Pumpkin Spice, 10-4-2020

NOW Pumpkin Spice is in the online store! Here it is again to refresh your memory.

This was a pretty fun “block” to make and if you made multiples of this the corner squares would come together to make a 4 patch and you could make the flying geese go two directions. Hmmmm…..do I have time to start something else?

It was Confirmation Sunday at my church this morning – postponed from last April. Seemed strange to have it in fall weather. I hurried home to feed puppies and get Hazel and Telly out in the fresh air.

Dirty Dozen:

Has anyone studied this book? I love Lone Star quilts but I’m wondering if the old fashioned way of piecing might be easier than this method – I can’t wrap my head around the technique and was hoping one of you had tried it and could help me.

And now I have exciting news! An anonymous fan of Country Threads has donated a complete kit for This Old Farmhouse – pattern is even included in the kit – as a give away. I know this means lots of comments for me to read but I’m interested in who reads this blog. Tell me something about yourself that I would find interesting and in October 15 I will draw a random number to win.

Remember this version of This Old Farmhouse?

This kit is the original blue background and other assorted fabrics so if you like this version, you’ll love this kit, retail $74.95!

Leave me a comment about something interesting I’d like to know about you – this could be really fun!!! No give away until October 15 – it will take me that long to read the comments!

Kay and Gayle – who both had surgery last week – how are you doing?

Deborah B. – who lives in Japan – I need an update from you.

Jeff L. – in a care center – I’m thinking of you!

Sue in Oregon – did you sometimes sign your name Crabby Mrs. G.?

Donna S. – are you finished with your treatments?

Kathy S. – are you still milking cows? How are your knees?

Cindy S. – please update me on your health.

Dianne Cook – have you had your cataract surgery?

Susan K. – do you have all your aloe plants moved in for winter?

Jessica T. – I need a health update from you because I’m thinking of you.

Diana S. – how is your husband and mother?

Carrolyn V. – how are your grandkids? Hopefully we can watch BB together again.

So many of you who have shared tidbits of your life with me – thank you! I love reading your comments and emails!

Time to close up the barn – it’s going to be chilly tonight!

228 thoughts on “Pumpkin Spice, 10-4-2020

  1. Janice Holton

    Oh, I LOVE this kit! Please enter me in your drawing. I found your blog when someone gifted me a pattern of the Chicken Gumbo quilt pattern. I am making random chicken blocks here and there as the mood strikes. I am a blogger from southern Idaho. I have been piecing for years but just learned how to quilt my own quilts in 2016. Piecing is still my favorite part. I do enjoy the bright modern fabrics of today but find myself drawn more to traditional looking quilts. I enjoy your blog!

  2. Marlene Leonardo

    I’ve been retired for 11 years. I love to embroider and do yoga. I’m consider myself a newbie quilter but that doesn’t stop me from buying patterns and kits. Yikes!!! Thank the person for donating the kit for me. That was very generous.

    1. Moe Baly

      Hi Mary, My good news is that I’m retiring on Dec 31, 2020! Almost 40 years at this job, you’ve been to my workplace, and another 10 full-time years prior to that. I started a notebook called The Future of Freedom. I’m writing down all the things I want to do including read a book, take a nap, ride my bike, have a weed less garden, finish all my UFO’s, and get a puppy! I realize if I get a puppy I won’t be able to do all those other things LOL. Enjoy your blog as always. Have a good week with those puppies! Love Moe.

  3. Rosie Westerhold

    I love to read as do many of you, and love to machine-piece and machine-quilt my quilts. Way back when, I used to love to hand-quilt. At one of the first quilt retreats that I went to, there was a Native American theme to our weekend. The women at our table had to name us as is the Native American tradition. I was named Tiny Running Stitches because I really had very fine hand-quilting stitches, probably 12-14 stitches/inch! Haven’t hand-quilted in close to 30 years. And I was S-L-O-W as molasses. I quickly learned that I could never hand-quilt all the tops I was making.

  4. Carol F.

    First of all thank you for a chance to win the kit and to the person that made the generous donation. An interesting fact about me is that after my husband passed away and I moved into town, I moved my HOUSE and everything in it into town. Thanks to Holland house moving company I was able to continue living in the home where my husband and I raised our children and all our memories of him in this home have stayed with us.

  5. Charlotte Taylor

    We live on a small farm in Southern MO but no longer farm. Have red angus on our farm from two young men who farm many small acreages. All we have are 2 wonderful barn cats who have their forever home. I enjoy reading all your wonderful work with everyones animals.

  6. Fiona at Ice Bear Quilts

    Hi Marya,
    What a great challenge!
    I had two main hobbies as a teenager: quilting and horse riding. I especially loved barrel racing, which I did on my own quick on her feet pony. She loved it too. My mother could never bring herself to watch, but my father thought it was great.

  7. Sue Stringfellow

    I worked in our local high school library for thirty- two years- I was set to retire at the end of the school year- which, because of the pandemic was the middle of March- so I got to retire two and a half months early! Not exactly the way I wanted to start my retirement, but I try to look at the bright side!

  8. Donna O

    Mary we’ve chatted a few times via email about my cat Henry (Henners) now has gone over rainbow bridge last May. I still miss him and my other cat Gremlin who left me in June. 2020 has been a hard year and losing my two “boys” makes it especially hard. They provided me with “so much joy” and there’s not a day that goes by when I don’t think of them. I’m part of your DD but way behind.
    Something you don’t know about me is that I’m a volunteer courier for Be The Match. I transport either bone marrow or stem cells from one city/state to another to the patient. Due to Covid I’ve not felt comfortable doing a trip. My last trip was in April. Hopefully in 2021 I will resume. Love receiving your blog and all your stories on the farm.

  9. Cathy W.

    I love that kit! Trying to think what you might find interesting. How about this? I have been married for 34 years and have moved 14 times and neither of us are in the military! All were corporate moves.

    1. DebMac

      I loved reading about your moves. We just completed #7 in 30 years of marriage. Hubby was career Navy. I figure we have a couple more to go; are you settled yet?

  10. Janet B

    The house on the quilt reminds me of my great-grandparents house. They lived half-way between Winston-Salem and Lexington, NC. Back in the day, their stagecoach stop was called Midway. The community became the town of Midway, NC. Love the quilt. Thanks for considering me.

  11. Karen H

    Mary: I live on a farm and raised horses – one of my foals was sold as a race horse but eventually ended up in Puerto Rico- where he was still racing at age 11 (and should not have been!!) When we found out we decided that we would try to get him back and retire him at our farm- we started in July of 2017 and after several months (and 2 hurricanes)
    he was able to return to our farm on Oct 19th- he now lives here with his 28 year old Mom and another horse that was our baby also (now 18) – all are happy and healthy- I know this was not quilting related but I am with my horses and dogs every day and love taking care of them !!!
    The old farmhouse quilt is beautiful- thanks for all you do – love reading your blog and all the interesting things that happen in your life!!

    1. Teresa

      Karen, what a cool story! I love horses too and I’m so glad you were able to bring your horse back to your farm.

      1. Karen H

        Thanks Teresa- I now help Caribbean Thoroughbred aftercare in bringing horses back to the states and to their forever homes (have helped with over 22 horses)- It is so fulfilling to see them get the love and care they deserve

    2. CountryThreads Post author

      Karen H – your horse story brought tears to my eyes – so glad you found him!

      1. Karen H

        Thank you Mary!! I know you would do everything you could for your animals also- some of your stories have brought tears to my eyes also- I so enjoy reading your blog and seeing your farm and animals

  12. Paula Philpot

    I worked in business at our local hospital for 33 years before opening my quilt shop and have done that for 14 years come Thanksgiving. Paula in KY

      1. Paula Philpot

        Paulas Quilting Pantry, East Bernstadt KY 40729 . You can google or I am on the club website. mountainlaurelquiltersclub.org

      2. CountryThreads Post author

        Diane – you asked where our quilt shop is? We closed our shop in rural Garner Iowa on October 31, 2014. We had been in business since 1982. I have never seen your question before this – did you ask within the comments? Would you please let me know you received my answer?

  13. Dorothy Sharlow

    I am an advanced beginner quilter. I live with my two kitties in northern New York. I just finished your four pumpkin wall hanging. My main hobby is quilting during this pandemic.

  14. Maggie

    What a generous prize! I live in northern MN in a log cabin on a lake in the big trees. Been a quilter for 50 years now. I love all things hand done like embroidery, hand appliqué, wool appliqué, and hand quilting. While I do things by sewing machine, including vintage machines, my heart is with hand work. I miss the days when I could visit Country Threads on your farm. I have a lot of your books and patterns, and will never part with them. Thanks for continuing your ‘Goat Gazette’ in the form of your blog!

  15. Rita S

    Mary before I retired I worked as a paraeducator for 16 years with children with special needs. I also have a very large family of 10 siblings. So the extended family is now over 100. Fun at family gatherings, although this year it hasn’t happen yet.
    Thanks for the opportunity to win a special quilt kit and for your friend.

  16. Robin McGuire

    I love the Old Farmhouse quilt, and the fabrics are gorgeous. I’ve been a fan of Country Threads for years (decades?), with many of your books and patterns in my library! I always wanted to visit your shop and was thrilled when my daughter relocated to Iowa. I moved here a few years ago but learned your shop had closed. I did find your blog and enjoy reading about your life. I’m thrilled you are offering patterns as downloads and am trying to finish up some projects before ordering some new ones. Thanks for the chance to win.

  17. Dot

    You already know that I save the waxed paper liners from cereal boxes! And have various other “Make it Do” habits. A bit of new info is that I’m half-Iowan; my mother’s family were Danish, from Palo Alto County.

  18. Carol Harriman

    Hi Mary, I enjoy your blog and love the quilt kit and pattern. Someone will definitely be a lucky winner. For something about me, we have a smart border collie that loves our small farm and I have been carpeting our garden for almost 40 years. The rug is staked down between the rows of vegetables and helps keep the weeds down. Thanks for the chance. Carol H.

  19. Marie Jenkins

    Hi Mary! Thanks for such a fun idea and extra double thanks to the generous donator!! Quilters really are the best!! Maybe you will find interesting that I’m so TOTALLY HOOKED on straight line quilting and it’s all
    because of you!! You post such great pictures, I was inspired! I’ve completed my pile of small quilts to quilt and have made even more quilts that I CAN QUILT MYSELF!! So a great big thank you for your inspiration!!

    Oh and Happy October from southern California!

  20. Carol Smith

    What a fun way to do a give away! I am from Ohio and read your blog every day. I am recently retired from my job after 37 years and doing a lot of sewing. We have a dog named Jake and three chickens. We also had an unfortunate little incident with Jake and the chickens, much like yours. I was so angry with him for a couple of days until I realized it was just his instincts. We just have to be more careful now. Thank you for all you do, including fostering the mother dog and puppies. Wish we were closer, I’d adopt one!

  21. jan

    What a generous person to donate a kit plus pattern for you to give away. I am a retired dry land wheat farmer from Washington state. I was actively farming with my husband for over 45 years. Driving tractor, combine , truck and also doing all the business side of the farm operation. A great life to be on the farm. I have enjoyed your blog for many years and have purchased a few of your books. Always love reading about all your animals. Take care Mary and thanks.

  22. Brenda C.

    I am a Canadian quilter living in California. For years, my quilts were darker and subdued – my husband calls it my brown phase. Now that I have been in California for the past 20 years, my quilts have exploded with color. I really think our environment affects our palette. Also, as city person, I love reading about life on your farm. Thank you so much for sharing your animals and home life.

  23. Debbie R.

    This old farmhouse is on my bucket list. For the 2021 round of DD I’m planning to do all Country Threads patterns. I have so many that I haven’t made yet so am hoping this will get them done!!I I am retiring in January so I should have plenty of time, right? That’s my plan anyway.

    I so enjoy the blog and appreciate the time and effort you put into writing it. I am a dog lover so also love to read about your pets on the farm.

    Debbie R.

  24. Maureen Potter

    Love the Old Farmhouse quilt kit! Colors are beautiful. i grew up on a farm in Kansas so I love reading your blog about your life on your farm in Iowa. I have been sewing since I was a little girl and love quilting. I used to hand quilt but there are so many quilts I want to make so I machine quilt now. I live in Arizona and miss the Midwest fall season.

  25. Sandra

    I’ve been to quilt camp at the farm twice. Still have pictures on my bulletin board, including Suzanna (?). And some beautiful chickens. Such a fun time!!

  26. Debbie G

    I hope you find this interesting! About 5 years ago, I took lessons on longarm quilting from a friend who has a longarm business. I loved quilting my quilts and was able to rent time. In March, due to COVID, my friend called to tell me she was no longer going to rent to me! So what to do?? I bought my own longarm! And now I am not only retired in 2020, i no longer have to rent time to quilt my own quilts! I love my HQ Simply 16!!!

  27. marion

    wish you were still open and doing camps in the barn–those were the days my friend.

  28. Patty

    Fall is my favorite season, everything is so colorful and the beautiful colors are so warm. I’ve been following your story about Nala and the puppies. I cannot believe how that mommy dog was treated and how you rescued her. That was such a generous thing for you to do. Thank you.

  29. Anonymous

    How exciting to have a chance to win the Old Farmhouse quilt kit! Thank you to the person who donated it, this will be fun.

    Let’s see, something interesting about myself…that’s hard because I feel I live an extraordinarily uninteresting life! Ha! The best cup of coffee I’ve ever had was in Spain. It was so unexpected and welcome as we had traveled overnight by train from Paris and somewhere in the middle of nowhere and the dark of night we transferred to a bus on our way to Barcelona. Our bus got pulled over by the police so the driver pulled into what I considered a truck stop/rest area but we were the only vehicle there. We got off the bus, tired and wore out from the hours of travel and not sleeping well and walk into this place that again, was out in the middle of nowhere in Spain and the food case was full of the most gorgeous pastries and quiche I’ve ever seen. It was so surreal!! We order and I get a cappuccino, go sit outside to try and shake the travel fog and I take a sip of the coffee and I thought I had truly died and gone to heaven. The coffee in Spain was other worldly and I would endure the long flight again just to drink coffee there, it was that good!

    1. Linda R Thompson

      I agree…the Coffee in Spain is totally out of this world. And, the people were genuinely friendly as people in most places are. The coffee at our next stop in France was sad compared to any we had in Spain.

  30. Joyce from NY

    I love reading your blog, look forward to your posts. I started sewing in my early teens & have continued through the years. After I retired from post office I started quilting & became addicted. I also like knitting & hand embroidery. It’s easy to keep busy during Covid with all my projects! Love the giveaway pattern!!

  31. Sherrill

    I LOVE your Halloween kitty cat that’s on for $5 and I bought it today..love that goofy grin! I can’t think of anything exciting or interesting to tell you about me. I’m just boring–HA!!

  32. Judie

    I’m a 71 year old farm wife that loves your blog and pictures. We are in Colorado so have different weather from you but animals are animals wherever you are, frustrating, loving, and usually hilarious. The farm house quilt featured is really pretty. It would look cute with a little outhouse and a clothesline too! When you were trying to decide about fixing your knees, I kept sending thoughts that said “just get it done, you will love it!” I’ve had both of mine done and encourage others to not wait. My grandkids (all boys) stay here on the farm most of the summer having fun, working, and learning what our life is all about. The youngest asked me “grandma, why does your floor always have mud on it?” My reply: “ah, 3 boys and 3 dogs??” Life is good.

  33. Susan K in Texas

    All of the small aloes are all moved. Big Mama is 15 years old and she will be put in the big greenhouse after the other plants are put inside. Others of the large ones will be under the magnolias and will be covered when it freezes. They should be fine as we don’t usually get sustained days under freezing.
    My middle son and I went to visit my mom and dad on Friday. We met them out at the farm so we could social distance (they live in town). My dad has pet catfish. There are about 20 large catfish (over 20”) that he feeds. It’s the first time I’ve seen my dad since covid locked us down. He’s in his mid-80’s so is at high risk. This summer he’s complained that he just doesn’t have the energy he used to have! My mom told him he’s in his mid-80’s and it’s normal. He’s turned over more of the farming and ranching to my brother and a cousin’s husband.
    How generous of your reader to donate the quilt kit for a giveaway.

  34. Kathy Warren

    Fire evacuations are lifted. Hopefully things will be back to normal when we go see the girls in 2 weeks. Hang in there with the puppies! Nala’s previous owner should have been responsible enough to have her spayed.

  35. Sandy Kolarik

    I remember meeting you at Rosemont and your booth was awesome. Connie and you were so nice and I bought so many things but my favorite was a log cabin pin cushion which I treasure. Could never figure the punch needle pumpkin kit.

  36. Diane Bauer

    I always consider my life to be pretty “common” as my Mom would say, but here goes! I’ve been a member of a mountain search and rescue team (Alpine Rescue out of Evergreen, CO—hands down best experience of my life!!), I used to be a wildland firefighter. I’m an enteprenuer—founded and managed a mail order business that sells gear for wildland firefighters (sold in 2016 at 25 years). I have a black belt in TaeKwonDo. And now I’m a marriage and family therapist! Quilting is part of my self care plan these days. I’ve been quilting for about 30 years—my first degree was clothing, textiles and design, but my love of quilting really came from my Grandma!

  37. Marj in Western Wisconsin

    I am a retired CPA who loves to quilt. I found the sunkissed pattern and forwarded to all who asked for it. Currently in hospital with small bowel obstruction. Hopeful no surgery, we’ll see.

    1. Marj in Western Wisconsin

      Good news Mary, I am home and doing okay, no surgery. A bright spot in the hospital was being able to read the blog.

  38. Susan Lee

    Please enter me in your Old Farmhouse drawing. Those fabrics are a treasure! I would just love to win that kit. It will hang on my dining room wall so I can see it all of the time. Thank you to the kit donor. My first Country Threads pattern I bought was Baskets and Bows (copyright 1987)! It uses templates and I just loved it. Of course I made it in blues and mauves! I was a Goat Gazette subscriber . I still am cutting up pieces of my original Country Threads Barn Dance and Wear Warm Clothes fabrics. I am very stingy with them. I still love the “country” palette and sneak some into almost everything I make. Thank you for all of your hard work writing the blog. I am an animal lover and enjoy reading about all of your pets and farm life adventures. You make my day.

    Thank you,


  39. Carolyn Knott

    I retired 7 years ago from nursing. Worked in women’s health for 50 years. The last 13 in labor and delivery. I’ve been reading and enjoying your blog all that time. I have made many quilts in that time. I lost my daughter a year ago so this has been a tough year. So I look forward to your upbeat blog. I was raised on a farm so I really enjoy reading about you and your life on the farm.

  40. linda winn

    I’m a faithful reader of your blog. My husband an I have been married for 50 years and have 6 grown children. I advocate for special needs adult an I belong to several charity groups. I love to sew and quilt. I have held several positions for non profit groups an I’m so glad to be back in the south. but I do miss my family and friends in Ca. During the years I did attend college and provided care for medical fragile infants in our home. Good memories!

  41. Diana in Des moines

    My interesting tidbit:. I have cheated death twice! Bad motorcycle accident in 1979, and stage 4 cancer when I was pregnant in 1986. I’m a tough old bird!!

  42. Eva Denise Miller

    I have just recently reconnected with you through your blog post. I use to come to your Retreat classes in the barn. It was so much fun and I can remember having some of the best meals in that barn. I still cook some of the recipes you guys shared with us. When you first came out with the Garden Club kits I decided I wanted to get them. I never got around to the monthly kits until this year. Yep, better late than never. Believe it or not, I have really been enjoying working on a portion of that quilt each month. It brings back such great memories of traveling from NC to your retreats, staying in that little hotel down the street from your shop, shopping in the “chicken house” and of course sewing and sharing our love for quilting with you and your guest. You and Connie brought me the wonderful joy of quilting. I loved the quilting process then and just as much today. You have touched so many lives and I thank your for touching mine.

  43. Mary

    I am in Iowa and I just finished hand piecing a Lucy Boston block after not being able to sew all summer. It is so weird how it feels like my thimble isn’t hitting quite right since I broke my wrist. I retired last week and look forward to not having to commute this winter, after years of doing so.
    Great little quilt!

  44. Sharon

    I grew up on a farm in Kansas in the ‘50’s and 60’s. People can’t believe that I went to a one-room school with one teacher, all eight grades, until I was in sixth grade. Then we consolidated with another district. This was the same one-room school where my dad went to school and his mom (my grandmother) taught school. We took our lunch every day, used out houses for our restrooms, and pumped drinking water from an old pump outside. And we rang the big school bell every morning when we gathered on the school steps to say the Pledge of Allegiance. So thankful for these good memories.

  45. Janell

    I have followed your blog for years. I am retired from farming and enjoy quilting, knitting and needlework. Enjoy your animal stories and so thankful for everything you do to support animals and give them, or find them their forever home.

  46. Deb Enders

    LOVE the Old Farmhouse kit – thank you to the person who donated it! It reminds me of an old country home that I stayed in for a week, way out in the country in Victoria, Australia, many years ago. I was 17, and spent one week on a sheep ranch, and worked out in the pastures with the family, tending the sheep, learned out to shoot a shotgun, and had a wonderful time. I was there in the country for a year as an exchange student, and did MANY new things (to me) and still to this day, consider the Australian family I lived with for that year as MY family. I’ve returned to Australia several times since, and they’ve come over several times to America, too. The experience changed my life in so many ways!

  47. Sandi

    Hi, thank you for your blog! I love for it every day. It’s the first thing I like to read. I love all your stories about the chickens and dogs and your life. I learned to make a quilt in 1986. It was my first and my friends mom came over and showed me how to start. It was a log cabin and the movers were coming in 3 days. We made the first few blocks, I packed them in my suitcase and a week later we flew to Germany. I finished it and hand quilted it and still have it to this day. Hugs,

  48. Lisa Wassmer

    Hi. I live on Long Island. We have no real good quilt shops here. My mom taught me to sew a few years ago and I fell in love. So I know drive all over the US to visit shops. You guys were on my list but you closed before I could get there. I love following what’s still happening. The posts about the animals are my favorite ❤️

  49. Jeanie S, Central Illinois

    Thanks for this opportunity, Mary. I have used my mother’s antique treadle cabinet for years with various machines. A couple years ago, I ordered a new, non- electric machine. I absolutely love treadling!
    Take Care.

  50. Tanya in Houston

    OK, not many people know that I was thrown out of the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas…

    Of course, I was about six and with both my parents! Neither of them knew that children could not even walk through a casino!

    It makes a great story when I have to play that old game telling two lies and a truth about yourself. No one EVER guesses that is my truth!

    1. Joyce C

      Lol… I got kicked out of that casino when I was 8!!! My Dad wanted me to see it and played like he didn’t know! Too funny!

  51. Becki

    I started quilting after our son passed away from meningitis 24 yrs ago. I was barely functioning and a friend who had a child pass about a yr prior said let’s Quilt. Oh my I could not read or understand a pattern. So My friend read instructions and she would tell what to do a the sewing machine. Over time quilting settled my soul.
    To this day I can tell when I have not sewn for a while I feel restless..

  52. Donna Sproston

    I have been negligent in reporting my cancer progress. I had a mass removed at Mayos on June 29, and my amazing surgeon walked in that evening and said I was cancer free! Because of Covid, they said I was too healthy to stay longer than two nights so I came home with drains in place and tubes dangling! My dear friends used a website called Meal Train and dinner arrived every night at 6 for six werks. I am the luckiest gal alive. I did have to wait two months for my first shower due to the last drain, but I was not going out much anyway. We head back to Rochester in the morning for a scan on Tuesday and we expect to get the all clear. It has been a long seven months since my diagnosis, but in many ways I have been fortunate to have something to think about besides not being able to see family. a

    Our older daughter is teaching twenty first graders on line in Wisconsin. The best part of the day is when the “closer” leads the class in saying good bye to every one. It now takes twenty minutes because they each want to have a turn. What joy it will be when they finally meet, perhaps in January. Our younger daughter works for Mercy Corps and is stranded in Amman for the foreseeable future with her two cats to keep her content. Last week she ran the entire length of the JordanTrail, 420 miles, and set the fastest known time record, previously held by men. I would love to have had the chance to participate in high school sports growing up in Kansas, and thanks to RBG, every girl now has that chance. Our daughter hopes her success will inspire every young girl. Jordan Tourism sent a videographer along to film her trek and I will post the link when the film is online.

  53. Judy O.

    Every day I love reading about your farm and all the animals. I was raised on a farm 70+ years ago and it fills a void in my heart to see the beautiful countryside and gardens and animals and and and. I miss that so much. An evening ride in the summer breezes along the country roads reminds me of those wonderful days of hard work and the reward of seeing what your family has accomplished. Quilts brought me to your blog but farm life is equally comforting. Thank you.

  54. Nancy Steinberger

    When I lived in Forest City, Shelley, the owner of The Quilted Forest lived next door and babysat my kids!

  55. Robin Boggan

    The Farm House would be fun to hang with my other smalls.
    I took a class from you and Connie came out to the Buggy Barn and fell in love with the mystery quilt! It still is one of my favorite. The next year you came back and I took another class it was the weclome at the bottom and the flag at the top. 🇺🇸 It hangs in the hallway going to my sewing room.
    I love reading your blog and look forward to see what you are making or what is happening at the farm. Thanks Mary for brightening up my day and taking the time that you put into your blog! Take care my friend! 😊

  56. Paula Nordt

    I would love that kit, so how to condense 65 years of living? Hmmm. Ok, began quilting when my kids were little. Stopped when I went back to college for a teaching degree in Reading. Spent many years teaching and as an Assistant Boy Scout Master. This was before all their present difficulties, and I’m still proud of it. Began quilting again my last year of teaching, and have been quilting ever since I retired four years ago. I am currently learning to free motion quilt from HollyAnne Knight. And I love animals also. I live out in the country, and people constantly dump stray animals. Since November, we have taken in two Toms and a year old mother cat with two kittens. All dumped. We take part in the county Trap, Spay/Neuter, Release program. It has been a very sad, rough year for these kitties. One had feline leukemia, one died from snake bite, and one developed a non-operable cancerous tumor. And then on top of that, my sweet 10 year old cat Freya died from another mammary tumor after a three year remission. I keep saying no more, but know I’ll open my heart again the next time one shows up.

  57. Minnie Homans

    I made Edyta Sitter’s quilt Winter Village which is all houses in blue and white. I really enjoyed making all those houses and would really enjoy making the Old Farmhouse quilt. I was changing my closet over from t shirts today and changed over to sweat shirts and came upon a sweat shirt from Country Threads. It has to be at 30 years old. Still looks pretty good. I bought a used Bernina sewing machine this past July. At 82 I wondered if I should buy another machine but I am having fun learning to use a new machine. It’s a 560 with the stitch regulator. i really enjoy your blog. It’s the first email I look for every day. I have an orchid that I had for at least 3 years and could not get it to bloom again. I said this summer it is going outside and it if doesn’t do anything its is going in the garbage. Well now it has two spikes and 4 flowers. What a surprise.

  58. Paula in Texas

    I am on my way back to Texas after Volunteering for eight weeks at Grand Portage National Monument on Lake Superior. On our days off I sew quilt blocks and quilt tops. I have three new quilt tops to take home with me. I am busy with several sew alongs for the month of October.
    I attended one of the last workshops in the Barn, one of my quilting highlights! I treasure the time I spent with you and Connie. Thank you for your posts and a big thank you to the person who donated the “Old Farmhouse” quilt kit.
    Paula in Texas

  59. Kim

    I would love to win the farmhouse kit. I enjoy reading your blog , and following your life on the farm. I have been sewing for probably 55 years, since I was a 4H member. I’m looking forward to retiring so I can spend a lot more time sewing and quilting. My sewing room “ overfloweth” with patterns, fabrics , and ideas Just waiting to be sewn. Thank you for keeping us entertained and to the friend who donated the beautiful kit.

  60. Shirley Svoboda

    I live in Homer, Alaska. I am a retired nurse and am having a knee replacement Oct. 13. We came to your store every summer for many years when we came to 4th of July family reunion at Little Spirit Lake. I would love to sew this quilt while recovering….luckily it is my left knee!

  61. Kim T

    Wow…such a generous and wonderful give away! The house reminds me of my aunt and uncles home where they retired.
    What is interesting about me? I was a partner in a quilt shop. Then my husband passed away and I needed a job with insurance. So, I worked in healthcare for almost 16 years. I retired 6 months ago…and have a fun part-time job…I work 2 days a week in a quilt shop…like going to work to play!
    Many years ago, I came with a group of friends and we did a class in your quilt loft. It was a class with lots of triangles and pumpkin appliques, from a Red Wagon book. It was so much fun! I need to get my autumn quilts out so I can hang that one and all my others.

  62. Maureen

    My husband used to work in a prison. I once attended a dinner inside the institution and sat next to Jimmy Hoffa. Sounds farfetched, but it’s true.

  63. Wendy P

    I’m a Canadian blog follower living on Vancouver Island. I’ve followed for a few years now. I stay pretty much in the background, but enjoying the Dirty Dozen challenge. I now have all my UFO’s on a spreadsheet and tracking my progress thanks to the Dirty Dozen challenge. Thanks for writing the blog – I love following along with puppy/farm animal/quilting musings.

  64. Anne

    My grandma my mom and myself were or all quilters. My grandma was 104 when she died, my mom is almost 89!
    So what do I have in store for me!
    Whatever it is… I am sure it envolves a lot of quilts! Great give away 😍

  65. Donna C. From Kentucky

    At age 64 I have taken up dog training! I have a now 10 month old puppy that is head strong and super smart. It is my salvation with him being my first student!!! Wish me luck.

  66. Margie Braaksma

    I have an 11 month old Golden named Barkley and 6 cats in my house, two of which are 17 1/2 year old siblings who we rescued from a feral mother. You had a cat quilt pattern one time and I made it in honor of my cat Leo. Love your blog!
    Margie in Sibley Iowa.

  67. Beverly Williams

    Hi Mary, I am not a quilter but wish I was! I enjoy seeing all the quilts everyone makes. My sister, who is a quilter, told me about your blog and just knew I would love it because of all the animal stories and she was right. I’ve been reading your blog for over a year now and dearly love dogs especially. I don’t have any biological children but I have my dog & cat now and dogs past that have helped to fulfill that nurturing instinct. An interesting tidbit about me is that I have been (and still am) a clogger (not a blogger 😊) for 30 years and still love it! If I win the Farmhouse Quilt Kit I will gift it to my quilter sister. Thank you for your fun blog!

  68. Martha Engstler Gettysburg

    I’ll be 85 this month and have been sewing since 7th grade. I used to make all my own clothes. Now the only sewing I do is quilting which I love and am addicted to punchneedle. We have two cats and one we jokingly call puppy because he follows my husband around like a dog. It’s been fun reading all the comments.

  69. Susan Linder

    I was born in and spent most of my life in Ohio. I am now retired and living in Savannah, GA. When I lived in Ohio my job took me to Spencer, Iowa quite often. I would try to book my trip to be in Iowa over the weekend and several times I drove to your shop on Saturday. Loved spending time there and had to mail boxes of fabric and patterns home just about every time I was there.

  70. Patti S

    Hi Mary, Thanks for the chance to win such a lovely kit. I have been sewing for a good many years. In high school I used to make my own tennis dresses. I think I still have some of the odd buttons I used. Anyway, I always enjoyed receiving the goat gazette, and about 25 years ago my husband, son and I took a road trip to your shop. I was in heaven shopping and enjoyed looking at all of the samples. I enjoy reading your blog, it reminds me of that special trip.

  71. Nancy S.

    Love the farmhouse kit! I am partial to piecing with scraps and always look for the scrap bags at the quilt shops! So fun to see what can be made with leftovers from other’s projects. Have been quilting for 40 plus years, and won my Bernina sewing machine by entering a drawing for a scrap quilt book. My first computerized machine, and had to take lessons so I could sew on it. And I love it, even though it is now over 25 years old! Look forward to seeing your blog posts. I am a South Dakota farm girl married into a National Park Service life with both of us having careers until retirement.

  72. Helen Glover

    I am now convinced I have the most boring life ever! haha!! nothing near as exciting as these writers. The thing I am proudest of is that I taught piano lessons off and on for some 15 years. Always loved watching the kiddos learn and then grow up to perform and become teachers also. I also played the piano at two churches for many years. Am now retired and enjoy being with my husband as much as I can. We used to deep-sea fish but lost our boat to hurricane Michael. I am a quilter and love piecing. Those house kit fabrics are just my style. Thanks to the donor and to you for allowing us to enter. I love your blog. Especially love seeing the goats antics and keeping up with all the doggies. You are a gift to all these animals. Love seeing your plants and the farm also. Thanks for sharing your life with all of us! It’s been a blessing especially during this time of “being apart” from all those we would love to be near! God bless you!

  73. Marian in Rochester

    Hi Mary, so look forward to your musings. Thank you for fostering the puppies. I love the farmhouse quilt. Will be fun to put the colors together. By the way, I turn 80 on Wednesday. Doesn’t seem possible.

  74. Marilyn Magelitz

    Oh my gosh, Mary, you do have a lot of reading to do! I found the comments very interesting! I have been married for almost 55 years. I collect cats and buttons. I have over 300 sets of cat salt and peppers shakers alone and too many buttons to count. Sadly, i am down from 4 real cats to 1 3 legged cat. I live in California in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Yes, we are worried about wild fires. Have my to go bag ready and have packed up a box of old framed pictures that can’t be replaced. Of course I love to quilt! Thanks to the person who donated the lovely kit and to you for your GREAT blog!

  75. Celine Kingsland

    Hi..thanks for the opportunity to win! I recently fostered a mama cat and her kittens. The kittens were born in my bathroom. One of the kittens has Cerebellar Hypoplasia (also known as Wobbly Cat syndrome). Due to his challenges, I was concerned that he wouldn’t find a suitable home. I also got attached to him. I ended up adopting him myself, and he’s doing great! Linus can walk around the house, but often falls down. And yes, he does wobble when he walks! His condition won’t improve, but he’ll adapt to it and his movement will improve.

  76. Sally Christiansen

    Mary, Thank you so much for the chance to win this kit. I live just across the border of Iowa in Nebraska and started following your blog as I so miss Iowa where I was born and raised. My husband and I moved to Nebraska 14 years ago to a farm house we remodeled that my husband’s Grandparents built in 1910. The most interesting thing about me is that my daughter moved to North Carolina 10 years ago and married a very nice boy raised on a farm there so now every other month I travel to spend 2 weeks with them and my 3 Grandkids.

  77. Barbara Bennett

    My grandparents had a farm in Van Buren County, Iowa. I enjoy reading about your farm because it reminds me of visits to their farm as a kid. I’m sorry I never got a chance to visit your store.

  78. Diane and Squeak

    Mary, thanks to you and the generous donor of the Old Farmhouse kit. Something you don’t know about me is that my first job at age 10 was pruning Christmas Trees on our tree lots in Western New York. That was my dad’s hobby.

  79. Sandy

    I live in Spokane Valley, WA. I love reading your blog every day, comment infrequently, and visited your shop twice. My news, in July we got a salt and pepper Mini Schnauzer puppy who just turned 5 months old last week. She is the epitome of a puppy, energetic, inquisitive, fully committed to loving us and absolutely gorgeous. She is also a digger and a chewer, but still a snuggly baby. She knows we are her people. I try to work on a quilt project everyday, but I still work full time and tend to my 91 year old mom. Some days are too busy. Your blog is an inspiration, especially in these trying times. Thank you for letting us be a part of your life.

  80. Jean Slater

    Hi, I first went to your place during a WIT rally probably around 2012. I looked forward to the rallies just so I could visit your place. Not sure I enjoyed buying material or seeing all your animals more . We have since sold the motor home due to my husband health. Love your blog.

  81. Susan K in Texas

    Forgot to tell you in the earlier post. I used to test patterns for Shelley Cavanna. If you take time with her patterns they are very doable – make sure you label the pieces as you cut them. She is very meticulous in her instructions. One of her mystery quilts is on my bed, the Gypsy Queen quilt i finished as a DD is one of her patterns, and I have pieced at least 3 more of her patterns. Her star book is on my want list for sure!

  82. Jo in Wyoming

    Mary, you have interesting readers! Thanks for the chance for the kit. The house is one of my favorite patterns. I feel like we are old friends, so what could surprise you? I collect sewing machines. Some unusual ones include, 3 that are hand crank, a two level cobbler’s, and a curved needle machine.
    I adore fabric. Love, love, love your blog.

  83. Arrowhead Gramma

    Love this quilt Mary. It would look wonderful hanging on the exterior of my newly painted house.

    Just completed yearly testing, etc. and my oncologist deemed me doing great following a Stage 3 ovarian diagnosis nine plus years ago. So very grateful to Hod and the power of prayer.
    Have followed you since the Goat Gazette days as has my daughter. Take care and be well.

  84. Judy

    I would say the most interesting thing about me that you don’t know is that I lived in Thailand for almost 3 years. My husband is from there and his company sent him over to manage some work that they were having done in Thailand We lived in the northern part where the weather is a little cooler. Our kids went to an international school and we met people from all over the world. Some were missionaries, some were in the diplomatic service and others like us were sent over by the company they worked for in their home country. They drive on the opposite side of the road from us so I had to get used to that and when I came home I sometimes had to really think about what side of the road I needed to be on. It was an interesting time in my life and I am glad I had the opportunity to live there and experience another culture and country.
    What a great giveaway from a very generous person!

  85. Beverly Lockmiller

    love That house quilt. Blue just happens to be my favorate color. I have 3 dogs and just one cat now. We lived on a farm for years. It is my husbands family farm that his grandfather homesteaded. our son is 4th generation boss there. we loved the farm life but kids pushed us out. We let them. My life is quilting golf and bridge. Love them equally. I ve been to your shop 4 times before you closed.. It was right on our route to visit our daughter in wiscon. love your blog but don’t comment much.

  86. Mary jane

    Hi- love the pattern. I gave a daughter up like 43years ago and she has located me via an uncle of mine doing genealogy. Have actually met the family and enjoying every time we text. Love to quilt and do handiwork. Always learning new things.

  87. Becky Reeve

    I love to watch and follow Indy Car racing. I am a quilter and cross stitcher and give most of my creations away as gifts. And I know that my Redeemer lives!!!

  88. patti leal

    hi mary. thank you to you and your friend for the opportunity for the house kit. i learned to quilt in 1991 and was hooked. still working on my dds. one needs basted and one needs quilted. all the stories have been interesting. thanks to everyone, patti in florida

  89. Sue in Oregon

    Hi Mary….I will put your curiosity at ease right away. I have never signed my name Crabby Mrs. G. LOL Of course, now you will have to do some more guessing. Who could it be??
    I thought perhaps I was the oldest one here, but reading though all the comments I find that my 81 years have been topped. I really can’t believe I am that old. The years have just flown by…maybe because I have been married to my best friend for 62 years. We have changed course several times in our lives but now find ourselves on a small farm and loving it. We have been here for over 25 years. I had always wanted chickens, and now I tend a sweet little flock of hens. No roosters. We were in the cattle business, but now lease our fields to a neighbor. We hope to stay here as long as we can, but have no crystal ball to tell us how long that will be. So, I quilt, garden, tend chickens and my husband loves his old tractor collection and his new tractors (2 Kabotas) that he loves. He really helps me with the garden too because I find it hard now to weed and bend to harvest. So, we slowly go about our activities, but we are still going. LOVE the farmhouse quilt. Thanks so much to the doner.

  90. Christine M

    I have a rescue dog by the name of Fate. Fate was found abandoned in a field. She was full of ticks and very hungry. She was taken to the local humane society where a Rescue organization found her and nursed her back to health. Once she was healthy she was to be flown to Idaho from California with 100 other dogs (apparently there is/was a shortage of dogs to adopt in Idaho and Southern California has way too many. Win win for all). Well Fate is a medium sized dog and was one of the last to be loaded. Her cage just would not fit. One of the Rescue members saw her and said “it is fate that you didn’t get on that plane, so your name will be Fate and I will take you to my house and we will find you a forever home”. Well Fate and her foster mom spent weekends at Petco with other dogs from the rescue hoping to be adopted. At one point Fate was adopted, after the Rescue had interviewed the potential new parents and had checked out where she would live. Unfortunately (or fortunately for us) the adoption fell through after Fate snapped at one of the children in the home that teased her. We happened to stop at the adoption event a few weekends later and fell in love with her. We passed inspection a week later and Fate came to live with us. We did not change her name because we also thought it was Fate that we found each other. She has been with us for six years and we love her! She even has her own Instagram account: @fate_the_dog

  91. Cathy

    My interesting tidbit is I live in a town that has the largest historic district in the country & the house I live in was built in 1840.

  92. Mary Kannas

    Well a little about myself. I grew up on a farm and now after many years of living in town, my husband and I own an acreage in the country. We have horses, a few cows, two dogs and many barn cats.
    We love to vacation in Minnesota in the summer. We would drive up I35 and would stop at Country Threads on our way. It was a great quilt shop!
    The farmhouse quilt kit is one of my favorites. How generous of the donor!
    I look forward to your blog posts everyday.

  93. Sandy

    Hi Mary, there were 3 replies when I read your blog today, so I went away to think of something interesting about me,then plowed through lots of replies!everyone is keen to win! I am interested in family history,we have discovered our maternal side was on the third fleet of convicts to go to Australia, from there they were sent to Norfolk island to start a settlement.3 of my nana grandparents were convicts! A lot of Australians are proud of their convict background, it took some time to accept .thank you for such an interesting topic,good luck everyone,best wishes from sandy

  94. Sandi McGuire

    I love your blog and look forward to reading it each night. We lost our house in the Tubbs Fire in Santa Rosa, CA in 2017. Then my hubby passed away in July of 2018. I have rebuilt and just had my 1st year anniversary in my new house. Thank goodness I have quilting to keep me sane.
    So many fires this summer but so far not near me.

  95. Brenda Jeffers

    Did you know that I was the county and then regional beef Queen n 1979? It was fun!!!
    I used to always stop at your shop when it was open after my husband had attended church camp nearby. What a great way to end the week!

  96. Denise Leach

    Hi Mary
    Something interesting about myself…. how about Diane E is my sister… we now own a small long arm quilting business… love reading about all your farm animals… the the recent puppy stories…

  97. Cecilia Mire

    Good Morning, I love reading about your life on the farm. Wish I had grown up on one, but I am a city girl. I married my true love at 39 and had one sone, Sean. He is 30 now. I grew up in Rochester, NY and move to Florida at 39, married Jerry and thus Sean arrived. My husband passed 13 years ago and Sean and I decided to move back to cold country. He loves it but my bones don’t. My cousins all wanted me to move back and since I did no one has come to see me or have they called for me to visit them. Of course Covid happened but still we can do skype or zoom but nothing. I am sad about this. But I am a quilter and I joined a local quilt guild and a shop and enjoy getting together and have fun while making bags. I always did quilts in Florida and now I am making bags, all kinds. I also make charity quilts and Quilts for Kids. I enjoy giving back. Still working as a medical biller for the past 35 years. Hopefully I will retire soon. Well that is my life in a nutshell. Thanks for listening

  98. Christy Scales

    I enjoy reading your blog – pups, chickens, & quilting – what could be better? I live in the Texas hill country and have been retired from the nursing profession for two years. However, my husband and I still have one daughter in school which keeps us busy. Currently, she is working her swine project at the ag barn. Here pig’s name is Dwayne ‘Duroc’ Johnson. She likes pig puns as previous pigs were: Ernest Hamingway & Capt’n Jack Barrow. I have joined the local quilt guild & love the ladies I meet and sew with monthly. My favorite quilts are farm girl vintage and lots of 1/2 square triangles and star blocks. Thank you for having this drawing – it is a cute pattern & kit!

  99. Jodee Blue

    I turned 60 in February after being 29 for 30 years then Covid-19 hit the country was it my fault ? I have since had lung cancer surgery and a hysterectomy this year. I’m all healed and feeling fine now butI’m going back to 29 inFebruary.

  100. Sharon Ray

    Oh, I have always loved that little quilt! I live in Florida but my mother lives in California and she is visiting because of smoke from the fires. I love hearing about your farm and Iowa.

  101. Shirley R Mann

    Good morning! My grandchildren ordered baby ducks this spring. I don’t remember the variety name but they look like Mallard ducks but are much, much bigger. The ducks arrived from the poultry house, loved their new duck house and baby pool but because they weren’t raised by their parents – they were afraid of the pond. Once their feathers were in my grandkids tried everything to get them to swim in the pond – absolutely not interested and would waddle away quacking their heads off. The grandkids got out the boat, with the ducks in it rowed to the middle of the pond and threw the ducks on the pond water. The grandkids said it was like they were Jesus ducks. The ran so fast to get to shore that it was like they were walking on the water!! Now, after many weeks, the ducks are drinking from the pond and sitting at the edge.

  102. Gloria from CC

    You’ve known me for so many years I’m not sure there’s anything you don’t know about me. I can’t remember if I ever talked about breeding, raising, training and showing Arabian horses. My stallion Sareei was regional champion stallion at halter and western pleasure which is quite a feat because Arabians either excel and win at halter or working classes, not both. Also he was a black bay, stood sixteen hands (which is tall for an Arabian) and his sire was imported from Egypt. Love the farmhouse quilt and it is on my “to do” list.

  103. Meri in SoVa

    I love your blog and all your stories of farm life! I live in Southern VA on a 157 acre farm…(non-working at the moment) and have 3 children and 9 grandchildren spread across the country. My mom got me into quilting in the 80’s and I even met you and Connie twice…once at Quilt Market in Charlotte NC and most recently in Ohio at the Country Living fair. I’ve made your patterns and many rag rugs. Love this quilt kit!

  104. Peggy Thompson

    Hi Mary! I’m the one who sent you the pictures of the kittens & mom in the spring. Momma Tippy showed up in April (probably dumped) & was so scared that I couldn’t get close to her. Well, 6 months & 5 kittens latter plus a lot of love/patience, she is a sweetheart. The kittens all have happy homes & Tippy lives with us in the house. 😻 Love the Farmhouse quilt especially the original version. Love your posts, too!!! I read each one even though I don’t comment very often.

  105. Anonymous

    Wow! What fun to read all your stories. I’m retired and 72, no, make that 73 – oh well. Because of hardanger embroidery and quilting (and the amount of fabric I own), covid hasn’t been much of an inconvenience – lots to do. If we could only see the grandchildren more, life would be good. Your blog is my day brightener. Thank you Mary.

  106. Susan Q

    Like you, I am an Iowa girl. I found you by way of Jo Kramer. By the time I found Jo and then subsequently found you, your shop had already closed. I wish I would have found you sooner, I could have had many fun quilty road trips. I live in the eastern most part of Iowa. I obviously love quilting, but I also love hand quilting, hand applique, Inklingo, and crochet (mostly doilies). The five year retirement clock has started the count down and then I hope to travel a bit and enjoy more quilty road trips and take in all the beautiful scenery along the way.

  107. Diane O

    This kit and quilt is beautiful!! I live in Michigan and found your blog through Jo Kramer. I enjoy all kinds of quilting, traditional, modern, scrappy. I have a wonderful studio in the daylight basement. We currently have 4 cats, all rescued! Thanks for sharing on your blog, not only about your quilting, but also all the animals and farm!!

  108. Vicki

    I love the colors in Pumpkin Spice! They are softer than what I usually use, but as I look at them I realize I need to branch out. When I started quilting in the 1980’s, I often used what I call warm country folk colors. Over the years I have forayed way beyond that to soft pastels, warm brights, brilliant batiks, and 1930’s fabrics. I still come back to the warm country folk colors. But this new Pumpkin Spice block shows me another option to explore. Because of my love of color, I have a storage shelf made by my father that has fabric arranged by color. It is easy to draw from when I start a new quilt. Thanks for this new example of color usage!

  109. Sharon Lowy

    My wonder cat, Mr. Peach, lost his left front leg to cancer in July. I rescued him from the park 13 years ago. He is amazing and doing most of all he could do before. It has been such a journey for both of us. Love your blog and all your animals. Your love shines through.

  110. Kathy Hanson

    I have never been a “farm girl”, grew up in a small town on the shores of Lake Superior in Wisconsin. However fell in love with llamas 11 years ago. Had two beautiful daughters, the older one is now a Certified Nurse Midwife and my younger one was a sweet disabled girl who died 19 years ago. The farmhouse quilt is precious!

  111. Celene Thelen

    I am an avid quilter and knitter. One of my earliest memories is playing under the quilting frames at my grandmother’s house, listening to my grandmother, great aunt, mother and cousin discuss local “news” and watching a soap opera “The Edge of Night”. What fun memories.

  112. Dee

    I bought the Old Farmhouse pattern in July from you. I will have to email you my picture of it. I really love the pattern i see you have over 113 comments and that is alot of reading along with taking care of all you animals. What a busy time you have.

  113. Virginia

    Have enjoyed reading your blog for a number of years. Was sadden to learn when you and Connie closed your store before I could visit it. Had a friend who attended a class there and told her stories of her time spent with you and the other quilters. I’m a retired veteran….ten years active duty Air Force and ten AF reserve. Go Air Force! Playing Mimi with my one year grandson is a joy. Trying to get a quilt completed for him..wish me luck. Rescued a stray dog (seven months after our mini poodle passed). Hubby said he knew it was only a matter of time before I got another dog. Gizmo walked up to our home while we were in the process of going out. Here was this seven pound matted dog that look like he was down on his luck. Wrapped him up and took to out vet. Vet kept him several days..dehydrated, malnourished, body temp low…he became the sweetheart of the office. Today Gizmo is healthy at 15 lbs and still a sweetheart. He is a Shih Tzu. It is hard to believe he has been with us five years. That was a lovely gesture of a friend/fan to donate the kit. So enjoyed reading thru the comments…did find out that Sue wasn’t your Crabby Lady after all! Hugs to all!

  114. Judy in MO

    Please enter me in the drawing for the pattern. Something you might find interesting is that I’m a rughooker, as well as a Quilter and also love wool appliqué.

  115. Jean Holt, Iowa

    Mary, you are an inspiration for me. I still work, but every morning before I get into the tasks of the day, I check to see if I have an email from “Country Threads.” First email I read each day – it gets me started with a smile and a “push” to get to the end of the day and work on projects. You might say I live vicariously through you. I have made a quilt using the “sew and flip” method – I assume it is the same as “stitch and flip.” It is much like paper piecing only without the paper. You cut the square of batting and then sew the fabric pieces in a certain order to the batting. Unlike paper piecing the fabric needs to be cut to the correct dimensions. I am sure you could do it! October 15 is my birthday and it would be a wonderful treat to be drawn for the kit! Thank you to the donor and you for the drawing!

  116. Maria L Zook

    I enjoy reading about your animal adventures. Up until last August, we had two Himalayan cats that were both rescues adopted at two different times. . iI was so amazed that anyone would surrender these sweet cats. Our Oliver lived to be 16 1/2 and our Oscar is 13. I have owned at least one cat since I was a little girl.
    I have made quite a few of your designs and rotate a seasonal Country Threads quilt on the back of my front door year round. i love seeing your completed projects and your scrappy style.

  117. Jill Norenberg

    Good morning! I share your love & concern for all of God’s furry creatures. I applaud your ability to “foster” even though you end up with a broken heart. Keep up the good work!

    I’m not very “lucky” but maybe my luck will change on October 15th!

    Thank you for all you do!

  118. Rachel, Crescent, IA

    Hi Mary,
    I’m going to throw my name in the hat hoping to win the “Farmhouse” quilt kit! Something about me? My husband and I have been displaced by the Missouri River flooding three times in the past 9 years! So this past winter we bought a house in the Loess Hills we call “Hill House.” Still farm and have the farmhouse. I have learned to help my husband more all the time with harvest and other farm work! We are safe, have our health and enjoy working!

  119. Debbie Rosenbrook

    Hello! I read every blog post and especially love the pictures of the farmer across the road. We are farmers in Wi and have made a couple trips to your shop many years ago so my hubby can check out the Iowa farm fields!! We just celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary and 40 years of quilting. Thanks for doing this!!

  120. Sue in Marion, IN

    Love This Old Farmhouse! Little-known facts about me: Vic Damone was my godfather….my dad served in the Air Force in San Antonio with him and they kept in touch all their lives…I met him when I was 13); I took up tap dancing at age 51…wanted to do it all my life! And I can moonwalk!😁. It was an 8- week class and I never dreamed I’d still be doing it 15 years later. No adult class this year because of covid😢 but more time to quilt, right?

  121. Dianne M Cook

    Love that pattern in those colour. Have had second eye surgery past week. First one going well.

    Had sad news of my sister passing last week.She had not had much contact with our family here, but her daughter has been reaching out to us. Good to have more news of that family when they live so far away.
    Catching up on other doctors appointments now.

    My thoughts are always with you Mary.

  122. Debra J Oscarson

    Hi, Mary, thank you for this opportunity. What a great gift. My claim to fame is back in January 1996, I, along with four other gals, were traveling to Garner, Iowa to take a class at Country Threads. We were coming from the Twin Cities area. The morning we were to depart it started to snow. The forecasters said it was going to get deep. We decided to head out at noon. By the time we got to Owatonna, MN they were advising no travel. We kept going. White knuckle driving. The freeway was closed when we got to Clear Lake. We got to a hotel on that exit and were told no more rooms. We were offered to sleep in the lobby. A young gal heard of our plight and offered to share her suite with the five of us. The next day we lugged our machines in, secured some tables and sewed all day long. We had our fabrics, our books and all the tools to make Farmer’s Daughter by Country Threads. It still hangs on a quilt rack in my home. We never got to your shop that trip. I have been there many times since. Loved the atmosphere…
    Deb O

    1. Janice Hebert

      Wow! Deb! What an amazing story! It sounds like you made the best of a bad situation. I’m sure it was fun! Jan in MA

        1. Mary Kannas

          I always look forward to your posts, Mary. Thank you for sharing your home, talents and animals with us

  123. Agatha Baldwin

    My best friend and I drove from Waterloo after working all day to take your rug weaving class. The class was fantastic and we had so much fun. Loved and miss your store.

  124. Kris in Naperville

    I volunteered at Lincoln Park Zoo, in Chicago, for 16 years…. had so many wonderful animal encounters, behind the scenes and animal handling. I moved away from the zoo (out of the craziness that is Chicago)… that’s why I love to read your animal stories and see your pictures. I am married and have a 16 yo son (I started late, I was 43 when I had my son… so I’m an old Mom at 59.) We share our home with fabric and yarn – that’ s me… bagpipes (that’s my husband)… local history and soccer (that’s my son)… 2 cats and 1 dog… love reading your blog Mary. Thanks for taking the time to post it for us.

  125. Nicole Hanson

    The Farm brings back memories. In Ohio, my Great Aunt and Uncle had a hog farm. When we would all go to visit Uncle Floyd made sure we stay far back when he would slop the hogs! These giant animals would rush the trough as though they’d never had food! It was scary! I imagine that’s where they phrase, “Eat like a pig” came from!

  126. ChristieB from SE Nebraska

    I am celebrating 1 month of retirement!!! Whoo-hoo! I am loving it! Have I gotten a whole lot of sewing done in that time…. um….. NO! Too busy!!! LOL With 6 grandkids and a farmer husband and son, I am on the go ALL.THE.TIME!!! I must say, the house is much tidier than when I was working outside of the home, but, I try to get things done right away in the morning, in case I am needed in the field. I did drive the grain cart the other day – only sheared one bolt on the PTO! Am waiting for the call to move combine, trucks and
    grain cart to another field here in a bit, then drive the grain cart for the rest of the day. My barn cats are loving me being home! They like the added attention! Thank you for the chance to win the quilt kit. And, also a big thank you to the gal who so generously donated it. HUGS… and stitches

  127. Linda baker

    What a fantastic give-a-way! It is such a pleasure to read your blog every day, cause one never knows what surprises you will have for us. I don’t consider myself very interesting, but I did think of one thing. When I was in high school back in the 60’s, a group of us girls got tickets to a Beatles concert in Detroit. We took the train and stayed overnight, my mom was the unlucky chaperone but a good sport who went with us. I still have my ticket stub, and would you believe the price for this concert was $6.00!!

  128. diane

    I’m one of your quiet blog readers. Only posted a couple of times, but I love reading your posts about your farm and nothing beats country living. I’m from the farm and can’t take that out of me. Feel your pictures are so down to earth with everyday living. Had a longarm business for 15 years after retirement, caregiver for 11 yrs and just lost my husband. Life is forever changing.
    Love the quilt and how wonderful it was donated.

  129. Cindy S from VA

    Mary, thank you for all you do for us. I look for your blog every day, and I enjoy reading it so much. I love seeing the farm animals. My heart goes out to you as you foster puppies and dogs and then give them back for adoption. Something about me? Well, I’m an avid traveler, despite having to use a rollator to help me keep my balance. And the big news is that i set foot on my 7th continent (Antarctica ) at the end of February this year, just 2 weeks before our area shut down. And thanks for opening the digital store!

  130. Kathy Zuehl

    Our grandson Kale, got confirmed yesterday also. Such a proud day for him and his life long best friend Evan.
    I am working on a wall hanging kit called Peace On Earth by Coach House Designs. I love everything Christmas sewing!

  131. Carla

    Wracking my brain for something about myself that is remotely interesting. I’m stumped! But I will say how much I appreciate your blog (and Jo’s County Junction). I have raised and homeschooled 7 sons (is that interesting?) as well as teaching Spanish and French in a co-op. Now that I no longer do that my days are busy watching my grandchildren and spending time with my family while keeping an eye on my parents as well. Female friend time is lacking in my life and the blogs help with that! I will say that I would like to meet Maggie from MN…. her earlier comment could have been written by me, except my Lake is Lake Michigan!

  132. Wendy T.

    Hi Mary – I have enjoyed reading the comments from others. Your blog and Jo Kramer’s are my two favorite blogs. I really would have loved to be able to visit your store back in the day. Working with my fabrics has been what keeps me sane during Covid. I am so glad for being able to order fabric online! I have a secret desire to open my own quilting shop someday. Must “retire” first though! Thank you for all your inspiration and stories. I know your posts take up your time. Obviously – you and Connie have built a loyal following of those who have appreciated your creations and your friendship for many years.

  133. Lorraine McGeough

    That is a wonderful quilt pattern. It makes me lonely for the farm life I had growing up. I was raised in a very small town in Montana and my Dad was a farmer/rancher. I would go help him when calves were born and he had a large garden that I helped him with. We basically lived off the land. My grandparents would come out and help when it was harvest time and what a large crew we had to cook for but I loved that kind of life. Lo and Behold I married a wonderful guy that was born and raised in New York City (two different worlds for sure) for us but we have been married for 50 years with 3 children and have such a great time together. I still miss the farm life but have learned to love the city life too.
    I love reading your news while I sit here and drink coffee and re-live the country style life with you. You are wonderful and very kind and caring person. It shows with the animals you foster and care so much about. So glad I came across your blog. Thank you so much.

  134. Jennifer Krough

    We have a King Charles called Buddy! He has taught us to fetch and stares at our lazy boy couch foot rest until we raise it so he lay down by us. He can smell cigarette butts on our walks and puts his brakes on til we pick them up and put in his poop bag. So we’re pretty good dog parents for him!!

  135. Mary Lund

    I love that pattern! I have a twin brother, he has 3 daughters. I have 3 sons! We both feel blessed. Our birthday is Oct 16th. Xo thanks take care and enjoy this fall weather.

  136. PennyC Maryland

    I have sewn since I learned in seventh grade. Mostly clothes for my little sisters until I got married and my husbands Aunt Toots gave us a quilt she made as a wedding gift. I got the quilting bug and had a mystery quilt weekend at my house. From that my sister Anna and best friend Lois got the quilting bug! Anna and I love to be together to sew and fabric shop. It has brought us so close! My friend Lois spread the quilting bug to her mother, daughter in law and her mother. All from that one weekend at my house!!

  137. Barb Borglum

    Good morning, love your quick to read and catch up blog! Found you through Jo at Jo’s Country Junction. I grew up in Winneshiek County Iowa and now live in Minnesota.

  138. Nikki M in Tx

    I once jumped out of an airplane (parachuted) for the fun of it ! I also flew in a WW1 era biplane , piloted (and crashed ) an ultralight aircraft & would love to parasail . I have watched BASE jumping on TV & can imagine the thrill of doing it but am sure is something I will never have the opportunity to do.
    I am an avid hunter but donot believe in waste. If I hunt the meat is put to use (eaten) …I believe in the circle of life. My faith is important to me. I have no tolerance for stupidity. The older I get the less I care what others think .


    I love that small quilt. We have a farm in Oak Ridge ,MO. We raise Angus cattle. My husband and I don’t do any of the work I have a son and 2 grandson’s who help with the farm. My son has a Hauling and Excavating business so they are very busy so I save in and make quilts. Thanks, Nancy

  140. Barb K

    I worked as a Medical Laboratory Scientist (Medical Technologist) for 37 years –first in a Doctor’s clinic but mostly at our local hospital. I retired in 2013 and my husband is semi-retired as luckily, one of our sons decided to come back home and ranch. We raise Red Angus cattle (cow-calf operation) in the Nebraska Sandhills. My first quilt was designing and putting together family member’s block for our parents (and grandparents for the younger ones) 50th wedding anniversary. We each made appliqued butterfly blocks with our names embroidered on them and a center design with two doves and our parent’s wedding date along with “Families are Forever” embroidered in the center. Our parent’s have both passed away and the quilt is now rotated among the children to enjoy. I really enjoy your writing and especially the animals–Hazel is so cute! We have an outside dog named “Daisy” who loves to go with hubby (Jerry) on the ATV. Inside , we have two cats–first Cinderella who is all black, and next, Katie, who is Siamese. We enjoy them very much!!

  141. Jane

    We visited your shop every summer. Camped at the local state park and the kids loved visiting “the quilt farm”! It was a high light of their summer!! They are all grown and on their own and we retired to Florida!! They still talk about the ” quilt farm!”

  142. Patty McDonald

    Oh Mary, I’ll try to make this as short as possible…..but I have a lot to say. The most exciting thing I’ve ever done is, about 20 years ago (I was 50) , go on a missions trip, with our church, to Russia. It was a 2 week trip to small towns north of Moscow. We worked with other Calvary Chapel Churches putting on a concert, street witnessing, and one on one disciplining. In each hotel , we had to leave our pass ports at the front desk until checking out (scary). Most people in these towns lived in 1 bedroom flats (5 story or higher apartment buildings). The heat was turned on in November and off in April. Too bad if there was a late snow storm. No air con (of course). very, very small fridge, and rats were a big problem. Majority of people did not have cars and had to walk to the store….at least a few times a week (remember small fridge). The few grocery stores we visited were NOTHING like ours. One large room with very little goods. There were many street vendors selling fruit. The people had small plots of land they could grow veggies and fruit. At night, we could hear people drinking and smashing their bottles on the street. Alcohol is a HUGE problem in that country. The college we visited was very old and run down. The main entrance had new linoleum. It was rolled out and curved up the wall on each side. It wasn’t glued down just curved up. The walk way was probably 10ft. wide and the lino 12 ft.. I’m sure there are beautiful up to date colleges but that is not the norm. Police stood by the side of the road and pointed a wand at the cars they wanted to stop. Can you imagine that happening here?! Our bus was stopped in this manner and we were instructed NO PICTURES. Our guide is American but was born and raised in Russia and she was very nervous. No messing around with authority in that country. There’s more but I’ve made this too long already…sorry. I wish every teen in our country could visit Russia, stay a month, without their best buddy, go to class there, and get a good sampling of that country. Many would come back with a better appreciation for America. I wanted to kiss the ground when I got home!

  143. Cathy

    I found your blog because of Jo Kramer. I’m enjoying it so much. Thanks for the pumpkin spice pattern, I can’t wait to start on it and the opportunity to win the kit of the Old farmhouse. Such a cute pattern. Love the colors too.
    I love reproduction fabrics, love antiques, and all things old…the decorating is timeless. I love your farm and the happenings that you share.
    I love piecing quilts and quilt my own on my domestic, I just bought a used sit down mid arm. Very happy with that purchase. I also have done needle punch. I’m a cat lover and have 6. All showed up at our house and were feral. 4 outside all the time and 2 go in and out. Would love to have a farmette…but I’m too old to start something new. Happy with our 105 year old house in a small town in Indiana.

  144. Kate

    My husband and I use to own a quilt shop and we met you on your farm just before we opened it. You were such an inspiration to us. I also adopted two puppies two weeks ago and I don’t know how you are managing so many!

  145. Jean

    Mary! This blog is just too much FUN!! I am a faithful blog reader but you do not need to enter my name in the drawing. The quilt kit is precious and I love it but I would rather it go to someone who would actually finish it. I have too many undone projects started. The current one I am working on is 40 years old.

  146. Janet Mayer

    Hi Mary,
    I visited your shop several times when in your area. I love north and east of you – almost to Minnesota.
    I started sewing in 4-H many years ago. That led me to a career as a Family and Consumer Science (also know as Home Ec) teacher. I am now retired but am a church organist as well as a book lover. Yes, I still sew as well. And my husband and I enjoy motorcycling!!! What a beautiful country the USA is!!
    Thank you for all your time and efforts with the blog. I love reading it.

  147. Cindy Cigrand

    Love Farmhouse Quilt kit. I live in a Ranch house and I have a star hang in my limestone front. I came to Mason City to visit my friend, Judy, then we would head to Garner. We would spend hours over the years looking at books, patterns, and best of all fabric! Thanks for the wonderful memories. A really awesome benefit was you would include a copy of your newsletter. Oh what fun!

  148. Anne Depue

    I’ Ve lived all my life in NY and PA, but my maternal grandmother grew up in Spencer, IA. She was the 12th of 13 children and taught my mother to sew, but as far as I know, never quilted. (And my mother, who has sewn me lots of clothes – including winter coats and swim suits- is not a quilter, either.) Now that my husband has retired and we have down-sized, I have more time to quilt, and also have a small but adequate space dedicated to my sewing stuff.

  149. Judith Ann Jaques

    It has nothing to do with quilting. My mothers maiden name was Clark. Her dad owned the livery in Lawton Oklahoma. His hearse carried the body of Chief Geronimo to the burial site. I know you would not know that,LOL
    I make cloth dolls ,that I oil paint. That led me to making doll quilts, that led me to making larger quilts. I am not and will never make a perfect quilt because I want to enjoy the process and really don’t care if there are/is a mistake. I also don’t like tight stippling,I do love straight line quilting. Judy in iowa

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Judy in Iowa – I think that’s VERY interesting – Geronimo!!! Wow!

  150. Melody

    I have been blessed with 12 grandkids, I won
    Your charm school contest back in the day, and my dad made your original wooden quilt hanger that was on your house, as well as, a long one for Connie’s husband’s dental practice! Love reading your blog and miss charm school!

  151. Debbie B

    What a generous gift of a quilt kit. It’s adorable! Well, I have been married 48 yrs. this September and am currently living in my 11th house (this doesn’t include the apartments, etc. in between). And no, we are not military. Speaking of the military, my youngest son just retired from the Marines after 12 years of service. So proud of him. Thank you for your delightful blog. Hugs!!!

  152. Jackie Trembley

    Hmmm, had to think long and hard about what you might find interesting about me since I don’t feel I stand out too much. So here goes, I’m one of six children (three of each). My brother, Adam Joseph, passed away in 2003 from cancer. He was very close to all his nieces and nephews. The oldest niece, Meghan, was the first to have a baby, who she named Adam Joseph in honor of her favorite uncle. Two years later, Meghan passed away unexpectedly, leaving behind her young son. My parents ultimately adopted their great-grandson, thus making my great nephew also my brother!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Jackie Trembly – oh my gosh – such a sad and yet happy family story!

  153. Deborah May

    What a wonderful quilt kit and what a generous gift, I’ve been married since I was 15 and we will celebrate our 55th anniversary this month and I just had a birthday, I have 4 kids 8 grandkids and 3 great grandkids and one on the way, I’ve made them all quilts that I paint with their birthdates weigh length ,etc. and draw and paint pictures on them plus numerous nieces and nephews also, I love sewing and quilting and also making greeting cards for family and friends . We have 2 fur babies they are both black kitties .I enjoy your blog so much.

    1. Susan K in Texas

      I have two black kitties too! Their names are Magnus and Klaus. What are the names of yours?

  154. Kay Crandall

    One week out from knee replacement surgery and I’m doing well. At PT today I could bend 90 degrees out of 90 degrees. I am walking with a cane, but can also get around without it for short distances. My goal is to have the doctor say I can drive again when I see him in a week and two days. Working really diligently on the exercises – my knee is more stiff than painful right now, but I took the compression stockings off today and I couldn’t believe how bruised my leg was! Thanks for asking, Mary! How are you doing with Nala and the puppies?

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Kay Crandall – now I can’t even remember how soon I walked and did other things. I know I didn’t drive until I was released when I had my right knee done. Nala and the puppies are just about the hardest most anxiety producing thing I have ever done in my life. And I’ve done some doozies! These guys take the cake.

  155. debby setlock

    I started quilting about 5 years ago and my 83 year old mother has hand quilted each one for me. It’s her favorite thing to do and if I were to win this wonderful prize, I will sew it together and send it to her to quilt. I live in VA and she’s in MS, and I’ve not seen her in a year bc of Covid. I’ve sent her several table toppers and 2 quilts recently and am working on more, and hope to be able to send her soon. I love your blog and keeping up with the animals. Nala looks like a girl version of my parents dog, Brownie.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Debby setlock – is your parents’ dog perhaps a Louisiana Catahoula dog? That’s what I think she is and her puppies, too.

  156. Marcia

    Your blog is so interesting…just like having a visit with an old friend. I’m from Sioux Falls and have been to your shop many times because I have family in Mason City. I taught a granddaughter to quilt some years ago, and when we were at your shop to buy her fabrics, you were there and took the time to show her some of your outdoor animals. She raised calves for 4-H and was thrilled to meet your animals. She’s 14 now and still loving to sew. The Farmhouse quilt is very appealing to me. Many thanks to the donor! I was an elementary teacher for 41 years, retired for 10. Quilting is a great hobby!

  157. Debbie Miller

    Such a lovely kit and giveaway chance from you and a generous donor! I don’t remember how I came across your blog but thoroughly enjoy reading every post and comment! I live a simple life on our small non-working farm with my husband of 49 years (on Dec. 31st). We have a son-married with 2 kids and a daughter-married with 2 kids-the oldest is married with 1 child and another on the way. My husband is a truck driver and has been for 45 years-23 of those as a gas tanker driver. We have 3 goats currently, 2 dogs and a couple dozen chickens. Over the years, we have had horses, cattle and every other furred and feathered animal know. We even babysat a boa constrictor one time which scared me to death and I hated having to feed it the live baby chicks! I have taught special needs children, worked in retail, offices and my most unusual job was selling and servicing fire trucks which I drove home on a regular basis. I have sewn since I was 5 and currently belong to 4 quilt guilds and Quilts of Valor. I make quilts for QOV and quilts and other items for all the local charities my guilds support.

    1. Kathy in western NY

      Debbie – I would have died long ago from a heart attack if I had to babysit a boa constrictor and feed it something live!! You are one brave girl!

  158. Teresa from Port Coquitlam, BC

    The pattern is so cute and how generous to have a fan donate a kit! When I started quilting I found out I was the first person in my family to quilt. No one seems to know where I get the love for quilting from but it doesn’t matter to me.

  159. Sue in PA

    I love the farmhouse quilt! It reminds me of our honeymoon. I was a city girl but we spent a couple days of our honeymoon in 1972 at our friends’ farm in upstate New York (we didn’t have much money). We made friends with the farmer down the road and had a great time there. The next year we both joined the Army and spent three years in Germany. I was an intelligence analyst. My husband made a career of the military, switching to the Air Force, and years later, when we were stationed in Kuwait, we took our three children on a trip to Germany and showed them where we lived and worked twenty or so years earlier. Great memories!

  160. Linda G

    I was raised in a very small town in western North Dakota and many of my friends either lived on farms or on ranches located in the badlands. My first career was in south east Minnesota, teaching high school students. Then I discovered teaching adults was a lot more fun!! Many moves later through Arizona, California, Wisconsin and now Iowa my hobby interests have changed. I’ve always loved jigsaw puzzles; began doing my genealogy in 1985; and started quilting in 2001. These hobbies really all the same: take pieces to make a whole. I currently volunteer teaching adults about genealogy, specializing in a software program and also Norwegian genealogy. I often related the genealogy to jigsaw puzzles and to quilting. I’ve been to your store several times in my early days of quilting and so enjoyed my visit.

  161. Sunflower from Michigan

    It’s been so much fun to read the comments from this post. I don’t think I have much interesting to tell about myself. I grew up on a dairy farm in Michigan’s thumb region. It has been in our family for 120 plus years. The barn has the year, 1896, carved into one of the walls. I was third oldest in the family of 8 kids but was always the tallest of the 6 girls. Because our brothers were among the youngest, my dad would let me drive the pickup because I could reach the pedals and still stay on the seat. The truck had a manual transmission and I’d drive in first gear though I loved to “shift “ just to prove I could. I remember he would get the truck into gear, then he’d jump out of the truck and I’d slide into the drivers seat. It was great not having to pick up stones/rocks from the field and throw them onto the flatbed trailer like my sisters! When I think of how unsafe that was, I just cringe! My husband and I had our wedding ceremony at the farm. My mom is a wonderful gardener and that summer her flower gardens were spectacular. At age 15, I got my first car, a used baby blue fast back mustang. Every once in awhile I’ll see a similar car on the road and I think it was fun driving that car then, but give me a newer car any day!! My grama, great aunts, mom and aunts frequently quilted at our house. I sewed a lot of my clothes when I was in high school. I started embroidering and then quilting once I was married. I’ve been retired for 10 months and have spent lots of time in my sewing room and in my large vegetable garden. And though my kids didn’t grow up on a farm, they both love to garden. I don’t have any pets currently but enjoy visiting my daughters rescue dogs.
    Thanks Mary for your wonderful blog. I especially love your bad hair day chickens!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Sunflower from Michigan – my dad did the same thing with me driving the old pickup home slowly in first gear all the way! How very unsafe, I agree! But we survived, didn’t we?

  162. Diane from TN

    Hi Mary. So many interesting stories from all of your followers. It’s been fun reading them. I have been following your blog for a couple of years now. It reminds me of growing up on a farm in Wisconsin. My dad raised sheep. When I headed off to college, I left the farm life behind and settled in TN. I retired a few years ago when my mom decided to move from NC to TN. 6 months after I retired, she passed away…but I loved having her close and caring for her during her short illness. My husband and I have two English springer spaniels (they are biological brother and sister). The most exciting news, we are finally going to be grandparents in April 2021.

  163. Dianne in Ohio

    I really enjoy reading your blog and hearing about your farm adventures. My husband and I will have been married for 59 years on Nov. 18th. It doesn’t seem as though that much time has passed. The first 12 years of our life together was spent moving around the country because my husband was in the Air Force. His first assignment, after his training in radar equipment, was in Eagle Pass, Texas. Our daughter, Kim, was born there. Next we went to Eufaula, Alabama where our daughter, Pam, was born. Then he was sent overseas to Thailand during the Vietnam war. The girls and I lived with my mom during that year. When he came home the AF sent us to Sioux City, Iowa. After a year spent in Iowa, he was assigned to a small radar site in Great Falls, Montana. Our son, Scott, was born there. The winter we lived through just happened to be the coldest on record. Several nights between Christmas and New Years Day the nighttime low was 55 degrees below zero. The following summer we moved again. This time to Port Austin, Michigan, which is on the tip of the thumb of that state. It was like living in two different towns while we were there. In the summer, people would come up and open their cottages and stay until Labor Day. Then the cottages were all closed up for the winter and the families would go back to their homes. Just before my husband was due to reenlist, he was told his next assignment would be to a tiny radar site in Tin City, Alaska and that his family couldn’t go with him. He decided not to reenlist and become a civilian. His cousins offered him a job working at their recreational vehicle business in Saginaw, MI. After several years there our daughter, Deborah, was born. We lived in Saginaw for 10 years. I haven’t thought about those early years in a long time. It was fun to remember. I have been quilting for almost 20 years. Thank you for the chance to win this lovely quilt.

  164. Mary Howland

    I am amazed at your energy level. May I come and follow you around for a week? I know it would be the best diet ever plus I’d give and get such attention to/from all your animals even the chickens. Taking care of all the pups plus mama keeps you young. I would love to visit every state not just for a few days but for a month. I think that would help me to see the geography in each state, meet people, and learn more than if it were a short stay. I learn so much from reading blogs from quilters in other states. Since I’ve lived in two states (NY and CA) it will only take me four years. I love the pattern and the giveaway.

  165. Leslee Shepler

    I used to study paleontology but too much time in the field meant no access to my sewing and sewing machine….needless to say a change was made, I became a teacher.

  166. Karen Miller

    I love reading about your life on the farm. I guess I am a wanna be farm girl. Although at almost 71 years old it is just a dream! We are retired Children’s Pastors and 6 years ago we moved from our home of 37 years and the church where we served for 23 years to be closer to our son and his family. Of course, the birth of our first grandchild might have been an influencer. LOL. I began quilting in earnest at that time. I have several UFO’s and/or flimsies waiting to be quilted but they will get done one of these days. I participated in the Dirty Dozen last year and whipped out several at that time. This year I did not commit to joining but have still been working on getting some done and new ones started. I love the rustic look of the quilts you do but they don’t go with our decor in this house. Our old house was more country style. But I have made some of the more rustic style quilts and have given them to friends or for charity gifts.
    Stay well and enjoy all those puppies. We lost our dog in August after almost 10 years. It is heart breaking. Haven’t decided about getting another yet although I think it will not be long before my husband gives in.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Karen Miller – if you’re “dog people”, you always need a dog! Let me know when he caves.

  167. Deb G. in VA

    Thanks for the generous giveaway! I grew up on a farm in NE Iowa, but now live in Virginia. The rest of my family still lives there, so I come back for visits, but haven’t made it back this year. I miss the horizon, tall corn and windy days, but not the cold!

  168. Beth

    Want you to know how much I appreciate your blog. I show my retired farmer husband pictures and wish that you were still open so we could finally visit after retiring and getting on the road. I can equate with that comment as I had a yarn and cross stitch store here in NH and after 25 years still hear that comment. Just yesterday was going through my quilting magazines, to clear out, and came across the article about your shop in Quilt Sampler. Your shop was always on my list but I did not make it. So glad you are still designing. It certainly inspires me!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Beth – oh, how I wish the shop were still open – for only one reason! So all the gals who meant to visit could shop here once during their lives and then we’d close again. But 33 years was a long time for a quilt shop to be open!

  169. Rhonda in Iowa

    First, no need to consider me for the generous quilt kit. I loved it so much I bought the pattern and already have fabric for it similar to the new version Connie made. Now to get it started! It could be one of my Dirty Dozen but already have 12 all labeled. Maybe next year’s DD! Something you don’t know about me? Probably a lot but nothing exciting. I grew up in SW Minnesota and lived in a tiny village with a two room schoolhouse across the street from the one church in town, a Lutheran church that held some services in Norwegian. No running water at the school and the outdoor girls’ and boys’ outhouses also served as pieces of playground equipment. It was a wonderful life until my father, the town banker, died unexpectedly of a massive heart attack at 41 and left my mom with three girls; me at 8 and younger sisters 5 and 3 months. Too much to share here but it was a challenging time with an emotionally unstable mom who did not want to be alone and felt like she needed a man. Enough said! Anyway the good in this is that us 3 girls became strong independent women who thought we could do anything. Married my high school sweetheart 44 years ago and we have two daughters, both married, and four grandchildren. We moved a lot early in our marriage due to transfers; South Dakota, Massachusetts, Wisconsin twice, Illinois, and Iowa. Girls live close so we are blessed. Also have always had a dog, currently an Airedale, Cali, who will soon be 10. I just had my 65th birthday and have been sewing since I was 10, inspired by my grandma and aunt. First quilt was for my first baby who turned 40 this year. Dabbled in quilting off and on but have been immersed in it the last 20 years or so. I spend quite a bit of time doing needlework and knitting in the evenings. As Mary learned earlier, I was a freelance technical writer for 25 years for craft magazines and books where I wrote instructions for hundreds of quilts in addition to many other crafts. Loved what I did and came away with so many ideas. Best memory from work was my Sunbonnet Sue quilt from my grandma ended up as the cover photo of a Country Crafts magazine. Very special to her four daughters! So enjoy learning about you all and the blog. Next to my grandkids, there is nothing I talk about more than Mary’s blog, especially the dogs. My walking partner hears all the stories!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Rhonda – great story of your growing up years – sounds like mine a bit. I attended a one room country school for 6 weeks of kindergarten. I sometimes rode on the horse with my older half brother the 1-1/2 miles to the school. Yes, we played outside with whatever we could find!

  170. Judy

    May 5th was the big knee replacement day. Recovery is going well. I can’t do stairs very well but walking is great compared to before. Our church group is back to meeting on sewing day. More fun to meet as a group and socialize than working alone at home.

  171. Debbie Lindeman

    Hi Mary,
    I so love reading the blog. It always brings back memories of my small quilting group’s annual visit to your shop from Marshalltown, Iowa. We would anticipate it like Christmas Eve. So excited we couldn’t sleep the night before.

    My quilting friends and I brought our featherweight machines to one of the classes. I believe this class was above the garage. During the class, Connie asked us for good recipe suggestions. Said she might include one in the new book… “At the Lake”. I bought the book and discovered MY recipe! In was thrilled!!

  172. Alice

    I was raised on a farm in southern Ohio. My dad raised hogs, grain (mostly soybeans & wheat) & tobacco. He had a large allotment of tobacco, 6 acres! I was one of the few people who could sit tobacco left handed even though I’m right handed! I sat tobacco for other farmers on their tobacco setters. Most farmers there helped each other, so I wasn’t paid for this. At that time tobacco was a money making crop. I so disliked working in it & vowed to never smoke! I also was driving a tractor by the time I was 12! I shared the responsibility of both housework & working in the fields with my mother & dad. I started sewing at age 6, embroidery & doll clothes. At age 11 I joined 4-H. Was an active member for 7 yrs. All my sewing projects went to State. 4 years of Home Ec. One of my favorite projects was to make a dust ruffle, coverlet, & curtains for my bedroom. I made most of my clothes in highschool. When my parents retired they sold the farm to Amish. I might also mention the house was built in the early 1840’s and was part of the Underground Railroad. I married my highschool sweetheart.
    In 2007 my husband & I bought a new camper & planned a 6 wk trip out west. One of our 1st stops was to visit a dear friend in Britt, Iowa. That was the only time we were able to visit Country Threads, but my husband being a farm boy thoroughly enjoyed the visit! That camper has been sold as my husband could no longer travel with it. We’ve been married 55 yrs & he was recently placed in a memory care facility. I’ve been a quilter for 24+ yrs now. I no longer sew clothes, but since downsizing to a smaller home my sunroom is my quilting room. Quilting has been a blessing during this Covid pandemic! Thank you to the wonderful person who donated this beautiful kit & for the opportunity to win it! Love your blog, Mary! Enjoy reading about your animals & bless you for taking in momma & all those puppies!! I’m one who adopts older dogs & have one now who’s almost 11. Such a sweet boy!!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Alice – I loved your story! Explain to me what it means to “sit” tobacco. I imagine you’ve made an Underground Railroad block quilt, haven’t you? How interesting!! So glad you I’m lauded a trip to the farm when you were traveling.

  173. Lisa B

    I grew up in Washington state. My family had a large garden area and we canned the produce. Good experience. Now I live alone (widowed 7 years) in Southeast Alaska in a rainforest. My children are both grown. Salmon fishing is a huge industry here, yum. I am self-employed and my job is considered necessary so I have worked through the pandemic. My grandbabies are all in Southern California and I have missed them immensely. I prefer to sew with other people and not alone and have struggled with all the additional time alone. I enjoy your blog and learning how life is done in your area. What does your husband do with his time each day?

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Lisa B – right now since it’s harvest time in Iowa he is helping a friend get his crops in – he’s a farmer through and through!

  174. Bonnie

    I am writing to you from the mountains of Montana. My husband and I don’t have farm animals that require our care but we do have an occasional blackbear, mountain lion, moose and elk that pass through our property. Wild turkeys with their young wonder past our porch almost every day. We !ove it here.
    I enjoy sewing my quilting projects on my vintage sewing machines although my modern machine sits in my sewing room. I have yet to sew a quilt on a treadle machine although I sewed on my mother’s treadle when I was a girl.
    I enjoy reading your blog. Thank you.

  175. Mary Beth Stevenson

    Mary, I enjoy reading your blog and seeing pictures of your farm life. I can imagine sewing in The Barn again laughing and creating with twenty or more ladies from all over. Some of my favorite memories and definitely my favorite vacation spot! The trees are turning colors here in mid-Missouri, the air is crisp and the humming birds have flown south. I now have a barn loft for my quilt studio and enjoy it immensely!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Mary Beth Stevenson – I would LOVE to see some pictures of your barn loft!

  176. Marie C

    I started sewing in 4-H. My mom made me sign up for sewing and I haven’t stopped. My quilts have lots of different fabrics in them. My last quilt was black,grey and white with 100 different fabrics. My dog is almost 17 years old. He is my constant companion.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Marie C – what kind of dog do you have? You are so lucky you’ve gotten 17 years!

  177. Deborah B

    Mary, you wonderful lady. It was so nice that you mentioned me and wanted an update. Hubby is still in Japan and I’m still in Minnesota (where I’ve been since they shut down all “non Japanese passport” entries into Japan in March). My three week stay to visit my daughter and attend a family funeral has, so far, turned into a 7+ month ordeal. Daughter is faring much better than I as she has a chief cook, bottle washer, laundress, and just about anything else you can think of that she doesn’t like to do. I have done a lot of tv watching (we don’t even have a tv in Japan), reading (thank heaven’s for being able to get library books on my kindle), knitting, sewing, quilting, cooking and spending time snuggling with the wild puppy (who is actually an 11 year old shorkie). I’ve been keeping up with your days through the blog and would love to be able to come down and drive around on your golf cart. It looks like fun. Take care and keep updating us on pets, foster puppies, corn fields and your plant movements. I know I love it all.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Deborah B – I was afraid you’d tell me you were still in MN – I am so sorry and I’ll bet you can’t wait to return. I would love to have you visit if you feel like driving down here! I had friends from Rochester visit today and the trail through the woods is beautiful right now. I mean it – this is your invitation! Here’s my cell – 641-512-5188. Text or call me if you’d like to visit.

  178. Mary Twombly

    Oct 15 is my 49th wedding anniversary!
    I have followed Country Threads in one form or another since the early days. I just finished a fall lap quilt using a lot of Barn Dance fabric leftovers:) I love it!
    Thanks for all the years of great designs!
    from another Mary

  179. Kathy in Oak Creek, WI

    Hi Mary,
    I’ve always loved your blog, I just wish I could read it in a more timely manner. I’m a retired software tester (nerd) and a long time quilter. My husband bought me a longarmer as a retirement gift so now I feel like I work harder at home than I did at work – haha! I have a large vegetable garden and I can or freeze everything I harvest. I absolutely love my Milwaukee Brewers, Green Bay Packers and the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. As a UWM alumni – I wish for my team to make it in the tourny but when invited, they don’t survive the first round. Oh well. It’s all still fun to watch college level basketball. I love modern fabrics and I work part-time at a quilt shop called Racine Sew N’ Save. It’s so very fun and rewarding to assist other quilters at the shop. If you’re ever near southeast Wisconsin I’d love to see you in person at the shop. Like you, I am an animal lover. I live on Oak Creek here in Wisconsin and I feed over 50 ducks every day who come to visit as they swim by. I have a cat – I always have a cat. We spend summers traveling around the country on a motorcycle, usually with the American Legion Riders . We’re very involved with our legion post and helping veterans. I have to tell you that I loved your posts on death cleaning. I had my husband read them to help convince him this is something we should do and he is on board! Thank you for that. And thank you for all you do to make the quilting world more interesting.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Kathy in Oak Creek, WI – I love to hear about readers’ lives! As you know I LOVE March Madness and I so hope it happens in 2021! I need to get back to Death Cleaning!

  180. Mary Durham

    I am a retired teacher living on a farm in central Missouri. I have been a fabriholic for as long as I can remember, getting my first sewing machine of my own for Christmas my junior year of high school. I love to quilt, read, bake, and enjoy my seven grandkids. The oldest, who are 10 and 8, love to sew, and have made numerous pillows and wallhangings, and are now making quilts. I think I have the oldest one “hooked” as she has several projects in the making and always looking for new patterns to try.
    I always enjoy reading your blog.

  181. Janet Orr

    Loved reading all the comments here! My kind of people!!!

    Love the chance to win this – reminds me of the house I grew up in here in northeast Iowa. Learned to sew in that house from my mom and grandma. They loved to take me to fabric stores and I loved going with them. Still love fabric stores!!!

    I work at a local newspaper – I save papers for a local lady that needs them for her cats and dogs. She is so appreciative of this small thing I can do to help her.

    As an avid animal lover, I’m so thankful you decided to foster this family of puppies and their poor mother. How can anyone be that cruel? We’ve adopted a couple of dogs that were being starved and a couple of horses. They returned the love over and over during their lives. I love seeing and reading about these puppies.

  182. Joanne Christman

    My grand-daughter and I house sat your house and farm animals when Emery was young. We still talk about it sometimes!

  183. Mrs. Goodneedle

    I would love to throw my name in the hat for the Farmhouse kit, thank you for the chance. I’ve been a CT follower for a very long time. I used to subscribe to your newsletter and to your 1/4 club back in the mid-nineties. We lived overseas at that time- first in Puerto Rico before relocating to Geneva, Switzerland. Your fabrics and articles were like a touchstone to home for me! I just pulled out a recipe for snack mix this week, “Jack O’Lantern Jumble” that was clipped (and saved) from your Goat Gazette during those days, I make it up every fall. Thanks for always being there! 🙂

  184. Carol San Diego

    Love the blog. I’m a retired RN of 44 yrs! Oh how quickly time flies. My husband and I enjoy traveling in the US . I take my sewing machine with me and work on projects in the evening. Of course no traveling this year- sad face! I would love to win the quilt kit. Thank you for the giveaway!

  185. Norma K

    Enjoy your blog so much! I worked in three different quilt shops in 24 years. Sometimes I went to quilt market and would see you there!
    I always admired the Farmhouse pattern but never got to make it. I think I might have time now.

  186. Becky

    I love this quilt! I own many of your books and have made several. One of my all-time favorites is my version of Civil Unrest in poison greens and reds. Love reading about your country life as an occasional antidote to my own urban life. My sister lived in southwest Iowa for many years and I enjoyed visiting your lovely state.

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