October 16, 2019: “Star Trek” is Best of Show!; Cocheco Show pictures, part 1

Greetings!  What an excellent show my guild – Cocheco Quilters Guild of Dover, NH – puts on, year after year!  Kudos to all the guild volunteers that make the show possible!   This year’s show was a great success with lots of beautiful quilts, vendors, demos, a penny sale and lots of attendees.  And “Star Trek” was Best of Show, though there was lots of tough competition!  (Click on pics to enlarge)

Lorayne’s Legacy won a Judge’s Choice award!

And Winter Solstice got a blue ribbon:

I didn’t have my 3 little tessellating whirligigs judged, but I heard compliments from a lot of folks:

Here are just a few of the other quilts in the show – enjoy!

This quilt was a WOW!  Intricate piecing and great mix of blue colors with hints of green:

My friend Rosemary made this fun quilt after she took the Linda Hahn “New York Beauty” class this spring:

A beautiful quilt, expertly made, by Wendy Coffin – what a border!!!

And here’s Wendy with her other quilt in the show, which is a bit more subdued :):)

This is an amazing whole cloth quilt that was ice dyed by Jonas and long arm quilted beautifully by Sue Foster (who quilted Winter Solstice and Lorayne’s Legacy for me):

A fabulous mini by Rainy Stevens!  This was all made by hand.  The quality of the appliqué (all outlined with a single strand of black thread) and the hand quilting is outstanding and the quilt rightly won a Judge’s Choice.
This quilt was part of our yearly challenge and this year’s theme was celebrating “unusual” holidays.  This one was about a holiday for squirrels – can’t remember the exact name!!

Rainy spent some time in our “Quilts in Progress” area at the show where members sit and work on a project and show attendees can stop by and ask questions and see quilts being worked on.   Here she is with her absolutely stunning Baltimore Album in progress:

Here’s a wonderful machine made quilt by Martha Wilson which was also part of the guild’s challenge this year:

This was an excellent modern style quilt – I love that our guild has quilters with a mix of interests and techniques and not just all traditional quilters.  I love traditional quilts, but I enjoy seeing what modern and art quilters are doing too.

And on the other end of the spectrum, I love that this top was rescued and completed!!!  Isn’t it gorgeous!

Lots more quilts from the show coming in the next post so stay tuned!

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

October 7, 2019: “Lorayne’s Legacy” completed!; Cocheco Quilters Guild annual show coming up!

Greetings!  Last week my quilt, “Lorayne’s Legacy” was returned to me by Sue Foster, the long arm quilter who quilted it.  I had the binding all ready and had that sewn on in a couple of days and then added the sleeve and label over the weekend.  Tomorrow I deliver the quilt for our Cocheco Quilters Guild annual show this coming up this weekend.  Whew – just under the wire!!  I’m pleased with the quilting – pretty simple and it lets the fabrics shine.  Sue did a nice job, as usual.  Sorry – the only place I had to display it is the kitchen floor  (click on pics to enlarge):

Here’s my label, honoring Lorayne Dodge who gifted me the hand painted fabrics:

The border:

The pieced back:

It will be hanging in the Cocheco show this weekend so I should be able to get a good picture then!  Lorayne is in her 90’s but I hope she can make it to the show to see it.  If not, I hope I can arrange a visit to show it to her.

I added embroidered vines for the berries and some of the leaves for the Hospital Sketches borders.  Here it is, first, without the vines:

And here are some pics showing the added embroidery – definitely worth it!

Still haven’t finished the last block or the corners.  Spent time instead prepping berries, leaves, and flowers for the second border for “Time of Plenty.”

I have a super busy week ahead!  Wednesday and Thursday I’m helping with the judging of over 100 quilts for the Cocheco annual show – I’m not judging, but am helping the 3 judges we’ve hired.  This is the first time we’ve had so many quilts to judge that we had to devote  2 days instead of one to it.  Then on Friday I’m helping with the show set-up.  In particular, as a member of the judging committee I have to help put ribbons on the quilts later in the day.  Then the show is Saturday and Sunday and I do my EPP demonstration Saturday AM and then will help out wherever needed the rest of the weekend – WHEW!!!

I do believe I’m recovered enough from my fall that I can do this,  but will make sure I take breaks.   And I should have another batch of wonderful quilt show pictures to start sharing with you next post!

I am enjoying the spots of oranges and reds and golds showing up on the trees the past week.  No better place to be than New England to enjoy fall foliage!

Ursula discovers apples (no teeth yet!):

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


October 1, 2019: A delightful (perfect!) day with Wendy Reed!; Recovery milestones!

Greetings!  I’m happy to report further progress on my recovery!  I started driving again 2 days ago and am having no trouble with it.  (Don’t tell my orthopedist that I started a few days before  the 6 weeks were up :):))  I am walking (limping a little) in the house without the cane most of the time (with permission!) but have to use the cane when I’m out and about for a while longer (in case of uneven surfaces).  And I took my first bath since the injury – we have a deep soaking tub and it would have been tough and potentially dangerous getting in and out earlier.  I love baths and reading in the tub so am really happy about this.  We take so much for granted and often don’t realize what we have until it is gone.

I had absolutely the most delightful day this past Saturday – it was much needed after my long  “confinement”!!   Al drove me up to Bath, Maine – about 100 miles northeast of here – to spend the day with Wendy Reed (of “The Constant Quilter” blog). This was my first visit to her place and I wanted to see her quilts, her stash, and to go shopping at the “Busy Thimble”, her friend Cyndi’s shop in Litchfield, ME.  We had a marvelous day since we are “2 peas in a pod,” especially re our obsession with quilt making and love of reproduction fabrics and hand quilting.  We never ran out of things to talk about.  Our husbands had a great day together too!

Here is Wendy’s feedsack stash – wow!:

And here is her “room” full of reproduction fabrics (there are also drawers of actual vintage fabric too – I couldn’t get a good angle for a picture that shows everything – again, wow! :

She did a “bed turning” for me of some of her quilts.  Wendy is known for her use of reproduction fabrics, great color choices, and excellent hand quilting.  She’s also known for putting together her quilts with the “Potholder” method – quilting and binding sections/blocks individually and then stitching them together.  I think I want to try this!

We shopped at the Busy Thimble and I was thrilled with the fabric selection – never have I seen so many reproduction fabrics in one place!  A true MECCA for anyone loving these fabrics.  That’s Cyndi – the shop owner – on the left, Wendy on the right, and Sue Watters, quilter and pattern designer from England in the middle, who was in the shop when we were there!

I could have bought so much more than I did, but had to restrain myself!!!!  Here’s what I came away with:

It was amazing to find a lot of older reproduction fabrics that are no longer in print.  I think all we fabric lovers have “all time favorites” that we are sad to use up.  I managed to find half a yard of one of those all time favorite fabrics in a different colorway in the shop:

In 2007 I made this quilt using that fabric in black for the border.  I think I bought a yard and used the rest as a backing – always wished I had more!  What a thrill to find the red version!

After lunch at an authentic old diner with excellent food, we went on to a second shop, Alewives.  This shop is very different – mostly contemporary fabrics, but excellent choices:

Neither of us bought any fabrics there because we were worn out from shopping at the Busy Thimble!  But it was fun looking.  It was such a special day!!!!!!!!  I’m so glad that Wendy and I live close enough for occasional get togethers and I hope there are many more to come!

I finally finished the 4 borders for the Hospital Sketches project!  Now have to make the final block and the 4 corners before putting it all together:

After completing those HS borders, I finally got started with the actual appliqué and embroidery (stems and flower petal details) on the first border for “Time of Plenty”:

Up till now I have mostly done needle-turn appliqué, turning the edges under as I stitch the pieces to the background.  This time around, I’m really enjoying how quickly the stitching goes when the edges are already pre-turned under.  I think I’ll be doing more of this in the future.

I’m closing this time with a couple pictures of my 2 granddaughters.  The older just turned 12!:

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

September 21, 2019: “Slow stitching”

Greetings!  Whenever I begin hand quilting a large quilt,  I revisit the whole notion of “time” and “slow stitching.”  I am well aware that the project is going to take many months – sometimes even more than a year – to complete.  Hours and hours and hours of work will go into the finished quilt – and that’s on top of the hours and hours already put in to complete the top!!  Is it worth it?  (click on pics to enlarge and see the stitching!)

I recently learned about a book by Claire Wellesley-Smith called “Slow Stitch:  Mindful and Contemplative Textile Art.”  On Amazon you can see a few pages of the book before buying.  There’s a quote by John Freeman at the beginning:  “The speed at which we do something – anything – changes our experience of it.”  I love that!

The author says in her preface:  ” I see a slow approach as a celebration of process; work that has reflection at its heart and skill that takes time to learn.”

“By slowing down my own textile practice, I have developed a deeper emotional commitment to it, to the themes I am exploring, and to the processes I use.”

“This book…explores slow processes that allow thinking time and create a real connection with the object you are making.”

I find hand stitching meditative and relaxing – an “escape” in some ways from the wild and busy world we live in.  It was always a refuge for me when I was working as a busy physician, juggling work and family.  And now, retired, I still find it a refuge!  I’m a thinker and hand stitching is a way to give my brain time to think.  And I still love the look and feel of a hand quilted quilt.  I like making and creating – I think those are important aspects of being human.  So, yes, it’s worth it!!!  This sounds like a book I will need to purchase!

My favorite hand quilting tools are a Roxanne thimble on my right middle finger, a rubber cot on my right index finger to pull the needle through, and Gutterman 30 wt. silk thread which easily glides through the fabric.  I use a variety of size 10 “between” needles – John James, Foxglove, Roxanne, or the relatively new (expensive!!) Japanese ones – I’m blanking on the name right now!  I use a square 14 inch wooden hoop.

TIP: The key to making small stitches is to start aiming your needle back down into the fabric as soon as you see the tip coming up from below. In order to do this your light must be coming from the  right spot/angle to you can see the shine as that tip comes up.

Hand appliqué – also slow stitching! – I’ve been working on – “Hospital Sketches” borders:

My quilt guild’s annual show is coming up in just 3 weeks!  That means labels and sleeves for the quilts.  Here are labels I made and applied this past week:

I’m entering 3 large quilts and the 3 Modern Minis and everything is ready except for Lorayne’s Legacy which just went off to the longarmer for quilting:

I’ve started making the binding so I will be ready to put it on as soon as I get the quilt back.  I use Nancy Johnson-Srebro’s method from her book Rotary Magic for connecting the binding strips.  Snipping that 3/8 inch off the 45 degree angle makes the pieces fit perfectly every time.  If you have anything other than perfectly fitting pieces with the method you use I highly recommend trying this:

I’m continuing to make progress in my healing and am enjoying the beautiful late summer weather.  Life is good.

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


September 16, 2019: Making progress!; a few more Maine show pictures

Greetings!  I have progressed in my recovery to the point where I am exclusively getting around with a cane – no more walker!!!!  I still have discomfort with any weight bearing by my left leg, but it is gradually lessening and is tolerable with the use of the cane.  I just have to be patient!  The next significant step will be the ability to walk without a cane – not sure when that will happen, but am happy with current progress.

Another thing that is making me happy is that I can now start to play the accordion again!  We’ve rigged up a way for me to have it on a chair next to the one I’m sitting on and I can slide it over to my lap.  I can also cross my legs the way I need to to hold it without pain – yay!  I didn’t realize how much I was missing playing!

So what happens when a quilt maker is laid up at home with a lower body injury?   Lots and lots of hand work!  I have been working exclusively on the Hospital Sketches sew-along.  I completed block #8:

I have 2 borders appliquéd and about 1/3 of the third one appliquéd and I have all the parts – leaves, berries, vine, – made and ready for the 4th border.  It’s almost too big for my design wall (click on pics to enlarge):

No way I would have been this far with the project if I hadn’t had my injury!!  I have “mock” sashing up on the design wall – I cut strips from a leftover piece of red fabric and knew I wouldn’t have anywhere near enough of it to actually use in the quilt.  I have nothing else comparable so will eventually have to go shopping for a solid red in the right color.  I also still need to figure out the corners – might use one or more of the “sprouts” designs by Barbara Brackman.

I now have another project to start working on.  “Sweet Journeys” was just basted and delivered to me on Friday by longarmer Linda Bevins.  I have relied on her the past 5 years to baste any large quilt I am going to hand quilt.  She does a great job and it’s a godsend not to have to baste these large quilts myself.  Well worth the money!!!!!!

I will start the hand quilting with outlining most of the pieces from the center block and then progress outward and fill in with quilting on some  of the pieces.  I spent considerable time cutting out the backs of a lot of the appliquéd pieces so I could quilt in them.  While doing that basic quilting, I will be studying the background, figuring out what I want to quilt there later.   The batting is wool so I might try some “fake” trapunto in some areas.   I’m making my initial goal to have this done for the Vermont Quilt Festival next June.  We’ll see- can’t judge at this point if that is too ambitious.

I have the last  of the Maine quilt show pictures to share today.

Excellent piecing and hand quilting on this very traditional quilt.  I’ve always admired the pine tree pattern and I like how she depicted cardinals with the red fabric.  Nice!

I really really like how the fabulous aboriginal style fabric was showcased in this one:

This is such a fun quilt!!  One could spend a lot of time looking at all the interesting blocks:

A beautifully done classic appliqué, hand quilted.  I’m partial to the dark background which makes the colors glow:

I am a sucker for any quilt that features circles.  This was a wonderful combination of fabrics:

A lovely pictorial in blue and white and with great embellishments!

Ursula endorses an empty plastic water bottle as a great toy for babies – the crinkly noise is so much fun!

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

September 7, 2019: Trio of Modern Minis completed!; more Maine show pictures

Greetings!  I am making slow progress in my recovery from my 2 pelvic fractures.  Any progress is a good thing!  I am still using the walker, but next week will see if I can start to learn to walk with a cane instead.  I’ll also  be starting pool therapy at the local rehab facility.  My orthopedist told me yesterday that I’m not to drive until 6 weeks from the injury so that takes me to the beginning of October.  I’m sure the time will pass quickly.  Being mostly stuck at home with a “lower body injury” and feeling well overall means that I am getting quite a bit of hand sewing done and reading alot.  I finished hand quilting all 3 of the Modern Minis and all 3 bindings are on!  All they need to be finished are labels.  Which one is your favorite?  (click on pics to enlarge)

Tessellating Whirligig#1:

Tessellating Whirligig#2:

Tessellating Whirligig#3:

All 3 together:

Right now I’m favoring the first – original – one, but I like them all and it was really fun to play with color and with the tessellations.

I have also made great headway on the “Hospital Sketches” border.  I finished appliquéing the first border, made and basted on all the parts for the second border which is now about 1/3 appliquéd, and I am already making parts (vine, lleaves and berries) for the third border.  These are coming together quicker than I expected!

Normally I sit for sewing at the machine, but stand for cutting and ironing.  To accommodate my injury, I set up an ironing station next to my machine so I can sit for that.  Prepping border pieces takes a lot of ironing so this is very helpful.

I’m giving a demonstration again on EPP at our quilt show in mid October and decided to make a  sample piece out of modern fabric.  My other samples are all from reproduction fabrics.  I have a few pieces of Tula Pink fabric and chose one of these – I had cut the pieces out before my injury, but just got around to sewing them together this week.  I love fussy cutting!!!!

The main fabric:

I had only a fat quarter of the fabric and there were exactly 6 repeats of the design – just enough!

The front:

The back – I love how even that has a design!

I definitely want to make more of these!!

Here are some more quilts from the Maine quilt show in July.

Making a quilt using the “maple leaf” pattern has been on my “to do” list for a very long time.  Lovely overall design and hand quilting on this one; I really like how she quilted the leaf veins:

Excellent fussy cutting and a soothing, cool palette with splashes of orange and red – nice!:

A lovely, colorful wool appliqué quilt:

A nice interpretation of a Victoria Findlay Wolf pattern:

And here are a couple quilts in the special traveling exhibit of quilts from the “QuiltCon” show earlier this year.  I particularly like the use of color in these 2:

Ursula goes out to the local coffee shop with family and “people watches” :):)

Many many thanks to my readers and to all my wonderful friends for their well wishes and support since my injury!!!  I am truly blessed.

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

August 30, 2019: A change of plans!; A few more silk quilts from the NEQM

Greetings!  Here is my new close companion:

A walker!   8 days ago I had a totally freak accident.  A step stool I stood on to reach into the top of a closet collapsed – a loose leg fell off (of course, I didn’t know it was loose) – and I was pitched off the stool hard onto a hard wood floor, landing on my left side.  Luckily Al was home. I could not put any weight on my left leg so had to go to the hospital in an ambulance.  I have 2 non displaced fractures of my left pelvis.  The good news is that  I don’t have a hip fracture and don’t need any surgery and I feel well overall.   I should heal completely in 2-3  months with no residual effects.  Already I am doing a lot better than I was the first few days.  I have virtually no pain at rest and it’s tolerable using the walker.  I’m hoping to graduate to a cane in a week or two.  My physical therapist says I am doing really well and am “ahead of schedule” with my healing.  I am very fortunate to have Al to help me with stairs, meals, and so much more!!!

Unfortunately Al and I have had to cancel our trip out to the Pacific Northwest.  I feel especially bad for Al because he spent 6 months planning this trip and now instead of going on an adventure he has become a caregiver.  There will be other trips and maybe we can “reschedule” this one.

So, what to do when one has to sit so much?  A lot of sewing and reading!  I had one border for the Hospital Sketches sew along all basted and ready to take on the trip to appliqué in occasional free moments.  Now it is almost done!  (click on pics to enlarge)

Just in the past day I am better enough to spend some time standing at my ironing station making parts for the next border – not for too long and with the walker always handy.  It is good, though, that I can stand for short periods of time without holding onto the walker.  Also I have a basket that attaches to the walker so I can carry some things from place to place.

The other sewing I’ve done is the hand quilting my tessellating whirligigs.  #2 is done with binding on:


I’m quilting all 3 with simple straight lines.  Will show the other 2 when the quilting is done and the bindings are on.

Today I’m sharing a few more of the silk quilts that were in the exhibit at the NEQM.  First are 2 beautiful quilts by Bethanne Nemesh, followed by 2 by Margaret Solomon Gunn.  These are 2 of the TOP machine quilters in the country – probably the world!!!  They do beautiful work with silk.  Be sure to enlarge pics for the wonderful quilting details.

And finally this lovely quilt:

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