Sunday, 11 January 2015

Annual Pilgrimage to the US


 Oh my goodness, I have just seen when I last posted on my blog! Time passes so quickly... and I was so worried that I had not posted since I returned from my "annual pilgrimage" (as my work colleagues call it!), to the USA... but not since August??? I have some serious catching up to do!

So, firstly about my trip...


After 10 years of travelling up and down the NE coast of the USA ,I was invited to visit Texas before the annual Dear Jane retreat in Shipshewana, Indiana. It was my first trip to Texas and I had a wonderful, wonderful time. Importantly though, it was a relaxing time with a mix of visits and stitching.

After my trips to Washington DC, Williamsburg VA, Charleston SC, and Boston MA not to mention Indiana of course and all points in-between, I was not prepared for the wide, wide open spaces of Texas. I knew the state was big, but this BIG?

On the interstate between San Antonio and Houston


Ranch outside La Grange, Texas near Woman Hollering Creek (wouldn't that make a wonderful address?)


We visited the Texas Quilt Museum in La Grange Texas...
Crossing the Colorado River, La Grange, Texas
The Texas Quilt Museum, La Grange, Texas

Inside the Museum
Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take photographs inside the museum, so this is the only one I got, although I thought I had a photograph of myself and my friend in front of one of the quilts, but it has mysteriously disappeared, so I wonder whether the button was pushed or not! The visit coincided with an exhibition of contemporary quilts from a private collection - not really my and my friend's thang, but enjoyable none the less.

Next to the museum is a lovely "English Cottage" garden with box lined parterres, which even in November were still displaying roses, Michaelmas Daisies etc. 

About the wall mural
Wall mural
Wall mural

















Next door to the museum is a wonderful knitting and quilt store called The Quilted Skein.
When you enter there is a mass of colour - knitting wools and contemporary quilt fabrics (Kaffe Fassett etc), but go through to the back and there are all the reproduction fabrics which resulted in a few squeals of delight from me as I discovered a couple of reproduction fabrics I had been searching the net for the past six months!

Inside The Quilted Skein, La Grange, Texas
Living in a 350+ year old cottage, I love looking at other old houses and buildings and La Grange had a few for me to see...




This one was near Woman Hollering Creek
I wonder how it got that name?
My late father was a model railway enthusiast which rubbed off on me and my brothers. My father though, unusually, was interested in US railways and Southern Pacific and Union Pacific Railways in particular. I was my father's gangerdancer, someone who lays the track, and so whenever I see anything related to the railways on my visits to the USA it reminds me of my father.

So when we came across the old railway station in La Grange, I had to take a picture...

Old railway station in La Grange, Texas

A caboose (and I didn't have to look that up!), but I am not sure why there is a traffic cone on its roof!

I wanted a picture of a Long Horn cow! I couldn't come to Texas and not see long horn cattle. My friend frequently, patiently stopped along the road side until I got the picture I wanted!

Somewhere in there was a long horn cow, but he was being somewhat overly protected by donkeys!

Finally, finally I got the much wanted picture and wow, does he have long horns!

This has not been a very quilty blog entry, but the next entries about my trip will be more quilt related, I promise. But in the meantime, back to La Grange, Texas - this is a photograph of the Town Hall

La Grange Town Hall

But then I spied this stone carving on the tower - wouldn't it make a wonderful design for a Baltimore-style block?

Detail on the tower of the La Grange Town Hall 















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