Sunday, April 22, 2012

Meanwhile, a Week later . . .

I enjoyed a wonderful visit to Kankakee, IL, last weekend! Finally--a week later--I have time to talk about it!

The folks in Kankakee have always been so supportive of me throughout my research and writing. I feel as if I have family there--lifelong friends at the very least. So it was no surprise that the Friends of the Library, The Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Barn Quilt Committee came together to invite me to visit.

I stopped off in Chicago, then took the train to Kankakee. it was a long trip, so after a meal of fabulous Mexican food, I was ready to crash.

If you are ever in the area, you must check out Riverview guest house--Nita is an amazing hostess. Be sure to ask her for peach French Toast for breakfast! Oh, gosh, this post is getting food-oriented already!

The next morning, it was off to Blue's Cafe for lunch and butterscotch pie. Now, if you have read the book, you are laughing, because Blue's Cafe and pie were a big part of my original Kankakee experience. If you haven't read the book--HUMPH. Better head to and get a copy. Or you can search for "kankakee" in the box at the top of the page here. So-the pie:
On to the library, where many friends were ready to greet me, including some from other areas of the state! I was so honored that everyone came to see me and that so many wanted a signed book. It's one thing to see sales--either on my website or elsewhere--but truly special when I get to visit.

I was delighted that some of the people who are in the book were on hand, including the family whose corn crib graces the book's cover!

The next day, I rode along on a tour of some of the barn quilts I hadn't seen before and also made some new Kankakee friends.

I love the detail on this fan--really painstaking work:
Then back to the Kankakee County Museum, where Rhubarb Pie is now even more spectacular with blooming tulips in front!
Whew! It was a great trip.

This week was a "non barn-quilt" weekend, though I did have a pleasant surprise. Stay tuned for that.

Next weekend, I will be back out on the road in Burnsville and Mars Hill, NC for signings and talks.
As always, please email if you have comments, or updates and check to see my schedule.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

To Kentucky--and back!

We visited Washington County Kentucky, and toured a bit with Marlene Frost, who heads up the quilt trail there. I love this "artsy" shot that Glen took.

We also stopped by the Woman's Club to check out Marlene's newest paintings; it looks like the Tobacco Leaf is ready for hanging!

Then over to Marion County to see some of Nancy Miles's incredible work at the Sisters of Loretto Motherhouse. Her Log Cabin here is one of my all-time favorites!

My talk/signing at the Stillhouse restaurant was fun, and the afternoon allowed time for us to tour the Maker's Mark distillery before driving back to Tennessee.

I'm going to admit that the distillery tour was more for Glen's sake than mine. He has, after all, listened to my talk over and over, carried books and equipment from car to venue and back again every day, and been my cheerleader. Surprise--I ended up enjoying the tour a lot!! These windows with the distillery's signature bottle carved in them are pretty cool.

Headed home tonight, but there is a lot more to tell. Stay tuned!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Spring Break!

Spring Break started today, which means time to hit the trail. Today we drove from Georgia to Franklin, Tennessee. We got a late start, so I hadn't planned any side trips--shame on me! Of course once I realized that we were changing time zones, we had a bonus hour. Time to get out the GPS and find some barn quilts.

This one is at the entrance to a winery; the young man there said that the quilt was from the 19th century and was made in the area. He thought that the original was on the premises but couldn't seem to find it. We left a bit disappointed but ready to head out into the beautiful countryside.

There are certain things I eat only when on the road. Those little pre-packaged crackers with cheese, Slurpies, and a few other favorites. Hadn't seen these in a while!

As I munched, I glanced across the highway and saw a decorated barn. Not a quilt, but the star certainly shines against the red background.

It took some doing to find this lovely spot. The barn belongs to The Ledford Mill Bed and Breakfast, a charming building in what was once an actual mill house. The barn quilt is the "Drunkard's Path." We happened to meet Mildred, the owner of the inn, as she was out with her dogs. She said that the mill is located between two of the state's largest distilleries--hence the name.

There are almost no black barns in Tennessee; they are seen more in Kentucky. But just outside of Lynchburg, this "Circle Star" appears. I wish I had been able to speak with the barn owners. I left a business card with a note on top of their mailbox--perhaps they will get it!

Tuesday morning, I will be visiting with the Cumberland Valley Quilt Association here in Franklin, and then in the evening, I will be in Athens to speak to the Heritage Quilt Guild there. We have a big week ahead; I look forward to meeting some of Tennessee's quilters and to sharing the journey with you.