Cold Saturday, 4-22-23

We had snow squalls all day yesterday and the grass is white this morning. No working outside today either. After my last post with so many pictures I got many comments – was it close to 150? You did really love that post! Now stop and think about that – I had all those pictures on my camera roll because readers sent them to me – for the enjoyment of everyone. Since that post I have gotten one pet picture but not one quilt picture. This post will be very boring in comparison.

This is what I’ve been working on – a simple 9 patch with this old Judie Rothermel fabric. All the 9 patch blocks were made – this is my Dirty Dozen finish for April. I hope to add the borders today. I am determined to keep working on UFOs.

I’ve started bringing my plants up from the basement where they’ve been thriving all winter. I have too many plants, I know. Here’s just a few of them.

Do you see the chicken on top of her head?
Becky with her grand dog Ruby

Remember all that brushed cotton that we all collected and still have? Let’s figure out something to make with it! I’ll be thinking – you, too.

I had my Medicare appointment a couple weeks ago – my cholesterol is creeping up. One of the doctor’s suggestions was to get more exercise. Really?

Is anyone else a James Corden fan? His show is ending next week and I will miss him very much.

Isn’t this just the epitome of “using it up”? My grandmother made it in 1948.

This should have been posted during Lent but it’s just too good to save until next year – and I’ll never find it again.

That’s all from the “blog about nothing” today and you’ll have to admit there wasn’t one thing of consequence in it.

121 thoughts on “Cold Saturday, 4-22-23

  1. Gloria - Northern Illinois

    Yes! Thanks for following up from last blog about Mary, let’s do a brushed cotton project. You asked about a block to use them. Are they a little fussy like working with flannel?

        1. Mary Etherington Post author

          Patti – Connie LOVES to starch – at the quilt show last week I bought a jug of starch at the rummage sale for $1! I haven’t bought into extreme starching yet.

  2. Judy in Wisconsin

    Mary, you have the best green thumb! Love all the plants. Are they all houseplants or do you take them outside in the Spring? Do they get watered occasionally when in the basement?

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Judy – yes, I take good care of them in the basement – they are all houseplants and all go outside in the late spring. Many are succulents.

  3. Jean Elliott

    I made my son a quilt out of all my brushed cotton. It was all in dark greens and brown, so it actually looked like an army blanket when it was finished. He loves it. And I have used all my brushed cotton.

  4. Shirley Andersen Smith

    Love this post. The chicken on the little girls head. Oh my!!!
    Brushed citton. I have some put aside to do another Jan Patek pattern. Love it. Just one idea.
    I really like your ufo you are working on, nine patch and snowball. Nice. What size is the block. Love the fabric too.
    Weather here in central Orego. Still chilly. Warm up to finally start tomorrow. Can’t wait to get out in the yard.

  5. Gwen

    I love your cartoon of Jesus. Eating has become so complicated for some people. What happened to eating what is on the table?

  6. Mary Kannas

    Love the project you are working on, Mary!
    I am moving my sewing room so not much sewing lately. I do need to get busy on three baby quilts. We are getting three grand babes within six months. A single and a set of twins! So excited! We already have two sweet granddaughters who are quite special.

  7. Pamela Dempsey

    Beautiful plants! Keeper is too. We have an appointment next Friday to meet and adopt the FIV kittens. Finally got hubby to agree to 3 and was told they usually just do 2 or it’s overwhelming. She doesn’t know who she’s dealing with. I will love having 3, may start crying….then I might get 3😻

    1. Carolyn in NE Illinois

      Pamela, my daughter had 5! She’s down to three now, but is such a softie I expect additions. She also has 2 dogs. When they travel I take care of the menagerie 😄

      1. Rosalie

        Carolyn, can you adopt me?
        I have 3 dogs, 4 indoor cats, 3 in and out cats, and about 20 outside cats, plus 2 guineas, 15 chickens, 15 donkeys and about 50 goats. Needless to say it is difficult to travel!
        I’m in Texas in case you want to housesit!

        1. Mary Etherington Post author

          Rosalie – 50 goats? What kind? Are they meat goats to be slaughtered? At what age? An tell me about the donkeys! I love donkeys

    2. Mary Etherington Post author

      Pamela – yes, do that! Three cats is not different than 2. Duh.

    3. Mary H

      Mary, how is the foot? Any improvement?
      I think we ate all ready for some warm sunshine.

  8. Ginger S

    I am trying to finish up my UFO’s too Mary. I am kind of doing the Dirty dozen, but sometimes my project for the number drawn just doesn’t “hep me up” so I move on one that I have more interest in. As long as I’m moving forward I guess. In between, I have quilts I’m making for special occasions..graduations, anniversary, baby quilts. I just love the piecing process. Putting on borders drags me down. We are having cold weather here in NH and Sunday, rain predicted. A great day for inside projects. I love the project you are working on. And see…now I want to make one like that!!!! I will never not have UFO’s

    1. Marsha from Kansas

      I veered off and have been doing my own thing for the Dirty Dozen since the end of the year. I got way behind (starting with November of last year) on my Fig Tree Mystery Christmas BOM. Since I don’t have a brown quilt (tan backgrounds – but not really brown), I decided April was the month I was going to get current on this one for my Dirty Dozen. If you haven’t done any Fig Tree BOM, they are really as my friend calls it, a kit of the month. I make anywhere from two to 11 blocks each month. If there are 11 blocks, there will be multiples of the same blocks using different fabric combinations. I did good until I got to these branches blocks, six of them. Ugh!! Quite a challenge for me. I went ahead and did all the easy blocks and now need the branches as they are used in April and May to join with other blocks to make larger segments. I hope I can accomplish this in the next week. Then will see what color is the May pick. I figure as long as I set a goal and get it accomplished, it is a win in my book! I am motivated by setting the goal. Glad to see somebody else bending the rules a bit, too. But yes, we are moving forward.

      1. Mary Etherington Post author

        Marsha – I have not followed the number or the color BUT I have chosen a project to finish during the month and that’s a win in my book! Yours, too!

  9. Diane in Colorado

    We had snow last night, too. When, oh when, will spring truly arrive?

    Your nine patch looks interesting—I like the alternate block!

    I’m reading today as I’ve decided that is the perfect way to keep the house neat and tidy for showings! I miss your list of reader recommendations! I requested ideas from friends and put together a list from their responses. I think I’ve read 8 books from the list and thus far, every single one has been a winner!! Right now I am reading American Dirt. I’m about halfway through and have enjoyed it!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Diane – are you selling your house? I read American Dirt and thought it was disturbing. I will ask for book recommendations again in a blog post.

  10. Jo in Wyoming

    I woke up to 3” of new snow this morning….again!
    It’s cold and not as bad wind, but we have had some.
    The grass is green underneath, the pastures are looking great.
    My email is back, so I have a lot of catching up to read.
    Have a great weekend everyone.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Connie – brushed cotton is woven, same on both sides with one side slightly “fuzzy”. Flannel is printed or stamped on one side and the back side is sorta whitish. It’s also stiff. I really hate flannel.

  11. Sandra Pierson

    I would love a brushed cotton project. I have soooooo many collected it would be fun to do something scrappy.

    Also, what is the name of the star quilt shown on the table in one picture ? I love it 😍

  12. Casey

    Your plants looks so healthy! What temperature is the basement kept at? And do you have them under grow lights?

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Casey – it’s cooler in the basement – maybe 60? And yes, they are under grow lights on a timer.

  13. Bonny

    I’m with Connie, being unsure how or if brushed cotton is different than flannel? A Bonnie Hunter pattern comes to mind…Bricks and Stepping Stones, (or something close), on her free pattern page.

    Books: The Raffle Baby by Ruth Talbot
    The Storyteller by Jodie Picoult
    Nothing to do but Stay by Carrie Young (older book, may be harder to find)

    I kill even SILK plants!😩

  14. Sharon Ray

    My mother had one of those ?Donkey tail plants. It was huge and she had to leave it when she sold the house. Not sure of the name it looked like a pencil plant to me.

  15. Barbara Firesheets

    Love your UFO project! Just finished making some patriotic blocks for Quilt of Valor project our sewing group is doing. I should be working on UFOs, but instead I’m going to sew on a mystery quilt project I signed up for.

  16. Debbie

    Absolutely love the 9 patch!!!!! The fabrics are great and you put them together wonderfully! Enjoy!
    Thanks for sharing!

  17. Chris

    Yesterday we had rain, snow, sleet, and intermittent sunshine. It made the old saying, “If you don’t like the weather, wait fifteen minutes” sound true. Only I didn’t care for most of the choices we had! Bring on the sweet May flowers!!!

  18. Sue in Oregon

    Old Man Winter just will not let up this year. He really needs to go away.

    The 9 patches and the snowball blocks look great together. Are the blocks 6 inches? I hope you will show it to us when you are finished.
    Chicken on her head! Very cute.

  19. Cathy W

    I would like to do a brushed cotton (homespun) project. I have a good collection and I still buy them when I can find them. They are hard to find now. I’ve done quite a few Cheri Payne patterns and she used a lot of homespuns in her quilts.

  20. Vicki Ibarra

    You say today’s blog was about nothing of consequence, yet it is really all the routine things in life that make life what it is. With routine, we experience many things – comfort, thoughts of “really, again?” as well as “I am getting too old for this”, “I am glad I can still do this”, “friends and family are important”, “the simple things in life help define our days”, and “it is the routine things that make us who we are.” So this is an appreciative nod to things that aren’t of consequence. May we all have them consistently. Even the endless task of making meals is a routine that is nothing of consequence, but defines who we are – think of how the food we each make draws from our life history and experiences. When I visit down south, I go in search of “southern cooking” and when we are along the coast we look for seafood. My husband’s favorite down south meal item is peach cobbler. Apparently, fresh peach cobbler down south is better than anything I make. Laugh.

    We had a skiff of snow on the wooden decks this morning. I hope our onion plants make it through the next few nights with freezing temps. Ah, the challenges of being a gardener (and on a bigger scale of being a farmer for those of you who farm).

    Now I must go do that endless task of prepping things for lunch: pork ribs in the crockpot which I started earlier, fresh roasted asparagus, and cornbread. See, it never ends.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Vicki – thank you for a very understandable comment – and totally accurate! Your lunch sounds delicious!

  21. Gail in Ohio

    I have a beads quilt ready to sandwich – it’s been ready for 3 weeks and I haven’t had a chance to get at it! Maybe this weekend while it’s a bit chilly in central OH. I also have a pillow cover (part quilt, part cross-stitch) ready for the back. Next project up is to sew up some small zippered bags – I liked the first one so much I think I’ll make more!
    Brushed cotton? I used it to make Christmas stockings for everyone in our immediate family except myself. Each one has a wintery-themed applique on it.

  22. Sibyl

    I really enjoyed today’s blog of “nothing”! Loved your plants, especially the crown of thorns and the huge firestick plant! Also loved the yarn ball your grandmother created–what a treasure!
    Thanks for blogging!

  23. Holly in Two Harbors

    I make simple tops from brushed cotton using an old Cindy Taylor Oates pattern. They’re pretty much my uniform. Ha! I wish I had that stash.

  24. Rita in Iowa

    Mary you have a lot of plants, hope the weather changes sooner rather than later. Always lots of work to do outside. Love the quilt your working on.
    Fun to see the chicken on the little girls head. The dogs seem content inside also.

  25. Linda in North Carolina

    The brushed cotton fabric looks like Homespun. I have a collection of it and use it in different projects but would love a new idea to use it up. Most of them are plaids.
    I love the crochet ball. Mary, is there a pattern for it? Would love to make some with leftover yarn.

    1. Connie R.

      Mary, Is the ball your Grandmother made crocheted? I thought it was primitive rug hooking.?Either way, it’s a real treasure.

      1. Mary Etherington Post author

        Connie – it’s hard to tell but I think it’s crocheted in 4 pieces and then whipped together around some type of ball or hard filling. It’s kind of a mystery. – I was hoping someone would recognize it and tell me some details.

  26. Janice

    Love the size of the baby finger plant. Had one 35 years ago. Has yours ever bloomed? Have been looking at our flower shops but in southwest Missouri there doesn’t appear to be any. Yours looks wonderful. Congradulations.

  27. Jean

    YES! I would love to use up my entire bin of brushed cotton’s. Every time country threads got in new brushed brushed cottons I had to have most of them. I have made only one quilt with all that fabric! Let’s do something interesting. Jan Patek had a marvelous pattern out years and years and years ago called the anniversary quilt. A real beauty. We could make that.
    I empathize with your cholesterol issue. Mine finally got so high the Dr said I had to take a statin. If ever there was a drug that was evil a statin is it! I’m keep trying different ones to find one that my body will tolerate. No luck so far. FYI Dr said to take CoQ10 along with the statin. I’m trying. Good luck to you if you have to go on
    them! And oh. Exercise has not affected my cholesterol number at al!

    1. Gloria - northern illinois

      Jean, I just looked up Jan Patek’s anniversary quilt. It is a beauty. I think that appliqué is a bit much for me but I do like how she used those cream lights to brighten the overall design. I think I have some of those light colored brushed cottons somewhere???

      1. Mary Etherington Post author

        Gloria – the Country Threads staff made Jan’s anniversary quilt for Connie’s 25th (?) wedding anniversary. Very involved applique.

    2. Diane, Squeak, Buddy in Central Ohio

      Hi Jean, My husband told his doctor he’d rather die young than take any more Statins. He tried three or four and was miserable with each one. He just tries to keep his cholesterol down, but it is not easy. Good luck.

  28. Kathy Hanson

    I love this blog and reading everyone’s comments !! Such fun and the pictures are delightful! I look forward to it every day!!!

  29. Cathy D

    We were in Clevland OH last week on my husband’s business trip. 70’s and 80’s most days. Mid 70’s when we left yesterday. We drove in rain and strong winds all day. Woke up to snow on the ground at home this morning! I’m wondering when this crazy weather will settle down! There’s so many sticks to pick up and rocks to rake up before it’s time to mow. I guess this weather gives us more time to craft! Soon we’ll be complaining about the heat ☺️!

  30. Lisa B

    I like the fabrics in the quilt you shared. Your plants look beautiful! I think one of my plants that I really wanted to live and have been baby along isn’t going to make it. I love the rare blooms on it and the fact that I got it from my step grandma decade’s ago.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Lisa B – what are you doing to baby it? What type plant is it? When I see one of mine struggling the first thing I do is quit watering it.

  31. Dee from Shell Rock

    Just flurries south of you, but it’s so cold and windy. The blog posted differenty, the part on the email had the pictures down thru Keeper, then you had to click to read the rest I usually click so I can click the ads, but I thought it was interesting it posted that way. Off to do a painting class, it’s a barn quilt, we’ll see how big it is. All my friends are off familying today, I’m having granddaughter and her kids just for tonight, they will drive up after soccer. So won’t get here until probably 7 or so. 5 hour drive. One night, then picking up some recycled building supplies from a family member and then back home tomorrow. Take care,

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Dee – now why would the blog post like that? I have no idea – you all know I am stupid about the inner workings – haha! All I can do is talk.

  32. Connie R. In N. Wis.

    I just love the quilt you’re working on. Hopefully you will post a picture when you finish it. I would love to copy your design. The colors are exactly what I love.
    Snow flurries here today. So ready for Spring. I did see a few flocks of Canadian geese heading North.
    The Jesus cartoon is hilarious and, probably right on for the times we’re in!!! Thanks for posting it.

  33. Dianna in Wisconsin

    We had snow flurries in Eastern Wisconsin this morning. Yuck!
    My husband has geraniums that he has nursed thru 32 years in the basement in winter.
    He has the green thumb. I do the freezing and canning.
    We are are a good team for 47 yearss.
    I’m hoping to finish a quilt fo my granddaughter this week. I have a border to finish on my domestic machine and then I hand stitch the binding in place.
    Loved seeing all the children at your church service during the children’s sermon.

  34. Brenda

    I love reading your blog and seeing all the pictures you post. I also love reading the comments. I would love to visit the lady who has all the animals – inside cats and outside cats and donkeys and goats. I would also love to have all the energy it would take to take care of all of them. My son and his wife take care of their 4 inside cats (they recently lost one they had had for so long and watched him get sicker and sicker -so very sad). But they also take care of a feral cat community (catch, spay/ neuter,return) and one of them got really sick and had to be put down after many tests, etc. And vet care is so expensive. I love and admire everyone who takes care of all these animals. If I were rich I would help them all out. I also admire you for having such a green thumb and growing all the beautiful plants. I don’t have much of a green thumb, but I keep trying. I haven’t killed the aloe plant yet.

    My brother who was in the hospital is home now after having 3 stints put in heart. I can relax a little about that.

    Thank you for keeping us informed and connected!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Brenda – please thank your son and his wife for caring for the feral cats!! Do they have help financially for this endeavor?

  35. Kathy Niemann

    That is ALOT plants. Can you describe what kind of a watering schedule you had for them? How do you know when to water them and when not to?
    This is my first year participating in the community garden. Myself and a friend are working a 4 x 8 pot and we have no idea what we’re doing, I am more interested in making cute garden. Art that I am and digging in the dirt. Let’s hope we at least get one tomato out of it.

  36. Marsha in MI

    I’m at a quilt retreat in Shipshewana IN. Tulips are blooming but it’s cold today. The days sure go fast when quilting, eating and fun with other quilters is going on!

    1. Connie R.

      I’m jealous about the quilt retreat as well as seeing blooming tulips. I have always wanted to visit Shipshewana but, have never done so. And, a quilt retreat there! Must be lovely

  37. Cheryl from Niagara Falls

    Wow, your plants have done very well in the basement! I am not good with plants and only have one, a very small snake plant. My daughter got very involved with plants during quarantine and now has over 70! She can rattle off all their very long names which impresses me. They are everywhere but surprisingly, her house doesn’t look cluttered with them. Love the chicken on the head! I didn’t even notice it until I read the caption. Ha! I am so tired of this yo-yo weather! Yesterday I was sitting on the porch in beautiful weather and had dinner outside at a restaurant. Today it is cold and rainy. Ugh. We are going to my granddaughter’s 12th birthday party. She wanted a cookout but the weather did not co-operate, and we will be inside. Love your latest quilt in progress. I had started one like it in 30’s prints but never completed it. Still waiting on my machine to get back so I can quilt up 3 quilts. Can’t fit them in my smaller one. Have a good weekend everyone!

  38. Lynn h

    Love the plants! I need to start collecting plants again. I had a ton back in the ‘70s. Now that I’m at age 70 it’s time to go back to the future!

  39. Cheryl from Niagara Falls

    Forgot to mention. I have been reading Julie Garwood’s books. Love them. I read each one in 2 days tops! Just got 3 more from the library yesterday and one is done! Nice easy reading romance thrillers.

  40. Nan V.

    I’m awed by all your plants! I can’t keep much of anything alive in my house. We’re in the woods, and apparently don’t get enough sun to make any of them happy. Yet you keep yours alive and well all winter in the basement! You’ve got the gift.

    We’re finally starting to get a little bit of spring in northern Illinois. Grass is greening up in the past two days, and a few of the trees are sprouting. We have mostly oaks, so they’re late starters.

    I LOVE brushed cotton and homespun fabrics. So soft and cozy to cuddle up with a quilt made of it.

  41. Kathy in western NY

    Am going to look at my tote of flannels and homespun fabric now cause I think I never paid much difference and I just got a good lesson from you Mary. This will be fun to see what all you create.
    I went to a quilt show today near Buffalo. It’s the season now as there is one locally first week of May so will attend that too. It was a lovely 1 hour drive there with all the green grasses and daffodils and tulips in yards. We Stopped at a little diner on way home for a Beef on wick. I said to the waitress she must constantly clean those seeds off kimmelwick rolls as I had them all over my table but oh was it good with horseradish. Last night we ate dinner outside (fish fry night) at an Italian restaurant as weather got to 83. Not today. We had a a little rain so tomorrow I want to make some soup for a cooler week ahead.

    1. Diane and the gang in Central Ohio

      Kathy, Have you been to the Beef and Barrel in Olean? Best Beef on Wick ever😋

      1. Jackie in NY

        Diane- my mom grew up in Olean and Allegheny and I still have an aunt and some cousins in that area. Next time we visit, I’ll check out the Beef and Barrel – love beef on weck!

  42. Gloria

    I’m resting and reading the comments too. All your plants! We moved this week and I dug up a few of plants. Now need to find a place for them.

    I am so sad about leaving my house of 40 years but knew we needed to leave two story and downsize to a ranch and smaller sq footage. It doesn’t make me less sad tho!! My sewing room is packed full, will be some time before I get to that room!!

    1. Vicki Ibarra

      There is a grieving that goes with this, even though you have been practical. Thinking of you as you adjust to your new home.

    2. Mary Etherington Post author

      Gloria – I don’t want to ever leave my home but sometimes it isn’t our choice. I hope in time you’ll come to love your ranch home.

  43. Marcia

    Great minds. I too have been working on snowballs & 9 patches. Foundation is a jelly roll. Been a UFO sitting in a box at my feet all winter. I know the feeling of projects needing to be finished.

  44. Cheryl

    It is spring in Little Rock for sure. Tornados, yellow pine pollen everywhere and icky humidity! Oh, and ticks and chiggers. Running the AC some.
    With a garage and closets full of tubs of fabric I think I only bought one fat quarter of brushed cotton. I’ve never used it. I think it was for appliqué on a Red Wagon quilt. There’s my post full of nothing!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Cheryl – yup, Red Wagon is the right era all right. We were friends with Gerry, Jan and Linda and loved their stuff. Those were the days. You, too, can write a blog about nothing!😉

  45. Linda in North Carolina

    I googled Crochet Balls and found a great variety of them. Etsy has digital download patterns. They are about 3 inches in diameter. The one in your picture appears larger than that. How big do you think it is. The patterns say stuff with beads or pellets. Some are called juggling balls.

  46. Carol at Pin Oak Quilting

    Well, Mary, I can’t sew fast enough! I might have two photos in about a week. However, our weather has been overall pretty nice, a few days in the 70s and 80’s, unbelievable for April, so it’s yard work all day long. Cleaning the garage and the shed, and so much more.
    I have more quilts in my head right now than I can possibly complete, with all this outdoor activity!

  47. Diane, Squeak, and Buddy in Central Ohio

    Ahh, Judy Rothermel is a blast from the past. She spoke at our Guild in 1996 and she was excellent. She also appraised our quilts. I had an OLD one appraised. I really like your snowball quilt.
    I love your blog about “ nothing” because you fit your life into ours. We do many of the same things you do, take care of family members, cheer people up, make quilts and gifts, brighten our homes with flowers inside and out., and live the best way we can with kindness and love. Thank you for being you and letting us be us😃😃
    Brushed cotton and flannel. I LOVE both very much. I made several flannel quilts using your Country Threads pattern with the appliqué top that folds over the pillows. I love that pattern. I used many brushed cottons to make quilts with dogs with floppy ears. It was in a flannel quilt book. Fun quilt.
    Cooling off here for this coming week. I will be at a retreat in Amish country for Sunday — Wednesday. Fun.

    1. Kathy in western NY

      Diane, what town is your retreat place? There was a campground we stayed at in Mt Hope, amish area, that had a nice retreat house on it but never saw any quilters use it. Have a good time.

      1. Diane, Squeak, and Buddy

        Hi Kathy–
        We will be right in Berlin, OH, Mt. Hope is just up the road where Lonestar Quilt shop is–great shop. There are many hotels in Berlin so this time we are in the Grand Hotel, I have never been there. We have been to Zinck’s and others. This one is closer to to the center of town for shopping. Charm is not too far by car where we shop, too. We DO also sew:)

        1. Kathy

          Diane – And Charm has a fabulous quilt store and hardware store my husband spends time at and then we meet up at the nice restaurant to eat! Well sounds like shopping at all their wonderful quilt shops and sewing in Berlin gives you some fun times this week.

    2. Mary Etherington Post author

      Diane – I can’t wait to hear about the retreat!! Yup, we’re all the same – and that’s why I really appreciate everybody writing their comments. I love reading them!

  48. Jeanine in Iowa

    I love your snowball quilt and the fabrics. I still like those civil war fabrics and I have some here that I should use to make a quilt like that. I have been working on a quilt using 2.5″ squares, and have the top put together, but need to put a small border on it yet. It will be another charity quilt. It was cold and windy here in south central Iowa. We covered my miniature lilac bushes last night, and they will stay covered tonight and Sunday night, too. I hope it warms up for Pella tulip time the first weekend in May. One never knows what the weather might be for that, but they go on with the show unless is pours down rain, then they have to cancel some events. Another day here about mostly nothing!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jeanine – Connie and I went to Pella one year – I’ve never been so cold in my life unless it was the time we took the ferry to the Statue of Liberty and only had on a light jacket. Brrrrr

  49. Sharon G.

    Mary – so glad to hear your foot is pain free.
    Your plants are beautiful and healthy. You have a green thumb.
    Love the fabric in the 9-patch and snowball blocks. Can’t wait to see a photo of the quilt when it’s finished.
    Keeper looks very comfortable!
    I adopted two cats. They’re doing great and we’re adapting to the change. Family and friends were looking for a cat or dog for me to adopt after my hubby passed away in January. Well, I am smitten and I think they like me, too. Ha!
    Hope the weather improves for you.
    Take care.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sharon – oooh, 2 new kitties! What are their names? Can you send me a picture to my email? Were these rescue cats? Need more info – 😋

  50. Deb in Idaho

    We’re ( husband and little dog,Bella) to Gardendale, Alabama. We have had great weather for a long drive(1700 miles) . We have seen saguaro cactus, white sands in Alamogordo ,New Mexico. Driven on Lake Pontchartrain. We’ll be here one week and then back to Idaho. I enjoy seeing new places but sure miss my sewing machine.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Deb – that is a looong road trip! I couldn’t do it. Bella must be a good little rider. So many things to see

  51. Billie in Henderson, NV

    Had to do a double take – picture of the girl with the chicken on her head!!! So good.

  52. patti leal

    brushed cottons and flannels. my opinion may be different than most. there is flannel out there that is nice and thick and woven, so it reads the same on both sides. no whites anywhere. way back when most flannel had a whitish backing and wasn’t very thick. i like the 9-patch and snowball patterns for these fabs. also the anvil block. made a couple with that pattern in different sizes. also jacob’s ladder is a good one for this. i will have to hunt for my photos. all were almost lost when webshots shut down. dh grabbed them but no data on them and now i can’t find them. simple patterns are easy for brushed fabrics. if they get squirrelly, just hit them with some starch and they will settle down. i really like working with homespuns and brushed and flannels. need to get into it again as health permits. i do not prewash my flannels 3x in hot water. if worried about running dyes, presoak that print. i use them as is so they shrink nicely when finished. no offense intended. just my opinions. patti in florida

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Patti – I value your opinion!!! We sewed with brushed cotton almost exclusively for several years and the reason I prefer it over flannel is because it’s not thick. So there’s two valid opinions and one is not more “right” than the other. It’s personal preference. So I’m still trying to decide what I’m going to do with all that brushed – could it coordinate with a print? Hmmmm

      1. patti

        but of course, it will coordinate with a print.. why not? that’s why we’re quilters, right? pati

  53. Bonnie Specchio

    Mary, always a treat to see all your lovely plants! It is very cold and windy here in central Illinois too. This morning I bundled up and volunteered in a community garden for two hours. As I was leaving, ice pellets rained down! As for cholesterol, on the advice of my doctor, I take 3600 milligrams of red yeast rice (Monascus purpureus) daily – it is a natural statin which I buy over the counter at Walmart or the drug store. So far, it has worked to keep my cholesterol in check.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Bonnie – she told me to take 1200 mg. fish oil – she didn’t mention red yeast rice. Have you ever taken fish oil?

  54. Lindah

    Yayyyy, so glad to hear your foot is all better. It’s hard to keep a good woman down!
    This week I have been doing a down and dirty sorting/culling of my ancient fabric stash. At age 84, I wouldn’t be using it up, and besides, I’m not loving it anymore. Time for it to go, and time to judiciously choose a few new fabs ….as needed and in very small pieces. 🙂 I’m about 3/4 done and feeling lighter already.
    Love all your houseplants. My house is too dark to keep plants happy. I try, but it never works, so I will just enjoy photos of yours.

  55. Pauline Speck

    The snowball and 9-patch!! I’m using that for a mystery quilt at our 5-day retreat in May. We’ll use 2” and 5” squares. My friend Eileen and I run 3 retreats each year, and we have made 4 different colour layouts for them to choose once they’ve made lots of parts, hopefully without guessing where it’s going. I’ll be taking UFOs to finish.
    I’ve made quite a few raggy quilts using flannel, and wool batting for children and grandchildren living in cold places – they’re quilt-as-you-go, with raw edges, and come out of the dryer soft and snuggly.
    We’re having a late balmy autumn, which has been wonderful for the garden, with frogs and birds singing at different times all day. We’ve harvested nearly 40 pumpkins, plus 3 varieties of tomatoes, rhubarb, nectarines, zucchini, tromboncino, baby squash, and 5 New Guinea beans which I’m letting go on for now to see how big they grow.
    The fine weather has also been great for last week’s preparation for our annual church garage sale on yesterday. It was a great success, so this morning’s service was a joyous one, along with Easter theme continuing, as well as an ANZAC commemoration for Anzac Day next Tuesday, 25th. Our new minister has also been an airforce (RAAF) chaplain.
    This coming week we’re taking our new caravan on a 4-day test run at Moonta Bay, so I’ll be enjoying reading and hand sewing, and there’s a quilt shop too…
    Great catch-up read today from all over, thank you everyone!
    Cheers, Pauline in South Australia

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Pauline – I so enjoy being aware of your other side of the world and climate – we’re heading into summer, hopefully, and you’re looking at winter. 3 retreats? That’s a lot of work and I know from experience. What is tromboncino? And New Guinea beans? Also ANZAC – what is that? Good grief I have lots of questions, don’t I? Sorry. Answer if you choose – I’m curious.

      1. Pauline Speck

        Three retreats is not so hard when the menu is the same(ish) – we don’t do soup for the summer one. We also cater for the coeliac and gluten free ladies. Toast and toppings for breakfast, bring your own special needs. Lunch is 3 different soups plus rolls/bread and fillings. Dinners are barbecue, night out at the community centre, roast chicken and veg ( followed by my rhubarb and apple crumble), top your own pizza base, then the last night it’s leftovers and jacket potatoes with cheese/ham/coleslaw/meat sauce/sour cream/chives etc, also assemble your own. Everyone brings biscuits/slice or pre dinner nibbles. We’ve never gone home hungry yet!!
        Tromboncino: it was labelled “heirloom zucchini” – the original Italian zucchini.It’s a climber, the fruit is light green and curly, and a bit crisper with fewer seeds than green zucchini.
        New Guinea Bean: neither a bean, or from NG! It’s a cucurbit, vigorous climber, edible gourd or squash, picked at 1-2 feet, or left to grow will be more than a yard long, up to eleven pounds weight! You should be able to find some amazing photos online.
        ANZAC: Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. Anzac Day is to commemorate the combined troops who landed at Gallipoli in Turkey on April 25, 1915, early in WWII. Public holiday to honour all servicemen since, usually starting with a Dawn Service at the local memorial gardens, followed by community breakfasts, street march/parade, and reunions. Probably like your Veterans Day.
        Sorry my messages are so wordy 🙄
        Pauline in SA

        1. Sherry Whalen

          Pauline – thank you for the local gardening and history lessons! It is so fun to learn about other places. I am glad they are ‘wordy’ – you explained them so well. I often feel that my responses are quite long, even this one – to just say thank you lol!

          1. Mary Etherington Post author

            Sherry – I love your responses! They are not too long. I’ve thought about your basement situation so much – what a big job and so much ruined stuff.

          2. Sherry Whalen

            Luckily, most of the stuff I have stored down there is in plastic tubs and the only real loss will be the carpet and padding – and of course the trust in our Beaver system – which has been a champ for more than 30 years. We are unsure why this time it didn’t handle the water….was something frozen due to the time of year or is something plugged. We didn’t have deep or real standing water, it just kept coming in over several days; we couldn’t get the pad and carpet to dry and we were concerned about mold – and we didn’t find any – whew. We were able to take furniture and stored things out to the garage. We have a professional coming tomorrow and I hope he can scope the system and give recommendations. And then we wait for the next rain….

  56. Judy - Michigan

    Hi Mary,
    It was still a great blog…we all love all that you do. The plants, quilts, people, dogs, pets, all of it.
    Have a great Sunday!

  57. Jackie in NY

    Hi Mary! How did your grandmother make that ball? Is it crocheted? It’s so pretty! I’m glad you still have it and amazed it’s lasted this long!!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jackie – I have no idea how that ball was made – I’ve always had it and she died when I was young so I never had the chance to ask. I was also probably not interested at the time. I don’t know if it’s crocheted but that’s my guess.

  58. Sherry Whalen

    Hi Mary – Like everyone else in our area, the winter fatigue is overwhelming. We walk 2 miles every morning and today was as cold as yesterday and the day before and the day before that! At least I am not torn between being inside sewing or being outside. When we still had a lot of snow, a ground full of frost, and got at least 2 inches of rain a couple of weeks ago – we ended up with water in out lower level. We spent the next week hauling stuff out, tearing out pad under the carpeting and in one room, took out the carpeting too – hard work for a couple of old people lol. Next week we have professionals coming in to see if they can figure out why our water mitigation system failed. It’s been a long winter….

    Yesterday I found a bag of harvested shirts and plaids, some brushed cotton so I decided I am going to make BH’s Scrappy Mountain Majesty. I’ve made a similar technique called ‘buzz saw’ and it was really fun.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sherry – oh no!!! How in the world did that happen? Guess we didn’t have as much snow but we rarely get water in the basement either. Oh, such a horrible job – for any age people!!! All that furniture and carpet – what a loss – and you had a water system in place? I am so sorry.

  59. Robin B

    Love all the “oldies” fabric…that I still have some of also…civil war repros are my absolute favorites!

  60. Carol Reents

    I love all your house plants. I wish I had all the windows to display them in. I enjoy putting plants in my little McCoy planters and other figural planters. I passed up aloe cow recently in an antique store that I will forever regret getting.

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