Jul 27, 2011

Hurray! It's Done!

Funny how those "couple of days" offline stretched out into more days than ever expected!
The renovations to the breakfast room are done, but not without drama that I will spare everyone. Then the wireless went down. Disconnect, reconnect, nothing...new box, new technology. Now I'm back up and running...oh wait! Not so fast. Then wham....pinched nerve, muscle spasms...guess it is time to admit I am not as young as I used to be?? Nah, there will be none of that. What feels good now is to be mobile enough to sew some. Double Hurray.
For those of you waiting for more pictures from this year's Vermont Quilt Festival, I need to now document the contest quilts and will slowly get them up for you all to see. For now, lets just show off a bit and share my Farmer's Wife Sampler blocks- all five of them. Last year, I fell in love with this sampler and had to do it. What else is new?? Love, must do....story of a quilter's life. So thus it began, and slowly came to a frustrating end. The templates weren't quite right,and there was very little direction in the book. Tried paper piecing. Hated that. The blocks got stashed in the circular file and I washed my hands of the entire project. Or so I thought!
A local shop has a club going and two quilting friends were raving about it. One friend showed all the information they got for rotary cutting etc. and her blocks were fabulous. This was the way for me to go-- let someone else figure it all out for me.
Lo and behold doing some "homework" got me lots of useful information and I decided to take the plunge by myself once again. Behold:

Block 1: Attic Windows

Block 2: Autumn Tints

Block 3: Birds in the Air

and yes, I did say five blocks, but blogger won't let me post any more photos right now. Maybe tonight?? It feels good to be back in the sewing room for short periods of time, AND have my computer up and running. It is a glorious day, now that the heat wave has left and I intend to enjoy it! Naturally it isn't going to last...the heat and humidity is expected to return in the next couple of days. More reason to sew!
But til then, life goes on......

Jul 11, 2011

Short Break

I will be off line for a day or so...
new floors are being laid come early tomorrow so tonight I have to finish clearing out the furniture. That means the iMac will go into hybernation for a bit.

I will be back in a couple days with the next part of my Vermont Adventure.
Have a great few days everyone!

Jul 9, 2011

Revisiting The Vermont Quilt Festival- Part 4

Today's post will begin the journey through the quilts made by the students of Marjorie Haight Lydecker mounted for the special exhibit: Life's Work: The Quilts of Marjorie Haight Lydecker and Her Students. I am a big fan of Jo Morton and so as I entered the student's exhibit area I gasped as not one but three Emma's Courtyard quilts hung facing me. Courtyard has been on my to-do list for years. I had actually gathered fabrics to begin its making- and am sure that I have dipped into them time and again. Gives me an excuse to collect again, now, doesn't it! I did make Emma's Quilt- the small version Jo first designed, and it is one of my favorite wall hangings. Courtyard is the expanded quilt Jo designed for her guild. I'm not sure as to what year- I would have to look up my booklet!

*I am hoping that I have the correct maker with the right quilt! Remember that technical difficulty with the photo numbers!? If I have misrepresented in any way, it was not intentional and I ask that anyone who might notice a discrepancy in the following postings let me know so corrections can be made.

The photos aren't fabulous, I guess I was just a tad too excited, but let me present the three Emma's to you:

This first rendition of Emma was made by Estelle Trzcinski of Cotuit, MA. She noted that it was a joyful endeavor, hand appliqued, hand pieced and hand quilted.

This second version (that so deserves a better photo!) was made Emilie Barrett of Yarmouth Port, MA. It is hand appliqued, hand and machine pieced. The quilt was machine quilted by Mary Schilke of Catamount Quiting in Wells River, VT.

Lorraine Whitehouse of Duxbury, MA made this version using a palette of "about 65 fabrics, finishing it in three years". It was hand appliqued, hand pieced and embroidered. The only stitching done by machine was applying the first course of binding which was then hand stitched to the back.

I declare all three to be great beauties, and need to keep myself from pulling out my booklet from among my Jo Morton books. I will NOT start another project...well, at least not today!

In and Around the Baskets is another quilt by Emilie Barrett of Yarmouth Port. As if her Emma's Courtyard wasn't spectacular enough, look at this beauty inspired by Jenna Kimball's book Red and Green- An Applique Tradition. It is hand appliqued (2000-2001),and was hand quilted by Claudette Cavalier, Concord, 2001.

In 2000 Emilie also began Joys of Nature's Beauty. She adapted her version from Emily Senuta's Blooms and Baskets Patterns, finishing it in 2009. It is hand appliqued, embroidered and hand quilted. This quilt was stunning.

Another stunning quilt was Fruitorama by Frances Abell Brand of West Dennis, MA.

This center medallion, mixed medium quilt uses beautiful fall colors.
The center medallion is theorem painted on velvet and there are four additional small theorem paintings.

Quilt related quotations are handwritten in the four cartouches; this one reads: "Quilting is not a matter of life and death, it is more important than that". The quilt is hand quilted!

Admiring Marjorie's Tree of Life quilt, Claire Costello of Dennis, MA. made her version under Marjorie's tutorage. A Tree in All Its Splendor Be was hand appliqued and hand quilted. Begun in 1998, it took Claire 2 years to complete her quilt.

Another of Marjorie's students whose works I found exceptional was Alice Flynn of South Yarmouth, MA. Alice's Pot of Flowers was inspired by a photograph. She chose blacks, gold,red,green and purple, hand appliquing and hand quilting her quilt. The inner border was also hand pieced.

Alice made her Cutwork Blues around a traditional center design of a Princess Feather. The surrounding blocks are designs by Elly Sienkiewicz. The sashing and outside borders were of Alice's own design. Completed in 1995,it is hand appliqued and hand quilted.

Peonies and Ivy, A Baltimore Tradition by Sydney Glover of Chatham MA was made with "much encouragement from Marjorie Lydecker, and all of Elly Sienkiewicz's books to pore thru". It took three and a half years to finish. Sydney commented that she loved hand sewing every stitch!

To be continued......

Jul 8, 2011

Revisiting The Vermont Quilt Festival- Part 3

As previously mentioned, QB and I took advantage of the Gallery Talks that were given daily at VQF's special exhibits. It is here, at our second talk, that we got to meet and listen to Marjorie Haight Lydecker of Yarmouth Port, MA. We were joined during the talk by what we later learned were some of her students (as well as other fascinated quilters with an appreciation for applique).

Marjorie has been quilting for forty years, having joined her daughter at adult education classes. Within a couple of years, Marjorie began to teach classes herself, and was soon recognized by Ellie Sienkiewicz at her Applique Academy at which Marjorie was invited to teach. In the thirty years that Marjorie has been teaching, her students have numbered well over 500. Quite an accomplishment. It is her hope, writes Marjorie, that her students will find joy in discovering and persevering in the continuing expression of their individual artistry*.

(Photo of Marjorie - proudly grasping the flowers brought to her by one of her sons- as she talked about the quilts in her exhibit: Life's Work: The Quilts of Marjorie Haight Lydecker and Her Students)

The quilt behind Marjorie is Christopher's Quilt made by Eleanor Meaney (now deceased) of Hanover, MA. It has twenty-five log cabin squares and sixteen half squares, alternated with forty black and red squares. There are forty-two trapunto flowers and is an original design.

Note the prairie point border in the first photo (I wish I had taken a close up). Marjorie told us that originally the prairie points were all black, but Eleanor did not like them one bit when she got them finished. Look closely- you might see a tiny border of black around the tan fabric. Eleanor hand appliqued the tan over each of the prairie points! The quilt is hand embroidered and hand quilted.

The first of the eleven of Marjorie's quilts that I photographed is her Tree of Life.

"This quilt was inspired by an antique quilt. Original hummock design at base. Border mirrors images of two Pennsylvania designs and one 17th century design. The Jenny Beyer border print is hand appliqued. Quilt is hand appliqued, quilted and embroidered."

Next is A Fine Romance:

"Nine appliqued squares inspired by Elly Sienkiewicz' books. Alternating bordered toile squares and triangles. Jinny Beyer's toile fabric depicts a hunting scene with a romance. Hand appliqued, pieced and quilted."

Unfortunately these are the only two I had time to photograph, but they were also my favorites among Marjorie's showing. I was particularly interested in her student's works as I saw the joy they exhibited and the respect for Marjorie and her talents was more than evident. Having spend a small amount of time in her circle, I can see why! Tomorrow's posts will feature the student's work.

* from Curator's Essay VQF 2011 catalog.

Jul 7, 2011

Revisiting Vermont Quilt Festival Part 2

We will continue our walk thru VQF's special exhibits today with more of the antique quilt exhibit featuring the collection of the Vermont Historical Society:

I was mesmerized by quite a few of the quilts chosen for this special exhibit, but this one in particular had me going back for a second and third look. I have of late toyed with the idea of making a hexagon "something". I'm not sure I would have the patience to make a full sized quilt, but really do love the idea of one. Then came this:

This hexagon quilt is made of silk and was made by Bathsheba Howard Philips of Newfane, VT. It is dated 1837 and marked with her initials. The historical information given goes on to mention that although "the maker did marry in 1837, but she may have made this as an anniversary quilt at a later date since silk would have been a rare material for a Vermont quilt sewn before 1875. Others say it is possible that it dates to 1837 since this pattern was popular in the late 1830's and the maker used her maiden name initials".

Take a closer look:

Closer still:

I just love it, and think that using this as a jumping off point, I could indeed make that hexagon quilt I've been thinking about. No silk here, however! Just a good cotton fabric- most likely from my scrap basket??

The original above was donated to the Historical Society by Alice Swingle in 1962. Any thoughts on when it might actually been crafted??

This cotton quilt in the Robbing Peter to Pay Paul (or Wheel and Cushion) pattern was made by Jennie S. Farwell, teacher and preceptress at the Montpelier Seminary from 1872 to 1878. She sewed this quilt and had community members sign it to raise $100 for a scholarship fund. It was on loan by Vermont College. Below is a close up of signatures (quite faded, but still visible).

This cotton Chintz Puss in the Corner or Nine Patch Variation pattern was made by a member of the Douglas Family of Chelsea, Vt. in about 1850. It was donated to the society by Anne D. Waterson in 1973.

Dating from the 1900's, this cotton baby quilt in a star pattern was donated by John Coolidge in 1982.

There were also several Carolina Lily pattern quilts hanging together in the exhibit. These quilts were made by women in the same family. We chuckled that each was more beautiful than the other...competition perhaps?? I thought I had photos of them, but alas, they are not showing up in my catalog of photographs. However, this stunner may bring me back into good graces:

This Carolina Lilly or Peony pattern was made by Catherine Bolster of Barre, VT in 1863. The center block is embroidered, "Barre, Vermont/1863/Catherine Bolster/Born November 28, 1806." It was a gift of Beverly Jones in 2005.

Made by Fidelia Reed Bolster of Barre, VT in about 1845, this cotton Lost Ship pattern was a museum purchase (with assistance of the Vermont Quilt Festival, Inc.) in 2000. I love the simplicity of the green and white.

Another crowd pleaser was this cotton quilt in the Grandmother's Flower Garden pattern. It was made by Mrs. Frances Slater Russo in 1932 and was a museum purchase (2002).

Previously owned by the Allen family of Barnard, Vt. this Lattice Block quilt was purchased by the museum in 2002. It has a Picket Fence border.

It was constructed with scrap fabrics dating from the 1820's to 1880's. I find it looks amazingly contemporary.

This cotton Autograph quilt was signed primarily by families from the Upper Connecticut River Valley towns of Stafford, Thetford, and Pompanoosuc, VT. It dates from the 1870's and was donated in 2002 by Peter Mallary. The signatures have faded quite a bit:

Signed and dated "Mattie,September 11, 1879" this red and white cotton Carpenter's Square pattern was made my Martha (Mattie) Galusha of Shaftsbury, Vt. the year before she married Horatio Simmons of Bennington. It was donated by Harriet Simmons Williams in 2004.

This quilt top became one of my favorites because I could relate with its maker...it was a work in progress. However it has other interesting information...this Double 4-Patch Variation was stitched by Henry Walker of Weston, VT. in about 1920. Mr. Walker was bed-ridden and was taught to hand-piece to help pass the time! Donated by Bev Roberts in 2008.

Martha (Mattie) Galusha Simmons (see above Carpenter's Square quilt) also stitched this Sunflower or Sunburst pattern. It was made in about 1880 and Martha was now married and living in Bennington, VT. Donated to museum by Harriet Simmons Williams in 2010.

Dating to the Civil War (1863) this cotton quilt contains quotes from the Bible. the back is signed: "Made by Mrs. L.B. Fairbanks of Brandon VT." It is stamped on reverse, "Brandon/Soldiers Aid Society" and "U.S. Sanitary Commission". It was donated by the York County (PA) Historical Society in memory of Sophia Wilfong (1987).

Below are some beautiful whole cloth quilts from the exhibit. I hope I have documented them properly (my photo numbers from my camera card did not correspond to the upload numbers when put on the computer! That will teach me to delete the photos from my camera card prematurely). I am also going to post a photo of a spectacular Log Cabin quilt and hope that the lack of complete documentation does not cause a lot of dismay.

I believe this whole-cloth quilt was made from copper and block printed fabrics from England and France. If I am correct, it was owned by the Martin Family of Plainfield, Vt. and dates from about 1830. Gift of Sylvia J. and Robert Dole. 2004.

Whole-cloth glazed (washed off) printed cotton quilt. Printed peacock design from the mid-nineteenth century. Donated by Helen Tracy. 1991.

White Whole-cloth from 1840's. (Possibly made by Fidelia Bolster Smith)

and to end our walk thru just some of the collection mounted by the Vermont Historical Society is this wonderful Log Cabin:

For more information on the quilts of Vermont, one can read about them in the book Plain and Fancy: Vermont's People and Their Quilts.

In my next post, I will take you through the second Gallery Talk QB and I attended. Life's Work: The Quilts of Marjorie Haight Lydecker and Her Students.
I have to say up front, meeting Mrs. Lydecker, some of her students and seeing their quilts was one of the highlights of this year's festival for me. The influence of a quilt teacher is something like no other and I so wish I could have had a chance to sit and learn from her. Seeing these quilts sent QB and I on a quest to find a way to attend a class with either Jenna Kimball or head to the Applique Academy (big wish!) to soak in the work of Elly Sienkiewicz!

Post Script- found this fun video showing some of the preparations for hanging the exhibit. See it here.
To Be Continued.....

Jul 6, 2011

Revisiting the Vermont Quilt Festival...Part 1

For those of you who know me personally, and perhaps for those just getting to know me better, my starting with the special exhibit of Antique Vermont Quilts isn't a surprise.
Quilting Buddy (from now on known as QB in my postings) and I took full advantage this year of all the Festival has to offer. Our first new (for us) activity was to attend the Gallery Talk sponsored by the Vermont Historical Society whose quilt collection was showcased in Patterns of History: Quilts from the Vermont Historical Society Collection. Only half of their holdings were featured, and these quilts were amazing! They ranged from whole cloth quilts from the early 1800's to a more modern day example- a commemorative quilt made in 1991- not quite an antique yet! The Gallery Talk was led by the current curator, Jacqueline Calder. Come join me in a walk through.

This wool, linen and cotton quilt in a Log Cabin Variation pattern was made by Ella Hay Harris of Ludlow, Vt. in the late 1800's. It was donated to the historical society in 1954 by Ina Harding Harris.

Donated to the historical society in 1974 by Joanna Reed Parks, the maker's granddaughter, this cotton quilt in the Indian Hatchet pattern was made by "Grandmother" Webster of Marshfield, VT in about 1800.

This cotton quilt is a Cherry Basket pattern and was made by Lucy Hale prior to her marriage in 1852. It was donated by Ina Harris Harding and Maude Harding Schults in 1954.

This North Carolina Lily cotton quilt was made by Martha M. Rosebrook of Morgan, VT in about 1850. It was donated to the society in 2000 by Richard Whitehall. If you look behind the Lily, you will see a White and Red cotton Feathered Star similar to a California Star pattern. It was made by Hattie Phillips of Sough Duxbury, VT. in about 1870. This quilt was donated by Mrs. Charles Willard in 1964.

This cotton Shoofly Quilt was created by the members of the Baptist Church of East Hardwick, VT. for their pastor, the Rev. Albert Vinton. Reverend Vinton served at the church from 1878 to 1881. It was donated by Emily Clark in 1967.

This stunning quilt is all wool! Teenaged sisters, Sarah and Anne Holt of Berlin, VT. made the quilt in 1838 making the vibrancy of the colors today mind-boggling! The stitching throughout the quilt is a swirling pattern that gives great movement to the piece and showcases the talents of the sisters. The sisters stitched both their names and the date on the quilt, making it possible to document its origins. It was purchased by the society in 2010.

Below is another quilt that boggled my mind! A Crazy Quilt Variation, made by Philea A. Spear of Waitsfield, VT. in 1909 at the age of 84.

Philea recorded that the quilt took 12,976 pieces of material. Take a closer look:


To be continued.....

*** Note to my readers. I have tried to be extremely careful with the documentation of these photos. Should anyone notice that there is some misinformation please let me know as soon as possible so I can rectify my postings.
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