Today more than one circle was completed. Right now I am at the Athens, Ohio University conference center. The hotel restaurant is where Donna Sue and I met with Ohio University Press to discuss the contract for the book almost a year ago. Shall I just say that I drank a toast to the occasion tonight?
When I began this project last fall, I left Donna Sue here in Athens and spent the night in Gallia County, Ohio, at the Niday farm. The next morning, I crossed the river into West Virginia and had my first taste of what this year would bring, as Mollie Yauger showed me Mason County's first few quilts. Today I returned and spent the day with my first barnquilt tour guide. Mollie showed me their more recent work, including the Grandmother's Flower Garden above.
One of the first quilts I made was a Flower Garden that includes some fabrics from my maternal grandmother's scrap bag. It's one of the few quilts that I have made and kept for myself; the pattern remains a favorite.
Other than near collisions with a runaway Amish horse buggy and a leaping deer (that's three in two days!) Mollie and I had a great visit.
This morning, Nancy Stoepker of Roane County, West VA introduced me to the barn quilt gals there and showed me a few of their efforts. My favorite, though, is the one above that was painted by an 88 year old lady who just didn't want anyone to do it for her. She did have to accept assistance with the hanging.
Back to the Prescott farm. Missy and Pete Prescott bought a farm in Roane County--where Missy grew up--and found a Groves family cemetery on the property. Turns out that Missy's great great grandparents were buried there. Even more amazing--and the reason why this is a "full circle" story--those folks are also Donna Sue Groves' great great grandparents. The first barn quilt in Roane County was hung on the barn at the appropriately named Destiny Groves farm.
I'm a local wedding planner and would LOVE to learn more about the quilt barns. Any idea if the owners would be willing to host weddings on their property? It's very lucrative.
I love the barn above - any idea where it is? Who owns it?
You can reach me at 304.549.5535 or firstname.lastname@example.org