Tag Archives: Gilbert AZ

Art of Quilting Show at the Gilbert Historical Museum

Art of Quilting Show at the Gilbert Historical Museum

For twenty-seven years, I’ve lived seven miles from the Gilbert (AZ) Historical Museum, and never visited it. That changed last month when a friend invited me to accompany her to a quilt show there.


The museum documents the story of the farming community, which sprang up in the early 1900s when the Arizona Eastern Railway established a rail line between Florence and Phoenix. But it also preserves the memory of our country as experienced by our grandparents, great-grandparents, and great-great grandparents.


This is an R.E.O. Speed Wagon. I know, right?! It was named after Ransom E. Olds, the founder of Oldsmobile.

Full of charming artifacts, the museum catapulted me into memories of my extended family, particularly my aunt’s in-laws, who farmed in New Jersey. I will intersperse pictures of items from the permanent collection amongst the photos of the quilt show.

Model T Ford

Model T Ford

You can click on the smaller images to enlarge and see the captions.

Silent auction items, including antique quilt blocks.

Silent auction items, including antique quilt blocks.

Some of the items for sale in the gift shop. I bought a hand-made pincushion made from a ceramic cornucopia.

Some of the items for sale in the gift shop. I bought a hand-made pincushion made from a ceramic cornucopia.

On Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday mornings, a group of quilters gathers at the museum to work.

Who wouldn’t want a laundry room equipped with these lovely washing machines, fully loaded with mechanical wringers?


Seeing the crazy quilt below triggered a memory from my childhood. When I was a little girl, an elderly friend of my parents gave them an old crazy quilt like this, heavily embroidered silk bordered and backed with burgundy velvet. My mother gave it to me to use as a bedspread on my bed, until it deteriorated into shreds. Knowing what I know now, I wish I’d had the option of saving it. I suspect it was already pretty worn out when we got it.

Crazy qu

World War I artifacts from the Military exhibit:

Let us never forget our men and women in uniform who have perished in service to our country.

The quilt show runs through May 30, 2016. It was so worth my $4 (senior discount) to see it. And the museum is absolutely charming. I’ll be back again. And the quilt show is an annual event! See you next year, maybe.

In Search of the Great Blue Heron

In Search of the Great Blue Heron

To make my physical fitness efforts more palatable, I often take my camera on my walks. The Riparian Preserve in Gilbert, AZ, is located a half-hour drive from my home. The ponds there attract all sorts of waterfowl. One day last month I decided to walk around the Preserve, hoping to get a shot of a great blue heron.


The 110 acres of the Preserve contain eight bodies of water.


The Southeast Regional Library rises from the opposite shore of Water Ranch Lake.


The solid land is veined with trails through desert vegetation. A half-mile concrete loop encircles the lake. Other gravel trails wind among the ponds. Several gardens of wildflowers attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.

Education is one of the purposes of the Preserve.  I shared the park with several groups of elementary school children on field trips, families with small children, hikers, and people who, like me, brought their cameras in hopes of capturing creatures with their lenses.DSC01058

An observatory on the grounds is open to the public on Friday and Saturday nights.


Spoiler Alert: even though several species of heron are commonly sighted year-round at the preserve, I didn’t see any. I saw mostly ducks, geese, sandpipers, and rabbits (I posted the rabbit photos on Easter Sunday).DSC01023

Desert trees of all varieties provide homes and food for different species of birds.



I can’t tell what these birds below are, with their heads tucked under their wings. I came back a while later, and they were still sleeping.DSC01050

I think these may be snowy egrets, but I couldn’t get close enough to tell for sure. I caught a severe case of camera envy, me with my little Sony Cyber-shot, surrounded by people with tripods holding impressive cameras with honking telephoto lenses.



Photographs © by Andrea R Huelsenbeck 2016