And now...welcome to my home, Worcester County, Central Massachusetts.
As you can see on
the map, my town of Lancaster (marked in red on the top image) is about one hour West/NW of
Boston. It resides in Worcester County, which covers a large area. It's still very rural, but more and more people are moving out here even if they work near Boston, because of its comparable affordability.
Here are some factoids (from
Wikipedia) about the county as well as Lancaster itself:
About 800,000 people make Worcester County their home, making it
the second-most populous county in the Commonwealth
of Massachusetts. It is also the largest county in area. The City of Worcester remained
the historic county seat until most of the state disbanded county government in
1998. It is the
second-most populous city in the state, and
indeed in New England.
On a side note...you might be wondering why Massachusetts is referred to as a "Commonwealth" instead of a "state." According to www.reference.com: "
In terms of constitutional rights, there is no real difference between a commonwealth and a state in the United States. Commonwealth is an old term that has largely been replaced with the title of state." But this is New England, and we hold onto our history here, so it makes perfect sense they still use the old term!
Now, back to our story...Incorporated in
1653, Lancaster is the oldest town in Worcester County. It was first settled as
"Nashaway" (after the local Nashaway Indian tribe) in 1643. It was officially incorporated
and renamed "Lancaster on the Nashua" in 1653. (The "Nashua" is a river that runs through part of the county, including Lancaster.) Lancaster boasts being the official
"mothertown" to much of central Massachusetts. Towns such as Harvard, Stow, Bolton, Hudson, Marlborough, Leominster, Clinton, Berlin, Sterling, and Boylston were all once considered part of Lancaster.
Lancaster also can boast about some famous
things and people. Bostonian Charles Bulfinch, the noted architect who designed
(among many other buildings) the U.S. Capitol and Boston's Faneuil
Hall Meeting House, also designed the Unitarian Church in Lancaster (formerly known as the Fifth Meeting House). It is a National
Historic Landmark, and the building is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year.
Also, Luther Burbank
, botanist, horticulturist and a pioneer in agricultural science, was
from Lancaster. He created hundreds of new varieties of plants, fruits, and vegetables, including the Shasta Daisy and the Russet Potato!
Some other famous
people from Worcester County include Robert Goddard, the father of modern rocketry, and Harvey Ball,
designer of the smiley face.
Interestingly enough, Ball drew the iconic image while working for the State Mutual Assurance Company in Worcester, as a way to boost employee morale. That company is now known as Hanover Insurance, and my husband works there as a lead IT professional.
One other thing we're known for (as is most of New England) is our wonderful Fall foliage. Here's some beautiful color on Worcester County's Mount Wachusett:
"Wachusett" is the Algonquin Indian word for
"The Great Hill." It is the highest mountain in Massachusetts east of the Connecticut
River. The mountain is also home to the only known Old Growth Forest east of that same river; some trees are over 350 years old! It also boasts panoramic 360-degree views from the summit, including a view
of Boston Skyline to the east. It is also the biggest skiing attraction in the area.
But one of the most famous persons or things from Worcester County, (and the most pertinent to the row I
created for this hop), is a man named Johnny Appleseed.
name wasn’t “Appleseed” at all, it was “Chapman.” He was born in Leominster, a town
located in Worcester County, in 1774. The legend of Johnny Appleseed tells of him spreading
apple seeds randomly everywhere he went. In fact he planted nurseries rather
than orchards, left them in the care of neighbors, and went off to be a travelling preacher. And he actually did this in
Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana, not Massachusetts! However, we certainly claim
him as our own, and his influence is seen everywhere in Worcester County in its
many apple orchards (40 by my count). If you ask people around here
what this county is known for, no doubt many of them would say “apples!”
So when this hop
was announced, it only took me a few moments to come up with the theme for my
row…an apple orchard!
And here's my row for Worcester County, MA..."The Apple Orchard":
It consists of eight blocks: Two branches, three apple blossoms, and three apples. The branch blocks measure 6.5" x 12.5" and the blossom and apple blocks measure 6.5" square (including seam allowances). The row combines English Paper Piecing and fused raw-edge applique, as well as traditional joining of the blocks. The finished row measures 12.5" x 30.5" and here's a picture of a completed row:
Here's a close-up of the branch blocks:
The blossom block:
And the apple block:
After designing the row, I decided to make wall quilt by making three rows and joining them with sashing. I made the quilt using Quilter's Candy Mirage Mottled fabric and matching thread from Connecting Threads
Here's the completed quilt, (with my rudimentary quilting that I did on my home machine with my walking foot!)
Be sure to enter today's giveaways! You must leave a comment to be eligible to enter.
Connect The Blocks Gift Certificate - $50.00
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Anita Goodesign Machine Embroidery Design CD (This giveaway can only ship to the US.) a Rafflecopter giveaway
You must leave a comment to enter the giveaways, and I'd love to hear from you too! I'll respond (eventually) to everyone via email, unless you're a no-reply blogger.
Here's the list of participants for today; be sure to check everyone out!
Finally, thanks so much for travelling down my road home!