. You will love them all summer.
    Love the dogs and the gorgeous blue-eyed cat. So much to see.
    I am beginning to think Old Man Winter does not want to go away this year. We get one nice day and I think it has at last turned to spring and warm dry weather. Next day, here he is again with his constant rain, wind and very cool nights. My tomatoes are huge inside the greenhouse, waiting to go out. How do you spell Leggy?? In the meantime, the grass is loving it and growing like weeds, much to my husbands chagrin. He may have to use a scythe to cut it.
    I have just finished my Great Grandsons graduation quilt top. Now for the hardest part for me. The quilting. I have a question…When you straight line a quilt, do you start in the middle or on one side and work across?

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sue – when I straight line quilt, I always start on the left and quilt right. At the end I cut my thread and return to the left side. Remember I’m quilting with a longarm machine, not my Bernina.

  22. Betty Klosterman

    Whenever somebody posts a picture of their sewing room, I have to look at EVERYTHING. The little stuff, the pile on the table, pictures on the walls, what she is working one, everything. It is wonderful. Down to the last thimble and the last scrap of fabric.

    Looks like Keeper and Hank are pals? They will like their special pasture. The grass out here is looking pretty good. Trees are starting to leaf out. The rain does help. It snowed all morning yesterday, but is wasn’t the shoveling stuff. The wind wasn’t blowing and it just felt so good with the snowflakes hitting my face. We’ve had some very loud thunder. And a big pile of hail washed out of the down spout, except it looked like tapioca. Spring is trying to sprung. (Past tense of spring?)

    God bless grandparents. So many have been raising their grand kids for years. Nothing new.

    The Shrine Circus is in town. Lots of excitment. School vacation is in sight? Life is good.
    Betty in Rapid City

  23. Jan Hebert

    Such fun pictures! The Corgi’s, adorable. The white cat with blue eyes! Wow! Beautiful eyes. And Keeper with Hank – what a good time they had. Sue in Oregon, I love your sewing room! I think mine is smaller than yours but it’s full of lots of stuff like yours, haha! I need more drawers to hold fabric and things. What does everyone do with their quilting books, etc.? I have so many books – I refer to them as “reference” books. Books on quilting, sewing, rug hooking, painting, gardening (!) so many subjects but I love having them. Just not sure where to put them all! I need to get my breezeway cleaned up – your porch inspires me to get to it! Mine is full of bird feeding stuff. Seeds, nuts, mealworms, and lots of dust and dirt not to mention fire wood. I wish I could power wash it like you do Mary but it’s more like a room with plastered and painted walls and the original slate floor. It used to be a screened room but my husband closed it with windows and walls and we do get to use it more this way. The best thing we did was to add a ceiling fan. The robin’s nest is precious! Maybe I’ll hang the grapevine wreath that I have in the garage out on a door. I’d love it if a wren or phoebe would build a nest in it. Today we raked, so it was Chinese take out for dinner. We’re both pooped! Tomorrow it’s supposed to rain in the afternoon. Good day to clean that breezeway room! Stay safe everyone. Jan in MA

  24. Lyn Rogers

    Hank is absolutely precious ………I wish He were mine! I do have a precious one like him who is 10 !

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