Country Threads Quilt Shop Is Closing
August 18, 2014
Written by Mary Etherington
Country Threads Quilt Shop is closing on October 31, 2014.
Connie and I are both looking forward to retirement so we can sew for fun and our families, decorate our houses, work in the garden, take in more dogs, paint some furniture, read lots of books, and enjoy grandchildren. Our health is good and we can hardly wait for some free time. I have had “company” at my house almost 6 days a week for over 30 years and I am dreaming about drinking coffee in my bathrobe while I watch Good Morning America. Sounds like such a small pleasure but to me it will be huge!
We want to express to you, our valued customers, what a difficult decision this was for us but we are looking forward to retirement and all the joys that are ahead of us.
On behalf of Connie and myself, it has been a privilege to serve you and it is with deepest gratitude that we thank you for your loyalty and your business over the past 32 years.
Country Threads Quilt Shop is currently open for business and will remain open until 5 pm on October 31, 2014. Our secure shopping cart, however will go down on September 2, the day after Labor Day. You will still be able to view our products online and call us on the phone to order but our website will no longer accept credit cards. To facilitate the wind-down, Country Threads will be starting a 20% off sale on September 11 and deeper discounts will be taken until closing.
On November 1, Mandy Stromer will open an online store called Farm Chick Quilts. Hopefully she will open a retail quilt shop in Garner in the near future. We are working closely with Mandy to make this transition an easy one. She will be carrying punchneedle kits and supplies, basic notions, Civil War fabrics and those items that have that Country Threads “look”. If you go online and look for Country Threads, you will be directed to her site via a link. Connie will work with Mandy to continue Civil War Club so if you are currently a member of this club, you will receive the November installment from Mandy. Here is Mandy’s contact information:
Mandy Stromer, 641-512-5509, Farmchickquilts.com
Her email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
We will continue to honor the Rewards Program until September 10 when it will be cancelled.
As of August 18 we will no longer enroll new members in the program and rewards funds must be spent by 5 pm on September 10. Any benefits not used by that time will cease. Partial benefits will not be allowed. All rewards must be redeemed before the sale begins on September 11 or they will be forfeited.
The Hundred Bolt Sale will end on August 31.
As of September 11 we will no longer accept quilts for machine quilting. If you have a quilt here, it will be finished and returned to you before November 1.
Charm School will end with the September mailing which was billed to participants July 1.
Civil War Club will be sent out from Country Threads in September and continue with Mandy.
Pinterest Club will end with the August mailing.
The Online Sampler Quilt will be continued on Mandy’s site so you can finish your quilt by the end of the year.
Gift Certificates will expire on October 31, 2014.
Fabriholics Club is cancelled.
Connie’s UFO game will continue with Mandy. We will award a prize at the end of September. Keep up the good work! You’re all winners if you’ve finished a project!
If your shop carries Country Threads patterns and wants to order, please contact Mandy.
Brandi Brager will be offering machine quilting and will honor the Country Threads punch card.
Here is her information:
Brandi Brager, 641-430-3405
Her email address is: email@example.com
Connie and I are planning lots of fun sewing this winter and you can, too, by planning ahead. When our fabric is gone, it’s gone so buy it on sale NOW! That also goes for kits, punchneedle supplies, books and patterns, notions, wool, and rug frames.
Again we thank you for being customers all these years – it’s been a great ride but we are anxious to retire from the day to day demands of a retail business. We hope to see you here on the farm for the sale! It may be another long winter and you’ll need to be prepared! Be happy for us – we are so excited!!
Congratulations on your retirement. I know it is a lot of work and you need those days were you don’t get dressed till 11:00am. I know I enjoy those days and hope no one stops by to see that I’m not dressed yet. Life goes by so fast. My friends and I were just talking about Quilt shops on our bucket list and yours was at the top. I don’t think we are going to make it before you close, we are in Southeast Missouri. I know you will enjoy that retirement time. Thanks for all your patterns and being there for us Quilters.
Well my goodness. I am so sad for those of us who will miss your wonderful shop but I am delighted for you as you take this next step. Enjoy.
After 32 years you deserve retirement and all the enjoyments that entails. Thank you for all that you have given the quilting community. I will miss reading about the animals and the farming in Iowa. God Bless you Connie & Mary!!!
I will miss my email fix from my buddies in Iowa. I knew this time would come but …
Will either of you blog so we can stay in touch?
My quilt journey has always included something “Country Threads” and I still have a huge “gonna do” list.
I hope our paths will cross again somewhere. I enjoy the heck out of you both.
We will always have “Survivor -Garner, Iowa”. Here’s looking at you kid!
Well, wow, what a surprise! I completely understand your decision and am happy for you. One thing I found out when I retired five years ago is that I am busier now than I was when I worked full time…but doing things I choose to do, not have to do. So I am very happy you are able to take this step and wish you a very healthy retirement …I know it will be happy!!
Retirement is wonderful and I am happy for you. I will miss your blogging but will think of you and know you will be enjoying life to the fullest.
Mary and Connie I am so happy for you! I know how hard that decision was to make but I can tell you retirement is fantastic…you’ll wonder how you ever had time to run a business! ENJOY every day!
I know what a difficult decision that was. As much as I loved our shop and customers, it is so good to be able to do all the things I wanted to do but didn’t have time for. I hope you both get to do all the things on your “bucket list”
So happy for you – your book “Life in the Country” will
always be my favourite. I always wondered
if I could visit you. When I signed up for your
Quilt blog, I didn’t realize how much
I would enjoy it. When I read your retirement
message to my husband, he asked if
you were “trying to get my goat”. ha!
Connie & Mary,
I have fond memories of coming to Country Threads for the first time in 2000 to attend quilt camp. Thank you for the great quilting inspiration and fun times over the years!!! Congratulations on your successful 32 years! You will both love retirement! Happy Sewing!
Mary so happy for you, will miss your posts and cute jokes. You have a great blog hope you keep it going, I have friends that don’t quilt but enjoy reading your letters.
Any chance you will come to country Living Fair in Sept?
Bittersweet – congratulations on your retirement. Life is short and goes so fast; you’ll still wonder how you will get everything done!! So enjoy and have fun while you can. I’m sorry that your shop is closing; you’ve contributed so much to the quilting world and will truly be missed.
I always look forward to your shop when we come for GNR I will miss your blogging and seeing all your “animal family”. Take care and enjoy your retirement
Dear Mary and Mary,
I am so happy for both of you! You have served so many people for so many years, so graciously, and certainly deserve time and energy to go, see, do, and play. Doing so while you are both in good health is wise.
At 3:00 today, I will be getting married, at the tender age of 71, to Don Pullen, a dear, kind, caring, and generous 75 year old man. A widower and retired Houston Fire Department Captain, Don has a lovely home on Lake LBJ in the heart of the Texas Hill Country near Marble Falls. We also plan to go, see, do, play while we are able. Sitting on the wrap around porch watching the sun come up on my wedding day was not on my radar this time last year. Miracles do happen. I also plan to make things for our home and focus on spending time reading, taking walks, fishing, and whatever our little hearts desire.
You and Country Threads will be missed, but you are so wise to have made this decision. Wishing you great fun and many blessings, and know that Don and I will keep the light on for you should you ever decide to take a trip to the hill country.
Judy Moore (Pullen as of 3:00 on August 18, 2014)
CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! Retirement is wonderful, doing what you want, when you want, n the best part is not getting dressed till you are ready n sometimes that is late, late morning!!! So may you both enjoy your free time!!!! Wishing you both the best!!!
Mary and Connie….I’m so sad to hear Country Threads will be closing. I’ve been quilting for 30 years and have more C.T.’s patterns then I can shake a stick at. I LOVE your whole concept on quilting. Going to quilt camp two years ago was just a dream come true for me. I will always remember meeting you both and what a fun four days it was visiting, sewing and living the Country Threads life. Thank you thank you. Lani from California
Congratulations on your retirement. You have been a part of my life since I attended a Quilt American Conference in Indianapolis in the 80’s. It was love at first sight. Thank you for making me part of your family all these years. I visited your shop for the first time four years ago and am so glad I was able to as everyone made me feel so welcome. I will miss you but wish you the best retirement ever.
Oh wow! Very bittersweet. I have been planning to move back up to the Chicago area and one of the things I had been very much looking forward to was taking a trip out to your shop. I stopped there about 20 years ago and have always wanted to go back, especially since I wanted to show you a couple of my quilts I finished from your patterns. I will miss your farm news and being part of my “quilty” world.
What a surprise when I read your e-mail this morning? Congratulations to you both! Enjoy this new phase of your lives! I have enjoyed your blog and the times visiting your shop. I remember a bus trip with Cottonwood quilt guild from Omaha, NE about 1990 or 91. You taught a class for us in the community center in Garner. I still have my Farmer’s Daughter quilt from that class hanging in the family room. The next morning when we came out to the shop you served the best cinnamon rolls. A friend and I walked from Garner while the others rode past us on the bus. We really needed that cinnamon roll when we arrived! We had no idea how far from town you are! Best wishes to you and Connie.
Congratulations on your retirement! It has been a long haul but a fun one! I LOVE your shop and messages and will miss them so much, but I understand your desire to move on! The first thing I do each morning is to check out your webside. It feels like home and I will miss it! Happy trails to you………………
So happy for you both. After working to the good old age of 71 my husband and I are retiring on that date also!! Can’t wait as quilting is in my FUTURE!!!
Are you still going to be at the Country Living Fair? Will you still be blogging and sending out E-mails? I sure hope so can’t imagine a week without an update from my “Friends” in Iowa!
Ah–I sensed this was coming and am very happy for both of you. 🙂 I don’t think I’ll make it to your shop which makes me sad. I will miss your blogs and emails. I hope I see you at the Country Living Fair to give you both a big hug.
You will love retirement:) Diane
Congratulations to you both! Although I am not a quilter, I did enjoy going to your shop to find material for home projects. I totally understand your wanting to enjoy your cup of coffee and watch Good Morning America!! I have never regretted a day that I retired from teaching when I did. There is a whole new world out there waiting for you to enjoy!!!!!
So sad to hear that you are retiring. That is I’m sad for ME but happy for YOU. You are aging to love retirement. I will miss your weekly blogs and all your farm news. You can enjoy your animals and relax on your porch with a quilt on your lap with no deadline to meet. You are going to wonder how you had time to work as soon as you get used to retirement. God bless and enjoy your animals.
I want to thank both of you for all the wonderful events you have put on for your customers all these years. I can only imagine all the time, effort and planning it takes to do these events let alone run the shop and make all those patterns. It was always a hoot to read the Goat Gazette and now your blogs. You have not seen the last of me yet – I will be dropping in before you close! I hope we do hear from both of you once in awhile on what retirement has been bringing you! God bless both of you!
So happy for both of you! You’ve had a “long run of it” for a quilt shop. So sorry I’ve never gotten there. I retired after 37 years of teaching and being able to choose what you want to do everyday is the best! Thank you for all you’ve contributed to quilting and the joy you’ve brought to it. I’ll treasure more your books I have. Any plans to send out a farm news once in awhile? Will miss hearing about the animals and all your wonderful pics. Enjoy every minute of your new adventure in life!
Congratulations on your retirement ! I’m happy you are doing this while you are still young enough to enjoy life and do what you the things you want to do. For purely selfish reasons I’m sad because I haven’t had the chance to visit your shop. I have all your books and most of your patterns although I’ve only made a fraction of your wonderful patterns I always find inspiration looking through your ideas. I hope you will continue to publish patterns and while I will miss the farm news I hope you will keep us up to date on all you animals! I love reading about your adventures .
Congratulations to both of you, however you may find you are busier after retirement and wonder how you had time to run your shop. Hope you plan to continue your blog with farm news because I love hearing about all the animals and farm goings on. Wishing you the very best. Arla in Arizona
I feel I’m losing a dear friend. Will you please continue to blog about life on the farm and what you are doing, caring for and creating?
I am happy for you and Connie! Enjoy your retirement and be careful to not get too busy doing it. You will have lots of requests to volunteer for everything because people think you’re just sitting around, so you will have to say no to most of it. Do what you are passionate about and you will have a full life.
So happy for you & Connie. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to visit Country Threads in 1993. My husband patiently waited outside while I shopped to my hearts content, and he enjoyed the pets! I’ve made many CT quilts over the years. Enjoy the years ahead, life goes by so fast!
Have read most of the other comments and all I can say is ditto! You will LOVE retirement, even if the rest of us will not be very happy about it. Such great memories of days spent at Country Threads and with all of you. All the best in everything you do.
Such sad but happy news. I love retirement and love the time to do the things you want to do. I really kept on track with my sewing/quilting this year, thanks in part to being in the UFO Challenge, BOM and Pinterest Club. Las night I was looking at all of the Country Threads patterns I have and maybe will do one a month starting next year just to say in your spirit. I hope you keep up with a blog just to let us know what is going on or really consider doing that reality TV show I’m always talking about. I know I’ll definitely will miss hearing about Susannah. I’m glad I’ll be stopping by the store in early October. God Bless You and thank you for all you contributed to the Quilting World.
Congratulations to you both on your retirement but I certainly hate to see your shop closed. Hopefully you will continue with your blog so we can keep abreast of the happenings on the farm. I look forward to them.
Country Threads Ladies.
I am so sad to hear that your wonderful shop is closing. I visit your shop 2 or 3 times a year when passing by on my way to KC. I love your shop, animals and the people that work for you. Going to miss all. I am happy that you are retiring and going to enjoy your time!!! I have been receiving your notes daily and I don’t know where you get the energy to do all that you girls do, especially Mary(the animal angel) Happiness to all. Enjoy life! I hope I can visit one more time before the closing. Anita A Canadian visitor!
So happy for your new retirement but will miss your blog. It’s been so fun. Just love the farm news.
Congrats!! Your days will fill up so quickly with what you love to do….and believe me, there is nothing like sitting in the morning with tea or coffee watching GMA. I’ll certainly miss your farm and critter news and the delightful pictures. Thanks for the memories…..
It’s the end of an era. I’ve been sewing your patterns my whole quilting life and loved seeing you at the Houston show. We will miss you! Thank you for all you’ve done for us. Happy retirement!
Country Threads, I want to thank you for all the wonderful photos and news that has come my way from you Mary..I shall miss that so very much. Like most things we take for granted that they will always be there, surprised when they end..like this…I have always enjoyed the trip south to Iowa and to your shop..now I hope to get there before the door is closed…and see the “new estate” and critters…Thank you and I know you will enjoy the “time to yourselves”, RETIREMENT.
I am very happy for you and wish you all good things in your retirement. I am sad that your shop is closing. I live in Spokane, WA and have never been to your physical shop (although I’ve always wanted to visit someday) but your on-line quilt store is my all time favorite AND I LOVE receiving your daily updates with all your photos of the animals, dogs, farm news, family, trips and of course, quilting projects. Can you Please, Please, Please keep us updated with your wonderful blog (did I say PLEASE!). Enjoy your next journey in life (and keep us informed of where it takes you).
My best – Linda (Spokane, WA)
At the risk of repeating the comments of everyone else, congratulations to both of you!! You will love retirement!! I will miss pet sitting so much!! Remember, I’m still an option if you need a time away! I’ll plan to be down for good-bye and good luck wishes!
Oh no! Even though I have never been to your shop or purchased anything online, I do find this as sad but also really understand your excitement for retiring . Enjoy it to the max.. Stay well & enjoy!!
I will miss your shop so much, but also the farm news and hearing about all your precious pets. Wish you could update us from time to time on your “Chicken Scratch” news. You are going to busier than ever, but with things you want to do rather than need to do. Many thanks for sharing your lives with us.
Many Blessings to you from Oklahoma!
Congratulations to you,…always wanted to return for another quilt camp but didn’t make it…loved your quilt shop and the peacefulness and fun and excitement it brought to all us quilters! Enjoy and we will miss you!
Congratulations! Will you still have the blog? Thanks for all the wonderful s emails and pictures!
There is so much to look forward to in retirement, and I welcome you to this next phase. I retired in time to see my grandchildren come into this world and treasure watching them grow up. One of the best things other than family has been my introduction to quilting. I was lost in fabricland and clueless on how to take the plunge until I bought your first charm square book and then joined the club for a year and a half. You will be missed but you have inspired lots of new quilters.
Mary and Connie
This is so sad..but I understand. You two have worked so hard and deserve a more relaxed and peaceful life. Most people couldn’t have kept up the pace. I don’t know how you did it!
I will always treasure my times at camp… all the patterns and books, going to Connie’s house to tour her studio and touring your house. You two are amazing. Fun times!
I have to mention Jackie(the cat). Thank you for rescuing her and finding good homes for all her kittens. If it wasn’t for you she wouln’t have such a life in a quilt shop. Thank you for saving many lives. God Bless.
I just found you guys and love your web site and the nice lady I talked too. I wish you all the best.
Hallo Mary and Connie,
Congratulations on your coming retirement.
Hallo Mary and Connie,
Congratulations! I hope you both have a wonderful time ahead. Is there any chance of Farm News continuing? (Just asking!) after Good Morning America perhaps? I will miss Country Threads: in over twenty years as a customer you have never failed to delight and inspire me, but happily I am still well stocked with patterns. Thank you for your service and example. You have brought a little bit of Iowa, including the odd dog and goat to this corner of Holland and have a firm place in my heart. Thank you and bless you both,
Kind regards, Fiona.
Congratulations to both of you. Your shop and presence in the quilt world will be greatly missed. Have enjoyed your patterns, blog, Goat Gazette, visiting your shop, your workshop/visit at Quilted Hearts in Gainesville, a memorable outing in Kansas City at Quilt Market. Lots of fun and great memories. Enjoy your retirement, but don’t be surprised when you still don’t have any free time! Somehow it is always filled – but great fun always. Best regards…..enjoy!
Congratulations…..the best is yet to be!
Oh Congratulations on your retirement but to not have my vacation plan of I get to go to Country Threads is so sad to me. Or that someday when I get time I can go to camp at Country Threads but I very much understand that it is time for yourselves, your family, your life. I hope your retirement brings to you all your hopes and dreams and then some and the only wish you have is what the rest of us will say is “why did I not retire sooner!!”
So happy you are ready to make this life shift. You’ve blessed us with your creativity and now deserve to turn to what makes you happy. I’ve always called Country Threads the Mecca of quilting. I’m fortunate to have quilts, patterns, fabric, punch needle, baskets and more to remind me of how generous you have been in sharing your time and talent. God bless you, congratulations and thank you.
Congratulations on this new phase of your lives. I will always treasure my years at camp. Will you still be set the Country Living Fair in Columbus in September? I’m hoping yo go on the Civil War a Cruise in April 2015! Bless all of you !
Congratulations! I am so happy for you, so sad for me:). I have been looking so forward to camp and now am so lucky I will have one last chance to come back.
Enjoy your retirement. I will miss the news of the goats, dogs, cats AND people. Best wishes.
Best of luck in any endeavor you do. Thank you for a terrific website and the blogs. May your future be bright and provide you with much joy.
Congratulations on retiring! You will LOVE it but you will definitely be missed! Several years ago we did a road trip to Paducah for the quilt show and made a special side trip to your shop. It was the highlight of the trip for me! Unfortunately you weren’t there because of the quilt show in Chicago at that time so we didn’t have the pleasure of meeting.
Enjoy each day!
I’ll look forward to reading “Country Threads Retired”!! There is still plenty of quilt and farm news to share after retirement, after-all, retirement is just another exciting phase of life with lots of good living to share here with your blog friends, and there are many! Congratulations on your retirement. Wishing you and Connie a smooth transition…I’ll be thinking about you and raising my coffee cup to toast to your first official day of retirement. I might still be in my PJs, lol.
Best wishes to both of you in your retirement! Enjoy all you do in the years ahead! I’ve enjoyed your blog, always looked forward to the Goat Gazette. Country Threads was always a place we stopped at on our trips to Britt, to get some quilting item and to pet a cat. You will be missed!
Hope you have a great retirement! I have really enjoyed
reading your e-mails each day. Will miss hearing from you.
Please reread Sue Dietz… she wrote EXACTLY what I was going to write… best of everything to yous guys… enjoy every minute!!!!
Good for you two. Smart decision! Your shop will be missed but it’s time for both of you to have a full life beyond quilting. Retirement is GREAT!! Enjoy!!!
Mary and Connie,
Yea for you, boo for me.
Fortunately I got to visit your shop last week. Such a great shop and good ideas.
Mary, you will now have time for that great junk shop you told us about and the many other things you love. Enjoy your blog and the way you share about your home but I understand your need for a little privacy.
Pingback: Sad News for the Quilting World
You’ve given so much and made a lot of people happy! Retirement opens many new doors. I have traveled down the “Rabbit Hole” since my retirement from Little Quilts and now am lost in a world of mixed media art. Buy yourself a new bathrobe and enjoy your coffee.
While I am a bit sad to hear of your closing, I am very happy for the two of you and your families. My husband and I took a road trip approximately 18 years ago with our grand daughter and Country Threads was one of the highlights of our trip. Mary I have a cute photo of you with our Katie and a baby chick!
I enjoyed your newsletter for many years and have a wonderful collection of recipes included in the newsletter. Your Pecan Pie Bar recipe was always a favorite at our small mountain quilt retreat. I stitched along with your Dear Jane club and still working on that one. Also made a lap quilt with a bundle of blocks I won in one of your block lotteries. Many happy memories. I wish you both good health and many years ahead of stitching!
Huge Congratulations to Y’ll!!! It sounds like you have made so many hard but good decisions and I wish everyone well in the transition! After all these years Y’ll can be sure that you have been inspirational and have set example as to what life is like if you do what you love and love what you do! Thanks for all your years in the quilt industry!!!
As I read the news I’m sure you could hear me shout “OH NO” all the way from Ohio. I have kept every issue of your newsletters from the very beginning. Ina has quilted several of my quilts, my favorite being the Bullseye. I have visited your shop several times and wish the very best for you and Connie.
Mary & Connie,
Congratulations to you on your retirement. Thank you for sharing your talent with the quilting world. I feel blessed to have met both of you. A trip to your shop is like therapy for me. Mary, your farm is like a little bit of heaven. You and your staff are so helpful & friendly. It was always fun to attend your camps. Thank you for all you have taught me and inspired me. Hope retirement will be your favorite job yet!
Again, congratulations on retirement!
Now, a special request….Will you continue with the Farm News so we can see what is happening at the farm with the goats, chickens, dogs, cats and whatever comes your way? And the quilts you finish and books you read? I have enjoyed the Goat Gazette and Farm News for years and would hate to lose it, too.
Blessings in whatever you decide.
donna from south central KS
I guess we always felt like we were visiting with a cousin when we came to the shop. I don’t know what we will do when The fireworks convention comes back to Mason city and I drive through Garner? Hope Mandy opens a shop as it won’t seem the same. Even if you don’t write the articles as often I do hope you keep up the news, we in the city live vicariously through you. Enjoy the retirement we do ours and you and Connie should enjoy yours, we are just being selfish.
Good luck to you and your families. You shared your love of quilting with others. What a gift that has been. Please, if you still do a newsletter about your farm, can you add me to your list. Thanks, and God bless you. Lynn in Arlington Hts., IL
My only regret in hearing your retirement news is that I haven’t gotten to Iowa to visit your great shop !! I’ve loved and enjoyed your patterns and books so much, and I can understand your “desire to retire” because I’m very close to that point too. I look forward to time to sew and quilt, read, garden, cook,travel and just enjoy more of each day !! Wish you both the best and still hope this won’t be the last we hear from you … take care and enjoy !!!
I am so happy for you both…your animals deserve all your attention. I, too, will be watching Good Morning America in my bathrobe…and I will be thinking of you this winter …I, in Atlanta, and you in your flannel-lies…shoveling in Iowa.
No one did it better…I cherish all my books and my patterns.
I’m so sad to hear this, yet very happy for you. Retirement is wonderful. I certainly will miss my favorite stop on my 1,000 mile journey up and down I35 to where my parents live. Makes me realize I have to run down there “one last time” since you will be closed by time I make my next run down the freeway.
God bless you both for all you have done for us in the quilting world. Happy Retirement!!
I hate to see your store close. I had hip surgery 2 years
ago and it was my incentive to get to your store for many
years. My husband packed me and my walker up in less
than 2 weeks after surgery to come visit as he was off
work to help me. Your store is sentimental to my husband
and myself. I enjoyed the store and have been coming back
numerous times since the surgery. I also get a kick out
of the farm animals and dogs. Your store will be greatly missed by me. Thanks.
When will the closing sale hours be. My niece just recently got into quilting and she would like to come and get a few things to get started into bigger projects.
I’m sorry, Eva. The store closed out last fall and we have no inventory left. Our yard sale is equipment. Furniture, quilts and show props.
would love to subscribe to your blog but it keeps saying there is an error – any help would be so
appreciated… thank you – may you have a wonderful day…