The Dig Out 1-19-2020

What a terrible storm! We didn’t get all that much snow, maybe 4-6″, but the 50 mph winds did us in! And last night the wind chill was about 30 below. Tundra weather.

I had a migraine yesterday and the light was so bright I couldn’t look out the windows. This is a glimpse of what I saw.

Roads are 100% ice packed – you might be able to navigate them at 30 mph.

My niece, Jenny who lives in Louisville, KY, tried to fly home yesterday only to be stranded in Chicago until last night. She made it into the Des Moines airport where her brother, Danny, picked her up since he lives in a Des Moines suburb. Becky and Tom attempted to drive to Danny’s house this morning but had to turn back. Roads were very bad! Oh, how sad – Jenny only had 5 days to be home and this storm has really shortened her long awaited visit.

Now, on the other hand, who would try to fly to Iowa in January? And you mothers out there – can you imagine the worry you would feel for your child? It’s just too bad because Becky was really looking forward to having Jenny at home.

Me? I’m sitting at the table watching the birds and there was a large one there earlier that I didn’t recognize – large, dark on top with gold under the wings. It was eating suet. Anybody know the bird I saw? Going to my bird book next.

Jan VanDeWalle – you are also a book winner but your email bounced back. Please contact me at

I’m also watching Rick move snow with the tractor. He is in 7th Heaven – haha!

I’m getting ready to watch the football games – you?

Here are more Dirty Dozen finishes.

I think Kay Crandall might get the prize for the most difficult UFO’s I’ve ever seen. This is another Judy Niemeyer design.

This is Heather Kittelson’s Country Threads Sampler. Mine is hanging in my laundry room. Here it is. I hate that dark block in the top row.

And this is Moose, Heather’s most recent rescue. He hit the jackpot becoming one of Tony and Heather’s dogs. Five homes ago he had been found with a chain – grown into his neck!!!!! I can’t stand it!

And I’m going to show this quilt and back again because I don’t want any of you to miss it. Mary O. gets the prize for perfect pressing in my book.

Mary – send me your mailing address – I’m going to make you a book winner!

I’ll close with a few content cats.

Millie asleep on top of the picnic basket.

Deano cuddled up in the afghan.

Deano and BC grooming each other in the chair.

Telly patiently waiting for Dad.

Game time!

52 thoughts on “The Dig Out 1-19-2020

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Bonnie Tucker – no, you didn’t miss it – I’m waiting for an answer.

  1. Dee Winter

    I made that Country Threads sampler quilt, mine has cats in almost all the blocks. Yep, I got the snow and the WIND! Wow! But I could use a little more temperate climate. Go Chiefs!

  2. Sue in Oregon

    What a cold icy blast! No wonder the cats are all cuddled up. It has been cold and very wet here in western OR but nothing like what you have. Today, however, we have sunshine. We have been through a period of very dark days. Lights on day and night. So good to see it.
    The finishes are wonderful. Kays is amazing!

  3. Dee Trzaskowski

    The quilts are all great. We had snow and ice me of Chicago. How could anyone do such a thing to a German Shepherd. Any dog.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Dee T – oh, I just don’t know and can hardly stand to think about it. That person should be chained up just like he did the dog!

    2. Barbara Brukner

      Hi Mary: Check out the yellow shafted flicker in your bird book. Under Northern Flicker. Nice to read your blog. Barb. Brukner

      1. Judy A

        Agreed. I get flickers on my suet. And…. Mary O deserves kudos. Her quilt is beautiful – front and back 🙂

  4. Carrolyn v

    Love your quilts and animals…..and you!

    BTW…Zags still by some quirk are no. 1 and beat BYU last nite…all this in their building year as most graduated or went NBA last year. What a ride!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Carrolyn – I watched the game last night, too! How are the littles?

  5. Diane in Maryland

    All the furry babies look so warm and cozy as they should be. The quilts are beautiful. There is a lot of talent out there in the quilting world. Wow…that’s a lot of snow . We got 0 yesterday..a few flakes.
    My husband was happy…haha. Getting ready to watch the game also. Stay warm!

  6. Betty Klosterman

    Mary O really deserves a perfect quilt award. Her piecing and pressing is perfect and just what a quilt is “supposed” to look like! We aim for it but probably accept what we end up with?? It’s winter, but we got very little new snow, 70 mph gusts instead. Plus we still have the Thanksgiving snow in my parking area. We piled the snow from the alley there because there was no other place to put it. Right now the pile is about knee hi and absolute solid ice. We will survive. A bit of warmer weather will take care of it.
    Enjoy your games and take some advice from the cats to keep warm. They’ve got it right. Betty in SD

  7. Lyn Rogers

    Moose bless your heart! I hope you have many years with your loving family Also so love the kitties (identical to my black Boo) Enjoy all your animals & love how they make themselves at home amongst the quilts. The way it should be lol!! And yes I also am in awe of Mary Os piecing and pressing. Beautiful

  8. Teresa

    I love seeing all the quilts you post and I agree, Mary O has piecing and pressing talent in spades! How fun for you to gift her a book too! Unexpected kindness’s are always appreciated.

    My daughter headed back to college today, three hour drive from north Iowa. I just checked in with her and she was in Waterloo and the roads there are pretty much clear. We’ve been moving snow and shoveling all day, I’m exhausted and needed to warm up for a bit. Still have more to do but I did manage throw a bucket of mixed bird seed, cracked corn and sunflower seeds around the yard for the birds and the rabbits. They were grateful and hungry! I wonder if your yellow bird is an Evening Grosbeak? They do winter in Iowa but I’ve never had one at my feeders so maybe you got lucky?!

  9. Mrs. Goodneedle

    Oh, my! This snowstorm reminds me of my childhood growing up in New England. We’ve gotten colder here in NC but no real winter yet; maybe this week. No snow in the forecast nor have we seen a flake yet this season. I am SEW impressed, too, with Mary O’s pressing perfection; WOW! I’m interested in how this type of storm plays out in IA: are activities (church, school) canceled when the roads are this bad?

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Mrs. Goodneedle – yes, everything is cancelled to encourage people to stay home and off the roads! If they have school tomorrow I think it will probably be a late start. This is one of those times it’s wonderful to be retired – don’t have to be anywhere.

  10. Kathy in western NY

    I agree that Moose will be well cared for now and given a place he deserves to be safe from harm. People who abuse animals should have the same punishment put onto them so chain that “you know what “around the neck just like they did to poor Moose. Oh I get so mad like you Mary.
    JN patterns are so gorgeous and I give their makers so much credit. The quilts today are outstanding. Great jobs. And those kitties….gosh so sweet seeing them! Cracked me up seeing Telly waiting patiently. But glad they are all safe inside away from the snow and wind. Bless you Mother Mary. You are a saint in my book.

  11. Janice Hebert

    I was thinking Evening Grosbeak as well. We’ve had them many years ago but none lately. I did have 14 Cardinals in my apple tree feeders this week! Have never seen so many all in one place. Wow, the quilts are fabulous! Kay’s is stunning! Heather’s sampler and Karla’s locket quilt are both darling. Mary O. deserves a book! Such patience! The kitties look so cozy and my heart goes out to Moose. We had about four inches of snow overnight and the wind was whipping but luckily no tree damage with this storm. My field edge looks like fallen soldiers – we’ve lost six large trees in the back and one really big one not far from the house. It will be a while before they are all cleared and chopped up. Hoping to get help from a neighbor who uses fallen wood for his maple sugaring. My husband doesn’t have much experience with large tree cutting so the help would be appreciated. Jan in MA

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Janice Hebert – cleaning up trees is not for the faint of heart! Be careful!

  12. Jan from TN

    Poor Moose. He’s a beautiful dog! I’m glad he’s finally found his forever home!
    The quilts are gorgeous. Judy Niemeyer quilts are never going to be pieced by me. We even had a certified teacher come to our guild to tell us how “simple” they are & teach a workshop. I didn’t even sign up for the workshop. Life is too short & I know if I had even started it, it would just be another UFO.
    Finally got some cold weather here in middle TN but of course, no where near how cold you are in Iowa & other mid-Western states!
    I’m not sure but I think you’re talking basketball games. I’m rooting for TN to beat Kansas City so they’ll be in the Super Bowl on 2/2/2020! They’ve been surprising everybody the last few weeks!
    Stay indoors & keep warm!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Jan from TN -Actually I meant FB – KC and TN. And it’s a good game so far! I agree about Judy Niemeyer quilts – I would never attempt one and don’t even have the desire. But I admire the talent it must take to make one.

  13. Linda In Estherville

    Does the pretty bird wear a black lace necklace? Try the Northern Flicker. We got out of Iowa Friday and was very cold by the time we reached Kansas. The last of the ice we left with took a couple hours to blow off the roof of the motor home. Hitting Albuquerque tonight

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Linda in Estherville – the gold under the wings would suggest a flicker but it seemed to be much bigger and much darker.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Colorado Sue – I guess – I don’t really care – I just want a good game.

  14. Mary O

    Mary, I am absolutely tickled that you are so kind! Words of praise from you are a true compliment. Thank you and those who commented about my quilt and pressing! It will be gifted to a very dear friend who will hand quilt it, and we know how hard it is to hand quilt when the seams are going every which way.
    My wonderful husband gave me a Rowenta dream generating iron for Christmas! That sure helped!
    And thank you for making me a book winner! That’s awesome! I will email my address.
    Mary O

  15. Nikki M in Tx

    WOW…all the quilts are just amazing…and Mary your pressing is impressive!
    Another sunny day! Not as warm as yesterday but a beautiful day. Have a fire going in fireplace, not needed but just makes me feel good.
    Put a turkey breast in oven (small one) and a pan of dressing. Cooked brisket for Christmas at sons request and just hungry for turkey and dressing…so I am cooking it.
    I have jury duty Tuesday, haven’t been called for jury duty in several yrars, and last time just called in and got excused because primary caregiver to my husband. Before any one starts , I am not complaining, on the contrary I find it a privledge.

  16. Charlotte S

    All the quilts are amazing!! Kay’s quilt is awesome and those are my colors! I don’t think I’ll ever try that one either. And Mary O. your quilt is beautiful.
    I wanted TN to win but that didn’t happen. The Niner’s are the local team here but I like the Packers too. Guess I better go with the 49er’s!

  17. Karen Gaither

    That is a bad storm! Did your church cancel services?

    Seeing the back of the quilt you posted reminded me of camp one year when everyone made the same block and handed them in and you & Connie critiqued the back in the class. I guess y’all had recently received many quilts that were not pressed. I am in my second year of Moda Blockheads and amazes me how many people post picture and their block doesn’t appear to be pressed. I guess I love the look of a blocked pressed with Best Press!

    I am so glad KC Chiefs are going to Super Bowl! I love my Red Raider Patrick Mahomes!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Karen Gaither – oh, yes, every church in North Iowa was cancelled, I think. I did not know Mahomes was a RR – they played well, didn’t they?
      I remember that pressing discussion we presented at camp. Why would anyone go to the bother of piecing a lovely top and then not press it? Some people press from the top only which I also consider quite unacceptable, to put it mildly. When pressed from the top it always shows after it’s been machine quilted – as nothing lays flat. Ick.
      I think the Packers are mismatched, don’t you?

  18. Joyce from NY

    The quilts are just beautiful, lots of creativity & patience. Very cold here & windy & snowy, not enough snow to be snowed in, just kind of miserable!!! Made chocolate chip cookies today that warmed up the house.

  19. Diane Bauer

    I am so grateful Moose has finally found a forever home. What a sad and horrible story his early life was. I hope he is able to relax into the love he is now experiencing.

    What beautiful quilts!!!!!! I am wondering if Melissa’s Locket is a Country Threads pattern—it reminds me a bit of a quilt in Quilts from Aunt Amy (Star of the East).

    St. Cloud, MN made our Colorado news this morning, so I knew you must be getting snow. I still have Thanksgiving ice on my front steps (north facing). I have resisted getting snowmelt for it, but need to do it. That is so unusual for Colorado. I am trying to recover from my own fall, so sure do not want someone else falling on my steps.

    1. Diane in Maryland

      I have had good results using my hair dryer or a leaf blower to melt ice on our step. My husband thought this was nuts the first time he saw me do it but I’ve seen him use the leaf blower to melt it since. Ha! We can’t use ice melt or salt because our koi pond is close. Stay safe!

      1. Diane Bauer

        Good tip!! I’ve been hesitant with the snowmelt because I’ve seen it damage concrete and I know it’s not good for me grass. I’ll try this tomorrow!

      1. Diane Bauer

        I’ll be going in again on Tuesday for a follow up look at my ribs and elbow. I have good enough mobility in my elbow but there is pain and I can’t put any weight on it. My ribs are quite painful. The bruise on my hip is very colorful and about the size of a dinner plate. There’s a lot of swelling there as well. Thankfully, I can still sew!!! I will be concentrating on smaller projects for the next several months because I just found out I’m going to be a Grandma!!! ❤️❤️❤️

        1. Diane in Maryland

          Congratulations on becoming a Mom-Mom! It’s the best thing in the world! Positively amazing how our children have perfect children!

        2. CountryThreads Post author

          Diane Bauer – CONGRATULATIONS!!!! Oh, how fun! And I know you’ll share that joy with all of us! I’ve had 5 broken ribs one time and the pain was quite bad for quite awhile. My surgical leg is still purple, black, gray and green! And it hurts.

  20. Sunflower from Michigan

    Mary, I hope you’re doing well. What is Millie thinking, sleeping on top of a picnic basket when there are homemade quilts around? Funny cat.
    Kudos to Kay, that is one beautiful quilt. I could never attempt it but I enjoy seeing it and the other finishes today, too. Beautiful work.
    Love all the animal pictures today. Stay safe and inside. Happy quilting.

  21. Candy

    Mary (and Mary O.), when you have a quilt with so many seams, like Mary O.’s, how fussy are you about trimming off all the loose threads and fibres on the back before quilting? It can take hours to clean the back up, even if you’ve tried to be tidy when you’re piecing. Love seeing your fur babies tucked into quilts … so cozy! Hope you’re enjoying today’s games … we are!

  22. Judy Gnade

    Hi Mary,
    It seems that you are doing well after surgery. You certainly aren’t grumbling about how you feel in any case. So I say you are one amazing lady! And Connie’s off and running too. Hats off to both of you! And to all the quilt makers too. Such a treat to see their work. Blessings, Judy

  23. Karla T

    Diane Bauer– My goodness! so sorry about your fall!!
    While I DO have lots of Country Threads patterns and books, Melissa’s Lockets is by Carol Hopkins. Congrats on becoming a grandma, I know you’ll be a great one!

  24. Marcia in N Idaho

    Karla T- Thank you for responding to Diane Bauer’s query. I just love your Melissa’s Lockets. I hope I am able to find the pattern.

    Moose is such a beautiful dog. So happy to see that he now has a good home. Love all of your animal pictures.

  25. Jo in Wyoming

    Lots of news today.
    I understand blowing snow…can be treacherous, beautiful when the wind stops. The boys have lots of material to move with their machines, and they love it.
    You just washed the windows, I wish they would put Teflon in cleaners. Using it outside would be great.
    All the #9’s are beautiful. I’m working on #2-6, taxes-😩😟! will be wonderful when done.
    I’m so glad Moose has a forever home, rescues are the best pets.
    Mary, frozen dried beans makes a great and quick ice pack. Beans stay cold longer that corn or peas.
    I wish your knee didn’t hurt. In time this will pass.

    Congratulations to Diane B. on her grandma news.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Jo in Wyoming – when you mentioned Teflon in window cleaner it makes me wonder if the cornstarch in my homemade cleaning solution acts like Teflon. We’ve wondered this out loud for awhile now – I can’t wait to wash windows again! We have wind chills of 20 below but wind has switched to south so it will warm up – maybe above freezing! That south wind will also bring snow towards the end of the week.

  26. Sue H

    Makes my heart just ache thinking about Moose’s previous treatment but then my heart bursts to see him recovered and being treated like a king. I’ll bet that’s the nicest rug he’s EVER laid on!

    Beautiful quilts!

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