A Bit of Inspiration, 12-11 21

Don’t throw those tiny bits of fabric! Experiment with improv piecing. Don’t think – just sew. After sewing, trim straight. Sew again. And on and on until your piece reaches the size you want. Or keep piecing and cut square blocks to then piece together with or without sashing.

Here’s what I did last week.

I love sewing like this – so freeing, so inspiring and so fun!

I loved all your comments that told us what you’re facing – you’ve all got a support system here and I encourage you to use it. Tell us all what’s happening in your life – we are all interested and we care.

Tomorrow night is the cantata – I don’t feel comfortably prepared this year – probably because we didn’t get started soon enough. I believe it will be shown on a live feed at Zion Evangelical and Reformed Church, Garner, IA. IF you’re interested.

32 thoughts on “A Bit of Inspiration, 12-11 21

  1. Diane in WI

    All colors go together. I love the quilt. There are so many interesting patterns to look at. Good luck with the cantata. I thought of the song from The Sound of Music about having confidence in yourself. It will be wonderful!

  2. Sandy

    Hi Mary, this is my favorite form of sewing, l make them 8 inch square, add sashing and they make great quilts for the women’s refuge. Madly downsizing fabric etc, cabin arrived today, move in on 23rd December, fortunately l have a large garage to store things in.Good luck for tonight, best wishes from Sandy

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sandy – you must explain this more – is your “cabin” a pre made home and where is it going? I don’t think I can remember these details and now I’m really curious. Warm there?

    2. Diane in Maryland

      I am also very curious about your cabin! A new home for Christmas? How exciting!

  3. Carolyn Boutilier

    Hello Mary, I love your scrappy made quilt. Sending prayers for the tornado victims. We did not get the high winds or the rain that was predicted for the Shenandoah Valley here in Virginia. This will be the 5th Christmas without our son. I decorate for our granddaughter, our son’s daughter. Our son would be pleased that his daughter has become engaged recently to a nice young man. Life goes on such as it is. Hope your cantata goes well.
    Carolyn b

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Carolyn – you will have a wedding to look forward to, won’t you? And a son in law to join you at holidays.

      1. Carolyn Boutilier

        I will be making a quilt for this wedding. It will a simple quilt but using Kaffee fabrics. I am looking forward to this wedding. I need to decide on a design .
        Carolyn b

  4. Susan K in Texas

    I’m sure you’ll sound wonderful at the cantata. I love your scrappy quilt. I keep scraps and lately have been making zipper bags. Scrappy, quilted ones are an idea to work on next.
    Our weather will be cold tonight and then it’ll heat up to near 80 again this week. Super warm weather to cold leads to the type of storms that spawned the tornadoes. I sure am praying for the victims.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Susan K – those were simply awful storms and it sounds like all the violent weather is here to stay. Is it really due to global warming? I don’t even understand it.

      1. Duane, Squeak, and Buddy

        Yes, it is. One of the attributes of Global Warming is extremes in weather like those tornadoes. They are not the norm for December, thus, they are extremes. We had very high winds that knocked out power all over in Central Eastern Ohio.
        We have found a solution for the moment for Squeak and Buddy. They are both safe, warm, and content in their own areas of the first floor so lots of attention and purr time😻. All good for all. Maybe someday a truce? But, safety first for tiny Squeak.

  5. Jo in Wyoming

    Thank you, Mary. You’re the best glue.
    The wind here has been vicious. The interstate has been closed for 36 hours. The semi’s are parked everywhere. Now we have wind again…all the snow we had Friday has been blown away☹️.
    I don’t get cabin fever much anymore, Covid cured that.
    Love your improv quilting. I’m trying to get “out of the box” more. I saw some preprinted embroidery fabric cut up and used as red and white print fabric blocks. I think I’ll try that next.
    Everyone, stay warm, safe, and busy.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jo in Wy – oh, that darn wind! It has been terrible here, too, and now we have 4” of snow that will start blowing around causing blizzard conditions although it’s supposed to get quite warm by midweek. I know what you mean about cabin fever – guess I must have been having it for almost a year now or else I’ve gotten over it.

  6. Sandy

    Hi Mary, l have rented the cabin, 24 by 9 feet wide for at least 1 year while we finalize plans and build. There will be 2×2 bed smaller units on the ground floor and 3 bed house upstairs for my son and family back from Taiwan. The cabin has a3foot wide deck, kitchen unit with stove and sink, plus cupboards.l will have my TV, lazyboy chair, sewing cabinet and machine, single bed and wardrobe in main room. Then shower and chemical toilet. It’s hooked up to house power supply and hose for water, like a tiny home, it means l won’t have to rent elsewhere and can have my little dog with me. Cosy, and fabric in garage, so good to go! Rainy today, but warm weather tomorrow, take care, best wishes from Sandy

    1. Diane in Maryland

      Sounds very interesting and all the essentials until you move to your large house. I would want to have my fur babies with me too! Thanks for telling us about it. Merry Christmas!

    2. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sandy- so Stella and Luna are going to live with you? Oh, won’t you love having them very close by? Please keep us updated – when are they coming?

  7. Diane in Maryland

    Christmas music is so familiar, beautiful and I never get tired of hearing each hymn. Good luck tonight but I’m sure it’s going to be wonderful!

  8. Lorraine

    Love the idea of using up pieces of fabric for a good looking quilt. I also save orphan blocks and these will go into a scrappy quilt. I just can’t throw anything away!!

  9. Diane, Squeak, and Buddy

    The Cantata will be beautiful! I will try to get it. Thanks for the idea for scraps. Right now I put my small ones in a bag and a friend makes dog beds for the Humane Society. Win/win. Also, instead of gifts, some friends and I are donating to the Humane society for birthdays and Christmas. Our Humane Society is awesome. Surprisingly, with all of the dogs, cats, gerbils etc, we’ve had, we’ve never gotten one from them!!

    1. Kathy in western NY

      Diane, I am glad to read your kitties are trying to get along with your watchful eyes on them. I wondered how they were fairing and Buddy is safe from harm inside your home now. We too have not gotten any pet from humane society but they continue to do good work here too. Our pets have been stray cats and from rescue groups which are another band of angels in my opinion.

      1. Diane, Squeak, and Buddy

        Hi Kathy, I totally agree about strays and rescue groups! We try to wear our slippers around Buddy because he is very afraid of shoes. We think he must have been kicked—ugh on awful people. He is also very sweet. He is doing well😀

        1. Mary Etherington Post author

          I’m so glad Buddy is settling in and you’re learning more about him every day!

  10. Kathy in western NY

    Love to sew with scraps so thanks for inspiring us once again Mary. I am concerned how many of your readers are doing after these storms so hope all are okay. We lost power for 8 hours with 60 Mph winds. My husband fixed our fence already this morning to keep our doggies safe and we will do branch pickup. Thank God we are safe unlike so many in KY. We are warmer here (40) in NY than they were in KY (28) this morning so reality is this strange weather is concerning. My prayers for all those people who sought shelter in warmer temps and now probably have no coats or gloves or blankets to keep warm with cause they have lost everything. I can’t believe seeing so much damage on the weather channel and holidays so close. I need a cantata Mary !

  11. Launa

    Big surprise here in Idaho this morning. 8” of winter snow! Plowing is ongoing in 27o way back to Mary n Joe’s place… 2 miles to the end of my road! They just arrived from Houston last night! Parking pads here n vehicles are being cleaned of the white stuff and our upper deck is cleaned off. Pepper is cozied up near our 16- 17’ tree like she is guarding gifts! Feel so fortunate after seeing the KY damage from tornado!

    Our prayers for the tornado victims! So many lost in the rubble!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Launa – thanks for the sweet card! Can you take a picture of that very big tree?

  12. Holly in Two Harbors

    I love improv piecing! It’s become my favorite way to make a quilt top. I love seeing yours!

    Good luck with the cantata, I’m sure you will do a wonderful job!

  13. Alice

    Mary, here in southern Ohio we had very high winds, some trees down, but nothing like the tornado victims have experienced! I lost my husband last year & still have most of his clothes. Tomorrow I’m taking all of his coats, jackets, gloves, shoes & other clothes to Matthew 25 Ministries to donate to the victims. A friend who lost his wife is doing the same thing. These people have lost everything including loved ones!

  14. Betty Klosterman

    Mary, your contata will be wonderful.
    Right now so many other people are coping with the deaths of family and friends. My niece who lives about 40 miles west of St. Louis said somebody was killed about mile from them. There is so much destruction. Hard to believe. Tornados are the only type of weather I’m afraid of. Mark that to growing up in Iowa? You never know what they are going to do.
    Last week in the doctors’ waiting room, I was visiting with a girl who had been raised in Dows, and we were talking about Iowa tornados. The awful yellow green sky, not a bird chirping, not a leaf blowing and the air pushing against your chest and trying to get another breath….. She didn’t like them either. It is a very small world these days.
    In the meantime, life goes on. Everybody will be thankful for all your efforts on the cantata.
    Take care. Betty in Rapid City

  15. Margie Braaksma

    This reminds me of a crazy quilt of sorts. Would you have any directions for an old fashioned crazy quilt?
    We are hunkered down here in Northwest Iowa. Tornado warnings and high winds!

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