Monday, August 30, 2010

An Illinois Farmer's Daughter

A week or two ago, LuAnn Reinagle sent me this photo of the barn quilt that she recently completed.

LuAnn writes, "I began my barn quilt project last year and finally got it hung Sunday. I've been a quilter for about 4 years and when I heard about the barn quilt trails, I decided I was going to put a quilt block on my barn.

The hardest part was deciding on the block pattern as I had already decided to use a patriotic color scheme. I finally chose the "Farmer's Daughter" block.

My grandfather moved to the farmstead as a tenant farmer in 1927. Four generations of our family have been involved in farming the land. My mother said that every winter there would be a quilt on a frame in their dining room and the neighbor ladies would come help quilt it.

Mom said that she hated it because the room was off limits to the kids until the quilt was completed. She also said that one of the quilter's stitches were too big and would get torn out and redone once the lady had gone home.

I have many fond memories of visiting my grandparents and staying on the farm. I purchased the farmstead in 1995 and my niece and her family now live there. It's located on Route 24, east of Piper City in Ford County, Illinois."

I do believe that all of the folks who have worked so hard to build quilt trails in their communities have done amazing work. But I'm glad to have the chance to showcase a few solo barn quilters as well.

Thanks for sharing, LuAnn.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Barn-less Quilting

Part of the reason that we use the phrase "American Quilt Trail" is that there are so many quilts on surfaces other than barns.

Yes, I am partial to the sight of a beautiful painting on a farm structure such as a barn or corncrib, but sometimes folks who have no barn want to play, too.

Mary Wingfield of Birchwood, Minnesota sent me this great photo of her garage doors. The doors are slightly oblong, so the quilts don't extend to the edges, but didn't she do a great job? I love the reversed colors!

How much fun would it be to come home to these every day?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Help Wanted

OK I know you probably didn't check this page looking for a job opportunity, but if anyone knows of a young person who is passionate about making a difference, here is something to pass along:

Know someone who would like to work developing the Quilt Trail in NE TN? Advertising a one year AmeriCorps Position working in Jonesborough. Low pay/ BIG on experience/opportunity doing something great. $11,800 living allowance/$5,350 Educational award. Will also work developing greenways & trails 25% of time. Contact: Roy Settle-423-753-4441x4 Deadline: Sept. 15 - start date Oct. 1.

Here is a photo from the Northeast Tennessee trail; I wouldn't want to disappoint. This is a fabulous barn, and the quilt on which the block is based lives on the property. I do love to see the cloth originals of these painted beauties. You can also look back to October of 2009 in my archives for other photos and info on this wonderful trail.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Tennessee Treasure

I've been writing about Iowa but couldn't resist this great barn and quilt in Tennessee that Paula Stover sent my way.

I had the pleasure of touring the Upper Cumberland area of Tennessee last summer, and Overton County was just getting started. Paula, who lives in Overton and is working on the quilt trail there, reports that there are about 25 quilts now, with more going up every week--great progress!

This Tree of Life is a replica of a quilt that Paula's mother made for her when she was about 10 years old.

Paula writes, "Our barn and farm have their own stories. The barn was built from houses that were torn down when they built Dale Hollow Dam in 1943. My father and grandfather bought the houses, demolished them and built the barn. This was just before my father entered WWII. Our farm is a Tennessee Century Farm. It has been continuously in our family for over 150 years. I am the 5th generation to live on this farm called 'Ivy Hill Farm."

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Everything's Rosy

This one was a real find--also in Fayette County, Iowa. I passed by the barn and then hit the brakes and backed up for a closer look. The sounds of new age music seemed to emanate from the dozens of rose bushes; it was quite the unusual barn quilt experience!

Brad Mackenzie was strolling through his gardens, enjoying what his wife, JoEllen, calls "our little hobby farm."

The farmhouse borders a valley where deer, turkeys, coyotes, and eagles can be seen from the deck overlooking the spring-fed pond stocked with perch.

The MacKenzie’s twenty-two acres might be called more of an “environment” than a farm, and passersby on Highway 18 often stop to take a second look at some of the 350 varieties of roses that Brad MacKenzie raises, or the peacocks that roam free on the property.

The Rolling Star barn quilt completes the tableau. The idyllic setting has been carefully created, and JoEllen declares, “I don’t think we will ever be moving!”

If they do, she has promised to let me know. I could definitely live here!