My Black Hen, 9-20-23

“After some research, I learned that My Black Hen is no longer available to purchase. I also learned the FB group called Quilts By Cheri – Friendship Group is now closed to new members. The only way in is to be referred by a friend that already belongs to the group. There are many of Cheri’s patterns in the album of the group, including My Black Hen, however, not all of her patterns are available.“

So I got this information from a reliable source and no, I won’t copy the pattern for anyone. I’m so sorry I created this furor. I had no idea of the circumstances behind the pattern. I will just enjoy my quilt and I’d better just be showing you Country Threads patterns that I have access to and know about. I don’t have the time to constantly research patterns so I’ll be very careful in the future.

Rosie who is getting weaker by the day – so sad
Prairie Mallow which I’m hoping to harvest seeds for anyone who is interested.
Even maple trees coming up in my plants!
I use this sometimes on top of the soil instead of chemicals
Some of my precious vanilla pots – if they’re empty I have them on display in my laundry room. They get scrubbed, too. Remember when plant enthusiasts painted their pots?
Tiny Red

Made from a Little Quilts design MANY years ago – I copied it color for color and have loved it for years.

Hoping for rain in my barrel so I can fill my containers for winter use

Harvest time in North Iowa! Isn’t it gorgeous?

P.S. even though your requests were for naught, I enjoyed seeing so many of you engaged in the blog content and comments. Sometimes I feel like I’m talking to the wall – thanks for writing.

49 thoughts on “My Black Hen, 9-20-23

  1. Pamela Dempsey in Northeast Texas 😻

    Love the pictures of Gracie and Greta, beautiful! Darrell put up hummingbird feeders a few days ago and we are having territorial battles, 2 feeders. He and especially Penny and Lucy are enjoying watching them. I prefer growing flowers they love but almost a month of over 100 days has taken a toll. 😔

  2. Sunflower from Michigan

    I love the little red planter!!! And your little quilt is beautiful. Your kittens sure don’t seem afraid of the camera. They’re cute.
    I’ve babysat my great niece, 6 months old, the last two days! It’s tiring! But she was so wonderful and such a happy baby, it was a pleasure.
    Take care!

  3. Karen Pidcock

    “Little Quilts” was a favorite of mine also. As with many of the older company patterns, Country Threads included, the end products were timeless. Thanks for sharing so much with all of us.

  4. Barbara Firesheets

    It’s too bad the pattern is no longer available for sale. I have run across another chicken pattern if anyone is interested. It’s called Chickens and is available to purchase here:

    Hope this info is helpful.

  5. Diane in Colorado

    Vanilla pots—I’m intrigued. What is a vanilla pot?
    I’m trying houseplants again. I bought 2 tiny succulents and 2 other small plants. I finally have a kitchen window again so hope they will grow! My big issue is over-loving them, so we shall see!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Diane – vanilla pot is made from a different color of clay. I bought all of mine in Missouri.

  6. Jo in Wyoming

    Your barn looks comfy for old and young pets. May Rosie rest peacefully.
    I used some of that D…Earth on my ants. I saw coffee grounds, looked closer and they were moving tiny ants. After sprinkling some of that stuff, the next day they were gone.
    I have some “Little Quilts” books. They are precious.

    I found a gem of an eatery in our town. They have the BEST smoked ribs. It closes for the winter at the end of the month…I’m always late. Haha. I’ll be there next summer.

  7. Candy

    Poor Rosie … she’s probably missing her friend she just lost. Love seeing Gracie & Greta … what a sweet life you’ve made for them!

  8. Catherine Dorsey

    I would be interested in some seeds.
    Love the quilt with the center house.
    I don’t comment much but do enjoy your blog.

  9. Viv in Idaho

    So sorry that Rosie is becoming weaker. It is hard to see our sweet animals decline. It is frustrating when you see some of the older patterns and would like to make them and they are no longer available but…there are still plenty of patterns available to choose from and I’m sure we can all find something that we can make and love!

  10. Dorothy

    What a firestorm “My Black Hen” set off. And you say this is a blog about nothing ???
    I LOVE your blog

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Dorothy – isn’t this hysterical? I actually love all the interaction but I didn’t mean to set off a firestorm! Hahaha!!!

  11. Candy

    For everyone who loves “My Black Hen”, check out Janet Nesbitt’s designs at One Sister Designs. She has so many cute patterns with farm animals (chickens, roosters, cows, pigs, goats, dogs, cats, etc.) and lots of stars. Her patterns are mostly in books, not individual patterns. They’re fun and funky! I have no affiliation with this designer, I’ve just followed her for years (since she and her sister operated as Buggy Barn Quilts). I have one of her books … but can I find it today? NO! Oh, well … it’ll give me a purpose tomorrow.

  12. Charlotte S in northern California

    So sorry Rosie isn’t doing well. I love goats. They use them around here to keep the brush cleared along the creeks and hills before it becomes a fire hazard. I love seeing all the pictures of your garden and your house plants. Love little Red!
    We have been getting smoke from the Oregon and Northern California fires. They are recommending that people stay indoors. At least it has cooled down. Sounds like a great time to stay in my sewing room!

  13. Connie R. In Wis.

    Even though the Cheri Payne pattern is no longer available, it sure was fun reading all the comments. We learned something about Cheri’s Facebook group and hopefully, someday it will be open again for anyone to join. I love her patterns and always search thrift stores for them. They are occasionally out there. Thanks so much for starting the Cheri conversation.

  14. Vicki Ibarra

    Love the picture of the Tim’s golden field. The “colors” of a farm are beautiful. I still have the Country Threads chicken quilt pattern, so can make that if I want. I am planning a couple of basket weave quilts, drawing from my stash. I roll my eyes when I think of how much stash I still have after 3 years of only buying fabric to finish a quilt (borders or backing). What was I thinking of on all those fabric shopping trips over the years???!!! (I know…I love fabric.) At this rate, may I live long enough to work through it all. Happy Thursday.

  15. Mrs Goodneedle

    I’m so sorry about Rosie’s decline. What, exactly, is a vanilla pot? Is it called that because it’s painted off-white? I believe that I had the My Black Hen pattern (don’t shoot me!) and discarded it many moons ago. I never made the wall quilt but, if memory serves, bought it with the intention of making the sweatshirt band; this was a single, bagged, pattern, not a book. 🤪 That never happened either. 🤣 Oh, well.

  16. Mrs Goodneedle

    Ooops, so sorry to ask a question that’s already been answered in the comments. So, the color of the clay- now I need to research where “vanilla” colored clay originates. Live and learn!

    1. Kim

      I have two McCoy pots that had been spray painted. I soaked them for days in a strong mix of powder dishwasher detergent dissolved in very hot water. Add pot to hot detergent solution. The paint loosens and can be removed with a very soft brush. It can take a while to work but with patience every bit of paint came off. McCoy pots are glazed and this may add to the success of removing the paint.

  17. Ginger S

    I just love reading your blog and enjoy all of your pictures. I don’t believe I have ever seen vanilla pots. I always learn something new with your blog.

  18. Linda in Michigan

    I’ve made that same Little Quilts quilt, but mine is still only a top. Seeing yours might give me the inspiration to get it finished so I can enjoy it. Yours is an eye-catcher for sure.

  19. Linda M Lutz

    Hi Mary! I love reading your blog! So many times I think to myself that we are SO similar in the things we love! Thrifting, gardening, animals, music, and, of course, quilting!! It’s been years since I did pet-sitting for you, but those days stay very special to me. These days I still quilt with 5-6 friends once or twice a week in my “shop”…… addition to my house which used to be my late husband’s wood shop. Are you ever open to a visit from an old fan of yours? I would love to catch up with you!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Linda – yes, we like all the same things! Right now I just can’t accept visitors at the farm. Sounds like you and your friends have a special spot to meet and quilt together.

  20. Nancy

    Some days I feel as dull as a wall, but I always read your blog. Thanks for the blog about nothing.

  21. Marilyn Stevens

    Cluck, Cluck , Sew has a chicken pattern if anyone “needs” one.
    I look forward to your email everyday.

  22. Susan in VA

    I would be interested in the Prairie Mallow seeds, too! Are you selling them? What do we need to do to get them?
    I agree with so many that your blog is the highlight of my day! It’s not about nothing — it’s about everything we all seem to be interested in!
    Thank you so much for continuing to do it!!!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Susan – it will be at least a month till they’re ready and then I’ll decide how to get them to those who are interested. It’s got to be very simple – I will post it when it’s time.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Kathy – haha!!! I only posted the picture because several readers were discussing Little Quilts. Thanks for that info

  23. Jean

    What a shame about the hen pattern. In think what a tribute to Cheri that there are still people who appreciate her designs after all these years. I simply cannot fathom why hiding it away from people who appreciate her work is honoring her. Hmmmmm. I could kick myself into next week for tossing that pattern. Death cleaning has caused me frustration on more than this occasion.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jean – I would consider it high praise if someone wanted my patterns years after I was gone. I don’t understand it either.

  24. Susan, Gilbert AZ

    Love your blog! Love Country Threads & Little Quilts! So sorry about Rosie! Sometimes Cheri’s patterns are available on EBay.

  25. Joan

    Your blog about “nothing” is so interesting to me and many others. I love your patterns and looking at your pictures. Animals are wonderful and I enjoy so much you sharing photos of your animals and other’s animals, too. Thank you.

  26. Julie in Northern CA

    Hi Mary,

    I always enjoy your adventures, your pictures and what you have to say. And I would love to have the rooms at the front of your house; beautiful!! The Midwest is a special place for sure!

    Could you post a picture of the needlepunch piece that’s behind your picture of Gracie and the Goldfish crackers? So much great needlework in your home!

    Thank you!!

  27. Margie Braaksma

    Love Gracie and Greta, grey tiger stripes are my favorite and out of 8 cats I don’t have one! The rain barrel is a great idea. I need to get my butt in gear and start composting and get a rain system set up. I would love some prairie mallow seeds.
    I don’t spend a lot of time in my sewing room in the summer because I have huge gardens, vegetable and flower. I’m looking forward to getting back in there. Love the Little Quilts house.

  28. Margie Braaksma

    Forgot to comment on a couple things! So much in this blog! My husband is just starting to combine too. Love the color of the corn his time of year. I also have a collection of vanilla pots. You know some were made by Red Wing. Also DE is great to mix in the chickens dusting area if anyone has chickens out there. I even put it in their nest boxes along with various herbs for mite control.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Margie – yes, I use diatomaceous earth for mite and other bug control in the barn, too. How can I tell if my vanilla pot is by RedWing? As soon as Tim’s beans across the road are harvested he works the ground and I look at black dirt for months. I love that golden color and wish it could stay that way through the winter. Show me your vanilla pots, Margie! Send a picture to my email – please.

  29. Cathy Barr

    I would like to send a story that will
    Touch the hearts
    Of the readers. Could you send me your email so we can share pictures and the brief story. thanks

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