My Blue HeavenBlock Number: 44
“My Blue Heaven”
By Ginger Todd
Linda and Joe Balich, of Lake View Shores, are the proud hosts of “My Blue Heaven” on the McDowell Quilt Trail. The 4x4 foot block sits diagonally on the south side of the home, and was custom designed to Quilt Trail specifications with the aid of a friend who is a graphic artist. The upper portion of the block is representative of the sun depicted in shades of gold, orange, and yellow on a cloud of white background. Blue sky, the Blue Ridge Mountains, and blue waters are depicted in six shades of blue, with green trees showing up in the bottom of the diamond.
The Balich family had taken notice of the various quilt blocks in their area, and it was their daughter Carolyn who remarked, “I think we need a quilt block on our house instead of shutters.” Linda and Joe agreed that it would be the “perfect finishing touch” to the outside of their home in light of the recent extensive remodeling that had been done.
Joe and Linda, life-long residents of Chicago, made the move to North Carolina in about 2006. Several years prior, Joe made a career switch from graphic arts to that of a railroad supplier, which entailed travel to areas east of the Mississippi, as well as Canada. During one of his trips, he had occasion to visit the Lake James area of Nebo, and was enthralled with its beauty. Joe decided, “If I could live here, I would call it My Blue Heaven.” In discussions with Linda, who was raised near Lake Michigan’s shore, she told him, “If you want to move, I need to see water.”
Subsequently, their daughter completed her education, and over a period of time the present home was purchased and the move was made. Joe and Linda noticed some coincidences along the way, which seemed to indicate to them that the move was the right decision. Such as quite by accident, Joe came across this particular home for sale. He is Croatian, and the word “Nebo,” in the Croatian language, means Heaven. Linda’s father, whose name is “James,” was Joe’s best friend.
The Balich home sits on a hill with beautiful vistas, including Mt. Mitchell and Shortoff. The Baliches are extremely pleased with the outcome of their block design. It represents perfectly the view they enjoy daily from their home of trees, water, mountains and sky, including the evening sunsets. Linda likes that “My Blue Heaven” adds a contemporary look to the remodeled house.