A Visit To Quilt Guild

Reed and I went to the monthly meeting of the Clear Lake Quilt Guild last night – as guests but we’re thinking of joining. I could just kick myself for forgetting to take pictures of some of our favorite quilts in Show and Tell. We sat in the back row and couldn’t see the bigger quilts but next time I’ll do better.

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I took this quilt for Show and Tell – you probably remember it as it’s made completely of mens’ shirts – even the backing and the binding, all in orange, blue and white.

Here is the back.

This quilt has memories for me as well – the white shirt with the blue stars

is the blouse I wore in our picture on the cover of the very first Quilt Sampler published in 1995. I remember being honored to even be chosen for the publication but tickled to death to be on the cover – haha! These were the days of denim jumpers as you can see — 25 years ago!

And now for the Hobo Dinner – Ruth was correct and so was someone who said they made it in Girl Scouts and Betty agreed with Ruth. Here it is coming out of the oven -double wrapped in heavy foil and VERY hot!

Hamburger patty on the bottom, salt and pepper

A big slice of onion

Sliced raw potatoes, salt and pepper

Another layer of onion


A layer of sliced raw carrots, salt and pepper



This was in the oven at 400 degrees for 90 minutes.

It was delicious and no pans to wash.

You’ve sent in some great sounding books already! For those of you who have not yet sent me a good book title, you have until Tuesday to do so.

When my Pinterest page popped up in my email yesterday, I could not resist saving the picture of this Jack Russell puppy sound asleep.

For me today it’s back to the barn for a couple hours of hard scooping and then to the sewing machine or longarm where I have the Kaffe Fassett quilt loaded and ready to go! I haven’t figured out supper yet but there’s always the grill. I have a wonderful life on the farm/quilt shop, don’t I? And I am well aware of my Good Fortune which reminds me that I finished binding my Bonnie Hunter mystery named Good Fortune! Picture coming soon!

Have a great day, Friends!

86 thoughts on “A Visit To Quilt Guild

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Emily – you, too, but I’ll bet you’re packing, huh?

  1. Kathy Hanson

    I need to make that Hobo Dinner!! It’s been years since I made it! What a beautiful quilt you had for show and tell, and loved the picture of you and Connie on the magazine cover!!

  2. Janice

    Yum, that hobo dinner looks great! We’ve made something similar with a boneless chicken breast. So tender. Your shirt quilt is beautiful, I love that it’s blue and orange. You are so creative, Mary! I’ve been scouting men’s shirts at our thrift store, I wish I had thought to save my dad’s and father in law’s shirts. Oh, and that magazine cover! You and Connie haven’t changed much – I wish those jumpers would come back in style, lol. But then again, am I too old to wear a jumper? Probably… Jan in MA

  3. Jeanine

    Hey, I still have a couple denim jumpers, and I still wear them occasionally. Who cares if they are out of style!!! They are comfortable. Love your quilt made from shirts. I have made several, but really like the pattern you used. It’s hard to find shirts that are orange or any other brighter colors. I guess most men prefer the blues, browns, grays, blacks and greens. That’s what I find around here the most.

  4. Jo in Wyoming

    Oh! What a great post. You sent a picture of Hazel asleep on your lap, when she was about that size. I saved it thinking what a bundle of joy.
    The quilt shop Diane B. reported closing is my destination today. I need nothing, but love a sale and I want to thank Jackie for her friendship over the years.
    I hope you have a great weekend, starting today.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Jo in Wyoming – have fun at the quilt shop and tell us what you buy!

      1. Jo

        It was a wonderful day, I got rulers, thread, a little bit of fabric and the big prize…Addicted to Scraps, by Bonnie Hunter! I can follow along, yeah.

        1. CountryThreads Post author

          Jo – I just looked at that book not 15 minutes ago – it’s one of my favorites!

  5. Stephanie Smith (Bettendorf, IA)

    I purchased the magazine with you and Connie on the cover when I lived in Pittsburgh, PA never thinking I was not only going to live in Iowa, but was able to visit Country Threads as you were on my bucket list. It was a thrill for me and was a wonderful shop. It has always been my favorite and my husband, who will use any excuse for a road trip, found it to be his favorite too! He loved sitting in the yard and watching all the animals while I shopped. Thank you for all the inspiration you give!

  6. Nikki M in Tx

    Hobo dinner..yum..wonderful idea. Used to fix frequently and haven’t in ages. I know what is for dinner,thanks. I use the same foil package idea with sausage and peppers, also squash, onions and either sausage or beef patty. In the heat of summer instead of oven have used air fryer. Have found the air fryer (which is basically a mini convection oven ) perfect for dinner for 1 or 2, however now they make larger ones. If using air fryer need to adjust cooking time.
    I am a member of a guild & it is so beneficial. You & Reed would enjoy it so much. I drive over 90 miles to attend meetings and it is so worth it. Wish was a local guild but not so fortunate.
    Loud thunder this morning with dark skies to north & west. More rain predicted, predicted for the next 8 days. Since I got the hay fields fertilized before our rains started I should have good cuttings this year.
    Bongo (llama) managed to herd all the calves into loafing shed.

    1. Judi Leventhal

      Nikki M where do you live in Texas? And, which guild do you belong? I live in the Houston area.
      Judi L.

      1. Nikki M

        Yes in Texas Possum Kingdom Lake area. I belong to Trinity Valley Quilters Guild of Fort Worth. Come to Houston to Festival each year that I can. Just booked my hotel room, luckily got room at Marriott across from convention center for this year, las year was at Marriott about 10 blocks away. are you a member of the Houston , Woodlands ,or Friendswood area guild?

        1. Judi L.

          I used to be a member of the Kingwood Guild but dropped out about 10 yrs. ago. No guild but lots of bees. We will have to hook up at Festival. I always go on Wednesday night (Preview) and then usually on Friday. My email is mypridenjoy@embarqmail.com.

          1. Nikki M in Tx

            Judi, would love to meet up..plans are to be there for Preview night, Thursday,& Friday… booked hotel for 3 nights but playing by ear may head back home Friday asSaturday is first day of deer season.

  7. Launa

    Enjoyed the refresher on Hobo dining, Mary! Might try it tonight with some thawed chicken breast!
    What a darling puppy 🐶 pose!
    Somewhere packed away I have that first issue and I used the sun idea from the quilt on the back of a vest! Glad I’m not the only one with a nice denim jumper in a closet. Since moving to northern Idaho I usually wear sweat pants til it warms up here; weatherman says that’s usually in August! 😊
    Did Reed have any show and tell at guild? A good idea to join a guild together.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Launa – reed didn’t have anything last night but next month his log cabin will be bound and ready for the fair so he can take that – won’t those ladies be surprised?

      1. Diane Bauer

        That will be awesome for him to have the opportunity to show it to everyone there!!

        1. CountryThreads Post author

          Rosemary – OK, I will tell him and before I know it he’ll want to start another one!

  8. the other Angie

    Right after the beautiful shirt quilt, the hobo dinner caught my eye and then I saw the plates!! I love the look of the plates you are using – this time of year, I think patriotic. Is that a seasonal choice? They would make me happy any time of year!

    Have a great weekend!

  9. Susan Fiorito

    Mary I still have that issue of Quilt Sampler! I have looked at it at least 100 times. I didn’t even realize it was you and Connie until now!!! It’s been a few years since I’ve looked at, but I saved it because I loved it so much. Not sure now where it is since we’ve moved in the last couple of years but I’m going to look for it.
    Great issue and you guys are so cute. I had a denim jumper too that I wore.
    That Hobo dinner looks so good, I need to make it for dinner this weekend.

  10. Brenda in Iowa

    I love Hobo suppers. I’ve used cream of mushroom soup instead of butter. I like the sound of the butter instead!

    1. Nikki M in Tx

      Try cabbage and onions also,,so many ,…sausage and peppers, frozen hashbrowns,two very thin patties with cheese between, topped with onion, i like adding some cilantro (not everyone likes taste of cilantro)

      1. CountryThreads Post author

        Nikki M in TX – it all sounds delicious. I’m going to widen my culinary horizons and try some of those! Hugs to Bongo. Tomorrow is the llama show – I’ll take pictures!

  11. Katherine Gourley

    Oh yummy — had I known, I would have asked, what time is dinner? If you like Southwest style chicken — try this foil wrapped recipe. We throw them on the grill when we camp. Very flexible recipe for substituting ingredients.


    These are the ingredients you need:
    4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 ounces each)
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon pepper
    3/4 cup salsa
    2 cups fresh or frozen corn, thawed
    1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
    3/4 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
    1/4 cup sour cream

    1. Patricia Campbell

      Living in Hell’s armpit (aka: Phoenix, AZ), I try not to use my oven about 6 months out of the year. New recipes for the grill are always appreciated!! (even if it wasn’t meant for me!! 😁)

      1. Nikki M

        Patricia…use a toaster or convection oven and place outside on patio or balcony if in apartment to cook in those hellish days… it works..I speak from experience. Used to use old fashion electric popcorn popper to cook cabbage in on stoop of first apartment husband & I had as ventilation in apartment left a lot to be desired & husband couldn’t stand smell of cabbage.
        In college back in early 60s used to cook all kind of things in corn popper. We could not have a hot plate or electric skillet but could have electric corn popper…you would be surprised what all we cooked in it.

  12. Carol

    Once upon a time, I had the teapot that goes with your dishes…. loved that teapot!

  13. Susan

    I read several good books this month, upstairs at the White House, the First Lady, lost roses, and the cornwall’s are gone.

  14. Judy E

    I really love your shirt quilt! I would love to find the pattern to make one. What is the name of this pattern and where can I find it? Thanks for your help!!!
    I am a beginner quilter and have already discovered that I like to sew the quilt together better than cutting all the pieces.
    I enjoy all the tips and hints everyone shares!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Judy E – the pattern for the orange and blue shirt quilt is found in Bonnie Hunter’s book Scraps and Shirttails II, page 72, Oregon or Bust!

  15. Carla

    I have my copy of that magazine. Bought in South Georgia where we were living at the time. I need to get it out and make that quilt of yours that graced the cover.

  16. Kathy Zuehl

    Oh, my mom used to make those hobo dinners; sometimes instead of potatoes, she would mix green beans with cream of mushroom soup and put a big spoonful on top of the hamburger before she wrapped it up. Yummmmmm!!!! That mens shirt quilt is so awesome!!!

  17. Kay

    I still have my copy of the Sampler that your shop was featured in. I loved your shop and would visit every time I came to see my Mom in Thompson.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Kay – how sweet of you to keep it all this time!

  18. Kate

    I still have that Quilt Sampler magazine. I’m not a bit surprised you were chosen to be the first ones on the cover as you and Connie were quilt stars back than and for me you still are. I had a jumper just about like the one you are wearing. We had a quilt shop back then and I made most of my clothes with the fabric we sold. Your hobo dinner looks so good, I’m going to have to try it soon. Have a great weekend.

  19. Katie

    Just yesterday, I was purging, organizing my books and magazines..and the magazine I have kept for years your sharing today…oh my…along w some quilt patterns I purchased from your store years back when my husband took me to Country Threads, on a visit to Iowa..Thank You for sharing
    Katie in Gilbert, AZ..

  20. MartyCae

    I always liked that Quilt Sampler cover!
    So happy to hear Reed visited the quilt meeting. I would like to see some younger faces are our.
    No rain in Emmet County. What a needed break.

  21. Chris

    Your hobo dinner reminded me of camping when our children were little because it was always made on the open fire. Brings back a lot of good memories. It’s finally warm enough for me to work in the garden with a good clean up and turning the soil. Feels good! I have a couple of plastic green house to cover the soil so it warms up and will be ready to plant. Tomorrow will be in the 60s but then back to low 50s. Have a good weekend and takes some breaks with your pup, that’s what I do, I need snuggles.

  22. Frances Carter

    I know what you mean about forgetting to take pictures at guild meetings. I am sitting there with my mouth open eweing and aweing at all the beautiful items! Luckily our guild has a lady who takes pictures of everything and posts them on our Facebook page.

    We made hobo dinners when I was a kid, we put a chicken leg quarter, potatoes cut in half, carrots and onions and salt and pepper. We thought it was the greatest!

  23. Candy

    I’ll have to dig out that Quilt Sampler magazine and have another look. I’ve saved every one of the Quilt Sampler magazines … I used to read every single word, cover to cover, but not so much anymore. They’re still fun to look at though, and they’re the only magazine I buy now. That reminds me, I’ll have to start checking for the new one, assuming they’re still publishing them!? Thanks for the reminder.

    1. Lyn Rogers

      I too save and buy only Quilt Sampler. I am on search right now for Spring issue. I have been fortunate to visit quite a few of the featured shops in the last few years. I wish I had the original copy! Thanks for your inspiration!

  24. Denise Harkins

    Denim jumpers are coming back! I saw several at Target yesterday.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Denise Harkins- Really???? I will be thrilled – I love denim jumpers and didn’t get rid of any of my old ones!

      1. Paula Philpot

        Oh good, I have two old ones too. and one had the bib part to do counted cross stitch so I did the country duck. lol Paula in KY

  25. Paula S.

    Oh boy, Mary. I think I still have my copy of that Quilt Sampler magazine! Ha!
    I’m glad you and Reed attended the guild meeting. And that quilt is beautiful. I have some orange shirts that I could put in a quilt. So pretty with the blue fabrics.

  26. Joanne

    Love the Hobo dinner. My book suggestion is Mrs. HOudini Victoria Kelly. Have Uncle Sam Kit guess it is time to make him. Love your chicken Scratch! Thanks for spending the time with all your hens😄😄🐓

  27. Nancy A Poole

    The Hobo dinner looked delish. We made those in Girl Scouts when I was a kid and also when I was in my 50’s as a Girl Scout leader in my neighborhood. We’re having Inland Empire Quilt Show here this weekend. Always great to see what others are making and all the venders.

  28. Diane in WI

    I,too, have that issue of Quilt Sampler. I remember I wanted it because Country Threads was featured, and I wanted to make your quilt. I guess I need to put the quilt on my list of things to make. The puppy picture is precious. Hobo Dinner looks and sounds delicious.

  29. Mary Evans

    I recently read ‘The Professor’. Really liked it!! It’s by Robert Bailey.
    Another is ‘The Naturalist’ by Andrew Mayne.
    Another is ‘Grave Descend’ by Michael Crichton (I think I may have sent this earlier, not sure)


  30. Donna in Kentucky

    Is the quilt on the front of the magazine that says Rise and Shine yours?
    I love old magazines, this one looks like a goodie.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Donna In KY – yes, it is a Country Threads quilt made just for that special issue!

      1. Julianna

        Any chance arise and Shine will resurrect and be offered one month?? Fingers crossed!

  31. Andi

    Hi Mary!
    I remember that Quilt Sampler! I have every single one of them and keep them in my quilt library. That was a good reuse of that shirt!
    Hobo dinner is a real favorite in our house. one of the easiest things in the world to fix, and so yummy! Sometimes we make it in the slow cooker, and then we use Golden Mushroom soup over it as a sauce. Its a good variation. During haying season this is one of my favorite “Go To” meals as it is ready for whenever the hay guys are ready to come in and eat.

  32. Betty Klosterman

    Mary, there are lots of us “old” quilters who remember so many of your first patterns and still have them, too!! The younger, or newer, quilters have no idea what neat patterns you designed so they will all be new again. There must be a reason we “old” quilters don’t throw much away. It was always so nice to visit Country Threads and my husband liked it, too. The chickens were especially entertaining–pecking order was fun to watch. You didn’t object to us taking pictures and all mine are in albums so I can make the trip back in time whenever. It’s like visiting old friends. Thank you.

  33. Lisa W

    Love the Quilt Sampler!! What is the name of the quilt behind you in the picture, the one next to Wear Warm Clothes? Thanks!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Lisa W. – Rabbit Run from the book Country Threads, The Quilt Shop Series, page 64. See, you can tell I had to go look it up! Ha!

      1. Lisa W


        Thank you so much for taking time to look this up. I just ordered the book on Etsy!

  34. Norma

    I do the hobo dinner without meat as a side on the grill in the summertime. When I don’t want to heat up the house but want to make a little more it’s great.
    Love your blue and orange quilt!

  35. Sherry Whalen

    Hi Mary, Love your quilt as usual, fabulous color combination. Hobo dinner is such a great meal. And like Norma – when we grill meat I usually do packets of vegetables (potatoes, carrots, onions, and/or whatever is fresh out of the garden) to accompany the meat or chicken.

    As far as books – I just finished reading ‘The Spy Mistress’ by Jennifer Chiavarini, it was an interesting story (based on a real person) about a woman who was a Union sympathizer living in Virginia during the Civil War. I also just finished listening to ‘The Stand’ by Stephen King – it was very long but also good.

    On a whim today Al and I jumped in the car and went to the 100 mile garage sale along the Mississippi. We didn’t buy much….I mostly wanted to see the bluffs and river, and to see if it was spring anywhere along the way lol. The trees were starting to green up on the bluffs and the river was high! Sherry

  36. Tanya T.

    Love that blue, orange, and white quilt…looks like it could be a Houston Astros’ quilt! 🙂

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Tanya T – Oh my gosh, it sure could be an Astros’ quilt!

  37. Jeanie from sw Illinois

    I am so glad you reminded us about hobo dinners. I was first introduced to them at Girl Scout camp about a million years ago, where they were cooked on an open fire. We have also done them on the charcoal grill, but I really like your method of using the oven. Thanks for the tips and, as always, for this blog.

  38. Rosemary W.

    OMG, I have Rise And Shine up in my kitchen right now! Love it! I made it using Tonee White style applique, though, I believe that’s who it is–with pinked edges??) I put it up earlier this spring – noticed my purple grandma’s dress is faded……no wonder if it’s that old! My how time flies when we’re having fun! Great to see you two last night!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Rosemary W. – yes, Tonee White is correct! You’re probably the only person I know who made it because it was an awful lot of work! You’ve got an active guild!

  39. Diane, Squeak's Mom

    I have it, too:) I didn’t even start quilting until 1996 so I must have been drawn to the Sampler because of your picture, Mary. There is a picture of all of the Country Threads workers, too, which was fun to see. I never made it out there, but I talked to lots of them!!

    Did Reed’s Grandma go to the Guild meeting, too? I love the quilt you showed. Those ladies will be so impressed when Reed shows his quilt:)

    Wouldn’t it be nice to sleep as soundly as that little guy? He is so cute.

  40. Carmen

    Haven’t made Hobo Dinners for a while; it looks soooo good!! Loved those jumpers, and owned many. Wish they would come back in style now that I’m not so thin. Ha!!

  41. Paula Philpot

    I know you have told us before but what is the name of your shirt quilt? I have made one too maybe I will send you a pic of it and its red/blue. Paula in kY

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Paula Philpot – answered this question to Judy E. Quilt pattern is found in Bonnie Hunter’s Scraps and Shirttails II, p. 72, Oregon or Bust

  42. Linda Thompson

    Ooh, that Hobo Dinner is a wonderful memory. My 4-H club, the Britt Busy Beavers and perhaps the club from Crystal Lake went to the state park near Clear Lake and we each made our Hobo Dinner in Foil. They were cooked in the fire of the massive stone fireplace. Since then, we have made them in the oven. I think one evening, we need to grab a glass of wine, enjoy the view looking over the river and build a fire for our supper.

    I love your stories with your life with Reed.!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Linda Thompson – remind me again where you live now

  43. Lisa in Washington state

    Aah, denim jumpers! That brings back memories, it was always a quick solution to “what do I wear to work today”! And Hobo Stew! We always made that on camping trips with our kids, but I haven’t had it for years. We always put in some Polish sausage with a bit of hamburger, didn’t need to add any butter that way. We also liked broccoli and green peppers in addition to the carrots, onions and potatoes. Very versatile, can make to suit anyone’s taste. BTW, your pictures of your flower beds look wonderful! So much work to do in the spring, but so rewarding to look at the finished product. Thanks for all your lovely posts!
    Book recommendations: The Huntress by Kate Quinn; Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan; The Baggage Handler by David Rawlings

  44. Gail

    Mary, your shirt quilt is stunning, both front and back. Also, thank you for the egg tip. Sure beats blowing your brain out trying to blow the contents through a pin hole. Thanks again. Oh, love everything about your blog, especially when you wind your day down with a beer. Have you tried Atwater’s Vanilla Java Porter? It’s amazing.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Gail – hmmm…..I guess I could try it but it’s going to be hard to beat a Busch Light – hahaha!

  45. Sharon B.

    Love your orange, blue & white quilt! And, I also love the quilting! I’m writing to say that I spent so many hours doodling fancy quilt lines for my most recent quilt….then started quilting it (on my domestic machine)….and none of the quilting looked right. After a quick conversation with my hubby, we both decided that simple straight lines was best! I immediately thought of you as I remember you posting on your blog that you always quilt with straight lines and a lot of folks disagree with that. Well….I agree with you! 🙂
    Cute puppy pic…animals always bring smiles! 🙂

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Sharon B – everybody likes to be agreed with and I am tickled that you like the straight line quilting! I started doing it 4-1/2 hrs. ago when I learned to use the longarm machine and I love it yet today. I want to see the fabric and the piecing design – not the quilting which many times makes the quilt very stiff and hard. That said I would not want to denigrate the expert machine quilters out there because they do outstanding work! Straight line quilting is my personal favorite!

      1. CountryThreads Post author

        Sharon B – that would be 4-1/2 YEARS ago not 4-1/2 hours — hahaha!

  46. Julie D

    Oh, how I love the blue and orange quilt! Love the stripes and plaid fabric!!! Secondly, the hobo dinners I remember making in a 4-H demonstration I do believe with one of my friends in high school. So today I’m experimenting with the Hobo dinner. Using chicken breast, then added potatoes, carrots, onions, fresh green beans, and parsnips. In the oven as I’m typing and can’t wait to try it!! I attend the Patchwork Pals Quilt Guild in Charles City, Iowa and I’m a new member of the Quilts of Valor group. I learn so much from all of those quilters in quilt guild! They are all so talented!

  47. Wendy

    Loved the post today! A little quilt eye candy, a recipe, some pattern recommendations, some book recommendations and that puppy picture. Too cute for words. Thanks.

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