Meet Leona, 6-5-24

I’d like to introduce you to Leona Jensen who will celebrate her 98th birthday on July 23.

Her daughter, Ros, writes, “Her cat was elderly and ill and died in April. She was an avid quilt maker and gave many of them away over the years. Also a very good cook but is now living in assisted living so has no oven or stove. She made the best butterscotch pie and homemade rye bread.”

I knew Leona my whole life – she lived about a mile north of our farm – her husband, Curt, and my dad, Mort, were cousins. Her daughter Ros and I are almost the same age and I remember going to their house where a handmade wool braided rug nearly covered the dining room floor. Ros has three younger brothers.

She now lives in Sioux City, Iowa, where Ros also lives. This family was part of our small neighborhood in the 50s and 60s when everybody farmed small farms compared to today’s standards.

Here is her mailing address:

Leona Jensen

2607 Nicklaus Blvd Unit 206

Sioux City, IA 51106

I think Leona would get a real kick out of receiving cards from my friends – many of you who were also farm wives who cooked, baked and sewed for your families.

Here’s one of the many quilts she made and hand quilted. How I wish I knew about quilts back then! Leona was a wealth of knowledge.

She also has this quilt in her room.

I gasped when Ros sent this picture because this is a Country Threads pattern, circa 1988, and Ros had no idea we designed it all those years ago. Here is the pattern:

This pattern is printed on huge sheets of paper – I will not be able to make copies and this is the ONLY pattern left.

Reader photos:

Joy and friend
Hazel and Keeper on the porch
Look at those ears!!
Dean cut the hay today

I’m getting my card for Leona ready right now before I go to bed and forget!

17 thoughts on “Meet Leona, 6-5-24

  1. Donna Jo

    I will send Leona a card today. I always wanted to make the lone star quilt on her bed but it’s a hard one with all the bias cuts. She must have been a great quilter! Love the two quilts featured. Those I can make. Your pattern is really cute Mary. Fun photos of Joy and friend and Rick and Keeper.

  2. Joyce from NY

    Just love the wash day quilt! All the pictures are great today! Leona must have been a hard working farmer’s wife. Will get a card out today. Thanks Mary!

  3. Dee in Ohio

    It sure looks like Hazel and Keeper are enjoying the summer life. I am also enjoying the weather to be outside. I keep hoping that winter won’t come. This weather is a true blessing.

  4. Frances E

    What a sweet post, I especially loved the picture of Joy and her friend, such a picture of happiness. I loved the washday quilt. It is so cute. Hazel and Keeper are so enjoying their time in the porch. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Sheryl Harrison

    Hello to Leona! I made a note about Leona’s birthday next to her address. I am getting teary thinking about your readers’ kindness reaching out to complete strangers to brighten their day. One small moment in our day to write a note and address a card brings a big blessing and joy to others. Thank you!

  6. Jo in Wyoming

    What a beautiful woman. I hope she had a day to remember.
    Those are some big ears on Keeper. Joy and her lap puppy. Goldens are always that way.
    Have a great day.

  7. Jeanine from SE Iowa

    Leona’s quilts are so nice. They were a lot of work. It’s nice she can still enjoy them. Enjoyed all the pictures today. It is crazy windy here in Oskaloosa today! Can’t do much outside. We watered our tomatoes. We are not getting the rain other parts of Iowa have gotten. Today we gave the tomatoes a little fertilizer. They don’t seem to be growing like they usually have in the past. Everything in the garden is slow growing except the potatoes. What they really need is a gentle soaker rain. Stay safe wherever you are. I know other places in Iowa are also windy today.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jeanine – yes! We are having gusts up to 50 mph!!!

  8. Jan from AZ

    Leona’s card will go out today! Thanks for the opportunity to send greetings of happiness. Joy and her friend remind me of the dog we had, Oreo, when the girls were small. Oreo was about the same size, just a big lap dog and a sweetie! I always enjoy seeing different quilts, especially because it inspires me to find creative ways to dig into my stash with combinations I hadn’t even thought about before. Thank you all for sharing, and, Mary for taking the time to post. Have a productive Thursday all! 🙂

  9. Diane, Squeak, Buddy in Central Ohio

    I have been reading, but not posting. Busy, busy. I am in charge of Honor Flight quilts for our Guild. A wonderful Korean War Veteran has been helping to get quilts out to other veterans. I made him a QOV which he will receive on July 1st.
    Keeper and Hazel are so cute. Hazel’s hair cut looks great. I will send a card a Leona tomorrow. We have a new baby Golden Retriever in our neighborhood. I will try to get a photo.
    We had a tornado near us last night. 62 tornadoes in Ohio so far this year.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Diane – I can’t believe how many dogs you have in your neighborhood! It’s great! You get to experience the dogs but don’t have the work – haha. Just when I don’t think there’s anything to write I look at my photo stream and then I see all the photos I’ve gotten – ha! When people stop sending, I’ll stop posting, I guess.

      1. Diane, Squeak, Buddy

        Then, we’ll never stop sending😀😀. Yes, lots of dogs. There are about 7 that I see everyday and sometimes twice a day. Most of them walk several times and I walk twice a day. It is fun to see them😀 🐶 🐕.

    2. Beth Laverty

      My husband was privileged to go on an Honor Flight in April. And he received a quilt from a quilt group near Syracuse where he took the flight. It is amazing all the work quilt groups do for this. There were 81 recipients on his flight alone!

      1. Mary Etherington Post author

        Beth – it really is amazing! I agree and he was lucky to go on the flight and receive a quilt. That’s a lot of quilts – 81!!! Thank you for sending a card to Leona, Beth.

  10. Vicki Ibarra

    I remember the school bus stopped at the Jensen home to pick up kids. I rode that route from age 6 to 13. What a memory! The cards are a great idea.
    We had our septic tank replaced Tuesday. Now we are doing all the lawn fix-it work. The dirt has to settle into the holes made in the process of replacement. We are trying to hurry the “settling” process by watering the dirt like crazy, adding more dirt, walking on it, and more watering. I am SO dirty at the end of a day. Today, my shoes got stuck in the muck. I hope we can advance to laying sod soon.
    Lots of wind today, but the weather has been nice other than that. The porch swing and I had some time together this evening.

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