by CountryThreads on December 28, 2017

No matter where you’re reading this, it’s probably cold and you folks in Erie, PA are buried in snow! Wow! I’ve never dreamed of 63″ of snow all at once. I can’t imagine how hard it is to clear it just to get your car out. Cold weather makes everything harder to do, doesn’t it?

All the Christmas decorations are down and upstairs waiting to be packed away in the storeroom. The house feels empty and sad until I get it re-decorated. I think I’ll concentrate on blue for the winter months but before that I’ll clean it.

Reed came over yesterday and we looked at 2 shelves of pincushions, taking them out, cleaning the glass shelf and putting them back in. Here are some quick photos I took during the whole process.

This crazy pieced heart dated 1907 in embroidery was Reed’s favorite. He just couldn’t wrap his head around it being 110 years old! It looks it though – it’s just disintegrating – makes me sad.

So many of you sent nice comments about the Christmas Eve post – you really understood what I was trying to tell you – thank you! Our Christmas morning service at church was wonderful but very cold, below zero.

Diane – I’ve been trying to transfer the picture of Squeak to put here on the blog and I can’t do it. Send me another one to my email and maybe that will work. Readers – Diane in Ohio has a cat named Squeak who could be Millie’s twin! I want to post both of their pictures side by side. Here’s Millie – in a box.

I got the nicest email before Christmas from a reader who shopped at our booth in Chicago at International Quilt Market in years past. She thanked us for our years in Chicago and said she missed us. We miss many of our customers, too! But retirement is just the best. Connie and I are hitting our sewing machines again now that the holidays are pretty much over but in the meantime I’m going to make a baby girl quilt for a friend due in April. Now that quilt I’ll be able to show you!

Stay warm, Everybody!

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Carol December 28, 2017 at 9:19 pm

I would have to agree with Reed, it is hard for me to wrap my mind around a very small pin cushion surviving that many years without someone just simply tossing it away. I am so glad they didn’t do that and it found a home that truly appreciated it’s simplicity and beauty! Reed is most certainly an “old soul”! The two of you are such great friends and you are blessed to have each other!


Carol December 28, 2017 at 9:48 pm

I live in Buffalo NY and my boys had to travel through Erie on their way to either Pittsburg or Columbus Ohio. After Christmas. I sure wish Christmas was in July, I worry about their ride to Buffalo for Christmas Eve, and then their drives home again. It’s just the pits living along Lake Erie.


CountryThreads December 29, 2017 at 8:55 am

Carol – did your boys get home safely?


Julianna January 2, 2018 at 7:00 pm

Carol – I too traveled Pgh to Bflo Wed after Christmas. What a trip! We set out w/ a plan that we’d assess town by town. Once we hit Grove City if all was ok, we’d try to get to Meadville, then Edinboro. When we finally pulled into my sister’s in Erie, we could only see the top 6 inches of her garage door – snow was just piled so high from the plows. That was the beginning of the snow – she’s had snow every day since – and it’s so cold. Folks in Erie are concerned w/roof collapse. It’s a very real thing during these freak snow falls.
Hope your boys are safe!!


Janie December 28, 2017 at 9:56 pm’s cold! Love the pin cushion collection. I love the black cat cushion. Stay warm and safe everyone!


jAnet December 28, 2017 at 10:11 pm

Mary, I’m piecing four “Quilts of Valor” and had a little water on ironing board. When a pressed two strips the red ran. How do you wash them so they won’T be a BIG mess!!!!
Thank you! Oh, I Love your posts.


CountryThreads December 28, 2017 at 10:48 pm

Janet – did you prewash the red? Let’s ask the readers what they would do. Readers – join in and tell us how you avoid this problem.


Ruth December 29, 2017 at 8:38 pm

Go to! She posted a red bleed problem today on her post about Galaxy of Stars, and talked about how she fixed it.


Linda December 31, 2017 at 9:31 am
Tina W December 28, 2017 at 10:56 pm

I remember that 1907 pin cushion from some greeting cards (blank) that I bought in your shop when we stopped there years ago. You were in Chicago at the quilt show so we didn’t get to meet. I loved all the cards that had photos of some of your pin cushions photographed in the snow. Wish I could get more.
I always pre-wash fabric. And I always use color catchers when I wash a quilt.
Tina in Oregon where we are getting freezing rain right now on top of ten inches of snow!


CountryThreads December 29, 2017 at 8:54 am

Tina – you’re right! It was one of the pincushions we photographed. I’ll look for any strays that might be left. Hope your freezing rain stopped!


Beth T. December 28, 2017 at 11:06 pm

Oh, Reed is just the best kid, isn’t he? The two of you are lucky to have each other. I think cross-generational friendships are so special, whether they are within families, between neighbors, or maybe even through pen-pals if such things happen these days. I loved being a little girl living in a neighborhood with neighbors who must have been in their seventies (I’m guessing now–wish I could ask my mom!), and later, when I was in my thirties and most of my neighbors were in their eighties. Each time I made friendships based on our shared interests and compatible personalities; each of those friends was incredibly dear to me, and I learned a lot from them that I never would have from someone who had seen only the same things I had.


Betty Isaac December 28, 2017 at 11:22 pm

What do you use to stuff your pincushions?


CountryThreads December 29, 2017 at 12:19 am

Betty – I use sand to stuff my pincushions. Sometimes I add dried lavender.


Sandy December 29, 2017 at 12:07 am

Lots of snow today mixed with freezing rain and more to come through the night in eastern Washington. Driving not so much fun right now. Your posts are always so informative and touching as you share about friends and family, animals, activities, and daily life in general. Thanks for the peeks into your life. As far as the reds bleeding, I don’t know how to fix that after the fact. I prewash and dry all my fabrics before using them. Color Catchers are my “best friends” during this task. If a fabric continues to bleed, I do not use it rather than risk an entire project being ruined. I certainly do not understand the whole manufacturing process, but I cannot see any reason in this day and age for dyes to not be set properly, yet it does happen. Hopefully someone has some help for rescuing the project.


Ann Barlament December 29, 2017 at 12:14 am

The genealogist in me says, your 110 year old pin-cushion deserves to feel a bit relaxed. Love the variety that you have collected.

This wing has been quarantined..myself and 6 others have Influenza. If people would stop bugging me, I might be able to get 23 hours of sleep. Hahaha

Happy New Year!!


CountryThreads December 29, 2017 at 12:17 am

Ann – I’m so sorry you have influenza! Feel better soon!


Marilyn December 29, 2017 at 4:45 am

Yes we are having cold temperatures here, but the sun has been shining…no snow. Your blog is like a warm well used quilt to nurtures my soul and for that I thank you.


ANITA Fetzer December 29, 2017 at 7:18 am

Thank you for all your stories this year. Makes us feel like we know you and all your wonderful furry friends. May you, Rick, Connie, Reed and all the animals be well in the New Year. Anita Fetzer


maxine lesline December 29, 2017 at 8:11 am

Really interesting collection of pin cushions.. I have made many for useful decoration.. displayed in a large wooden bowl… inspired by Crazy Mom blog. Neat …seeing all of these… One of the quilt books I refer to often is an old one from you and Connie.. before 2000… a friend made a wall hanging of the long legged turkey… and I did one of a patchwork rabbit for another friend. Your mixtures of background fabrics are helpful and lift your quilts to more complex creations. Thanks for those .. and I certainly enjoy your present blog.


CountryThreads December 29, 2017 at 8:51 am

Maxine – thank you! Can’t remember that exact book but those were busy days – I sewed every free minute. Right now I’m sitting in the recliner with Hazel on my lap watching this beautiful snowfall — aahhh – retirement.


Launa December 29, 2017 at 8:55 am

The Lost Trail Powder Mtn. Ski resort just 3-4 miles north of me here in Idaho has received 117” of snow this season according to the Thursday paper. Plowing n snow blowing is an ongoing project to keep our road to hiway clear. Pepper dives into the deep blown snow n gets snowballs stuck onto her fur so in she comes to thaw out.

I use Color Catchers, but don’t always prewash fabrics.

Thanks for showing your wonderful pin cushion collection, Mary.


CountryThreads December 29, 2017 at 9:03 am

Laura – 117″ of snow????? Good thing those skiers like it. I can just see Pepper enjoying the snow. Hazel is not crazy about this cold weather. Reed and I looked at only 2 shelves out of 5 and I have more than will fit in the cabinet. It is a wonderful collection – glad I started so many years ago!


jean December 29, 2017 at 9:41 am

What an awesome pincushion collection!! Reed is such a good young man.


Sue December 29, 2017 at 10:31 am

I have just been admiring your collection. It’s awesome. Mine would probably cover one of that table top….maybe. Reed is a boy that is interested in everything. I love that.
We are awaiting the big Pacific storm. Right now it’s very quiet out there.
All cats seem to love getting into boxes and bags. That always makes me laugh.

I nearly always prewash and use the color catcher sheets. They are a god send.


Sherrill December 29, 2017 at 10:47 am

I think it is simply adorable that Reed spends so much time with you. I know he learns a lot and that you cherish the time with him. A special bond. My Fang hopped in the Christmas tree box this morning and poked around. Cats are so funny.


Jan Ritt December 29, 2017 at 11:13 am

Thank you so much for your former post at Christmas. I just loved it! I am a cat (crazy cat lady!) and dog lover and I felt such peace when I read it. Hazel is so precious and I love the cats, goats & chickens.
You are an inspiration!
Jan Ritt


Ann Gupton December 29, 2017 at 11:30 am

Tell Reed that he has very good taste in pincushions.
It is my favorite too. Reminds me of my grandma
Wible. She made a lot of things. She was a sewer and crafter
years ago. You have a very good helper-friend in Reed…Mary.❤️


Diane December 29, 2017 at 12:21 pm

Hi Mary, I just emailed Squeak’s picture. My husband had his knee replaced this AM. The pincushions and picture of Reed are great. Isn’t he just the nicest boy to help you? i love all of the pincushions. COLD here, too. I grew up not too far from Erie. Lots of snow in Western NY!!


CountryThreads December 29, 2017 at 12:24 pm

Just saved both pictures – don’t know why it wouldn’t work before. Another reader sent a picture of their triplet – ha!


Kate December 29, 2017 at 5:04 pm

Hazel appears to be posing behind Reed! Such a cute dog. It’s freezing here in Indiana where I spend my day letting dogs in and out because I can’t stand for them to be outside very long even though they are outside dogs, and keeping the chickens in fresh water and gathering their eggs before they freeze. I will be so glad when it gets above freezing again.


Linda December 31, 2017 at 9:36 am

Please post your blue decorating pictures! I love your warm, cozy ideas!


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