What Have I Been Doing?

My friend, Felicia, called me this afternoon and asked me what I’ve been doing – since sitting in a chair is not normal for me. It’s pretty boring at times but necessary as is therapy. If I want to garden and mow lawn this spring, I’ll put up with it. Right?

The feed truck came today so we are supplied with feed till spring. The dogs watched from the house.

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One of the things I’ve been doing is working on another rug. This doesn’t take up much room and I can add a few rows each day without getting totally bored with it. This technique is called twining and is explained completely in our book Rugs From Rags with DVD. Cost is $20.00 to Country Threads.

Another thing I’ve been doing is looking at quilt books – some of which belong to me and some which I’ve received from Martingale for review and give away. Quilt books are an endless supply of fun! Connie and I have always said we have never thought we needed to physically make all the quilts we admire but just choosing them and reading the directions, picking colors and thinking about techniques is sometimes enough. Nobody can make all the quilts they love but studying a quilt is the next best thing!

Last night I went to my sewing room and sorted 1-1/2″ squares – just sorted them! I love sorting colors and my tubs of squares are all thrown together – not helpful when starting a project.

I’m behind on Bonnie Hunter’s mystery quilt called Frolic. Darn. I’m willing to try clicking on ads again. Bonnie thanks her readers each and every time she posts. She says closing an ad is a thank you for all the work she puts into writing the blog. Let’s try it.

We got this picture of Rick’s granddaughter last nite – Camber, age 3-1/2. It was dance night at the care center.

Let’s talk books!

Here’s Sisterhood of Scraps, Book I, by Lissa Alexander, 12 scrap quilts from different designers. We’ve been asked to submit a scrap quilt for Sisterhood of Scraps, Book II. Connie is working on that quilt now. And it’s going to be wonderful!

Connie and I both love this quilt by Lissa!

I think someone sent me a similar photo to this quilt and asked me if I knew the pattern. Here it is!

This is a great book for anybody wanting to make NICE scrap quilts – controlled scrap quilts, not every color or every piece in your collection but selected colors that relate to each other. We’ve been making this kind of scrap quilt for 40 years.

Jan Patek has a new book and all of you know that we have been “Jan” fans for as many years as Country Threads has been in existence. I love looking at all my Jan and Linda books and make many of them in my mind as I study the pictures. Sunny Days is a folk art quilt measuring 86″ x 87″, a perfect queen size quilt for your bed. Mostly primitive appliqué with some piecing fills the bill for anyone!

This post is getting long so I’m going to save the other three books for tomorrow. I’ll also talk about the Dirty Dozen tomorrow – so I’ll sign off until then!

31 thoughts on “What Have I Been Doing?

  1. Nancy

    I also love reading my quilt books, and I call myself a “quilt scholar” since I make very few of them . I still have some of the Country Threads early books.

  2. Judy

    Sisterhood of Scraps I saw on another website this week. I made a note of the title, putting it on my wish list. I also put O, Scrap! on my wish list, then realized they are from the same lady. I guess I like her work. Glad to hear you are rehabbing and still getting little things accomplished. I had PT this morning, hopefully to delay any knee surgery, but …… time will tell.

  3. Gloria B.

    Sun streaming in your windows must make you feel better too. Don’t mind cold when sun shines. Lissa’s book cover is clever with quilts folded on chairs with a drape of design coming down. Her chain quilt is yummy. Makes me want to start another project with some spring colors. That happens. Christmas gets packed up and it’s on to the sherbet colors. You’ll be planting in no time.

  4. Katherine Gourley

    Hi Mary — don’t over do it with your new knee. My hubby had his done a year apart and he loves his knees. He kept putting it off, but once he had one done he was ready for the other one. He was a “very good boy” and followed every doctor’s and PT order and it lead to an amazing outcome.

    I belong to the Martingale Book Club and just received the 2 books you reviewed. I also ordered the Blue and White Quilt book. I love all of them. And, like you and Connie — I know I can never make all the quilts that I love. I consider the books that I buy as Quilt Shows in my lap.

  5. Kathy Roloff

    I am so pleased that you and Connie are having successful recoveries. This is a very tough surgery and my dear friend has had three revisions and a year long nightmare. Do you remember which quilt Telly is sitting on? Great for summer and patriotic decor. Thanks

  6. Beryl in Owatonna

    Good day to watch from the window!! It is COLD, but the sun is wonderful, it makes the day a whole lot better.

    I have so many books and I left many in Montana when I moved. I have added more since I have been here though. I have been getting them spiral bond so when (if) I make any the book will lie flat as I follow directions. I like so many of them, if I did make them I don’t know what I would do with them. I guess dreaming saves space?? LOL!

    So happy the recovery is going well for both of you!! Hope Rick is doing well too. Spring is coming, the days are getting longer. Good to look forward to, for sure. You are in my prayers.

  7. Jo in Wyoming

    Books are like candy without calories. Love em.
    That Miss Hazel makes me smile, every time I see her picture. She is a card.
    I do hope things have settled down at the farm, geez, one ordeal is enough. You had many all at once.
    Too many!
    Take care

  8. Jan VanDeWalle

    Glad to hear you are doing well. I love quilt books and just ordered 5 of yours off ebay, can’t wait for them to get here. my husband is a Lantern collector and he had me looking for a couple of books for him so when he was happy with his , I decided to just look and see what was in the quilting books. I found Dear Emma and Aunt Amy plus 3 more, need to stay away from ebay I think. Last week I got Pat Sloans, I can’t Believe I’m quilting and Johanna Wilsons book Prairie Quilts. my Sisters name is Johanna so had to get that one and it had a couple of blue and white quilts on the cover Today is a beautiful day sun is shining and no wind.
    Enjoy your books and the sunshine.

  9. Carol at Pin Oak Quilting

    I think organized/controlled scrap quilts are the way to go for me. I’m just not creative enough to dive into my scraps without controlling them! Oh Scrap and Sisterhood of Scraps both appeal to me.
    I’ve been sick since December 18 and am only now back on my feet. My UFOs are still UFOs, but today I at least got a binding on a dirty dozen contender, so now I can sit and hand bind and not look entirely lazy!
    Yesterday I had a big outing and went with my sister to see Little Women. What a cute movie! No blood, guts and foul language… if that’s your vibe, enjoy!

  10. Lois Ann Johnson

    Mary: It is a good day to stay inside! I laughed when I read about you “looking at quilt books.” I know exactly how you feel even though I am not a quilter! You see, I look at cookbooks! I’ve been doing this for over 40 years. I will check out cookbooks from the library; or I buy t hem. I clip recipes from magazines, etc. I do love to cook, but I could not possibly cook every single recipe I have in my files. It is a compulsion, I think. But a harmless one. Good luck with your therapy. It sounds as if you are doing what the doctor ordered.

    1. Susy Boyer

      Dear Connie and Mary,
      I love, love, love your new book, “A Country’s Call”. The quilts are stunning! I want to make them all. And, the stories of the women with their pictures are great. Thank you.
      Happy healing to you both.
      Susy B.

  11. Sue in Oregon

    I love the quilt Tillie is sitting on. The blues are great with the pops of red stars.
    Camber is darling. She could be called Tiny Dancer after the song.
    Glad you are resting yet doing things.

  12. Bonnie Tucker

    Hi Mary I love scraps and the sisterhood of scraps books looks wonder. I noticed the quit your big cream dog is sitting on. What is the name and who is the author. Please and thank you.

  13. Montana Kathy

    So glad to see you’re doing great on your recovery. Won’t be long now before you’re “back at it” outside with the animals and the plants. You’re doing amazing. It was good to hear what you’ve been doing, and the photos , especially of the dogs ( so comfy on their chairs) were so cute. Hope your weather is warmer than ours. We had quilt retreat this week and the temp each day was in the minuses with a heat wave today at a high of 11 degrees. Whoopee! Enjoy your time inside with the quilt books, warm and cozy. Will be thinking of you.

  14. Paula Philpot

    Glad to hear you can get “in touch” with your fabric. What is the quilt pattern that the big dog is sitting on. I really like that quilt. Good to hear from you. Paula in KY

  15. Ellie

    Rick’s granddaughter is a little doll! Oh so cute! I’m glad to hear you are getting along so well. I hope you’re not overdoing but you know what you feel up to. Sisterhood of Scraps looks like a lovely book. I have Oh Scrap and really enjoy looking at it but haven’t made anything from it yet. I’m glad I’m not the only one who “collects quilt books”!

  16. Kathy in western NY

    I am glad that you wrote a blog post to let us know how you are doing. A day at a time…that’s recovery at its finest. Camber has the most adorable smile in that picture. I will be glad when my cough ends after two weeks of it and I finally can talk without sounding like I have sinus head cold cause I must have the same dang thing Carol at Pin Oak quilting has. Might be a New York thing! I do have a UFO picture to send you I finally finished and took to a local quilt shop to be quilted cause it’s queen size. Two containers cleaned out of my sewing room and that makes me happy as I stored the backing, background and blocks partially sewn. Now they’re gone but can put the scraps left away for a doll size quilt I want to make.

  17. Jan from TN

    Hi! Glad to hear your behaving yourself so you’ll be ready for spring gardening, etc! Yay!
    I LOVE quilt books! I buy them sometimes just for the pictures of the beautiful quilts with no real intent on making any of the quilts presented. I like to read about the quilt & dream about making it but I long ago realized that I canNOT make all the ones I love, but I still buy the books. I’m done decluttering the hundreds of quilt books in my sewing room. I’m giving away or donating all the ones I’m no longer in love with. For now, I’m keep all my major designer books — Lynette Jensen, Eleanor Burns, Country Threads (I think you’ve heard of them ;), & a few others. The rest will be outta here but for now, they’re just sitting in piles waiting to be taken elsewhere.
    I love the new Lissa Alexander Sisterhood of Scraps book. First I’ve heard there will a #2! Martingale does such beautiful books. I almost exclusively buy their books!
    Continued luck with your recovery & your therapy.

  18. Judith Ann Jaques

    Mary did you have your surgery in Mason City? By chance do you see Dr.Darron Jones? My friend is going to have her knees done one in March the other after that. I have know Darron since he was born. His parents were classmates to my husband. Glad your recovery is going well. Still trying to figure out what are the dirty dozen. judy

  19. Rosalie

    So glad you are healing. Wonderful news that you will be in the Sisterhood of Scraps II!
    I had seen the interview with Lissa on the Martingale blog- will be planning to purchase it.

  20. Nikki M in Texas

    Last Friday horrible blinding rain & I drove home in torrential downpour from Fort Worth, Sunny Saturday, work up Sunday to 3 inch some places 4 inches snow.. yesterday 80 degrees, today high 40 & rain all day.. welcome to Texas weather!! Rodeo & Stock Show start tomorrow in Fort Worth..always bizarre weather during show! 13 days into new year & have attended 3 funerals ….2 friends died unexpectedly… neither had been ill, luckily both went peacefully. The third, grandson (4 years old) of friend died of leukemia. Sorry to be a Debbie Downer, just still can’t quite believe it. Needless to say don’t feel like I have accomplished anything and I have so much need to do & even more I not to do. Decided will give myself thru end of week to have pity party then put big girl panties on & get back to doing!!!! Love scrap quilts & look forward to Sisterhood of Scraps II & the current Sisterhood of Scraps I… guess need get over to Martindale website & order. I too love to just drool over quilt books, n harm no foul . Need to get back to sewing on my Painted Ladies house quilt. Currently obsessed with house quilts.

  21. Diane Bauer

    I love to read and reread my quilt books. Honestly, many of the books are on my shelf and I’ve never made a single quilt out of them. I just enjoy dreaming. Sisterhood of Scraps looks like one for the Amazon wishlist.

    I’m glad you are taking it easy and doing your PT. I’m right there with you on the recovery. I’m sore and my bruise is now purple, green, and yellow. We have had cold weather so getting out to exercise has not been on the top of my list.

  22. Kathy Hanson

    Well, we have a “big snow” coming tomorrow – time to sit and sew! So glad that you are able to get around your home and sewing room some but know that having your let up is best. Love seeing the books and the quilts and the dogs too! I am trying a “Layer Cake” with a “Cake Mix” which is putsy but turning out I think. We shall see how it turns out! Glad to hear that you are doing well. Try to stay warm and out of the cold and snow!!

  23. Elizabeth Starnes

    I’m a newbie to your blog and I enjoy reading about what you guys are up to. I keep seeing your dogs & cats on your quilts … dog & cat hair is just a fact, and it’s going to get on our quilts. So I’m curious about how often you wash your quilts, with what, etc.

  24. Felicia Hamlin

    Mary, I feel like a celebrity being mentioned in your post. Camber is so pretty, love her dress and the dogs brought a smile to my face.

  25. Brenda Fiedler

    Mary, hope you are doing well. I don’t usually respond much on your blog being a newbie here, but had to write and tell you thank you for introducing me to Jan Patek. I went and looked at her books on Amazon and ended up ordering one called Sleigh Bells. I absolutely adore anything that is “Christmas Quilty”. Then I went and watched her videos on YouTube. I absolutely ADORE her and her applique! I will be a “Jan” fan forever. Thank you!
    Absolutely loved the pictures of your furbabies. We have four dogs and numerous barn cats. Stay warm and you have a reader for life now!!!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Brenda Fiedler – welcome and thank you! Jan’s appliqué technique is my favorite and I’m so glad you liked it, too. Jan’s designs are timeless, in my opinion.

  26. Mrs. Goodneedle

    Glad to hear that you’re doing well; I got my Sisterhood of Scraps book yesterday and have already made three of the quilts pictured (in my mind). 😉 I also am doing the Temecula Quilt Sew-Along “Scavenger Hunt” and am waiting for that book to arrive. I have vowed that I am stitching up my stash this year and not buying any new fabric; I guess I’m making up for it in books! Rick’s granddaughter is adorable! It looks cold outside your window; it has been ridiculously spring-like here, we need some winter.

  27. Kristie M Michalowski

    Oh boy those are beautiful quilts..great for stash busting for sure.
    Sounds like your post surgery is going well …thank goodness. You’ll be mowing that lawn in no time ;o)

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