Wednesday, November 24

From a "Barn-on-the-Byway" to a Happy Thanksgiving!

A week ago this past Tuesday, I participated in a little program sponsored by the Henderson Friends of the Library at a place called "Barn on the Byway". It was an event to share information on Quilt Barn Signs and a little information about quilting. The barn is located about three miles north of Henderson along Hwy. 6 also known as "The*Scenic*Byway". The route begins in Belle Plaine, just a few miles further north and then meanders south and then to the northwest through beautiful river valleys and just plain pretty country scenery. There are lots of old barns along the way, too, although many of them are showing their age and some that once stood proud and strong, are now only a shell of what was once a vital part of a long-gone farmstead. Some barns now exhibit popular quilt barn signs. I keep seeing more and more of them here in Minnesota. And when I travel to my home town in Iowa there are lots of them to see along the Hwy. 169 route and all around the state. If you live in Ohio you may be very familiar with the current barn signs that are showing up on barns today. That's where it really took hold. And if you are from Pennsylvania and the surrounding area, you are probably very familiar with the hex signs that adorn barns in Pennsylvania Dutch areas. Here's a picture of the barn where the library program was held..........


You can tell immediately that this is not an old barn. It's a new barn and it has a story. More on that in a minute. The logs in the cabin on the left are very old and are being "re-purposed" into a modern little cabin. Just to the left on the barn there is a quilt barn block and it looks like this.......

Here's a picture of this great new barn. I took it yesterday afternoon when it was cold and crisp but sunny and clear. It was the first opportunity I had to do that since I went to the barn last Tuesday evening. Our weather has been snowy and icy and more of the same is coming today!

To the barn story.......the barn was built by Gregg Thomas and his brother. Gregg told me he had always wanted a barn, talked about it and never did it. Then his brother was finishing a job and had time to come and stay and asked if he would like to build that barn. Gregg said they got started and in three and a half weeks the barn was finished! It's been used for a wedding (Gregg and wife, Joyce's daughter) and has lots of potential.

The barn sign was painted by Andrew Hunt of Henderson and donated as a raffle prize at Heritage Days this past fall. It was won by Friends of the Library presiden, Arlene Busse. Now, Arlene doesn't have a barn and the sign wouldn't fit over their garage so she called me and wondered about hanging it in the newly finished library basement as a piece of wall-art. And if they did this, how about if I would do a program with a little info on barn quilts and quilting? So, that sounded okay and then Karen Swenson, Friends treasurer came up with an even better idea. She knew Gregg of the "Barn on the Byway" and wondered if he would like the sign for his barn and maybe we could do the program at the barn. Well, as you can see from this post, that is just what happened. The sign looks so much better on the barn and maybe we can hang some real quilts in the newly finished library basement. In the photo on the right, you can see the two guys who did the sign.......Andrew on the left made the quilt block sign.......and......Dave on the right built the barn with help from his brother and family. Andrew has a vision of seeing lots of quilt barn signs on the barns that sit along the Scenic ByWay. And while he chose a Mariner's Compass block for the quilt barn sign that he made, there are so many quilt blocks one can choose. We ran into each other at the grocery store this past Saturday and were talking about how cool it would be to do a workshop so that others could make the barn quilt signs. And Gregg would love to see his barn used for something like or .....for a quilt show! Oh, yes, the minute I saw the place and the loft in the main barn, I could already see quilts hanging all over the place! :-)
While Andrew told the story of how quilt signs evolved and told how he had made his barn quilt sign, the guests could enjoy cider and those yummy looking pumpkin bars. And when he finished his portion of the program, I shared a little bit about my love of quilting. I brought along a quilt that I shared recently on "What's on the line?".......my sampler*quilt because it has some simple blocks that would look great as barn quilt signs. I also brought along.........



a couple of old quilts that were made in the 30's. The Dresden plate on the left was made by the same woman, a Mrs. Larson, who made the very worn but still charming Sunbonnet Sue quilt. The Green point star quilt was picked up at auction by my brother and was a real deal.....just $30 if I remember right. I just know he called and told me he'd found a quilt and that if I wanted it and paid him for it, that it could be mine. I was very happy to do that! The two books on the quilts are two of my favorites for finding info on vintage quilt blocks. On is Carrie Hall Blocks and the other is The Romance of the Patchwork Quilt. That copy is from 1935 and was a gift from friends, Judith and Megan. The book can occasionally be found on e-bay. The copy they got for me, as a thank you for work on quilt shows at the Scott County Historical Society, is in almost perfect condition. I just love it!

I also brought along a little something new. I shared all the little placemat sized quilts I've made in the beginning quilt classes that I offered at the libraries and in community ed classes. I'll be offering the free class next March at the Henderson Library. It will be all the basics that you need to know to get started in quilting. Underneath the smaller quilts is a larger lap quilt that I share as a sample of what one can easily do once you learn to make a placemat. You just make a whole bunch of placemat sized pieces and sew them together for a bigger quilt!!! If you live nearby and are interested in the class just check with the Henderson Library in late February.
When I finished with my part of the program, I let everyone come up and check out the quilts. I like to do the "hands-on" thing because once you touch that fabric.......well, if you're a quilter you know that you are hooked once you touch that fabric. LOL!!
It was a really fun evening and I look forward to another opportunity to do an event out at the "Barn-on-the-Byway". I do hope to do it in slightly warmer weather. Even with heat on, the barn was still a bit chilly as you can see by all those folks with their coats on.
And speaking of chilly, it's going to get cold in Minnesota tonight and tomorrow will dip down to close to zero. Light snow fell late this afternoon and then some fine mist (not really rain) so travel was not so great. But it wasn't so bad that we couldn't make it up to EmmaKrumbee's for dinner tonight. Today was our 43rd wedding anniversary and I had wanted to go out for lunch because I thought the weather was going to be too awful this evening. My husband said he thought it wasn't going to be that bad. Turned out he was right, although we did see two cars that had gone in the ditch just before we got to Emma's. I enjoyed the Shrimp dinner and he had the giant tenderloin sandwich which I reminded him was the same thing he had the year we celebrated our first anniversary. Only back then - 1969 - he was a lot younger and ordered two tenderloins, an order of onion rings and a coke. The days of eating meals like that are long gone!! It was a nice evening and it was fun to make the drive because so many people already have their Christmas trees up and lighted. Not here! The tree comes out tomorrow and then the lights will be lit here, too.
Okay, so this was a long post but I don't plan to post again til next Monday. Tomorrow our son will join us for Thanksgiving dinner. Our daughter and family will go to her mother-in-law's home for dinner. So, if you are celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday, I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving day. And if there are little ones at your house that need a little fun, I thought I'd add a worksheet that I drew when I was a teacher's aide at an elementary school in the 80's. You can print it out (as many as you want) and let the kids hunt the turkey for dinner. I loved these mazes when I was a kid. Still do!
Have a great day tomorrow and a lovely weekend! Oh, and be careful when you are out shopping. It will be a busy weekend for those great Christmas deals.
Sandi

16 comments:

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

Happy Anniversary and Happy Thanksgiving Sandi!

Red Geranium Cottage said...

Happy Anniversary Sandi and thanks for the blog about that barn. It is adorable. I love barns. What a great place.
Happy Thanksgiving too!!
See you on FB later. :-)

Pat said...

Happy Anniversary! I enjoyed reading about the barn and seeing your photos. I look at those placemats and think you would go crazy with a GO cutter!!! I can just imagine what you'd design then!!! Happy Thanksgiving to you and the family.

Lindah said...

Such an interesting post, Sandi! You have been a busy lady.
Happy Anniversary to you and your DH!
And Happy Thanksgiving, too!

Crispy said...

Happy Anniversary Sandi!!! What a wonderful program, I wish I could have been there.

Have a lovely Thanksgiving!!

Crispy

luv2quilt2 said...

Happy Anniversary and Happy Thanisgiving! A very enjoyable post!

Karen said...

Thank you for sharing the information about the barn signs. And the pictures!
Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

Diane H said...

Happy Anniversary Sandi! Great post- really enjoyed it and may you and your family have a blessed Thanksgiving.

Pamela O said...

Happy Anniversary Sandi. What a fun day, love your photos. What a great place. Again and again Sandi, I love visiting your blog, you are a wonderful writter.

Micki said...

Happy Anniversary! I so enjoyed your post, as I am from PA, and remember all the wonderful barns and countryside there.
Micki

quiltingnana said...

Happy Thanksgiving

Shelly said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Sandi! Thanks for shaing the lovely barn and quilts with us. Being a foreigner, I kind of wonder what the purposes of quilt barns are. Isn't a barn supposed to be a place for storing cereals? But it seems that there are so many barns with a quilt block sign on them in the US.

julieQ said...

Happy Thanksgiving! I love that barn story...just wonderful. I would like to get over there and see the barn quilts...someday!

Anonymous said...

Sandi and hubby, belated congratulations on your 43rd anniversary! Way to go! I hope you have many more years together.Hubby and I are almost at our 37th.
Great story about the barn quilts and the barn and library. Thanks again for all you do.
Gerda in Alberta

Jacquelynne said...

I'm so glad people are still building wooden barns- seems the old wooden ones are falling down and being replaced by steel ones. I do LOVE an old red barn... thanks for the beautiful photos.

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

How fun. Nice anniversary. Mine is next month. Good to catch up with you and read what you're doing.

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