So You Like Plants!

There are lots of plant lovers out there, aren’t there?  I found that out after my post yesterday.  But you didn’t really think that was ALL my plants, did you?  Ha!  That was just the sunroom on the southeast.  Here is the piano room on the southwest – more plants, some quite large!


It’s really hard to get good pictures against all that south light – but you get the idea.

Here’s a few in my sewing room.


And that’s not all – there are a couple upstairs and here’s my basement.


And by now you must be clutching your chest saying – “no more plants”!  That’s how I feel sometimes but I still keep planting cuttings in hopes that one of my friends might actually want one.  It’s so hard for me to throw those lovely trimmings in the trash can when with just a little effort, they can become beautiful plants.

I’m always on the prowl for different succulents and one of the best places to find them is Walmart.  When they get a new shipment of plants, it’s always a great time to pick up a new one because they’re inexpensive and very healthy.  After they’ve been in the store for a time, they are no longer healthy – mostly because of lack of natural light and TOO MUCH WATER!  I don’t suppose the Walmart employees know much about succulents and it shows.  I have even bought orchids at Walmart – the ones I have blooming right now are several years old and have rebloomed on their own.  I have never spent more than $10 for an orchid and even if you buy one and just enjoy the blooms as if they were cut flowers, it’s a bargain for so much enjoyment.

Enough about plants – I could go on and on.  Here is where I am with my triangle squares – tearing off the Thangles paper which I do not enjoy.


I’m also working on my BH mystery but I need to work by my design wall – so many pieces!

And a reader asked about this quilt.  It is Sunshine on My Shoulder by Cherie Ralston.


And just tonite I had a question about straight line quilting.  Our quilting machine is not computerized – so everything I do is freehand.  My lines just give the impression of being really straight but they’re not.  Oh, they’re relatively straight but I don’t care if there is some variation.  I like that “look” actually but with the longarm machine I just hold the handle and walk it to the opposite side.  It stays pretty straight all by itself.  When I quilt on my Bernina, I “aim” ahead of where the machine is stitching which helps me keep it straighter.  I’m not sure if this helps or not.  Please don’t look for perfection in my machine quilting!  It doesn’t interest me as much as piecing so I’m quite unconcerned.  Smile.

I found out recently that our Christmas cantata is actually on YouTube under Zion Evangelical and Reform Christmas Cantata. I only mention it because several readers have asked me if there was anyplace they could hear it.  If you do watch the video, all you can see of me is the piano light – they cut the screen off between the light and me.  Ha!

The ice storm has not arrived yet and maybe it will miss us completely.  The weatherman is simply giddy with excitement – I hope he’s wrong but I am ready with the oil lamps and candles in case we lose electricity.

I’ll talk to you tomorrow and I’ll let you know.  I am enjoying football tonight.

39 thoughts on “So You Like Plants!

  1. Tina W

    A friend showed me a good way to get those papers off. You put your thumbnail in the middle of the seam line, grab the paper at the point and pull. It pops right off. Then all you do is tear off the 1/4″ seam paper. I hope the ice storm misses you!

  2. Dee Winter

    I love the plants too, but I love your animal posts more. Yes, we are also in line for the ice storm but I don’t have to go out, so I won’t. And my niece who freely admits she has a black thumb, has 3 yo twin girls. They are the guardians of the orchid plant. They will tell her when to water and the thing blooms almost all the time. They are so proud of “their” plant. Sits on a windowsill in the family room and they love it. Now off to stitch. Be safe.

  3. Carolyn Boutilier

    How long does it take you to water all the plants or do you have a system and water only one room each day? We missed the ice storm here in Shenandoah Valley in VA. We were able to pick up our new puppy a goldendoodle.
    Carolyn B

  4. Gloria

    Do tell. I’ve always admired your succulents. Please share advice on watering and light. Everyone says ignore them but they must need water eventually? I feel like I’m neglecting them Eugene I don’t water. Help!

  5. Marilyn Cook

    The ice totally missed central Ohio this weekend.

    I agree, as I spent last night taking off the Thangle paper. Half done. Will finish cutting and removing paper tomorrow.

  6. Betty Klosterman

    How is your Venus flytrap doing? I used to have several plants and windows not very conducive to growing plants. Now I’ve got 2 fakes and 5 real ones. Three of the real ones are on borrowed time! Either smaller or GONE. You’ve got a full time job watering.
    When I paper piece like your Thangles, I start in the middle of the seam, rip the paper perpendicular to the seam and then out each way to the end. It makes it easier on the seam by the points. Also use a shorter stitch and a good TV program.
    Hope the ice storm doesn’t hit you. My niece who lives in St. Louis is in Hawaii and was supposed to be home Friday, 2 days ago. The airline called them on the previous Tuesday and changed their return date to today, Sunday, and they will get home to St. Louis tomorrow, hopefully after the ice storm there.
    Don’t remember the year, maybe 1991?, when Iowa had an ice storm. The ice was so thick that the big electrical lines ran on the 4-legged poles like windmills just crumpled with the weight of the ice. It was weeks before everybody got their electricity back. And they don’t live that far apart.
    I’ve gone to the little LED flashlights instead of candles. They can sit all over the place and do a pretty good job of lighting without the danger of the open flame. Also use one of the little flash lights on my sewing machine when I’m sewing black to black. Sure makes a world of difference. I hate sewing black on black.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Betty – I lived through the Halloween ice storm in 1991. All our utility poles snapped in two and we were without power for 5 days when the temps went below zero. Oh, the stories I could tell about those 5 days of living like a pioneer!

      1. Betty Klosterman

        Here in Rapid City on New Year’s eve 1969, we had an ice storm, too. Nine months later the newspaper headline read “18 babies born today” and the next day the headline said “17 babies born.” Back to the basics!!
        I remember my uncle telling me that some people in the country around Clarion were out of power for several weeks from the October storm.

  7. Carol

    Thanks for the walmart tip. I would never have thought to go there for plants! You must have 100s of finished quilts! I’m always seeing something different in your posts. I hope you do not get ice, that is the worst!

  8. Kathy

    You could open a flower shop with all your plants that have multiplied due to cuttings you used. I love the fact that you don’t throw away your cuttings but put them in pots and make more! I do the same thing and take most of them to my daughters-in-law who are always on the lookout for new plants since the deer seem to devour most of their plants.

    Hope you don’t get iced in and that you keep warm and enjoy all the football action. I was rooting for Dallas, since I’m from Austin, Texas, but the win was denied with a last minute field goal from Green Bay. It’s fun to get involved with the teams and have a mini party.

  9. Maryjane in CA

    Oh my, with all you have to take care of -plants, animals, property and all your activities, do you ever sleep!!??? I’ve never seen a picture of you looking tired. You love all you do I’m sure. You’re a dynamo!

  10. Marilyn

    Mary thank you for tips on the plants. Will check my Walmart. I am watching football Tonight. I did work on my triangles this afternoon.

  11. Pamela Williams

    Here in mid-Missouri the ice storm did quite a number on us. Everything has been shut down since Friday. These past three days have been ‘free’ days for me and since we didn’t lose power, I have been sewing up a storm. WooHoo.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Pamela – if you still have power, storms can be quite fun! Sure hope ours stays on. What did you sew?

  12. Suzanne Kent

    Who can not love plants? Living in north/central Fl., our weather is quite different from yours, and I’ve taken full advantage of that. When I moved here some 25 years ago, my 3/4 acre property had some perimeter had some oak trees and a few Camphor trees….everything else was open scruffy grass. Over the years, and more disappointments along the learning curve, the grass is all gone except for a narrow strip along the front street and another along the side street, both about half way. The rest is narrow pathways around and thru my 16 gardens. Potted plants are also on my front and back porches. Most of those go in my greenhouse when we dip below 40 degrees. No snow and ice, but we do have hurricanes! Last year’s didn’t affect us here much, but one year we had two back to back which took out our electric. First one was out 10 days, second only 6 days. Think I’ll take the hurricanes over your snow and ice! Hope you get thru the obnoxious storm system safely and with no loss of power!

    Suzanne

  13. Donna from Oz

    Thank you!!!! Loved the pix and the quilt. Lovely primitive. OK, now how did you get the orchids to bloom???!!!! Or even keep them alive? I can’t find out on the internet.

  14. Colleen

    Mm love your plants. I don’t grow indoor plants now I used to grow and start African violets and my son had orchids (when he was 8ish). Now we live in California and have lovely greenery outside unless we are in drought then its water the avacodo tree and the front hedge and the baskets of plants I have hanging from our front tree that’s where I grow cat nip only place the cats can not get to it and take the whole plant oh and we water our lemon trees and palmagrante everything else either makes it or is brown such as our lawn with our winter rains it is greening in clumps so it will be quite uneven perhaps even patchwork looking .

  15. Felicia Hamlin

    Mary, the wally wort in my town doesn’t always get succulents or nice plants other than annuals. Even the poinsettias this year were a little sick looking. They had red blooming cacti, but they were half frozen. I have cut down in what I buy in the spring because they usually freeze so early, however, I have eight geraniums that I have been saving for five years, a record for me.

  16. Delores

    Love seeing “all” of your beautiful plants. Just wondering…..Do you talk or sing to them? I’ve heard they like communication!

  17. ChristieB

    Wish I had your green thumb! Love all your plants! It’s quite icy here in SE Nebraska. Not as bad as predicted, but, it’s not over yet. Getting some sewing in yesterday and today should be a good sewing day. Have so many WIPs, need to get some FINISHES! Stay warm!

  18. Anna M

    Do your cats leave all those plants alone? My cats are always messing in the dirt or biting leaves off.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Anna M – yes, my cats leave the plants alone – most are cactus and succulents and they’re not very cat friendly-that’s probably why.

  19. Cindie

    Thanks Mary for suggesting using Thangles. What fun I had trying them for the first time. I have no idea how this project will turn out! Now to tear off the paper.
    I remember you mentioning that you got plants from WalMart so last spring I was on the lookout there.
    I did find a Flapjack that looked interesting to me. Now it lonely sits in my living room since I killed all houseplants! How old is your Christmas cactus? My sister has our mothers that is over 25 years old now.
    Happy Monday

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Cindie – glad you made the acquaintance of Thangles! My Christmas cactus is from my neighbor, Emma, and its about 35 years old. I cut it back about a year ago and it’s doing great.

  20. Paula Nordt

    I’m with all the others! Love all your plants, but how do you find time to take care of everything. I had to let most of mine go, when I was teaching. No time. The few I had left died in the unexpected two days of 22° weather. Oh, and I really envy all of your bright beautiful windows. It gets so hot here that most of our windows are under porch roofs. And I have the same question about the cats. Do they stay out of your plants? Mine don’t!

  21. Ann Barlament

    Over 30 years ago, I bought a 3-foot cactus from Wal-Mart for less than $10. Every couple years I would take babies off that plant, root and sell at garage sales. It was over 60 inches tall when my legs quit working, couldn’t find anyone to take care of it.

    Also had an Aloe Vera plant, which I had to anchor the pot to keep it from tipping over. The plant was huge! Both loved my southern exposure window.

    My grandmother grew violets and once a month she gathered them into the kitchen. She would put cooling racks into a deep pan, lace the violets on the cooling racks and pour boiling water into the pan. They would sit and “steam”, until the water cooled or disappeared. Her plants bloomed all the time.

  22. Karen Chaudoin

    It is a little like a cold spring day down here in the south. Your quilt is lovely as are your plants. I can’t bear to throw plants out or not attempt to keep them alive. I have always wanted room enough to try to keep my ferns going but we don’t generally have basements here in the south and my home is small. When I was young I took a course in greenhouse plants and adore the smell of a greenhouse and the heat and humidity mixed with the smell of earth. So I understand your love! Have a beautiful day and I will look for the cantata.

  23. Terri

    On your long arm machine if you will put a clap in front and behind on the track that holds your machine it will help you stay on line. If this is not clear as mud email me and I’ll take a picture of mine and send it to you. Happy Quilting terri

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Terri – here’s the thing – I don’t want my quilting to look that straight. I wAnt that hand done relaxed “look” but thanks anyway.

  24. Kristie Michalowski

    I am starting on succulents because of your posts and find it fun to shop for the non prickly ones. I love the Christmas Cactus I see in your picture…wish cuttings lasted thru the mail. What is your tricks with the Christmas cactus…mine is looking droopy. thanks.

  25. Jeri Niksich

    I see your Christmas Cactus hasn’t bloomed yet or it has already done so. Mine never bloom around Christmas but afterwards. I have put a lot of starters from it by just pushing a hole in the soil with any other type plant when the Christmas Cactus (stems?) Get too long and start breaking off, and they take right off. Somehow this year all blooms are pink but one has a white bloom? Is this something they just do? I don’t know how to post pictures in the comments darn it.
    Jeri

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