Let’s Talk, 4-16-2020

I think these days just fly by, don’t you? And when the weather warms up this weekend the days will go even faster. Southern Iowa is getting blasted with 12″ of new snow tonight and we are simply grateful it’s not us!

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The last of the nine puppies died yesterday – oh how sad! They just never had much of a chance after Momma died of extreme infection which obviously passed to the puppies. We buried our two little guys behind the quilt shop and it’s safe to say we won’t forget this experience for a long time.

I am finding more blocks and pieces of projects that got started and put away for one reason or another. Here’s 9 blocks that I’ll put together next.

And quilt and bind and put on the pile of finished quilts – what’s the point here?

This one has a recipient, thank goodness – a new baby boy arriving next summer.

I like the back – an old woven madras plaid that I’ve had forever and it was just right!

Here are your Dirty Dozen finishes:

And here is our book list:

I have no news – the weather is too cold to work outside. There’s still snow on the north side of the house. And I’ve got no place to go. What’s new with all of you?

44 thoughts on “Let’s Talk, 4-16-2020

  1. Joy

    Not much new here eith r. The snow is disappearing slowly….slow!! Hubby is going to get the seed corn tomorrow and then when the field is fit the race will be on!! I keep busy with making masks, sewing a quilt, and making greeting cards. I’m anxious for warm weather and flowers!! Love your blog!

  2. Michele

    Lemon mint studio has a good you tube video on making mask ties without an iron. Just using a piece of paper.

  3. Betty Klosterman

    Don’t seem to have T shirts to cut up for mask ties. Thought about strips of polar fleece when the idea struck — selvage edges!!! Have a hard time throwing much away so I have a small basket to keep the selvages in one spot. Always used them instead of string, etc. They will work fine. Think I’ll try strips of polar fleece, too. Keep sewing ladies.
    Betty in Rapid City, SD

  4. Tina W in Oregon

    A local quilt shop here in northeastern Oregon (The LaGrande Quilt Shop) has a free heart pattern on their website to make and hang in your window to show support for all the first responders, doctors, nurses, grocery clerks, delivery people and everyone else who is working to keep us all going. I thought it was a good idea and am passing it along.
    Although cold this morning it’s supposed to be in the 70’s this afternoon. Looking forward to that!

  5. Patricia Thompson

    Thanks for keeping in touch. Enjoy all your e-mails and pictures. No snow here in Florida, Just
    hot weather.

  6. Mrs. Goodneedle

    I love your “finds”– it helps me to know that I’m not alone when unearthing UFOs from the depths! I have chucked a few that I know I’ll never finish and prioritized the rest for completion. Some go back to the 90’s! Our days are a constant stream of sameness here– but we’re keeping busy and I agree with you: the time is whizzing by! So sad to learn about the puppies; bless you for trying, I know how hard that must be for you.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Mrs. Goodneedle – I follow your blog and think I might have to make another flag quilt for my porch just like yours! Will we ever get to sit in our screened porch here in North Iowa?????? And the blocks I showed are only the beginning – I keep finding more probably because I love to make the blocks – I don’t like the assembly and finishing part! Haha!

  7. Kim LeMere

    I was sorry to read about the puppies, they were lucky to have someone love them before they went home to there mother. Its coming on summertime here in TN though we had a few cold nights (low 20’s) and our trees are filled out and we have mowed the lawn 3 times. My rose bushes are blooming and all the iris are up blooming. I dont miss getting the April snows when we lived in Wisconsin. We have a pair of Robins making a nest in our tulip tree and look forward to seeing some babies this year.
    I have made a few masks for friends and family and most of them like the t-shirts ties. They simple fit them to be comfortable ties and then snip off the long parts. Easy to slide on and off with out having to ties them each time.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Kim LeMere – I just told Rick you’ve mowed 3 times already – wow! I have yet to make a mask but I’m going to use the knit ties like you did. Great idea!

  8. Diana in Des Moines

    We woke up to 3″of snow. Very pretty, but will be gone by this afternoon. The roads are clear.
    My hubby goes to work every day, my dil brings Elliott in the morning and my son picks him up. He told me I could have a day off if I wanted, but what to do? Could sew all day, but have the weekends for that. I’m restless, can’t seem to settle on anything.
    Grocery shopping for my 86 year old mom this afternoon after Elliott goes home.
    I bought elastic on eBay for a very good price. Quick shipping, too.
    Take care and wait for it!

  9. Brenda in SC

    HI Mary,
    So sad about the puppies and I know it must have been hard on all the people caring for them, especially you as much as you love animals. All the dirty dozens are so beautiful. I just love your baby boy quilt and the backing you chose.
    It is awful to hear people getting snow this time of year when it is spring and grass should be a beautiful green and flowers popping up and trees budding out. Our grass is getting ready to be cut for the second time and we have been doing lots of weeding. Our snowball trees have already done their blooming and the spring wind came through and took all the beautiful white blooms off and now we are left with just the greenery. The irises are blooming except for my white bearded ones, as they do not bloom until May. My clematis WAS so beautiful until our yard boy took the weed eater around it and cut it off at the ground. It was one of the first plants hubby and I had planted 11 years ago. It was so beautiful, but it will come back I am sure.
    Our weather has actually been crazy here in South Carolina. We have been bouncing between 60-80 during the days and 30-40’s at night. Also some rain and wind, but typical for us South Carolinaians this time of year.
    Hope everyone is well and trying to stay in. My hubby goes out daily as he gets cabin fever so bad, but it is only to the grocery store to see his “girlfriends” he says….LOL….Sending warm thoughts and stay healthy vibes to all from the Watermelon Capital, Pageland, SC !!!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Brenda in sc – I almost cried when I read that your yard boy cut off your clematis at the ground!!! I would have been sick about that – damn! I did mourn the puppies as did everybody. They were so sweet and the deck was stacked against them. Sad.

  10. Sandy

    My good news is that my second granddaughter has arrived safely in Taiwan, Luna Sandy, she is beautiful and very placid.katrina is now enjoying a month in a birth hotel as part of normal recovery, my son can stay with her also. Hopefully I can go over in Nov to meet L una,take care Mary, best wishes .sandy

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Sandy – I LOVE the name Luna and her middle name is for YOU!!! Oh how wonderful! I e heard about those birth hotels – very strange sounding to us but would certainly give Mom and baby time to bond. Please send me a picture when you can so I can show her to all of us. Congratulations to all!

  11. Jeanie S, Central Illinois

    It is snowing here a half hour west of Peoria IL. However, we are promised temps in the 60’s on Sunday—wacky weather!
    Our outings usually consist of picking up meds at the Walgreens drive-up, or just going for a short drive, when we drop off mail. I am pretty content making baby quilts; I keep my knitting bag handy during evening tv time.
    At the beginning of this pandemic, I was hopeful it would be over by early summer. Don’t see that happening. 😳😞

  12. Beryl in Owatonna

    No sewing today. I got the 2 receiving blankets done yesterday and a couple burp pads too. They go in the mail to MT tomorrow, baby is due any time. will work on masks again tomorrow.

    Today we went to the chiropractor, YAY! I haven’t been since I left Montana, I hurt. Will go back in a couple of weeks, he says he has a lot to do!! I should sleep well tonight.

    We may get some snow tonight…60% chance but it looks like we are on the very north edge. I am done with the snow…60 on Saturday and wind, but it will be warmer.

    The projects all look so nice!! Thanks for sharing them!

    I didn’t have one ad again.

  13. Margaret

    All the pictures came thru today–clicked on the read more. It turned cool here in North TX –but due to get rain on Saturday.

  14. Dee Winter

    My daughter lives in Southern Iowa, it’s been snowing there since before she got off work at 3:30 pm. She said the weather says it should snow until 6 am tomorrow or so. She said it was slick coming home and there’s about 5″. I’m in Northern Iowa, it’s missing us this time. I made some masks at a local quilt shop, then for friends and family, I had a friend ask if I could make a couple for her friend’s son who’s having chemo. I made him ones like I made for my adult son, she was pleased to get them,. She sent money thru our friend, so it’ll go into a donation bucket somewhere. Baby puppies and kitties are so hard to have to let go. One of our barn kitties had her babies, I looked in where I saw them this morning, she got out of the way and went to the food dish. I guess I was the official kitty sitter. I am on downhill side of the graduation quilt for the granddaughter.

  15. Paula S.

    Mary, I’m sorry to hear about the puppies. I know you all did the best you could in that uphill battle.

    I haven’t jumped on the mask-making bandwagon like some of my friends have. I’ve made masks for myself and my family members, so just a few. Our quilt guild here is collecting masks for different hospitals and care homes. They are taken to a dry cleaner who has donated their services to clean and sanitize them, then they are distributed. I don’t watch tv often these days. The news is too depressing. I have my sewing and quilting and do a lot of reading too. My husband is busy getting our garden in but even with that we have a shortage of plants and supplies here. He’s a bit disgusted because he’s never experienced this in all his years of gardening! A sign of the times I guess.

  16. Nancy Norris

    Well here in sunny Mesa AZ we reached 80 today. I feel for those of you are still fighting old man winter. I have been making masks as well. Gland to find a good use for alot of extra fat quarters. Ii’ve also had the stomach flu. Found that sucking on paper thin slices of fresh garlic has helped alot. Everyone stay safe. Sorry to hear the story of the lost puppies and thier mom.

  17. Charlotte Shira

    All the quilts are beautiful. I have taken a break from making masks. I also used ribbon and bias tape on some of the masks. I did order some 1/8″ elastic from Etsy in Wisconsin on March 19. She sent it out right away but it sat in Chicago for the longest time. Now I’m waiting for some fusible interfacing.
    Sorry about the puppies.

  18. Jan in NW WI

    Hi Mary, So sorry to hear about the puppies. What a tough week for you. However, I agree with others that the puppies were lucky to have had you with them. NW Wisconsin still has some snow, but we are encouraged that warmer weather is coming next week. The birds are returning and hitting the feeders hard as food pickings for them are slim right now. Our resident woodchuck has returned from hibernation and looks like he hasn’t missed too many meals. The local nursery is letting us order our plants for the garden and then they will provide curbside pickup. Their other option is to make a reservation, and then you can shop in the nursery for an hour – all by yourself. How nice is that! Thanks for the book list. It sounds like our library is going to resume curbside service in the next few weeks. Between making masks for a local clinic, making a “swap” quilt with a friend in Chicago, doing a quilt along with my daughter in Iowa, and planning the veggie garden the days go quickly. The only hard part is that I am never quite sure exactly what day it is. Thank goodness for calendars. Stay safe Mary. This too shall pass – eventually.

  19. Vickie Lemonds, Davidson, NC

    Just a beautiful day here. 65 and glorious sun. We took a three mile walk on the greenway and loved seeing the dogwoods and cherry trees blooming. Bluebirds are nesting in our backyard birdhouse and even a hummingbird was spotted at our feeder today. Tulips are up and blooming beautifully too.
    So much to be grateful for!
    Sorry about those sweet puppies. So sad!
    Love seeing all the finished quilts. I spent about four hours sewing today. I’m loving having all this time to focus on projects.

  20. Sherrill

    Several books on there that I’ve read and really enjoyed. LOVE William Kent Krueger and Kristin Hannah. Recently read Crooked River and Minute to Midnight..both great! Thanks to this lockdown thing, I got One Minute Out by Mark Greaney which is really good and another from a gal who advertised them for free on Nextdoor!!

  21. Jo in Wyoming

    Mary, you sound down 🙁, I hope you are doing ok. I’ve been watching the Dacorah eagles. 3 little bobble heads. Growing so fast. So sorry about the puppies.
    I’m trying a new pattern for the masks. It uses wire from coffee bags across the nose. I’ll put them in my neighbors mail boxes. Hope they will use them. Most of them are older and don’t have sewing machine or fabric stash.
    We had a lot of snow. Closed the hi ways. It would be interesting to know how the truckers eat with all the restaurants closed. Kinda hard to take a semi thru a drive thru. With hundreds of trucks in the parking lot, how would a delivery person figure which truck ordered the pizza!
    I feel very fortunate to be where I’m at financially. After 40 years of working I can share the fruits of my labor. I took bundles of socks to the homeless shelter, ordered batting for the jail and paid my kids rent(they accepted!). I miss going to jail, but they are busy and use supplies. They are also making masks for the personal. A bad decision doesn’t make a bad person.

    1. Diane and Squeak

      In Ohio, the Food Trucks are setting up at rest areas for the truckers. Good idea. We’ll be getting snow overnight tonight, but warmth is coming. Again, so sorry about the puppies.

  22. Diane and Squeak in Central Ohio

    I am making masks, quilting, and walking when it’s nice outside. I have three quilts at the quilters!
    We are trying to support our small restaurants that are still open, but I am mostly cooking at home. This lockdown is getting old, but we are happy our Governor and Chief Of Medicine for the state decided early to keep us safe.

    The staff at the assisted living where we had family have been living there for more than 30 days. It was on Good Morning America. Our friend who works there has a two year old and they are really missing each other. They have not left the facility and have not seen their families since the lockdown. Bless them, they are keeping the residents safe!

  23. Martha Engstler Gettysburg

    No snow here but colder than it should be, 50’s. Our big outing today was to go to a nearby egg farm to get a couple dozen eggs. We are lucky to have them close by. I worked on a quilt for my daughter-in-law that is almost finished. Hope the gal that does the quilting for me can do it if I leave it on her porch. I agree that for some unknown reason the days do seem to fly by. Guess that’s a good thing.

  24. Betty Klosterman

    Bingo, Mary!! The “Read more of this post” was there and I clicked on it and Everything was there. How nice. Still staying in the house with getting groceries once a week and working on face masks. Delivered a box of them yesterday when I picked up a Rx. Since I have very little elastic, I’ve been using bias tape for ties. I fold it to be about 1/4″ and sew the long edge cutting the stuff into 16″ ties. This will take care of most of bias tape which is a good thing. Next I’m going to use rick rack for the ties. Why not? There is a bunch of it, too, and to a good use. Did you know there was RAYON bias tape? It must have come from Mom’s stuff. It went into the Good Will box.
    I think I’m getting a bit buggy and chocolate looks good. This is not a good thing. In the mean time, this can’t last forever. I only watch the noon, 5 and 10 news. That’s enough corona. Sure glad for all the reruns of the TV shows from 60-80’s. Neat to see all the people who went on to become famous. Take care everybody and be glad we don’t have to get more fabric for years??

  25. Sherry Whalen

    I’m so sorry about the puppies, your two were lucky to have their last days in your loving hands to ease their way back to their mother.

    We got about 9 inches of snow, and we still have a lot of it left because it has been SO cold! This, after we did yard work and ate a late lunch on the deck on Saturday. Hopefully it will warm up enough to get rid of this round of snow over the weekend. And I am glad we get to miss a snow storm!

    We haven’t been anywhere except last week we drove to Inver Grove Heights to deliver some masks to our son, DIL and kids. We haven’t gone to see Mom and Dad in Cresco since we took them toilet paper the week before, they couldn’t find any in town and I really didn’t want Mom going to the store every day to look for some. Both trips were just drop and leave. I’ve made a few masks. I did a quilt along with Gudrun. I finished binding my dirty dozen String Spiderweb. I went to the quilting machine today and got a log cabin about half quilted this afternoon. I’ve cleaned both freezers and the cupboards and inventory is done. So – I know what we have for food here and I’m fairly certain that we can shelter in place for several months! Otherwise, hanging out at home, which I am okay with anyway. Just waiting the the weather to get better!

  26. Joyce from NY

    Woke up to about 3” of snow today, very cold wind. Guess I won’t be mowing lawn for awhile & it needs it. Did some cleaning today, no mask making today. So sad about those puppies.

  27. Kathy in western NY

    Good to hear you are well there. It’s cold here too and snow spit on and off most of the afternoon but didn’t accumulate. Just “watered “ the grass. I am sewing masks still. Made some children’s ones too. Delivered them this afternoon to church families and it’s making me feel so grateful I can do this to stay calm. Also making them for the assisted living home my in laws were iso well cared for in and I continue to think I am glad they aren’t here to feel this anxiousness and worry. As hard as it was to say goodbye to them, it would be harder to cope not being able to be with them if they got sick. The elderly didn’t deserve to die this way. So once I know masks are out there to all who need it to protect themselves and others, I will get back to my own projects.

  28. Diane Bauer

    I woke up to a winter wonderland this morning–the kind where you have to rush out with a broom to shake the snow off the trees to avoid breaking branches. It continued to snow all day long. I don’t know the official totals yet but would guess 12-14″ at a minimum. Fort Collins had a lot of broken branches already this morning and friends reported 15″ of snow before noon. I shoveled the sidewalk as the municipality requires it, but left the driveway because it was just so wet and heavy I didn’t want to risk needing a chiropractor when I can’t go get an adjustment. It’s supposed to be 70 by the weekend! I napped this afternoon as I’d gotten up before 5 am. So all in all a rather unproductive day. But, I got out a new pattern and am ready to dive in to a new quilt. Masks are on hold until I can locate some elastic. Ties just take too long and result in too many steam burned fingers. I’m anxious to hear what our governor has to say about the President’s plan to open the economy back up. Somehow, I’m imagining we’ve still got several weeks of quarantine here in Colorado. Hope you are all well!!!

    1. Coleen

      A friend told me today that she has been using the old fashioned potholder loops (that we all made potholders out of as kids) instead of elastic. They are stretchy but soft and seem to be going over well with the recipients of the masks. They’re sold at craft stores like Michaels, Hobby Lobby ……possibly Walmart.

      1. Betty Klosterman

        Also saw something about cutting old knit t shirts into strips – around and around to use for knitting or crocheting.

        1. Ginger

          I’ve been using T-shirt strips in place of elastic and it is working out really well. I use the T-shirts that DO NOT have seams on the side. I cut 1″strips and then tug on them and they curl up..no fraying. I cut shorter pieces for around the ears, or longer pieces if making ties. So far, it’s working just fine!!!

      2. B. J. Berlo

        What a great idea! I know I have some – somewhere. I’ve been making masks like a woman possessed!

        1. Karen

          I have been using the t- shirt strings As ties. Fast and easy. Just don’t use the logo part as it won’t stretch. I have read the elastic makes some people itch and the loops around ears can pop out hearing aids. Keep sewing and laughing.

        2. Ginger

          Not my original idea. I read it on Bonnie Hunter’s blog and also from some FB postings. Just sharing the message!!!!

    2. Nikki M in Tx

      Try Etsy for elastic….also saw a UTube video where they demoed using a sock cut in rings for ear pieces and another that cut Tshirt strips (no ironing) for both ties & loops.. I have not tried either

      1. CountryThreads Post author

        Nikki M – I’m going to give the t shirt strips a try because I have to go out to the store tomorrow. Ugh. Are you baking today? I love to see what your baking!

    3. Mary

      Using a one inch strip fold your fabric in half. Zigzag on the open side.. back stitch on either end an cut to size. I use 18” These masks don’t need to last forever… This as worked great so far

      1. CountryThreads Post author

        Guess what? Connie made me a mask and I even got a compliment on it – haha! Made by a true scrap quilter with 4 coordinating fabrics!

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