Under Control

This morning when I opened the blog, my comments section was filled with literally hundreds of horrible porno comments. Then I started remembering about some recent problems with posting comments and that’s when I let you know there was trouble.


The details now are not important but I think you’ll understand my anxiety and fear as I started looking for the problem. There is a spam blocker subscription that had been turned off basically because I hadn’t paid the bill. Remember the hacked credit card? Yup, I didn’t think to update that spam subscription when I got my new credit card. I really do think it’s OK now but if anyone has trouble posting comments in the future, please let me know – this time I will fix it fast before all hell breaks loose. I have had to clean up the mess manually.

Let’s talk about Reed and his quilt, should we? He has such a grasp of piecing that I showed him a block and he immediately knew how it should be sewed together. One of his corners was off about 1/16th of an inch and he wondered if he should rip it out. I held it up and said “could you see that from a galloping horse?” He said no and I said then leave it! He is a meticulous piecer. You readers even notice when he has a new haircut! Someone asked if Reed was a relative. Reed is my friend Cheryl’s grandson who lives just a couple miles from me and goes to my church. His interests are not necessarily those of his family – animals mainly, gardening, succulents, quilting, photography, wildlife – all those things that I love! Having Reed in my life has allowed me to experience being a grandparent in a way. He is doing a super good job on his log cabin quilt and I have little doubt that it will qualify for the State Fair.

Here are some quick answers/comments:

1. I read every single comment and answer most of them. If you ask me a question, I am going to answer in the comments as well. If you don’t read those comments how are you going to know I answered your question?

2. I hate Facebook and Messenger – please don’t send me things in Messenger.

3. The reason my chickens are laying so many eggs is because they have heat and light through the winter.

4. I also learned to iron on hankies and pillowcases.

5. I really can’t update your blog subscription with a new email because you need to confirm at your end.

6. Please proofread your book titles and authors.

Here is a barn picture I took this morning – baby chick peeking out from under Mama.

And here is the block I’m using for the Kaffe project.

It comes from this book.

It’s called Pastel 9 Patch – not my definition of a 9 patch but…..

I hate these jelly rolls that have such a wide pinked edge – makes it so hard to sew accurately because it’s about 1/4″ deep. Gotta remember that the next time I shop.

And here’s an updated goat coat report – it’s hanging off of Emma!

Connie and I have discussed making up grab bags but we’re appalled at how expensive the postage really is. Are you aware that a priority mail box is $8-10? And by the time we fill it with fabric, books, notions or whatever, the cost will be quite high. And what if you just hate the things we put in your box? We’re not sure this is a good idea. Thoughts?

My morning “chat” has brought me up to chore time! Oh, what a terrible day! I’ll hope for a better one tomorrow!

53 thoughts on “Under Control

  1. Lisa in Washington state

    So sorry about all the “yuck” you received in the comments today. I hope the rest of the day is better. Yes, Reed is definitely a keeper! I don’t have any grandchildren either so I would love to find someone like Reed in my area. Alas, about 90% of us around here are senior citizens. No children. Woke up to 6 inches of new powder snow, we went snowmobiling for several hours this morning. So delightful! Now it’s a cup of tea and a good book. I am currently reading “The Silent Patient” by Alex Michaelides. So far, so good!

  2. Pam Wakeman

    I’m so sorry about all the porn problems. That had to be frustrating. Glad it’s fixed now. I can’t tell you how much I enjoy your blog posts! I’m continually amazed and in awe of all you do! Reed appears to be a sweetie and his quilt is beautiful. Your pictures of the mama chicken and chick could be mistaken for a master painter’s art work! What do you do with all the goat hair that is shed? Do the chickens and birds use it for nesting? Emma looks like she has dread-locks! Thanks for showing photos of your sewing space and Connie’s. It’s inspiring!

  3. Linda in Tennessee

    I am in awe of your computer and detective skills!! Also thankful that you have them. I look forward every day to your post. The hen and chick photos are so cute…by the way Momma hen is really a beauty.
    Hoping for Spring sooner than later. We haven’t had snow, but way too much rain. Flooding here for two weeks that closed roads and kept kids out of school for 4 days!!

    1. Sharon Lowy

      Love your relationship with Reed. It is a win-win for sure. I would be lost without my grandchildren. Love your animals but can’t imagine how you do all you do. We are expecting more snow here and while it has looked like snow all day,there is none yet. I am so ready for Spring, warm weather and flowers.

  4. Chris Harrington

    NOT a thrill, I’d bet. I think a grab bag would be fun. I know postage is high (my son is in Texas) but I bet it would be worth it depending on what you stuffed it with. I’d trust your judgement because I’ve liked all of your books and fabric choices- for the most part. 😁

  5. Kelli

    Hello! Always look forward to your posts 🙂 I had an experience with Pinterest – clicked on a Russian quilt link and ended up being taken to a pornography site ☹️ terrible how that happens o. Glad you got yours fixed! Would still love a grab bag inspire of the mailing cost!

  6. Linda in Tennessee

    P.S. Forgot to tell you that one of my friends worries when she’s asked to remember the words when she has her exam. She wants them to have her repeat them right away. Another friend asked the nurse if they were the same words as last year and rattled them off!! I think I’m somewhere in between!

  7. Diana Stanfill

    I love grab bags and would be willing to send you a prepaid envelope/or box, lol. I miss Country Threads. I grasp any pictures or blog posts I can. I always wanted to retreat there but never got the chance. When I used to get the goat gazette, I had to take it into work so my boss could read it. It got passed around and enjoyed by non-quilters as well. You live the life I’ve always dreamed of.

  8. Diane Bauer

    Love your hen and chick!! Snug and cozy!
    Reed is definitely a keeper! I assume he knows he has a fan club in your blog followers?? We’ll all be rooting for a ribbon at the State Fair!
    So sorry you had to go to work on fixing a computer problem right away this morning. I love technology—until I don’t! I always wonder why hackers don’t put their skills to work in more productive ways—clearly they are intelligent people with computer skills.

  9. Diane Bauer

    Love your hen and chick!! Snug and cozy!
    Reed is definitely a keeper! I assume he knows he has a fan club in your blog followers?? We’ll all be rooting for a ribbon at the State Fair!
    So sorry you had to go to work on fixing a computer problem right away this morning. I love technology—until I don’t! I always wonder why hackers don’t put their skills to work in more productive ways—clearly they are intelligent people with computer skills.
    Hmmm. Just noticing there wasn’t a single add to click on with this post. I always go back to the blog later in the day or the next day to read all of your comments and any other comments that posted after mine. Gives me a double dose of ads each day to click on!!

  10. Sue in PA

    I started making the same nine patches as yours out of my many miscellaneous charm packs, not really having any plan for them. Now that I have seen the picture in the Kaffe Fassett book, it gives me an idea of how to set them. Thanks, Mary! Hope your day got better. Thanks so much for your blog. I enjoy it every day and look forward to the animal pictures. Also to hearing about Diane’s horse’s wonderful recovery.

  11. Jan ftom TN

    The USPS has priority mail envelopes/boxes that are flat rate. Stuff them as full as you can, tape them closed & send them on their way! Charge your followers enough to cover your expense. If the recepient doesn’t like what they get, they can give to friends or their guild or thrift shop., etc. Sorry about those awful posts. Glad you were able to clear it up rather quickly. Reed is so talented & smart. Can’t wait to see his finished quilt top. Will he also quilt it himself? I hope Emma shedding her coat is a sign spring is almost here but we’re in for more rain this weekend! Parts of TN are still flooded from 2 weeks ago.

  12. Diane in WI

    I really enjoy using the computer, but there is so much junk on it also. Sometimes I wonder about people. The hen and chick pictures are adorable. She is such a good mother. I like the block for the quilt. I was busy baking today. I had bananas to use for banana bread. I have to help a funeral tomorrow at our church so I made mint brownies and butterscotch bars. It really makes the house smell good. I need to work on St. Patrick’s Day quilt.

  13. Launa

    Mary, I noticed the new Reed haircut! Also the 3 white squares marking the row placements! You are fortunate to have each other! And so are all of your bloggers lucky readers!

    Good you squelched the porno people! Quite a good detective!

    A really colorful 9 patch!

    1. Rita Mulvey in CT

      The name that I am familiar with for that block is uneven nine patch. It is a nine patch but the pieces are not all the same size squares thus the uneven part of the name.
      Aren’t those chicks the cutest peeking out from underneath momma.
      I noticed Reed haircut to right away. Love his quilt count me as one of his cheer leaders.
      Sorry that you had to deal with such filth, it is one of the reasons I delete any email from unknown persons.
      It was 7 degrees here this morning when I started chores. Makes your skin hurt because some chores can not be done with gloves on.
      I have been attaching and sewing binding on my quilted pieces, what a pile. I won’t do it once the weather warmes up, a combination of gardening taking up my time and not being able to stand the warmth on my lap. I will continue to piece the tops and add to the pile waiting for binding.

  14. Kate Schloemer

    Always love your blog!!! So exciting to here about the barn and always enjoy your pictures.
    Reed is a lucky young man to have you as his mentor. I can see he is a percise piecer. Lol

  15. Ada

    This life-long city girl looks forward to your post every day. I especially enjoy all the photos of your yard/farm and animals and keeping up with Reed’s activities. I too am working on a quilt from KF new book, the one called “Autumn”. I was frustrated with progress on a quilt that I was making as a donation. So I got out all the KF fabrics, sorted out all the red and orange ones and started up with something bright and cheerful.

  16. Ellie

    Love your Kaffe block! So vibrant! I’m glad you have solved your tech problem . It’s not as if we don’t have enough difficulties but tech problems get added to the list! Nothing wrong with you mentally if you can solve them!

  17. Debra Miller

    Sorry about the spam-I am getting lots in my email also and it is frustrating. Reed’s Log Cabin is definitely worthy of the fair. Love the little white faced chick-so cute! Love your 9 patch block-Kaffe fabric is so colorful!

  18. Connie

    I agree with Pam W. that your hen picture could be a master’s painting. It looks more like a painting than a photo. Just beautiful.

  19. Frances Carter

    It definitely was meant for you and Reed to be great friends. I would love whatever you put in a grab box, it came from you and Connie!

    I so look forward to your posts. Have had some very sad and difficult times these last few years your posts always help me in many ways. Just wish I had your energy!!!

  20. Carol

    Mary, I enjoy your posts every day, even though I don’t always comment. I’m sorry your account was compromised, it’s discouraging to know these people are stalking accounts on a constant basis. It makes it hard to have faith in the goodness of people sometimes.
    Your hen photo…. if you were into collage quilts, that would be a great inspiration!
    Your stories about your times with Reed are wonderful, it’s so great to know you are influencing the next generation.

  21. Sandy Pierson

    When Cheri Safiote was ill and decided to sell off her stash, she loaded up those medium flat rate priority mail boxes and sold them for $20.00 each and that included the postage . I believe that everyone was comfortable in the fact that we would receive a variety of fabric in the colors and prints that she would have used. Personally, I would feel the same with the fabrics you and Connie use. You have your very own color pallette and style that we all love. Does that make any sense?

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Sandy Pierson – yes, it makes sense IF I had quoted the correct price. A medium flat rate box is actually $14.35. If Cheri was selling off her stash when the flat rate was $3-4, $20 sounds great. That would make our box sell for around $60-70+. That doesn’t sound like much of a bargain now, does it? Just my thoughts.

  22. Diane Deibler

    I have been reading Call the Midwife:a memoir of birth.joy and hard times by Jennifer Worth. I shared this title last week but didn’t remember the author. There are 2 other books in this trilogy. Love them.

  23. Pat Smith

    My favorite part of your blog is always the animal pictures, both the barn ones and the domestic ones. I particularly enjoyed the baby chicks peaking out from under mama. I grew up in a household that didn’t allow pets. I think I was just out of college when we got our first cat and that was the beginning of a series of cats and 4 dogs. They all brought such laughter and pleasure to our lives, and yes, a few sad or frustrating times too. I love the Katte Fasset quilts I see in his books and have bought both the books and some fabric. I can’t seem to get started on any of them and am wondering why. They are so completely out of my usual comfort zone, I guess. Sorry about your porn experience. That’s never happened to me and I’m glad!

  24. Bonnie McKee

    Mama hen and her chicks are so sweet!
    I think Mama is beautiful!

    Your Kaffe project looks fun….such a great looking quilt! However my favorites will always be the more traditional quilts and fabrics.

    Sorry your day was such a pain having to deal with unpleasant posts. Ugh.

    Thanks for continuing to entertain us with wonderful pictures and great stories about your daily routines.
    Bonnie, in Oregon

  25. Sunflower

    Just wanted to say there haven’t been any ads in your posts for 3 days now. I always click on them and thought you’d want to know. I’ve had as many as 7 once so this is a big change.
    I also love the chick photo!

  26. Bonnie

    I am well aware of postage costs. About 5 years ago, I had people ask ( my son for one ) whether or not I’d gotten their cards/gift cards for my birthday. I had not. Turned out our postman would feel the envelopes and if he thought he felt a gift card inside or if he knew the envelope looked like a greeting card, he took them!!! ( he was subsequently fired, thank goodness ) So I pay a bit over $7.00 in postage to priority mail gift cards in a greeting card to my grandchildren. As my wonderful husband has told me for years, “I keep telling you Bon, people are no damn good!!!” Amen to that!!!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Bonnie – and on top of my post this afternoon, the medium flat rate box is actually $14.35, not $8 like I said. I think it’s highway robbery!

  27. Jo in Wyoming

    I, too had a little friend. She was 7 when we met and 17 when she moved away. So much like you and Reed, we picked fabric, cooked, did chores, went places. One of my favorites was playing “beauty shop”. I was plum scary after she finished loading me up with clips, rubber bands, barrettes, etc.
    We have a grand dog. He will be 16 this summer. A giant German Shepard. He no longer runs but he likes to look out across the prairie from the deck. He was trained in sign languages so we can still”talk” to him. It’s still fun when he comes to visit.
    Love the chickens. I could watch them all day.
    I stopped at a garage sale today, she had a Bullseye pattern, now I have the pattern, and a lot of other stuff.

  28. Ann Barlament

    Love your chick pics….that white faced one quizzical enough to check things out!!

    Reed is definitely a keeper!! With a house full of kids, I’m certain he enjoys his time he spends with you. They appreciate it years later!

    When I first bought my house, I was the “kid magnet” mainly because I had a dog. But we would sit under the Maple tree and color, or I gave them each two rows in the garden to plant whatever they wanted, I read to them, they helped with grass cutting because nobody had a push mower and it was fun, or shoveled in the winter. Years later, I was planting a new garden in my front yard. A car drives up and a young man gets out ~ do you remember me, he asked? He was Tyler, he just stopped to let me know I had made a difference in his life, when he was a little kid.

    You, too, make a difference in Reed’s life and everyone else!!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Ann Barlament- oh, what a wonderful story about the kid you spent time with! I hope I live long enough to see him married with kids of his own! I’m hoping we can sew tonight – depending on weather.

  29. Janet VanDeWalle

    Love the Kaffe quilt it will be fun to see all done.. always like the chicks and other critters you have. We are down to just one dog. We used to raise sheep and I had chickens and ducks and an elderly horse. but the horse passed away at 39 and Husband sold the sheep when the boys left home for College. So now we just make hay and sell it to his sister and the neighbors out in the field. Not so hard on his arthritis.
    we had a little snow this morning but didn’t stay long. Went to the Presbyterian Church Rummage sale this morning, The official start of the garage sale season. didn’t find much that I had to have , so had a slice of Marionberry pie and a cup of coffee, bought 2 cinnamon rolls to go, for my son and hubby and called it a day. stopped at the police station to give my son his. he is a computer support person for our 911 system
    I am rooting for Reed and his quilt to do well at the fair . My boys were into FFA and showed sheep and did mechanical projects., and 3 of my grandkids were in FFA also.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Janet VanDeWalle – just wondering if you bale small bales or big round bales?

  30. Evelyn

    Glad to see I’m not the only one struggling with a Kaffe Fassett jelly roll. Love your blog. It gives me a little taste of home each day.

  31. Marilyn

    Mary, So many wonderful comments to your blog. I really do enjoy reading your blog, the wonderful pictures and how you share all the times when life gives you lemons you make great lemonade. God bless you.

  32. Linda Schluchter

    Mama chicken is beautiful! I love, love, love seeing babies peeking out from under mom chicks, that’s absolutely the cutest. Our Tractor Supply already has chick days going but it has been so frigid I hate to see anyone buy any yet. My chicken house is full so I’m set for the summer baring any fox or coyotes visiting when they finally get to get out.

    Emma is adorable. My horse and donkeys are no where near starting to shed out, it’s been in the single digits all week here in icy cold Michigan, but it will be shocking Sunday, it’s predicted to be in the 40s!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Linda Schluchter – Emma is always the first to start shedding – the others are way behind! I’m not really anxious to get more chickens but Reed is hoping I’ll change my mind – ha!

  33. Sue in Marion, IN

    So sorry you had nasty blog problems…stuff like that gives me major anxiety! I had a scare yesterday…sent my sister an Amazon gift card for her birthday. They were to text it, and she didn’t get it. Turns out she got rid of her land line. Thank goodness whoever has that number now didn’t use the gift code before I could change it.

    What a blessing to have Reed, and how lucky he is to have someone like you. I taught school for 35 years and I wish every child could have a caring adult friend. We were “geezer parents”… got married late and now at 65 (me) and 72 (hubby) we have kids that are 24 and 28. Hope to be a grandparent someday, but we’re not getting any younger! We work out and walk a lot to try and stave off decrepitude!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Sue in Marion, IN – my sister wonders if she’ll ever get grandkids, too. Young adults today don’t think like we do. I am lucky to have Reed!

  34. Peggy Thompson

    I am so happy that you have your special guy, Reed. A blessing, for sure, for both of you. I am the “designated” Mema for a great niece & nephew. I am blessed beyond words to be chosen to be a special part of their lives & experience being a grandparent!!!!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Peggy Thompson – yes! We are both lucky to have our young friends!

  35. Marlene in NY

    What a way to start your day. I had that happen about 15 years ago, only mine had some pictures mixed in with gross comments. I almost fell off my chair when I clicked on an unknown email. If I get a weird looking email today I just delete it, if not it can really mess up your computer. Also changed to a local phone company server.

    I noticed Reed’s new haircut. My grandson has his like that too, only with curly hair on top. By the way what Bernina model machine is he using. I gave my 930 (workhorse) to my son-in-law and I was told the 1130 was a great backup machine. Just thinking? His quilt looks beautiful, can’t wait to see the finish. He should get a ribbon for sure.

    Does Emma let you brush her? Ha. Somehow I can see Emma rubbing against any tree like the deer do. Thanks for your blog, it is a great treat everyday, so glad you are back on track Mary.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Marlene In NY – Emma will not let me brush her but I pull off what I can when she’s in her chair – if she could get outside she’d be rubbing against a tree.
      So glad yesterday’s awful problem is fixed!
      Reed is using a Bernina 1230, my favorite machine! I have 2 of them – my new 740 is a ridiculous design – it simply is not a user friendly machine.

  36. Diane in Central Ohio

    Quick reply here. We are in WESTERN NY (in Jamestown where Lucille Ball was born) for a funeral and the ad I got was for Niagara Falls! Who says “they” don’t keep track of us! Why do people think it’s ok to send porn to a nice, farm, quilting lady? Ugh. Love Reed’s quilt and your blog. I am starting my flannel Bull’s Eye this week. Thanks to you, Mary, and Kathy in Western NY for giving me the encouragement. You mama hen and chicks are aforable🐔🐣🐥

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Diane – I keep forgetting to thank you for the clippings! I pray Iowa does the right thing.

      1. Kathy in western NY

        Diane, I love my flannel bullseyes quilt and after kabitzing with Mary on what I should do, I decided to do a cotton backing rather than the flannel. It just felt a bit too heavy for me with the batting and two layers of flannel. I am just waiting for a sew Day at church or senior center and I will lay it out on the tables and pin baste it to begin quilting it. At least no snow is predicted for your time here. Yeh and almost 60 on Sunday! See saw weather.

        1. CountryThreads Post author

          Kathy In NY – oh, how I wish we would see a 60 degree day!

  37. Judy

    I am so sorry you have had to deal with the spam issues it must be so frustrating. I love reading about the things that you do with Reed and consider him to be a lucky young man to have you in his life. I may need to find a Reed as my own kids don’t seem interested in having children of their own.

  38. Liz Schrader

    I hope you can find a way to send your grab bags. I have purchased something similar in your shop and still use some of the fabric in projects now. I would order one for sure. The UPS boxes sound like a good choice. Heard you were getting ice today—–bummer! Spring is coming.

  39. Julianna in WNY

    Love the Kaffe block! You make me want to find my Kaffe fabric in my stash. But I need to finish current projects first. I bought some of his fabric knowing I’d like to have one of his quilts in my repertoire. Thank you, Mary, for all the inspiration. Love watching Reed’s log cabin progressing. Stay warm.

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