Taking A Break

I could not put these housecleaning tasks off any longer – it takes a long time for me to say “enough!” but that’s what I’m saying today. I’ll sit down with my Diet Coke and talk to you gals for a few minutes.

Continue reading

I know you all enjoyed Connie’s tour and I did, too. A lot of those things that she still has in some cupboard, I have gotten rid of. When we would have our annual Open House we sold sewing room rummage and I worked hard at it and was so glad to be rid of it! I’m nearly at that point now but then I think, I love all my fabric and don’t really want to get rid of it entirely. We will consider the grab bag boxes when we have time.

As I opened that cupboard with the Kaffe Fasset fabrics to show you, I made a note to self to make something easy with it because it’s so beautiful. I took this picture last night of my cutting table – it doesn’t look much like me, does it?

I’ll show you what I’m doing when I truly have something to show!

So many of you mentioned Betty – isn’t she just the picture of sweetness? Soon she’ll be coming to the farm again with Connie – right now it’s just too cold and too much snow.

Update on the chicks – I let them out with the big chickens today but I’ve been down there several times to check on them. I’ve read that chickens like to peck at themselves in a mirror so I put one in the chicks’ pen and Mama headed right over to it, fluffed out her feathers and tried to attack that other chicken that was coming too close to her babies!

Not good pics, I know. Here’s a better one.

Love that gray hen!

And here’s the goose water – they put their heads in and blow and swish back and forth sending water flying! By morning the heated bucket is virtually empty.

And Hazel cannot leave the ball in the house even when it’s below zero!

Do any of you readers get the Our Iowa Magazine? Remember the owl from last spring? They’re going to print the picture of me putting the owl back in the tree in the next issue. I’ll be sure to show you when it comes!

And then there’s my knee that I mentioned last week. The MRI showed a torn meniscus and my dr. gave me a cortisone shot which has really helped. He will scope my knee when the shots don’t work any more.

And then a kitchen accident last Thursday. I was melting the butter and the marshmallows in the microwave for Rice Krispie bars. When it was done and I was taking it out of the microwave with my left hand, I caught the edge of the bowl and tipped that hot “molten lava” on to the countertop, the floor, the pictures on the wall, and my right hand. Try getting that sticky stuff out of grooves in a wood floor — yuck. My hand is nearly healed now and oh my it could have been soooo bad.

This is my normal winter hand that gets so cold and so dry that it cracks on the tips and by the nail. It’s just part of winter.

Today is March 4 and I’m going to ask for your recent book titles – if you have read something really good, please tell me and I’ll post the list next week. That gives you 7 days to send me your book titles and authors if you know them.

Many of you asked about the directions for Connie’s cute folders. We’ll do that in time – it might have to be a printed direction sheet – we’ll see.

I also talked about color inspiration and I’ll get to that this week if I can – so much to do this week! I also have not had time to decide what project I’m going to make from Beyond The Battlefield. Hang in there with me!

I think that’s all the Miscellaneous I can think of so until tomorrow, make someone laugh!

93 thoughts on “Taking A Break

  1. Carmen

    I have trouble with cracks on my fingers too. The best product I have found, and I’ve tried a lot, is called No Crack. There are several formulas, but the night formula is the best. You get great relief overnight. Funny story, the night has kind of a strong smell. My cat, Whitey, would jump on the bed, and if I had the No Crack on, he would just turn around, and jump down!!

  2. Margie Braaksma

    The surgeon by Tess Gerritsen
    First book in the Rizzoli and Isles series
    Suspense and mystery

  3. Moe Baly

    Hi Mary, I love reading your posts like everyone else. On the commute to work I sometimes read out loud to Jay my driver. :-). Working in a cold office all winter with papers dries out all our fingers too, we compare cracks with the guys in the warehouse and shipping. I keep O’Keefes on my desk which works great. I put it on my finger tips all day. Vaseline I use at home, on my feet too before I put my socks on. I like the idea of chap stick, will try it.

    I’m working on the Bulls Eye quilt. Still cutting squares and circles so I’m way behind. I just started radiation, its going good. Just nausea and dizzy spells so far. Which may sound odd but I suffer from both on occasion so I’m thinking the radiation is bringing out my weaknesses. Anyway, a friend told me that during radiation to focus on my “happy place”. So I’m focusing on my Bulls Eye quilt! How much more of a happy place can there be than playing with fabric and making a quilt! This is the perfect time to make this quilt, thank you for bringing it back!

    Love the pictures of the dogs and other animals. Always fun to see. The tours of yours and Connie’s sewing rooms are amazing. I havent shown Jay yet but will. He’ll think nothing of my collection then. I hope! Tell Connie I said Hi.

    Hope your burns are healing ok. Take care of them. I made Irish Soda Bread over the weekend, the recipe is from Sis Daley, the first Mayor Daley of Chicago’s wife. I think this year it was the best I ever made. I also made Quilter’s Pickles. I’ll send you the recipes. I haven’t made rice crispy treats in years, adding cranberries like someone suggested sounds good. Maybe I’ll make it this weekend! No time to read at this point in my life but I love hearing the reviews. You cover so many topics! Wonderful!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Moe Baly — how many radiation treatments? So sorry you’re having to go through that!

  4. Bridget

    Daughters of the Winter Queen. by Nancy Goldstone. fantastic book and really shows HOW the Germans became kings of England. Not even fiction!

  5. scott hansen

    When I get off work here, It is my FRIDAY! So I will go home and sew and do taxes and some yardwork….>Those are my fantastic plans! I am most looking forward to the sewing of course.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Scott Hansen – yard work? You’re kidding! You can get into your yard to work?

  6. Linda Groth Olsen

    I would not want to get rid of a fabric.stash like that either..
    You worked hard for that fabric…my fingers crack in the winter too…thanks for the ideas of how to treat that….

  7. Diane Deibler

    I am reading The Midwife series.there are 3 books and the library has them on DVD. Set in England after ww1.

  8. Andi

    Hi Mary,
    Years ago when I worked in a quilt shop we used Glysolid on our fingers to keep those cracks healing up. You might be able to get it in a beauty supply store if you have one. We didn’t, so now I order it online. Rub it into the cracks and cover with band aid overnight. It really softens it up and helps it to heal and takes some of the sorenesss out.
    I’ve had a tin of it for years and keep using it.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Andi – we sold it, too! I had forgotten about it but I remember it really worked for me. I can find some – thanks!

      1. Andi

        Good to hear Mary! Those darn cracks can get so sore!
        By the way, I love the new book, and am trying to decide which quilt to make first!

  9. Hope McMurrich

    Enjoy your blog so much! Winnipeg has had the coldest winter in 8 years and lots of snow. Flooding predicted for the Spring.
    Am reading The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton and really enjoying it!

  10. Lee

    Good morning, there’s a lot of chatter about your stash. Quilting friends who read your blog are very impressed.
    I have been reading At Home In Mitford by Jan Karon. My sisters wanted to read it together. I have read it but I have to say, it’s addictive.Not only have I read the first one, but I am almost finished with number three. It’s like a big Episcopalian revival. I keep telling my self this is the last one……we’ll see I guess.
    Btw, none of my sisters have started the book, but it’s been a joy for me.
    Stay warm and be happy. Lee from NC

  11. Brenda in Iowa

    Sorry to read about your cracked fingers, Mary. I’m dealing with a crack on my middle finger, right hand – you know – the one you push the needle with while sewing on binding – OUCH! What do you use to heal your fingers beside the tape in the picture? I got some Nexcare Skin Crack Care at the grocery store Sunday after church but I’m not impressed with it. I wonder if that skin ‘glue’ would work?
    You and Reed should make plans to come to What Cheer this year to their famous flea market. It sure is a treasure trove of items.
    My book suggestion is ‘Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Brenda in Iowa – I have been at that flea market just once and it was so fun! What are the dates this year? Reed would love it!

  12. Carol T

    I use cera ve moisture cream and when all else fails, I use new skin liquid bandage…..it really helps even though it can sting for a bit when first applied! Take it easy….you don’t want to hurt yourself!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Kathy Schwartz- what’s the current status with the cows and roof and snow and all? Did you hear about the birthday blizzard coming this weekend? And yes, you’re right, Hazel and Betty do take the cake! Ha!

  13. Tina W.

    I know what you mean about housework. I’d rather be sewing and so my house doesn’t get cleaned until it drives me crazy! It’s getting there. I tell everyone that if they want to see me, come any time but if they want to see my house, make an appointment!!
    I look forward to your blog and close as many ads as I see. Thanks for the tour of your and Connie’s sewing rooms. And I thought my stash was huge! Not even close!

  14. Deborah Harrison

    Books or authors: Virgil Wander by Leif Enger, The Seeing Machine by Natalie Fergie, anything by Louise Penny, The Patch by John McPhee, The Alice Network by Kate Quinn, The Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles, Killer of the Flower Moon by David Grann, Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan, The Ragged Edge of Night by Olivia Hawk, anything by Ivan Doig or Kent Haruf or Fredrick Backman, Nine Women, One Dress by Jane L. Rosen.

    Ps, got my new book and love it!!!

  15. Lora Jans

    Ghosted by Rosie Walsh was excellent as was Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen by Sarah Bird

  16. Donna

    Two books that I recently read and enjoyed were A Year by the Sea by Joan Anderson and The Leisure Seeker, by Michael Zadoorian, which is a movie with Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland. Both were easy easy, enjoyable reading.

  17. Diane in Central Ohio

    Mary, I forgot to mention. My husband’s hands crack, too. He uses Superglue. He holds the cracks together and I glue them. He also puts different kinds of products on like Udder Cream or Vaseline after we glue them. It’s kind of odd, but works for him😃. I love the gray chicken, too.

  18. Caryn Goulden

    When you mentioned doing something with Kaffe fabric I had to rummage in my stash. Seems I have more Kaffe than I thought I do. Hoping you will have some inspiration! Betty looks like such a sweetheart. My Grandpa raised chickens, so I love when you share pictures of yours. And your poor fingers! Bag Balm has worked for me, but now I use O’Keeffe’s working hands. It absorbs better and doesn’t leave a greasy feel. I put it on like regular hand cream, then at night put an extra gob and a bandaid on the splits.
    BOOK: I really enjoyed Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. I see that Arliene Ziegler also recommended it.
    Stay warm.

  19. Linda

    Mary I also have trouble each winter with the tips of my fingers cracking. My husband suggested I get O’Keeffe’s working hands hand cream made for extremely dry, cracked hands. It works great if you rub into the tips of your fingers. I keep it handy and put it on several times a day. My hands have not cracked at all this winter a first for me!! (Available T good old Wal Mart.

    I would like to recommend the book “Wishing You Well” by David Baldacci.

  20. Jan from TN

    I have the same feelings about housework that you do! I also need to clean, tho, because my sister is coming from MI for a few days next week & I don’t really care to have her see how we REALLY live! LOL!! That microwave accident sounds very painful & not at all fun to clean up! Did you ever make the rice krispie treats or did you just give up, as I probably would have?
    I just send you 2 emails — one of unusual but amazing flowers (think spring) & one to hopefully make you laugh! Hang in there! I, too, thought you meant from the blog when your title for this post was “taking a break”! Please don’t scare us like that ever again! Ha!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Jan In TN – no, I did not start over with the Rice Krispie bars because I didn’t have another package of marshmallows – I don’t think I’ll EVER make them again!

  21. Dee Winter

    OK you gave me a fright when it said “taking a break” I thought from the blog. I too am trying to do some housework. One of the gals I follow on facebook just made a quilt with KF and it was so far out of her comfort zone. She said she was so relieved when it was done! I loved it. And The Golden Tresses of the Dead by Alan Bradley was awesome, it’s the last book in the Flavia De Luce series. The first one was Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, the whole series is wonderful. Take care,

  22. Nikki M....Tx

    Know what you mean by simple pattern that features fabric.. have some indigos that had to feature in quilt…made a bed rug…will send photo…have gotten on a bed rug kick..make up quick..easy to see & quilt..plus I like the look of them on bed..one size can be used on twin to king…No more BAQ ‘s for me. Oh, while no snow &cannot compare with weather y’all have been enduring but woke to 17 degree weather this morning and high today was 30. Weatherman says Saturday high should be 70. Welcome to Texas!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Nikki M – honestly that must feel very cold to you – weather is cold everywhere, isn’t it? What a terrible winter! I can’t imagine temps like 17 in TX!!

  23. Launa

    Mary…..good to have a few minutes catching up with Chicken Scratch this afternoon. No new snow here today, but it was single digits early morning. Try some Vaseline on those split fingers. It really is good to use. I commented to Ellie in this blog about it.
    Thinking about the families who lost homes and relatives to tornadoes. Just can’t imagine those losses.

  24. Saundra Jones

    Saundra In Nothern IL.
    Mary, I enjoy your blog so much. I too. Am a fan of the modern fabrics, especially Kaffe. With having a shop you are probably much more aware of the free patterns than me, but wanted to tell you and your followers that freespirit.com have several free patterns for Kaffe fabrics. The two I saw were Carnival of Color and Stripes. You can use scraps or fat quarters for Carnival, but need the entire width for Stripes.

  25. Paula Philpot

    I love closing the ads to get to keep reading your news, hope everyone else does. Love all the things you print. Paula in KY

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Paula P – thanks for closing those ads – it pays our expenses that incur with this. Log.

  26. Jeanine

    Yes, we receive the “Our Iowa” magazine, so will look for your picture when we get it. Do you know if it will be in the next issue? I thoroughly enjoyed the tours of your quilting spaces. I was in your shop a couple times. I live in Oskaloosa, so was not able to visit very often. I so enjoy receiving your emails. Just like hearing from a very good friend.

  27. Jean

    Dear Mary,
    What a wonderful letter from you today! I love being able to share some of your day!
    Thank you!
    -Jean ❤
    BOOK: “The Goldfinch”, by Donna Tartt

  28. Connie

    I also recommend O’Keeffe’s Working Hands hand cream. Comes in a green tub. Available at WalMart and hardware stores for about $6.00. My husband is a forester and works in the woods in Northern Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. His fingers start cracking as soon as it starts getting cold outside. O’Keeffe’s works for him.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Connie – I have it. When my fingers get cold it’s a sure thing they’re going to crack.

    2. Kay McCaffery

      O’Keeffe’s is he best. My fingers always cracked like that, too until I started using it.

  29. Sue in Oregon

    Yes, Betty is beautiful. She seems so calm for a puppy. And, Hazel stays adorable as she begins to leave puppyhood. Baby chicks are sure growing now. And the gray hen and black and white rooster make a very good looking couple. Such fun to see and read about all the animals.
    I have never owned a single piece of Kaffe Fassett fabric. Don’t know what’s wrong with me. Every quilter I know seems to love it.
    For some reason, I have slowed on my reading this winter. More often than not I just turn off the bedside lamp and go to sleep. Right now though, I am reading The Memory Weaver by Jane Kirkpatrick. I love all of her books. This one is about the girl that witnessed the Whitman massacre in 1847.
    And, last but not least, I am finally beginning to quilt my Bulls Eye quilt. At first, my husband thought it was quite strange as he watched me cut the circles. But, when he saw it layed out to pin, he asked if he could have it. Men are so funny. I said yes, and I was pleased he likes it.,

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Sue in Oregon – isn’t that sweet that your husband really liked your Bullseye Quilt?

  30. Pamela in Missouri

    Whenever I see Country Threads Chicken Scratch in my email box it ALWAYS puts a smile on my face.Thank you so much for sharing your life with us. I recently finished a Kaffe Fasset wall quilt since his fabrics seem to be all the rage. It turned out quite nicely and I proudly hung it on the wall. However, I quickly realized it’s just ‘not me’. A lot of people like the bold, in your face, tons of color fabrics. But, I know now that I prefer those cozy, warm, snuggly colors. Those Civil War reproductions, those sweet shirtings, those delicate prints. Thank goodness we have fabric designers and quilters who love it all.

  31. patti leal

    lovely post as always. at one time i was quilting along with you and got side-stepped. it was using a jelly roll and pairing light and dark, stitch, cut into four equal pieces and build the block. i’m thinking you did something different at the top of some of the rows. i’m not sure. if that rings any bells would you lead me to a picture please? just about ready to lay out the top now. i just finished reading ‘the 7th canon’ by robert dugoni.. he also wrote the tracy crosswhite books. i could barely put the book down. in fact as soon as i got up today, i finished the last of it. very well written, lots of twists and turns, good cop/bad cop. also ‘Pieces of Her’ by karin slaughter. very good. take care of yourself and be super careful around hot liquids. 🙂 love all your photos. patti in florid

  32. PJ

    Thanks as always n sorry you burnt yourself, heal well:!!!! Makes my day to read your blog n I am amazed at all you do n accomplish, Wonder Woman!!!!👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

  33. Diane in Central Ohio

    Love the whole post today and the pics of your studio and Connie’s. Hazel makes me laugh. Here’s another laugh and true story. A lady got a new Lab puppy. It learned quickly to “herd” her sheep if they escaped from their enclosure. The Lab puppy was very proud of his skills and the owner was, too. The woman also had fainting goats. One time they all got out so the young dog ( no longer a puppy) quite enthusiastically barked and herded them so they would go back in their enclosure. Well, one by one in a long row, each goat fainted. The poor young dog put its head down and looked at the owner as if to say, “I’m really sorry I killed your goats.” Cute story. My friend’s book club is reading or re-reading all the American “classics”–Gone with the Wind, Of Mice and Men, The Great Gatsby, The Catcher in the Rye, etc. Kind of a fun idea.

    1. Brenda archambault

      Diane, what a wonderful idea. I missed many of the titles the first time around and keep promising myself to read them while I still can.
      Mary, I once concocted a mixture of Vaseline, baby lotion and vitamin D (?) And it would just work wonders on healing boo-boos. Perhaps someone out there has the correct measurements. Great for dry skin and healing cracks.

      1. Ruth

        Judy at Patchworktimes.com makes this lotion concoction every year. She has the recipe on her blog.

    2. CountryThreads Post author

      Diane in Central Ohio – I have had this happen here – the 3 Amigos are half fainting goats and two of them get stiff legged and just tip over at the slightest little thing!

  34. Mary Evans

    Book: I just read my first Robert Dugoni book. It is the first book in his second series which features Seattle homicide detective Tracy Crosswhite. Good book! The title is “My Sister’s Grave”.

  35. Linzey

    I have the same winter skin issue. I always get deep cracks on fingertips. I finally found a way to fix them – liquid bandage. Product I use is called New Skin. Start easy as it STINGS, big time. I paint it on the cracks which seals and bridges the gaps. Once it dries I can do things!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Linsey – I have New Skin but it just doesn’t work for me – I put it on and the crack continues to go deeper- layer after layer. Pretty soon it’s on so thick it peels off.

  36. Marian Stever

    Book: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. It is 530 pages so it is taking me a while. I am such a slow reader.
    Loved the pictures from Connie’s sewing areas. Those stashes are so inviting. So happy to see the pictures of Betty, Hazel, and the chickens. Makes me smile on a cold, wintery day. Good luck with your fingers. Lots of suggestions here for you! Thank you for your blog postings…I look for them every day!

  37. mary jane

    Ouch, nothing worse than a burn, a sticky burn.. All I know is quickly put your hand or whatever, in cold water for a few mins. it stops the burning. I also have had the sore fingers, hands and found at Menards the small green jar called O’KEEFFE’S WORKING HANDS cream. Rub it on you sore and/or cracked hands at nite when you go to bed, after a few nites of this things look much better and feel better. One can do so during the day too but most of us wash it off quite frequently …not a lot of $$ either. Hope it works for you also.
    I also have a few books of Kaffe Fassett’s, love them, so colorful and bright…I have seen many lovely pillows of his fabrics.
    Books: have already sent some in but can add: THE WEIGHT OF A PIANO by Chris Cander
    SMALL GREAT THINGS by Jodi Picoult
    Again Mary thanks for making our day…

  38. Linda Rouse

    I just love your pictures and the stories. Yours and Connie’s rooms are wonderful to look at. I don’t feel so bad. I made my husband look at your rooms. He just said we are all nuts. That’s ok with me. Sewing today as wind chills are 25 below zero. You would think we would be able to handle this weather as we had 50 below earlier just like you. But really it’s just too cold to do anything. My dog also lives to play ball, Too cold for that. We all have cabin feaver. It’s nice to look at the seed catalogs that are bombarding our mailbox. Spring will come,……….. eventually.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Linda Rouse – I read your comment to Rick about all of us being nuts and he agreed! Haha!

  39. Lisa B

    The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers. Best book I’ve read in months. I’m still thinking about it. I thoroughly enjoy your blog. Thank you for your time and effort and Photos and information.

  40. Beth T.

    Oh, the birds and the water. Years ago I took our favorite hen to an avian specialist for surgery. She was a very smart woman, had been the head of the regional Audubon Society in addition to everything else she did. Anyway, she told me that grooming is very important to chickens and other birds, so much so that when a sick hen, duck, parrot, goose is brought in, if it is gloomy, lethargic, looking very puny, one of the first things she does is make sure it can groom itself. Give it some water. If there’s room, allow it to have a dust bath. As soon as they can do that, the results can be next to miraculous. On the other hand, she gave me a stern warning when we took our Rosie home post-op to watch her closely and be sure that she continued to groom, that it would be a bad sign if she stopped taking care of herself. We see the same thing with our old cats, of course, when they start to get matted, though I never know if that’s a bit of arthritis, when it’s too painful to reach back and groom those long tails.
    Thanks for sharing the photos. Love to see Betty’s sweet face.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Beth T – I will share your comment about the hen with Reed – very interesting!

  41. Betty Klosterman

    This is for cracks in your fingers. Many years ago a kind pharmacist in Grandby, CO told me to use just plain ChapStick on my cracked hands before going to bed. Rub a heavy coat of the stuff on your hands with extra on the bad spots and you will really notice a huge improvement in the morning. It is amazing.
    Mary, take your time. We don’t do well trying to hurry at our age. I keep reminding myself……
    Remember several years ago on the TV quilting programs when exact piles of fabric were given to 2 experts and they were supposed to put them together in a certain amount of time? It was fascinating to watch. They both did the same thing to start: separate the darks from the lights.
    Oh, the cupboard doors under my kitchen sink aren’t going to know how to act when the weather warms up!

    1. Kathy

      Betty, I have also heard from some friends here in NY about using chapstick on fingers and it’s convenient to carry when you are just sitting and need some moisture on finger tips. Thanks for reminding me.

  42. Kathy in western NY

    I was so excited to sit and read your chatter that I will now go back and close the ads! Your life is blessed each day with pets and fabric and domestic house chores. I started using a healing overnight formula of gold bond hand cream for the cracks on my fingers and it helps me. Again we thank you for the hard work you put into such good posts on yours and Connie’s sewing rooms. It was great reading and therapy to know we all love our stashes. Glad your hand is healing from the burn.

  43. Rhoda Ebersole

    Yes reading about spilling that hot mixture all over your kitchen and you made me cringe. Take care. We get clumsier as we age. NOT fun.

    Kaffe Fassett fabric is always a delight and I would like more of it in my mini stash.
    Finished my taxes and am sending them to the CPA in Mpls today. Just gets more difficult each year,
    But we are having blooming trees and shrubs and birds singing so Spring is on its way in Las Vegas.
    Last Boat Out of Shanghai by Helen Zia
    The Big House by George Howe Colt

    Please take care of you
    RIP Luke Perry

  44. Chris Harrington

    My recent reads:

    The Irish Cottage by Juliet Gauvin
    The Last Suppers by Mandy Mikulencak
    Sheila Connolly : The County Cork mystery series

    That’s all for now. I loved the tours of your and Connie’s quilt spaces. I’m envious of all the space you both have. 🙂

  45. Carla J

    Our golden, Blue and Hazel need to play together. Blue has brought the outside balls and sticks into the house. Mouth checks are done at the door. We learnt the hard way when the setter, Jet, brought his new toy into the house. His new toy was a fledgling yard bird! Still living and hopping away when our backs were turned as Jet wanted to play with his new toy before bedtime.
    Book recommendations:
    We Hope ForBetter Things by Erin Bartels
    The Winter Guest by Pam Jenoff

  46. Lisa in Washington state

    This is really off-topic considering your post today. However I am looking for some Hereford fabric for a friend. She wants to make a birthday quilt for her daughter turning 14 later this summer. The daughter raises Herefords. I have been unable to find any. Could you put a request out to your readers in case anyone has some unwanted Hereford fabric in their stash that I could buy? Thanks so much if you can do that! If not, could you recommend any way to find some. I’ve looked online at great length and have also put my request into a couple of online fabric search sites but have had no luck so far.
    Take care of that hand, stay warm, don’t clean too much and have fun sewing that Kaffe fabric. I love his stuff!

    1. Fiona at Ice Bear Quilts

      Lisa, Spoonflower offers a hereford quilting fabric in a range of colours. You can also find hereford quilting fabric on Etsy.

      1. Lisa

        Fiona, thank you! I’ve looked at that, unfortunately the Mom wanted a more traditional Hereford fabric than what Spoonflower or Etsy had to offer. I’m beginning to think that what she wants doesn’t exist.

        1. CountryThreads Post author

          Lisa – I think your mom is being too fussy – maybe she should appliqué Herefords instead of looking for fabric. We could all wish for a very specific fabric – I’d like fabric with Hazel’s likeness but what fabric manufacturer is going to be able to sell enough to make it profitable? It’s too breed specific to find enough buyers to make the whole process profitable and you’re right, it doesn’t exist. I’m sorry but I hope I have explained it somewhat.

    2. CountryThreads Post author

      Lisa in Washington State – please read Fiona’s comment – she found some Hereford fabric for you! Oh, what a great group of gals!

  47. Marsha from Kansas

    I did so enjoy the tours of yours and Connie’s sewing areas. Thanks for all your hard work organizing all the pictures. Oh, my, Betty is just so cute! I, too, am trying to brighten up my fabric colors, too. I’ve gotten some Me and My Sister fabric I want to try use with their Dresden ruler. That is about as bright as I am ready to venture for now. Maybe we’re trying to think (wish) spring with the florals!

  48. Judy Linn

    Yes, Betty just melts my heart! And Hazel makes me laugh and laugh! What a handfulllll!

    It is 20 something degrees in Texas today! We Texans do not have all the gear, nor the houses to withstand too much of this. Gratefullly – no frozen pipes here!

    Take care of ye-selves – all in the cold and snow!
    Judy in Texas

  49. Diane Bauer

    I got up to -9 this morning–felt like I was back in MN!! I have such admiration for you farmers who care for animals regardless of the weather. Our high today is supposed to be about 20. We got 8″ of snow so shoveling kept me busy all weekend.

    Hazel really is a cutie–so much personality! I love the hens as well!

    No, Mary, the Kaffe Fasset fabric doesn’t look like you at all. I’ll be curious to see what you create with your stash. I know many are big fans and a couple of our local quilt shops have huge offerings. I have never bought any because it doesn’t look like me either. Maybe you’ll provide inspiration and I’ll have to go shopping again!

  50. Catherine Riggleman

    Rule of Law – John Lescroart
    The Suspect- Fiona Barton
    The Great Alone – Kristin Hannah
    The Perfect Couple – Elin Hilderbrand
    Winter in Paradise – Elin Hilderbrand

  51. Jean Elliott

    Using coconut oil..don’t know why they call it oil since it’s solid in the jar….to soften your hands & feet works fabulously! I use a popsicle stick to get it out of the jar and once you get it on your hands it melts into the oil.

  52. Annie Morgan

    The studio tour was so much fun! I’ve only been quilting for 32 years, but sewing all my life and worked in quilts shops for 7 years. I have quite the stash, too! I am getting ready for a move from Vermont to my home state of Virginia next week. I found it hard to part with much, so I’m packing it up and taking it with me! I have an ENORMOUS stash of Kaffe fabrics. I agree on simple design for those fabrics.
    As far as books, I have favorite authors. Louise Penny’s books about the village of Three Pines are wonderful.

  53. Martha Engstler

    Someone may already have mentioned the book series by Lilian Jackson Braun, The Cat Who — —- —- —-.I’ve lost track of how many she wrote but they are all delightful. I’m starting to read them again. Hope your hand is okay after your “lava” spill. That hurts just thinking about it; Sounds like your area of Iowa is getting an awful amount of snow. We keep getting it here in Penna. but it doesn’t stick around like yours. The dogs seem to love it though.

  54. Ellie

    A Hero of France by Alan Furst

    I’ve had a problem with a similar problem with my fingers. One thing that has helped is if I use an Emory board to be sure the tips don’t develop callus and then I put Vaseline and a bandaid over the end at night. By morning it’s usually softened up and doesn’t split.

    1. Launa

      Don’t underestimate Vaseline for healing. I had a dermatologist cut two spots off my nose a few months ago. Ever have a couple injections in your nose? Was surprised when he used Vaseline on both places afterwards and told me not to use triple antibiotic ointment….just Vaseline will heal these places!
      Now I use Vaseline on chapped lips. Fortunately the pathology reports were both negative for skin cancer! I’ve always used a good sunscreen, too!

  55. Elaine Kopischke-Trejo

    Broken Ice by Matt Goldman
    The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

  56. Rhonda

    Just finished From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon. Really liked this WWII novel set in Italy. Other favorites from this winter are A Gentleman in Moscow and Kingdom of the Blind. The last one is #14 in the mystery series by Canadian author Louise Penny. It’s not necessary to read them in order but I’d recommend that as many characters appear in each and there are things you wouldn’t know. Most of these I listened to the audio book while sewing. The narrator of maybe the first ten was fabulous! He died several years ago and was replaced with the Lord from Downtown Abby. He’s not bad either!

  57. Jo in Wyoming

    Those whiskers checking out your fingers made me laugh 🤭!
    I love rice crispy bars. If I have some, I put white chocolate chips and dry cranberries in them… or just some peanut butter chips. Trust me, I really don’t need encouragement to eat those bars.

  58. Marilyn

    Mary love all the pictures, well not the hands sorry hope it heals quickly. I have some Kaffee Fassett fabric also can’t wait to see your pattern. The new fabrics he has our now ate over the top color. The gray hen is beautiful.

  59. Cheryl

    Hidden Among the Stars – Melanie Dobson
    The Baker’s Secret – S Kiernan
    One Tuesday Morning – K Kingsbury

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