Sunday, September 26, 2010

Variations on a theme

The Log Cabin has always been one of my favorite cloth quilts, partly because I think it offers so much room for interpretation.
I always enjoy finding one on the quilt trail, and I have found that painted versions of this pattern have a lot of variety as well. Above left is one of the first from Grundy County, Iowa--just gorgeous!

I love the black barn with the quilt from Scott County, Kentucky; their choosing to include multiple blocks shows what the pattern looks like when put together.

On the left is an interpretation from Miami County, Ohio--some interesting "fabric" choices here. Like the one from Grundy, it is painted directly on the barn surface. It's a lot of very difficult and sometimes dangerous work, but gosh--the results are stunning!

Below is a great little barn in Monroe County, Ohio--another beauty painted directly on the wood surface. If you look closely, you will see that someone peeked out his window to see what I was up to!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Spoiled in Seneca

If this isn't the coolest thing in quilt world, I don't know what is! The quilt car was created by an incredible quilter--Jenny Grobusky--and was parked in front of the entrance to the Lake and Mountain Quilters Guild show in Seneca, SC.

When I am out on the quilt trail, I never allow myself to stop to see cloth quilts. I have had to walk away from homes full of antique treasures so that I could budget my time.

Not so, today. I traveled just across the GA line to Seneca and was determined to spoil myself with a leisurely look through this show. What a great display of artistry and the perfect start to the day.
Of course, my real mission was to meet Martha File, who coordinates the efforts of the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail and to see the artistry they have created. One of my faves is this Double Wedding Ring, in downtown Westminster. I love the detail in each swatch of fabric.
I titled this post "Spoiled," and if you have read this far, you may be wondering what I mean. Two words for you--Pimento cheese. Yeah. Homemade southern yumminess for lunch--you can't order this stuff in an Atlanta restaurant, that's for sure. The sandwich itself was worth the drive!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Monica's Seven Sisters

I loved this story from Meade County, Kentucky. Monica Brown brought the actual quilt with her, and as I dodged a particularly fierce "attack rooster," she told its story:

“My grandfather’s farm is just across the way. My Grandma Livers came to live there when she took care of his first wife; then they got married. He was fifty-four years older than her.

When my husband, Larry’s mom became pregnant, they were neighbors, and my Grandma Livers gave her a quilt top—a 1930s quilt top from feed sacks. You couldn’t live without feed sacks back then; they used them for everything.

So my grandma gave Larry's mama--we call her Mamaw--this quilt top. With running the farm and taking care of six children, she never finished the quilt. She had told me about it and told me about it, and I said, ‘Mamaw, I really think you oughta give that to me!’ About three years ago, she finally did, and I quilted it to the best of my ability.

So this was a baby quilt, pieced by my Grandma Livers and given to Larry’s mom—Mamaw. She sewed the feed sacks together and put the back to the quilt, and I finished it. It passed from my family to his family to our family.”

The intricate quilt block is called Seven Sisters. Monica says, “Larry doesn’t have seven sisters, but I have seven brothers, so I feel as if it was meant for me. The block is so detailed; they say, ‘Oh you can’t see all of the little bits of color from the road,’ but it’s for me to enjoy.”

Sunday, September 5, 2010

More From Morgan County

Back in Atlanta after my brief trip west.

I do believe that the sunflower to the right is the world's tallest quilt square--WAAYY up in the sky. The company processes sunflower seeds. Doesn't the "flower" (which is really part of a fan, but we're not telling) look a bit like the company logo?

Random bits from Morgan County--I couldn't figure out why Farmer Keith Bath kept mentioning Tim Tebow--the former quarterback of MY Florida Gators. What can I say? I don't follow the guys after they leave college--didn't know Tim was a Denver Bronco now.

Along with a classic movie theater, Fort Morgan has a JC Penney store on its main street. I thought for sure they they existed only in malls and online!

Another colloquialism--Nancy told me that when a young couple ventured alone into the pasture, they were said to be out in the "gimme weeds." I didn't have to look that one up!

Throughout my travels I have heard the upper portion of the barn--which I had always thought was a loft--referred to as the hay mow (rhymes with cow). In Colorado, it's a hay loft. They never heard of a mow. Go figure.

I posted a photo on Facebook of a barn with sunflowers; here is another pretty one. I do love these "weeds."

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Sagebrush and Sunflowers

OK true confessions time. I thought Denver was in the mountains. A mile high, after all. But no, it's near the mountains, and there are no foothills like we have in the south. Just flat prairie that runs right up to those magnificent Rockies.

Driving the 80 or so miles on the interstate to Fort Morgan, I thought, "OK, where the heck IS everything?" Nothing but wild sunflowers--with which I became quite enchanted--and sagebrush. Not all all what I expected. But I was headed for Colorado's barn quilt country, so I couldn't complain.

Nancy Lauck is a one-woman army, bringing over 100 barn quilts to Morgan County. That's us with 92 year old Harvey Achziger. It was a perfect day; for once I didn't bring rain, but as Nancy's husband, Bill, pointed out, this is really an irrigated section of desert, so there wasn't much chance. I learned a lot about water rights--a new farming subject for me.

Don't tell my orthopedist--who let me begin wearing shoes eight weeks after Achilles tendon surgery only after a solemn promise to walk only on pavement. Nevermind my standing one-footed on the edge of the car to get a photo with flowers in the foreground--check out the Facebook page for that one! Speaking of the ground, I stepped in a batch of sandspurs--ouch! (they call them burrs here). I thought they only grew in Florida and that I had escaped them when I moved north!

Nancy and I had a great day, though I got a bit worried when she said she was going to take me out to the "toolies." What the heck? After a bit of conversation, it became clear that she meant way out into nowhere--what many of use would call the boondocks.

This sign cracked me up--nothing like old fashioned farm humor. We needed a chuckle after such a long drive; the county is 36 by 36 miles!

I really craved this trip out into barn quilt world, as I muster the energy to complete this revision. This was the perfect trip. Add to that a real bath in a clawfoot tub and cool enough weather to sleep under quilts--it doesn't get much better.