Finishes Of All Kinds!! 7-6-2020

The barn is cleaned out and new bedding has been put down. My pile gets destroyed everyday by the chickens who get in it and scratch! This is my flattened pile -ha!

Before cleaning

After cleaning and re-bedding

Here’s the finished ditch.

My pagoda dogwood tree that I tried soooo hard to protect, suffered a loss of branches – even after I tied up some of the branches and begged the guy to be careful.

Makes me so sad.

My Dirty Dozen #5 for this month is quilted and today I’ll bind it and show you again that it is truly finished.

I think Connie is working on Oak Leaves and Acorns as well as her Tula quilt. She’s at the lake with the grandkids from the Chicago area.

My flowers continue to bloom and be so pretty this year.

The flowers are beautiful – the tall white blooms are elderberry and when they’re ripe I’m going to try my hand at making elderberry syrup. Anybody know if it works on Covid-19?

The inner workings of the blog are still not working – maybe the ads will appear again in a few days? I think part of the problem is that when the shop was open and our staff used my email address, etc, to set up these accounts, it got out of hand. I know I have never signed myself up for more than one gmail address!

This is what I’m reading – only on page 51 but so far, so good!

So hang in there – it’s a beautiful summer day, no wind, perfect for reading on the porch and when I get hot I can go to the shop and quilt another small project. What are YOU working on during these dog days of summer?

76 thoughts on “Finishes Of All Kinds!! 7-6-2020

  1. Jean

    I don’t know about elderberry and this virus but I take elderberry for colds and flu and I swear by it. My friends have a flu jab every year and still have bad colds if not flu.

      1. Susan K in Texas

        I’ve been sorting through all of the paper patterns, books, and general mess in my sewing room. I haven’t sewn anything in a week. I finally have the last little bits to take care of – the bits that I’ll probably throw in a box and ignore! This afternoon has been designated sewing time!
        Your quilt turned out nice. And such pretty flowers. The barn cleaning must have been a lot of work but it’s always nice to check a big job off the list.
        Take care!

        1. CountryThreads Post author

          Susan K in Texas – I am so relieved today to be finished with that job! Mow for some weed pulling before it gets too hot!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Jean – duh! Flu shot! I get it. Sorry to be dense.

  2. Pat Cooper

    I so enjoy your posts. I don’t quilt, even got rid of my machine when we moved. Huge mistake. So I make a few baskets and read a little. Thanks for all your pictures of your beautiful farm and quilts.

  3. debby

    Hi Mary, There were a LOT of ads to close today, so something’s working. Love your flower pictures and all the quilts and animals.

  4. Nancy TD

    3 ads to close. Working on DD number 5 and then will work on a baby quilt for my 5th great grand daughter. Hot and muggy with storms forecast for later today. Your quilt turned out nice.

  5. Judith Ann Jaques

    Love the straight line quilting.I know I say that everyone you make.
    I really do NOT like summer weather. All outside work, for me, has to be done between 6-8 in the morning. My no.5 is coming along. i need to cut 60 more 2 1/2 inch blocks. Your tenacity really is amazing. Judy

  6. Joy Van den top

    This morning we had a couple storms roll through so I made greeting cards. Can’t have lightening get my machine!

  7. Charlotte Shira

    The barn looks great and I love your quilt and the beautiful flowers. I had ads to close today!

  8. Angie from Baltimore

    I have decided to do a project with English paper piecing. Very portable and not fussy.
    I can watch English Football and make patches at the same time.
    Hope everyone is staying safe

  9. Susan in PA

    I think the little quilt you are working on is my favorite so far. I just love it.

  10. Jean

    Your flowers are just lovely. I have been to your place when the lily garden is in full bloom and oh my goodness. A true feast for the eyes!
    I hope you will post Connie’s tula pink quilt when she finishes it.
    I pray you are feeling well.

  11. Debbie Miller

    No ads to close here but beautiful pictures! Love the snowball bush and the elderberry. I’m not sure if elderberry syrup works on Covid but elderberry jelly with a hot biscuit and butter works for a lot of things! I had never tasted elderberry anything until year before last and a friend gave me a jar of the jelly. I had never seen the plant and her husband showed me-they were huge! Last summer, he gave me bags of the berries and his jelly recipe-my favorite jelly now! He was supposed to give me cuttings when he pruned them back last fall but he forgot.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Debbie Miller – guess I’ll be looking for a jelly recipe, too! The tall bushes grow like weeds here – all on their own – but are so tall, I’ll need a ladder to harvest the berries! My next venture!

  12. Sandy

    Hi Mary,your garden and quilt look great,I envy you colour sense, I only make scrap quilts as my fabrics are a real mishmash! Will get Andrew to send photos of luna and Stella today,is the chicken poop going in the compost bin? Take care, best wishes from sandy

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Sandy – will look forward to seeing your darling little girls again! The chicken poop will be spread on the alfalfa acres which are being reseeded this year. That’s Rick’s part – I can now rest! Ha!

  13. Carla

    I’m new to your blog, and I’m hoping that the big stuffed dragon I’m making for my eldest granddaughter is an project approved for the UFO challenge. I do have some quilts in my list as well as crosstitch and 2 skirts I want made…I feel motivated thanks to you!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Carla – Yes, of course your stuffed dragon qualifies! If you had a room to paint, that could qualify, too! Anything that you might want to get done or has waited to be done qualifies!

  14. Sue in Oregon

    How I envy you your elderberry bushes. The red one grows naturally here but not the blue one. The red one I think is not nearly as good, but the birds like them. We had trees removed recently and now we will have a nice southern exposed bank. Think I will try to find some blue elderberries to plant. Long ago I made jelly with the juice I got from my juice extracter. I didn’t use pectin. Just boiled until it thickened.
    I am working on the onnline mystery quilt I started. I am on the last blocks now. Also working on my #5. I have hand work to do on it, but almost done with that part.
    And, Mary….your little quilt it just adorable. So country, so vintage looking. Love it.

  15. Gayle Shumaker

    Love your #5. Your flowers are gorgeous especially the hydrangea. The large flower hydrangea and peonies are my favorite flowers. When I was very younge my grandma use to make elderberry wine.

  16. Pat in Michigan

    It’s so nice to see pictures of the farm and your flowers. Such a pretty setting. I love how your small quilt turned out with your blocks you recently rediscovered. The colors are so appealing, just love it. Thanks for sharing with all your readers. I hope you are doing well, Mary and staying safe🤗

  17. Julie D.

    The ads are showing up on my side. I just closed over six of them. Loving your flowers and the cleaned up barn. A lot of work to keep those barns clean! I remember helping my dad clean out the hog house and put down fresh straw–boy did they run around when there was new straw! Love your #5 and can’t wait to see everyone else’s! I’m working on mine!

  18. Beryl BC

    FYI, I noticed the ads are appearing today. It must be quite a feeling of accomplishment to get the barn cleaned up. And, you’ll get to do it again sometime. Not sure if I’ll join the UFO group this year; retirement begins in a month, so maybe I will.

  19. Kay Crandall

    LOVE your DD#5! I got out all the pieces for mine and laid them out on the floor yesterday. Discovered I was one star block short (the rest were made almost 27 years ago and have languished in a basket ever since). Couldn’t sleep last night so sewed that block at 2:00 am – then discovered it was too small. Made a replacement this morning and it’s too big! I had to guess at the measurements because I didn’t have a pattern and my math is obviously terrible!! I’ll keep at it tho because I’m going to love the quilt. Hope you are feeling good, staying cool and taking it easy.

  20. Susan from Good Hope

    Love your little quilt! Happy to report I closed 6 ads today. They’re baaaaaaaaaaack!!!

  21. Martha Engstler Gettysburg

    Please keep us informed about how you are feeling. I’m praying the virus doesn’t catch up with you. There were two ads today, actually the same one at top and at the bottom of your pictures.. Love your quilt, I might try to copy it. I’ve never tried to do that but really do like it. Beautiful flowers!!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Martha Engstler – I am feeling perfect! I don’t think I was close enough to get infected. I put Moe out through the gate and Scott and Sara grabbed her. I’m just trying to do the responsible thing.

  22. Lois Johnson

    Viola! There were ads to close today! First time since you had all of your problems with the blog. Loved the photos of your hydrangeas and lilies. Mine are in full bloom now, too. I invited a young friend over for lunch today; she wants to learn how to make pie. I warned her that even though I used to make good pies, I am out of practice and it could be a failure. It was! We ended up cutting out the dough into pieces, sprinkled sugar and cinnamon on them and baked them that way. Now she understands why I have been using Pillsbury ready-made pastry all these years. I think in order to be successful with pie pastry, you need to do it often; more often than 1X or 2X year!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Lois Johnson – maybe it’s too humid to make good pie crust?

  23. Jeanine

    I closed 8 ads today, so that made me happy! I cut out the pieces for my DD#5 last week, but will not get to work on it until next week. My daughter and 2 grandchildren are coming tomorrow from ND, and will only be here a couple days, so we have to have fun while they are here. We don’t get to see each other that often anymore. I, too, love your little quilt. I really like the colors, and of course your quilting. It was hot here in Oskaloosa today. I had to go to Ottumwa this afternoon to do a little shopping since we only have Walmart here for shopping anymore.

    1. Sherry Whalen

      I read this – well, I listened to American Dirt too. It was so heartbreaking to know that there people who are so desperately in physical danger and hungry and poor that they would endure a 1600 mile walking trip to try to save themselves, to a country who apparently doesn’t want them so finding a way in illegally because they don’t have 2 or 3 or 10 years to wait, on a chance that they could find a menial low wage job with no security, safety or benefits picking our food in the hot fields day after day so we can have cheap food, likely filling a job that none of us could or would do…… We have no idea what we would do to save ourselves and our children. Terrifying and heartbreaking. And enlightening.

  24. Diane Bauer

    Your barn looks fantastic!! Bet you are glad that job is done and you can move on to something else! Your flowers are amazing! Oh, what a difference a little humidity makes! I have trouble in Colorado getting things to survive when it gets hot like this. Will be interesting to see if I have anything left when I get home again.

    I’m missing my machine while I’m here in MN. Haven’t even made it to the quilt shop yet! I love seeing the finishes! Mary, your little quilt is lovely, as always!

    Here are my COVID tips—take it or leave it. My Functional Medicine doc is constantly researching and does a Facebook Live thing on COVID several times a week. Amp up your Vitamin D, Vitamin C, and Tumeric intake now and keep it up until we have a vaccine. Get a pneumonia shot now if you haven’t had one (this was advice from NPR early on). If you get it, keep moving as much as possible. Raise your arms above your head several times every day, even if it hurts—this expands your chest and will help with your breathing. But please, just stay healthy!!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Diane Bauer – I just ran out of vitamin c and turmeric – I don’t dare go to the store! Have plenty of Vit D – maybe I’ll have to order online. I wish I had known you were without a machine! I’d have brought you a loaner!!!

  25. Marj in Western Wisconsin

    I have some frozen eldeberry juice, will have to look up recipe and make the syrup. Love your #5 ufo work in progress, how far apart do you have your quilting lines? I think I will need to do that on one of my ufos.W
    I have the same firecracker lilies in my garden, love how bright they are. Unfortunately, my pampas grass wants to invade here, fighting to keep it out. My grape vines got into my lilac bushes this year, need to get it out of there this fall. Been way too hot to work out of doors, in the 90s predicted for all this week as well as the last five days.Wish I had a screened in porch like yours to enjoy the summer, maybe a project for next year.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Marj – the distance between quilting lines depends on the block pattern – if it’s a small square, maybe I put only 2 lines through the square. No set rule –

  26. Linda Baker

    Midwives. Read it many years ago, one of my favorite books. The barn looks so fresh, you could almost lay down in that bedding and take a nap. Your flowers are beautiful, and the ditch area looks really good now.

  27. Joyce from NY

    Just love your #5, as someone said you are so good at putting colors together. It sure is the lazy days of summer here. I’ve had to water my flowers just about every day, yours look beautiful!!

  28. Jane Boyer

    My sympathy about the loss of branches of your dogwood. We had 4 flowering trees professionally planted a few weeks ago (big bucks). One just broke and we are awaiting the nursery’s rep to come out and determine if their one year guarantee will cover its replacement. Plants and trees become our babies as we have so much responsibility caring for them when they are babies.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Jane Boyer – I was just sick when I heard the branches breaking! I hope it survives!

  29. Pamela Papazidis

    Love, love your blog. Flowers are beautiful. Thank you for doing the DD again this year. Working hard on my 19 year old stack and whack UFO. Needs borders and then off to quilters.

  30. Paula Philpot

    The ads are back and closed about 7.
    I quilted on a charity quilt this morning and then during the day I went thru my box of some 1 1/2″ squares for the Leader Ender. Starting out that small it is going to take alot of blocks but we have all year. I think it will be fun and its like a mystery too for everyone. I also do a mystery quilt class in Oct for our club each year. Last year it was one I saw on a Hallmark Channel Christmas show.
    I had beautiful tommy toe tomatoes starting in a planter out in the flower bed and apparently those tobacco worms had a feast and they look terrible now but we have more in the garden. Your flowers look really nice.

  31. ChristieB from SE Nebraska

    Are those your “homely” blocks? Looks great!!! Can you make elderberry salve? I have some that an Iowa gal (who came and presented a wool program at our guild) made and gave me. It is a pain soothing salve. If you get pricked by a rose thorn (which is the worst) put the salve on it and the pain goes away. Love that stuff.
    Seeing your new bedding, my daughter went to Tractor Supply Saturday to get wood chips and went home with a box of a dozen baby chicks to add to her collection. HUGS… and stitches
    (Closed 2 ads.)

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Christie B – gosh there are no baby chicks to be had around here or I’d be buying some! Yes, those are the homely blocks – haha! Quilting can sure make a quilt look better. I need to go online and look into the elderberry salve – thanks!

  32. Sherry Whalen

    Mary, you got some good jobs done! I’m glad you found some reading time on your porch, and sewing time after barn cleaning – although that looked like more than 10 scoops a day! We had to put chicken wire fencing around our garden, even though we already had rabbit fence around it, the baby bunnies didn’t even slow down when they ran thru the fence holes into the garden. They ate off all of my beans, peas, along with some of the strawberries and asparagus! In another already chicken wired garden, a rabbit somehow pushed thru and ate off several broccoli and cabbage leaves, but the plants were large and able to withstand some nibbling. The rabbits are looking more and more delicious lol. While we were working on the fence I also weeded and hoed around the plants, well the ones that are left, and I’m hoping for some rain overnight or I guess I will be watering tomorrow. What I am sewing – I have been making 5.5 inch string blocks, they are so much fun. I love your zigzag string quilt – I just have to decide when to stop making them. Plus my #5 is a quilt that I need to finish binding so sometime soon I will have a finish. Be still. Oh – and stay cool!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Sherry Whalen – well, I’ve been at it quite a few days and one day I did 20 scoops – it’s a good way for me to work because I don’t have sense enough to stop! And now it’s done!!! Tomorrow will be a breeze – maybe I’ll mow though but I love to mow!! Wish we’d get some rain. I need to go buy grass seed for the ditch but don’t want to go to town – ugh. So sorry about your garden – guess you need a dog – we have hardly any rabbits – and not because the dogs kill them. I think the dog smell keeps them away – maybe?

      1. Sherry Whalen

        We have so many dogs in the neighborhood but these rabbits aren’t afraid of anything, we almost need to kick them out of the way to walk across the yard! It isn’t unusual to be sitting on the deck and have 7 or 8 rabbits ‘frolicking’ while we are sitting 10 feet away. Our back yard is in the middle of a 4 block long ‘block’ – no cross streets or alley, just 2 rows of houses back to back with back yards. It is nice, quiet and with 40 years of vegetation – large trees, shrubs and seclusion, we have a huge variety of birds I think for living in town. But we don’t feed them anymore except for the hummingbirds and orioles because of the huge number of squirrels who eat the bird food – and the bird feeders. So with squirrels, rabbits, chipmunks, and opossums – all with no natural predators like eagles or hawks (they all live closer to the river a couple of miles away and have plenty of food in their near vicinity) so their populations continue to overgrow. Ah, nature lol.

        Well, today I will need to water that garden, the sun is up and one small chance of rain this afternoon. This of course is better than last year at this time – one year ago Sunday/Monday we in Kasson were on our SECOND round of 7+ inches of rain in 8 days, helping the kids haul everything out of their basements because of flooding, we ourselves took on some storm sewer water but were mostly able to keep it contained to the laundry room.

        We are heading out now to get our walk in before it gets any hotter! Have a great day!!

        1. CountryThreads Post author

          Sherry Whalen – I remember all that rain you got last year and what a mess and lots of work it meant for all of you! I’d go for a walk on the gravel road but it’s just too risky with the dogs – several stupid drivers go by here about 50 mph every day and Hazel and Telly know nothing about traffic! Maybe I could walk the round trip to the garden several times – I should count up those steps and see how far it is! My new knees get very stiff if I sit too long at the machine!

  33. Diane in WI

    I was finally able to get your website to come up. Oh, happy day! We really need rain here in southern Wisconsin. My planter box is doing well. I put calla lilies in it and have been able to pick them for in the house. My husband is coming home tomorrow. It’s almost two months to the day when he got sick. Enjoy your porch and keep cool.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Diane in WI – O Happy Day! I can’t believe it’s been that long but I’ll bet you both feel like it’s been ages! You’ve got a big job ahead of you! So wish I lived close enough to help you out in some way! Tell him the blog readers are collectively welcoming him home!

      1. Diane in WI

        Mary, thank you so much. It would be wonderful too if we lived in Iowa. Then I could have visited the shop. I think the doctors had not given him much hope of recovering to where he is. We all think it is the farmer and stubborn German in him. I know prayer did the most good. Do your mulberry bushes have yellowish banana shaped pods on them? I suppose that is where the berries form. Thank you again for the kind words and welcome. Bernard really appreciates them.

        1. CountryThreads Post author

          Diane in Wi – they’re on the elderberry trees, not mulberry. I’ll send a picture of the elderberries in a separate email – don’t know how to attach it here – old brain!

  34. Kathy Hanson

    Your flowers are so gorgeous!! I have read that book…enjoy!! You get so much done! I tire easier than I used to! This getting older is…oh well, glad to be getting older!!

  35. Jeanie S, Central Illinois

    Your #5 is great, Mary! I found several ads.
    My mom made Elderberry jelly. As little kids, we dressed up in lace curtains and played wedding with elderberry bouquets.
    I love sewing during these hot/humid days; my #5 is almost finished.
    Take Care.

  36. Jo in Wyoming

    The pictures today are wonderful, as usual. The elderberries are incredible. I wonder if you could call the local nursery, order grass seed and ask for curb side pickup. I bet they would be happy to accommodate you. The homely block quilt sure turned out handsome.
    We went to Laramie on Sunday. Celebrating birthdays and Independence Day with a backyard picnic. On the way home we stopped for gas…$1.64/gallon! In Cheyenne its$2.35/gallon. Cheyenne has the refinery.
    Today, my friend and I went to Ft. Collins shopping at the most wonderful quilt shop. We solved all the world’s problems, ate delicious tacos and for 5 hours gabbed and laughed and felt normal. Tomorrow I will get coffee then go to the car wash increasing our chances for rain.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Jo in Wyoming – I am so jealous that you got a day out and about! And to a quilt shop besides! My local nursery is 25 miles away – I doubt they’ll come that far and I am sick of waiting for everybody to come and do their job! But maybe even my local Ace Hardware – can’t leave here till Monday however if I obey the 2 week self quarantine but it’s an idea!

  37. Sheri B

    I have a Black Lace Elderberry. It looks like a Japanese Maple, but is much easier to grow. It has pink blossoms that are very fragrant. There is a picture on the Monrovia Nursery website.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Sheri B – my whole yard is fragrant right now because of the elderberry blossoms!

  38. Cathy

    My granddaughter just got 2 Nubian Pygmy goats (I think that’s right), named Butternut & Milky Way & their favorite thing in the world are animal crackers! I’ve looked at all the pictures of your goats & thought how sweet they are so now I can enjoy her goats.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Cathy – I am so jealous! I wish I had some more goats but I guess I’m too old. They might outlive me and I don’t want that.

  39. Marcia - Ohio

    I have been tacking binding on a long queen quilt for my sons birthday in August. It is too hot & dry in SW Ohio to do anything outside so air conditioning is appreciated. My western NY retreat this coming weekend was cancelled. I am so’ bummed out’ as I had several projects that were on my agenda to be constructed. I will miss the socialization of my friends that I see once a year. My daughter & I are still planning to sew this weekend & hubster will cook for us.

  40. Moe Baly

    Hi Mary, love seeing what you are doing on the farm. Didnt our guild bus get stuck in your ditch one time? I think I remember that. Glad you could flatten it. Doesnt it feel good that the barn is clean. I’ve been working on a wool applique project called Emily Munroe. I sew during my commute to work (hubby drives) and for the past 21 months been sewing at doctors/hospitals during my breast cancer experience. I’ve hand sewn 52 blocks so far with 3 to go. In couple weeks I see my oncologist for my 96th doctor visit, I plan to work on my very last block to show him. He’s seen many of my blocks. (BTW I’m fine now.). Today is going to be a hot one in Illinois. Stay cool. Stay safe!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Moe Baly – I have enjoyed your FB posts about the Monroe quilt – we bought that pattern at one time but I sent it home with Connie knowing I’d never make it. Your blocks are beautiful and what a nice way to commemorate the end of your treatments. Yes, the bus backed into the ditch – I have many pictures! Maybe I should tell that story!!

  41. Sally J.

    My #5 is ready for the quilter!! So happy to have it done. It’s a red and white king size and I have put off for years finishing it and only had to do borders!!
    Enjoyed all your pictures today…..closed 2 ads. Take care and stay safe.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Sally J – wow – a DD that is king size! Just think of that nice quilt on your bed!!!

  42. Minnie Homans

    I am working on a pattern by Crabapple Hill called Vintage Tin designed by Meg Hawkey. There are 10 blocks to embroider and then put together with pieced blocks. I have two more to go after the one I am working on now. I did the biggest blocks first because I new if I got tired of it I would never finish it. This is the same designer that designed Walking in a Winter Wonderland. I did that one, also. I was on that bus with Moe Baley. That was a fun trip. Sold one of my sewing machines and am looking for a used Bernina with the stitch regulator. Love your blog and I was a subscriber to your Goat Gazette. Really enjoyed reading them. Love your blog, look for it every day. I enjoy reading all about the ongoings of your farm life and quilting life. You are an inspiration to us all. I get at least two adds every time and some of them recently are even quilt related. Stay healthy and stay cool. Really hot here in Northwest Indiana.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Minnie Homans – love that project you’re working on! And so happy that some of the ads are quilt related – good news indeed!

  43. Kathy in western NY

    My husband put some elderberry bushes in last yr and thought they would never make it but they did and are growing. I told him about yours so what to expect. He’d probably make wine, me I would love the sauve or jelly so will be interested learning this from you.
    It’s so hot here in NY. Watering twice a day. No rain expected this week either.
    Glad to know you are still well with no symptoms of your own. What a relief. You are still doing the responsible thing by helping to stop the spread to others. If only others could think about their fellow man like you.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Kathy in w NY – I’m making my list of things to get for when this is over. My chiropractor wants me to keep my appointment tomorrow! I’m not sure why but I’ll wear my tightest mask!

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