Friday, April 13, 2018

Pathways and Bellingrath Gardens

I had an enjoyable trip to Mobile, Alabama, to present a program to the Azalea City Quilters Guild this week. The group met at St. Mark United Methodist church, followed by our workshop the next day at Spring Hill Baptist Church, which makes me want to mention how grateful quilters are that  churches share their space with us! We try to pay our way, but know that we are given charitable rates. University Baptist Church, my home church in Hattiesburg, has graciously let us meet and quilt and store supplies for many years, probably since the early 1990s. So thanks to our churches!
Completed practice squares

I always start the Pathways class with a small practice square using Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry's "applipiecing" technique. After the students get the over/under preparation of seams and stitch one or two, they are ready to design their own pathways on the larger pattern. Everyone got the practice square done and I got a group photo before we moved on to drawing our flying geese or piano keys or mountains/valleys pathways.
My hostess lives south of Mobile, almost to Dauphin Island, and after following the directions I was given, it was reassuring that I was at the right house when I saw the wrought iron Ohio Star on the garage. The gated community has small lots, so the houses are three-story with elevators. "My" bedroom window and balcony had beautiful views overlooking the Fowl River. What an amazing sunrise!
Quilt block on garage

"My" bedroom window on upper right

Other houses down the street
We were only a short drive to Bellingrath Gardens and Home, and it was delightful getting to visit there again. After my family moved to Mississippi in 1971, we often took any Texas visitors to see this hidden treasure. Some of those majestic trees were lost over the years to hurricanes, but the place is restored and kept as a showplace of the South.

Walter Bellingrath was Mobile's first Coca-Cola bottler and bought an abandoned fishing camp on the Fowl River in 1917. His wife Bessie began to plant flowers, and an architect help them transform the fishing camp into a country estate. The Bellingraths began inviting friends to the gardens in 1932, and since 1934 the gardens have been open year round. A 15-room house was completed in 1935 and is filled with period furniture, porcelain, silver and crystal. Mr. Bellingrath created a foundation to honor his wife and oversee the gardens and home; income also goes to three Christian colleges and two local churches. I highly recommend a visit to this beautiful place! In addition to the 65 acres of gardens and the home, there is a building housing the Delchamps Gallery of Boehm Porcelain, another treasure not to be missed.

1 comment:

Tierney Creates said...

Looks like a wonderful trip!