October 15, 2017: Cocheco Quilters Guild show; Budapest

Greetings!  My guild – the Cocheco Quilters Guild – had its annual show this weekend.  Every year I’m amazed at the wonderful quilts on display and the many talented quilters our guild has.  I am so lucky to be a part of this quilting community!

Spirit of Japan#3: Kuruma (the wheel) won a blue ribbon and a Judge’s Choice!

I was in charge of the Meet the Quilter exhibit and was at the set-up all day on Friday.  We featured 3 quilters.  2 of them were sisters, Patience Dixon and Louise Ford.  They are long time members of the guild, having joined the first year – 38 years ago!   For a long time both did exquisite hand quilting and hand appliqué.  They have continued making wonderful quilts but now have them machine quilted.  The third featured quilter is Mitzi Horne who has made some beautiful quilts and does a lot for the guild.  I’m afraid I didn’t get a lot of closeups, but click on the pictures to enlarge and see the exhibits more closely:

Here’s Patience’s exhibit (the Hawaiian is hand quilted!):

Here is Louise’s exhibit (check out the hand quilted masterpiece!):

And here is Mitzi’s excellent exhibit (wish I’d gotten a closeup of her Salzburg quilt – the one in between the 2 big ones – enlarging the third picture might help you see it better):

Martha Wilson won Best of Show for her beautifully home machine quilted quilt featuring birds – wonderful use of a panel!

There were several quilts with wool appliqué – more than I remember in any previous show so I think this is a trend; lots of quilters doing wool appliqué.  Here is a wool appliqué quilt that won a Viewer’s Choice.  Lots of great detailed hand embroidery embellishment!:

I will have many more pictures in upcoming posts!  Seems like I have stockpiled a lot of quilt pictures to share over several future posts.  I still have a few things from the World Quilt Show, I still have a lot from the New England Quilt Museum, and now our Cocheco Show!

Here are a few pictures from Budapest before I end this post:

We had a small balcony off our 5th floor apartment with an incredible view of St. Stephens Cathedral:

The view from our bedroom window:

The cathedral at night:

Evening view of the palace in Buda:

The Chain Bridge:

The Academy of Sciences:

One of our favorite activities – going to the Spa!!  Budapest has numerous public spas.  My husband played chess (not a picture of him as we left our phones in our locker and took pictures after we got out and got dressed!)

Another favorite activity – eating pastries in the fabulous cafes!

More to come!

I’m off to Taunton, MA tomorrow to give a trunk show to the Silver City Quilt Guild there.  It should be fun!  I have half the quilts packed – am taking 24! – and will do the rest in the morning.

Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day,   Gladi

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October 9, 2017: Vienna, part 3; World Quilt Festival, part 4; Back to “Stardust”

Greetings!  While in Vienna, we visited many beautiful churches:

and visited the Freud museum, which is located right where he lived and saw patients so we got to see the waiting room, the room in which he saw patients – the couch! – etc.  Al is a psychologist and I seriously considered going into psychiatry.  I did not go that route, but saw a lot of mental health patients in my primary care practice. So this was fascinating!

A highlight of the trip was going to the Vienna State Opera to see a performance of Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro”!!!  We brought dressy clothes just for the occasion (though my hair was a bit of a mess!):

The opera house was beautiful!

During intermission we saw the famous tapestries of “The Magic Flute”:

We saw street musicians in all three cities.  This accordionist in Vienna was incredible!

We saw beautiful floors and stained glass windows:

We went to several art museums and saw great art”

We saw beautiful buildings and statues:

After 4 wonderful days we left for Budapest.  On the way to Budapest we stopped at a famous Benedictine Abbey and couldn’t go into the church because there was a wedding going on but we were able to visit the fabulous library.  There were incredible original copies of books from the 15th century, onward.

Views of the abbey from a distance (I wasn’t able to get pictures on the way so these are a good way to see it!)

View from the abbey:

The amazing library:

On to Budapest (more next post!):

Here is more from the World Quilt Festival in August.  There was an exhibit of quilts from the Cherrywood Challenge – quilt makers had to illustrate The Lion King with selected fabrics.  This was a wonderful exhibit and here are just a few of my favorites:

I just loved the hand stitching in this one!!!!:

3 more quilts I enjoyed seeing at the Festival:

I have started hand quilting “Stardust” again after taking 3 months off.  I’m really glad I took a break and now feel ready to tackle this and finish it!!  I want it to be part of my exhibit at the New England Quilt Museum so it has to be finished by early January – should be very “do-able.”  I should have time to work on it steadily but also have some time for Twinkle and my EPP project.  I’ve put the pastel quilt away, probably until next spring when I’ll be ready to work with those colors again.

Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day,   Gladi

 

October 5, 2017: Busy week!!! Silk quilt update; Vienna, part 2; New England Quilt museum

Greetings!  It’s been a very busy week!!  First, both grandkids had birthdays, 2 days apart.  We celebrated them at the same time between soccer games on Saturday!  Dmitri turned 13 and we took him to the local bank to open a savings account as our gift:

We gave Sveta a 3/4 size guitar.  She turned 10!:

And I baked a chocolate cake for the celebration:

A great time was had by all!

Earlier this week we drove 2 hours to Brattleboro, VT to visit good friends from Nova Scotia.  Paul is a Rudyard Kipling fan and Kipling once lived in a house that he designed and had built, just outside of Brattleboro.  The house is beautiful and in a gorgeous location and is now for rent (by the day or week, I believe).  It has many of the original furnishings that Kipling had.  There’s a library with his books and much more.  A 4 night stay was a birthday gift to Paul and his wife, Lee, from his daughter and son in law – what a fabulous gift!!  It was wonderful to see our friends, have lunch with them, and tour this great spot:

I took advantage of the trip to Brattleboro to visit Delectable Mountain Cloth, a fabulous shop in downtown Brattleboro that specializes in silk fabrics, but they have lots more too.  I shopped for border fabric for my silk quilt!

Here are some pictures of the shop:

Wow, what a spot!  I, of course, brought along my silk quilt and tried all kinds of fabrics against it looking for just the right thing.  Muted colors didn’t work at all; it had to be something bright or a gold “neutral.”  In the end I decided on a one inch wide red strip against the center of the quilt with a wider – maybe 5-6 inches?? -gold strip outside that.  The gold I picked out is a deeper, richer gold than appears in these pictures.  The finished center of the top: (click on pics to enlarge)

The border fabrics ( really like the check pattern in the gold):

Laid against the quilt for an idea how it might look:

I have to decide if I’m going to appliqué and/or embroider anything on the border…..

I laid out the EPP fussy cut “stars” to show you how they might look when I start sewing them together with a background fabric:

And here is Twinkle with the lower border pinned up next to it (still appliquéing):

Yesterday I took a friend to the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, MA to see the current exhibit, “Gilding the Lily” which is FABULOUS!!!  It’s up for a couple more months – actually I think through December – so please get there and see it if at all possible!  Today I’m showing 2 of the quilts in the exhibit, but will show many more in upcoming posts.  The exhibit highlights embroidery and other embellishments on quilts.  My 2 favorite quilts in the exhibit are ones you’ve seen on my blog before because I saw them in quilt shows and loved them.  They are by 2 of my favorite quitmakers, Bobbie Korengold and Christine Wichert.  These quilts are so gorgeous and I was so happy to get to examine them closeup once again.  Here they are:

Bobbie’s quilt:

Christine’s quilt (all silk!!!):

Now for some more Vienna!  We had the famous sacher torte 3 times, plus other pastries and still lost weight on the trip because of all our walking (the second picture is the kitchen in the famous Demel Cafe):

The Hofburg palace garden area:

We visited this museum to see their famous collection of musical instruments.  They have the best collection of Renaissance instruments in the world, and they have a lot of instruments that famous composers and musicians used.

I loved some of the pictures showing instruments being played:

The main hall in the museum was vast and they also had an incredible collection of armor and weapons (which we were not as interested in!):

I think that’s enough visuals for today!!!  Of course, will share more from the trip and many more pictures from the NEQM exhibit soon.

Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day,  Gladi

October 4, 2017: The Czech Republic and Vienna (part 1)

Greetings!  After 5 days in Prague, we traveled to an old medieval town, Cesky-Krumlov, in southern Bohemia.  On the way we stopped at this gorgeous castle.  We took a tour, but unfortunately were not allowed to take pictures inside.  The woodwork, tapestries, etc. were beautiful.  (Click on pics to enlarge.)

!

Cesky-Krumlov also has a beautiful castle and we were also not allowed to take pictures inside.  The town, itself, is lovely.  Amazingly, we had our two best meals of the trip there!  We saw more lovely buildings with wonderful architectural details.

Look at the cobblestones I had to navigate!:

Then it was on to Vienna!  Prague and Vienna were our favorite places of the 4 we visited on the trip.  Look at the roof of St. Stephens Cathedral:

We went to the place Mozart lived when he was in Vienna:

I saw a fabulous exhibit of Art Nouveau works at the Museum of Decorative Arts.  Included were a couple of very large works by Gustav Klimpt.  I love all the texture and shapes in his work.

We visited a wonderful shop in Vienna that had gorgeous scarves and linens.  They also had a great selection of “Kantha” work – “big stitch” type hand quilting holding layers together on cotton fabric, usually courser than the kind of cotton with which we usually make quilts.  Often the stitching is on bright floral printed fabrics though not always.  Kantha seems most commonly used for bed covers and pillows, but I have seen coats and jackets done like this.  Here are the pictures I took in the shop.  Please enlarge to see the stitching details:

I hope to post again tomorrow with an update on what I’ve been up to the past couple days – very busy and quilt related! – and then more on our trip.

Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day,   Gladi

 

September 26, 2017: “Twinkle” comes out of hiding; EPP while traveling; more Prague; World Quilt Show pictures, Part 3

Greetings!  I took 2 English Paper piecing projects with me while we traveled in Europe.  In the evening and early morning when I didn’t feel like reading, they were the perfect way to relax.  I finally – FINALLY – have the lower border of “Twinkle” planned using the English Paper pieced pentagon flowers I made on the trip.  Here is a “mock up” showing an idea of how it’s going to look and pictures of all the little “flowers” I made on the trip.  Am also including a couple pics of the rest of the quilt since I haven’t shown it in a while (click on pics to enlarge):

I also started an EPP project using reproduction fabrics and showed a few of these in my post just before the trip.  I made about a dozen more on the trip:

I have another dozen cut out and ready to carry around with me as a portable project.  I’ll be shopping soon for a background fabric to start joining all of these.

All three cities we  visited were very involved in the Art Nouveau movement at the turn of the 20th Century.  In Prague I took a tour of the Municipal Building which is known as one of the most beautiful art nouveau buildings in Europe.  Here are some pictures of some of the features in some of the rooms:

The Alphonse Mucha room – everything in it done by him:

Textiles with art nouveau designs:

I loved the fact that we literally stumbled across this plaque of Beethoven in Prague while out wandering, having no idea that we would come across a place where he stayed for several months and composed some of his pieces!

Here are a few more pictures of quilts from the World Quilt Show, as promised!

Lovely design in machine appliqué:

 

An honorable mention in the Traditional quilt category:

Award for best quilt from Israel – love the details on this one!!:

Like this design a lot:

I thought this was the best of the 4 (only 4, sob!) Japanese quilts in the show and I liked the hand work:

Next post I’ll show pictures from Cesky-Krumlov in the Czech Republic where we spent 2 nights and maybe get to some Vienna pictures.  I hope to have the center of my silk quilt completed within the next few days!  There are still more pictures from the World Quilt Show.  Stay tuned!

Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day,  Gladi

 

September 24, 2017: Back from a great vacation! Some pictures from Prague

Greetings!  I’m back from a marvelous vacation to Prague, Vienna, and Budapest and I did not get injured this time!!!  Navigating the cobblestones, especially in Prague, was a challenge, but I was cautious and did well.  Al and I walked and walked and walked – according to our phone apps, we walked an average of 6 miles per day or close to 100 miles for the whole trip.  I’m sure that’s why we were able to indulge in some fabulous pastries and actually lose weight while we were away!  These cities are great for walking and wandering and we took advantage.  I’m posting a bunch of pictures today just from Prague and will follow up with more posts soon with pictures from our other stops in addition to updates of my sewing activities and more pictures from the World Quilt Show.  Today, however, I’m still a bit jet-lagged and will stick to just sharing some representative pictures from Prague.

A good view of the Castle District from the main bridge (click to enlarge any pics):

Some pictures of buildings in the old Town Square – Prague was mostly spared in WW2 so is full of gorgeous buildings from the Renaissance, Baroque, and Classical periods.  They are just everywhere you look and in good condition – the place is like a fairy tale!!!!

The famous astronomical clock built in the 1400’s and still working:

The cobblestone streets were set in geometric designs familiar to quilters!

St. Vitus Cathedral at the top of the Castle district – reminds me of Notre Dame in Paris:

flying buttresses:

gargoyles:

Famous Alphonse Mucha stained glass in the church:

Tile roofs:

Steep Neruda Street leading up to the castle:

Examples of decorative elements on buildings everywhere you go:

Yours truly!:

Al with our friend and guide for one day, Pavla.  She lives on the outskirts of the city and did a great job showing us around:

This is all I can muster today; much more to come very soon!  I thoroughly enjoyed our trip, but it’s nice to be home, too.

Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day,   Gladi

September 1, 2017: 1. World Quilt Show pictures, part 2 2. Getting ready for a trip!!

Greetings!  Here are a few more of the wonderful quilts I saw at the World Quilt Show 2 weeks ago.  Click on the pictures to enlarge and enjoy the wonderful details!

Beautiful appliqué and hand quilting on this one!

This next one won third place in the “traditional” category –  hand appliquéd and quilted – amazing details!

Loved the mosaic technique in this one, a best of country winner:

I want to make a log cabin quilt with logs as skinny as these (an honorable mention winner)!!!:

Amazing use of yarn in this next quilt!  I don’t see myself ever doing this, but the effect was great in this quilt, another best of country winner:

Compare this winner of best “traditional” machine workmanship with the winner of the best traditional hand workmanship quilt I showed in the last post – same design!!!  Interesting to contrast the hand and machine quilting.  (Sorry I didn’t get the name of the quilter downloaded in this group – will try to include in next post):

I just love these “millefiori” designs and hope to make one some day:

 

That’s enough for today!  There are more for future posts so stay tuned!

Meanwhile, Al and I are leaving on a trip on Monday:

It’s going to be so exciting!  Lots of art, architecture, history, and culture!  I won’t be posting again until after we get back on 9/21.  We rented apartments  through VRBO in Prague and Budapest and are staying in a hotel in Vienna.  We’ll be doing A LOT of walking and I think my knee is up for it.  I’ll be posting pictures, of course, after we return, but I won’t be posting while we are away.  I’m prepping a travel sewing kit for the trip – all English Paper Piecing, which I think is ideal for this type of trip.  I’m making pentagonal flowers for the lower border of “Twinkle” – I think these are just “folk-artsy” enough for this quilt:

See the little TSA approved travel scissors I bought!

And I’m starting a new long term EPP project with reproduction fabrics.  Here are 4 pieces that I completed already:

I’ve prepped another dozen “stars” and will shop for background fabric after the trip.  This should be enough sewing since I also have books to read – all on my phone!  I’m going to be reading books on poetry.  I’ve not missed a day of writing a haiku for 3 months now!

Meanwhile the silk quilt is coming along – getting close to finishing the bottom part:

Happy labor day weekend to all.  I’ll be back late September!

Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day,  Gladi