If you read my last blog entry, you know that we sold our home in Saint Peters and bought a historic home on Third Street in Saint Charles. This area, located North of Main Street, is known by the locals as “Frenchtown.” Originally established by French colonials, other European immigrants began settling the area around the mid-1800s.
Our home was built by a German immigrant named John Borgmeier in 1852. Even though he was German, the architectural style of this home is still considered French Colonial. Like other houses in Frenchtown of this style, there is a distinct symmetry to the home. It has 6 doors and too many windows to count, but I find it adorable. A friend of mine told me “It looks like a doll’s house.”
The architecture of the home has changed throughout its 166 year history. After the World War II housing shortage, it was turned into a quadruplex. Believe it or not, our backyard neighbor actually lived in a couple of these obviously cramped apartments many years ago.
The previous owners took great pains to restore the home’s exterior and completely updated the interior to a single-family, two bedroom home. It has been beautifully updated with all of life’s modern conveniences. They had really done a marvelous job and put in a great deal of work and money into it–for which we are so grateful! They made the home move-in ready for me and Joe.
Not having to pour a lot of work into fixing up this ready-made home left me all kinds of time to focus on my art. I was inspired by the beauty of this home’s architecture, its grand history, and the surrounding Frenchtown neighborhood and its community. That led me to one of my current and ongoing projects, which is my Frenchtown quilt.
The Frenchtown quilt will feature a combination of homes on the Historic homes walk with their current facades and a few of the thriving businesses and cozy homes here in the area. Each square is actually a watercolor I have painted. I will ultimately print those paintings on fabric and sew the squares together. This is definitely an ongoing project and will take some time.
Ebeling Tin Shop, Now Known as Driftwood Music and Frenchtown Secret Garden
Working Men’s Chapel, Third Street
I entered a couple of these paintings in the Riverfront Paint Off which was held in Saint Charles last October. I didn’t win anything for the paintings, but I did win a Main Street gift basket in the raffle, which has all kinds of goodies from Main Street and Frenchtown businesses. I absolutely love my cup from Life is Good and my aloe plant from Frenchtown Secret Garden!
Considering that each building is going to be a square in my quilt and that I have to get at least 24 squares to make a decent sized one, it will take some time. But I’ll get there. Perhaps I’ll have it all done and sewn together by the time we have our next Frenchtown House Tour in June. (Yes, my house will be on the tour.)
For now, I promise to keep you better posted on what’s going on in our little town of Frenchtown, Saint Charles, what’s happening down in my basement studio (and Joe’s workshop), and what generally keeps me inspired.
Thanks for visiting,