Listening To The Weather

Our high today is predicted to be 2 below zero yet tomorrow we’ll be in the 20’s! It was 26 below last night when I went to the barn where all is well – heater is working and even though the non-heated waterers are all frozen it’s still better than no heat at all! did have a casualty of winter however – I found this dead goose who may have died of old age and cold combined. I’ll never know but it makes me sad all the same. You may wonder what we’ll do with the body. This goose will be sustenance for some wild animal who is hungry and out in the cold. We’ll leave the body by a drainage ditch for somebody to feast on which will then keep them warm – and so continues the cycle of life.

I managed to get to the quilting machine yesterday and even though this quilt is not bound yet I wanted to say a little about the straight line quilting while I think of it.

I purposely try to keep my lines uneven – spaced at different intervals – so that the eye won’t be drawn to a bad line that might happen.

I also try to miss the corners, points, where seams meet because, again, the eye won’t be led to a missed point. I am a very beginner quilter and don’t intend to try to learn anything different because I don’t like all the curves and curlyques. I want to see the quilt design and the fabric – not all the dense quilting. This is my opinion only and it’s not a popular one.

I’m having trouble getting pictures to load this morning. I may send this out and try pictures later.

Just came back from the barn where every pail of water is frozen solid if it didn’t have a heater. Hazel found this pile of hay to sit in while I worked.

And then I checked the geese – another one dead and one missing. The missing goose is white and probably covered with snow so I can’t see her and it’s too cold to stay out and keep looking. I herded them into an enclosure out of the wind and will hope for the best.

I am so worried about Ellie – I wonder if she’s alive.

42 thoughts on “Listening To The Weather

  1. Carol

    This weather is cruel, I’m sorry about your geese and pray Ellie is hiding in a warm spot. We continue to have subzero temps, wind and lots of snow, poor visibility. Perfect for sewing but not much else….unless I bake cookies!
    I’ll pray your animals stay safe and warm.

  2. ArrowheadGramma

    Received both posts this morning, including the “will this publish one.” So sorry to hear about the casualties of your cold weather. Take care and stay warm.

  3. Donna

    Mary so sorry for your loss of two geese. Hopefully they passed due to old age and not our frigid temps. Still it’s sad to see & if other animals in the wild can find sustenance from these two geese then they can try to thrive in this brutal weather. Right now St. Paul is minus 9 but withbeind it’s minus 23. 💨💨💨. Too cold for this old gal. We’ve reached our high st minus 9 and at sunup tomorrow it’s to be minus 3.
    Your pics came thru fine. I’m surprised Hazel wanted to go out. Henry my fat cat wanted to go out yesterday when I had to put trash in garage & he lasted less than 2 min, more like one minute or less. I guess he didn’t believe me.
    Stay warm Mary.

  4. Launa

    So sorry for the demise of your geese in the Artic Zypher. No word on the third lost dog. Had hoped the owner would have called if he had located her. Poor 13 year old gal!
    Stay warm!

  5. Pat Smith

    I’m saddened to hear about the dead geese. I guess in this awful weather there are bound to be casualties, but it makes me sad all the same. I don’t know who Ellie is—I must have missed her name in a post. I’ve been praying for all the birds and animals where you are. I don’t know how any of them survive this awful cold.
    I don’t have a long arm quilter. Can this kind of straight line quilting be done with just a walking foot? I’m starting to agree about all the curly Q’s.

  6. Jeanine

    Mary, I agree with you on what you like in quilting. I am not good at straight line quilting, but usually do a meander, but not a real close meander. That is the easiest for me to do. Whatever works best is what we do. I don’t even have a desire to do all the fancy quilting, but do admire some of it. So sorry about your geese. It is right at 1* above here in Oskaloosa this afternoon. We are anxious for Saturday and Sunday temps! My husband worked on thawing frozen pipes in the house most of yesterday. Love reading your posts.

  7. Diane Bauer

    So very sorry about your geese. The weather you all are having is brutal. Thank you for caring for the wild animals even in your loss. I worry, too, about Ellie, and too many other pets whose owners think it’s OK for them to be outside in such cold temperatures. My horse, Patch, has a tank heater for his water, but he thinks it’s a toy, so he has to be left out in the arena every so often so it can go in the tank. Thankfully, it’s warm enough here that that only happens a couple of times each winter. Such a goof. I took the homemade horse cookies out to the barn yesterday and treated the boys. Even Pete, my daughter’s 34 year old Palomino, got something. He only has one tooth left and that one abscessed this week, so he has trouble eating. He loved slurping on the crumbs and made cookie soup out of it, but he sure enjoyed it!

    I love your plaid quilt and love your philosophy about uneven lines and missing corners. A friend of mine says she is intimidated by my quilts because the corners are always perfectly matched. I always tell her that’s not true (and it’s NOT!!!), but she believes it despite my showing her the many imperfections. She has made a couple of Round the World baby quilts for friends and that’s one pattern I’ve never attempted–so many little pieces!!

    I’m always happy to see your email in my inbox. It is a happy point in my day, so thank you for being such a faithful writer! No ads appeared in this one, which is a first. Stay warm and keep safe!

  8. Karen Johnson

    I do all of my machine quilting with just a walking foot, on my Viking. I do straight lines using a serpentine stitch. I don’t care for some of the “overquilted” stiff quilts, they are supposed to be soft and cuddly.

  9. Cindy Nelson

    Did you buy shirting/yardage for the white background fabric? I enjoy the continuity of that look .
    Which book of ‘Bonnie’s does this pattern come from Thank you for sharing your life with animals. Cindy

  10. Kathy in western NY

    Weatherman said we could reach almost 50 degrees next week!!! It’s welcomed news but really…..
    Anyways Mary it is sad you lost some of your well cared for animals. You try your best to keep everyone safe from harm.
    I am a beginner machine quilter so appreciate all the advice till I find my niche that works best for me. When you make as many scrap quilts as I do, the straight lines seem to show off the fabric the best, in my opinion. I use a wavy stitch on my Bernina many times too and like that look as well.
    Stay safe. I have a batch of chili cooking in my crock pot using a new recipe with ground turkey and a bottle of Bloody Mary mix ( I used non alcoholic from grocery store) even though Sunday is the chili day for many people with the super bowl.

    1. Diane In Central Ohio

      Hi Kathy, If it’s good, will you share your recipe. I love the idea of the Bloody Mary non alcoholic mix.

  11. Ellie

    Sorry to hear about your geese. It’s good of you to think of feeding the other wild animals although I hate to think about feeding the coyotes. I know they’re part of nature but they kill so many other creatures. Perhaps the reason you haven’t seen Ellie is that your neighbor is keeping her in. Think positively! Stay safe and warm and tomorrow is supposed to be better!
    PS My name is the same as the dog’s! Lol!

  12. Patty McDonald

    So very sorry to read about your geese. You work so hard at taking good care of everyone. Even if the death was due to age, it always breaks my heart to find a dead animal. We had hens that were older than 6 and during an extremely hot summer 3 died. I felt like I failed them in some way.
    Hazel is such a cutie. She’s there to cheer you on when doing chores.

  13. Gail

    Love straight line quilting! Totally agree with you. I would rather see the quilt design and not all the curly Q’s. Thanks for your blog. Always look forward to it.

  14. Jan Behm

    I, too, love the straight line quilting for most projects. I do think, however, that there are certain quilts that deserve custom quilting. Nope, I can’t do but I am hoping to try the straight line quilting & use it on many of my gazillion quilt tops someday! (Well, it seems like a gazillion! I guess I’m just a topper, not actually a quilter. LOL!!!)
    So sorry about the geese but that’s some brutal weather you’ve had. I’m glad you haven’t lost any of your other precious animals. You are such a good animal mom!

  15. Luci

    I really do like the quilt you are quilting right now. The colors are so rich, and it makes me want to play with some of the same types of colors in my stash. Thank you for sharing.

  16. Rita S

    Mary so sorry to hear about the geese, they can be such characters out in the yard. When growing up we had a few geese and they would chase and hiss at us. We too had a stray cat that we had made a makeshift shelter and had been feeding it. Had to bite the bullet and let it stay inside the house in our downstairs bathroom last night and today. Seems friendly so it must have been and indoor/outdoor cat that someone abandoned. He is all black, hence the name Barack.
    I just got done with sandwiching my quilt that I plan to give to my sister when finished. I also finished the small quilt, Homey Triangles, from your book Sew Charming.
    Stay warm and safe in our state of Iowa.

  17. Dee T

    I hate to see or hear of animals 😢 dying alone. It breaks my 💓 and I feel so sorry for them.

  18. Sue in Oregon

    I agree about too much thread in a quilt. It makes them so stiff and heavy. Nice for show, I guess, but I like mine to be cozy and to be used. When I meander it is quite far apart and large. But the straight line is great. I think I am going to diagonally quilt the bullseye. I am working on putting the blocks together now. All 4.
    Poor old geese. Funny, I thought they were one of the animals that could survive super cold weather. But, then, you said they were old, so that’s probably why.
    I just finished Sea Glass. It was excellent. I think it has already been on the book list. Not sure.
    20 degrees will feel balmy.

  19. Pat in Burnsville, MN

    I love the straight line quilting Mary. That is all I do on my regular sewing machine. That Hazel is the cutest thing. Love seeing her pictures. Sorry about the geese but as you say the life cycle continues.

  20. Sharon Lowy

    I just read “The Other Wife” by Michael Robotham. I enjoyed it. Our weather is still really cold in Yorkville, Illinois. It was -5 when I was out a bit ago. We are starting to warmup a bit but it is now snowing again. I am sorry about your geese. I saw a feral cat today and put out some food and water for it. It looked healthy but when I opened the door it took off but came back for the food when I came back inside. I so hope it finds a warm spot. I hope Ellie is inside.

  21. Betty Klosterman

    It might have been the time for the 2 geese. We have Canyon Lake here in town along with the creek and a large pond by the Civic Center which are home for at least 1200 Canadian geese and many, many ducks. There is a stock dam NE of town and they all fly over our house to get to it. It an amazing thing to watch at least 100 geese flying in their V honking all the way in all kinds of weather. Many people complain about nature’s little manure spreaders doing their thing, but they are magnificent. Just carry handy wipes. In the last week alone we have had the 50 mph winds with 70 mph gusts, cold frigid temps and lots of white out snow, rain and ice. Nature seems to take care of them and they survive everything. Yes, they are part of the food chain and help other animals survive. That isn’t a bad thing. Even the coyotes have their place and they are also very interesting animals which have their place.
    Guess we just have to accept nature’s way. Just look how reintroducing wolves into Yellowstone has changed the pattern on life of the whole park for the good. It is really amazing.
    In the meantime, hang on as this will pass and life goes on. And we keep on quilting.

  22. Helen Jane

    Hi Mary…you have been in our thoughts plenty during this extreme cold. All the animals too. So sorry for the loss of geese. The shirt “memory” quilt is really a special gift to pass along. I personally don’t care for quilts that become stiff from so much quilting. (I mean my own) This is a preference not a criticism as that type quilting takes a talent that I don’t possess . I appreciate your tips on the varied straight lines that would work for hand quilting too. I read the comments and many readers have snow/cold days now and ahead. So stay warm all of you…from Texas

  23. Martha Engstler

    Sorry for your loss. Here in the Gettysburg we have so many wild geese that winter here. Don’t know where they are today but know they are near by somewhere. The only ads I’ve had for a number of days is for The Lost Ways book. I wonder if I’m missing something. I want to help.

  24. Sue Kruckenberg

    Sorry about your geese… I understand your “anger” for the way others take care of their animals….. It’s so hard to understand how you can’t care… And as far as your straight line quilting… I love it. Just wonder how you keep the lines to straight.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Sue Kruckenberg – I thought about that very question as I was doing it and I sidestep to the right and just hold the handle loosely – it just glides along almost by itself! No kidding!

  25. Becky from Texas

    This weather is so horrible….not fit for man or beast. Sorry about your geese and I pray Ellie is safe and warm. Hopefully the weather will break for you all soon!!!

  26. Kathy Hanson

    Such a beautiful picture of Hazel – she is so special!! Yes, so very cold for the animals and so sorry about the death of two of your precious geese. They all have a part of our hearts, don’t they? Our llamas have done well with this awfully cold weather. Roxie (everyone’s mama) is wearing the coat I made her last year when she was pregnant and Sunny still has the blanket that has been on her since her event. Hoping to clean her up this weekend when it warms up. She is back to her regular self – You know, “wild and crazy” which makes me happy. We still are concerned for her ear. The shirt quilt is just gorgeous – what a special gift. I love the straight line quilting too, perfect for so many of the quilts!

  27. Kate

    It’s so sad that the weather is so cruel to animals that are outside. I worry about my dogs going in and out of the house but really think about the cows, horses and wil animals that struggle.
    I have been hand quilting a quilt these cold days. My hands are getting arthritis so need to keep doing things like this to keep them moving… lol

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Kate – good activity for your hands – I think playing the piano is what keeps my hands from turning into bent claws!

  28. Gail

    I’ve admired your straight line quilting before and have used it on some quilts – I like your attitude that it works for you and it doesn’t matter if it’s popular – there is lots of room for variety. It’s cold in Toronto Canada too – but you’ve beat us with low temps – so sorry. Books that I received for Christmas: In Pieces by Sally Field – read and enjoyed; reading Becoming by Michelle Obama now. I think your blog attracts quilters and animal lovers – I enjoy reading about both these topics!

  29. Diane in Central Ohio

    Aww. The geese do look so peaceful. They must be in the “Mary Barn” over the Rainbow Bridge with all of your other beloved animals. Hazel sure loves to see what’s happening doesn’t she? So cute. Take care in this cold weather. I am off to a quilt retreat even though we just got 6 plus inches of snow. Former Western New Yorkers know what to do with that!! We’re going to have 50’s on Saturday after minus 17 and 24 earlier in the week.

  30. Sandy Pierson

    Mary, so sad to hear about the geese but it could always be worse in this frigid weather you are having. I know all your animals are thankful for the warm spot in your barn and in your heart that you share with them.
    About your quilting, I too feel that too much quilting is not good. I just returned from Road to California and I saw some amazing quilts so over quilted ( in my opinion) you could hardly discern what pieced block was in the quilt. Less is more for me.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Sandy Pierson – I am 100% behind you on this – the subject of the quilt is the fabric layout/pattern not the overquilting that detracts from the pattern.

  31. Sue in Marion, Indiana

    So sorry about the geese. I know it’s he circle of life, but still sad when a living creature passes. I’m so in agreement about overquilting…I hate it! I’m partial to classic cross hatching and the modern -looking straight lines. I bought a sit down longarm a few years ago and it’s helpful for larger quilts, but I still do a lot of walking foot quilting on my 20-year-old Pfaff.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Sue in Marion, IN – I hate all that quilting, too, but didn’t want to say it. I know the long arm quilters are very talented but I think it detracts from the pattern of the quilt rather than enhancing it. I think you and I are in the minority here but I’m ok with that.

  32. Jeanne

    I completely agree about wanting the fabric to speak rather than tons of ornate quilting!! Not a popular opinion here in my quilting community 🙁

    Sorry about your losses — keep warm!

  33. elizabeth a hinze

    I agree with you about quilting, Sometimes less is more
    I once saw a beautiful hand applique quilt ruin by a “famous quilter”
    It was sad, quilting needs to complement the quilt top not
    overwhelm it

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Elizabeth Hinze – AMEN to that! I know that I’m in the minority along with you but I do hate all that over quilting to prove the talent of the longarmer rather than the pieces or in the case you mentioned, hand appliqué. Oh, so sad!

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