Such A Mess! 11-29-23

It has to be a mess before it gets to be good, right?

I keep finding things in this old office – things I haven’t seen for awhile. Like the very first quilt kit – the madras plaids! Way back in the 80’s ? we fell in love with madras plaids – we talked about this not long ago. My mom was still alive and she packaged all the plaid kits for us – nine different 9” x 9” squares of plaid in a bag. Then we designed several patterns that used those nine squares such as this little star quilt.

I remember Mom loved laying those 9 assorted squares together. We couldn’t have done it without her!

And cards! You’ve all sent so many fun cards through the years and I’ve kept so many of them but now I have to let them go.

Two vintage pieces of linen that needed soaking.

Noah with the bad feet

And I had forgotten I ordered this issue featuring Sandy Gervais who lives just 25 miles from us. She was so kind to mention us in her interview – I had no idea we helped her renew her love of fabric! We always loved seeing Sandy in the shop and one of our staff sewed models for Sandy for many years.

Oh, the memories in this office.

One reader quilt – from Pamela

I’ve marked this basket quilt in this magazine and would love to start it but let’s be reasonable – Dirty Dozen Day is coming Friday and I’m almost done with my neutral project.

Tomorrow must include the grocery store and then more clean up. Eventually I want to shop for MY chair – where will I go to look?

Saw this on the tv – sorta looks like I might have created this show – What are you mad about? Haha! If I had been able to stop on Main Street and take pictures, two local pickups would have been posted here. Not even pulled up to the sidewalk and they’re too long in the first place – two cars meeting on Main Street behind those trucks had to swerve out. Arrogant at best. There’s a Facebook page called Parking Pricks of the Midwest – I joined their group! Haha!!

Becky put up her 8’ tree today – isn’t it beautiful? Hmm – I don’t even have that on my horizon yet.

53 thoughts on “Such A Mess! 11-29-23

  1. Rosie Westerhold, Lincoln, NE

    So true about making a mess before it gets better!! I had a closet pole break in my walk-in coat closet a few weeks ago. UGH!! Talk about a mess. Yesterday I decided to tackle that closet. It had become a catch-all. Took every single coat, jacket and whatever out, sorted in keep and donate piles, and actually took all donated coats/jackets/sweatshirts to City Mission. Yeah me🙌🙌. And they were so happy to have nice winter things. Then bought a new closet pole. Thought it would be EASY as the end holders were still firmly attached to the wall. Nope. NOT easy. Pole was bigger in diameter than holder. UGH. Now what? We have a lovely service in Lincoln, NE, called Home Handy Helpers through Aging Partners. You have to apply and qualify financially. It is based on your income, but this service helps older folks who just need some extra help around their home. I had them clean my gutters, and fix latches on 2 gates so they could actually be useable again. Also had them fix a switch for lights in my studio, and I needed a new ballast for one set of my fluorescent lights. Sooooo, I called them again to get help with my closet pole plus a few other things that need to be done. Just waiting to set up a time for someone to come and look at my projects. But, I sure have a mess with everything pulled out of that closet right now. My OCD brother would just have a fit at the mess. But he doesn’t live here, and the dogs and I can tolerate a mess for awhile👍👍😎😎!!

    Hoe your remaining chickens are safe now that the fox is gone. I have a neighbor right across the alley who has about 20+ chickens and a couple roosters, too. They are SO fun to have right in the middle of the city. I can see them from the door in my studio that faces her direction. I was visiting them a couple times/day in warm weather. Not so much now that it’s colder. BUT, we now have OTHER critters in the neighborhood because of the chickens: raccoons, fox, and hawks!! One hawk flew to the tree near the coop while I was standing right there😱😱!! I was shocked. Tried to scare him away, and he eventually flew off. Those chickens have been so comforting and soothing to me. Many people have stopped by while I was chatting with my neighbor telling her the same thing!! Being a city girl, I guess I am even more appreciative of enjoying some “country” things while I don’t have to do all the work🤗🤗. And I’ve leaned how to herd those chickens back home if they get loose during the day. Always good to learn new things, right😎😎?

  2. Martha W in WY

    Pamela’s quilt looks so holidayish ( my new word). Good luck finding a chair. Be sure to try it out in the store.

  3. Amy F

    Your mention of madras plaids took me back to the 80s when I was in high school. Madras shirts were really popular. Last year when I began collecting plaids for a large project, I was able to find LOTS of madras shirts at Goodwill. I still love those plaids!

  4. Fiona at Ice Bear Quilts

    Hi Mary,
    Madras plaids! That brings back some memories! I remember using them too, not just for quilting, but also for summer clothes! I think your new den is going to be great, but it is true, it always looks worst just before it all comes together and is great, and there is always more stuff and work than you thought!
    We have been having new central heating pipes fitted and have had to move stuff in almost every room so that the plumber can do the work. Used the opportunity to also have a bit of a clean out, but boy I am sick of shifting furniture, reshelving books and cleaning up dust! Luckily it was finished on Saturday, and we had heat again, as it started getting cold on Sunday and we had our first snow on Tuesday. Today it is going to be 20 degrees, so it look like winter is coming.

  5. Shirley Andersen Smith

    Ha, ha. I am going to have to check out that FB page. Lol
    Shirley from central OR

  6. Mary Johnston

    I remember the 80’s madras plaids…I believe Roberta Horton. I just would like to say that I visited lots of quilt shows and quilt stores but unfortunately never was able to get to Country Threads. So sad you retired before I could make it. I think I have every book and a lot of patterns. Still buying your books! I love your stuff and style!!!!

  7. Sandy

    Hi Mary, madras checks are a favourite, still have a few dress lengths tucked away! There was a English tv show called Grumpy old women where well known women listed their pet peeves!We could start that idea on a blog, l see there is one called dull men activies! Your room will be nice when done, we all deserve a space of our own! Lovely Christmas house quilt today, would happily put on my wall. Take care everyone, best wishes from Sandy

  8. Sharon Eshlaman

    Well, it’s 3am I’m up as I can’t sleep. I’m in my chair, coffee in hand and the first thing I do is grab my iPad and check your blog. Bingo….I’m smiling from ear to ear. Once again this blog about nothing makes my day. Sharing your life and loves makes such an impact on mine. Thank you, thank you.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sharon – I’m flattered that I make an impact on your life – the blog about nothing is just a journal written by somebody who isn’t very social but loves lots of collections, hobbies and animals – you must like the same things!

  9. Gloria from CC

    I’m really enjoying your transition pictures of your she den. I can’t wait to see the room finished and what fun you’re having uncovering forgotten treasures. My go to furniture store for the last twenty plus years is Wilcox located on Main Street in Clear Lake. They carry only the best brands of furniture and they have a great selection. At least check them out.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Gloria – I did and they have a gray floral chair that is a pretty good fit but I don’t want gray floral. And I hate having to wait so long for a custom fabric. Who knows if I’ll find the perfect chair at the thrift store!

      1. Janet S

        Mary, Don’t settle for anything less than what you want. It’s really hard to find something for us shorter women. A recliner/rocker is really great and good for sleeping too. I hate the big overstuffed furniture where you can’t even touch the floor. Good luck.

  10. Linda in MI

    I love the madras stars quilt, madras was the rage when I was in high school but you had to be careful washing them or sweating in one because of the fading. I think I ruined more than one slip and I only had one madras shirt – grew up in Louisville and walked to the school bus, upvand down hills, and with the humidity everyone sweat. I think homespuns are the closest thing we have to madras now but even though I love the look of homespuns I refuse to use them because they stretch everyway but up!

    Good luck on converting your room in to your she den. It will be great but any move like that is a lot of work and a great time to toss and donate.

  11. Bobby Sutton

    You’re going to love your ‘private’ tv. What a treat for you! I love the madras stars. Oh my, how something old looks new again. Those soft colors on the dark background are luscious. I need to go look, but I think I have madras pieces from an old pair of shorts somewhere in my sewing room. Is that considered hording if the materiel is about 50- 60 years old?
    I was interested to see Connie didn’t have a quilted tree skirt, but her red/white quilt wrapped around the base is perfect…warm and comfy. My cat would absolutely curl up there.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Bobby – I just want to clear up one thing – the Christmas tree belongs to my sister Becky, not my partner Connie. Better search for that madras.

  12. Joann Baxter

    I am awake very early today so I had to look for your email. I am now the newest follower of Parking Pricks of the Midwest. 54k members! Thank you for the tip.

  13. Peg in MO

    Love your progress! I recently bought “my” chair at Slumberland. After months of looking for a recliner & I just couldn’t find one that fit my 5’ chubby body. So I bought this comfy small swivel rocker. I love it!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Peg – I bought a small swivel rocker a couple years ago and just hate it. My feet don’t touch the floor and I feel so unsteady getting in and out of it. I’m looking for a new home for this chair.

  14. Ruth Tacoma

    I hope you find the perfect chair for your new room that you will love for a long time. They sure don’t make things like they used to, but there are still a few good ones out there. Prices are not reflective of quality these days, they are ALL expensive. I LOVE seeing your room come together, so please keep sharing it. The best by product of a good clean out of a room is all the treasures you find. That’s why things take me so much longer to clean around here. One little job turns into 10 more. Thanks for sharing the article about Sandy that mentions CT. I didn’t realize she was so close to you there. I still have a few patterns of hers from those early days…she’s a talent for sure!

  15. Connie R. In Wis.0

    I enjoy seeing all the treasures you discovered while redecorating. I do the same thing and discover lots of things I forgot I had. It also reminds me to go through and donate things I know I won’t get to. Good luck in your chair search. It’s not that easy to find something that’s comfortable and stylish.

  16. Sharon Geiger

    Every time I clean my sewing area I ALWAYS find treasures I forgot I had!!! Your room will be great when you get everything sorted through.

  17. Mary H

    Oh, the memories, Mary. I et you are going to love a peaceful refreshed new room. I never put together Sandy Gervais and Brenda Gervais being sisters! Duh.
    Where does that steep set of stairs lead? Attic?
    Has Rick healed well where he can be more active?
    I just made sourdough bagels for the first time. Will see how they come out.
    I haven’t decorated yet, Maybe this weekend.
    Enjoy your walk down memory lane, and a reminder of all the wonderful things you have done in your life, and how you have influenced others.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Mary H – I’m going to take a picture of those steps from the top – goes into my bedroom upstairs – kids love that marine ladder. That bright idea came to me when I was much younger – ha!

      1. Viv in Idaho

        I am so impressed with your ladder to your bedroom… I would have to sleep on the floor at the bottom of the ladder!! I just love your blog about nothing🤣😂

  18. Joy in NW Iowa

    The blog about nothing…! All the things and memories! Happy chair hunting. That can be a real job!
    I’m headed to my favorite quilt shop today with friends! I have a top to go there…good excuse to visit. Plus, Jay is off to do some guy thing in SF, so it’s a good excuse! They have some fabric for $2 clearance. It might go in my cart for the mission project!
    Have a good day, the sun is shining!

    1. Cynthia from SW Minnesota

      Joy, where is your favorite quilt shop? Mine is Crafty Corner in Worthington. Going there next week. I just hope the snow stays away! I too, am excited about Mary’s room re-do/do-over! I think I need a new tv! I also joined the Parking Pricks page, wow. Way worse examples than the Marshall Minnesota Park like a dumbass page!

    2. Cynthia from SW Minnesota

      Joy, where is your favorite quilt shop? Mine is Crafty Corner in Worthington. Going there next week. I just hope the snow stays away! I too, am excited about Mary’s room re-do/do-over! I think I need a new tv! I also joined the Parking Pricks page, wow. Way worse examples than the Marshall Minnesota Park like a dumbass page! I am going to go outside later, maybe drive into the country to see the Northern Lights tonight!

      1. Mary Etherington Post author

        Cynthia – please tell Ken and Zuby at Crafty Corners HI from me. I wish they were closer.

  19. Mary H

    I found your answer about the ladder and the husband. Oh dear, can’t believe Rick quit therapy, after waiting so long for surgery. Hang in there.

  20. NancyTD

    Glad the fox is gone. I made the madras plaid quilt for a friend back in the day.
    Beckie’s tree is beautiful.
    Home from visiting or daughter and family. Great grandchildren from 2 mo. To 8 years. It was great to spend Thanksgiving and an early Christmas with them.
    Visited Amish country and bought a King size quilt kit and more fabric. Yikes —what was I thinking ?
    Today I need to get groceries, make the label for my Nov, DD, and start decorating for Christmas. This my favorite time to decorate.
    Enjoy the day! I forgot- sweet tea was big in the restaurants where we were. Chuckled when I heard it being ordered. Different from our tea! LOL

  21. Kathy Hanson

    Oh my, what fun to be finding all of these wonderful things! And how fantastic it will be to have a special place just for you!!! The memories must be wonderful!!!
    I think of you so often and wished you lived closer! I will have to be sure to come and see you and your new special room this spring, we have really enjoyed visiting you before, will look forward to it in the spring!!

  22. Teresa

    Wonderful having coffee with you while reading the blog, Mary. I always enjoy hearing about what you’re up to and Parking Pricks of the Midwest is a new one for me. I truly hope I’m never featured on there, lol!
    So enjoyed all the photos, Pamela your quilt is a work of art!

    Have a great day everyone!!

  23. Dot in NC

    Oooh! That basket quilt is very tempting! And I really like that vintage filet crochet piece with the cat. I’m going to save the photo and see whether I can graph it. I have a bunch of old 10-cent crochet books, and even older filet patterns downloaded from the Antique Pattern Library. It may well be in one of them, but I’d never find it.

    I don’t do Facebook, but I now have a new term to use: they ARE “parking pricks”. And it’s FUN being a grumpy old woman.

    Hope your chair search is successful, and doesn’t take too much time.

  24. Dianna in Wisconsin

    Good Morning,

    The room is going to be great, love a project like that !

    I’m ironing most of my fabric under 1/2 yard and plan on cutting them into 10″, 8″, 61/2″ (6 1/2 size is used for mission quilt s for church), 5 ” , 4 1/2 “, strips of various sizes and 21/2 sizes for scrap projects.
    Hopefully that will free up so boxes of stash to quickly start a project or two.

    I’m going to the local quilt shop today to get some red for a quilt I started, since I needed red for something else and stole it from the original project.🙃

    Enjoy your day everyone.

  25. Jan Hebert

    I love going through boxes and shelves to see what I’ve got. I actually have at least one of your packs of madras – I was going to make your pattern included in “Country Sheep”! I have the pattern pieces cut out and ready to make the little sheep doll but nowadays I’m more into the little quilts. I think I like your star pattern better than the basket quilt pattern included in the sheep package though! I love Pamela’s quilt and I want a mug like yours! Too funny! I wonder if that comes in a “cat” version? So glad the fox has been taken care of – what a brave dog Hazel is! Boy, the coyotes have been yipping and yapping and howling for the last few nights! Not sure if it’s the full moon but wow, it’s been amazing. They sound like they’re right outside the windows but when we turn the back lights on we can’t see them. I am thankful that my chickens have a secure run and coop but they must be just a bit nervous hearing that racket at night! Jan in MA

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jan – we don’t hear coyotes so much this time of year but that yipping sets my heart racing. My 8 hens are safe in the barn – I just don’t know if I want to get chicks in the spring or not. Scares me.

  26. Sue in Oregon

    I had a smallish Lazy Boy chair once and loved it. I replaced it with another Lazy Boy but it does not fit me nearly as well as the old one. They are great when you find one that fits. Be picky.
    Wish we had a Parking Prick club here in the west. HaHa

  27. Launa

    19o early morning. No new snow n no Sunshine 🌞 either! We need snow for our three youngest great Grand’s! Baby is just a year old! May cut a short tree n have them decorate it?
    Nice stove fire this morning.
    Better get moving before repair man comes to get guest bedroom wall heater part replaced! Not certain about Parking Prick Club down in Salmon! Use a handy parking tag! Some pricks use those designated areas without a tag !

  28. Marcia-Ohio

    My husband & I watch separate tv also. He has the sunroom and I, the living room. We have developed separate taste in viewing and even Netflix. We occasionally will watch something together. I think it is great that you will have a separate place to sit and relax in the evenings. I too have a tv in the sewing room w/ office chairs and stools not comfortable furniture. You can watch tv, do handwork or read in your personal space w/ good lighting and a good chair.
    I signed up for the parking pricks in the Midwest. Seems there are a large group of them.
    It will feel good to have organized and downsized a room and repurpose it for your current lifestyle.
    I learned two things today while at a routine doctors office visit. I have been having digestive issues and felt maybe acid reflux was occurring. He said that I should limit chocolate, peppermint and medium/light roast coffee. Dark roast has less acid in it because it has been roasted less. There are peppermint flavored Tums-they sell so the company makes money.

  29. Jeanie S, Central IL

    Have fun shopping for the perfect chair. Having your own tv room will be wonderful.
    I know they are not very exciting, but I love my small recliner, so I can rest my head and put up my feet.
    Take Care & Thanks, 🥰

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jeanie – I have a very nice recliner in the front room but it kills my neck. I just can’t use it. I have a couple chairs for sale and that’s going to be one of them. Wish I could have an outdoor sale!

  30. Charlotte Shira in No. California

    Mary, I hope you find your perfect chair. I tolerate the one I have.
    Pamela, your quilt is beautiful.
    They finished my new floors yesterday. I didn’t realize there would be so much dust. Can’t wait to get my cabinets back in my sewing room. I also had fun finding things in my sewing room that I had forgotten about. My daughter and grandson come down today. They are a 2 hour drive from me. They cleaned the dust out of my family room and living room and put up my tree and decorations. They did it in 4 hours what it would have taken me at least 4 days. I’m so thankful!
    Can’t wait to see your she den. My husband and I watched TV separately. He used to change the channels during commercials and start watching something else or he’d make comments about the shows I liked. So I started watching it in the living room.
    Have a great weekend.

  31. Carlene Buck

    Mary, I have found that since I don’t live near a quilt shop (2 hours by car) I shop online mostly at “Thousands of Bolts…..but just one nut…You won’t believe my prices.” They have a wide variety of all styles of prints and a very nice website for fabric searches. I love to check out the New Fabrics section for deals and unique fabrics. Their prices are amazingly low and the fabric quality is very nice. I have never been disappointed and I shop there a lot especially for borders and backings, as their prices are much lower than those on other sites I have found.

  32. Carlene Buck

    I thought you had typed that you were going to shop FROM your chair…and of course I thought FABRIC!
    As Rhoda used to say on Saturday Night Live….Never mind.

  33. Carlene Buck

    I thought you had typed that you were going to shop FROM your chair…and of course I thought FABRIC!
    As Rhoda used to say on Saturday Night Live….Never mind.

    I was sorry about your chicken.

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