Class Day

On Monday Connie and I went to Calico Hutch in Hayward, MN to take the Basic Bernina class.  Our teacher, Kathy, was a former customer of ours and she was a great instructor!  Oh my, what we did not know about our new “computers” that sew!  And this was just Class I – there’s Class II and III yet to take.  By then I’ll be convinced that this machine could drive the car home.


This is the little bag we made – we even put in a zipper.  I am impressed.


I hurried home to pick up Telly because Monday night is Obedience Class at the fairgrounds in Mason City, 25 miles away.  This series of classes is organized and taught by members of the Mason City Kennel Club.  This was our second class and we had to learn sit and down which wasn’t too hard but our homework for next week is a challenge.  We have to teach stay and watch me and all the other little issues that go along with it.  Telly is pretty calm however and already listens well.  Since Rick has been home everyday, I hardly see her and I wanted to do an activity with her – just her and me.  I miss her and I’m still grieving Faye.  Rox isn’t a real friendly dog so I don’t have a dog buddy anymore and the boarders just don’t make up for that special bond – even though I know how much they love me.  Ha-sometimes they love me too much!

Another note about Rivertown – the pattern is in our book Civil War Remembered.  Here’s the wedding quilt someone mentioned.  I made it in 1997 when Rick and I got married and we sold lots of them over the years.  Mine is very faded because I hung it outside by the door for years.  Quite dated, too. I’m lots thinner and Rick still has hair in the quilt.  Ha!


Many of you have asked how Rick’s  retirement is going.  It’s going very well – he has done so much work around here that has been put off for years and right now he’s installing an overhead door in the shop so he can put the tractor inside this winter.  He and I both wonder what retired men in town do to keep themselves busy.  When harvest begins he will be working for a farmer friend driving semi truck with grain to the elevator.  And speaking of harvest, our forecast is for 3 days of heavy rain again this week.  How will the farmers ever get in the field at this rate?  I’m sure they’re wondering the same thing.

Thanks for all your comments – I love hosting a”Talk” show when I’m not the only one talking. Ha!  I would encourage everyone to keep up with the comments as they are timely and as informative as anything I might have to say.

38 thoughts on “Class Day

  1. Ann Barlament

    You certainly had a busy Monday. Your bag project (shape) is similar to our chicken pin-cushions.

    Have fun with your obedience training. I remember when my German Shepherd was young. My sister paid for the classes so Tish would learn to walk beside us. The final test to pass the class, they had to down-stay until they were released by their owner. A Saint Bernard decided he had enough, got up and walked behind the other dogs. Everyone followed except my dog! She knew the wrath of God would descend upon her and we passed with flying colours!! LOL

  2. Kathy Schwartz

    When I saw the wedding quilt, I thought it looked like Donald Trump. Tell Rick not to be offended. Here in SW Minnesota it is raining at the moment. Farmer Dave is not to happy as they planned to cut corn silage and fill the silos on Friday. I also like the dog fabric on your little bag.

  3. Diane

    I agree with Mary. I still use my Bernina 1530 and I bought a Bernina 750 2 years ago. They are great! If you go to Central NY go to Fieldstone House near Sidney, N Y. Amazing! I’m originally from Cuba,NY.
    Mary, what do you do if the quilt shop does not offer very good classes?

    1. Ellie

      Diane I have been to that shop and it is truly amazing! A must for anyone who is nearby! Everytime

      we have traveled nearby I’ve made my dh stop for some shopping!

  4. Diana W

    We have had a lot of rain this summer, and the Farmers Almanac is forecasting a winter that is bitter cold and has above normal snow fall amounts. Winter in Iowa – gotta love it!

  5. Beverly

    Please keep us updated on what you love about the new Bernina. I’ve have a NewHome/Janome for over 20 years & am thinking about getting a new machine. I have friends that rave about their Berninas & their Janomes. I don’t want to regret a big ticket purchase down the line!! I only make quilts & I love the way you do straight line quilting on your small items. Are you doing that on the Bernina or on the long arm?

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Beverly – I do straight line quilting on both machines. You would never be able to find a better machine than a Bernina – period.

  6. Ellie

    I understand what you mean about not having your own dog following you around. I lost my shadow a few weeks ago and while we still have a dog he is more my husband’s than mine. I miss the tap tap of nails following me all around. I’d be tempted to get another dog but we are thinking of moving and I don’t want to have more than one dog if we are trying to sell our house! Lol! Bonding with Telly thru training is a great idea!

    Looking forward to seeing what you do with your new machine. I’m impressed with the bag.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Ellie – you have my sympathy if you just lost your dog – the grief continues.

  7. Beth L.

    Years ago when I just had a simple kenmore which did me fine!!!!! I probably paid under $200 for it. My friend bought a $1000 machine and my husband commented that for that price she should have just put the fabric near the machine and it would make your project!!

  8. Linda Baker

    Mary,
    I find it interesting that Rox doesn’t love you like the other dogs. When my mom passed away we adopted her 9 yr. old Llhasa Apso, Shaggy. He was a nice little dog, but had absolutely no personality. Only stared with those big eyes, and never blinked. I missed the love and companionship I had with my mutt we had for 13 years. I wonder if it’s just the nature of that Laso breed?

  9. Pat Smith

    I am a new subscriber and missed the information about which Bernina you are taking lessons on. I’m interested in getting a new sewing machine and I’d like to at least know where to start on Bernina’s.

  10. Bernadette

    I was in upstate New York a week or so ago and attended a Quilt Show at the Country Belle Farm in Belleville, NY. I got to pet goats, look at chickens, cows, and take in the sweet grass smell. I texted my husband to ask if we could move to upstate NY and live on a farm! Love Love Love the goats. They are such fun to be around. One little baby had a leash tied to it — it was clever enough to escape the wire enclosure. Of course, I had to pick it up and place it back inside — it got a good nibble on my shirt before I got it back inside. Belleville has a Mennonite community, and it was wonderful to meet some of the ladies who live there. Stopped at a quilt shop in Utica New York, and spotted a quilt hanging on one of their walls. They said the quilting was done with a Bernina with embroidery capabilities. I have just finished piecing a quilt top and the person I would have liked to hand it off to isn’t available until the spring!!! Maybe I will try Missouri Star Quilt Company — or look at those Berninas. Do any of you use that feature of the Bernina to quilt your projects? And if so, which model do you use?

    1. Kathy

      Hi Bernadette. I heard about that quilt show you attended even though I live near Rochester NY. I was on a sewing retreat this past weekend so could not drive to it. Some bernina machines have a stitch regulator for machine quilting. I use my 25 year old bernina 1630 machine that does not have the regulator.

  11. Becky

    I didn’t see Rivertown in ” Civil War Remembered”or “Blue and the Gray”. Was there a second book?

  12. Cheryl K.

    I so enjoy the glimpse into your busy life that you share. I live in the Twin Cities, originally from IA,but was fortunate to visit your shop a few times. My husband’s aunt and uncle lived in Clear Lake, our daughterinlaw is from Forest City and she and our son got married in tiny Miller! Oh, I volunteer at a nursing home and play for worship at several churches. I think we might be “sisters”!

  13. Kathy

    I just saw literature this past weekend on the Bernina you treated yourself to. They are spectacular.
    Classes help to understand all its capabilities. Thank you again for your 9-11 post to help me realize I am not the only person who feels the emotion of that day. Reading what your readers shared from all over the country left me with how much it impacted all of us who cared about the many thousands who were involved. It helped me heal in more ways than you know. And send us in upstate NY some of that rain!!! We need it.

  14. Angie Rowland

    Our take in retirement is “How did we find time to do any work?” The only problem is that we tend to put off things since we can do them tomorrow. Work actually got in the way of fun.

  15. Martha Engstler

    I’m excited, the gal that machine quilted my Christmas quilt just called and it’s ready so I’ll go pick it up tomorrow and will be able to give it to my Xmas friend next month. I know she will love it. I’ve never done such a big project as a gift so I’m really looking forward to her reaction. Hope some of your rain makes it to the east coast. It’s been so dry but we did get a bit of rain last night.

  16. Launa Peters

    I still sew on Bernina 1530…taking the “guide lessons” was a real great plus. As I previously mentioned I’ve been decluttering my sewing room as there was just what I referred to as “the path to Bernina”. I also had fabric in the walk-in linen closet so went thru and decluttered that. My daughter in law is going to share the fabric, patterns, etc. with her guild friends.
    Fall is sort of starting here in the central valley…leaves are starting to fall and we are still watching water usage. Many lawns are brown….so be thankful you have rain even tho it’s harvesting time there in Garner.
    We had an adopted dog who ran off on her merry way when off the leash or on our property and wouldn’t return on command so my husband took her to excellent obedience classes….she graduated twice from two different sessions, but still wouldn’t return on command so the dog trainer loaned my husband a shock collar.
    The first time it wasn’t touching her due to her thick fir…but after readjusting it the single little zap stopped her in her tracks. One zap was all she needed, but to be on the safe side my husband fashioned a similar collar with a same size wooden block as the zap unit. He’d put that faux shock collar on her and she would stay very close to where we were outside and return on command.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Launa – shock collars don’t always have to shock, I’ve learned. They just have to be worn after learning so your little dog really did well. You were so clever with the faux collar!

  17. Susan Sundermeyer

    I so enjoy your posts. When I see your e-mail its just like getting a letter in the mail from a friend!

  18. Cindie

    I usually intend to comment and then time passes without doing so. Then I think about it again when I get the next blog.
    So, plan B is to immediately comment! Wanting to tell you that while I on was on a girls vacation a few weeks ago, I found a twining frame for placemats at a thrift store in Reinlander, WI for $8.00! Can’t wait to start making one and stop being intimated by the process. Also wondering if someone had made it from your dvd instructions. Regardless, I thought of you.
    Love reading your life story and seeing all of the wonderful animals that you live with. Hiw are the chickens doing?
    Take care and God bless

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Cindie – you hit the jackpot when you bought the frame for $8.00 – have you started twining?

  19. Lee

    Mary, which machine did you guys get? I went to Paducah last spring and two of my friends bought new Babylocks because of the light…so bright and the space in between was large. Catch u later

  20. beverly a schwartz

    how do you get the wedding patteren i’d love to do one for our 50th anniversary we will be celebrating number 41 this november so i would have alot of time to do it thank you

  21. Cheryl Nesbit

    I got a new Bernina awhile back and a friend and I went to the same classes this summer. I loved the little bag we made and the next class teaches what some of the stitches the machine makes. When we left we were in a daze as to what they do. I will be learning as I go along, so I hope to live to 100 plus to play with all the “stuff”. I love my machine, and have fun with yours.

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