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

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Feelin' Peachy

Well, Irene is behind us now. "Good Night Irene" is right! Good riddance! Actually we got off easy, compared to Vermont and some other areas. We had lots of wind and rain, but no major damage. Some trees down in the neighbourhood, but not on our property. Laura did get home on Sunday night, despite the wind and rain. She was lucky to get bumped up to an earlier flight- good thing as her original flight was canceled, as I expected. For those of you who have followed her journey with the March of Remembrance and Hope since March, she is still posting on her blog    Her journey continues.... You can click here to read her latest posts.
So, my weekend in the kitchen yielded the Lady Ashburnham pickles, a batch of ratatouille and blueberries in the freezer, this Peach Jam, and now I have a large batch of sweet pickles underway. It's a new recipe for me so we'll see how it turns out. It takes 14 days.... I picked 22 large cucumbers from my garden today, and still have more... they're multiplying like bunnies....  
My Peach Jam recipe originally came from either Chatelaine or Canadian Living magazine- I can't remember which one. I have modified it slightly to make it a little quicker/easier. Here it is:

Brandied Peach Jam

9 cups peeled and sliced peaches (pretty much a 4 liter basket)
9 cups w. sugar
4 medium oranges
1 lemon
1 cup slivered almonds
1 6oz. bottle maraschino cherries, drained and quartered
1/4 cup peach brandy  (I have also used apricot brandy if I couldn't find peach, or Peach Schnapps)

Wash jars or bottles, rinse and place in oven to sterilize. Prepare sealer tops and screw bands for sterilizing. 

Remove skin from peaches by plunging into simmering water for several minutes, then peeling. Slice peaches into large preserving kettle or stockpot. Mash with potato masher. Add sugar, stir. Place over low heat to begin warming while you prepare the citrus.
Wash oranges and lemon. Grate the zest of each, and squeeze the juice. If oranges are large or peaches are particularly juicy, as they are some years, I use only 3 oranges. I add any of the orange fiber that I can scrape from skins as well. Add juices and zest to peach mixture. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook, uncovered, at a brisk simmer until peaches are translucent (about an hour). Stir frequently, especially near the end of cooking time, to prevent scorching.
(If you cannot find the small bottle of cherries, I use about 1/2 cup, once chopped up.) Add cherries and almonds, cook for 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and add brandy or schnapps. Stir. Ladle into hot sterilized jars, seal with melted paraffin and add tops and screw bands. This recipe makes roughly 12  8 oz. jars. Yummy!!  A favourite of mine on croissants for Christmas morning breakfast...


There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Are you in a pickle?

At the request of several readers, here is my recipe for Lady Ashburnham pickles. I didn't realize they are a favourite with so many people!! I guess I didn't realize they are so famous far and wide!  lol
Before I give you the recipe- here's my best pickling tip of the day. I love making pickles but don't enjoy chopping the onions. No doubt I'm not alone. So here's what I do to make the job bearable: I take my largest cutting board, sharp knife and onions outside into our attached garage (right off my kitchen). I set up on my hubby's workbench and turn on the fan which sits there. It blows at my face and blows away all those onion "fumes". Works like a charm! I have brought the fan into the kitchen and that's not bad either, but I think being "outside" with more fresh air circulating around in a larger area seems to work even better. So there you go. I do this whenever I have a good amount of onions to chop...

Lady Ashburnham Pickles

6-8 large cucumbers, peeled and seeds removed
1/4 cup coarse salt
4 cups finely chopped onions
optional- finely chopped celery and/or finely chopped red and/or green peppers
2 cups vinegar
2 cups w. sugar
4 Tblsp. flour
1 Tblsp. dry mustard
1 Tblsp. turmeric
1 tsp. mustard seed
1 tsp. celery seed

Chop cucumbers finely, as for relish, into large stockpot. Add salt and let sit overnight. Drain in the morning, do not rinse cucumbers. Add chopped onions (and celery and peppers if desired). Mix together sugar, flour, mustard, turmeric, mustard seed and celery seed and add to cucumbers along with vinegar. Stir well.. Cook until cucumbers are translucent, probably 45 minutes or so, stirring often to prevent burning to the bottom of pot. Pour into hot sterilized jars, and seal. (I am assuming readers know how to clean and sterilize jars and tops, etc.) Let cool. Store in cool place. Easy peasy!! Makes approx. 5 pint mason jars.

Next: Peach Jam. It's peachy!!


Law of Gardening: You get the most of what you need the least. (like cucumbers!)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Story Behind the Pickle...

Painting of Ashburnham House by Fernando Poyatos
Mmmmmm, I love the smell of pickles cooking.. Can you smell them from where you are? I just finished a batch of Lady Ashburnham pickles. If you live in my area you know what they are - to everyone else, I guess you would call it a mustard pickle relish. It's an old local recipe, supposedly the favourite of Lady Ashburnham of the early 1900's. Fredericton has many heritage buildings, and anyone who has lived here for very long knew Ashburnham House of 163-165 Brunswick St. (sadly, it was recently torn down.) It was originally two buildings, one an old inn and the other the residence of a city alderman. It's most famous occupants were Maria "Rye" Anderson and Thomas Ashburnham, the youngest son of Lord Ashburnham, the head of one of England's oldest families. As the fifth son, there was no expectation that Thomas would ever assume the title; after an army career and a decoration for bravery, he was sent to Canada, arriving in Fredericton as a typical remittance man, living on an allowance provided by the family.
Lady Ashburnham
Here Thomas fell in love with Rye Anderson, a common telephone operator and they married in 1903. Ashburnham purchased the two buildings on Brunswick Street and they were joined by a glassed-in conservatory forming a porte cochere which provided access to the back of the house and the beautiful lawns and gardens. Thomas resided in one house and his wife in the other. (Hmmm, not sure why....perhaps he didn't like her pickles??)
Unexpectedly in 1913, Thomas received word that his last surviving brother had died childless and that he was now Lord Ashburnham. His wife "the Telephone Girl" became the mistress of a vast estate, including a 100 room mansion. Her stay in jolly old England was not that enjoyable as she was not accepted by his family so they moved back to Fredericton in 1914 and became the "centre of an elite social life in the community". Apparently these pickles frequently graced the table when they entertained, but they were made by Lady A's sister Lucy; Lady A. herself was not  terribly devoted to "things domestic".  Lord A. continued to spend part of the year in Fredericton and part of the year in England, until his death in 1924. Lady A. lived on Brunswick Street until her death in 1938. (Info taken from Impressions of Historic Fredericton by Fernando Poyatos with text by William Spray.)
EDIT, Sept. 1  One of my commentors has sent me a link to an article on Lady Ashburnham, originally published in the Saint John Telegraph Journal, August 2010. Very interesting story... click here to read it.
Sorry... sometimes  I get carried away with a story... just thought my local readers might enjoy that snippet of local history... anyway, my pickles are done and cooling; tonight I will make a batch of Ratatouille. Can't do the Peach Jam yet as the peaches need to ripen/soften a bit more...
I went to our wonderful Saturday morning Farmers Market today. Came home laden with lots of fresh local goodies.. fresh picked corn for supper, fresh crunchy early apples, 5 lbs. of blueberries, red and green peppers, broccoli, beets... is your mouth watering yet? I love August and September when the produce is local and so fresh...
Several of you have inquired how my brother Wayne is doing. He is doing just fine, thanks for asking. His last visit to the surgeon went very well and he was told no more visits were required unless he had a problem. The foot has healed well and the bones are continuing to strengthen. He is walking albeit with a slight limp, and his foot tires easily but, hey, he still has the foot..and can walk again! We're not complaining. Today is his 45th wedding anniversary! Congrats Wayne and Shirley! What a wonderful choice you both made 45 years ago...
Love you both...


Rest in Peace, Jack

Friday, August 26, 2011

August busy-ness...

August always seems to be such a busy month. Trying to keep ahead of all the yummy fresh veggies in the garden, getting pickles and jam done, produce and berries into the freezer and now getting ready for "back to  school university". I'm starting the "stock the freezer with easy meals" routine this week- at least it's only for ONE returning student this year! So far- lots of berries (for smoothies), meatballs, and banana breads. In this next week I'll make spaghetti sauce and chili. If I'm lucky (or should I say if SHE'S lucky?) some homemade soup as well. That will give Laura a good start for her freezer, and some easy meals for the days when she has classes all day and comes home too tired to want to do much meal prep. We had a bumper crop of raspberries this year (12 qts. in the freezer) and now I'm trying to stay ahead of the cukes, beans and peas. I have LOTs of tomatoes but they are slow in ripening... I got a batch of pickles cut up tonight, will cook them in the morning. Then next up is my Peach Jam. I sure hope Hurricane Irene does not interfere with my plans with a power outage or some such thing... Also hoping to get a batch of Ratatouille done in the next few days too (see my recipe here). Laura likes it so I guess she'll get a few containers of that too... So, you can see things are busy here at Casa Linda.... No rest for the weary as they say...
Laura is in Ontario this weekend, for a reunion with MRH participants. It is a Leadership Retreat weekend and most of the group were planning to attend. I expect Irene is going to mess up her return flight plans.. we'll see...
Sorry no photos today..hopefully tomorrow I'll have some pickle pics! lol  Hope you all have a good weekend and stay safe. Do take this coming storm seriously ....


Gardeners know the best dirt...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Backyard Visitors

It seems we have a new family in the neighbourhood.... a family of woodpeckers. It's not unusual for me to see a woodpecker on the apple trees in my backyard, but today as I went out onto the deck to hang out yet another load of laundry, there were three on the same tree. That's a first... I think at least two of them were juveniles as they were smaller and the feathers on their breasts still looked somewhat "downy" - like immature feathers..? So I quickly came back in, grabbed my camera and quietly stepped back out the door. By then they all had separated.. would they come back together for a "family portrait"? Of course not. The larger one (Mama perhaps?) flew to a tree further away, the shy one had headed up higher in the tree and was pretty much hidden by foliage, and I was left with just one - the keener. He had listened well to his Mama's lessons - he was pecking away at a furious pace - remember Woody Woodpecker, and how the chips of wood flew? Well this little guy was almost the same; I guess our trees must be full of juicy little insects. Of the dozen or so pics I snapped quickly, many were out of  focus. His little head never stopped... They must have migraines by the end of day...
As I look at my perennial beds, I can see that summer is drawing to a close. I feel ripped off - in some ways it seems we haven't had much summer at all. Some plants have done well- those that like lots of rain. Many others have not fluorished. My purple coneflower is doing well right now, and is attracting lots of  bees...
How are your gardens this summer?
I recently finished a great read- the first I have read by Kate Morton. I thoroughly enjoyed The House at Riverton, and am looking forward to The Forgotten Garden, also by Morton- it has been highly recommended to me by several friends... Right now I'm reading No Great Mischief  by Alistair MacLeod. What are you reading this summer?


"In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks." ~ John Muir

Monday, August 22, 2011

R.I.P. Jack

Canada lost a good man today- Jack Layton, leader of the N.D.P. party, and Official Leader of the Opposition.
Rest in Peace Jack.


"Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world."  ~ Jack Layton

Happy Birthday and a Half..?

My friend Barb's birthday is in early February and this year I did not have any wonderful ideas for her gift. At that time our Guild was hand-quilting a Raffle Quilt, which was set up in a frame in my living room. Barb came several times to hand quilt on it, hoping to get some help/instruction/advice from more experienced hand quilters. Both times when she came, due to poor weather and other reasons, no one else showed up and it was just the two of us. Since I have little experience, I wasn't much help to her.
It was at that time that I came up with an idea for her birthday gift. I would "hire" Trudy, another Guild member and a beautiful hand-quilter, to give the two of us a private lesson. Barb thought this was a great idea and we both were looking forward to it. Then Trudy had a fall and did serious damage to her shoulder... Months of little movement, and rehab therapy followed... Long story short, we just had our private lesson today, six and a half months later. It was wonderful!! We both think we now have the idea and with some practice (OK, maybe LOTS of practice), we'll have decent looking small even stitches. Having individual attention and someone showing you exactly how to hold the needle, how to insert the needle vertically, and how to use the underneath finger and the top thumb to make the ""hill"...makes all the difference. It seems so much easier now! Each of my stitches now go through all three layers - a problem we were both having before, not always catching the backing fabric... It's really not all that hard, once you know how to do it correctly!!
It was pouring rain this morning, so it was the perfect day to be indoors, with two friends, quilting!! We teased Barb telling her it was her "Birthday and a Half".... we didn't sing Happy Birthday, but we did enjoy a lovely lunch after our lesson. I didn't take any photos, but perhaps I'll share one of my block, once I finish the quilting. I must say, it doesn't look too bad at this point   ( it's a feathered heart).
So, next time you are struggling  for a birthday gift idea for a friend, consider giving your friend a "lesson"... in whatever.. a shared activity is always fun...


Friends fill your life with joy, your soul with sunshine and your heart with love.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Off to a Quilt Show...

Several weekends ago, hubby and I visited Cambridge Narrows, a small community about 45 minutes away, during their summer community festival weekend "Life at the Lakes". We wanted to visit our friends Wendy and Grant to see the progress on the new home they are building right on the shores of beautiful Washademoak Lake. I had a second purpose in mind as well - a quilt show! The small Guild there, Akerley Area Quilters' Guild, was putting on a Show and Tea called Stories Behind the Quilts. Many quilts had a short write-up telling the "story" of the quilt, and many were hand-quilted - so nice to see.We were a little late getting there, and time was short so my photos were rushed and are not fantastic, but I love seeing quilts displayed over pews in a church.  This was a lovely small country church, and I'm guessing you would like to see this display too. So here they are....
 Great job, Akerley Quilters!!


Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Girls' Trip....

A change is as good as a rest, they say... As you no doubt have guessed, I've been away again. Darlin' daughter and I had a short "girls' trip". We headed down to Nova Scotia for a few days and got some things done in her apartment so things will be pretty much ready for her to move in, in several weeks time. Cleaning, organizing shopping, etc - all good. Since it was so great to finally have a few days of sunny warm weather, we decided to take a little jaunt down to Peggy's Cove, as Laura had only been there once before. It was such a beautiful day with blue skies and rolling surf. I could have stayed on those weather-worn rocks all day long, watching the pounding surf. What is it about watching the ocean? It's mesmorising, just like watching a bonfire, or campfire. I love the smell of the ocean, listening to the surf, watching the ever-present seagulls glide and soar on the air currents... It was a great afternoon.   Since Peggy's Cove is such a well known "representative" image when one thinks of Nova Scotia, I thought you might like to see a few of my photos from our visit...

As you leave the Cove, on your left you will see a wonderful carved mural in a granite outcrop. As you can see from the above photos, this entire area is sheer rock. (I'm amazed there is even enough soil for grass and weeds to grow.) What would you do with a 90 foot granite outcrop in your backyard? Artist William deGarthe decided to do a carving as a tribute to the community and people he loved- the hard-working fishermen of Peggy's Cove. At age 70, (in 1977) he began, with chisel and power tools to, as he put it, "release the figures sleeping in the rock for over 10 million years". Granite is not an easy rock to work with, as it is as hard as ordinary steel. So after years of study and planning, and some basic sketches, he began by outlining the figures with dark oil paint on the rock. Then he drilled holes along the outlines to weaken the rock, then used chisels and other tools to "reveal and refine" the figures. Over the next 6 years he carved 30 figures in the granite. He divided the work into three distinct sections, called Work, Bounty and Grace.

Work is the largest section, on the right- depicting the local fishermen hard at work, hauling nets, pulling a dory and using other tools of the trade to acquire their catch. Bounty, the middle section, celebrates the riches of the sea- the fish so essential to the survival of the community. The young woman carrrying the basket seen here is the famous "Peggy" who some say inspired the name of the cove.
 The section on the far left, Grace, features a guardian angel watching over a fisherman and his family. (The seagull you see there on the far left, is Joe, deGarthe's pet seagull.) Sadly, deGarthe died in 1983 before his monument was completed, but what he left behind is a work of art- a tribute to him as an artist, and to the community he loved. Be sure to see it, if you ever visit Peggy's Cove.
Many people wonder who Peggy was? One legend tells the tale of a young woman named Margaret who after being rescued from a shipwreck, settled here and fell in love with one of her rescuers. Nicknamed Peggy, this legendary woman was a source of inspiration for deGarthe.
Peggy's Cove.. a beautiful spot (as is all of Nova Scotia.) These photos have not been altered or enhanced in any way- these are the colours as we saw them that day....ah, the ocean blue!


"The voice of the sea speaks to the soul." ~Kate Chopin

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Rose is a Rose is a Rose...

Not long ago I had the pleasure of attending a delightful Garden Party. It was a hot and humid day and  we all thought we would melt but it didn't stop us from enjoying the beautiful gardens or the scrumptious desserts. Each July my friends Barb and George host the most wonderful Garden Party for neighbours and friends. Not only are their gardens spectacular, but Barb knocks herself out for days ahead making the most wonderful desserts - luscious cheesecakes, wonderful pies and cakes, and her specialty Snow Pudding. I feel so fortunate to be invited - it is a Must Attend Event!! 

Their gardens are extensive and seem to be at their peak each year for this lovely afternoon. There is always lots of color as the perennial beds put on their best show. With so much variety in the garden it is difficult to pick favourites but I know the rose bed is a favourite with both Barb and George so I  thought I'd share some of the photos I took that day of their roses. Perhaps another day I'll share some other garden party photos with you. They live in a beautiful neighbourhood of elegant old Victorian homes - as a child I dreamed of living on this street when I grew up.... For today- take time to enjoy the roses.


"I'd rather have roses on my table, than diamonds on my neck." ~ Emma Goldman

Saturday, August 13, 2011

One of Those Moments...

I have to share this photo of my darling daughter and the group who participated in An Evening of Education and Inspiration this past Thursday. DD worked so hard to get this all organized, advertised and promoted. The turnout was not quite what we had hoped for, but I guess that's summer for you. People don't want to commit to things on a summer evening. Regardless, it was an impressive evening. The three girls who were March of Remembrance and Hope participants spoke so genuinely of their experiences, the trip and all it's emotions - not an easy thing to do. I was proud of all of them. But most of all, I was so proud of Laura. It was one of those moments when your heart swells, knowing your little girl is not so little anymore - and she's turning into a fine young woman. She stood up and spoke with such confidence, ease and genuine sincerity. The entire evening flowed smoothly and she was clearly "in charge". Well done my darling.
The guest speakers added a great deal to the evening as well. Dr. Lisa Todd, a professor at U.N.B., gave an excellent brief "overview" of events leading up to WWII and the Holocaust to help us understand how it came about. Our Mayor spoke of his trip to Germany and Poland and his experiences and impressions, similar to the MRH trip. And finally we heard from Dr. Israel Unger, also a professor, but more importantly, a survivor of Auschwitz. I felt humbled and honoured to be in his presence. As my closest friend said to me later, "We have lived such sheltered and uncomplicated lives by comparison." Indeed...
A big Thank You to all who attended this event, as well as those who helped out.
In the photo, l. to r. are Victoria Clowater (MRH '11), Erin Legare (MRH '06), Laura (MRH '11), Mayor Brad Woodside, Dr. Israel Unger and Dr. Lisa Todd.


"While we try to teach our children all about life,
Our children teach us what life is all about."
~Angela Schwindt

Giveaway Winner!

My 400th Post celebratory giveaway is now closed and we have a winner!! Yeah!! I have to say I'm a little disappointed in the small number of entries- but - that gives each of the entrants a better chance of winning, right? So without further ramblings......

Could we have a drumroll please?

The winner........


JACKIE PHILPOTT in Pasadena Newfoundland!!!!!!!!!!!! Congratulations Jackie!! Santa Claus will be in the mail to you the first of the week. I'll be in touch for your address...

Sorry you couldn't all win!! Here's a big bouquet from my garden to you all....


If you do not change what you're doing today, your tomorrow will be no different than yesterday.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Up for the Challenge?

This is my last post about the fabulous Maine Quilt Show. I always look forward to seeing all the "Chapter Challenges" at this show. They are always so varied and show great creativity. (I guess I'm a little envious of the great work I see here, as I consider myself "challenged" when it comes to challenges...)
The Challenges which really grabbed my attention this year were those by the Clamshell Quilters of Damariscotta area, Maine. Twenty Clamshell members, in groups of five, worked to produce four beautiful local scenes. Using photos by Paula Roberts, each quilter was given a slice of the photo (11" x 36") to reproduce, in fabric and thread, their part of the scene. The five "slices" were later combined to complete the total picture. I thought all four of these were exceptional, it would be impossible to choose a favourite. The first one, above right, is the Lighthouse at Pemaquid Point. The second, below, is a scene at Damariscotta Mills. The third is Fort William Henry and the final one is a scene of Damariscotta. Aren't they great?

Another interesting Challenge was done by Art Quilts Maine, statewide. Members were to use a favourite children's book or author as the inspiration for their Challenge piece. They were to create a unique and original design, which represented the book's spirit, message, or visual appeal. I really liked this one, titled "Katje, the Windmill Cat". I'm not familiar with the book, but being a cat lover and a Storm at Sea lover as well... you can see why it caught my eye. The cat appeared to be totally made of thread... impressive....
(See the closeup shot below.)
Other challenges were equally as interesting. Some were quite specific in their directions, others were "looser". They ranged from a Black and White Challenge (use black and white fabrics, plus add one other colour), Mystery Quilts, Design your own Wholecloth quilt, and a Nature theme (use of a 5.5" square of bright green silk) to more challenging requirements. A Paint Chip Challenge was fun: Each quilter had to choose three paint chips with color names corresponding to their three initials, then use fabric colours which matched the chips to make a quilt of her choosing. The Coastal Quilters of Camden/Rockport area did a Grocery Challenge: They were to pick a packaged food or beverage item from the grocery store and make a 20.5" square quilt using colours from the package and one motif or element from the item, on the front of the quilt. These were displayed with package labels and viewers could guess which quilt represented which food or beverage item. The two you see below represented Forelli sardines(left) and on the right Heinz ketchup. What a fun project! Who comes up with these Challenge ideas???
I think one of the wackiest was Orange You Creative (done by Calico Quilters of Yarmouth): each quilt had to use a black and orange Hallowe'en fabric, but also had to contain an item from a hardware store and orange ricrac, it had to show one item in silhouette and had to be 12x36 and vertically oriented. Now that's a list!! What fun!! You just never know what you will see at Maine Quilts! Can't wait to go again next year. Will I see you there?


"But out of limitations comes creativity."
~ Debbie Allen

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

More Eye Candy...

Okay, ready for some more quilters' eye candy? One of the quilts which received a LOT of attention at Maine Quilts 2011 was Shattered Nine Patch Squared, made by Daniel Perkins of Rangeley ME. He was standing by his quilt and proudly discussing it with many interested viewers. It's a small bed quilt, 68" x 84", and can you believe it - I did not get a full view photo of the front of the quilt. But this closeup will give you a good idea of how it looked. He started with a stack of nine patch blocks, cut them on the diagonal, re-assembled and added sashing and corner stones. Very nice. But the great interest was in the BACK of the quilt. (They even had a sign pinned to the back saying that this was the back- just so people would realize, and be sure to look at the front!!) Yes, it was totally reversible and look what he did on the back. WOW!! Actually, I liked the back better than the front. I don't know if Daniel would be offended to hear that, but I suspect a lot of other viewers felt the same way. What a huge amount of work in this quilt. It was quilted by his wife Carol Perkins, who is a professional long-armer.

Hanging nearby was Starburst Galaxy, by Daniel's wife Carol. This quilt won a First place rosette in the Small Bed Quilt category. Here is a "fairly closeup" shot so you can appreciate the machine quilting, done by Carol. All the quilting is freehand!! Isn't it beautiful? Look at those feathers! This quilt was 69" square.

Here's another quilt which had great appeal for me- it just made me smile, it was SO cheerful. Mi Lindo Solecito (53" square) was made by Yolanda Aliberti of Lewiston ME from the pattern Celestial Dream by Susan Powell, because her grandson's name is Sol, the Spanish word for sun. She did it as a family tree for him. It is machine pieced but hand appliqued, hand embroidered and HAND quilted!! Yeah! One of the few! It was simply beautiful - definitely one of my most favourites.

One of the things I like best about Maine Quilts is the interesting Special Exhibits. Besides the Guild Challenges which I love to see (they'll be shown on the next post), there are always several special exhibits - this year they included a traveling exhibit called Thread Tails and Vapor Trails. Thread Tails and Vapor Trails quilting contest honors the 100th anniversary of Naval Aviation (Navy, Marine and Coast Guard). Quilters were invited to create a Naval Aviation themed quilt. This challenge was the idea of Charlie Hoewing, wife of Vice Admiral Gerald Hoewing, US Navy (Retired). He is President and CEO of the National Aviation Museum in Pensacola FL, and Charlie, a quilter and museum volunteer thought it would be wonderful to have a quilt challenge centering around the 100th anniversary of Naval Aviation. Selected quilts will be displayed at many Centennial events during the year, as well as naval and other military museums and celebrations, and quilt shows/exhibitions. (Info from Maine Quilts catalogue) These quilts were amazing, so creative and technically very well done. The first one, at left, titled "Scrambled Eggs" by Pat Alderman of Fort Collins CO, received the Best Machine Workmanship Award in the Mixed Techniques division. Her inspiration was a propeller driven by the Mariner's Compass in the center. The "Scrambled Eggs" are a nickname for the Oak Leaves that are worn on the Officer's cap. The "Wings of Gold" are symbolic of her husband's naval career.

"Prowler on Cat 2" (at right) by Vinda Goulding Robison of Colorado Springs CO won first place in the Mixed Techniques division. Her original interpretation is a tribute to her husband's navy career of 27 years. Trying to decide what to do and how to cover a 27 year span was the challenge for her. One aspect she highlighted was his term as Commanding Officer of VAQ-132 Scorpions.

The Best Group Award was won by "Tiger 56" by Kathie Buckley of Woodbridge VA. She enlisted the help of her three daughters KC, Erin and Diana, hence the "group" award. Her quilted collage commemorates her husband's command tour of Patrol Squadron Eight (tiger). He was known as Tiger 56 - the 56th CommandingOfficer. The quilt depicts many memorable feats apart from the squadron's traditional anti-submarine warfare mission: Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring freedom,(footprints), Operation Unified Assistance -the search for tsunami survivors in Indonesia (wave), deployment to Japan (Samurai) as well as many happy family memories in Maine (lobster, hockey, moose).

"Going Home" by Karen Williamson of Pensacola FL tells two stories. It tells of sunset at sea- majestic, radiant, compelling. It also tells of brave F6F Hellcat pilots returning after their mission. Without radar capability, it was crucial they reach their carrier before sunset to land safely. Victorious for another day, they were "going home".

"Flights of Fancy" by Maria Elkins of Beavercreek OH really caught my eye, probably because of her wonderful depiction of the young boy. She says she bribed her friend's son to repeatedly jump off a chair so she could have a good photo to work from. When the quilt was done, he was more impressed with the "toy" airplanes in the border than by the life size portrait of himself! Look at the detail shot below for a closer look at her wonderful facial and hair detail. And the quilting!! Wow!! What great work.

All info on the above quilts was taken from the cards on the displayed quilts, or the Thread Tails and Vapor Trails website. The Thread Tails and Vapor Trails traveling exhibits will continue to tour around the USA for the remainder of this year- if you get a chance to see one, don't miss out!

My next post will show you some of my favourite Chapter Challenges. If you are a local reader be sure to scroll down and read my previous post. And if you have not yet entered my Giveaway, click here to read all about that.


"Creativity comes from trust. Trust your instincts."
~ Rita Mae Brown

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

For my local readers....

Before I continue on with more photos from Maine Quilts 2011, I want to tell my local readers about an event this coming Thursday evening, Aug. 11, 2011. If you are a regular reader of my Blog, you probably know about my daughter Laura's trip to Germany and Poland this past May on a Holocaust and genocide study mission. You may have been following her Blog here.
The March of Remembrance and Hope is a program for Canadian university students, run by the Canadian Centre for Diversity in Toronto. This program gives participants the education and understanding they need to stand up and speak out against antisemitism, Holocaust denial, genocide, racism and other forms of discrimination. Each student who does the study trip is expected to commit to doing some type of public education when they return to their own communities. To this end, Laura and two other local participants have planned a public event for Thursday evening August 11. It is being held at the Fredericton Royal Canadian Legion, 199 Queen Street. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the program begins at 7:30. Each student will speak briefly, as well as guest speakers Dr. Israel Unger, Dr. Lisa Todd and Mayor Brad Woodside. I hope you will consider attending. Come and bring a friend. Refreshments will be served and admission is by donation, with funds going to support future MRH programs. We'd love to see you there...


"To remain silent and indifferent is the greatest sin of all." ~ Elie Wiesel
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