This Says It All

Rugs, towels, bedspreads, carpet – all outside draining and hopefully drying. I discovered the water right inside the front door first yesterday morning.

Read more here

I’ve had this happen before and we changed the rain gutters and downspout to take the water away from the east side of the building and force it to the west. There is so much ice and snow that when it rained several inches in the past couple days, there was no place for the water to go. Then I looked in the back room and this is what I saw.

It continued about 12 more feet, got up to the furnace and copier. The additional rugs I laid down were submerged in water!

But Reed and I sewed all afternoon anyway so he could finish piecing the back. He made one pieced chicken block and cut 3 more blocks from other chicken fabric. We had to increase the back by about 10″ so we split the 44″ fabric and added these additional blocks to the middle.

Just look at that straight FLAT block! He amazes me when he can do stuff like this! Ha!

Here is the pieced backing.

We are delivering his quilt and backing to Sue Monday after school if the gravel roads are passable. I cannot quilt his quilt good enough to go to the fair and won’t compromise his project with my mediocre straight line quilting. It’s good enough for me but I’m not entering anything in the fair.

So this was today – Connie helped me haul all the rugs, etc. outside to dry.

And I have no moisture at all in the basement – Thank God although the plants would probably appreciate the humidity.

And my friend Amy sent me this link to to make an apron from a shirt. Here’s my first attempt (needs ironing).

I’m going to add a pocket towards the bottom for my phone. It was very easy and could be a great group project at guild or church. I love it when somebody comes up with something clever!

Iowa State won tonight and will await the next winner – probably Kansas – to p,ay in the Big 12 tournament final tomorrow night. Ain’t March Madness just the best?

76 thoughts on “This Says It All

  1. Ann Barlament

    Reed ~ I’m so impressed with your second quilt! I love that your pieced strip, on the back, includes a pieced chicken! Perfect backing for the man that raises chickens!! I just LOVE it! Another blue ribbon quilt!!!

    Bravo and congratulations on another quilt!! And kudos to your instructor.

  2. Polly Perkins

    Terrrible flooding here. Luckyily I live high on a hill. But nothing compared to Nebraska. Yikes what a winter.

  3. Kathy Schwartz in SW MN

    The quilt is VERY impressive. Good job. Can’t wait to see the finished product!
    Sorry about your “flood.”
    We had water run in also and then the guy came to fill the fuel oil barrel (located in the basement) and he ran it over, so now we have water and oil. (They don’t mix!!!) So we have oil stink and water. We spread powdered Tide and the smell is getting better. What next? I just hope it is a slow thaw, but all of the ditches are full of water and the fields have standing water. I think it is on its way to Iowa. Sorry. Hope the tiles open up soon.
    Also, great “music” pictures.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Kathy Schwartz – you’ve had your share of weather related difficulties – much more than water in the quilt shop. I hope spring comes soon.

  4. Nikki M..Tx

    Sorry about flooding.
    Tell Reed his back is great..I especially like the chicken block….don’t forget to label the quilt. I often see my label into quilt backing.
    Finished quilting my Bullseye…now to bind it! Will send photo when that is done.

  5. Becky from TX

    I love the chicken block that Reed put on the back of his quilt. He is a good little quilter….had a very good teacher! First you all have cold, ice, snow and wind…..and now warm weather and floods! But you just go with the flow… your attitude!

  6. Patricia Bargo

    Love the apron! So sorry about all the rain problems.
    Thank you for all you are doing for Reed. I know just by reading your posts its a joy for you. Being a teacher, mother, & g”mother I find any teachable moment we have is a worthy one.
    Patricia B

  7. Margie

    My 95 year old mother-in-law had her basement flood a week ago. Just had a sump pump installed and it had tipped and didn’t kick on! So the rugs were hanging on lines in the basement. Hope yours dries out fast! My mom loved chickens, but I only made her curtains. I am going to look up the chicken block! Reed quilts much better than me! Keep up the good work. Blue ribbon for sure.

  8. Kate

    Oh, so sorry for the leak. Our water heater sprang a leak and my husband just happened to go down to the basement(where I never go) and saw water all over the floor. Several hundred dollars later and a new gas water heater and we’re good to go for another few years. It never rains, but it pours. Isn’t that the old saying?. Love the backing to Reed’s quilt. If that boy doesn’t win a blue ribbon or better, I’ll eat my hat!

  9. Betty Klosterman

    Mary, It seems that a lot of the bloggers are not familiar with your patterns — especially all the chickens!! Note: Reed’s pieced chicken for the back of his quilt. I always loved them as I, too, am very partial to chickens. The green/off white big chicken quilt you used to have hanging on the south wall of the haymow was especially nice. Also a great potholder pattern. too.
    The big drifts are shrinking fast with the wonderful sunshine. The wind was still blowing so hard Thursday, we didn’t go out to shovel until yesterday. My body is feeling the effort today, but won’t be fatal. It sure feels like spring now, but with the way the storms have been coming there will probably be more. We’ll just cope. In a normal winter here we don’t have the below 0 weather and the snow melts before the next one hits. In Iowa the snow that fell in November might be there come spring.
    We shall overcome????

  10. Nancy Wines

    Reed is so lucky to have you as his mentor! Wonderful pieced back. I just know his quilt is a blue ribbon winner! Sorry about the water. Hope nothing was permanently damaged. Hope your weather turns the corner soon and sunny dry days are ahead.

  11. Diane in WI

    Reed’s quilt is absolutely great. He is a very talented young man. A blue ribbon will look perfect on it. We had water in our basement again. Our son fixed the sump pump so that has really helped. You mentioned the problems in Nebraska. My husband looked it up. The dam looks like it was bombed. What a terrible mess! I saw robins, starlings, red wing black birds, and a turkey buzzard during the week. Maybe the weather has turned a corner. I also have tulips peaking out of the ground. I hope everything dries out at your house. I was able to click on one ad today. I keep looking for them.

  12. Louverna Tomer

    Mary, since my West Virginia “Mountaineers” lost last night, I’ll root for your team to go all the way. Good Luck!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Louverna- they’re going to need all the backers they can find!

  13. Donna McCormack

    That Reed is really a winner. Keep us posted about his quilt. I am making a log cabin quilt. Hope it is as pretty as his.
    I have had water problems before and they are a nightmare. All you can do is try to get them under control.
    Loved Reeds backtohis quilt. You are an excellent instructor.

  14. Judy Linn

    LOVE Reed’s chicken block! Such a FUN back!

    Reed is already a visionary and taking home to market sounds like a fabulous idea!

    Texas had rain storms and whipping rain. I checked my attic to find a leak. The roofer came and said they will replace the flashing around the one chimney. AND I need to have a stone mason work on all the cracked concrete between bricks. Ick!

    All these extra chores shore-do eat into quilting time!
    I am impressed that you and Reed ignored the chores and kept-on-quilting!
    Hugs to All – Y’ll are dealing with such terrible conditions!
    Judy in Texas
    Only one ad to click….

  15. Janet

    Hi Mary! I’ve been thinking of you and following Iowa State bball😀 I’m so glad you started the bullseye quilt-along and have sent the like to my 5th grade niece in hopes she will make one for the fair! Sorry to see the flooding- I’m afraid that’s what we are in for this next week-too much snow and 40 degree temp changes-ugh! Anyway here’s to lots of great stitching and basketball this March !

  16. Marian Stever

    Hi: On a sunny Saturday morning. I hope the sun dries up all your floors. It seems to be a terrible year for water-water everywhere. Good luck with all that work. Reed’s quilt is spectacular. Those chickens are a great design. Love it! I wish him the best during the Fair. Mary, I watched our Gopher game and switched back and forth to your Iowa State game. Both are winners so on to the next opponent today. They were thrillers. I love March Madness. It is hard to do handwork when I have to SEE every play! Hope your week is much better weather-wise. Here in Rochester they predict 40s and maybe 50! Yoo-Hoo!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Marian Stever – we are expecting warmer days, too. The games are why I started my rug, which I’ll post soon, I can easily watch and twine at the same time. Ha!

  17. Diane in Maryland

    I’ve been watching the news about all the flooding in Iowa and wondering if you were affected by this. Well, you did have a flood to deal with. What a mess. So sorry!
    Got the Barn Swallows pattern yesterday! Thank You! I really liked the one you did.
    Reed pieces so accurately! Better than me and most adults I know. Good eyes and a great teacher! I love seeing him with his sewing and animal projects. I taught the granddaughters to sew and they made many baby quilts for hospitals. They are now 24 and 22 and are still sewing. Last summer I asked Trice if he wanted to sew a pair of pj’s to enter in the fair? He put his hand on his chest and in said “Mom-Mom, I am a BOY!” like I hadn’t noticed! I am going to show him Reed and the quilt Reed made and ask again. I thought he’d like to do it since it is a machine! He turned 13 in Jan. and we have many adventures together…fishing, gardening, canning, and exploring. Trice also has chickens, goats, a pair of Toulouse Geese (Sally and Sammy) and Sally has about 10 eggs so far to sit on, his mom said “okay”… she says okay to almost everything animal related because she loves them too. Those geese are hilarious but their beagle doesn’t think so! Sammy will peck him if he gets too close…which he quickly learned not to go near him!
    Hopefully you are having a nice sunny day to dry every thing. In the 70’s here yesterday but today back to more normal of 50’ish but hoping winter is on its way out. Winter can be nice for awhile but we are tired of it now. Good to see the daffodils blooming.
    Hope Iowa wins! It was an exciting game last night! Md. has been up and down all year but that’s how it goes. We enjoy watching the games too.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Diane in Maryland – loved your note about the kids and all – when I first got my geese as goslings I was not aware that they can live 30-40 years so I’m trying to avoid having anybody setting on eggs!
      I think about all the men in the quilting industry these days and know that Reed is in good company. I should take him to Quilt Market in Kansas City in May, shouldn’t I?

  18. Diane in Central Ohio

    Ah, “Beware the Ides of March” certainly pertains to your flooding. Ugh. It’s nice you have a quilting buddy to put it all behind you. Reed’s quilt is beautiful and I love the back with the chicken blocks down the middle–neat idea. Hope all of you stay warm and dry, Mary. We had 74 on Wednesday, 47 yesterday, and it’s cold this AM. Hurry up Spring!!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Diane in Central Ohio – I let all the goats and chickens out today and I can see how happy they are! Sunny, chilly, but finally a storm free weekend!

  19. Starrla Opferman

    Mary do you still have the Harvey patterns available? I have not ordered from you on your blog although I have 2 of your books. If the pattern’s are available could tell me where I send the and for how much.
    I am so sorry for your water mess. We had one basement flood in a house we rented and it was an awful mess to deal with.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Starla Opferman – Harvey will be available until Easter for $10 to Country Threads, 2345 Palm Ave. Garner, IA 50438. Please note our address is right below our picture on the blog – for next time you need it.

        1. CountryThreads Post author

          Starla – not necessary but an address label would be helpful if you don’t mind.

  20. Joanne

    Mother Nature never know what to expect from her. Reed what an AWESOME job! Best of luck

  21. Jeanne H

    OMG, Mary! You have my sympathy for the water coming in. 11 years ago February, we had rain back up into our basement, because the ground was still frozen and the foundation drainage was not adequate. We thought we got it fixed, but had it happening again last winter/spring, so had more drainage work done. NOW it’s finally OK. In the meantime, we tried to put everything that would be on the floor into plastic bins. Got more than we need now! LOL Hope everything dries out OK for you.

    Reed’s quilt is fantastic! I especially love the pieced chicken block. He is meticulous in his piecing. How will Sue quilt it? Looking forward to seeing it.

    Jeanne in western New York

    P.S. You are such an enabler! Went to, and bought enough books for free shipping! Eek – wait until DH sees them! ; ) Actually he doesn’t mind because he acquires stuff too.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Jeanne H – it’s never my intention to be an enabler but I so love books that it’s hard not to pass that obsession on via this blog – haha! My mind wants to make so many of them – I always mark the ones I like in each book so that I can easily go to them when I permit myself to start something else. I’m sure you understand.

  22. Sharon Lowy

    No ads? I am so sorry about the water and hope there is no lasting problems.

    Reed is a great quilter and I am sure he will be bringing home ribbons. He is so lucky to have you as his mentor and friend. You are blessed as well. Nothing is better than helping a child and you and Reed are making memories that will last forever.

  23. Jan in SW Iowa

    Reed’s precision and skill make me jealous!! I love the quirky, humorous back, and I think it will be going to State Fair. I’m hoping that you didn’t have anything else waterlogged, but those rugs were HEAVY to carry out, right?! Here in waterlogged SW Iowa, I keep checking my susceptible basement, but the ground is still frozen, so it may come later…. What a winter!!

  24. Lisa in IN

    Reed’s quilt is so great! What a nice job he has done! You two make a great team and what a blessing that you have each other. So sorry to hear about the water situation. Hopefully better weather is not far away. Thanks again for taking time to post your news.

  25. Ellie

    Reeds quilt is wonderful and the back is grand! Sorry about all the water! What a mess! Glad you had a bit of help cleaning up. It’s been some time since I’ve seen more than two ads on your blog. Have you found out why?

  26. KathyG

    Our outbuilding has 2 inches of standing water too. My husband tried to channel the water away but it was impossible from all the ice, just like you’re experiencing. We are hoping for some windy days where we can open the doors to the building to dry it out.

    We love March Madness too. Before we retired we took 4 days of vacation just to watch all the games (with a little friendly bracket betting to really stay engaged)! Good luck to your team – we will be rooting for the Wisconsin Badgers.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Kathy G – we watch Wisconsin, too. I have friends in so many states who also love March Madness that I become a fan through you all! So fun!

  27. Anita Fetzer

    Water,water,water everywhere and not a drop to drink. We had the same problem last year but from a defective water softener. Nothing heavier than a water soaked rug. Hope you don’t have that problem again.
    Reed is a natural. Beautiful workmanship, I can see his first book about quilting now and we can all say “We knew him when he made his 1st quilt.” Wow he’s good.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Anita Fetzer – I hope Reed is reading this – his first book, huh?

  28. Kathy in western NY

    I saw there were evacuations in Nebraska and got to worrying what you might be going thru. My heart just sank when I saw your work ahead drying it all out.
    I hope this is the end of this weather pattern hitting the Midwest. Spring is so needed.
    What a clever pieced chicken block Reed did. It looks great all together. You know I never thought of it being quilted, even as a 4-H alumni, till now. I was from the day when they were hand quilted. Because I have a log cabin quilt ongoing I will be interested to see the quilt design used in Reed’s.
    I sure hope you can sit and relax with the games today Mary!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Kathy in western NY – no rest for me! I stepped on the rug in the garage last night and realized it, too, is saturated! Ugh!

  29. Angie Rowland

    Reed amazes me with his (not really a word) sticktooiveness!!!

    The water issues suck. Mother Nature is not happy but hope Spring comes soon.
    Prayers for all effected by the shootings yesterday. Houses of worship are sometimes the only place we can feel comfort and for this to happen is so sad.

  30. Lora Jans

    Sorry you had a mess! Reed has done an awesome job on both sides of his quilt!!

  31. Paula Philpot

    I love the chicken backing and he is quite the sewer. I have made 8 of the aprons for my niece as memory items from her dads shirts. Also made her a throw and 16 pillows for family. All of them were fun to make. Plan to start Harvey this weekend and of course watch the KY Wildcats.!!! Paula in KY

  32. Pamela in Missouri

    It’s been several days since I’ve had any ads on your blog. Anyone else having this problem?

    1. Pamela Papazidis

      I was wondering about the lack of them also. Is it possible that the more we X them the less we receive? I have been coming to the blog several times a day to see if there are any ads to click.

      1. CountryThreads Post author

        Pamela Papazidis – I don’t know – when I have time I need to research this but in the meantime, we so appreciate your diligence! Thank you!

  33. Marsha

    Oh, my! What a mess water is where it doesn’t belong! We DO have basement water problems and just paid a horrible amount of money to have it waterproofed! And where do we still have a seep? My sewing room!!!! Will have to be on the phone to the waterproofing company later today. Tge stuff of insomnia!!!

    Reece’s quilt is amazing! Good luck at fair to him!!

  34. Beth T.

    Oh, hooray for Reed! Coming up with a chicken block to extend the backing is going to be the cherry on the top of that wonderful quilt!
    I’ll bet it felt good to have Connie there with you, helping out with the rugs and such. What is it they say, friends divide your troubles and multiply your happinesses? This is a good example.
    We had bright sunshine today in Oregon and I hung some sheets on the clothesline. That felt so good.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Beth T – sheets on the clothesline! I can smell them now – glorious!

  35. mary jane

    What next, this has been a winter of many tests….cancelled appointments, luncheons and just family time. I am so happy to hear Spring arrives on Wed. next.
    I love the Log Cabin pattern that Reed has made altho I have never made one.. I was browsing thru some other quilting blogs and came upon one called MANX QUILT BLOCK. The block and technique came from the Isle of Man they said. Anyway never heard of it or saw it before but looks easy and interesting.. Have you , Mary or Connie, ever seen or tried this way of making a log cabin block?
    I wish you well in drying out your floors and building. And now the mud comes too to add to the damage…

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Mary Jane – I do not recognize the Manx Quilt Block – I do know about Manx cats – I will check it out.

  36. Susan the Farm Quilter

    Mercy, the Midwest has just been nailed with the most appalling weather this winter! I’m so sorry you got flooded, but I’m glad you have all those fences to hang out your rugs to dry. Reed’s quilt and quilt back are simply amazing! You may have another Ricky Tims on your hands with the way he is going!!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Susan the Farm Quilter – I agree that Reed is as talented as Mr. Tims!

  37. Terri Mulinix

    I’m so sorry for your mess, had one like one time and it was the worst. That Reed is doing so wonderful. Keep up the good work.

  38. Linda

    Way to go, Reed! Your quilt is awesome!

    Sorry for your water woes, Mary. I live in Oconomowoc WI and all the surrounding rivers have spilled over their banks. The ice is not melted all the way then we had rain and 60 degree weather for 1day. causing ice dams, closing roads and threatening homes. I am grateful that I just have a wet basement. Knock on wood…. Tonight it is snowing a little.

    1. Linda

      I’ve been wondering how the Rock River is on the east side of Watertown is, as my brother lives on the river but he is in AZ…….

      1. Linda

        Hi ,
        Yes, the Rock River is over flood stage. They anticipate it cresting on Monday.
        I hope all is well with your brother’s house.

    2. CountryThreads Post author

      Linda – that’s what caused all of our problems, too. Our county has been declared a disaster area but if all I get is water in the quilt shop, I’ll feel blessed. Wisconsin pictures are terrible as are Nebraska!

  39. Dale

    I am just amazed at Reed’s talent. Thank you for taking such an interest in him and mentoring him. I know his family loves you!

  40. Cary

    Water, water everywhere!
    Flooded roads and homes here too. Ditches running over into yards and there is still snow to melt while the rain and snow comes from the sky.
    Glad you are able to dry out.
    Reed your quilt back is great! Good luck at the fair. Yes, I know it will be in the summer. You have done a great job!

  41. Carolyn Boutilier

    The backing on Reed’s quilt is really cute with the chicken block. So glad Connie was able to help drag the rugs outside to drain and hopefully dry. We had a nice spring day here in the valley with the temperature of 70 degrees but very windy. I am still working on Freedom Oh Freedom from your book. This gave me a chance to try freezer paper applique for the first time. My daffodils are finally blooming but we have snow showers coming in this weekend.
    Carolyn B Shenandoah Valley VA

  42. Patricia G Hayes

    So very sorry for all your water. Do you ever sit down and cry?? Sometimes I think you need to. However Reed does spruce you up after your catastrophes.. He is an amazing young man. YOu are amazing also.

  43. Tanya

    Love Reed’s quilt! His precision and creativity are wonderful! He is really growing…turning into a “tween” right before our eyes. So sorry for all your water woes! How great to have one friend sew through with you and another to help drag out the wet rugs!

  44. Martha Engstler

    So sorry about the water in the house. I had about 3 feet in an unfinished basement of a house that I had bought a few months before and didn’t know the sump pump wasn’t plugged in. That’s a mess. Reed’s chicken backing is great. Love that chicken block he made. He sure does beautiful work. Love the apron made from a shirt. Great idea.

  45. Kathy Hanson

    That Reed is a “rock star”- he does an amazing job !! So sorry for all your water – it seems that lots of folks are having these problems…..what a hassle!! Glad you had help getting them out to dry. What a cute idea for an apron……..some people are so clever. Hopefully your water concerns are over!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Kathy Hanson – honestly I’m just glad I don’t live in Nebraska! How is Sunny? And will you be telling me the dates for the Mason City show?

    2. Jody Irwin

      So sorry about all your water , nothing worse than soggy rugs .
      Reeds backing is great , love the chicken block and material . He does such good work .

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