It seems I've been "missing in action" for almost two weeks!! Guess it's time I reappeared. I returned home from my wonderful trip on Saturday evening, and since then have been more than "knee deep" in preparations for our upcoming Quilt Show. I spent most of Sunday through Tuesday finishing up my Challenge piece, which was due at Tuesday nights' meeting. More on that later.... and now we are "full speed ahead" with Show preparations, the show being a week away. More on that later too...
What can I say? My trip was beyond awesome!! I managed to hit 10 Maine quilt shops on the Maine Shop Hop while travelling through Maine, and visited Quiltport USA in Freeport as well. Three days sitting beside Allie Aller in Sharon Boggon's class was a once in a lifetime experience. A day in the Garment District of NYC and a special visit to Beads East in Manchester CT and Delectable Mountains in Brattleboro VT were just the icing on the cake. But the very best part of all was the wonderful people I met. Meeting Susan Elliot of Plays with Needles, Sharon, Allie, Maureen Greeson, Kathy Kizerian, Shirley Fassell ...well - get the idea? I'm almost delirious! I feel so blessed to have had such a wonderful opportunity....
So...where to begin? I guess I'll tell you all about it chronologically. First - the Maine Shop Hop. This is the eighth year that Maine quilt shops have done a hop and there are over 30 shops participating this year. If you are going to be in Maine in April, it's definitely worth checking out. Think of it as a Road Rally for Quilters! You will find a list of the participating shops here. At the first shop you visit, ask for a "Shop Hop Passport" which you will then get stamped at each shop. If you visit 10 or more shops you are entered for prize draws. Many shops have their own prize draws as well, in addition to a little goodie bag of quilters' treats for each "hopper". As well at each shop you receive a charm square of American Valor fabric, donated by Windham Fabrics, as this years' Hop is working closely with the Quilts of Valor Foundation. I decided to try and visit some "new to me" shops as well as a few old favourites, and without straying far from my route of travel, got into four shops I had not visited before: A Straight Stitch in Brewer, Cozy Cottage Fabrics in Augusta, Whippersnappers in Hallowell (which closed 10 minutes before I arrived, but the owner kindly let me in - Thanks Lynn!!) and Knight's Quilt Shop in Cape Neddick. Old favouritess included Cotton Cupboard in Bangor, Yardgoods Center in Waterville and Cotton Weeds in Freeport. Each shop has it's own "flavour" and it's such fun to visit new ones- you never know what treasure you might find. By stopping at some on my way down, and others on the return trip, I was lucky to squeeze in 10! Of course a visit to Quiltport USA in Freeport helped as some Hop shops were at the Quiltport Vendors Mall. My fav stop there was at Thread Express (Hi Colleen!!) which carries an amazing stock of goodies for Crazy Quilters - threads, silk ribbons, beads, etc. So - after day one of my trip, I was already a happy little camper, I mean traveller. So if you will be in Maine this month, you might want to consider the Maine Shop Hop - great fun and great prizes to win!
On Sunday I crossed another "must do" from the list: I wanted to visit Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge Mass. as I have not been there since I was a child. I was anxious to compare OSV with our Kings Landing, as both villages are roughly the same time period -
1790 -1840. Old Sturbridge Village is one of America's largest living history museums, with costumed staff, 59 buildings, heritage breed farm animals, heirloom gardens and hands on activities. Besides comparing their antiques and artifacts, their costumes and displays with what we have at KL, I was anxious to see their current display of quilts from their collection for the years 1790-1850. I'll share some of the quilt photos with you on my next post. Today I'll just let you get the feel of the place with some general shots taken around the village.
"That is what learning is. You suddenly understand something you've understood all your life, but in a new way". ~Doris Lessing