Sunday, July 7

Did you miss my post yesterday? I just decided I was too busy to stop and write it and that may happen again throughout July. Yesterday Jackson arrived for a 10 day stay – I haven’t seen him for about 2 years and like all of us, he has aged but he’s still the low key calm dog that I remembered. Jackson belongs to Jan Shaffer of Pine Grove Quilting, Blue Earth, MN. You might remember I saw Jan (on the right) and her friend Linda at the “board meeting” at Minnesota Quilters last month.

Did you read the rest of the story?

This is Jackson with Haley, one of Jan’s grandchildren that came along to deliver Jackson to the farm.

Haley thought Ernie Joe Mauer was pretty cool. Just look at those giant paws!

Ernie weighs more than little Madeline who liked the chickens!

Here is Jackson this morning as I write this blog post.

The only “problem” we’re having is our bare floors and steps going upstairs – they’re bare and I have a feeling that Jan’s steps are carpeted. It’s very difficult and one of us has to be behind him or in front of him going up or down. I think I’ll make things more comfortable for old Jackson and eliminate the stairs. Since I sleep in a recliner I’ll sleep downstairs for the next 10 nights. I know Jackson will thank me.

Several readers are desperate to find a copy of Linda Brannock’s America seen here.

If anyone has it, I think it’s safe to say it can be copied since Linda passed away several years ago. Please use the comment section to announce that you have the pattern and would be willing to make a copy and mail it to another reader.

I finished this book this morning so I have to go back to working on my rug. I didn’t think this book started out very interesting but it turned out to be a book I couldn’t put down – thus the suspended work on my rug – haha!

Today is the last day to send in your favorite reads for the month of June. Tomorrow, July 8, I will post the current book list.

I called Bonnie Hunter’s recent Leader/Ender project a mystery – it’s not. She has given a pattern to use for the upcoming year as a leader/ender project while you work on other projects such as your #8. I did not do this last year and I really like last year’s block better than this one so I’m going to do Jewel Box Stars instead of shoo fly.

Here is my #8 up on the design wall. I’ve made all the blocks and now I need to sew them together. This is definitely our “look” from 15 years ago because it’s all dark Japanese fabrics – beautiful but can’t be used in my house with all the light dog and cat hair – ha! So it will either be a gift or it will attend my funeral.

When I say “attend my funeral” I will explain that I borrowed this great idea from our friend Susan Henderson who makes only large quilts. When she dies her quilts will be draped over the pews at her funeral service and whichever quilt you sit on will be yours to take home. I’m going to do this, too, since I have no family who wants them. It gives me a reason to keep quilting!

July 15 will be the start of the RUG ALONG. Please read through your book and watch the video before then so you’ll have an idea of what’s ahead.

Connie and I have decided not to offer new patterns this month so that you can concentrate on your #8 UFO. In August we will have quite a list of fall projects to promote – some small and fast, others larger. All will be for sale for a limited time. The only quilt patterns available right now are Gameboard and Summer Watermelon. No more Uncle Sam. If you missed him, too bad. Please don’t think you can just send the money and we’ll honor your request. We are not a quilt shop and never intend to be again. I am just too busy to “babysit” you guys. Read carefully and take note of announcements – such as the recent list of book winners!!

As Nancy Marsh commented “we want our love of quilting to be contagious!”

58 thoughts on “Sunday, July 7

  1. Karen Strohschein

    Hi Mary,
    I so enjoy your blog. i really appreciate your honesty and transparency. It makes us all feel okay about
    not being perfect on so many levels.
    Here is my honest question: What are leaders/enders? I am embarrassed to ask but I can’t seem to
    figure this out on my own. Please enlighten me.
    Thanks and Blessings to you!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Karen Strohschein – there’s nothing like being honest! I’d never remember what lie/untruth I told so would not be able to keep my story straight – ha! I’m happy you asked about leaders and enders. Do you ever start sewing with a scrap of fabric? Instead of that scrap of fabric covered with stitching, think about sewing 9 patch blocks or rails or 4 patches and every time you started sewing you sewed 2 squares or strips together and then went on to stitch what you were originally working on. At the end you stitched 2 more squares together and left it in the machine until you sewed something else. Think of the thread you would be saving and think of how much cleaner your sewing area would be! And magically you’d be sewing another project at the same time because before you knew it, you have a pile of squares sewn together and then rows sewed together and pretty soon there would be a stack of nine patches or some other block or unit. As you chain you’d be working on two projects at the same time! We’ve all learned it from Bonnie Hunter and if you go to her website or purchase one of her books, you’ll find a complete explanation. I taught Reed about leaders and enders early on and I always have a tray of 1-1/2” squares by my machine. Questions? You’re going to love leaders and enders!

  2. Mary Kannas

    Mary, I really enjoy reading your blog. Thank you so much for sharing with us. You inspire us so much!
    We live on an acreage with dogs, cats, horses and cows with calves. Wouldn’t trade it for the world!
    Love the ufo idea! I’m behind getting my projects found but will be joining in.
    I would also be interested in LB’s flag quilt pattern. Email would be just fine for me too.

  3. Emily

    I would also like to have a copy of Linda Brannock’s pattern, “America”. I love patriotic quilts!

    Thank you so much!

  4. Heather

    I LOVE your funeral quilts idea!

    I would also be interested in LB’s America Flag quilt pattern. An emailed copy would work just fine if anyone discovers that they have it! Thank you!

  5. Felicia Hamlin

    Hi, Mary, I have never met Jan’s grandchildren in person, but they are beautiful! Your #8 project looks great. I do like the Brannock quilt, I hope somebody will find it and maybe people could send a SASE.

  6. Sunflower from Michigan

    Your #8 is beautiful Mary!
    I am also interested in the American flag quilt pattern. Thanks for giving us the opportunity through your blog to find it.

  7. Lisa B

    Regarding the peeling hard boiled eggs question I cook eggs in the Instant Pot (look up “recipe” online but I think it was 5 minutes at high pressure and 5 minutes natural release) and they were easy to peel. I seem to recall reading that the pressure does something that makes the eggs easier to peel. IP takes the same amount of time to cook as in a pan on the stove but I don’t have to babysit the IP.


    Wonderful read as always. I will be attending your funeral, wonderful idea. I also would love a copy of America flag pattern by Linda Brannack. I am willing to pay for copy and postage if that route is used. An email would work too.

  9. Betty Isaac

    Hi from Canada. When I read about the Dirty Dozen I thought that would be a good thing to do. Go through all my drawers and cupboards and haul out all my ufo’s. I didn’t think I had that many.Boy did I get a big surprise. Now I have gone through them all and I have separated them into “kits” I have checked to see if I need to buy any fabric to finish a top. I am determined to finish them all before I start any new projects. We will see how that goes.

  10. Joyce from NY

    I love your #8 quilt Mary. I don’t know how you get so much done so quickly. I clicked on one ad today, finally figured out what to click on. Sorry I didn’t figure it before this.

  11. Diane from TN

    I gave you the wrong title to the David baldacci book I am reading. It is called “long road to mercy”.

  12. Judy (JCE)

    I searched and searched for the flag pattern based upon a previous blog
    and no luck. Please add me to list if
    anyone has it and is willing to share it.
    I would be willing to pay for copy and
    postage. I want to make for family members who are veterans.
    Mary I hope you have recovered from
    your birthday celebrations!

  13. Gina Thackara

    I LOVE your funeral idea!!! Putting my family on notice for when mine happens. Quilts should go to loving families …

  14. Marit Veltri

    Always enjoy racing your blog!

    A Murder in time: A Novel (Kendra Donovan Mysteries) By JULIE MCELWAIN


  15. Jeanine

    I finally had some ads today! I also refreshed your page and clicked on them again. So happy to finally be able to help by clicking ads. I would be very sad if you were not blogging. I so enjoy reading it and the comments.

  16. Mrs. Goodneedle

    I love the America pattern too but will try to draft it in EQ; if I have good luck I will let you know— that quilt sure caught many eyes, it’s a beauty! Your canine boarder sure is making himself at home, and what an accommodating caregiver he has. I have never heard of a funeral practice where quilts are given to the attendees but I sure do love the idea—I’d better get sewing! 😉

  17. Sue Roberts

    I would love a copy of America flag pattern by Linda Brannack. I enjoy making Quilts of Valor! This would be perfect. I love the idea of quilts on pews for the funerals!
    Thank you.

  18. Vickie S

    My book suggestion is The High Tide Club by Mary Kay Andrews. It is a great summer read. The first time I have read one of Andrews books and I am going to look for more v

  19. Jackie Baumhauer

    Me too! It would make a great quilt of valor.Mary, You quilt number 8 is beautiful.

  20. Gloria

    Add me to list of America pattern. I had never heard of your “funeral” idea but it is great!

  21. Deb McClanahan

    Buy an Instant Pot just for hard boiled eggs. Once in a while one doesn’t peel but not often. 5 minutes at pressure then an ice bath. The ice bath is important as they will keep cooking and become unedible after a while.

  22. Meri

    I would also like a copy of the flag quilt if anyone has it! Thanks in advance and to you, Mary for thinking of it.

  23. Nancy Watkins

    I too would love a cooy of the flag quilt if anyone has it. I cannot believe how big Ernie’s paws are!

  24. Saundra j.

    Mary, your going to have so many people attending your funeral. Ha Enjoy your blog. Thanks for sharing.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Saundra J – haha! I said the same thing to Susan, the originator of the idea!

      1. Janet Orr

        I am imaging the fights breaking out for certain pews/quilts! What fun!

  25. Connie R,

    I LOVE your #8 quilt, both pattern and colors.

    I too, would like a copy of the Linda Brannock Pattern. I saw a similar free flag quilt pattern online from Stitches and Sew Forth. If you Google “Stitches and Sew Forth flag quilt” you will see the picture and pattern link. Also found a similar quilt shown online in a Jan Patek book called Liberty Eagle Quilt.

  26. Donna in Kentucky

    I would like a copy of Flag Quilt Pattern if it should show up. Thank you.

  27. Jo in Wyoming

    Mary, I was so inspired by your “funeral plans” from a few months ago, I have shared it with many friends and groups. They too think it’s a wonderful idea and are passing it along to family and friends. A great reason to keep making quilts…one of life’s treasures.

    Jackson will love you for your hospitality. You are kind and gentle to all critters.

    I got an Insta-Pot for Christmas, no idea what it was…but after reading up on it tried the hard boiled egg instructions, Wowzers! I don’t pressure them for as long as instructed, but I do put the eggs in ice water after. Even brown eggs peel.
    I will look for the book in question and will let you know if I find it.

  28. Sue in Oregon

    Oh…I forgot to mention. I won the Challange Quilt Event at our annual Quilt Show. I am a proud quilter today!

  29. Janet B

    I’d like a copy of Linda Brannock’s pattern. My husband and several of his friends are veterans. I could spent a year making patriotic quilts for them.

  30. marie Beers

    I would love a copy of Linda Brannock’s America quilt pattern. Would be willing to pay for copy and postage.

  31. Sue in Oregon

    Wow! That Ernie Joe Mauer is HUGE! I had not realized until this photo just how large he is. He must have some Maine Coon in him?? A beautiful cat. My son and I always wanted a biggy like him, but you just don’t know when they are kittens.
    I love the America quilt too. If we find the pattern I hope we can share.
    Just finished The Pilots Wife by Anita Shreve. It is an Oprah book clubber. Beautifully written but sad and emotional.

    1. Brenda in Iowa

      Sue, I agree with you words regarding Ernie Joe. My Garfield was HUGE. I lost him last fall. Orange (yellow) kitties are typically so mellow.
      I would love to find the Linda Brannock pattern also.

  32. Martha Engstler Gettysburg

    Ernie Joe looks like the kind of kitty I’d love to hold even for a short time. Love orange kitties. Really like your #8 project. It should be enjoyed before your funeral. Hope that’s a long way off.

  33. Anne Graham

    Would love to have a copy of Linda Brannock’s America quilt pattern too!! And the funeral idea is a wonderful way to share quilts with the people who loved you throughout your life! Thanks for sharing so many fantastic ideas!

  34. Diane from TN

    Ernie is a big kitty. Such big paws. Would love the pattern too. I am reading David Baldacci, No mercy.

  35. Diane Bauer

    How funny that several are wanting to find Linda’s America quilt–I was just about to write and ask if you might have a copy!! So please, if anyone does have it, I would love to be added to the list for a copy!! I attempted to draft my own version this morning and may ultimately have to do that if no one comes up with it! I think my Army son needs one!

    Ernie is certainly a cat I could wrap my arms around–he’s huge!! Our Gizmo is pretty small and lean and does not particularly like to be held, unless it is his idea.

    Your #8 is beautiful, Mary, and I love the idea of having your quilts attend your funeral. I may have to borrow that idea as well!

  36. Kathy in western NY

    Yes I missed you yesterday Mary! I always wonder what you are up to. I have a question for you… you have a secret to peeling boiled hard boiled eggs that are “new”? It seems when I make deviled eggs with newly bought eggs I can’t peel them! But if I use my older ones they peel easy. Is there some secret? Needless to say we had some egg and olive salad for sandwiches with the messy hard boiled eggs.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Kathy in western NY – I’ve tried every trick I’ve ever read about and none work for me. I have to let my older eggs sit out on the counter overnight before I cook them. I hate trying to peel “new” eggs!

      1. Saundra

        If you let tour water come to a boil first then put a little salt or baking soda into the water and then add your eggs and let boil for about 10 minutes and then put them under cold running water they come out perfect.

        1. Lynne from NJ

          Try steaming them. I don’t know why, but this always works for me with very fresh eggs.

          1. CountryThreads Post author

            Lynne from NJ – when you say “fresh”, do you mean right from the grocery store or right from the barn?

          2. Lynne from NJ

            Fresh from the barn. I use a vegetable steamer and steam them for about 13-15 mins. I just might have to make some this afternoon.

          3. CountryThreads Post author

            Lynn from NJ – thanks for the clarification- deviled eggs sound good!

      2. Julianna

        Kathy of Western NY and Mary,
        I always salt the water and it seems to “help” but not quite perfect. Hopefully someone will have the answer for all of us.

        1. Kathy

          I got a few for deviled eggs tonight but not what I would ever take to a party! I am going to try these suggestions so thanks everyone. All good tips to try.

    2. Rosalie

      I use the pressure cooker to hard boil fresh eggs! 6 minutes on low pressure and 5 minutes to hold and then release the pressure and submerge in cold water. Works great. Have an instant pot.

    3. Nikki M in Tx

      Have found best results with new eggs…boil when boiled immediately put eggs bowl ice water (more ice cubes water) 2 minutes….peel immediately…may still have some that be in egg salad but best results I found…friend swears by gadget bought of internet…The Negg…she followers directions comes with it…thinks is about & $5.00

    4. Kay Schleusner

      I use my pressure cooker. 1 cup of water cook 6 minutes. Then put in ice water then peel. This method had worked best for me for peeling eggs.

  37. Jessica from Florida

    Jackson looks right at home with you on the porch! When I had dogs, they never got that comfortable at any other house. They would pace back and forth and whine! Haley and Madeline are beauties! Ernie Joe’s paw are humongous!!! He looks super soft….is he as soft as he looks? I love the fabric choices you used for your #8. Please post a picture of it when it’s finished.

  38. Maggie Hagman

    I would be interested in a copy of the Linda Brannock flag pattern. If someone has a copy, you could scan and email instead of making copies and mailing.

  39. Connie

    I for one was looking for Linda Brannock’s ‘America’ pattern. If necessary I suppose one could do the measuring out on graph paper for the block – it just seemed easier to get the pattern!! Hopefully someone will pop up with the pattern and willingness to share. And you’ll let those of us looking know about it. I LOVE your ‘attend my funeral’ plan for your quilts! What a neat, and very generous, idea. You’re being so considerate of Jackson – he will love you and staying at your place all the more for it! 🙂

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