Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Just Around the Corner

Of course the New Year is just around the corner, so I thought I would share a cool little barn quilt--one of only two that I know of that is painted around a corner! This is one of the original quilt squares that make up the sampler of 20 begun by Donna Sue Groves in Adams County, Ohio. I just love the bright, cheerful colors. These folks weren't deterred by the small size of the building; they just put good old fashioned ingenuity to work and created this unique quilt square! I hope that whatever else is just around the corner is as pleasing. For me, that means bringing this project to fruition. Anyone else care to share? Best to all of you for the new year. I appreciate all of the support and kindness I have received from so many!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

My Gift of Joy

I suppose you could call this a "Christmas Ohio Star," since it's red and green. But for me, it's so much more.

What may seem a somewhat humble barn quilt is by far the most precious.

This was the first quilt square, painted in 2001 in Adams County, Ohio. It was the starting point for the quilt trails from which so many have derived great pleasure--whether in creating or in admiring others' work.

It is the gift that Donna Sue Groves gave to her community and to all of us.

For me, this quilt square represents the greatest gift I have been given in my adult life--the privilege of working with Donna Sue to tell the story of the quilt trail--of the amazing people who paint the blocks and of those who have inspired them to do so. My gifts are many--the stories I have heard, the wealth of history I discovered, the warm hospitality of farmhouses across the country. I have made new friends whom I will treasure forever.

At the end of it all, I will be a published author--a dream of a lifetime and a gift whose price is beyond measure. All of these gifts have been heaped upon me, and it all began with this one quilt barn.

Life brings us all many challenges, and at this holiday season, I don't see a lot of sparkling packages under the tree. But a wealth of gifts, none able to be wrapped and tied with a bow, have come my way.

The greatest of those will always be the joy of friendship with Donna Sue and Maxine Groves.

I hope that you all have an abundance of gifts to celebrate--not just during the holidays but throughout the year.

Happy holidays,


Sunday, December 19, 2010

OH--Christmas Tree!!

Yes, these folks really do have a Christmas tree on their barn year-round! They actually call the block Pine Tree. The Weaver tree farm in Vinton County, Ohio was a fun spot to visit. First, in case you haven't noticed, I like Christmas tree farms. You can't see the trees from here, but the rolling hills planted with row upon row are somehow compelling to me.

Fred Weaver has a white beard--not a long Santa-style one, but still, it adds a bit to the mood.

Fred and wife Lois have operated the farm, which sits right next to their home--for four decades. There is also a Christmas shop full of decorations and holiday treats just past the saws that hang waiting for families who visit to choose and cut their own. And if you wander through the Depression glass and other treasues in Lois's antique shop, you might just end up with a jar of homemade apple butter. Yeah.

I love Christmas. And barn quilts. So this is among my many favorites.

Happy holidays to you all.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Another Fabulous Tree-t!

One of the best parts of this project was visiting places I might never have seen, and Neversink, New York, definitely falls into that category.

I was there in fall, but David and Phyllis Moore, who were my hosts on the trip, were kind enough to provide some photos, including a nice set of snow pics.

This quilt is called Timber Trees, and it lives at the Gotsch tree farm. During the season, they added freshly cut trees to create this lovely scene--there are even a few snowflakes floating by!


There is still plenty of time to order calendars; I am mailing them out daily, so any order before Monday will be there in time for Christmas giving.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Got that tree decorated yet?

This tree would look just incredible with a few lights, I think.

Back to my barn quilts with Christmas Trees theme. This might just be stretching it a bit. OK--I'll admit it--I wanted to sneak in another snow photo.

And that could be a Christmas tree in front of the barn, couldn't it?

This winter scene features the Curry barn in Kankakee, Illinois, with its Maple Leaf quilt block. Those of you who follow me at all probably have noticed that I am partial to Kankakee. And snow.

It's supposed to be about twenty degrees here tonight--but will my world be adorned in white? Nope. Still dreaming, though.

My faithful friend in North Georgia, Susan Tidwell, won the copy of Kansas City Star Book From the Bedroom to the Barnyard in today's drawing!

Susan is one of the few proud creators of barn quilts here in my home state.

I am so excited--I have sent calendars to Australia, England, Canada, and now New Zealand! Pretty darned cool

Stay warm, y'all. And you folks who are enjoying summer right now--pity those of us who are bundled up against the chill!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Let it Snow!!

When we Atlantans sing, "Let it Snow," it is always with wide hopeful smiles, as we just don't get much here.

I will be attending my first holiday party tonight, and we will be out caroling--a dying tradition, perhaps, but one that this particular group has enjoyed for over thirty years.

It's a bit odd, though, to share spiked cider with adults who were the eager children in the front row way back when. Now their kids have become the doorbell ringers!

My theme for this December is Christmas trees with barn quilts. But you have to admit that there is nothing better than a Christmas tree with a barn quilt in snow.

This gorgeous photo came to me from Jo Ann Sadler of Correctionville, Iowa. That part of the country was buried for weeks last year, but at least for now, she can celebrate the beauty here.

"I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas" (Just like the ones I've never known . . .)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Oh, Christmas Tree!

The radio waves are filled with holiday songs, so in spite of myself, I have Christmas fever on December 1st!

Over the past couple of years, I have enjoyed many journeys into the foothills and mountains of Western North Carolina. Beautiful scenery with some really extraordinary barn quilts.

On each trip, I ventured a bit farther, and on a clear fall day I found myself passing Christmas tree farms around every turn--each one a wonderful surprise.

This is the perfect combination of barn quilt and setting--the Cline Church Nursery in Ashe County.

If you look to the left of the barn, you can just glimpse the tree-covered hills that stretch into the distance.

These are the Christmas trees of my childhood--I still have most of the ornaments, some older than I am!

If you have never seen 500 acres of Fraser Firs, it's quite the majestic sight.

No decorations needed here--just Mother Nature's beauty at its best.