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Quilt decor, painted especially for you

By Staff | Feb 12, 2016

CAROL SHETLER/The Luminary 'Judy's Star,' a pattern chosen and constructed by Judy and Richard 'Farmer' VanBuskirk of Bastian Road, was recently affixed to the couple's garage. The block was one of two patterns chosen to for sentimental reasons.

CLINTON TOWNSHIP – Locally and throughout the county, in both rural and urban communities, outdoor dcor featuring quilt blocks are being affixed to buildings.

Following the rather recent trend to this area, Judy and Richard VanBuskirk of Bastian Road in Clinton Township, applied their hands to the task of constructing outdoor blocks with patterns chosen especially for them.

To begin the project, the couple made a trip to a local lumber yard to purchase sign board. As the board is made in sheets measuring four by eight feet, two square blocks could be made by cutting the board in half.

And so, they painted two blocks. One was a Christmas surprise for daughter Karen Spring of Clarkstown Road of Wolf Township, and one was for themselves.

The creations were a joint effort by husband and wife. Much like a monogram personalizes items with an initial, the intended patterns personalized the blocks.

CAROL SHETLER/The Luminary Karen Spring with outdoor quilt block attached to her log home on Clarkstown Road. The pattern entitled the 'Farmer's Daughter,' was a surprise gift made by her parents, Judy and 'Farmer' VanBuskirk.

“I have a book listing 5500 quilt patterns complete with pictures where some are identified by several names. The book has an index making it easy to locate them,” Jane said. As her husband is commonly known by the nickname ‘Farmer,’ she thumbed to the page finding a block titled “The Farmer’s Wife.” Judy said, “I felt that pattern was too busy, so I continued my search and found ‘Judy’s Star.'”

The next step was off to the paint store where the couple chose two shades of blue. The same paint was used in both projects, including Karen’s block which is aptly named, “The Farmer’s Daughter.”

Coincidently, blue is the favorite color of both mother and daughter. At Bastian Road, the block placed on the VanBuskirk’s garage blends with the building’s blue gray siding. On Clarkstown Road, Karen’s block was attached to the Spring’s log home where window frames are trimmed in blue.

The VanBuskirk’s were successful in keeping the daughter’s gift a secret. “I knew mother was making one for herself and I even jokingly said there was enough material for two,” Karen said. When the parents went to their daughter’s house for Christmas, the four-foot square gift was quietly placed on the porch. Karen said, “When it comes to wrapping gifts, my mother is an expert at disguising them. Inside a small box I found screws surrounded by packing paper. After a bit, I realized what they were for. I jumped up and after asking ‘where is my block?’, and was told it was on the front porch.”

Scaffolding was required to attach the block to the optimum side of Karen’s house. There was the usual “a little to the left… no, more to the right… and the ups and downs too.”

Recently it occurred to Karen that as the artist, her mother should have signed the block. Perhaps not just now, for as to do so would require erecting the scaffolding again.

When entering the driveways to both homes, the quilt pattern blocks are very visible to residents and guests alike. The added bonus is the sentiment, “Made especially for you.”