STITCH LINES...... Ramblings on life as a quilter, stitcher, traveler, gardener and lover of books, cats and fine chocolate....

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Quilt Show Success!


I'm back! Yes I know, you sure haven't heard much from me this month. I've been so busy the last two weeks with our Quilt Show- which is now all over but the memories. So I promise- there'll be lots of posts over the next few weeks- more on my trip to Connecticut, our Guild Quilt Show, etc. (You can click on these pics for a larger view.) I'm so tired tonight- sure wish there was somewhere to buy a new pair of feet! I don't think I'm going to get off the couch tomorrow - I've had six days in a row standing on my footies for the entire day. Spent two days at the first of the week cutting 49 fabric kits for a class. Wednesday was a loooong day, driving to Cambridge Narrows to teach for the day, then driving home and helping to get our Show up, although I must say our Committe had already done an awesome job and had the bulk of it in place by the time I got there. Way to go girls! We were so lucky to have such a great "hanging team" who really knew just what to do. Thursday we finished placing the last dozen or so pieces and did all the "tweaking", finished the decorating, placed the cards on the quilts, etc. We had 169 quilts come in- out of the 171 registered. Pretty good I'd say. (Amazing how a deadline helps people to get things finished...) Our attendance was pretty steady all through the two days we were open - we estimate around 600 visitors, including a busload from PEI.
We were pleased to hear lots of good comments and everyone seemed impressed with our Show. Our youngest visitor was only 3 weeks old and our eldest was in her nineties. We did have a great variety of work from our members - from traditional to contemporary, from Art quilt and original works to workshop pieces. Portraits, miniatures, hand-quilting and awesome machine quilting, Challenges, Crazy quilting - we had it all! Ticket sales on the Raffle quilt were brisk and our Vendors were more than pleased. So I guess we can consider our Show a great success! I'll share more pics with you in the next day or two and then I'll tell you more about my trip ...
Thanks for hanging in there in my absence....

Piece,
Linda

Organization is the key to success.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone! Although yesterday was cold and rainy, we have seen glimpses of sun today even though the clouds are back again now. Just thought I'd share a few "spring-y" images with you- no photos of the Easter Bunny, but finally it's beginning to look like spring might be here.
This is what I'm seeing today around my yard. The crocus are in full bloom, as are the Chionodoxa (Glory of the Snow). I think it is one of the cheeriest of all the spring bulbs. Despite it's Mediterranean origins, it is very hardy and seems to be anxious to burst forth in bloom despite the cool spring temps.They've been rained, sleeted (is that even a word??) and snowed on this past week, yet look at those cheery little blooms below...

One of the entries in our Guild Spring Challenge this past week was called "Spring: Colour Comes Back to my World". She is a fellow gardener, and I agree with her thoughts- I'm tired of white, let's have some colour!! Bring on the gardening!! Guess that's why I love spring bulbs so much- they finally bring back the colour after a long white winter...
I hope you have enjoyed a nice Easter weekend. I'm busy with finalizing things for our Quilt Show next weekend, and preparing to teach a class out of town on Wednesday. I have fabric kits to cut for a class of 17... No time for Easter eggs for this chickie...
Laura has returned to Halifax to vacate her apartment and get moved into her new Bachelor pad with Dad's help, and write her two exams this week. Mark will not be home for two more weeks so I am making use of the time alone to get a lot accomplished the next few days....

Peace
Linda


"If spring came but once a century instead of once a year, or burst forth with the sound of an earthquake and not in silence, what wonder and expectation there would be in all hearts to behold the miraculous change." ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Friday, April 22, 2011

Quilts, Quilts, Quilts.....

I was most impressed with the quilt display at Old Sturbridge Village. As you walk through the Visitor Center to access the village, the Quilt display begins with a simple and effective explanation of what a quilt is. Sample blocks, quilted and bound, illustrated the 5 types of quilts popular during this time period- whole cloth, hexagonal or mosaic, pieced, whitework and strip quilts.
Following this was a magnetic board upon which you could arrange printed pieces to design your own quilt block. What a great idea- this would work well for teaching children or even beginning quilters.... You can click on each of these photos for a larger view....


The next display, called Tools of the Trade, featured specialized quilting templates used to mark the more complex designs such as cables, leaves and swirls. These were made of tin, wood or even cardboard with cording sewn on to create the design. The templates could be pressed into powdered "lead" (graphite) or chalk to transfer the design to the quilt top. I was fascinated with this, never having seen this type of thing before- I had never stopped to think of what was used before the plastic stencils we have today...
Ten quilted garments, including silk bonnets, petticoats, a morning robe and a wadded silk pelisse formed a lovely showcase; alas no photos because of the reflections from the glass. We often forget that quilting was not only used for bed quilts in those days, but also to add warmth to garments for the long harsh winters.
Fifteen quilts and coverlets completed the exhibit, with a good representation of styles - wholecloth, pieced, whitework, stencilled and strip quilts. The T shape was, of course, necessary to fit around the posts of the bed. These pieces were all dated circa the early 1800's, mostly 1820's to 1840's, but one, a wholecloth wool quilt, was dated 1789. "While quilted items are functional and practical, they can also express the creativity and aesthetic sense of their makers. The quilts on display show an array of elaborate and well-executed stitching patterns, boldly arranged quilt blocks and a variety of unusual embellishments such as stencilling and embroidery." ~ Quilts from the Old Sturbridge Village Collection, 1790-1850. OSV pamphlet



As I toured through the village, I was also keeping an eye out for quilts in the houses. Shown below are several I found in the Salem Towne House, a handsome federal-style dwelling from Charlton, Mass., 1796. "Salem Towne Jr. inherited the house at the death of his father in 1825; he and his wife Sally headed a well-to-do establishment, but still sometimes worked alongside their hired help to manage the farm, dairy, and the house. Their household was a large and complicated one that included children (seven of their nine were living with them in 1830), farm laborers, hired women, and sometimes relatives who were visiting or needed a place to stay. Like his father, Salem Towne Jr. was a man of business, a land surveyor, a Justice of the Peace, and an active figure in politics, as well as an innovative, “progressive” farmer. Of the four bedchambers upstairs, two have been created by dividing a large space that was originally built as a ballroom and used until 1806 for Masonic meetings. Probably reflecting its original use for Masonic rituals, the room has striking painted murals, partially preserved from that early time, depicting an exotic landscape." (the last 2 photos here are from that room)
I hope you have enjoyed this brief "arm chair visit" to Old Sturbridge Village. On my next post we'll leave the 1800's in New England for New York City's Garment District - hold on to your hats for a whirlwind tour....

Piece,
Linda






"When the past no longer illuminates the future, the spirit walks in darkness."
~ Alexis de Tocqueville

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Where Do I Begin?

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.




Peace,
Linda

"That is what learning is. You suddenly understand something you've understood all your life, but in a new way". ~Doris Lessing

Friday, April 8, 2011

My bags are packed, I'm ready to go...


Remember that line from "Leavin' on a Jet Plane"? Well, I'm not taking a plane...wish I was.. but anyway, my bags are packed. Here are the blocks I've made to work on... love those jewel tones. I'm also taking a WIP (Work in Progress) so may work on it too...
Be back in a week...talk at ya then....

Peace,
Linda

The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Countdown Continues...


Here's my nametag...not as great as I'd like it to be, but it will have to do. I cannot fuss with it any longer, I have too much still to do. I may add a few more beads later... I am suffering a sore throat, hoarse voice and a bit of a sniffle today - just what I need. Not! So I'm trying to get done what must be done and I hope to get to bed early tonight. I know I've been burning the midnight oil too many nights now, and I guess I'm run down. Not a great way to start a trip.. I'm hoping the Echinacea will "come through " for me like it usually does...
It's very likely that I won't be on here again until after the 16th, so keep well my friends and I'm sure I'll have lots of photos to share upon my return. I hope to visit Old Sturbridge Village on Sunday on my way to Manchester - they have a special display of quilts on exhibit, dating 1790-1850. If I'm really lucky I may get to the American Folk Art Museum when we're in NYC on Monday for their special quilt exhibit. I sure timed this right, didn't I? Then of course there's my three day class, and oh, did I mention the Maine Shop Hop, on for the month of April, and Quiltport USA this weekend in Freeport?? You know me - I'm going to try and hit them all....
Peace,
Linda

Hello. My name is Linda. I'm a quilter, and my house is in pieces....

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Countdown to Connecticut...

As you have probably guessed from my absence here, I am very busy preparing for my week away. Things are pretty much under control now for our upcoming Quilt Show, although I still have a writeup to do for our Guild newsletter... add that to your list, Linda. My studio looks like a bomb went off... (no, make that several bombs) as I gather and organize supplies for the course. That's my main focus for tomorrow. I still have my nametag to embellish- we were each sent a nametag for optional embellishing before the class. I have gathered threads, beads, etc. and tonight at some point I will get it started....
I am still trying to work on my Guild Challenge as it is "due" just a few days after my return. Methinks it might be going along to CT with me, for evening work. Of course there is always the usual "other stuff" that has to be done before a Mother leaves her nest.... laundry, food prepared, etc. Laura moves home on Friday and I'm afraid she's going to have to "take over" and do the groceries and cooking as I am just not going to have much time before Saturday morning. She is home for 2 weeks before going back to write her final two exams, and move into her new place. She has a full lineup of things to keep her busy along with studying- a job interview, several medical appointments for her trip, ID photo to have taken and a number of other appointments.
Laura had a very special experience today - she met and interviewed Philip Riteman of Halifax, a Holocaust survivor. She will be "walking for him" when she does the walk between Birkenau and Auschwitz camps. She will soon be writing about their meeting, you can read it on her Blog here. Now that her school year is pretty well over, she will be concentrating on preparations for her May trip.
I'll leave you with a photo of what my backyard looked like on Saturday morning after our April Fools Day storm. Thank goodness most of that snow is gone now and we are again seeing some bare ground.
I will share photos with you when my nametag is done... stay tuned...

Piece
Linda

"Experience is never limited, and it is never complete." ~ Henry James

Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fools on us!

Well I don't think it's one bit funny! April Fools or not! We are in the midst of a snowstorm! It is snowing like crazy and the driving is awful. And they have just predicted "thundersnow"!! What the heck??? Of course my winter tires came off this week... (my ever so efficient hubby...) We're supposed to get 10" of the darn stuff before tomorrow morning! We have to go out tonight to a surprise (65th) birthday party for my brother, and I have to sing at a wedding tomorrow morning. Yuch - I'm going to have to dig my winter boots out again!!
I've been pretty quiet on here this week - I am "up to my eyeballs busy"... working on my Guild Challenge for our upcoming Show (it's going very well, but I cannot show you any pics at this point, sorry), taking Registrations for our Show (now closed, thankfully -we are FULL UP!!), I have a class to teach out of town on Monday, still lots of prep for that to do... and I leave a week from tomorrow morning for southern climes... well, OK, that's a bit of an exaggeration. It is south of here though... I'm off to Connecticut for a three day workshop with Sharon Boggon , Crazy Quilter Extraordinaire of Australia, who blogs at Pin Tangle. I cannot wait! Have a look at some of Sharon's amazing CQ work here. I'm also going to meet some of my online blogging friends like Susan Elliott of Plays with Needles. If all goes as planned, Susan has arranged for a group of us to head into NYC on Monday for a day of shopping in the Garment District and no doubt we'll find a few other things to see and do as well... You see we must have all the many supplies listed for our three day class (Tuesday to Thursday) - what better excuse for a little shopping excursion...? So... I have much to accomplish in the next seven days, so I will no doubt not be blogging much. Bear with me.. there will be some wonderful photos .. eventually, I hope. Now, where are those winter boots...?

Piece,
Linda

The birds are gone, the ground is white.
The winds are wild, they chill and bite.
The ground is thick with slush and sleet -
What an April Fools Day treat!
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