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Column: Stitching a New Life in South Dakota from Missouri

A few months ago, my friend Meredith suggested that I attempt freelance writing for “The Country Register.”DSCN5772

This friendly little paper is actually a nationwide network of regional papers operating across the whole USA and Canada. Each region has it’s own regional version of “The Country Register.” The regional format suits the paper well because they focus on specialty shopping, crafts and events within each region.

This month, I had my first column in the “Northern Rockies & Great Plains” addition of “The Country Register.” I am hoping to do some writing for the Missouri version, too! I love writing for this paper because it gives me a chance to write about sewing and quilting.

This column was about my experience “becoming a blogger” and my transition from Missouri to South Dakota. DSCN5771

Stitching a New Life in South Dakota from Missouri (Article Text from The Country Register) 

On January 1st of 2013, I moved to South Dakota from Missouri. Before my big move I spent two summers in South Dakota working as a marketing intern for Land O’ Lakes. During that time I met a Kingsbury County farmer and rancher. We started dating, fell in love and eventually became engaged. This summer, we are getting married in my hometown of Centralia, Mo. When I moved to South Dakota I left behind a family of sewing women. Both of my grandmas, several aunts, my mom and my four sisters all sew and quilt. I was nervous about the blizzards, making new friends and keeping in touch with those I love in Missouri. My love of quilting has always been a fulfilling creative pursuit. Yet, I was surprised when quilting quickly became the solution to all of my fears. Had I moved to South Dakota in June, things may have worked out differently. Maybe I would have fallen for gardening? However, I moved in the height of blizzard season. Within a few weeks, I realized how I would happily survive the blizzards of South Dakota – stich-by-stich and quilt-by-quilt.

For my college graduation gift, my mother gave me my first sewing machine. We waited to purchase it until I moved, so it could be serviced near my new hometown. Buying the machine gave me a chance to meet the owner of Quilts, Stiches and Framing in Brookings, SD. Then, I started taking classes and meeting women from all over the area. While buying fabric in my new hometown of Lake Preston at Lone Tree Legend Quilts I met shop owner, Nea. Quilting is now an easy way for me to meet women and make new friends.

The transition was going well and I began slowly stitching a new life for myself in South Dakota. I talked on the phone with my Mom frequently and told her about my sewing projects and snow day adventures on the farm. Yet, my words over the phone were limited in describing the quilts or new baby calves. Then, I started a blog ( and began sharing about all of my sewing projects.

Suddenly, my mother, sisters, aunts, grandmas and friends were able to see my quilts and new snowy life. My sewing process was no longer a solitary act. Today, I post on my blog about the projects I have in progress or new sewing techniques I am learning. Now, when my Mom and I are talking on the phone we can discuss quilts or projects that she has actually seen and not just heard about. Quilting and crafting are visual arts, so sharing photos on my blog is much more exciting for her than a short description over the phone. I am amazed and grateful that quilting was able to bring peaceful, fulfilling solutions to all of my fears about moving to the high plains.


1 Comment

  1. Aunt Jackie

    Great job, Sierra!


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Hey, I’m Sierra Shea! I am so glad you are here. 

Where do I start with writing to introduce this blog? At the beginning, I suppose: I’ve been writing on various platforms online since 2013. I started blogging shortly after moving to South Dakota.

I am a mother and a maker at heart. I’m so grateful to be married to John and mother of three: Joslyn, J.D. and Jesse.

I am a self-taught decorator and designer. I am a brand new shepherdess and a Spiritual Director.

I love living in South Dakota, even though the winters & the wind can be a near-daily struggle.

Blogging is a grounding force in my life and it helps get me out of my head, unstuck and moving in the directions I always hoped I’d be going!