Archive | September 2013

Quilting in Wyalusing, PA ~

Just got home from another long trip down to Lake Winola, PA, to help my mother-in-law and sister-in-law prep for moving.  Having our “big” pickup (Dodge 1500) loaded and pulling a loaded trailer, Al decided to take the back roads, “scenic route” home as to avoid having to drive hideously fast on Route 81.  

Indeed, it was a beautiful, yet tiring ride that led us through some small towns and villages in Pennsylvania that were colorful and interesting.  The leaves were changing everywhere, and I held my camera close to me because I knew that, pulling a trailer, I would have to do way more than yell “Al, pull over” when I saw a potentially breath-taking photo op, because Al would NOT pull over hauling the load that we were hauling.  I knew if I wanted to grab some photos, I would have to point and shoot quickly.

When we approached this tiny little dent in the side of Route 6 near Wyalusing, PA, Al began to slow down a bit as we needed to find a place to get gas in the truck.  As we pulled into a tiny gas station, with a Dunkin Donuts attached, I began to look around as he filled the tank.  Hmmmm, there was a totem pole to the right.  And a large, billboard-size painted sign to the left that I recognized as a quilt pattern.  I’d heard of “Barn Quilts” and tours of such wonders, but had never seen any besides those on “Quilt in a Day” with Eleanor Burns (my personal hero and mentor).  When we pulled away from the gas pump, I glanced at the side of the Dunkin Donuts part of the building, and there was ANOTHER quilt block pattern!  Could we possibly be in the midst of a CLUSTER of barn quilts?!! 

Barn Quilt Block on the side of a Dunkin Donuts in Wyalusing, PA

Barn Quilt Block on the side of a Dunkin Donuts in Wyalusing, PA

I saw a sign that said “Blah blah blah ‘Quilted Corners of Wyalusing'”, and sure enough, more quilt blocks painted on barns and buildings were strewn about, some just off the main Route 6, but I could see them just the same!  I snapped photos as quickly as I could as we went by, but was able to save only these three.

A barn quilt block from Wyalusing, PA

A barn quilt block from Wyalusing, PA

A final barn quilt block in Wyalusing, PA.

A final barn quilt block in Wyalusing, PA.

I missed a few, and some were too blurry to post.  But when I got home, I researched the phenomenon online and Al said we could go back again to take the “Self-guided Driving Tour” some time.  Check out this link about it, maybe you’d want to take the trip down too!

That’s all for this time.  Thanks for stopping by and checking out  my post.  Feel free to leave a comment, or c’mon back again soon.  TTFN ~ Tamara Eckstadt

P.S. ~ I wanted to leave you with just one more picture I took yesterday.  It’s a macro photo of my mums that accompany my “Forgiven” red oak tree in my front yard.  Planted last year, both the mums and the oak tree are thriving beautifully!

"Forgiven Mums" in spectaular bloom!

“Forgiven Mums” in spectaular bloom!

Quilting Al Fresco ~

There is no longer any room inside my home in which I can lay out and layer and quilt sandwich.  Even though much of it has gotten cleaned up, some put away, some sold at our quilt guild’s show last weekend, there is still an overwhelming amount of fabrics, bins, books and magazines cluttering every room of my house.  There is not enough floor space to lay out Ashley’s (or Austin’s) quilt to baste it and prepare it for quilting, so I had to improvise.

My mother-in-law gave me a large, hinged “table top” on which she used to use for just this purpose.  She taught me how to pin a quilt sandwich on it several years ago.  She used to put it atop her diningroom table, but ours does not have that same capability, so I had to think of something else.  What a beautiful day to be outside!  Why don’t I set something up?  We have saw horses in the garage, it would be perfect!  When I couldn’t locate the saw horses, I called my husband to find out that they were “dismantled”, but he was able to tell me how to reassemble them.  No… that was not going to work for me.  That would take too long and too much effort.  I had seen Al use our “garden cart”, which is much like a square wheel barrow, for various projects, by putting a sheet of plywood on top of it to work on.  That could work for me!  So I wheeled the rickety thing up to the back deck and prepared to drag my hinged table top out to assemble my work space.

Hinged table top atop our garden cart

Hinged table top atop our garden cart

I had to drag the table top through the house out the back doors to the deck, then find a way to get it onto the cart.  That is H-E-A-V-Y hard wood, but I was determined.  So here you have it.  Ready to quilt!

First I put the backing down, wrong side up.

First I put the backing down, wrong side up.

Once the quilt backing was down and secured, I took out the batting and prepared it to sandwich next.

Backing and batting secured.

Backing and batting secured.

Since I discovered 501 spray basting, my life is so much easier!  I don’t have to pin anymore, which leaves most of the bending-over part of quilting no longer necessary.  A blessing for someone with back issues!

Laying the top atop the batting/backing package.

Laying the top atop the batting/backing package.

Next I spray and smooth the quilt top onto the two other layers ~ making my quilt “sandwich”.

This dragonfly just had to put in his two cents!

This dragonfly just had to put in his two cents!

Just a slight flip so you can see the green patterned backing.

 I continued working until this was all completely sandwiched, so I could take it back into the house before some bird flew over and made a mess of it… or something equally as ghastly happened to ruin everything.  Now that it’s sandwiched, I can lay it back out on my sewing room table and continue with the finer points before I start quilting.

It definitely was quite an “experience” to do it outside this way.  It only took me about 3 hours ~ if you know my lack of mobility issues, you’ll know why it took me three hours to accomplish this.  I enjoyed it.  The sun beaming down on that brilliant white fabric and the curiousity of the dragonfly.  However, husband is going to HAVE to get those saw horses fixed and in the house where I can use them (maybe in the kitchen?)!  Fall and winter are prime quilting seasons, and I intend to be prolific this year and next.

Now all I have to deal with is the after effects of all that lugging, and I am paying a dear price already.  My back and legs are beginning to stiffen and become extremely painful.  Time to get the heating pad and some meds for the afternoon.  Oops!  Almost time for “Quilt in a Day” to come on.  Hope you enjoyed my little outdoor excursion in quilting today!

Until next time, thanks for stopping by!  TTFN, Tamara Eckstadt