Quiet Sunday, 6-28-2020

I’m just home from church – I miss my church family and hope we can have normal church services this fall. We sang My Tribute today which is one of my favorites. During the preludes my flimsy copied music fell off the piano! Had to stop and retrieve it and go on – yikes!

A reader asked about the hostas I transplanted this spring – as you can see they’re doing well!

Another reader asked about my iron fencing. I bought many sections of this iron fencing about 30 years ago from a place in northeast Iowa – no, I can’t remember the name of the place. It was very expensive at the time but I’ve never regretted buying it because I can put this fencing anywhere without asking for help. As you can see each section connects to the next section with a post.

If the post hits a rock underground it’s easy to pull out and reposition. If you’re curious – 30 years ago each 4′ section cost almost $50! But it was so worth it!

Here’s a finish of mine. As I was cleaning I found many boxes of triangles all cut and ready to be sewn up so that’s what I did. The resulting quilt got this big.

It’s mindless sewing to make a quilt like this – my favorite activity!


Last night I finally finished this zigzag setting quilt – after I discovered 120 – 3″ nine patch blocks. This is the worst sewing I think I’ve ever done, doesn’t lay flat for one thing! I will never try this again and I won’t help anyone else with it either. I’m gonna quilt it and get it into the funeral pile ASAP!

Yesterday the dogs had a great time in the dirt pile – the pictures tell the story.

I gave Hazel a bath in the sink and before she was even dry, she went back to the dirt pile – ugh.

You could gather your Dirty Dozen projects today and get them numbered because on July 1 I’ll be drawing the first number. Get ready! We’d love it if lots of you joined in this “finishing” game – everybody inspires everybody else to buckle down and finish meaning new quilts at your house.

Hope you have a lovely quiet Sunday – we’re doing T-bone steaks on the grill tonight with a salad – can’t wait!

60 thoughts on “Quiet Sunday, 6-28-2020

  1. Cathy

    Had to laugh at the dogs & the dirt pile. Just like kids, the dirtier they get the happier they are!

  2. Susy L Boyer

    Good Sunday morning!
    I am new to your Chicken Scratch posts, but I have been a long time fan of your quilting and have many of your books. Thank you for your walks around the farm showing cute goats and chickens and beautiful flowers. And, I too love the quilt by Pat Wys.
    We are still hunkered down her in San Diego, CA. I’m getting a lot of quilting done and hand stitching on wool and loving that, but so ready to get on with life back in the community. Reading your posts takes me to a happy place.
    Have a wonderful day. Warmly, Susy

  3. Bea knight

    Hi Mary
    I missed you when the blog was down. So glad your back and doing well.
    I love that song so much!!!!!!
    Have a wonderful dinner!
    Bea knight

  4. quilting sister

    Thanks so much for sharing info on your beautiful fencing … well worth the money! Your new quilt is just beautiful … it will blend in beautifully anywhere you put it. And that Hazel is a trip!

  5. Susan See

    Mindless sewing, or meditative? That is what I like about sewing and especially hand embroidery. I find it so calming. People have tried to sell me sewing machines with the embroidery feature, and they will never succeed, due to the meditative nature of embroidering by hand.

  6. Judy

    Mary, for those flimsy copied pages of music, I will paper clip them to a file folder or paper clip them into a piano book in which the pages turn easily. The book is heavier than the file folder so it is less likely to blow off if there is a breeze. Glad you are back on-line. I finished going to rehab this past week. I am on my own now for rehabbing my knee. Everyone says it is doing great. Don’t see the surgeon again until October. Our garden is producing. I picked green beans and broccoli, then left cabbage, onions, tomatoes, beets, and peas for my husband to pick. That was Friday before the big rain of over two inches. It was needed after very little for several weeks.

  7. Janice Hebert

    Hahaha! I thought your quilt had a daylily applique on it! What a nice finish that is! I’m so glad my little dog Louie isn’t a digger! We are almost finished with our chicken coop and run. It’s 10″ by 34′ approximately. The big girls are in there all of the time and soon I’ll be putting the rest of the flock in. We just need to put the top on. We have hawks, weasels, coyote and fox. Not to mention dogs that walk by off and on with their owners. They are supposed to be leashed but are not always. Anyway, I can’t wait to get my breezeway back! Talk about dirt. The youngest chicks are Icelandic chickens, so very interesting. Most of mine have little tufts sticking up on their heads. They’re very curious and are supposed to be great foragers. I wish I could let them free range. But I believe I wouldn’t have many if I let them do that. Our gardens are coming along. We have two nice raised beds with lots of tomatoes, radishes, carrots, and peppers. The vegetable that’s doing great is the cabbage! I’ve never grown them before, they’re huge! Then we have two 25 x 50′ inground beds with corn, potatoes, zucchinni, lemon summer squash, cucumbers, winter squash and green bush beans. The beans are not doing well at all. Not sure why, we’ve always had good luck with beans. Anyway, your Sunday sounds so nice. Enjoy the rest of your weekend. Jan in MA

  8. Pam Kay

    Hi Mary, LOVE the straight line quilting on the zig zag quilt. Any tricks or tips on how to get the quilt top on the machine straight? And do you mark the quilting lines, or just eyeball it?

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Pam Kay – I do not mark lines – I just eyeball it and getting a quilt on straight just takes practice.

  9. Holly in TH

    I love the zig zag quilt, but am wondering what a funeral quilt is. Are they quilts meant to be put over the backs of pews at your funeral for people to take?

    I’m still seeing only yellow boxes instead of ads. Sorry I can’t close any!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Holly in NH – yes, my quilts are going to my funeral for people to take. So when I say funeral quilt, I just mean the quilt I just finished will go in the pile for my funeral.

  10. Kathy Hanson

    Glad you are enjoying your Sunday! I love your zig zag quilt, it is gorgeous!!
    looks like the dogs had a great day! Another bath for Hazel so it sounds! More fun for us to see them than you!!

  11. Joan S

    I played the keyboard at our church this morning, the first time in three months. We aren’t allowed to sing, so only instrumental. We had seven second graders who made their First Communion this morning.
    I always tape my music right to the keyboard. Lots of tape on my music, but it works!
    I love your half square triangle quilt!! I should join the dirty dozen because I know I wouldn’t have any problem finding 12 unfinished projects!🤣

  12. Lois Johnson

    Happy Sunday, Mary! I enjoyed all of your photographs today. I sympathize about the dogs getting in the dirt pile! My Bailey is a “digger,” so she often comes in covered with mud or dirt on her paws. My church is back to holding services “live” once again. I missed it when we were quarantined. I hope YOUR church will resume soon. We do miss “our people,” don’t we? Boy, those T-bone steaks you talked about sure sound good. Yummy! Enjoy your Sabbath!

  13. Sue in Oregon

    I love your zigzag quilt. The colors blend so well together. It looks perfectly straight hanging on the fence, but I know what you mean when they don’t behave. I hate making one that waves at me. Ugh.
    I researched fencing like yours and I don’t think they even make them anymore. A 6 ft. x 3ft vinyl was on sale for approx. $90. Concider yourself very lucky to have purchased it when you did. I am looking for a fence for one of our flower beds. The chickens are ruining it. I love to let them out, bur for now they are confined. We will probably have to use ugly chicken wire for now.
    Having a lazy Sunday here.

  14. Vickie Devore

    The fencing was a wise investment. It is good to invest in things that you will be keeping and using for long periods of time! I spent a little bit of time before lunch — marking projects for July 1! I knew two things for sure I was going to number and found a “purple storage box — 6 more projects in it to finish up!! Only 4 more to go and I’ve got another box I should get at least 2 if not more to add. I’ve got some things that I know won’t take too long and sometimes — time flies by — farming, loss of people, major sicknesses (cancer, surgeries); so I’m going to prepare a secondary things to finish for when time goes and I hardly remember what my sewing machine looks like. These will be fast finishes (small, TINY projects) but at least I will have something to make me feel like I did accomplish something. Thank you so much for being here, love you, the other quilters, the pets, etc. vickie

  15. Nikki M in Tx

    Not been a good morning, awaken by strange moaning type noise….when I investigated saw blood droplets on porch. I followed the trail & found Grey Mama in one of boxes of car condo covered in blood, dresses & managed to get her wrapped in towel & into carrier. After a long drive to vet she advised we put her down as injuries to extensive. Asked if she could identify what got her & her best guess was a cayote .

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Nikki M – oh, Nikki! How sad! Poor Grey Mama – I imagine you were just sick to see her so injured – how awful?

    2. CountryThreads Post author

      Nikki M – didn’t mean for a ? mark to post – no question about it, she suffered.

      1. Nikki M in Tx

        I knew they wandered & possible something would get but she was so sweet & didn’t resist my trying to help her. Try to remind myself is cycle of life but doesn’t make it hurt any less.

  16. Joyce from New York

    Just love your zig zag quilt, love the colors! Your dogs are having a good time.
    Beautiful day here today, had a rain shower around noon, cleared off to a breezy 80 degrees.

  17. Kimberly Lusin

    I love reading your blog so much. I was fortunate to visit Country Threads many years ago on a bus trip with my guild Heritage Quilter’s Guild of South Suburbia from Illinois. You and Connie even made dinner for all of us and we ate in the barn. That is one of my happiest quilting memories. You were so hospitable and fun! We all had a blast!!! Miss those good old days, but love seeing your farm and animals and quilts, etc. on your blog. Thank you for your time and for sharing! I’m always inspired.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Kimberly Lusin – here’s a funny “story” about barn visits. Whenever I got a call about a group wanting to come I made it very clear that the word “barn” was literal. There were farm animals on the first floor, there was hay, dust and lots of smells associated with having an event in the barn. One lady walked in and as I greeted her she said, “it smells like a barn in here!” Honestly I was so exasperated that all I could say was “it IS a barn!”

      1. Kimberly Lusin

        That’s so funny! We all loved the fact that it was a real barn and that we all got to eat there!

      2. Diane in Maryland

        People are funny! I have been wanting a solar water fountain for a bird bath. A friend got one and she said it is like a magnet for birds and especially hummingbirds. She loves it. Yesterday I looked at one on line and read reviews by persons who had purchased it. One purchaser wrote “it only works when the sun is out”…..duh!

          1. Diane in Maryland

            No, you didn’t. How do you like it? The friend that has one lives outside of Dallas. She said the only problem they have had is with the suction feet on the bottom but they just put a stone on it to hold it in place and it works fine.

          2. CountryThreads Post author

            Diane in MD – guess that’s my answer because it floats around and the water all sprays out of the birdbath and the birdbath is empty in about 10 minutes! So I took it out but it does work on a cloudy day – it doesn’t need sun, it just needs light.

          3. Diane in Maryland

            I am going to order one today. I will pick out a pretty rock! Haha

  18. Jo in Wyoming

    Hey All…because there are no ads to close, let’s show our appreciation by ordering patterns and throw in a few extra bucks for Mary’s expenses. Don’t forget the self addressed, stamped envelope.

    Hazel makes me laugh every time you post her…what a card.
    Dinner sounds divine.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Jo in Wyoming – be patient for another day or so – the ads will be back!

    2. Diane and Squeak in Central Ohio

      Hi Jo, I agree. For many years,I happily paid for my subscription to the Goat Gazette. I view the blog in the same way. It is interesting, fun, and I love it! It costs Mary time and money. I would not mind adding to my pattern order or heck, just sending in my “ subscription”.

  19. Diane and Squeak

    Hazel is a hoot! Dirt pile + dog = FUN! The zig zag is really neat and your quilting looks great. The flowers are looking very pretty, too😊. I will be doing the Dirty Dozen again. It was fun and I also finished more than 12 UFO’s—all good!

  20. Carla

    Dogs dirt and smells go together, don’t they?
    Hubby was telling our golden that he shouldn’t roll in questionable items when they went for a walk today. I suggested that if Blue stayed on his leash he wouldn’t be able to roll. Was politely told he need to run off lead for better exercise.
    Third day in a row Blue has either had a bath or a spot cleaning after a walk. Day before that was bath day.
    I think hubby is the one getting the exercise.
    Items numbered, but I won’t be working on July’s Dirty Dozen until we return from a shorty holiday trip.
    Happy Fourth everyone in the USA.
    Happy Canada Day to our northern neighbors.

  21. Norma in Bucyrus,OH.

    I enjoy reading all of your adventures. I am wondering what you do to make your hostas grow so big. (You had one so big it was in a wheelbarrow. Maybe the soil here is not the correct type. I do know they need shade. Are any of your readers canners? I want to can some meat soon as we will probably have another shortage.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Norma in Ohio – maybe some readers will respond about canning meat. I have never done it.

      1. Mary Says Sew!

        If you live in the U.S., you can contact your county or state extension office for information about canning meat. They’ll have plenty of info online and people available to answer specific questions. Perhaps other countries have their own versions of the extension service.

        So glad to see the blog back, Mary! I knew something went completely ka-fluey, that you’d be very frustrated but working feverishly on it, and doing your best to get back as soon as you possibly could. I would miss the blog terribly if you give it up, but I totally understand if you do.

        I absolutely love you 9-patch with the red zig-zag setting. It’s one of my favorite quilt settings.

  22. Fiona at Ice Bear Quilts

    Hi Mary,
    I love your HST zig-zag quilt! To me it looks very traditionally Dutch! Predominantly brown and cream HST quilts made of silk were very popular in the 18th century in the Netherlands: arranged into all the usual patterns: zig-zags, broken dishes, square in a square etc. etc. One of the most well known is in the collection of the Dutch Quilters Guild and dates from around 1800. Every now and then it is put on display: it is lovely workmanship and the stitches are tiny! The oldest (know) and dated Dutch quilt is a doll’s quilt from 1680.
    I have my Dirty Dozen lined up and ready to go! Great fun to do this again!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Fiona – what does a quilt look like that was made in 1680??? I can’t imagine! AND I found another box of triangles to sew together!!

  23. Anonymous

    So sorry to Nikki to loose Gray Mama kitty. It’s so hard to have to put our fur babies down. Love your zig zag quilt. When I first saw it I thought of ric-rac . (spelling?) I think I could manage that pattern. Wonder how big the squares are? Picked my first tomato today. Smallish but looks go good.

  24. Martha Engstler Gettysburg

    Sorry about anonymous, wasn’t watching what I was doing.

  25. Cheryl

    Thank goodness for the zig zag quilt! Made me feel better. I made a quilt top about 3 years ago; super simple but it was a wonky mess. By the time I got the blocks together – well let’s just say nothing fit. I’d given up on matching corners, etc. I will probably cut it into pieces and serge old towels or flannel around and donate to the humane society. Love that Hazel!!!

  26. Sandy

    Hi Mary, the zigzag quilt is superb, I think the 9 patch will flatten out with quilting,mine do as I hand quilt.Hope it does ok on the machine! Enjoy your steak,best wishes from sandy

  27. Sherrill

    Ooo, I LOVE the impromptu zigzag quilt! Best kind to have!! What are those beautiful little purple flowers? Love them. And oh man, those dogs are DIRTY! HA Looks like a pretty day.

  28. Kathy in western NY

    I honestly Mary am always amazed at how you put scraps together and make the most gorgeous Quilts. Love the zig zag one!! I agree with Jo in Wyoming and if the ads haven’t been here for a few days, let’s just add extra $ onto what we order for the next patterns. It helps a home based business and we still get to enjoy the blog. I also am with Susan See and love hand embroidery too! It’s relaxing to me as mindless sewing is. And I need those to balance out my days.
    Hey you too enjoy dinner tonight!!! Yours sounds good too. It’s salads rest of week to use some veges. Time of year I want easy meals and sit outside at my picnic table.

  29. Cheryl in St. Paul

    Hi Mary,
    I’m so happy you and your blog are back. I missed you!
    I can imagine the sinking feeling as you watched your prelude flutter to the floor. The church where I play doesn’t have regular worship yet. We will record the music Tuesday and I will go back Sunday as they will have a parking lot singalong.

  30. Jean E.

    The dogs are like kids playing in the dir! I’m in Garner now…..I beat the thunderstorm you may be having!

  31. Paula Philpot

    I like you ZIG ZAG quilt…..what is a funeral pile and what do you do with it? Paula in KY

  32. Jan VanDeWalle

    Talking about dirty dogs, One day I stopped to visit my SIL and let my dog, a honey colored Cocker out to play with her dogs. She lived on a 5 acre small farm with horses and the kids had FFA steers. When I got ready to leave I called Aggie and she came bouncing from the barn covered in very green cow manure, I think she had rolled in every fresh pile she could find. Glad that I was driving a pickup truck so she could ride home in the back. It was all I could do to pick her up and put her in the truck without getting covered myself. Her kids and mine all thought it was pretty funny. Been hard to make hay this year only 3 or 4 days of sunny weather in a row then rain or the threat of rain.
    I love your zigzag quilt. And the blog look forward to it every day.
    Jan, NW Oregon

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Jan VanDeWalle – when Moe was here this weekend she rolled in goose poop! Yuck! I know just what that green manure smells like!!!

  33. Kathy Schwartz in SW MN

    Zig zag quilt is very nice. Hostas are looking great.
    Last week we had a dairy cow that did not come to the barn for the morning milking. They could hear a cow bellering in the pasture. They went out and found a baby calf that was born during the night, but a coyote came and ate the head of the calf during the night. That was what all the “noise” was about. Sad. We have a neighbor who does a lot of hunting and he said it was a coyote.

  34. Jeanie S, Central Illinois

    I love your zig zag quilt, Mary! I don’t do lots of triangles; that is something I shall work on. We moved last September, so I was unable to participate in the Dirty Dozen; I think I will this time. I loved the pictures of Hazel and Telly. We have made great strides with a young Mama Kitty who comes to eat at our back door. My husband was finally able to pet her Friday and picked her up today. She was funny, as she loved her first human touches; then she would remember to hiss a little. She has 5-week-old kittens hidden somewhere, so we are planning her surgery in July.

  35. Kate Schloemer

    Mary I love your fence. I know any fencing is expensive if it’s good, which appears yours is. Hostas transplant so easy. I like to dog them in the spring. They seem to dig up easier before the leaves all come on.
    The dogs make me laugh, I have two dachshund and the first thing they do after a bath is go find bird poop to roll in. Makes me so darn mad but they don’t get a second bath, I use a baby wipe to get it off.. lol
    Your flowers are beautiful.
    Have a great week!! Stay safe

  36. Susan K in Texas

    We belong to a large catholic parish. We were to start going back to Mass this weekend but one of the office workers and one priest both tested positive for Covid19 so we are back to online services. My son does IT work at the church so he’s in quarantine. We had just starting having him to dinner at our house occasionally. The virus numbers in the Dallas area are climbing faster than ever right now so I’m staying home even more.
    I’ve been looking for barn pictures for you but am finding none! It has been such a part of our lives and we have no pictures of it! Maybe one day I can drive up and take some. I won’t be able to be close to my mom and dad though since their county is one with very few cases of the virus.
    I started bagging up quilt tops with backing and binding. I’m sure I will find more than 12 but 12 is a good start. Now to keep myself from getting distracted and wanting to start a new project! The temptation is always there!
    Our Iowa-living son gave us hosta several years ago. We have divided them several times and they’re doing great. The hosta we buy from local nurseries just don’t do well at all. I love your iron fence – I would say it was a good investment.
    The dogs look like they had a great time! Off to get more UFO’s together!

  37. Rosie Westerhold

    Just curious, Mary. What size are your 1/2 square triangles. I have a HUGE collection of 2.5” unfinished HST in those colors. Couldn’t decide what to do with them. I think you gave me a WONDERFUL idea. WooHoo. Think mine are from the 80s or early 90s. Originally made with bias strips sewn together in “sheets”, light/dark/light/dark, and on and on. Think I sewed 12 or more strips together, and I moved those dang “sheets” of fabric from here to there and back again for YEARS!!! Finally started cutting out squares and trimming each HST over the winter about 3 years ago. I’m quite sure I have MORE than enough to make one similar to yours, and possible more than one quilt. Then those HST will be out of my hair. WooHoo!!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Rosie Westerhold – that’s the size I used! 2” finished but it will not matter what size you start with, will it? Just sew them up and see what you’ve got. Don’t overthink this quilt too much – it was just a box of triangles cut 2-7/8” x 2-7/8” cut once diagonal. They could have been 3-7 /8” – what difference would it make? Just a bit bigger quilt in the end.

      1. Rosie Westerhold

        Oh, you are so right, Mary. It really doesn’t matter, does it? Just wondered what size you started with. I am so happy to have a PLAN for that box now. WooHoo🙌🙌🙌!!!

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