Remember - Its not the length of your life that's important - it's the depth.

Monday, 31 October 2011

The Final Few Days

Friday 24th. 
After leaving Lake Morey we traveled back towards Boston and our final four days of the holiday, on the way stopping at Hart's Turkey Farm for lunch (which was not a farm at all, just a restaurant selling Turkey!), before arriving at Keepsake Quilting shop (here) which was huge enormous, at over 5,000 square feet and yet more fabric shopping (which I found difficult! of course!!! :-))) Then a long journey through Boston  in the rush hour to our hotel in Plimouth which was just a stone's throw from the water front  On our arrival we were ushered into a large room for a 'little surprise' in the form of a warm welcome by one of the early arrivals to this area, the woman dressed appropriately in 16th Century costume asked about our journey, and told us a little of her adventures since arriving in this 'strange land'. 
Saturday 25th
After a meal and a good-nights sleep we breakfasted at a great little diner with tables outside, which set us up for more 'adventures' at another QUILT SHOP! This time Tumbleweed quilts in Hyannis (here) where we were made very welcome, and managed to buy a bit of fabric before going onto the Avery Museum in Centreville. The  Museum ladies had prepared a lovely hot lunch and 'proper tea', served from China tea pots and drunk from delicate little bone china cups and saucers (which we later discovered were all Antiques!!!) After a short introduction by the Curator we looked around the museum which was in a large house, they have a few quilts but mostly other Artifacts covering the social and Naval history of the area and all very interesting. The Curator told us of a private Quilt collection in Barnstable, Cape Cod, which he had arranged for us to visit. We arrived in a very exclusive area right on the water and were made welcome by the collector and her husband, who have been collecting quilts for some years. As an artist she explained, she is attracted by the colours and patterns more than the workmanship. The collection were mostly Amish quilts and all very beautiful, we spent some time in her garden where she pointed out homes of the rich and famous  across the bay, but the view was disappearing fast in the approaching sea fog so, on the advice of our hosts we made our way back to the hotel.
Sunday 26th
Today was a day for sightseeing in Boston including a Trolley bus tour of the city's main points of interest. This included Boston Common, Bunker Hill and then a boat tour of the harbour. Lunch was found in Quincey's Market where I am sure you could eat every meal for a fortnight without repeating the menu, the colours and smells from all the different vendors selling food from around the world was simply out of this wonderful! 
Monday 26th 
After breakfast at the diner we were off, to visit Plimouth Plantation the living history museum of the Pilgrim Fathers. Here are houses and buildings re-created exactly as they would have been when built by the first settlers, all the people are in costume and have taken on the role of someone who actually arrived on the Mayflower, they are going about their daily business or chores, (baking, gardening etc) and talk to you 'in  period' so it takes a while to work out what to ask but I thoroughly enjoyed it all. There is also an Indian village again where you can go inside the homes and see how they were living then. Following this we went back to town to go on board 'Mayflower II' which is an exact replica of the original ship, its very hard to believe the conditions these people sailed in and the fact that any of them survived the journey. We then had the rest of the day free to explore Plimouth itself. Returning to the hotel for a shower and change of clothes for our last night dinner, and a show & tell of the best (& worst) of our purchases, there was much laughter all round at some of the items which included a box of Lucky Stars cereal (bought by Margaret for her 30 something son, who loved these when he was a boy & now unavailable in the UK!). After Dinner we presented Terry our 'Oh so patient and understanding' Driver with a few parting gifts, While at the retreat we  made him and Linda his wife 2 Mug rugs from some of our Freebie Fat 1/4's, we also gave him a gift from the UK and donated him a box of tea bags (to save carrying them home!). then after exchanging email address's with everyone we went off to bed. On Tuesday morning we were up and out of the hotel to go back into Boston where we had time for a bit more sightseeing and another meal in Quincey's market before being picked up to go to the airport for our overnight flight back to the UK. 
And so it was over, 9 quilt shops, 6 Museums & Covered Bridges, in 14 days... would I do it again? YOU BET!
And so what of my purchases well there's another story!!!!
See you all soon

Friday, 28 October 2011

Sewing Retreat!! (AKA Died and Gone to Heaven)

We arrived at the Lake Morey Resort in Fairlea Vermont (see Here) around tea time on Monday 19th after a longish drive from Woodstock. We were joined on the bus by Elaine Pillsbury (owner of Sunshine Carousel Quilt Shop & tutor) and Marion Adams (tutor) who greeted us with a warm welcome before ushering us down to the SEWING ROOM (it was a conference room really but who cared?) which had been already set up with machines, cutting equipment and irons, quilts hanging up to show the projects we could work on plus fabric & notions for sale. The view from the windows was straight out of  'On Golden Pond' with trees just showing the early signs of Fall, houses on the opposite shore, a light mist floating above the trees and Loons swimming & diving on the water. 
There were introductions all round including Laura from New York (the only American on the retreat), followed by some short demonstrations on an 'elf and safety' theme :-)))) we were informed that we could 'put our slippers on and not take them off till we boarded the bus to leave' and 'sew all night if we wished'.  In every room (ours was big enough to be a suite with a view of the Golf Course!) there were goodie bags containing Notebook & pen, perfumed candle, udder cream and some sweeties, Sheila and I unpacked and had a cuppa before going down to dinner in the restaurant which was - you guessed it!!! overlooking the lake, after food to die for some of the party went downstairs to start sewing. The rest of the days that followed were quiet (well Almost!!!) and peaceful with the sound of whirring machines as some of the girls worked on their projects aided by Elaine and Marion, while others including me worked on our own  hand projects brought from home. 
 On Wednesday the weather was clear and very warm, arriving in the sewing room we were told this would be the day of the Balloon flight pre - booked by 2 of our party, we were all asked if we would like to go and see the 'lift off' and of course everyone did. Around lunchtime a whisper went round that 'someone else' has asked to go, after a bit of asking around I discovered it was Sheila (now before leaving the UK we had discussed this and agreed that we would not be doing it!!) right I thought if she's going so am I!!!. We left for the airfield (which was actually more a large field)  around 4pm and met Brian our pilot. Now there's an eccentric man, he's the proud owner of what he calls the Rusty Dusty Museum where he has collected just about anything and everything you could think of including a lifebelt reputed to have come off the Titanic, and a sculpture made from crutches that climbs up through the ceiling into the 2nd story of the building,  AND he's adding to it all the time, we were shown his extensive collection of Balloon 'baskets' including a canoe, and a Messerschmidt car which, we were assured, they not only could fly but have!!! Several years ago one of Brian's buildings collapsed and from the resulting pile of wood he built the Vermontosaurus which is life sized, here you can see some of the girls taking a look at it. 

 This was about the last picture I persuaded my camera to take, after this it was definitely not 'appy! I believe Heather took some of us taking off and if I can get hold of a copy I will post it later.
 We then helped Brian get the balloon ready, and climbed elegantly  into the basket (not easy!) and we were off. I have never been so terrified in my life and could hardly believe what I was doing! - me who gets dizzy on the stairs! but I would not have missed it for the world, it was absolutely beautiful, and so peaceful, drifting up over the forest towards the mountains. At over 1 mile high we could see the Lake and Hotel in the far distance, one of the passengers an elderly gentleman named Walter was asking lots of questions about the Mountains then explained he had worked in a Logging camp in this area at age 14 and had canoed the length of the Connecticut river alone14 times during his life, we later discovered he was 94 years old and still working!!!! What a man. After about an hour Brian looked for somewhere to land and chose a pull in/lay-by on the side of the highway, this I thought is going to be interesting as UV's slowed to wave to us, however with the help of the 'ground team' and some passing motorists we were safely down. After packing up the balloon we drank a Champagne toast to all the intrepid 'flyers' returning to the hotel for a late dinner. The rest of the retreat was continued in a similar restful vein with lots of laughter good food and good company and most of the party almost completing their projects for a Show & tell. Di our tour organizer presented Elaine & Marion with some flowers as a thank you for all their hard work.
 and the final night dinner was poignant to say the least here are two pictures of all of us taken by Laura (sadly the one person I don't have a picture of!)
L-R Me, Elaine, Fred (Elaine's partner), Bridget, Maggie & Susan
L-R Sheila, Heather, Di, Margaret, Ganey, Helen, Helen, Eva & Marion
Well I thought we were all there but now I notice Doreen is missing, I think she's hiding behind Susan in the top photo so here she is with her quilt top made in 3 days!!

Well that's it for this post see you all again soon with the final part of the trip . I'm off to CTQ tomorrow and I have to pack a few thing.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Hi All!

On Thursday last I missed a programe I have been watching for around 5 weeks so I thought Hm mm it's on repeat on Monday so I'll watch it then - or so I thought!!  I have now discovered it's not on till 11pm!! now that's a bit late for Lil ol me but I have watched the whole series so far and I don't want to miss this episode, so how do I stay awake?? I know I'll go and talk my blogger friends.
Having added the Process Pledge Button to my site I thought I would show you some things I'm working on at the moment. Remember I showed you all those little 3/4" 'hexies' I made in August, just before I went off to the States, (I made 45 sets altogether, now there's 7 'hexies' in each flower, so 47 X 7 = ?? a LOT! ). Well! I didn't sew on the flight as planned but worked on them during the 'Retreat' part of the holiday, then a few more at an SVQ sewing afternoon, then they came with me to Devon last week and I sewed a few more so this is what I have so far,

 Having not done a Hexagon project before I was unsure how they would go together, so having found that occasionally there are 'natural gaps' I decided just to add random single hexagons in the spaces. I think I will make them into a Doll's Cot quilt for my darling GD, even if she does not have a doll yet! The wooden drop-side dolls cot my Dad built for me is still in the attic just waiting for another little girl to play with it and I think this quilt may just be the right scale. What do you think don't they look cute?
On October 8th I attended a workshop with Katherine Guerrier  (details here Here) with some of the girls from SVQ, the workshop was entitled 'Scrap Quilts for the Fabric Collector' and was just the thing, I thought, to reduce my scraps even further. We had a great day and this is what I managed to make (despite my Machine playing up long story...)
 The A Block
and another 'A'  Block

The 'B' block
I have yet to make the 'C' block but the fabric is cut ready to sew, (very small pieces).  The starting point is 1/2 square triangles which are made using 4" squares cut down to 3 1/2" after sewing, then the smaller blocks are sewn and added in to the centres and the even smaller ones are added as and where you think fit.  I have cut a load more 4" squares and plan to make more blocks whenever I have the time/inclination to sew something quick.
I am still planning to finish some more UFO's but the next project awaiting my attention has not yet 'jumped' out of the UFO box yet.
Well that's about it for tonight, I'm off to watch that programe and then it's 'beddy byes'  for me
Night night all!

Friday, 21 October 2011

I Am Returned Again!!!

Once more I am returned from holiday (is this woman ever home? I hear you exclaim) well I am and I'm here to prove it. I have spent a lovely few days away with my Mum in Glorious Devon, the weather was kind and we got out every day, something Mum does not always achieve at home, and we ate too much but that's what you do on holiday!
I thought it was time to say a little bit more about my trip to the USA last month, I can hardly believe its a month already!!! Now where did I leave off Oh yes....
18th September. Up early and on the bus to Cold Hollow Cider Farm in Waterbury, this was not your usual English cider more a delicious Apple juice, the the farm was not really a farm (no animals & no Apple trees) but was interesting, we saw the machinery being used to make the 'cider' and got a taster plus we bought fresh donuts and cookies, 

This was their truck - I love American trucks!
Next we went to Ben & Jerry's Ice cream factory - again very interesting and yummy, the free taster was Mint Choc Chip, now I don't usually like minty ice cream (something to do with HOT and COLD in the same mouthful) but this was 'mmmmouthwateringly delish' and changed my mind about minty ice cream completely.
Our next stop was Shelburne Museum where the buildings were all historical structures giving a taste of life in  earlier days.

 There was a large collection of old quilts which were stunning, however I'm afraid this was where my camera started playing up so I only have a few good pictures and unfortunately I forgot to write down any dates in the frustration with my camera.
Roman stripe

Crazy Star

Straight Furrow

Crazy quilt
19th September.
On the bus early for a long drive, we travelled through beautiful scenery up through the cloud base, over the Appalachian Mountains and down the other side to visit to another farm ( a real one this time!) called Billings Farm, this farm has a long history of conservation plus a beautiful herd of Jersey Cows, all descendants of a herd brought from Jersey over 100 years ago by a forward looking farm manager, The house has been kept  'in period' to show what the Managers home was like and had many 'mod cons' considered luxury for the time such as hot & cold running water and flush toilets. The farm was hosting a 25th Anniversary quilt show to celebrate the 250th Anniversary (1761 - 2011) of the town of Sharon on the White River, luckily my camera behaved itself and this is a small selection of the quilts. The first picture is some info about the show, if you click on it you should be able to read it.


quilt & one of the cows

9 Patch

Juror's Choice



'Illusions' class

Curator's Choice

People's Choice
There were many more wonderful exhibits, but too many to put here I think. after leaving the farm we headed off for Lake Morey and a 4 day sewing retreat so I'll post some thoughts about that next time. Well DH has just been in to say Goodnight so it must be that time of night again so I'll sign off for now. I'm off to 'work' tomorrow as its the first lesson of my beginners QAYG course.

Friday, 14 October 2011

A Short Post!

I came back from helping to set up Severn Valley Quilter's quilt show, bringing home Fish and Chips (who can be bothered to cook after arriving at the hall at 8am to help set up a quilt show and have it open for 2 pm ?) Last week we only had 38 entries so an urgent email was sent to all members to get a move on, (all entries have to be logged for insurance purposes!) and boy did they come up with the goods:-)))) by 1.30pm we had A QUILT SHOW with over 100 entries, however while setting up something fell on me - complete accident  - but you should see the bruises- Ok! Ok! I won't post pictures of those!!!
I have resembled the proverbial headless chicken this week - logging in Quilts, sending info to Heather for making quilt labels, 3 appointments with Mum, visits from DD, Baby H & 2 large Dogs, a Wednesday Sewing afternoon, giving a talk Wednesday evening and picking up our Guest Quilter's quilt last night. 
Here are a few pictures to whet your appetites.
23 Pennants for 2012 - Chairman's Challenge

Carys' 'Stained Glass Daffodils'

Wendy's 'Cats With Attitude' 

Another one from Wendy
Kimono wall hangings from a Judy Mendelssohn Workshop

more wall hangings

Trudy's Owl Family
I don't know the all the quilt titles but they are worth a look I think!
Tomorrow its back to the show all day, take it all down at the end, then come home and collapse into bed. Well it's off to bed for me, I'll be back as soon as I can!

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Traveller returns!

Hello Everyone,
I can't believe Its almost a month since my last post, and what a month it has been, as you may remember I was off on my travels to the USA with my good friends Sheila and Heather. There is sooo much to tell you all, so I guess I'll start at the beginning and continue the story over the next couple of posts.
We travelled to London on 13th September staying over night near Heathrow so we were in good time for meeting up at with the Tour Organizer and the rest of our group for a morning flight out on 14th. After an uneventful flight into Boston we were picked up by Terry Blessing (what a great name!) who had driven 7 hours from Amish County to be our bus driver) we spent one night in Nashua before traveling out the next day to stay in Burlington, Vermont for 4 nights. A visit to the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, was planned for the 15th. We had a guided tour of some historical quilts (sorry no photos allowed) before spending time looking round the town,  a former Mill Town built along a river, with a very similar history to mill towns in the UK circa 1800's.
This was painted on the side wall of the Museum
One of the Mill buildings now used by other business's
Town Centre - Lowell
In the Museum shop was this gorgeous old machine
The only old quilt we were allowed to photograph!
On 16th we boarded the bus for a trip to take the scenic route to Lake Champlain a very beautiful area and reputedly the Lake has its own monster called 'Champ' (similar to Scotland's Nessie) but he wasn't around on the day we were there. 
A view over the lake
We stopped for coffee in a little Tea shop that was straight out of 'Friends' -all comfy sofas, huge cups of Hot Chocolate with cookies and cakes galore. On our return to the bus Terry had found us an unexpected treat in the form of a super little Quilt Shop! we were made very welcome by the 2 ladies and proceeded to spend spend etc. before setting off to visits to Forever Blooms Quilt shop and Sew Many Treasures Quilt shop (YES! you guessed it more damage to the purse!! :-))))) At Sew Many Treasures we were made most welcome and allowed to take as many pictures as we wanted so here are a couple to make you drool.
A view of the workroom - all light and airy.
The other end and Susan enjoying the goodies put out for us!

A sample quilt in the shop hung over the bolts of fabric
We returned to the hotel and went out for dinner to compare our stories of bargains found (or missed!)
17th September. Up early and off again on the bus, this time for a visit to Bragg's Farm Maple Sugar Works. This is a family business who every Spring still collect Maple Syrup in the traditional way by going out while there is snow on the ground and hammering small taps into the trees to make the sap run which is then collected in buckets, we were shown a short film about the process from tree to syrup before being let loose in the farm shop.
The barn, a wagon & pumpkins!
View from the front porch with rocking chairs for sale
We then travelled to Northfield Vermont for look at some covered bridges which were very beautiful, along the way we saw much evidence of damage caused by 'Hurricane Irene',  there were whole trees and boulders lying along the sides of the roads and rivers,  many houses had piles of filthy mud soaked furniture, carpets and toys on the front lawns and all along the roadsides Cornfields were simply laid waste. How we felt for them all!
This bridge crosses the Dog River and was 1 of  3 we saw here.
Lower Bridge - the 3rd bridge was farther up the hill,
After returning to the bus our trusty driver took us to Maplewood Quilt shop Northfield and then Yankee Pride Quilts, Essex Junction in order that we were able to shop a bit more, at Yankee Pride I sneakily took these pictures of 2 small quilts on the wall which took my eye.
Well that's probably enough for one day, I'll be back soon with some more 'adventures'. it may be a few days as I'm mighty busy this month and don't have one whole weekend free. Its Severn Valley's Quilt Exhibition on 14th & 15th, I'm teaching a new set of students on 22nd and then it's Clock Tower on 29th. Add to that my Mum has LOADS of appointments this month so I'll be a taxi most days next week and I'm taking Mum away for a few days.
And last but not least I cannot resist popping on a couple of pictures of My darling granddaughter- Oh! how I missed her...and Oh! how she grew while I was away.
Working out in the gym
Happy days of fun and laughter 21.9.11
Byeee for now.