Monday, April 26, 2010

Random Acts of Barn Quilting

Sunday, Anya Tyson of Pennsylvania sent along this photo of a barn quilt that she and some friends discovered on the property of a fabric shop in Addison, New York.

I love the color combination; many people stick with brighter colors for the sake of visibility, but this one is just perfect!

Of course, I had to check the map to see where Addison is, and Anya was correct in stating that there is no organized trail in the area.

But where there are barns and quilters, barn quilts seem to follow!

Thanks, Anya, for passing this along. Her blog:

By the way, I "borrowed" the title for this post from Anya's other blog, "Random Acts of Stitching." It was just too good to pass up!

Just a few more weeks before we hit the quilt trail again! I am ready to see some old friends and to make some new ones.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

A Kentucky Treasure

Earlier this week, I received an email from a quilter in Australia asking for information about the book; she mentioned that she would just love to create a Courthouse Steps barn quilt. I had already been pondering what to post this week, and I was inspired to share a story of a really beautiful barn quilt that I visited in Hardin County, Kentucky, last summer

For me, there is nothing better than a barn quilt that is a replica of a cloth quilt. And this quilt has quite a bit of history.

The Lincoln Museum located in Hodgenville, Kentucky is about three miles from Abraham Lincoln's birthplace on Sinking Spring Farm in Hardin County. The museum houses memorabilia related to the president and his life, but it also contains artifacts of historical significance to the era in which the president lived. The Courthouse Steps quilt donated to the museum by Hardin County resident Thelma Stewart Ford is one of the treasures of the collection.

The quilt was begun by Thelma’s great-grandmother, Elizabeth Smith, who was born in 1831, and completed by Thelma’s grandmother, Mary Nay Stewart. The heirloom passed to Thelma’s father, Berney, and then to Thelma, who was born in 1918.

Though quilts were made for everyday use, Thelma says, “I never recall seeing this one on a bed. From the time I was a child, we knew that it was a family treasure, and it had its own trunk.” The quilt square now has a prominent place on the barn where Thelma and her husband, Edward, farmed.

Isn't it gorgeous? And it was a perfect day--rare for me--for barn quilt photography!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Save the Date!

Can you find the red spot on the map? That's Adams County, Ohio, home of the very first quilt trail.

Do you know how to get there? Start checking your maps; break out the trusty GPS.

Then mark your calendars for May 13-14, 2011, when we will gather to to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the quilt trails!

The event will be hosted by Donna Sue Groves along with Sonja Cropper of Brown County, Ohio, Tourism.

Check back for details--I'll share them as they are available.

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Gospel of Groves

I heard recently from Barb Childers, who lives in Clermont County, the next county over from Adams, where the quilt trail began.

The photo is Barb's husband Russ, putting the finishing touches on a Bear Paw quilt he painted on a salvaged road sign--recycling at its best, no?

The Childers also painted the same pattern on their mailbox--I'll bet it makes the mail carrier smile.

Barb said she was pleased that those who read about the quilt trails will learn the "gospel of Groves," but she wasn't talking about just painted quilts.

In her work with the Ohio Arts Council, Donna Sue helped Russ move from the corporate world into a new life as a traditional Appalachian artist. He shares his love for Kentucky music, dance, and storytelling with school kids and throughout the region.

SO--what is this "Gospel of Groves?" Simply put, Donna Sue's understanding of the ability of grassroots arts to inspire and empower, to bring joy to those who participate.