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MR. NC and I have returned from Lancaster County Pennsylvania where we had a wonderful family reunion.  His mother was one of 11 children and only 3 sisters are still living.

Mr. NC’s mother’s offspring were well represented. From Texas, Louisiana, Kentucky, and Georgia, all 29 of us descended on the Lancaster group. (only 4 didn’t make it).  It was quite a reunion.

Here is the house where all 11 children were born and raised.  The owners of the home love it when we visit and give us a tour of the home whenever we are in town.  They have added on and modernized the homestead but have retained a lot of the old character of the home as well.  They even have a scrapbook and have a picture of the 11 Esbenshade siblings with their parents ~ a picture that I had not seen before.

Like many houses built back then, it had two front doors.  One led to the living area and one led to the parlor.  The farmhouse was sold to a Mennonite family when the last of the children left home.  They since parceled off some of the land and there are multiple residences on the property now.  The Mennonite family own the infamous Bird-in-Hand Bakery that is housed in the old barn where Mr. NC spent a lot of time playing and exploring.

They make the best Shoo Fly and Snitz pies that I have ever eaten.

I love this sign that hangs in the bakery……Hmmmm tough choice!

A half of a city block “down the road” is the One Room school house my mother in law attended.  The sign on the wall said, “Private School, Please no Tourists”.  Since we were related to alumni of the school, we imposed and took a few pictures.  I love the school bell on top of the building.

The old water fountain out front of the school

Tomorrow I will share more pictures of the Amish/Mennonites.  (I always try and respect their privacy and not take frontal pictures.)  We stayed at a working Dairy Farm and will also share pictures of that experience as well.  We had a wonderful tour of the milking operation and the farm which the children (and adults) thoroughly enjoyed.

The spool cabinet……..

I had a morning to go out in the countryside by myself and did a little antiquing.  I say a little, because I flew and couldn’t carry much back with me.  My daughter, her husband and 3 children drove, so I had a little space in their car for my treasures (spool cabinet; jar of molasses for shoo fly pie; and 2 dozen ears of fresh corn!)   For years, I have been looking for a reasonably priced Spool Cabinet in good condition, that had not been refurbished.  I found this one…..texted a picture to my daughter to see if they had room in the car for it……got the go ahead and purchased it.  I was told by the seller that she purchased it in the area about 20 years ago but she did not know where it originated but knew it was mid to late 1800’s.  My research confirmed she was correct and the Brainerd and Armstrong spool cabinet originated in New London, Connecticut.

I have sorted my threads by drawer; appliqué, general sewing, quilting, hand piecing, etc.  The pull knob in the center of the drawer is mother of pearl.  Someone put the knob in the center as it must have been missing one knob because you can see evidence where there were knobs on both ends of the bottom drawer.  (Thank you daughter and son in law for transporting it back to Texas for me!)

Sunflower blocks……Well I had a major setback….. I had pieced all 12 of the whole sunflower blocks – no problem.  I pieced 7 of the 12 half sunflower blocks including the background pieces.  When I returned from my trip and was putting them up on my design wall I realized that the background pieces were incorrect for setting them on point.  The 90 degree edge has to be in the center of the half block.  It should look like this

instead of this

All the half sunflowers I have pieced thus far have been corrected so now I am working on the last few.  I continue to work on the 1700 2″ pinwheel blocks that will sash the Sunflower blocks.  I am pleased with my progress.  I know it sounds daunting but if I can do 50 per day, I think I will be finished with the project by September. (fingers are crossed!)  Of course, I would not have attempted this project without Inklingo.

Til tomorrow…..I hope your day includes taking a few stitches.