Longarm Machine Class by Connie

Last Friday I traveled to Conrad, Iowa and the Hen and Chick Studio where I took a class from the talented Marilyn Kidd. She teaches several classes on the APQS Millenium longarm machine which is the same machine that Mary and I still own. Mary mastered our longarm machine shortly after we closed the shop but sadly I felt like I had dyslexia when it came to loading the machine. Mary feels the same way about paper piecing in that you need to think backwards and upside down. Ha!

Read more

My personal class with Marilyn was from 9 till noon.

We worked on a small panel quilt for charity starting with loading the quilt onto the bars, correct threading, oiling and caring for the machine. Finally we started the quilting process. Marilyn was so knowledgeable, patient and fun which made it a great morning.

After lunch with the shop girls it was my turn to work on my 2 Hour Couch Quilt. Let’s just say there is certainly a learning curve to using the machine. I’m slowly climbing the curve!

Here’s a bit about this charming quilt shop owned by Heidi Kaisand. She wears several hats as owner of Hen and Chicks Quilt Shop and Retreat Center, quilt and scrapbook teacher, owner and publisher of American Quilt Retailer Magazine and Mom to three active kids.

Mary and I have known Heidi for ages! Here’s a photo album of pictures taken in the quilt shop.

It was a productive day but now I need to quilt something soon with our machine before I forget what I learned.


P.S. we celebrated Ben’s 5th birthday at the lake this past weekend. He is doing well and starts kindergarten next week. Thanks for asking about him and for your continued prayers.

Fall Wallhanging Project.

This is what I’m working on but have not completed – maple leaves in 2 sizes for a small wall quilt.

When I get the setting pieced, I’ll make the pattern available for $3.00 again.

Here are a few more pictures from yesterday.

Sunny in all her glory – she is perfect and beautiful! Picture by Kathy.

Reed receiving a kiss from Apricot.

The three of us in a selfie – Reed, Mary! Kathy.

I loved all the llama stories you sent – I loved Kathy’s llamas – I even dreamed of them last night! I have many sleepless nights but not last night. I slept great and what a difference in how I feel today.

Pumpkin Report

The pumpkin patch is thick with vines.

Here’s a nice white pumpkin peeking through the leaves.

There are still thousands of blossoms which will not have time to grow into pumpkins.

It’s finally BLT season – I picked 3 tomatoes this afternoon.

One of my Goodwill purchases yesterday was this very solid wood table for $8.00!

I actually bought it for the goats but now think it could even live in my living room.

I found a bluejay feather today -something good is going to happen!

It’s Becky’s 65th Birthday today – we’re having pizza at the OP with them tonite.

Another Mary and Reed Adventure

I picked Reed up at 6 am this morning to drive to Rochester, MN. Kathy Hanson, a blog reader and frequent commenter, raises a small herd of llamas inside the city limits and I wanted to meet her and her llamas.

She’s a delightful gal and Reed and I learned so much about llamas and alpacas today. Here she is with Brownie.

I wanted to show you the size of animal that Kathy was controlling.

Read more. Continue reading


Finally a bit of rain came our way – not even 1/2″ so far but we’re glad to get it. I picked all the cucumbers because there may not be anymore without some rain. These are for more hot dog relish.

I picked all the green peppers, too, but I’m hoping for more so I can make pepper jelly.

These smaller cukes and onions are for one batch of bread and butter pickles. The best part is the onions.

All sliced and soaking.

Now the cooking – look at that sweet little onion!

All jars have sealed making it another successful pickle day!

Reed was here yesterday while I made a batch of hot dog relish and then he worked on his punchneedle and I cut up these two tropical print shirts.

I have a plan for these two shirts – I’ll show you as I go.

Any readers from this area who eat at Unkie’s in Thor? We went there last night – delicious steaks!

Still no sign of the black cat named Reedo. The two girls and Mama are back – I wonder where they’ve been.

I finished my quilt with the fabric purchased at Hobby Lobby – pretty soon we will show our quilts here in the blog. Connie is going to quilt hers next week on a machine quilting adventure which she will tell us all about in a future post.

I think I’m caught up on any news from the farm. Reed and I are going to clean floors this week in the chicken pen as well as the gutter in the goat room again. It doesn’t stay clean very long.

I’ll leave you with this beautiful pickle picture!

Grand National Rally

You’ve all heard about Winnebago motor homes, I’m sure but did you know they’re made just 12 miles away in Forest City, Iowa? Every July motor home owners who are part of Winnebago International Travelers, abbreviated as WIT, gather in Forest City for the Grand National Rally. This year around 1000 motor homes parked together where they met up with old friends and were entertained by the likes of Lee Greenwood one evening. Here is a small sample of how it looks but remember there are 1000 motor homes, some very huge!

One of our blog readers was attending and I asked her if she’d like to meet for coffee. This happened during fair week so it was a spur of the moment coffee date. Meet Pat Smith from Stowe, Vermont.

She and her husband live in Florida during the winter. The day before they were to leave home for Iowa one of their Shelties, Jack, was killed in their driveway in a freak accident. Heartbroken and grief stricken, their hearts were no longer in the trip but instead of wallowing in their sadness, they packed up with their other Sheltie, Sonny, and drove to Iowa.

I was so happy to meet Pat and so glad we worked out a time to have coffee. The story of Jack made such an impression on me, I can’t remember anything else we talked about.

As I was typing the post about the hot dog relish, I got company and didn’t get a chance to look it over for mistakes which I’ve done now. I always hate typing out recipes! Yes, last year I added some hot peppers because my original recipe said it was optional. Well, it was not optional! That relish was too hot to eat. Inedible!

I received three more orders today – postmarked July 31 no less! Please do not order Connie’s Cobblestones or Hometown USA anymore. That’s it, gone, nada, no more! We are going to make a pattern available on September 1 and it will be available for one month and that’s all so order as soon as you think you want it. Having more than one pattern available at a time is just too confusing. Sometimes an order comes in without saying which pattern the person wants. We’re going to try to avoid that confusion.

Two posts in one day! Whew! Time for bed.