Farm News

It’s been another busy week – Annabelle Allendorf, a beagle, is staying here all week, the baseball playoffs are going on, our 100 Bolt Sale started and I started acupuncture on my hand again.

  1.  Annabelle – she has been such a good girl and Telly and Faye like her very much.  We did have one incident this morning when someone got offended and growled setting off a scuffle in the quilt shop.  At least I’m the only one who got hurt – a bite to my finger which is minor.  One thing Annabelle definitely does not like is the UPS man and truck!
  2.  My mom always loved baseball and when the playoffs started I would call her several times during the game when there had been a good play or something interesting happening. Now when the game is over, I automatically think I should get up and call her.  Old habits die hard, don’t they?
  3. Our 100 Bolt Sale has been extremely popular online and we are thrilled.  We want to reward our customers with a good deal and $7.00/yard is a pretty good deal in this current economy.
  4. My right hand is swollen and aching again so I have started some maintenance acupuncture which helped so much 2 years ago.  I sorta need my right hand, don’t you think?

Remember Emma, my new goat from Betsy?  I have to stand guard so that my naughty goats will let her eat.  Otherwise they run up to her bowl and threaten her and then butt her to get her to leave.  Then she goes to the next bowl and they do it all over again!  They’re acting like third graders.

We started the Rewards Program on October 15 and we want all of our customers to know that we want to reward them for their repeat business.  We are also pleased to know that you like the 100 Bolt Sale for $7/yd.  YAY!!!

Before we leave for Houston, we will be sending out Charm School for the 4th quarter, Civil War and Pinterest – all at the same time.  It’s been quite a load for us to prepare all of these clubs at once but we’re almost there.  Connie and Mary Baker will leave for Houston on September 28 – please stop by our booth if you are attending Quilt Festival.

Last Saturday I spoke at the local community college and one of my questions to both groups was this:  what would you like to make?  In other words, what would you like us to design?  Big quilts, wall quilts, door banners, baby quilts, applique, pieced, combo,or WHAT?  I hope you will all chime in and answer this question on our blog, Chicken Scratch.  We will enter each name who posts an answer in a drawing for a free Blue and Gray book.

For those of you missing the paper Goat Gazette, please check the blog, Chicken Scratch, for the same articles that used to appear in the newsletter.  One short issue of the GG will be sent out shortly but then I hope you’ll converse with me via the blog.

And last but not least, I wanted to include Ernie Joe Mauer who made himself right at home on top of the quilt, “Birds in the Barn Door” that I was binding at the table.  What is it that attracts every dog or cat to lay down on the project I’m working on?????

Don’t forget the blog!


Last summer you gave me a couple of leaves off your plant – isn’t it doing well.  Very interesting plant.  Thanks for sharing!

43 thoughts on “Farm News

  1. beverly young

    I love all your old books and in Use it Up, Wear it Out,Make it do or Do without, you designed a quilt that was a quilt as you go quilt called Hot Buttered Rum. I loved doing quilt as you go and would like more ideas of other patterns. It means it is done when it is done!! Please think of some more projects like that one. I do like to make quilts more than small things…Beverly Young

  2. Debi Gilpin

    You have such a wonderful reputation for your country and folk art quilts, so I would have to say “stick with what you know”! I know everyone has different tastes, but the current trend of “modern” quilts and wildly patterned fabrics is something that I personally find alarming. Your style of quilts is getting harder to find, so please don’t leave your “roots”! Thanks for letting me vent!

  3. MartyCae

    First – thank you for the picture of Ernie Joe Mauer. What a handsome gentleman!

    Second – I agree with Debi. I love your country/civil war quilts. Please keep some of those type of things coming. I love bed and wall quilts.

    Third – I feel for you and your aching hand. I hope you have success with your treatments.

  4. PennyC

    I to love the designs you make. I am partial to stars, perhaps a star and applique quilt? Your newletters make me smile and laugh and occasionally cry. Keep the news coming.!

  5. Sheila S

    Smaller sized quilts, Primitive or Civil War, Appliqued-all those. Personally I am getting tired of the overly bright, wild prints, extremely simple quilts that everyone is doing now that all look the same! However, I have always liked the quilts that have came from your store/business-real quilts! 🙂
    Keep it up or just keep doing what you have been doing.

  6. Jane

    The contemporary fabric colors are pretty, but I still love the traditional cheddars, indigo blues, and all the lovely repro fabrics you are so creative with plus the civil war re-dos. They are warm and comforting. You definitely have the most user friendly quilt website I’ve seen. Annabelle is a lucky Beagle to be staying with you. Makes me want to drive to IA and drop off my three with you. I can’t think of anywhere else I would leave them!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Jane-what kind of dogs do you have? I wish they could stay with me-I love keeping new dogs.

      1. Jane

        Mary, I have three little treasures I found at the SPCA. Charlie is five and is a wire-hair mix. Zoey is supposed to be four, but I don’t think so – her teeth are perfect! Katie lives across the pasture from me with my Mom, but she spends lots of time with me. She is 1 and a half and is a darling strawberry blond terrier – Cairn maybe? I’ve never left them with anyone so I don’t go too far from home! You may not remember, but you sent me a lovely card when my Beagle, Roxy, died a year ago in July. I was shattered, and you were so kind. It helped me so much because you knew exactly how I felt. Annabelle looks just like my Rox. Thanks for asking about my kids!

        1. CountryThreads Post author

          Jane-I love rough coat terriers the most not only for their looks but also their “terrorist” attitude. Wish I could meet your little family!

  7. JoAnne Konkel

    Agree with everyone — please continue with the Civil War reproduction items. These patterns and fabrics are getting harder and harder to find. And your The Blue & The Gray is one of the best books I’ve seen! I tell everybody I know to buy a copy! I don’t think there is a single thing I *don’t* want to make!

  8. Linda Z

    I agree with most of the other comments I really like the reproduction fabrics and all of the patterns you have designed around these fabrics. I prefer wall hanging or lap size quilts but also like doing bed size. Always love coming to Iowa to visit family and stopping at your shop.

  9. Dianne H.

    Love the 100 bolt sale. Now that quilter’s fabric is up to $11.00 a yard in many shops, $7.00 is a great price. Thank you.

    I lost my Mom last November, so I know how you must feel. So many times I think of calling her to tell her about a good book I’ve just read or to catch her up on news about one of my grandchildren, etc.. Old habits do die hard or maybe never do completely go away. Only time will tell, but it is nice to have so many good memories.

  10. Patsy Weber

    I agree keep to your roots! I have always loved your style! I do like a combo of pieced and appliqué maybe with wool added. Thank you!

  11. Diane

    I think the cats and dogs love you so they want to be near you:). I just bought the cute, bright flower pattern at The Country
    Living Fair. ( I’m sitting the grand kids so can’t go check the name). I love your patterns and quilts. I’d like a semi-bright,traditional appliqué pattern–maybe with flowers and cats? Good luck with your hand and how’s your finger? Diane

  12. Linda L

    I like doing a mix of small and large projects, so I don’t get too bored with a big quilt. I also am interested on all types of quilts and fabrics. Maybe at some point I will specialize more, but I like a variety of designs as well, including contemporary.

  13. Patty

    I love to see the pictures of the dogs who get to stay with you, they are so very lucky. I would like to see wall hangings pieced and some combo. I also really like your 100 bolt sale!

  14. Sandy

    I would love to see some twin size quilts suited for toddlers. There’s plenty of baby quilts but not much for the 3 to 5 year olds.

  15. JudyJ

    I like to make pieced lap quilts. I especially like civil war fabrics and quilts designed for them.

  16. Pam

    I love reading your stories about the animals–what a joy. You have so many wonderful patterns–I would like to see some round table runners and I enjoy wall hangings. Thanks for sharing your talent!

  17. catherine beck

    I would like to see a bedsize quilt with lots of pieces.
    With pieced houses and lots of stars.

  18. Lani

    I agree with all the above..I’ve been a Country Threads fan for 30 years..stick with what has worked for that long. I don’t like the new modern art quilts at all. But love, love, love the reproduction quilts…any size. Keep up the good work. Love yours and Connie’s designs.

  19. Kathy Gibbs

    Mary, Is it arthritis? Your hand? My hands are grotesque with knobby knuckles , but I’d like to share with you what I do. I wear simple white cotton gloves to bed at night. It keeps my hands toasty warm, swelling reduces and the aching disappears so that I can go about my day comfortably. I wear these gloves nightly when my hands are flared up from arthritis. These cotton gloves are cheap, I get them at KMart (they ordered several pair for me last time) and are like the gloves worn at quilt shows. I have an xtra new pair, you’re welcome to try it for a week or so. Kathy Gibbs
    p.s. Off to make the bed and find a white glove that came off during the night!. Friend Carol Barker found relief with this idea, too.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Kathy-yes, it’s arthritis and I do have several pairs of white gloves. I will give them a try again but I think they’re too hot. I don’t sleep well anyway and achy hands don’t help. After one treatment, my hand is much better! Thanks for your input!

  20. Gloria Frerichs

    In 1995 I traveled to a charming little quilt shop in the country to learn how to quilt. Mary Baker was my instructor for this beginning class. I fell in love with the primitive, folk art patterns, designs, and material that Country Threads is so famous for. Eighteen years later I am still making quilts that are primitive (most using CT patterns and materials). I would be devastated if you veered away from your roots. When I look at your patterns and material I want to feel home, family, and country. Love all of you.

  21. Tanya Tullos

    I love your scrap quilt projects! So many are easy for beginners, fast for experienced quilters, and great for charity quilts and quick gifts. Please continue to design those!

  22. Kathy Roloff

    It is impossible to please everyone. There are plenty of sources for batiks and contempory designs. I love Country Threads for traditional and reproduction fabrics and patterns. You always manage to add a new twist. Nothing’s broken, don’t change it!

  23. Jeanine Waal

    Since I make mostly charity quilts, I love scrappy, traditional quilts that go together quickly, and try using up scraps, but that never seems to happen. Sometimes I think they grow overnight. Keep up the good work. Your patterns are fabulous!

  24. Linda

    I love all the wall quilts you design—I love all the folk art which I agree is so hard to find out there. It will always be my first love. But I love how you have branched out to include bright fabrics too. The patterns for the brights are wonderful.

    I hope the treatments on your hand really help you—-no fun to go through….

  25. Lori Gust (Olund)

    I would really enjoy another random sampler pattern…Bed size would be great…I have really enjoyed making the online quilt…working on different size blocks and fitting it all in together in the end would be fun…and you get to try out alot of different blocks…civil war or modern fabric kits would be great…

  26. Marcella

    I enjoy your blog, my husband usually finds the news first on our computer and yells chicken scratch. I somehow find this funny? He reads all the news too! But maybe we should ask him about all this 100 bolt sale. He thinks if you tie small pieces of fabric together with a bow that I will buy it. He is correct!! Your patterns are what I like. The instructions are always correct – don’t change a thing. You have plenty of ability and creativity, this shows in all you do. I am doing the on-line block of the month and have three other scrap quilts started form the same pile of scraps. You have me interested! Thanks!!!

  27. Louise

    I prefer lap-size quilts, scrappy and in reproduction fabric.

    Yes, I know about missing your mother. I kept my mom in my phone address book for months, and even sent her an email knowing it would bounce back to me.

  28. Lynn Willis

    How about an applique pattern that would appeal to people in warm climates, such as Florida or Arizona? something with flowers like the Hibiscus or palm trees. I live in Florida but I’m sure there are many who might make gifts for those who live there, either traditional applique or wool.
    Also I loved both your Tall Moon and Bible quilt patterns. Then I saw your pattern that said “our daily bread” and thought it would be neat to have a series of patterns for the Lord’s prayer? Not sure if that might be too hard

  29. Lynn Willis

    Oh and by the way Mary, I’m a dog trainer and the best way to break up a dog fight is to grab the aggressor’s back legs and step back, that usually gives the one being attacked a chance to back off and much harder to get bitten that way!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Lynn-I just read online yesterday about grabbing the back legs-what a brilliant idea! Wonder if I can remember it when I need to.
      The reason we’ve never done tropical flowers or palm trees is that we only do what we know. We’ve never done a lighthouse or a surfboard either or even pigs-ha!
      Wish you could train me to be a better dog owner.

  30. Billie

    Love your Civil War patterns, fabric, and styles. Like the traditional warm, homey look!! Be sure to keep doing those. Batiks are my favorite, too—at the opposite end of the spectrum. Love all the “Bullseye” quilts
    And the flannel for working on in the winter and for presents. For spring and summer like to see bright florals in different sizes. Keep up the great work!

  31. Gloria Frerichs

    I also have arthritus in my hands (my doctor says due to hand quilting/rotary cutting). I use two methods that have been highly successful for me and anyone who has tried it.

    1) warm a cup of water; add two TBSPs honey (preferably honey from your area), one scant tsp cinammon and stir. Drink one cup every day.

    2) Gelatin tablets (1300 mg) – take 2 after each meal and 2 before bedtime (8 total); plus one Flaxseed Oil tablet, 1000 mg. The gelatin tables are $2-$3 a bottle at Walmart. Flaxseed Oil is good for you regardless because it’s a natural source of Omega-3.

    My arthritus pain is totally gone as long as I do one of the above every day.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Gloria-how did you discover such obscure treatments ? Guess I need to try one.

  32. Gloria Frerichs

    Mary – the gelatin/flaxseed pills was recommended to me by a friend here in Wisconsin. Her doctor told her and her husband to try it and it worked for them.

    The honey/cinammon/hot water is from an article I read on the benefits of honey. We had honey bees on our farm this past summer and the owner of the bees gave us gallons of honey from our property. So I researched how honey should be used. Both methods work for me. My hands would ache so much at times, that I could hardly function. Now they’re pain frees (unless I go a day or two without one of the remedies.) One of the side benefits of taking honey every day is that my allergies don’t seem to be so severe.

  33. Judy Moore

    Osteo Arthuritis resides with me. The repetitive motion of gripping a needle and pulling it through fabric resulted in lots of pain and swelling in my stitchin’ hand. I use and highly recommend Needle-Grip Its from Colonial Needle Company. I can put them on in the morning, leave them on during many hand washings, and have to pull them off at night. No more hand pain or swelling, lots more hand stitchin’ going on.

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