Quilts for Sale

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Is It Sumer Yet?

Last year's plants.

The black-eyed Susans are just beginning to bloom and tomorrow's forecast is for temperatures in the 90's. Can summer be far behind?

I took time this afternoon to work in our new perennial bed. Unlike our running theme of blue, purple, pink, fuchsia and white, this bed will be blue, white and pale yellow as a good transition to the black-eyed Susans and old-fashioned tiger lilies in back of the garage. As a kid, I saw this orange flower growing wild everywhere, especially along the RR tracks (thus the oft-heard southern reference to railroad lilies). BTW, my grandmother's most favorite bouquet was an arrangement of Queen Ann's lace and tiger lilies. I too love the combination.

Once I find the knock-out rose variety I want, I'll post photos of our finished beds.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Always on the Hunt

I've collected vintage textiles and sewing items since I began quilting. I continued my hunt for such treasures in two cool antique shops we found while in the midwest recently.

An amazing 1886 brick and mortar building in Veedersburg IN is home to The Tacky Apron and More. Inside - two of my most favorite items - great antiques and bread! The shop also offers old-timey bottled pop. I chose a classic Green River, a brand I hadn't seen since my childhood! Need I say more?

The Tacky Apron and More........ Antiques and Bakery
115 N. Main, Veedersburg IN

A glimpse of yummy baked offerings at 'The Tacky Apron and More'
We bought a cream-cheese streudel to take to my sister's. Divine!

We discovered the recently opened Mena's Mercantile, 151 N. Market St. in Paxton IL after lunch at The Tin Pan (home of the most amazing onion rings I've ever seen!). Debi Chapman Hermann, proprietor, gave my DH full run of the place for photos. Thanks, Debi!

This old Singer in its cabinet caught my eye.
I bought a vintage 1940's doll quilt, an old cross-stitched on linen sampler and a funky little thread and needle holder at Mena's.

Debi has an incredible collection of old kitchen containers -
the kind of stuff I love!

An overview of Mena's from Debi's office.

Mena's also has a basement. I love what Debi has done with the walls!

Everything, and I mean everything, in the basement is just 50 cents!

More of the stuff from the 'Mena's Mercantile' basement.

By the way, Paxton sponsors a town-wide garage sale June 5 and 6.

All Photos: Bill Guerrant

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

More Inspiration

508 - a train car in Paxton IL, the town of my great-grandmother's birth.
Note: A favorite photo my son Matthew took years ago on the Outer Banks was the inspiration for this shot.

This hen has been a fixture on my sister and BIL's farm for over 50 years.
The former owners left her, stating "This is where she belongs."

Great bark!

I loved the patina on this water meter cover - Veedersburg IN

The squares on this meter would be great for surface design.

My niece's husband spotted this on the University of Illinois campus.
Thanks, Matt!

Rusty old faucets really speak to me.

Past these grain bins, you can see forever.

More than 15 years ago I took a class at QSDS (Quilt Surface Design Symposium) with David Walker. It was life-changing, forever altering the way in which I work. He taught us the importance of listening to our hearts, of letting the work come from our souls. I'm in a listening phase right now, and sense the images which spoke to me in the midwest will greatly influence my future work.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Art Inspiration from Veedersburg

The older I get, the more I realize how much growing up on a farm in the heartland has, and continues to influence me. From dozens of photos shot last week in Indiana and my home state of Illinois, these are my favorites. I'm not into glitz or bling of any kind. What speaks to my heart are things which have stood the test of time; very old structures which still stand strong. Here are a few.

Grain elevators are iconic images in the midwest.

We found this one in Veedersburg, Indiana.

I was drawn to the old Veedersburg Cooperative Services, an old co-op feed mill where most of these photos were shot.

My favorite image.

Rust speaks to me.

I love the 'voice' of peeling paint.

The feed mill bricks were made in Veedersburg.

Many years of dripping rusty water resulted in the amazing colors on this wood.

I've been wanting to delve into more collage and photo imagery. Undoubtedly the time-worn feel of things just seen will influence my work.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Prairie Sunsets

Only wind and the squeaking of windmill blades broke the silence as my sister Sue and I captured this scene.

Views on the wide-open prairie are like those from the Sears Tower, only from the ground. I shot this sunset while on the way to my nephew's home in Ogden.

This one was taken on another evening just after the sun set.

Living in a city known for its tree canopy, we see only portions of sunsets. I took advantage of the open vantage points on our recent trip home to Illinois to capture these images.

Storms on the Prairie

We were in my home state of IL last week where my nephew received his PhD. These shots were taken during a storm Friday evening:

A huge storm front approaches from the west.

Just before the storm hit, my nephew made a Monical's Pizza run in his classic $200 Volvo.

Soggy, unplanted fields are a disturbing sight this late in the growing season.

The fields remain wet long after planting is usually done.

Huge pools of water make it impossible for farmers to get into the fields.

I grew up on the Prairie. But each time I return, I'm more amazed at the flatness of the land, the black richness of the fertile soil. This trip we found the fields unplanted, the earth sopping wet. Having lived it, I know how devastating this is for the family farmers who bought seed for spring planting long ago.

I'd also forgotten the ferocity of midwestern thunderstorms. I managed to capture a few shots of menacing clouds (which dropped over 3" of rain in less than an hour) before a tornado warning forced 13 of us to seek shelter in the basement. Glo-in-the-dark necklaces I'd brought were a much-needed diversion for the five little ones.

The storm was strong, with some areas getting hit with 2" hail stones. But we were safe in my sister and BIL'S house which also has a completely enclosed storm shelter. Because the rain came down fast, quite a bit of water came into the basement. We were able to get it cleaned up and fortunately did not lose power.

Weather in the midwest is often fierce. My DH said he couldn't imagine a blizzard there - with all the open land and its inherent strong winds. I told him that's why midwesterners never leave home without food! That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Home Again

Dr. Josh and his bride Lisa.

Josh, Lisa and their girls following graduation.

We're safely home after a wonderful week. My nephew received his PhD in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois. It was a fabulous trip. Look for more prairie photos tomorrow.
I've missed you guys! xoxoxo Ellen.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Favorite Image

Favorite image from No Da - seen on a brick wall there.

Mother's Day Lunch Option

A sandwich board spied in NoDa. Mmmmmm!

More from North Davidson St. (NoDa)

We had an early dinner at Revolution Pizza (formerly the Mellow Mushroom). Tomato, basil and fresh mozzarella salads were followed by little 8" pizzas. The crust, made in house, was outstanding! On the recommendation of our server, my dh tried an English Ale: hobgoblin, and pronounced it a winner. The restaurant has over 25 ales, stouts, pilsners, etc. on draft!

After dinner we walked around, drinking in the warm night air and the wonderful and lively atmosphere of the arts district.

Here are some of the sights: Beet Gallery, fresh flowers, a Smart car, graffiti, wild posters, my kind of political stickers, great graphics, colors, sounds and LIFE!

We were delighted to see a quilt (lower right) by artist and friend Sue Alvarez in the McGill Rose Garden gift shop. Her style is instantly recognizable.