Let’s talk panels! 2-23-24

The panel you choose to work with will require some math. I’ve added 1”, 2”, up to 5” blocks for the border but it all depends on the math. I can’t split a 5” block for example so the panel will have to measure a distance divisible by 5. I always hated math and was never any good at it so if I can figure this out, so can you.

A 2” border is usually perfect and if possible I would trim the panel to make the 2” border work. This Christmas panel had a perfect green border that I could trim to fit. The panel and green border measured 25” x 37” – easily trimmed to 24-1/2” x 36-1/2” making it divisible by 2.

I could have used a 4” block but a 3” or 5” block wouldn’t work, would it?

And here are some of Twyla’s favorites in her home:

More reader photos:

I just love this delicate embroidery!

Soup recipes:

This sweet hot pad came from Margie in CA today – thank you so much! I’ll put it in my Christmas closet for next year.

Becky and I entertained the residents at Concord Care today – we play old songs like Home on the Range, Tennessee Waltz, and It Is No Secret. We have a very casual program and it’s really quite fun! Kay told me she has gotten over 140 cards!! Here’s Becky, Kay and me after the program.

And this is what Farmer Tim’s field looks like today.

So it’s 11:30 pm -Time for bed.

64 thoughts on “Let’s talk panels! 2-23-24

  1. Tina W in Oregon

    I just caught up reading the last two day’s comments and looking at the pictures. Such wonderful eye candy! The soup recipes look really good. Will have to try them. The weather in NE Oregon has been sunny and nice for the last couple days. Makes you want to get outside and start gardening. But it’s supposed to be cold again next week so will just enjoy the sun and not get too ambitious.

        1. Tina W in Oregon

          Hate it when I don’t proofread before hitting the “post comment” button. Grade school friends used to call me Tuna instead of Tina just to tease.

  2. Martha W in WY

    Twyla is such a talented decorator. The photos always give me ideas for decorating in my home. Lovely quilts tonight. I enjoy reading the blog just before my bedtime. I’m looking forward to watching Caitlin play on Sunday.

  3. Sandy

    Hi Mary, l have a pig chopping board like Twylas! Mine had a hook for the tail, but has long gone, there is green paint still round the sides, l have used it every day for 50 years as my mother in law gave it to me second hand when we got married.
    The soup recipes make me laugh, l expect to see mini cheeseburgers floating around in the soup!Take care everyone, best wishes from Sandy

  4. Barbara Yarnell

    Today’s blog was about everything! Thanks for the tips on using panels. The ones I’ve tried to use always seem to be printed crooked but trimming to a certain size makes sense. Twyl’s collections bring back such fond memories like the cutting boards and rolling pins and Better Homes cookbooks. Beautiful quilts today and the farm scenes. Your hens look happy!

  5. Janet S

    Kathy, Your ‘winter’ quilt is adorable with beautiful embroidery. Twyla, your collections are show stoppers. It’s fun when I spy some object that I have among your treasures.

    1. Kathy in western NY

      Thank you Janet. I do enjoy embroidery. Now I am “stuck” on how to quilt this wallhanging.

  6. carol l

    Love Twyla’s collections, very creative. Lovely weather here in NW Nebr. Baby calves are enjoying it for now, have a small weather change coming in the first of the week, Am busy sewing on Lori Holts Mercantile quilt and some other small quilts in between. Good reading. cl

  7. Linda from Georgia

    Thanks for sharing the math on panel borders. I have one sitting in the closet so I will get it out and finished.
    The pictures are great from Twyla’s home. Never get tired of seeing other’s quilts and displays. Always great ideas.

  8. Deb in VA

    Enjoyed the blog!!! I’m a bit behind commenting so I’ll catch up in this one comment. Re: Caitlin. I had never heard of her until your posts about her. Then…out of the blue she pops up on my Instagram news! Thanks to you I then knew who she was! 😅
    Love the sheep cross stitch in today’s post. Lots of work. Beautiful.
    Also Delectable Mountains. I will be sending you a SASE Mary for that pattern. Looks like just what I was looking for as a man quilt! Plus the mountains around us here in the Shenandoah Valley would make the quilt so appropriate. I’d do it in blues/navy’s.
    I’ll also send a soup recipe!

  9. Kathy in western NY

    It’s so kind that you and Becky spent time with the folks at the care center. It sure helps brighten their days. My feeling is we should all try a little harder to bring joy to young and old as much as possible. Kay is looking good!!
    Such yummy soup recipes shared and I will be keeping them on my iPad pictures to refer back to. I’m enjoying potato soup more than I use to so like trying different versions. It’s a cool day so staying inside my sewing room.

  10. Deb in VA

    Also meant to say about the Jen Kingwell quil. It’s beautiful! But I definitely need things a little more spelled out with how-tos.
    And yes, how delightful that you were able to go see shut-ins. I’m sure sooo appreciated!
    Love the Rolling pins too. What a collection!!

  11. Sue in Marion, IN

    Love all the pics today! Also the soup recipes. The Indianapolis Star redeemed itself today—nice long article about the women’s IU-Iowa game by my favorite sports reporter, Greg Doyel. He writes sports human interest stories. He reported on the game, but also spent time talking about how hard the IU women have worked the last ten years to build their program and their fan base. The fans sure filled the arena for Thursday night’s game! The IU women had been badly beaten Monday night at Illinois and they really needed to win Thursday’s game. Greg interviewed some Iowa fans and emphasized how gracious Caitlin and the whole Iowa team and coach were, giving credit where credit was due. That’s sportsmanship! Another thing that seems lacking in men’s sports these days. I don’t usually watch sports, but being a Hoosier, I was born and raised to love basketball and I will probably watch the women’s playoffs!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sue – we’ll, that’s more like it, isn’t it? Women’s basketball has taken a a real turn and Indiana has always had a good team,in recent years anyway. I think McKenzie Holmes had Caitlin’s number and really knew how to guard her because Caitlin was definitely off key. Now some may attribute that to just a bad night but I heard Holmes say she doesn’t take losing lightly. I’d say that was a understatement, wouldn’t you? Haha!! Next week is Ohio State, another tough opponent. I do think the Iowa girls and coaches are great examples of good sportsmanship – Iowa nice? Yes and I want to be considered Iowa nice, too!

  12. Sheryl Harrison

    Hello to Kay!! It’s good to see her!

    My thoughts about people going to care centers to entertain has changed from “that’s nice” to “what an awesome blessing!!!” Thank you, Mary and Becky! I kind’a teared up reading about it.

    Twila’s collections are amazing!

  13. Joyce from NY

    Enjoy looking at Twla’s home & collections. I also have a couple Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. I still refer to it once in awhile. Thanks for sharing !
    The soup recipes look great, can’t wait to try them. I will be sending a couple along.

  14. Joy in NW Iowa

    I loved all of it! So nice you were able to entertain at the care home! I used to work at the care home in Inwood. Everyone loved it!
    What really struck me is the beautiful blue sky in your pictures of the farm! We have commented on the beautiful color of the sky during this nice weather! Our weather is suppose to take a nose dive this coming week! It is still winter! But, we will whine!!
    A birthday party for three grandkids tonight….wonder what our son is grilling….yum!
    I have used panels frequently in quilts. There so many pretty ones!

  15. Fran

    I love that cross stitch! Wish I had the patience.

    Thank you for the soup recipes.

    I cleaned out some of the old stuff that came with me from AK over 10 yrs ago. I forgot what was in two totes. I did not know what Saral was for. It’s for marking on fabric and it comes on a roll and sheets. I organized and put some projects away that were out but not really formulated yet. I cleared of one end of a table where my sewing buddy sews with me. I bet she will be glad for that so she can clutter it up! Ha This took me over 2 hrs and cut into my sew time. But sure looks better!

    Loved the pic of you with Kay! I did not know your following was so large Mary.

    Love seeing pics of collections because I don’t collect much any more and trying to thin out what has accumulated here since I have lived here. I still have my plate collection. Part of it was my mom’s.

  16. Kathy Hanson

    You do so many wonderful things to help people! How wonderful for you and your sister to go to entertain the people in the care home. such a happy picture when you were done too! Love the quilts from the blog and so many things around your farm. I always love seeing all of it!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Kathy – I think of you so often – how are you doing? Use my email to write

  17. Carrolyn v

    I love you and your blog so much! YOU ARE A TRUE TREASURE,

    I loved your pix today but sent shivers down my hubbys back! He is a minimalist and likes Lack of collections! lol…..I won’t let him in my stash storages that are everywhere in the house as I have no sewing room!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Carrolyn – it would depress me to live as a minimalist but my sister is one – I’ll never forget the last Christmas our mom came here before she died. She sat in her wheelchair and looked around and said, Mary, you do have a lot of stuff! Haha!! I love looking at it all and I love searching for it and collecting it. Thankfully Rick pays no attention. My goal with the blog is to create a conversation among the readers – I don’t want to be the only one talking!

  18. Donna

    I have seen the Potato Soup in a Quilty paper. It was called Sewing Soup, throw everything in the crockpot.
    Sew all day, husband comes home, “What’s for dinner, smells good”

  19. Frances E

    What a great idea to post recipes from your readers! We automatically trust all of your readers to be great cooks.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Frances – you hit the nail on the head – once again we are all like minded women and trust each other to be good cooks. I’m really enjoying the recipes

  20. Teresa in Indiana

    I enjoyed all the collections today. I too have a pig cutting board that my brother made many years ago. I love the sharing of recipes. The cheeseburger soup recipe is one of my favorites. I’m assuming Harvey found his new temporary home yesterday? I’m sure all the residents and caregivers will enjoy him. And as always, your barn and the beautiful blue sky is awesome. We woke up to a bit of snow this morning. Yesterday it was in the 50’s. Have a great day everyone!

  21. Bonny

    Kathy in NY…some time ago I bought a bag of “scraps” at a yard sale. In it was the finished embroidered panel, and one border of red, just as your quilt includes! Your layout gives me a direction to pursue! I love reader quilts! Twyla collections! Wow. Thanks all for sharing!

    1. Kathy in western NY

      Wow Bonnie what a lucky find for you! It’s a crabapple hill pattern that I was suppose to applique wool for the flower petals. I instead used colored pencils and then embroidered forgoing the tiny wool petals. It will be a nice wallhanging already for next winter. The coloring was so fun I am tempted to start the witches Salem quilt guild pattern of hers as I have fabrics pulled for it but not traced the embroidery blocks yet.

  22. Carla

    I have a question and comment for Twyla. Who is the maker of the overalls? And I agree with Janet S that it’s fun to spy items that we have in our family, too. Many things in my mom’s house are things that have been there since the house was built. As to the soups, I love soup and recently scored 2 good thrifted cookbooks, but whereas I could eat soup daily, the rest of the family not so much haha!

    1. Twyla

      Carla, they are Osh Kosh. They were my paternal grandpas, he’s been gone 33 years and I think they are fitting for my “guy” bathroom display!

  23. Beverly in the Nati

    I’ll enjoy trying the soup recipes. That’s a good pic of you, Becky & Kay and a lovely thing you did singing for the residents. Twyla has some interesting collections that bring back good memories. Telly is beautiful !

  24. Jo in Wyoming

    Twyla certainly has a fantastic talent for decorating with great collections.
    Love the “Winter” quilt. I’m working on “Spring”. I’ll make it a wall hanging, the pattern is for a pillow.
    Mary, thanks for the soup recipes, I’ll try them all.
    Beautiful post today. As always, thanks mary for keeping us together l

    1. Kathy in NY

      Thanks Jo. I haven’t seen that pattern yet so please share when you get yours done. I found coloring smaller outlined shapes fun to add embroidery touches to. I just love looking at my colored pencils sitting out in a mug now!!

  25. Colleen in Central Oregon

    Twyla, I love the clever way you have of displaying things as well as the items themselves. Especially using the harp off of an old dresser mirror to hang a quilt! I also love the overalls. Makes me wish I had been able to keep a pair of my Daddy’s. Could you please share the pattern name of the crosstitch of the Good Shepard and all the sheep? Thanks for sharing.

    1. Twyla

      Colleen, It is Little House Needleworks, little sheep virtues. Instead of doing each one individually I put them on one piece of linen.

  26. Liz Faron

    I love Twyla’s collection of vintage medical bottles. I’m keeping my eye out for an old aspirin bottle to put in my vintage medicine cabinet. I remember growing up it was always in the top left corner.

  27. Betty Klosterman

    It is amazing what catches our eye in Twyla’s collections. My cousin made me a pig cutting board many, many years ago. He grew up to be a fabulous finishing carpenter! And my imagination runs wild with the stories the overalls could tell! They were very useful clothing. Always thought that denim was one of the best fabrics ever made.
    We’ve got Project Warmth on Monday with cold weather/snow hitting Monday night into Tuesday. And 2 weeks to Daylight Saving Time….. Time marches on.
    Take care, everybody. Betty in Rapid City

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Betty – I agree about Twyla’s displays – I study them and see many things I recognize. Love it all.

  28. Gail

    I absolutely love Twyla’s cross stitch picture and would like to know the name of the pattern if possible!

    Gail

      1. Gail Anderson

        thank you! And what is the center because I can’t find that one about the Good Shepherd? I am so in love the way you did this picture!

        Gail

  29. Vicki in Seattle

    Thank you Mary and Twyla!! What wonderful photos to bring back so many memories. Will be great to watch Farmer Tim’s field turn green

    The soup recipes are perfect for this time of the year especially. Our temperatures are to get cooler with a chance of lowland snow. The mountains are predicted to get lots, which we badly need.
    I’’m watching the first spring training Mariner baseball game as I hand bind a quilt. Spring is just around the corner! Have a good weekend everyone!

  30. Charlotte in No. California

    I have made the potato soup recipe many times for my sewing group. It is really good and so easy to make. I was going to send that one in but will find another recipe.
    I love all the pictures today. Thank you for the panel tips.

  31. Sunflower from Michigan 🌻

    Mary,
    Thanks for the panel information. I’ll use that on my next panel quilt.
    Twyla, your collections are wonderful. My favorite one is the rolling pins and cookbooks. One of my sisters has a rolling pin collection that she keeps in a big crock.
    And Kathy in Western New York, I love needlepoint also and appreciate your wall hanging. Your comment about enjoying seeing your color pencils in a mug makes me think I should put my color pencils in a jar to see every day, too. I think I will!
    Love the blog with all the photos and all the comments. You’ve made us a community, Mary.

    1. Kathy in western NY

      Thank you Sunflower and I agree that our community of friends here is inspiring. I wear a compression glove on my hand some days but what doesn’t hurt on my body is a shorter list most days. I use to keep my colored pencils in their tin in a cupboard but looking at all of them out in a mug makes me happy. I keep some others in an older canning jar too. I’m tracing a 12” wallhanging this afternoon to begin stitching next as shows are returning to tv that I do enjoy watching at night.

  32. San

    What wonderful photos, ideas, and recipes today. Thank you Mary and thanks to everyone for sharing.

    Twyla, could you tell us who made your blue bowls. They have a lovely glaze. And wow, what great cookie cutters in vintage jars no less. I don’t have nearly that many, but do enjoy using them now and then.

    It’s supposed to be 60 degrees and sunny tomorrow. Here’s hoping I can get some of my windows washed so the fresh curtains can be hung.

    San / Murphy, NC

  33. Lindah in northern CA

    A lovely post, Mary. The photos are always so interesting. Love that you and Becky are “regulars” at the care home. What a loving thing to do. With the soup recipes and the weather reports and various thoughts from the commenters, it is like getting in that one last phone call with mom and the family before heading off to bed. I’m sure I’m more relaxed and sleep better after reading your posts and the conversations following. Sweet dreams to all who are heading off to bed; or good day to those on the rising side.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Lindah – and last night I got so busy making blocks I forgot to write a post – haha! I’m easily distracted it seems.

  34. Diane, Squeak, & Buddy in Central Ohio

    Those new collections are great. Our daughter has over 350 cookie cutters. My wonderful aunt started her on them with a cookie cookbook and cutters at her wedding shower. She even has a Christmas tree with cookie cutters on it:) The embroidery works are stunning. Thanks for the info on panels. I have been cleaning and organizing and found 4 panels!! Ooops. Better get busy.
    Do the residents sing along with you and Becky? My father in law loved it when groups came to sing at assisted living. We always went over and sang along if they wanted us to. Thanks for the recipes, too. It’s Chili in the crockpot for today:) Stay warm. 21* this AM, but going to 49*, then 60’s later in the week.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Diane – yes, they do sing along and we try to pick songs we figure they will know. And we do almost the same program every month – we love that they will sing along!

  35. Gail in Ohio

    Love the soup recipes – and that use of the washstand rod and frame as a quilt hanger is a great idea!

  36. Jan Hebert

    Soup recipes! The largest section of my recipe box is the soup section! I will give some of these a try, for sure. That Potato Soup recipe sounds great – love the idea of using the crock pot for it. And Twyla’s collections are just so well displayed. The blue bowls in the nook above the door caught my eye. I just knew I had one similar downstairs in the basement. So, I found it, and it is similar but not the same. It has a dragonfly shape raised on the side. Now I want to clean it up and bring it upstairs! I have a display above my refrigerator (tacky, I know!) and it would look great there. I’ll be on the lookout for more blue bowls, haha! Thank you, Twyla, for the inspiration. Oh, and the pretty quilt displayed hanging from a clothes hanger, it is very nice! I’d love to know how big that quilt is. Now I’m excited about finishing the delectable mountain quilt that I started before Christmas! I have a nice collection of men’s shirts and some plaids that I will be using. I was not surprised to read in the magazine article that the primitive fabric version was more popular than the newer, brighter version! I think that’s the appeal of it. So warm and cozy looking. And Mary, that top you are wearing is very flattering! Jan in MA

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jan – that striped top? It’s a dress actually and I had a huge collection of blue bowls that I gave away simply because I was tired of them – ugh. I wish I had them now – see? This is the reason I don’t try to downsize!

      1. Jan Hebert

        Mary, no! The cute little polka dot top that you’re wearing with jeans at Concord Care with Becky and Kay! Very slimming! And I feel the same way about downsizing! I actually tried to sell some of my vintage things at a little shop nearby. I was so sad when some of my favorite things sold! I want them back!! Jan

        1. Mary Etherington Post author

          Jan – OH! Thank you – I need all the slimming help I can get. No metabolism at age 75 – I have never been this heavy but I’m. It going to Weight Watchers ever again! I got some great new junk today – I can’t wait to post it. I think of all my things that are gone and it makes me so sad. I won’t do it anymore either.

  37. Kris in WI

    Mary, I’m off to the grocery store in a few minutes, but had to tell you that I loved that you chose songs the residents could sing along to. When I first started working at the library, Judy, the Children’s Librarian, and I would take our act on the road and visit the two nursing homes in town. We would tell stories, read poems, and break out into song using kids storytime props just for fun…cue the cardboard moon covered with foil when it was time for Shine on Harvest Moon or By the Light of the Silvery Moon! We put on aprons and did a “remember when” skit with old kitchen tools, a grinder, hand beater, etc. to get responses from the audience-favorite recipes, dinners gone wrong, holiday treats, lots of cookie stealing offered from the men! Of course, we put some folks to sleep as well!
    Thanks for the memories and Twyla’s picture of the rolling pins that brought it all back.
    I tried to continue the Senior Stories programs when I stepped into Judy’s shoes, but the new director felt that needed to be done by “adult” staff. Didn’t ever happen, of course.

    I made Ham Soup with Barley and Rutabagas two days ago. I know…the rutabagas are an acquired taste. It’s half gone and just getting good! Sun is shining, 55 *. Gotta run. Kris

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Kris in WI – your act sounds something like ours!! Haha! We billed ourselves as Sister Act! We should take some lessons from you with props – but the program can’t get too complicated or everybody will fall asleep – as you know!

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