Farm News

Big changes are happening in the quilt shop! There are empty spaces on the shelves, empty pattern boxes in the back room and blank wall areas where quilt kits have sold out. But don’t worry – there are still lots of great stuff for sale. Remember how crowded it was in the shop? Now it will be easier to shop when sale day rolls around next week.

Quilts in the shop Quilts in shop 2 Fabrics

Our shopping cart will no longer accept your credit card but you can still shop and CALL US! We will continue to update the shopping cart to keep it current. The shop phone is 641-923-3893 and our shop email is and we are all at work every day to help you.   We can take your credit card number over the phone because we know it’s safe – no hackers at Country Threads. Our web host was very concerned that sophisticated hackers could enter our secure site and grab your credit card numbers which I hear about on the news every day. A website upgrade would have been extremely expensive since we have so many items on our shopping cart –thus the decision to end the secure site that would accept your credit card. Remember all the trouble Target cardholders had recently? We don’t need trouble like that. So, the bottom line here is CALL US ON THE PHONE LIKE THE OLD DAYS! 641-923-3893


We have 7 gals from Minnesota, Illinois and Texas here this week sewing in the classroom. They are making some beautiful quilts and tonight we’re all going out to eat for the last time. I hope I don’t lose touch with all these old friends! When you can’t reach Country Threads anymore, you can still reach me at or on the blog Chicken Scratch.

Retreat Ladies

We just received an email this week from our friends at Buggy Barn in Reardon, Washington, who have also decided that, after 18 years, it’s time to close. We have many fond memories of dinners together during market and it’s sad to think we will never do that again. Heather sent an email who said it must be a conspiracy that her favorite quilt shops are closing. Really it’s no mystery – Janet also lives on the property where Buggy Barn Quilt Shop is located and she, like me, is tired of having “company” 6 days a week. We are only human and our husbands need their own space, too.

Buggy Barn

So, could the week be any busier? Sure – I have all 3 of the Anderson dogs boarding for 10 days! And Biscuit and Sassy are arriving this weekend. And Hope will be here on Saturday while Connie works in the shop. That makes 8 dogs running amuck on the farm – ha! My main concern on Saturday will be to sit outside with a book and keep my eyes on the dogs. I hope it’s not hot. Here are Moses, Toby and Dakota. Dakota, the Beagle, has been staying here for 9 years, ever since she was a puppy and belonged to Heidi Anderson who died at the age of 16 from kidney cancer. Oh, but Heidi did love Dakota!!

Dakota and Toby Moses Dakota Dogs on bed

Connie and Mary Baker are getting ready to leave for Columbus and the Country Living Fair on Tuesday morning. Mandy, Joan, Lori, Ina and I will spend Tuesday and Wednesday getting ready for the sale to start on Thursday morning. Customers have warned me about potential crowds on Thursday and I’m getting worried. We will do the best we can but probably won’t be able to answer the phones that day. I know I won’t be able to sleep Wednesday night!

Marilyn Holder – look at my hyacinth bean vines! They are almost to the top of the light pole and I have many pods producing seeds. I hope we don’t have an early frost so that those seeds will mature completely. I have had so many comments on this planter – it was the answer to growing this beautiful vine – it’s in full sun and we have had regular rains to keep it growing.

Hyacinth Bean Beginning Hyacinth Bean Middle Hyacinth Bean Middle 2 Hyacinth Bean Climbing Hyacinth Bean up close

Our last camp, September 30 – October 3 is full and since we are going out with a BANG!, we are trying something new. Everyone will work on the same projects, a different one each day, and we are providing all the fabric for each day. Connie and I spent the day yesterday cutting fabric packs for camp and now we’re going to start washing the red and white fabrics for everyone. I can hardly wait to sit down and sew something.

I will provide answers to the blog questions from last Sun day and Monday. The quilt on the back side of the cutting table is called Wagon Wheels by American Jane. We have one pattern left but no kit. The small quilt lying over the sewing machine is called 42 Yard Dash and the kit is $19.95. The cheddar quilt made of squares in the back on the left is called Just Squares and the kit is $74.95.

Wagon Wheels 42 yard dash It's Just Squares It's Just Squares Kit

Last week many of you were concerned that I was going to burn the walnut tree as firewood. I promise I will advertise this tree for sale so that someone can make good use of the lumber. Yesterday it was very windy and it started to list to the east. I’m sure it will land in the yard eventually, taking several more trees with it. Very sad.

We have sent out the last Charm School pattern and the last Pinterest pattern. They have now been cancelled. The Civil War mailing will be sent at the end of this month and then continue with Mandy. Please note that Mandy’s website is not ready to go just yet and won’t be up and running until Country Threads closes October 31.

Susannah is feeling good so Rick helped me with her on Monday. He held on to her while I trimmed her hooves as well as a minor hair trim that I noticed at the State Fair last month. She has not been able to come out into the yard this week since I have dog boarders and I know she and Emma miss that.

I will close with a reminder that we are here and the phone is available for you to place an order. Have your order and credit card ready when you call – we will be happy to talk with you on the phone. 641-923-3893.

I’m hoping I have time to stop at the Care Center today – I sure miss going there and seeing old friends. Saturday would have been Mom’s 95th birthday so we are remembering her and her great attitude of calling Concord Care “Home Sweet Home”. I think I’ll buy a box of Junior Mints in her honor.



Scenes from the farm…

Barn Colton JB My 4 Little Girls

9 thoughts on “Farm News

  1. mary rhodes

    Thank you for the update. So what are you going to do with the shop? Personal studio? Glad to hear putting walnut up for sale. Glad to hear the utter problem better. Sad to here about Buggy Barn, guess its time to retire . Besides can be consults to whom ever wants to opens quilt shop, on own time!?

  2. Ginny

    Who is the large grey dog in the second picture? She? looks like a dog we rescued years ago from Western Iowa.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      The large gray dog is Moses, a golden retriever/mastiff mix who has the golden retriever personality. He’s a great dog!

  3. Rose Mikulski

    So sad to hear about Buggy Barn closing now but their reason as yours is totally understandable. I do remember your connection with them with their Marco the dog pattern, named after Connie and you and I still have the pattern which I bought from you at the Rosemont Quilt Show. I also ended up buying the Marcia Derse fabrics which was the start of my stash of her fabric. I can’t decide if you’re doing a public service for us quilters with large fabric stash who will finally start using more of their stash or a disservice to the spouses who have to listen to our whining about your shop closing. I do hope you keep up with your blog or might consider doing a Mary Morning Show on YouTube. BTW that gray dog in the picture looks like our late Ringo who passed away several years ago.

  4. Rosemary

    So sorry to hear you (one of my favorite shops) is going out of business; I’m wearing your 30 yr. T shirt right now! Please let me know if you still have these items, if so, I will call with credit info: “It’s Just Squares” cheddar quilt kit, Rugs from Rags book, Country Threads punch needle tote, Heirloom Prairie Mallow seeds, and Hybrid Iris wall hanging pattern.

    P.S. When the dust settles I hope you’ll consider publishing another book to document your past 30 plus years on the farm and your contributions to the quilt world, among other things.

  5. Marilyn H

    Your bean vines are beautiful! I love how colorful they are. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that you get seed; however, let me know if you need more seed. My source (Lori) has bushy bean vines growing everywhere. My planting is not doing as well. Sad that you are closing but life moves on and we all adjust. I’m thankful that I visited your shop twice and have great memories.

  6. Maureen Blanchard

    Oh my. So sad to hear that you are closing! Your book On Behalf of Chickens is a favorite! Fond memories of speeding across Iowa with the tent camper, husband, and four kids. Had to make it to Country Threads before closing on Saturday! Your shop was a “must stop there” on a cross country vacation
    (We’re from Massachusetts) . So glad I was able to visit.

  7. Sharon Diamond

    I have not been able to purchase anything, but I have enjoyed your emails. I feel sad that so many stores are closing.

    I wish everyone well and hope to call for items in the future.

    Take care of the kids—the four paws!!!!!!!!!!!


  8. Marion

    Looking for a piece of fabric from Angels Among Us could you tell me where I can find it gold in colour with small wine hearts and the words hugs and kisses printed on it

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