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Recent retiree--35 year's experience teaching reading, English, adult basic education and volunteer leadership skills. Started this blog to exchange ideas and commentary with friends and others having an interest in joining the discussions. Greatest life accomplishments include: 1.organized my 3rd grade class to check out library books for me to get around librarian's weekly limit--Amazon.com, the Mullins Elementary 3rd Grade Class of 1956 is still waiting for "thank you" notes; 2. volunteered in the Peace Corps, island of St. Kitts, West Indies; 3.taught adults to read, earn their GEDs., and speak English as a second language; 4. bought a border collie puppy for $6, got evicted rather than give him up, and began a life-long love affair with all things "Dog"; 5. joined a physical fitness boot camp in my mid-50s--don't mess with someone who's been doing regulation pushups in wet grass at 5:30 a.m.; 6. walked across Northern England with best friend Sally--over 80 miles from the Irish to North Seas; and 7. travelled to many foreign countries for pleasure and work.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Friday Fences and Barn Quilts


Yesterday I made a long and very rainy trip from Louisville to far eastern Kentucky to visit my 90 year old Aunt Draxie who lives independently on a farm in the mountains. In the summer she raises a huge garden, canning and freezing the excess for the winter. In the winter she quilts. Yesterday she was working on a crib quilt for the newest great grandchild, using old feedsacks and working by hand.

Quilting has always been both a necessity and art form in rural Kentucky, providing both warmth and beauty for the home. Young girls learned to quilt from the women in the family using scraps of fabric to make fanciful designs with names like Wedding Ring, Trip Around the World, Drunkard's Path and Little Dutch Girl. Many children--myself included--remember playing under the quilt frame that was bolted to the ceiling and then lowered after the housework was done so that the women could sit around the frame and quilt.

A few years ago, Kentucky and several adjoining states worked through their state art councils to start a Barn Quilt Project where barns in the rural areas had quilt designs painted on them to commemorate this important art form. On the Mountain Parkway that runs into eastern Kentucky you can spot many of these colorful barns in the distance as you drive alone. I saw around ten yesterday including this one of a Bowtie Quilt.

I decided to use this photo for Friday Fences because of the typical farm fencing as well. Blog friend Janis at Life According to Jan and Jer . Go there to see many other interesting fences.

20 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

that's a gorgeous place! love the quilt barns, and love that Kentucky horse fencing!

Carletta said...

Love the look of that whole farm!
I especially like the quilt barn. I've posted frequently about them. The mother of the lady who started the Quilt trails is from my nearby hometown.
The fence, the barn, the farmhouse - a great choice for your post today. :)
Carletta@Round The Bend

Judy said...

I have never heard of the quilt frame being bolted to the ceiling! When I was a child, the quilt frame was stood on its side to allow the room to be used, then propped on chairs to be worked on. But yes, I remember playing under the quilt while the women sewed...

nana_ang_poppaphil said...

What a great looking farm, fences and all.

Bridget Larsen said...

Your Aunt is amazing at 90 and still going strong. What a lovely idea those barn quilts, love it. Thank you for your interesting story
Bridget #2

Gemma Wiseman said...

Beuatiful, misty countryside in the first scene! And the idea of a quilt barn is so fascinating!

Jan n Jer said...

Your Aunt Draxie sounds amazing! Hope you have her genes Faye! I love the quilt barns you have in Kentucky. I remember a post you did on them before! They make outstanding photo ops! Great shot of this farm homestead! Thanks for playing today!

Tricia @ Bluff Area Daily said...

Look at that barn, so beautiful out there in that field... the house is nice, too. The fence is an added bonus.

Deb said...

oh your photos are awesome...I love quilts of all kinds...makes me feel warm inside...

Sayre said...

I didn't know about barn quilts - what a very cool idea! And beautiful too. Was this Aunt Draxie's farm or just one you went by?

Faye said...

Sayre-no, not my Aunt Draxie's farm. She lives at the head of a mountain "holler"--barely room for two cars to pass on the road. I'm going to do a series of barn quilts on Facebook--will show you where aunt lives. This pretty farm was just along the Mountain Parkway.

Buttons said...

Wow I love the mix of history with fences it is so fascinating to me. I love the story of Aunt she is a true pioneer and I am sure she has many an interesting tale to tell. I would love a visit with your Aunt. We can learn a lot from our elderly people they know what "HARD TIMES" truly means. Great post. B

Bridget Larsen said...

Just to update you on the comment you left on blog, the dogs live around the back where it is fenced off so there is side fences and back fences that are allowed
Bridget #2

Mama Zen said...

How gorgeous!

Gemma Wiseman said...

Back again! You asked about the hole in the fence beneath the number 13 - Friday Fences. It is part of a mailbox for large mail and the slit to the right is for letters! There are many varieties of mailboxes in Australia.

Rose said...

Oh, I do love this...just love the whole setting. And I shoot the quilt barns any chance I get.

Oh, My mom had the hooks in the ceiling that she wrapped around the quilt frames to raise and lower them. She was the only person I ever heard of to do that...figured she came up with it on her own. Now I know maybe not....

Pam said...

Your Aunt is an amazing woman, she puts me to shame with all that she does at 90 years old.
I love the country scene especially the quilt barn.
Nice shot, Faye.

Sandra said...

thanks for the photos, I love Ky more than any state i have lived in. I lived there from age 9 to 15 plus. rural Eastern outside of Pineville and then in Sloans Valley, not far from Somerset. this is a nice trip down memory lane.

don said...

The quilt patterns on barns is such a fine idea for preserving the idea of quilting. I'd hope there are still many people who are quilting today.

Debbie said...

wow....you've got some fences there....beautiful!!

so much to see and enjoy in these photo's!!