(Note: If you're new to this wonderful fictional group of quilters, read the first three installments by clicking on the 'We're Still Kicking Quilters' in the side panel.)
WE'RE STILL KICKING QUILTERS - MEETING FOUR
Anna Mae lived in a large old home with a wide covered porch on three sides. The kind that most folks immediately fall in love with when they drive by. It's painted a silvery white with slate blue trim. The home was actually built by her great grandparents and handed down to each generation. It was one of the first homes built in the area and it was in the middle of a large farm.
Most of the farm land was sold by Anna Mae's grandparents and the rest by her folks so that all that remained was the large home and about an acre of land on the edge of town. Anna Mae had a large vegetable garden, several fruit trees as well as grape vines and several berry patches. She also had a rock garden, something very few folks maintain in this day and age.
One of the problems that Anna Mae struggled with was what to do with the home when she was no longer here. It seemed that none of her children really wanted to return to the area after setting up housekeeping in far flung areas.
Nevertheless, it was a treat to meet at Anna Mae's home. The furnishings were mostly from her great grandparents and grandparents and it had a lived in look rather than the polished, coordinated look of a magazine cover.
I was the first to arrive this time and I asked Anna Mae if there was anything I could do to help her get ready for the meeting. As usual, she had it all under control. So I sat in my favorite large wicker rocker so full of cushions that if felt like a big, giant hug.
“What do you think, Anna Mae, about how our quilt show is evolving into this big fall celebration event?”
“I think it's a grand idea.” Anna Mae responded, sitting down next to me. “It will bring lots and lots of folks into the area and that just may translate into new members, lots of folks will see our handiwork and maybe we'll even have a hefty donation to add to our bottom line.”
“I guess that since there are so many other organizations involved, all the publicity will have to be coordinated.”
“Yes, it will be...” answered Ida Rose who heard the comment as she entered the living room. “But it seems to be working out well. The publicity budget is much bigger with all the groups chipping in. And we will be able to get some radio and television coverage.”
“Yes, and that means that a couple of our quilts, including the raffle quilt, will have to be ready right away.” chipped in Wanda Kay as she and Elsie Jean walked in.
“I hope you don't mind that we just walked in, Anna Mae.” Elsie Jean added.
“Of course not. It will be a hot day in winter when I don't welcome guests with open arms.” Anna Mae answered laughingly.
“Well, with global warming, there may come a time when it's hot during winter here, but I can never imagine you not welcoming folks with open arms, Anna Mae.” I said.
“Knock, knock.” Martha Kerine shouted. Anna Mae went to help her in as the rest of the group found places to sit and began to take out their quilting projects.
“I brought Jenny's quilt to work on again. I am hoping to have all the applique done by the end of the day today.” Ida Rose said as she held up the quilt top.
“It looks beautiful, Ida Rose.” Martha Kerine said as she entered the room.
“Thanks to all of you.” Ida Rose responded.
The room was quiet for a change while everyone worked on their projects, or on Jenny's quilt. Anna Mae looked up at us and after a few minutes said,
“Well, either the cat's been around to everyone's tongue or we have a mighty quiet group here today!”
“I guess I was thinking about both the publicity for the quilt show, or maybe I should say community event, as well as the plans for Jenny's wedding.” Ida Rose offered.
“Taking one thing at a time,” I said, “how are the plans for the wedding coming along?”
“For the most part, the wedding is taken care of. Jenny wants a small wedding with just a few guests. And she wants to hold it in the back yard. Thank goodness Daniel (Ida Rose's husband). loves to garden. He has the backyard well in hand. The reception will be at the house so we have been sprucing that up. I think we will be painting the living room and the dining room.”
“Wow, that's a lot of work but it will be nice even after the wedding.
“True. But it's so different from my wedding.” Ida Rose said. And then after looking around added, “I guess all of our weddings,”
“Yeah, they really were a big event back then.” Martha Kerine added.
“Almost too much so.” Wanda Kay remarked. “My folks went all out for all three of the weddings and I know it had to be a financial burden.”
“Yeah, you and your sisters had very big weddings, but I think that was important to your folks. Remember, they eloped and didn't really have any celebration. If I remember right, neither set of their folks even supported their choice to get married.” Elsie Jean added.
“Your right about that, Elsie Jean. And although they were civil, neither set of my grandparents were overly happy when they visited. That's a shame. My folks were great and they really made something of their lives and their marriage. And they never said a negative word about either of their parents.” Wanda Kay shook her head as well a blinked away a few tears.
“So, back to Jenny's wedding, is there anything we can do to help?” Anna Mae asked.
“Well, I think the reception is going to be a light lunch of sorts, with a large buffet table and several small tables set around the back yard. We haven't set the menu yet, but when we do, I may ask for some help with the food.” Ida Rose responded.
“What about a wedding cake?” I asked.
“That's being done by a friend who is a baker and makes wedding cakes. That's a good thing because my wedding cake days are behind me.” Ida Rose sighed with relief.
“So, that leaves the, what did you call it, Ida Rose, a community event?” Martha Kerine asked.
“One of the ideas the publicity committee came up with was to have a contest to name the event. They decided to have the contest for the students at the schools only. It is one way to get the younger folks involved and excited. Oh, and they are going to have a small carnival staged in the park...in the center. Then all the rest of the celebrations will surround the carnival. Kind of like spokes on a wheel. That way, if the parents want to only bring the kids to the carnival, they will have to travel through one of the other celebrations to get there.”
“Interesting idea.” I said.
“I heard that they are adding a couple of things like a craft show.” Wanda Kay said.
“Yes, there will be a craft show focusing on fall crafts, a baking contest to go along with the barbeque one. Oh, and the baking contest will be open to everyone. I think they are going to limit it to cakes and pies, but they may open it up to pickles.” Ida Rose smiled at that...
“Cake, pies and pickles. What a combination!” I said. “Anything else, Ida Rose?”
“Well, so far we have the carnival, the quilt show, the barbeque contest, the baking contest, the book fair and a craft show. What's missing?”
“Something to eat.” Anna Mae said laughing.
“Right, that will be set up in an area for food vendors only. And finally, farm wise, no animals, but there will be a vegetable contest. You know, who has the largest pumpkin, or the prettiest head of cabbage, etc. And along with that there will be vegetable stands. And finally, a place for the kids to do crafts. Things like face painting, making kites, etc.” Ida Rose finished.
“Won't the kids want to stay at the carnival?” Anna Mae asked.
“It's very small, with only seven rides and none of them tall or overly large. That's it. Nothing else. So I think that we need to provide more things for the kids like crafts and maybe some of those ring toss games, etc.” Ida Rose said.
“This sounds like a really big event. Has the quilt show committee got any reservations.” Martha Kerine asked.
“At the last meeting, they were really excited about it. And they were coming up with ideas to keep the quilts clean. I think it's going to be a lot of fun. And I think that we are going to have more folks than we've ever had see our creations.” Ida Rose said.
And with that Anna Mae got up and told the group that refreshments would be ready in five minutes. So we all began stopping our projects at convenient places.
“I do have a question, Ida Rose,” I said. “How are the covered picnic areas being divided up?”
“Well, we will get all the covered areas with electricity.” Ida Rose responded. “And as they are all centered in the newer part of the park, we will be holding the quilt show there. One nice thing about that is the meandering sidewalk. I think we can hang quilts on either side, far enough from sticky fingers but close enough for folks to have a good look.”
“We need to think of a catchy name for that area. Maybe part of the walk could be called a walk through history. I bet there are lots of antique quilts around. I have several myself. Then we could end the walk with our current quilts.” Anna Mae offered.
“That's a great idea, Anna Mae.” Wanda Kay said.
And with that we all got up and helped ourselves to the fabulous refreshments laid out on a very old serving table.
Well, that's the latest installment from our quilters...looks like the community event has grown quite large but Jenny's wedding is staying small. Weather here today is cold and rainy...tomorrow is supposed to be sunny. Hope so because I have plans.
Thanks for dropping in...
Talk to you tomorrow...