Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Against the Wind . . .

I was going to go with "We're not in Kansas anymore," but a new theme developed.  I was eager to get to Nebraska, as there are a number of great quilt trails there.  And I thought we would escape the winds of Kansas.  HA!  Not a chance!

First stop--Fillmore County. Isn't this a lovely sunny pattern?  Got a great blue sky for this shot!

The ladies of Wilber have created quilt for the flower boxes that line the streets of their little town.  This place is C-U-T-E!  Where else but in a theme park can you hear polka music in the streets?

Wilber is the Czech capital of the US, and it's quite a theme for them.  At the Czech store, I saw everything from authentic hand-sewn costumes to--that's right--a Czech sock monkey!  Just a charming place that celebrates culture without taking it too seriously.
Nancy, who took me on the tour in Wilber, made sure I didn't leave empty-handed, of course. There was some disagreement among her friends about how to spell Kolache, but everyone agreed that the traditional pastries were a "must."  Of course, they didn't all quite survive the drive . . .

Next on the agenda was Pender, a town that I had wanted to visit for some time. We started looking for a place to park and found that the Blue Ox company--the maker of the towing system on our bus and car--is located there.  Pretty cool to stumble across a great factory tour along the quilt trail.
To top it off, they have a no-cost RV parking area for their customers.  And a barn quilt!

The folks in Pender installed over two hundred quilt blocks for the town's 125th anniversary.  That's pretty awesome for a town of just over one thousand people! 

  This is one of my favorites--and I saw the quilt, too!  Love it!  Everywhere you turn in Pender, you see a barn quilt.  I really have never seen anything quite like it.  I would love to have walked the streets with a video camera to capture the experience--it was just that magical!

 This one is a replica of an actual quilt made of dozens of ties.  Great detail here!

 There is one just like this in Athens County, Ohio--I love it when I see "old friends" along the way.

The last quilt I saw on the way out of Pender--as we got ready to head even farther north.  Yep--Minnesota, y'all!

Thanks for traveling with us; leave a comment to let me know who stopped by!

Friday, April 4, 2014

April Foolishness

You know I had to use April Fools somehow, didn't you?  Why am I foolish--well, because this southern girl is headed north in April--and it's getting COLD! I may have to find some gloves so that I can hold the camera still!

We left Tulsa on Tuesday and headed to Kansas
The roads were narrow, and the wind was gusting up to 35 mph.  Never have I been so glad that Glen was driving--I had to shut my eyes a couple of times.  Of course, I managed to open them to capture this scary moment.

Love the highway signs in Kansas!
We got to El Dorado State Park in time for Glen to go paddling.  The winds were a bit high for me, but he pulled his kayak down under the bridge and went for it.

The Flint Hills--so named because of the layer of rock just below the surface--proved to be a beautiful landscape.  Grasses as far as we could see.  I was told that in a few weeks, all of this will be brilliant green.  We will have to schedule our next visit to coincide with that, for sure.
The next morning brought the blue skies that I always hope for. My visit to Pioneer Bluffs was so educational--this is a ranch that has been preserved so that visitors can learn about farming methods from the 19th century. And of course, they have a lovely quilt block--the first in the Flint Hills Quilt Trail.

 Inside of the barn--this was a Sears barn--or some other similar that was delivered by train and assembled on site.  It still amazes me that barns were built that way, but I have seen a lot of "mail order" barns along the way.
We took a break from the Flint Hills and headed northeast to Ottawa, where Chris Campbell started the first quilt trail in the state.  She and I took the tour yesterday.  At the Krambeck farm, a Wedding Ring quilt block features an Angus cow.  These fellas seemed to  be posing for the newest piece of art. Or maybe they just hoped I had food.
 Proud barn quilt owner!  She had these shirts made for all of her family.

Here is an unusual quilt block location for you--the front of a general store that was rescued from Milford, KS, before the area was flooded to create a reservoir in 1962.  Yes--moved intact and installed on this farm.

How fun is this? I was told that everyone from small children to a ninety-year old woman to a few cats have enjoyed the slide!
 My tour ended at Chris' Corner quilt shop--the first quilt block in KS.  The Ohio Star represents Chris' more traditional style, and New York Beauty her coworker Brenda's style of quilting.

On the road again--I am blogging from the bus as we head north.  Ain't technology grand?

It's getting COLDER.  Uh-oh. But we are going to Wichita to see George Strait tonight, and that will be indoors.  Ready for a fun day!