First Monday, 1-4-21

I’m starting out 2021 by Death Cleaning! I started after Christmas on the packed shelves in our loft. After purging and cleaning I have three empty shelves – the only things left are 30 years from the first issue ever printed of Country Living Magazine!

And a couple of Canada geese! Next spring when Garner has the city wide rummage sales, Connie and I are going to have a sale in her garage. I am sorting and cleaning like crazy – I have collected everything from swans to perfume bottles and 95% of it is going on the sale. I can’t part with my white pitchers, my white planters or my animal figurines but oh my goodness, there’s lots that I refuse to dust anymore. Everything that is headed for the sale is being moved to the room above the garage where I can mark it and pack it up next spring.

Yesterday and today I’m working in the bathroom downstairs – ugh. Honestly some days it doesn’t pay to dust – I picked up this cat that I’ve had for 40 years (Connie has a rabbit – we bought them together) and it broke in my hand! Evidently the dust was keeping it together!

As soon as the floor is dry I can move the clean stuff I’m keeping back in. Then it’s time to get back to my New Years project.

I’m finished with all the blocks – now I’m figuring out a border. I have started cutting off these bonus triangles like Bonnie Hunter does and I’ll be able to use them in the border.

We have had such beautiful frosty mornings!

It’s time to get the snowmen and winter quilts out. Every day this week I’ll be showing you a different quilt that you’ll be able to find in the online shop to purchase and download. Here’s Brrrr hanging right outside my front door.

DD quilts-

I know some of you watched Iowa State win the Fiesta Bowl – sorry , Oregon Duck fans. Our local paper who obviously never gives Iowa State any credit gave the headline the next day to girls wrestling at a local school! They are so biased and I expected this but it leaves a bad taste in my mouth nevertheless. (I just had to get that off my chest and maybe somebody from the Globe will see my comment.)

I had some comments about the Fetch quilt and I am working on another one right now so I can get the pattern ready for those of you who asked.

As I was cleaning in the loft I came across this picture of Connie and me taken about 25 years and we both agreed that we’d like to be this size again. No sense saying I’ll start a diet because it would last about 2 days!

That’s all from me today – what happening in your neck of the woods?

62 thoughts on “First Monday, 1-4-21

  1. Martha C Engstler

    We also had ice on the trees, like crystals every where. Good days to stay home and off the roads. The frame your picture is in is beautiful. Bet it’s an antique. Burr is so cute.

  2. Mary Hawk

    Good job on cleaning , Mary. I love sorting and organizing. I’ve been going through AP adn ! magazines and only saving projects I like. I’ll be much more apt to use them that way. Ha! Not going to live long enough. I moved my sewing room and that led to sorting. Many collections start to seem like a bad idea at our age, don’t they? That’s a cute snowman quilt!

  3. Carol in Memphis

    I am cleaning and straightening up too on this first Monday. LOVE the quilt you are working on – you fabric choices are great! Hoping I can get through the cleaning so I can have time to sew today😁

  4. Diane Bauer

    I LOVE hoar frost—sooooo pretty!!

    Death cleaning sounds like a fabulous idea!! I have far too many collections that need a new home!

  5. scott

    In our neck of the woods, literally, I heard the loudest and coolest sounding owl hooting … then across the clearing that is our new home.. I heard another owl hooting… they were both soooo cool sounding and magical.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Oh, how fun, Scott! I am so enjoying your posts of getting settled in your new home – so glad to see somebody else has too much stuff! I’m on a roll right now!

  6. Pat Smith

    I watched the Iowa state/Oregon game and enjoyed seeing Iowa State dominate. I guess the local paper favors the University of Iowa? I’m howling at their choice of headline! I went to the University of Iowa but don’t follow their sports anymore. You’d think every paper in Iowa would have the Iowa State victory as front page news—I’ll bet Ames did!

  7. Diana in Des moines

    I am also prepping for a garage sale next summer. We usually have a neighborhood sale. My basement is FULL of stuff. So many things I don’t want or need, but feel it’s to good to throw out!

    I bought a new Pfaff on Saturday. Have to wait a couple weeks for it to come in, but so excited!!😊

    1. patti leal

      do you mind telling us which model you bought? i could be in the market. thanks. patti in florida

  8. Nikki M in Tx

    Spent greater part of morning trying to find a site administering Covid19 vaccine.. group 1B can now get vaccinated. No vaccination sites in my county or surrounding counties to be found. Did find local in Fort Worth & have to register on line & they will let you know in 48 hours if eligible & give you time for vaccination. Filled on line application & submitted information.
    Snow & ice gone, beautiful sunny day. 60 degrees. Plan to pick up limbs from yard area & fill deer feeders this afternoon. Deer hunting season over but as long as pigs not a problem ( not many around right now) I will continue to feed the deer.
    Started another Bonnie Hunter Delectable Mountains quilt, using Christmas fabric in this one, will be gift for granddaughter as she requested a Christmas themed quilt for use in decorating next year.
    All holiday decorations have been put away, must admit put VERY little out this year so didn’t take long to put away.
    Made a Pineapple/Cheese ( yes, I know sounds odd ) casserole yesterday as a side to go along with ham I baked, and leftover black-eyed peas & collards. Must admit as odd as sounds the casserole was good & will definitely make again. Enough chatting need get back to work before I lose my ump. Happy New Year Everyone!!!

  9. Donna

    Thanks for the free pattern! I have a 3 ring binder that is full of your patterns. I plan to retire next year and get a bunch done for gifts. I did Frank last fall and got many compliments on it.
    Our mornings here in Southern MN have also been frosty, its beautiful against the pure blue sky.
    Yeah Cyclones, boo on your newspaper. Iowa State has done a great job, new coach has been a great addition!
    Go Cyclones ~

  10. Amy M

    My goal over the holidays was to clean/organize but Netflix seemed more enjoyable most of the time! I did start on “office supplies”. I have an odd obsession with them. I keep the little note pads from hotels for scratch paper, I buy the spiral notebooks at back to school when they are 25 cents. So I have tubs of office supplies-just crazy, a lot now being donated. Also Xmas decorations and supplies, really weeding out those scraps of paper I save for a box it might fit-forget that-I have full rolls of paper not even open yet. Organizing my bags, paper etc and making notes of what I have, so IF I need to buy anything next year I’ll know what I need but I don’t think I will need a thing. I’m trying to wrap more and only use a bag when necessary-last minute, odd size, etc. even though it does take more time. I did start putting some sewing projects into project boxes-so fabric and pattern is all together. So I accomplished a little but not nearly enough, but I decided I’m not going anywhere soon so I’ve go a lot of cold weekends ahead to keep at it.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Amy M – what are you watching on Netflix? Any recommendations?

      1. Nikki in Tx

        Mary watch The Crown…
        … I ♥️ Sam Elliot so watch The Ranch… not everyone’s taste however..& language leaves a lot to be desired

        1. Mary Etherington Post author

          Nikki M – I have watched The Crown and enjoyed it a lot! I’ll check out The Ranch!

  11. Tina W in Oregon

    Have you decided what you’re going to do with all the magazines? I have all the Quilt Sampler magazines since they were printed and will probably just recycle them. Do you look at your magazines? I only do on occasion so it’s time for me to get rid of them! If anyone is looking for any issues I’d be glad to mail them to you for just the cost of shipping!!
    Happy new year! And happy cleaning out!

      1. Betty Klosterman

        Which issues? Make you feel really proud. These are things we like to see.

        1. Mary Etherington Post author

          Betty allow term an – what are you working on, Betty? What’s the weather like in Rapid City? Haven’t heard much from you lately and I miss you.

    1. Diane and Squeak in Central Ohio

      Tina, Sometimes Assisted Living facilities like magazines. I am not sure about that with the Virus, but if you held them until this summer, some might like them. Of course, you could encourage them to recycle when finished😃

  12. Colorado Sue

    I am curious how you and Connie became friends.
    Grade school, Jr Hi, High School??

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Colorado sue – oh, dear! This question – again! I’ll answer in an upcoming post.

  13. Jo in Wyoming

    Mary, don’t you dare, I repeat don’t, get rid of the geese! I love duck/geese/chickens decoys or carvings.
    I have started some death cleaning too. Lordy, I’ve started in my bathroom, next will be the kitchen. Someday, I’ll get to the work clothes. I retired 21 years ago, has styles changed? Not to mention size!!!
    I even painted the shelves, they look so much better. My kids will be happy.
    I also have started gathering and organizing important papers, documents, passwords, account numbers, banking info, etc. if I do one project a day, by the end of the month, I’ll be done. Oh! What a relief it will be.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jo in Wyoming – it really is such a good feeling to clean out! I know I have too much stuff and I’m at the point that I can easily part with some of it.

  14. Pat Williams

    Nicki in Tx—would you please share your pineapple/cheese casserole? Sounds good and interesting and would go good with ham. It is the season for cleaning and organizing and sounds like lots of that going on. Lots of frosty trees here too but no sun to make them sparkle. Thanks for keeping the blog going, Mary. Pat in Iowa City

    1. Nikki in Tx

      Pat, is so easy but so good.

      Pineapple Casserole

      2/3 cup sugar
      6 Tbsp flout
      2 cups grated Sharp cheddar cheese
      2 20 ounces cans pineapple chunks or tidbits ( drained)
      6 Tbsp pineapple juice ( from reserved)
      1 cup Ritz or other butter cracker crumbs
      1 stick butter melted

      Preheat oven to 350 degrees
      Butter 8 inch square casserole
      In mixing bowl combine sugar & flour
      Gradually stir in cheese
      Add pineapple
      Pour into greased casserole
      Combine butter, pineapple juice, & cracker crumbs
      Spread on top of casserole
      Bake 25-30 minutes at 350 or until Golden brown

      Can add 1/2 cup finely diced green bell pepper to pineapple mix if desired.

      I hope you enjoy.

  15. Sandy

    Hi Mary, is the snowmans name Brrrian? He is very cute,I’m struggling with all the audiovisual gear my husband has so got an auctioneer coming tomorrow, so hope that will help with the clean up.would prefer to sew! Take care everyone, best wishes from sandy

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sandy – yes, I think his name should be BRRRRian! Haha!! Old luck with the auctioneer.

  16. Ginny

    I’m contemplating what to do with the quilts and wall hangings I’ve made over the years. I doubt my son will want them after I die and I am currently paying a storage fee each month for the 13 bins I have of them along with the 12 bins of Christmas decorations and my Christmas/evergreen figurines. I live in an apartment and doubt I will ever have room to have any of the items out. Also I live with a smoker and I don’t want to bring them over here to even look at them because I don’t want them to smell like an ashtray. SO when the weather is decent I’m going to go over to the storage facility and hopefully clear it out. OR I could keep on paying and let my son deal with everything after I die. I just don’t want anything put in the garbage.

    1. Nikki M in Tx

      Ginny, ask family members /friends if they would like to pick a quilt, what is leftover after ask local nursing home if residence would like to pick a quilt, residence often have no family & would appreciate a handmade gift & often reminds them of a special time in their lives. Has someone in your area had a house fire & lost everything, gift them a quilt or two & tell them they are in your prayers & them pray for them. Is a House for Humanity being built in your community, gift the home’s owner one of your quilts to warm them in their new home, they will appreciate your thoughtfulness & treasure the gift I am sure.

      1. Mary Etherington Post author

        Nikki m – all really great suggestions! I’m still taking mine to my funeral and laying across the pews. You get to take home the quilt you sit on! Big quilts start in front and get smaller in size to the back. Not my original idea but I love it – thank you, Susan Henderson!

  17. Launa

    24o out up here in Idaho! No new snow today other than the previous near 4’ we’d already received! More is coming tonight! Wished It wouldn’t!
    Planning a ♥️ Quilt, but it will be more a table topper size. One of my quilting friends is cutting her own 5” charms and sewing your free strip pattern!
    Heard an Elk bugle last night! Sounded close by!
    Just received a snow alert…

  18. Patricia Pierce

    I’m thinking Oh no, not the death cleaning again. I thought you did that last year. It’s giving me anxiety as I need to do it. But I have sentimental attachments to almost everything and most everything I have I love. But I’m not enjoying the dust and the effort it takes to do so. Something has got to give. I am your age and more body parts are hurting. Your winter wonderland is just that. So Pretty but certainly puts stress on the trees. Lots of limbs came down on our last freezing rain event. We have had too many dreary rainy days here. I really need to see the sun. I love your geese and your small bird quilt. Don’t get rid of those. I too have years of Country Living and Country Home magazines. I don’t look at them regularly but I still love the decor in them. Oh dear.

  19. Candy

    Such a FUNny conversation! Amy M., I have the same odd obsession with office supplies. My daughter laughs every time she sees me reusing my grocery lists (on hotel note pads) … scratching things off and adding to it until it’s filled up on both sides … LOL! Mary, I love your Canada geese! I wish I had the ambition for some death cleaning in my crawl space, but crawling isn’t fun, and I have nowhere to move anything. I also have every Quilt Sampler magazine. I don’t enjoy them as much anymore, but I can’t quit buying them now!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Candy – I’ve also had those Canada geese for 35-40 years!!

  20. Margaret

    Been working in my sewing room for weeks, have a compression fracture that can’t be fixed, so my back gives out after so long. Got rid of fabric that I knew I would
    Never useless almost all the cute Knick knacks and do much other stullall went to goodwill.still getting some kind of organization…. I know each project I start will make a mess but this will be so much better than rooting through piles of really old fabric..I love that snowman, Brrrr, always enjoy your post. You area special lady. Thank you

  21. Julie B from Cedar Falls

    I need to do some death cleaning also…Guess you could say I am starting in my sewing room. My 2021 resolution is to make a quilt per week (size doesn’t matter) without buying any fabric (only backing as needed). I made 2 quilts last week and cut out another one today. I figure my cupboards should be manageable but the end of December.

  22. Sue Smith-Oregon

    A new sewing machine, Diana! How thrilling. Have a very Happy Sewing New Year. That sentiment is for everyone that reads Marys’s blog.
    I loved the old Country Living magazines and I used to save them. Going to let my present subscription run out as the new issues are sadly lacking. People do collect the old ones, Mary, so you should do well with them.
    Congrats on the Iowa win over Oregon. I would have been more upset if it had been Oregon State. That is where my husband graduated and I attended college for 1 year before we were married. Way back then Oregon State had a great football team. Not so much anymore, though.
    Great DDs and Brrrr.
    Lastly…you girls were so cute. Still are for that matter.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sue Smith – and I will add to your comment – it was Iowa State, not Iowa. Just like Oregon and Oregon State. Two very different schools. And you’re right, I don’t even save the current Country Living magazines – right into the recycling.

  23. Deb H

    Mary, seeing your start on death cleaning again, and having been boxed up since July and waiting for repairs to be done, maybe we should reopen most boxes and re do the death clean and send more to the Salvation Army and Goodwill and my favorite Indian reservation! The tape is drying up on some boxes and need to be retaped too. What do you think, quilters?

    1. Deb H

      Update: Tim says no! We’ll do it when we unpack!

      Love the picture!

      Re: football discrimination: now you know how Morningsiders felt after two national championships in two years. This year might have been the three-peat but they cancelled it.

      1. Mary Etherington Post author

        Deb h – a good friend of mine went to Morningside and I still didn’t know they had won two national championships!!! Explain

  24. MaureenHP

    Brrrr is so dog gone cute! Nice to have a quilt that is winter but not Christmas. It is beautiful here today–the snow/ice covered branches against a grey sky are bteath-taking. I’m finishing up a Steelers quilt for my son, just in case they make it through the playoffs to the Superbowl. And making a plan to finish my UFOs, one day at a time.

  25. Diane and Squeak in Central Ohio

    Well, I’m old—lol!! I read all the comments and then had to go back to read-read what you said, Mary! We watched Iowa beat Oregon and also watched Ohio State beat Clemson—Go Bucks😃😃. Brrr is very cute. I have a long skinny snowman made from homespuns. I think it is a Country Threads pattern. I can’t death clean my Country Threads patterns🤪🤪. Your pictures are always beautiful, Mary. The picture of you and Connie is a great one. Nikki, thanks for the recipe😻. I have some great ones from the Goat Gazette.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Diane and Squeak – please note that this game was Iowa STATE, not Iowa – two different schools. Yes, the long skinny snowman is coming up!

  26. Judith Ann Jaques

    Mary, E 6000 will glue the cat head back on and no one will know.LOL.
    I wish I had a space to put all the things I need/want to get rid of.
    Hoping on day the boys will come and empty out Tom’s work shop.

  27. Kathy in western NY

    I too love to read through the comments of everyone and see what’s new around the country with your readers. So funny many of us are in the cleaning out mode. I think that I have this time being home now to get it done so by spring I can be outside and not complain about what I need to do back inside!
    This is the time to devote to sorting out and I do a little bit each day cause it’s tiring and boring doing just that all day long. I have a big box full of recipes I have torn out of magazines for years and now it’s either try making them or toss the papers. My tastes have changed so most I think will be thrown out.
    As much agony as this virus has caused so many people, I need to remember it’s taught me priorities to practice, appreciate having a warm cozy home and be thankful for healthy living. The picture of you and Connie is so cute!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Kathy in nY – I agree that I’ve learned to love being home and actually hating to see events on my calendar!

  28. Sandy Bessingpas

    Mary you will like this story. In September I found a quilt top hanging on my UFO was a sampler quilt made of thimbleberries scraps and blocks of different sizes. I did not recall piecing it. I took it to two different quilting groups I facilitate and asked if anyone remembered it being a club one did. Then I remembered my sister had visited a few months before(I had for many years sent her the fabric scraps I had leftover from my thimbleberries club projects.) so Monday I sent her a picture of the quilt top and asked her if she might have snuck it into my sewing room on her last visit. She said, no, she had never seen it before. Today I was cleaning my sewing room and went through a wooden tote that I obviously had not looked at in a LONG time. Guess what I found.,a 2013 free on line sampler quilt pattern from Country Threads..obviously I had pieced that quilt top with the on line pattern you had given us. I still don’t recall doing it, but I sure groups will get a good laugh out of it when I bring it for show and tell

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sandy Bessingpas – is this the same quilt? I’ll send you the photo.

    2. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sandy – I’m sorry – I can’t upload your email address!

  29. Liz Schrader

    Mary, my “Brrr” quilt is hanging in my living room . I bought the pattern at your shop about 10 years ago. I put it up every winter.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Liz Schrader – it makes me happy to know it’s being loved in your home!

  30. Jeanie S, Central Illinois

    Our area looks just like yours, Mary. We started the new year with ice and then snow;. The temps have stayed below freezing, so we are still living in a winter wonderland. 😊
    I put away my inside Christmas decorations; it is too cold and icy to deal with the outdoor ones.
    The picture of you and Connie is adorable.

  31. Anne

    My mother started making Pineapple Casserole in the ’70s, and we’re still making it.
    LOVE that snowman quilt, BRRRR, I’ll be looking for it. They’re saying we’ll get some snow on Friday, and then it will rain, yay! We love watching it fall & love watching it quickly go away,
    And if those Country Living mags were mine, I’d spend 2-3 days flipping through them & cutting out all the great quilt photos before recycling them … I wish they were mine!!! 🙂

  32. Jane Boyer

    My work partner has fluid on her knee and has been instructed to elevate it until her next doctors’ appointment on the 14th. Our boss has us working together as a team and she and hubby are the other team. No subs due to COVID. So I’m getting a mini vacation. Today I finished a Christmas project (ready for next year) and got a finished top of a table runner ready for machine quilting. I’ve got plans to use time cutting fabrics for all 12 blocks of a BOM I downloaded a couple years ago. That should keep me busy.

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