Farm News

Happy Valentine’s Day!  Hope your sweetie pie surprises you with flowers, candy, dinner or whatever makes you happy.  Mine will be home after a trip to Charlotte, NC where they experienced another snowstorm.  And the east coast is getting dumped on again today – you have my sympathy, all of you!  We have almost no snow at all but the cold temps are getting old.

Remember Harvey, the big rabbit we made way back in 1997?  Our model is so faded and dated that on the spur of the moment I decided to remake Harvey with new fabrics that would make any Easter bunny proud.  His trousers are navy pin stripe, his shirt is an off-white grunge, the background is the new Marcus gray aged muslin (I absolutely loved working with this fabric and after washing the quilt, it crinkled up beautifully), his bow tie and cuffs are orange with purple polka dots and the border is an array of Easter egg colors.  I had lots of help binding Harvey as you can see.  I blogged about the quilting and will explain it to you as well.

Harvey 2  Binding catsBinding Cats 2

I am not an accomplished machine quilter and don’t even really like having to do it but our machine quilters, Ina and Brandi, are overwhelmed with customer quilts right now and in all good conscience I simply can’t ask them to slip my quilts in ahead of all the waiting customers.  So after studying various quilts on Pinterest I came up with something even I can handle and I like it.  With my quilting foot on my Bernina, I quilted “casual” straight lines up and down the length of Harvey.  I used a light grey thread on top and ivory on the back.  I started with one line down the middle, and several more about 1/3 across on either side just to anchor the layers together so they wouldn’t shift and create a “tuck” in the backing.  Then I stitched up and down with a slight curve and weave making “casual” straight lines.  Nothing was marked and I eyeballed every line.  I am thrilled with the result and will now quilt like this on anything that isn’t too big to handle.  I tell you this because I don’t think I’m the only experienced quilter out there who doesn’t like to machine quilt or has very little experience doing it.  Am I right?    We’ll be taking the cover photo today and cutting the kits which should be ready for shipping the first part of next week – in plenty of time to sew him up and enjoy him before Easter Sunday.

Harvey quilting 2 Harvey backing 2

What’s new in the barn you ask?  Well, in the bitter cold temps last week, these 2 geese were struggling to walk so I brought both of them into the barn to recuperate.  They wanted out so badly yesterday when the temps got up to the mid 20’s that I gave in and let them outside to rejoin the other geese and Lucky the duck.

Geese in barn 2  Goose in chair 2

And this is Susannah’s way to tell me she wants more treats that are on the top of the cupboard.  She looks up and then looks back at me and then up again as if to say, “I know there are more treats up there and I could use another handful of pretzels!  Please?”    She also loves to chew on cardboard boxes so I give them to her occasionally to entertain her.  Does anybody recognize this Moda fabric box?

Susannah waiting 2  Treats 2  Susannah 2

And Faye and Telly, my constant companions and best friends ever!  They are so bored with this frigid weather – too cold to play outside, I don’t go out any oftener than I have to and I don’t go in the car making for long boring dog days.

Faye and Telly 2

This bowl of treasures sits in the middle of the dining room table and in my boredom walking around the house I quickly took a picture of it.  I think it might be fun to take everything out and lay all the stuff on the table so you could see it all.  It’s very fun vintage “stuff”.  I’ll do that sometime soon.

Bowl of antiques 2

I leave you with this disgusting picture taken of the window sill covered with “snirt”.  The reflection in the window shows that we don’t have much snow but all that rich black Iowa topsoil is now in every crevice in every house and yard in North Iowa.  Ick!!

Snirt in windowsill 2

Until we get Harvey online, you can call the shop, 641-923-3893, to order the kit which we will price today.

Only 2 more days to purchase current $7/yd. fabric on the 100 bolt sale and only 1 more day to order any Country Threads pattern for $3.00 (with very few exceptions).



I had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalogue: – ‘No good in a bed, but fine against a wall.’

– Eleanor Roosevelt

16 thoughts on “Farm News

  1. MartyCae

    Thanks for all the pictures. Everyone is tired of “being penned up.”

    I can’t sew one thing without my calico “helper.” She loves all the processes and loves to roll on my blocks ensuring that black, white and orange fur is on each and every block!

  2. Lee

    Thanks for the pictures. I scrolled down thinking Susannah may have tried jumping on top of the cabinet. It is too high for her…right?
    Thanks for the chuckle! Lee

  3. Marian

    Why does it say on your blog that most quilt patterns are $3 today but when I go to the patterns they’re $8 and $9 ? Am I missing something?

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Our “Sweet Deals” post was on January 31st and explains how we take the discount for the patterns as we process the orders.

    2. CountryThreads Post author

      The “sweet deal” was announced the end of January – Country Threads patterns are $3 until tomorrow. The pattern will show as regular retail but we will make them $3 when your card is charged. Actual shipping will be charged – not the estimate shown.

  4. Linda Everett

    I live in Charlotte, NC and it is still snowing close to Noon on Thursday. Good luck with your Valentine getting out of here today! I am from NH and believe me this would never shut down most travel there. Thank you for the tips for machine quilting. I have unfinished projects that need quilting (but I procrastinate doing it because I don’t like to or haven’t figured out what to do). I may just drag them out to get started now.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Yes, Rick got out of Charlotte and is already home. You guys have had a terrible winter!!
      Just a comment on machine quilting — if I can do it, you can do it and just think of all those projects that can now be completed!

  5. Another Mary

    Love this handsome Harvey! I can see the border as “eggs” to make him a true Easter Bunny. Cut rectangles instead of squares and add corners (as if making snowballs).

  6. Karen

    Not quite a comment you’d expect but saw with interest, your sewing machine setup — particularly the “table that fits your Bernina like a glove. I have a Bernina 1230 — yours is similar — and am looking for a new sewing table so I have more than the included slip-on machine deck extension so there is more room for the quilt to lay on when machine quilting. My current setup is an old tubular-legged school desk with top removed but the sides are a problem and “catch” the quilt sandwich as it hangs over it.
    Is your table specially-made or is it a brand? Does it incorporate your knee-lift?

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      My built in sewing table is incorporated into the large island where I sew. My carpenter removed the legs and yes, it does accommodate my knee lift. My Bernina is also a 1230. The table was an off brand over 30 years ago.

  7. Karen

    Oops — forgot the most important item — Harvey is FUN! Glad you did him anew!
    And I too am glad to hear your “take” on the machine quilting style and discussion of where one’s machine quilting skill level is. Makes me feel like I can do this too and be in such great company!

  8. Diane

    HI Mary–I’m glad you are bored because the tour of quilts, “kids”, and snow was fun. I thought all quilts had cat hair. We have lots of snow in Central Ohio and it’s STILL cold, but warming up–it’s 34 today–feels like a heat wave. My birthday, Christmas, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, and every other holiday for the next 10 years gift was a Bernina 750. I LOVE it. It makes machine quilting a breeze. Hug those “babies”, they’ll keep you warm:)

  9. Rose Mikulski

    I’ve become a “casual” machine quilter as a result of your UFO Challenge 2014. (I found out later that a quilt top was considered “done” if you normally had your tops sent out to be machine quilted.) So in order to complete the quilt in time, I machine quilted my top with straight lines which wasn’t so bad since I now have space to baste and machine quilt. Since then I did another one with horizontal straight lines which I just eye-balled and am in the process of doing another one with “casual” lines. Who would have thought I would machine quilt three lap quilts before the end of February. So thank you UFO Challenge. Do you have another shade of aged muslin in gray? I have to buy some. I’ve bought all three shades of the tan, light, medium and dark. Tell Susannah I’ll replenish her treats when I come to the store this summer. Keep up the wonderful creating energy.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      You go, girl! Machine quilting will never be my favorite activity but I am bound and determined to get proficient with my casual straight lines. We have 4 new shades of aged muslin and I love working with it. There are 2 shades of gray and 2 shades of gray-blue. I used the dark gray for the background of Harvey. Susannah says “Hi, Rose!”)

  10. Ann Barlament

    Oh my, I LOVE the ‘Eleanor Roosevelt’ saying…it really made me chuckle!!

    Harvey is wonderful and your quilting is fun! I used to be a die-hard hand quilter, well – until Arthur Ritis moved in to stay.

    My first machine quilting class, we practiced making circles, boxes, waves, and other simple shapes going first one direction and then in reverse. Our table decided it would be more fun to have a glass of wine next to our machines, to help us really loosen up and relax while we learned to quilt. We were scolded by the instructor that we were “having too much fun”, which brought on even more laughter!!

    So no matter how my machine quilting turns out ~ the quilts are still appreciated and loved just as much. Time to stop worrying about it, sit back and enjoy the process.

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