The wind – it’s back! Betty warned me and I told her to keep it out there but it’s here this morning making this a sewing, baking, cleaning day instead a work outside day.
If you grow hydrangeas you know they’re a real job in the spring to clean. Leaves land in the middle of the stalks making it necessary to reach in with a gloved hand to remove the huge hard clumps. You can’t rake effectively because the stalks reach so far.
But – in a few months they will be in full bloom and I will have forgotten all this hard work. If you have hydrangeas, do you have any spring tips for me?
I forgot to tell you the other day that we buried Colton. He has been in the freezer since he died last winter and now he’s resting at the north end of the garden.
Someone asked if Twin Sister actually had a twin and yes, she DID have a twin who was lost in the owl/hawk attack last August. My few remaining chickens are getting very very old and I can see the signs.
Diane was recently in an Ohio quilt shop and saw this little quilt from Sew Charming which obviously was made with charms.
The quilt I’m working on now, shown here
is the same design but a different size. I’m putting borders on now.
Remember Fluffybun, Cathy’s cat, who I agreed to take because she didn’t want to take her to OK when she moves? She’s a very nice cat but I just don’t need/want another cat. Would anybody like to have her? She’s an indoor/outdoor cat, well behaved and knows all the rules.
Another grouping of favorite pictures – some vintage.
Remember – If you don’t see your pet or quilt posted, please let me know. I try to stay current with photos. The other evening I worked at cleaning/clearing 7800 emails!
What a disjointed miscellaneous post! But I’m all caught up on photos so now I’ll clean up and delete. I’ll be working inside today – maybe bake some cookies! How about you – what are you doing today?
Several of us just read BLACK CAKE. By Charmaine Wilkerson. Now we’re ready to embark on making one! Anyone been there, done that?
Oh I wish I lived closer, I would love to have Fluffybun. She’s such a pretty kitty! And Smudge, I don’t remember seeing him before, love his markings. Larkin is very handsome! Love all of the quilts too! It’s 54 here right now, I’m heading to a friend’s for lunch and later I hope to get some raking in. Tomorrow we open the camp! Jan in MA
I love all of your barn quilts behind the hydrangeas! Pretty! I hope to plant some hydrangeas soon. I got an updated kittens photo so will send to you. Tomorrow is the big adoption day, so excited, so hard to choose which ones!😻
Thanks so much for posting! I adore all the pictures. Aren’t all the quilts lovely?
I can’t wait to see those hydrangeas later this year!
I love reading the different pet names! When we adopted our jack russell, her name was Tinkerbell. My husband couldn’t bring himself to go outside and call “Tinkerbell”, so we shortened it to Bella. Today, I will be canning stew meat and cherry jam and then outside to tackle more weeds. Baking cookies sounds like fun, too!
I’ve longarmed a table runner and a baby quilt already this morning. That gives me permission to work on a very large batik quilt of mine that I thought was done but I’m ripping and replacing edge blocks. It just didn’t look right. It’s a real pain, but I’ll be much happier with the result.
Jan – really? Are you sure you wouldn’t like it? Haha!!! That’s a lot of work.
I’m learning to use rulers to quilt with on my longarm. Such fun! So that’s what I’ll be doing today.
Yep, love the pictures, so can identify with dilemnas you face. Not the hydrangeas, we got flooded horribly 2 different times, I am just not into alot of dead plants again. Lost some beauties over the years. Kitty is cute, we had one like it, but now I have an old dog who’s territorial and I don’t want blood shed. Off for lunch with the granddaughter for her birthday. She’ll be 21 on Saturday, how can that be?
Have a great day.
I love your blog and have been reading it for ages — and am now trying to get courage up to comment from time to time….usually when I have commented on someone’s blog, it seems to fall into an abyss.
I like the new pet feature, and always enjoy seeing readers’ quilt pictures as well.
I have been following Country Threads with great interest since the first article about you in Quilt Sampler. I must have a dozen of your books too. Thank you for being there all these years for me (age 77) and so many others! Some of us are pretty shy but SO appreciative of every single word!
Elizabeth – remember you’re among friends here on the blog – feel free to tell us what’s on your mind. Doesn’t have to be earth shattering – it’s a blog about nothing! Nothing in particular.
You are so lucky to be able to grow hydrangeas. It’s a real struggle in Florida.
The reader quilts today are wonderful. I especially like the appliquéd dragon fly with all the different borders! I finally managed to get our dog’s name in text on his picture – yay me! And it’s on its way to you in an email. Like Jan Hebert, if I lived closer, I’d take your new kitty. Hopefully someone will soon. It’s supposed to be in the low 80’s here in NE Oregon for the next couple of days. Too warm, too soon. Hoping the snow in the mountains doesn’t melt too fast and cause flooding. I’ll be planting some flowers and pulling weeds before they take over!
Mary, the hemostats that come in so handy in the sewing room are also useful in the garden. Today I’m working on manicuring some of my too many succulent plants. The hemostats can reach dead leaves and debris in the crevices and tight places. Yesterday I used them to extract dead leaves from my only hydrangea. Looking good. I have dedicated garden and sewing hemostats of different sizes. Looking to hit 94° here today. If it were August when we’re often at 110° then 94° would seem downright balmy.
Do you have to cut back your hydrangeas every year? I do because the old stalks never leaf out. Smudge looks just like my cat Stormy.
My youngest son and daughter-in-law have a cat with markings like those of Smudge. I smiled when I saw that picture. They called their cat Olive. It is interesting how names are chosen. They have rescued 6 cats and fostered a dozen or so. I never know what we will find when we visit. They have loving hearts and want to see cats go to good homes.
Sunny and not windy here in southeast Iowa. I am watering: onion plants, freshly sewn lawn, and transplants. My husband is transplanting perennial flowers for me.
I have one hydrangea it is blue I love it but one is enough. Baked and cleaned all morning. Sitting with my feet up now . Today is our 3rd grandson’s birthday 12 and our son’s 44. Born the same day. Quilts are beautiful again today.
I am going for a walk in the sunshine. My machine is in the shop so I need to clean the sewing space while I can’t piece. I have two quilts ready for binding but that will not happen til the machine is back. I now understand why some quilters have two machines. The sun beckons before the wind and rain reaches us tomorrow. The creeks and rivers are out of their banks here in Wisconsin. I love your picture wall! The first of my two visits to Country Threads, you were playing your piano and Colton was a new kitten sitting in the doorway of the shop. My husband played with him while I shopped.
Donna – what a sweet memory of Colton – it was painful to take him out of the freezer and put him in the ground.
I’d also take Honeybun, but I already have 5 cats who have found their way to my home and heart. One that looks like Fluffybun, but is black and brown, found her way into my house via our window level cat door. My husband had already gone to bed and he came to me holding out this strange cat saying, “This isn’t our cat! It jumped onto the bed with me!” Turned out something must have been attacking her because a few days later we found a big abscessed bite under all the hair on her butt. That was a year ago and she is still here. Very rarely goes outside. Her name is Roxanne Fluffybutt. I’ll try to remember to send an email with her photo.
Love the story of Roxanne Fluffybutt!! She sure knows where to find a good home, just crawl in bed with your husband!
I also heard that the Quilt Sampler magazine is now history. No more visiting all the shops.
That’s sad about Quilt Sampler… I had a few quilts featured in that publication when they did a shop close to me. Yes, it will be missed.
Love reading about your days! It is still cold here in NE Ohio But I know spring is on its way – maybe it will blow thru on your wind – send it East!
Cookies sound delicious – what are you baking? Love the quilt pattern rug – so needful for dogs and cats to have an easily cleanable rug!
Mary,if you have Annabelle hydrangeas, I cut the stalks down to about 5″. Pull out the old ones which are dead. Easy to get into the base and clean. I’ve been doing this for a long time and they grow back just fine. They get so tall,I have to stake them.
I have iron fence sections that go in front of that row – otherwise they’d be on the ground especially after it rained. When sections break off I root them in water and I’ve got more plants.
I trim mine clear down too… easier to clean up..
Rosemary – do you trim in spring or fall? I’ve done both. I have rooted many using those trimmings. Just put in water and then in pots to start new plants. No need to buy more!
Love your photo wall, Mary! Especially the vintage pictures!
Readers quilt with random-ish borders, very cool!
I’m assembling a QAYG quilt today that I finished quilting the blocks at Shipshewana Quilt Retreat last week!!
Hi, Mary, I spent part of the day weeding and clearing garden debris. I started sewing and our landscaping company showed up. We had so much damage due to the major snowstorms and blizzards this year, the hardest winter I remember since 1977, that we hired a company we’ve had good experience with to come dig out the ruined azaleas, the spilt in half hydrangea tree, the crushed lavender, and our bushes that line our path. What a mess it is right now, having nothing will be better than the mess we look at everyday. We had a stunning ornamental tree and an evergreen destroyed too. So that’s happening around me. $$$$ it will not be cheap.
My husband bought himself a birthday toy, saving me from creative birthday thinking. He bought a Cuisenart electric smoker. Thinking brisket and ribs and drooling. However, fresh out of the box and it doesn’t seem to work. Quite a lot of stressing going on in his world right now, which I choose to ignore until I have to help carry 50 pounds of dead weight around to the front of the house to return it.
Tuna fish for dinner…because neither of us cares enough about what we eat, but I will say… can I have some cookies, please, Mary?
7800 emails??? Thats horrendous! I thought 100 was too much. lol
I took out 2 bags of frozen tomatoes, put them in my 6 qt roaster, added green peppers, carrots, onions, celery, spices, Worcestershire and (can’t remember all of it) turned it on to 250 for 4 hours. It will be V-8 juice after I blend it. I should get at least 4 qts to can.
Now I need to go out and plant onions.
Quilts and animals are so much fun to see today.
Sue – we’ll, that’s since January, I think – lots of them and I’m going to try to keep up every day or week. I always say this however and I never do. Ugh.
Good Afternoon, Mary
The redbuds and lilacs are blooming–so pretty. It is sunny and beautiful a half-hour west of Peoria IL. However, it is cool enough, I am contented working indoors. I baked cookies yesterday (oatmeal w/raisins and walnuts), as hubby’s cookie jar was empty.
We ran an errand this morning and ate lunch out. My small afternoon project is altering a dust ruffle, as it was made with no slits for our iron bed’s legs. This is what I get for not making the dust ruffle in the first place. Who wants to make a dust ruffle, when there are so many lovely quilts to make?
Jeanie – I would hate to make a dust ruffle! All that fabric and gathering? No, just no.
I’m on woodpeckers patrol today. They have done a lot of damage to our house. Loretta patrols one side. Me the other. In a few weeks, we’ll be doing patches.
I think the only black dirt in Wyoming is what comes in on Loretta’s feet!
It has been windy in northern Illinois, too. But it’s also been warm enough for trees to be budding and about to bloom.
I once again enjoyed the quilt show. I’m looking forward to seeing your hydrangeas in full bloom!
It is King’s Day here in the Netherlands, a public holiday, and a nice dry, slightly sunny day. First thing in the morning I hung out the Dutch flag (traditional to do that on King’s day). Then I cycled to a plant sale, held at a ruined castle in the woods, by the local beekeepers association, that they hold each year to raise funds. I bought four plants and a pot of honey for a total outlay of 10 euro, so pretty good value! When I got home I did some ironing and after that rewarded myself with a hour of embroidery. In the afternoon I worked in the garden: I weeded and dug over the vegetable garden and mulched it, so that it is ready for planting as soon as the risk of night frosts has passed. Then I weeded my largest flower bed, where all the perennial plants are coming up nicely, but where some pesky stinging nettles had appeared as well. There is clutch of young Chickadees in one of our nest boxes: I could hear them peeping away when I went to put my bicycle away in the shed. In the evening I didn’t feel much like cooking, so I defrosted a quiche from the freezer that I made earlier, and we had that for dinner with salad. A nice productive but also relaxing day.
Fiona – LOVE to hear what happened in your day! A ruined castle in the woods! Now there’s something you won’t see in Iowa!
Yes, the wind is back! Hubby had an eye appointment in Sioux Falls. He has wet Macular degeneration in both eyes as of today. So he will be getting a shot every 8 weeks in both eyes. Not fun! So, today was grocery day. I needed a lot of groceries! Then we went out for lunch and on to Costco for watermelon and a few things, always get some blueberries.
Well, the cupboards are stocked again. With the guys in the field I like to have ham and cheese in the house for sandwiches. Our one son has about every allergy in the book so he is kind of tough to feed if it has to go to the field. He told me about some almond wraps at Costco. I could use that with egg salad or something, if they are around the yard I usually do burgers on the grill. That is always a hit.
Well, I think I will see what I can get into in the cave!
,We only have two hydrangeas, an oak leaf and a traditional. I don’t have any suggestions for caring for them. The one is too close to ornamental grass, which overpowers it, but it keeps coming back. I’m excited to have the fern leaf peony, from Iowa that has survived, ready to bloom.
The wall of pictures are very nice.
Mary, I have had a long week of shuffling things around in my sewing room! I hit a treasure trove in assorted places! I think I found the rug book. I hope that was not a day dream; the packet of seeds you gave us someway-your Mothers miniature hollyhocks. The brochure you mailed us telling that you realized we all really missed the Goat Gazette and that you would be beginning the blog. I should have brought these treasures upstairs to photo and send to you! I will try to remember! Oh, Connie taught a class on a ship cruise and I found a card that they advertised with!
Those things are fun to find! Had I not been such a lazy cleaner they would have been tossed years ago! I am going to try to figure out a place to put the holly hock seeds in so the deer, turkeys and woodchuck do not disturb them!
I probably found whole pieces of fabric from your shop! But I didn’t find any of the small needlework we did with wool on cloth—what was that called. punch Needle???
It was warmer today, but I haven’t been out. I am fighting that wicked cold people are having now. I guess if I have to be miserable with this junk, I might just as well be miserable sorting!
Have a great rest of the week!
Linda – wow, a trip down memory lane!! I had forgotten about most of those things you mentioned!
The winds can be nasty here, too. Love your pictures on the wall. I’m working on a quilt for my middle son who just turned 36. He is a guitar player and the quilt is full of guitars! I will send you a picture after I finish it.
Today was a beautiful day in Oskaloosa—–a little wind, but not so strong like it has been. I helped prepare food for a community dinner we host at our church once a month. I just got home from there awhile ago. We had a good turnout, but a lot of food left over as well. Better that way than running out of food. I enjoyed all the pictures today. Some of our potatoes have peaked through the ground that we planted on Good Friday. Our radishes didn’t come up very good, but onions look good. My husband planted more sweet corn today.
Hi Mary, The pet and quilt show are wonderful today. I understand about taking in kitties. We are stopped at two, for now😹. Ha. Two is good. Sorry about having to bury Colton today. He was a sweet kitty. Buddy is loving the porch and all “ his” critters to watch. Squeak spends most of her time in my sewing rocker sleeping or knocking things on the floor. Helpful—not. Thanks for printing the Charm quilt photo. I love that line of fabric. That shop is having 30% off on 5/5 so we are going back. Our sewing group got the giggles today and we couldn’t stop—fun time.
Diane – so what were you giggling about?
We were talking about the trials and tribulations of hard of hearing husbands. Being silly😹😹
Diane – I’d like to add my two cents worth on that subject!!!!
Diane, that is too funny. I worked for an audiologist for a few years, and it was always the wives who would insist their husbands get hearing aids. The husbands would always say “I don’t need or want these. I hear just fine!” After a couple weeks when they would come back for their follow-up, they would be so apologetic because they didn’t realize how bad they were before. We always smiled because we heard it over and over.
Cheryl – but how did they convince the husband to go for a hearing test in the first place?
Just came in from playing with my three big dogs. What a lovely evening, no wind! Love the reader quilts. I have also kept pets in the freezer waiting for the ground to thaw. Reliving it all over.
Margie – the only other option is the landfill and one time many many years ago I had a goat die and it was -14. I wrapped him up in a very heavy commercial weight garbage bag and taped it round and round and went there. They took pity on me – I think because I was in tears – and let me drive him to where the big equipment was burying other garbage. I had to haul him out of the truck and leave him there in the ground. Oh, it was so terrible.
That round and round dragonfly quilt is fascinating. It makes me want to start another project. I like the charm quilts – it’s always fun to see the different versions with different fabric styles.
I’m currently working on a commission quilt and then have to make new curtains for my grandson. I need to repair a bed skirt but that sounds like no fun!
The weather is a bit schizophrenic right now. I’ve had the AC on and then the heat the next day. We’re getting rain and scattered bad hail and tornadoes. This spring has been weird.
We’ve been working on plants and the yard when weather permits. I’ve started a bunch of baby echeveria plants. My husband is afraid they’ll take over like the aloes. There’s just something about playing in the dirt. It’s addictive like playing with fabric.
We’ve been going to and watching the Stanley cup playoffs. Go Stars! If they can win In Minnesota tomorrow night they go to the next round. If they lose they play here in Dallas on Sunday. There’s nothing like the energy in sports playoffs – whether basketball, hockey, baseball, softball, or football – it’s just so much fun.
We’ve had similar spring weather here in central Indiana. Seems especially windy this year—hard to do any kind of yard cleanup when even a light wind is blowing. I was going to ask you about hydrangeas! I went online last year to look for pruning tips and found out there are two kinds of hydrangeas—early blooming and late/constant bloomers. I can’t keep straight which you are to prune in spring and which in fall so I just leave all the canes and prune when I can see which ones are not living. I have two lace caps in front of the house and one that’s something else in the side yard—going to move it as it just doesn’t get enough sun to grow well.
We had an enormous maple tree in the backyard that split in a huge thunderstorm last July which smashed our deck and ruined a lot of the yard and beds. We rebuilt the deck and fence, but what the tree didn’t destroy, putting in the fence pretty well messed up, so I’m redoing most everything in the back yard this year. The positive side is we used to have a lot of shade and now we don’t have any so I can plant things where I couldn’t before. Going to be a lot of work!
Sue – oh, so much hard work. I dont plant many in- ground plants because I can’t weed easily. I do have some I’d like to move this spring but nobody to help me so guess they’ll stay where they are.
Love all the quilts to see. Such a variety to admire. Thank you readers for sending pictures as it’s a highlight to share in your creations. I seem to get wrapped up in charity quilts (maybe to use up the stash I wonder why I bought that color!) and push back on the ones I wish to finish for myself and family.
It’s sad burying a beloved pet and I have them all around my yard from the years we cherished with them. I spent yesterday with a lady from our church who put her 15 yr old small doggie to sleep earlier in the morning as her health is failing and I don’t think she could provide properly for the dog anymore. She wanted help removing area carpets in a guest bedroom and replacing them so detected she couldn’t care for the dogs needs as she once could due to her health declining.
I debated and prayed whether I should offer to give the dog a home here for another year or so but then I would have been faced with making that dreaded time to let go appointment and I have 2 other dogs and a cat that are all pretty much the same age. Sad part was the lady must be so preoccupied with what’s ahead for her health now that she wasn’t missing the little dog nor crying like I had to hold back from doing.
Such is the life of our days, isn’t it Mary. To care so much it hurts many times.
Kathy – your story was painful to read. My consolation is that the dog was 15 years old and couldn’t have been in good health. This will be me some day and my plan is to euthanize my remaining pets when I’m gone. Nobody will care for them or love them like me and there are things worse than death. It’s a hard subject to think about and I do think about it all the time.
Awww. Poor lady and poor you, Kathy. That is so hard. We had an old dog, 15 years, too. Sometimes it is best to let them go in peace, but oh, so hard.
I have the Endless Summer hydrangeas and leave the stems to catch the leaves over winter. In spring, I trim them back to where new growth is showing and pull out any totally dead stems. Then I use the dandelion sticker tool and use that to fluff up the leaves and pull them up where they are easier to grab. Any long sturdy stick would work too. I also don’t get to particular about getting every leaf out, as I figure any left behind will serve as mulch to help keep weeds down.
Fluffybuns is so pretty! And that doggie kissing booth photo – funny!
Good Morning, For me today it is Physical Therapy and then working on a baby quilt!
Loved the “kissing booth” & “biting booth” photo! Hilarious!!
All the things close to our heart. This is not nothing. It is our lives. The love of a pet is different than any other kind of love. They are the most complete friend we could ever have. Right now tears are running down my cheeks for Festus, my cat who died at age 16 in 1981! That was an awful day.
The dragon fly quilt amazes me with all it’s wonderful borders. Did you have a big design wall to audition everything? How long did it take you to make the quilt?
Finally we got some moisture with strong winds yesterday to wash the crud off my windows. Maybe because we have been in drought for so long, the December snow storms left the outside of my windows covered with a splotchy white chalk looking stuff. It is still on the south and east windows, but the big living room window on the north and west kitchen window FINALLY look clean. Amazing.
A niece visited a couple weeks ago and I “found” chairs in the living room so they could sit. Just don’t look behind the big recliner…….! I don’t care about ‘death’ cleaning. If there is something I cherish that is totally useless to others, I don’t care. I’m keeping it. When I die, it can go in the garbage, but they better look out for my Gramma because she always said don’t waste anything. She would just smirk if she could hear that. She was a lot of fun. Sneaky, old Gramma!!
Take care, everybody. Enjoy what we have, every day. Betty in Rapid City
Betty – once again you’re the voice of common sense and reason! Thank you!
Cookies! When I was digging through our freezer, I found two dozen cutout Christmas sugar cookies I had put there in December and completely forgotten about. So, cookies for dessert for lunch with no additional work on my part. Yay!
70 degrees, sunny, little wind in southeast Iowa. But a cold front is coming through tonight. Yugh!
Losing a beloved pet is about the hardest thing next to a loved one, and sometimes even harder. My kids are always telling us we need a dog or cat since we are both retired but I don’t want anymore. If a stray showed up as they did in the past, that would be different. My poor daughter lost 3 during Covid very close together and it was so sad. They want me to foster, but I don’t think I could even handle that, letting them go.
Love the quilts. I haven’t sewed in a while and I am itching to get back, but my main machine I use for FMQing is still out for repair. Ugh! Almost a month. Come on!
I absolutely love my hydrangeas and peonies, but it is a chore with the hydrangeas when it comes time for cleanup. I do wait until spring to see where the dead ones are and clip just above the new growth. It takes so long for each bush! I had a beautiful PeeGee tree that had the most perfect flowers but one year a storm blew over our stockade fence it cracked the tree down. I was so sad! I loved drying them every year. I planted another one but they are not the same. Oh well. More rain today.
Cheryl – losing a pet is somehow a different grief – such an innocent soul that is so dependent on its owner is hard to lose. Several of my cats are pretty old which means I need to be prepared to lose them soon. Millie is the youngest. I don’t know how I could live without a pet but I worry even now about what would happen to them if I died suddenly. I feel sorry for your daughter!
I love my hydrangeas but hate the spring prep. They’re not all cleaned but they’re growing pretty good now. I still have a PeeGee tree but it has a bad shape from branches being broken. I really should plant a new one!