Miscellaneous Monday

This corner of my plant area faces SE and today the wind is blowing 20-30 mph hour from the SE!


The temperature is around 6 degrees so you can imagine how cold it feels. I don’t think Betty can visit today – I can’t stand to step outside the door! There’s something wonderful about a day like this however – nobody will come and I don’t have to go anywhere. The day is MINE!

Connie and Roy have been gone for the weekend and I went to the kennel yesterday and brought Betty here for a change of scenery. This picture tells how it went.

Hazel can be a little diva at times!

When the island wasn’t high enough she moved to the back of Rick’s chair.

She’s not a very welcoming hostess, is she? Poor Betty!

It doesn’t look like she minded too much, does it? And here was the moon when I took Betty back to the kennel – huge and very bright. When it turned into the blood moon late last night, I could hardly see it, could you?

On days like these I am thankful for the heater in the barn —

the heated buckets for water and the heat bulbs for warmth—

the heated bases for chicken water—-

and on bright sunny days, I’m thankful for this south facing window that brings in solar heat.

Today everybody is huddled in the center and north areas of the barn due to the SE wind.

Are you ready for tomorrow’s Bullseye post? It looks like I didn’t specifically say you should trim out the back of your circle again. I guess I thought you’d just assume you should and if you haven’t, please do that before tomorrow and then press your blocks really well.

Do you gals enjoy Pinterest? I sure do but sometimes it makes me so frustrated and so sad. When I see someone posting our twining instructions and posting tutorials about making our frames, I want to cry. Where is their integrity? As far as I know we publish the only booklet on twining. Bobbie Irwin has published a hardbound book about twining with different patterns, etc. but ours has only the basics which I learned from an elderly lady in Britt, IA about 40+ years ago. The first publication of Rugs From Rags was in 1997 after Rick and I got married since he could construct the wooden frame. When people post the exact sizes from our booklet and use the very same terms as I used in our video, I know that they have no shame. And that makes me go from seething anger to complete surrender to the power of online media over which I have no control. The same thing happens with our Bullseye pattern.

Thanks for letting me vent and get that off my chest this morning. Now I’m going to go clean my sewing room – wish me luck – hahah!

40 thoughts on “Miscellaneous Monday

  1. Katherine Gourley

    Hi Mary,
    I love your posts. You and Connie “retired” from Country Threads at the same time that I retired and I was devastated because visiting Country Threads was on my bucket list and I was finally going to make quilts from the patterns I had purchased over the years.

    I NEVER, NEVER claim work to be mine when it is not. When I heard about Rugs from Rags a few years ago, I searched the internet until I found the book and bought it. I still haven’t done a thing with it, but I plan to try in (hopefully) not the too distant future. At the moment I am working on some wool applique projects. I just do not work fast (due to a tremor), so I cannot be prolific like you ladies have been.

  2. Mary Rhodes

    Confirm. Can vent all you want. They violated copy laws, can b costly to press charges. I have friend that had go to speical lawyer on this and it really open her eyes . Heat in barn a wonderful happening on cold days. That Hazel a real stinker! Stay warm!

  3. Jo in Wyoming

    Every time is see Miss Hazel, I laugh! Today her face is clean…..
    I think Pinterest is a waste of my time, all I see is pictures, can’t figure out how to get any videos.
    I’m no good at Facebook, instagram most all social media.
    Go ahead and vent Mary, that’s what we’re here for. I discovered 2 new tricks on my longarm last night. I’ll have to email you… cuz I have no idea how to post!
    Our big snow is forecasted for tonight. Stay warm

    1. Sandy Erickson

      Would you be willing to have Mary share the longarm tips with all of us? I’m just learning to use my longarm. Maybe we could start an online group to share our tips and vent our frustrations. My very best tip is to skip pressing the quilt back except any seams. As you roll the back on to the roller sray it with a fine mist of water. Fresh Press works but does cost money . Smooth the fabric with your hands to get rid of any wrinkles and contiue to spray and roll. You will never press a backing again! Mary, do you use the channel lock when you straight line quilt? How do you make sure that your lines are straight?

      1. CountryThreads Post author

        Sandy Erickson – I have nothing to share about the long arm! It belongs to Country Threads and what little I know came from sheer determination. When we closed the shop, we simply had room to keep the machine and I wanted simpler quilting than any long armer would agree to do! I do NOT use the channel lock and my lines are not straight – on purpose really because that’s the casual look I was searching for.

  4. Ginny

    Maybe we can get Betty and Arlo together for a playdate when it is warmer. He should be released from restrictive activity Thursday. He and Betty would have a good time. Mary, please thank everyone for their prayers and thoughts for Arlo. It meant a lot to know he had people pulling for his recovery. My horses are galloping around their pasture, not sure why.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Ginny – I can’t wait to introduce Arlo to Betty! Hazel will have to watch from the bleachers —- haha!

    2. Peggy S

      You know what happens to people & animals during the full moon!! They can all go a bit “crazy!!”

  5. Linda B

    You can report to Pinterest and they will remove the content. Or you could post exactly what you said and publicly “out” the offender.
    I can imagine how cold it is: I’m in NH and today it is 3* with a wind chill of -17* and my husband is out getting parts for the furnace that quit working on Saturday. Great timing!
    Love seeing your goats all safe in the barn! Stay warm!

  6. Carla J

    I so enjoy your posts with photos of what is happening in your area of the country. Venting is good, those who share what is not their own should be reported to admin. Despicable trait.
    I want to find out more about the stools around your work area, island. I really like the ledge for feet to rest on or short person to step onto to sit a bit.
    Stay warm.
    Heading out with the hubby to our local art museum, admission is free today.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Carla J – I’ll tell you about those stools and you’ll laugh. These are called the Big Ass stools and if you’ll notice, the stool on the left is the biggest and it’s mine – haha! Rick made them when I was having back issues and needed to have a footrest when we sat at the island. They don’t even have a finish on them – they were put right into use. Since mine is the bigger stool I do have room for a cat or a Hazel to sit with me. And now you know “the rest of the story” — ha!

  7. Kelli

    Love the pictures! I can only imagine how upsetting the posts must be. Terriblie we live in a day and age where integrity is not looked upon with favor. Love all the patterns and farm stories – don’t stop!

  8. Rita Mulvey in CT

    I watched to eclipse last night the sky was clear here. I did not see a red hue but a pinkish one. during totality the thousands of stars were visible as the brightness of the moon was dimmed. I watched from inside through a window because it was so bitter cold. It was -2 degrees this morning when the dogs went out, they were not happy and didn’t stay out any longer than necessary. no sniffing or exploring.
    I have heated waterers for the chickens but their house is not heated.
    I purchased the Kindle version of Sally Fields biography – In Pieces – I haven’t started it yet.
    My sister in-law loves the Louise Penny mysteries they are The Chief Inspector Gamache Series, she says they are full of quirky characters. I may start them next.

  9. Donna Sproston

    I love Hazel! Betty seems to take it all in stride! Type A and type B in dog behavior, perhaps? She and Betty might become great pals, although my two female cats never did! Lots of hissing and airfights but no blood. I agree with your Pinterest complaint. I try to follow the source of the link and have discovered some delightful blogs to follow. A friend gifted me with an old Country Threads pattern and I might make it for next Christmas. It is perfect for our log home. It is Santa’s Workshop from 1994. I still had 10 years of teaching left at that point and could not see a world of quilting ahead. Less wind today but lots of snow cover in west central Illinois, and a temperature of 17.

  10. Marsha in Delaware

    Vent all you want Mary, theft of any intellectual property, printed patterns etc is a crime!
    Not that it will make you less angry, you are not alone in this situation. This has happened to several designers I follow. So sad, I don’t understand how they knowingly do this and sleep at night!

    The winds here have been pretty much constant gale force, the temperature is in the teens. The sky was crystal clear last night so the – Wolf moon, eclipse and Blood moon – was quite a viewing experience! Only problem too cold to enjoy much time outside to watching.

  11. Kathy in western NY

    Mary you have every right to vent when respect is not shown or credit is not being given to the designer. i have too much frustration doing social media so I am content with just reading my blogs and email. I too am new with long arm quilting so I appreciate tips as I learn. It’s day 3 of being inside but I am happy as a clam to cook, sew , read and be warm. Takes me longer to bundle myself up than it takes for the dogs to run out quick and go potty. We got about 17” of snow here but the blowing makes huge drifts.

    1. Carol

      Hi, where in Westrrn New York? I’m from Orchard Park… where the power was out all night with -20 wind chill! Brrr, stay in today!

      1. Kathy

        Hi Carol – I am in Spencerport, a suburb of Rochester. Oh boy I feel bad you had power outages in that bitter cold.

  12. Jan from TN

    May be windy & cold but at least it’s sunny. We finally have some sunshine too. We had a ton of rain all day Saturday & overnight the winds came & dropped the temp from 55 (about 4pm) to about 32 (around 6pm). Two seasons in two hours! By Sunday am about 7, temps were in the upper teens with near zero windchills. Nothing compared to Iowa or Illinois (where I’m from) but not too common in middle Tennessee!
    Love Hazel & Betty. Betty is growing so fast! Hazel is such a big baby! Lol!
    Pinterest-ugh! It’s too overwhelming & can stand all the “copying”. While illegal, etc, if they’re going to do so w/o permission, at least give credit instead of claiming it as “your idea”. (Eye roll here, wink).
    Stay warm & good luck with cleaning the sewing room. Always fun—NOT!

  13. Dianne H. in Ohio

    Hi Mary,
    Last night I stood outside on my front porch to watch the eclipse. It was SOOOO cold – 3 degrees. I started watching about 11:30 and stayed out until my toes were almost frozen. I saw the moon totally covered and, for a few seconds, it was pretty dark. At one point, I thought I could see the moon’s “face” through the shadow. This is the first blood moon I’ve ever seen. I thought it was awesome, but also slightly creepy.

  14. Ellie

    Wind has dies down here in IN and since we didn’t get as much snow as predicted the drifting hasn’t been bad. Dog doesn’t spend too much time outside, however! So distressing to have people copy your hard work and not give proper credit. Probably afraid if they gave credit you’d come after them! Love your blog and the pictures!

  15. Diane in Central Ohio

    Hazel just wants to be the “Queen” of the castle!! She is so cute and Betty looks adorable. We had minus 4 this AM. No more snow so far. I saw the moon last night from the porch; it was cold!! The moon was partly reddish and partly brown with a little bit of moon showing. It looked really neat. We lived 8 hours from my parents so my mom always told our kids that she would look at the moon and think of them:) I love your stools–so funny.

    Mary, you should be upset about the stealing of your patterns and directions. I did not know you could contact Pinterest; maybe that would be the best idea. I taught English for 30 years and pounded into my students’ heads that any form of plagiarism is wrong.

    I hope you got to enjoy your day. It is kind of nice to be inside and have no where we have to go. I cut out lots of fabric for our Guild retreat in Feb:) Stay warm and safe.

    PS I don’t want to be a “Nervous Nellie” and I’m sure Rick checks your heaters, but we’ve had 4 barn fires around her recently resulting in the loss of thousands of pigs, chickens, and other animals. Most have been from electrical problems. Very sad.

  16. Ann Barlament

    For anyone that missed the Blood Moon ~ there is an awesome time lapsed photograph of Duluth’s harbor, by Matthew Breiter. The photo was on WCCO-TV/CBS Minnesota (found on their Facebook page).

    It’s SO cold in my nursing home room. Quick made up a hat and included a drop neckline (in back) and side ear covering (70% wool 30% cotton), warm enough to keep out the chill!!

  17. Christina Mejer

    I think you can have Pins removed on Pinterest if you feel the ideas were used without your permission.

  18. Kay Crandall

    Mary, I don’t know how it is done, but I occasionally receive a notice from Pinterest that they have deleted something I’ve pinned because the person who put it on Pinterest did not have permission to post it. That might be worth looking in to for your twining instructions. Being a former librarian, nothing disgusts me more than copyright violations!

  19. Judy

    One of the best tips I have gotten was while
    I was standing in a checkout line at a sewing store. It was to mix Fresh Press with water, half and half and it works great. It cuts down on the cost a lot. Give it a try!
    Love to see and hear the stories about Hazel.
    Thanks for all you share and as a beginner
    quilter I appreciate all the tips and patterns.

  20. Jean

    Hi Mary! I shut down my beautiful Pinterest boards way back when they first talked about copyright infringement. I did not want to be in any way involved in something that may be a violation. I do think you should follow through by contacting Pinterest admin too!
    -Jean 🙂

  21. Sue in Oregon

    I am ready for tomorrow, Mary, and I did cut the backs of the last circles. All I need to do now is press them.

    I sure laughed at the photos of Hazel and Betty. If dogs could talk, right? Your ears would be sore.

    It was so dark, cold and rainy here yesterday. I couldn’t even take photos in our south-facing windows. Way too dark. Today it is bright and sunny. Even kind of warm for January. I like this much better.

    Stay warm, stay safe.

  22. Diane Bauer

    There’s nothing I like better than a good belly laugh. Many thanks to Hazel for starting out my day with one!! What a cutie and so full of personality!
    I watched part of the eclipse here last night. Got one shot with my camera that I’m happy with. After that, it got too dark. Apparently a lot of folks use a telescope set-up. I’ll enjoy everyone else’s photos as I don’t have a telescope or know anyone who does have one!
    I went crazy on my Bullseye yesterday and have 51 blocks to stitch together now (I’ve got the Quilts from Aunt Amy book from way back so read ahead–not sure how I ended up with 51 blocks instead of 48, but guess those will be the start of the next Bullseye!). I am having so much fun with this quilt and absolutely love how it’s turning out with bits and scraps from so many other quilts–lots of memories in there! I have posted pictures at various stages on my FB page and Instagram and many have commented. Can’t tell you how many people I have sent in search of a copy of Quilts from Aunt Amy or your blog.
    I have a love/hate relationship with Pinterest. It was a great escape during my grad school days. I don’t get on there as much anymore, but enjoy the inspiration. Super frustrating to hear of the copyright infringement. There’s an awful lot I don’t understand about people these days.
    Stay warm! I understand we are in for a blizzard in the days ahead. I don’t tolerate the cold as well as I used to and am always glad when I can just stay inside and quilt during storms!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Diane Bauer – I tried to go to your Instagram account but do you know how many Diane Bauer accounts are listed? Tell me how to find YOU?

      1. Diane Bauer

        Haha! I am finding that more and more. Apparently there are four of me just in the northern Colorado area! I am NoCophotobug on Instagram.

  23. Paula Philpot

    Beautiful pics and info. Your blog makes my day. I agree with what you say. Paula in KY

  24. Launa

    Mary….Thanks for hostessing Betty! She seems so content and relaxed there. Good for laughs to see Hazel’s reactions!
    I’m ready for tomorrow with Bullseyes. Saw the Blood moon last night. The ground snow really lit up the yard after the eclipse. It was like daylight! We’d had considerable snow off and on all day. Plow, plow plow!
    Thanks for the cozy, warm critter pictures! They made my day!

  25. Tina W.

    It was snowing and starting to stick in northeast Oregon last night so we couldn’t see the moon. The snow was gone this morning and it turned into a beautiful sunny almost 50 degree day. Amazing!
    Looking forward to the finish line for the Bullseye quilt. I was able to buy a copy of the book on Amazon.
    Stay cozy and warm!

  26. Pat Smith

    Hilarious pictures of Hazel and Betty. Betty looks like a mellow puppy. What does Hazel find so objectionable do you think? Sonny finds puppies rude and completely out of line. He thinks it’s his job to straighten them out but no one likes his methods! I look at quilts and recipes on Pinterest. I never thought of the copyright issue and am glad you mentioned it. I’m way behind on the bullseye, but I have a lot of cutting done. I’ll be watching the next step tomorrow and have one bullseye sewn to experiment with. Love the big ass stools! What a name!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Pat Smith – Betty is all bouncing, in your face puppy with a capital P! All Betty really wants is for Hazel to run and play with her but Hazel’s a big baby and snarls at her. I hope she gets over it when Betty is a little calmer.

  27. Jo in Wyoming

    My little tip for the long arm…when quilting dark thread on dark fabric is to mark where I’ve quilted with Taylor’s chalk. It feels like a sliver of soap. When done mist and use a hair dryer to remove. Always test first. I have trouble seeing dark thread on dark fabric.
    I think the best place to find tips and tricks for long arming is from your dealer or the manufacturer. They may have a forum for questions and answers. Mary has a lot of subjects on her plate and adding this may get overwhelming.
    On the brighter side, whenever I check for updates, there are more ads to click on.👏👏👏

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Jo in Wyoming – thanks for that tip – I need as much help or more than anybody!

  28. Kate

    It’s so darn sad when others claim our work. It’s so discouraging and I can’t imagine your anger over it. I have seen the frames on Pinterest. I haven’t made any rugs yet but have had your book for many years. I visited the shop and picked it up.

    This weather is going to be nasty again for us. Snow storm again, then cold again.. burr….

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