My First Day “Out”

Since Rick was home to stay with the dogs, I picked up Sam and headed to the fabric store.  A little background – Sam is Aidan and Lucy’s mom and is pregnant with a  baby boy who is arriving in about a month and she is a high risk mama!  She begged to go along and I said you are going in the store and sitting in a chair!  I don’t want anything happening when you’re with me!  Here she is with the scrap vortex quilt.


We went to Hayward, MN to the Calico Hutch to shop for a backing.  This is the shop where we bought our new Bernina 740’s in June – those magical machines!  I meant to take more pictures but I got so wrapped up in shopping.


This is me with Carolyn the owner.  I also recognized a couple of our customers in the shop – so fun.

Since both Sam and Brian are originally from Minnesota and their families still live there, we picked a Minnesota shop hop fabric with canoes and mosquitoes for the back of the baby’s quilt.  I thought it was very appropriate and the color couldn’t be better!


On my way home I picked up Sam’s dog, Leo, and brought him to the farm for a run around.  Isn’t he a cute dog?


I have so enjoyed all the comments about husbands retiring – I should compile them in a book.  It could be a bestseller in comedy.  I have laughed out loud! And yet I haven’t wanted to share these comments with Rick so I’ve tried to tone it down if I’m reading in his presence – ha!  Just hilarious!

I’ve  thinking about the last jellyroll quilt I showed you.  I wonder what would happen if you bought 2 jelly rolls that  didn’t match but somewhat coordinated.  Of course the quilt would be bigger and depending on your fabrics, it could really be wild.  Did my use of solid fabrics have a definite effect on the results?  I’d really like to experiment a little more with this design.  If any of you make some changes, please let me know.

Telly has a rough life, doesn’t she?


Happy Tuesday, Everybody!

37 thoughts on “My First Day “Out”

  1. Launa

    Thanks for the eye candy shown in the Calico Hutch photos…..love the backing you two selected for baby boy to be’s quilt….terrific colors seem to be made just for the quilt.
    Looked like Telly is enjoying the day at home in style with Rick………..

  2. sue

    Love the pictures of people, animals and fabric.

    We find our long ranch style house has been great for retirement. I’m in my quilt room at one end and he’s in the other doing his thing. Does help to have phones handy to call each other!

  3. Michele

    Oh Telly!! I’m sorry if Bentley is the reason you are so tired!! šŸ™‚ All those boy dogs and all that barking and running around. It’s hard on a girl!!! šŸ™‚

  4. bernadette

    So there is definitely a silver lining to having a retired husband! Love the backing fabric. Mosquitoes as big as canoes – wowza! Nice of you to give Sam a little outing — quilt shops are the best.

  5. Ellie

    Oh Mary! I never got to Country Threads before it closed although it was on my bucket list. I wish I could have made it. I saw Connie at a number of the big shows and always found lots of things I couldn’t live without! What a treat it would be to be in a quilt shop and see you shopping!

    I love the quilt you did with the jelly roll! I have some Kaffe Fasset that I’m thinking of doing that with, along with some shot cotton. Other projects to do first!

    Ellie Lively

        1. CountryThreads Post author

          Paula – “shot cotton” is a solid fabric with another color woven or “shot” through it. It’s not much and not very noticeable but just enough to give it a different look than a typical solid color. I think Kaffe’s shot cottons are made in India and they have a lightweight feel to them making them very easy to work with. I’d love one yard of every color!

  6. Betty Klosterman

    Love the retired husband information. And especially hearing where everybody is and what they are doing. Like all the other ladies, I like everything about your life and theirs. I’ve been thinking about an I Spy quilt using the 2 1/2″ strips put together like yours. My miniature paper pieced log cabin rainbow blocks are done and I’m in the process of sewing the rows together…..and now I have to pick up all the color piles of fabric which are all over the davenport. We’ll see how it goes. It is hot in Rapid City and the 76th Sturgis Motor Cycle Rally starts officially August 8, but lots are here already.

  7. Diane

    HI Mary–Your trip sounds great. I dropped a 2 1/2 ” strip quilt off at a local quilt shop for the long armer to quilt. I wondered if I could make it bigger, but didn’t figure it out!! Having Rick home will be fine. You’ll each figure out your space and time:) Enjoy!! Telly looks tuckered.

  8. Carolyn Boutilier

    Love all your pictures. What type of dog is Leo? Is he a golden doodle and do they have him groomed? we are thinking of getting a goldendoodle but I don’t want one that I have to have groomed. We lost both our dogs this past year and want to get a medium size dog that does not shed.
    Carolyn B from VA

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Carolyn – yes, Leo is a golden doodle and does not shed but he needs professional grooming on a regular basis and he is a very tall, big dog as well. A gentle giant of a dog o couldn’t be sweeter!

      1. Carolyn Boutilier

        Thank you for answering my comment about Leo.
        Still love him. I want a gentle giant.
        Carolyn B

  9. Leta

    I look forward to your post everyday. Just bought a bernina 770. Thought I couldn’t love a machine better than my 1230.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Leta – thats exactly what I thought! I didn’t even want a new machine but my new 740 is a dream to sew on!

  10. Carolyn

    I think if my husband ever retires I will insist he hire himself a full-time cook and housekeeper. The weekends are spent with him in and out the back door nine jillion times. If we could afford to build a new shop for him it would have a bathroom, bedroom, kitchenette, and at least one TV. The only other option is for me to go back to work. Paddington and I have our own routine and the weekends are long enough. I never loved Monday this much when I was working. Yep, I am remembering ….and they live happily ever after. There are days I would like to tell Cinderella she should have out on her own glass slipper. Carolyn in Texas

  11. Rose Mikulski

    You look like a cat who was just let out of a bag, freedom to shop is wonderful isn’t it. Bill and I retired around the same time, three years ago, no problems, my studio is in the basement, he keeps himself occupied, we exercise three times a week together, do a daily dog walk together and he does all the cooking–life is good. BTW, I am working on a version of your rail fence quilt, mine is Mini Ernie.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Rose – love your Mini Ernie! Send a picture after you quilt it and I’ll,post it. I know Bill has many interests – he’s an interesting guy! He’d have to be if he’s married to you, Rose! Smile!!

  12. Patti Chapman

    My husband retired 12 years ago. At that same time my son graduated from high school. We moved from the city in Washington state where I had lived my entire life to an island (it did have a bridge) 90 minutes away. My son, did I mention the baby, left for college in North Dakota. He probably needed to move that far away to escape my mothering. If he had gone to a local college he would probably still be a baby. What do I still miss after 12 years? My alone time. I know there may be a day I regret think that way. I pray not. at 2:15 PM on Wednesday

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Patti – “alone time” is so valuable, isn’t it? I can always escape to the shop where I have another sewing machine and cable TV. Smile!

      1. Ann Barlament

        When my sister’s hubby retired, he followed her around the house like a lost puppy. Her alone time is in the bathroom, behind a locked door!! Hahaha

  13. Shelba

    Love the mosquito fabric! I hope it migrates westward to be added to some of my guy fabrics–My son and son in law earned their Eagle Scout awards and I have accumulated some batik mooses, pale green with pocket knives, lanterns, that sort of thing to make them each a quilt, soon!
    My husband was injured at work 18 months ago and within a few months the orthopedist determined he would not be going back. When I suggest we do something to help with his mobility issues, such as raised garden beds, he says such things are for old people, and I point out, “We ARE old people!” Then we laugh. He did not adapt well, but we got through it. You will, too!

  14. Carol

    Love Leo’s cute little face with the tongue hanging out! The background fabric is great, for the baby boy’s quilt.

    How did I spend my day? I did a brave thing…I went through my fat quarter, half yard and 1-2 yards fabric collect, packed three huge bins of it and brought it to my sister’s house to donate to her very small stash. We organized all of her fabric into color groupings, shirtings, plaids, Christmas, and scraps. All nicely folded and on wire shelves, behind folding doors in her new condo sewing room.

    Let’s sew!

    She’s fairly new to quilting and I know realistically, I will never use all of what I have. And I can visit my old favorites any time I want!

    Most of my sewing friends have said to me, ” I could never do that. I might need it someday.” How do you feel about that? Have you ever lightened your load…besides closing your shop?!?

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Carol – I have not done this on a large scale but plan to when Becky decides it’s time for her to start sewing. Not sure when that will be as she’s much more interested in her guitar but I have a 1230 machine for her and will provide a tub of fabric as well whenever she’s ready. She doesn’t realize how lucky she is, does she?

  15. Kathy Schwartz

    What great pictures of the quilt shop. I have been there twice and so much fun. I have a question about the photo of you and the owner. What are those “little pant-like things” behind you…..they look like they are pinned to the quilt. They sure are cute but I am curious what they are.
    I’m sure Rick will find things to do; you have a busy place. That is the trouble with men, they should find a hobby like women do. QUILTING!!!!!
    Great fabric for the baby quilt.
    It is really warm and humid here in SW Minnesota.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Kathy – I suggest you copy the picture and send it to Carolyn at the Calico Hutch to find out because I don’t know. My time at the shop was short but thanks for being so observant!

  16. Cathy

    Wow! Loved the pics of the quilt shop. Looks like a fantastic place. I’m sure it was a great adventure for you after being at home for so long. Fabric for the baby quilt is perfect. Love the pictures of Leo. My friend also has a goldendoodle, Lacy, & she is SO smart. Amazes me.

  17. Paula

    Mary can you tell me where the name scrap vortex came from? I have made 2 and love them but just wondering about the name definition. Thanks Paula in KY

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Paula – I learned the technique called scrap vortex on the website Crazy Mom Quilts. I have seen similar techniques in other books so I think Crazy Mom is the one who labeled it Scrap Vortex. I love making this type of scrap quilt – no pattern to follow and each quilt is one of a kind!

  18. Polly Perkins

    Bob retired 4 years before I did. Boy oh boy did he have a hard time when I retired last September. Now I know what he does (or does not do) with his time. We are so opposite it is a good thing we worked different times and did not see each other much the last 47 years.

  19. Ann Barlament

    Yeah! A day out for fabric shopping…and that Minnesota Mosquito fabric is perfect!!

    Telly and I would get along great…I love my “horizontal life pauses” as well. Maybe she is resting up for the next gang of dogs….?

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