Sunday Night, 4-23-23

Reader Quilts

Pet Parade

Mama in the barn
Keeper and Hazel play in the straw bales
Twin Sister
Spottie and Sylvia
Goldie and Harriet
The Infirmary
Rick adjusts the gate
Pond is full and overflowing

I decided to clean the storeroom – there’s a clothes bar that holds many special dresses – my 8th grade graduation dress, my wedding dress, a prom dress (my favorite seems to be missing!), many dresses from the 90’s when I had lots of them, several favorite coats, pantsuits and Mom’s nicest dresses as well. I decided to keep sorting and tossing and ended up with this pile going to the Salvation Army Store next week. A clean and tidy closet is the result.

While I was upstairs I snapped this picture of a cupboard full of vintage figurines – mostly white dogs – because I know how you enjoy enlarging the picture to study each item.

Coming up this week is yard work and finishing up several projects in the quilt shop – here’s hoping for nice days ahead.

New $5.00 patterns coming very soon!

66 thoughts on “Sunday Night, 4-23-23

  1. Shirley Andersen Smith

    I love the quilts. Sweet. I especially like the string quilt, on my bucket list to do.
    The animal parade is always fun to see. I will hace to send pucs of all the wild animals that show up next door. Hmmm.
    When we get back drom AZ and graduation of youngest grandchild, I am tackling the closets!!!! If I throw out all the clothes, I guess I will have to go shopping. But, not made as well as the old clothes. Has anyone noticed?
    Mary your dogs on the shelf are quite the little gem. The white with brown spotted one reminds me of the one I have. I won it at a carnival when I was about 11…..many many years ago. I even have A Lady and the Tramp one….I thouroughly enjoyed this little tour.

    1. Joy in NW Iowa

      Shirley I’m guessing we r in the same age category….if I threw out all my clothes….what is out there to buy that is decent? Do you have a secret website? Or a favorite store?

      1. Mary Etherington Post author

        Joy – I still wear my old clothes which have never been trendy or faddish. A black skirt and black pants are essential.

        1. Shirley Andersen Smith

          I buy some cute trendy stuff from local shops. Classy, dressy from Ann Taylor or J.Jill. otherwise, and mostly I dress more like I am hiking. Not a lot of dress up these days. I also go to the upcycle shops and buy decent recycled clothes because the older ones are better material and made much better. For instance can you buy even a sweatshirt with a zipper nowadays. No, all poly spandex pullo vers because cheaper to make. Cotton is a high cost commodity as we all know. I do like linen. I could go on and on about the throw away cheap clothing they make nowadays.
          Could not find a decent cardigan sweater for instance that I would not throw out in a year. Glad I have some of my old reliables. And yes, the largest amount of garbage in our landfills is clothing. So sad. Ok I am off the soap box. The weather is FINALLY changing so putting the quilting aside and will be in the yard. Another happy place.

          1. Mary Etherington Post author

            Shirley – I’ll bet 80% of my clothes are J. Jill and the dresses from the 90’s are Eddie Bauer – I still love them and wish I could wear them!!! I have either yard/chore clothes or church clothes – not much in between as that’s my life right there. Haha!!

          2. Mary Says Sew!

            L.L.Bean has several zip-front cardigans in the Sweatshirts & Fleece category.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Dorothy – it’s a bank actually with a small padlock at the neck. Got it for Christmas when I was 10, I think. Love it.

      1. Gloria from CC

        I also love the pink poodle (for obvious reasons). What a treasure and it’s even more amazing that you still have it.
        Love all the quilts and animal pictures. Your collection of white dogs is wonderful.

  2. Debbie Miller

    I love the sleeping baby paintings! I have several paintings/prints that belonged to my mother and have been around as long as I can remember-I’m 70. One of them is the sleeping baby by Bessie Pease Gutmann called “A Little Bit of Heaven.”

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Debbie – Gutman prints are some of my favorites – I have several more than these.

  3. Jo in Wyoming

    Fun post. I love seeing the chickens and geese. Goats and girls too.
    I spent a waisted afternoon looking for a piece of fabric I know I have. It’s a panel that hung on my design wall for months, now that I have a plan, I can’t find it. Does that happen to anyone else but me?
    The pet parade was fun.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jo – I’ll bet it happens to me at least once a day! I trimmed a whole bunch of snowball blocks and do you think I can find those paired up triangles? I cannot!!! It makes me so mad – I misplace things all the time and it’s infuriating!

      1. Janet S

        Jo and Mary, I spend more time looking for fabric that I know I have than I do sewing.

        1. Brenda of N Calif

          I was searching for a charm pack I knew I had with my Christmas fabric yestetday. Not only did I (finally) find it but I discovered a lot of fabric i I didn’t remember I had. Sometimes the search is worth it.
          Love seeing both quilts and pets.

  4. Vickie

    Thanks for the animal parade. I love to see other folks animals. Animals mean a lot to me and it’s nice to know there are others who appreciate them

  5. Jeanie S, Central IL

    The quilts are great, and your cupboard of white vintage animals is adorable. Mama Kitty is so beautiful; isn’t it interesting she has not made her way into the house after being with you several years.
    Thanks for all the animal pictures, too.
    It was cold and dreary today, so I continued working on a denim quilt. At this point, it is big and bulky, so I just want it done! I am looking forward to my next project.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jeanie – a denim quilt? You’re a better woman than me – I hate all that weight to work with. Bravo!

      1. Jeanie S, Central IL

        This is the last denim quilt for me. I made one for my two granddaughters’ car emergency kits. My grandson turns 16 this summer, so this quilt is for him. With my tubs of denim gone, I will have more room for quilting fabric! 🤣

    2. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jeanie – forgot to say – I’m wondering if Mama Kitty might like Fluffybun – whom I’d love to move to the barn!

  6. Tina H


    Seeing that rack of dresses made me wonder…what happened to all the “death cleaning?”

  7. Sharon G.

    Mary – I know it’s late, but just wanted to say this is a nice group of quilts and a menagerie of animals. And the figurines and artwork make this a mix of things that just made my day! And who says this is a blog about nothing? There’s always something!
    I misplaced so many things it makes me wonder where is the hole in my sewing room that so many things have fallen into? I know for a fact I have a group of 10″ squares around here somewhere!
    Have a nice Monday and hope the weather improves as we make it through all the chores and other stuff going on in our lives.

    Thank you for sharing.

  8. Carolyn Rector

    I love the quilt by Marie C. One of my favorites, just never seen it in one color. Beautiful. I bought the pattern cafe years ago, Midnight at the Oasis, but never began it. All you ladies amaze me with all your quilts.

  9. brendalynne1

    is it your christening dress ??? The hand-sewn dress made by my great great grandmother for her youngest daughter who passed away at age 4 is also white but definitely not as long as yours. There were no articles of clothing for my great grandfather who would have been even younger than she was. So the info she placed in the package with the dress only indicated the childs name and age and this has left us with estimations about the age of the dress that is in remarkably good condition.
    I also checked your white dogs on your shelves to see if you could give some dates on them. Same granparents white dog is on my dresser.
    I really enjoy your newsletter.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Brendalynne1 – I have collected all the dogs from flea markets, thrift stores and antique malls so no dates known.

  10. Janet S

    Just a note for everyone. When my mother-in-law passed, she had TONS of figurines and nick-nacks. We wanted to sell them at a garage sale but couldn’t face hand washing so we put them all in the dish washer with soap and a mild setting. They all came out beautiful. As I remember, the only precaution we took was to not let it dry much but opened the door and let them air dry.

  11. Cheryl from Niagara Falls

    Love all the figurines too. I had decorated my first daughter’s nursery with Bessie Pease Gutman pictures. I always thought they were adorable. I remember buying a plate a month from the Franklin Mint. They are still packed away in their original boxes as I never did put them up. Forgot all about them till I saw your photo. I am relocating/redoing my sewing room and I think I will put those up! Very pretty quilts. That first one looks like it took a lot of time!

    Love all the animals!!!

  12. Sandra Goddard

    What more could you ask for on a Monday morning but pictures of quilts and pets. They are a natural together. Thank you.

  13. Marcia

    A person wears 20% of their clothes 80% of the time. Why do we keep so many clothes that are never worn? My mom grew up during the depression and as an adult had way too many clothes that were new or never worn. I donated clothes w/ tags on them when I cleaned out their house. Last winter I cleaned out a large walk in closet and donated to a center that helps low income women dress for office work. I had suits & dresses from teaching that I no longer wore. My daughter didn’t use my wedding dress so I donated it to a lady who makes gowns for still born babies. Hospitals in Columbus Ohio call her when they need a gown. She said my gown made 8 infant gowns.

  14. Kathy in western NY

    Lovely blog post to enjoy with my morning coffee!! Pretty quilts, sweet pets and love seeing Mama Kitty. She’s still so timid staying in the barn. But she’s safe.
    I never tire of seeing a bulleyes quilt or string quilts and those made with skills way more than I have so I appreciate seeing everyone’s creations. Rick is busy tending to jobs in the yard and home like most of us are so glad we’re in the same boat. We just pace ourselves.

  15. Karen

    Mary, congrats on purging some dresses. I too kept my prom (55 years ago!) dresses etc but we moved out of state. It was hard for me to part with my memory clothes but I took pictures of them and off they went to a resale shop. Hoping someone will use them for a Halloween costume if nothing else. I did keep my wedding and baptism dresses.

  16. Pattie from PA

    Love the pink poodle figurine! Can’t help being partial when you own three. I’ll send you a picture of my pink poodle to share.

  17. Lynette in Orlando

    Mary, thank you so much for posting the pictures of our quilts. I so appreciate seeing them – for me they are very inspirational. Love all your animals as well!!!!

  18. Marie C

    Loved all the pictures today. I have my grandmother’s white cocker spaniel dog figurine plus a few others. Today is errand day. The flower pictures are so pretty.

  19. Connie R. In N. Wis.

    We all love seeing your collections. That goat figurine is so cute and, love the doll with her stylish hat. Thanks for sharing your collection. I too save a lot of items, more because of the memories than the item itself.
    I was gifted some beautiful red quilt fabric so, I’m working on a quilt similar to the one Connie had in her “ sewing room tour”.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Connie R – I don’t remember the goat figurine – went back to look, too.

  20. Lori

    Your readers have wonderful quilts, thanks for sharing.
    I’m wondering how the rat situation is? We live on a farm and have exterminators service our farm. Anyone who says they don’t have rats, just have not seen them. They are everywhere!
    Hmmm, I would have never thought to save special clothes.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Lori – I honestly do think they’re gone but not because of Orkin who was a huge disappointment in the long run. Hazel can sniff out a rat the minute she enters the barn! I think I ended with 74 that I saw dead either from poison, a trap I bought online or Hazel. It’s possible they ate the poison and died under the broken floor however. I leave little signs that a rat would investigate and have seen no action. I think this was definitely a case of a rat community moving in and I eventually found young dead rats – another sign of eliminating the colony. I used mostly baking soda but did push poison bait into holes in the floor and covered up all those holes with cement blocks. It took months of my attention which made me upset to even walk into the barn! Wish I could loan Hazel to you because she is disappointed that they’re all gone! Ha!

  21. Judy

    Marie C – wow! What a quilt! Your fabric choices are amazing. I almost did not recognize “Midnight at the Oasis!” If anyone is not familiar with the original, look it up. Then you can so much more appreciate Marie’s creativity!!! You GO, Girl! I started the quilt years ago. I do a round and then shelve it – then do another round and shelve it. I may have to look through the shelves to see what round I am doing.
    Happy Quilting, Everyone!

    Texas Spring took a turn to Texas cold Spring – had to find winter coat to walk dogs yesterday – brrrrr

  22. Terri Flynn

    So many beautiful and interesting quilts, and I love that hot pink dress on the floor with the orange trim. ❤️
    What is the infirmary?

  23. Teresa in Indiana

    I love all the pics today. You are such an enthusiastic collector. I love everything – don’t have the room to make collections. I found time to sew while watching MLB yesterday. I’ll send pics of the table mat I finished. Spring has disappeared for a few days. It was below freezing this morning. Brrrr! Happy Monday everyone.

  24. Susy Boyer - San Diego, CA

    So many talented quilting women out there. Love the sharing. And speaking of sharing… Mary, your barnyard animals are fun to see. I really get a feel for the country!
    Great job on donating so much, it sure feels good to do good. Also, you have some great collectables. I have a beautiful old curio cabinet full of my frog collection. I had a young nephew visit me years ago (he’s grown up and married now) and he said ever so sincerely and sweetly, Mom’s like to collect things. He’s got that right. Have a great day everyone and keep sewing!

  25. Vicki Ibarra

    Love the quilts. The simple squares arranged in diagonal displays of colors make me think I should tackle one of those.

    Last week I took 4 bags of clothes to the Salvation Army. I had cleaned out closets and dressers of my work clothes (I don’t need skirts, blazers, etc anymore) as well as all the clothes that are too big for me. My closet is now only 1/3 full and I have carefully bought only a few things in my new size. I only need what I wear at home and a few “good” clothes. Truth be told, most of what I need is yard work clothes.

    I have collected only a few collectibles over the years. However, I purchased/collected fabric for 25 years for when I would have time to quilt. My stash will keep me going for some time. Sadly, there are a few colors that make me go, “what was I thinking?”. I challenge myself to use one of those pieces in a quilt now and then and have actually had them turn out well, for the most part, because of the other colors I mix in. I will eventually work through them. Have a great day.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Vicki – you’ve lost a lot of weight? You’re not sick, are you?

      1. Vicki

        I developed fructose and lactose malabsorption. After drinking milk all my life, I must limit what I drink. And I learned not only fruits have fructose but veggies have fructans. I spent a year learning what I could and could not eat and I still will have something that throws the GI tract for a loop. But I am healthy. Just had to learn to eat differently.

  26. Lorraine McGeough

    Thank you for the beautiful quilt pics and loved the cute animal pics. You sure are a busy lady. Don’t work too hard doing yard work. Looks like you are going to have some great weather.
    We are finally enjoying some sunshine in northern Arizona.

  27. Joy in NW Iowa

    I agree with the black skirt/pants having to be in my closet. I have a long one and a knee length. Then I have several things that are before Covid that go with those skirts. So you guessed it….my things are all winter colors but that is what goes with gray hair 😂. For everyday I wear comfortable stuff or jeans and in the summer I love knee length jean skirts. Cooler than pants for sure. So my stuff is old. If it fits…
    Love all the pictures. I still have not mastered getting my name in the quilt pictures! Ugh!
    Hey! No wind today and 56 degrees. I’m going to go sit in it this afternoon!
    Happy sewiing

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Joy – I just told Sam it was a beautiful day with NO WIND! I can work outside!

  28. Helen

    This was definitely the weekend for cleaning closets! My daughter came and is helping me do mine. Yes, Mom’s coat, old suede coat, dresses worn to all the kid’s weddings…..oh my! It is hard for me to let things go as I am a real sentimentalist! But she’s a big help as she is a mimalist. Haha… how did I have her? Love the quilts, Marie, a real masterpiece! Sweet collection of baby pictures. Could never part with those. I love that you still go to thrift stores and do buy something on occasion that you want to have. We need things we love around us even if we have too many already!
    Love, love, love, this blog!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Helen – I want to be happy until I die – I have decided I can’t do death cleaning. Everything I ever got rid of pops up at some time when I want it again. I’ll leave enough money in my trust to dispense with it all. 🙂

      1. Helen

        Amen!! I totally agree!! no death cleaning. that’s too hard! Just getting some more room to keep what “I gotta have!” My daughter will be back in a couple months to continue. I need a break! haha!

  29. Linda Kopisch

    Hi! I absolutely have to make “Pet Parade”! I love the arrangement of the stripped blocks and simple lattice! Going to plan it for our next guild group donation quilt project. (My job to come up with a fun project for all abilities.)
    1. Everyone cut fabrics into assorted width strips.
    2. Throw them in a lightly tossed pile.
    3. Grab a strip. Starting from near to the center, sew diagonally on common size base square.
    4. Return strip to pile if more than a couple inches remaining.
    5. Must use fabric strip you pick or will cost you a quarter to exchange with money going to future donation.
    6. Admire our work!
    Thank you, Mary, for a fun quilt!

    Linda K.
    Butternut, WI

  30. Gloria b - northern illinois

    Took a cruise through some of your books for pattern ideas for brushed cotton. I’m leaning toward “devils claw” from civil war remembered or “churn dash weave” from the blue and the gray. Maybe increase block size for a faster sew?

  31. Jackie in NY

    Hi Mary – the quilts today were all visually appealing!! As always, I love pet pictures and especially chicken pictures!! What a nice collection of figurines!

  32. Paula Nordt

    Mary, I DID enlarge the dog figurine photo because I wanted to see what was in the photo in the brown frame to the left. You (I guess it’s you) are hugging a goat! So sweet!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Paula – yes, it’s Susannah and me and that picture is included in the book that’s in production right now! I have not see the first proof yet.

  33. Marie C

    Ladies thanks for liking my version of Midnight at the Oasis. It was great fun to make. I used the dragon fly fabric to choose the fabrics I used. There are around 60 different fabrics in the top. There is no such thing as using too many fabrics.

  34. Sharon Eshlaman

    Thanks for putting a smile on my face….your “blog about nothing” is the best!

  35. NJ

    Daughter had prom dresses etc hanging at our house so I took them apart (with her permission) and used a pattern to sew smaller versions of “play dresses” for our oldest granddaughter. Added lace etc. & Velcro closures. Put them in a flowered storage box with plastic high heels & necklaces. They were a hit with her & playmates. She’d even haul them in a plastic bag to the babysitter. Many hours of fun.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      NJ-Now that is one of the most thoughtful fun ideas I’ve ever heard! What little girl wouldn’t love to dress up in a fancy dress – that fits her!! My old prom dresses were quite simple compared to dresses today so a little girl wouldn’t think much of them, sadly.

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