Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Vermont Quilt Festival 2017 - Weekend Getaway - Part 2

No, this wasn't one of the quilts which was on display at the Vermont Quilt Festival, but rather a shot of one of the plastic windows in the tent where we cooled off with a dish of Ben and Jerry's after seeing the show. Maybe it is just me, but I thought this would make a pretty cool quilt. :-)

I'd like to show you many of the quilts that really were on display, but I didn't shot all of the information cards with the quilts so am reluctant to post those photos.  There were, however, a number of crazy quilts which caught my eye and those info cards I did shoot. The first is "Summertime" by Sheila Groman of Scottsdale, AZ.

Another crazy quilt was "Gardens" by Jane Masenas of Essex Junction, VT.

I was able to look in the show booklet to identify the makers of these quilts: Here's "Let's Play!" by Arlene Farrell of Colchester, VT.

"Parking in London" by Wendy Sanden of Baldwinville, MA, caught my eye.

First place in the Small and Miniature category went to "Vermont's Hope" by Janet Brunet of Colchester, VT. It was amazing!!!

All of the quilts, large and small, were wonderful!!!

On a lighter note, I thought you might smile at this sign in the ladies room. In case you can't read it, it says, "NO DOGS ALLOWED."

So, if you have read this far and you are a quilter, you might be wondering what I bought over the course of the weekend. I really didn't buy all that much. . . ten fat quarters, two pieces of wool, a pattern, quilt themed notecards, a new type of longer-use rotary cutter blade, and a marking pen.

Two mini wool stitch kits . . . 

A Mini Mosaic Quilt kit by Cheryl Lynch plus the ruler used to cut the tiny pieces. How tiny you ask? Each little batik square is 3/8th of an inch. I know what you are thinking, 3/8" squares, but really, it looked like fun when she demonstrated the process. I follow Cheryl Lynch's blog and had read about her new Mini Mosaics in Quilting Arts magazine and on her blog. Incidentally, she has been interviewing some well known quilters on her blog, and it's always interesting to read about their backgrounds, their work, and also various aspects of how they have developed their businesses. She is quite bubbly, friendly, and enthusiastic, and it was a pleasure to meet her.

Finally, I just had to purchase the pattern for "Thelma T. Threadcatcher" by Pieceful Designs since with that red hair and big smile, I tell you, it was like looking into a mirror. :-) 

Monday, June 26, 2017

Vermont Quilt Festival 2017 - Weekend Getaway- Part 1

On Friday, my friends Edith, Laurel, and I headed to Vermont for a getaway weekend. Our first stop was for lunch at Dana's Restaurant by the Gorge in Quechee, VT.  (Note: this breakfast and lunch spot is about ten minutes from the White River Junction intersection of 89 and 93. I've been stopping at Dana's for years, and the food is always yummy. )

The Quechee Gorge is more impressive in person than it may appear in this photo.

Here we are . . . three gorgeous gals at the gorge taken shortly after we had gorged at Dana's. (Okay, that's enough of that . . . )

 We did stop along the way at one quilt shop, Haphazard Quilting, in Canaan, NH. It's a small shop that has only been open for a year, but there is a nice selection of fabric and notions.

Finally, we arrived in Stowe, VT where we would stay two nights. The inn we stayed at was right near the recreational path.

Stowe had been having periodic thunderstorms, so the water was roiling with steam/fog rising off it. Perhaps this image gives a clearer idea of the raging water.

That night we ate at a small, nearby Italian restaurant,  Trattoria La Festa. We were warmly welcomed by the host, and we enjoyed a delicious meal. If you visit Stowe, you would enjoy this restaurant.

Meanwhile, while I was off gallivanting in Vermont, Miss Emma was settling right in at her home away from home. My friend Annmarie sent this photo to me. How very lucky I am to have friends with whom she can stay. :-) Ahhh, both Emma and I agree, "Life is good."

Thursday, June 22, 2017

A Tote Bag, Emma, and a Book Recommendation, Too!

I completed this tote on Tuesday. It's a pattern called "The Sebago Tote," from Aunties Two. Many local quilt shops carry their line of patterns, but if interested and unable to find them, then click on Aunties Two, and you will be taken to their website.

Here's Miss Emma looking relaxed and lovely after returning from the groomer. This time she had blue stick-on gems on her ear tips and a pretty red, white, and blue scarf.  :-)

During the summer, I pass many hours in the evening reading on my sunporch. Most books that I have been reading lately have been pleasant enough, but not very memorable. I do have a book which I would like to recommend, Christina Baker Kline's A Piece of the World.  This fictional work explores the life of Christina Olsen, the woman depicted in Andrew Wyeth's painting Christina's World. In this novel, Kline, the author of Orphan  Train, creates a backdrop for the painting, and a powerful portrayal of the hardships endured by Christina and her family and their harsh, limited existence on the family homestead. It's a depiction of a time and place on the Maine coast which will stay with you.

When I was a teacher, I used to purchase large posters of pieces of art and display them on my bulletin boards. My eighth graders would then be asked to write either a poem or a story about the people in the painting which they selected. Wyeth's Christina's World was often chosen and the stories/poems created were always interesting.

Kline's haunting portrayal of Christina Olsen's world will definitely stay with the reader though I'm not sure Wyeth would have approved as it somewhat removes the mystery from his piece; still the work is fiction and as such may be read as a story separate from the iconic painting. I urge you to read it as I know you will find it memorable, too.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Sail Boston 2017 - Part 2

Everywhere you looked visitors had cameras and phones raised to capture the glory of these tall ships. This was the longest ship in port, and it hailed from Peru.

As you stepped aboard, you were greeted by lively Peruvian music and young smiling sailors eager to show off their vessel.

A few quick whistles sounded and a small group of cadets began climbing way, way, way up in the rigging. I was relieved to see that they all wore safety harnesses, but it was still very, very high.

Here is another favorite image which I framed through the rigging.

Here's the same scene without the rigging.

It was truly a glorious day!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Sail Boston 2017 - Part 1

Ahoy, mates!!! Yesterday, my friend Marilyn and I spent a wonderful afternoon on the Spirit of Boston cruising Boston Harbor to see the tall ships in port taking part in the " Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta," a trans-Atlantic race spanning the United Kingdom, Bermuda, and other locations. Boston is the only U.S. port in the race." (*Information from the June19, 2017 issue of The Patriot Ledger.) This leg of the race is called Sail Boston 2017.

After a buffet lunch, I went up on deck to capture these images.

Here's a schooner with Fort Independence and Castle Island in the background.

 If you are not from this area, let me just say that by land or by sea, Boston is a beautiful city, a mixture of the old and the new, with a respect and an appreciation of its location on the water.

The Eagle with a naval vessel pulled up nearby over in Charlestown. Regretfully, the USS Constitution, the oldest commissioned frigate in the navy is currently in dry dock for repairs, but its sturdy, proud oak masts were visible in some photos.

My  favorite photo of the day was this one of the U.S. Coast Guard's training ship, the Eagle, with our flag fluttering in the breeze.

The Eagle, a 295-foot-long tall ship was taken by the U.S. from Germany as reparation following World War II.

At the end of our cruise, we had one hour before heading for home, time enough to go on board just one tall ship. I'll share those photos in my next post.

Note: Security was tight. To board the tall ships, you have to pass through a metal detector and have your bag checked, but the lines yesterday were short. Members of the Coast Guard with their dogs along with State Police officers were out in force to assure security. The ships do not leave until Thursday for the next leg of their race, so there is still time to visit the ships. I have gone to see the tall ships each time they have come to Boston, and it is always incredibly special.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Sunday Sampler

 I'm continuing to work on the piece begun in the Katie Pasquini Masopust workshop, "Artful Log Cabins." Seventeen blocks are done with just seven more to make. Now that I'm working on the larger blocks, it should move right along.

This blanket flower was photo bombed by a bee just as I was taking the picture this morning. :-) It's nice to finally see some spots of color in my yard.

 I used the ap, PicFrame to create these simple collages.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Katie Pasquini Masopust - Artful Log Cabin Workshop

This week, I attended a wonderful two-day Artful Log Cabin quilt workshop taught by Katie Pasquini Masopust.  Here's Katie with a piece that she has recently started. Katie is a lovely lady and an excellent, encouraging instructor. There was no stress allowed and I am quite sure that everyone had an awesome time. Here are some scenes from the workshop . . .

As you can see by these happy faces, the process was indeed lots of fun. It's not a quick process by any means, but I can see where it could become quite addictive. Here are my eight completed blocks; I only need to make sixteen more!

I used one inch strips for these blocks and will complete one more row with the same size strips. Then I will gradually increase to one and a half inch strips and significantly larger blocks. I've already thought of another one of my photos that I would like to make into my next artful log cabin quilt. :-)

You may learn more about Katie's books and online classes on her website.  She also mentioned that she has a number of classes on iQuilt, including Artful Log Cabins. You may check them out here.

Katie is giving a lecture Friday night at Bentley College in Waltham. For information about this lecture and about Quilters Connection's 40th Annual Quilt Show, please see my previous post.

One last photo . . . Artful Log Cabin quilts involve using many, many strips. Katie pins them at the top in groups and then slips the pins over a large binder ring. I had all my strips neatly piled in a project box, but it didn't take very long before I had a pile of twisted, colorful spaghetti. I'm going to put a couple of large binder rings on my shopping list. :-)

One final comment . . .  making Artful Log Cabins is great fun, and her book on this process is very complete and easy to follow.