As we celebrate the start of summer, my thoughts drift to the things that remind me most of summer. Growing up in Lancaster County, PA, summer was a time of watching the newly planted corps grow into beautiful lush fields. When you stand on a hill and look out across the fields you can see a patchwork of farms, each having a unique look. But nothing makes me think of summer more that the site of the covered bridges in Lancaster County. A recent visit home allowed me to, one more time, walk down the road to visit my favorite covered bridge and sit in it's shadow listening to the water rushing by.
Sue Nichels was the guest speaker on Monday evening at my quilt guild, The Chattahoochee Evening Stars. Sue and her sister, Pat Holly, are award winning quilters, often collaborating on projects. They each bring their individual elements to the quilts they create, as well as adding what they do best to each quilt. Sue does the elaborate machine quilting. Her eye for the quilting design and skill level are very impressive. As a longarm quilter, I always look at the way someone else has approached the quilting. Sue is known for her feathers, which are a common element in all her quilting. But what impresses me the most is that she quilts these elaborate designs on a standard home sewing machine, not a longarm. Two of her quilts are part on the permanent exhibit at the Museum of the American Quilters Society in Paducah KY. We were lucky to get an up close look at several of her quilts. Take a look through Sue's website to see all of her past and current projects. http://www.sue-nickels.com/index.php. And check out the photos of this beautiful quilt, New York State of Mind.
Recently when I told someone I had met what that I was a quilter, I could see a light bulb go off. Turns out she had a box in her closet of quilt tops her Grandmother had made and she didn't know what to do with them. You can see where this is going. End result, I now have the first top to quilt, finish and to turn it into something her family will be able to enjoy for a long time to come. They are all made of feed sacks and what appears to be old clothing. Although her Grandmother used what was available to her, she was able to create beautiful quilts. What treasures and I am very excited to work on these wonderful quilts.
I have had time this weekend to work on my mystery quilt. I made progress on the third instructions and have assembled the larger block. I thought all looked good so I took a picture to include in this post. When I looked at the picture, something looked wrong. Sure enough I did not use the correct combination of blocks which explains why I was short on one of the half square triangle blocks. I have often heard people say that taking a picture of your project often helps you to see what is happening. So true in this case. Like so many of us, I will now spend time un-sewing. Lesson learned. Can you see the mistake?
I have already gotten a little behind on my mystery quilt, it happens so easily. But I am happy to say I have now completed the second set of instructions, have the third set waiting and will get the fourth set next week when my "Bee" group meets. I have challenge myself to stay current on it so that I have a finished quilt with everyone else doing it. I am still building blocks but the next lesson I will be combining them and I will actually be able to see what the quilt will look like. Here are the second set of blocks.
I received my love of needle crafts from my Mother and Grandmother. As children, my sisters and I watched both them knit, crochet and do needlepoint. I was so excited when I was finally old enough to start my first project. That was the beginning of the journey that lead me to find quilting about 10 years ago. When I am with friends and other quilters, I am often asked if my Mother is a quilter. I immediately respond, "no". But I realized that is not true during a recent visit to my parent's house. There on 2 beds, were quilts my Mother had made, cross stitch quilts not patchwork quilts. And a that moment, the memory of watching my Mother stitch all those tiny cross stitches returned to me. They are versions of Baltimore Album quilts but instead of being appliqued, they were cross stitched from a design that was stamped on the fabric. And they have been hand quilted "bee" style in the Amish community of Lancaster County, PA. True treasures.
If you are looking for a day trip and live within driving distance of Blue Ridge, GA, I highly recommend you make the drive. That is exactly what I did on a sunny day recently when my sister was visiting. Blue Ridge is a picturesque town filled with delicious restaurants and delightful shops.
A stand out among the shops is Gawdy Bobbles. Owner and designer Lynn Kemp (featured in the current issue of Where Women Create, Inspiring Work Spaces of Extraordinary Women) has created a beautiful shop featuring her jewelry, pillows and a new line of canvas and leather bags called Canoe. The one of a kind fixtures, finishes and displays create a wonderfully organic shopping experience.
As a quilter, you never know where you will find inspiration. While visiting Gawdy Bobbles and Canoe, not only did I find jewelry that I love, I also found inspiration for my next quilt.
Saturday was a beautiful day and a perfect day to visit the Bulloch Hall Quilt Show. The walk up the lane to Bulloch Hall (the home of Theodore Roosevelt's Mother) showed the first evidence of spring with daffodils in bloom. That set the stage for an amazing variety of quilts on display showcasing the talent of the many quilters who entered their work. The setting was a mix of quilts and American history, which enhanced the show experience. The show runs through Sunday March 16th and is definitely worth the trip. And while you are there, keep an eye out for the 3 quilts I entered, Blue Spiro, Tropical Welcome and Tea Ceremony Geisha.
Blue SpiroRead More
Have you ever participated in a mystery quilt challenge? After 10 years of quilting, I am getting involved in my first mystery quilt challenge with some members of my guild. I have selected fabrics I like based on the guidelines, finished lesson one and am anxious to see what comes next. Here is what the beginning of my quilt looks like.