You Asked For It! 8-29-23

The two kittens, Gracie and Greta, have really trashed the quilt shop with toys all over the floor as well as knocking fabric off the shelves every night, pushing a large glass bowl off the counter, sleeping anywhere they please. I also have 4 long bulbs that are out and those old light fixtures are all going to have to be replaced very soon since the bulbs are no longer going to be available! So here is the north half of the quilt shop where all the fabric lives. (I’m going to regret this.)

And here are the two little darlings who have had a big effect on the quilt shop.

Surely I’ll have time to straighten things up very soon. Right?

The quilting machine lives in the south half of the building.

Here are the reader photos:

Dirty Dozen Day is coming very soon – why haven’t I gotten any pictures of finished projects?

76 thoughts on “You Asked For It! 8-29-23

  1. Marie C

    I love the pheasant quilted wallhanging in the first picture. Is that a stand alone pattern or from one of your books.

    1. Marsha from Kansas

      It looks like the Kansas Troubles pattern Shine Bright. It’s on my bucket list to make someday. I like it, too.

  2. Carol at Pin Oak Quilting

    Of all the things to notice I was drawn to your pickle crock! Or cabbage crock. The design on it is so different.
    Those kitties, you just gotta love their curiosity!

  3. Heidi

    Those two darlings look so innocent like they could never do anything so destructive. They must have been after a mouse don’t you suppose. Like kids, I don’t know who did it.

  4. Shannon L Baker

    Oh! What is Dirty Dozen Day? It sounds very intriguing 🧐
    Will you please explain it to me or direct me to the information?

  5. Marsha from Kansas

    Mary, your room looks like heaven to me! I love your shelves so you can see your fabrics, even if they might get a nudge to the floor by night goblins. Lol. I’m still working on my August pink project. Probably three or four days worth of sewing left to have the top put together which is my goal to have it ready for my LAQ. My best friend is a Lori Holt fan and does beautiful applique. She inspired me to try Lori Holt’s Bee Vintage as I really liked the 30s vibe of the quilt. So – I have spent lots of time this month on that project. I sew on my August Dirty Dozen when I need a break from Bee Vintage! I have done some hand applique (last time 10 years ago right after I retired I finished a really old UFO). It was freezer paper. Lori Holt has a whole different process which I am learning as I go with lots of help from my friend. My excuse for no pictures. My July orange is a 3 one yard quilt using panels that still needs to be cut out. But I am enjoying your blog and seeing what others are accomplishing.

  6. DebMac

    Well, your form of organization isn’t mine but so be it. I don’t work well with chaos so I either clean up or I don’t sew. But then, after working in a library for 9 years, I find myself alphabetizing and straightening up shelves when I am in other libraries. Takes all kinds doesn’t it? Both of today’s reader quilts are lovely. Never thought of adding stars to the patriotic pattern. I have one cut out so am busy thinking if I could stick in stars….hmmmmm……

    1. Dot

      DebMac, you made me laugh! I also alphabetize library shelves, and pull all the books to the front of the shelf when I’m at a library. (I used to work in a library, too.). And it’s hard to resist doing it at the grocery store! But the room with my fabric and yarn is cluttered; I don’t have enough shelf space, and no floor space to add more shelves. I need to get rid of the bed in that room.

      Mary, your room is just fine! And the kittens are getting big. Teenagers now.

      1. Grandma Rabbit (Pat) in AZ

        DebMac and Dot, I go to our local thrift stores and can’t help “fixing ” their books. My sewing space is a hot mess but disorganized books drive me nuts!

  7. Jeanie S, Central Illinois

    Thanks for showing us the shop, Mary. It brings back great memories of the two times we visited on our way further west.
    Gracie and Greta look so cute curled up in their box lids, perfect fits.
    What a great place to keep your fabric!

  8. Carolyn Boutilier

    I enjoyed the journey through your quilt shop that the 2 rascals tried to dis troy. My quilt space is my dinning room table and our cat is always in the middle of my fabric. Sometimes I use a box to keep projects together and she will always find it and sleeps in the box. I am interested in seeing more of the piece with the coxcomb flower . Carolyn b Shenandoah Valley Va

  9. Jo in Wyoming

    That is a fun room! It’s no wonder the cats have a lot going on when no one’s around.
    I love your stash, I love everyone’s stash. When I’m gone, bury me with my stash. There was a lady here that passed. She had 3 storage units full of stash, plus her house. I’m told the garage sale brought in over $30,000. That was about 20 years ago! You know she loved her stash.
    To all our Florida friends, stay safe.

    1. Grandma Rabbit (Pat) in AZ

      Jo, my husband laughed and laughed when I read this to him. I bought miles and miles of fabric from a lady who was retiring from quilting and he asked what the devil our kids were going to do with it since I’d have to live to 115 to use it all. Don’t care, I love it!

  10. Linda

    Those two kitties look so happy! It’s funny how they do so much better in pairs. Love your quilt room pictures because it’s reality. A little slice of heaven!

  11. MaureenHP

    Thanks for the tour, Mary. I think your stash is great. I would have fun folding and organizing it all.
    I thought I would send a quilt photo to you, but life intervened.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      MaureenHP – so how soon can you get here to start folding all that fabric?????

  12. Stephanie Smith

    I’m in love with your quilt shop. Quilters should have all the “research material” they can at their fingertips. Never messy Mary, just creative. And what’s better than 2 cutie guard kitties for the stash!

  13. Kathy in western NY

    I can’t say anything as I have a stash too which gives me happiness. What I like is your large table with the machine sitting on it. I imagine the chatter and talk around that.
    The charity quilt I finished is pink but gosh our weather has been too nice not to enjoy the outdoors. We lucked out that we didn’t have the high temperature others had to stay inside. So I slacked off getting more sewn. Now this coming weekend begins a hot stretch for us just as school begins after Labor Day.
    Thanks for sharing your stash and I think you will still add to it so do whatever makes you happy. I am striving to buying more background fabrics to blend with my stash.

  14. Linda in MI

    I agree with the other Linda, your sewing room is a slice of heaven. And so what if it isn’t as tidy as someone might think it should be – it’s all yours and no one else has a right to say anything. I love it, it looks well used and busy, the way you turn out quilts it should look busy. As long as you know where things are that’s all that matters. I would love to have that space, including those two little innocent babies, they look like so, what’s going on, we’re comfy. Thanks for sharing Mary!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Linda – it took nerve to post those very honest pictures – haha! And those two innocent faces bely the fact that they’re little tornadoes all night long.

  15. Sandra Goddard

    Now really Mary how could those two sweet, angel like, innocent kittens do the things you saw. Ha ha ha 😂 got to love them. Hugs from me!

  16. Ruth Clark

    My “once “dining room now “sewing” room looks the same- a creative person lives in your sewing room with two little kitties that have been blessed by your rescue! A place to “Be Still”! WI Quilter, Ruth

  17. Michele

    Jealous of your large sewing room!
    May be wrong but I thought the long bulbs (tubes) were just being replaced with plastic As opposed to the dangerous glass. We just replaced a few of ours that had burned out and had some trouble getting them in. LOL we did not know that the “prongs” on the ends are now covered with a piece of plastic you need to remove before inserting them into the fixture. How embarrassing.
    Keep up the blog, love it.

      1. Michele

        Mary I did buy the tubes at a hardware store (Ace) and also a big box store (menards).
        I did take a burned out tube with me to make sure I got the right thing. There were many types.

  18. Deb Oscarson, MN

    Oh, how fun to wander through the quilt shop once again. My friends and I visited many times. These pics brought back many fond memories. I have a big stash that makes me happy. To be able to “shop” my own fabric to start the next quilt is so rewarding. Keep on quilting!! Thank you, Mary, for all you do with this blog. I hope you realize, somewhat, how precious you are to many.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Deb – I, too, love to shop my fabric collection – even if it’s a real mess. I think back on those days and wonder what has happened to all those customers who we got to know. I enjoy this blog vey much – my life revolves around it.

  19. Sue

    How can you live/work in such disarray? I’m prepping for a move and it is taking all my courage to live with the sorting and boxes.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sue – I find it very welcoming and conducive to creativity – just think how many combinations and wonderful quilts are there just waiting to be made. I have a little sign that says “Creative minds are rarely tidy”.

  20. Marcia-Ohio

    I would worry about fabric being ruined by critters that chew on fabric. Is this a problem? You live in a rural area like me. My husband continually battles w/ mice in his new metal building. My friends seemingly dry basement fights silver fish bugs w/ bay leaves everywhere.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Marcia – hmm, I don’t seem to have any problems with bugs and I use poison for any mice in the crawl space. Dust and cat hair are my problem. The building is pretty tight –

    2. Janet S

      Marcia-Ohio, Everyone near us leave a radio playing with a talk station on 24/7 in their out buildings. It sure seems to scare the mice away. My husbands shop rarely gets a mouse.

  21. Erin

    Thanks for the pictures! If you could see my sewing room, you’d surely think yours is perfectly tidy. Our quilting group moved all their stuff to my already full sewing room, but I can still get to everything I need. I should take a “picture of infamy.”

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Erin – YES! Send me a picture so I won’t feel so alone in my mess.

  22. Viv in Idaho

    What a great room!! Your kitties have found a wonderful home. I have worked on a dirty dozen quilt but I still like to sew my bindings down by hand and it has just been too hot to sit with that quilt in my lap. My hands are starting to get a little stiff and sore and I am afraid I will soon have to find a good technique for machine binding. I have tried a couple ways but I am just not happy with the way the look.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Viv – I am never 100% happy with machine binding but I’ve accepted that my hands can’t handle hand stitching – if it’s a really special quilt I will hand bind but it takes me a long time.

  23. Linda from Georgia

    Mary, looks a bit like my sewing room. Mine is just way smaller! No matter how hard I try to keep it neat it always ends up a mess. Plus since it’s so small everything ends up through out my house. My cutting board is on the kitchen island. But who cares. Making quilts keeps me pluggin’ along. Have a great day!

  24. Beverly

    OMG—we organize the same way—! I love seeing someone else’s space look , well, like they create cool stuff!
    You’re brave—but truthfully, my room(s) are just the same…fabric lives there—so, being creative has never been a neat hobby—!
    Love Greta and Gracie—owning the place…haha…
    Thanks for a courageous look into your space!

  25. Jessica in Florida

    Your quilt shop looks very well loved, lived in and looks perfect to me (cat toys included!). Organization is overrated. HA!

    I have a question about on of the quilts you have hanging. It’s in the 4th picture and it’s 4 birds in a square quilt. Can you tell us more about it? They look almost like chickadees.

  26. Joy in NW Iowa

    Mary, I love your creative style! I am working on a quilt for my daughter, and oh I should send you a picture of my mess. If my room was twice as big, I’d just have twice the mess. I’ll bet those kitties are up to some real shinanigans during the night! The kitties are so beautiful! I wish I could haves seen your quilt shop back when it was open.
    Thanks for posting!
    It’s gotten real smoky here again. The heat is coming again! Ugh! The crops are looking really bad needing rain. The soybeans are just dying. The corn silage race has begun! Take care and stay cool!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Joy – time to fill silo, huh? You’re right- whatever space one has is filled up and I have an abundance of space so I’m never forced to downsize! That’s good and bad.

  27. Debbie Keno

    Thanks for sharing your quilting space with us–looks fun to me, and the kitties think so too!

  28. Diane in Maryland

    Thanks for sharing the picture of where you create all those lovely quilts! Maybe Gracie and Greta have a creative streak! I don’t believe you have to worry any more about Gracie being shy and afraid. haha
    I used to have flourescent light tubes in my sewing room. A sewing friend told me that she had LED lights installed in her sewing room. I had an electrician come and install LED panels in my room and it has been fantastic. It is so bright and no shadows anywhere. Best decision ever! No more tubes to replace.

  29. Carrolyn v

    Love, love, love pix of your creative space. A busy station is ALWAYS evidence of creativity. Super neat spaces are evidence of OCD………YOU TRULY ARE MY QUIKTING SUSTER,

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Carrolyn – it’s a private joke, huh? I’ll clean up before winter sets in.

  30. Maria Zook

    You are very fortunate to have all that space for your sewing therapy. My space looks much the same, but in a a much smaller area. i recently heard a speaker talk about different types of storage and I am definitely one who likes all of my stuff out where I can see it. As she said, “if I can’t see it, thenI don’t own it”. Lovely closed storage just doesn’t work for me. I love seeing your spaces and really appreciate your sharing.

  31. Tanya T. in Houston

    What great photos! All that fabric just waiting to be played with and sewn into things! You are one lucky woman! 🙂

  32. Sunflower from Michigan

    Mary, love the kitties in the boxes!! Oh they are so cute.
    My sewing room is cleaned up for now but frequently looks less so when I’m in the middle of several projects! As soon as gardening winds down, the sewing room gets messy! Then that’s my happy place.
    Today I am preparing for my trip to Indy to visit the newlyweds. I’ll get to see my grand dogs, too. Take care.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sunflower – I just know they’re happy and the grand dogs will be thrilled to see you! As soon as I finish binding 4 quilts I will definitely stop and clean up but not till then.

  33. Pamela Dempsey

    Your 2 little darlings are just precious! Do they stay in the sewing room mainly? Penny and Lucy are everywhere, testing things, playing, getting into mischief and just being adorable at other times. Couldn’t be without them 😻. Love your big sewing room! 🥰

  34. Helen

    That’s what I call “creative chaos!” Love seeing it. It’s true for me….if I see it I’ll use it. otherwise may forget about it! Thanks for all you share.

  35. Betty Klosterman

    Oh, of course, your sewing room is absolutely heaven for the cats, you and everyone else. Now that my husband is gone, even his chair in the living room is covered with piles of fabric and ideas. Only a stranger would come to my house and expect they could SIT on a chair….. Actually the kitchen and bathrooms don’t have piles of fabric, but I do my cutting on the kitchen table. A friend described me as a hoarder, but he has no idea what we quilters need. But they do like what we make. Organization comes in many forms — Just don’t mess up my piles!!!!! Whatever I’m doing, my mind is at least 15 projects ahead to do next…..My fingers and hands don’t go fast enough and I’m getting slower….. And I know exactly what each pile is, needs, etc….. It just looks like a mess to a non quilter. And who cares?

    It is getting so dry and is really windy today, but at least we don’t have the hurricane and storm surge to think about. I just can’t imagine that. In the meantime the fire danger is getting higher every day. Take care, everybody.
    Betty in Rapid City

  36. Betty Klosterman

    One more thing, the flourescent lights can be switched to plain electricity to use the LED lights. The old fixtures are fine, they just change the wiring which is simple-a couple snip, snips. The new LED bulbs can all be purchased at Menards, etc. They last a long time and take less energy.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Betty – getting an electrician is the problem – I know what needs to be done.

  37. Maria in Tucson

    I’m going to add an invisible kitten to my space, so I can blame it/her/him for the mess! The dogs deny any participation…..

    1. Kris in WI

      HA! Where is a kitten (or kittens) when you need one (or two)! No, surely the dogs wouldn’t be part of such shenanigans.
      I’d feel right at home in Mary’s sewing room. Right now, my ironing board and cutting table are piled with sadly-sewn gifted castoffs waiting to be turned into charity quilts. Oh, the triangles…wonky stars it is.
      Love the Cat-in-a-Box picture. They remind me of our ginger cat who loved the brown sugar box on top of the radiator. He blended right in.
      Time for lunch and then a little outside cleanup. A wonderful day with low humidity and temps in the 70’s. So nice to breathe again, but very dry and no rain for at least a week.
      Be weather aware out there. Son in Charleston, SC says he is ready for Idalia, just disappointed it won’t be a full-fledged hurricane. Sheesh! Kids…at any age! Kris

  38. Jane dumler

    You might be able to use LED lights to replace the old fluorescent bulbs. Depends on your fixture. I am in the same boat in my sewing room. Looks like your fur babies have been having a great time. My/kitty has a place she hides in the sewing room and I am yet to discover where it is. I h Ave had her 12-years. She is very secretive. Have a great Labor Day.

  39. Connie R. In Wis.

    Mary, I love your sewing space! All the fabrics, projects and ideas are right at hand. My sewing space is my kitchen table and, much of the time it resembles yours. Difference is, I don’t have cats to blame. Thanks so much for sharing.

  40. Joyce from NY

    I agree with all of you, I love your stash, I love my stash too, why not if it makes us happy that’s all that matters. This world is so crazy now, we need some happiness!!

  41. Renae in Iowa

    I “inherited” a small sign that hung in my childhood home that says: “Welcome! Although you’ll find our house a mess, come in, sit down, converse. It doesn’t always look like this—some days it’s even worse!”
    That’s my sewing room!

  42. San

    Mary, are those dead vines I see above the fabric shelf? I truly wish I lived closer so I could come over and help you tidy up a bit. Imagine the treasures that could be found! My sewing room has looked exactly like that, albeit on a smaller scale, on many occasions. The kitties will calm down eventually.

  43. Jackie in NY

    Hi Mary – love your blog and seeing your quilt studio. Hey – it’s real life and you are a very busy lady- most of us don’t have sparkling quilt rooms either. I know I sure don’t!

  44. Beryl BC

    It’s great to see the quilt shop pictures. I’m reminded of trips to the shop, and the chance to pet the cats there. There are still cats to pet.
    I’m reminded of something I read some time ago, about the two types of organization. It said there are two types of people, filers and pilers. I’m definitely a piler and like things where I can see them. I usually know which pile to look for something. If it’s out of sight, it’s much more difficult to find.

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