Connie’s Studio Part 2

I should have drawn a rough draft of her space. I knew you’d all love this tour so here we go – we’re starting on the left side where we stopped yesterday.


Here’s the floor plan facing south as you come up the steps.

Here is the wool area.

Then we get to that row of tall cupboards. The big yellow cupboard holds buttons, thread, velveteen, and old kits.

This wonderful old cupboard is famous. After Connie bought it at Sisters in SE Iowa we saw it featured in Country Home Magazine! Which of course was photographed long before Connie bought the cupboard. This is probably my favorite cupboard of all!

Isn’t that fun? So now we work our way to the middle of the room. Here are the solids.

See? We’ve come full circle around those tall cupboards. Turn around and here’s a desk – Connie loves to make these portfolio type envelopes.

More of the same.

A couple of decorative additions.

Connie picked up a basket and pulled out a cat block from our book Life in the Country With Country Threads. Just another project waiting to be finished.

We opened the door of a little cupboard and Betty got in the action!

Connie started doing paper piecing of coffins after she admired the work of our friend Rose.

Step back to get a full length picture of the steel shelves so you get an idea where I’m at. These shelves hold all Civil War – old suitcases on top are full.

Framed punchneedle on the wall.


Inside the glass door cupboard is 30’s.

Step into the storeroom.

And we are back to the north side where we started.

Wasn’t that simply wonderful? I loved it, too. Now we’re going to walk across the patio area to the house.

Here’s the entryway where her plants live during the winter.

I walked into the living room to spy this on the floor – haha! A dog lives here!

Connie also sews in the house and we both agreed it’s nice to have just one project at the machine – it we couldn’t give up our creative space. Just walking up the stairs to her studio you can feel the creativity that is possible at your fingertips. I feel the same way when I step into the quilt shop.

This has been fun but lots of work and if you have enjoyed it close some ads for us. We’re expecting snow again today but not as much as last weekend. I didn’t do as good a job on today’s photos of Connie’s studio because I have sort of forgotten what was where. It’s mind boggling and hard to wrap your head around it all.

This is a picture of my life these days.

Betty says “thanks for coming!”

Forgot to say – I will ask Connie to tell you in the comments how she hangs her little quilts.

81 thoughts on “Connie’s Studio Part 2

    1. Mary Beth Stevenson

      As a guest at a fall retreat a few years back, Connie delighted our group with a tour of her home and studio. We always felt like we were family coming home for a visit when we came to your fall retreats. I miss them but treasure friendships and memories made at The Barn. ❤

      1. Catherine Platzer

        I too was able to visit and tour Connies home and studio years ago. So seeing it now after you closed the shop shows how much has found new places. It can be overwhelming at times.
        These pictures make me miss camp and our time together.

  1. PJ

    Again so enjoyed the tour n what an amazing quilt
    Area you gals have such awesome stashes n both do beautiful work!!! Love ❤️

  2. Terri S.

    I loved the little quilt on the desk with the stars in the 4 corners and flying geese. How cute is that. You can tell Betty loves having her pic taken. 🙂

  3. patti leal

    mary, thank you for all the work you did taking photos and posting them of your studios and of connie’s. i could have so much fun in either one. how connie hangs her small quilts was a question i would ask. i saw so much in both stashes that i also have. i also noticed that connie knows the trick about leaving the vacuum in the middle of the room as if she was interrupted while cleaning. who would want to clean with all that around you? not me!!! thanks for much for all you do. patti in florida

  4. Mary hawk

    You two were both blessed with creative minds that you have so generously shared. Love your sewing spaces!

  5. Vickie Devore

    The pictures of all your sewing rooms and comments from the two of you have made my year!! I have much less than what the two of you do; but the piles and containers and sorting remind me of my “miniature” amount. I have lots of “stuff” some for a very long time. I’m not good at adding pictures to the computer, but I must send you a copy of the cover of one of your patterns (cardinals) that I got YEARS ago in Indianapolis, Indiana, at a quilt show they used to have. One of my treasures that hangs in me sewing room!! love you guys so much and appreciate all of your sharing, vickie

  6. Donna. St Paul

    I also enjoyed the tour of both your sewing areas. I have lots as well but I’m pretty sure you two have me beat. I have empty Longaberger baskets, done with kids that sit empty….so why don’t I fill them with fabric?
    Betty is so darn “good looking” ❤️ What a sweet girl
    Yes snow is to soon arrive here in St Paul late morning. Birds were filling up before their sources are covered with snow.

  7. Donna

    I also enjoyed the tour of both your sewing areas. I have lots as well but I’m pretty sure you two have me beat. I have empty Longaberger baskets, done with kids that sit empty….so why don’t I fill them with fabric?
    Betty is so darn “good looking” ❤️ What a sweet girl
    Yes snow is to soon arrive here in St Paul late morning. Birds were filling up before their sources are covered with snow.

  8. Barbara A Wegner

    I love all of it!! I wish I had the spaces you have, & if I would have claimed 2 areas in my house or new shed I would have the space.! too late I saw all of this! But I am fairly happy with the stash I have & am inspired by what I see! My husband wants to go to your places! but I tell him you are not open anymore! You have made me think about what I have that can be used for more stash storage.

    Well, thanks for the tours! I love it. But now I know my stash is not so large after all. Most of my fabric are larger pieces. Sometimes a whole bolt. Crazy but I hate to run out!

  9. Kathy Hanson

    The tours were fantastic! What fun to see all of the things that you both have. Love your dogs, cats, and other animals as well. Thank you, so much, for sharing – you will always have something to do!!!

  10. Kathy in western NY

    Yup I would love to come there if you ever decide to have a garage sale!!! So much cool stuff you both own and treasure. Amazed at the way the punch needle pieces were hung with some unusual “ frames”. You girls sure are clever. Betty was so cute in her pictures. Thank you again for opening up your sewing spaces for us all to admire and drool over. Be safe and now I must go back and close ads cause I was so excited to see more pictures!!!!

  11. Lisa in Washington state

    Only one ad showed up, for Missouri Star, but I clicked on it! Thanks for all the pics of your and Connie’s stash. Mind boggling!

  12. Diane

    Loved seeing all of the beautiful quilts and fabric. It is mind boggling seeing all of the treasures. Thank you for taking the time to share it with us.

  13. Donna Sproston

    I am in awe of your dedicated sewing spaces and your stashes! We live in a lot cabin which we did not build and with few interior walls, we lack storage and display. Thank you for the tours!

  14. Kim

    Thanks for the amazing tours, I love all of it’ll! You’re so lucky to be able to share your talents and friendship!

  15. Holly in TH

    Wow! What a great tour and what endless possibilities for creativity! Your baskets and cupboards truly runneth over. Yesterday I saw two quilts I was ready to sit down and start cutting pieces for and today I just loved the fabric portfolio folders. I think I would be overwhelmed and not know which direction to turn to sew something–I feel that way in my own sewing room at times. You and Connie both have all my admiration for staying focused and getting things accomplish with so much temptation around you. Thank you both so much for opening your sewing spaces to us–such an inspiration!

  16. Deb - SW Minnesota

    Thank you for the pictures. I was so excited when I saw the old suitcases filled with fabric. I have my mother’s set of suitcases that she received in the 1940’s. I’m going home tonight to fill with fabric. What a wonderful idea. Snowing in Cottonwood, MN – again!

  17. Kathy in Montana

    Mary, thank you for the sewing room tour! Loved it all, and it made me feel right at home (including seeing Betty in the midst of it all). I also have a big black lab who loves being in the middle of everthing. I had to show the photos to my husband just so he can see that there are others like me out there. He can’t even make it beyond the doorway of my sewing room, as there is only a narrow trail in – and his feet are too big to navigate it! I feel so much better about my mess. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Once again, you’ve inspired me. AND, I’m almost done with my Bull’s Eye quilt. Love it! Keep warm and safe. (We have so-o much snow here but finally got plowed out by a neighbor yesterday after a week of hibernation. Getting a lot of sewing done!)

  18. Deb Blaufuss

    Could Con
    Nice tell us the pattern for the portfolios? I’d love to make some! Thanks for giving us something fun to read every day, Mary. 5” more snow today in west central MN.

  19. Norma Gebhardt

    Yes, I would love the portfolio pattern. Could we buy it? What nice touches she has in her sewing area. Great tour Makes me think that I should not have fabric stashed away in boxes. If it’s visible more artistic thinking is probably going on. We are always learning from each other and that’s a good thing.

  20. Debby Corkrean

    I’m also interested in how Connie hangs her small quilts. I loved the tours. I feel better about my sewing space.

  21. Jo in Wyoming

    What a wonderful way to start my day. These posts have been such fun.
    I’m going to hang my patterns on the wall. If I never get to them to sew, at least I can see them. Connie’s stairs inspires me to do this. I use old machine needles for hangers, they are strong and make very small holes.
    Thanks Mary for a glorious visit.

  22. Betty Klosterman

    Thank you for the wonderful quilt room tours. I’m envious of all the space you have and you both use it. There is no way I could compete with fabric stash, but I must say mine looks a bit neater, although I’ve always been a bit messy when I’m sewing a project. You both have had more time to accumulate fabric, etc having the quilt shop and you’ve done good. Being neat doesn’t mean much, just so that you know where everything is. At work (CPA office) we always had the rule you couldn’t mess up anybody’s piles. A pile is a pile.
    Would the cupboard Connie got at Sisters be an early Hoosier cupboard? It looks like it has the work counter for the early kitchens that had nothing built in. Oh, do you “borrow” from each other’s stash? Did anybody see the cat at the top of the cupboard in the porch looking out the window. It all sure brings so many smiles to all of our faces. We’re in very good company.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Betty Klosterman – we borrow if we need to although it’s rare – you probably understand why – haha! This much fabric is a burden in a way – a blessing and a curse. I have room to keep it all and so does Connie which means we don’t have to pare it down. Same goes for my house – plenty of room to collect stuff! It’s the best life, isn’t it?

  23. Anita Fetzer

    Wonderful tour. You both have wonderful antique pieces which lend themselves to quilts so well. Love seeing our rooms Connie. We are bracing for possibly 10 in of snow Sunday. Sure hope they are wrong. Ohio has had their share this winter.

  24. Arrowhead Gramma

    Mary between you and Connie, you could open your quilt shop again with full inventory. Thanks so much for the tours/photos and helping all of us to eliminate our guilt over too much stash.

    As a Lab lover, the photos of Miss Betty were just the best.

  25. Diane Bauer

    Thank you so much to both you and Connie for opening your homes and creative spaces to us!! So much inspiration for quilts, for storage, for display!! I’m wishing it was 6 pm and I was done with work for the day so I could get started!! I had an old tobacco drying rack in my storeroom that used to hold quilts in a previous house–I moved it into my crafting room yesterday and it is now holding quilts again!

    Mary, you did a wonderful job of capturing Betty. Black dogs are tough to photograph! She is such a love!

    I ran out to the barn to re-stock Dr. Patch’s supplements and say hello to Pete. Everyone got treats and nuzzles. We are under winter storm watches for tonight and tomorrow but I think the southern mountains are where the highest accumulation is predicted. It’s raining here and nearly 50 so will be a sharp change if we do get snow. March is typically our snowiest month and we can get it by the foot, but then it’s usually gone again in a day or two. We are always cautioned not to plant until after Mother’s Day but even if I wait a week after that I sometimes have to re-plant after a late snowstorm.

    I’m wondering what you’re working on this weekend and is Reed coming to sew on his Log Cabin? I slept under my Bullseye last night–cozy and warm!!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Diane Bauer – Reed just left – he finished all his 48 log cabin blocks and put them on the design wall in a star arrangement. I had him take it down in rows and pin them with a tag of the row number. I showed him a double arrow block tonight and he told me how to assemble it by just looking at it – he gets it! In so many ways – he’s a delight !

  26. Launa

    Wonderful to tour Connie’s fabrics and fantastic things. We quilters understand it all. They are our supplies!
    When selling a home quite a few years ago my sewing room was a bit smaller, but I had packed up quite a bit of fabric n finished quilts in moving boxes and had really tidied the sewing closet and closed the double doors. A realtor called and asked to show the house. After going thru I heard him comment to her in the garage…”My word, why does she need all that fabric?” To my defense the woman replied…”She’s a quilter just like me!” I wish I could have seen his face then!

  27. Sue in Marion, IN

    Love, love, love seeing your stashes & sewing spaces! Wonderful! And makes me feel like I ‘m not an outlier!🤓

  28. Felicia Hamlin

    So much fabric! I am going to show it to my husband next time he thinks I have lot, I probably have a hundredth of what you and Onnie had. Enjoyed it all and especially seeing pictures of Betty. She is a sweety. Say hi to Connie.

  29. Kate Schloemer

    Thanks for the tour. Always nice to know my sewing area isn’t always such a mess. Sometimes I wonder how I find anything.

  30. Pam Nichols

    Thank you so much for opening your homes and hearts. You are both inspirational ladies, I’ve yet to see an artist’s studio that looks neat. Creative ideas flow out of “messes”, not neat stacks of pretty things. I enjoyed seeing all the ways you find for storage, those old cupboards are just perfect and definitely add a touch of class to your space. I see a strong connection between your sewing environments and your love and care of animals, thanks for allowing your animals to be a part of your pictures, whether a cat spread out comfortably claiming a new quilt as his or a dog as welcoming as Betty asking you in to see her family and home. “The Lord God made them all.”

  31. Sandie

    I love your and Connie’s fabric/sewing rooms!!! Thank you so much for sharing pictures with us!!!

  32. Maureen

    Mary I enjoyed the tour, thanks Connie for sharing your creative space! I also look forward to hearing how Connie hangs her quilts in the stairwell, they look so flat hanging on the walls.

  33. Rhoda Ebersole

    Thank you Mary. That was so interesting to see. Do you have the same fabrics or totally different ones.

    Who will inherit it I want to know. 🙂

  34. Kate

    Wow! Connie could open a store tomorrow and she’d have customers waiting at the door! I would love to see it in person and really get a good look at all she has. Did she make all the quilts and other things that are in her studio? And Betty, I’m just loving her because we had a beautiful lab like her who lived with us for twelve years.

  35. Sarah

    How generous of you both to take the time to share your sewing areas with us. I found myself smiling as I viewed each and every photo and after I’d head into the sewing room rejuvenated. Your stashes sparked my creativity. Thank you!

  36. MARGARET Witt

    What a treasure trove… Ahhhh, I loved looking and looking in all the corners and cupboards. Thanks.

  37. Joanne

    Thank you for sharing both homes! YOu both have hit mega bucks or mass million on fabric.

  38. Connie Tesene

    Hi everyone… this is Connie speaking- I wanted to thank you all for your kind words. Not one of you said “Wow, what a mess!”. Many asked about how I hang the small quilts in my sewing room. I simply use really small nails. I put quite a few across the top so the weight will be evenly distributed.
    Mary and I have talked about having a fabric sale in the near future. I think it sounds like a grand idea!!!
    We’ll see. Until next time- I’ll be in my studio trying to clean up! Connie

    1. Holly Woodyatt

      love Betty.We have a 6 yr old lab named Lily and a lab mix 22 mos old named Scarlet-a miniature version of Lily. Labs are so sweet.

    2. Jan Behm

      Thanks, Connie, for allowing us more than a sneak peak at your studio space! I also love the pictures of Betty. She looks like one well fed black lab! Lol!

  39. Judy

    It has been so much fun to see both studios. It must be so amazing to have that much fabric and the biggest challenge being which fabric to choose from for each quilt you make.

  40. Janet VanDeWalle

    Thanks for sharing, I am in love with all the old cupboards and the antique bowls and things among the fabric stash. I don’t find so many bead board cupboards in Oregon. I was in the Antique business before I got into quilts and collecting fabric. You both have such wonderful places to snoop and see all the things that you have collected beside the fabric stash. Thanks again and give Betty some pats from Oregon, I grew up with a large black Lab named Knight.

  41. Janet Orr

    I loved both tours! Thanks for sharing and keeping it real!

    Connie – I hope you aren’t cleaning but are sewing. No need to clean up for us!

    I also would love to have you tell us how to make the portfolios or where to get the pattern. They are awesome! I’d love to make some for family and friends.

    Quilt on!

  42. Marion Epley

    My husband says I have a hoarding syndrome of some magnitude–I will be showing your studios and tell him that I am only following in my mentors footsteps–awesome pictures and more ideas than I could ever accomplish in several more LONG lifetimes

  43. Patty McDonald

    Janet Orr said it all…you don’t need to clean up for us. Any true quilter has a stash and tries to keep it neat but quilting happens. That Betty is a beauty! You caught her beautiful sheen and that lovely lab face. We are on our 4th lab. Never thought we could love one as much as our 3rd but this ‘nut case’ turned into ‘our nut case’ and now our ‘angel baby’. Thank you Mary for the tour and Connie for opening your sewing room to us.

  44. Peggy Tackett

    Ladies, thank you so very much for the studio tours! You both have such wonderful spaces, full of delightful “treasure”. I saw no messes, just different items that are “resting” before you decide where they go, or get around to using them or get around to putting them away. I like to leave things “out” sometimes, often leading to inspiration for future projects.
    I truly enjoy your posts and so appreciate your letting us peek into your lives! Take care
    Peggy in Alaska

  45. Ellie

    Thanks, Connie for the info on hanging small quilts. Very helpful! And a special shout out to both of you for taking the time and making the effort to give us a tour of your studios. What a treat! And you have removed so much guilt from all of us!

  46. Jan Behm

    Mary, appreciate all your hard work taking these pics & then posting them all & apparently without crashing your computer! So enjoyed seeing both yours & Connie’s creative spaces! Neither of you will ever, ever, ever run out of fabric. You know the saying “she who dies with the most fabric wins”? I never knew exactly what the person will win but you and/or Connie are surely the winners! Lol!
    Loved seeing Betty, too! She looks like one well-fed black lab!

  47. Teresa from Port Coquitlam, BC

    Thank you so much for both studio tours. Wow! Makes me want to start another project with my civil war prints.

  48. Annette F.

    I want to thank you both for sharing your wonderful sewing spaces. I always look forward to your blog posts, can’t help but put a smile on my face. You both are so generous with your time and creativity, I just want you to know it is truly appreciated.

  49. Patricia Tucker

    Thanks so much for sharing your quilting life. It was a delightful journey. Also enjoyed seeing all the snow. It’s beautiful, but thankful to live in the south.

  50. Diane in WI

    Thanks to both of you for the tours. What wonderful stashes to have! One of the pincushions looks like an Amish one that I have. I think we have a gate like one in the garden. I could reach through the computer screen and wrap my arms around Betty. She is a beautiful dog. Having stacks of fabric and books is part of the sewing process. We’re to get a little snow, but then the temperature is to drop well below zero tomorrow night. Keep warm.

  51. Kathy Schwartz in SW MN

    Connie, forget about cleaning up. It is not necessary.
    Betty (I think it was Betty) fit right in with the photo of the solids.
    Do you know what issue of Country Home featured that article? I have all the back issues and would like to read it again. Thanks for the tour; I’m going to take all tours again. Stay warm.

  52. Sharon Geiger

    I really enjoyed the tours into your creative work areas. I love your blog and seeing all of the great pictures.

  53. Connie

    I too, thank you both for sharing your beautiful spaces. I keep going over the pictures to see every detail. Love the baskets, bowls and cupboards used to hold your treasures. Especially liked the enamel ware pans. What a great idea. Thanks for all the creative inspiration.

  54. Linda

    I keep going over the photos too..I love your spaces and all the cool storage ideas..
    Love all the fabric…thanks so much for sharing….I love the little red/black quilt with the black lab on it that Connie has….I want a cocker spaniel quilt like that…
    Love seeing all the dogs and. cats…

    Betty has such a sweet face…..she is a doll.


  55. Maria L Zook

    I so appreciate the sewing tours. I too have collected for many, many years and love to just spend time in my space working on my quilts. Just love seeing the wonderful cupboards and the overall ambiance of both of your areas.

  56. Jeanie from sw Illinois

    Mary and Connie,
    Thanks for the tour of your sewing studios; they are wonderful, and I thoroughly enjoyed them. And Mary, thank you so much for taking the time to photograph it all. Betty is just adorable!

  57. Rita Mulvey in CT

    Thank you so much for taking the time, this has been wonderful and refreshing to see real work spaces not the staged ultra clean looks like no one has ever snipped a thread in them sewing rooms. This is how most of us sew you just have 1000X as much fabulous fabric to work with.

  58. Pam

    Thanks so much for sharing your spaces. And thank you both for showing the REAL working and storing areas not all neatened up. Makes me think I’m OK!

  59. ChristieB

    Thank you so much for the tours! Love, love, love both of your quilt studios and areas! HUGS… and stitches

  60. Janice Brown in Suttons Bay

    Mary and Connie, Thank you so much for allowing us to see your sewing areas and fabric stashes. Very charming and comfortable places to sew and create.

  61. Moe Baly

    I loved the tours of both of your creative spaces! Looks just like mine but on a smaller scale. I decided to use my Accucutter to cut up a lot of my fabrics. Two sizes of tumblers and 4 sizes of squares and strips. I’m cutting squares for the Bulls Eye. I like Connies colors. This has truely been inspirational!

  62. Paula Philpot

    You all definitely need to do the sale I told you about. You have old treasures of fabric that many people would love to buy and what fun for a surprise in a box!! I love those old bowls and cabinets. You know, these younger kids probably won’t care a bit about fabric….Paula in KY

  63. Vivian

    Thank you Connie, Betty and Mary for having us over! Oh to play in that studio space, heaven! Love your “decorating star” cabinet — what a find! If you ever decide you want to come out of retirement, don’t go to all the trouble of re-opening the store, just consider converting the ground floor spot where the cars go into a mini classroom/retreat space and let the students “shop” upstairs, LOL! Although lord knows with the storms you’ve had, you do need an indoor space for the cars. How fitting: I just saw your patterns “The Storm” and “Let It Snow”.

  64. Ann Barlament

    Loved the stacks of fabric, the cupboards, baskets, projects and am remembering what it used to be like.

    The love of my life used to complain about my stash, so I did the same for him. Complain about ~ you are buying another new computer? Hahaha. When he died in 2013, there were 22 completed computers in his “gaming room” plus various shelves, drawers and cabinets full of components and parts.

    Whether we are geeks or stitchers, our beloved stashes are what make us happy!!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Ann Barlament- yes, we all have our beloved “stuff” whether it’s fabric or computer components – ha! And Betty is always in the thick of things – Connie wouldn’t have it any other way.

  65. Ann Barlament

    Oh Betty….I LOVE that you have learned to photo bomb a picture!!! Such a gentle spirit, just wanting to be part of the action!!

  66. Sharon

    Thanks for the wonderful tours! It is so fun to see where other quilters create! Very inspiring, and I’m a little jealous as well! I wish I had so much room – I’m in the smallest bedroom in the house and it’s stuffed to the gills. No room to work at the moment, but when my broken ankle heals I hope to clean it up some. Enough to work anyway! No, Connie, it isn’t a mess in your studio!! It’s a wonderful place! I’ve got quilting in every room in the house!

  67. Brenda in Iowa

    I loved both the tours but especially Connie’s. I admired that cupboard at Sister’s for a long time. So glad it went to a home of someone I know! I love how you have organized and placed fabric/notions in so many neat old pieces and baskets. Just loved it all. Thanks for sharing.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Brenda in Iowa – you mean to tell me you actually saw Connie’s cupboard at Sisters before she bought it – what a coincidence!

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