March Madness Quilt, 4-25-23

And it’s not done yet! It doesn’t fit my queen size bed like I want it to so I’m making it 2 rows wider. The directions are available however for $5.00 and a self addressed stamped envelope or at the very least an address label. Directions will not refer to the size quilt I am making. Directions will be for a 7” finished block, cutting and piecing.

This quilt has been made exclusively with charm squares and if you don’t have charm squares just cut some 5” squares from yardage.

On the subject of SASE or address labels, I have been involved with a customer who ordered a rug book in January. She has given me two names and two addresses – no address label. The envelope was undeliverable the first time and was sent back to me. I have driven to town twice now with this issue. I returned her money minus the fees I paid for a postal money order and she is turning me over to her local prosecutor because she did not receive her book or her refund. She says I have dementia and doesn’t know how I remained in business all these years. At the post office I suggested the money order be made out in one name and the postmaster insisted it should be the other name. Now she says there’s no one there by that name. Ugh.

So if there’s any question whatsoever about your order or purchase, I’ll have to pay the postage myself to return it to you. Oh, that was also a problem – she gave me no phone or email or address label and said she would be going back to her summer home in another state.


March Madness

Reader Quilts

Remember this bank I showed you? Look at this!

And here’s Maybelline!

Over the years friends have given me JRT stuffed toys.

A reader asked about size – probably about 3” in diameter.

Good night from Spottie and Twin Sister!

74 thoughts on “March Madness Quilt, 4-25-23

  1. Susan Heffele, Big Bend Wisconsin

    I think we know who has dementia and it’s NOT YOU! Please don’t ever stop because of one idiot!

  2. Deb in Idaho

    Boy some people! You do Not have dementia. I hope it gets resolved. Love the quilt, when I get home I’m going to get the pattern from you. We start for home tomorrow and I can’t wait to be home.

  3. Lorraine

    Sorry you have to deal with this person that doesn’t even know where they live. You are too good of a person to do anything mean like that person thinks you are. Please don’t worry about it. That isn’t really fair to you.

  4. Jo in Wyoming

    It kinda sounds like the biddy causing you trouble has done it to others. Some people just don’t know how to have a good day.
    I love the pictures, Miss Maybelline is a true doll! Loretta would have that pink on everything.
    I searched hi and lo looking for a panel I knew I had…2 days later, lo and behold I found it.
    I’m too old to spend that much time look for 1 piece. But I can move on now.
    It’s snowing tonight. The shovel gets a workout tomorrow….again.

  5. Diane in Colorado

    I hope that “prosecutor” tells that woman she doesn’t have a leg to stand on!!! Ugh!! If there is ever a problem with an order from me, please keep the funds for your trouble.

  6. Pat Smith

    Why, in this day in age, would someone not give her phone and email with her order just for situations like this? This kind of thing must be so frustrating for you. Fortunately, the majority of people reading your blog are not like this or you’d give it up for sure which would make us all so sad.

  7. Diana in Des Moines

    Sorry you had to go through all that with your rug book. I try so hard to follow directions, but I guess not everyone does.
    Not much going on here – we are just watching the Mississippi River flooding. Every fall we travel to Prairie du Chien Wisc to watch the river barges and enjoy the colors along the river. Last year it was so dry, barge traffic was halted. This year flooding so it is again halted. Would love to drive over to LeClaire to look at it, but hate to leave my mom for a whole day alone. Too long of a trip to take her.
    Working on donation quilts for Agape Pregnancy center here in DM. 15 done and quilted, 11 tops done, 5 more quilted. Then I am finished – need to start my Iowa State fair projects. It will be August before we know it.

  8. Charlotte

    Mary, you are always so thoughtful and generous—ALWAYS—and all it takes is one selfish and crazy person to make a mess! So sorry for this unjust occurrence. I am grateful for all your delightful posts and so are all your friends on this blog. God bless you!

  9. Elaine Kopischke-Trejo

    I am so sorry you have to deal with people like you have posted about. You only try to do good and share your life and get this in response. How very aggravating!!! Take care and try not to worry ..

  10. Lynnne from NJ

    Love your March Madness quilt. Is it the 100 Wishes pattern? I made a quilt for my 1st granddaughter from that pattern. And that rag rug! One of these days I’ll finish mine. It’s about 2/3 done and started during one of your rug alongs a few years ago. I agree with your other readers that its your rude customer who has dementia and a bad attitude..

  11. Chris in Alaska

    Oh my Mary !! You sure don’t need another headache . Sounds like that customer has dementia, certainly not you !!

  12. Diane, Squeak,and Buddy in Central Ohio

    What kind of person has two names and two addresses? Sounds like the dementia is on the other end—definitely not you!! So sorry you have to deal with that.
    I love the quilt show today and the pink poodle. Cute. The rug is gorgeous. Great job.
    Off to bed after the Amish country retreat😀

  13. Ann in PA

    Oh Mary you could write a book! So sorry you have to go through all that over the rug book. Love the quilts, puppy pics and twin sisters. Weather everywhere is crazy ~ we had a no snow winter and now spring is extremely dry, cold & windy. (No fun working in the outside with harsh drying winds!). No April showers so no rain or melting snow to fill the water tables. On a happy note, our bluebirds just hatched 5 babies! 🪺

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Ann – last week I saw a bluebird outside the window in the walnut tree – I have never ever seen a bluebird! I hope it has a mate and sticks around. How do you know there are 5 babies? Can you see them in the nest? Take a picture!!!

  14. Tina H

    Oh, that person and the rug book must have been having a bad day. Mary, I hope we don’t see you on the YouTube Law and Crime channel!

    About your March Madness quilt…that is a lot of small piecing and seam matching. I’m curious, do you press your block/rows open? I detest pressing open.

  15. patti

    oh mary, you must have the patience of Job. egads. customers like that would drive anyone to drink. maybe you have to change the rules. this is the rule ….. if you do not follow the rule in all aspects, nothing will happen. no address label, no self-addressed stamped envelope, no product, too bad. there has to be a limit somewhere. i can’t believe there are people out there like this customer. geesh!!! love the pictures. the person who made the first reader quilt must have a ton of patience. everything is wonderful. watching the nba semis over here. our rookie nba orlando magic player, paola banchero, just won rookie of the year – 98 votes out of 100. great for a super young kid who is very talented. every onward and upward and back to quilting. and the trials and tribulations of life. patti in florida

  16. Sue in Oregon

    The comments have been voicing the same thing I thought when I read about the rug pattern debacle. Exactly who is it that has the dementia!! / She does, that’s who.
    Is it hard to keep those JRT stuffed toys away from You Know Who? My dogs would have eyed those cuties and claimed them for sure.
    I got a quilt off to a long-arm quilter today. It is a gift quilt for our great-grandson in Montana. He will graduate from HS in early June. I just couldn’t face quilting it myself. His brother graduates this coming Dec. so I need to start his soon. I’m so pokey anymore that I need lots of time. I want to find fabric depicting the BaHa Bug Race because he wants to enter it. He has completely restored an old one by himself. Has anyone ever seen fabric like that? I think I did several years ago, not knowing I would need it someday.
    We actually had a lovely warm day and hoping for another one tomorrow.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sue – have you searched online for that fabric? I also know there’s a company who will print your choice of design. I don’t think Hazel has noticed them yet – but they’ve been here as long as she has! Haha!

  17. Beryl in Owatonna

    Mary, I’m so sorry you have to deal with people like this person. I agree with Patti…set the rules…again… and stick to them. It isn’t too hard to send a self addressed stamped envelope and include a check. Wow/
    Your quilts are beautiful!! Pieces are too small for me! I hate to admit it but I think my age is catching up with me. I got a new machine that is wonderful…it is frustrating b/c I can’t get it to do what I want it to so go back to my ole one. I need to sell it. I have probably sewn about 20 hours on it. I have lost interest for the most part since COVID.
    Thanks for all you do!!

  18. Heidi

    I would hope the prosecutor has more important items on his agenda than to listen to a woman who is confused as to who she is an what her address is. With all this she thinks you are the one with dementia,, what a joke.

  19. Sharon G.

    Two names and two addresses? Sounds like she’s the one with dementia. Getting a prosecutor involved seems a little over the top and may not be true. Who knows what goes on with some people? You have receipts from the post office so I wouldn’t worry about it. But yikes! Who needs another issue in their life?
    Love the quilts, poodle, and the rug.
    Don’t work too hard this week.
    Take care, Mary.

  20. Charlotte S in northern California

    I love your March madness quilt and the reader’s quilts and the rag rug. Thanks for sharing your animals with us too. I’m so sorry you have to deal with this problem lady. There’s always someone who ruins the day!

  21. Pattie from PA

    Thanks for sharing my pink Samantha. It was fun to see your pink ceramic poodle and my girl together.

  22. Mary Ann

    It is very sad to read about the nasty person you have had to deal with. Love the quilt and the pictures you have shared.

  23. Sandra Goddard

    Some people do not play with a full deck of cards. Sorry you are dealing with this. I would say you have gone over and above what you should of had to do.

  24. NancyTD

    Just love your March Madness Quilt. A fun way to use up some fabric treasures too.
    What a horrible lady you have had to deal with.
    The rug is awesome. The quilts are always fun to see what everyone does. Pet parade is special too.
    Have a nice day.

  25. Cathy Killiany

    Love the new quilt. I have shied away from doing a QST quilt like this because of the bulky points all coming together. How do you get around that tight pinpoint bulk? I love petting my quilts once they’re on the bed or couch but hate running over that stone type lump where the points join. Please let us all know your secret! Lol!

    1. Julie B from CF

      Hi Kathy…when I make a quilt with half square triangles, I press the seams open instead of to one side. The center is not as bulky. I also use Best Press to get a nice flat seam.

    2. Mary Etherington Post author

      Cathy – I twirl the intersection. I hate pressing seams open – I burn my fingertips every time. Isn’t that a stupid reason? That’s one reason Connie loves extreme starching – absolutely flat open seams.

  26. Vicki Ibarra

    Love your March Madness quilt! It reminds me of a quilt I have on one of my beds. A neighbor, who wasn’t “in to” quilts, gave me a quilt top when someone in her family passed it along to her. It has many colors and pieces like your March Madness quilt. I took it to someone to hand quilt and it has been on a guest bed ever since then. Every time I walk by that room, it brings a smile to my face.

  27. Connie R. In Wisconsin

    Possibly bigger issues going on in the rug book person’s life to carry it this far. Hopefully she is a blog reader, admits HER mistake, and sends you an apology.
    Still below average temperatures predicted for the next week here. We’re a good month out before we plant our garden. At least no bugs out yet. Love seeing all the quilts and animals. Thanks, Mary.

    1. Kathy in NY

      Connie R,
      How’s the wool piece coming? I am working on a bird swag of wool and flannel but only seem to pick it up when watching a tv show which isn’t giving me alot of time with the little I seem to tune into.

      1. Connie R.

        Kathy, The wool piece is coming along well. Just a few more areas to stitch and I’ll have it finished.I really liked your idea of using the whip stitch in some areas. Like you, it’s a good project to sit with in the evenings with TV. Thanks for asking.

        1. Kathy

          Oh good to hear Connie. I actually prefer the ease and look of the whipstitch as my buttonhole stitch can be wonky and unevenly spaced doing by hand. Can’t wait for you to send a picture of your piece to Mary.

    2. Paula Nordt

      Connie R., it made me sad, but when I walked to the creek yesterday evening, the mosquitoes got to me. We haven’t had that much rain! And I’m NOT ready for mosquitoes!

  28. Kathy in western NY

    I read this post just before heading to bed last night and because I didn’t want to go to bed angrier than I was after reading it, I closed my iPad and read a quilt pattern book by Pat Sloan to make me happier. I would have commented some choice words for someone who no doubt misled you with two names and two addresses and then wants to name call you with dementia and prosecute! Mary you go above and beyond for your readers and we certainly appreciate it but thanks for pointing out your life is not all peaches and cream when there are those who live to of tear kind choices and rules down. It’s raining here today so a good sewing day with an easy pizza dinner. I might make a run to JoAnns and see if they carry this Pat Sloan Holidays celebration book cause I saw 3 quilts or table runners I want to make so it’s a good one as I took this book from the library.

  29. Linda in Michigan

    Mary, I feel your frustration and pain about a difficult customer. Anyone who’s dealt with the public quickly learns what a bunch of idiots are out there. I’m sure I’ll get a lot of flack for saying this, but it’s true.

  30. Lori

    Mary, I’m so sorry you have to put up with this difficult person. Some people are just not happy unless they are causing turmoil. She should stay out of this blog/bit of joy you give us.
    I am 64 years old and have/had several aunts that quilt and/or sew. Recently one of them gave me several fat quarters, I can’t tell you how much it meant to me (I did send her a thank-you note). It’s not the monetary value of the fabric and I can certainly purchase my own fabric, but it is the thought that meant so much to me. I have given many quilts away and still do, but no one has ever given me a quilt or fabric until now.
    I’m making chicken soup with dumplings today for the guys for dinner, with buns that I’m baking.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Lori – I’m impressed with your supper menu – homemade buns, too?

  31. Marie C

    Great post today. Beautiful projects and beautiful animals. It’s 29 this morning in central Iowa. I have a few flowers I cover up every night. Hope I won’t have to do it tonight.

  32. Lynette in Orlando

    Mary, sorry for you having to deal with this person. ugh. I’ve just come to the conclusion that these days people are just crazy. But they are a royal pain to deal with. Just know that there are people out here who appreciate you and look forward to reading your “blog about nothing” — makes my day. Xx

  33. Frances E

    Love Spottie and Twin Sister! I’m so sorry this snow bird has caused you so much of a problem. It sounds like you could claim she is demented! And, I can’t think of any way you could avoid this dilemma in the future without multiple trips to the post office and money spent on postage. Bless you for your patience.

  34. Nina

    Your March Madness is an answer for me !! Have many, many odd squares of fabric and now I know how to use them and get rid of the stacks of fabric pieces. Thank you for the great ideas.

    And the lady, no not a lady but the person who is giving you trouble over her lack of doing the right thing. So sorry you have been putting up with her nonsense. You do not deserve that kind of treatment. It is her mistakes !

    Please continue your great work, love seeing your animals, the country area. Love it.

  35. Jennifer Mattoon Anderson

    Personally, I think the lady has dementia, to go through all of that to return her money. Above and beyond. Love your chickens. My daughter has them and i am trying to convince Timn that we should get some! We are both retired and have plenty of land to host them. Love the animal pictures as well as the quilts!

  36. Denise Peterson

    Nice quilt show today. The binding on Liz’s quilt is interesting. The rug looks really nice. I should think about making another one.

  37. Joy in NW Iowa

    Mary your quilt is so pretty! I don’t think I could just sit and work on that constantly til it was finished. That would have to be in a leader an elder or something like that 🤪
    The lady with the postage stamp quilt,! Amazing! I knew a lady from Sioux Falls that was making that very quilt. It is so beautiful! The time and accuracy and patience! Wow!
    Hubby has been in the field, a full day, 12 hours, in the tractor discing made one man tired! The sun was out all day and it looked so nice but boy that east wind was cold! Brr! Well, hubby just left for another day of field work. He just said, I probably would go out if it was on the old open tractor and a straight disc! Ha! Forty eight years ago I remember him on an open tractor plowing! He did get coffee, sandwiches, cookies brought to him mid morning and afternoon plus a big dinner! Wow! Plus I had a brand new baby boy and a 1 year old! Oh the energy we had then!
    Does anyone procrastinate about going for groceries? I really need to grocery shop but find things in the fridge and freezer to work so I don’t have to. You’d think the store was 50 miles away! Ha! Three miles.
    We order fish (salmon, halibut, cod, and rock fish) from an Alaskan company. It is awesome! You get a shipment every month…but you can stall the orders for a different time. It is really good.
    Well, think I will work on my strip along and a neighbor lady needs some graduation cards.
    Happy sewing!
    Love you and your blog!

    1. Connie R.

      Joy, I used to put off grocery shopping too (our nearest real grocery store is about 30 miles away). Seems like the pandemic and rising prices changed that. Now, stores are not as well stocked as before Covid so get it while you can, or you know the price will be higher next shopping trip so , may as well buy it now.

    2. Mary Etherington Post author

      Joy – growing up on a farm in the ‘50’s I remember my dad plowing on Thanksgiving Day with nothing but a heat houser on the tractor. Equipment today is simply staggering! As kids we took lunch out to the field mid morning and mid afternoon, too. I’ve been outside raking this morning – yesterday that east wind was just on cold – thought I could break it into two segments today – morning and afternoon. March Madness was made over a two year period – yes, as leaders and enders! I had so many charm packs from when the shop was open that I wanted to use them up. My goal is to use up the fabric in the old quilt shop. I have to stop and quilt several before I start another one.
      P.S. I’m not looking forward to making two more rows for MM but if I don’t it just won’t be useable like I want it to be.

  38. Brenda Ks

    I am curious how the lady knows there is no one is there by that name if she didn’t get it???
    I think she is to nuts to make a rug anyway.
    How hard is it to send a SASE with your order? Sounds like she just likes to stir up trouble!! Just stop dealing with her you will never be able to satisfy some people.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Brenda – I thought the same thing – she had to sign for it and open it to know what was in the envelope! I’m done – no more.

  39. Gayle Lacey

    Sorry to say … a lot of women are a pain in the patootie to ‘work’ with. What a nightmare for you. It’s so unfair when you’re trying to be so nice to people. They think the world revolves around them/her. Good luck getting rid of her. Hopefully you only encounter nice quilters to day! We love what you do!

  40. Barbara Firesheets

    Your March madness quilt is great! Love seeing the reader pictures you share. That pink poodle looks just like your ceramic one! Hope you get the problem resolved with the person who can’t follow directions. See if you can cancel the first money order and tell her you’ll hold her refund money until she emails you with her correct information. If we can read and interpret quilting patterns, we should be able to follow your simple pattern/book purchase instructions. Don’t let that rude person get you down. I am thankful for your blog and all you share with us! Have a great day!

  41. Launa

    How irritating some customers are! Sorry you have to deal with one!
    Another sunny 30o morning up here @ 4800 feet in Idaho. 80 miles round trip to nearest market!
    Thanks for the pictures and your enlarged quilt as well! So beautiful!

  42. Marilyn Miller

    The quilt you are working in for your bed is wonderful! I am so sorry that you’re having to deal with ‘that woman’ and she has been so nasty. Perhaps the dementia is in her end since she seems unable to get the details right. Good that she is returning to wherever she she came from!

  43. Cheryl from Niagara Falls

    You know, I almost feel sorry for people like your disgruntled customer. I bet she goes through life making everyone she has contact with miserable. That’s just how some people are. So sad. I always told my girls growing up that it takes just as much energy to be nice as it takes to be mean so always, always be nice. If you have to get more firm to get a point across or get something done, then get more stern. But never, ever fly off the handle from the start. When I was working in the medical field some patients would come in so ornery, but I would kill them with kindness and by the time they left we were buddies. But there were some that you just couldn’t get through to. Oh well. I certainly wouldn’t let her bother you. Just not worth it.
    Love the quilts! Yours is a great way to use all those odd charms we all have. That second one calls out to me as I love working with tiny pieces. Beautiful!

  44. Sandy in Indiana

    Don’t let one customer get you down! I think she is the one with issues not you….I think you are amazing with all you get done in one day!
    I really love the rag rug post….so pretty 🙂
    Love Maybelline, she is adorable

    have a wonderful day,

  45. Betty Klostermn

    I agree with Cheryl from Niagara Falls. That lady has dementia or something and is on the fight to try to keep her place in the world. Dementia can cause horrible changes in personality. They were easy to be around before and the opposite after onset. I think she is really confused, knows it and is in high stress mode. It would be tough to think that the whole world was off and it was really you.

    In the meantime, there might not be anything wrong with some of us, but others are just screwy??? The other night we had somebody come home at 3 AM, very drunk or high, playing the car radio full volume with lots of loud cussing. We haven’t figured out who or where, but we all thought it sounded right next to our door……. It happened again last night, except they figured out who that was….. I didn’t hear that one. I have been known to sleep thru loud parties or fights…. Variety is the spice of life? Luckily I’m dull and boring.

    Today is beautiful. The neighbor mowed my yard – he likes the riding lawn mower and I keep him in gas. There was just a breeze, 70 degrees and sun shining and 9 rain drops so far. Trees are budding out and tomorrow the wind will blow HARD again.

    Take care. Betty in Rapid City

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Betty – your grass is long enough to mow? Mine is sparse and weak!!! Too many trees in my yard, I suppose. Sounds like you’ve had some excitement in your neighborhood. Glad you have close neighbors! Oh, I don’t want it to be so windy again – keep that wind out there!!! Thanks!

      1. Betty Klosterman

        Yep, the neighbor mowed my yard yesterday. We really need rain.
        Our neighborhood is normally pretty dull, not even any teen agers. Somebody must have been having a bad day/night?
        As for the screwy lady, she probably threatens everybody. You have tried to deliver her book. I’d just keep a very good record of everything you have done, so if she does get the law involved, you have proof of what happened. You’ll probably never need it, but just in case.
        Weatherman just said we’re supposed to be 72 by Tuesday….. Spring is really trying.
        Betty in Rapid City

  46. Jan Hebert

    She obviously is very confused – or confusing? I’m not sure! But to threaten you with a lawyer? Seriously? That’s really awful. I really love your March Madness Quilt! I wish I had more charm squares, haha! Not sure I’m very good at hst’s but I love that it was a leader/ender process! Love all of the quilts, rugs, bags but my favorite picture is of Spotty and Twin Sister! Twin Sister doesn’t look much like Spotty – does she have a twin that’s not in the picture?

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jan – Twin Sister did have a matching sister who was lost in the hawk attack last August. Spottie just got her name because she runs to greet me and I had to call her something – Spottie is the most uncreative name I’ve ever used! Haha!!

  47. Robin in Kelso Wa

    I just love your blog. I never miss reading it. I learn so much from you and your readers. I just read this when I go to bed and don’t always want to respond then. Just don’t stop please

  48. Joy in NW Iowa

    Mary, that old biddy! She is really off her rocker! Your rule say a self addressed envelope anveoope or self addressed label! READ the directions, for Pete sake! Please don’t worry a out her!
    It actually got really obretty nice outside here this afternoon!
    Keep your chin up! Love you!

  49. Vicki White

    I am not sure if this is where I should be writing to you but I saw on Facebook that you visited the apartments in Algona to show them how to make a rug. I would love to learn. Do you teach classes?
    Thanks, Vicki

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Vicki – I was actually at Prairie View senior living in Garner. No, I don’t give classes but I have a book and DVD which I’ll be all you’ll need. A twined rug is made on a frame and directions to make the frame are included in the book. If you want to purchase the book and dvd, send $22 to Country Threads, 2345 Palm Ave, Garner, IA. 50438. Please include an address label with your mailing address.

  50. Cynthia Arneson

    Makes a person wonder who really has the dementia here! Hang in there Mary…it takes all kinds to make the world go round…take a deep breath and keep going. Enjoy reading your blog and seeing all the quilts people make. I especially love Hazel’s antics!

  51. JustGail

    I wonder if she gave 2 names/addresses for where she was staying for both summer or winter?? If so, she should have included a note of “I’ll be moving from this address to this address on this date”. Makes no sense to give you wrong information in any case.
    Threatening you with prosecutor…I think they’ve probably got more important things to deal with than a book sale gone wrong due to the buyer’s own mistakes. I’d be a bit more concerned if a letter came from small claims court. I hope you saved whatever information she did send, along with whatever got returned.
    It might be time to start returning any orders without SASE or address labels? Better to lose the price of one stamp, than trying to refund $ and spend on gas & time going to the post office repeatedly.
    I agree with the others – YOU are not the one with dementia.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      JustGail – her money minus $5+ for postal charges has been returned. I don’t know what Small Claims Court would gain.

  52. Sherry Whalen

    Thank you for the kind comments about my rug! I’ve made several of them. I’ve used scrap cotton, t-shirts, and this one is made from fleece cut offs, so it is very soft and a bit ‘squishy’ to step on. I think it looks like crayon shading!

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