Laura Ingalls Wilder lived decades before I was born but her books influenced me all my life. In second grade my mother began reading the series to me and I took over from there. It provided one of the peak moments of that year as I got to read the Little House in the Big Woods to the class once when the teacher had to step out. Be still my heart. If you've followed my blog you know that I had a great deal of trouble with bikes. But I finally learned so I could go to the library myself and check out her books.
As you can well imagine, I was over the moon when my husband and I got to visit her homestead on a trip to South Dakota. And it even got better when I discovered that Laura Ingalls Wilder was a quilter.
And I did. I could imagine myself as Laura, just like I did all those years ago reading her books.
Okay, so maybe I took it a bit further than just imagining it. But admit it, you would have gone for that shot also.
There were all kinds of things for kids to do, pump water, take rides and wear authentic clothing.
As an adult I mainly enjoyed walking the grounds and peeking in the buildings.
Everything was wonderfully restored and maintained.
At first I didn't even want to peek in.
I mean, really wouldn't there be bugs like crazy?
At her next house, I saw my second. And I was so smitten with the place.
This vision of a quilt, as a bit of beauty used for warmth and hand stitched, that is how and why I fell in love with quilting.
Plus the blue dishes? Love them
The house they lived in right here in South Dakota had been recreated.
When you looked in the front room you could see those great blue dishes.
By this point I was realizing that this simple quilt and these books had really influenced me. And I think in a good way.
I had fallen in love with the idea of being resourceful, creating things by hand and what was Laura's eventual profession? Yes, she and I were both teachers.
And we both quilted.
I got to take a stitch in that quilt.
Reliving childhood fantasies and favorite books was such a treat. Seeing that sewing machine and quilt were just sublime.
And of course I bought the whole series of book. After all I've got a granddaughter to read to as well!
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Read about my other books for children here.