The Barn Today, 6-13-2020

This makes me sad – it’s so dirty and Rick has stuff all over! The pile on the right side is alfalfa bales under a tarp.

That’s a bale elevator on the left side – the alfalfa bales ride to the haymow on that “cog” down the center – no more hauling them up by hand.

The flags are still hanging but they’re very dirty.

A mess everywhere you look!

This large flag is a soldier’s flag that was used to drape over a casket.

Diane E. offered to come two days in advance to help clean it up so we could have camp again. As you can see, two days just won’t cover it!

And so ends the story the the Country Threads Barn.

I’m anxious to show you Connie’s latest project – counted cross stitch!!!

Another great project from Brenda Gervais, another Iowa designer that’s been around as long as we have!

Here is Connie’s pile of new fabrics from our shopping trip to Ames – too fun!!

Claire and Ben came to the farm last Friday with Grandma Connie.

Remember the day when all the kids were here? Sam sent this picture of me making Orange Julius drinks in the pantry with helpers Gilbert and Owen – Lucy and Ivy had just left – it’s a tiny little room! Ha!


Today I went to the North Iowa Fairgrounds to help at Patriots For Pets Adoption Event during the Midstates Horse Show. We each had a dog to walk around and show to people —- except that my little dog, Spyro, was too scared to walk so I had to carry him. He is heart worm positive but after his treatment I think I’ll foster him. Maybe he’ll even remember me from today?

He was happiest sitting in the back of my van.

His hair was coarse and he was cinnamon colored everywhere – nose, eyes, mouth to match his hair. There was one little red haired boy who loved this dog so much and I told him I thought they were related because they both had red hair!

When I returned him to the shelter, I said I might be interested in fostering him. I could bring him home next Thursday. I think his name should be Sparrow not Spyro.

Here’s a couple of Dirty Dozen quilts:

This is a quilt I saw online that I really LOVE! Does anyone know who the designer is?

And that’s my week – it was a busy one! Tomorrow I’ll have a question for you to answer for the giveaway – don’t forget to read the blog! I’ll let the question run a couple days so you’ll all have time to leave your answer in the comments section.

Church tomorrow morning – FLAG DAY! I’d better wear my flag dress!

72 thoughts on “The Barn Today, 6-13-2020

  1. Marlene P Armbrecht

    I have many fond memories of the barn. I especially remember the visit from Brenda Papadakis! Several weeks ago I started working on Dear Jane again. I had last worked on it in 2006! Since then I have completed the rest of the blocks (34) and am working on the triangles – only 13 to go and I can assemble!! Thanks for helping me begin that journey – way back then!!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Marlene A – I know exactly where my blocks are but I’m not sure I care if I finish them. They’re such sweet little blocks tho’.

  2. Montana Kathy

    What a sweet little dog. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that he eventually gets a great home. Meanwhile, good luck fostering him, if it should come about. Don’t know how you can foster and then give him up. That is so hard! Best of luck.

  3. Beryl in Owatonna

    I think Sparrow and Hazel would be great buddies! He looks like her a little bit. Hope she would accept him. Thanks again for all the wonderful pictures of your barn!

  4. Rita in Iowa

    Thanks for sharing so much of were you started. We should ask more questions of our families. There is so much rich history to be shared.

    All the quilts were beautiful.

  5. Barbara Moore

    Regarding the RWB quilt you wondered about – check out blog. It’s this week’s Block Head 3’s offering from Laurie Simpson. Modalissa was playing with EQ and posted the all-over design. Stunning, isn’t it?
    Barb in Tucson

  6. Pat Smith

    That dog is just the cutest little thing. I’ve shown his picture to both my husband and daughter, and they both think he is adorable. I hope you foster him so we can see his progress. I don’t know what the treatment for heart worm is, but I’ve heard it’s expensive. We are in Vermont now, and our daughter, who lives in our house, has two cats that Sonny, our dog, is terrified of. The cats have him right where they want him, and I can’t convince him to give a big bark in their faces which would put a stop to their bullying. I hate to see him living in fear. We try to take him out on big walks, and our bedroom is off limits for the cats and his safe place. Also, the cats don’t go outside, so he feels safe there too. Might be a long summer…

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Pat Smith – Sonny needs one big bark – you’re right! Poor fella! You gotta protect him and build up his confidence.

  7. Jan from TN

    HI Mary! Fascinating info about the Barn & Farm these last couple of days.
    The quilt you inquired about: the blocks are from Moda Blockheads this wee (6/10). I think it’s from MInick & Simpson. Moda LIssa took the one block & repeated it and then added sashing & borders. The star border is from their Mackinac fabric line, I think. It makes a great quilt!
    Love that little Spyro that you’d like to foster. Looks like a nice scruffy-type dog. Bet your dogs will love him!
    Connie’s cross stitch project is so cute as are her fat quarters from your recent shopping trip. Where are pics of your purchases, eh?

  8. Angie from Baltimore

    Sparrow looks adorable and hope he does come to you as a foster until a little boy takes him home. What has Reed been up to miss seeing him but sure he is busy.
    Loved the barn when we visited but in August glad I wasn’t in a class HOT VERY HOT up there.

  9. Donna Sproston

    The interior of your barn is beautiful. I have enjoyed all the photos and the stories and was glad to experience it on two shopping trips. It was the lure of the cats that helped my hubby decide 400 miles was not too far away for a quilt shop visit.
    I shared two months ago that I was heading for Mayos for radiation. Those 25 treatments are behind me and I have less than two weeks to go before I return for surgery. A friend called on Thursday and said she would be here at 10 this morning to deliver something. At 10 the cars started honking and coming around our circle drive and just kept coming. I cried tears of joy and happiness for all those friendships. I am blessed.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Donna Sproston – oh, how wonderful! A parade of friends honking and sending best wishes!! So glad all 25 treatments are done – will you let us know about your surgery?


      Donna, you have the same type of lovely friendships through this blog. Will you please post a few days before your surgery, so that those of us who want to pray for your surgery can? It is one way I know I can support you. Wishing you peace during these difficult times and may you know that your health does matter to us! Carolyn Barnett

  10. Sheila

    Thanks so much for all of these posts about your barn and farm. And that little dog is adorable. Thanks for all you share in your posts!

  11. Marlene Leonardo

    That quilt pattern is similar to Laundry Basket Quilts, Cranberry Chain. Although it does have less 9 patch squares.

  12. Terri Mulinix

    I would come work a week if I could come to the class once it was clean…..:)

  13. Bonnie McKee, in Oregon

    Once again, I loved looking at all the pictures and hearing about each one. It’s so wonderful that you share them with us all 🤗
    Looking forward to hearing more about Sparrow!
    Oh, and Connie’s new fabrics made me drool! ❤️
    Happy Flag Day to all! 🇺🇸

  14. Kathy in western NY

    Awww what a sweet dog needing a quiet home by feeling safer inside your car.
    So much stress on them too. Love Connie’s cross stitch and boy sure wish my eyes would help me do that pretty creating again. Is Brenda Gervais related to Sandy Gervais as I have lots Of her fabric in my stash. Happy anniversary tomorrow!

  15. Carol at Pin Oak Quilting

    The quilt looks like Minick and Simpson, maybe their newest line?

  16. Jan

    I came to country threads several times to shop………I remember walking all around and looking at the GREAT quilts…………..thank you for all your work and time to make that haymow such an unforgettable place………I use your new and old patterns a lot………I am in the process of making NOBLE CAUSE………decided to make it bigger ………..thank you for writing about your barn it brought back sooooooooo many wonderful memories 🙂

  17. Kathy Zuehl

    I wish I would have known about the event today. I was in town and would have stopped by. I might be looking for a little companion soon.

  18. Deb Harrison

    Happy anniversary, tomorrow! Sparrow looks like our first Humane Society dog, Bourbon. We had him for almost 14 years.

  19. Jo in Wyoming

    With all due respect, that dog looks like something from Star Wars!! I think he will be much loved by someone.
    I am shedding a little tear over the barn. Nuff said.
    All the quilts and pictures are so fun to see. Busy hands make life happy.
    Great post, happy anniversary tomorrow.

  20. Kathy Schwartz in SW MN

    The barn is beautiful, even if it is a mess. That bale auger is really cool. We have “stuff” in our haymow also, I have no idea how it got there. We also have lots of bales there now and we hope more will be filling the haymow again soon. Of course, you need 90 degree heat before that can happen.
    Connie’s fabrics are very, very nice.
    All the quilts are beautiful.
    And that little dog . . . . . a charmer.
    Thanks for your post; and do wear your flag dress.

  21. Diane Bauer

    I Just love your barn—the architecture, the history, the flags!! Wish I was close by to help with the clean up!! Yes, a big project, for sure. Many hands make light work!

    Sparrow looks awfully sweet! Hope you get to being him home!!

  22. Marsha Ivers

    I am almost positive that Sparrow is a pure bred Border Terrier. He is totally out of coat and needs someone who knows what they are doing to groom him because this breed is hand stripped They are usually gregarious and love everybody. This little man appears to have had some trauma in his life. I hope he can be fostered and brought around back to his usual personality there. I love this breed, my mother owned and showed them and my daughter currently owns , breeds and shows this breed now.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Marsha Ivers – Really? I have a friend in CO that also has border terriers – I’ll send her the picture, too. I thought about him all night – I think he should come to my house! His hair was not very thick and it was coarse. He didn’t weigh much -12-15 lbs at most.

      1. Marsha ivers

        Mary, yes I think he is one. They are supposed to have a coarse coat as they go in the hedges and even underground to catch vermin. They even compete in Earth Dog trials! They originally were bred in Scotland and Ireland to keep the vermin down at the borders, thus the name.

        1. CountryThreads Post author

          Marsha Ivers – he is heart worm positive and gets his treatment Monday and Tuesday. Then he’ll have to be watched for a day and I’ll go pick him up on Thursday. If it isn’t a good match, I’ll just foster him.

          1. CountryThreads Post author

            Marsha Ivers – I will keep you updated through the blog. This morning I got a message that he would be going to someone else to foster and I cried! Immediately the phone rang and it was the foster boss and when she heard me crying I guess she did a double take – I don’t even remember now, I was so upset. But evidently the tears did the trick because he’s coming Thursday! I am ashamed to have cried so that she felt obligated to let me have him but it is what it is now.

  23. Dorothy

    Spyro/Sparrow is adorable. I love his coloring, and perhaps the little red haired boy who matches will be able to adopt him after convincing his Mom & Dad. In the meantime, enjoy him to the fullest while fostering him. Hope Hazel sees his good side too 🙂

  24. Sandy

    Love the little dog! Can we have a photo of your flag dress please Mary? Why is it called a haymow? Going back for a second look at the blog now, only half the photos showed, take care everyone, sandy

  25. Sandie

    I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your barn story!! Wishing you and Rick a happy Anniversary!

  26. Janet Orr

    I have absolutely loved your barn series of posts! I only was fortunate to visit Country Threads once before you closed it. I sure wish I’d known about it before that! I was at a retreat in Clear Lake and we made an excursion to your shop. Retreats in the barn sound like a blast. If you ever decide to do one again, just let this farm girl know. I’d come help clean that haymow! Many hands make light work! And that bale elevator reminded me of our oldest daughter when she was about 3 (she’s now 42). We had ours set up and we found her – at the top of it. I talked calmly to her while her dad slowly climbed up and retrieved her.

    Little Spyro is so cute! Surely someone will adopt him as soon as he’s better!

  27. Lois Ann Johnson

    Thanks for all of your photos of the barn and the quilts as well as the little dog you might foster. I hope he is adopted into a loving home soon. Our weather in northern Iowa this weekend has been spectacular. Bariley loves being outside, guarding our house from other dogs, etc. I see my cousin, Pat, is back home in Vermont. I’ll bet it is beautiful there, too. My church is back to having worship services in the building; we started 2 or 3 weeks ago. Attendance is increasing each week and we are still able to maintain a reasonable distance from each other. What I miss the most are the hugs and the handshakes that go along with a worship service! Happy Flag Day everyone! I’m wearing my “flag” earrings, pin, and carrying my “flag” handbag to church today.

  28. Dortha

    Moda Lissa posted the picture of the quilt you asked about. Loved the story of the barn.

  29. Susan Quinn

    I love all your posts but I especially enjoyed reading the barn stories! Thank you for taking the time to put it all together for us 🙂

  30. Sue in Marion, IN

    What a sweet little puppy! He’s adorable! My neighbors just got an 8-week-old dachshund/mini-pinscher mix puppy…I met her last night…tiny and darling! She’s light brown and so far, has blue eyes. I love animals!

  31. Joam S

    Happy Anniversary, Mary and Rick!!
    It’s been great fun following the barn story. I look forward to reading your blog every day!

  32. Diane and Squeak in Central Ohio

    I’m just getting on today so HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, Mary and Rick. The barn is still neat to see. My husband would have it filled up, too.!! Claire and Ben are getting so big and Ben looks so good. Must be he is still doing all okay–yippee. The DD’s today are really nice and colorful and Connie’s fabric choices, like yours, are great. Can’t wait to see what she makes. That little guy, Sparrow, is adorable, too. He will warm right up to you. Enjoy your day:) Cool here, 62, but sunny–perfect!

  33. Sally J.

    Happy Anniversary!! Your barn stories have been so great to follow!! Thanks for sharing,

  34. Chris B in NW PA

    Thanks for the barn stories. It was fun reading about all of the great memories.
    I hope you are able to foster the little dog and build his confidence. You will
    do a positive job with him.

  35. Arrowhead Gramma

    Have really enjoyed your series and photos on the barn.

    To me the most special photo in today’s blog is the one of Connie and her grandchildren, Claire and Ben. Seeing Ben looking so healthy and enjoying himself was truly a blessing. I have prayed each day for Ben since the time he was diagnosed and to see him today, I know that God hears and answers our prayers.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Arrowhead Gramma – well, you sweetheart, you! Praying for Ben all this time! He looked really good and I hope he feels good, too. It was so fun to have them visit with Gramma Connie!


    Now, Mary, you might just revolt when I bring up this thought,,, but I think you should hire some high school kids, or a recent grad that needs college money, to clean up that fabulous barn. Perhaps a summer or fall project. Then, next June 14th you and Rick could have a really fun anniversary party with old and new friends and even children that were not around when you married! I felt sad when I saw the inside of the barn with the flags flying in isolation as it was such a wonderful meeting place where people laughed and sang, sewed, celebrated milestones, and were inspired! Please think about it!! By the way Sparrow is so so darling. Kathy in western NY got it right, she or he was stressed with all the people and needs time to rest. Being in a shelter is very hard on animals and I think she might be a great friend for Hazel to play with. If I didn’t live on the other side of the US, I would definitely bring this sweetie home!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Carolyn Barnett – maybe I could aim for our 25th anniversary – that would give me two years and it really does sound like a fun idea! I know I could get my church kids to help me and then we could schedule a camp, too! No, it’s not a revolting thought – it’s a good thought!!


        That’s even a better idea, 25th it is!!! What a fun goal, you can get people to help I am sure, especially kids! They have so much energy, cleaning a barn would be so fun for them and you could make an Orange Julius or two to spur them on! Many new memories for the future… With all your flags out, this would also be a fun place to have a band and a few hog dogs for friends on Forth of July… I believe I have overstepped my bounds with suggestions but here in Southern California we have so little space to have fun with a group of people without paying a fortune for the venue!

        1. CountryThreads Post author

          Carolyn Barnett – CA kids must be more cooperative at cleaning than Iowa kids because I’ve tried kids before and can’t say I’ve ever been impressed.

  37. Sarah

    That is one smart dog. He’s in the van and feels all those good pet-lovin’ vibes flowing around him. I wouldn’t want to leave either! Maybe he knows something already…

  38. Launa

    Great pictures today, Mary! Thanks! You definitely need Sparrow!
    As I look out the west windows it is SNOWING! I couldn’t believe the weather warning that came about 3:30 🕞 pm today! Fortunately it isn’t sticking! Temperature is 39 degrees.
    Still looking for some summer weather.
    Happy Flag Day!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Launa – oh, I am so sorry it’s snowing! The wind is so strong here today that I can’t even be outside – I can hardly open the door and my flowers are taking such a beating, poor things. I’ll be checking on Sparrow this Thursday – I thought about going to see him today and then didn’t but I dreamed about him last night!

  39. Dee

    I had a rescue dog that looked alot like Sparrow. He was the best dog I have ever had. He had such a loving personality. Everyone that walked in our door was greeted by him. He thought everyone was coming to see him. At the time we got him we had two other dogs and I would take them for walks and of course he had to lead the way. I hope you do foster Sparrow. There may be some good blog stories.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Dee – after his heart worm treatment I can pick him up on Thursday.

  40. Felicia Hamlin

    Happy Anniversary, Mary and Rick! May you enjoy many more. It was so nice to see Ben and his curls and his sister and Connie. I used to pray for him and it is nice to see him. Love the stories of the barn, I was up in it once to see some quilts.

    That little dog is cute, I know you will be a great foster mom to him.

  41. Janice Brown

    Hi Mary, I am catching up on your recent postings . . . .

    Thank you for taking the time and effort to document the history of the barn for us. I’d say it is very interesting but it more than that. The transformation has touch so many people’s lives who have come to your property, whether it be the barn or the chicken coop. My guess is that some time in the near future the barn will be filled with smiling faces like before.

  42. Janice Hebert

    Oh my goodness, two years to clean the barn – I’ll come help! I’d love to come to a Country Threads Camp! I’ve loved all of the barn posts, thank you so much for doing that. It’s such an interesting barn. Connie’s grandchildren are adorable and I love the picture of the children in the pantry with you. I would just love to have a house with a walk in pantry some day. And a barn. I think little Sparrow will fit right in to your home life. Fingers crossed! He’s just so sweet. Jan in MA

  43. Candy Sharpe

    Hello Mary 🙂
    I LOVED seeing the barn , even though you say its a mess !!!
    MANY MANY GREAT MEMORIES …when you and Connie had classes way back when you had the shop in the coop !!!
    My friends and i traveled from California to take classes in that barn, …the classes , the food and boy was that food delicious that you and Connie made for us all … YUMMY !!! The friendships made , the wonderful little quilts and the BEST fabric from the COOP !!!!
    I remember the little COOP kitty so precious… loved every moment <3
    Thank you for the memories !!! 🙂
    My BEST to you and Connie 🙂
    Candy Sharpe

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Candy Sharpe – do you still drive a VW bug? Connie was so jealous of your bug!

      1. Candy Sharpe

        LOVED that VW BUG <3 ~~~~ i just could not buy as much fabric i NEEDED ..haha and fit it in that bug … she went to a good home 🙂
        Love ya , Thank you for keeping us updated and all the new books <3 🙂

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