Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Determined Barn Quilter

I'm not going to claim that this is the most spectacular barn quilt ever, but I love the story. The quilt trail was originally conceived by Donna Sue Groves to honor her mother, Maxine, who is from Roane County, West Virginia.

Eighty-eight year old Roane County resident Reva Snodgrass read an article about the quilt trail and knew Maxine from long ago. So she painted this quilt--by herself, in a tent next to her house. I thought the shape a bit odd, but I then realized that a whole cloth quilt actually would be rectangular.

It was, as the song goes, a rainy night in Georgia, and it's been followed by a very rainy day. I needed a feel good story to break through the clouds.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A Thing of Beauty

Really, isn't that a beautiful pup? Gracie--my travel companion when I go by car--does love a barn quilt. Yeah, I know that it's mostly the open field, but humor me.

I have headed for the hills to get this final revision done. Of course, I knew I would be only a short hop away from some of my favorite barn quilts, so we took the afternoon off. I thought it might do me some good to be "out in the field," and it did!

I got lucky with this photo today--an old favorite, Tennessee Tulip, in Blaine, TN. The barn has a tin roof, and the glare off of it has thwarted two previous attempts to get a decent shot. Good timing today!

Of course, I had to make up for some lapses in other areas. I left my GPS in Atlanta, then unpacked the car and put everything in the cabin--drove off with my quilt trail map but no map of the surrounding area!

I was shocked at my sexist behavior. I stopped at an auto parts shop to ask directions--figured some burly man would know how best to get to Highway 11W. Asked one guy behind the counter--Not sure. The other one--Nope. I sighed. Then the woman who was standing next to me asked, "Do you want me to tell you?" Shame on me!

Here's a quilt that I had not seen before--enhanced by a bit of fall foliage. Feathered Star, in Thorn Hill, TN. There is nothing like the first time I see a quilt square--it still energizes me, even after so many hundreds.

On the way back, I was kind of proud of myself--still had no clue how to get back to the highway, but I did know that it was west.

The sun was beginning to lower in the sky, and just as we passed a couple of really excited-looking groups headed out for hayrides, I figured out which way to go. I guess we did find our way around before GPS, didn't we?

I didn't get a photo of it, but you know I love a good public typo. Passed a church marquee that read, "It doesn't matter who you are; it matters who's you are." My ninth graders are going to enjoy that one when I return.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Hazel's Memory Quilt

Driving through Roane County, West Virginia, at anything above 35 miles per hour is treacherous--miles of hills and steep curves and winding roads with little respite. As I was concentrating on navigating safely, this barn was hardly a blur as we whizzed by. The barn itself isn't much of an attention grabber, but something made me turn back.

How sweet is this? An old time quilting tradition, recreated with paint. What a great family tribute.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Another Friendly Farm

In my last post, I said that I had seen the block "Farm Friendliness" only one other time on the quilt trail, so I thought it would be interesting to compare the two. This one is on the Rannels farm in Vinton County, Ohio.

Bob Rannels was indeed a friendly farmer, who spent over an hour explaining how his barn had been constructed and subsequently raised--something I had learned was fairly common. The other interesting this about this barn is that the roof is made of slate tiles, just like the ones that were used on churches and other public buildings in the eighteenth century.

Bob had some extra tiles nearby, and he gave me one to take with me as a souvenir. I just realized that this post has something else in common with the last one as well. That slate piece caused havoc at the security gate at the Cincinnati airport!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Farm Friendliness

I have seen this block only once before on the quilt trail, which seems a bit odd--Farm Friendliness is a great way to describe the quilt trail experience! You can see more of the great foliage here as well. What can I say? The leaves in Georgia are never this vibrant, or if they are, it's for about a day and half!

Isn't this little girl on her swing precious? I love the fact that these folks placed quilts at spots that are significant to the community in addition to the barns along the way.

Our last stop before heading out was at a wonderful farm where the North Star block hangs on the barn in honor of the part that the Quakers in Michigan played in the Underground Railroad. I had such a great time talking to the folks here; these heirloom squash are grown on the property and just looked so perfect arranged on the porch.

Finally, back to the teeny tiny airport, where apparently only "kown" persons are to be trusted. Sorry, but I love public typos!

The bad part? About five minutes after I stood laughing at this sign, I was explaining to the TSA folks why I had a rather large serrated knife in my purse. Yes, I keep a knife so that I can cut my veggies up for lunch at work. The traces of red pepper on the blade seemed to convince them that my story was true and that it was an honest mistake. Of course, now I need a new knife. The really scary part--I flew to Michigan with that knife in my purse!!

Speaking of forgetting, don't forget to order your calendars!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Props for me!

When flying from Atlanta to Detroit, I joked to the woman beside me--"Yeah, I am flying into such a tiny airport--I'll be the plane will have props. SO--of course, it did! I did find that the humming of the floor provided a great foot massage, though!

Alcona County, Michigan is beautiful right now--the peak of fall colors. The barn pictured has the "Horse in the Cabin" block on it. When my tourguide, Cindi, first told me the name, I said, "HUH? But of course it is a Log Cabin pattern with a horse in the center to signify the horses that were once raised on this farm.
Off for more barn viewing in the crisp fall air.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

What are you Looking At?

Barn quilts vary widely--from the lovely replicas of old time patchwork quilts to the carefully designed patterns created using computer software and painted to exacting specifications.

I, of course, love them both--and everything in between.

Sac County, Iowa, is one of the finest
examples of the latter category. Their quilts are executed with such care that they almost look as if they are not painted. But I assure you that they are.

I loved these horses--they seem to be saying, "Hey--look at us; we're better looking than that thing hanging on the barn!"

The hay mow of the barn has been converted into offices for a feed business. The railing by which the hay fork would be pulled into the barn is still in place along the ceiling. The owner says that if a salesman gets out of hand--he might get the hook! Just kidding of course, but it made me laugh.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Kentucky's Finest

Marlene Frost of Washington County, Kentucky, sent me these photos of her exciting new project.

The quilt squares are based on Civil War era quilts owned by Mattie Cooksey Fair that were found in Casey County, Kentucky, where her husband grew up. Mattie lives in Ohio now but was raised in Washington County, KY and happens to have two barns on her property--perfect for these two matching quilts.

The quilts were made by the same quilter using the same fabrics--I wish we knew more about their history! I think Marlene did a great job of replicating them.

Marlene also created two 3 by 3 foot quilt blocks for the property in Casey County where the quilts were found. The tiny building is built into a small mound with only the doors and roof protruding. Mattie says that her mother-in-law parked her small '48 auto in this tiny building!