Friday, February 28, 2014

Country Farm Quilt Block and Tea with Susan Branch

Country Farm Quilt Block Pattern Information

 Join me for tea with author and artist Susan Branch!  We'll read her new book, A Fine Romance: Falling in Love with the English Countryside, that just arrived from the library.

My family and I exchanged homes with a family from England sixteen years ago, and reading Susan's book brings back so many memories of the 3-1/2 weeks we spent there.  It was a wonderful experience for my family, and we fell in love with England just like Susan did. 
I received two of these cups and saucers from a student.  He and his mother were in an antique store and saw them.  Knowing my love for blue and white dishes, he said, "Mom, we have to get these!" 

I love the blue rose pattern.

It's the Elizabeth pattern, made in England by Johnson Brothers.  Susan writes about the excitement around the Diamond Jubilee, the 60th Anniversary of Queen Elizabeth's ascendancy to the throne.   

If you have ever been to England or would just love to go, I recommend reading Susan's book.  Her hand-written and beautifully illustrated books are always wonderful.  And she is a Friend of Gladys Taber, just like me! 

Some photos from our own English countryside experience


It was a wonderful experience that we'll never forget!
Have you ever done a home exchange with another family?  Inquiring minds want to know!  By commenting, you'll be entered to win a copy of Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini, courtesy of Plume Books.  If you are reading this via email, you must click on the title of my blog post to be able to comment and read the comments of others.  The two winners will be announced on March 1.
You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post Farmer's Daughter Quilt Block and What's on Your Nightstand?


  1. I've never done a home exchange with another family. It would be interesting to try, though.

  2. In 1960, my Uncle, a Presbyterian minister, changed places (home and church) with a minister in Dundee.Scotland. I took a ship to Scotland, bought a used bike and , using my aunt and uncles home as a base, cycled (well, actually pushed my bike up hills and rood down) all over Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and England., staying odd nights in youth hostels. A great trip for a bagpiper! And... I took advantage of the location to travel through Europe too. (Played my bagpipes on top of Mt Pilatus) and ended up in Copenhagen to catch a ship back to N.Y. It was the home exchange that made me bold enough to give it a whirl. (As an aside, mt uncle's parents were from Kerrymure and he fulfilled his dream to visit that community)

  3. I have just finished the book as well, and as a frequent visitor to the UK (my husband's a Brit & I'm a 1st generation Yank from a Brit family) it was a wonderful book! Your trip sounds wonderful! I have been through Thurston but have never stayed tyhere. Our families are both from Warwickshire husband'sare all around Birmingham and Stratford-Upon-Avon and mine in Leicester. I, too, am a lover of blue and white and love your teacups! Thanks so much for linking to Tuesday Cuppa Tea!

  4. Sounds like you had a wonderful time, we never done a house exchange.

  5. Visited Ireland, England, Wales and Scotland with my daughter a few years back - we wanted to see as much as possible so we rented cars and drove, staying at different houses/inns each night.

    Reading Susan's book, A Fine Romance, brought back many memories - especially driving on those ultra-narrow roads.

    And, since Gladys Taber is my favorite author, I am gaining a sense that many of us are like-minded and intertwined in spirit.

    Enjoy every moment,


  6. I've never done a home exchange, but, I did get to England way back when I was in college. I got to spend 31 days in Europe, back when the Wall was still up in Berlin. We spent our last few days in England, mainly London, but, we got to drive thru the countryside from the White cliffs of Dover to London. I'd love to go back one day. So much more I'd love to see.

  7. I got to spend 10 days this past August in Tealby in Lincolnshire as the guests of a couple of lovely quilters - they hosted me and 4 of my quilting buddies from Florida. They drove us in our rented "people mover" aka minivan and showed us places tourists never get to see. Had a blast and I can't wait to get to go back! After Tealby we (the American contingent) spent 5 days in London - none of us wanted to leave Tealby but we managed to have a lovely time in London as well.


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