Thank you for the discussion! 2-8-23

I really enjoyed the lively discussion about the book Demon Copperhead and want to thank all of you who participated. It is a thought provoking story that educated me about drug addiction and the downfalls of foster care. Heartbreaking.

On the subject of the American Patchwork and Quilting Anniversary issue, our quilt called Point of No Return was featured in the first issue. The pattern is available online under the title Candy Mountain or I can mail you a paper pattern for $5 and a SASE.


A reader asked where to buy plaids – in 1993 plaids were very popular – but today I advised the reader to purchase mens cotton shirts in a variety of plaids. Buy the biggest size to get the most yardage.

Had a scary incident in the barn yesterday – I give my goats and chickens bread sometimes as a treat and yesterday was one of those days. Rosie immediately began shaking her head and foaming at the mouth. I cleaned out her mouth but the problem was lower – I think she ate too much too fast and it got stuck in her throat. I called my goat whisperer, Betsy, who told me to give her baking soda water in a syringe. Back to the house to mix it up and by the time I got back to the barn she had basically recovered but I gave her the soda water anyway. Here she is with Pudge on the left, all better. Whew!

Betsy was on her way to pick up a bottle baby – here he is!

Betsy is a speech therapist at a number of care centers in North Iowa and this little guy will wear a diaper and accompany her on her visits.

It was such a nice day yesterday that Mollie came for a play date. On Sunday Finn and Ivy came and everybody ran on top of the snowbanks to wear off some of that pent up energy.

Reader quilts

I’m helping Cathy make a quilt from her late husband Tom’s old shirts so it will feel like he’s still sleeping with her after 46 years of marriage. Tom passed away last month from a very fast growing brain tumor.

March 1 is coming soon and we’ll start the Dirty Dozen Challenge again. Remember I gave you two free months to catch up? I will be expecting your photos in the next two weeks – it’s still winter and you’re allowed to sew all day to finish except for fixing that dreaded supper every single night. Ugh.

In the summer we grill hamburgers outside but this winter I have developed an easy way to make burgers in the crock pot. I cut up enough onions to cover the bottom of the crock pot and then I pat the 1 or 2 pounds of hamburger on top and let it cook. When done cut the hamburger into bun size pieces – it’s the juiciest burger you’ve ever eaten and my stove is still clean and I didn’t have to stand there and fry them. Win win!

This is what I’m going to work on today – this is so busy it makes me dizzy but I think a kid would like it. I used the pattern called Unruly and made it twin size from my collection of novelty fabrics.

Almost bizarre but I’m forging ahead.

Choir practice tonight – the mens chorus sang Victory in Jesus last Sunday which had a great piano accompaniment and I loved playing it!

I’m off to the barn! Have a good one!

37 thoughts on “Thank you for the discussion! 2-8-23

  1. Susan K in Texas

    I finally got my American Patchwork & Quilting in the mail yesterday. We did not get mail during the ice storm so it has been delayed. No trash service that week either. Crazy
    That was scary with Rosie. Silly goat needs to slow down on eating treats! And oh isn’t that bottle baby the cutest?! Betsy’s patients will be lucky to see/play with the baby and it’ll be so spoiled.
    More beautiful quilts today. And Cathy is so lucky to have your help making a memory quilt with her husband’s shirts. When my father in law passed we had pillows and bears made from his plaid flannel shirts. My mother in law talks to the bear and hugs the pillow. It means so much to her.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Susan K – I hope that’s your last winter event this year! Did the aloes survive?

      1. Susan K in Texas

        Yes the aloes survived. We had to turn the little heaters on in the greenhouses. We also had power the whole time which helped.
        We’re hoping to get through the rest of February without more ice.

  2. Sue in Oregon

    Readers Quilts! Wow! Love them all.
    I sent Mary my Point of no Return today. I made it, I should say struggled with it, in the early 90s when the magazine first came out. I fell in love with that quilt and made it even though I had not been quilting very long.

  3. Connie R.

    Donna, your quilts are beautiful, (as are the other reader quilts) . Such beautiful patterns and colors.
    Keeper sure has a wonderful life since you adopted him into your home. A dog couldn’t ask for a better life!

  4. Rita in Iowa

    Went to town today, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and looked for the APQ Magazine. Fareway are not carrying magazines anymore, Joann’s didn’t have the new issue. Will have to make another trip to town to pick it up.
    The quilts were beautiful from a all of you, such talent.
    Mary I’m glad Rosie is okay. Stay safe tomorrow with the weather that’s coming in. Just issued a winter storm warning for our area till 6 pm tomorrow. Sewing will be on tap tomorrow.
    I did spend a few hours today with my quilting buddy after a long spell of not being able to get together. So nice to finally visit in person.

  5. Helen

    Lynn B is your quilt from a kit? It is so beautiful! Those are my colors for sure. My favorite hymn…Victory in Jesus! Always loved it so much. I know your playing adds so much to the church’s worship. You’re blessed to be able to give it to others! Keep it up.
    Lynn, I would appreciate an answer if you can. What is your pattern? Thanks!

    1. Lynn

      Helen, thank you for your comment. It is called Perfectly Paisley by Cynthia Coulter. Wilmington Prints. I have had the kit for years.

      1. Helen

        Alas, it seems to be all gone now! But it is so beautiful. I know why you had to have it! Lovely! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Kathy in western NY

    So scary what poor Rosie went through and I am sure it was so stressful Mary for you. We just never know. Thanks for the recipe which looks like a winner to me! Such nice pictures today you shared and love all the quilts and pets enjoying the nicer weather. Our local store still doesn’t have the APQ magazine yet so will check next week. It’s nice your neighbor Cathy can have a quilt to remember her husbands clothes. Thank you for helping her heal. I have seen teddy bears made for the families from a deceased person clothing.

  7. Tina W in Oregon

    After reading your post this morning, I went to the freezer and got out two pounds of hamburger! Will try your recipe tomorrow for sure! Glad Rosie is ok. It’s really scary when our pets seem to be in distress and they can’t tell us what’s wrong! The reader quilts were great (as usual) and the baby goat is so cute. I can just imagine it frolicking around wearing a diaper! Cathy is lucky to have you for a neighbor and I’m sure the quilt will bring her some comfort. Have a great rest of your day!

  8. Annette Austin

    Your crockpot burgers sound great. Do you use the low or high setting? And approximately how long? Thanks. So glad Rosie is ok. Love the blog.

  9. Vicki Ibarra

    Love the reader quilts. I especially find the color combination in Lynn’s quilt to be interesting, and maybe one I should try. The quilt made from men’s shirts is a great memory quilt. You are kind to make this for your neighbor. Of course, that is what I remember from living on an Iowa farm: neighbors being kind to each other and helping each other. I remember when farmers might be hurt or laid up at harvest season. The surrounding neighbors would come together to harvest the crop so the farmer didn’t lose that season’s
    crop. I remember my Dad helping a neighbor run cement for a pig installation. It was a large stretch of cement and it took most of the day to run/smooth. Kindness and a sense of community go a long way in today’s world. Care to all of you….

  10. MartyCae

    So happy to hear Rosie recovered- I would have been scared! A lovely day in Emmet county- finally.

  11. Jan from TN

    Hi Mary! I didn’t get a chance yesterday to comment on your latest book review. I’m adding that book to my reading list, which is about as long as my quilts “to do” list. Lol! In case you haven’t read books by author Lisa Genova, I’ve read most of them & they’re great. Her books are generally about brain diseases. They are fiction but based on fact. Easy to read. I’ve also read almost all of Jodi Picoult’s books.
    Your readers interested in good plaid fabrics can check out They have quite a variety to choose from.
    So glad Rosie the goat is ok. They’re so dang cute!
    We finally had a couple of days of sunshine here in TN but for the next few days just clouds & rain & wind. We’ve had a very dreary winter. I’m so ready for spring!
    Have a good day!

  12. Mary Beth Stevenson

    Thank you for the wonderful read today! I always feel like you’re in the room talking to us. Lol!
    I can’t wait to try your crock pot hamburgers! They sound yummy and easy peasy.
    So happy there was nothing serious with your goat. 🐐
    “Victory in Jesus” is a happy, uplifting song. It’s exciting to know there’s wonderful accompaniment music for it. Musicians appreciate the beauty of music. ♥️

  13. Marsha Ransom

    I love the hamburger tip. I wonder if one could make the patties and cook them that way? I’m going to have to try it.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Marsha – yes, you could definitely make the patties but I’m too lazy.

  14. Mary Kay Parshall

    I received my Rag to Rugs book. Thanks!! My better half has checked his inventory/stash so that he can make a frame. Looking forward to a different type of craft. I sew, but have not taken up knitting or cross-stitch. I figure I take up enough space with fabric. This will be a great way to use the extra. I started your Dove In The Window quilt sometime ago but didn’t get far. Brought it back to the table and hope to finish it soon.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Mary Kay – hope you like twining! Dove in the Window is not all that easy – a challenge I would say.

  15. Carolyn in GA

    Made a small quilt from boyfriend’s old shirts for his great granddaughter. Left the pocket on one square and made an itty bitty teddy bear that I put in it. Embroidered her name and his name on a label on the back. Was her Xmas present and everyone loved it.

    Condolences to your friend Kathy and hope that the quilt will bring her comfort.

  16. Jo in Wyoming

    Looks like spring is coming….the quilt show today and baby goats.
    I’m ready.
    Great recipe, I’ll try it.

  17. Diane, Squeak, and Buddy in Central Ohio

    The reader quilts are beautiful! I like Cathy’s a lot , too, and I have my Homespuns and a deceased friend’s to make Point of No Return. Poor Rosie—whew. The tiny kid is adorable. Nice here today—44*, but it was 51* yesterday!! Spring?

  18. Beamer's Mom

    The first 2 quilt pictures from Donna are beautiful. So glad she shared with us. The colors are fantastic.

  19. MaureenHP

    The kid is darling! Would love to try my hand at bottle feeding.
    No more scares, Rosie. Mary has enough to do.
    Victory in Jesus will be running through my head all day! I love the piano accompaniment as well.

  20. Carol Reents

    I pick up men’s shirts in thrift shops. The thrift shops makes a sale and I get nice soft fabric with an unknown history behind it. I haven’t made any quilted items from my collection but I getting a nice collection.

  21. Magfey

    Love , love reading your blog and hearing of all the animals, not when bad things happen, like with the bread but all their antics,, enjoy all the quilts you post and think of all the time and challenges they have created. Awesome. If I was younger I would have goats, just love the and chickens and I know not an easy job.. you are so good with animals, your crown will have many jewels. Keep blogging . You are bringing joy to so many

  22. Patty T- Maineville, Ohio

    Love the quilt colors today. Appreciate the crockpot recipe for hamburgers. I dislike having to stop my quilting to go and make dinner! That little goat is so cute!!!

  23. Gayle in Tennessee

    I like your hamburger in crock pot. I too would like to know how long to cook on high or low?
    Plaid shirts can be found at Goodwill and thrift stores at a cheaper price for the lady asking about them.

  24. Bonnie

    How long in the crock pot for the hamburger. Low? High? Sounds yummy and no dirty stove to clean.

  25. Lynette in Orlando

    Glad Rosie is ok. How scary that must have been for you! Are goats like horses and they can’t vomit? I’ll have to do some research on that one. Just got my issue of American Patchwork in the the mail. Haven’t had a moment to sit and savor it, but I am looking forward to it. Nice cup of tea and beautiful quilts. What more could anyone ask for? Mary, have a good day and stay warm.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Lynette – yes, that’s right – goats cannot belch so bloat happens easily and quickly. Scary!

  26. Carmen Montmarquet

    Love your Point of No Return Quilt! To purchase plaids has tons of homespun plaid fabric in case this helps the reader looking for some!
    Very nice of you to help Cathy make a quilt from her husband’s shirts, that will be a treasure for sure!
    Glad Rosie is ok, and the precious baby goat, how wonderful for the children who Betsy will be seeing, he will be so much fun for them!

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