Rainy Friday Night, 9-22-23

For everyone in North Iowa who’s glad it’s raining, they can thank ME! I turned the sprinklers on because we fertilized the grass this week and now it’s raining. Ha! I should have started it a couple weeks ago, shouldn’t I?

Remember this simple aluminum bowl I bought yesterday? I wanted to put a potted plant in it.

I paid $1 for it and upon closer examination I discovered it’s pewter. Pewter is actually a tin alloy and also contained lead which is why it was discontinued in 1974. Since I’m not using it for food purposes, I’m good.

I’m including a free block pattern for a maple leaf block which I’m making right now. I’m making only 6 blocks for a small runner and I am posting it here as a lead-in to my latest technology issue that I can’t fix.

All the pictures in the Country Threads online store have been lost forever. When you go to the store you won’t see any quilt pictures. I know why myself but hesitate to explain further. There’s nothing I can do except apologize. Of course I contacted Richard and he confirmed my fears. They’re gone.

So here’s the 4” maple leaf block I’m working on tonight. I know some of you will hate it because it’s only 4” x 4” but it’s so cute!

I’ll post my little quilt very soon.

College football tomorrow – all day!

Thank you for clicking on the ads – without them the blog cannot survive.

54 thoughts on “Rainy Friday Night, 9-22-23

  1. Dee from Shell Rock

    Today was a mix of things for me. Last night as I got home from stitching with friends, the check engine light came on. So, I had plans this morning to meet a friend, I took my car to the shop and left it, we went to the Cattle Congress in Waterloo. We were like a couple of kids, talked about do you remember? They have already torn down one of the buildings they had, they are hoping to build some more rentable buildings for revenue. And we ate, visited with people we knew, and some we didn’t, and had a fun time! It;s not the Cattle Congress of old, but it was a fun afternoon. The rain didn’t bother us at all. And I got my car fixed, came home to a box for my birthday. It had the cutest reusable cup with a Goat on it, and a Barnes and Noble gift card and coffee. I have to write a couple thank you notes to the littles who convinced their Nana that I needed a gift card. I always send them B&N gift card, so they can pick their own reading. I have a weekend pet sitting gig, easy easy job. And fun.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Dee – Cattle Congress! Here’s my most vivid memory about it – my folks always went and in the ‘50’s they were there when Ike and Mamie made an appearance. Now does that date me or what? Ha! Hope your car wasn’t a serious fix and Happy Birthday!

    2. Sherry Whalen

      Cattle Congress! I hadn’t thought about that for years – and neither hubs or I thought that was even a thing anymore. My parents would go on a day school was in session and would leave right after we got on the bus and chores were done, so consequently I’ve never been to it. I suppose that was their ‘date’ without the kids lol!

  2. Elizabeth Noorlander

    Hi Mary,
    I subscribe to a few blogs. Yours is the only one I read every day, without fail.
    Thank you for giving us this little bit of happiness.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Elizabeth – when someone says things like this to me I am overwhelmed – my life is without drama and that’s why it’s called the blog about nothing! I’m thrilled that the little things in life bring you some joy.

  3. Kathy Niemann

    I love/hate technology! I am in love with that leaf block that so tiny. I am in a bowl filler swap in that Friends of Cheri group. I just mailed mine. I’ll make one for my collection but too bad thepattern wasn’t here before I mailed them. These would’ve been really popular, I think.

  4. Joy in NW Iowa

    Awe. Sweet kitty. Love it. Happy you found a treasure. I lived all of all your pictures at Connie’s. Her house is awesome. I went up to otter tail lake area with my cousin. The colors are changing. So beautiful!

  5. Wendy

    I had to go to my (overflowing) basket of patterns to see if I still had The Black Hen pattern. I do – yay me! That little maple leaf is so stinkin’ cute, I might have to whip one up. I can interrupt all the other projects I’m not working on to work on this one, right?! Your kitty looks quite content there!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Wendy – yes, Greta likes to be touching me as much as possible when she’s on my table! Not conducive to working however.

  6. Mrs. Goodneedle

    Precious little Maple Leaf block! Thank you. When I took my very first quilt class, a sampler class, back in 1983, there was a Maple Leaf quilt hanging in that classroom. I couldn’t take my eyes off it. I remember thinking to myself “if I could learn to make a quilt like that I’d be so happy!” I’ve made many Maple Leaf blocks since then but never one of this size. I’m going to make some of your itty-bitties!! 🍁 So sorry about you losing those pics, computer issues can be among the most frustrating!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Mrs. Goodneedle – this little block would make a cute pincushion, wouldn’t it? I’d better make one more block. Ha!

  7. Chris

    Thanks for the rain, Mary, even though we’re not in Iowa but South Dakota. We really appreciate it. Love the little maple leaf! I don’t know what happened to your pictures but I’m sorry you lost them. I hope you have a good day for sewing tomorrow while it rains outside. The plants will enjoy it! One last shower before they come in for the winter. Ahh!

  8. Janet

    Thank you for the maple leaf pattern. It’s really a nice little block.
    I’m sorry about the store photos. It’s always something.
    I’m thankful for the rain tonight. It’s a nice steady rain where I am.

  9. Sheila in WI

    I love this little maple leaf… so stinkin’ cute. Thanks for sharing! Can’t wait to see your quilt.

  10. Sunflower from Michigan

    I have a question about the ads. If I go back and read a blog entry from a few days ago and I close those ads, does that help? I’m being very careful to close the current days blog ads, but do see ads when I go back to re-read some days. Thanks!
    And thanks for the leaf pattern. I loved Wendy’s comment about making a new project while still not working on her older ones! So true!!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sunflower – I’d like to say I know all about the ads but I don’t have a clue

  11. Sandy

    Hi Mary, lthink you managed to bring some rain to new Zealand too, some areas in the south island have had torrential rain, we just had it in the early hours this morning. Rewatching Frankie and grace on TV while l quilt,sometimes there is nothing that appeals to me. My new overlocker has arrived, so need to dig out fabric and patterns for kids clothes to make and donate, one way to use it up! Take care everyone, best wishes from Sandy

  12. Pat Smith

    Very funny—I thought Greta was resting on the back of a sofa, but it turns out the sofa is your arm. So sad to hear about your pictures being lost. That’s those frustrating computers doing things they’re not asked to do. It happens here at our house, too. About the pewter, I have a pewter sugar and creamer. If it was made after 1974, does that mean it is food safe? I sure hope so as we’ve been using them for years. I love the little maple leaves. I’d like to make it, but might make the dimensions of each a little larger so I can make a seasonal table runner. Thanks for sharing your pattern. Although I’m from Iowa, I have never heard of the Cattle Congress. What on earth is it? I’m not from Waterloo, but surely I should have heard of this.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Pat – according to what I read online pewter is made without lead now – since 1974 so it’s food safe

  13. Jo in Wyoming

    What a score from the thrift store. Pewter was very popular a while back.
    Love the rain. Could you visit Wyoming for a week or two? We could use some good rain.

  14. Candy

    Mary, I’m so sorry you lost all the pictures from your store. Is there anything we can do to help? I have pictures of a couple of your patterns that I always intended to order but never got around to it. Perhaps other readers have pictures too, Could you “plug them into” the store where they belong? Technology!?***!!!

  15. Launa

    My in-laws gifted us a pewter sugar bowl, creamer and a butter dish….on our first anniversary 64 yrs ago. Still use them occasionally!
    Going to be 30o up here in Idaho in the early morning! Some higher altitudes have a dusting of snow possible.
    Waiting for Virginia vs NC State game to be over..5 seconds to go n tied up 21–21! NC just scored 3points.
    Off to bed!

  16. S.Lenz

    Could some of the photos that you lost be retrieved from the patterns shown on Country Threads patterns on eBay? Technology island I do not get along now and then either.but I would think the photos are online somewhere,and if you find the right “young person” they may be able to copy/paste some of the photos back into place for you.

  17. Kim from Wi

    I’m sure the farmers are glad for the rain, I know parts of Iowa have been needing it for the crops. Love your little pewter dish, using it for a plant is a great idea. I’m going to a quilt show on Saturday with my mom who is visiting me from Iowa. I hope it doesn’t rain.

  18. Susan K in Texas

    Technology can be so frustrating sometimes. I’m sorry you lost your pictures. A friend bought a new laptop. After a couple of trips to get things set up they were using it and it suddenly went black. Another trip back only to find that somehow it got put into dark mode and with a touch of a button was restored. ??
    I’m still working on the blue quilt. I’m trying desperately to resist starting another project. I did finish a hand stitched clam shell center. Now to our borders on it.
    I’ve been laying quilts out across the guest bed. I’m finding quilts that I loved making and love looking at. So many quilts! I’ve decided to clean the closet out in that room. Of course Klaus is right in the middle of the fun. Oh the companionship of a kitty (or dog) just makes life so much better.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Susan – Klaus is helping! I love these kittens so much and to think I kept denying myself any more young animals because I was too old. Think what I would have missed!

  19. Connie R.

    Thanks for the maple leaf block. It’s perfect in keeping with the season. I took a ride with my Mom and sister yesterday to a couple thrift shops and, we were able to enjoy the beautiful colored leaves. Here in NE Wisconsin, we are about 50 percent peak in colors and it will only last another week or two. Just breathtaking this year.

  20. Lynette in Orlando

    Mary, love the little leaves!!! You and I are on the same page — one block would make a great pincushion! I have so many things to finish, but I see me digging in my scraps and stash to make some leaves…….

    Your blog brightens my day — thank you!!!

  21. Kathy in western NY

    I hope you don’t offense to this Mary but the first thing I look for at thrift stores I go to around here and you know we have craft/sewing thrift stores as I have mentioned it before, is Country Threads and Little Quilts books or patterns. Rarely do I find fabric. It’s my thrill to continue to add these to my collections as I refer back to them for color and ideas and patterns I wish to make someday in my own fabrics. Then I look for dishes, books, puzzles. Families cleaning out don’t even know the value these treasures are to someone like me who visually likes to see these in my hands as I am not a good technology person.
    Thanks for the leaf pattern and as much as I shy away from small blocks, you have me rethinking borders now and this is a perfect size for a fall color quilt border.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Kathy – certainly not offended! One time I found an Aunt Amy book and I bought it just in case somebody needed one some time. First I look for vintage pictures – then dishes, books, linens. Never clothes! And to think I never shopped thrift stores until about 10 years ago. I didn’t know what I was missing. Keep looking for those classic books and patterns!

      1. Kathy in western NY

        Thank you Mary for understanding my quest. I wish I saw the pet pictures you find at thrift stores – all I see are farm, cows and horses old pictures. No dogs yet. I buy duplicates of your patterns too just in case.
        I meant to ask you if you received my baby Bulleyes request as I was not real pleased with the thinness of the new box of envelopes I used to send in my order? I hope the envelope didn’t get mangled in their postal machines.

        1. Mary Etherington Post author

          Kathy – I will check the envelopes that I have filled orders from. I would LOVE to find farm pictures and I buy horses for Becky. The only thing is they have to be vintage – I don’t want Hobby Lobby or craft store pictures.

  22. Susan in VA

    On the east coast we’re dealing with Ophelia. It’s raining and windy (up to 40 mph) here today. Not too bad yet. It started raining here about 11:30 last night and is supposed to rain until Sunday afternoon. It’s going to be heavy at times and we could get up to 3 inches or more! A lot of activities have been cancelled including high school homecomings. I know that’s disappointing! You didn’t have anything to do with the rain here, did you? LOL!
    I love Wendy’s comment, too about interrupting all her projects she’s not working on to make maple leaf blocks. That’s so me! I’ve told you before that’s one of the reasons I so love this blog — it’s good to know I’m not the only one…….

  23. Vicki in Seattle

    Mary, thank you for the darling “Little Leaf”
    pattern! It is on today’s “To Do “ list! Enjoy the football games!😀🏈😀

  24. Linda in Michigan

    Funny that you should post a Maple Leaf pattern-I recently found two maple leaf blocks in my mess (sewing area). They’re 4 1/2″! Don’t know where I got the pattern, and I’m almost certain I made three of them.
    This technology thing has me going bonkers too. I wanted to open a file the other day, but didn’t know how.
    Had to haul out the old PC for Dummies book, and it was so simple!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Linda in MI – maple leaf blocks have been in several of our old quilts. You might have made them for a bigger project and got interrupted? Ha!

  25. Jeanine from Iowa

    The leaf block is so nice and should be easy to make. Thank you for sharing it with us. Yesterday I went to the Des Moines Area Quilt Guild show in Des Moines at the fair grounds. I went with two other friends. We had a fun day. We enjoyed looking at all the quilts and vendors. It rained while we were there, but not a downpour. It was a real good day. I will be anxious to see your Maple Leaf topper. You always use the best colors in your quilts. Thank you for sharing your life with us.

  26. Alice in SW Ohio

    Mary, thank you for sharing pictures of Connie’s beautiful home! It’s just lovely! I’ve wondered about clicking on the ads if we go back to read your blog & view the new comments. I would think those would count, especially since they appear to be new ads. Thank you for the sweet Little Maple Leaf pattern! So glad you’re getting rain! Everything here in SW Ohio is very dry & crunchy, my lawn included! I’ve been watering flowers & vegetable plants for some time. I put my potted tomato plants in a kiddie pool & they get 3-4 gal of water every day. Without the pool they wouldn’t have survived the heat! It’s amazing what adopting a second kitty can do! You have two very happy little girls! Thank you Mary for your blog, I along with so many start our day with a cup of tea/coffee & enjoy reading about the happenings in your life at Country Threads!!

  27. Debby Krzyston

    🍁 Thank you for the small Maple Leaf pattern. I love smaller blocks. I don’t have wall space or many bed to display finished quilts. Little quilts can be displayed on the back of chairs without getting damaged. I have 2 inside cats.
    Thanks again and have a nice weekend.
    Debby🐝 from Wisconsin

  28. Dot in NC

    Love the photo of Greta! I, too, got a young cat five years ago. The cat rescue lady was fussing about an old lady like me getting a young cat, but my daughter told her she’d take him if necessary. He was from a crowded shelter that was euthanizing kittens; I think he’s better off with an old lady.

    It would take some work, with 151 patterns, but if the pattern downloads include cover pictures, someone could extract the photo from each pattern PDF. It can probably be done with the Preview app on a Mac.

  29. Janet Easley

    I’m so sorry about the “temporary loss” of pictures. You’ve had some great suggestions on how to retrieve some of them, albeit extra time is involved to do so. When I taught in school anything I created – a worksheet, plans for a teaching unit, etc. – I always had a hard copy or picture I could handle. I didn’t trust technology to always be there. A few years ago I lost many text messages from one of my daughters because of one wrong click when trying to delete a few of them. You have lots of creativity left to share with new ideas.
    Thanks for sharing the leaf pattern. I might have to make some leaf coasters from my stash of scraps. 🙂 Always enjoy snippets of Iowan landscape and activities around the state intermixed with your humor, home pictures and quilting.
    Thank you for your time to make it happen for the rest of us.
    Jan E.

  30. Beryl BC

    Thanks for the maple leaf pattern. I hope it’s acceptable to you to print the image. That gives an easy to view pattern while making it. I will have to try making the block.
    As said previously, it’s quite dry in SW Ohio. I’ve about given up on the garden. I do have some mums to set out and plan to do that soon. Right now, there is a small chancel for some rain on Tuesday or Wednesday.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Beryl BC – yes, of course!! I would want it in front of me, too. I’m going to finish my tiny little quilt tonight.

  31. Bea knight

    Hi Mary!
    That cat is so so gorgeous!! And Thankyou for the leaf pattern!!! Perfect for my table!!! Thankyou!!!!!
    Blessings to you!🙏🏻
    Bea knight

  32. Kathleen McCormick

    That Maple Leaf is adorable. I sent you an stamped envelope for Rambling Rows (which I am calling Rambling Rose). I am a buddy of hers from blogging and it cracked me up. Anyway, had a bad day and almost sent myself the return envelope….so it will require a little tape! My apologies! Looking forward to Rambling Rows!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Kathleen – not to worry! This fun pattern will make your day better – I first called it Rose’s Rambling Rows but she wouldn’t go for it. If you’re a friend of Rose’s, you’re a friend of mine!

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