I found the pattern for this Railroad Crossing block in Modern Patchwork, published by Farm Journal in 1970. A free on-line pattern with the same pattern pieces but a color variation and a different name can be found at: http://www.quilterscache.com/B/BuckeyeBeautyBlock.html This block is placed on point and is the 6th block of my Starwood Sampler Quilt, made to tell the story of my home and community.
The railroad played an important part in the history of the Pikes Peak region. General William J. Palmer came west in 1871 to found the city of Colorado Springs and to start the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad. Passenger trains would stop for ten minutes in my community to take on water from the lake - essential for steam trains. For $1.50, passengers from Denver could get off for a day of picnicking, wildflower hikes, fishing, and boating.
Although the last passenger train went through in 1971, the railroad still impacts my community. The trains carry coal now. Summer concerts in the park are good-naturedly interrupted by the train passing alongside. The abandoned Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad bed has become a 20-mile hiking trail. And you can count on occasionally getting stuck at the railroad crossing, waiting for a train to pass by! Train enthusiasts love my community, and I often see them - camera in hand - waiting to photograph a coming train.
You might enjoy reading my previous blog post: