Category Archives: folk art

Finishing the Timberland Quilt Trail

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Navigating the old fashioned way – with a map – we promptly got lost while searching for the last two barn quilts we wanted to visit near Mio, Michigan.  Since we had no idea where we were much less where we were going but had plenty of gas, we just relaxed and enjoyed the beautiful Michigan spring countryside.  Many miles down unpaved roads, we finally found a Garden Path quilt block located on a beautifully maintained private farm.

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The block was chosen to express the family’s love of the land and gardening.  The owner is the director of a local farmers market that serves Oscoda County, Michigan.  The farm was picture-perfect with flower & vegetable gardens and a paddock with ponies.

We found a paved road and picked up speed so we naturally missed our next quilt block (twice) located at the Mio, Michigan Fairgrounds.  The Ohio Star variation block is sponsored by the Au Sable Valley Engine & Tractor Club and hangs on the O.E. Kauffman Building.  051Preparations were underway for the annual Nor-east’r Traditional Music & Art Festival held the second weekend in June.  They were also preparing to install another quilt block. 054 The festival celebrates music, art and Northern Michigan’s cultural heritage & features blues, bluegrass, celtic, zydeco, folk, jazz, jam bands, country, Americana, world music, drumming & more.  There are art shows & workshops with great food & unique vendors.  Unfortunately, I had to fly home the day the festival started.  But next year for sure!festival

Remember to check out upcoming quilt events – just click on the “Travelers” tab above!  I’m posting shows as fast as I can.

Procrastinate – it frees up time to QUILT!

Barn Quilts and Michigan’s Timberland Quilt Trail

This site is designed to help traveling quilters locate shows, shops, guilds and quilt-related events in the locale they are visiting. I also include some textile and quilt-related facts that may be of interest.

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While visiting our cottage on Lake Huron in Tawas, Michigan I discovered the Oscoda County Timberland Quilt Trail that showcases Barn Quilts, a growing phenomenon throughout the country. There are more than 3,000 quilt blocks adorning trails nationwide making the quilt trail movement the nation’s largest public arts project. Oscoda County has 12 quilt blocks displayed on barns, local businesses and private residences. Following the trail allows visitors to experience the culture and history of the area and makes for a lovely afternoon drive through stunning countryside.

We began in Mio, Michigan at the Stitches for You Quilt Shop where the owner Judy Utley, graciously provided a trail brochure and oriented us to the trail map. Her lovely shop offers Quilt Trail block patterns as well as fabric, machine quilting services and patterns. They designed the Variable Star block displayed on their building to celebrate the four seasons.

Stitches for You

Stitches for You

A short way down the road is the 100-year old Chamber of Commerce building whose quilt block is the logo used by the Oscoda County Art Council who are  responsible for the creation of the Timberland Quilt Trail.

Oscoda County Art Council/Chamber of Commerce Building

Oscoda County Art Council/Chamber of Commerce Building

Nearby is Lydia’s Gate, a shelter for those in need. Their quilt block is located on an outbuilding of the neat white house that can accommodate 16 people.

Back on the main street of Mio we came to the Au Sable River Restaurant that displays the Fish Fry quilt block designed specifically for them to represent their Friday fish fry dinners.

Lydia's Gate

Lydia’s Gate

Au Sable River Restaurant

Au Sable River Restaurant

The Au Sable Valley Market erected their Ohio Snowflake block, a traditional Amish pattern, on an outdoor fence. They sell locally made products, pampered beef & organic produce.

Au Sable River Market

Au Sable River Market

We had a great afternoon travelling one and two-lane roadways, some unpaved, through rolling country.  I’ll continue with the last two quilt blocks we visited next time.  They were both so unusual and in fascinating locations.

Quilters – Prepare to Lose Your Minds! Part II

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Continuing with African textiles and quilts …

Quilt Week 2014 sponsored by the American Quilters Society in Lancaster, PA March 12-15, 2014 will be offering $44,000 in cash prizes and will again be presenting The Tentmakers of Cairo who demonstrate their unique method of applique. AQS purchases quilts directly from the men in Cairo to bring back to the US for AQS QuiltWeek.  Each purchase by AQS ensures the men can continue their centuries-old applique artwork, while bringing a fresh supply of these masterpieces to the US.

These are a few of the most popular Tentmaker pieces from the 2013 AQS show.

The deadline for entering your quilt in this exciting show is November 18, 2013.

Amafu hand-dyed fabrics

Amafu hand-dyed fabrics

Amafu fabrics are South African fabrics available as hand-dyed screen prints in vibrant colors or subtle discharge prints in copper and silver.  These and many other gorgeous fabrics can be seen at the International Quilt Convention in Johannesburg, South Africa on September 6-8, 2013 sponsored by the South African Quilters GuildRicky Tims, one of America’s premier quilters and fabric designers, the musical cowboy quilter from Colorado will be giving classes.

South Africa

South Africa

The National Quilt Festival in Bloemfontein, Free State, South Africa is also fast approaching – July 1 to 7, 2013 sponsored by the Oranje Quilters’ Guild.I found a fabulous blog that explains African fabrics, their history, their function and their manufacture.  If you’re interested, follow this link to “See how we Sew” – it’s terrific.  Check out the photos:

West African Wax cloth

West African Wax cloth

African mud cloth

African mud cloth

Quilters – Prepare to Lose Your Minds!!! Part I

doorway-to-africaTo further my mission — providing information about local quilt shops, guilds & shows to quilters on the move (click on”Travelers” tab  above); I spend a lot of time surfing the web looking for interesting locales, regional quilt and textile information & daydreaming about where I want to travel to experience new textiles & folk art.  My last two blogs gave you some insight into Central and South American fabrics & textile art , so I decided to jump to a different continent – Africa!  I began looking for African fabrics & almost lost my mind!  I had no idea of the breadth & depth of the beauty and incredible talent producing these breathtaking works of art.  We’re going to need several blogs to introduce you to some of my fabulous finds.  If you’re lucky enough to have visited, I’m sure you will agree that the colors & textures are absolutely amazing!

Bolga baskets

Bolga baskets

Many of my friends have traveled to Africa for safari, to ports of call on cruises or to visit family; one went to visit an adopted giraffe.  Maybe you can be the first of your friends to discover fabulous folk art and colorful, unique fabrics from the 55 African states with alluring names such as:  Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Seychelles, Zimbabewe or Swaziland.  There is going to be a quilt exhibit in Ghana in October, “SewJourn to Ghana” Fiber Art Exhibit with hands-on workshops in wax batik, Kente weaving, Adinkra stamping and beadmaking along with visits to studios of local artists, sightseeing & shopping.

Adinkra stamped fabrics on display

Adinkra stamped fabrics on display

If you can’t travel to Ghana this fall, can you make it to England or Scotland?  World Textile Day in Scotland, “The People Behind the Cloth”  featuring six world textile and clothing traders in Stirlingshire, Scotland will be held on June 22, 2013.  The African Fabric Shop will display hand-made batiks, wax and sun prints, recycled glass, brass, plastic & paper beads, jewelery, fair trade baskets, kits & patterns.  Similarly, World Textile Day in Norfolk, England will be held on September 7, 2013.

Afrika4My next blog will introduce you to Amafu, bark cloth, coral tree cloth, discharge prints, kola & Indigo panels, Langa Lapu, Musa, Shwe Shwe & wax prints.  Save your appetite because this is real eye candy!

Wax print

Wax print

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