Saturday, August 12, 2006
Only in Illinois (or Nebraska or Iowa)
It's a beautiful summer morning here in Champaign. Browsing through the stands at the farmer's market when it first opened, I could just taste the lush peaches, the bursting kernals of sweet corn, the tomatoes dripping with sun-ripened flavor. Our soil is among the best in the world, and you can tell when you bite into those farm-fresh veggies. But what to my wandering eyes should appear but a craft booth selling potholders, aprons, clothing, and ... quilts! They were all crib-sized baby quilts. The featured quilt, draped over the table for all to admire, was a John Deere quilt. It showed what I just don't understand about the midwest, and I wish I had had my camera. A variety of John Deere fabrics (take a look at those ) were joined in 6" blocks, but between each block and each row were ruffles of white lace! Lace and tractors, an archetypical combination of rural midwestern upbringing. It reminds me of one of the students in my office who grew up on a farm in Indiana. She seemed in some ways almost a girly girl, but on her sixteenth birthday, her parents said they would buy her a car or a cow, and she chose the cow.