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New Word of the Year: Progress


For the last couple of years, at the beginning of each new year, I’ve chosen a word of the year to be my focus and inspiration for the year.  Last year I chose Connect, the year before was Finish.  When I was planning how I would “connect” and “finish” over the last two years, I never imagined what those two words would finally encompass.  I never dreamed that many of my personal connections would take place via Zoom calls and group emails.  I also never dreamed I’d have so much time to connect fabric together to make quilts, bags, table runners, and wall hangings.  I would like to continue to connect and to finish, but the new year brings with it the desire to focus on another word:  Progress.  My desire for Progress encompasses my business, my skills, my knowledge, and my personal life. 

We are a little over three weeks into the new year, and we have already made Progress enhancing the experience at Koosa Mountain Lodge.  We completed a very large poured patio overlooking the gorgeous view in the first week of January.  Some of the new outdoor furniture has already arrived and the rest will be delivered this week.  The new patio is a natural extension of the lodge and will be the perfect place to enjoy an outdoor meal, read a book, sip on a glass of wine and talk to good friends, do some hand sewing, take in the smells of a campfire, or just spend some peaceful quiet time soaking in the beauty of the Appalachian mountains.

In addition to the new patio, we are building a new garage just outside the entrance to KML which will give us more storage space for our seasonal decorations and other supplies.  This project will be finished by the end of the month.  Other Progress that returning guests will notice this year include new decking on the porch, lighting in the cutting room, additional Accuquilt dyes, improved WiFi, and a new handrail on the front porch.

Making Progress with growing my business is also an important goal this year.  We were slowed by Covid last year.  This year we already have over a dozen weeks booked.  You’ll also be seeing more social media posts, more newsletters, and more blog posts from me this year as I look to expand my marketing reach. 

I’d like to make Progress in honing my skills on my new HandiQuilter longarm machine.  Since purchasing it in September of last year, I’ve quilted almost 50 quilts.  I’m finally comfortable with many of the basic features and I’m ready to branch out into the more advanced techniques.  I’m also ready to do more quilting for clients, so please reach out if you need any help with any of your quilting needs. 

I’d also like to make Progress on a new sewing skill this year:  Y-seams.  I had curved piecing on my list for several years, and I’ve made enough Progress in that area that I’m ready to move to Y-seams.  Of course, making Progress with my applique, English paper piecing, and free motion quilting all remain on the list.  Maybe this is the year!?!

There is always room for Progress in my personal life.  I’d love to continue to strengthen connections with family and friends as well as form connections with new friends.  I’d also like to reduce the amount of time I spend scrolling through social media and use that time to improve the social media presence of KML.  I’d also like to make Progress on my reading list, expanding my knowledge about a wide range of topics.  Progress towards improving my health, including mental and spiritual, is also very important to me. 

As I’ve learned over the last couple of years, you never know where life will take you. I hope you’ll check in with me throughout the year to help me keep track of my Progress wherever life takes me this year.  And, I wish all of you success, health and happiness in 2021 and in making Progress in your lives!


Mary Sowatzka


Koosa Mountain Lodge