July 3

Remember all those wonderful fabrics we bought at the Crafty Planet?  Here is the book we are working from.

We are both making the quilt called Wildflowers.  The hexagon is machine pieced and the middle circle is hand appliqued.  Here are some of Connie’s blocks  – she’s working on the hand appliquรฉ this weekend while the kids are at the lake.  Here’s a picture of Ben, too.  isn’t he looking good?

Here are my blocks – I have to stop piecing and start appliquรฉing.

A reader asked what I do to make the hydrangeas so big.  They are planted on the east side of the building and never get extended periods of hot sun and each fall I cut them down to about 6″ high.  These are Annabelle hydrangeas from my neighbor Emma and they have been growing on her farm for over 100 years.  They’ve been growing on this farm for 35 years.  I don’t do anything to them.

Finally remembered to take this picture of the random squares quilt on the king size bed.

Today is my 68th birthday.  Aidan drew me this picture of an ice cream cone and my friends gave me these hostas.  Tonite I’ll enjoy a pizza with my family.

It’s been a long time since I’ve worn warm clothes on my birthday – it’s downright chilly!  Hope you’re all doing something fun for the 3rd-4th holiday!

113 thoughts on “July 3

  1. Carol T

    I’m hoping you see my belated birthday greeting…..even though I always look for mail from you I missed this one…..(I’ve been traveling)….happy, happy birthday and I wish you a very healthy, peaceful and fun year! Thank you again for writing and sending these great pictures and ideas….you give us gifts each time you send us notes! Happy birthday again, Mary! Carol T

  2. mary

    I have the same hydrangeas from my mother and have given some plants to my daughter. I love flowers that grow with little hard work and are quite beautiful just on their own. I’ve had mine for 55 years in the same spot.
    I “sew” enjoy all of your e-mails, thank you. You keep me inspired and happy in my quilting life.

  3. MartyCae

    Happy belated birthday Mary! I hope you had a wonderful day!

    Thanks for sharing the picture of Ben.

  4. Paula

    The 3rd is your birthday??? and then married on Flag Day how nice. Happy Birthday, Mary. Love the bush and everything about it that you show. Love the quilt you all re working on. Ben looks really good. So blessed. Had a good weekend in Kentucky . Paula in KY

  5. Carol

    Happy birthday, Mary. I am quite jealous of your lush hydrangea. We are having drought conditions this year. My impatiens, all $84 worth, are withered little nothings, my three azealas produced a total of less than six blooms, my many hundreds of daffodils produced leaves and buds, which never opened, they just withered. My peony produced about six heads, they started to open but turned brown and drooped. It’s so disappointing to have harsh winters and no reward! A real bummer!
    Your turn to be jealous, Mary. I’m at the Sisters’ Outdoor Quilt Show, taking a few classes and enjoying the town of Sisters and the city of Bend, Oregon. I’m staying with a quilter friend in her home, it’s just so lovely here in the high desert. Now this place, for being desert, has amazing flowers in bloom! Again, jealous!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Carol – yes, I am jealous – sounds like so much fun!

  6. LeAnn Keenan

    Happy Birthday! So glad to see Ben looking well!! Can’t wait to see the finished quilt. It looks beautiful so far!

  7. Julianna

    Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear MARY!!
    Have a great year. I look forward to every installment on your blog and am totally amazed at all you accomplish in a day. So much of it to help others and share your smile and positive attitude. Thank you for brightening the days for so many of us. May it come back to you one hundred fold.

  8. MaryLou Smeltzer

    Happy Birthday! You always make my day when I see an e-mail from you. I love your quilt on your bed. Scrappy is something I love. How in the world do you get everything done. If it were me I would start your current project and make two blocks and I would be in a world of a mess and that would be that. Thank goodness I enjoy all you do with my e-mail. Keep up the great work!

    Have a wonderful day. Marylou

  9. Kate Schloemer

    Happy birthday Mary. Glad you had a great day. I just love all your quilts. I don’t know how you can get so much sewing done. I have a T-shirt quilt to finish, one on the hand quilting frame and another on my machine quilting frame. Can’t get any of them done.
    Happy 4th of July. Kate

  10. Pam

    Happy Birthday!
    Your hydrangeas are beautiful!, I used to have them when I was in Illinois, they were just like yours.
    But when we moved to WI that was the end of that, the deer eat everything! They even ear my raspberry bushes, their mouths must be tough since they also eat the thorns! I love the quilt in the
    Bedroom, it looks so inviting. Ben looks great his hair growing back. So thankful!
    Just love your posts. Flowers, critters, quilts and all!

  11. Rebecca H

    Happy Birthday….
    Tomorrow is my birthday but I should have been born today because this is when its always celebrated with my family. And I will be 67 and holding! Love, love your wildflowers quilt, I love using many colors and prints, so this is just down my alley. Have a great day Mary, and thanks for all the lovely pictures, as I have said before, I so enjoy looking at them all.

  12. Dorothy Sheldrake

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARY, May it be a blessed year for you. You have blessed mine day by day.

  13. Karen

    Belated Happy Birthday wishes. I hope the year ahead is filled with good health and much joy.

  14. Jane dumler

    Happy happy birthday to you Mary–you bring such joy into all,our lives.

  15. Anna mundt

    Happy Birthday!! Love seeing all of your pictures of the farm, plants, animals, and quilts. Have a happy fourth!

  16. Martha Engstler

    I hope it’s better late than never–Very Happy Birthday!!! Ben looks so good, thanks for including his picture. Hope your birthday was as special as you are. Always love to see your flower and quilt pictures.

  17. patti leal

    happy birthday to you, may you have many many more. i really do like your random squares quilt. i’ve been thinking of doing one myself from precut squares. i also really really like both connie’s and your wildflowers. what a nice block. (except for the applique – i really have no patience for it.) glad to hear you are feeling much much better. patti in florida

  18. Felicia Hamlin

    Nice to see a picture of Ben. I am still praying for him. Sad to see that his curls are gone, but they should come back. Felicia

  19. Claudia

    Happy Birthday !!! Hope you had a wonderful day. Ben is looking great, what a cute little guy! Love your quilt. I actually got quit a bit of sewing done at the lake.
    Have a safe and happy 4th.

  20. Cathy

    Hope you had a wonderful birthday, Mary! Thanks for the info on the hydrangeas. I know exactly where I am going to put some now!

  21. Starrla Opferman

    I remember you recently saying how much you love your Bernina. Do or have you quilted much with it and if so how is it? I have a Pfaff and seem to have a lot of tension problems when I try to quilt. I’m not doing free motion but just quarter inching or ditch stitching. I’ve changed tension and fiddled with it but it doesn’t seem to matter and it’s so frustrating.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Starla – Connie described our new machines this way when she was quilting a piece recently. “our machines are magical!”

  22. Kathy Schwartz

    Birthday Blessings to you. Great photos of quilts, flowers and the cutest boy, Ben. Enjoy!

  23. Carolyn

    Happy Burthday….may you make lots of wonderful memories in the coming year. I pray you smile as often as your followers do while reading the adventures on your farm. You are such a wonderful blessing to all of us.

  24. Charlotte Barnard

    Happy birthday to you, Mary! Bet it’s a good one, especially with Heidi’s return! Wishing you a wonderful year ahead!

  25. Charlotte Barnard

    Happy Birthday, Mary. I bet it’s a good one especially with Heidi’s return! Wishing you a wonderful year ahead!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Charlotte – I always love to see what you and Robert are doing in your free time – thank you, Facebook!

  26. Rhoda E

    Happy Birthday dear Mary. You are a spring chicken still.

    Glad your favorite kitty returned.

    My son Jay and I are up in NE Wisconsin (after 6 days on the road and 2 nights in Mpls) again listening to neighborhood fireworks tonight and I am missing Ron here more than in Las Vegas. We are interring his ashes in a cemetery in Mountain on Friday August 5.
    I so enjoy your blog and am amazed at all you accomplish daily.


  27. Linda

    Happy birthday, kind lady! I hope your birthday is as special as you are.

  28. Sharon Ernst

    Happy Birthday, Mary!! I hope it’s been a wonderful day for you!
    LOVE your hydrangeas!!

  29. Angie Rowland

    Ben does look good. He is such a trouper. Bless him and his family AND HAPPY Birthday. You deserve all the blessing one can have. I love the quilt top as well. Happy colors.

  30. Marcella

    I want to add Birthday wishes to you also. I am an active listener to all your farm and quilting news. I so enjoy your caring and sharing of your pictures and comments. You bring happy to my day.

  31. Noel Taylor

    Many happy returns for your birthday. I do hope it was happy and fun? Love that quilt.The bed is just ready to cuddle up under the bright blocks. thank you Mary, you make my day> Noel.

  32. PJ

    Happy Birthday.sounds like you are having a great day..as always so love your blog n especially photos, n Ben looks great!!!!๐ŸŽ‚๐ŸŽ‚๐ŸŽ๐ŸŽ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‚๐ŸŽ‚

  33. Ann Barlament

    Oh happy day, birthday girl!!!

    I’ve got a huge Hydrangea Bush outside my window, here at rehab. My mother did the same….after all the flowers died off it got cut back and grew back a little more bigger every year. They’ve been blooming since they were planted in 1954.

  34. Jackie B.

    Happy Birthday! Your flowers and home are beautiful….and the quilts. So glad that Heidi made it home. Life is good!

  35. Janet Snyder

    Interesting quilt, I can hardly wait to see the results. Ben is looking very good. Also, you are the third person I have wished Happy Birthday to today. Best wishes for a blessed day๐ŸŽ‚๐ŸŽ‚๐ŸŽ‚

  36. Nancy Wines

    Happy Birthsay! I love your blog. So glad your cat cMe home and your chickens and garden are thriving! Hope you have had a lovely day and enjoyed your birthday!

  37. Lois Palmisano

    I love the quilts you two are making. How do you quilt that kind of quilt?
    I will await the finish. stay warm, Lois in Omaha

  38. Donna Sproston

    Happy Birthday and happy fourth. Ben looks wonderful., and the quilt progress is always fun to see!

  39. Jan Behm

    Happy Birthday, Mary! Love reading your blog posts. Are you also on FaceBook? The reason I ask is that every time I see your flowers, quilts, etc., I want to hit the “like” button. Lol! Can’t do that on a blog post! Hope you have a great bday & a safe 4th of July!

    Also, Ben looks fantastic! And my hydrangeas didn’t bloom this year. They were planted 2 years ago. They’re called “Little Lime”. They bloomed the first year & last year but zero this year. I think I cut them back at the wrong time. Oops! They’re just medium sized green bushes! Darn it!!

  40. Carole S.

    Happy Birthday, Mary! Family, kitties, gardens, quilts…what more could you ever want?

  41. Louise

    You are right, Ben looks really good. You know it seems to me prayers work, not sure why more people
    don’t try it! Lovely hydrangeas…and great quilt. Happy Birthday to you today and to America tomorrow!

  42. Cheryl K.

    Happiest of birthdays! I just celebrated 67. I, too, play piano at a nursing home and while I am from North Central Iowa, I have lived in MN for almost 47 years. Whenever I see a message from you in my inbox, I smile. It is like a welcome letter from a dear friend. Blessings!

  43. Chris Harrington

    Wishing you many blessings for your birthday and the year ahead!๐ŸŽ‰

  44. Cheryl Knapp

    Happy Birthday Mary! Thank you for your blog, your dedication to animals and quilters!

  45. Fiona at Ice Bear Quilts

    Happy Birthday Mary,
    Hope you have a lovely day, and so glad that Heidi is there to share it with you.
    Kind regards, Fiona.

  46. Sue

    Happy birthday you young thing. (I’m 73 and hoing strong. Good Midwest heritage.). Sure could use some of your chilly and rain!

  47. Nancy Finch

    Now I know why I so like all that you do and create. We are both born on the 3rd of July. Happy Birthday to you.

  48. Diane Deibler

    Happy birthday,Mary! Ben does look great;hope he continues to get better.

  49. Cindie

    Happy Birthday Mary. Thanks for all sharing all the amazing things you do. Ben does look great.
    Greetings from New Berlin, WI

  50. Linda Hanley

    Hi Mary – I hope you have a very Happy Birthday and a wonderful year…

  51. Mozzie's Grandma

    Happy birthday! I celebrated my birthday yesterday, by visiting our son in Garner!

  52. Linette Stewart

    Happy birthday!!!!! The quilt is going to be beautiful and your hydrangeas are amazing!! Happy Fourth ๐Ÿ™‚

  53. Gloria

    Happy, Happy Birthday, Mary! Enjoy your day! We are roasting in Charlotte, hot and humid.

  54. Rickie

    Happy, Happy Day, Mary and many more. I am a quiet reader, lurking in the background. I love your Wildflowers quilt. What a great way to use scraps. Is it English Paper pieced?

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      No, it’s actually cut from 2-1/2″ strips and machine pieced.

  55. Kay Crandall

    Happy birthday,Mary! Hope you have a wonderful day. I’m really enjoying your emails!

  56. Bonnie McKee

    I really enjoy all the pictures you post Mary, even if I seldom comment. I love the quilty pictures you posted today. The new project looks like fun!
    And your hydrangeas are spectacular!
    How wonderful to see Ben looking so great!
    Have a very happy birthday! It looks like you are off to a good start! ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Hugs, Bonnie in Oregon

  57. Linda

    Have a wonderful birthday ๐Ÿ˜€๐ŸŽ‚๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿง๐Ÿท

  58. Jackson Shaffer

    Happy birthday, Mary! I’m excited to come and visit you and Telly later this month.

  59. IBrenda

    Happy Birthday Mary. Hope you have a great day. I am quilting “Porch Swing” today. Better late than never. Lol

  60. Launa

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR MARY……Enjoy your cool weather. Ours is cooling to 99 high this late afternoon and the flag is barely moving with a whisper of wind.
    Thank you for the recent picture of BRAVE BEN! He is looking so good….an answer to so many prayers.
    So nice to see the Wildflowers you and Connie have been sewing from the Scrap Basket Strips & Squares book. I recently ordered THE RAVEN quilt book…not that I plan to work on it immediately as I like to browse thru and then shop in my stash leisurely and of course add a few new.
    Love seeing your garden flowers and hearing about their history from Emma’s family.
    Happy Birthday my friend and enjoy the 4th.

  61. Tanya Tullos

    Happy Birthday! We are having pizza tonight, too! I’ll pretend that we are sharing and will sing to you! Gorgeous flowers, lovely king sized quilt…aaahh, Summer! Thanks for sharing your day with us all. PS We COULD send you some of this low=79, high=almost 100 degree weather from Houston if you REALLY want some…I would not recommend it!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  62. Caryn (lover of all beagles) B.

    Happy Birthday!!!! May your needles be sharp and your 1/4 inch be accurate!!! ๐Ÿ˜„ Love your posts and pictures of your garden and animals and farm, they always brighten my day!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  63. Betty Cain

    Happy Birthday to Mary and enjoy your day – Plus Happy July 4th in early advance to you for tomorrow…


  64. sandy

    Happy Birthday Mary! Your flowers are just beautiful ๐Ÿ™‚ Enjoy your day!

  65. Kathy

    Birthday wishes from upstate NY . Warmth is here if you want some for your birthday.
    Hope you get lots of sewing time in today and also enjoy the yummy pizza!

  66. mary margaret

    Happy Birthday Mary! Enjoy the day. your quilt wildflowers looking great! Hydrangeas are so pretty!

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