Spring and All the Work That Comes With It, 3-27-2020

I love spring! It’s my favorite season and I’m trying hard not to overdo the yard work this year. This was my clean up area today.

The grass is green under the leaves.

This is my area tomorrow.

Meet Desi, the lab, and Dottie –

It’s about time to send me your “good books” – a book you loved and would recommend. I got a list from Linda in So CA and one other list which I simply cannot find now. Would that person please resend to me? I will accept book titles until April 5. After that just keep them until I ask again – I simply can’t keep track of book titles sent in advance – too many emails coming in. If you send your list to me after April 5, I will have to delete it. I know – too many rules! But I’m just one person!

Here’s the pattern cover of the quilt I just finished. I chose not to put the sashing between rows.

Spring quilts hung in the house.

Death Cleaning – one drawer at a time.



Stay safe, wash your hands and be still……..

58 thoughts on “Spring and All the Work That Comes With It, 3-27-2020

  1. Carol at Pin Oak Quilting

    Hey, Mary, I like Sticks and Bricks a whole lot WITHOUT the sashing! And your Gypsy’s Wife, wonderful! The kitty on the post, adorable!
    Today I made lunch and we ate it outside in 54 degrees, a bit chilly but blue skies and no wind, sun was out, we lit the fire pit and… oh so nice! I brought mugs of cocoa with whipped cream, what a treat!
    My mother continued her banking needs perseveration so it was good to be outside. I found out later today that the banks are closed except for drive thru, so that ends that. She will not put her checks in those little tubes because who knows what will happen to them! Omg… my life!
    Working on stilling my blood pressure, ha!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Carol at POQ – oh, your mom sounds like mine was – unaccepting of anything she didn’t quite understand – but funny, too! Weather will warm up next week – maybe to 60 here!

    2. Diane in Maryland

      Ditto to liking the Sticks and Bricks without the sashing. I am laughing about the bank but thinking back to my mom who also did not like it when her bank changed over to tubes but she gave it a try. Don’t you know the very first time she tried it the tube got stuck half way for some reason. Hours later, they got the tube out and my mother out of their bank – whom I am sure sat in there complaining the entire time and telling every customer what had happened to her! I’d bet money that she told that bank about it for years! She lived in FL…me in Maryland and sometimes I think it was a good thing.. haha..but I do miss her a bunch!

      1. CountryThreads Post author

        Diane in MD – oh, the stories we could tell about our moms! Maybe we should do a post so we could all tell mom stories! I’d love it!

        1. Diane in Maryland

          That’s really a good idea! Would be fun to read. I can only imagine the stories that will be told about us one day…haha

      2. Betty Klosterman

        Oh yes, Moms!! And don’t expect your blood pressure to go down around her. Just laugh and enjoy her. They aren’t easy. And I’m sitting here laughing at your mother with tears in my eyes.

    3. Judy

      Carol at Pin Oak Quilting,

      Thanks for the morning grin. I know it’s not funny, but then it is funny. Your line “who knows what will happen to them” made me laugh out loud! Take care of yourself and you are doing well keeping your sense of humor!

      Bless you as you care for your Mom!
      Judy in Texas

      1. CountryThreads Post author

        Judy – I told her I laughed, too! So typical of a 90 year old who wants to continue her life as she knows it!!!

    4. Linda Schluchter

      I love all your critters! I could have a lot more if my husband would let me. They are a true testament to unconditional love.
      Beautiful Desi reminds me of my sweet Bridget that I lost last summer, she was the best girl and so very loving and loyal. It still hurts when I think of her.
      Your blog helps people understand the joy of caring for animals and how it keeps you sane and active! I spent part of my barn time this morning trying to catch Andy, my beautiful white rooster. I need to vasoline his legs for lice but he wasn’t having any part of it so wish me luck for later. Stay healthy! LInda

      1. CountryThreads Post author

        Linda S – I should do the same for my roosters but it would be an impossible job. Some of the old guys have bad legs for sure. And even I would have more animals if I could!

  2. Karen Gaither

    Glad to see your Gypsy Wife, since you are the one that turned me on to that crazy quilt. It is beautiful! I love the Sticks & Bricks.
    Do you still have snow on the roofs?
    Dallas went from winter to summer. This week has been 80+.

  3. Sandy

    Turned cold here in Wellington, southerly winds from Antarctica,I reckon Dottie has the right idea ,under the blanket! Stay safe, best wishes, sandy

  4. Dorothy

    Your “Sticks & Bricks” I love the no sashing in between the rows . And Jackie up in the air makes my heart go pitty-pat. Love your blog

  5. Rhoda Ebersole

    Jackie the cat is a brave soul perched up there!!!
    Being still tonight.
    Reading Mrs Lincoln’s Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini from Madison WIsconsin.

    Good work on your yard work and your death cleaning.

  6. Nikki in Tx

    Love all the pictures. Sticks & Bricks is better without sashing in my opinion, & Gypsy Wife just puts a smile on your face. Completed Painted Ladies which I did in brights, so out of my comfort zone & I am so happy with it.Laid out Forever Christmas blocks I have completed.. decided am going to complete with blocks I have finished & just draft my own layout…
    Spring is here! Trees budding out, my iris are ready to bloom. Decided want to try to find a Lady Bantus rose bush to plant along fence line near barn .
    Everyone stay safe-stay healthy- distance. Wash your hands.

  7. Katie

    ❤️Your SPRING quilts, I ❤️all the colors..
    Great pic of Country Threads & Jackie
    Washing my hands, driving my husband crazy , wash your hands,wash your hands…

  8. Sandy in Indiana

    Loved all the pictures….Jackie is such a beautiful girl!
    Your quilts are so pretty….
    Life is quiet here…..days are gray, but a little warmer
    Went to the grocery yesterday (went early, so much easier, less people, everyone staying a safe distance & very well stocked)
    Lots of walks around the neighborhood, it is nice seeing neighbors working outside
    We wave & chat from a safe distance……I miss swimming at the Y, but at least I can walk or I am afraid I would be very cranky!

    Stay safe…..thanks for all you do…your blog is wonderful 🙂

  9. Mary Lund

    This blog is wonderful. It will help alot. Mn is in shelter at home now. One of my supply checks was thread! Haha. Spring yardwork will be a great release this year. All stay safe Thank you Mary for your blog!! Xo

  10. Frances

    Love your Spring quilts! I’m afraid they are beyond my ability, but I love looking at them. Here in NC, the Governor just issued Stay at Home for the whole state. While we’re staying home, I hear that at the grocery stores many people are not. Worrisome.

  11. Mrs. Goodneedle

    …and know that I am God.”

    I love your spring quilts, they’re bright and fun. I’m going to make that table runner w/ the hen and eggs from the previous post, so happy to have found the source. I have plans to work outside in my perennial garden today, spring’s shaping up regardless of what else is happening around us. Pulling weeds is one thing I can take charge over! Take care, stay safe

  12. Kathy in western NY

    When we uncovered leaves in a small herb garden we found several strawberry vines so we are hoping for a strawberry bed there instead. I can put herbs in clay pots on my deck. Like Carol, we sat out on our deck with our afternoon cup of coffee in sunshine listening to the birds chirp away and the blue skies even though it was 50’s. Just needed a sweatshirt while we nibbled on fig newtons. Cleaning out basement shelves of what I bought over winter in case of storms and couldn’t get out has been my saving grace of making do. Our walk felt good earlier and we even saw a fox running around so glad we have an indoor kitty as that would scare me.
    Love your spring decorating! And darling pet photos, We have country living as well as country threads!! What a treat. Oh, I see a whitish gate leg table…did you repaint it? We have an old wood one.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Kathy in western NY – haha! Maybe I should rename this blog “Country Living”. I do more of that than quilting these days. Although I keep finding orphan blocks and projects to finish!

    2. CountryThreads Post author

      Kathy in western NY – the old gate led table belonged to my mom’s sister, Charlotte, who painted it every single year, over and over, in bright orange! I had it stripped and a grain stain put on but I think I’m going to take it outside in nice weather and actually paint it. I have another one that needs painting, too.

  13. Lois Ann Johnson

    Good work on your yard cleaning! I hope it inspires me to get out soon and do the same. Bailey and I made a trip in the car to the grocery store yesterday afternoon. She loves to ride along with me and is good about being left in the car while I shop. A friend dropped off some music around noon for me to try on my violin; she is our church music director and wants me to play sometime soon. I love doing that. Humboldt did something unique this week; a young friend organized a “ride caravan” through the downtown business district at 7 PM Friday. I saw some video of it on Facebook. It brought a smile to my face! I loved seeing your quilts, your spring decorating in the house, as well as the animals!

  14. Jan from SW Iowa

    Since I just had major surgery almost 2 weeks ago, I have decided that my flowerbeds will be no-till. (For non-farmers–exactly as it sounds!! 🙂

  15. Jody Randall

    Love your Gypsy Wife quilt! Maybe you’ve answered this before but how do you hang your quilts? I have a couple Hang It Dang It rods but those are pricey. So you know not alone in the cleaning, in last week I’ve cleaned out my pantry and some of my kitchen cabinets!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Jody Randall – my answer is in the previous comment. Guess I should post it, huh? I’m going to keep cleaning – one drawer at a time!

  16. Diane in Maryland

    Mary, how do you hang your quilts? I have started hanging seasonal ones around my sewing room. It’s nice to be able to see them. I don’t have quilt hangers everywhere and have put them up with pins. I’m not happy about all the little holes I’m putting in the wall and Mike really won’t like it – if he ever sees it. He hung all that sheetrock, taped it, painted it and re-did the basement for my sewing. It was a wonderful gift to me but I actually think he wanted to keep my stuff from taking over every room in the house!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Diane in MD – I staple the quilts!!!! Haha! The walls are wood and it does leave a little hole but I don’t care. I’m almost 72 years old – this is my house, I want to hang quilts and that’s that. The next people who live here can fix or change whatever they want. Connie uses pins to hang quilts or tiny nails.

  17. Lori

    Love your Gypsy Wife quilt! Also the log cabin quilt, did you make that with recycled shirts, love it!!

  18. Judy

    Your spring quilts are wonderFULL!!! I see all the “stuff” that has to be moved in order for you to reach the wall to hang the quilts! You are AMAZING – all that you git-done!
    Sticks and Bricks color choices are wonderFULL!!!
    Storm rolling over our piece of Texas right now. One English Cream Golden could care less, but his brother is under the desk and he would climb into a file drawer if he could.
    Love, love LOVE the pic of Jackie and Country Threads sign! What is poster worthy!
    Happy quilting!
    Judy in Texas

  19. Ellie

    Your spring decorating is great! Cute critter pictures, especially Jackie!
    Enjoyed reading “Whistling Past the Graveyard”.

  20. Linda B

    Thank you for the picture of the quilt! That will be perfect for my Australian fabrics!

  21. Jackie Baumhauer

    Love the picture of Jackie! Your new quilt is beautiful and fabrics are perfect for that quilt pattern.
    We have been staying home. Worked out in the yard with my husband yesterday. Finished so much. Two people working makes such a difference. Cut down volunteer trees growing in our old lilac bushes. Trimmed bushes and cut down grasses.
    Thank you Mary for the blog!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Jackie – your namesake scampered right up to the top. For an old girl she did good! She doesn’t hear very good any more – when I come into the shop, I have to really rattle around to get her attention .

  22. Charlotte

    Mary, thank you for your faithful posts and pictures of life on the farm. They are comforting to us here in NYC as we wait out the pandemic. That Jackie! How did she get up there? Fearless! Love your spring quilts. So beautiful and cheerful. I keep remembering that verse from scripture: “Be still and know that I am God.” Stay well and God bless you all.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Charlotte – and THAT is the verse that I’ve been quoting and referring to when I post Be Still. NYC looks pretty awful – hope you’re safe at home.

  23. Peggy S

    Love all the quilt & critter pics.
    Your pencil cacti look wonderful. Mine is so “leggy” it makes me sick. It’s in a south window, but still doesn’t do well. However, if I hung a pair of scissors on it. . . Maybe it would do better!! Ha! I do hang ornaments on it at Christmas.
    Keep up the good work, girl. You help keep so many of us sane, in particular, like times like this.

  24. Louverna Tomer

    I love your quilts. I cannot do color matching for quilts so that is why I buy kits. I think you ‘either have it or you don’t’ and I don’t have it. Sure wish I did! I have so much fabric but don’t know how to put colors together to make a scrappy quilt. I was behind the door when God handed out ‘creativity.’
    I have a few drawers like yours. In fact, I have some of the same stuff you do in my drawers. It’s like Christmas! I’m finding things I never knew I had and I have doubles of some things.
    Mary, I love reading your blog and look for it every day. Love the animals and what you’re doing. Keep safe and be careful working in the yard.

  25. Tanya in Houston

    So much fun to see your quilts! I agree with leaving out the horizontal sashing. Thanks for showing us Jen Kingwell’s patterns. Our guild has chosen her “Flutterby” as its “donation” quilt for this next time and it is lovely! And, I LOVE your shirting log cabin!! Log cabin is the only thing I would probably rather do than eat; I get so busy making blocks that sometimes time just gets away from me! Ha! And I have some ready to cut up! Can’t wait to get our sermon words for next week. We get church streamed online, but I love hearing about yours and envisioning it.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Tanya in Houston – if you’d like to watch our church service, go to Zion Evangelical and Reformed Church, Garner, IA on Facebook. It is live streamed but also on FB whenever you want to tune in. I’m with you – I love log cabin!

  26. Nancy TD

    Mrs. Goodneedle- glad you found the source for Esther the Easter chicken tablerunner. Iam quilting my second one. (this one is for me)
    Stay home and be safe.

  27. Diana in Des Moines

    I just love Hazel! I don’t have any dogs, but love to watch her antics from afar!

    The worst thing about this staying home is I miss my quilt friends. I have missed sew Saturdays, a retreat and will miss my Wednesday group this week. I created a private facebook page for just us to we can vent and be snarky if we want. So far, it has been very helpful. I highly suggest to those who are missing the chit chat with their quilt groups.

    Went to Walmart this morning, not too bad and people are so super friendly. Not normal for Walmart lol.

    Take care, Mary

    1. Susan Sundermeyer

      Mary, thank you for sharing my pictures of Desi and Dottie. Dottie is a miniature dachshund who was rescued out of a 1000 dog puppy mill in Indiana 13 years ago. She was born in a rabbit hutch and her feet had never touched the ground until saved. It took her several years to trust people other than me.

      1. CountryThreads Post author

        Susan S – thank you for saving Dottie! I hate puppy mills more than anything in the world – did you know Iowa is the second leading state with number of mills? I support a group who lobbys at the statehouse for stronger laws and stiffer penalties for those who abuse or neglect companion animals! I could go on and on but will stop with added thanks to you for loving Dottie!

  28. Beatrice knight

    Hi Mary!
    Thankyou for your posts! Hazel is so cute😍. The quilts are beautiful. Blessings to you always👍
    Bea knight

  29. Diane in WI

    I enjoyed all of your pictures. I recognize the brown log cabin wrapping paper on your desk. I ordered some from you along with plaid madras fabric. I,too, still have both of those items. We had thunder and lightning last night and too much rain. The ditches are full. More heavy storms are predicted for this evening. I guess the grass will green up. Be careful and take care.

  30. patti leal

    i really liked Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker. loved your pictures today and all the quilts you showed.
    i just finished reading ‘Educated’. really enjoyed it.
    also ‘Crooked River” by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.
    ‘A Cold Trail’ (a Tracy Crosswhite #7) by Robert Dugoni.
    Patti in florida

  31. Kate

    I’m doing some death cleaning this week. Painted a bedroom and decided to go through all the drawers in a dresser and found a lot of stuff to sell or give away. If I won’t use it in the next five years, it’s going out. It feels good to clean out a complete room. Any book by Faith Hogan is a good read. Loved the cat on top of the ladder like she’s surveying her domain. Bet she thinks it’s all hers!

  32. Sunflower from Michigan

    Hi, Mary. A very nice post today. I love the quilts. And that Hazel!
    A book I recommend is The war that saved my life by Kimberly brubaker bradley. I’m glad you’re able to get out in the yard already but even happier you’re taking it easy and limiting your time. You have made great progress with your knees. Take care. I really enjoy your blog.

  33. Joyce from NY

    Your quilts are so amazing! All your animal pictures are so fun. The coloring in your new quilt is so nice. You are so good at putting colors together. No outside work today, rained all day. Got some sewing done.

    1. Diane in Maryland

      Linda, I agree and so would all of my friends! This book will stay in my head for a very long time.

  34. Pat in Michigan

    We had a local theater
    group that had a presentation on
    “Momisums”. It was so funny. Maybe that would be something we could expand on!

  35. Felicia Hamlin

    Love your spring quilts, so much color! That little Dottie brought a smile to my face, she is so cute! I noticed that there are a few things greening up around our yard, I hope the daffodils I planted will come up soon. Here are some book titles:

    Minnesota 1919
    This tender land
    Light changes everything. Nancy Turner
    The daughter’s tale ArmandoL Correa

    Stay well..

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Felicia- I just wrote back to Susan who rescued Dottie from a puppy mill 13 years ago. And how’s Sunshine now? And Zena?

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