Semi-Finishes, 12 -19 – 22

Here is my tiny black project – an eyeglass case.

This is my actual black project which I have not even started and now I’m not sure I’ll have time to finish it by the end of the month. Does anyone remember this large Amazing Grace panel from a number of years ago?

I want to piece black and ivory blocks to go around it but I also don’t want it to get too big – any ideas?

Last night while watching Yellowstone I finished Bitcoin. Here is the first casual photo – maybe I’ll have time to get it on the longarm today. It will be a fun one to photograph with snow in the background.

I haven’t had a leader ender project for awhile – I think I’ll start another one like this with my strips as I work on the Amazing Grace project. It’s good to have a plan and I’ll have quite a bit of sewing time over Christmas. After struggling with Bitcoin’s size and unraveling seams I’d like a small project for a bit.

I got gifts at church yesterday – all were about dogs! They know me well, don’t they?


Did anybody watch CBS Sunday Morning? Did you see they did a whole story about big pickups? I just love when you guys all chime in on a subject and chat among yourselves! Did you watch Saturday Night Live and Cecily Strong’s departure after 11 years? It was a tear jerker for me. I missed the exciting finish of the World Cup since I was in church. And I’m watching Mammals with James Corden on Prime – it’s good!

Very cold and snowy here with more snow on the way – nobody wants to go outside including me. And I certainly don’t want to go shopping even though I need a whole bunch of stuff.

50 thoughts on “Semi-Finishes, 12 -19 – 22

  1. Marie

    Cold! Yep, even in the south it’s cold on Thursday in North Alabama it will be 17 for the high and 9 for the low. Maybe even a chance of snow—-we usually only get about an inch. If there was any more the town would be paralized. No equiptment to deal with it and too many hills. Time to hunker down and sew.

  2. Jeanne H in the Finger Lakes of New York

    You got some lovely gifts, Mary! : )

    The Bitcoin turned out well. Are you going to put some kind of border on it, or just quilt it as is? (After prepping it, of course,)

    I’ve done some projects that as half-square triangles were pieced, smaller bonus ones were also made, and the smaller projects made with the bonus units, I actually liked better. Leader-ender projects seem like they’d have a lot of potential as well.

    For the Amazing Grace panel, I’d do a black or dark border around it, then a band of flying geese or your favorite pieced units in black and white around, and finished with another dark border or perhaps a medium one. All widths of the borders and bands depending on how big you want, and where you want to hang it.

  3. Jo in Wyoming

    Bit coin is a lot of work. I prefer easier projects. But, it’s exciting to see.

    Bundle up!!! It’s goina get really cold. Wednesday night, -22, Thursday high, -5.

  4. Diane, Squeak, and Buddy in Central Ohio

    Hi Mary, I love all of your projects. Since Amazing Grace speaks for itself, I think I’d keep the finishing simple. I like Jeanne’s suggestions from above. Ooops–no pun intended–LOL.
    I like to do leaders and enders, too. It’s like a quilt bonus.:) We had our Christmas yesterday because the two grandsons have to go to MN for Christmas. It was a fun day with the 4 grands ages 18,19, 20, and 21.
    Cold here in Central Ohio, too. 20* right now, but it was 18* when we got up. I’ll be Betty K. will have some
    chilly times, too. Stay warm and stitich everyone:)

  5. Lynda

    Loved the truck segment & it’s so true. I would only need a truck 3 times a year but no matter, I’m in the market for one😂😂

  6. Carol at Pin Oak Quilting

    I’m feeling flying geese as a border around the panel, banked by thin black borders. I think it would look great and goes with Amazing Grace in a symbolic kind of way.

    It’s very cold in Western New York; after most of the 80 inches of snow melted, we had another two feet this weekend; it made driving difficult.

    We went to the grocery store this morning at 9:30 am and it was pure madness. I just needed my daily sustenance for the next few days but people were piling their carts as if a major storm was coming. Which it is not. Christmas food, I guess. How much do you really need, I sometimes wonder?

    My daughter in law is gluten free, as am I, so I made two batches of Christmas cookies, gluten free, yesterday. Boo, they are dry. Who ever heard of a dry peanut butter cookie? The oatmeal chocolate chip weren’t as bad, my husband said the chocolate chips saved them, so today I bought Hershey kissed to save the peanut butter cookies.

    I made the dough and baked four peanut butter cookies and four oatmeal to taste test, and rolled balls of dough and froze them to bake on demand. So I can re-roll the peanut butter cookies with a kiss inside.
    I don’t bake cookies much, although I’m a decent baker, so I’m disappointed. Round two today, lemon lavender cut outs and molasses cookies. Forewarned, I hope to add a little moisture to these doughs so we aren’t choking on cookies or need tea to wash them down!

    I reread before pressing send, because spell check is the enemy of the educated mind! I decided to read readers’ responses and see that someone else envisions the flying geese border. I think it would be lovely.

    PS: if there are spelling errors, blame auto correct. Boy, I hate that!

  7. Dee from Shell Rock

    I think there is a Villa Rosa panel finish that has like 5 stars in the upper right and lower left corners, 3 across, 2 down that would look great with this. Then do a solid or reads solid black for the rest of the border. Will set off the panel and now overpower it. You could to the flying geese in the same way, just a few. Yep, snow here also, off to get cat, bird and dog food. Can’t take a chance of running out. Plus another round on Wed and Thurs. I wasn’t going away until next week, maybe I’ll be dug out by then. Merry Christmas to all!

  8. Barbara Firesheets

    Maybe it was the eyeglass case, but my first thought on surrounding blocks for the panel was black and cream log cabin blocks. Looks like your church friends really know you! Merry Christmas to all from cold, rainy Louisiana.

  9. Georgia

    Black and white cross blocks for border around Amazing Grace? Fat, chunky ones to go with the large font?

    Love the bitcoin – you matched all those itty-bitty seams so well! Wow!

  10. Jean

    Mary I think the amazing grace panel would be too busy with constructed blocks surrounding it. If you were to put solid black and cream borders i think it would calm the project down and bring attention to that lovely panel.
    I really, really, really like the bit coin quilt! How can we solve the unraveling problem?

  11. Angie from Baltimore

    Baltimore is to get single digits temps this weekend and so it it is hot cider and meatloaf sandwiches for me. May be a pot of soup and no knead bread. When it gets super cold I want basic foods.
    May everyone have a wonderful holiday for you and your loved ones the two and four footed dears.

  12. Joy in NW Iowa

    Being a farm wife and a big pickup go together some days. We too the pickup to Sioux Falls one day and I hated every parking episode! They don’t turn and park easily. The answer is just park a long ways from the door so you don’t bug anyone.
    Yes, it’s going to be a cold 🥶 week. Hubby has a doctors visit tomorrow! I need some groceries that they don’t have here in the local store. Brrrr. After that trip I think we will try to stay home!
    I have been making cards so no sewing going on here.

  13. Cathy W.

    Since Amazing Grace is a song, I think a piano key border would be appropriate. Piano keys are black and white so it seems to fit.

      1. Sherry Whalen

        When I read what you wrote black and ivory – my brain added piano keys, and I thought ‘oh that would be so cool!’ – but then I read it again. I think piano keys would look great!

  14. Linette Stewart

    Hi Mary,
    How about using the Amazing Grace panel for your Snow Novelty pattern? Quick and easy 😀 Off to find a new project to start since Thursday and Friday will be blizzard like conditions here in SE Wisconsin 🥶

  15. Betty Klosterman

    It might be a pain in the butt, but worthwhile when sewing strips to cut up for Bitcoin. On my sewing machine, I can push the button and get a (quick) single locking stitch–the needle goes down twice in same spot. You could push the button every 5 stitches, or whatever would work. The stretch stitch would be too much. When I sew blocks, I use the quick lock stitch at beginning and end of each row to keep them from coming apart. Also use a shorter stitch. Patience is a virtue??

    I haven’t been outside the yard since noon last Monday. The young neighbor parks his double cab, short box pickup beside my garage. My car is in the garage. I’d go out to check on the snow drifts and shovel the drift by the overhead door and my back door. The garbage truck (wider wheel base) went thru and really chewed up the drift to at least 12-16″ deep–high center for most vehicles. Saturday afternoon the neighbor guys were out there with shovels. They did a nice job. The heavy snow drifts are all in BIG lumpy piles, the alley is smooth and I can now back out and go to get groceries.

    There could be more snow, but nothing big. Now we are in a dip of the jet stream with COLD air. North Dakota is in it, too. Probably worse than here. I think Thursday night is supposed to be the worst at 18 below (chill factor about 30-40 below) and the days below, too. It will pass by Christmas Day which is supposed to be 40 above!! If you don’t like the weather, just wait and it will change. It does build character? It would have been fun to watch all the big trucks get going when the Interstate was opened Saturday noon. Convoy?

    I’m about ready to head to Walmart, IF they got restocked and IF is isn’t gone already. The Interstate was closed at least 4 days so nothing got thru. Mail, groceries, nothing. On a normal Monday, it would be best to wait til Tuesday as they are so busy and the shelves are empty. Christmas week would be even worse. At least enough for a crock pot of potato soup? Either way, I won’t starve. Last Tuesday I fixed a 7 qt. crockpot of minestroni soup and it is almost gone. Love crock pot cooking.

    I’d forgotten, about 35 years ago, my Mom asked for a 1 qt crock pot for Christmas. It looked like the teeny, weenie pot you had to sit on whether you had to go or not. Come Sunday mornings, she would put a chicken leg, a potato and a carrot in and she would have Sunday dinner and loved it.

    Don’t know if it is the same storm system, but it is east of here now and will hit more populated areas. So, be careful and don’t do anything dumb. Take care, and enjoy Christmas wherever you are and who you are with. Merry Christmas from Betty in Rapid City

  16. Linda Carpenter

    Cold and dry here in Colorado Springs. I’d like some snow. Having my sewing group over tomorrow . Serving tortilla soup and Christmas cookies. I’m working on a Words Quilt. Hope to do a couple words each month this coming year. My first word is “God Jul” for my Swedish heritage. Merry Christmas everyone!

  17. Mary in Ks.

    Like the piano key idea around the panel.
    Love the bitcoin top, scrappy are some of my favorite quilts!
    Can’t wait to get back to quilt making
    . At this time it’s Christmas gifts for the grands, pjs, ponchos, doll blankets, and hopefully marble mazes. So many ideas, so many grands, 15, and one on the way. We are blessed!

  18. Sherrill

    Oooo, I LOVE the Bitcoin. Don’t think I could ever finish so guess I won’t start. LOL That panel’s going to be gorgeous no matter how you finish it off. Love all those dog gifts!

  19. Janet S

    We live in Minnesota near the twin cities and had grandkids scheduled to come from 2-1/2 hour away this Thursday & Friday but we changed those plans. Weather will stay around zero with a windchill of about -40 and blizzard conditions so I sure don’t want them on the road. They plan on coming next week which is fine with me. As long as everyone is safe, cozy, and warm the rest will fall into place. Love your bit coin top.

  20. Kathy in western NY

    We ran to a few stores this morning and luckily not too crowded but we saw the grocery store lot filled with cars when we drove by it. We will go do the food shopping early tomorrow morning as end of week looks bitter cold for us so I will be inside then making clam chowder soup. I like to use red potatoes in it as they stay together as it simmers in the crock pot. I tried to make a gluten free thumbprint cookie using almond meal and it was so dry to eat but my girls liked them cause they are use to that flour. I gave one of them the remaining flour as I said I am not going to attempt another cookie recipe for awhile. I’d rather make a whole turkey dinner than one pie!

    Your bit coin quilt is very striking. I love it. I keep a leader and ender project in a little basket by my machine. I decided to work on some small houses with leftover scraps of Christmas fabrics after the holiday and then do some more I spy blocks to use up novelty scraps.

    I will look forward to your silent night photography in the barn Christmas Eve providing no big drifts make it hard for you to get out there.

    1. Carol at Pin Oak Quilting

      Ha ha, so it’s not just me!
      I think even dry, the cookies will be a hit after years of gluten free living. GF cookies are a pain to make, especially when they come out dry. Having someone else bake for you is better than doing it yourself! Daughter in law will enjoy. Good thing she’s a tea drinker!

    2. Mary Etherington Post author

      Kathy – yes, I’ll be doing Silent Night in the barn on Christmas Eve. I’ll get there – not to worry!

      1. Kathy in western NY

        Thank You Mary, as it may be our link to Christmas this year as the weather is looking so awful Friday afternoon and Saturday here with rain and 50’s, then a quick sweep of cold blasts dropping temps below freezing so icy conditions for those traveling around. Half of Buffalo will be heading to Chicago for the game I suppose. This week coming up is just what us weather geeks love to chat about!!! The barn will ground me to see the reason for the season.

        1. Carol at Pin Oak Quilting

          That Chicago game will be crazy. And the Bills Mafia will think celebrating Christmas with (hopefully) a win is just what Santa ordered!
          GO BILLS!

  21. Diana in Des Moines

    I envy your time to sew. I watch my grandkids and hardly have any time to myself.
    I love Yellowstone!! Did you watch 1923 afterwards? Reserving judgement on that till I see more.
    Blizzard warnings out for the end of the week. Yikes!! Bought my last gift this morning, groceries tomorrow then I am in for the duration. Maybe some quilting time.
    Stay in stay warm!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Diana – I’m not sure I’ll even reserve judgement – I didn’t like it.

  22. Jane Plourde

    I would like to wish you a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year. I appreciate your blogs and the hard work you put into them. My husband and I will be leaving for Arizona the day after Christmas. With the way winter is starting it will be a welcome change weather wise. I will take binding projects and an embroidery project to work on in the sun. I will still enjoy your blogs while in sunny Arizona also.

  23. Connie R. In NE Wis

    For your quilt, I like the suggestion from Dee in Shell Rock of a few stars in each corner. I’m sure you will pick the perfect finish whatever you choose.
    I’m planning on starting a couple batches of cookies today. The dough can chill until I’m ready to bake.

  24. NancyTD

    Like your bitcoin quilt. Amazing Grace would look nice with a 2 inch border in black and black binding. Showcase the panel.
    Snowing in Rochester and cold and more snow for the rest of the week. High winds with blizzard conditions for the weekend.
    The eye glass case was a great idea

  25. Viv in idaho

    Love your bitcoin flimsy! I also love your cabinet displaying your dishes and the high chair!!

  26. Pamela Dempsey

    Love your bitcoin! We are supposed to get below freezing 🥶 Thursday night and have a few days of bitter cold. Northeast Texas, no snow ❄️ here. I hope you get your groceries!

  27. Kris in WI

    Another vote for the piano key border. Great idea! Your new red throw or shawl will be just right for the coming weather, Mary. It is so sweet that your friends at church know just what touches your heart.

    It is definitely soup season. I’m making what my mother called boiled dinner with stew size pieces of vegetables and my husband calls ham soup with smaller pieces (ham stock & ham, celery, onions, potatoes, carrots, rutabaga, & barley). I broke the ceramic liner to my big crock pot a while ago, held on to the outer shell and cover, tossed it after a year, then saw a replacement liner at St. Vincent this fall! Grrr! I guess the soup will just simmer on top of the stove the ‘old-fashioned’ way!

    The kids won’t be home for Christmas…one too far and not safe for the other to travel in this cold. I’m liking the idea of Christmas in July! I’ll limit the cookies to only two kinds. Maybe shuffle the recipe cards and have the Mister draw two? We won’t go without sweets, since a former neighbor sends a cookie tray over. It has at least a 6 or 8 kinds of cookies, always topped off by a cutout and frosted snowman with a suspicious yellow streak at his ‘feet’…a gift from her rescue dog, Paisley! Makes me laugh every time! And I will be making Yula Kaga to get my cardamom fix and little mince pies for New Year’s day to bring good luck in 2023.

    I’d love to hear any holiday memories or traditions that bring a smile, some peace, or warm your heart? Kris

    I hope

  28. Susie

    i would suggest adding 2 small borders to the Amazing grace center and maybe four small pieced blocks in the corners,Let the words be the focus.I love it! Mn and IA have some interesting weather coming up! Stay safe and hunker down.Merry Christmas to All! Great quilting weather.Hugs to all your animals.🌲💕

  29. Paula in Kansas

    I love your little eyeglasses case. That would make a nice gift for someone although I know you’re keeping it! Mary, in the bitcoin picture, I spied an old clock on the floor. We have one just like it inherited from my mother-in-law. It belonged to her uncle originally and she got it after he passed away in the 1930’s. Our clock repair guy said it was well over 100 years old.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Paula – the clock was a gift from Sister Carol – it belonged to her grandmother who lived at their house when she was young. Carol is the daughter of my closest neighbor Emma who died some years ago.
      I really should make some eyeglass cases for a quick gift – looks like I’ll have some free time during the storm we’ll be getting later this week.

  30. Shirley

    I love that you got doggie gifts.
    Your bit coin is gorgeous. Will this be a pattern or? Would love to get it.
    Have a Merry Christmas Mary and Rick and ALLLLL the animals.
    Shirley from Oregon

    1. Jeanine from Iowa

      Bitcoin is a pattern from Bonnie Hunter. I think you have to purchase it. Loved all the pictures today, and all my friends in the path of the storm, please stay safe. Doesn’t sound like we will get much snow, but the winds are suppose to upwards of 50 mph. Good day to stay home and get some things done in the quilt room. Merry Christmas everyone!

    2. Mary Etherington Post author

      Shirley – Bitcoin is available at Bonnie Hunter’s website. I purchased it and printed it out but it wouldn’t be right for me to share it when she is selling it.

  31. Diane in WI

    I like the idea of the piano keys and also stars. They somehow seem appropriate. We are preparing for the storm to come. I don’t like the thought of such cold temperatures. I made Spritz cookies and the meatballs for the grape jelly and chili sauce yesterday. I rolled out my butter horn dough today. I just baked a few of them the apartment smells wonderful. So many good things to make and eat this time of year. Stay safe during the bad weather. Have a Merry Christmas everyone.

  32. Susie Emmons

    My first thought for Amazing Grace was a narrow inner border of black w/small scale cream polka-dots then miniature log cabins in scrappy black and cream, finished off with black polka-dot outer border.

    BUT…I really like the piano key idea!
    Can’t wait to see what you end-up doing!

    Suppose to get (very) freezing cold here too…9 degrees Thursday night. Brrrr! No white stuff!🙏🏼

    Thanks for your blog Mary. You are such an inspiration on many fronts.
    Merry Christmas and the best of everything in 2023 to all.

    Good things,
    Susie from Fort Worth, TEXAS

  33. terri

    i have used those panels several times as backing, i feel like it adds a nice element to the quilt on the other side making it a 2 sided quilt really.

  34. Elle

    $100k for pickups? And people gave me a whole lotta sh*t for buying my C300 sedan in 2015. I told them then they paid more for their trucks than I did for my car, but only 1 knew that to be true.

    Merry Christmas! I don’t comment much but I do enjoy your blog.

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