Meeting Barbara and Joyce, 6-2-23

Remember those quilts I loved so much at the Clear Lake Quilt Show in April? Today I was invited to the quilt maker’s home – Barbara is such a talented quilt artist and was gracious enough to show me her quilts. Joyce is her longarm quilter who is equally as creative. The two of them together have produced some real works of art.

Barbara is an expert at thread painting and says she uses this book.

She would not let me take her picture but she’s one of us really – same age group, grew up on a farm, has grandkids and loves quilting! Here is the farm quilt I showed last April.

And here are the closeups.

A zip line on the farm for fun!
Notice the quilting to resemble grass.
Single motifs are stitched around the outside on the background.
All the quilting is so imaginative – here the bubbles are coming out of the wringer washer.
Iowa corn
Tomato plant
Holstein cow
Indian hut
Flag of red, white and blue ad lib thread painting

This is her darling little dog, Missy!

I have much more to show you but first I’ll tell you that while we were studying the quilts in the lower level suddenly there was a downpour. When I arrived I had the top up on Red but they were all interested in the car and had never seen one before so I showed them how the top collapsed. Yup, the top was still down when it poured down rain! I ran to the car and had to start it up to engage the roof mechanism. I sat in an absolute basin of water in the front seat! Haha!!! My hair was dripping wet and my green linen dress was soaked. But we all went back to admiring the quilts – quilters are made of tough stuff, aren’t we? There was nothing to be gained by being upset with wet feet, hair and dress.

One last tidbit – I peeked in the robin’s nest and this is what I saw!

Because I’m showing you these baby robins I’m going to sneak in this picture from tomorrow’s post – baby robins on a branch.

Is your mouth hanging open yet? Haha! See ya tomorrow!

73 thoughts on “Meeting Barbara and Joyce, 6-2-23

  1. Shirley Andersen Smith

    What a wonderful blog today….
    Thank you Mary.
    Shirley from Oregon

  2. Vicki in Seattle

    Fabulous works of art! Thanks so much for sharing, Mary!!!
    So sorry that it rained when your top was down!

  3. Sue In Or

    I am so glad you got to see that wonderful quilt up close and personal. And, to take close-ups for us to see. I was stunned by that quilt the first time you showed it and I still am. And, thanks also to Barbara. What talent she has!! Newly hatched baby robins are so ugly they’re cute.

  4. Sandy

    Hi Mary, some people are really talented with their quilt making! Love the agitator washing machine, how many of us have had hair caught in one?The dog was adorable! I often say to Stella that she has a birds nest in her hair, she would like bird to have chick’s in her hair! Take care everyone, best wishes from Sandy PS. Sorry about you getting so wet Mary!

  5. Lynette in Orlando

    Thank you Barbara for sharing your quilt up close and personal! Mary, thank you for posting the pictures and comments. What a work of art!!!

  6. Marsha in MI

    Amazing thread painting and quilting!

    Loved your downpour story!! Back when I was homeschooling, I dropped the kiddos off at a church we were using for some group art/craft activities and took off for a run on a trail that ran right by the church. I got almost to the point where I planned to turn about and it dowpoured! I got drenched from head to toe; dropping hair, clothes soaked through and sneakers squelching!! All I could do was turn around and run back!

  7. Jean

    OMGosh! Such talent! Barbara’s quilt really is a feast for the eyes. She’s an artist for real. Thank you so much for sharing this beauty! More to come?

  8. Linda R Thompson

    Mary, what a treasure to see! Thank you for a whole lot of something! Those babies in the nest are too precious. We don’t have any nests on top of the speakers on the deck this year. Maybe, yet.

  9. Elaine Kopischke-Trejo

    Absolutely amazing!! How fortunate for you to be able to see in person and fortunate for us that you shared it! AND the little birds in your nest!! Love, love this.

  10. Gloria from CC

    Barbara is an amazing talent and so creative. I’m glad you were able to find her and connect. Adorable dog too.

  11. Teresa in Indiana

    Wow! How much fun it was to see such beautiful thread creativity. Amazing beyond belief. I can’t even imagine doing anything like this beautiful quilt. Love her little dog. Your baby birds are a delight too. Sorry about the rain, glad you didn’t melt. Have a great day!

  12. Rita in Iowa

    Barbara’s quilt was amazing, thanks for sharing all the pictures. Sorry that you had to get all wet with the downpour. We had a shower yesterday morning and lost power for an hour. Don’t know what that was all about. So glad we get to have a lot about nothing!

  13. Linda in MI

    What an adventure you had, going to see Barbara’s artistry and getting a rain bath! We dry so although unfortunate, no damage done. I’m worried about red! I don’t think vehicles are made to have the passenger compatments showered so I hope there wasn’t any damage done. And according to what my grandma said, rain water is good for your hair. When I stayed at her farm and washed everything including my hair with her home-made lye soap she always rinsed our hair in rain water from the rain barrels she had at each corner of her big old house. It made our curly hair really soft and curlier, which we hated of course. So think of your drenching as beneficial for your curls!

    To catch you up on my grandson and his friends who were in the horrific accident, my grandson had his facial surgery Thursday. The doctors said it would take 4 1/2 to 5 hours but it ended up at 7 hours. He has been miserable since but sleeping off all the anesthesia and sleep is probably a blessing for healing. The fifteen year old with the broken clavicle is trying to resume a somewhat normal life but is having problems focusing on routine things and can’t seem to comprehend his school assignments. The 17 year old really concerns me, they were finally able to take him off the vent last week and I fear he may have brain damage. He often doesn’t recognize his mother and his brain cannot communicate to move his legs. He had the most severe concussion. We will always pray for them, they do not remember the accident at all but will live with the aftermath forever.

    1. Sheila in WI

      Thank you for the update, Linda. Prayers will continue for each of these young men for grace and strength to meet each day

    2. Mary Etherington Post author

      Linda – I am soooo sorry to hear discouraging news about the boys. I’ve been hoping for an update but also hoping for better news. Teenagers are tough tho’ and it just might take more time to recover. Now he’ll begin the 6 weeks of puréed foods eaten through a straw? Please keep us all updated on all 3 boys – we’re all thinking of you and these boys!

    3. Diane in Maryland

      Linda, Sheila and Mary said my thoughts too. We all continue to pray for these young boys. We may not tell you everyday but everyday we say prayers for them and you too.

      1. Carolyn from Ohio

        Keep the prayer chain going for these young teenages. My heart goes out to all of them and their families.

  14. Ruth

    What a fun day- Barbara’s quilt is a piece of art that quilters will admire for many many years to come!!!/ robins are my favorite- but I have a family of wrens living in the bluebird house singing happily throughout their day!! Ya can’t help but smile!!
    WI Quilter

  15. Ruth

    Many many Prayers for Linda’s family and her grandson’s young friends. WI Quilter

  16. Kathy

    Those robins are beyond cute. I cannot wait until you post more.
    Sorry about the rain.

  17. Frances E

    Oh my! What a treat to see, Mary! Joyce and Barbara are such a talented pair of artists! I’m quite happy to let other people shine. I don’t have the energy to do what these two do, but I’m glad to see their work. Thanks for the picture of the baby birds.

  18. Meredith in Cincinnati

    Wonderful blog post today! Love to see this quilt up close. I wish I could be as creative as this, but I sure do enjoy learning from people who are! A true artist.
    I guess Red got a good cleaning after your adventure! Send that rain our way, will you?
    For Linda in MI: continued prayers coming your way. Teenagers often make miraculous recoveries, and that’s what I’m praying for today.

  19. NancyTD

    Thank you to Barbara for sharing her quilt with you,Mary. It is beautiful!
    Prayers for Linda’s grandson and his friends.
    We had an inch of rain yesterday afternoon. Much needed.
    This morning there was a wild Turkey in my flower garden. Making a lot of noise at sun rise. Chased it back into the field. Now it is running in the field and making a lot of noise. Looking for its mate? I don’ t know much about turkeys.
    Cut out a quilt yesterday and hope to start sewing today.
    Have a nice weekend.

  20. Barb P

    Such beautiful detail in that quilt. I can only imaging the hours necessary for that beauty.

  21. Kathy in western NY

    Your brain was probably on overdrive coming back home from Barbara’s beautiful quilt show. How inspiring to say the least. I am so happy you had some time to do this and could meet. Oh my, the stories your blog tell us!!!!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Kathy -I can hardly tell you what a treat this was.

  22. Fran Dixon

    Amazing stuff. So enjoyed this post early morning with a cup of coffee. Eye candy!

  23. Sandra Goddard

    Wow what a post. Amazing art quilter. I so am in awe of such quilters as I am just a technical quilter if that is the correct word very traditional piercer who loves straight forward blocks. Thanks for sharing her talent.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sandra – I, too, love to piece blocks and can only admire art quilts!

  24. Marilyn

    Thank you for,sharing this article. No pictures were there 🤷🏼‍♀️

  25. Judy = Michigan

    Oh Mary! Love that you can take the rain in stride, yes we are tough!

  26. Janet S

    Mary, when you first showed the quilt by Barbara & Joyce, I was so in awe that I saved the post so I could look back every once in a while. You ladies have talent in overdrive. Linda, prayers for your grandson and friends. You know how we all say baby anything is so cute but I’m not so sure about baby birds. To me they look kinda naked until they grow a bit. It’s going to be hot here in southern Minnesota but it sure makes the flowers and vegetables grow. We will be going with friends later to eat out and then play cards which I usually loose at. We each give the winner a dollar so it’s all for fun. Have a good day everyone.

  27. Kim from TN

    The quilt is stunning to say the least, and it was lovely to see all the close ups. Wow on the top quilting and making each part unique. Thank you for sharing your talent Barbara and Joyce. We are really humid here in middle TN and I wish it would rain and clean the air of all the pollen. My flowers need watering most days and I try to just stay inside and quilt or catch up on house chores.

  28. Bernadette

    Beautiful detailed quilting on the farm quilt. Hope you get red dried out from the shower.

  29. Joyce from NY

    What an amazing quilt, thank you Mary for the detailed pictures, what talented ladies, just beautiful!!
    Thank you for the update on your grandson & his friends, I’m keeping them in prayers.

  30. Gloria B - IL

    What talent! A treasure for sure. And those robins! You had a great day (despite downpour). Thanks for sharing.

  31. Stephanie

    Wow, what a creative quilt. So wonderfully done and the attention to detail. Reminds me what we can do with thread again. Thanks for sharing.
    Hope your rest was colorfast!

  32. Janet

    Wow. Thank you for sharing the quilt and the close up. And also the robins.

  33. Sharon G.

    So glad you were able to visit Barbara and Joyce. Thanks for sharing. Missy is an adorable little dog. And those baby robins. Wow!

    So glad Linda gave us all an update. It is so sad.
    I hope Linda and all the families are getting the rest they need. With such a horrific accident the injured boys may never remember. They all are in my prayers. 🙏

    I mowed and weeded on Thursday. While weeding, I saw 3 Monarch butterflies (or it could have been one butterfly, 3 times)! Ha! They are beautiful! But did everyone see the moon last night? It was gorgeous!

    Have a nice Saturday!

  34. Tanya T. in Houston

    Love Barbara’s quilt, but I’m especially fascinated by all those little inside blocks! It looks like such fun with itty bitty apparently 5 by 5 tiny squares. Sorry you got wet, but glad you had such fun otherwise!

    Beautiful day yesterday so Sweet Husband and I took a road trip to the Blue Bell ice cream plant in Brenham, TX. They sell a cup of delicious goodness for only $1. School is out here so it was fun to see lots of children slurping in the ice cream parlor. Glad I did not have to wash them up or drive home with those sugar rushes!! (I had coconut ice cream!)

  35. Jan Hebert

    Wow, wow, wow!!! What an amazing quilt! What amazing talent Barbara and Joyce have! Thank you for sharing the book and the beautiful pictures with us, I can’t even imagine making something like this but I can dream, right?! Barbara’s little Missy is so cute! And those robins – they really are so ugly that they’re cute as Sue in Oregon said. So sorry that Red got wet! I can’t tell you how many times I have left the windows open in my cars over the years. One time I was at my friend’s house overnight and a storm blew in – it was well after we had gone to bed and I didn’t want to wake my friend or her husband up, so I tiptoed downstairs and ran out to put the windows up – well, they have an alarm system that went off waking everyone in the house up!!! So much for not disturbing anyone! Jan in MA (where it is raining finally!)

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jan – oh how I loved your story about leaving the windows down! And then the alarms going off???? Oh, good grief! The ironic thing about the whole situation yesterday was I had been at Walmart and it was such a gorgeous day I thought about stopping in a parking lot to put the top down on my way to Barbara’s house. After I had demonstrated for them, why didn’t I put the top back up??????

  36. Sharon Geiger

    Sorry, but I had to chuckle about the downpour!!! We desperately need rain here. Love the pics, too.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sharon – we can’t get a drop at home but that downpour was .4! Inside the car!!!!

      1. Jeanine from Iowa

        That sounds like our farm southeast of Oskaloosa……they had a downpour in town on Friday, and we didn’t get any at our farm and we are probably three miles from town, as the crow flies. Enjoyed the quilt pictures. An amazing talent!

  37. Brenda in N Calif

    I have been gone for a number of days. Took my son to University of San Francisco. Hoping they can determine what is wrong with him and fix it.
    This was such an amazing blog to come back to! I really liked the quilt when you showed it the first time but I could see the details. You close up pics…wow. I straight line quilt but really enjoy seeing such talent. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Brenda – is your son ill? Injured? I hope they can fix him, too! I’ll be posting another quilt tonite.

      1. Brenda in N Calif

        18 months ago he “twisted” his knee but it didn’t get better. Then the swelling started in other joints and musclles. First one leg and ankle then the other, up into his hips an lower back. He was using crutches to walk as he had litt!e strength. When it progressed into his arms and shoulders he moved to a walker. His movement is limited. Every test has been run and they can’t figure out what the issue is. After many attempts he was accepted at UCSF and we waited 6 months for an appt with his condition continuing to get worse. His pain levels are very high. We have no answers but they ran a lot of tests so we are hopeful. It’s a 350 miles drive but his next appt is a video call in 6 weeks.

        1. Mary Etherington Post author

          Brenda – this is appalling! They can’t figure out what’s wrong with him? Some of the best doctors in the world? And the poor kid has been living like this for 18 months already. I feel bad for him and his family – all of you. Have you thought about trying Mayo? Will you tell us what happens? I know I’m not the only one who wants to hear. And how did he twist his knee in the first place – I apologize for so many questions.

          1. Brenda in N Calif

            UCSF may figure it out. We just don’t have results for 6 weeks. He is only 30 and this has been horrible to watch such a young healthy person go downhill. He was walking in his room and remembered he forgot something and turned left to go back. Thank you for your concern. Yes, I will let you know what we find out.

          2. Mary Etherington Post author

            Brenda – I’m going to keep your name close to my IPad so I don’t forget about asking about him – what’s his name? Is he able to hold a job? Does he live with you? Can I use your email? If so, please send – the blog doesn’t give me your email.
            I’ll remember him this morning in church.

        2. Susan K in Texas

          Brenda, I hope they figure it out soon. My middle son has vestibular migraines. He had very strange neurological symptoms but no pain. It took over a year and multiple doctors to figure it out. We even went to Mayo in Arizona. We finally found the right doctors at UTSW and he is back to living an almost normal life.
          Doctors don’t know all and sometimes it takes the right combo of doctors and just the right question to figure things out. Don’t loose hope! Prayers for you both!

          1. Brenda in N Calif

            Thank you Susan. I’m glad they found out what your son had. We will keep looking until we have answers.

  38. Pamela Pearson

    More of the same as today, please! Or any other day of reporting!

  39. Kris in WI

    Marvelous quilt! Loved the little girl on the zip line with her flying curls and the gladiolas, a favorite in our family. And more to come? Can’t wait. Does this mean we can adopt Missy as another “God Mother” dog? Such a cutie. Poor you and Little Red in the rain. I had a flashback to getting caught in a downpour while walking home from the library a few years ago! Don’t get the books wet, don’t get the books wet! I’m glad you didn’t melt, Mary. Thanks, as always, for the wonderful pick-me-up that is your blog about…everything! Kris

  40. Betty Klosterman

    What a wonderful blog about ‘nothing’ except the things that make up our everyday lives.
    Linda in MI, your family and friends are going thru what seems to happen everywhere and much often: your kids have horrible accidents that will effect many people for the rest of their lives. You can only hope and wait to see how some will recover and some won’t. Heart breaking. We will all be waiting and hoping to hear good news.
    Did Little Red have any permanent damage from the rain?
    Barbara and Joyce: Oh, what fun to see your quilting. One question is what is the thing just above the stalk of corn? You have definitely grown up on a farm in Iowa. Beautiful.
    Take care, everybody. Betty in Rapid City

    1. Joyce

      The thing above the corn is a baby cradle. That stumped me also but I’m pretty sure that’s what Barb told me.

  41. Colleen in Central Oregon

    It looks like a cider press above the stalk of corn. What a beautiful quilt! Thank you to Barbara, Joyce and you, Mary for sharing. Linda, prayers for your grandson and friends. We will all be thinking of you!

      1. Shirley Andersen Smith

        We had a wringer washer when I grew up. Mom would hang clothes on a clothesline, then sprinkle them and roll them, tucking them into an old apple wooden slat bushel basket for a day before she took out and ironed. My mom was very organized which day she did things…Monday wash day, Tuesday ironed, Friday baked homemade bread…the BEST!!!
        The simpler, most memorable times.
        Shirley from Oregon

      2. Betty Klosterman

        The wringer washer is below the corn stalk. I never saw a cider press, so wouldn’t know what it looked like. Betty in Rapid City

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Colleen – nope, that’s below. I’ll ask Barbara.

  42. Beryl BC

    Thanks to Barbara for letting Mary photograph the quilt in detail. The details are wonderful. Again, a beautiful quilt.
    We could use some of that rain that filled Red. There are a few rain clouds in the area this evening but seem to be going around us. Our beans have sprouted with only water from the garden hose; we’ll see if the rest does.
    Linda, prayers for your grandson and his friends.

  43. Susan K in Texas

    Oh the many details in that quilt! So fascinating and I’m sure it was wonderful to see up close and to learn how the two work together to create such beautiful quilts.
    My boys and I were at the library one day years back. I had noticed a BMW convertible with its top down. About 15 minutes later there was a sudden downpour. Lots of thunder and lightning and heavy downpour. We never saw the person who drove the car but I always wondered how it was. So sorry Little Red and you got caught in a storm.
    Linda thanks for the update. Your grandson and his friends have a long road ahead. Prayers for them and for their families.

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