Author Archives: CountryThreads

Ready for Rose!

Got the porch decorated for Flag Day and Fourth of July.

And the table of course! Antique American flags!

We got married 21 years ago on Flag Day – here’s the quilt called Wedding Day which I hang outside my door every year. It’s getting faded and worn – just like me. Ha!

Now I’m as ready as I can be for Rose’s visit – still much more could be done but I’m heading to the porch to rest before she gets here. This chair is calling my name!

A Fast Sewer!

Connie had this version of Cobblestone sewed three days ago – and I can’t even get it posted! Ha! Remember her tutorial on picking fabric starting with a charm pack? Here’s the quilt – with Dot, who loves to sleep on Connie’s sewing chair. Such a nice traditional little table topper, don’t you think? I’m working on more orders tonite while I watch the basketball game. Connie’s Cobblestones is still available for $3 sent to Country Threads, 2345 Palm Ave. Garner, IA 50438.

Can you believe it? (I’ll bet I can mow lawn faster than her!)

I need to clarify the ad situation – I’m just not sure why some of you are seeing ads and others are not.

Tomorrow our good friend Rose and her husband Bill are stopping for a visit – I can’t wait to catch up with her. I want to get my porch decorated for Fourth of July before she gets here . They’re staying the night in Garner and requested the Country Threads room at the Garner Inn. Did you know there was such a room?????

A Country Tuesday

It’s been a long mowing day for me today and it was hot, too. My shoulders blistered from the burn I got when we planted the garden and today I burned them again. Ouch! I can’t wait to hit the shower tonite.

I promised I’d speak to the question someone posed “what is Beartown?” Beartown is a novel by Fredrik Backman and is in my Top Ten favorite novels of all times. It’s about a small town and their high school hockey team – which doesn’t sound all that intriguing but I loved the book, so did Connie and many of our book club members. I pre-ordered the sequel and it came today!

So this is my next read – just as soon as I finish The Outsider by Stephen King which I’m enjoying very much. I wanted to read in the porch today but mowing interfered- ha!

Our 3 acres of hay was cut yesterday and raked today – hopefully it can be baled tomorrow. Our house faces south, the barn, and beyond the goat pasture is the 3 acres of alfalfa which is baled for me to feed the goats during the winter. I have absolutely nothing to contribute to this big job – our neighbor does it for us and we split the bales of hay.

Someone asked if Mama Kitty was still around – yes, she sure is! I can be very, very close to her but she won’t let me touch her. And that’s ok with me – she won’t want to be in the house then, will she?

And here’s Reedo Burrito – just as sweet as his namesake!

I found JB in the hay bunk, sound asleep.

The chicks have learned to roost – this picture was taken last night but tonight all 14 girls were roosting on the top rung! So cute!

We have a favor to ask of you readers – remember I said I was going to put advertising on the blog? Did you realize that each ad you click on pays us a nominal amount of money? I’d like to encourage you to click on those ads – it’s your way to keep enjoying this blog.

Remember when Connie posted a step by step explanation about picking fabrics for Cobblestone? That little quilt is already finished – I’ll post the picture tomorrow. How does that girl sew so fast????

I told you I hated weeding the flower bed – I’ve made a bit of progress. Not a lot but I’ll continue to work at it.

One of the jobs I’ve never had to do is go to town for lawn mower gas – until now, that is. Another chore! This is one chore that I always knew Rick would handle.

No, I didn’t drive the golf cart to town – I just hauled it to the shed from the pickup.f

And remember Moda? The feral cat that has lived here for about 15 years? She likes to lounge on the top of the trellis.

It’s been a long day, gals! More tomorrow if time allows. And thank you for the help with the ads.

Chicken Day!

Today we switched Debbie and Deloris for Alma, Edna and Eunice – hahaha! That’s what Reed named his 3 chicks.

Don’t know if you can see the girls in this carrier but when we got to Reed’s house everybody – especially June – couldn’t wait to see them.

A flurry of activity ensued as we moved the coop to new grass, changed out the food and cleaned the nests and play area.

June and Vera liked the bag of feed – oh, such small pleasures in life!

It was a family affair!

And here’s the proud owner of Alta, Edna and Eunice.

Here’s the lawn ski – you don’t hear much about Nolan and Myra but this is their latest invention. Pretty sweet, huh?

So that was our Monday – tomorrow it’s back to mowing again. I didn’t mow on Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday making this a veritable vacation – ha! It’s been a great day!

Saturday

It was a great day yesterday to sit on the porch and read and nap. Someone asked what I was reading. I have never been a Stephen King fan but I did buy his new book “The Outsider”. Connie just finished listening to it and I am really hooked on the story. I hope it doesn’t turn weird.

I was reading “Esther” and it was ok but it was moving pretty slow – I don’t know if I’ll return to it or not.

Did you see there’s going to be a “Beartown” sequel?

Have to show you this Hoya plant that is blooming profusely.

I had some special visitors last week – Reece and Caitlin Hill and their new baby Brynn. When Reece was in high school he helped me in the barn and we’ve remained friends.

Reece has that swaying jiggle down pat for Brynn – he almost put Hazel to sleep.

Remember the pink and green log cabin baby quilt I made last winter? It was for Brynn.

A reader asked what I do with older quilt books. Since I’ve got so much room to store things, I’ve never gotten rid of any but I really should. Does anyone have a good solution?

And here’s the handsome Charlie who belongs to my friend Carol. Simply a beautiful cat, isn’t he?

And here’s your weekly peak at Tim’s corn across the road.

And a close up – 12-1/2″ tall already and it’s only been out of the ground one week! I’m going to measure it every Saturday.

And tomorrow is the first Sunday of early summer church – I’d better not oversleep!

Garden Update

We had a busy day yesterday – Reed came over after lunch and we planted our pumpkins and our “canning” garden. We go carried away last January and ordered twice as much seeds as we had room for — and it’s a BIG area! You know how it is in cold dark January – you want a little taste of summer so you order seeds — and more seeds! Ha!

Here’s Reed – a farmer outstanding in his field! Ha!

And here’s Reed,planting onions – lots of onions – for hot dog relish along with green and red peppers and cucumbers. I also added just two tomato plants for sliced eating tomatoes, no canning.

I remember buying so many onions last summer – especially small ones for slicing in bread and butter pickles. Not this year – they’re in the ground waiting for rain.

Here’s a quick look at the chicks – they are so sweet and of such a variety. Reed is taking his on Sunday. Won’t he have fun?

And take just one guess who’s sleeping under this cupboard.

Such a silly picture of EJM!

I’m taking it easy today – too much hard work yesterday and too much sun. It’s a reading, resting, sewing day to recuperate. Old ladies need more than one day of rest per week!

Cobblestone Fabric Selection

So many of you were interested in how Connie chooses her fabric. Here is one way to get started using a. Harm pack as the basis of your palette.

Pick a charm pack – any charm pack.

These are the fabrics divided into lights and darks.

These are the fabrics she discarded.

She added the fabrics on the left. The gray fabric on top of the charm squares will be the centers.

Here are the lights she added.

Looks like a lot of fabric.

She made 2 blocks and will cut the rest. She said she liked the combo so I’m guessing she’s going to make another little quilt.

We hope this was helpful to you. The Cobblestone pattern is still available for $3, check or cash. Send to Country Threads, 2345 Palm Ave, Garner, IA 50438.

Now both of us will continue mowing – ha! I’ll bet many of you are doing the same.

Progress

Rick had an appointment at Mayo yesterday and came home with this awkward but necessary boot.

This first week he can put 25% of his weight on it, the second week 50% of his weight, etc until we go back in July and he can walk on it. So…..it’s another 5 weeks.

We got home at 5 pm and I jumped on the mower – Becky stayed with the dogs and had done the chores and several more jobs for me so I was free to start mowing. 4 hours later I came in and today I just have the goat pasture and around the goose pond to mow. I’m hoping Reed and I can plant the garden today.

You guys think I do so much work BUT here’s a job I hate so it’s not even started – weeding the flower garden just outside my sewing room. I really do hate weeding and it’s always so wet and clumpy in this space.

The only plants that are supposed to be growing here are the yellowish green ones – the rest are weeds! Yuck! The kiwi vine died last winter so now I’m not sure what I’m going to do with this space.

I had quite a lot of winter kill this year – this oak leaf hydrangea and a lace hydrangea which has been here for years. Makes me sad to lose them.

I’ve got a great surprise for you and I’m going to put it in a separate post. Connie is going to show you how she picks fabric for Cobblestones – step by step. I’ll make it separate so you can find it at a later date when you may want to refer to it.

Early morning on the farm.

A Farm Update

Monday was a hot day in North Iowa but it was the only time I could find help to clean the barn. The two fellows wanted to come at 1:00 – the hottest part of the day. And they kept their word! Holy Cow, it was 98 degrees and they worked fast. Reed and I helped but they did the lion’s share. Cleaning the barn completely is a job I don’t do more than once a year, thank goodness.

I closed the little chicks up so nobody could wander off and Reed and I will clean their pen when they’re a little older and can venture outside.

Towards evening the sky got dark and a storm started brewing – the wind came up and we had a lightening strike very close to the barn – I saw it and I’ve never heard anything so loud! It knocked out several breakers in the barn and took out our cable service. The yard is once again covered with sticks and twigs. Actually we did not get any rain but Clear Lake got hit hard with trees down, docks torn out and power outages.

Tonite I wandered out to the grove to see what the dogs were barking at and was shocked to see this huge old maple split in half and taking down many more trees with it.

This is one project I won’t touch – it can stay that way as far as I’m concerned.

Connie and I filled a stack of orders today and we both want to thank you for the sweet notes you wrote. I wish we could answer each of you personally but it’s impossible. I think we should have a group show and tell of Cobblestone quilts, don’t you?

And on Saturday the corn across the road came up – with the heat and humidity over the weekend it’s already 3-4″ high!

I’m not sure you can see it in this picture but trust me, it’s up – and growing!

One job I’m glad to be done with is watering the plants at the cemetery! It was just too hot and windy over the weekend – they needed to be watered every day. Next year if it’s going to be 100 degrees, I’m opting out of taking flowers to the cemetery!

I am so far behind with the mowing that some of it is going to seed. I can’t mow tomorrow but Thursday I plan to mow all day long. It better not rain!

Garden Prep

Planting a garden would have been on my “not to do” list this year but Reed and I ordered our pumpkin seeds last January! So today Reed’s dad, Kevin, came to help get the garden ready to plant.

He hooked up the tiller to the tractor – now this is truly beyond my capabilities.

And we talked about how much area to till.

Pumpkin vines take lots of space but after the vines cover the ground, the weeding is done.

I wanted to have room between the garden and the fence to mow.

This small area on the other side is for tomato plants, pepper plants, onions and cucumbers – tomatoes for slicing and the rest for making hot dog relish and pepper jelly, my favorites.

I love this view!

Everything is so green and the dirt is so black – it’s beautiful!

Guess I needed to whine yesterday but as I read the comments, I know I’m not the only one that has ever struggled with overwhelming work. I’m better today – today I feel like I can handle it. Thanks so much for your support! God is on my side – I can do it!