Grandma’s Halloween Costume, 6-5-23

I couldn’t wait any longer – I want to show you this quilt and that still isn’t the end – I might take a break and catch you up on news from the farm and then return for more quilts. I really hate adding so much text because I think you won’t read it and only look at the pictures but the pictures are so worth it!

From top to bottom every piece except the three appliqué pieces and the spacers are small HEXAGONS! This is difficult to see but here’s the black background –

Just look at this quilting!

The gold hexagons that make up the border all have a different decorative stitch!

Many are pieced.

The quilting!

Think about this now – from top to bottom it’s all hexagons – maybe 2”. Barb – why do you like hexagons so much?

And do you wonder how she did this? She had a new Bernina and wanted to try each foot and each decorative stitch so she made a large piece of fabric -?12” maybe – and stitched the entire piece with the decorative stitch and then cut out the hexagons. Brilliant!

Later today I will post again about news from the farm – not as if I’ll ever forget it but I do want to share it with you but not when we’re enjoying these gorgeous quilts from Barb and Joyce.

Gotta get some laundry and housework done and then weed trimming outside. Still no rain here – over a month now. Garden can’t possibly germinate and I don’t want to stress out the grass by mowing it. Feast or famine in North Iowa.

Meet me back here later.

79 thoughts on “Grandma’s Halloween Costume, 6-5-23

  1. Cheryl from Niagara Falls

    Holy crap!!!!! Very cute and a lot of work! I am not a lover of hexagons, but this was very clever. My favorite part though is the moon. Love that face!!!

    No rain here either in a month. At least the heat has broken, and we have beautiful weather in the 70’s. We wanted to take a few days and go away to the Catskills or Adirondacks but looking at the forecast there they will have rain all week so that was squelched. I wish I would have waited to do all my gardening this week with the cooler weather instead of busting my butt in the heat last week. Oh well, it’s done and looks nice. I have to help my daughter with hers though.

    It never ends! Have to get some sewing in. It’s been too long and I have lots to quilt.

  2. Jo in Michigan

    Just WOW! I love Halloween! And this quilt is FANTASTIC! The time it took. I’m just speechless!
    Thanks so much for sharing ♥️

  3. Carolyn

    So amazing when you look at the quilt in it’s individual pieces! Beautiful

  4. Pamela Dempsey

    I love Halloween 🎃 too and all her hard work on this is amazing! 🥰

  5. Dee Dee Peterson

    Thanks to you and Barb for sharing the awesome quilt. How she made the hexies is a great idea. Amazing quilt.

  6. Moe in NE Illinois

    Mary, I am blown away by this quilt and the other quilts you have shown from this talented quilt artist, yes, she is an artist! I wish I liked to make hexies! I’m glad you explained about the hexies too because I thought she bought some decorative pieces and cut the hexies from there. I am in awe!

    And YES, I READ every word you write. It’s like getting a message from a friend every day when my in-box might otherwise be empty…there’s Mary!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Moe – oh my goodness, thank you, Moe! I try not to be over talkative – a picture is worth a thousand words!

  7. Elaine Kopischke-Trejo

    Those quilts are beyond amazing!! I cannot even imagine the skill AND planning that went into them. Thank you soooo much for sharing them with us!
    And of course we always want to hear about the farm!! Always fun stories shared.❤️❤️❤️❤️

  8. Terri Flynn

    Fantastic quilt in so many ways. I had to laugh when I enlarge the picture and saw the little girl sitting in there with her mask on blonde bangs. Just fantastic! OK, see you back here soon!

  9. Shirley Andersen Smith

    This is such an amazing quilt, from the hexies to each individual design in them and the fabulous quilting. Got a chuckle out of the costume. Is that you in there Mary, pretending to be Hazel? So cute!!!
    Shirley from Oregon

  10. Gail in Ohio

    One word – “WOW!!!”
    I always read the text – I’m nosy and want to know all the details! LOL!

  11. Diane in Maryland

    I also read every word of your posts! I may miss a comment if they come in days later after a posts but most times I read all of the comments. I have learned a lot about quilting, gardening , flowers, and the comments on weather are better than the weather channel! I also have many of your readers and their families on my prayer list. Which reminds me…isn’t Rick going to be having hip replacement surgery soon?

    Very dry here on Md’s Eastern Shore. No rain for a long time. We don’t have a garden because the deer would eat it but, the flower seeds I planted haven’t come up and I am sure they won’t. I have flowers in hanging baskets and a couple pots. I can keep those watered.

    I quilted and sewed so much during the lockdown of COVID that I can’t make myself get back to it. Is anyone else experiencing this? I see quilts and fabrics that I love but….

    The quilts and quilting by Barb and Joyce are amazing! Simply amazing! And positively genious how she made those hexagons! The quilts are beautiful. A big thank you to them and you for sharing!

    1. Li

      Diane. You have targeted my mood in 2022 exactly. The remedy depends on what you like to do. I like hand quilting, hand piecing, machine longarming. I have many tops. One thing I did was pick up a hand quilting piece that needs border attention (all basted ready to go) for five, ten, or fifteen minutes a day. Or, I could have taken five inch muslin squares, marked a quarter inch, and pieced to print squares. Or, don’t mark and just sew. Get two pieces of fabric and stitch on the machine. Or, take leftovers and sew all the 2″ or 1-1/2″ or 3″ strips together for a long strip until about 11″ or 40″. Then, sew rows of these strips together and a make four or five columns for a strippy quilt. On the longarm I cut a batt 65″ and loaded a back. Any back. It seems once I get a back loaded I am ready to baste a guideline, layer the batt, and arrange the top for quilting. Last, I would make 50# four patches. Better yet I would make two of each pairing and ask a friend to swap four patches. I get half of theirs. They get half of mine. On the bright side I did come around and quilted and bound three 50″x70″ quilts last month.

    2. Mary Etherington Post author

      Diane – I think as of this past week “I’m back!” I finally feel excited about starting something new – many things actually. I think it was mainly because I was making myself finish up all the UFO’s and even though I still liked most of them I wanted to work on something new. I moved my machine to the porch and can’t wait to start sewing there!

    3. Mary Etherington Post author

      Diane – I always forget to ask about Trice – what’s he up to this summer?

      1. Diane in Maryland

        Trice is such a hard worker! He’s a dock hand at a local marina. His two Toulouse Geese, Sammy and Sally are still living the good life! Sally has layed some eggs over the years but none have hatched so far. Maybe this year. Huk, his English lab, is very spoiled! Trice is 17 now and 6’1″ and so handsome. He’ll be a senior in high school next year. You can tell this Mom-mom is proud of the young man he’s become.

        1. Mary Etherington Post author

          Diane – oh, I knew he’d be working at something! You can be glad no eggs have hatched – do you realize geese can live for 40 years??? I still have some of my originals – yikes!

          1. Georgia, from N. CA

            Just wow. I’ve returned to the home on the lake that my father built. As a child, we raised chickens (before City rules) so always had grain on hand to feed the wild ducks and geese, mostly the solid whites.
            Now, 50+ yrs later, I keep grain on hand for them again and enjoy our newer families of Canadian Geese raising their young. (Our chickens are at our other home nearby, rising crime and an elderly aunt require us at both homes.) Four sets combined their young (17 goslings in all) with the additional help in parenting from a male and female white goose pair who were ‘childless’. What a site they were. The white pair, Mr. and Mrs. Grumbles, would come to my door demanding food by knocking on slider and squawking until fed. I loved my daily comedy of trying to calm down Mr. G.
            I’m writing this because your post made me realize that this goose pair were probably from my childhood and I didn’t realize it. Very special birds, so much joy. We and another nearby couple who also cared for them are still grieving over their passing in last year’s drought.

          2. Mary Etherington Post author

            Georgia – was the white pair with the Canada geese or were they domestic geese? And what did you mean they were probably from your childhood? Feeding animals is such a pleasure, isn’t it?

          3. Georgia from No. CA

            Mary – The white pair (Mr. & Mrs. G) were buddies with the Canadians, and when the Canadians hatched their broods (total of 17) Mr. & Mrs. G stayed close guarding and guiding the goslings of the Canadians. I have 5 sets of new goslings now, but the parents aren’t so chummy with each other in these families. They tend to be like homing pigeons so I’m surprised now that the adults aren’t getting along as they previously did with other Canadian families. Smaller broods, perhaps. It’s like the geese knew they needed extra “nannies” when they had such large broods. We have otters in the lake, raccoons, and loose dogs left to roam at night on the beaches, so the geese are cautious and always on guard.
            I had to chase off a bass fisherman yesterday morning – he was casting inches away from the goslings without care right onto our lake boat ramp where they sunbathe in the ams.. Some of them don’t clear their snags and the lake birds get tangled in the darn plastic lines.
            PS You mentioned that the geese can live for 40 years – as a child I remember white geese here. Fast fwd 3 or 4 decades to now. They may have been here all along through the years.

          4. Mary Etherington Post author

            Georgia – Aha! Now I understand – yes, I read somewhere they can live that long – I think several that I have now are going on 25-30 for sure and they can’t walk too good anymore. Why are people so inconsiderate??? It’s like they’re so selfish in their own little world they don’t think ahead or consider what COULD happen – as with your little goslings. And the lake birds! Years ago when I had goslings it seemed like the whole group watched over them. I’ve never seen an otter!

  12. Jo in Wyoming

    What wonderful quilts and thanks for sharing. I read every word you post. The idea of stitching the new machine’s stitches on a piece of fabric, then cutting to make hexies is awesome. I shall try that.
    I wish you can get some rain, we have had a lot and everything needs mowed again.

  13. MartyCae

    Such talent! I could never think something like this up! An heirloom for sure!

  14. Carolyn Rector

    I love to see quilts with the artist’s touch. What a fantastic job. I am in awe of such talent and originality. Thanks for explaining about how she did her hexigons. Brilliant!

  15. Rosemary W. - Garner IA

    This quilt and the others are truly a piece of art! I spent alot of time looking at it closely at the show, too. WOW….just WOW!!! Very talented and creative person!

  16. Glenda Fletcher

    OMG! Awesome pictures from Barb and Joyce. Thank you for taking the time to share them with us. Barb is a very talented artist. I can see why you would say no one can duplicate this quilt. I also read your comments as is fun to read what you do. We also in SE South Dakota have not gotten rain . We are very dry too. Been cleaning a few drawers in the kitchen, doing a little cross stitching, and need to finish the
    wall hangings that are just about ready to quilt. Then on to doing a quilt, hurray.

  17. Peggy Grandberg

    They do do some awesome work. I always real the whole newsletter. Keep up the good work.

  18. brendalynne1

    how bright and clever to do the stitching on the whole cloth and then cut out the shape./// I would still be doing it the tedious way and failing. there seems to be a life lesson there as well.

    thank youi

  19. Carmen Montmarquet

    Wow! Such an amazing quilt, just love it!
    Wish I could send you some rain as all it’s been doing here for several days here in NH and more to come this week although it looks like we will have some breaks on some of the days, thank goodness as I still have some perennials to get planted!

  20. Kathy in western NY

    I too read every word you share with us and comments unless they are posted days later and I miss them. I am here for a reason and blogs communicate better than other means of social media for me as I like hearing how people truly are doing.
    Thinking of Diane in MD struggling to get back into sewing….maybe make a small table topper or runner for summer to remember that touch and feel of cutting your stash of fabrics up. I don’t sew for long periods daily anymore but strive to balance it in my days to keep my passion blazing away or else laundry, cooking, cleaning, reading, outside chores, and volunteer work would consume me. I still find making an item for charity inspires me the most.

    1. Diane in Maryland

      Thank you, Kathy! Making something small is actually a good idea. I’m going to try that.

  21. Teresa in Indiana

    This is another amazing creation! Just the thought behind it boggles my mind. There’s no chance of my even attempting anything remotely close to this. Hexies are not my thing either, but I love looking others works.
    It’s finally a little cooler here. Mid 80s this week instead 9f the 90s we’ve had the past couple of weeks. And no rain in the forecast still. We are terribly dry. I water the garden every morning. Most of the flowers are on their own. Have a great day!

  22. Li

    No wonder it is your favorite. This quilt should be a grand prize winner at Paducah not only for imagination, but for workmanship. Truly outstanding. Thank you for all of the detail shots.

  23. Jamie in Phoenix

    Oh Mary, you silly girl. I read every single word you write. You think you are boring, I find everything you say to be fascinating. More times than not, your emails are the highlight of my day.

  24. Donna Sproston

    What an amazing quilt. I read every word you write and I know I am not alone.

    Our oldest grandson graduated from high school yesterday. I was so looking forward to going but I had such a cough, I knew I would need to stumble out and get lots of evil eyes. Fortunately I could watch it live via YouTube.

    No rain in Sun Prairie so grass looks like August. Poor robins are looking for worms with no kuck. My son in law is watering a few square feet and the robins are holding conventions there.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Donna – yes, you would have gotten frowned on and that’s ok really but I’m glad you could watch on YouTube. I used to go to work sick many times but after Covid I think it’s no longer acceptable.

  25. Sandra Goddard

    Wow is all I can say. The moon’s mouth is so funny. I always read e ery word don’t want to miss anything

  26. Diane in Colorado

    What an amazing labor of love—and it’s super cute to boot!! Wow!!

    Can’t believe Iowa is dry when Colorado is not!! We had an absolute deluge yesterday. There are very few days when it’s too rainy to walk the dogs, but yesterday was one!! Thankfully, we were able to get back to our usual route this morning! The grass is so green here—and long—it’s hard to find a day when it dries out enough to mow, but I’m not complaining!!!

    I’m loaded up for my third big trip to Goodwill. If I never ultimately get moved, at least I will have condensed and organized, and gotten things down to a more manageable pile. I took 6 grain bags full of paper to a shredding event on Saturday, too. Creating and then selling a business after 25 years meant there was a lot!! The last time I moved I was getting divorced, selling that business, and in grad school full-time. I’m doing the sorting and purging now that didn’t happen then.

  27. Jean

    Gosh I’m wondering why this woman isn’t better known in the quilt world! Or maybe she is and I just don’t know about her. Her work is just absolutely gorgeous. My head couldn’t even think of such design let alone make it. Kudos to Barbara. And thank you Mary for sharing.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jean – I honestly don’t think she IS known in the quilt world and I’d like to change that. I’m going to look into Paducah guidelines.

  28. Kris in WI

    Oh my, again! What a glorious quilt. Just tell me that’s not Grandma in the rat costume! Now I’ve got an itch to make a few embellished hexis. Maybe enough for a candle mat or tiny wall hanging? Such an inspiration. Thank you for sharing, Barb and Joyce, and to you, Mary, for bringing these treasures to all of us. OK, I’ve got to start laundry, too, and get supper out of the freezer, maybe do a lick and a promise with the vacuum, but I’ll be back to hear the latest news tonight! Kris

  29. Teresa from Port Coquitlam, BC

    Hi Mary, like everyone else I enjoy your posts, read all you write, look at all the pictures and read all the comments. Sometimes I leave the email in my inbox for a few days then go back to read the comments. The quilt is unbelievable. She deserves an award for her hard work and creativity. Thanks again for having this blog. I too look forward to it.

  30. Connie R. in NE Wis.

    The quilts in the last few blog posts have been amazing. What talent.
    We too, have been without rain for the last few weeks. Planted the garden last week but not a chance for it to grow if we don’t get some rain. There have been downpours just a few miles from us but, everywhere seems to be very spotty. Sounds like the same story in a lot of areas according to the comments. Luckily, the weeds aren’t growing either!

  31. Susan Woods

    What a wonderful piece of art work in quilt form. Thank you for sharing!

  32. Kim from TN

    I read every word of your blog, somedays I don’t open my computer and then I get to read a few of them at one time. Your blog is a treasure. The quilt has me in awe! I’m so grateful that you showed us close ups of the stitching and workmanship. I can’t fathom making all those hexies and putting them all together with such flair. Stunning!

  33. Rita in Iowa

    Mary thanks for sharing the wonderful art quilts, there a few words that describe the labor and love that went into the quilts.
    Your musing of what you do on the farm and your quilting are what make you a special person. Thanks for sharing.
    And thanks to all the readers for your two cents too!

  34. Betty Klosterman

    You couldn’t beat us off with a stick. Because I don’t want to miss anything, I keep track of each of your postings and how many replies you have received. Then I go back and check out all the new postings several times a day. I think people make the mistake of reading your stuff once and don’t go back. They are missing comments and answers to questions, etc as they never see them.
    We love all the wonderful pictures of quilts, all the comments, problems and everything we have in our lives. After my husband died I had the pleasure of going thru 40 years of car lot paper, page by page with about 90 % having to be shredded. That doesn’t even match what was in HIS shed! Very interesting…. My neighbor helped me on that.
    Now I’m trying to sew up a lot of fabric so it will leave the house and not come back. Usually there are at least 4 projects at the same time so I can work as my mood hits as my to do list is really long. Hope does spring eternal…… Charity quilts are great.
    Of course the fun stuff like the house alarm and shutting the car windows. A belly laugh really feels good. We might as well laugh at our goofs. One of mine is don’t bend over while squatting on a down-hill incline… That went on the list of stuff not to do again.
    In the meantime my petunias that were hail-pruned are perking up to survive another day.
    AND this is the week of our quilt show!!!!! At least 450 quilts are registered….Can’t wait.
    Betty in Rapid City

    1. Jeanie S, Central Illinois

      I love your responses! You have a great sense of humor as well as an unlimited amount of common sense and wisdom.
      Thanks for reminding us to check back on the posts for additional info/conversations.

    2. Mary Etherington Post author

      Betty – your quilt show? Oh dang! Wish I were there! Could you take just a couple pictures of your favorites for me to post? Beat you off with a stick – hahahaha!!!!! Love it.

      1. Sherrill

        Good GRIEF!! That is STUNNING and quite a load of work! I wouldn’t have the patience! Love the expression on the moon and who would ever imagine a rat/mouse/whatever it is. Pieced hexagons? WOW!

  35. Meredith in Cincinnati

    Wowser! This quilt is a Halloween treat for sure! How lucky you are to be able to see this (and the others) and talk to the artist about them. Thank you for letting us in on the fun!

  36. Cynthia Arneson

    WOW! What a great quilt! There is lots of work in this one with lots of patience. Thanks for sharing.

  37. Georgia

    That has to be the most beautiful quilt I’ve seen in some time!! Self-designed to boot? Who ever made that is one very talented artist.

  38. Mary Kannas

    Oh my goodness! These quilts are amazing! I enjoy doing a little handwork occasionally but wow! the hours of beautiful work in these quilts has to be staggering. The outcome is beautiful.
    Thank you Mary, for explaining how the stitching on the individual hexi’s was done. I would never have guessed her method.
    I read all of your posts. Thank you for letting us into your life on the farm as well as your journey with your quilting. I sure like your style!
    I grew up on a farm and after a few years away, we are living on an acreage. It sure can have its emotional ups and downs but I won’t trade it. We have had a lot of hit and miss rain showers in the last few days. We had one come our way but friends just a few miles away have gotten nothing. I’m sure hoping we will have some widespread rain soon.

  39. Jean

    Absolutely stunning!! Thanks for sharing these interesting unique art quilts. Love them!

  40. Viv in Idaho

    I am totally in awe of the talent some people possess!! Amazing!!

  41. Diane in WI

    What a wonderful quilt to display in October! Did Barb have a pattern? If not, she did a great job. I didn’t know geese can live so long. Learn something new every day. We had a thirst-quenching rain last Thursday. Not many around us received the rain. We were just lucky the storm stayed over us. Very hazy skies again today due to the fire in Canada.

  42. Brenda in N Calif

    I to read every word of your posts as well as the comments. Since I only started reading your blog (and yours is the only one) in January I went back and read previous posts so I would know why you were taking Rick to Mayo clinic.
    I have so enjoyed not only these amazing quilts by Barbara and Joyce but from your readers as well.
    However I must say in California we water are gardens daily or we will not have anything grow as we seldom get summer rains. Our area has had afternoon thunderstorms off and on for the last couple of weeks. We are not used to it and people are complaining about all the pollen but the plants sure like it. Maybe we are getting your rain.

  43. patti leal

    this halloween quilt is fantastic. i think of all the thought that went in to it before it could even be started. i wouldn’t have the patience. definitely a work of art both in execution and in quilting. a great pair to work together.
    i love working with scrap quilts – mostly the kitchen sink variety. i like to show that things you don’t think go together really do. you just have to throw them together to see it. as far as starting small – one of the groups we stitch for provides everything for people going into homes or apartments when leaving abuse centers. one of the things they really want are Christmas items, placemats, table runners, pillows, quilts, tree skirts, etc. most of the time the items are small but give the people so much joy.
    i’ve done little the last couple years due to the lung illness however, i’m finally getting things ready and turning in tops, backs and binding so someone else can finish them. i turned in two just this last friday. every little bit helps someone. i have four small quilts to baste and try to quilt. hugs to all, patti in florida

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Patti – that’s just wonderful news – you’re back to quilting which is a good thing! Small items would be a great idea for someone who is “starting over”.

  44. Janice Brown

    Barbara your four quilts are just stunning. I’m in awe of you creativity and talent. Joyce your custom quilting is amazing. Mary thank you for sharing these quilts with us.

  45. Linda in MI

    Halloween quilts are some of my favorites and that one is over the top! She is so very talented. Thank you both for sharing with us. And, I do enjoy the pictures you post but I really enjoy reading every word you print, I love to hear what is going on with you, the farm and all the critters. My sisters and I discuss what goes on at your farm just like you are one of the family! So thank you for including us in your adventures!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Linda – I love that you consider me part of your family!!!!

  46. Sue Hoover

    Truly an amazing quilt. I love all the variety in the hexagon border too and the subject of this quilt is hilarious! Thank you for sharing this quilt.

  47. Judy - Michign

    I’m so sorry to hear about Earnie Jo. Our pets are out family and we miss them just as much as our human family.
    We adopted our 6th dog last June 30. He is a year old now and I can’t imagine life withouu him. He is such a joy and a wonderful smartdog.

  48. Fran Dixon

    Beautiful piece of art! Love the face in the wolf.

    Very dry here in SW IA too.

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