Farewell to Country Threads

Ever since I heard that Country Threads (my favorite quilt shop in Garner, Iowa) would be closing, I knew I wanted to go one last time.  By far, above any quilt shop, it has been my favorite and to be honest, I don’t think for me another quilt shop will ever top it.

I told Kelli I was planning to go and she said she wanted to go too.  We had been juggling schedules trying to make things work-then finally I reminded Kelli and this was their last week.  Wednesday we went.  We weren’t there to get some wonderful deals…although everything was 50% off…and we did go home with plenty, we went to say so long to the gals and to the quilt shop.

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There were still lots of samples on the walls tempting us…and I’ll admit, I fell to temptation.

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I so wish I had the gift of color.  I talked to Mary about it and she said it was Connie’s doing and it’s Connie that knows colors.

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I think she was being modest.

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I have studied and studied what it is that I love so much about the coloring.  In that basket quilt to the left, I wouldn’t have used the dull colors in the border or in the center of the quilt.  I would have used a bolder color.  Those duller colors actually make the blocks take the center stage though and it’s something I need to remember.

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I asked Connie about it too.  She said that every quilt needs fabrics that you don’t love.  Those fabrics make the fabrics that you do love look even better.  They said that customers often came in the store and when the gals suggested a not so cute fabric that customers would not want that particular fabric but if a person wants that “Country Threads look”, they need those dull fabrics.

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The quilt below is their 30 stars quilt from Country Living Magazine.  I always liked the original but it never grabbed me as a “must have”.  Done in the patriotic colors, I LOVE!!  Yes, I ended up buying the pattern.  I LOVE IT!!

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I had to laugh when I saw this four patch hanging in the store.  Mary put this pattern together several years ago.  It was always a shop favorite.  Time and time again, customers would want to make the “exact quilt”.  Well they would run out of the back ground fabric.  They would make a new sample with a new background fabric.  Again and again they would remake this quilt.  In it’s simplicity…I still love it too.

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I bought the below pattern too.  I love feathered stars and this construction looked easy enough for me.

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They did some fabric left yet to purchase.  The shelves were pretty bare but Kelli and I still found some things we liked especially for backings.

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Here’s an old traditional block but isn’t it cute.  See…they do just know how to do color.

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Kelli and I both loved this simple nine patch….See how they jazzed it up with rounded corners.  I would have never picked that for a binding but it looks so good.

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Isn’t this a fun little quilt??

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The red and teal got two huge thumbs up from Kelli and I.

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Remember that I love all things polka dot.  Well this quilt is included on the list of polka dot favorites!

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There were quite a few punch needle project left and a bit of wool too.

Today is the last day.  At 5:00 pm they close.  I am so happy for all the gals there and hope retirement is all they ever dreamed it would be.  I can’t thank them enough for being so kind to me over the years and generous with their talent.  As I look at my walls, I see them filled with quilts that I made from their patterns.  Try as I might, I’ve done good but never quite mastered the color the way the Connie and Mary did.

I guess I’ll be on the hunt for a new favorite quilt shop….These are a few things I am looking for:
1- samples and samples and more samples-all samples labeled with pattern and pattern CLOSE by.
2-friendly helpful service but not pushy or intrusive workers
3-Variety.  I love fabric, wool and punch needle.
4-a homey atmosphere
5-and even more samples.  I truly LOVE samples.

There are so many projects that I saw over the years at Country Threads that I would NEVER have bought the pattern if I hadn’t seen the sample.

With that:  Cheers to you Mary and Connie and the girls.  You had a great run.  Thanks for being part of my quilting world.

7 thoughts on “Farewell to Country Threads

  1. Lani

    Jo..nicely written! I feel exactly the same as you do about Country Threads! I only went there the one time for camp, (had a blast by the way) but out of all the quilts I’ve made over the years, I’ve definetly made more CT patterns than any other quilt company. I’ll miss Mary and Connie, but wish them well. P.s. I did make “Mary’s Quilt”, the quilt they keep remaking…it’s one of my favorites. That and my “Garden” quilt. Good luck Mary and Connie!

    Reply
  2. Mary Etherington`

    What a fun read, Jo! We were thrilled to have you in the shop last Wednesday and today is definitely bittersweet – but mostly sweet. Ha! We will keep in touch – I can’t wait to see your house finished!
    Mary E.

    Reply
  3. Kayla Pins

    Even not being the die hard quilter, Connie and Mary are just so neat! I’m so bummed that they are closing before I knew to go “one last time.” There will never be another…

    Reply
  4. Janet

    I visited Country Threads this spring while at a retreat in Clear Lake. I was sad to hear they were closing right after my discovery of this great store:(

    Merry’s Stitchin’ outside of Jesup is another favorite of mine. Samples galore!!

    Reply
  5. Carol

    Dearest Jo – if you have the occasion to come to Kansas City again, try to stop by Quilter’s Station in Lee’s Summit, MO. Very nice, and they have lots of wool, too! P.S. while reading your recipe today, I was wondering if you could use brown rice flour when making a pizza for Kelli? My mother uses it, and likes it. Can’t wait to see more pictures of your new house!

    Reply
  6. Dorothy Countryman

    Thanks so much for the pictures of the shop. I live in NY state and have thought at one point I would make the trip to the shop, well I guess not. I first discovered Country Threads with the quilt the had published in American Patchwork and Quilting, it was a Ohio Star with a Log Cabin center throw. I made it and loved it. A friend shared with me the Ohio Star Checkerboard pattern which I made. I also purchased the pattern of Star and Log Cabin (court house step) wall hanging. I couldn’t get over how small the segments are on the paper piecing. That will be challenging. So I can still be inspired by County Threads by looking at all the wonderful pictures you have taken and share with us on your blog. Thank you again.

    Reply
  7. LB

    I was at two quilt stores in Roch. today and if they would follow points 1 and 3, I woulda spent a whole lot more money. Why don’t the shops get it?

    Reply

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