No News is Good News!

Not much new happening since the Sew-In. I hope everyone enjoyed themselves as much as we did. It is always good to see everyone.

We are full for next year, but Peg will accept reservations on a waiting list. Just give her a call or stop by when you have time.

The price at the South Slope facility for next year has increased. They have been very accommodating for many years, keeping my overhead extremely low. 2019 has tripled, yes tripled, in price, so I will be charging $130. Your $10 registration fee will go toward the fee for next year, so your remaining cost of $120 is due by December 1st. If your fee is not received by that date, the waiting list becomes active. You can mail, phone or drop your payment by anytime.

The dates for next year are, January 17th - 20th (Martin Luther King Day is January 21st).

I hope you will all share any concerns you may have had. We are always open to ideas for next year for anything you would like to try or see on the menu.


Sew-In 2018 UPDATE

The 2018 and 12th annual Sew-In is just around the corner. Here is some information on what we provide and what you might like to pack. The menu, some projects and a few rules are also listed.


  • The doors open at 2 pm Thursday, January 11th. Please don't come any earlier.
  • You can unload at the top of the sidewalk but park in the big lot. Spaces close to the entrance are for Common Threads staff.
  • Wagons are carts are provided inside the front door for your convenience.
  • Please check in with Peg at the kitchen to receive your name tag, enter for the door prize, free project and block for the mystery quilt.
  • Seating has changed slightly. We will be using some rectangular tables to conserve room. Please don't rearrange. People will be coming throughout the weekend and all spots will be needed.
  • Mary is on the stage, no pun intended, and will do her demonstrations there as well as have a few items for sale.
  • We have some cords but it always helps if you bring a multi-outlet cord. Menards has the kind we use for around $15. This is a nice addition for your quilting adventures.
  • Large irons and boards are provided in the center of the room. Please be kind when using adhesives. This year we ask that you bring parchment paper or a teflon pressing sheet if you are sewing with sticky products. Peg will also have a teflon sheet available by THE DESIGNATED IRON.
  • Use only small irons at your table. Spare the circuits. Old irons have a tendency to pop the breaker, too. Have you thought about an upgrade? Peg can help.


  • Bill, AKA Sven, will be doing massages. Peg cannot book ahead. You must be present to get your name on his list.
  • Honed to Perfection will be present to sharpen scissors and knives.

Cross body bag
Paper pieced key fob

Mesh bag

MENU (subject to change):

We are unable to accommodate special diet but try to have gluten free and healthy options. Snacks are provided by you and a table will be provided for you to share with others. This is not mandatory.

Thursday: Hors d'oeuvres - Meatballs (Italian or sweet barbecue), relish tray with ranch dip and hummus, variety of crackers, apples and cheddar cheese

Friday: Lunch - Pulled pork, coleslaw, chips
             Supper - Baked potato bar: cheese, butter, sour cream, chives, broccoli, bacon
             Dessert - Ice cream sandwiches (homemade by Ann)

Saturday: Lunch - Taverns or hot chicken sandwiches, cranberry sauce, relishes, chips
                Supper - Tuscan tomato soup, tossed lettuce salad, oyster crackers,
                               cheese bread, olive bread
                Dessert - Brownie or white cake (homemade by Jeanie)

Sunday: Brunch - Orange rolls (homemade by Maureen), oatmeal bar,
                              eggs of some sort (still deciding)

We are lucky to have Kandy Smith and Johnson County Refuse provide recycling for the event. We will recycle fabric scraps, plastic and paper products. Cans and returnable bottles will be recycled also. If you bring your own coffee mug that is a bonus for our carbon footprint.

Questions can be asked at any time by calling or texting Peg at 319-626-3160. It is best to call or text since she is not very tech savvy. Refer to the newsletter for the list of things to bring and what we provide. We can't wait to see all of you!


Sew-In 2018

As fall slowly brings us color, Mary and Peg are busily planning the next Sew-In. This year we will celebrate Simple Pleasures. Whether that is in the form of a hobby, pet, or never getting out of your pajamas, we hope you will take the time to share them with us. We have several projects planned and hope you will join us. If you would like to work on your own, we never judge you. We will, however, tempt you beyond your wildest dreams.

Thursday, January 11: 2 pm - 10 pm
Friday, January 12: 8 am - 10 pm
Saturday, January 13: 8 am - 10 pm
Sunday, January 14: 10 am - 3 pm
WE WILL RESCHEDULE IF THE WEATHER DOES NOT COOPERATE. REFUNDS ARE NOT AVAILABLE AFTER DECEMBER 25, 2017. You will NOT be let in any sooner than the above times. No exceptions.

South Slope Community Center, 980 N. Front St., North Liberty Click here for a map

$100 cash or check, $110 Visa or MasterCard
You can mail your payment to:
    Peg Griffin-Wood, 3915 West Overlook Road NE, Iowa City, IA 52240

Or call:

The Sleep Inn located at 485 Madison Ave. in North Liberty has special rates for Common Threads customers. Call them at 319-665-2700 to make your reservations. Ask for the special rate for the Common Threads Sew-In.

- Please park in the lot, not in the spaces close to the building. This area is for staff who will be

coming and going throughout the event. They are loading and unloading frequently.
- Check in at the kitchen to be entered in the drawings and to get your free gift.
- If you need help unloading, please come inside. We are happy to help.
- There are wagons and carts just inside then entrance for your use.
- Due to the amount of happy campers, we are unable to reserve your seats. You are welcome to rearrange as you see necessary.
- Irons, ironing boards and cutting mats are set up for your use. Please use pressing cloths if you are using adhesives. You must provide your own.
- We will have kits and small projects for sale as well as some notions. Credit cards are accepted but cash or check are preferred.

- Your projects
- Sewing machine (don't forget your cords!)
- Cutting tools and rulers
- Extension cord
- Small irons only
- Special chair or side tables

- Bill McArtor is available for massages
- Honed to Perfection will be available to sharpen scissors and knives
- Ann Lueck will offer some yoga for interested parties

- We try to accommodate special diets by offering a variety of healthy food choices. The price of the event is the same regardless of your participation in our meals.
- There will be water, iced tea and coffee will be readily available.
- Please bring your own soda
- Refrigeration is available to you as well as ice
- There is a table for grazing. If you would like to bring a treat to share, feel free. Be prepared to share your recipe!
- Suggestions are always welcome for meals
- Peg, your sisters, and occasionally a brother-in-law prepare the food. They do the best they can and hope you enjoy eating it as much as they enjoy preparing it.
- Menus will be posted

- We have a free project when you check in with Peg
- We have a community quilt that you will be given a piece of. For those of you who have been to the Sew-In before, you know this is Peg's way of getting you to mingle. The quilt top will be given away when it is complete.
- The kitted quilt will be a "Simple Pleasures" project. It is easy enough to complete during the Sew-In but we hope it also teaches you a new technique. It is a fabric we hope you like and have never seen before. There will be a free pattern included in the kit as well as a demonstration of the technique.
- We have a bag project this year as well as a small, but very useful paper piecing project.
- Project demonstrations will be scheduled and you are welcome to watch regardless of whether or not you purchase the kit. Kits are limited, so first come, first served.
- Peg will bring her t-shirt press and do a demonstration on preparing your t-shirts to make a quilt. If you would like to get started, we can help.
- The bag we are doing is interfaced and you are welcome to use the press for this project.
- Show & Tell is Saturday evening!

This event is a lot of work but provides Peg and crew with the opportunity to visit and catch up with all of you as well as each other. Thank you all for making this event a pleasure and a success for so many years! We can't wait until January!

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns. Call me at 319-626-3160 or send me an email at


Sew-In 2017 Is Almost Here!

Happy 2017! As promised I am back with Sew-In information!

As some of you may know, I attended a quilt retreat in November. One thing I observed was that everyone there just wanted to sew (and eat, of course). There were games to play and some great jokes told, but no one really wanted to participate. The games announced in the previous newsletter have been rethought. We will definitely have lots of door prizes but no costumes or contests. Show & Tell is scheduled for Saturday evening at 8 pm. Anyone willing to share their finished projects can do so then. So put your overalls away and just come and have fun!

Hours of Operation: 
Thursday, January 12: 2 pm - 10 pm
Friday, January 13: 8 am - 10 pm
Saturday, January 14: 8 am - 10 pm
Sunday, January 15: 10 am - 3 pm
You will NOT be let in any sooner than the above times. No exceptions.

Sign In: Please come to the kitchen area when you arrive to check in. You will pick up a name tag and put your name in our drawings for door prizes. We have some freebies for joining us that you won't want to miss out on. You will also receive a piece of fabric that will be part of a Sew-In quilt. This quilt top will be constructed by you and given to one lucky person at the end.

Location: South Slope Community Center, 980 N. Front St., North Liberty Click here for a map

Parking: Pull into the main entrance of the Community Center and go RIGHT into the main parking lot. You can unload your vehicle at the front of the building but please park in the main lot. Parking in the front of the building is for Common Threads staff. The last parking spot in the front is where Honed to Perfection will be on Friday. They need access to the power supply in this area. If you park in these spots, you will be asked to move.

There are wagons and carts inside the front doors of the building for your use.

What we will supply:
- Tables & Chairs
- Ironing boards
- Irons (If you bring an iron, it should be small. Regular size irons have a tendency to wreak havoc with the electricity.)
- Cutting tables & Mats
- Electrical cords

A big THANKS To Kandy and Steve Smith. They help us be eco friendly with recycling throughout the weekend. Hooray for Johnson County Refuse!!!!

What you should bring:
- Projects
- Sewing machine
- Cutting tools
- Sewing supplies
- Don't forget your power cord!
- A treat to share

Mary: Our resident expert is available to do demonstrations and help answer sewing questions. Please use her wisely and do not monopolize her time. She will also be in charge of the store.

The Store: Peg is no longer doing retail. However, we have purchased fabric and will have several small projects you can get involved in. The book many of the projects are based out of is Farm Girl Vintage. Copies will be available to purchase. We will also have fabric and notions for sale. Credit/debit, checks and cash will be accepted.

Grazing Table: There will be a table by the kitchen meant for treats to share. This is not mandatory. If you would like to bring a snack to share, this is where it will go. Be prepared to share a recipe if your treat is homemade.

Food and Drinks: The menu is subject to change. We try to accommodate with choices but cannot meet all dietary needs. Since we are celebrating the farm, our big meal will be at lunch time and lighter fare will be served in the evening. This year we will have dessert in the evening with Jell-O with our noon meal. Our resident farm wife, Jean Erickson (Peg's oldest sister) has helped us with our farm meal etiquette

Water, iced tea and coffee will be readily available. A refrigerator and ice are available if you have other non-alcoholic beverages to refrigerate.

The menu is as follows:
Thursday (appetizers): Deviled eggs, meatballs, relishes, sliders
Friday noon: Meatloaf, twice baked potatoes, baked beans, strawberry Jell-O & strawberries, rolls
Friday evening: Ham & bean soup, turkey vegetable soup, crackers, brownies & ice cream
Saturday noon: Pulled pork, cole slaw, chips, pickles & green tomato pickles, lime Jell-O & pears
(Jean says the men inew it was "baking day" and casseroles were served on Saturdays)
Saturday evening: Taco salad or nachos (you build it), all the fixings, dessert TBA
Sunday brunch: Quiche cups, champagne oranges, orange rolls, brown sugar yogurt & granola, juice, leftovers

Who is coming besides you? Bill the massage therapist will be available every day. Sign-up sheets will be posted. $15 for a 15-minute massage.
Honed to Perfection will sharpen scissors and knives on Friday afternoon. They will stay until finished. $5-6 for scissors and $3-5 for knives.
Annie will do stretching and chair yoga.

Don't forget our facility has a beautiful area to walk. Feel free to come and go as you please.

Accommodations: The Sleep Inn located at 485 Madison Ave. in North Liberty has special rates for Common Threads customers. Call them at 319-665-2700 to make your reservations.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns. Call me at 319-636-3160 or send me an email at

Some of you have sent money and are signed up for the event. However, I don't have contact information for you. Please email your phone numbers in case of bad weather. We will reschedule if the weather doesn't cooperate. We are looking forward to a great time!


Fall 2016 at Common Threads

The Hawkeyes are back on the football field but that doesn’t stop us! Dates for classes are on away game days and may just free you from a house full of wild fans (unless of course you are one of them). Do something for yourself this fall and learn to use the longarm or design your own quilt using EQ-7. This fall Gail Wadley, an EQ (Electric Quilt) instructor, has offered her time to solve the mystery of EQ-7. Join us September 21st from 7-9 pm. for a dessert and wine evening, along with an introduction to the mysteries of EQ. No commitment is necessary to come to this meeting. A canned item for the food pantry is appreciated. If you think this is up your alley, Gail will be back with a follow-up class October 16th from 6-9 pm. The cost of this class is $200 which includes your software.

What's Happening at Common Threads?
It has been 16 months since the sale of the retail building in North Liberty. I have managed to stay quite busy with quilting, rental, gardening and now poultry. Yes, chickens! Fresh eggs are for sale. If you need an excuse to visit, eggs could be your out.

Dave and I have also added two new grand babies to our flock. Nora, was born to Patrick and Kaylee in June and Easton was born in August to Brittany and Brad. That makes a grand total of seven. I know, I know...I'm way to young. Always looking for an excuse to make a baby quilt though. With the absence of daily retail hours, I have been able to help out with grand kids, enjoy a cup of coffee with the dogs, tend the chickens, and go to the gym. Yes, I am doing some things for myself. Life feels really good.



It’s getting to be that time again. Fall and winter will get your creative juices flowing and we have just the place for you to come and finish up those projects you have started.

Sew-In 2017
The 2017 Sew-In is scheduled for January 12, 13, 14, 15. Here is how it will play out: for you newbies...just come and we will make you feel right at home. You nice. You don’t have to sew to join us. All crafting is treated equally.

Location: South Slope Community Center, 980 North Front Street, North Liberty, Iowa
Thursday Doors open at 2 pm (and not one second sooner) and close at 10 pm
Friday 8 am to 10 pm
Saturday 8 am to 10 pm
Sunday 10 am to 3 pm

Our theme this year is Celebrating the Iowa Farm. Prizes will be awarded for the best farm attire and the best story told about a farm memory.

Cost: $100 if paying by cash or check; $110 if paying with Visa or Mastercard. You must pay the entire amount regardless of the days you attend. It is a flat fee this year.  Please call 319-626-3160 with your credit card information or send a check payable to Common Threads to:
Peg Griffin-Wood
3915 West Overlook Road NE
Iowa City, IA 52240

You could drop by with your payment, too. Just call first to make sure Peg is there (and dressed).

Reservations: Please sign up on or before December 20, 2016 to reserve your place. Stragglers could possibly be put on a waiting list.

Cancellation: To help us make this a positive experience for all, and accommodate a waiting list, you must cancel by December 31st or forfeit your fee. We understand illness and emergencies are out of your control. Peg will account for these situations.

-Best farm attire Saturday Evening. Prize $50 gift card from Missouri Star Quilt Company
-Farm Trivia Game
-Farm Story Telling, by you, the attendee
-Name That Quilt Block
-Chair Yoga Massage
-Scissor (and knife) sharpening
-Mary will offer demonstrations throughout the weekend
-We do have a quilt planned. Details to follow.

Food: A grazing table will be set up by the kitchen. Bring a treat to share and even a recipe if the mood strikes. This is not mandatory.

Peg has 3 sisters and possibly a 4th helping this year. Cooking is one of our favorite things to do together. (Any other sisters or brothers reading this are officially invited.)

Iced tea, water and coffee will be available throughout the weekend. You are welcome to bring your own non-alcoholic beverages and refrigeration is available. FYI: Peg would have to hire a guard if we had alcohol. Yes, it’s true. Ice is plentiful.

We understand that people have restrictions in their diets. We try to be as health conscious as possible. Some gluten-free alternatives and lots of fresh produce will be options at each meal. It is a celebration of the farm after all.

Thursday: hors d'oeuvres
Friday: lunch and supper
Saturday: lunch and supper
Sunday: brunch
*A more specific menu will be posted at a later date

Accommodations: Since our celebration is local, you are welcome to drive home and sleep in your own bed. The Sleep Inn located at 485 Madison Ave. in North Liberty has special rates for the Sew-In for those of you who like to make a TRUE weekend of it. Call them at 319-665-2700 to make your reservations.

Equipment Provided: Several ironing boards and irons, cutting tables with mats, extension cords, and items for purchase.

What you Should Bring: Projects, sewing machine, sewing kit, rotary cutters and rulers, small irons and an extension cord.

School House and Store: Our resident teacher and woman of many talents will be available throughout the weekend. What would we do without Mary? Mary is available for questions but please don’t monopolize her time. Mary will have demonstrations and unveil our quilt. Patterns and kits for the quilt will be available and can be ordered. Supplies are limited

We will have kits, fabrics, and basic Aurifil thread colors for sale at the event. Cash, checks (preferred), or credit (Visa, Mastercard) accepted.

Weather: Oh well, it is Iowa after all. A little snow never kept us away but a blizzard or ice would. We will reschedule this event if the weather dares to upset it.

Things to Watch for in a Follow-Up Email:
-Projects and demonstrations
-Cost and kit for the mystery quilt as well as cutting directions


Sew-In Update

The 2016 Sew-In is right around the corner! Peg and Mary are busy getting projects and menus lined up for another sold out occasion. For you old timers that already now the ropes, not much has changed. For some VERY welcome newcomers, here's the rundown:

Parking close to the building is for staff who come and go throughout the weekend. You can park and unload by the main sidewalk then move your car to a spot in the lot. There are wagons and carts inside the front door for you to use for unloading. If you need help, please come to the kitchen. Peg and her minions will be happy to help!

Please check-in with Peg in the kitchen. She will count you, process you, put your name in the drawings and give you a freebie project. Sound scary? Have you ever been processed?

You are welcome to sit anywhere you like. The tables are round and three at each table is very comfortable. If you want to change things up to accommodate your clique group, have at it, but you are on your own. There is a closet full of tables and chairs. Sorry, but we CANNOT save you a place. We are too busy organizing this amazing weekend.

You are welcome to bring your own chairs, side tables, irons, or whatever you think you may need. Just remember: you have to pack it and unload it, and pack it and reload it.

This event is planned a year in advance and we have yet to have real weather issues. (Now that it has been said, all hell may break loose.) In the event that the weather looks ominous, we will reschedule. If this is inconvenient, your money will be refunded (less a processing fee if you used a charge or cebit card). We are Iowans and hard core quilters but we don't want anyone in danger for bad weather.

There are rooms available at the Sleep Inn in North Liberty at a special rate for this event. Their phone number is 319-665-2700. Let them know you are with Common Threads.

- Friday and Saturday afternoon: Honed to Perfection will be available to sharpen scissors. Cost: $5/pair payable by cash or check only. Due to an unexpected family event, Honed to Perfection WILL NOT be at this year's Sew-In.
- Friday and Saturday evening: Bill McArtor will be here for your massaging needs. Cost: $1/minute.
- Sister Annie (no she is not a nun although she planed one in the movies) will be doing chair yoga throughout the weekend.
- The South Slope facility has a pond with a walking path that you are welcome to use.


Cutting tools, rulers, projects, extension cord, a treat to share on our grazing table (optional)

Ironing boards, irons, cutting stations, tables, chairs, extension cords


We have three projects this year. Mary is our resident schoolhouse organizer. She will demonstrate our projects throughout the weekend and help as needed. Supplies are limited.

1. Bright Birch Trees: This quilt takes scraps of any kind and color. If you are interested in making it, you can start at home by piecing all of your tiniest scraps together. They can be any color but should be at least 1" x 1.5" to 2" x 2.5". We have the background fabrics available as a kit and includes 10 solid 1/2 yard cuts. The finished size is 58"x72". Kit cost: $50. What a great way to use up scraps you were probably going to throw away!

2. Fat Quarter Pop-Up: This is a fun and fast little project that includes everything you need to make a collapsibl econtainer for just about anything. Peg uses hers to store cords for all of her electronics. Cost of a complete kit: $16. We will have refills available for $10 because you won't make just one!

3. Diva Wallet: This is an easily assembled project for a confident beginner. These wallets are fun to make and are very durable. What a great gift ti give or maybe keep for yourself. Complete kit: $35.

The freebie given out at sign-up is a fun project for the sewist of all levels. It will be complete with instruction.


Menu is subject to change. We try to accommodate everyone with variety but are unable to take care of special dietary needs. Your cost of the Sew-In does not change it you choose not to eat our meals.

Thursday: Various appetizers and desserts

Friday Noon: Two kinds of lettuce salad, Ramen salad (for Kandy), pretzel rolls

Friday Supper: Chili, potato soup, crackers, garlic bread

Saturday Noon: Ham or turkey sandwiches with all the fixings, chips, pickles

Saturday Supper: Pulled pork, coleslaw, baked beans, fruit

Sunday Brunch: Breakfast burritos, oatmeal, yogurt and fruit topped with homemade granola, leftovers

Grazing Table: We have a table set up by the kitchen that attendees like to use as a way to share treats. These can be include baked goods (share your recipe), store bought items (my sister Ann has a Chee-tos addiction), or fresh fruits and vegetables. This is totally optional.

We will provide ice water, coffee, hot water, tea bags and decaffeinated iced tea throught the weekend. There is a refrigerator reserved for participants that wish to bring their own beverages. Ice is plentiful. In the spirit of recycling, we use recyclable dinnerware and ask that you bring a mug for coffee and reuse your plastic cup throught the weekend. Thanks to Johnson County Refuse for their waste containers and pick-up! We are the tidiest bunch at South Slope!


We ask that you show up only within the times stated. You may not set up on a day you did not pay for. You must make full payment for a day even if you are going to be joining us late.

Thursday: 2pm - 9pm
Friday: 8am - 10pm
Saturday: 8am - 10pm
Sunday: 9am - 3pm

Please do not wear perfume or any hair or body products that emit odors! You will be asked to go home and deodorize. Thank you!


Fall/Winter 2015 Newsletter

We are moved and mostly settled into our new location! You are welcome to stop in by appointment. Since I don't have to leave my home, I'm rarely dressed these days (just kidding)!

So what is different about Common Threads?
Peg's time is focused on sewing, longarm services, longarm rental and providing a few classes. We no longer have retail. However, there are a few items for sale:

-Leftover fabric and notions from the shop (at a reduced price)
-Quality thread (Aurifil 50 wt)
-Hobbs 80/20 and cotton batting (by the yard)

Peg continues to do quilt commissions like t-shirt and memory quilts. We also will make just about anything you want from baby gifts to Roman blinds.

We will happily do a class, but only longarm classes are regularly scheduled. See those dates on the calendar page. Just call Peg to set up a time to do other sewing classes.

Longarm rental is the same. There are two rental times per day: 10am and 2pm Monday thru Friday, or Saturdays 10am - 1pm.

Then there's the Sew-In!
Yes, you can reserve your place for this year's Sew-In. This year's dates are January 14-17 and will once again be held at South Slope Community Center (980 N. Front Street in North Liberty). Please call 319-626-3160 with your credit card information or send a check payable to Peg Griffin-Wood to:
Peg Griffin-Wood @ Common Threads
3915 West Overlook Road NE
Iowa City, IA 52240
Sign up for all four days for $100 or sign up before November 1st for just $90. Daily schedule:
Thursday the 14th: 2pm - 9pm ($25) hors d'oeuvres & dessert served
Friday the 15th: 8am - 10pm ($30) lunch & supper served
Saturday the 16th: 8am - 10pm ($30) lunch & supper served
Sunday the 17th: 10am - 3pm ($25) brunch served
There will be a grazing table for you to share your favorite treat and maybe the recipe. This is NOT mandatory. Iced tea, coffee & ice water will also be provided throughout the weekend.

There are special room rates at the Sleep Inn (485 Madison Ave., North Liberty 319-665-2700) for those of you who like to make a TRUE weekend of it. 

Sew What?
For those of you who don't know what this awesome event is, first of all, I am sorry. It is the best thing since apple pie, the Oscars and the Olympics. MAYBE even hotter than George Clooney. Well, maybe I shouldn't push it.

Once a year, for more than a decade, Common Threads has hosted a retreat to thank all of it's friends and customers for their loyalty. It has also caught on with a few of Peg's sisters who are more than eager to help. The food is fabulous and the entertainment unique.

No, you do NOT have to sew to attend, but that is the common thread - no pun intended. We have several projects to go along with the theme, a schoolhouse with the most knowledgable quilter (Mary) available throughout the weekend, a massage therapist, and scissor sharpening service. There are also prizes, snacks and lovely people with a common interest.

Please join us for all 4 days or pick and choose what works for your schedule. Peg will provide notes to get you out of work (with pay, of course)!

The menu and activities will be provided in the next newsletter. Continue to watch the blog for more frequent posts. Facebook is also a way to keep in touch. Don't be strangers. Come and see our new location!