Snowing and Sewing, 1-12-24

Oh, what a great day of sewing during a full blown blizzard. This picture was taken from the barn looking towards the highway which you can’t see!

I really have gotten lots done recently. Here’s what I sewed today – this collection found in my cupboard is now a small quilt.


Nothing fancy – remember what Mary Ellen Hopkins always said – “Never underestimate the power of a square!” I love playing with fabric and if it’s just squares, so be it.

Getting ready to quilt

Here’s another finish from yesterday:

I stopped when it got to be square because I was out of these fabrics.

I wish years ago I had just framed this needlework but I started putting borders on to make it into a medallion quilt. Sometimes my big plans have to down size and this became a wall quilt for my needlework wall.

I added the cat for scale.

When I showed all those project fabrics yesterday I didn’t show all of them – you’d have thought I was crazy! Plus all the bolts that are still in the shop that I use for backs. They might not be my first choice but I didn’t have to go shopping either.

I want to encourage all of you to just start sewing – sometimes it’s the dreading/thinking about starting that’s worse than actually starting! Quit planning and organizing your sewing room and just sew! Now I’ll get off my soapbox.

Got this picture today –

Joyce – don’t forget to tell me about your scoring granddaughter. This is Friday night so she’s playing – unless NY is closed down like Iowa is.

Did anybody watch Jimmy Kimmel the other night when they went to the street and asked people if they knew where Iowa was on the United States map? Not a single one of them knew. And these are our voters! Scary, isn’t it?

Looks like we’ll be snowed in again tomorrow – I’ll quilt the black and brown quilt and then move on to another project. I think it will be red, white and blue.

Hazel thanks you for all the birthday greetings – she hates the snow and cold and usually stands in the yard with one foot held up until I carry her to the house or barn – such a wuss! She was born 7 years ago yesterday but we picked her up from a friend in Colorado on March 17. Oh, heart of my heart, Hazel!

I wish I could post short videos here on the blog but I am unsuccessful. I did post a song on Instagram – marybetherington.

That’s all from me – more sewing tomorrow. I am your quilting motivator – there’s no time like the present if you truly want to sew.

98 thoughts on “Snowing and Sewing, 1-12-24

  1. Bonny

    Spent my day sewing also and couldn’t agree more that it was the best way to spend the day! Working on baby size quilts for guild service projects. Really love the size and ease of finishing! The wind howled, the view from my machine was limited, no traffic at all….just me with my tunes. Awesome!

  2. Colleen in Central Oregon

    We were out of power for a long time today, but I don’t have to worry about that if I want to sew because I have a Singer hand crank. I love using it. The last few days though I’ve just spent cuddling my dogs because the snow falling off the roof and the strong winds we’ve had have been a little scary to them. It’s the best day ever when I get to do both cuddling and sewing! Thanks for the inspiration. I need to get my 4 patches out and a pretty platter to put them on and get going. I think I’ve already taken the price tags off of mine though, I think they’ll still work!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Colleen – I actually try to keep the price tags on things I buy – just to appreciate them more. I have a huge framed cross stitch piece out in the shop with a $2.00 price tag on it!!!! When I buy a pot or pitcher I wash them, of course, but the price tag is usually on the bottom and I love to look back – especially when I see one posted with a big price tag!

      1. Colleen in Central Oregon

        Mary, I love the way your mind works. The prices at the thrift stores have gone up. Sometimes it discourages me from buying I’d like to have.

  3. Peggy Grandberg

    I can sure ralate. I had a quilt shop also and have a lot of the fabric that was left. I have gotten much less fussy about backings. I have many unfinished projects and many ideas. I also like doing machine embroidery. It was -37 Celcius here this morning that is very close to 40 below zero F. We had to go to the city for a Dr. appointment so was not at home to sew or putter. Our dogs are Shitsoo crosses and one likes the snow and the other was my brothers and was used to spending the winter in Mexico. You can imagine how he likes the cold. Have a good day sewing tomorrow and take care.

  4. Marcia-SW Ohio

    You have been extremely productive w/ this weather being so hateful. Isn’t it amazing when a person stays home how things get done.
    Our weather in SW Ohio has been very rainy and windy thus far. I think that is the prediction for the weekend.
    I have a quilt on the longarm but didn’t want to chance flickering electric w/ the wind. I prepped some backs and labeled their sizes to make it handier when I need one. I have been making 9 patch blocks w/ jelly rolls. 2 jelly rolls make a 64 X 80 quilt. I also cut some charms into future table runners/table toppers.
    I have retreats that I need to prep projects so my time will be used more efficiently.
    Your finished projects are inspiring.

  5. Diane, Squeak, and Buddy in cold Central Ohio

    I urged my husband to push the hospital to get him discharged by Noon today and we left at 11:55AM. Great job. We have had lots of wind and rain, but we got home before it. He is doing well and does not shuffle anymore. He can actually pick Up his feet😀😀😀
    Mary, tomorrow and the next few days are SEWING! I even bought some ready made meals at Krogers before I picked him up. I have missed it so very much. I love the little brown quilt for Millie. It looks good with her😺😺. I have loved all the recent blogs and quilts even though I didn’t always have time to comment. Off to bed—up early and to the sewing room tomorrow. Yippee😁😁

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Diane – yay! You were thinking ahead – out of hospital and food fixed! Tell him we’re all thinking of him and his recovery ahead – and you, too, as his caregiver!

  6. Maryjane in CA

    Heard on the TV news it will be -48 in Iowa. Could that be? Awful. Hope no one loses their power. They are concerned about voter turn out.

  7. Lynn in Iowa

    Thanks for the inspiration. We are snowed in here in Waverly also. That is not always a bad thing. I quilted much of the day. Finished the hand quilting in a red and white double nine patch. Baptist Fan quilting. So tomorrow the plan is trimming and binding. I’ll send a picture as soon as I finish. Made chicken noodle soup for supper and I’m going to make some popcorn now. Sounds like tomorrow will be much the same. Called my parents today who live on the other side of town to see if they were ok or needed anything. They are celebrating their 70th anniversary the end of this month. Thankfully they were fine, so I didn’t have to go out. I bet their driveway is drifted shut anyway. Isn’t Iowa fun!!!! Stay warm everyone and stay inside if you can.

  8. Amy in NW Ohio

    Nothing like a snow day to do nothing but SEW! You made a nice little quilt. I love the little ones! Here in NW Ohio we have blowing wind and rain with temps in the upper 40s but the weather will be much different when I wake up tomorrow. We are bracing for bitter cold but I think the snow won’t be so bad. Where I live we are tucked up in the southwestern most part of Lake Erie and we don’t have bad snow until the lake freezes. It’s still open water out there so we should fare well.
    Mary Hopkins is one of my favorites I have a book or two of hers (as well as several of yours) and I love her creative down-to earth-approach. And you are right–the best time to start is NOW! Don’t think too much, just get in there and START! I’m halfway through quilting my little Halloween quilt (in January) and will send you a photo when it’s done.
    You’ve also given me a great idea for finishing a cross stitch project my mother made but didn’t frame before she died. I didn’t want to just put a frame on it. After seeing your cute needlework piece framed by hourglass blocks I’ve decided that’s what I will do with it. So thank you for sharing your ideas, they really help out!

  9. Kathy in western NY

    So far it’s just rain and wind here in NY so we should hear from Joyce about her granddaughter’s basketball game. Our temps are rising overnight but wind will be worse Saturday for us so I hope my sewing doesn’t get cut short with power out. I did alot of cooking this afternoon so no meal prep for next three days (all can be warmed up easily) except I will make a dip and appetizer for the Bills game Sunday. Buffalo is in for a mess and traveling won’t be easy. I have two wall hangings I want to get finished this weekend. I love your needlework with the red hourglass blocks around it.

      1. Kathy

        Mary- the game has been changed to Monday now at 4:30 our time. This was a wiser decision in my opinion for those driving the long distance in harsh weather and risking accidents and other people.
        Enjoy that pork butt dinner tonight….crock pots are the best for us sewers making meals.

  10. Francine in Dubuque

    Thank you for motivation, inspiration as I seem to be just flying over my sewing room and not landing . I think tomorrow’s weather will help to get me to start something. I have lots of hand sewing to do but I love my machine. Take care and thanks so much

  11. Sandi

    I love all your little quilts! I have that Gipsy pattern and yours is so cute!! I’ll have to pull some fabric. We don’t get snow but I like to see the pictures as long as it’s not so terrible. I pray everyone keeps power and are able to manage. Hugs,

  12. Sara in Indiana

    I watched Jimmy Kimmel and the where-is-Iowa challenged people. Could not believe how far off most of them were (with several of them pointing to Minnesota, Illinois, and Ohio)! I do wonder if some people got it right, but weren’t shown to the audience. Here in Indiana the sun hasn’t shown itself in several days, and the darkness and dreariness of the clouds and rain is getting very old very fast. Have a new quilt started to brighten things up—160 2.5” strips to sew together will keep me busy for awhile—ha! Stay warm and safe—the snow looks pretty (but only when you don’t have to fight it or shovel it—right?).

  13. Joyce from NY

    My granddaughter did it, she broke the school record for boys & girls by one point, she got a total of 36 points tonight. The record was 1260. She will have several away games left this year and her senior year next year. The whole family was there to cheer her on, so proud of her!!! Charli Bennett is her name!
    Came out of game to wind & sleet & cold. Plan on sewing tomorrow all day!

    1. Janet S

      Joyce, Congratulations to Charli. You know she is a winner when the whole family trudges through any weather to cheer her on.

      1. Kathy in western NY

        Nice job Charli setting a record. How exciting for everyone. New York tough is a perfect description to all being there for her. I knew a man Jerry Bennett in Honeoye Falls through 4-H years ago. Any relation?

    2. Mary Etherington Post author

      Joyce – CONGRATULATIONS TO CHARLI!!!! This is very exciting for anyone who loves girls basketball and she’s only a junior – just think of the school record she may set – Her name will go down in school history – so fun for all of you!!!

  14. Brenda in Georgia

    I love the Gypsy quilt that you made. The colors and your words are inspiring me to get back to making and get out of my worried head.
    We did not have much of the really bad weather here in Georgia that I was worried about. That famous ” Wedge” came down far enough to keep the bad stuff away from our area. I am so afraid of tornadoes.
    Thanks for showing us all the great things your are making and for sharing all you lovely pets, especially Hazel.

    1. Jeanne in Co

      To Joyce in NY: Congratulations to your granddaughter in breaking both the boys and girls records. She’ll be ready for college in another year. Perfect timing for her to come to the University of Iowa (a great college) and maybe she will be Caitlin Clark’s replacement. Good luck to her, wherever she decides to go.
      Hey Mary, it’s finally snowing out here in Loveland. It started about an hour and a half ago and is coming down pretty steadily, not a blizzard like you’ve had in Iowa, but it’s good to see the ground white. We sure can use the moisture. Temps are already at 0 and expected to go lower. Winter has finally arrived. Stay safe and stay warm everyone. It’s great weather for sewing as long as the electricity stays on, and if we do lose electricity, , I can always cut out another quilt to add to my unfinished project stack. Ha. No matter what, I’ll never catch up to Mary’s ufo stash. Jeanne in snowy Co.

      1. Mary Etherington Post author

        Jeanne – oh, you might catch up – just keep sewing! The feeling of accomplishment is reward enough. Yes, let’s recruit CHARLI for Iowa!! After all the press Iowa has gotten this year, it will be so good for recruiting, won’t it? And Lisa Bluder is stellar in my opinion.

        1. Joyce from NY

          Thank you all for the great comments about Charli. We are all hoping for a good college for her, she’s got another year, we’ll see what happens!
          Haven’t gotten in my sewing room, trying to catch up with other things first!
          Finally stopped raining, quiet right now. The ground is so wet & soft. Tuesday night we had terrible winds, up rooted trees all over the area.

  15. Diana in Wisconsin

    Thanks for the encouragement! You truly are an inspiration. I’m sorry you are having a blizzard (we’re getting snow too in Wisconsin but not the winds). This weather makes for good sewing days. I managed 60 hourglass blocks today! Keep the inspiration coming!

  16. Linda in N. CA

    Fabulous photos, Mary. I’m sure I will be reading this post over and over. The snow pics are pure nostalgia for me –but I’m glad not to be out in it now. Motivation scored! I can hardly wait to get started. After I finished my pre-storm grocery shopping this morning and made up a huge pot of chicken-vegetable noodle soup because we both are a bit under the weather (no pun), I set up my kitchen island for a large cutting station. I trimmed my top and the outer border, both of which have many little pieces and were a tad wonky. Now they are ready to be attached. Soon as the e-ordered backing arrives, I can load the business on the frame and get that wild and wooly quilt out of my house. I’m anxious to get going on a fresh project. This one has taken way too long, mostly because of life’s interruptions and distractions. You have given me many ideas and kept me pushing to get this one finished. OH! And that darling little green teapot is to die for.
    Take care and stay warm.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Linda – thanks for noticing the green teapot – watch for my next idea!

  17. San

    Oh my stars, that’s a lot of snow. I’m getting cold just looking at the picture , as I sit here covered in two quilts. How long is this storm supposed to last? Do you think it’s coming my way.

    I simply love your gift of working with darker fabrics. The small squares look perfect all mismatched together. Do you recall the school house quilt that you did in dark fabrics? Do you still have it, or is it in a particular book?

    Thanks for sharing Mary. Please be safe walking outside.

    San / Gypsy Quilter Designs

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      San – hmmm, schoolhouse in dark colors? I’ll have to think about that

      1. San

        If I recall correctly, it was wall size, and photographed in a room with white book cases and books in the background. It could be one you’ve already sold.

        Here in Western NC, we’re due to go down to 4 degrees on Tuesday with a high of 27. Now that’s cold for us. Thankfully, we don’t get the snow levels that you guys do. I had enough of that when I lived in Colorado.

        Please be safe out there.

  18. Dianne in N.E. Ohio

    I could find Iowa on the map because, when my husband was in the Air Force years ago, he was stationed in Sioux City. We lived in a tiny town near the airport named Sargent’s Bluff. It was his next assignment after coming home from Thailand during the Vietnam War. We lived there about a year before his next assignment, which was to Great Falls, Montana. Quite a contrast between Iowa and Montana.
    I love to see all of your sewing projects from the table runners to the bigger quilts. You are a very creative lady. Thank you for sharing your life with the rest of us.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Dianne – sharing a life works both ways – thank you to all my readers who bother to comment and tell me what they’re up to.

  19. Deb

    What a lovely table mat! I saved that picture to remind me as I’d like to make one for our tv cabinet. I’ve just used clips to attach the binding to a 60+ year old quilt top that I’ve just finished hand quilting. My hubby’s aunt made the quilt top many, many years ago – and I’m finishing it for my SIL. Can’t wait to get the binding sewn on and then I’ll hand stitch it down on the back side. Next up is a simple quilt of one fabric, which I’ll quilt in straight lines and then I’ll tack down a smaller yo-yo quilt on the top that my niece needed repairs on originally. I embroidered the top of the yo-yo’s so there won’t be any loosening again. It will look nice when all done and she won’t have any repairs needed in the future. Also going to make her a table runner & 2 placemats for her 48″ round dining table that she asked for. Plenty of projects ahead for me, that’s for sure! I am SO glad we aren’t getting snow like you are! When we lived in Oregon we DID get snow and while I didn’t mind it (and driving was fine, except for the idiots around me) I am glad to have just fog, rain and cold in the winters now. Take care!

    1. Connie in NV

      Please share pictures of the 60+ quilt and yo-yo quilt when you have finished them. I’m sure the keepsake quilts will be appreciated by your family.

  20. Lisa B

    I’ve been traveling since December 26th. First with my daughter and her family on a road trip (we saw 4 National parks) and now I’m with my brother in Washington state. A snow storm is predicted to hit our area. It’s late arriving so we’ll see. Prayerfully not coming, but as long as the road is clear Tuesday when I head back to the airport to home which is about 10 degrees colder I’ll be fine. I love the tabletopper, and your words about “just sew.” I finally realized I’m the only one that knows I have numerous choices and most of the time whatever I select is just as fine as the next thing. I’ve begun telling my perfectionist self “just make a decision, “don’t over think it,” and of course “done is better than perfect.”

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Lisa B – your trip sounds fabulous – I didn’t realize national parks would be open in the winter. Yes, one project is just as good as the next one to start working on – it has taken me a long time to understand this and I think that’s why I do get lots done. Just sew.

  21. Sharon G.

    I cleaned my sewing room only because I had to make a path to my machine. LOL I sewed while taking a break from cleaning then I really got in the mood.
    I finished 10 blocks today. I have 32 to go. Hope to complete 24 by Monday. Hope we don’t lose power. It’s blowing a gale. We did get some snow and the temps are dipping. Must be winter in America!
    A blizzard is no fun so stay warm and safe, Mary.
    Love your quilts.

    Have a good weekend everyone.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sharon G – now there’s a goal – 24 blocks by Monday but very reasonable considering that’s 2 days away and we’re all snowed in! Show us what you get done

  22. Denise Erbacher

    Have to tell you, just saw story re Iowa on tv (Australia) regarding the snow and temperatures you are having and how you are expected to go out and vote. One lady said she had been out night before for choir practice and it didn’t bother her. Thinking of you, 28 degrees here

    1. Fran

      Denise, I plan to vote on Monday despite the snow and cold here in IOWA! It”s only two blocks away in a church because the community city building wanted to charge ! Crazy!

    2. Diana in Des Moines

      Denise – we are very political in this house and I can guarantee you – we will go to vote. Caucus is about 3 minutes from our home and I will wear a mask, but I am going!! lol

    3. Mary Etherington Post author

      Denise – Hi! I always forget you’re having summer – we expect this kind of weather in January/February. It makes me a careful shopper who thinks ahead and shops accordingly. This morning I put a big pork shoulder roast in the crockpot so we’ll have a good supper!

  23. Martha W in WY

    So glad to see other people are up in the wee morning hours. I enjoyed this blog. I love snow as long as I don’t have to be out in it. I had enough of that while growing up in Southern MN. We are having a little snow tonight in Cheyenne but it is cold. Brrrr. The roads must be bad west of here as many are closed tonight. I am planning on making chili later today. I’m in a cleaning mode. It’s fun when I discover something from under the clutter. I’ve made 2 bracelets and one necklace tonight. Stay safe and warm tonight everyone wherever you are.

  24. Vicki Ibarra

    I love your gypsy quilt – colors and size are great. I am now working on a basket weave quilt. It may take some time, but I always love the process. So much snow in Iowa.

  25. Barbara Yarnell

    I agree, snow days are the best days to sew. Our weather has been nasty here in MO – mostly rain mixed with light snow, high winds and so cold! Now ice, of course. But inside the sewing room with a dog curled up near my feet I can’t see outside, its nice and warm. No place I have to be and no deadlines to meet. So sew away! Love seeing your pictures of all you’re accomplishing, I’ll have some to send soon.

  26. Wendy on Cape Cod

    Loving the Gypsy! Nice pop of color for this time of year. Belated happy birthday to Hazel. Keep up the great work Mary. You are on a roll.

  27. Cathie

    Thank you for the motivation. I have the fabric out and as usual can’t figure out what I should use. But
    we have snow coming and I think, especially after your pictures, it is the best time to sew.
    Belated birthday greetings to Hazel. She’s like the rest of us – tolerates the snow but it’s a necessary
    evil. Looking forward to seeing your other quilt done – yesterdays was so pretty.
    Enjoy your day! Looks like you are getting a lot done!

  28. Rita in Iowa

    Our thermometer says 7 degrees with a -5 wind chill. Lots of drifts in front of the garage. Will try to take a picture later this morning. We will have to shovel this morning as the wind will pick up even more later.
    I have been doing some hand quilting on a vintage panel quilt of cats. It was a quilt that my nephew found that his mother had started. She is now in a care center. I usually don’t hand quilt so this is slow going.
    I also have a small quilt that I just need to tack down the binding.

    Mary I love that you are able to get back to sewing. You are working like a mad woman with no end in site.LOL love all your projects you have been working on.
    I like that you said to just jump in and getter done. It doesn’t matter what it is that your working on.
    Stay safe for those in the frigid weather.

  29. Pat Smith

    Thanks for the pep talk—I needed that as I’m in a quilting slump. I’ve had a quilt on the design wall in our bedroom for so long it now looks like a permanent installation. I blame the fancy Bernina I saved for so long to buy. It’s technologically WAY over my head. I think of having to deal with some machine issue and it makes me walk right by my quilting room. Probably what I need is a machine that sews forwards and backwards and that’s it. But, I have time today and promise to go in there and try to sew parts of the design wall project. I feel so sorry for Hazel needing to go outside. When we are in Vermont over the holidays, our Sonny goes out, then lifts one foot after the other because they are cold, then lays down in the snow to die. Then I scoop him up, take him in the house and we have the talk about the need to hurry up outside. He gets it completely, goes out and does the necessary. I can’t imagine being without a dog!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Pat – Poor Sonny! We understand and today Rick is going to shovel a little area in front of the steps just for Hazel. The snow isn’t very deep but Hazel’s little hoo-ha is dragging in it! Haha!!

  30. Sandra Goddard

    You are so right I overthink my sewing and don’t get a lot done. Thanks for your wise words. Our snow and wind comes today in Western New York. Stay safe everyone.

  31. Kim from Wi

    It is -10 below at home in Stevens Point, Wisc. and the husband is staying put eating chili and getting caught up on his naps. My daughter and I are on our way to NC to a Bread Baking class. The last few years we have tried to take a class together and it usually involves cooking. Last year we did an Italian cooking class, which was divine, and I do use the recipes. We all love bread, so this seemed like a good choice. We left Wisc. earlier than planned knowing we would get stuck in a hotel because of the snow but we need to be in NC by Sunday afternoon. Today we are going to stop at Buccees gas station, our daughter has never been to one. We will eat lunch on the road at a new place called Gus Southern Fried Chicken. Have a great weekend everyone.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Kim – wow, your roads must be passable – not many in Iowa are today. Be careful!

      1. Kim from Wi

        Mary, we left Thursday night about 11pm and got as far as LaSalle, Ill and had to pull over and spend the night. Weather was awful and visibility poor. We left the hotel Friday morning about 10 am, roads were good and made it to Cave City, Ky and spent another night in a hotel. Lots of high winds and rain on Friday but no snow. We will make it to Bread class. Please stay safe and warm, Iowa is getting hammered with terrible cold weather.

  32. Diana in Des Moines

    It is still snowing in Des Moines. 3 degrees and that’s a heat wave compared to what’s coming.
    I have no plans to ever go out again – ever. lol
    I home tested positive yesterday for covid. The trifecta my friend Becky says. Actually feeling a little better – just can’t taste or smell and my tongue burns. This too shall [ass.
    Bound a donation quilt yesterday that was made from donated blocks. Start cutting out a potato chip quilt last night. 2 1/2 strips. This quilt if for me. I’ll send photos.
    Stay in, stay warm, and stay quilting is the motto for Iowa. Take Care Mary!

  33. Fran

    Snowed in here too. And it cleared last night because I saw a few stars but it is blowing and snowing again this morning. They closed a major highway to Council Bluffs yesterday not that it mattered to me. They did come and clear my driveway and walkway but it has drifted in again. I lived 35 yrs in AK so this is nothing new to me!

    I love that you are spending your time sewing. Thank you for sharing the accomplishments0. I only got about 1.5 hrs in the sewing room yesterday because I was busy cooking. I made bread and broccoli cheese soup. I plan to spend more time there today. I have two side borders to put on a flannel quilt I started at the last retreat. Then it is baby quilt time. Picked out another quilt from the tote to quilt on the long arm so might get it ready!

    I am homeboiund but loving this blog and a few groups to talk quilting!


    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Fran – I love chatting with this group, too!!! I look forward to my morning coffee and hearing what everyone has to say.

  34. Carmen M.

    Love that little dark square quilt!
    Further north here in NH is getting snow we got rain.
    I am just finishing up with Covid and my husband just started, I was hoping he wouldn’t catch it darn!
    Been working on wool applique on a very small flannel quilt while recovering and binging on Grantchester! And until my husband is recovered I’m staying put and will find another project to work on. Thanks for the pep talk Mary!

  35. mary

    You ARE our quilting motivator, Mary! I love sewing as the snow is coming down out the window. I just finished a table runner and used your quilting method of 1/2″ vertical lines, and LOVE the look!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Mary – oh, good! It’s pretty easy to do and all those tops that are so fun to make actually get quilted, bound and used! Isn’t that the point? We’ve got another day today to sew!!

  36. Joy in NW Iowa

    Ahh, coffee and Mary’s blog about nothing (haha) and all the comments, is the best morning beginning!
    It was -7 when we got up, I don’t even want to know the wind speed! The weather is viscous! The snow is drifting and there is a little fine snow falling! As I was falling asleep, I wondered what people do if their furnace quits…..yikes! That’s would be a nightmare!
    Lynn in Iowa wish your parents happy anniversary! They are very blessed with 70 years together!
    I loved your little quilts Mary! A couple days ago you pictured a group of red prints! They are sooo pretty! I love red, buy rarely use it in a quilt.
    Stay warm!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Joy – I quilted the brown/black piece last night until 1 while I watched Justified – I am obsessed

    2. Mary Etherington Post author

      Joy – those red fabrics are moving to the top of the pile! I pray our furnace and power stays on and then I can be happy in my sewing room for days on end. It gives me permission to go there during the day when I usually think I should work all day first. That old ingrained Midwest work ethic drilled into me as a kid! Haha! I know you understand.

  37. KathyG from Oak Creek, WI

    Hi Mary,
    I sewed the binding onto 5 quilts yesterday while it snowed. My poor husband had to go to the VA for an MRI during the snow storm, luckily his truck has 4WD.

    I’m inspired by your post to keep sewing today. And I do love those Villa Rosa pattern too! So I’m starting a new quilt with one of her patterns.

  38. Pat Farrell

    I so love ❤️ the blog Mary you inspire us to just get up and sew. Last weekend we had 18 inches of snow starting last night heavy rain and wind lots of flooding in the area. I can’t inagine how awful for the homeless people or those flooded out of homes. Well off to sew we have warmth and electricity currently. Thank u Mary
    Pat in Ma

  39. Debra Reber

    Thanks so much for saying Quit planning & organizing & just start sewing! I needed that today!! Now I feel like I have permission to do that!! Years ago I lived in West Virginia, and many people did not even know that it was a separate state– many thought it was just the western part of Virginia!!! When I was a child, my family moved around a little bit, and many times when we would move & neighbors would ask where we moved from, when we told them they would have no clue where that state was!!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Debra – don’t you find that nearly unbelievable? Didn’t they take geography in grade school?

    2. Charlotte S in No. California

      Debra, I was born in West Virginia and my dad still lives there. I go back a couple of times a year and people would always say “How was your trip to Virginia?” They think it’s just western Virginia. Drives me crazy. I know everyone’s interests are different, but I loved geography. I think I can still name all the states on a blank map. Might get confused with Vermont and New Hampshire since I’ve never been there.

  40. Danna

    You are very inspirational and motivating to me. Thank you for writing this blog. I look forward to it!

  41. Pat in Michigan

    Mary what a successful day! I’m happy to see so many projects moving along. From conception to action!! I really like the black/brown/lpink squares. Small and interesting colors. Stay warm and keep quilting❤️

  42. Anne in Wisconsin

    Thanks for the motivation!
    I would love to see more as we are snowed in in Wisconsin also, but I have a four month old Australian shepherd puppy that needs to be watched at all times, so I only get to see when I put him in his crate to take a “nap” maybe a hour and a half a day!
    It’s better than nothing:)

  43. Carolyn Rector

    Love your friend’s quote about the power of a square. May just start seeing again, who knows. Your tabletop square is beautiful. Stay safe and warm in this weather. Winter was bound to catch up this year.
    Carolyn in Ohio where it dropped from 44 last night to 21 this morning.

  44. Sibyl

    Love your new finished projects, Mary! Especially the “Now I lay me down to sleep”. I have a “stitched” wall, also. Thanks for sharing!

  45. Alice

    Mary, the sampler is beautiful, love the border! In SW Ohio it’s very windy, 40-50 mi winds & it’s lightly snowing..& it’s very cold! Glad I don’t have any place I have to go today! This afternoon I’ll be making vegetable beef soup & some cornbread to go with it. Just seems like soup weather! Amazing that people don’t know where Iowa is located!! When I was in grade school we had to learn where all the states were & recite their capitals! Who decided this wasn’t important? I want to wish Hazel a happy 7th belated b’day! Yesterday I was able to sew most of the afternoon. I managed to get all the quilting done on a snowman wall hanging. Note to self…do not quilt with black thread on a mostly black background!! Very hard to see even with good light!! Today I’ll add the binding & it’ll be done! Pictures to follow. My sewing room is in my sunroom, but due to the cold will set up a machine in my dining room for winter quilting. It’s just me that lives here now so no need to heat the sunroom. Joyce, congrats on your granddaughter!! Maybe a scholarship to college is in her future!! Mary, love your table topper quilt! Just perfect! I’ve only had one dog that loved the snow. Chloe was a Cocker/Golden mix & loved playing in it. Bentley (Multipoo) can hold it longer than any dog I’ve ever had! I’m about to force him to go outside! Stay safe & warm everyone & best of all go quilt something!!

    1. Betty Klosterman

      Sewing Black on Black. Awfull!!!!! I did figure out how to see it. The sun comes in my south kitchen window. It is very bright. If I sit next to the counter where the sun is shining, I can see VERY good. I can’t say I really like it, but I can see. The good thing is you make a mistake, NOBODY can see it!! Try it, it might help. Oh, it is 3:00 clock and the temp got down to 3 below, but going down now. t
      Betty in Rapid City

  46. Marsha in Michigan

    Mary: you are motivated! I need to just get down to my sewing room and quilt the wall quilt that I did at the Nov. Shipshewana quilt retreat. Or, maybe this afternoon would be a good time to “unsew” the row of the QAYG quilt that I can’t bring myself to finish the way it is. Snowing and blowing here in SW MI but not a lot of accumulation. If we get much more one of our sons will come blow the driveway for us. Hubby is on day 4 after knee replacement. So far all seems to be going well. The worst pain was the day after and then we added extra strength Tylenol between oxycodone and got ahead of the pain. He’s being a good patient and I’m trying to be a good helper (not a nurse by any stretch of the imagination)! Our 6yo granddaughter is here so she’s a good distraction (loves to be read to and that’s something he can do with her) and a very good little helper.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Marsha – here’s an idea – if you’re not excited about that retreat project, lay it aside and start something new and fun and appealing. The other one will work it’s way back to the top of the pile eventually – that’s what all of these smalls that I’m quilting now have been – projects that I laid aside.

  47. Susy Boyer

    Hi Mary,
    Thanks for being such a great motivator! We all need that sometimes. Starting can be the hardest part. I love what you’re making. Many times I go to a quilt show and am amazed at the intricate quilts, but I always come away with loving the simple ones. Many times they are just the best and have a special place in our hearts.
    Stay warm and keep up the great work!

  48. DebMac

    Cute little quilts; can’t say which one is my favorite-I like them all! I haven’t been at all motivated to quilt or cross stitch; still can’t shake this cold. I have had my nose in books I received for Christmas. I’ve finished 3 books in the Flavia de Luce series and have 2 more here. Will have to remember to order the rest of the series from the library this afternoon.
    Jack had the best time out in the snow yesterday. We went through 3 towels drying him off. 17″ inches (more or less, I don’t think they really know) on top of the 10″ we got Tuesday. Jack is a good sized medium dog but is having to jump from spot to spot to get around. We did scoop paths and cleared steps into yard for him to get off the deck. Our last English Setter, Darcey, was 16 her last winter and if the deck wasn’t cleared, she just did her business on the deck. Sigh. We brought a lab/chow mix with us from Virginia Beach when we moved back to the midwest in 2002. Sophie may or may not have seen snow before but if she had, it was only an inch or two and it didn’t last. We spent the next 4 winters clearing patches down to grass for her to use in the winter. If there wasn’t grass, she didn’t go. We though it was so funny, this massive, thick coat on a dog who hated to be outside if it was under 45 degrees. Jack is wanting to go out again but it’s only 10 degrees and too cold for him to be out very long. He just doesn’t get that at all.
    Stay safe and warm.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      DebMac – think about Hazel in this bitter cold – I scooped a spot for her down to the grass but she insisted I carry her to the barn with me. Then she couldn’t make it back to the house so I carried her there – twice! Keeper loves the snow, too, but this morning was the first time I saw him get stiff in the snow and couldn’t walk due to cold. I e now closed the dog door so they can’t go out! Now that’s a lot of snow!!

  49. Sherri Huff

    Mary, thank you for that gentle nudge to just get sewing! I cut out a quilt on Tuesday and sewing with my group yesterday. Trying to finish at least one quilt before I hop on to the next…driving myself crazy!
    I LOVE that sweet green teapot!
    I enjoyed your beautiful piano playing on instagram and the sweet photo of you and your girl, Hazel. 💕🐾I’m sherriquilts2 on instagram.
    Stay warm and quilt on!

  50. Jeanine from Iowa

    We have been snowed in most of the week since Monday. It started snowing Monday night and all day Tuesday. We had high winds and probably about 9-10″ of snow, so blow it did. The snow plow didn’t come until Thursday afternoon ( after 2 people called them) so we made a quick trip to town. We didn’t need much, but I wanted to send my birthday card to our son in Ohio, and we hadn’t had mail all week. Then more snow Thursday night and all day Friday, so we are snowed in again. Our country road is one of the worst in the county for drifting. We probably got over 8″ again. Two storms in less than a week. I have been spending a lot of time in my sewing room and finished one charity quilt. I don’t mind being snowed in as long as we don’t need anything and we have electricity.

    Enjoyed all the quilts today. Much inspiration. Now on to my next project….

  51. Betty Klosterman

    Sounds like the whole country is having nasty weather. When I got up this morning the thermometer said 18 below. Now at 11:00 it says 4 below. I’m still not going outdoors. We don’t have a lot of snow where I am, but the wind has been blowing so there will be drifts. I’ve heard people describe after induring way below zero temps while feeding or other outside chores, that when it gets to just zero “the air feels balmy” and it really does. We will endure!

    The Project Warmth group has been told the organizations would like non-sex quilts?? But I haven’t heard what sizes yet. I’ve also been looking for simple patterns that would be easy to put together. Right now I’m trying the 4-patch to see how it works. Scraps are my favorites. I never have much white fabric left as it all goes into the scrapys. And I’m really trying to make up quilts that will leave home and don’t come back…… There has been progress, but probably only I know it. My living room is covered with piles of ideas? get rid of bunches — pet beds!

    A couple months ago after surveying my scrap piles, I decided I should sort thru them and make them into pet beds. Then the owner of a quilt shop in town died. Her family didn’t want the quilt shop and it was liquidated. She kept LOTS of scraps and I got the job of making them into pet beds. There are 3 very big bags left as I had Christmas stuff to do first. So, don’t look in the trunk of my car!! Good thing my husband doesn’t see it.

    It is so interesting to hear is happening in the different areas and how everybody is coping. Misery loves company? We’ve all endured all sorts of weather for many years. Just don’t do stupid stuff.
    Take care, everybody, and don’t do anything stupid. This, too, will pass.
    Betty in Rapid City

  52. Sharon G NE IN

    I loved seeing all of your photos today! We didn’t get much snow yesterday but the winds are howling and blowing the snow everywhere. Just teeny drifts. I’m VERY okay with that. Enjoy your sewing day.

  53. Judy Gnade

    Happy belated birthday to Hazel. Sounds like she would enjoy a tiny pair of boots for snow days. 😊Our animals are all gone and we are the poorer for it. Stay warm! Judy G

  54. Linda from Georgia

    Mary, a belated Happy Birthday to my favorite blog dog, Hazel. She is so stinkin’ cute! You certainly got a lot accomplished on a snowy day. We didn’t have snow but it rained all day yesterday. I got the main part of the top of a QOV together, sewed some 3″ log cabin blocks and made composition covers for my granddaughters. We picked out fabric one day before Christmas to have something to do together and I finally have them ready to present to them. Tomorrow I will finish the QOV top so I can hand it in at the meeting in a couple of weeks. I enjoy presenting my quilt to the veteran. They are always so appreciative. You so inspire me to get to my machine and create something! Thank you!

  55. Joy in NW Iowa

    What a day of viscous weather! It is -19 at 6pm on the 13th. Ugh! Nothing moving around here.
    Mary I went back through the pictures to look at your cute tea pot. I can just imagine have tea from that pot. I did note the 50 cent price on the plate.
    I am amazed you stayed up until 1. But, if you are busy watching something interesting that makes the time fly.
    Work ethics in the Midwest…..that’s quite the subject. I felt guilty not working on something if Jay was working in the field. I have relaxed that habit!

  56. Jan in BE

    Just to play devil’s advocate, how many Iowans can name the 5 boroughs of NYC and find them on the map? Each borough probably has a similar population to Iowa.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jan – no comparison at all – NYC boroughs are not taught in geography class no matter what the population. Population has nothing to do with it.

  57. Jane Boyer

    Thanks for the motivation to get busy with some unfinished projects. I’ve managed to get one kit sewn into half square triangles but am deciding whether to use a replacement fabric as fabric given in the kit wasn’t large enough. Tough decision and I fall into analysis paralysis.

    And dogs want in and out when it’s cold. Big boy brought hubby a rabbit and laid it at his feet the other night. Number 4 this winter.

    In defense of New Yorkers I doubt if people on the street in Iowa would be able to pinpoint all the states in the crowded Northeast.

  58. Beamer's Mom

    I had to laugh at your comment to quit organizing and start sewing as we spent today-Sunday reorganizing my office/sewing room. I’ve had aspirations to do this when I retire in a few years but you know me. I couldn’t wait, so my 4′ sewing desk is now my computer table and my long computer counter is now sewing. So much more room to sew. Hopefully we don’t go back to the covid days where I worked from home for 15 months and now I will spend less time working from home and more time sewing. YAY! Fortunately Stan was on board to help relocate wall brackets for the office furniture which also had to come apart to move. But 3 hours later and we are done. Someday I need to figure out fabric storage, but I’ll need to think about that some more before I decide. So, tonight I sew!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Beamer’s mom – oh my gosh! At least you have Stan to help and won’t it be nice now to have more room. Lots of people in any field love to organize – I’m pretty happy in my messy surroundings – it feels very comfortable to me. So now you’re all moved and organized – time to sew!

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