Author Archives: CountryThreads

Sunday Update

Rain is coming and I wanted to weed the pumpkin patch with the tiller before the ground got wet, dried out again and the weeds grew another few inches. This is a job I detest. In fact this little garden is about as much as I can handle.

This is the hot dog relish and pepper jelly garden plus 2 tomato plants.

And this is the pumpkin patch. After the vines get big and cover the ground, my work is done until harvest.

In my zeal to till up the weeds, I also tilled up two hills of pumpkins. Honestly, it’s two steps forward and one back. Good grief! I just about cried right out there in the middle of the garden.

So before I could call it a day, I had to replant those pumpkins. I also replanted 3 rows of onions – all of the sets came up but not one of the onion plants so I replaced them with sets. Does anybody know why the plants didn’t grow?

The sky got very stormy looking but this line of thunderstorms went south of us. Interesting clouds, though.

Here’s one of my UFO’s that I’m going to work on. The old pattern was called Chicken Salad – eewwww! How could we have named it for a dead chicken????

My upcoming week is much calmer than the past week – like I mentioned, the big jobs are done with just a couple exceptions. Maybe it’s a sewing/reading week! By the way, I loved all the detailed comments about what’s happening in YOUR lives! Much appreciation to all of you who wrote!

HOT Saturday!

How can it be Saturday already? The days fly by! Since very hot temps were predicted for today and tomorrow, I pushed myself to keep mowing yesterday. I love a newly mowed lawn.

As I walked around the yard this morning, I saw lots of beauty including Telly who is hoping that squirrel in the tree would magically come down.

The hydrangeas are profuse!

As is the hops vine which is downright invasive.

Boston Ivy is beautiful as well but Rick hates having it growing on a building so he kills it whenever he gets the chance! It’s growing nicely this year since he’s not outside! Smile.

On to the barn where the chicks have earned their freedom to go outside.

They are happy little teenage girls – running here and there, flapping their wings and loving life in general. Every night they roost in the same place – where I had them locked in originally – and that’s good that they know where to go at night. I count to 14 every night but last night I only found 13! I looked and looked for the 3rd white one. I had to give up and assume she was there – somewhere. Sure enough, this morning when I opened the feed room door for Hazel, there she was, wanting out to get a drink first thing.

This is Hazel’s position in the feed room wanting a mouse to come out of the wall.

She’ll be waiting a long time – Mama and the kitties are super mousers – there are no mice to be had in our barn!

And what’s this????

A newly hatched chick! Please pray that it’s not a rooster! I swear I’ve been watching the ceiling area for hens sitting on eggs – obviously I missed this one. Please, be a girl! Please, be a girl!!!!

Kevin dug the holes for the hostas last weekend and they look so nice.

On to the shop – these shirts are begging to be a quilt!

I finished The Outsider by Stephen King and really enjoyed it actually. Now I get to read the Beartown sequel Us Against You. Connie also gave me the audible book by Patterson and Clinton, The President Is Missing, which she loved.

Reed is coming to hang out today – there are so many things we can do!

Maybe the next post will be Misc because I’ve got about a dozen little things to tell you about- I enjoy your comments about your own lives and activities.

Flag Day

Just a short post today – it’s Flag Day and our anniversary.  This is the quilt I made to celebrate the occasion.

Rick went outside and drove the golf cart to the garden – a first!  I’ve had time to spend in the shop planning my next project.

its been a good day!

Start With Strips

This is the book I’m talking about – Start With Strips, 13 Colorful Quilts from 2-1/2″ Strips by Susan Ache and published by Martingale.

We both bought this book without talking to one another – great minds, etc. Connie returned from Florida with this quilt top.

It’s one of those quilts that has to be put up on a design wall to make the connecting blocks the same color. Kind of pain but the results are worth it. Here it is in the book called Double Date.

I was at the grocery store today and happened to see the new issue of American Patchwork and Quilting and the cover quilt really caught my eye. Here it is:

I turned to the page where the quilt was called Summertime.

And guess who the designer is – Susan Ache!

I guess I like her style, huh? Here’s another from her book, called Train Tracks that I just love! Since I have no time to sew, I make these in my mind.

I also love to set up and take photos – today I picked some peonies and moved them around for pictures. I think I’ll get some prints and make a few cards.

I love peonies but they’re so short lived.

If you made Connie’s Rhubarb Muffins, did you like them?

Is anyone out there going to participate in Moda’s Blockheads II this year? I printed out the first block in hopes I’d find time to make one.

There was a comment awhile back that said something like “everybody in Iowa works that hard” and it’s true. I’m not the only person who mows all the time. Everybody who lives in the country does. It’s the easiest way to control weeds. It’s impossible to pull all the weeds but I can sit on a mower and cut them off. If you could look at the farm places around me, you’d see that each one is nicely mowed. Don’t think I’m working above and beyond what’s normal when it comes to mowing – we all do it!

And now the grass has dried off enough to hit the mower so I’ll talk to you tomorrow.

Rhubarb Nut Muffins

This is Connie’s muffins recipe – I’m going to try to make them this week, too.

Rhubarb Nut Muffins

1-1/2 c. Flour

3/4 c. Packed brown sugar

1/2 tsp. Baking soda

1/2 tsp. Salt

1/3 c. Vegetable oil

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/2 c. Buttermilk

1 tsp. Vanilla

1 c. Diced rhubarb

1/2 c. Chopped walnuts


1/4 c. Packed brown sugar

1\4 c. Chopped walnuts

1/2 tsp. Cinnamon

Combine flour, brown sugar, baking soda and salt.

Combine oil, egg, buttermilk, and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.

Fold in rhubarb and walnuts.

Fill greased muffin cups 2/3 full. Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle over Muffins,

Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes. lol on wire rack. Makes 10-12 Muffins.

Now you’ll have the recipe for next weekend’s brunch, if you need it. I’ve been too busy to even cut my rhubarb but this is very tempting to try.

It’s gotten sorta cool here this weekend – tonite when I was working outside I had to wear my jeans. My porch door is even closed – too cool and too breezy.

I’m still reading The Outsider – it’s very good but now I’m ready for it to end. So often I think books tend to drag on. I guess I’m easily bored. Went to the movie “The Book Club” this afternoon – guess I wouldn’t give it much of a rating –just my personal opinion.

Connie has another finished quilt which I’ll show you tomorrow along with the book it came from.

It’s Saturday – Time To Measure the Corn!

Tim’s corn popped out of the ground two weeks ago today, May 26. Last week it was 12-1/2″ tall.

Today, June 9, it measured 22-1/2″!! It grew 10″ in one week!

Amazing! I’m from Ioway, Ioway! That’s where the tall corn grows!

And baling the alfalfa. Someone asked how it can be cut, raked and baled in such a short time. It all depends on the weather. It was raked at least twice – turning it over helps the drying process. Whenever a farmer has “hay down”, rain is not welcome. We got lucky – it rained 2″ in the night after this was baled!

Our friend, Dean, had some help getting it baled – Rick sometimes drives the tractor.

This morning Dean brought his daughter Brittney and they put it in the haymow for me. How’s that for a good neighbor?

We have a bale elevator that the bales ride on up the steps. Brittney takes the bale off the hayrack and puts it on the elevator while Dean waits at the top to take it off and stack it. I am so thankful for this help!

Reed and I went to Mandy’s Open House at Farm Chick Quilts today. I ran into so many of our old customers who were there shopping. Connie was there, too. Very fun!

After that fun we went on to a nursery near Mason City. Just look at this wisteria vine!

We looked at everything and it’s all so tempting …. but so much work when I get it home. We bought one giant hosta and Reed’s dad, Kevin, is going to dig the hole tomorrow.

When we got home Reed wanted to learn punchneedle so I showed him. And then he drew his own design, a chicken, and got started. I foresee another 4-H project before the fair.

Check back here tomorrow for Connie’s favorite rhubarb muffin recipe.

One last picture from the farm – Emma can find the darndest places to nap!

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Rose’s Visit

We had a great time yesterday. First we visited Reed and met Alta, Edna and Eunice.

Then we brought Reed back to play music with Becky and Bill.

Bill brought along a “strum stick” so Reed could play along. I wish you could have heard these three play If I Had A Hammer – it was great!

Rose brings treats for absolutely everyone – including cheese balls for Emma.

We played with fabric in the quilt shop and met again this morning for breakfast at their hotel. Today they were traveling to Lincoln, NE to the International Quilt Museum. Connie and I loved our visit last summer.

So we caught up on family news, quilting news and played endlessly with Hazel. It was a great visit!

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.