Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Two journalists have been traveling around the country collecting the stories of folks who are dealing with seemingly insurmountable difficulties.
Their most recent story is about Donna Sue Groves, originator of the barn quilt concept. Last summer, she was laid off from her job with the Ohio Arts Council; a month later, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and has been fighting for her life since then.
That's her in the photo; imagine being able to smile with all that she is going through. Thanks to John and Julie for allowing me to use it here.
Here is a link to her story; if you are like me, you will find a lot of other compelling reading there.
It's now one year since I met Donna Sue and began this project.
Donna's hardest year has been one of my greatest. A year spend in the fulfillment of a dream. Bittersweet.
BTW, If you'd like to send Donna a card, please drop me an email (address at left). She needs all of the encouragement she can get just now. I won't post her address here but will send it by return email.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Yesterday I felt the calling and headed up to Watauga County for a couple of hours. They don't have a lot of quilts, but the scenery is grand. I do like this sunflower variation; The green of the roof, the boards, the pattern--nice combo.
I met the "Barn Quilter," Bruce Ball, who has a blog that talks about all of the goings on in BQ world. barnquiltmemories.blogspot.com. I have met so many wonderful people online; it is always great to put the human face with the name on my screen.
Today--more perfect weather, so I headed off even further to Ashe County. Some really fine work from what I saw.
Of course, it's not a complete barn quilting day without an incident. First, I sat on a bee. It must not have seen me coming, as it only stung a little.
Then I rounded a curve and saw a turtle in the road. Poor fella was going to be roadkill any second! As I picked it up to set it back in the grass, I noticed its nose was really long and pointy. I quickly sort of shoved him in the right direction just as his neck extended. I didn't know they had snapping turtles in North Carolina. Poor fella indeed.
The day ended on a relaxing note with dinner at the Websters. Fresh raspberry ice cream! Their farm is home to some beautiful birds that seem to only exist in books. Two on the same feeder--an almost neon yellow Goldfinch, and an Indigo Bunting--just as beautiful as the name.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Sunday, July 19, 2009
I mentioned to her that I really needed to get away and settle in and write. Within 24 hours, she had arranged for Gracie and me to enjoy a two-week stay in a cabin here in the hills of North Carolina!
I plan to take a couple of day trips during this retreat, and if I have Internet access, I will post a bit about those. If not--see you in August!
Saturday, July 18, 2009
But Tuesday, Gracie (see--another female) and I spent a great couple of hours with Don Hart. It was nice to spend time with someone whose voice is deeper than mine!
We ran a bit late in the morning, but Don's group had saved me a triangle to paint. Yep--that's me, putting paint to a quilt square for the first time! Gracie helped, too. As she ran back and forth between the painters, her tail became coated with yellow paint! If only we had some canvas nearby . . .
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Yesterday, I toured Ashland with Nancy Osborne, who has been involved in the KY projects from the first. We went through the downtown area to see the blocks there and to the floodwall where two very important squares are painted. For those--like me--who don't live near a major river--a floodwall is a long retaining wall between the river and the city. The wall provided the perfect surfact for quilt squares in a community with few barns. The Salute to the Veterans is pictured above.
Betty and Gladys are the true champs of barn quilt touring. They rode in the car with me and Gracie. That meant Betty sitting in front of Gracie (lots of smooches on the neck and barks in the ear) and Gladys next to the pup, being slobbered on and continually thwacked with a tail that has been known to clear a coffee table in one swoop. The kindness of barn quilters still amazes me!
Saturday, July 11, 2009
As we say here in the South, "Bless her heart."
Over in Breckinridge, I heard the extension agent ask the chamber of commerce rep, "Do you think she should go see that tall lady?" I thought that was odd until I learned that the woman's name was Taul. Saw a great signature quilt--not uncommon in cloth quilts but the first I had seen on a barn.
That was kinda funny, but when I rushed Gracie into the car to escape impalement, she jumped into the front instead of the back. I had left the camera lying there, and--SCRATCH. I got on the phone to my friend Jeff; he looked online and found that toothpaste or cigarette ashes are sometimes used to polish out scratches. I don't smoke, and I guess I use the wrong kind of toothpaste. So this morning I was at Best Buy before they opened.
I love my dog. I love my dog.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Friday, July 3, 2009
What? Back to work? Who, me?? Oh, my!
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Yep, that's me--on the job photographing the latest block in the Mitchell/Yancey quilt trail--Summer Sun.
Other than the rather lengthy conversation with a highway patrolman, the trip to Burnsville was uneventful. First time I talked myself out of a ticket in years! Gosh it felt good, though I hated leaving Barbara Webster waiting.
For the unitiated, Barbara is the force behind the quilt trails of Mitchell and Yancey Counties in NC. And when I say "force"--let me tell you, she is truly a force of nature. 136 blocks up to date, and more in progress as we speak! She mentioned that I might join in some painting tomorrow, but when I saw how intricate the quilt is, I demurred.
Barbara and I stopped in to see Ray Miller, who shared a lot of local history with us. New education--railroads and sawmills. The circus story will have to be on hold for now. We also spent some time with "The Wagon Man," so called because he takes visitors on wagon rides. His farm is pictured above. No, the cow wasn't friendly--just ready for milking! There is also a horse to the left side; if you click and enlarge, he will be staring right at you!
Barbara is a wonderful hostess. After a meal of fresh veggies, she gave me a tour of their gardens; I found out how garlic grows (yes, Suzi's farm education continues) and ate raspberries right off the bush.
What a refreshing break from the heat and humidity of home. Anybody want to buy a house in Stone Mountain? I could live in these mountains. I really could.