Saturday, September 28, 2013

On to Peru!

Indiana, that is!  But before heading out, we had lunch with Donna Sue and then visited her and her mom, Maxine, on their farm.  I always think I am going to miss the turn, but this lovely farm--with its golden quilt block--marks the corner.

Glen and I had spotted this barn quilt on the way to lunch, so on the way back to our motel, we stopped back by.  The English gentleman who lives there stopped his mowing to give us the tour of the cabin he is building on his property. When asked why has has a Tippecanoe quilt block on his barn, he said, "Well, I don't know--it seems like around here that's what you need to fit in!" 

I try not to take photos of Amish folks as they go about their lives, but I figured this fella would be none the wiser.  The upside-down ladder in the back of his buggy just struck me somehow.

On our final evening, we stopped by The Rock--a vacation rental property--to see Randi Gish-Smith's latest barn quilt painting.  The Pineapple design is emblematic of hospitality--very appropriate to the location!

Our last meal in Ohio was an American classic, and Glen hammed it up with the iconic Big Boy.  If only I could find him one of those spiffy checked outfits with the matching hat . . .


A few days later, we were headed back to Indiana.  Peru, Indiana, to be exact.  Our route took us along a lot of country roads--ideal barn quilting territory, but nary a quilt in sight.  Glen spotted this one by the roadside--I don't know the story, but it's definitely quilted!

We have been relaxing for a few days in a lovely guest house--more about that tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the 2014 calendar is available on Amazon now, if that makes ordering easier for y'all.
Click here to Order barn quilt calendar from Amazon

I have a tendency to go Amazon Prime crazy, since I can order everything from batteries to a lawn mower--yes, I really did order a lawn mower--and have it delivered! I suppose our being vagabonds saves a lot of money, though I have to admit that we had quite a few deliveries to our last motel . . .

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Back to Ohio!

We left New York and headed for Southern PA, where I had a few speaking engagements.  I have had a blast talking with quilt guilds! You can see some of the ongoing madness here:

While in PA we kayaked the Susquehanna River.  It was great to get out on the water again--even if we were in Harrisburg for about a third of the journey.

A few days later, we  visited Gettysburg. I highly recommend the CD tour--it really brought to life all that took place.  When I think of a battlefield, I think of a confined area, but this battle was spread out over miles!  Quite the history lesson and one that won't be soon forgotten.

Here I am with Gracie--no barn on the quilt; the story dates back just a bit farther!

 One thing that surprised me was how mountainous--and beautiful--Pennsylvania is.  I had no idea!  And the barns--such glorious barns!  None of them quilted, but they are fantastic just in their natural splendor.Borrowed this photo from  always give credit where due.

SO many times I have had people argue with me that barn quilts began with the Pennsylvania Dutch.  But Hex signs are NOT quilt patterns--that is, they were not intended to be fashioned into quilts and are not taken from sewn patterns. But aren't they lovely?

On to Ohio, where Barb and Jim Gabriel gave me the barn quilt tour. I loved this Clay's choice, patterned after the quilt that Clay's grandma made for his mom to use to cover her lap while watching him play high school football.  Go Clay!

 This one is just gorgeous--the center represents a lavender labyrinth that the owner has in her back yard. Too fun!
 We stopped off to see this gem at the feed store, and I realized that Gracie Pup was out of food.  See--barn quilts do contribute to economic growth.

 The next day, we headed down to Adams County--home of the original quilt trail--where a celebration/benefit was being held in honor of Donna Sue.  I bought an $85 pie at auction--we needed to buy something, and since we will be living on a bus, we don't need much by way of things. It was yummy.  With ice cream, of course!

That's Donna Sue, I, and Barb Gabriel at the celebration.
It was a fabulous gathering--a great testament to all those influenced by Donna Sue and her legacy.  We got to see some old friends and participate in the barn quilt community in a way that is seldom possible. Very rewarding!

Two  entire weeks in Columbus, as I have some quilt guilds nearby on my schedule. We are still waiting for our bus to be ready.  Poor Ruby--I'm sure she thinks we have abandoned her.  I think I will go and pitch a tent in the parking lot of the RV place--maybe they will get her fixed just to get rid of me!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

New York, Chapter Two--Schoharie

Well, we're getting there!  Our visit to Schoharie, New York started off rocky--we were two hours late!  We picked up the Gracie-Pup in Queens and headed for the highway, but the road that the GPS indicated was closed.  And try as we might, we could not find a route upstate that didn't take us back that way!

We drove and drove and finally got on the road.  I called Ginny Schaum, our host in Schoharie to let her know that we were running late.  She was very gracious and let me know that she would be waiting at Shirley's, where we were to have llunch.

I had decided to drive because I am more likely to push the boundaries when it comes to speed limits.  In other words, I am a shameless lawbreaker!  Just when I thought we were making up time, traffic came to a dead stop.  We sat so long that we finally turned off the car--ugh!  Another call to Ginny, who was still patiently waiting.

Shirley was kind enough to pack our lunch to go.  I wanted to spend some time talking with her and will do so soon, but we just had to get going.

Glen got directions to Ginny's home, and off he went.  Ginny, Sharon Aitchison, and I headed out to see some barn quilts!

Love love love this one!  The house is amazing, the barn quilt is amazing.  I hope that if you click on the photo, you can see the incredible detail! And how cool is that tractor--solar powered!

You either love crazy quilts or you don't.  I am in the first category.  The building might not be too impressive, but the quilt block is just too much fun.

Even better when we stepped inside and I saw the actual cloth block that the painted block came from!  You can't quite replicate all of the embellishments in paint.

I was fascinated by a doctor's home that has been preserved as a museum. I really look forward to writing about it. All of his equipment--including the operating table in the kitchen--is there.  I could have spent hours! 

Civil War field kit--kind of gruesome and probably not actually belonging to the resident.  But I was amazed at how well-preserved it is.

Of course, we had to have a bit of fun.  Glen and Gracie played in the pond on the Schaum's property with Ginny's husband, Bill. Then they met us for the 125th anniversary celebration of the local hardware store.  Such a great community event--including the watermelon eating contest.  That's Glen on the right--second place finish!

Finally, :Ginny and Sharon unveiled the quilt block they had created for the family that owns the hardware store to honor their special day.  Gorgeous, isn't it??

Lots of beautiful countryside and many more barn quilt stories to tell.  Volume Two is going to be jam-packed!  I am starting to get a bit of writing done now that we are in one place. No, we don't have our bus back.  We are in an extended-stay motel in Ohio for 2 weeks before heading out for Indiana. at least I have a kitchen--yay!

Whew!  just a bit more will bring us up to date. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Catching up!

Well, here we are three weeks later, and no--we are not still in Canada! Since I wrote last, we have been through New York and PA, and landed today in Ohio.

We are still not back in our bus; it may be another three weeks or so until the damage is repaired  Turns out that the damage was far more extensive than I thought--all of the air conditioning blown out and loads of wiring to be replaced. Not to mention the smell.  Our clothes reeked of smoke, and apparently the inside of the bus will have to be cleaned by a company that specializes in smoke removal. Sigh.

We have perfected the art of finding an inexpensive motel along the route to my talks and trails and have also stayed in the homes of some very generous folks.  

SO--back to Canada!  We crossed from Ontario into New York at Niagara Falls and had already scheduled a day off to play tourist.  Here we are before we got soaked on the Maid of the Mist boat ride.  If you have never been, you MUST take the boat!  There is truly no other way to see the falls!

On to LeRoy, New York, where we had been invited to stay with Lynne Belluscio, the quilt trail coordinator, Historical Society director, Jell-O Museum director, and a really generous host.

Yes, there really is a Jell-O museum in the town where it was invented!  

When we got to Lynne's home, we were greeted by her lovely Whig Rose barn quilt.  Just one example of the fine work I would see.

The next day, Lynne and I took the tour of their 200 ro so barn quilts. I encountered my favorite Corn and Beans--love this on the white barn!

The cow was just too cute to resist--definitely one of a kind!

And speaking of that, here is the only Jell-O barn you will ever see!  It actually has Mail Pouch Tobacco on the other end, but it's not an original--just going with the theme.

Lynne and her family invited us to a horse driving competition.  Glen asserted that horses can't drive. He was just being silly, and when he saw the Jell-O wagon, Glen got even sillier as he attempted to join in!
We later got to see Lynne's daughter show how it's done and win a blue ribbon--one of several she had taken home during the event.

So now I owe you New York chapter two and Pennsylvania.  Of course, I will be out on the quilt trail again tomorrow, so I need to get myself caught up!

Don't forget that 2014 calendars are ready--they are about half sold out!  And as always, if you have a quilt trail story to share, get in touch.