Thank you! 2-10-22

I am lucky to have all of you as my support system and these “roundtable” discussions on any number of subjects are beyond valuable. Reading the comments has become the highlight of the blog for me and I would encourage all of you to do the same,

We also discussed feeling dizzy and come to find out we have our own expert in the field named Rosie W. I am grateful she spoke up and offered up her email address for any of you needing a consult if you suffer from dizziness.

Who else is reading that has expertise in any one field? We could help each other and likely solve a lot of issues just by reading and commenting on this blog. It’s a win-win for everyone!

Remember all these little animals I was cleaning up? Finally finished!

Improv quilt I’m working on

70 thoughts on “Thank you! 2-10-22

  1. Gail Celeste,

    I love the improv quilt. It reminds me of your book — Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do or Do without.
    You and Connie made a quilt from leftover blocks. Ever since then, I’ve been putting extra blocks in a box marked Orphan Blocks. One of these days, I will make a quilt out to if.

  2. Diane Bauer

    I love the little heart pillow at the end of today’s post!! What a perfect decoration for this week!

  3. Paula Nordt

    I agree, it is very helpful and interesting to read the comments. I am passing the advice to visit an audiologist on to my son. He has had a couple of bad spells of vertigo this year. My father suffered greatly from vertigo also.
    Love your collection of little animals!

  4. Jo in Wyoming

    I do love reading all the comments and posts.
    I’m not an expert in anything, but, I have a lot of experience in a few fields. The good, bad, and have learned from many mistakes.
    I do longarm quilting and may be able to help overcome an issue.
    I volunteered at our county jail, and along with quilting lessons, I try to give a math lesson once in a while. Because I’m dyslexic, I have to find the easiest way to figure problems out.

    Have a beautiful day, everyone.

    1. Marj in Western Wisconsin

      I believe my husband is dyslexic, because he always mixes letters up when trying to add something to the grocery list. He is great at math, but can’t spell worth a darn. I am a retired CPA, but did not specilize in personal taes, preferred corporate tax. My granddaughter asked me a question that I couldn’t answer to help her with her taxes. I have been away from it for too long, and they have made sweeping changes in the last five years (not for the better I believe).

  5. Paula

    I LOVE the heart pillow at the end of this blog! Would whoever made this pillow share the pattern?

  6. Patty

    I also love the heart pillow. I’m in the process of moving from Illinois to the Cinncinati area so most of my holiday decorations, yarn and quilting materials are in boxes. Very frustrating but the end is in sight! Love your Blog Mary!

    1. Diane, Squeak, and Buddy in Central Ohio

      Welcome to the Buckeye state, Patty😃. Hope you cheer for the bengals on Sunday!!

    2. Meredith in Cincinnati

      You will love Cincinnati! Our quilt guild has lots of varied programs, wonderful people, and fun. It’s the Ohio Valley Quilter’s Guild (OVQC)
      Pretty exciting week going on. Who Dey!

  7. Mareen Nedved

    You are all very blessed to have your connections on your blog – win win in my book.
    Love reading it – I know I do not comment much but sure do enjoy reading! You have always had a knack for writing tho – you should really have written a book!!

    1. Debbie G

      I love to find these daily blog posts. Its like chatting with old friends. I have been commenting more lately. My daily routine isn’t much to get excited about, but it feels good if I have so.e thing to share. I’m headed out to buy paint! I am going to paint the room in my basement that I have my long arm set up in. Then I’m hanging Styrofoam sheets covered in flannel to use for design walls. I’m very lucky to have that big space. Hoping I can finish it by spring. Will keep me busy til then. Have a great day, everyone!

      1. Kathy in western NY

        Debbie – you will love having a nice big design wall ! It changed the way I quilt. And when we “talked “ yesterday on comments about lint rollers……well it’s another thing those large lint rollers are excellent for. I run one on my flannel covered styrofoam boards to remove the threads and they glide smoothly over it to make it look brand new. Some people use batting to cover their walls but I used white flannel and it’s held up for many years!

      2. Mary Etherington Post author

        Debbie G – why would you go to all that work painting if you’re covering the walls with styrofoam? Am I missing something here?

      3. janet S

        Hi all,
        Because I don’t have room for a design wall, I bought 2 sheets of 2″ styrofoam (expensive) and had my husband cut them down to 6′ tall. Then I made a ‘hinge’ with tons of duct tape to put them together and taped around all the edges. Now I can fold it and store it behind the couch when not in use. Then I bought a thing from Fons & Porter which looks like a flannel backed tablecloth with 2″ squares marked. It works great and I can lay everything out nice & straight.
        My husband has macular degeneration, so is unable to read anymore. The library is my go to place to get him books-on-cd but I listen to some of them too. Currently, I have started ‘The Life and Times of Thunderbolt Kid’ by Bill Bryson. It is based in the 50’s and so far it’s wonderful. All the inventions, end of war, economy booming, baseball is popular, etc. it is so much fun to remember. I have been listening as I finish another quilt top (why doesn’t the pile of fabric go down?). I’ll try to get a picture when it’s completed.

        1. Kathy in western NY

          Janet – thank you for this book recommendation. It’s right up our alley and I haven’t followed Bill Bryson’s books for awhile so will look for this one definitely. He was always one of my husbands favorite authors as he writes so realistic of his adventures.

        2. Gail Celeste - Illinois

          I read the Thunderbolt Kid — great book, as I grew up in the 40’s and 50’s. I ordered other books with similar themes. Very enjoyable. I also listen to old time radio shows, especially on 90.9 FM, WDCB in Chicago, , every Saturday from 1 – 5 pm, CT. I have a radio app on my phone, so I listen to it with headphones, put the phone in my pocket, so I can sew while listening. Every Saturday is “sewing Saturday”.

  8. Bonnie McKee

    Mary, I love your improv quilt and am inspired to start one of my own. I used to teach quilting and have many sample blocks that I can’t bear to part with, but need somewhere to go! Now I can take care of that.👍😁
    I also love the adorable heart pillow! ❤️

    I have kept you and your husband in my prayers. Being his nurse must be exhausting along with everything else you have on your plate. I honestly don’t know how you do all that you do! You must be related to the Energizer Bunny!
    Several days ago you mentioned how this blog is a lot of work. I wonder if it would help you to write just one a week? Many of us would really miss the daily connection, but once a week would be better than none!

    I hope everyone has a good day. 🤗
    Bonnie, in Oregon

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Bonnie McKee – I was having a bad day – I’d miss you guys too much to write only once a week!!!

      1. Jeanine from Iowa

        Mary – I’m happy to hear that. I would miss you, too, if you only blogged once a week. Your blog is my favorite of the three I follow regularly.

        I met with some quilting friends this morning and we pulled some fabric for some more charity quilts. We make quilts for our local hospital. They distribute them to various parts of the hospital. Our group is small, but we get a lot done. We have quite a stash to pull from, but always need a certain color we don’t have, so go to our own stashes. It’s a joy to give to charity.

      2. Gloria Frerichs

        I also was having a bad day this week. Our Angel had a couple of accidents in the lower level of our house. We took a urine specimen in to our vet and the results were a low grade infection. She’s now on antibiotics for a couple of weeks. All is well again.
        I’m working on a queen size men’s shirt quilt for the bed in our camper. Should finish it in the next day or two. Love the pillow also.

  9. Shirley Mord

    Love the heart pillow.ji suffer from vertigo and have hearing issues the 2 go together

  10. Diana in Des Moines

    Love the improv quilt. Made one for my grands to play on and they have just about wore it out.
    I am not an expert in anything, but lots of experience in a few things. Obscure things! Lol

  11. Janet Il

    Hi Mary I just had knee surgery I know you worked thur it. Look forward to your blog keep up the great work

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Janet – the first few days after knee replacement were painful but you just have to keep going – it will get easier!

  12. Diane in WI

    The improv quilt is beautiful. There are so many interesting blocks. As others have said, i also like the heart pillow. I am quilting my heart quilt from Kathleen Tracy”s Valentine sew along. As i write this, I can hear the carpenters pounding away on the new house. I hope the weather holds so they can continue working. I love all of the animals on your shelves; you have your own ark. Have a good day everyone.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Diane in WI – yes, I guess I do have my own ark! They’re such a nuisance to clean but I have gotten most of them as gifts throughout the years because people know how much I love animals. I also had a collection of cats and I remember taking them out to the shop and letting the kids choose one to take home. We all had fun with that!

  13. Michele G

    Your improv quilts have motivated me but I couldn’t imagine doing it myself. Last week I was sorting, folding and putting fabric away from my last project which was a California king size quilt. The smaller pieces of this fabric went into the trash. Then I remembered your improv quilt idea. So, I dug the scraps back out and started sewing. Pretty soon I had enough for a small blanket that I’ll use on top of Bentley’s dog bed. I like to keep a blanket on top as it’s easy to throw in the washing machine. The covers on the dog beds are a challenge to take off and even harder to put back on.

    It was fun to just sew together strips, use up some HST, put more scraps together, and even out blocks. (And, no this project is not going to be judged.) HA. Now, as you know, I couldn’t mix projects together so the dog quilt is of the same fabric collection :-). Very satisfying and relaxing to create as you go, and in the end I only tossed a few inches of fabric. I’ll send you a photo when I have it quilted. Thanks for the great idea!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Michele G – good for you! I think it’s so relaxing to just sew some pieces together, trim it straight, add a few more – such fun! I’ll bet B just loves his new bed cover – he has good taste! Haha! I agree those dog bed covers are impossible to put back on and I swear they shrink in the wash making it even harder.

  14. Connie in pv

    I’m not sure I’m an expert on anything, but am slowly being dragged into the frustration that is Parkinson’s. There’s a great article in this month’s issue of AARP magazine that addressed many of my concerns. If pd has impacted your family this is a good resource.
    Be happy

    1. Dot in NC

      Connie, whether you are the person with Parkinson’s or the caregiver, it is a difficult journey. My husband had it for about 20 years. There are new medications that help, but Parkinson’s affects everything. Sending you a hug! Are you in Palos Verdes? I used to live there!

      1. Connie in PV

        Thanks so much for your kind response. So far the Parkinson’s is mostly just an annoyance . I’m a little wobbly and take meds to control the tremors. There must be a genetic component in our family. My paternal grandmother and father likely had it, but both had other medical issues that could explain their symptoms. My sister was diagnosed just before I was. She’s having different symptoms than mine. I’ve been having physical therapy twice a week and that has really helped. Unfortunately our new health insurance only allows 30 visits per year. Maybe I should take up ballet. Hah. I think the most frustrating thing about PD is the sense of isolation. Sometimes I just don’t feel well. I understand that it’s disappointing for plans to change at the last minute. Some of my pals just don’t quite get it. All I can do is all I can do. I appreciate so much your Kind words. Oh and in my world, PV stands for Prairie Village , Kansas.

  15. Bonnie Coleman

    Oh, I love your Improv quilt! I’ve made 2 improvs and they always turn out surprisingly pretty! I am also a collector of “smalls”. And can’t resist when I see one at GW. Stay strong and carry on!💕
    Bonnie C. In sunny, warm South GA

  16. Take care and stay warm

    I really enjoy reading this blog.My husband died recently, and I moved to a smaller home.Reading about all the wonderful sewing that is being done has motivated me to get out of the chair and do something. I am almost finished with a quilt top. It is a large diamond done in string piecing.The border is also done in string piecing.My scrap box is less full.

    1. Carla

      Take Care, I hope you will send Mary a picture of your quilt when it’s done. I’d love to see it!

      1. Kathy in western NY

        I agree with Carla and would love to see a string quilt and all the others people here are working on. Cleaning out my stash of fabrics has given me a clear inventory of what I should be using so inspiration from you lovely readers will be nice to see.

  17. Sandy

    Hi Mary, first day back at our craft group today, we have all been vaxed and boostered, but it’s just tea or coffee, no biscuits etc, so will take a pack of ginger nut biscuits to share. I’m diabetic, so need to eat! Looking forward to Stella and Luna coming home today after a few days in the the heart cushion! Take care everyone, best wishes from Sandy

  18. Kathy Hanson

    You have such great collections, such fun for us to see – yes, cleaning them has to be a hassle, but…!!!
    It is so wonderful to read the notes other people who read the blog make, it is good to help each other because we all do really feel connected! We all have bad days and it does seem that everyone is sensitive to other’s comments so, everyone, keep it up! We are all in this together!!

  19. Jan Hebert

    I’ve just caught up reading posts and comments from the last few days, phew! So much information, so many caring people, so much love! Speaking of love, I too love the heart pillow and your improv quilt Mary. I’ve never done one of those but it really is pretty! Those checked dog blocks, they remind me of the little scotty dog pillows my grandmother made years ago for the church fair. They were such cute little pillows, I have a pattern to make one drafted by my mom – it’s somewhere here, haha. I have almost all Christmas put away and have put up a few spring things. I really don’t have many Valentine’s decorations but I found a wall hanging that I did years ago of rows of appliqued hearts. I was never satisfied with the way it came out so I’m sitting here with it on my lap, going to add some more quilting. I also pulled out a rug that I’ve been working on for YEARS! I’ll work on that at night. It’s really big and very warm, all wool. Lots of family members have worked on it – my dad even worked on it and he’s been gone over sixteen years! Jan in MA

  20. Mary in Davenport

    Mary is the heart pillow one of your patterns can I buy it. My dear friend and companion passed away at Clarissa cook hospice house in January and they have a quilt hanging in the lobby I think it’s the same pattern I thought it was beautiful but couldn’t find a pattern I took a picture of it and will send to you

  21. Mary in Davenport

    Mary is the heart pillow one of your patterns can I buy it. My dear friend and companion passed away at Clarissa cook hospice house in January and they have a quilt hanging in the lobby I think it’s the same pattern I thought it was beautiful but couldn’t find a pattern I took a picture of it and will send to you have a great day

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Mary in Davenport – no, it’s not our pattern – a reader sent it to me. Maybe they will read this and post the answer.

  22. Michele

    Mary, fingers and toes crossed that everything turns around healthwise for your husband and you can hang in there.
    You recently mentioned watching movies on your iPad. Where are you finding the movies to watch? Library, or what?

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Michele – I watch movies from Netflix or Amazon Prime Video. I should post a list so we could all add to it!

  23. Betty Klosterman

    The Project Warmth group gets lots of fabric donations, especially when an old lady dies. They sort it out and the fabric that won’t work for our charity quilts goes in a pile to make into covers for dog beds. It can be very interesting. Sometimes I’m the recipient of the pile. First I sew the big pieces into covers and work my way down to all the odds and ends. That is when the fun begins sewing the little stuff into pieces big enough for the dog beds with no rhyme or reason, only to make them work. Sometimes the ladies might raise their eyebrows, but I just smile. These covers are filled with scraps of fabric, thread and batting and then are delivered to the animal shelter. I use my old sewing machine which only sews fast, serger thread and color doesn’t matter. Puckers and pleats don’t matter.
    These things make us happy and Gramma would approve our not wasting anything. And it is idiot work.
    Take care everybody. We are all tired of stuff, but it will pass. And a good night’s sleep doesn’t hurt. We have to enjoy the good stuff and survive the other things, but we will survive.
    Betty in Rapid City

  24. Jan

    Mary, don’t let the medical people walk over you. You are your husband’s advocate- i have found that speaking up to them brings good results. And if you don’t understand someone or something ask until you do. Ask several people.
    You are in my prayers.

  25. Jackie in NY

    Hi Mary – I wish I was an expert in something. But if I happen to have an answer for anyone I’ll surely chime in. It’s so wonderful how people are willing to help each other. Love that quilt you’re making. I’m not very good at improvisation.

  26. Cheryl from Ark

    The Lost Letter – Cantor Jan 16,2022
    The Riviera House – Lester Jan 18,2022
    In Another Time – Cantor Jan 20,2022
    A Good Woman – Steele Jan 21,2022
    Code Name Helen – Lawhon Jan 25,2022

    This is 5 out of 15. They were all excellent. #1: Code Name Helene. It is a true story set in France in WWII. What a horrid time but the heroine, Nancy Wake, is a hoot!!!! Look up Nancy Wake and get a tube of Victory Red lipstick!!! #2: The Lost Letter. Another WWII era. Stunning writing! Can’t remember if it was based on a true story. Covid. Yes I had it over Christmas/New Years. Then felt great. The weather was balmy. Pruned some fruit trees, cleaned out the garden….. got a relapse on January 12.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Cheryl – thank you for these book recommendations! I’m kind of burnt out on WWII right now but always keep a list of good ones on hand! Covid times 2! Ick and sorry for you!

  27. Michele

    The heart pillow pattern is available at the featherweight shop. Tiny Hearts by Ellis and Higgs.

  28. Rosie Westerhold

    We are all in this together, in my opinion. I’m happy to share some of my knowledge/expertise with others. I can hardly believe I have been retired for 7 years!! I spent the last 10 years of my professional career in the public schools. WAY different population than I had worked with in previous years, but I LOVED working with the littles❤️❤️❤️. I could be silly while working with the pre-school kids, and actually got PAID for dong that!! The play seemed silly, but it was used to acquire meaningful information about how they were hearing👍👍.

    Back to BOOKS. Just finished two very different books. The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music by Dave Grohl. Dave Grohl is the founder of FooFighters, and his book is about how he got into the music business, and stories about his life on the road as a musician, and stories of his family. It was very interesting. Another FABULOUS read was State of Terror by Hillary Clinton and Louise Penny. It was all about international terrorism. The scary part was that this story could easily happen in our world right now. It was a real page-turner the closer to the end I got.

    Love your improv quilts. Still haven’t tried that technique even though I have tons and tons f scraps, odd shapes, orphan blocks and parts and pieces all over. I think that should be my next project!

    Hang in there with your care-giving. It’s never easy being the care-giver. I hope it will go easier for you in the future. We’re all here for you.

  29. Candy

    Mary, I always admire your quilting, and I’m wondering, when you quilt in lines, do you go back & forth, alternating directions, or do you start each line at the same side? I’ve never been really satisfied with mine … the fabric always seems to pull sideways a little between the stitching lines. Wishing you better days ahead! I always enjoy the stories from you and your readers. Thanks for all you share!

    1. Carla

      Yes Mary, I’d like to know the answer to Candy’s question as well. All I can do is straight lines lol.

    2. Mary Etherington Post author

      Candy – regarding the straight line quilting, I always move from left to right BUT you remember I’m using a long arm machine, right? I’m not sure I could be so straight on my Bernina!

  30. Kris in WI

    Mary — I have no special expertise except for putting things off. My mother gave me a recipe box when I moved into my first apartment. It had a few of my favorite family recipes in it along with this poem:

    At the steady rate we procrastinate, I’ve only this to say —
    If tomorrow ever does get here, It’ll be a busy day!

    Sad to say, I haven’t changed much! I did finish my Dirty Dozen for January; a rescued top with appliqued hand-stitched Grandmother’s Flower Garden blocks. I didn’t hand quilt it, but it’s done. Now on to #6 for February.

  31. Diane, Squeak, and Buddy in Central Ohio

    Hi Mary, I am an expert in everything, just ask me—haha! 😹😹. I am hoping things get better for you and Rick. Having someone with lots of health problems is exhausting. My comment at the end of the last blog attests to that.
    I was an English, Creative Writing, College Writing, and Composition teacher for 30+ years.
    I am doing some quilting and got to go on a retreat this past weekend. We had a huge sleet, ice, and snow storm, but we made it out to go. I finished 6 pillow cases and two table toppers. I am Swedish Death cleaning, too. Good idea. I am doing the sewing room this weekend. Hang in there, Mary. Things will get better. Be still😀

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Diane – the winter is going by and I had promised myself I’d work on a couple of childrens books – haven’t written even one word yet!

  32. Agatha B

    Mary love your blog it is the only one and the comments I read. So interesting no matter what the topic. Your improv quilt is so interesting can’t wait to see how it all comes together. I have learned a lot from many different people and their comments.

  33. Charlotte Shira

    Mary, you have the neatest collections! I love seeing them. Love the Improv quilt. I’ll have to try that one too. I learn so much from reading the comments. Thank you for the blog.

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