Miscellaneous Thursday Update

While so many are awaiting the hurricane, here in the middle of the country we are having beautiful weather — sunny, 80+ degrees and breezy. If you live in the path of the hurricane, please be safe and let us all know in the comments what it’s like where you are.

Here’s another bee photo from Connie – look at all that pollen on the legs! Wow!

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I was at Connie’s yesterday visiting Betty

who needed a tummy rub – so sweet! I also snapped these photos of the gardens.

It’s just beautiful any direction you look.

I’m sitting in the screened porch watching the hummingbirds at the feeder – too fast and too small for the camera.

Remember this guy, Owen?

Here he is a couple months ago with Mom and Ivy.

And he turned two in August and I gave him a toy Black and Decker jackhammer and yes, it makes lots of noise and he loves it!

I got a text message a few mornings ago from his mom wondering if I’d like a “side” of jackhammer with my coffee! We laughed and laughed! She’s a good mommy for leaving the batteries in – he likes to jackhammer Ivy’s water bowl, too. How could you resist that face?

And this is what met me in my sewing room this morning —-

Looks like some cat had frog legs for breakfast that didn’t agree with them! It’s always something.

And this will make you smile. Here is the picture I recently bought at the thrift store that I assumed was German.

and then I saw what I thought was an identical picture at the antique mall last weekend and a reader corrected me and said it was Danish lettering.

Well I’ll be darned – they are not the same! Fooled me until I looked carefully. Were you fooled, too? If you thought your German wasn’t too good when I showed the latter, it was for good reason – it’s Danish! Hahaha!

Last night I tried to subscribe to a blog I knew I’d enjoy but I had to set up an account with a password which I then tried to do. I got a message that I already had an account with a different email! I could not figure it out and had to give up. I love our blog because YOU comment and I feel like we’re all friends across the country. From now on would you tell us in the comments where you live? And would you tell us about what’s happening in your life when you write. It doesn’t have to be detailed or long but I really enjoy hearing from you. I’m going to find out if you can post photos.

And here’s what Hazel is up to or down to as the case may be – digging a really deep hole by the tree!

Reed and I started picking the pumpkins yesterday.

And here he is with his favorite pumpkin!

I’d better publish this long post before it crashes!

134 thoughts on “Miscellaneous Thursday Update

  1. Kathy Hanson

    I live in Rochester, MN, raise llamas and am working on a quilt, a pattern called Metro Rings (sort of like double wedding ring). That Owen is just the cutest thing! I have to laugh about the Jackhammer – that is one good mommy to let him use it all over with it’s sound! Looks like lots of pumpkins for your fall decorating! Betty is precious and so is Hazel – wonder if she will make it to China – ha!

    1. Kate

      I live in Columbus, Indiana. I raise pumpkins too, but this year all the vines are dying and all the pumpkins are turning to mush. It might be because of all the rain we’ve had. Looks like you have a bumper crop this year.

  2. Marilyn Stevens

    Hi Mary! I’ve been following your blog for several years from Connecticut. Love your adventures.
    I live with a 7 yr old yellow lab, Allie, that I rescued three weeks after my husband passed six years ago. Rescuing her was the best thing I could have done. I’m a retired teacher and quilter since 2000. Please keep sharing your life.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Marilyn – I love rescue stories! Give your Allie a hug from Iowa! Thank you for being a rescue advocate!

  3. Diana Stanfill

    I lived in Illinois. Then last year we moved to Florida. Haines City. About an hour south of Orlando. When the kids moved us here, they were appalled that I had over 300 boxes of quilting stuff. I came to the conclusion I could not make them all. So I started selling online. I have since ordered more fabric and am selling that as well as panels. I have two long arms. I will be trying to sell my Handi Quilter Sweet 16 (the sit down one). That’s the latest and the greatest. I am on Facebook under Stitches by Stanfill

  4. Ethel Devine

    Hi Mary!
    I have a best friend whose husband has alziemers. He fell last Thursday, broke his hip and his elbow.
    Surgery was successful Sunday.
    I sat w her Tuesday at the hospital and watched her continually telling him NOT to pull at tubes and NOT to pick at his arm cast till she was exhausted and we left for home.
    She explained to me that at sunset (for no known reason) they get fidgety.
    Then I remembered a quilting friend had given a talk and Show nTell on a Fidget quilt.
    I had no interest till in it tilI I witnessed my friend and they say it helps the wife too. I can understand that now.
    Ideal! Any ideas? So enjoy you…💞🙃

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Ethel – what a wonderful idea – he can finger and twist and pull at the quilt pieces! I’m going to remember this! Let me know if it works!

    2. Gloria

      My guild makes fidget quilts…using lace, feathers, zippers, tulle, buttons, etc. for Alzheimer/dementia patients.

    3. Kathy

      This gentleman is experiencing “sundowning”. It is not uncommon for dementia patients to experience this. Also, depression, and anxiety can be heightened at the end of the day. My Mom is showing minor dementia and I make a point of calling her early in the day.

    4. Robin Malloy

      I make fidget quilts for the Connection residents of Country Meadows in Hershey, PA. They truly do “fidget” with them. I put all sorts of things on my quilts, just so they are attached securely and are safe, sort of like you would do for a child. Beads, Velcro, buttons, zippers, pockets, I even put washers on for the gentlemen. I am always looking for gadgets to attach. The behavior you described is known as sundowning. Visit http://www.seniorlivingu.com- click on resources and then on Family nights for Alzheimer’s. Much information there. Good luck and email me if you need more suggestions.

      1. CountryThreads Post author

        Robin – thank you! This is something else I’ve learned from you girls today!

    5. Sherry Whalen

      It is so interesting to read about the fidget quilts, I brought these up with my quilt group this morning. The volunteer sewing group at St. Mary’s hospital in Rochester makes them for the surgical patients. The sewing coordinator said they were needed get more made so I am gathering ideas to make some. So many interesting ideas! The coordinator said one of the favorite things to include was an enclosed ‘pocket’ that contains a part of an empty water bottle – the really light weight bottles (the ones that when you open them you are afraid that you will squeeze it too hard and spill all over) is firmly attached to the quilt. The nurses say that most patients really like the ‘crunchy’ sound and feel.

      Sherry from Kasson MN

      1. CountryThreads Post author

        Sherry – I am very interested in fidget quilts but I need to see a picture of one. You mean you just talked about this today and now it’s on the blog??????

        1. Ruth

          Fidget Quilt pictures can be seen on Michele Bilyeu’s blog, mychellem.blogspot.com. She has tutorials and pictures on the right side of her blog. Google fidget quilts, busy blankets, and there will be pictures and information. I made one for my mother-in-law after hearing that she kept playing with the fringe on the fleece blanket I had made for her.

  5. Sharon Cervenka

    Would love to visit your pumpkin patch! Here in Oswego, Illinois , the day is also a beautiful 80 degrees. Planning to head out for a lengthy walk while the laundry dries. Banana Bread making later and the best, sewing a small quilt. I am also keeping an eye on Florence.

  6. Arrowhead Gramma

    Live in the mountains of Southern California where we enjoy the four seasons. Doing bindings today for quilts to be donated for a charity here on our mountain. My brother gifted my son with a battery operated train engine when he was small. What a racket it made on the hardwood floor. My revenge was giving it to his son many years later with new batteries. LOL. Thanks so much for your blog.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Arrowhead Gramma – paybacks are hell, aren’t they? Haha! Love that story!

  7. Sue Dietz

    Hi from Bristol, TN/VA. We are a small town in two states. Makes life interesting at times! Our nascar speedway is accepting evacuees from the Carolinas. Hopefully we can help take care of some needs. We are expecting some rain from the storm but nothing frightening.

  8. Lisa Chaplin

    I live about 20 miles outside of Tonasket, Washington. We are in the Okanogan Highlands, a beautiful dry land farming area, up at about 3200′ in elevation. I am currently working on finishing one of Kimberbell’s “Welcome Autumn” bench pillows for my porch on my embroidery machine. I also love to make quilt tops and longarm for myself, charity and others. I just finished another batch of dill pickle chips and some spicy salsa this morning, as the garden is finishing for the summer. Next week is 5 days at a semi-annual quilt retreat with my girlfriends, I am SO excited!!

      1. Lisa

        I am trying to finish some of my UFO’s at the retreat!! I did a huge cleaning of my sewing studio and fabric stash earlier this summer and found that I have over 20 projects that need to be completed so I have decided to deal with them before I allow myself to buy more fabric!!

  9. Sydney Silva

    Greetings from (for now) beautiful Asheville, NC. I moved here from Charlotte and am right now especially I made that move. Both places are great but this location is where my family is and it’s that time in life to follow the younger family.
    I am a quilter but mostly a blanket maker for Project Linus and get great joy from it. I also had a lot — a lot — of fabric etc. when I moved….that was AFTER I had given away about half of my stash before I moved. It is so rewarding, especially when I wear my Project Linus shirt out in public and a mother comes up to me to tell me how much the blanket meant to her child when he or she was desperately ill. Makes it doubly rewarding.
    If the forecast keeps improving we will only get heavy rains. That will cause some flooding, power outages and mud slides, but not nearly as bad as was first predicted. Although some grumble about the inaccuracy of the early predictions — which the forecasters are not magicians or seers, they can only talk about what then know at the moment — I am just thankful it all has taken a turn for the better!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Sydney- Project Linus is a godsend for those who benefit either by giving or receiving. So glad you had that stash! Haha!

  10. Carolyn Boutilier

    Hi Mary, We were expecting the worst from Florence but now may be some wind and showers. we were told at first to expect 12-24 inches of rain that we do not need as our ground is saturated. Reed is great help picking pumpkins. tell him that is my favorite with the 2 colors. I am making sunflowers from wool. I hooked the center then cut petals and put them around the center. I put a backing on the sunflower with a stick from our maple tree and tie green wool
    on the stick for the leaves.
    Carolyn b Shenandoah Valley VA

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Carolyn – reed wants to learn wool appliqué this winter – I don’t think I’ll let him know about rug hooking or we’ll be starting that, too! Ha!

  11. Carole S.

    I’m in NJ, where we’re watching Florence terrorize the east coast, and staying busy getting ready for our quilt show in October. Connie’s garden is just beautiful, and must be such a pleasure to relax in. I feel your pain with the cat cleanup issue. Mine are indoor only, but still manage to surprise me now and then with a mess. I just wish I could spend an afternoon with Hazel – she’s so stinking cute.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Carole S. – and I wish you COULD spend an afternoon with Hazel so I could sew!

  12. Robin Boggan

    Hi Mary! First off I want to tell you how much I enjoy your blog ! I live in Spokane WA and we are having a beautiful blue sky day. I feel for all the folks on the east coast what is happening to them. Hope you have a wonderful fall! It’s my time of the year. Take care.

  13. Dee Winter

    Hi, I live in Iowa, about an hour from you. 19 years ago my daughter lived in North Carolina and I was getting married and they were having a hurricane, it came and backed up and got them again. So she didn’t get to come home. They moved back to Iowa, this weekend she comes home to celebrate the life of the man I married. He left us Saturday morning, a loss that is just overwhelming for all of us. But he bought me lots of fabric, so I can sew for along time with the memories we made.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Dee Winter – oh my goodness, Dee, I am so sorry for your loss! I’d like to think you would have told me in a comment regardless of whether I asked you to comment or not. Many sympathies to you and your family – remember him when you cut out your next quilt from that lovely fabric.

  14. Brenda archambault

    Mary, maybe adding, in parentheses, a location next to our names would serve as a permanent reminder of where we’re located. I’m in the Phoenix area. It’s still summer here but slowly becoming less hot. Beats shoveling snow in the winter!
    Our local guild made fidget quilts with all kinds of donated items such as zippers, textural items, Velcro, etcetera and donated them locally.
    With a pinched nerve, I’m trying to work on a Mexican star wall hanging but it’s slow going as I’m afraid of further aggravating it. Just finished a paper pieced wall hanging of frogs, bugs, etc. for my soon to arrive third great-granddaughter. She doesn’t have a name yet but her cousins are Olive and Hazel.
    Enjoy seeing your farm pictures/ stories and Reed’s involvement. He’s growing into a wonderful young man.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Brenda – what a good idea, both the location parentheses and the fidget quilts. Love the names Olive and Hazel – wonder what the baby will be to go along with those names.

  15. Carrolyn V

    As a former German professor, I can assure you the first saying is in German , written in a script called Frakktur. The second is the same saying but may be Danish. I don’t know Danish…..but can recognize the words. But the first is Fraktur script of High German. I taught and read it for 44 years.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Carolyn V – I guessed that it was German but didn’t notice the difference between the two! Duh!

  16. Edie Comeau

    I am from Ma. Love all your blogs, the one with Reed are great. How wonderful you are to him and that you both get along so well. Right now I am working on a quilt for my 2month old great granddaughter. I now have 8 grandchildren and 3 great granddaughters. This Swede started with 4 children!! Enjoy all your farm animals and pictures of gardens

  17. phyllisiniowa

    My daughter and only child was born 51 years ago this morning.
    I live in eastern Iowa and collect antique and vintage sewing machines. My oldest sewing machine is a Folsom hand crank from 1860s and I have treadle and hand crank machines from 1870s to the 1930s or 1940s,
    I currently live with 4 rescued cats who just ended up at my house, Each evening I feed the neighborhood ferals.

  18. Teresa

    I live in Hurricane, WV . My daughters wedding day is fast approaching and I am helping her with all the things she needs made. Not much time for sewing but am extremely happy for her!

  19. Mary R

    Hi Mary,
    I live in Kenner, Louisiana, about 10 miles outside of New Orleans. It’s hot (94) and muggy here and no one wants to go outside. I love Betty along with all labs. I currently have a black lab named Maggie who is 8 years old and loves belly and butt rubs. I also have a white lab named Molly (9 yrs. old ) who is very laid-back and spends most of her time in the bathtub. Love the pumpkin patch, Reid and all the news about the farm. I am trying to finish a challenge quilt for my quilt club for the October meeting. Still have two more rows to sew!

  20. Sharon Ray

    Hello from hot Florida. Our weather has been pretty good the last few days with really blue sky peeking through the white clouds. I think the hurricane has sucked some of the humidity northward. We are all praying for everyone’s safety in the hurricane zone.
    I have never been to Iowa but will some day. I just finished a Cheri Payne wallhanging for Halloween and will start on a Kim Brackett quilt soon. I have some Country Threads books and can’t wait to make one of those. Love the pumpkins, kids and puppy!

  21. Pat Johnson

    Hi Mary, I’m not to far away, just up 35W to Burnsville, MN. I visited your shop many times and was at your big sale just before you closed. Wish you were still open but I understand the retirement thing as I too am retired. But with all you do with your animals and gardens I don’t think you can call yourself retired. But I know you love it and we all love reading about what you are up to. Never a dull moment for you. I’m working on UFO’s and Christmas ornaments from “All Through the Night”. Love your blog. Thanks for taking the time to write it and post all the photos.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Pat Johnson – writing this blog feels like journaling except I love to hear from all of you, not just writing it. Some days I, too, wish we were still open with some changes.

  22. Nancy Finch

    Hi Mary, I met you when you guys taught a class for NSQG in Arlington Heights Il. I am from Hoffman Estates,Il. My hubby is originally from Iowa and he looked forward to your newsletter as much as I did. I still share a lot of your adventures with him. We had always planned on making a trip there but life does get in the way of plans doesn’t. Today I had to say goodbye to one of my cats which is not easy.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Nancy Finch – oh, I’m so sorry you lost one of your cats! Was it old? Sick? Do you have other cats? I remember that class – I even remember what we taught and the line of fabric I used !

      1. Nancy Finch

        She was only 10 but didn’t display anything until the last day or two so it was a massive shock. All our cats are inside. She was mine, the others are attached to hubby. She purred while in vets office.

  23. Lillian W

    Always enjoy reading your blog. You and Reed go on such great adventures. I live in Portland TN in a lot house we had built over 20 years ago. My favourite quilt pattern is the log cabin quilt. We have two dogs a Bassett hound and a JACK Russell. We live on ten acres surrounded by pine trees out front and large garden area that gets smaller every year.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Lillian W. – is your Jack well trained? I am still working with Hazel but I’ve decided she’s a work in progress — haha!

  24. Carolyn

    Mary, Thanks so much for sharing your quilting and farm and animal adventures. I enjoy seeing your chickens and since we are between dogs, I love seeing yours. We are staying at home in rural Williamston, North Carolina awaiting Florence. So far, it has been windy and rainy but we still have electricity. I have way too many quilts in progress and have tried to get some piecing in today before the power goes! Maybe I shouldn’t get one of those jack hammers for our two year old grandson, ha ha.

  25. Anna M

    I’m from South eastern SD, not too far from you. I love your blog! How do you know when your pumpkins are ready to pick? We’ve still got a lot of green ones. I have seen some of the frog leavings with my cats, too! A week or so I accidentally stepped on a toad on our patio when I went out to shut the chickens door, it was dark. I had planned to pick it up the next day, but I think our Jack Russell, Quincy got to it before I did, because it was gone, so it’s not just the cats! Lol!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Anna M – the vines are drying up and the pumpkins have a very hard surface – I think they’re ready. Oh yes, Hazel loves to bark at toads and then comes into the house drooling! We can tell what she’s been doing!

  26. Diane M.

    I’m writing from Elkhorn, Wisconsin, where it is finally drying out from heavy rain over Labor Day. It is a beautiful late summer night. I’m a tour guide at an apple orchard near my house. We stop and look at the honey we have for sale in the store. I ask the kids if they know how fast a honey bee can fly. It is fifteen miles per hour. Of course, some of the kids give huge numbers. I’m adopting a gray and white male stray kitten; I think someone dropped him off! He unfortunately has lost most the sight in one eye. We’ll see what the vet says tomorrow. You grew some great pumpkins and gourds from your garden.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Diane M – thank you for caring enough to give that kitten a home! I also didn’t know how fast a honeybee can fly! See we learn from each other.

      1. Diane M.

        Unfortunately, what I thought was a young kitten turned out to be an older cat. The vet did a test for FIV, and it was positive. The responsible thing to do was to have Duncan put down. I felt just awful. He”ll be happier in Rainbow Bridge.

        1. CountryThreads Post author

          Diane M. – yes, you did the right thing! Good thing the vet checked for that.

  27. Launa

    Mary, I think Reed’s favorite pumpkin….Camouflage look….would be so popular up here in Idaho. You two had quite a harvest.
    Pepper has a new friend living here now named Jax.. a nine week old small Yorkie with a loud bark. When he barks downstairs Pepper rushes to the downstairs gate, but just whines to him.
    Nice to see all your pictures!

  28. Susie Q

    I live in Texas and am being a willing nilly as two of my kids of my kids are on the Maryland coast….. We lived 10 years on Texas’ Island – Galveston….. did enough hurricanes to be very very leery of them.

    After Houston being clobbered last year I made 50 kids pillow cases… they are sitting on the shelf waiting for the next “event”. Looking like won’t have to wait much longer.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Susie Q – won’t those kids love a new fun pillowcase? Yes, Galveston has seen its share of storms!

  29. SusanfromKentucky

    Yes, definitely knew the top one is German. I always thought it was funny that God was so close to my husband’s family’s last name (Bott). I remember asking my husband what that meant when we were going to old cemeteries where family members were buried. A lot of the old stones had that at the very top.
    Looks like you had a haul with all the pumpkins! Hope Reed got to take that one home!
    Love seeing pictures of Betty and Hazel. I have a Humane Society rescue that my husband got me 13 days before suddenly dying. I think he knew he was going to. He had made the remark that the dog could keep me company if anything happened to him. Tucker is a 1-1/2 year-old Yellow Lab/Jack Russell mix. He is a joy to have around. Such a personality!!

  30. Kathy

    I was thinking today of all the charity quilts that might be needed after this hurricane finishes. It seems lately more people need to be wrapped in a caring quilt due to natural disasters. Anyways I live in western NY in a small town called Spencerport located between Rochester and Buffalo, along the Erie Canal. Several of us travel every spring to Myrtle Beach for two weeks in our motor home for a family vacation and camp right on the beach so it’s in our prayers that everyone and everything are safe. One of the favorite fidget blankets we saw used was where a small soft stuffed dinosaur was sewn on a short leash of ribbon attached to the blanket. The man thought it was his dog and petted it. Never lost it this way. They are a comfort for patients.

  31. Jan Behm

    I now live in Tennessee; formerly from IL (where I would see you & Connie at the Rosemont Quilt Show — loved that!). I’m praying for all those in the path of nasty Florence. I can’t believe all the rain that is predicted during & after the extremely strong sustained & gusts of wind!!!
    Also, I just finished a baby quilt for my daughter’s best friend from Law school who lives in the Boston area. Off to the quilter soon since the baby boy was born 9/4/18. I’m taking a collage workshop with one of my quilt guilds next week, still working on the 2017 Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt (which is no longer a mystery, LOL) & I just started a Jelly Roll Rug, the rectangular one! Just a few projects. I’m normal — I know I am, right???

  32. Nicole Hanson

    Again, Greetings from Tucson AZ! For years I have been reading your blogs and enjoying the pictures, and adventures of you and Reed! What a great young man! Always interested in learning and helping. What a joy!
    We still have hot weather. Has been 105 for the past two days, but it doesn’t feel as hot as the 105 of June and July! Fall might be on the way!
    Prayers to all in the path of Florence and her wicked ways!

  33. Gail

    Hi Mary – Gail here from Toronto Canada. I love your pictures and stories. Hi to Connie too – great picture of a bee – reminds me of a movie we saw a few days ago at the Toronto International Film Festival – Tell it to the Bees – a British movie based on the book Tell it to the Bees by Fiona Shaw.
    Also – watching the approaching storm and thinking about all those affected.

  34. Colleen California USA

    Benicia California a small town in the San Francisco Bay Area
    We have a Mediterranean climate warm to hot summers mild Spring and Fall and cool to cold winter and our rainy season is late October to April
    Our days now are in the 70’s with cool nights
    We have a furnace for winter but no air conditioner we use our windows as we usually get a nice breeze in the afternoon off the water.
    We have 4 grandchildren in the Florida panhandle who were just missed by the last hurricane. Totally crazy stuff for this all california grandma.
    We had an earthquake centered in the strait near here last week a quick jolt 3.2 no warning no worry no damage
    We (husband and myself) have had animals all our lives our last cat a rescue died last month, she was with us for 12 years we had other pets dogs and cats when she arrived. She made it clear she wanted to be the only animal in our house so we promised her that we would not add any until she was gone well she out lived all our other pets.
    Now my husband is ill hell to get old back pain and memory issues.
    We or I will get an other dog or cat or both from a rescue at some point for now we are grieving the loss of our cat and enjoying being free from daily or many times daily pet care.

    We do watch the weather in other areas of our country and sometimes just wonder how difficult it must be to have to deal with such storms year after year

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Colleen California – yes, it is very hard to get old and I’m sorry your husband is not well. And I’m also sorry you lost your lone cat – I think of all the free time I’d have if I didn’t have all these animals to care for but I love them too much to live without them. Thank you for writing – I really do love to hear from you girls!

  35. Marie Jenkins

    Hello Mary! Sunny greetings from Simi Valley, Ca! I so love reading your blog and enjoying all your pictures, it is a real treat for me. I’m a California native so I vicariously get to experience life in Iowa through you!! We have two wire hair fox terriers Baxter and Jack-jack and continue to enjoy the challenges of our spoiled boys! They will always be “works in progress” but we love every minute of it!!
    Also I’ve learned so many “farm things” from your blog and am constantly sharing them with our daughter because she and her husband and children, who also live here in Simi , have a little farm themselves. Dogs, cats, bunnies, goats, chickens and turkeys too! It’s nothing like your farm life but wonderful fun for us all! Oh and I’m also a quilter and my home is decorated with many quilts of Country Threads creation!!! So thank you so much for that too!!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Marie Jenkins – I have always loved wire hair fox terriers! I’ve never even seen one in person – are they as “wild” as Jack Russells such as Hazel?

      1. Marie Jenkins

        HaaHaa! Well I’m not sure I’d say completely wild, however I once read terriers are tough to train due to their intelligence, so “yes” they are very obedient dogs…when they want to be!! Our boys are one minute wild and crazy and the next sweet lap puppies! Around our grand kids Autumn and Andrew , I think the boys believe they are little kids too and want to do everything the kids are doing! Our boys don’t look like the traditional wire hair fox terrier because we don’t have them groomed that way, short and curly all over works best for them as they are always into EVERYTHING, as you know with miss Hazel!!

        1. CountryThreads Post author

          Marie Jenkins – I’m with you – I love the all over curly messy look of that wirey hair! Hazel has come a long way in one year!

  36. Diane, Newark, Ohio

    Hi Mary, You know me some because of Squeak, the wonder cat! I live in Newark, Ohio, but I was born and raised in Cuba, New York, a small town in Western NY. I am binding a Disappearing Nine Patch for Fostering Further which will go to a kid who has aged out of foster care. A church here collects things for their first apartments. I also am in a Guild Friendship Group that makes Quilts of Valor, Kid quilts for the hospital, Hugs from the Heart quilts for people who have had a hardship of some sort, and Community Cares Quilts for Hospice and we’re hoping to start making Fidget quilts. My loom is almost ready to make another rug from your book and DVD. We have always had rescue cats and dogs. Right now we just have Squeak who appeared in the Big Lots parking lot 7 years ago. The pumpkins with Reed look like an orange/yellow road. I think Hazel is digging a grave for the poor frog–ick. Isn’t it fun to clean up the barf? Squeak just did so I’m off with the paper towels:) Hugs to you for the blog:)

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Diane – I remember Squeak’s story of being found in the parking lot – she is one lucky cat today! I am very interested in fidget quilts – I’ve never seen one so am hoping someone sends me a picture – to my email. It will be a warm weekend for the Country Living Fair. I remember some mornings were so chilly but by afternoon I was sweating in my place with a western exposure as I was sitting there making a rug. I really should start another one myself!

  37. Rita

    Hi Mary I love to read about your adventures and the daily activity of your animals. I live in Southbury Connecticut in the foothills of the Berkshires. My Aunt has a dairy farm in New York.
    I am sitting hear listening to a barred owl right outside my window and to at least a billion crickets. I love the night sounds.

  38. Starrla

    That is a beautiful assortment of pumpkins and gourds. The colors are great and could easily be in a quilt. I’m from Port Huron. I have an adorable little rescue dog named Sadie. She is part minature poodle and who knows what else. I am currently working on a dog quilt for my 6 year old grand daughter. Some of the pieces are only an inch and each dog is slightly different. They look like Boston terriers/ French bulldogs. They are so cute but so time consuming to make.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Starla – hugs to Sadie from Iowa! Your granddaughter must love dogs! Good luck on that quilt.

  39. Donna Sproston

    You and Connie inspired me to start quilting with your charm school books which I discovered soon after retiring from teaching in 2004. We live in an Ozark style log cabin among the rolling farms outside Monmouth, Illinois. Harvest has started here. I make small quilts with small pieces, very scrappy, and that must be from that early charm school influence. I taught seventh grade science and I think their short attention spans also influenced how long I want to work on a big quilt! Growing up, I had a dear neighbor Sidney May who took me on amazing outings, just as you provide for Reed. My mother died when I was 8, and Sidney May provided these wonderful experiences for me. My husband and I visited your shop twice, and while I was happily shopping, he played with the cats. Colton was a favorite. I bought my grandsons a drum set one Christmas when they were little. I am sure their folks were glad when they outgrew it!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Donna – Colton is still here and has grown into a very big cat and somewhat of a bully to the others who are terrified of him! We,too, like small quilts with lots of little pieces – wish I had time to work on one today but I have cooking and cleaning to do for company arriving tomorrow. Our harvest has not started. But we got a late start due to late snow and heavy rains. It’s hot here – 85 today!


    I live in East Bernstadt, KY which is one hour south of Lexington KY. I am owner of Paula’s Quilting Pantry quilt shop and open two days a week on Tuesday and Friday. The rest of the week I am busy sewing, housework, mowing, and quilting for our club charity, Farmhouse Friends. We supply blankets and quilts to a local facility for sexually abused children and mental health issues now. Also to pregnancy centers and others We meet 1 day a month at the shop to to work on some of this and we also work on this project at our homes. Life is always busy but I find time to read your blog usually daily. I really enjoy everything you talk about and show in pictures. Wish I lived closer! I did visit one time about 15 years ago. Connie and you were not there but it was on my bucket list and I enjoyed the time there looking around and the wonderful quilt shop. Paula in KY By the way, how is Iva? is she still living?

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Paula – thank you for telling us about what you do! I’m sorry Connie and I weren’t here the day you visited -must have been at Quilt Market or teaching somewhere. You sound like a busy gal – thanks for making those charity quilts. Have you ever made a fidget quilt?


        No never made a fidget quilt. Yes, I think they told me at the time you might have been at a show. How is Iva? Is she still living?

        1. CountryThreads Post author

          Paula Philpot – yes, Ina is still living at 89 years old. She will be 90 next April and is in good health as far as I know.

  41. Jody Randall

    Hi Mary! I’m from Central Ohio and have been reading and enjoying your blog for a couple years now. I just made and gifted to a quilting/work buddy friend the Soaring Triangles quilt from your last book. I even had the exact same charm pack in my stash. The rule for our gift exchange is that we must make something from our stash! No buying or very little. 🙂 I wish I’d know about these fidget quilts because my father-in-law passed in February from dementia. He would fidget all the time. Now my mother-in-law has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. She used to be an avid sewer so I think once she progresses further along (doing fairly well and still living on her own) I will be making one of these. Please share yours when you complete!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Jody – I’m going to investigate fidget quilts and I’ll let you know! Are you going to the Country Living Fair in Columbus this weekend?

  42. liz hinze

    Brand new to your blog, my friend told me about it. I think I’m going to enjoy it. She also loaned me your book “Civil War Remembered” I want to make every quilt in the book!
    Thank you,
    Liz Gladstone Oregon (Where it is finally raining!)

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Liz Hinze – welcome! Glad you’re getting some badly needed rain – get all those quilts made before the next book with 14 more Civil War Quilts comes out next February.

  43. Ann Roth

    I live in Clemmons, NC which is about Midstate. Heavy rain and wind headed toward us. I am
    hunkered down with a fun UFO to sew on!!! Hope I don’t lose power###******@@@@+++??


    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Ann Roth – oh my gosh! That’s the worst part – losing power! Good luck and be safe!

  44. Linda Gabor

    I live in Norton, OH. I look forward to your posts. They do make me feel like I know all of you. I am currently working on the Bullseye quilt from Aunt Amy . I have so many of your projects on my to do list. The Bullseye is very addictive though and I have been on a tear to get it done!!


    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Linda Gabor – thank you for jogging my memory because I said we’d do a bullseye as a sew along and I have not had a chance to get this organized. It’s got to cool off a bit first – I think Bullseye is the most fun quilt I’ve ever made!

  45. Beryl BC

    I very much enjoy your blog. I lived fairly close to you growing up and now live in Ohio. We visited your shop several times. Besides buying things, we made it a point to pet a cat while away from ours. We currently have 2 cats that showed up outside our door. I was fortunate to join some family for Quilt Expo in Madison, WI last weekend. Currently, I’m working to complete a log cabin project.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Beryl BC – thank you for petting the cats when you visited the shop. Reed wants to make a log cabin quilt to take to the fair next year so I’ll make one, too.

  46. Jeri Niksich

    Mary, I have been following you for quite sometime now not sure how long but I sure look forward to your blogs I feel like I’m there with you. I love plants and succulents. I grew up in Iowa (Des Moines) so reading your blog also takes me home to Iowa even if it’s for a short time. Love your adventures with Reed and your love of animals. I have 3 Boxers myself or should I say they have me. Lol. I
    Jeri in rainy Corpus Christi Texas. Oops forgot to say I’m learning to quilt via blogs, You Tube and anything else I can get access to.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Jeri – I recognize your name so I know you’ve been a reader for awhile. Love that your three boxers “have you”! Hot and humid here today – Reed is coming to finish picking the pumpkins after school.

  47. Pat Smith

    I live in Stowe, VT for 5 months of the year and The Villages, FL for about 7. We moved to VT after retirement to ski, but after 70, skiing is not our life anymore. I’m from Ottumwa, IA and went to the University of Iowa. I haven’t been able to live in Iowa since, but the Iowa genes run deep. I started to come to Country Threads in Garner as part of shopping for Winnebagos in the nearby town of Forest City. Now one of my favorite things now is to come to the big yearly Winnebago rally because it’s fun and i get my yearly Iowa fix. I love animals and had to leave for the rally the day after one of our shelties, Jack, was killed in a tragic accident in our yard. Mary and I had coffee soon after when the pain was fresh and still so terrible. Our shelties were a father and son pair probably given up to the shelter by a breeder. We adored them both and adore the one left. Jack was the alpha and Sonny had a hard time between grief and figuring out his roll. He is doing better now. I am too most days. I love this blog and look forward to a new post all the time. I also love everyone’s comments from all over the country.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Pat Smith – I think about Jack and Sonny often and understand how tragic accidents can happen. It’s hard to survive – Sonny’s role has become top dog, huh? I look forward to having coffee next July when you come back to Iowa in your RV.

  48. Lee

    Mary….this is Lee from North Carolina, right outside of Raleigh.
    I still have power and have been working on a wool project from the Fall issue of Primitive Quilts and Projects.
    It’s been a long few days playing the waiting game. My philosophy is if I am well prepared I will not need it.
    So ladies I am prepared. I have flashlights, oil lamps, candles, and battery radio. We have had a day of hard rain and blustery winds. My family is safe on the other side of town. I am so grateful for my power and my little cat
    Believe it or not, my hummingbirds were at the feeder getting bounced around by the wind earlier.
    Looking forward to some sunshine now and fall weather.
    Obviously I love your blog…been following you and Connie forever. Thanks for your prayers everybody. Lee

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Lee – I’m so glad to hear that someone has weathered the storm. What we hear on the news is only bad news! I’ll bet that storm can’t get outta town fast enough for all of you. Buttons doesn’t go outside, does she? Maybe during nice weather. Yes, I’ve known you for many years, Lee!

  49. Susan Sundermeyer

    Hello from Dayton, OH. It has been wonderful finding out where everyone is from and learning a little about each of Mary’s readers. I am retired from General Motors. I used to build trucks and SUV’s for them until my plant was shut down in 2008 due to their bankruptcy. I am a volunteer with Hospice of Dayton. I do patient visitations. I also am one 3 people who head up a group that quilts, crochets, knits, etc for charity. If we have fabrics that we can’t use or scraps, they are turned into dog beds and donated to our local shelters and rescues. I have a 10 year old mini-rescued dachshund and I am awaiting the arrival of a new pup sometime in Oct to hopefully train to go out with me on my Hospice visitations.

        1. CountryThreads Post author

          Susan – Betty is an English lab and I also know an Arlo, English lab – both black. You will love Desi! Send a picture when he arrives.

  50. Sandy

    I am a daily reader from Spokane Valley, WA and have so much enjoyed the map of replies this post has generated. I hope it warms your heart to see how your stories and pictures draw people in. I was lucky to visit your shop twice, with my sister who lives north of Albert Lea, and sent you “kudos” in March 2014 . You inspire so many. Tonight I grieve the loss of my mini schnauzer just a few hours ago. She fought long and hard to stay with us, but her poor heart grew tired. She took part of my heart with her and I will miss her beautiful spirit. Thanks for sharing your life with us and helping us appreciate what is most important.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Sandy – my heart gave a lurch and I got goosebumps when you wrote about your beloved dog – oh, it is so so hard to lose them! You will need time to grieve but then I hope you give another pup a great home – there’s one out there who needs you!

  51. Jo

    Greetings from Wyoming! I live in the capitol and largest city in this state…pop around 53,000.
    My little Loretta is a golden retriever mix, rescued from the cocker spaniel rescue. She is small, but a handful. And she is left handed. We should have named her Windy, the way she runs.
    In addition to quilting for our charity group, my friend and I teach quilting at our local jail. It has been an eye opening, wonderful experience. We are so thankful this program is allowed. I spend a little bit of time preparing for a demo, show and tell, fixing sewing machines, sharpening scissors and rotary blades.
    I am so envious of your green thumb. That crop of pumpkins Is unbelievable. Reed is such a wonderful friend. Thanks for sharing all your adventures and your critters.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Jo – I love to hear about your life – the quilting program is fantastic and I wish I could meet Loretta/Windy!

  52. Kate Schloemer

    I’m from Lewisville, MN, which is 20 miles north of Fairmont. I picked some of my grapes this week and then made jelly. Had a little juice left so decided to try making a gallon of wine. I’ll let you know if that turns out.
    Yesterday I canned some tomato juice. Today I hope to finish a book I’m reading and work on the baby quilt I have on the frame.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Kate Schloemer – your day sounds like a perfect one to me! Can’t wait to hear how your wine turns out! I love hearing what you girls are doing! I love it!

  53. Joyce C

    Hi All! I’m from Brandon SD. I took a Com-Ed beginning quilt class 30 some yrs ago. Rest is history. I grew up on a farm in southern Mn and it’s still in my family. I love all crafts and recently started doing pottery and invested in a wheel. This fall I’m taking classes in glass blowing.. hand forged jewelery and miniature oil painting. This weekend we’re taking the dock out at our little lake cabin and welcoming fall.. my favorite season. Love your blog Mary and hearing about everyone else ♥️

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Joyce C – you have many interests – all which sound fun to me and probably others, too. I have to stick to quilting and animals!

  54. Carol

    Hi Mary, the emailon the side bar of Chicken Scratch does not work, can that be? I was inquiring about the Maple Leaf pattern, sent the $ and SSAE about two weeks ago, it included a tiny card with a tuxedo kitty on it…wanted to know if you received it or should I resend?

    Carol Eberhardt

  55. Kim LeMere

    Hi Mary, I’m so glad that you have the blog and show us pictures of Iowa and all the happenings on the farm. My parents are from Osage and my mother still lives there but moved off the farm 5 years ago. I love seeing the corn, pumpkins and all those critters. You and Reed go on the best adventures. I have been to the shop many times when it was open. I now live in TN not far from Nashville. My quilt guild makes fidget quilts every year for our local Hospice center and lap quilts for the folks that spend time there. Its just an amazing organization. I have a small flower bed that I putter in but our soil is not as wonderful as Iowa dirt so being successful is a struggle. I’m currently working on king size quilt using batik and the cake recipe papers. My husband I do lots of short trips seeing the sights so we have no pets but hope to have an Airedale when we are home more.

  56. Roxanne (Vienna, VA)

    Checking in from Virginia here! Gosh, it has been a blast to read all these posts! I’m a more recent follower of your blog and really enjoy reading about whatever you’re doing. I grew up in a farming community in Nebraska but we lived in town. I’ve been quilting since the early 80s and like someone else above my first class was an Adult Education offering. Working on a miniature sampler for a friend right now—love sampler quilts! We have a standard poodle named Theo and he’s a hoot! Such a high jumper, like a kangaroo.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Roxanne – thanks for writing – I always like to hear about the pets, in your case – Theo! Isn’t it fun to read about what’s happening to our little group of friends across the country?

  57. Judy

    I am from Oregon and really enjoy reading your blog. I have to admit that I don’t comment often but will try to more in the future. It is very interesting reading your blog as you always have something going on that seems pretty exciting to me. Your outings with Reed are so fun to read about and I think it is so great that you give him time and take him places. Not many kids have that in their lives these days.
    We just got back from a three week vacation to Iceland and Switzerland. Both countries are unimaginably beautiful in different ways. Iceland is so unusual and has the most amazing waterfalls I have ever seen. Switzerland in the Bernese Oberland area is the most beautiful place I have ever seen. My father’s family came from there and we were able to spend time with some of the family in Switzerland. In fact, the woman we rented an apartment from for 10 days turned out to be a relative and that was fun to visit with her. I grew up on a dairy farm in Oregon and it was interesting to see an Alpine descent where they bring the cows down from the alps for the winter. It is a pretty big festival in each place with singing, yodeling, playing of the alphorn, crafts and cheesemaking. The cows are decorated with flowers and they wear bells around their necks so you can hear them coming. The herds are not large with 14 cows being a large herd there so I think the cows are more like pets and they are very tame. It was a great vacation but I was ready to come home and sleep in my own bed.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Judy – oh my, I’d love to see those cows coming down from the mountains – your trip sounds fabulous but yes, it’s always good get home!

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