Trying Again

If this doesn’t work, I’m signing off for the day. First topic – weather and how lousy it’s been. Today is sunny but the wind is very strong making outside work more than difficult. I did work outside on Monday and weeded the new peonies by the barn. I transplanted them last fall, they came up nicely this spring and then Emma laid on them and broke them all off!

Read more here

They came up again and I pulled out all the grass and found a makeshift fence until Rick can help me.

Here’s what I did with the clumps of grass – I planted the spot Rick dug up when he moved the fallen tree. It’s worth a try – this place is a constant work in progress!

I imagine many of you have been working on t-shirt quilts for graduating grandchildren. Brenda A. finished this one for her granddaughter, Liz, and it was still “hot” when she gave it to her. I love how they’re all pieced together instead of in rows with sashing.

I planted this bird bath last week.

Worked on a small quilt on the longarm so I could try matchstick quilting, rows of stitching close together.

Made one small Ohio Star block after I was inspired by the rose breasted grosbeak that I held in my hand. The feathers were such a beautiful shade of rose pink with black and white.

I went after groceries today and I took my big bags as usual and every cashier mentions them to me.

I made many of these handled bags after seeing a tutorial online. I have quite a few of these great bags with all the animals on the front. I can’t offer to make the bag for you but if you want to pay the postage, I’ll send you an empty bag. If you’re interested, leave a comment.

After having much trouble downloading photos today, I’m remembering to ask you about bookmarking. Many times I’m asked to repost or look up a post for someone and another reader kindly helps me instantly with the picture and post we’re looking for. If this is you, tell me and all of us how you mark a post you want to save. Or how do you categorize older posts with a photo that you’d like to see again down the road. We can all learn from each other.

And look what UPS brought me today – the first proof of our next new book! How exciting! Martingale employees must not sleep! They have new books all the time and I need to review a few for a giveaway very soon!

I’m going to quit this post and publish it while I’m ahead!

83 thoughts on “Trying Again

  1. Robin B

    My iPad has a blue square with arrow pointing upward….press that and it gives you many options…bookmark, save as favorite, etc. then when you want to recall it, there is a blue symbol that looks like an open book at the top left..hit that and you will find what you saved

  2. Kristie Michalowski

    Mary, for others to find your posts, an easy way for them to do it is if you put “tags” in. Then they can search “bags” and all the posts with the tag “bags” would pop up for them. Hope this helps.

  3. Doris G

    I would love 2 of your bags if you have enough. Will watch for the information. Thank you for being a bright spot in my day!

  4. Lisa Boles

    If I want to save a post I pin a photo and description of what, why, the site it is from (very important!), size if it is a quilt, etc., to Pinterest. Works great for me.

    I would appreciate the site for making my own bag. I have access to bags, not as lovely as yours tho’.

  5. Jeanne Hoffman

    Mary, what a fantastic use for feed or birdseed bags! I love them! : ) I live in New York, and soon stores are supposed to stop using plastic bags for customers – aargh! Since I don’t have any animals to feed, it never occurred to me that feed bags could be recycled to make bags.

    Yes please, I’d like 2 bags, if it wouldn’t be too greedy. I’d be delighted to send you however much postage it might be.

    Love your blog! – Jeanne in the Finger Lakes of western New York

    1. Kathy in western NY

      Morning Jeannie to you in the beautiful finger lakes of NY from me up between Rochester and Buffalo who is just waiting for the nasty weather to hit us next from the Midwest. I am tucked inside sewing Mary’s 9 patch’s this morning.

      1. Jeanne Hoffman

        Hi Kathy – Ugh, this weather. Watched a bunch of Youtube videos on making tote bags from feedbags, also one from sheets made of duct tape. Gosh, these kids are clever. I think can do it too! ; )

        Sending address and postage to May today! : )

  6. Mrs. Goodneedle

    Some days posting to the blog can be just like replanting (and replanting again!) your peonies— an exercise in perseverance! I am unsure how your blog mechanics work but with BLOGGER, which I use, I can go into the ‘search box’ feature on the dashboard page and pull up old posts that I might want to reference by a key word or phrase. You might want to see if you can do something similar. Your matchstick quilting looks great and that Ohio Star block is a great visual reminder of your Grosbeak rescue! Well done. Love the totes, too! 👏🏻

  7. Ruth

    Mary, when I went to the feedsack apron youtube video Kim J LeMere posted in her comment, other youtube videos popped up to the right, including two on making feedsack shopping bags. So there are plenty of videos already done on youtube, easy to find.
    Thank you for the Ohio Star in Rose-breasted Grosbeak colors! That bird is so pretty!

  8. Jean Elliott

    Love the bag “totes”…I would love a bag…actually up to ten you have that many….I’m going to a retreat in August with nine women and I’d love to make one for each of them. I’ll watch for postage info.. I’m not meaning to be a pig asking for so many!

    Thank you!
    Glendale WI

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Jean Elliott – sorry, Jean, I’m not sure now if I’ll have enough bags for everyone who wants just one! I am sick that we’ve burned so many!

      1. Mary

        Great idea, Mary. Everyone should know how to save ‘favorites’….You can’t do everything. You have a great blog here, I certainly enjoy it. So glad I can finally see ads so I can close them!

  9. Caryn Goulden

    I love your grosbeak block. The colors are a great match to the real bird. I’m inspired by your planted birdbath to do the same with one of mine.
    I would gladly pay postage for stockfeed and bird sunflower seed bags. Anxiously awaiting your new book!
    Never thought to bookmark the posts I want to revisit. Like the charm nine patch. Does it end up being six inches finished?

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Caryn Goulden – your question is a great example for bookmarking. The charming 9 patch measures 3” x 3”. Go back and revisit that post.

  10. Jan from TN

    What is the difference between “straight line quilting” & “matchstick quilting”? Is the former done on the whole quilt & the latter done block by block? Just guessing.

    Weather here in middle TN, smack dab between Nashville & Knoxville, has turned to mid-summer already! While we had tons of rain in 2018-winter, spring & summer, this year summer came early & with a bang! We’re expected to have 4-5 days later this week into early next week with 90 degree highs! Little to know rain predicted even for the holiday weekend! Amazing!

    Praying for those in Oklahoma & other Midwest states seeing all the tornadoes, flooding, etc. I feel horrible for all you’ve been going thru this week & with more to come. 😥

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Jan from TN – matchstick quilting IS straight line quilting done very close together – to resemble the width of a matchstick. I am not aware of any term that refers to quilting block by block.
      We could stand some of your warm weather.

  11. Cindy K

    Hi Mary,
    If you would like to learn how to bookmark I can help you. Do you use safari as your browser? It truly is easy I am not tech savvy at all, and I can do it. To me the best thing about Mac’s is their help button- well anyway if you can do what you do every day-on the computer-bookmarking is easy peasy. It rained all day here in nw Wis.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Cindy K – I actually want the readers to learn how to book mark because I simply don’t have time to search old posts when they ask me about a recipe, a picture of a quilt, the name of a book, etc. I don’t think it’s really my responsibility to keep track of specific posts that a reader might want to refer to in the future. That being said, I would love some instruction that refers to my IPad – I do all the blog on my IPad including typing it all with my thumbs!

      1. Pat Williams

        I am hoping someone has those instructions for the iPad as that is where I do all my reading, typing, etc. I agree you should not have to search for old posts we are on the hunt for, but I sure have not figured out how to somehow bookmark the ones I want to go back to. Hope that tech savvy person is out there! Thank you for all you do to keep the blog going.

        1. CountryThreads Post author

          Pat Williams – you all know how time consuming it is to find something in a past blog post. I just don’t have time to search.

  12. Kim J LeMere

    It made me smile to see Emma just happily sitting on the peonies, oh my! I love the idea of a bag made from all those feed bags, how clever. I will wait to hear about the postage, might have to talk to my neighbor who feeds goats on his parents farm and see if he has any spare bags. I recall making aprons form those bags a long time ago. I will leave a link if anyone is interested in how to do that:
    Hope you start to get some warmer weather soon.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Kim LM – did you see that a reader found directions to make the bag by clicking on your link? I love it that a reader helps another reader in this way! Thank you!

    2. Sue in Oregon

      I just watched this video. Thank you for posting the link, Kim. What a cute apron and so easy. Wish I had not thrown out all those feed bags but I will save them now. Love the aprons and the bags.

  13. Karen Gaither

    I love the bird bath with succulent plants and the match stick quilting. Did you do the quilting on your domestic machine or long arm machine? I don’t think I could sew a straight line or did you lay tape down and sew against the tape?

    You have so much energy and I don’t know how you get so much done! So excited to hear more about the new book, like when it will be out!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Karen Gaithersburg – did you see my questions about bookmarking? Your question is a good example because if you go back to my post you’ll be able to read that I did the matchstick quilting on the longarm. Both Connie and I have done it on our Bernina – lines are not intended to be straight and no, I would never bother to lay tape – why would you go to all that work? I simply do not have time for nonsense such as tape to keep lines perfect. If lines are perfect it might just as well have been done commercially by computer. Don’t you like that variance in the lines? I do – it means I did it myself. Just my thoughts here – I am not the quilt police nor am I an expert on anything – simply a home quilter.
      Are your doggies both getting along well? I’m so glad they have each other when you go to work!

      1. CountryThreads Post author

        Karen – I’m not even going to add your last name – my IPad thinks it’s Gaithersburg every time! Hey, Folks – it’s Gaither!

        1. Karen Gaither

          Mary spell check even my own sometimes to Gaithersburg.

          Yes the pups are getting along very well. Maddie is below her goal weight by 2 ounces. She has lost 1/3 of her body weight in 10 weeks. Her owner was feeding her what he ate, so she weighed 24 pounds. She is now 15.8 and runs everywhere she goes. She is loving life even more since I got the basket of chew toys out.

  14. marla

    How exciting that you are doing another book. Your others are wonderful and my favorites. Can you tell us if you are doing another Civil War type?

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Marla – yes, it is another Civil War book that follows Beyond The Battlefield.

  15. Nancy wingo

    Approximately what is the bag size? I m a city slicker and dont feed the birds either. Dont be sad. I still love them. I am familiar with large dog food size bags.

  16. Vickie

    Live your feed bag bag. I would definitely like a bag. How great that you have a copy of the new book. Saw some of the quilts on the cruise with Connie. They are all fantastic.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Vickie – the quilts you saw were from Beyond The Battlefield. The new book’s quilts are very secret yet and Connie didn’t even have them.

  17. Jan R. in NW Wisconsin

    Hi Mary, Thanks again for a wonderful post. We have a large dog (lab/Bernese mountain combo) who LOVES to rest/sleep in the day lilies and iris. She knows she isn’t supposed to get into them, but she sneaks in when I’m not looking. Needless to say they look at bit bedraggled at times. I would love a bag (or two) if you have any left after the precious requests. I will watch the next posts for the infor on mailing costs etc. Thanks again. Jan in NW Wisconsin

  18. Kathy in western NY

    I save your pictures to refer back to for quilting ideas like the bullseyes quilt. I do it by pressing my finger on the picture and a box comes up that says “save image” or copy. I select “save image “ and it goes into my pictures app on my iPad which came loaded on it when I bought the iPad. Then I have various albums in my pictures to refer to and yours is there under machine quilting or such as when you wrote out directions on a piece of paper for a table mat years ago and took a picture of that so I was able to save those directions. Thanks Mary for sharing your day with us as I always look forward to seeing what’s going on there. If it’s any consolation, it felt like fall here today and even the skies looked it.

  19. Teresa from Port Coquitlam, BC

    Your bags are such a great recycling idea. I love them. That bird is beautiful. We don’t have those here in Port Coquitlam.

  20. Teresa

    I apparently don’t get out much, have never seen the feed sack bags but what a great idea. I don’t like to use the fabric grocery bags because they have to be laundered. That’s just one more load of laundry I don’t need to be doing. I always ask for paper and use those to recycle newspapers and magazines. But, I love the idea of the feed bags because they can be wiped down. Thanks for sharing your bags, Mary.

    Looking forward to seeing the new quilt book too! I’m really grateful that you and Connie have continued to design quilts and publish books, and that you write this blog. I have learned countless tips and tricks from you that I use not just for sewing but for gardening and decorating too.

  21. MARGARET Witt

    Look forward everyday to your post, sorry you have been having probs, computers always giving us grief.. Loved the grosbeak, I had 2 for. Couple years then haven’t seen any since. I am bird watcher and feed them all winter. I followed you and Connie ,any years ago and remember the Goat Gazzette. So fun… Glad you are still quilting and creating. Looking forward to new book too.

  22. Kathy Roloff

    I would love a bag so that I can get the correct type of bag to collect for this project. I really love the zippered bags used from candy wrappers, also. Great for clever gifts. Thanks Mary for your continued generosity, talent, and time.

  23. Linda in Wisconsin

    Love all your posts! Had to laugh when I saw Emma so content in your peony garden. I have dogs. I can relate. Love the birdbath. What flower did you plant in it?

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Linda in Wisconsin. – the lime green crawler in the bird bath is called Creeping Jenny – I think it’s a close relative of Creeping Charlie that we all hate.

    2. Linda Rouse

      Hey Linda from Wisconsin, I am also Linda from Wisconsin. I live in Oconomowoc. Where do you live?

  24. Pam from Waterloo

    That Emma is such a hoot! Good thing she’s so darn cute after what she did to your peonies!
    Do you know where Grosbeaks typically spend their summers? The one you had in your hand was very pretty.
    I would love 2 feedbags if you have enough, otherwise 1 is fine too. What is the shipping cost?

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Pam from Waterloo – I’m going to the post office tomorrow to find out shipping cost and I’ll post it. The grosbeaks obviously spend summers north of here because they leave and I might see one coming through again in the fall. Wish they stayed here.

  25. Martha Engstler Gettysburg

    Would also love to have a bag. Just let us know about the postage. They are so clever and I’m sure a show stopper. Many thanks for all your blogs. I talked to my cousin in Story City the other night and she also talked about the awful weather. They have trouble doing their planting.

  26. Shirley

    I’d love one of the bags. Please let me know about the cost of shipping. Thank you so much!

  27. Diana Stanfill


    I dont know if you remember the emails I sent you. One was a picture of my granddaughters in our pool. And the other one was two copies of one of your books. I made the comment that I must have really wanted that book. Well, I will send you one of the copies and you can use it in your giveaway.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Diana Stanfill – you are soooo sweet to think of doing that but why don’t you save the postage and give it to one of your quilting friends?

      1. Diana Stanfill


        To be honest all my friends are in Illinois and none of them quilt. We have lived in Florida for 2 years. My best friend seems to be the manager at McDonald’s who gives me my 15 percent discount. I spend most of my time taking care of my husband,my 91 year old mother and my 2 granddaughters. I havent joined a guild around here. And some days I’m just to hot to care! I will put the book in the mail this week. I might try my hand at a couple of those feed bags. I would think all you need to do is get some of that nylon webbing for handles. Right?

        1. CountryThreads Post author

          Diana – you have too much on your plate, My Dear! Is your husband I’ll? Your mother? Are you caring for two little girls on a daily basis? Oh my goodness! I can see why you say your BFF is the manager at McDonalds – it’s your only time to yourself it seems! I’ll watch for the book and someone out there thanks you!

  28. Rhoda Ebersole

    I would love a bag and will send a label. Any cost involved?
    Then you covered it with ?

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Rhoda Ebersole – you will have to pay the postage and I will take a bag to the post office tomorrow so I can find the cheapest way to mail it. What do you mean by “covered it with?”

  29. Deb

    A new book! So exciting……can’t wait for the release. I would love a bag so I can show it off! Please let me know what you need from me.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Deb – I’m going to find out the price of postage and let you know

  30. Connie R.

    I’m sorry that your peonies got broken off when Emma sat on them but, I just had to laugh when I saw the picture of her looking so innocent and content sitting in your garden. Thanks for the picture. Love it!

  31. Dorothy

    Would love to have an empty bag for turning into a shopping bag 🙂 Lovely pictures, nice blue sky

  32. Sue in Oregon

    Okay. That worked. I put it under Quilting and made a new place under quilting called Mary. To find it you have to leave here. On the left you will find another drop down box that you scroll down to find where you left it. That’s the way mine works, anyway. I have Chrome.

  33. Patricia E Campbell

    I would LOVE one (or more??!! – is that greedy??) of your bird or horse sacks! I will happily pay the postage if I knew how much to pay!! I’m going on a little trip with my youngest daughter tomorrow thru this weekend (she’s paying!!), but will happily send you funds when I return! I am in Phoenix, AZ…

  34. Sue in Oregon

    It must be bad weather all across the country. It is so cold and dark here today and has been rainy, windy and cold for days now. I think spring is going to bypass us all together this year. I did spy a couple of Western Tanagers in our cherry tree the other morning. They were inspecting the little green cherries hanging there. Oh, My. They are a beautiful bird and exciting to see but they are naughty when it comes to fruit. They don’t like to share.
    Hope the ladies that know how to bookmark will soon see this post. I did actually save one that I ran across the other day. and forgot about. I must have clicked the little black star on the bar to the right. A menu drops down and you can save it to whatever place you want or make. Trying is now but I will post this first.

      1. Sue in Oregon

        Hmmm. Do you have a tab anywhere at the top that says Bookmarks? That’s the one you want. Click it and you should be able to add and delete any page you want to save.

      2. Mary

        Mary, if you don’t have a star, do you have ANYTHING that says ‘favorites’?

        BTW, today, while searching for this info for you, I FOUND the place where I could click to get ads on this site!!!! and immediately closed 3 ads.

  35. the other Angie

    New book?! Ready for that!
    I don’t understand, but the first time I opened this email, there was no content. I was trying to post a comment to let you know (there were several with that comment) then that went off in some crazy direction. When I tried to reload the comments section, your entire post came through with a different set of comments. ????? Who knows what happened.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      The other Angie – well, now you know how I feel when I simply can’t make WordPress work! Very frustrating and aggravating! But I persist! Haha!

      1. the other Angie

        Well, my sincere thanks for working through that very frustrating craziness to share these wonderful posts. Seeing a Country Threads’ post pop up is a huge bright spot in the day. It is like a much needed mini mental vacation!! I just love visiting the farm with you through these posts. Thanks so much!

  36. Peggy S

    Soooo, what has to be done to make the “feed bags” useable?? I have one that someone gave me with an adorable bunny picture. It’s my “bunny bag!!”

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Peggy S – go online and you’ll find many tutorials. It needs to have a square bottom so it sits up and it needs handles.

  37. Ellie

    Cold and rainy this morning but it has cleared and warmed by this evening. Only downside is that it’s quite humid now! Thanks for sticking with it and getting this post up. I’d love to know how to make those bags. Your Ohio Star is beautiful and the colors are perfect!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Ellie – the directions are online probably with a dog food bag. Just google it and I’ll post the postage amount tomorrow in case you want one.

      1. Mary

        Mary, in case no one answers your ?? about saving a post….I ‘think’ that you do the following: There should be on your computer at the top of the page, a STAR. Mine is Blue. That is how I save FAVORITES. When you click on it you can make folders. If you make a folder that says Country Threads on it, or whatever you want to call it, it will save the message you have clicked on there. Or, you could have many folders there.
        Does this help?

  38. Virginia Mayo

    Mary, I love your shopping bags and would love to have one. Look forward to reading your posts. Weather here in Texas is beginning to get warmer but also with warm weather comes the storms. Have had so much rain I’m a mosquito farmer now. And to think there is not a market for them. Ha.

  39. MartyCae

    I cannot wait for your new book!
    Last night the wind blew and blew! Thought my roof was coming off. When is it going to be nice???
    Love your “grosbeak” block.

  40. Diane Bauer

    I spy new fabric in your Ohio Star block!! I just bought a large chunk of the white with alphabets and know it will show up in many future quilts!

    I love the matchstick quilting and the simple texture it adds!!

    As always, great photos and so many great projects!! Thank you for all the inspiration!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Diane Bauer – will you send me a picture of your Uncle Sam?

  41. Rhonda

    Sure wish I knew how to bookmark. Can’t wait for the advice. Just today I wanted to find where you talk about how to straight line quilt. If I remember correctly, you shared some basic directions only I haven’t found it back. Maybe someone has it marked and can steer me to the right page.

    We’ve seen some rose breasted grosbeaks in the Des Moines area too and quite a few Baltimore and Orchard Orioles. The numbers are dwindling though. Sad they are on their way to brighten someone else’s day. So beautiful!

  42. Linda in WI

    Post came through. Love the Grosbeak block. Perfect colors.
    What a good idea to plant in a birdbath that is cracked. I would never of thought of that. The bags are a hit with my quilting group. We trade birdseed and dogfood bags. They are very durable and 1less thing to go to the landfill!!!
    Another book, hooray!

  43. Susan the Farm Quilter

    I made several bags from chicken feed bags when I was in Florida. I just love them!! I always worried that I would put too much in them and rip off the handles. They are wonderful for transporting a large quilt too!! I love your make-shift barrier to protect your plants!!

    1. Linda Arganbright

      I have that same problem! Is there a trick to putting on the handles?

  44. Amy M

    Beautiful pictures!!! We HAD sunshine in Kansas City today also but back to stormy dark now. Every day through next week has chances of rain and storms, I’m afraid we will need an ark soon. I would love to know how to save posts. If it is something I know I want, I print it as a pdf and save to my computer. An example was how you do your machine binding.

  45. Lisa in Washington state

    Everything looks so lovely, especially that grosbeak. We don’t have them out here!

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