Phlox Be Gone!

by CountryThreads on July 30, 2015

 Remember these “before” pictures of the lily bed which has been overtaken by the phlox and rudbeckia?  Here is the “after” picture.

Can you see my few surviving lilies?  Not very many of them and I have planted hundreds over the years.  I love the Varigated Kiwi vine against the fence and the PeeGee hydrangea tree that has gotten huge.  The rest of this area is a disaster and it’s time to clean it out and regroup.  Remember this lovely shrub in Connie’s garden?

I believe it is called Sun King, aralia cordata, and that’s what I’m going to put in on the east side that gets the most shade.

Here are all the phlox, rudbeckia and prairie mallow that I dug up.  They are laying in the parking area by the road for anyone to pick up so if you live near me and want perennials, drive out and help yourself. 

 And here’s a teaser for you — don’t forget Pumpkin Day on September 19.  This little pumpkin is no where close to being mature but I couldn’t resist bringing it up to the house.  By the looks of my vines and all the blossoms, I think I’ll have a variety of smaller pumpkins for sale this fall.  I think I have the weeds under control for a few days. 

 And here’s Colton to say “hi”.



Connie Sews with the Grands!

by CountryThreads on July 28, 2015


Grace and Rex are sewing a Scrap Vortex quilt for their dog, Daisy.  I think they’re doing a great job but Grandma says it’s slow going. Here is what Connie is working on for Claire and Ben.  This is the second one she’s made – she loves paper piecing. 

More Gypsy Wife blocks — I’m going to post them as soon as I get them so I don’t forget. 

Linda’s blocks. 

Gloria’s blocks.  

See Martha’s blocks on her blog

Another picture of the goslings – on the run.  One is much bigger than the other so I suppose I have one boy and one girl.  Sure don’t want any more boys!  I’ll bet he’s the one  I saved in the bowl – just my luck!

And here’s my barn cat that lived here all winter.  I have not seen him once this summer until today.  Wonder where he’s been hanging out.



Gypsy Wife, Week 7, July 27

by CountryThreads on July 27, 2015

This is such an easy block!  I almost think we should have made 2 different blocks this week but too late now.  I had two blocks made before I even remembered to take pictures.  And I made two blocks because I did not read carefully.  I thought we needed two so now I’ll have to pick which block looks the best at the end.  Here are my two Indian Hatchet blocks. 

I hope I have not forgotten to post anyone’s photos – if I have, let me know and everybody else please send a photo of your blocks to

I put my Scrap Vortex on the quilting machine this afternoon.  That crazy top will soon become a quilt. 

I mowed again today but I am so unhappy with my new grass.  Remember how hard I worked last summer preparing the yard for new seeding?  I asked to have sod but they wouldn’t do it.  Said I had too much shade and I was very disappointed.  I knew I’d be living with multiple dogs running through the new seeding and wouldn’t you think I’d know what I wanted?  The company wouldn’t even prepare the ground for me so Cheryl  helped me. How would I know how to prepare a construction site for grass???  I could have very easily spread the grass seed instead of paying them the big bucks to do it.  Just look at my patchy grass – you’d think an amateur had done it instead of professionals.  Grrrr…I am very disappointed in this company – they sure won’t get any referrals from me.  End of subject. 

 Someone asked how I grow phlox and I have no answer. They grow rampant in my lily bed and I’m going to pull them up this fall!  I don’t even like them and they flourish in my lily bed, crowding out the beautiful lilies.  I’m sorry to disappoint the reader who asked but I’d rather have the lilies.



The Fair

by CountryThreads on July 26, 2015

Who doesn’t love a county fair?  Becky and I attended the church service there this morning, ate breakfast, talked to scores of neighbors and friends, enjoyed the exhibits and looked at the animals.

I’ve never had the time to enter anything at the fair but that’s going to change next year.  I hope to take some houseplants for sure and will enjoy listening to the judging.  There’s also a category called tablescapes which looks like fun.

In the cattle barn, these 2 solid black cows were laying side by side so sweetly.  Very hard to take a picture of black animals – ha!

Machinery of this magnitude is a regular sight in North Iowa.  Farmers who farm lots of land need big equipment to get it all done in a timely fashion.

These two gals, Marilyn and Kay, are in charge of the Open Textiles show as well as the raffle quilt which is hanging behind them.  At this moment someone has won this beautiful quilt and I hope whomever it is will truly enjoy it in their home.

And so ends another great Hancock County Fair!  

I’m sewing tonite – remember this group of Japanese fabrics I showed you a couple weeks ago?

This is what I’m doing with them – simple yet classy.

And here are my guests for the week–Susie and Chester, both French Bulldogs.

Sometime this week I will answer these inquiries from readers – tips on growing succulents, the playhouse story and a question regarding phlox. Stay tuned.  Ann Barlament, please email me at


Classic Wedding Photo

July 24, 2015

I’ve been saving this photo post for awhile now and today is the day!  First a little background information.  The mom in this photo is my cousin Laura (we share the same birthday) who lives in Illinois.  She is married to Glen and they have 6 natural children, 3 boys and 3 girls and 2 […]

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Yard Tour and Update

July 22, 2015

   Everything is growing including the weeds at 2345 Palm Ave.  These rudbeckia are all volunteers and are at their peak.    This used to be the lily garden until the phlox and rudbeckia took over.    The Annabelle hydrangeas are huge this year – that’s what regular rain will do.        Here is the […]

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My Newest Treasure

July 21, 2015

   Look at this awesome old print – fruits in shades of faded reds, greens, and orangesI  I just love it and think it might suggest a color palette for a future quilt.  It was $7.00 at a thrift shop.  I set it on the mantle for now.    And look what I found on […]

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Gypsy Wife, Week 6, July 20

July 20, 2015

Our block this week is an easy one called Star Block found on page 11.  I don’t feel very brave this week so my block is conservative compared to the first 5 weeks.  I even made it twice!    Do you believe this?  I had to force him to move so I could sew the […]

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Another Good Grief!

July 18, 2015

What am I doing wrong that I can’t get all the pictures posted?  Please excuse me and my ineptness with technology!  I’m trying again.    Growing goslings!    Pepper, my new best friend!

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July 17, 2015

   Don’t know why some pictures don’t post the first time around.

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