Friday, October 21, 2016

Family Reunion

My bi-annual Family reunion was in Mountain View, Arkansas, last weekend.  Last reunion, I had everyone there sign 2 matching blocks, that I turned into 2 matching quilts.   I kept one quilt (I did donate the fabric, did the sewing, paid for the longarm quilting, etc). 

For many years, about a decade or more ago, someone would go to the local Walmart, and buy a cheap quilt and grab some Sharpies, and have everyone sign the cheap quilt.  The quilt would then be auctioned off, to raise funds for the next reunion.  Every time I'd sign that cheap quilt, I'd shudder.  We'd not had a cheap quilt to sign for a while (we ALWAYS have the auction, though) so, I decided that we needed a nice quilt instead.  The quilt is always the last thing to be bid on.  This time, we decided to sell raffle tickets instead, since so many people couldn't afford to keep bidding on the quilts.  With raffle tickets, everyone gets a chance on the quilt, no matter how much they can afford to spend.  We sold $460 in raffle tickets.

Ron, the quilt winner
Ron loves his quilt.  People were so thrilled with a family made quilt, that I decided to make another one.  I'll have blocks ready at the next reunion.  I think I've already found a pattern, and I have lots of 1930's reproduction fabrics in my stash.  I may make blocks to be signed, for each reunion.  Now to find some great signature block patterns for future quilts.

Our family reunion always starts on Thursday evening, with a catfish supper.  On Friday morning, we eat breakfast together, then take a tour of the area, stopping at the family cemetery, and several different 'family' spots (like the well that my grandfather was born next to).  On Friday evening, we have a supper (catered this time) with lots of time to check out the items to be auctioned.  For the first time, we had a silent auction.  It was great.  We had more time to spend chatting with family members, and checking out if we were out bid on the items we wanted.  I won most of the items I bid on.  I only took pictures on one item.  These pillows were made from a shredding quilt that a family member had made, many years ago.  A family member made pillows out of the few remaining 'good' parts of the quilt, so that at least part of the quilt could be preserved.  I've never seen this block before.  It's strings, with rounded corners on two sides.
pillows made from a family quilt that was falling apart
The lady who made these pillows, brought me some thimbles that her mother had collected.  Her mother passed away, and, Melinda thought of me with the thimbles.  How sweet of her.
January & February thimbles

After the auction, we have a talent show.  Most of the time it is like a jam session.  We have several musicians  in the family.  Anyone can stand up and sing a song, do a poem or reading, etc.  Lots of fun.

jam session/talent show
On Saturday morning, we have a family history session.  People bring family pictures, and share history that has been collected over the decades.  I got to see pictures of my grandparents that I'd never seen before. 

On Saturday afternoon, we meet at the Shady Grove Baptist Church, that some of our family members helped to start, over 100 years ago.  We sing there, and tell stories.

On Saturday night, everyone walks around the town square, and listens to the different local musicians that gather and perform in little groups.  This has been a highlight since the reunion started.  This happens every weekend in Mountain View.  The city has built several gazebo's around the square, where the people can perform in small groups.  You can wander from group to group.  Of course, there is ice cream and hot chocolate, and other goodies you can buy.  The place we stay is only 2 blocks from the square, so, we can go as long as we want, then, head back when we get tired.

On Sunday morning, there is one last gathering, during breakfast.  This time it was at the gazebo, a couple of doors from my room.  I brought a couple of breakfast casseroles. and others brought some food items, too.  What a nice way to see everyone before they leave.

Of course, I did come home with a few items from the local quilt stores and antique shops.  You saw the fabrics and items I got in Batesville, at this post

On the way to Mountain View, we passed a sign on the highway, that said 'Quilt Shop 2 Blocks', in Reyno, AR.  Hubby quickly turned around, and we found the shop.  What a happy surprise!  The owner is a sweetie!  Of course, I found some fabrics that I couldn't leave behind.

fabrics from Reyno, AR quilt shop

 On Wednesday, I spent the day shopping in Mountain View, while hubby and a relative went on a 15 mile hike.  Here are some of the goodies I found.

I couldn't pass up this apron kit.  Yes, I just got some of those fabrics, but, the kit was less than buying the fabrics by themselves and the pattern, too.
vintage apron kit
 There are 2 quilt shops in Mountain View.  One just changed owners in May.  I bought my Janome there, at another family reunion, 12 years ago.  I'll miss the previous owner (she retired), but, the shop is similar to what it was, and the staff was friendly.  Also, across the street, is another quilt shop that is also a gift shop and has some of the cutest clothes.  I forgot to take a picture of the top I got.  Here are the goodies I got at these two shops.
fabrics, ruler and carrot buttons
 I got a quilt kit from another store, a few months ago, but, they were out of the rulers needed for the pattern.  This ruler is the one I needed for that kit. 

I found a great piece of vintage 1930's fabrics at an antique shop, along with these great thimble salt & pepper shakers.  I also found a mini teapot.

vintage fabric, mini teapot and thimble salt & pepper

 No vintage sewing machines or quilts this time, but, what a fun time I had.  I was so busy that I didn't get to pull out my sewing machine that I brought (I've been bringing a sewing machine for the last 10 years). 

I can't wait till the next reunion!


  1. Wow, what a fabulous reunion. Great to have so much family history in one area!

  2. This sounds just wonderful! It is so great to celebrate and cement family relations!

  3. I love hearing about your family reunions- do you know how fortunate you are to have those yearly connections?! :) Your quilt is a wonderful keepsake. ~Jeanne

  4. Sounds like a fun time at your family reunion. And quilt shop shopping. How could you go wrong?

  5. Sounds like so much fun. My family is not big enough to anything like this and I have a hard time getting people together when I go home and visit. You are very lucky.

  6. It seems you have a huge and wonderful family. What fun those reunions must be and how lovely that you have an auction to fund the next one.

  7. Sounds like you had a great time.
    Have a question for vintage machine expect......I have a Singer 99K that I picked up at estate sale in Michigan last year. Has one bobbin and no accessories at all, and the case is fair to good. It sews beautiful now after a good oiling. I want to sell it, as 2 machines are enough for me. Is $65 a fair price for this?

  8. I miss our family reunions at my cousin's camp on the lake - we have spread far and wide since those days.

  9. What a wonderful reunion! It must be a highlight of your year.

  10. Sounds like a wonderful event! As always, thanks for all the pictures.

  11. Having lived on the far side of the continent, I had never been to any of my family reunions until 2 weeks ago. Now I understand why they are so special. I miss my cousins now that I rekindled those relationships from my early years. You are fortunate to have yearly reunions and are close enough to make the road trip. I would never contemplate driving in Boston traffic without DH. It is worse than Portland, OR. East coast city drivers have a different mentality.

  12. What a neat family reunion you all have! I want to know what you sang for the talent show??? Look at all of the goodies you found! Glad you had a nice safe and joyful trip!


Comments are IMPORTANT to me. Thank you for commenting. If you are a no-reply or Google+ commentor, please leave me your email address, so that I can reply to you. If you don't want everyone to see your email address, then you can send me a private reply (my email address is listed under my profile).