Rainy Tuesday, 3-22-22

It’s finally raining! Now the grass will turn green and grow and the goose poop by the barn will be washed into the grass. Hazel braved the rain as soon as we got up and ran for the barn – she got rat #14 the other day! I know there’s a #15 because I saw it. Someone called her The Terminator – she is definitely earning her keep these days.

Here is the progress on my March Madness quilt.

I’m hoping to get to the long arm machine today – the smaller projects are piling up waiting to be quilted.

Where are all the reader quilts?

Here’s a small quilt I recently finished – the bed size original quilt was called Autumn Nights but I had the animal fabric that I wanted to use so I reduced the size.

Here’s a closeup of the animal fabric that I’ve had for years and still love it.

Now please don’t ask me where to buy this fabric – I’ve had it for over 20 years unused. Pick a fabric you love to use in these blank blocks and then choose coordinates to use in the triangle square blocks. And when you’re finished send us a picture of your quilt!

Did any of you make a wool pincushion?

Both Connie and I are slowly but surely getting things marked for the sale on April 1-2. It’s so much work! I have a whole bench full of glass containers that look so nice all lined up but they’re going on the sale. First they all need to be washed and shined up and made pretty for a buyer! That bench could hold books instead.

I have two more older Country Threads quilts that are headed to the long arm. These old patterns remade in today’s newer lighter color palette are a breath of fresh air for me. I am loving the old patterns once again – they were never bad quilts, just outdated fabrics. One by one I will get a few of the hundreds of past Country Threads quilts remade. Stay tuned.

Rick’s ankle wound is looking a bit better – it definitely is not as deep as it was and even the redness around the wound has improved. We are returning to Rochester this Thursday. Just point the car – it knows the way!

Let me know what you’re working on, if you’re reading the blog, what’s new in your world and/or what’s on your to-do list. If you have never left a comment, now is the time for us to get to know you! Do you have a new pet, how is your current pet? I want to read it all! Let’s light up this blog conversation!

150 thoughts on “Rainy Tuesday, 3-22-22

  1. Deb

    Your pile of beautiful blocks are making me antsy to start my own pile! Yours is lovely. All is good here – our little dog, Sadie, turns 13 on Cinco de Mayo, and the poor thing definitely has dementia. She goes outside sometimes and just looks around in a daze, wondering why she’s out there, until I call out “GO, Sadie, go!” Then off she runs into the grass to do her business, and then runs like a puppy back to the house. We keep catching garter snakes out back, but at least they aren’t coming inside anymore since we got new sliding doors and windows! That 12″ snake that ended up in the master bedroom was NOT fun. I thought it was dead as it was coiled upside down — until we got oy halfway to the kitchen (on a paper towel) and suddenly the head popped up! Wish we could get a lot of rain between now and the end of May — we are in a scary drought now and many farmers won’t be able to plant without the water.

  2. Carolyn Howard

    Hello Mary, your blog is one of my favorites…..always something new going on. Sadly, no longer have pets but seeing how you care about yours is always a fun thing to read. Live southwest of ATL, GA and spring is here, wonderful awakenings going on, dogwood, redbud, camellias, and the azaleas are ready to burst into bloom any day. Carolyn

  3. Laurie Mosley

    OK here is what I am up to these days: I have a beautiful black cat that I love dearly named Ella who turns 19 this spring. The vet says she is in very good health. I am working on an EPP quilt called “Circles od Sisters” by Karen Styles.

  4. Moe in NE Illinois

    Hi Mary, I’m working on number 10,11,12 Halloween quilts. I’m going to keep going until that stash of fabric is used up. I just came back from a quilt retreat. We all had to be vaxed and boostered and hopefully everyone took a negative test before they arrived. There were 19 of us. It was a strange feeling not wearing a mask around others. I worked on 5 or 6 projects while at the retreat. Soon as my quilts are quilted I will send photos but maybe not till end of summer. I want to do a grand show n tell. Oh. I just thought of one picture I will send in your email. Go Go Hazel! Love Moe

  5. Linda in NC

    I just emailed you photos of my wool pincushion I made years ago. There are three photos so you get the entire view of it.
    Also have a picture from a magazine of wool pincushion I am going to make from wool scraps so cute and so easy, just have to find it but I have family visiting this afternoon and staying a few days so I have to finish housecleaning!

  6. DebMac

    Good morning, Mary. I have pieces cut for 3 doll sized quilts that my sister asked me to make for her grand daughters. So far I have made 1 block and it didn’t go together well as my piecing skills are so rusty. (Maybe changing the needle would help? Holding my tongue a different way? Just not being so picky as these are play quilts?) I’ve lost my quilting mojo but I’m getting lots of cross stitch done. Finished a red band sampler and have another chart half finished. Plus 5 or 6 more started and a dozen kitted but you know how that goes. We pulled my pots/plants out over the weekend as Hubby is having knee replacement soon and now we may have snow again during this rainy week. They will just have to tough it out. I love spring rain and would enjoy a couple of thunderstorms if they are nothing worse than that. I remember as a kid running out in the showers and playing in the mud puddles after. Such fun! The grandson (5) was playing out yesterday and asked for some water. I asked if he needle a drink and he said “no, he wanted to make a puddle”. I turned that idea down as it was close to his pick up time. He came into the house, went into the bathroom, and filled his mouth with water and then tried to sneak out. Slow way to fill a puddle.

  7. Linette Stewart

    So glad Rick’s wound is looking better!! My husband’s brother had an ankle wound that finally healed after more than a year. I just love Hazel’s determination to get the rats 🐀 😁 My husband and I got the best news over the weekend. Our youngest daughter is expecting her first baby and we are so very happy. Our youngest grandchild is 14. Unfortunately, she lives in CA but we will make it work. God has greatly blessed us. Wishing you a blessed day!!

  8. Marcia

    Hello. We are taking our annual winter break in Florida. I always bring my sewing machine and projects for a rainy day a cool morning, or a restless night. This year I have small projects along: 9-patch blocks with novelty fabrics for an MQ Challenge, the first couple months of a BOM, plus lots of strips to make pairs of 3/4” (finished) squares for an upcoming project.
    I’m happy to hear of warmer temps at home. It would be wonderful to return to MN for an early spring!
    Mary, I constantly marvel at your energy, your accomplishments, your collections, and your passion for your animals. I have fond memories of your beautiful setting and of meeting my aunt from Eagle Grove at your farm/quilt shop. We loved shopping together for new projects for each of us and then we had just as much fun encountering the goats, chickens, cats, and dogs.
    Thanks for it all! 🤗

  9. Nilene Thompson-Finn

    Good morning Mary and friends! My life was turned upside down in mid-November with a diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes. I hadn’t felt “right” for sometime, but it took a full physical to track down the culprit. The medication, while very difficult to adjust to, has ramped up my energy levels beyond belief. I have also lost just under 20 pounds! I was attributing my fatigue to old age (wink, wink) but now I hop out of bed like a kid again! This month alone I’ve made and quilted a FPP mini heart quilt, two table runners and made a throw quilt top on National Quilting Day! Life is looking pretty good at age 68! My two dogs have a bed in my sewing room and nap while I sew. Gizmo is a fluffy Maltese and Buddy is a rescued Min-Pin/Chihuahua mix. Thanks for inviting me into this community of like minded quilters! It means a great deal to stay connected during these challenging times.

  10. Cecilia Mire

    I was on a roll getting my stash in order and trying to get to my UFO’s unil I fell at work last week an fractured my right shoulder ab yes I am right handed and now in a funk and in pain. The worst thing is not being able to sleep. Hopping to bed and chair. Will get these UFO’s done and send pictures. I enjoy reading your stories and seeing all the quilts. Keep it coming, it makes mt day. Trip to ortho on 31st for xray adns progress report. happened 3-26th probablw be out 8-10 weeks and I am bored not quilting. Celia in somewhat spring like in Webster NY

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Cecilia – oh, no! It would be a long 10 weeks if it were me – I’ll be thinking of you while you recover! Hang in there.

  11. Barbara Moore

    GOOD MORNING, MARY!! I’ve had not time for much this past week – we dog-sat our daughter’s three – two Doxies – Marshall, a cinnamon smooth coat, and Cali, a Black and Tan long hair, both three years and then a 6-mo puppy who was supposed to be a doxie but is anything but as it turned out – Louis Pasteur* – Louie, and he’s everywhere at once. (*LP is the father of modern microbiology and daughter teaches micro at Mesa CC) needs a diaper b/c of his newly-discovered marking habit😐. With our three doxies, it was a week to get through, and we did, and now I’m catching up. No activity took place in the sewing space, but I designed several kits for our church group – simple 4-1/2” squares laid out 9×9, with 2-1/2” borders, that make beautiful small quilts. Tops are sewn to backs on top of batt, using birthing method to turn. Makes a 40” square – our standard quilt and have made thousands of them in our 25 years. As it happens, that’s where I’m headed shortly for another round of Grace Quilts. Hope you’re having a great day – what a warrior Hazel is, but would expect nothing less of a JRT – be sure to shower her with extra treats! Our pack of doxies would have make quick work of those rats, as well. What in the world will she do when all the rats are gone??🤣. Blessings for the week – Barb in Tucson (where our AZ Wildcats squeaked out a win v TCU – Go Cats – Bear Down!!)

  12. Sue Jacobson

    I’m currently knitting while my husband is in recovery following a shoulder replacement. Doctor’s report with all the arthritis & spurs gone he should have great recovery. I believe PATIENCE will be name of the game!
    We are in Duluth and weather is miserable. High winds & rainy drizzle. Would be a great day to be quilting!

  13. Terri Mulinix

    Hello Mary, read your blog all the time. I’ve commented a few times. Glad to hear Rick is doing better. We have a little dog Moses, he is a yorkie. He’s a wild little guy. I’ve been quilting for years. Made lots of your patterns. Lived on a farm a good part of my life but in town now for sometime. I miss it sometimes not all the work in the cold weather. Wish I could come to your sell and see all of the good things your going to have. Wish you both luck in getting everything sold. My your days always be filled with Sunshine. T.

  14. Donna Sproston

    That pile of blocks has inspired me to do some piecing today. The sewing machine is set up but the fabric is still packed awaiting a place to put it. Moving out of state after sixty years had its plusses but also its minuses! Downsizing and decluttering were good, but all the paperwork was overwhelming. Listening to social security messaging on the phone went on for hours, and online accounts and the various passwords make me want to scream. However, life is good in Wisconsin, and we are ten minutes from family. I am sure Hazel is a rat terrier in disguise. Happy to see Rick’s wound is improving. Safe travels to Mayo. Our next visit is the end of May, and I hope my pianist husband will sit down and play that grand piano.

  15. Rosalie

    I’m working on string blocks -6.5 inches- sewn onto muslin as I hate to tear out paper!
    We got half an inch of rain yesterday- much needed as fire danger is high here in Texas.

  16. Mareen Nedved

    Loved listening to the rain and it is great for the grass for sure. It will clean things up and know that spring is around the corner – but then the work begins with tending to a garden and flowers but much needed therapy as it is so rewarding to watch everything grow and produce food. As you know Mary I had my grand-puppy for a couple weeks she is an amazing smart mini Berniedoodle and she is now at home in Colorado and she has two excited and happy kids to love and take care of her. I was very lucky to spend time with her and she did amazing at getting potty trained and kennel trained as well. Thanks to the Snuggle Puppy as well. She will have an amazing life and I am so happy for them. So happy to hear that Rick is improving – Rochester is a great shopping area but I realize there is not much time for that for you Mary.

  17. Lisa in eastern Washington state

    I am smack dab in the middle of moving. Hundreds of boxes to unpack and put away. I haven’t sewn in 2 weeks but I’m going to quilt group tomorrow even though I should stay home and work. I really need a break. I am putting everything away in the whole house BEFORE I organize my sewing room or I know I won’t finish in the other rooms! My dear husband has already put up my longarm and light bar. I have clients that have been patiently waiting for me to do their quilts. It’s a gray and grumpy day outside today, a nut of drizzle too.

    1. Susie Q

      you should go to quilt group……. the boxes will still be there but the quilt group will be gone….

  18. Launa

    Good Morning Mary…
    So good Hazel is getting those rats 🐀! Our Border Collie, Pepper, is always out with her nose in the snow going after Chipmunks 🐿. Quite comical to watch.
    Things are thawing up here, but yesterday we had a few flakes. Birds are arriving as well. The ski resort is closing April 2nd with their traditional Fun Day. Temperatures are warming up; was 31o this morning!
    Haven’t seen any Elk, Deer or Moose out wandering thru up here lately.
    Thanks for the pictures!
    Good to read the update on Rick’s wound progress!

  19. Diane A. in Florida

    Praise God that Ricks ankle is healing! I love the March Madness quilt block. Simple, but oh so special. I love the colors you choose. I am still working on the Bull’s Eye quilt. It will be queen sized, for one of my grandsons. I am doing it in a “quilt as you go” style. I will send a picture when it is done. I love your newsy blog.

  20. Casey

    Hi, Mary….long time follower here. I don’t comment much because I have nothing to show! We moved to CT a little over two years ago. Most of my fabric is still in totes and I really don’t have anywhere to cut out or sew quilts in this ancient house (1747). I had a beautiful studio in our Brooklin Maine home that we built and sold when Bill retired ten or so years ago. It had a wonderful studio in the walk out basement with plenty of natural light and a whole 22 foot long wall of shelves for my fabrics. I loved folding and color coordinating them. so inspiring to walk in there and see that all laid out. It was so easy to plan and pick the fabrics for my next quilt. I was pretty much focused on making small quilts to donate to the Linus Project and runners, lapquilts and table squares for my shop. It was a good time in my life. I miss it. I so enjoy seeing your projects and those of your followers.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Casey – why did you move? I’m so sorry you don’t have the same setup for your quilting – I feel bad for you. Try to get started on something small so you’ll feel you’ve accomplished something. Life is not always fair, is it?

      1. Casey

        My husband retired and the house was done and he was afraid he’d be bored, so we bought an old 1769 house in NH to restore. We did that and Bill wanted to move to a place that wasn’t so snowy and I didn’t want to move out of New England, so we moved to CT and another old house to restore. We have had nothing but trouble with this move….Covid happened a couple of months after the move, Bill was diagnosed with Lyme and AFib and the house needs so much work that we found we are just not up to it any more. If I had to do it all again, I would have never left that sweet home in Maine with that wonderful studio overlooking Herrick Bay. Sigh. But I have a delivery of 6 yards of compost/topsoil coming tomorrow, so I’ll be playing in the dirt and that will help the endorphin levels! I thoroughly enjoy your blog and admire your hard work on the farm and in the sewing room!!

    2. Pamela

      I live in Fairfield County, where are you? That is an old house. Dining room table or kitchen counter could always work in a pinch.

      1. Casey

        Tolland County. Believe me…the kitchen and dining room tables are already covered with projects! I make things for a catalog company…lots of dried flowers and herbs. We had a nice dry cellar in our NH home because we lifted the house and had one made! And also a big barn. So plenty of storage and work areas. Not the case here.

  21. Vicki

    I am looking forward to seeing your March Madness quilt.

    I have been piecing some wild charm squares into pillow covers for a 3 seasons porch. When I say “wild”, I mean definitely out of my usual ball park. But it is good to try something new. I have been enjoying the reader quilts. I may not get dirty dozen projects done in a timely manner because I am yard and garden queen this spring since my husband is non-weight bearing for 12 weeks after foot surgery. I have a high school student hired for the hard jobs and we will do them together. But all the extra yard/garden stuff means less time for quilting. Maybe lots of pillow covers are in my future!

  22. Jan McCann

    I love your animal quilt —simple block design and what a great way to show off focal fabrics. I immediately thought of using an array of florals to make a garden quilt. I’m glad to hear Ricks ankle wound is healing—I’m a retired nurse and I can tell you it takes forever for a wound to heal (literally months). Sounds like you’ve got wound dressing down though!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jan McCann – I am now a wound dressing expert – haha!!!

  23. Jan, Blue Earth

    Since you asked about my pet… Sally is a 2 yo pit bull mix that we adopted at the beginning of Covid. She loves to help me load the dishwasher. Haha A couple of weeks ago I was trying to find room for those last few things before running the dishwasher and Sally was checking out the lower rack. All of a sudden, the bottom rack comes flying all the way out on to the kitchen floor and dishes go flying everywhere. Well in the few seconds it took me to figure out what was going on, Sally’s dog tag got unstuck from the dishwasher rack on its own and all was calm. I was able to find all the plastic wheels and clips that held things together and the dishwasher was fine. One dinner plate did not survive however. Sally is a little more cautious now, which is a good thing.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jan – oh, Sally! This has actually happened at our house only Hazel didn’t get the whole rack pulled out – she was just stuck! I still have Jackson’s picture in my kitchen – what a guy!

  24. Dorothy

    It’s raining here in western WA too. But more of a drizzle today. I absolutely love that animal fabric. I also have fabric from 19??. Always a surprise when I come across some of it in the stash. Glad to hear there is improvement with Rick’s wound. Take care, give the Terminator a hug for me and tell him Good Job !!

  25. Cathy - SE Alabama

    Only one team of mine is left in March Madness. Go HOGS ! Woo pig Sooee! Razorbacks ! All the rest are out LSU, Auburn, & Alabama.

  26. Susan

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    Hi Mary, I follow your posts every day! This is my dog, Penny, who keeps me company in my studio on her own quilt! I just finished this quilt with some Lonni Rossi fabrics I have had for 15 years. It’s nice to do some of my own sewing instead of always quilting for others. We have had a cold, wet Spring here in the Georgia mountains, but things are starting to bud and green up, so I’m optimistic that Winter is finally petering out!
    I hope your trips to Mayo are coming to an end. I have been making the 60 mile trip to Gainsville, GA for back procedures for months now. Three more to go, then I’ll be done!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Susan – your pictures won’t post here – you have to send them to my email and I have to post them. Looking forward to getting them.

  27. Susan K in Texas

    That Hazel is quite the rat killer! Good for her. I think prepping for a sale is more work than the sale itself! I sure wish I was able to make the drive!
    I’ve been sewing. Just not able to handle wrestling a quilt to quilt and finish it. I quilt on my home machine and don’t have a long arm. So lots of tops to add to the UFO pile. I finished a denim quilt, a Kaffe quilt, and a sampler quilt so far. I still have blocks to go on a second sampler. Then I’ll have to figure out a setting.
    I’ve been doing my PT twice a week and doing the stretches at home every day. I walk around the block twice a day. I’m getting stronger.
    We had a crazy spring storm last night. We’re ok but sirens were going off and there were spinning clouds. Several places had damage including my hometown of Gainesville. There’s a video of a red truck getting flipped on its side and spun around. Then it’s flipped back on it’s wheels and drives off! Young kid driving it 16 years old.
    Safe travels Thursday and hopefully good news too!

  28. Jan Treml

    Raining here in southwest Minnesota so I will be reading. Finished binding another scrap quilt yesterday s o taking a sewing break. It was 5 1/2 inch pinwheels and finished 88 inches square so took me awhile. I quilted wavy lines with my Baby Lock. Only got to shop at Country Threads twice, but so enjoyed stopping there. Hope you get all those rats!

    Jan

  29. Brenda Furlong

    I love the quilt with the animal print and I love the colors! You have inspired me to make my own. I lost one of my dogs last year to throat cancer. He was a rescue and about 8 years old. My one remaining pet is an approximately (she was rescued from the street hit by a car ) 18 year old miniature poodle named Lucky. She is so sweet and by now blind and deaf, but she still loves to go out in the back yard and walk around and her appetite has not diminished at all. In my 80’s with my own health challenges I can still manage to take care of her too. I admire all that you do and appreciate so much reading about all your adventures.

  30. Diane, Squeak, and Buddy in Central Ohio

    HI Mary, It is good to hear Rick’s wound is better. Those are so aggravating. I wish I could come to the sale. I’ve looked up the distance twice on Mapquest (you know, just in case the distance changed!!), but it is really far from Ohio.
    I have two quilts to bind and then I’ll send pictures. Squeak and Buddy were together again yesterday. As usual, Squeak hissed and growled. Buddy looked at her for a while and fell asleep!! Guess he’s not too scared of her 8 lb self. He’s 20 lbs., a big boy! I am still “Swedish Death Cleaning” so I haven’t started anything new, but I sure am finishing up lots of things. I love how nice the closets and rooms look when I’m finished. I still have the basement to go–yikes. It was 70* here yesterday, lovely. Most of my dog friends were out and waiting for their treats!
    Take care, 🙂 Diane

  31. Cathy D

    I’m currently helping my oldest son lay wood flooring in a soon to be nursery for my youngest son and his wife. Grand #4 arriving in early August ❤. Truthfully, I’d rather be sewing! I belong to a 10 year old Schitzhu Bichon named Oliver. He loves to chase the barn swallows and farm cats. I visited Country Threads many times and came to the garage sale at Connie’s last year. April 1st is marked on my calendar for the moving sale. Connie has a beautiful house and gardens!

  32. Diane, Squeak and Buddy in Central Ohio

    Hi Mary, I just commented about 3 minutes ago and a message popped up that said, “Your comment is awaiting moderation.” I went to a few other items and came back and it’s not here. I really didn’t cuss or anything!! Odd.

  33. LaNan

    We r experiencing rain in northwest iow with some snow thrown in!! I’m finishing a quilt that jo sent me and I will donate it to a camp auction. It’s the dark Kansas troubles fabric. Beautiful fabrics but not my palette now either!! Then I’ll finish an appliqué quilt done on the machine embroidery machine. It’s all different dogs and that’ll go to the camp auction too. Sunday I finished a batik that had been sitting in a box for several years. So getting a lot done watching the basketball games. Go Cyclones🤗🤗🤗

  34. Pat Smith

    The Terminator indeed! I’ve never seen a dog with such a strong desire to retrieve things, anything at all. She even comes up with things to throw for her that couldn’t be thrown such as a few sprigs of grass. I’d hate to have her after me! Glad you are getting rain. It always makes the grass green up in the spring in the Midwest after such dull colors in winter for so long. We are leaving Fri. to go for a week in Key West. We’ve been there before but not very successfully because we were camped out too far away. This time we planned ahead and are staying in the campground right in Key West instead of out on some other key. Driving at night has become something we just don’t want to do and all the fun things happen in town in the evening. I’m working on a house quilt but felt it needed something besides houses, so I went to an old Country Threads book and am making some flying geese trees. It looks better already. I’m a pretty slow sewer and it takes me a long time to get one done and off to a long arm quilter. I gave up trying to quilt them myself long ago unless it is something really small. Hope your rain washes away the goose poop! Also glad rick’s wound is looking better—it’s been a long slog.

  35. Mary in Davenport Iowa

    I have been watching the games they have been a lot fun and yes I have a new pet my companion of fourteen years passed in January and when he went into hospice I adopted his thirteen year old cat that loved him very much and sat on his lap all the time BUT was a scared cat of everyone else I called my vet to find out how to deal with cat I did everything she told me and it has worked it’s been almost three months and he actually loves me and plays with my other cat He was never around another cat. He is now part of our family he has changed like 90percent it’s been amazing lots of work but mostly a lot of patience I am now happy we gave him a second chance

  36. Peggy

    Mary keep up the good work. Rick’s ankle will get better. Everything takes time and we get impatient along the way. Have been there more than once. I had a flood in my sewing room 5 months ago. Finally got my boxes of contents back in the house last week. Now to unpack and reorganize about 250 boxes of books, notions, fabric etc. etc. I can’t even hardly move in the sewing area and have to unpack and find places for everything I am going to keep. Have been living in an upstairs front room for the last 5 months and will be awhile before I can move my computer, TV and sewing machine downstairs again. My embroidery machine will be put away until such time as I have a space to put it up again. Have a good day.

  37. Marylou Krish

    Mary, your “just point the car -it knows the way!” Is something my husband and I said to each other many times in the past 3 years. He underwent cancer treatments at a wonderful cancer center an hour away from us. Not a bad drive but it did get boring. Some weeks it was every day we had to be there. Thankfully 6 months ago he went into remission. We are truly blessed and thankful. The center will keep a close check on him and we’ll have a few more drives on that road…. we don’t mind at all!
    I’ve kept Rick and you in my daily prayers. Positive thoughts for the appointment this week.

  38. Kay Schleusner

    Glad Rick is showing improvement. Busy quilting. Have a new cat a walk on. The nicest cat ever. Kids don’t break out in hives anymore from her. Now I know what you mean when someone dumps a cat. It was a house cat I’m sure.

  39. Sandra Goddard

    Well I am appliqueing leaves and stems on pumpkins on a tabletop that I will quilt. Trying to work on UFO’s. We’ve only had one calf so far but we did lose one to bad weather got cold. Heartbreaking. To early in the season. We’ve made 2 gallons of maple syrup in our very primitive backyard setup. Grandkids love to do it just like our 2 kids did. 45 years at it. So that’s what’s happening here.

  40. Jeanine from Iowa

    I’m heading to the church this afternoon to make quilts along with some other gals for our local Pregnancy Center and lap quilts for a nursing home. I just finished quilting a baby quilt I made at home. Will try sending it when I get it quilted. We had about .3″ of rain in Oskaloosa last night. It’s acting like we could get more rain this afternoon.

    1. Brenda in Iowa

      Jeannine,
      I live south of Fremont. I’m in Oskaloosa often. It’s nice to see a fellow SE Iowan.

      1. Mary Etherington Post author

        Brenda in Iowa – I looked at the alpaca ranch and really enjoyed it. I’ve always meant to ask about your “handle” Iowa tallgirl – did you play girls basketball by chance? And if you did, did you make the state tournament? Maybe in the 70’s?

        1. Brenda in Iowa

          Hi Mary,
          So glad you liked the Alpaca Ranch. Wouldn’t be fun to take a trip there? Of course, I’m not invited nor do I think she has visitors on her ranch – just something fun I thought of – ha!

          I came up with my email address because I used to be over 6’2″ tall. I am shrinking and getting stooped-shouldered as I’ve gotten older. Yes, I played basketball in High School – 6 on 6 so I did not play in college. (And, the nursing program where I attended college was not conducive to playing sports). Unfortunately, we typically ended up playing Mediapolis and during the 70’s they were a state powerhouse.

          Did you play basketball when you were in High School? Where did you grow up?

          Have a great rest of the week.

          1. Mary Etherington Post author

            Brenda in Iowa – I, too, played 6 on 6 basketball – REAL girls basketball as I like to tease my young friends – ha! But I was short and played guard. I remember Mediapolis – Karen McCool? Might have been before your time because I graduated in 1966. We always got to go to the state tournament – I’ll never forget the thrill!

          2. Mary Etherington Post author

            Brenda – I grew up in this area. We had a state championship softball team – a bit older than me – but they were very good – won state several times.

      2. Jeanine from Iowa

        Brenda,
        We live between Oskaloosa and Fremont on a farm. We are just one half mile off Hwy. 23. Do you know where the Wright corner is? The one between Osky and Cedar, not the one in Cedar. We live on the west side of Hwy. 23 instead of going toward Wright, which is east. Are you on a farm? We are retired from farming, but still live on the farm.

        1. Brenda in Iowa

          Jeanine,
          I live on Highway 149 south of the Pioneer (old name but still Pioneer to me) plant. I live on the farm where I grew up. It is on the east side of the road with a big blue metal building. The house has a red tin roof on it. My husband is not a farmer and I’m not able to farm or raise animals any longer so we rent our farm ground. I love living in the country.
          We should get together sometime and sew. I sew in the apartment that my parents lived in until they passed away. I’ve kinda turned it into a quilting retreat area. Do you belong to the Mahaska Quilt Guild? Another Guild.
          Brenda

  41. Kathe Howe

    Hi Mary,
    I’m Kathe. I’m not really one who makes comments or sends very many messages, because I’m not a good writer, but I do love reading them. My husband and I live in southwest Montana with our 2 dogs Molly and Missy (terrier mixes). We are both retired but do a lot of volunteer work with our church, local food bank, and others. I sew every day whether it’s on quilts (working on 5 projects at the same time), hand work, or knitting, and the couple of months out of the year we don’t have snow, I like to get out and garden in our little yard. There are 2 grown kids, 2 grand kids, and 2 great grand kids in our family who all live in Indiana which is where we are originally from. Thanks for taking the time to do your blog when there’s lots of other stuff going on in your life. I know we are just as busy now as when we were working. Take care.

  42. Jill

    Mary, One week ago tomorrow I had to put my best friend of 13 years down. I am lost…Murphy was so much nicer than humans I know.

  43. Sandy in Eastern Washington

    Full day of errands and appointments scheduled for today. Both of my dogs are taking their morning naps. So worn out from eating breakfast and checking out the backyard!?! Also waiting for a return visit for an installer to replace all our exterior vents on our exhaust ducts. The starlings were getting into the ducts. After 15 years we don’t know how they figured out how to get in. Sort of like trying to go the wrong way through a turnstile. No nests inside. They will have to find a new place to play! And husband is off to get a new lawnmower battery. Spring has sprung and soon it will be time to start the mow season.

    The revisits on your patterns with different fabrics are wonderful. Even using fabrics from years back refreshes the look. Hope Rick continues to improve. Healing is such a slow process. The impatience really kicks in.

    Thanks for sharing with us.

  44. Shirley Mord

    I have a new sewing room and alot of time I the room, so nice to have everything in the same room. Does anybody play wordl a fun game and good for the brain

  45. Becki

    Hi Mary. I so enjoy your blog😀. Am doing the dirty dozen project and sure does keep me focused. I have several friends that liked the idea and have organized projects for the next round.
    Enjoy hearing about Hazels rat patrol👍. She sure is doing a bang up job.
    I how to come to your sale as I will be in Austin Mn for a retreat that weekend. Look for good directions. Wishing the best with getting ready for sale.

  46. Margaret in North Texas

    Love the animal fabric-very unusual! No pets at my house so that is not a topic for me but I enjoy seeing the pics of yours. Thanks—- Sales are a lot of work gathering, cleaning and marking and transporting to Connie’s location. Good luck

  47. Deb in idaho

    Just a beautiful day in the neighborhood. When for a walk and off to finish painting my bed room. Can’t wait to have it done. Then may be some sewing

  48. Karen

    Mary, glad to hear that Rick’s wound is getting better. It’s a long hard road before an open wound like that heals. Seems like what and how you are treating it is working. Yay! I enjoy reading your blog but seldom post a comment. I love the quilts that you and Connie have made but our decor is not slanted to country/rustic anymore. My taste has changed over the years. I still find those quilts to be attractive but do not make them. I now prefer bright sunny colors but in the old fashioned patchwork way. Haha. I love to hear how things are on your homestead and love reading about the antics of the animals.
    Bless you in all you do.
    Karen in northeast Florida

  49. Joy in NW Iowa

    Here in NW Iowa we had rain overnight and now our scenery is white! Nitrogen for the grass. I’m so happy Rick’s wound is starting to show healing! I am working on a mission project everyday….I make 10 little baggies out of PUL and then I go on to what ever I want to work on. I need some baby cards so to day that is my project til after lunch. I have a block of the month quilt from Always Your Design in Dell Rapids, SD that I worked on before my back surgery. I may get that started again. I would like to go see that girls in Dell Rapids, but I need to make her trip worth while with the gas prices! Haha. I have a couple quilt tops needing quilted, a couple pieces of minky that need backing for that new grandbaby that is expected in May. I should make a list…. I start therapy after the 31st . That could be interesting….I can tell I am stronger every day. But, it will take time to get back my strength. No gardening for a whole year. Yikes. You would go crazy if you couldn’t have all your plants, wouldn’t you. 💕

  50. Cheryl Regan

    We are in st Paul. All our snow is gone. Your excitement about the NCAA basketball tournament has me watching this year, the first time in many years. I’m going on a retreat in Austin in two weeks and I’m excited to hang out with quilters. We are moving out state in two months so we will be more referral. Good luck on Connie’s sale.

  51. Susy Boyer

    Hi Mary and all sewers,

    I have many of your books and have been a fan for years. I have a sewing room full of fabric and can relate to a special fabric still un cut. I read your blog every time it arrives in my in box. I’ve been trying to catch rats too, I just need my own Hazel!
    Lately I’ve gotten hooked on making crumb blocks. They are so much fun and mindless. We are starting a kitchen-dining area remodel soon. It’s exciting and overwhelming at the same time… so, the crumb blocks are just what the doctor ordered.
    Thank you for sharing your life with us Mary. Great news about Rick’s wound! Hugs, Susy from San Diego, CA

  52. Betty Klosterman

    You’ve got really good signs the ankle is improving. Doesn’t that make you feel REALLY good? Good work. The circulation problems are so difficult. Healing progress is very slow. It might be more encouraging to take a picture of the wound once a week and you will be able to see more progress.
    Wish we were getting snow or rain, but just lots of wind. The fire danger is not good. It was 70 on Saturday and I thought about picking up the stuff blown into the yard, but decided to wait til the wind lets up this week. Maybe some of it will end in Nebraska?
    In the meantime, I’m tryin to pick up the projects in the living room. Project Warmth is Monday and the blocks are pinned into rows ready to sew. There are enough leftover blocks for another big quilt??
    Spring has sprung?? I think. We just wait to see what the weather will be tomorrow and smile. Oh, I did see my first robin Saturday with his bright red breast! It got half the apple I put out and the squirrel got the other half.

  53. Diana in Des Moines

    Went to quilt guild last night for the first time since Covid shut us down. They have been meeting, I just haven’t gone. On the free table were 2 copies of Leftovers by Country Threads. If anyone wants the spare copy, I can send it to them. Also picked up 2 different sets of vintage blocks, some are 16 patches, some are 9 patches in blue and shirting, and some are blue and shirtings in a square in a square. Another bag had about 50 eye spy squares. Excited to see what I can do with them.

  54. Jill Klop

    I can’t wait to see the updated quilts! I’d love before and after pictures! I know, I know…I’m making more work for you!! I finally finished a Plaidish quilt top. I’m ready to piece a backing and get it on the long arm. Good luck with Rick’s ankle!

  55. Lois Ann Johnson

    I am seeing more and more signs of spring everyday! I saw my tulips poking up thru the ground; I’ve seen many birds out in my backyard (robins, woodpeckers, cardinals, etc.); lots of activity out on the river (Canada geese, mallard ducks; eagles, hawks); the grass will be green in a day or so with this nice rain today! I am longing for a day when I can sit out on the porch with Bailey (in the sun!) and enjoy the Iowa spring. It has seemed like a very LONG winter but I know it is almost over!

  56. Cindy

    Hi Mary,

    I really enjoy your emails. I look forward to them every day. I love seeing all your animals and hearing about sweet Hazel.

    I too have a little dog named Annie. She is a rescue and the sweetest, most loving and smart dog we have ever had.

    I am a quilter of 47 years. I also rug hook, crochet and knit. I collect pink transfer ware and pink depression glass. My collection is quite small compared to yours 🙂

    I hope your husband is feeling better.

    Thank you for brightening up my days!

  57. Susan Boyd in VA

    I just came in from working outside cleaning out flower beds and mulching and sat down to cool off and drink a big glass of ice water and saw your blog post. It’s nice here today, in the 60’s and sunny, but we’re supposed to have rain tomorrow and Thursday and it’s going to be down in the 30’s at night again for a few nights. Spring’s trying to get here! I love reading your blog and I just might make a small quilt like your animal one, but with something bright for Easter and Spring. I’ll send you a picture if I do.
    Thanks for continuing to do your blog and stay in touch with all of us. Hope Rick continues to improve!

  58. Patty

    Happy news about Rick’s ankle and Hazel’s rat prowess!
    Your grass will be marvelous with that fertilizer!
    Here in Laguna Niguel, California the weather couldn’t be nicer. It rained overnight Saturday-Sunday. Our drought is pretty bad. The rain comes to the coastal point, at Dana Point and separates, then goes around us here.
    Today I have to paper piece a teeny part of a block for the mini quilt group I belong to. I don’t want to do it. I have a x stitch piece I would rather be working on. I feel I am pretty blessed to have that sort of problem with what is going on in the world.
    Loved watching the woman’s basketball championship game the other day.
    We have two very small Yorkshire Terrier girls. They are a year old and give us so much love and entertainment!
    More another time. Best wishes with your Sale.

  59. Sandy

    Hi Mary, you have been busy! I have a Christmas quilt waiting for borders,a cushion with cross stitch bits being hand quilted and have cut the first block for a lap size 🐒 monkey wrench quilt on the go.Good old Hazel ! Get those rats! Best wishes to all, sandy

  60. Shirley from Oregon

    I have a photo to send of my purchases foe my daughter but can’t figure out how to attach. Hmmmm.
    Last day in AZ. Waiting for wind to die down and headed back to Oregon in Big Bertha tomorrow.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Shirley – send your photos to my email and I will see that they get posted on the blog and thank you!

  61. Jo in Wyoming

    Something fun to report…..my kids are making plans to fulfill my #1 dream, paddle boat the Mississippi River. Next spring when it’s not hot. I want to do it all, but I know time is limited.
    Our little quilt group is planning to go to Sisters Outdoor show this summer. That should be fun.
    I’m pulling for day light saving time to be officially year around.

    It’s hard to find fun when it’s so cold and windy.

  62. Lynn Handberg

    I had a great time watching b-ball. U of Iowa was a disappointment. But Purdue, Kansas and Iowa State or doing well for me… and that Gonzaga game! So many down-to-the-wire finishes. Even Auburn (lost) and Arizona! Interesting tourney!
    I’m working on a no-brainer Flapjack pattern with left-over scraps. Will try to show it!

    Definitely a rainy day here in Maple Grove, MN! So far no snow though.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Lynn Handberg – isn’t March Madness the best kind of fun?

  63. NJ

    The local Cancer Treatment Center accepts small quilt tops for patients so I help with that. They provide backing & batting and we can pick out quilting cotton from their storeroom too but I’ve been using my own. I don’t have a stash like some people but I’m whittling away at it. There is a present need for Veteran’s and masculine quilts.

  64. Patricia Campbell in AZ

    Mary ~ LOVE the quilt you made with the 20 year old animal fabric!! It’s so cute!! I have some red and blue paisley fabrics [pseudo-bandana] and coordinating little kid ‘buckaroo’ type fabric – kids in boots etc. I’ve been saving it for *something* for one of my grandkids! hahaha I’d better get busy b4 they grow up!

    Glad Rick’s wound is finally looking a bit better. I am also a verrrry slow healer. It’s frustrating!

    I have 2 dogs: both German Shedders, I mean Shepherds… My youngest, Oskar, has been dealing with the WORST allergies this year! We moved out to the country/desert and the pollen and dust are driving him crazy! He’s on two medications currently. Plus he got an ear infection so 2 meds for that! AND he had to have a growth removed today too! But at least my other dog, Berlin, is finally healthy. He was very, very sick with Valley Fever for a year. We almost lost him!!

    Happy Spring!!

  65. Cheryl, AR

    I have been sewing since I was 6. I’ve been making quilts for 18 years. Unless I am following a pattern picture my quilts look….odd! I have no color sense, never had. If it’s red, white and blue or black and gray it’s okay but otherwise they look like disasters. I try to say they are supposed to look like ‘scrap quilts’. But the colors are all off and the geometrics, stripes, florals are wonky. So all that to say I don’t have anything to show!
    On the other hand it’s spring!!!!! My peach daffodils are gorgeous and the mini daffodils are as sweet as can be. The peonies and asparagus are pushing up and the hydrangea is loaded with blooms. As a family we are all finally well. I am so glad to hear about Rick’s progress! One day at a time to heal. Be still.

    1. Carla

      Cheryl, I bet your quilts are lovely and if someone has said otherwise they are mistaken! Mary, I haven’t anything to show lately because all I’ve been doing is watching the grands, crosstitching, and knitting socks. Well, I did get borders cut for a quilt due in June, and I’ve found fabric for the backing of another flimsy. The plan is to work on quilts on weekends. That’s always the plan haha. I recently added the Davis treadle to the flock and she’s up and running so I really HAVE to sew something! I did some landscaping by the front porch my son built and that was a big accomplishment. Next I have to remake a stone raised bed (for veggies)and construct 2 cinder block beds (flowers). I shouldn’t have started reading the book in reading. It takes time to sit and read lol. Blessings!

      1. Mary Etherington Post author

        Carla – gosh, it sounds like you’ve gotten lots done and taking care of those little boys is probably fun, too. Now where did you find that old machine? I’m anxious to get into the flower beds, too.

  66. Connie R.

    You saved your animal print fabric for the perfect quilt. Love it! It’s been raining off and on all day here too and, snow predicted for tonight and tomorrow. Here in far Northern Wisconsin, Spring will take a while to arrive. I finished my Jelly Roll Nine Patch quilt top from your pattern and, I love how it turned out.

  67. Lynn in CA

    Mary, I hardly ever leave a comment bit here goes. I am way behind on quilting. Rick and my husband have been going thru very similar health issues. Takes alot of time and the extra chores now mine. I don’t see how you keep up and I think I am a bit younger. I have a golden retriever and she is a therapy dog. More for me than the nursing hop lately. Thanks for you blog. Keeps me wanting to get more quilting done. Love to hear about Hazel. A true terrier.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Lynn in CA – my house takes the brunt of my busy life – it’s the last thing I want to do so I don’t. I would love to live in a clean organized house.

  68. Jan Hebert

    I love that animal fabric too! It looks great with your brown HST’s. Hmm, what have I been doing? Well, I have ordered seeds – lots of seeds (my husband is going to kill me!) We bought grow lights and metal shelves last year and I can’t wait to start more seeds. Inside I’m still working on the oriental style wool rug. It’s close to being done! I picked daffodils today, they look so pretty on the table. And I baked bread today so that I could finally bring a basket of goodies to our new neighbors. I put the bread, my last jar of homemade raspberry jam, fresh eggs and I lined the basket with a pretty linen dish towel that I made. They’re so cute – beautiful family with three little children, two rescued dogs and a huge new house – a lot to handle for such a young mom. My chickens are laying almost ten eggs a day now! It’s crazy but I love it. Jan in MA

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jan – your chickens are doing great!! I, too, have more eggs than I can use and I give them to anyone who will take them. I ordered too many seeds as well – I do let the pumpkins grow among the weeds!

  69. Cheryl in St. Paul

    I’m so glad to hear that Rick is healing. What a long and tough journey you have both been on.
    I’m making a confirmation quilt for my grandson who will be confirmed the Sunday after Easter. I’m working like crazy to get it handquikted. I have another grandson who will be confirmed next year.
    April is crazy busy with extra church services and a memorial service. My oldest grandson, who will graduate from high school in May will play trumpet with me on Easter. It will be our second year of playing together. What fun!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Cheryl in St. Paul – you play trumpet? What song will you be playing on Easter?

      1. Cheryl in St. Paul

        No, I’ll be playing piano and my grandson, who is going to Iowa Central in August and will pitch for the Tritons, will play trumpet. Together we will don Jesus Christ is Risen Today and I Know that my Redeemer Lives.

        1. Mary Etherington Post author

          Cheryl in St. Paul – I love both of those songs! Wish I could hear you!

  70. B. J. Berlo

    Hi Mary! Years ago, while my sister and I were driving a U-Haul truck from Idaho to Maine , we stopped at Country Threads and had a wonderful time finding fabric for future projects. I think it was sometime in the 80’s – and now I’M in the 80’s and still making quilts etcetera. My very favorite project was making a Bull’s-Eye quilt from your book. I have two pictures of it I’ll send. It was such fun to make! A few years ago I made a BullsEye wall quilt from Aboriginal fabrics with batiks. Another stunner. I read your blog every day and feel as tho I know you personally. Stay well. Be safe and take good care of yourself and Rick. B. J. In VA.

  71. Joy in NW Iowa

    I commented earlier but it didn’t work…..hmmm! It rained overnight but it turned white here in NW Iowa. I worked in some mission stuff, then I made some baby cards. Glad Ricks ankle is healing!

  72. Pam

    Wish I was closer so I could come to your sale…it’s a bit of a trek from Georgia. I was noticing recently how many of my quilts were made from your patterns. Will try and send some pictures soon. I’m a better quilter than photographer! Happy Rick is doing better.

  73. Sandy in Indiana

    Love the animal fabric!
    Go Hazel Go,,,,#15 is almost yours 🙂
    I have 2 Kitties,,,,Felix & Olive
    So glad Ricks leg is doing better…….
    We have had rain most of the day

    Enjoy your evening!

    Sandy

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sandy – I even saw #15 dive down a hole and there’s likely more. Just think how many could have been born since we started this rat hunt!!!! Ugh.

  74. Sherry Whalen

    Hopefully Rick’s wound is turning the corner on healing and you won’t have to make so many trips to Rochester, or at least you can make fun trips to Rochester instead. I am all packed up with sewing machines, tools and projects to travel to Osage for a retreat at Debbie’s from Wednesday to Sunday. Such a nice place to retreat – if you are out and about this weekend, stop in to visit!! On my project list – binding the 4 smaller quilts (1 wall hanging, 2 crib or wheel chair sized and on larger couch quilt) that I have quilted on my new long arm. So. Much. Fun.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sherry – if there weren’t games from Thursday through Sunday I’d consider a trip to Osage – get those quilts bound!

  75. Susan Linder

    Love reading your blog! I was at your shop about 15 years ago when I was traveling in Iowa on business. I loved your shop and always hoped I would make it back. I was in a couple of your monthly clubs and I ran across a copy of your goat gazette a few years ago when I was packing to move. Keep blogging for us so we know what you are up to!!

  76. Jeanine from Iowa

    I, too, left a comment earlier but it would not work. I quilted a baby quilt this morning that I made yesterday. I will send a picture of it when I get it bound. I went to the church this afternoon and sewed with some other gals. We make quilts for our local Pregnancy Center and nursing homes. We got rain today in southeast Iowa. I think I had that same animal fabric several years ago, but mine had a little darker background. I finally used it all us on quilts that went to a boys farm school in Honduras. Enjoy reading your blog, and I keep clicking on the “x” when there are some.

  77. Joyce from NY

    Glad to hear Rick is doing better & that Hazel is quite the Hunter! It’s trying to be spring here, but still kind of cool & wet, been working outside a little. More rain tomorrow. Knitting a scarf from all my sock yarn leftovers.

  78. Kathy in western NY

    Been a busy few days for me visiting an older lady friend in the hospital who broke her hip. I try to keep her spirits up. Some point in our lives we will all feel lonely and helpless more than once so I always remember that will be me some day. I don’t mind the mask wearing being there as it also keeps others safe.
    I am sure that policy will be in place for a long while still.
    I did finish a quilt and took it to a long armer last weekend. I loved Moe’s comment with using up her Halloween stash. I need to think like that and use my tub of Halloween fabrics up too.
    I noticed today that my daffodils are ready to open but rain is coming tomorrow and then cooler temps over the weekend. It’s very uplifting to be in my yard and see the robins and green grass. So good to hear that Ricks wound is getting better and not worse.

  79. Joyce from NY

    Glad to hear Rick is doing better! Hazel sure is a good hunter. It’s trying to be Spring here still cool & wet, more rain tomorrow. I’ve been knitting a scarf out of leftover sock yarn.

  80. Brenda in Iowa

    What am I working on – just a simple gift for the nurses who care for me in the Infusion Center where I receive an infusion of medication for my arthritis. I’m making them a weighted phone holder. I’ll have to send you a picture via email as I don’t believe I can add an attachment to this blog. My quilt guild is having a retreat in a week and a half and I’m hoping to take some of my UFOs to finish. I have a black and gold Irish Chain where I just need to sew the rows together and then add the borders. Then, I need to work on a scrappy quilt (king-sized) for my bed. I’m anxious to have a new quilt in our bedroom. I’m sure I can find several other UFOs to work on. I’m anxious to start something new but I really, really should finish some UFOs, right?

  81. Linda in So CA

    Great news that Rick is on the mend. Amazing how cars develop a “memory “ when going to the same place over & over. LOL. I’m sure you & Rick will be thrilled when this is all over & you can spend your time doing fun things. I finished 2 queen sized quilts but need to find someone to hold them up for pictures. Unfortunately my fence doesn’t work. It’s been hot today & 90s tomorrow. The yard is in full bloom…lots of roses too. Hummingbirds are nesting in the backyard. The eagle eggs in Decorah should hatch this weekend. Wished I lived closer so I could attend your sale in April. Will we be able to order your new book from you? When will it be available? Please send rain, we need water.

  82. Kay Schleusner

    Glad Rick is healing. Busy quilting. Just dropped one off at quilters. Found a quilt top at village for 8 bucks. Top was done. One extra row with a mistake
    So I fixed it and added to quilt. Agree on pricing being a little high on some things. Have a new cat a walk on. Her name is Emmy Lou. Nicest cat ever I think she was dumped. Kids love her. Not ready for all the yard work to start in central Iowa.

  83. Kathy Zuehl

    Hi Mary! I haven’t commented in a looonnng time! Doug and I have become caretakers to my father in law’s black lab named Shell, since his death in January. She’s around 13 y/o but a very good girl with some arthritis. She loves being the center of Doug’s attention but so does our cat. The cat is mean to Shell and we have to separate them at all times.
    Hope Rick heals up soon and has no problems.
    Take Care of yourself too!!!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Kathy Z – oh dear, sounds like the cat doesn’t appreciate someone moving in on her territory! Love the name Shell and so glad you took her in – otherwise what would have happened to her?

      1. Kathy Zuehl

        Doug would never let anything happen to her…They’ve been best buds ever since she came to the farm. She rides on the utv, in the semi, the tractors, the combine, you name it, she loves to ride. She has her own bag of treats at the elevator in Hutchins where I work and she comes up with Doug every morning to have coffee…

  84. Carolyn Boutilier

    We are in for rain the next couple of days. We had a beautiful day today to work outside. glad to hear Rick’s leg is starting to heal. I have been working on a hooked chair pad and I braided edge. Tomorrow I will put a backing on and another UFO finished that I started 12 years ago. Next project is making a birthday quilt for a friend. Have a good evening. Carolyn b Shenandoah Valley VA

  85. Kathy Hanson

    Good evening! We went to our 55 Alive driving refresher today . We go every 3 years and it is a wise thing to do, even if we didn’t get 10% off our auto insurance! Penny spent the day at Central Bark doggi day care so she could play all day with her dog friends. She is surely tired and ready for bed! I just need to put binding on my College quilting project and I will send a picture soon. It was an interesting thing to do. Now to get everything ready for a quilt retreat in a couple weeks In Downsville Wisconsin!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Kathy – oh, you meant to write collage! I couldn’t the guess what college project you were working on. Lucky Penny playing with her friends!

  86. Jeanie S, Central Illinois

    I was glad to hear the encouraging news regarding Rick’s leg; good job, Mary!
    Your animal quilt is wonderful.
    I quilted a baby quilt today and will do the binding tomorrow. Two friends and I have been meeting weekly for a day of quilting, sharing and lunch. 👍
    I am delighted to report the kitten we coaxed indoors this winter, took to the vet for “the works”, and rehomed is doing great. We are thrilled Tommy has a good home and is no longer a stray. 🤗

  87. Jackie in NY

    Hi Mary – I’m so glad to hear Rick’s wound is looking better – I pray for you both every night. Seems to me Hazel got the last few rats – not the trap – is that not working anymore? I finally got an urge to quilt again- I keep putting off working on my niece’s T-shirt quilt – it’s all ready to put together – I just need to sit down and do it. Speaking of my niece, Hannah, she and her mom are right smack in the way of a tornado warning right now – Daphne, Alabama. I’m praying they’ll be ok. But back to the quilting – my daughter-in-law noticed my spring table runner and mentioned how nice it is. I made her one to match her decor and a friend has made her a patriotic one and a Christmas one. My son also mentioned that my DIL wants a fall-themed one. So I plan to make her a spring one and any other season/holiday I think she’d like. My other DIL said she’d be interested in seasonal table runners too. So I spent a few hours pilling and cutting fabric. All that’s left is to sew them up (and make backings, baste, quilt, and bind them, lol). I really should get back to the T-shirt quilt too. I’ll keep praying for Rick’s leg to heal. Have a wonderful couple of days.

  88. Kathy Hanson

    I don’t know what happened, I wrote a rather long(but not longer than many of these) and I got a message that it was being looked through …???, didn’t get sent through!
    So, can’t imagine why but …. I will
    Send a picture soon of a collage quilting project I just need to bind! Glad to hear Rick’s getting better!!”

  89. Margaret in North Texas

    i commented earlier and it did not post. Love your animal fabric.
    I don’t have any pets so can’t discuss those but I like hearing about yours with all the photos.
    Happy to hear of Rick’s progress and yes looking forward to spring. Have planted a tomato plant in a pot to grow on the patio this week.

  90. patti leal

    hi mary good news from you today. soon these trips to the mayo will be in your past. then the car will have forgotten how to get there. (as if!) loved seeing all the quilts today.. i have comments about your animal print quilt. that pattern is so conducive to be made into so may different themes and they would all look wonderful. yours would be great for a boy, a senior or any other male that likes animals. i have jungle fabric with tigers and african animals that would be good like that. i have the ability to see so many different things (i did teach quilting for years). i like to make stories either with my quilt or with the fabrics. i made one out of flannel . it had a church in it, a couple houses, a school house, woods, etc. i built a whole story around it. if we let it the fabric will talk to us. sometimes it takes years. people worry about whether kids would like quilts with wild animals (tigers, elephants, zebras), but i don’t see why not. it is similar to the baby quilts for girls should be made of pastels. my daughter was born just before i learned to quilt. she fixated on a black and white almost puff comforter that was tied with red ribbons. she had to have that quilt. she was still sleeping with it in her teens and early 20s. i think people will appreciate almost anything that someone makes for them. i have lots of older fabrics (because i love it). okay, i’ve run on long enough. my current cat is named slinky but have always called him little boy so that is what he responds to. (bad english, sorry) happy quilting to all, patti in florida (who meant no disrespect to anyone loving pastels for babies – lots of my friends feel like that)

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Patti – loved hearing your “take” on fabric – I really love making quilts for little kids – those who recognize what the fabric says to them. Pastel baby quilts are so lovely, I think, but I’ve always heard black and white quilts are especially conducive to baby’s development. I know three little kids in my church that I would like to single out with special quilts – I can just see them hugging a quilt!

  91. Linda

    Mary I almost didn’t post anything because you already have a bunch to read, but I had to tell Deb she’s not alone with her dog that has dementia. My golden Elliott will be 14 the 4th of June and he has dementia. He has random barking spells, especially in the evening like people with sundowners. And he is beginning to act lost which is so sad. He has always loved our farm and ruled the roost but now often looks like he wonders where he is. He’s a big boy and is on a very safe anti-inflammatory and pain reliever for his hips and rear legs and CBD oil that has made a big difference on his stability. Elliott used to be a great mouser and has even caught chipmunks – thank heavens I haven’t seen rats in my barn, I think mice are adorable and use live traps then take them a few miles away to release them in open land. Rats, well my son had a pet rat that I loved but wild rats are another thing. Hazel, keep up the good luck with your hunting!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Linda – must be so heartbreaking to see Elliot losing his grip on life – it’s good he’s in a safe and secure familiar location. Sad when they get old.

  92. Beth Haynes

    Hi Mary, I so enjoy reading about your life with quilting, animals and even your church music. We are now retired, but still live on the farm we had owned. So get to enjoy the benefits without the responsibility. We are making maple syrup now. Just a hobby really, but a way to spend time with others. We in New Hampshire, are also in mud season, our fifth season, ha. I am getting ready to go to a quilting retreat with about 40 other women. Problem is I need a piecing project. I have blocks for 4 different quilts tops to assemble but wanted something that would be different. I try to make baby quilts for charity but get hung up on the layering and quilting. We have a border collie from when we owned the farm. She is still working with the new owner so keeps busy, as the owner says, “doing Lily things”. We too have rats and she works at keeping them at bay. Well that is enough for now!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Beth – Hazel is fixated on those rats – you’d think she was a rat terrier! Haha!

  93. Connie McGrew

    Dear Mary, I am one of those readers who has never left a comment. What is really strange about that is that I have been a Country Threads reader since the beginning…way before email when I received The Goat Gazette by snail mail. I have always loved reading about the quilt store and all the animals through the years, but I guess never felt the need to comment or that my life was not interesting. When I began reading about Country Threads and purchasing all of your books, I was living in Iowa where I was born and raised. Over the past almost 45 years, I have also lived in California, Missouri and now Ohio. And still read your blog every day. I still love, admire and cherish traditional quilts and always will, but a few years ago I was looking for a new challenge and found fabric collage. It is my obsession now and since I retired 3 years ago, there is more time to spend perfecting this method. Thank you for all the many years of reading about your and Connie’s lives and quilts, plus all the animals and pets that have been so much a part of your lives. I have enjoyed every bit of it!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Connie – we took a fabric collage class in Kansas City last June and I still havent finished my tomato pincushion wall hanging. I’m so unsure of what I’m doing! I think I could figure out a better way actually.

  94. Wendy on Cape Cod

    Hello Mary-

    I wish I lived close by so I could attend the upcoming sale of Connie’s and your treasures!! Thank you for posting the picture of your favorite 20 year old fabric quilt. It gives me an idea of how to use some fabric I have been saving as well. Spring is slowly coming to us on Cape Cod and more sun and warmth are making me feel good. I always love hand binding my quilts on the front porch and it is getting to that time when I can do it again. Glad to hear Rick’s wound is improving. Every little bit of improvement helps!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Wendy – oh, wow! Cape Cod – Connie and I visited once when we were in Boston for quilt Market – she had relatives in the area and I’ll never forget the seafood casserole we were served – so good!

  95. Paula Philpot

    I love the animal quilt….I have been down since Jan. 4 with a collapsed ankle caused by 30 yo accident that had hardware. Had surgery to remove all of that and fuse the ankle so I have been crocheting alot since I am upstairs and can’t get up and down the stairs. Hoping to get a boot the end of month. Can’t wait to get back to my sewing and cooking. You never know when things like this will happen like with your husband. The sale sounds wonderful! Be careful transporting him back and forth.
    Paula in KY

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Paula – I am so sorry! Rick’s ankle is fused and it’s difficult to walk with a normal gait – your ankle story and his sound very similar. Now if he just didn’t have this open wound on the same ankle!!!! Ugh. Who is running your store while you’re laid up?

      1. Paula Philpot

        Mary, My sister in law and a friend are running the store and changing the shelves around. I am so happy they are helping me or I would have had to close and reopen whenever.
        As far as the ankle they told me about the gait. Also my incision from the original break 30 years ago started about a year ago leaking but the cultures always showed negative until the last one. Is Ricks open would from surgery, I can’t remember. Paula in KY

        1. Mary Etherington Post author

          Paula Philpot – I’m so glad you have help! When we were in high school Rick had a car accident and shattered his right foot, ankle and leg. He’s had it operated on several times and then finally fused. His circulation is bad in that leg and the angioplasty really helped. The wound was the result of a lawn thatcher that just barely scratched his right ankle last May!!! Hang in there, Paula! This too shall pass. I’m sure thinking about you because I know firsthand how hard it is.

  96. Jean Sherrard-Fifo

    Hi Mary I’m a relative newcomer to your blog and a relative newcomer to quilting (3 years so far). Very much enjoy reading your news and checking out all the gorgeous quilts. My cousin recommended your blog and I’m really enjoying it! I also enjoy the antics of your pup. We have a 2 year old 84lb dog (aka small pony sized canine) Her name is Sheba (but Shiva the Destroyer fits her too). She is a cross between a Border Collie and Anatolian Shepherd and she keeps us on our toes. Jack is our adorable 4 year old black and white kitty that has feline leukemia; unfortunately, we’ll be putting him down today or tomorrow due to the advancement of his condition. 🙁 By the way, none of the bridges down here (in Winterset) were damaged by the tornado. The damage it did do was horrible. Sorry to end on a depressing note. Keep the postings coming!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jean – glad the bridges made it but so much tree damage I understand. Oh, your poor Jack! I did have a cat with feline leukemia and I had to put her down, too – as hard as it was , it was still the right thing to do. Shiva is a big dog!

  97. Beverly Lockmiller

    Mary stay after those rats. I am trying to finish up a quilt for my daughter. We lost our Molly Mon. my heart still hurts. She Was my 14 year old Sheltie, my dream dog. I love reading your blog We had Molly at your shop once and all your dogs chased her and we had to keep her in the car. about 10 years ago or so. I truly loved your place. Love hearing all about your animals We own a farm but our son now runs it Farming and country life are the best rats and all.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Beverly – oh, I’m so sorry my dogs chased her! Poor thing! At one time we had a visiting dog pen/kennel right outside the quilt shop for people to keep their dogs in while they shopped. Did I have 5 dogs when you were here? They were a handful! The trap got #16 this morning and Hazel got #15 last night. I have never had rats in the barn in 40 years – what in the world has happened?

    2. Mary Etherington Post author

      Beverly – and I meant to add I’m so sorry for your loss of Molly. I honestly think it’s harder to lose a dog than a family member – who doesn’t even live with you for that matter. Hazel is with me almost 24/7 – your life will certainly change from the past 14 years – that’s a very long time. My sympathy to you.

  98. Judy A

    No quilts lately, but blankets, yes! I got a nice deal on some new fleece at an estate sale, added from my stash of minkee, added some newly purchased coordinating prints, and made 15 warm fleece blankets requested for a cancer charity.
    I have no pets, but can I brag about the plethora of cardinals, downy and hairy woodpeckers, blue jays and chickadees that brighten up my backyard? I am a new owner of a REAL squirrel proof feeder – yay!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Judy A – I am so jealous – I maybe see one cardinal per year!

      1. Judy A

        Black oil sunflower seeds… the favorite of not only cardinals, but most of the birds.

        1. Mary Etherington Post author

          Judy A – and that is all we feed – we have no evergreen trees and my neighbor does and she has cardinals – possible reason?

          1. Judy A

            Jeepers, I have one evergreen clear across the yard. I don’t think that’s a calling card. So this new feeder I have…. it took the cardinals a bit to go for it. It’s a “Squirrel Buster Plus” – it has what they call a cardinal ring for the cardinals to perch on. They seem to need a firm place to perch (either a thick ring or a surface), and they like to face into their seed, not turn their head into the hole (picky, I know). Could that be the reason?

          2. Mary Etherington Post author

            Judy A – what brand is it? I’d try it! I’d love to have cardinals here! Maybe you could send a picture to my email so I could see what I’m looking for.

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