And the Blog Continues, 6-9-2020

For the past week I have been sorting through literally hundreds and hundreds, maybe thousands, of old photographs searching for the barn rehab pictures…..and I did find them! Along with over 40 years of memories of life on this farm with Country Threads. The barn story is going to have to be written as three posts: beginning 1979, middle and finishing in 2020. If I hadn’t written the Goat Gazette four or five times a year for 20 years, I wouldn’t have been so faithful about taking pictures. Now they just need sorting and organizing. I will have blog posts to write forever! Haha!

First I’m going to catch up on some really nice Dirty Dozen quilts.

I believe Joan asked about the origin of this fabric – it’s by Moda.

Becky loves horse pictures – saw this at Target yesterday and admired it!

Finished the watermelon quilt for the porch and can’t wait to serve up some watermelon!

Peonies are in bloom – they make the whole house smell so nice!

The prairie mallow is already blooming! Ricks mom saved the original seeds for me in this tiny pill bottle – it says “miniature hollyhock seeds 4 Mary”.

It’s been the best gift of all! I have an abundance of flowers every year and I sold millions of seeds in the quilt shop. We call them “Mom’s flowers”.

AND – drumroll please! I finished This Old Farmhouse and I love it! I took pictures in several spots and now it’s going to live on the porch.

The pattern This Old Farmhouse can be purchased for $10 and a SASE to Country Threads, address below our photo. No credit cards, cash or check only. Here’s a photo of the original quilt.

Crop report.

Just a word about your comments – I read EVERY SINGLE ONE and reply to many but if I don’t reply, don’t take it personally – I love getting the comments. We’re going to have a couple giveaways coming up and I’ll be asking for a comment to qualify to win.

And here’s a taste of what’s coming up in the story of the Country Threads barn. This is what it looked like in the summer of 1979.

The story will begin tonight, the Lord willing and the creek don’t rise. Gotta get it all organized as Part One. Hope you’ll be reading!

89 thoughts on “And the Blog Continues, 6-9-2020

  1. Bobbie

    Hi Mary,

    I love seeing what is happening on the farm as well as the quilting projects. Looking forward to reading the history of the barn!

      1. CountryThreads Post author

        Lori Murphy – no pattern really. Watch for the next pictures – I saw you in one of them! It will be fun to relive those fun camp days!

  2. MaureenHP

    Such fun to enjoy your quilts. This Old Farm House is perfect on the trellis.
    Country Threads was a shop I always thought would be a fun place to visit. Alas, too many miles between you and me. But it’s nice to have a blog yo follow!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Maureen – yes, you would have had quite the trip although we had several groups of Australians visit over the years.

  3. Sandy

    Hi Mary, love the new colourway of the house quilt! Peonies are my favourite flower, they just like so lush, looking forward to the barn story,have a great day, best wishes from sandy.

  4. Therese Wescott

    Love the dirty dozen idea! Mine could easily be the dirty two or three dozen. I seem to have project ADD. That is what my friend and I call it. We meet every Tuesday, alternate houses and help each other with quilting or sewing projects! We are making headway on finishing up “starts.”
    Between us, we have eleven kids and twenty-six grandkids. Many blessings!
    That ensures plenty of projects for sure.

    Just found your blog, enjoying the read.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Therese Wescott – WELCOME! We’re a fun group of like minded quilters – glad you joined us!

  5. Donna Sproston

    I love your barn and look forward to its story. So many in our area have been torn down and replaced with big metal sheds. Driving around the area on a quarantine escape, I was sad to see an old round barn on its last legs. The house and other out buildings are long gone, and the magnificent barn will also be gone in a couple of years, replaced by more corn and bean fields.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Donna Sproston – gotta tell you what my dad always told us kids when we’d drive by a round barn. He’d say “a guy went crazy in that barn!” Us- “why? What happened?” Dad- “ he couldn’t find a corner to pee!” And we’d laugh and laugh – every. single.time!

  6. Carol at Pin Oak Quilting

    Love the new version of Barn Quilt, and look forward to the story.

    Temps in the high eighties in western New York State today, tomorrow, 90 and high humidity followed by more “predicted to be horrid” storms, followed by a cool down. The last storm about a week ago really did damage to my flowers and shrubs so another go around is not appreciated. Darn. Heat index is unbearable.

    I do not ever get tan. Ever. Not on Hilton Head Island or two weeks in Hawaii or Florida. It is not yet summer and I am so tan, the first time in my life. Climate change folks used to tease that Buffalo, New York would become the Miami of the north. The next tree that dies on our land, I’m putting in a palm tree!


    I just love love love your blog! Sometimes you probably think that we are not interested in “you doings” but as for me in Southern California I just love it. It gives me a window into the lives of people in another part of this great country we live in . It unites my heart to my own fellow Americans so to speak. I love crop news, quilt photos, seeds in a bottle, birds nests, goats and chickens, flowers blooming that don’t live in Southern California, swollen knees, and Orange Julius with kids on the back porch, as well as Forth of July parades, snow in the fields and happy pictures of my friend Mary holding babies!! Now, with great anticipation, THE GREAT BARN STORY! I can hardly wait! Thank you so much for sharing your world! Blessings to you for all you do and write! Carolyn

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Carolyn Barnett – you are soooo sweet to say that! Thank you!

    2. Janet of MN

      Carolyn, You are a very talented writer. I agree with everything you said. Thank you to Mary as I am also excited to read your Barn Story.

  8. Susan Moore

    Your barn looked so much like ours used to! Can’t wait to see more pictures of it!

  9. Cheryl in St. Paul

    I’ve been in that barn! I’m looking forward to the story. I just love the blog. It’s like a letter from a dear friend and a bit of calm amidst the chaos.

  10. MartyCae

    I can’t wait to read about the barn story! And I love the Old Farmhouse quilt. Perfect place for it to hang. My big kitty is shedding terribly. I brush and brush him and still have cat hair! But I live by: it isn’t a quilt until it has cat hair on it! Keep cool.

  11. Mary Lund

    Love your posts. They make my day. I still have your original Gazette. I treasured them. I’m going to plant mallow AGAIN. I find they are something the critters eat up here in Buffalo Mn. I had some of your seeds from a sale but those are gone. I remember Connie had them lush in her yard at a house tour. I fell in love. Will let you know how they go this year! Haha The watermelon quilt is adorable. Working on your Salute to Summer from last month! Thanks for everything. A great comfort in this changing world! Xo

  12. Pattie

    Am greatly enjoying your blog. I was cleaning out some lately also and came across a few patterns from your quilt shop. I will take a picture and show you.

  13. Angie from Baltimore

    We haven’t heard about Reed recently how is he doing?
    Love the house wall hanging. Loved ready the Goat gazette but your blood is almost as good. Whenever it came I would put it aside until I could sit with a cup of tea and read from page 1 to the end. I know it must have been a pain to do while running the shop and just living life but you did and still do a wonderful job. You are an inspiration

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Angie from Baltimore – Reed doesn’t come to the farm anymore. You’d have to ask him and his family why because I guess I don’t really know myself but I miss him.

  14. Joyce from NY

    I love all the dd’s, everyone is so busy. Just finished putting a coat of weather repellent on my porch, took me 3 days, use to take a day & a half, my old bones aren’t what they use to be. Looking forward to your barn story, I love barns & your blog. 87 today & 90 tomorrow!!

    1. Karen N.

      Will definitely be reading! I still have all of my Goat Gazettes!! =:)

    2. CountryThreads Post author

      Pattie – you have to send pictures to my email so I can process them for the blog.

  15. Lynn

    Look forward to the barn story. I was never there for a retreat but did venture up the stairs way back when you had the sales Labor Day weekend. It was always a fun girls day and something to look forward to at the end of summer. This was when I was just beginning my quilting adventures and I thank you and Connie for all the inspiration!!! The flowers and quilts as all beautiful too.

  16. Carolyn Boutilier

    Mary, Looking forward to your stories of the barn. I remember getting the Goat Gazzette for years. I did not do much quilting then but enjoyed all the stories with your animals. I still have a few of the Gazzette papers.. I have never heard of dwarf hollyhocks. Last year I planted 3 plants along our fence line. They are about 5 feet tall and full of blooms. I lived with my grandparents growing up and my Nana had hollyhocks along the whole basement wall. Great memory. WE have a hot day today. Need to get out and water my flowers and garden. Carolyn b Shenandoah Valley VA

  17. Ginny in SC

    Your barn in 1979 reminds me of our cow barn when I was a kid in Wisconsin. I have such good memories of the farm. The farm is now condos, I guess that is progress.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Ginny in SC – some would call it progress. I would call it a shame.

  18. Marj in WI

    So happy to read your blog each day. Waiting in West Central Wisconsin for the hurricane to arrive, due here in about 30 minutes. We have three birds nest with eggs in them on our porch – hope they all make it through the storm.

  19. Teresa in Port Coquitlam

    I look forward to reading you story. Thank you for this blog it brings me joy to read it.

  20. Rosalie

    Did the other 2 kittens get adopted?
    In Texas so I’m not a prospect- plus I have 8 house cats and about 40 ferals that live on our property (all fixed except one very wily tomcat)!

      1. patti leal

        i’m so glad to hear about the kittens. i knew you would be devastated if you didn’t find them homes.
        i also love your blog. it’s like visiting with friends. being homebound i really appreciate this. i get tired watching the changes you make and all the things you do. it sometimes make me feel lazy til i remember that i used to be an energizer bunny for the first 53 years of my life and then another eight years trying to prove i still could do it all once i got diagnosed with copd. maybe i’ve finally accepted the situation. i miss all the excitement too. don’t worry i’m fine. i still do some piecing and hope for the day to finish some of my quilts. hugs, patti in florida – an original survivor

      2. Sandy in Indiana

        O Mary, thank you for the update on the kittens… happy they all found homes 🙂
        they were such cuties! Your blog is wonderful & I really look forward to your posts! Stay safe

  21. Sandy

    I enjoy reading your blog. I may not read it every day but always read it. I like to hear what is going on on your farm life. I recognize the barn, but not totally. Cannot wait to read your upcoming articles

  22. Denise Weise

    Oh, I will be reading. I never miss a post. I always look forward to your posts.

  23. Robin Boggan

    Thank you for sharing a trip down memory lane! It’s so fun to see how you started out! 😀

  24. Sue R.

    We moved from the Midwest to the Pacific Northwest years ago but reading your blog makes me feel like I’m “home” again. Something about the expressions, the scenery, your work ethic… Thanks for that bit of nostalgia!

  25. Jeanie S, Central IL

    I am looking forward to hearing the barn story. I hope the kittens found a home. I love both versions of the farmhouse quilt.
    I am presently repairing a denim quilt I made for my son in the late 90’s, when he was in college. Apparently, quilts made for offspring come with lifetime maintenance. 😂🥰. I am thrilled he still loves this quilt.

  26. Pamela in Missouri

    The picture of the barn reminds me of the barn of my childhood. I didn’t have any brothers or sisters and there were no other children in the vicinity so I would spend hours and hours in the hayloft of the barn. I would gather up all my dolls and grab a kitty or two and have the best time in the world. (I still play well by myself!) I have 8mm movies taken in the early 1950’s showing hay being put up in the loft with a team of horses. I’m sure I’m not the only one with those kinds of memories.


      Pamela, I just love your story of playing in the hayloft with your dolls. You mentioned the 1950’s and I was a little girl then too, so I must be close to your age. I lived in Southern California in a yellow house on top of a hill that looked over the San Fernando Valley. There were no children to play with near my house, so my memories include taking my dog, and dollies on a hike in the hills, walking among the lupines, setting up”house” in an old White Oak tree and playing with my dolls. I feel sorry for little girls nowadays because being alone and playing with dolls was so much fun! I generally think “alone time” is good for mental health! Thanks for sharing such a sweet memory, Carolyn Barnett

    2. CountryThreads Post author

      Pamela in Missouri – we always had kitties in our haymow, too. I used to help put the hay into the haymow driving the pickup which raised the bales on the hook and then Dad would yank on the rope and the bales would fall on the floor above.

  27. Joan S

    Thanks for the fabric info, Mary!! I’m looking forward to the barn story, and I love your little quilt, This Old Farmhouse! I hope you never quit blogging.😁

  28. Terri Mulinix

    I can’t wait to read it. I always wanted to come to the shop but didn’t get it done. Something always came up. I’m trying real hard to stop that. And also not to hurry some place and hurry home. Life is just to short. Take time to smell the roses or see a quilt shop. Happy Quilting Terri

  29. Diana Stanfill

    I am in love with all the beautiful quilts. My favorite is the watermelon quilt!! By the way, is that an Isabel Bloom bird on the top of that quilt?? I made a watermelon quilt years ago. The verse at the top was the one about the fruit of the Spirit. Then on each piece of watermelon I embroidered one of the fruits. Cute wall hanging. Dont remember what happened to it.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Diana Stanfill – I have to admit I don’t know anything about that bird – I’ve had it for years! I’ll look it up!

  30. Paula Philpot

    Really and Truly, my day is not complete unless I read something from your blog!!! I cannot wait to read starting with 1979. Like I told you before I still have a lot of the Goat Gazettes. Love the new RED porch wallhanging. Paula in KY

  31. Ellie

    I Look forward to reading your blog every day. It’s a big high point. I remember the Goat Gazette and really enjoyed reading it. The dirty dozen finishes are beautiful. I plan to do it again next year. Unfortunately some of them will be the same ones from this year🤪. Your Farmhouse quilt is lovely and looks perfect on the porch. I can hardly wait to read the barn story. You are such a good writer! You make it sound as if we are right there with you.

  32. Charlotte Shira

    I love the quilting projects and reading about the farm!! Can’t wait to hear the history of the barn. My peonies are done. They bloom the 2 and 3 weeks in May. My mom always had peonies for Memorial Day.

  33. Jane

    Love, love both farmhouse quilts-beautiful on your porch! Looking forward to your barn story and memories from your shop days. Your shop was the best. Only got to visit a few times cuz I was dairy farming. Wish I could do it over and shop there again. Your patterns and colors alway inspired me. Especially enjoyed your Civil War club. Thanks so much for your posts!

  34. Cheryl

    I love the old barn and I especially love your farmhouse colors. It is so summery! So red is your favorite color. Right? Who had the vision for the barn potential????

  35. Nancy Poole

    Looking forward to your story. The barn in 1979 looks so much like my Uncles when we left Worthington, MN in 1963. I so enjoy your farm. And I did come see the store in 1990. Have loved your and Connie’s quilt books and the Rag rugs.

  36. Kay Crandall

    Love, love, love Connie’s finished quilts! Looks like someone has been very busy! Looking forward to the barn story too!

  37. Leslie

    Your red version of Tihs Old Farmhouse is perfect where you hung it! Love it!
    Hope the kittens are doing o.k….

  38. Susan Dumont

    I just love that barn quilt! Sew cute! I collect wooden houses and I am going to have to make that one!
    Great job! Like the standing lamp with the birds….

  39. Jan B from TN

    I think I know some of the barn story but I don’t remember much of it so I’m anxious to read about it.
    Your new little barn quilt is adorable! It’s weird living in TN & not seeing corn or beans growing in every field. Seem they mostly grow cows down here in our neck of the woods. I’ve never seen so many pastures filled with cows. Some of these cows are colors I’ve never seen before. And these cows are very reproductive. I love seeing all the baby cows (ok calves) multiple times a year.
    I finally bought flowers for my various containers just this past Saturday! I’ve never waited this long to buy my flowers! Slim pickings but I managed to get something for all but one small container which I simply forgot about. So, I planted all these flowers Sunday afternoon in the blazing hot sun (87 degrees)! I was so hot when I got done I could barely stand to take my shower! Whew! So that’s my story from TN!

  40. sally penning

    I can hardly wait to read it! My Grandparents lived on a Dairy Farm when I was a little girl. I have many stories of Grandma’s kitchen, the summer help, the sauerkraut room, and many more! How fun it will be to read your book.

  41. Linda4 Greethurst

    My husband was raised on the farm that :great-grandfather Joseph built. Joe married in 1872 and started with the barn while still living at home and helping HIS father. Then came the house and the famiy moved to their new home. Eventually, several out bildings were also added. I looked forward to your barn story as I would like to write up a ‘farm story” to add to the family genealogy.
    I’m so glad to have another year of the Dirty Dozen – got my 12 all numbered and ready. But I still have 6 more. Maybe I can double up on some months. Sure would like to get all caught up. Thanks Mary for the gentle nudge with the DD project.

  42. Kathy

    All the quilts look great on your blog !!! I think I’m going to make that watermelon one as a table cloth for my long dining table .

  43. Jan R

    Looking forward to learning about the barn. In my book there is nothing better than a good historical tale (ie. Caddy Woodlawn, Little House on the Prairie, Anne of Green Gables . A wonderful window into the past. Thanks for sharing.

  44. Carolyn Boutilier

    Mary, I went outside this evening to water my flowers and I have 2 Hollyhocks blossoms. they are a very light pink. I am so excited to have these in bloom. My Nana would have loved them.
    Carolyn b Shenandoah Valley VA

  45. Chris B in NW PA

    The peonies are beautiful. Your Farmhouse looks perfect on the porch. I, too, have several
    Goat Gazettes. They were such fun to read, and I made several of the recipes.
    Connie’s DD are so pretty. Thanks for sharing.
    Hot weather for us the next few days before a cool down. Good days to sew.
    Looking forward to the barn story.
    Chris B in NW PA

  46. Linda Everett

    I read all your blogs and enjoy them so much, especially during the stay at home. We had Peonies when living in NH and they were my favorite! I especially like the little white pitcher on the table. I have a small collection of pitchers similar to that one. And is that a soap dish next to it or? Looking forward to the history of the barn. I need to send in my order for quilts and a picture of my just finished DD, a fourth of July table runner that I started 9 years ago.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Linda Everett – it’s a butter server next to the little pitcher.

  47. Linda in NC

    I read all your blogs and enjoy them so much, especially during the stay at home. We had Peonies when living in NH and they were my favorite! I especially like the little white pitcher on the table. I have a small collection of pitchers similar to that one. And is that a soap dish next to it or? Looking forward to the history of the barn. I need to send in my order for quilts and a picture of my just finished DD, a fourth of July table runner that I started 9 years ago.

  48. Kathy in western NY

    Love all the pictures! Thanks for sharing so much with us all. It’s been hot here so time to relax now. Hey Mary, isn’t it nice to have some new blog posts from Jane London to read? Her insight always makes me reflect and I was so happy to enjoy them.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Kathy in western NY – just had to laugh when I saw Jane posted “closed for spiritual maintenance” – hahaha!!!!!

  49. Martha Engstler Gettysburg

    I miss adventures with Reed also. They do grow up I guess. I bought some of the prairie mallow seeds from your shop and had great luck with them the first year but they didn’t reseed and somehow I didn’t get any seeds to replant. Maybe I can find some on line. They are so pretty.

  50. Sunflower from Michigan

    I really like where you put your completed house quilt, it looks beautiful there! I can’t wait to read about your barn history also. Michigan is loosening restrictions and this week my sisters and cousins are visiting several quilt shops in northern Michigan. Although they won’t be old, I’ve acquired some new projects! Oh, my! Take care.

  51. Sally J.

    I really enjoy reading your blog!! Looking forward to your history and barn story. Love the watermelon quilt. I did not do the DD last time but planning to organize and participate this time. Enjoyed seeing all of Connie’s finished quilts!! Blessing to all and stay safe.

  52. Sue H

    Your Farmhouse Quilt is gorgeous! It was very pretty originally but the updated version with the beautiful reds is stunning! Love, love, love!

  53. Nikki M in Tx

    Love barn quilt, cannot decide which version my favorite.
    Cool 66 this morning, so decided get to get some mowing done as starting Sunday predicted 3 days over 100 each day. I am not ready for this.
    Thanks for dirty dozen as it keeps me motivated to finish what I have started even while starting new projects.
    Received notice from quilt shop / long arm service in Weatherford last week that since shop reopened last week has taken in 70 quilt tops so is 4 months on turn around, obviously several people spent their Shelter in Place time piecing.
    Found someone to cut hay , two big fields doing on halves and 40 acre field is all his. Got one of large fields cut & baled.. got 140 bales.. smaller (6 ft) round bales & other large field should yield more.
    Talking with a Wounded Warrior group about doing a hog hunt. Several ranches going in on hunt.
    Looking forward to reading the story of your barn, glad it is being documented.

  54. Vickie Devore

    I have followed you guys for a long time and need to get some of your patterns ordered.

    On those Mallow seeds — if you have some this fall I would like to put my order in for a few. Love them and used to see see them occasionally, but never got any. Love “old stock” better than a lot of seeds today.

    Take care, love the pics. vickie

  55. Theresa

    Hi Mary, i don’t often comment but read your blog daily and am looking forward to the barn story. I grew up a city girl but always find the rural life more appealing. Love the red farmhouse and new home on the porch. Relax and enjoy it.

  56. Brenda Jeffers

    I love peonies but I’m always finding ants in them when I bring them in. Do you have that problem? If so, how do I get rid of them? Thanks.

    1. Marj in WI

      Peonies need ants for them to flower. Don’t know why, but always have ants with them. I take and hold them upside down and shake before bringing in.

      1. Brenda in Iowa

        Thanks for the reply, Marj. I didn’t know that about the peonies needing ants for them to flower. I will try your trick of holding them upside down and giving them a shake before bringing them in.
        Thanks again.

  57. Kathy Hanson

    Amazing to see pictures from the beginning of your ownership, oh my, all the work you have done! Wow! I am sure you are proud of how beautiful it is today. Love seeing all the DD quilts! Think how many projects have been finished this year!
    Our peonies didn’t fare well with yesterday’s rain! They were so gorgeous this year!!

  58. Becki

    Hi Mary. I so enjoy your blog. The watermelon table quilt is so nice. Is this your pattern? I would like to make it. Thanks

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