October 27, 2021: A Wonderful Quilt Exhibit at Boston MFA and more Cocheco show quilts

Greetings dear readers! What a month it’s been for me re quilting – the trunk show, our guild’s show, and a great quilt exhibit at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts too! My dear friend Liz and I went to Boston last Friday to see ”Fabric of a Nation: American Quilt Stories.” Liz has been a friend for 37 years and plays autoharp and recorder in our band ”Tutto Bene” – she’s in the center of the photo below. That’s me with the accordion🙂.

So fun to have a museum and lunch outing with a friend! The exhibit was fabulous and I’ll be sharing photos a few at a time over the next several posts.

We had a beautiful, warm, sunny day for the trip. The diverse nature of the quilts was pretty amazing – the curator did a great job!

The information provided was excellent:

The first 2 quilts used flag/patriotic imagery

Closer:
Gee’s Bend:


I liked the special edge detail on this:

In the next room was this fabulous Bisa Butler quilt! Sorry I didn’t get a photo without heads obscuring some of the piece, but it was popular! Also didn’t get the more detailed info on the piece. Butler is a wonderful artist and I’m sure we’ll all be seeing more of her in the future!

What an absolutely marvelous use of fabric and color and composition!!

Many more photos from this exhibit in future posts, but now I want to share some more quilts from the Cocheco show. First up is this quilt:

Isn’t it fun?! I actually made the center many years ago using fabrics I had painted in a class. It languished in my closet for years and I donated it to our guild’s silent auction a couple years ago. Guild member Cindy got it and finished it beautifully!

Love the classic traditional style of this one; I love quilts with pieced centers and appliqued borders:

What a great job Martha did with this cat pattern!

Nice piecing and quilting on this one:

Great interpretation of this pattern and meaningful to her!

Lovely applique work here:

Gorgeous colors on this quilt!:

I think that’s enough visual stimulation for one post! I’ll be continuing to post photos of both of these events in the next several weeks. There is nothing, however, as good as seeing quilts in person, so I highly recommend that if you live within reasonable driving distance of Boston, you go see their quilt exhibit. I believe it is up till sometime in January.

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

October 23, 2021: Visual treats – Quilts and Foliage

Greetings dear readers! Today I am filling my post with photos of just a few quilts from the Cocheco Quilters Guild show and some of the lovely foliage we’ve had lately here in southeastern NH. Take time to absorb the beauty of the colors and designs and appreciate the creativity in each realm.

The Best of Show was a lovely rendition of a Wendy Williams pattern in wool applique:

Enjoy some closeups:

Here is my guild’s raffle quilt. The ladies on this committee did a fabulous job with a challenging design and we raised a lot of money for charity!!

Here’s a nice rendition of “Stars in a Time Warp” from the Barbara Brackman sew along a few years ago:

I really liked the use of the kaleidoscope block – playing with color and value allows 2 alternating designs to emerge:

My Spirit of Japan quilt was awarded a blue ribbon:

My ”2020 Cancelled” was given a red ribbon (I’ll comment on the judging in a future post😊):

I have a lot more photos from the show to share, including the ”Red and White” exhibit, but I want to share some foliage so will get back to those quilts in future posts. Autumn color arrived later than usual this year and has been more subdued overall, with less ”red”, but areas and spots of beauty can still be found easily if one is looking.

The bog:

A view of the elk farm fields:

My deck covered with leaves😊!

Lots of raking and sweeping in our future!😐

Embrace beauty and joy wherever and whenever they occur, no matter how brief or seemingly inconsequential.

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

October 19, 2021: Christine Wickert – Hostess and Quilter Extraordinaire!

Greetings readers! It’s been a great week and I’m happy to finally have time to write about it! The trip to Rochester, NY was a huge success. Al and I stayed with Christine Wickert and she was a marvelous hostess! She graciously shared her lovely home, which is filled with her gorgeous quilts and her father’s wonderful art work, with us and she cooked a delicious meal for us and provided a delicious breakfast each day – way beyond expectations! Christine and I met several years ago at the Vermont Quilt Festival – at which she has won Best of Show 3 times! – have kept in touch, met up there several times over the years, and it was great to spend time with her again!

Christine treated me to a tour through her house and a close look at many of her award winning quilts, starting with this red and white silk quilt she is currently working on:

Christine is known for making quilts with silk fabrics and threads, for her beautiful hand applique and quilting, and her lovely embroidery and bead embellishments – all hand done:

I was amazed by the beauty of her latest finished creation, ”Betsy’s Blanket”, the name being wordplay on the designer of the pattern, Irene Blank.

She is giving the quilt to her friend Betsy and here are some detailed photos so you can appreciate her hand work:

That quilt has already won an award – last month at the Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza! I also got to see her recent multi award winning “Boutis” quilt, covered with hand done stuffed or trapunto work:

Just amazing! I didn’t get a full shot, but you can see it in full if you go to the Vermont Quilt Festival web site where there is a link to photos of their winning quilts from this year.

More of Christine’s lovely work:

The above is all silk and here is the back, though it is green and I couldn’t get the color to come out right!

The front of her basket quilt and some shots of the hand quilting on the back:

We discovered we each had made a log cabin quilt to help us get through the pandemic🙂:

Here are some details of other work. I’ve shown full views in previous posts over the years so did not take time to get full view photos again:

I have some more photos of Christine’s work and photos of a special quilt she purchased which I’ll share in a future post.

My trunk show went very well! The Genesee Valley Quilt Club was very welcoming and a pleasure to be with! They are a large group and have about 250 members. Their meeting hall is large:

I had to present from a stage and was able to have 2 of my quilts on display up there with me:

The folks that held up the quilts for me did a fabulous job and the quilts were laid out on tables afterward for members to be able to see them close up when the presentation was done:

After the meeting, I was treated to lunch with Christine and Peggy Braitsch, the club member I worked with in planning the program. The restaurant overlooked the famous Erie Canal:

The weather for the whole trip was excellent, warm and sunny! Christine and I treated ourselves to ice cream afterward:

Al and I were able to see some glorious fall foliage driving back through southern Vermont and NH, but we didn’t stop for photos. I’ll share some local fall foliage photos next post and will begin to share some photos from our quilt show then too.

Thanks again to Christine Wickert for being a fabulous host for our visit and to the Genesee Valley Quilt Club for the invitation! And thanks to my wonderful husband for doing most of the driving – 8 hours each way! – and all the unloading and reloading of boxes, and for wholeheartedly supporting my quilting obsession!❤️

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

October 11, 2021: Busy week ahead!

Greetings dear readers! Thought I’d get a quick post in today as I have a very busy week ahead. We leave tomorrow for Rochester, NY for my trunk show on Thursday, drive home all day Friday and am back in time for my guild’s (Cocheco) annual show the 16th and 17th in Rochester, NH. Two ”Rochesters” dominating my life for the next week😊! So happy to be able to do these kinds of things again! I should have lots of good photos to share.

I have started hand quilting border #3 of Golden Glow:

I also have all the leaves basted on border #3 for Maple Leaf Rag and will bring that with me for hand work on the trip. I tried something new with this border and will talk about that soon in a future post.

My quilt bee met last week and here is some of my friends’ work:

I’ve been asked by readers what kind of camera I use for my nature photos. It’s just my iPhone! I do play a bit with the editing options both on the phone and on the iPad after downloading the pictures to it, but in almost all cases, I try to adjust to get closer to what I’m seeing in reality, not necessarily to enhance. The phone tends to make things look more washed out than they really are and I try to fix that when it happens. The main downside to the phone is it’s not good for distance – the enlargements look grainy. Here’s a perfect case in point. Yesterday I had an amazing encounter with a heron at the pond. She almost completely circumnavigated the pond slowly over about 10 minutes and I was able to quietly follow her around from a distance without her flying away. I’m sure she knew I was there. I’m guessing I was within 25 feet at one point. Because I don’t have a telephoto lens, my pictures are unfortunately grainy, but I’m sharing them anyway!

I am still enjoying the mushroom explosion😊! In fact, I bought this book and so far it is really good – one of those science books that the general reader can enjoy:

And I’m planning to watch the movie, Fantastic Fungi on Netflix soon – I’ve heard it is excellent!! Here are some of my recent finds and some other earthly delights to enjoy:

Forest Still Life:

Milkweed pods – love the way they are attached to the stalk!

I’m closing with something I don’t do often – a picture of 2 and 2/3 year old Ursula in her Halloween costume! Her town is right next to Salem, MA, the Halloween capital of the world, where they start the month off with a parade and celebrate all month. Ursula went to the parade all decked out in her outfit:

Hope you all are having a lovely October!

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

October 7, 2021: Maple Leaf Rag progress and decisions

Greetings dear readers! Because it is fall, I decided to take a break from the ”Stormy Weather” borders and work on Maple Leaf Rag instead. Hard to believe it was a year ago that I started this! I began by putting it back on the design wall:

The 2 side borders are mirror images of each other. Both have all the applique done; only one has the embroidery embellishment complete. I’d like to complete all 4 borders by the end of the year. In the past week, I’ve made all the parts for border #3 – 51 leaves, 41 berries, and 8 branches. All edges are prepped and turned under:

It didn’t help that I had misplaced the leaf templates and had to make new ones!😧 Then I had to decide how I wanted the branches to approach each other in the corners – there were 3 possibilities:

Or:

The third choice, with the branches ”facing” each other and in which one could draw a line connecting them seemed like the obvious best choice. This leaves me a triangular area to design something for the corners. I also looked at several color options for a narrow border strip to separate the center and border and I like the lighter value green.

I laid out the stems and have them almost all stitched down; then I can place all the berries and leaves on:

The appliqué tsunami continues to roll! Meanwhile, look at what I did last week:

My first Trunk Show in almost 2 years! I packed up 27 quilts and did my program for the Evergreen Quilters in Kennebunk, ME. It’s a 50 minute drive from here and they were a lovely welcoming group. Next week I have my last scheduled one (for now). Al and I will drive 8-9 hours to Rochester, NY for that one! We’re hoping for some pretty foliage on the drive.

Speaking of foliage, it looks like it might not be a particularly good year for it in my area of southern NH. Apparently the significant rain and the warm weather we have had this year are making the color changes later and less brilliant. I can see this is true, but I search out beauty when and where I can find it. Here are some Earthly Delights:

The mushrooms have been wonderful – numerous colors and shapes:


Can anyone tell me the name of this amazing pink plant?!

Have to close with something that is more fall-like:

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

September 29, 2021: September Monthly Mini

Greetings dear readers! Here’s my September mini, ”Halloween Baskets.”

I had never made a basket quilt or a Halloween quilt so decided that this month’s mini was a good way to remedy both situations! I looked through some pattern sources and couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for so decided to draft my own:

I also wanted to foundation paper piece it so figured out how to make that happen. For pieces 4 and 5, I cut the rectangle and triangle oversize, pieced them together, and then matched the seam with where I marked it on the foundation paper and proceeded to trim as usual. It worked perfectly.

Here are some closeups:

I foundation paper pieced the spikey border (drafted my own pattern). The center is hand quilted, but you can’t see the quilting well. The border is machine quilted. The corners needed something so I added the hand appliqued circles.

I thought cheddar and black were good Halloween colors and I always love the chance to add red to anything!😊 The batting is the Hobbes black that I showed in my last post. I found a good black print in my stash for the back:

I had fun using a stripe for the hand appliqued basket handles:

I think I see a larger basket quilt in my future, but no idea when because now that I have finished my red and white quilt, I am re-dedicating myself to finishing the hand quilting of Golden Glow, my album quilt done as part of Barbara Brachman’s Hospital Sketches sew along. It’s long past time to get it done!!

”Halloween Baskets” measures 19.5 inches square. I’m really happy with how it came out!

Be sure to go to Wendy Reed’s blog, The Constant Quilter, to see all of the other September minis. Thank you Wendy!
Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day, Gladi

September 26, 2021: A potpourri of topics!

Greetings dear readers! Hope you are loving early fall as much as I am. I have been working on finishing my September mini and will post that 3-4 days from now so be sure to check back then. I do, however, have a few things to share today. I went shopping in Portsmouth, NH at the Portsmouth Fabric Company last week with my quilting buddy Janet Elia. It’s only 30 minutes away for me, but 2 hours for her from Taunton, MA!

After shopping we enjoyed lunch and strolling around Portsmouth together, browsing in some of the other interesting shops there. What a fun day!! From that bag you see me carrying, it looks like I bought a lot, but mostly it’s the jacket I had been wearing! I bought a few more contemporary florals to add to my growing collection:

Mostly just quarter yards. I’ve been actively thinking about how to use these new fabrics searching out design ideas – nothing just right yet!

By the way, Janet is a fabulous quilter! She doesn’t post often in her blog – janetanncreations.blogspot.com – but scroll back through her posts and you will be treated to many photos of her wonderful quilts! Go see!!

I recently saw these fabrics on line at equilter.com and knew I wanted to make a Christmas quilt (lap size) as a Christmas present for my 14 year old granddaughter. She loves Christmas! There was a pattern and a kit was available, but I decided to order the fabics and make my own. There are 2 panels and I’ll put one on the front and one on the back:

There’s a wonderful border stripe – 4 stripes per length of fabric:

There are several fun corner blocks to choose from on this panel:

And I chose this fabric to use on the back (in lieu of the border stripe):

I’ll need to get going on this pretty soon to get it done by Christmas!

I’m sure I’m not the only quilter who is interested in finding functional and, if possible, attractive “containers” for all of our stuff. I eat yogurt almost everyday and sometimes buy the yoplait in glass containers. I discovered the labels can be peeled off and these make nice containers for lots of small stuff:

I have these 2 small beautiful boxes my daughter brought me from her college semester in Russia and I keep pins in them:

I bought this felted box with a hand embroidered top in Budapest and keep my large supply of clips in it:

I’ve got a lot of nature photos to share! Color is gradually starting to show here and there, but things are still mostly green. The bog, with all the moisture, is turning a bit earlier than everything else:

The moss at the bog is turning a rusty color:

Mushrooms are exploding everywhere and in lots of different colors!

Down by the river, some of the early turning leaves fall onto the narrow shore and into the water:

The water accentuates the color:

I gathered up some leaves and decided to ”stage” some leaf and mushroom compositions into ”Forest Still Life”s. As with anything like this, some work and some don’t, but I had fun with the idea and plan to continue. Here are the first few – don’t miss the upside down mushroom in one of them!

Thanks for visiting and check back in 3-4 days to see my mini!

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

September 20, 2021: A quilt finish!; Fabulous fungi and foliage; Books

Greetings dear readers! Red and White Crib Quilt is finished!

Even the sleeve and label are done!

I think I finished so quickly because the quilt is small – 36 x 46 inches – and not ”heavily” quilted. I quilted diagonal lines in the border 3/4 inch apart – not easy to see except on the back:

The quilts for our Cocheco Quilters Guild October show – the 16th and 17th at the Rochester, NH Community Center – have to be delivered the 11th. I now have everything done except for a label for ”2020 Cancelled”! I love not being under any deadline pressure! A couple closeups:

I used Quilters Dream polyester batting for this because I heard from an excellent hand quilter that it needles well. It did. And I like the drape. I also like how the batting clings to the fabric without shifting – that makes basting easy. Do any if you use black batting for quilts made from dark fabrics? I do and I like to keep some of this Hobbs batting around:

I can’t seem to find it in shops so I order it on line from equilter.com. Another tease – I’m using it for this month’s mini and here’s a shot with the backing:

On my walks I find myself doing a combination of thinking and looking/seeing. If I’m not looking carefully, I can miss seeing some amazing things. Recently on a lovely walk to the river I was standing at the top of a bank sloping down to the river and staring for a couple minutes. As I turned to go back to the path a bright orange color caught the corner of my eye and I looked to the side and I saw this:

I scrambled back to get a closer look and was blown away by this unexpected beauty of nature!!! I promise you – I have not altered the color in these pictures though the orange was brighter in the sunlight.

I enjoyed photographing some of the fallen leaves, too – the trees are still mostly green, but plenty of ”early turners” are on the ground.

I love the veins and textures on some of the leaves that aren’t as colorful:

A river landscape:

A roadside landscape:

Here’s what I’ve been reading recently:

All three books are very good. My book group rotates our monthly reading selections between contemporary fiction, nonfiction, and classics. ”Of Human Bondage” is our classic for this month (we meet next week). It was published in 1915 and thus a bit dated, but it’s a classic for a reason – well written and covers a lot of classic themes such as growing up, deciding what to do with one’s life, relationships, etc. ”The Winter Soldier” takes place during WW1 and there are some brutal war scenes, but it is beautifully written and the plot is compelling and includes a romance. “Hidden Valley Road” is the incredible story of a family with 12 children born between 1945 and 1965, 10 boys, then 2 girls and how 6 of the boys developed schizophrenia and devastated the family. In between the story of the family, there are chapters on how the mental health field’s views on the causes of and treatments for the disease have evolved over the years. A well written and compelling story! During medical school I strongly considered going into psychiatry and my high school class prediction was that I was going to be a shrink, but I’m glad I ultimately decided to go into primary care internal medicine. There are plenty enough mental health problems to deal with in primary care as well as all the other health issues and concerns – that variety ultimately suited me better.

One last photo of the crib quilt:

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

September 14, 2021: Show and Tell; New Neighbors; Earthly Delights

Greetings dear readers! I’m making great progress on the hand quilting of my red and white quilt and gradually crossing off items on the ”sleeves and labels” list. Instead of showing my own not currently very exciting work today, I’m going to share work from the ”show and tell” portion of my latest Quilt Bee meeting. I’ve been very lucky to be a part of this group of wonderful women for over 20 years! Here is Kathryn’s fabulous hand quilted and appliqued quilt:

Sorry about the lighting – we’ve been meeting on a member’s screened porch (1800’s farm house!) in the evening the last 4 months – so much better than Zoom! But next month we’ll need to move inside (we’re all vaccinated). Making this quilt extra special is the fact that her mother made some of the blocks. She also brought her fun Kaffe tea pots – sorry I didn’t get the full thing in the photo:

Janice brought 2 lovely pieces. The first was a challenge to use solids and is finished; the applique piece is in progress:

Sally brought a completed top that is going to be a wedding gift:

We were thrilled to have long time member Havrilla visit us from Arizona in her camper as she travels around the country visiting family. She shared 2 recent quilts:

Rosemary shared this fun dinosaur quilt for a great grandchild:

And our host Susan shared her 50+ Lucy Boston blocks that she’s been English paper piecing the past several months. These are beyond fabulous – every one worth studying! I took pictures of 4 and here they are:

I have some new neighbors – 3 more new goats at a different property from the others I mentioned a while back. Here’s the male, Pete:

Here’s Molly:

And here’s Mabel (on the left)(love these names!):

Hope I can get them to come closer to the fence for some better photos in the future!

I forgot to mention that I’ve also been working on my September mini. I can’t show it yet, but here’s a little tease – my fabric pull for it:

Red, black, and gold has always been a favorite color combination and I can’t wait to share – though I love September and don’t want it to pass to quickly!

I’ll finish this post with some recent earthly delights. This photo was taken during an early morning walk with a friend on the Maine coast. The sky was clear and the sun low, sparkling beautifully on the water – absolutely gorgeous!

Also on that walk, a barn that I love and a lovely tidal creek view(beautiful blues!):

Closer to home, on a different walk, was this incredible fungal growth – for persoective, the stump is about a foot in diameter:

I used my new book, ”Bark” to look up this tree:

This type of bark is made of ”scales or plates” and because the upper and lower edges of the plates curve outward, this is probably a ”pitch pine” tree. Love the texture!!

Finally, a true harbinger of early autumn, this sumac branch – love the red and green combination, plus the leaves on the side of the road just yesterday, even though the trees don’t yet have enough of these to make a splash!

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

September 7, 2021: Updates and more

Greetings dear readers! Signs of early autumn are visible and palpable, especially on my early morning walks. I love this season and its frequently changing landscapes. I’ll get to some “earthly delights” later, but first some quilting updates. I’ve been hand quilting Red and White Crib Quilt and have 31 of the 35 center blocks done!

I’m stitching in the ditch around each of the “logs”:

You can see it better from the back. “In the ditch” to me means slightly out from the edge so the stitches are seen.

I have 5 weeks from today to get it done. I know from previous experience that borders usually take more time than one expects but I think I’m in good shape to finish on time. A binding, sleeve, and label are needed too. I have a bad habit of not putting sleeves and labels on my quilts until I show them so I have 3 sleeves and 5 labels to do for the show over these 5 weeks!

I managed to squeeze in time to sew together all the blocks for this donation quilt (for a local homeless shelter):

A little closer:

I happily used only blue, teal, and aqua fabrics from my stash for this. I’m also pulling stash fabrics to make a back for it.

And look what I put up on my design wall, just for fun!:

The borders for Maple Leaf Rag and Stormy Weather that I’ve been working on all year! Only one border for each is completely done; a tsunami of appliqué is still to be finished, but lots of the prep work is completed. Of course 3 more borders and yet to even be started.😐 Maybe with fall arriving, I’ll take a break from Stormy Weather and do some work on Maple Leaf Rag. I like the thought of working with seasonal colors.

Recently Jocelyn at the excellent and highly recommended blog “Canadian Needle Nana” stated that she decided to treat herself to a good pair of scissors and asked for recommendations. My situation is “SCISSORS MADNESS”!! I counted all the pairs I have and it’s 30!!! There might even be a few more hidden away somewhere 😧. Accumulated over 27 years – is that a viable excuse?! My favorites are Kai ( to me they seem the sharpest), followed closely by Karen Kay Buckley (I especially like the larger finger openings), then Ginghers.

The Kais are the 3 in the middle, the KKB’s are to the left and the Ginghers to the right. I have more of these brands not in the picture and a lot of Fiskars which I bought in the beginning because they were readily available. I also have 8 rotary cutters. I’m not at all sure how the number of my cutting tools got so out of hand! Does anyone else have this problem?!

In case you’re not aware, the Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) is having its annual fund raising silent auction. Members donate 12 inch square pieces of art and the money raised goes toward supporting everything the organization does. On their web site all the donated pieces are able to be viewed and bid on. There are several hundred! Go have a look and enjoy some marvelous art quilts!! Bid on something if you’re interested!

Another web site worth checking out is Create Whimsy (createwhimsy.com). I particularly like their interviews for insights into creativity. Recently there was an especially good interview with Maria Shell, whose contemporary improvisational quilts I like a lot. Take a look and enjoy! (though the pop up adds can be annoying)

If you enjoy blogs, another recommendation is Sarah Lizzies (sarahlizzies.blogspot.com). She is in Australia and posts gorgeous pictures of her quilts and her flowers; the writing is lovely too. I’m enjoying her celebration of early spring just as we are beginning to celebrate early autumn.

Now for some “earthly delights”! I’ve been delighting in the fungi our wet weather has fostered. Look at some of these wonderful swirly designs and shapes:

Some late summer flowers:

On my walk this morning the sunlight struck these grasses in just such a way as to make the tips look like gleaming gold; it was gorgeous and I managed to capture a bit of that:

Earlier last week I walked on a cloudy morning and captured this sky and pasture:

In the woods, a dead tree that woodpeckers have enjoyed and a stump with a glorious moss coating!:

This path skirts by part of the bog I visit quite often:

It’s a twisty path, requiring careful navigation, full of roots that will trip you if you are not mindful of where you step. This seems like a good metaphor for what so many in the world now face with not only wars, refugee migrations, political and religious divisions, and climate disasters, but also with all the personal physical and mental health challenges many of us face. Wishing all of you readers the very best as we navigate these challenges!!

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