Quilt Gallery

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Big things and little things

First for the big thing.  I have finally finished the quilt I began back in 2010 to give to my parents for their 60th wedding anniversary in March of 2011!  The machine piecing went quickly, but the hand quilting took a while, mostly because I simply didn't have much time to work on it.  It is sized for a queen bed and so not the kind of thing to work on while waiting in the car pool line or at the sidelines of a lacrosse game.  Anyway, I designed it for my parents' mostly blue and yellow, traditional-style bedroom.  Among the quilted motifs are their initials in the center medallion (though I think the small initials should have been larger to be more visible), the years of their wedding and 60th anniversary, vines, flowers, hearts and feathers.  It also has the signatures of all their children and grandchildren.

While working on this quilt I also finished a few little things.  I find it helpful to have smaller projects going on along with big projects to add interest and to give me something I can carry around in my purse for unexpected free moments.  If I have something to work on those moments of waiting feel like a gift; if I don't have something to work on those moments feel wasted.  Two of those little projects are shown here.  I knit the socks using Melissa Morgan-Oakes' Tuscany pattern and toe-up, two at a time method, which I love because when I am done, I am done. No second sock or kitchener stitch finish required.

I made the dollhouse quilt and the fire screen needlepoint (note the quarter) because working in such a small scale seemed like fun, which it was.  And I think having a dollhouse would be fun.  Now I just need the dollhouse.  Oh yes, and the furniture, and the dolls.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Trip to the Pioneer Valley

I traveled to Massachusetts last November to visit my daughter and to run the Bemis-Forslund Pie Race which has been held at her school, Northfield Mount Hermon, every fall since around 1890 and is considered the oldest foot race in the United States.  It was great to see my daughter and to run the race, especially since I finished under "pie time" and consequently won a freshly baked apple pie.

But with five days on my own with no household or childcare responsibilities it became a week of total rest and indulgence.  The rest came from staying at the lovely Centennial House Bed and Breakfast in Northfield, MA where I was treated to delicious breakfasts every morning and equally delicious quiet every evening.  The indulgence came from visiting a number of local yarn and quilting shops and from touring around the area which I found quite beautiful in the late fall light.

I found Pickering Farm Quilt Shop tucked into a restored eighteenth century barn in the woods of Richmond, New Hampshire.  It is jammed full of cotton quilting fabrics along with wool for rug hooking and braiding, all beautifully displayed.  I also stopped at A Notion to Quilt, which has a wide selection of quilters cotton, on my way back from a visit to the charming little town of Shelburne Falls.
Shelburne Falls Bridge of Flowers
I got my yarn fix at Webs in Northampton, though made the mistake of leaving myself too little time to do any serious shopping.  Webs is HUGE!  Besides the main shop in the front (where they offer nice discounts for purchases over $60) you can go into the warehouse in back and find even bigger discounts on fabulous yarns.  So now I have at least one destination for my next visit.  Another great stop was Green Mountain Spinnery in Putney, Vermont.  The tiny shop is in the same building as the processing facility and the earthy odor leaves no doubt that they are spinning wool.  I picked up the yarn and pattern for Emilie's Hooded Scarf, a perfect, and quick, gift for my daughter who has been transplanted from Texas to New England.

The other great thing about visiting in mid-November was the short days which afforded me ample quiet time in the evenings to work on the projects I had brought along.  I made significant progress on my parents' 60th anniversary quilt and now hope to have it completed in time for their 61st anniversary.
Anniversary Quilt
I'll post a better picture of the quilt when it is done.  In the meantime, here are a few more photos of the Pioneer Valley.
Northfield Mountain, Massachusetts

The Schell Bridge, Northfield, Massachusetts