Sand Castles, 1-11-24

Don’t let this quilt scare you from trying it – the 4 patches are 1-1/2” squares and that’s not too small. Bonnie uses her own Essential Triangle Tool and it’s a huge help. You can cut half square triangles and quarter cut triangles from one strip! I’m not a notions fan – I still use my 6”x 12” Salem Ruler and a 45mm Olfa cutter. I did buy Bonnie’s Triangle Tool and it’s a timesaver!

Since I changed the big triangle from a string triangle to a solid I think I am allowed to tell you it’s an over cut 8” square cut once diagonally. After the block is pieced and these triangles are added, they are trimmed to size. (And why didn’t I use this block in the quilt you ask? I found it after the quilt was already assembled and quilted!!!)

Because I have a deep respect for copyright laws I cannot/will not give all the measurements here. I am going to start another one in this book – just because I love all the piecing! And I have all these 4 patches left! Ha! I went crazy making 4 patch blocks!

And here are a few of the projects in my head – bear with me.

Red and white charms
Waiting to be quilted
Waiting to be quilted
Each bag is a project
More project bags

Two reader quilts

Thank you for including your name, Marie!
Wild Rice

Sandi in New Zealand sent this picture of Stella and Luna who are visiting family in Taiwan – this robot circles the restaurant and you put your dirty dishes on it!!!

Today is Hazel’s 7th birthday! We tried to take her picture this morning with her Happy Birthday headband but by the looks of it, you’d think I had just beaten her!

Oh, for cryin out loud, Hazel!

This looks more like her – in the barn.

I let her celebrate with her favorite toy – she can’t be bothered with eating, unlike her mother who baked cookies at Rick’s request.

And believe it or not, I got a perm this afternoon!!!!

We’re under a blizzard warning tonight and tomorrow – ugh. Can it be as bad as the warnings? I guess we’ll see.

This was a lot tonight – but still pretty much about nothing.

124 thoughts on “Sand Castles, 1-11-24

  1. Cheryl

    Finally getting to read the comments section on the blog. Happy Belated Birthday Hazel. Sand Castles 1-11-24 has a picture of your project bags but in the background there looks like a pattern featuring a goat with a dog standing on its back and another animal on the dogs back. Is this one of your Country Threads pattern and is it available?
    Temps here in Duluth have been below zero so going outside isn’t something I enjoy doing. Have to think positive, very cold outside means more sewing getting done inside where its WARM. Looking forward to temps getting warmer in Minnesota and in Iowa for you.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Cheryl – too far for me to go back – cut and paste and send it to me.

  2. Lee Bowers

    Mary hope you don’t lose your electricity.
    Loving your perm. I am seeing more gals getting perms , for years they disappeared..
    Knitting socks and keeping warm…..finished a 1000 piece puzzle. No sewing or quilting. I need a jump start. lol
    Blessings lee

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Lee – I’ll give you a jump start – cut 9 2-1/2” squares and make one 9 patch block and then show it to me.

  3. Heather k

    Hazel looks adorable in her crown and your coat is awesome. I appreciate the comment on Bonnie’s ruler- I have been thinking about it but didn’t know anyone who had it. Stay warm!

  4. Marian

    A good evening to hunker down in the blizzard and terrible temps here in Minnesota and Iowa. Love all the quilts and all your fabric which you have plans for. Hazel is something else. Love her. Nothing on TV EXCEPT your Iowa girl Caitlin Clark, so enjoyable ! !

  5. Launa

    Oh, my Mary… have a bit of sewing ahead of you! Hope no power failures! Is 15o with new snow n some squalls possible! Trees are heavily laden with white! Bless the plow drivers who work all night on major hiway 93! Happy 7th birthday to Miss Hazel!


  6. Kim from Wi

    I like how you keep the one kit under the cake keeper, so cute. Happy 7th Birthday to Hazel, so glad she let you take her picture with the crown. Love the perm, something nice for the winter ahead. My daughter and I left Wisconsin at 11pm on Thursday night and drove through the beginning of the storm coming to the middle of the country. We pulled off about 5 hours from home because of heavy snow and poor visibility and spend the night in a hotel. We are headed to a Artesian Bread Baking class in NC at the John Campbell Folk School and we were trying to get ahead of the storm. We need to arrive by Sunday night. The storm did drop lots of snow, heavy winds and some slippery road conditions. Stay warm everyone.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Kim – oh, Kim! I can’t believe you took on the winter weather for a bread class. You’re either very brave or very dumb – haha! You couldn’t pay me to drive in this weather – please be careful! And then tell us about the bread class!

  7. Debra Reber

    Happy Birthday to Hazel! Your perm looks great! And that’s a lot of projects, you will be busy!!

  8. Diane in Maryland

    Loved all the pictures! That quilt is beautiful with the snowy background. So many pieces! You also have so many projects to do. Unlike mine, yours will get done. Love your perm! Hard to believe Hazel is 7! Wishing her a Happy Birthday. It’s been a lot of fun watching her grow up and seeing her adventures…lol.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Diane – Sandy asked if I’d seen a picture of the baby – I have not so send me one. 🙂

  9. Pat Smith

    So many things to see in today’s post! It made me feel so good to see all your bags of projects. I’m the same way, but you seem to have a lot of finished quilts to show for it. I’m what happens when one buys a sewing machine WAY over their ability level. I seem to be so intimidated by it that I resist sewing. I may have to consider getting a little easy machine that’s not so technically advanced. Happy Birthday to Hazel, the cutest JRT I’ve ever known. She is the most driven retriever I’ve ever seen and she’s not even a retriever by breed.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Pat Smith – my computer 740 Bernina sits alone under a shroud because it’s so complicated. I have 3 ancient 1230 Berninas that I’ve even replaced the motors in because I love them and I hate that fancy machine!!! I feel your pain- get another machine! Now! Hazel says thank you!

  10. Sharon G NE IN

    Happy birthday, Hazel!! Mary, your hair looks terrific! You do have a lot of project bags. My projects are in bags, too. LOLOLOL We have crappy winter weather, too, and it’s going to get REALLY COLD! Stay inside and keep warm.

  11. Charlotte S in No. California

    Such a great post today. I love your jacket and your great perm. My mom used to give me a perm every year when I was in grade school. They always turned out frizzy! I haven’t had a perm since I told her “No more perms.” I have been putting my sewing room back together since getting new floors. Since I have so many scraps, I have been cutting them into precuts and putting them in containers. I’m all ready to start those scrap quilts. I don’t plan on buying any more fabric until I go on the Shop Hop in June. Too many UFOs now!!

  12. Jeanie S, Central IL

    What a wonderful post! I loved looking at all your beautiful fabric sorted into projects. If I lived closer, I would come over and pet the fabric. Hazel’s birthday headband was really cute. Your hair looks great, Mary-nice perm!
    Stay Safe and Warm, 🥰

  13. Jeanne from Co.

    The quilts are all beautiful. What a fun display of color in this dreary season of winter. Mary, your perm looks great. But the funny thing is that before I saw your perm picture, I had just looked at your picture when you were holding Hazel and thought, “how beautiful the color and style of your hair was in the picture.” Be assured you are very attractive in both styles.
    Happy belated birthday to Hazel. She is a cutie, for sure.
    My daughter got stuck in Ks. City for an extra couple of days because of the snow storms. She got home Wed. evening at 6:30. And praise God, Marty, her 17 year old Shih Tzu. and I both survived. I got my exercise every day by carrying him outside every couple of hours for potty breaks. And I’m catching up on lost sleep after checking on him every few hours during the night. I think we are both glad his “Mom” is home.
    The blog today was extra special with all the lovely quilts and fabric combinations. I thought I had a lot of unfinished projects, but mine are not NEARLY as numerous as yours, but mine are further along than yours. mostly in large bins with the quilts halfway pieced. I’m tempted to start cutting pieces for some of the quilts you have shown, but I dare not, I have plenty of ufo’s to keep me busy til I die.
    By the way, one of your patterns that is my favorite is Farmers Daughter.
    The one I made in 1995, is now in Rhode Island, given to a friend who had lost both her Mother and their home in a fire. They lived on a small acreage (farm) so it seemed like it was meant to go to her. She had never married and stayed home to care for her elderly parents. She built a small house the year after the fire and my husband and I got to sleep under the quilt when we visited her that fall. It is a great, easy and fun pattern, from Country Threads, The Quilt Shop Series. books. Jeanne from Co. No snow here yet.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jeanne – Whew! You both lived through his visit till Mom got home!! Oh, I didn’t even show you all the bags of projects/plans – I love the planning obviously.

  14. Helen

    Love all the pictures of your stash. I thought I had a lot!! Wow! Do you still offer patterns for sale or has that ended? It’s also my grandson-in-laws birthday today. Happy birthday to Hazel. Always enjoy your blog about something!! lol! Be safe in all that snow. It’s 65 degrees here but cloudy and expecting some unsettled weather….again! I guess it’s almost spring! Everyone be safe and stay inside. Too cold to be out!!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Helen – you didn’t think that was all of them, did you? Silly girl!

  15. Connie in NV

    That can not be all of your project bags, surely! I stopped counting at 90, which means I’m going to have to be selective in which projects I make or live another 20 years to get beyond the 90 projects. My sewing speed has certainly slowed in the last few years.
    Love Hazel, she is like my dog showing on her face that she doesn’t want a headband!
    Your cookies look wonderful, I seldom make cookies because I can’t keep my hands from pushing them into my mouth😳.
    Your perm looks lovely and you managed to get it in before the storm hits.

  16. Jean

    Oh Mary hazel is just too funny. In laughed out loud looking at that picture! The big question is HOW did that little girl get to be 7? Seven! It was just a blink of an eye that she came to live at country threads.
    I just love all your inspiring project bags. You have so many fabrics to choose from in the using up stage many of us are in. My problem is not enough fabric in any one style or color to make something that is actually useable. I think that Bonnie Hunter quilt is a must. Looks easy to do too.
    I gotta go shovel snow now.

  17. Carol at Pin Oak Quilting

    I love your block adaptation, I’ll call it an improvement. I get so many ideas from you, Mary!

    I am going to say, that is a huge batch of cookies, and boy, following Weight Watchers for a while now, I can honestly say… they look scrumptious to this sugar deprived/depraved person!

    Hazel looks so thrilled to be Queen for a Day, I’ll say her expression reads “I’d rather be rat-catching”!

    Those project bags, makes me feel good that I’m not the only one. Phew!

    We had no electric Tuesday -Thursday due to extraordinarily high winds. We are bearing down for round 2, expected tonight through Sunday, power outages expected again. Whoever thought Chicago is the Windy City got it wrong, we are in contention for that undesired title. Lake Erie is wide open, which is really dangerous here, if the winds were blowing from Canada we would be having tremendous deadly blizzards. The winds are from the east at this point, bringing down trees that had adapted to our normal western winds. That easterly wind has brought down thousands of electric poles, people had been without power for days. And now, round 2.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Carol – maybe I’m a quilt motivational blogger? Haha!! We are definitely having a raging blizzard today – such wind! I can’t see the highway! Oh, how I hate when the power goes out – you can only pile on the blankets and nap in the chair! Rick is moving snow with the tractor, I’m sewing and the dogs are all sleeping. Perfect!!!

  18. Tena Bell

    I love that Sand Castles quilt pattern. What Bonnie Hunter book contains that pattern? Thanks!

  19. Sally J. Mi.

    Happy belated Birthday Hazel!! You are just adorable!! Thanks for your modified instructions for the Sand Castle quilt. I may give it a try.
    Everyone please stay safe and warm.

  20. Diana

    Your entries are never about nothing! I enjoy reading every day. MY daily life is pretty ho-hum compared to yours! I love seeing pictures of your quilts and projects. I’ve been in a quilting slump, but after visiting a favorite quilt shop and then reading your blog, I’m now inspired to get sewing again. I started sewing “your” hourglass pattern. I love scrappy quilts, so it’s a very enjoyable process. Why do scraps seem to multiply so rapidly?
    Wishing you well. Diana

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Diana – my March Madness hourglass quilt is moving up the list to be quilted – but it’s so big!!

  21. Holly in MN

    I love your modification of Bonnie’s pattern so much I found the book used and ordered it, then printed out your pictures and instructions. I need another project like I need a hole in the head, but I couldn’t resist. I loved seeing all your WIPs–it made me feel so much better about my own piles of projects. I even have a couple of yours from your closing sale in 2014–still not finished. Ha!

    I sure loved Marcie C.’s quilt! Thanks for the show and tell!

    We’re supposed to be getting a big snow here on the North Shore of Lake Superior, but so far it is hasn’t been much. Seven inches of snow is our total so far in the past week here in Two Harbors and that’s not a lot for this time of year. It sure hasn’t made everyone interested in winter sports very happy. Before that it was bare ground. I was grateful for all the rain we got in December, thinking forward to spring and how everything needs it. Now everyone here is hunkering down for the big blast and so far…nothing. Those meteorologists sure know how to get people going.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Holly – the weather forecasters might be my next rant! They literally have nothing else to talk about until a possible storm and then they scare everybody stupid about it. Just use some common sense, People! They’re just frothing at the mouth to be the center of attention and then it usually doesn’t happen. We were predicted 7-10” of snow – I don’t think we got even an inch but the wind is definitely blowing that inch around! Remember when we were kids and if it snowed, it was a big surprise?

  22. Lois Ann Johnson

    Wishing sweet, little Hazel a very Happy Birthday! My Bailey Girl is going to be 7 in May. Everything around here has been cancelled or rescheduled for another day because of blizzard conditions. I am debating whether I should even go to the Caucus on Monday night. My kids will tell me that an 88 yr. old has no business being out in that kind of weather. We’ll see……

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Lois – Oh, Lois, don’t let them convince you that you can’t do whatever you want to do!!! I’m behind you all the way!

  23. Gail in Ohio

    Love the Sand Castles – I may need to make that when my machine gets back from the repair shop! You certainly have enough projects in your mind to keep you busy for a little while… LOL!
    That jacket is very pretty and I too got a kick out of the red fabrics under the cake cover.
    We’re waiting for your snow to arrive here – the wind is supposed to start this afternoon and we’re hoping for a little snow, but not enough to keep the family from arriving tomorrow night…

  24. Ann in Virginia

    I love Hazel and a big happy birthday to her!

    Thanks for sharing your “projects in waiting” and as a fellow previous shop owner in Virginia & NC, I think I can match you bag for bag! Plus a host of bolts that I couldn’t part from!!! But it’s so much fun!!!

  25. JoAnne

    Well with all your project bags if you get snowed in you’ll have plenty to choose from. Like your perm!
    Happy birthday Hazel! Always love to see I have a post from you. Stay warm!

  26. Teresa in Indiana

    I love your perm, wonderful jacket and the tiara! Happy birthday Hazel! Your quilt is awesome. I have some 4 patches in a box, just need to check their size. This quilt might be on my list soon. You have soooo many project bags. I wouldn’t know which one to choose next. Cookies are good – I baked oatmeal cookies Tuesday – the contractors helped themselves. Not many left, which might be a good thing. Hubby tested positive for Covid yesterday. It’s never ending. Take care everybody. Stay warm.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Teresa – oh, darn – Covid strikes again!! I don’t know if you follow women’s basketball but Iowa plays Indiana Saturday night and I think it might be a barn burner! Iowa has beat their opponents soundly in the last few games but I don’t see that happening against Indiana!! I’m looking forward to it.

  27. Fran

    We have a blizzard this morning. Actually it snowed all night. I am hunkered down as it is 7 degrees out. We have power and for that I am grateful I see lots of sewing today and thru. the weekend. I did get the binding on a quilt yesterday.

    If I was ever to do another BH quilt, I would do that one. I have her tool and have used it. Worth it’s cost!

    Enjoyed the photos this morning in my white world.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Fran – it’s blowing here, too, but we didn’t get much if any new snow. I’m set to pull out a couple project bags and dig in! Plenty of food on hand and the day is MINE!!

  28. Margie Braaksma

    Happy birthday Hazel!
    You will get blasted if you haven’t already. Northwest Iowa by Sibley and we have 4’ drifts and -22 windchill.
    We’re in a blizzard warning until tomorrow.
    I’m just about to start quilting my dashing between old embroidery squares. I’ll send a picture when I’m done.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Margie – I think you have more snow than us but it’s really blowing this morning. Hwy 18 is still moving along however. It’s a sew day!

  29. Linda in Michigan

    Carla, you live in my home town!! We live between Holland and Muskegon, so are bracing for the storm too.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Linda in MI – I love when two readers discover they’re neighbors!!!

  30. Tama

    Hi, Mary. Happy Friday! I love your fabric choices. It looks like you’d been in my fabric stash!! HA!!! I need to snag a copy of Bonnie’s book so I can make the Sandcastle quilt. Your perm looks great!! Give Hazel an extra treat today for me, please. Stay warm. Tama

  31. Jill Norenberg

    Happy Birthday Hazel!!!!!
    Mary – do you plan to make a pattern of your design? If yes, I would love to buy it! Thank you for all the good ideas you share!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jill – oh, no, it isn’t my design! It belongs to Bonnie Hunter in her book String Frenzy which is available from her site. I posted the one change I made to replace the string triangles.

  32. Marcia-SW Ohio

    Love the charm packs under the cake stand. You shared so much in one blog. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I too have many projects to start or finish. I have been cutting so I can sit and piece.
    From looking at weather on tv and caucus interviews, you are going to experience a January blast. Our SW Ohio weather is going to be the same. It will be a good weekend to be piecing /binding. We have a generator but my sewing room is not on it. I can move a machine to the kitchen table if need be🤔

  33. Suzanne

    Happy Birthday, dear Hazel. You are so cute. We’ve been dogless for three years now and seeing you just makes me want to find a new furry friend to live at our house.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Suzanne – oh, I don’t know how you’ve waited three years!!! And if you don’t want to deal with a puppy, please check your local shelter where there are so many adult and senior dogs who are longing – begging for a home! You could save one lovely dog from euthanasia and that dog would make you so happy! Think about it – and let me know!

  34. Diana in Des Moines

    WOW! I thought I had a thought of projects pulled,, but you win! My bff and I are trying VERY hard to not buy any fabric this year. I have enough projects to last well into my second lifetime, lol
    I absolutely love the red project. Looks like Robyn Pandolph or maybe French General. I have a couple of your kits that I picked up at church when a co-quilter cleared out her stash. I always like your fabric choices, especially in your kits.
    This snow is just something else. I love being retired with a hobby! The grandkids stayed home with their mom this morning, hubby is still in bed, and my mom is having her coffee in her room. I have no intention of going out till Sunday and that will depend on how I feel. Still coughing, but a chest x-ray tells me pneumonia is gone, now I have bronchitis.
    They have the table butler at our local Pizza Ranch. My grands love to go there for the butler and the arcade. Cheap dates.
    10 inches of snow Monday, 10 more today. Then sub zero temps. Iowa life, right? Take care

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Diana – enjoy your quiet time and relish being alone like I do when it happens. So glad your pneumonia is gone but that coughing is a beast, isn’t it? I don’t have a shop close to me so it’s easy to avoid buying more fabric and it’s so rewarding to me to create something from what I find on the shelf. I have two more smalls done that I can post today.

  35. NancyTD

    Happy Birthday to Hazel. Your perm looks great. Snow and wind have started in SE MN. Everything is closed. Glad they make decisions early. My kids were in grade school when the storm got so bad the kids were going to have to stay overnight. They did finally bus them home. Not exactly the best conditions, but everyone was safe.
    It is going to be a dangerous weekend to be out— alert days thru Tuesday.
    Stay in and sew!

  36. Kathy in western NY

    Mary this is what makes you a designer and me a buyer as I would never have figured out how to do that pattern like you did. You have a color gift that I struggle with and I love seeing how your palette has varied over the years.

    It’s green grasses here and sun is peeking out but we’ll see how this weekend is and because the Great Lakes waters have not frozen over, the snow accumulations might pick up with winds blowing over them. I so admire the two readers quilts as I have wedding ring templates and a book to make one as well as the CT pattern in my someday to make pile.

  37. Erin

    Oh, all the pictures! Great quilts and great perm!
    Thanks for explaining what you did differently with that pattern. I have to find my copy of the book, for I do rather like your version of that quilt and think I have some 4-patches hanging around somewhere. Making 4- or 9-patches are so fun, especially when from scraps – just grab and sew!
    Stay safe with all the snow and wind.

  38. Sheryl K Harrison

    Happy birthday, Hazel! I am on a laptop and don’t seem to be able to put a big HEART in the comments!

  39. Kelli

    Happy 7th Birthday Hazel!! 🐶🐾🥳 Love all the project bags as I can relate! Looking forward to seeing all your projects in 2024🥰

  40. Cheryl from Niagara Falls

    Love that quilt! Anything with tiny squares calls my name, especially if it includes a chain. We thought we were going to be hit with the storm, but it missed us. Just winds. Middle of January and still no accumulation. That’s fine with me!

    Happy birthday Hazel!

  41. Ruth Tacoma

    Thanks for sharing that quilt pattern and tips about it. I have that book by Bonnie AND a ton of little four patches from scraps. Now I know what to make with them. Gorgeous quilt!!

    We finally got some snow here in Michigan this week Tuesday/Wednesday. About 8″. We are supposed to get that blizzard tonight and tomorrow with cyclone winds. Sounds like a good time to stay inside and sew. I’m on the schedule for work tomorrow…I’m guessing that won’t be happening.

    Stay warm and spend time sewing!

  42. Lynette in Orlando

    Love all the cozy photos — from what I’m hearing about weather — stay warm and cozy!!!! All across the country seems yuck. Pouring rain here……. Thank you for posting about what you did with the quilt — I have that book (several of hers actually) and just couldn’t deal with the “strings” — WHAT A GREAT IDEA!!!!!!! Can’t believe I never thought of doing that! I have many 4 squares I’ve done in a container waiting to be used and now you’ve given me that inspiration. Given me a new way to look at some of Bonnie’s quilts!

    Supposed to rain here for the next 3-4 days….. going to my ladies Bible study this morning and I think it looks like a good day to sew……….. stay warm and cozy Mary!!!! And Happy Birthday to Hazel!!!! Whoo hoo!!!

  43. Vicki Ibarra

    Love today’s pictures. I see a Christmas red truck fabric panel that I also bought this year. It was a first for me, but after seeing the panels you quilted and hung, Mary, I decided that would be an easy, seasonal project for me.

  44. Gloria from CC

    Happy Birthday Hazel – you sweet little girl. I’m sure your mommy spoiled you rotten all day long.😊
    Every time one of your readers posts a picture of a finished CT Wild Rice quilt I feel guilty. I bought the original CT kit when it first came out and cut most of it out – that’s as far as I got.
    Love your hair and jacket. I collect vintage cake stands so you’ve given me another idea how to use them.
    Since my quilt lodge has hydra in floor heat and the boiler runs on electricity, I had my electrician install a whole house Cummins generator last summer. Peace of mind is worth a lot since we live in the country.
    Stay warm and safe during this next storm siege.

  45. Sandy

    Ĥi Mary, happy birthday Hazel! I love your jacket too, Mary and the perm looks good. I had one about 30 years ago and looked like the wild woman from borneo! Got it cut the next day!
    I don’t think l want to make a list of UFO, s ,too many hidden away, even after l gave lots away when downsizing. Another nice day in nz, rain coming at weekend. Take care everyone, best wishes from Sandy

  46. Dee from Shell Rock

    Yep, perm and jacket are great! I love looking at someone else’s I want to make piles. I’m doing the gravity quilt with a shop online from Texas. I also signed up for the Alzheimer’s quilt this year, I think the blocks will be cats/animal prints. I hope the snow is a dud but we will see. I have my vehicle in the machine shed, I’ve lived here 30 years and this is the first winter I can put my vehicle in. Stay safe.

  47. Suzanne

    Have to laugh, how many have those plastic bags! Means I am normal cause I’m not the only one

    It’s summer in Australia and right now Melbourne Victoria ( where I am) is hot hot hot 32 degrees C
    Everyone have fun fun fun emptying those bags

  48. Sharon G.

    Mary – Happy Birthday to Hazel! Love her tiara.
    Like your perm and jacket.
    It’s snowing here in the Pacific Northwest at least where I live (30 miles east of Seattle). It’s expected to dip into the teens by morning. I cancelled two appointments. Nothing worse than driving in the snow with amateurs!
    Take care everyone.
    Stay safe!

  49. patti

    love love your fabric pulls. that is one of my very favorite things to do. it is soo much fun. i have lots of those bags of fabric pulls with patterns – lots of mystery types also. beautiful quilts from readers. thanks for sharing. i love seeing what everyone does – we are all soo different. going through my scraps i have only found 7 yellow or gold 2.5″ squares. however, i discovered that there are four of five more bins full of scraps under there. doesn’t count what is upstairs in my studio. before i go further, i’m going back and tossing things less than 1.5″. i’m nuts to keep such itty bitty pieces. bed for me. hugs to all, patti in florida p.s. i do like your perm – after growing up getting a perm every august before school, i had one after i left home and never again. woman burnt my hair. took forever to repair/grow out.

  50. Sue in Oregon

    I got a perm today, too. Now we both have curls. Mine was getting out of control as I had not had it cut for quite a while. Now, it will be easy, peasy to care for. (I hope)
    It is cold here too minus the snow. The damp cold can chill you to the bone, though, even though our temps are not as low as yours.
    Bit coin is a great quilt and looks like it would use up tons of scraps. It’s so crazy about scraps. Seems like the more you use them up the more they grow. I think they mate in those boxes and bags.
    Happy 7th birthday, Hazel. She does so remind me of a little terrier mix I had once. He lived to be 17 years old. He was such a character. I miss him still.

  51. Angie from Baltimore

    Hazel doesn’t look like she is celebrating happily. “Please Hod just take the picture enough already” is how she looks but it did make me smile. I have a quilt store a ways away in PA that caters to Amish and Mennonite and well worthy to make a trip. Not sure about the little squares but love the look of the quilt.
    Stay warm and when you figure how to disperse the squares you have let us all in on it

  52. Kay

    All those project bags will keep busy this winter. Happy Birthday Hazel. She’s like really you made me wear this. Like your curls, always debating if I should get one .

  53. Deb B

    I laughed out loud when I saw the red and white charm packs in the covered cake plate. Only you would think of something like that.

    Yes, Japan has a lot of robots that do things. My favorites are the dinosaurs at a fun hotel we’ve stayed at a few times. They speak several languages and help you through the self check-in process. They will also give you directions to local attractions and restaurants. There are also some at the Tokyo airport that will give you a ride to your gate when you are just too tired to walk another step. You sit on it (think a riding chair) and tell it your gate number. It is really a great thing (I’ve yet to try it) and, believe it or not, the kids don’t mess with it.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Deb B – wow! Soooo interesting. I don’t have to travel to learn things – you guys will educate me! Thanks

    2. Martha W in WY

      They need those chair robots at the Denver International Airport. I have to get a wheel chair ride. My flights are always at the gate furthest from the main hub. My old feet just can’t take that walking on cement.

      1. Deb B

        I have thought about it a few times. I fly from Minneapolis to Tokyo a few times a year (currently living in Japan) and, after a 14 hour flight, I seriously think about using one. Then I think, you need to walk off that flight and you can relax when you get home – in about 3 hours.

  54. Diane, Squeak, and Buddy in Central Ohio

    Your hair and jacket are great! My stick straight hair stays stick straight! Happy Birthday to Hazel. That tiara was a NO😹😹.
    Hubby is still in hospital. They want to continue to monitor the drainage tube. Ok by me. They know what they’re doing. He is doing well😀. He can get in and out of bed and walk much better already. Once he is home, we are staying home due to Covid and flu being rampant around here and a weather advisory coming.
    Sandi’s grand daughters are adorable and love all of your quilts.
    Stay safe and warm everyone.

    1. Kathy in western NY

      Diane -Good to hear hubby has this behind him and can now go home to recover. Hibernate and stay safe for a bit. It’s not like we don’t have lots of books to read or projects to do so a good time to chip away. Hopefully he’s home today before weather takes a turn for the cold.

  55. Carol Reents

    All those beautiful fabrics and combinations. I wish I could put them all together like that. We are awaiting here in Indiana to see if it will be rain or snow. We certainly will have the wind and cold temperatures. Stay warm and safe.

  56. Diane in Colorado

    It is 9 here right now (9:30 Thursday evening)—too cold for me!! 30s tomorrow.
    So many unfinished projects. I’m thinking I should borrow your idea and document them.

  57. Jo in Wyoming

    Get ready…we had winds gusting to 85mph!!! Still blowing but not as hard.
    I saved a picture of Hazel when she was a puppy on your lap. Now, you both have white curls.
    I love stuff and your stuff looks like a lot of fun.

  58. Carolyn Boutilier

    Happy Birthday Hazel. You are a sweetheart. Enjoyed watching you grow as you are the same age as my goldendoodle. She passed a week before Christmas. A perm can make you feel like a new woman.Stay safe during this storm . Carolyn b Shenandoah Valley VA

    1. Jan Hebert

      Oh Carolyn so sad to read that your sweet dog passed. Seven is just too short a life. We had German Shepherd dogs and both lived just about seven years. It’s so hard to lose our furry friends. Jan in MA

    2. Mary Etherington Post author

      Carolyn – NO! What happened? You didn’t even mention it when we talked earlier. Oh, I am so sorry – if I think about losing Hazel at such a young age I panic. I love Hazel like no others before her or likely after her. I can only imagine your grief. My heart hurts for you.

      1. Carolyn Boutilier

        Mary, My Maggie Goldendoodle did not act right for 2 days. Took her to the vet and come to find out she had an aggressive tumor on her spleen. She had her yearly check up 4 months previous. Maggie was operated on immediately and as they were closing her up her heart stopped.The vet said is was cancer and it was worse than they thought. Maggie never let on she was in any pain. She would not have lived more than 2 -4 months. Now she is pain free but I miss her terribly. We did everything together. She was my support and comfort while I am dealing with my husband with dementia. Now I have no one. We have a son 50 miles away and granddaughter that is busy with her life. Give Hazel a hug for me. Carolyn b Shenandoah Valley Va

        1. Teresa in Indiana

          Oh Carolyn, I’m so sorry for the loss of your dear furbaby! They can be such a comfort as you were to her in the end. It breaks my heart to read this. I miss mine every day. Take care. ♥️

        2. Linda in MI

          Carolyn, I am so very sorry for your loss. I had a similar experience with my sweet little Oliver and had to make an immediate decision to send him to heaven at 8. I miss him daily and always will, he had a smile that melted my heart over and over again. And I’m getting in the same boat as you, my husband is basically incapable of doing much, walking is a struggle and he has no strength to lift anything. He has seen people who aren’t there but he sleeps so much I think the doc feels he maybe still half asleep when he sees them which is not the case but it’s not frequent at this point. And I have no one, my closest son is about 35 miles away and is busy working and taking care of the two little Shitsus he and his wife have. My husband has a son and two daughters but they are useless, thank heavens for our 19 year old grandson who is more than willing to help his grandpa and loves me too!

          Take care of yourself and know you are not alone, there are other women out here that are thinking of you.

          1. Diane in Maryland

            Linda, you are in our prayers! Please know you have friends in blog land who care about you.

          2. Mary Etherington Post author

            Linda in MI – I understand about your husband’s lack of mobility – can’t walk, can’t lift or hang on to anything basically leaving everything to me. Everything except moving snow with the tractor – which I could learn to do. It’s an overwhelming feeling, isn’t it?

  59. Rhoda Ebersole

    Love the 4 patch quilt.
    Love your perm too.
    I have many pieces that look like yours and think I will begin sewing them together and call them clean out the bin quilts or end of life quilts. I have lost 3 acquaintances since January began. Too much.
    But am working to get rid of a terrible cough now before heading to Hawaii late January. Did finish a very cute girls quilt today. I use extra backing and fold it over twice for the binding and zig zag it on the front and that is my binding.
    Stay well all of you and stay warm wherever you are. It is cold here in Las Vegas too but snow only on the upper elevations. Not where I live.

  60. Colleen in Central Oregon

    Happy birthday Hazel! Looks like a nice perm Mary. Love the quilts, and thanks for sharing the tips on how you made yours. Thanks also for sharing all your UFOs. I don’t feel so bad now, I know I’m in good company! I’m not going to start anything new this year, (haha) until I finish a bunch. Guess I better put blinders on.

  61. Deb in Idaho

    Happy birthday Hazel. I love your perm. I didn’t think ladies permed their hair anymore. I love your jacket and all the quilts. All of your bagged projects are so neat. I have only 1 ufo. Guess I should get busy. Everyone be safe .

  62. Donna Sproston

    I love your jacket too! Happy 7th birthday to Hazel. You do have quite a few projects lined up there. I am plugging away on Dixie in one of the Country Threads books, It has a lot of small squares so I might just keep cutting them for the Bonnie Hunter quilt.

    Caitlyn had another triple double last night against Purdue. She is inspiring so many young girls.

    Glad you are feeling fine.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Donna – Caitlin plays Saturday at 6:30 against Indiana and it will be a barn burner, I think. Iowa is rated #2 right now, I think, but it’s never a sure thing. Makes me nervous but I wouldn’t miss it for the world. I love all the little girls lining up for her autograph, don’t you?

  63. Chris in Alaska

    I found your earlier post. It’s in String Frenzy – thank you and love your hair ! I got perms for years but my baby fine hair didn’t like them and I had lots of breakage . Now I’m just an old hippie with straight hair 🤣

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Chris – I used to have my hair like this and always liked it because it was so easy but I had one bad perm awhile back and it soured me for sure. This is a new hairdresser and I’ve been nervous about this appt for weeks – ha!! But I think she did good.

  64. Sharon F

    I love that your red and white charms are displayed in that lovely cake stand, so pretty!

    Sandy’s granddaughters are just adorable.

    Happy Birthday Hazel!

    Our power was out this morning because of high winds, so not much sewing for me today. I’m grateful it’s back on now.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sharon – I don’t care how bad the blizzard gets as long as the power stays on!!!!

  65. Brenda in Georgia

    I love Hazel and must wish her the happiest of birthdays. Please give her a hug from me. You hair looks great and will probably be easy to care for. I love the quilt and all your ideas for new ones look really interesting. Hope your weather is not bad. Here in the Atlanta, Ga area they are predicting bad weather, including tornado warnings, the worst being south of Atlanta, for tomorrow afternoon. They have closed the schools for the south Atlanta counties. I don’t remember that ever happening before except for snow storms. I worry a lot and am a little on edge. Hopefully we will all be okay.

  66. Tanya T. in Houston

    Love the perm! And seeing your beautiful fabric choices and projects…you are one lucky woman!! Hope the blizzard will not be a bad one!

    Also like the Darcey pattern and fabric. That would make a cute Valentine project, too!

    Tell Rick that I can smell his cookies from here! 🙂

  67. DebMac

    Gee, Mary, your quilt project bags look a lot like mine! When we moved a few years ago, I kitted all my quilts in plastic bags. This last winter, I got to thinking that it’s been 4 years and I hadn’t stitched on many of them and got to worrying about fabric reacting with plastic. This is what happens when you wake up at 2am and can’t get back to sleep. And since I was awake, I took them all out of the bags and just neatly grouped them together in their drawers. Still have a few in other drawers that I forgot about. No judging here just laughing at myself. Will be interesting to see what you come up with.

    1. DebMac

      And I forgot to thank you for the triangle measurement on “Sand Castles”. I will note that in my copy of “String Fling”.

  68. Char in MI

    Sand Castles is so pretty! And i have a boatload of 1-1/2” strips. Maybe i can get organized and do a leader ender LOL
    Love your perm and jacket!
    Happy Birthday Hazel!
    We have a Winter Storm Warning for tomorrow and Saturday, and then lake effect snow Sunday and Monday. I have my granddaughters here until Monday and they are so excited to play in the snow! Hopefully they can play while I’m snowblowing. Lots of hot chocolate this weekend!
    Have a safe weekend!
    Char in MI

    1. Carla

      So much is already canceled here, which is fine with me. We get slammed off the Lake usually, which I love! Hubby is on his days off, school for my grandson is a no go and my other grands have parents who get to stay home. My son who’s a builder isn’t going to go work outside lol. So, we’ve got wood for the stove, gas for the generator, food and water. Bring it on snow! I hope I can get out and do some snow shoeing!!!!

        1. Carla

          I live in Holland MI. When I was a kid I lived in Muskegon in the neighborhood called Lakeside and was 14 when the blizzard of 78 hit. I remember walking to the store with snow up to my waist in the street. As a kid I thought it was awesome! I love snow!!!

          1. Suzanne

            No one who lived in Muskegon that winter could forget that blizzard. My dental hygienist and I were pregnant that winter. She went into labor during the blizzard and her husband took her from Whitehall down to Hackley Hospital in Muskegon on a snowmobile. We had some serious blizzards in the late 70’s and early 80’s.

  69. Ginger S

    I love seeing all of your fabric groupings. You are going to make some really pretty quilts that’s for sure. And I love that you plans for all of those new quilts, even thought you have so many projects already bagged up and waiting for their turn. I feel like I’m in the same boat. I love the winter months for sewing. Happy Birthday Hazel. She is just the cutest little thing!!!

    1. Anita

      We have one of those robots in a restaurant here in Florida – where it is going to be 80 degrees BTW. Our robot delivers our food to the table, but the waitress still puts the food on the table, saves the waitresses from carrying heavy plates/trays of food.

  70. Chris in Alaska

    You’ve been in my mind a lot this week – I must have known it was your birthday ! Love her smile while you’re holding her , Mary !
    Which Bonnie Hunter book is your pattern from ? I have a few of hers and my scrap bin is out of control !

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Chris – how about Bitcoin, another Bonnie pattern? That’s what I’m going to do.

      1. Sherry Whalen

        Bitcoin was so much fun and used A LOT of scraps. I think I need to start making another – I mean, if you can start another I think I should too! I think I have approximately the same number of baggies of projects as you – so why not. A story behind my first bitcoin – at our quilt meeting I had it laid out on the floor and a guy I know came walking thru the fellowship hall, he had no idea who had made any of the quilts. He stopped and looked at bitcoin and said ‘That one is way too busy for me’. And I said ‘It’s a good thing I didn’t make it for you’. He left and we all had a good laugh.

        I was supposed to be at the 2nd day of our 2 day ‘sleep at home’ retreat…at noon yesterday we changed today to a ‘sew at home’ retreat. Well….being at home, I tried but instead was pulled into home improvement projects – installing a toilet, refilling a closet and unpacking and carrying in the vanity we bought on Wednesday. And that, my fellow sewists is why I go to retreats. I can’t be pulled away from sewing by the ‘can you help me for a minute?’ (it’s never just a minute) interruptions. But I am glad to have those things done too. I shouldn’t whine because I am lucky to be married to a guy who is handy, talented, and willing enough to do these projects – with my help of course!

        Sherry W. from snow, blowy Kasson

        1. Mary Etherington Post author

          Sherry – I wouldn’t want to help either especially on a lovely sew/snow day like today! Yes, I have my 3 tubs of 1-1/2” strips here by my machine and I’m going to start another Bitcoin – it’s one of my very favorite quilts!!

  71. Chapman Patti

    I’m one of the lazy ones who never comment but tonight is different. I LOVE your jacket. Where did you buy it? I need one.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Patti – my jacket has a story behind it. I saw it in a catalog quite a few years ago but it was just too expensive – between $250-275 which I thought was ridiculous but it was goose down and then it went on a bit of a sale so I ordered it. That was 4 or 5 years ago and if I divided that into the total price, the jacket is very reasonable. The brand name is Ilse Jacobsen. It is light as a feather and the best jacket I’ve ever owned. No matter where I wear it, I get compliments. Thank you for yours.

    2. Sharon Eshlaman

      Mary, I depend on you to “make my day” every day when I rise at 5am, coffee in hand and read your “blog about nothing”. You never let me down! So wish I lived near you as we’re two peas in a pod from love of animals, quilts & fabric likes, gardening and those people who can’t/are too lazy to park between the lines, haha. Happy Birthday to Hazel….such a sweetheart! Thanks again for starting my day with a smile!

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