Still Talking, 3-11-24

I wore my Caitlin Clark shirt to town today and everywhere I went people wanted to talk about that nail biter game. So much basketball! Today I watched Iowa State unravel Oklahoma in the Big Twelve Tournament. Right now – I know you’ll just roll your eyes – I’m rewatching the Iowa/Nebraska game! Haha! Now that I know the ending I can watch it without biting my nails.

The past two years during March Madness I’ve worked on a specific quilt so I pulled it out today. I see that I made a mistake adding the last 2-4 rows – I added them on the bottom instead of the side so I have a long narrow quilt. Useless! So now I’ll rip those rows off and reevaluate before I put it on the long arm.

Look at this monster!

As I’m ripping Hazel brings me a stick to throw!

And Keeper lays on the quilt on the floor. It’s just so hard to find good help these days – nobody wants to work!

Hazel loves Moe

Spring is arriving – I saw and heard my first blue jay. Remember I didn’t see them all winter and asked if anyone had the answer? Since it was relatively warm here, did they fly further north? And there was an opossum in the yard last night – playing possum. I took the dogs in the house and when we checked the barn later in the evening the possum was gone. Whew.

Still talking basketball now – I went online to see the fight during the S Carolina – LSU game yesterday. Holy cow! Those girls are big and they are rough! Coach Bluder would never allow behavior like that. Kim Mulkey, the LSU coach yelled at the sports reporter after the game and walked away! I’d call that rude. Dawn Staley apologized to the basketball world in an interview but I thought it was phony and fake. (I’m an armchair sports analyst here – forgive me.)

Moving on to something I know something about.

Someone asked how I would treat the Grandmothers Flower Garden blocks.

6” is the largest square I can get

I will lose part of the flower when I sew the blocks together but honestly it’s better than leaving the blocks to rot in a box, don’t you think? I might be surprised at the outcome.

Reader photos

Follow the story:

An old postcard
I love this, Karla!

And here’s that tablerunner made from the bright spring fabric from Susie.

The styrofoam eggs are covered with small bits of fabric painted with Mod Podge. When the eggs have air dried I will add another layer of Mod Podge. Just cut tiny bits of bright fabrics, paint the wrong side with lots of Mod Podge and stick it to the egg. Continue gluing bits of fabric until the egg is covered. The toothpicks will suspend the egg in a cup to dry. Very fun but quite messy – ha! All the more fun, right? And the eggs will last for many Easters!

Game is over – wow, we won that one, too! Haha!

54 thoughts on “Still Talking, 3-11-24

  1. Jo in Wyoming

    Wonderful quilt show today…thanks to all.
    I see Hazel has become your new branch manager. What a girl!
    Caitlin is making a name for herself. Lots of coverage on the national news. What a girl!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jo – yes, Hazel is my branch manager – everywhere I look I find little twigs she has brought in the house!! Yes, Caitlin has become very well known and coverage IS everywhere!

  2. Beryl in Owatonna

    Great quilt show again!! Thanks!
    I have 2 Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilts! One my grandmother made for me when I was in grade school!! The fabrics she used were from things she had made for her and Grandpa and Mom and me, so many memories in the fabrics. A number of them are feed sacks too! I got to choose a solid fabric to be the last row of each flower, I chose the 50’s green so it made a path around each flower. The other quilt my great aunt made. Each quilt is completely hand sewn and quilted. I love them.
    Spring is coming here in Minnesota! The cardinals are singing, the Red Winged Black Birds are back and I have heard the Robins talking back and forth!! It sounds so good. It has been a quiet winter here too, not sure where the birds have been. Tulips are peaking out as well as the other early bulb flowers, moss it turning green as well as the grass. I suppose we could still get snow, it is March!! We had 73 today!! Much needed rain for Thursday at this point, hopw we get some.
    Have good rest of the week!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Beryl – since you’re north of me I think it’s interesting to know the birds evidently traveled even further north. Why, I wonder? I can’t wait till they get here again – I have really missed them.

  3. patti

    fantastic quilt show today. everyone is so talented. thanks to all of you and to mary for sharing for all to see. yes, your animals truly are managers. aren’t they always? mine has to be on and check on everything i sew. i’ve managed to get the one quilt totally ‘unsewn’ and just straight line quilted it on my janome. i ended up cutting off two squares on one long side so it is now asymetical. i still like it. now i need to find something to bind it with.
    our charity group has committed to making about 20 twin size quilts for a new group that will be staying in a dorm and going to culinary school (originally homeless). so i’m going to be piecing more soon. i may have some starts almost that size. pressed for cutting to add 17 more large blocks to the current one being pieced – will cut tomorrow. ever onward and upward. patti in florida

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Patti – do you mean the people going to culinary school were homeless before they joined this program? And they all want to work with food? What a wonderful program! And where is the dorm? I’d like to know more about this project. Could you write more details?

      1. patti

        this is what was written in the minutes of the meeting: Pathways to New Hope, a program will house and educate via The Culinary School at Seminole State College (a 12 week Chef’s Apprentice certificate program). These people are recovering from addictions. The individuals will pay for their education and housing. They need 18 quilts twin size in 6-7 months. The building was purchased by the local Catholic Diocese (i believe in Seminole County) and the program is being funded by this same diocese. i was obviously wrong in believing the people had been homeless. alot of the people are veterans and have disability income. so it will fill several needs. Plus after they graduate they will have a skill to get a good job. i have three quilts already in progress for this program. just lucked out they are the right size. hope that answers your question. patti in florida (seminole county is right beside orange county where disney world is)

        1. Mary Etherington Post author

          Patti – oh, this is so interesting to me and what a great service to those with addictions. Just think about the jobs that will be available to them!! And think about the organization and drive to buy the building and fund the program. Have a very good friend, Sister Carol, who runs an outreach service on a small scale similar to this great service. Veterans in the program you’re talking about should get as much help as needed! Is Seminole County the same with the college called the Seminoles? As in football?

          1. patti

            no, the seminoles (football team) are at Florida State University in Tallahassee. Seminole State was a two year college and got converted to a 4 year college. seminole is the county we are in. some of the graduates from here may be able to go to second harvest food bank (in orange county) to get further education. they opened that program about a year or two ago and is going well. the dorm for this program will be attached to the building where the culinary equipment is. one of the quilts i am working on is in red/white/blue and would be great for a veteran. even though i know that not all vets want red/white/blue initially. patti in florida

  4. patti

    forgot to mention. i think your grandmother’s flower garden blocks will look fine in a quilt. even cut down they will be much more beautiful in a quilt than in a box. patti in florida

  5. Dee from Shell Rock

    Hi, love tonight’s pictures. I stopped at the Iowa Quilt Museum today on the way home from playing for the weekend with family. They have a new exhibit, quilts by Mary Kerr, they are old or orphan quilt pieces made into new quilts. They are amazing, some are so simple, others really intricate. Some are smaller quilt pieces, then some over the top quilting. One is brown with turquoise quilting. They have a new director, so things will probably be a llittle different. But that’s not all bad. They usually do a facebook live on Thursdays and showcase some of the quilts in the exhibit.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Dee – I need to look into the live broadcast – I have visited only once and loved it.

  6. Gloria from CC

    All the quilts are beautiful. Thanks to everyone for sending pictures to Mary so she can post for all to enjoy. We’ve had blue jays at our feeders all winter. I counted 15 cardinals at our feeders late in the day on Sunday. We’ve had so much activity at our feeders all winter that we’ve had to fill the feeders twice a day. Our wild turkeys amble through twice a day to clean up under the feeders. What funny looking creatures.
    Our feral cat count is up to five now. We put out a bowl of treats, a bowl of dry food and a heated water bowl for them every day. They all have different times to snack during the day. Yesterday I had to refill bowls three times.
    I received a letter yesterday from the Animal Rescue League of Iowa needing donations for supplies for the rescued animals if anyone is so inclined to donate. Tom Colvin is the director of this facility in DesMoines and is a personal friend, so I can vouch for his honesty and integrity.
    Happy Tuesday!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Gloria – and all because people won’t spay and neuter their cats! Knock on wood, I haven’t had any cats dropped off lately. Thanks for feeding them – the word is out.

      1. Joy in NW Iowa

        What do you I when they are so scared of us? They are farm cats! Some just live here and some do hunt mice.
        Love the quilts but especially Hazel. She is so cute and Keeper is so special all snuggled on your quilt top!
        It was nice a warm yesterday even with the wind! Another nice day today and then maybe moisture? We will accept any form!

        1. Mary Etherington Post author

          Joy – you could live trap them and take to vet in trap – I’ve done that. One was so wild the vet had to tranquilizer in the trap but at least she wasn’t having more kittens. The numbers of cats produced by one female is astounding! And unfixed male cats can fight to the death. They’re usually banged up and injured. The first chance I get I will take the gray and white tomcat that visits occasionally to the vet. Don’t get me started on “farm cats” – its going to be one of the subjects Brian will bring up at my funeral. Don’t ask unless you truly want my opinion.

          1. Joy in NW Iowa

            Mary, if I had a live animal trap I would set it on my deck to catch the animals that come to poop on my deck! It is so annoying! Anyone have any ideas that would send them on their way? And, yes Mary, I hear you about the neutering.

          2. Mary Etherington Post author

            Joy – they are available at all farm stores, I have three of them. When you catch that possum, raccoon, skunk or whatever, what will you do then? I throw a blanket over the trap and load it in the back of my van. Then I drive to the nearest state preserve, drag the trap out of the van and carefully prop the trap door open. If the critter doesn’t want to run right out, I tip the trap until it does. Can you do that? Don’t catch them until you have a plan of what to do with them. Here’s another possible solution – put moth balls all around your deck – sometimes that works and it’s a lot easier. Good luck! And let me know.

      2. Gloria from CC

        Ha! Gaylen says there’s a sign at the end of our driveway telling all cats that our house has free food and water😊.

  7. Barbara Yarnell

    Wonderful quilt show today! Thanks everyone for taking the time to send in the pictures. Mary, I like your idea for those Grandmothers flower garden blocks. I too have a stack of old blocks that I bought somewhere and I’ve started sewing a row of muslin hexagons around the outside to set them together but I just don’t enjoy doing it. Don’t know if they’ll ever make it into a finished top and I would have been better off doing something like you did.

  8. Diane, Squeak, & Buddy in Central Ihio

    I agree, better a quilt than blocks in a box! My Nana made a Grandmother’s Flower Garden out of my mom’s dresses ( which Nana had also made). Mom could tell me about each one😀. I love your quilt “ inspectors”. Our 2 cats are, too. Caitlin will be missed in Iowa next year, but we can still see her in the pros, I hope! The pros are on regular channels!. Beautiful quilt show again. I love the kitty, quilt, rocking chair pics😺. Donna Jo, is Dan a quilter, too? Bluejays—we always have at least 6 or 8 or more. This winter we were down to about 1 or 2 and we had a very mild winter. The Cardinals, Woodpeckers, and little birds were here. Daffodils and Forsythia are blooming. It is going to be 65 today!

    1. Donna Jo

      Diane, I piece the quilts and my husband Dan does the long arming. I didn’t want to leave him out. Since he has to hear about Mary’s blog everyday.☺️

  9. Debra Oscarson

    What a show today! I love the hodgepodge of interesting pics and thoughts. Thanks everyone for the informative post to read while sipping my coffee this morning

  10. Donna Jo

    Mary, I am not surprised you watched the game again since we know the outcome! I looked up the LSU/S Car fight too and I was disgusted! No excuse for that behavior. That is such a cute picture of Hazel with the stick! Love all the dog photos and I’m a cat person. Sew the blocks together! Since the blocks aren’t perfect, that’s probably why they were never put together in a quilt. Someone thought they weren’t good enough. I will have to show Dan are quilts are on your blog!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Donna Jo – Dan does do an excellent job – your QOV quilts will be well loved. Dan could give some pointers to others – and at the very least he could quilt for money!

  11. Fran

    Wow Lots of eye candy today! I am in overload. Love this post. The quilts are all lovely!

    I am hyper today. Last day and sleep as leaving early in the a.m. For Branson, MO and the AQS show, Adding things to my suitcase and finishing up. But it’s sew day here at my house today but I will kick them out early!

  12. Alice in SW Ohio

    What a cute picture of Hazel! It also looks like she & Moe are really enjoying being outside, too! Love the quilt show & especially the little quilts, those have an amazing amount of work in them! The April-May little quilts are just lovely! My mom bought a number of grandmother’s flower garden blocks at a church bazaar many years ago & gave them to me. I never thought about cutting them down! What a great idea! Thx for that idea, Mary!!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Alice – let me know what you do with your blocks – there’s no way I’d ever attempt to put them together traditionally.

  13. Alice in SW Ohio

    I forgot to mention the eggs! They turned out so cute! And how sweet to invite those kids over to make these! They will remember your kindness for many years, Mary! Making lovely memories!!

  14. Vicki Ibarra

    Love all the colors in the quilts – colorful and bright. We must all be yearning for spring! The picture of Karla’s quilt on the rocker tugs at my heart. Donna and Don, you make beautiful quilts. Does Don free hand quilt or use a computerized design to do all that detail? Either way, the quilting is a gorgeous compliment to your piecing, Donna.

    1. Donna Jo

      Thank you Vicki. Dan only quilts for me and eventually will volunteer long arm for QOV. He is a computer nerd and was drawn to long arming because of the computer. He won’t be free motion quilting.

  15. Ann in PA

    Mary, I want to thank you for the reminder to watch Caitlin Clark on Sunday. What a nail-biter! She wasn’t making her shots and the team looked “flat” in the first half- it happens. However, although they were behind most of the time, they never gave up and as true champions, they fought their way to win in OT. Wow! I was so happy to see that wonderful smile at the end! Classy athlete and wonderful role model for young girls. As for that other game and the fight – poor sportsmanship should never be acceptable. Love all the quilt photos! Great plan to use up those old blocks. Many antique quilts are not perfect but they are still beautiful. Oh Hazel’s eyes tell it all…”please throw my stick”! lol Our Golden Retriever, Sam, used to go to the wood pile for his “sticks” aka logs! So nice to read your blog. I had knee replacement surgery in February, so I haven’t been up to much of anything like sewing – those pain killers are horrible on your body. As for Blue Jays and other birds- we live on a flyway here in PA. so during non-breeding season, birds don’t necessarily migrate far south, many just move around for open water and food (berries and feeders). We have Blue Jays, Cardinals, Carolina Wrens, Downy, Hairy & Red-bellied Woodpeckers, House Finches, Nuthatches, Titmice, Chickadees, Mourning Doves, Song Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows & Juncos (Snowbirds) all winter, one Northern Mockingbird wintered over, and Eastern Bluebirds lingered for homemade Peanut butter/cornmeal suet and mealworms. We heard tons of Snow Geese and Canada Geese migrating north in early February. Blackbirds – Grackles, Starlings, Brown-headed Cowbirds and Red-winged Blackbirds returned in huge numbers. A Robin showed up at the window feeder last week and I believe it’s one that breeds here every year. Robins don’t typically come to window feeders, but a few years ago while feeding nestlings, one joined the Bluebirds, Titmice, Mockingbirds and others to feast on mealworms and suet nuggets at the window feeder. We had snow quals and extremely high winds yesterday but today it’s heading into the 60’s- true March weather! Thank you for your “blog about nothing” – I love it! xxoo

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Ann n PA – I love hearing about the birds and we normally have many of those you mentioned. I saw my first Robin last week – I’ve never seen a bluebird in my whole life. I love when the orioles pass through. Thanks for being a blog reader – it’s everyday life and truly is about nothing of much consequence. But most of us find that normal.

      1. Susan from Michigan

        Mary- We see bluebirds here. It is not often though. My dad made bluebird houses he would put out in the vineyard and attach to certain posts. He would remember to bring them in each year before harvest.

  16. Viv in Idaho

    Hi, a great post today!! I have a bundle of Dresden plate blocks that a friend gave me with some hand embroidered dish towels that he found when cleaning out his Mothers things. I think they might be from flour sacks but I’m not sure. I have had them for 20+ years. Maybe it is time I took them out of the box and did something with them.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Viv – you could square up those Dresden plate blocks – they’d look great side by side.

      1. Viv in Idaho

        I am considering that. I really like what you did with the Grandmothers flower blocks.

  17. Lorraine

    Love the quilt show pictures you share all the time. The pics of the fur babies laying on quilts is so true with us quilters.
    I enjoy watching basketball but I watch mostly professional games. But I do enjoy the March Madness games.
    Enjoy reading your blog every day but I usually don’t write a comment but keep the blog going as I love to read it. Thank you

  18. Diane in Maryland

    Hazel has such a cute personality! And Keeper just wants to be near you! So sweet.

  19. Kris in WI

    Harvey and bunnies and quilts, oh my! Not to mention the fur babies. Thank you to all who send in photos and to Mary who puts everything together for us to enjoy. Don’t worry about all the basketball chatter! As someone commented a few days ago, it’s good to be challenged with ideas we would otherwise not explore.
    Diane, Hershey must be one of the lucky dogs that you meet on your walk. He seems to know just how to charm you and get his treat!
    We have had very few birds lately. Even the local gang of crows has been absent. A big flock of “unknowns” tried to fly west into the wind a while ago and rested in our trees, but when they took off again, they were all blown back to the east, and we haven’t seen them since! I did see one lone robin out at the small state park last week and a chickadee explored the pine trees next door yesterday. DH says that with the snow-free fields and woods around here the birds are finding what they need in the wild. Hope so.
    Our neighbor is getting a new roof, and the workers are in shorts, with their shirts off! 65* and a warm south wind make it feel like spring, but those of us of “a certain age” know that March can be fickle! Take care, everyone. Kris

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Kris – I’m glad I’m not the only one missing the birds but I guess he’s right – they can find things to eat anywhere – not just at my feeders! But I miss them.

  20. Suzymae

    Karla t.,
    That is sheer genius. How ever did you find fabric the same colors!?

    1. Karla T

      Thanks Suzymae! I had lots of scraps of browns,tans, blues and blacks..and was lucky to find the salmony pink fabric at the quilt shop in Monona at only $4.50/yd! I drafted a pattern on graph paper.

  21. Sunflower 🌻 from Michigan

    Mary,
    What a great post! I chuckled at the dog on the first two quilts…he appears to be doing the “downward dog” yoga pose. Biscuit frequently does that when I say we’re going on a walk. We went to our place up north today and Biscuit ran and ran. He slept all the way home and didn’t even hear our son come in the door to pick him up. He’ll be roaring to go tomorrow though, I’m sure.
    All the quilts are beautiful today! I don’t think I would have thought of cutting those blocks down. They’ll look great in a quilt rather than a box.
    Have a great week.

  22. Pat in AZ

    There is nothing I can add that hasn’t already been said. I love this blog and everyone’s contributions. I love Mary’s generosity in sharing with us. And I love the sense of community that I feel with everyone even though we’ve never met.
    Thanks to all for making my days brighter

  23. Martha W in WY

    The remake of the quilt on the post card is beautiful. The photo of the water pump on the old cabinet brought back memories of my paternal grandmother’s kitchen. She had a kitchen pump on the edge of her sink. Then she had a curtain around the sink to hide the slop bucket. Simple living in.hard times.

  24. Jackie in NY

    So many great quilts in the photos!!!! I really like the pink one with all the triangles and the little bunny walllhanging. But they’re all great! Love your enthusiasm for the basketball!

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