Monday, September 27, 2021

New England Visit--Part 3A

Part 3A? What does that mean?!? Well, it means that my visit to The New England Quilt Museum cannot be summed up in one post, so there will be a Part 3B coming up--probably in October, because my next post will be my September Monthly Mini. I have a little surprise planned for that post, so that is why I will save the rest of my museum post for early October.

If you have been to The New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, Massachusetts, these are familiar sights to you. We parked on the back side and this sight let us know we were parked in the right place.

Since we arrived a few minutes before opening, we walked around to the other side of the building, past the front entrance, and waited in this pleasant little area for the minutes until opening to pass.

There were two featured exhibits and I think each one deserves their own post. I will begin with "Quilts Japan".

The quilts were incredible. I had such a hard time choosing which ones to share, but finally narrowed it down to my top 10 favorites. They are in no particular order. Blogger does not cooperate anymore on photo placement, so we will have to take what we get here. The documentation, and any close-ups I may have taken, will follow each quilt.

This one was so vibrant. It really took my breath away! I can't believe I didn't get any close-up shots.

When you look at the close-up of this below, the stitching doesn't seem complicated. But the way it was put together just radiates movement and flow.

I loved this--a traditional design (Pickle Dish) used in different ways. And I hope you caught the lovely appliqued butterflies flitting across the surface. Again, no close-ups. What was I thinking?


              A wonderful Baltimore Album in Japanese fabrics. Meticulous work!

               This has a very playful feel, and the name seems to back that up.

I've always loved a good Mariner's Compass, so this really caught my eye. Wish I had centered the photo better.


The last line of the description fits this quilt perfectly. Maybe that was why I was so drawn to it.

If you can't tell from the photo, the energy practically vibrated from this quilt. I almost expected to be able to hear it.

This show had so much variety, and was very beautifully displayed. I only had a little over an hour to see everything the museum had to offer. I solved that problem by taking a photo of everything that caught my eye, and also a photo of the documentation. And sometimes, when I thought of it, I took a close-up or two of a quilt. That way when I came home I could study the photos and read the documentation closely. 

I had been "warned" that The New England Quilt Museum wasn't large, but I have to say, it did NOT disappoint! The quilts were well hung and lighted. The documentation was easy to read. The flow through the museum was well-planned, and the Museum Store was very tastefully stocked. I couldn't have been more pleased. The exhibit I've shared here is no longer available there, but the current exhibit is of "Quarantine Quilts." Yes, it includes Wendy Reed's wonderful "Community Supper." Wish I could go back and see that hanging in the museum! And the incredible quilts of Kathy Cray are still there. I'll share those with you in part 3B. :)

Stay tuned for the next post on Thursday (hopefully), where I will have my Monthly Mini, and also invite you to participate in a challenge with me.

Until next time, be kind, gentle and understanding, in a world where those qualities are too often forgotten.

Janet O.

p.s. You should be able to click on any photo to get a closer look!

Saturday, September 18, 2021

New England Visit--Part 2







Cyndi Black's quilt shop, The Busy Thimble, is like a cottage in the woods in Litchfield, Maine. Wendy Reed drove me over the winding, hilly roads of New England to the quaint shop. I had been here once before with my daughter, six years ago. I was so happy to be back again, and be greeted by this wonderful sight--that is Cyndi on the porch to meet us.








Once inside, I let my monthly minis from last month go to their new owners.


We had a chance to look over a wonderful work in progress that Cyndi brought out to share.

And we did some serious fabric shopping, while talking and laughing, and solving the world's problems. Quilters are so good at that!

But I want to give you a trunk show of Cyndi's wonderful little quilts from all over the shop. I was in small quilt heaven! Hang on, and enjoy! Click to enlarge the photos to get a better look.

In this one Wendy is being a good sport and standing in the photo, too, because I told asked her to. 





For some reason, this photo will not enlarge like the others.

Wasn't this a fun show of little quilts? I have more photos, but you get the idea. It was a dream come true to visit Cyndi and her shop again. She is a gracious woman, and a talented quilter.

After the shopping, we went outside to get a selfie together, sans the masks. You may have already seen this on Wendy's blog, but here we are again. A memorable couple of hours, that went by far too quickly!

I was in the presence of greatness with these two women, and loving every minute of it. Thank you, ladies, for the friendship and the laughter--and the fabric!! Don't forget the fabric!

This is what I brought home. Most of it is in 1/2 yard to 1 yard cuts. There are a couple of charm packs and a few bundles of smaller cuts. My focus was toiles, conversation prints, older Judie Rothermel prints, and anything else that caught my eye. And how did I get all of this home? Well, I hadn't brought a carry-on bag, so I stuffed the fabric in this lobster shopping bag I had picked up in Maine, and that was my carry-on for the trip home. In the photo it is resting on my checked bag. It was heavier than it looks, and when I had to lug it through the Chicago airport on our layover, I wished it had wheels!

It was a magical morning with Cyndi and Wendy, and I hated to have it end. 

My  next post, Part 3, will cover my visit to The New England Quilt Museum. It did not disappoint!

Until next time, be kind, especially when you think someone doesn't deserve it.

Janet O.

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

New England Visit--Part 1

I won't impose upon you with all the visits to cemeteries, lighthouses, historic sites and seafood restaurants. But I will share with you the happenings of a quilty nature. Part 1 is about meeting up with the wonderful quilter, Wendy Reed (The Constant Quilter blog). (She may not be thrilled with this focus on her, but here goes.)

These good people welcomed us to their home, and after DH and I chatted with them a bit, Wendy and I sneaked off to her sewing rooms while Gordon and Gregg talked guy stuff. :)

 It was such a kick to see Wendy in her happy place, with her vintage and repro fabrics around her. Can you see one of her current WIP--the bird applique project hanging behind her?

I wish now that I had been even more observant. There was a heavy case of sensory overload going on with me. And in the presence of such a talent, I was a bit awestruck. I know, Wendy, you are as down-to-earth as can be, but you know me and applique. And it is like breathing to you. I was just soaking in a master in her element.



After perusing the delights of this room we moved over to the sewing room "annex"--a room across the hall with more fabric, a bed layered with lovely quilts, and walls bedecked with ribbons from quilt shows. We had entered so she could show me the rest of her stash, but it turned into a private bed turning. I felt very privileged to be witness to this event.

I didn't take a photo of every single quilt (though I wish now that I had), but I'll share a few of them, with Wendy's permission. If you follow Wendy (and if you don't, you should), you have probably seen many of these on her blog.

                      It was incredible to see this one up close.


                                 Love this circle quilt.

Here Wendy is pointing out some of her favorite conversation prints in this quilt.

                                    This cheddar background is so yummy!


Isn't the blue background stunning?

Both of the photos I took of this quilt turned out blurry, but I wanted to include it anyway, because Wendy, Cyndi Black and I had been among the group that swapped blocks with Pam Buda when she made her quilt for the pattern cover. This is Circa 1880. 


                                                         Wendy's Dear Jane quilt.

This is Wendy's "Community Supper", made from blocks sent to her when she put out a call for them during the COVID lockdown. It is a wonderful quilter's version of potluck.
                                                                   It was a treat to spend an evening with Wendy and Gordon. Such good people. I am thrilled that I had this opportunity, and I am sorry if I have embarrassed you with all this attention, Wendy, but you did say I could post whatever I wanted. Can we still be friends? ;)   
Next time, New England--Part 2 will cover our visit to Cyndi Black at her shop, The Busy Thimble. Stay tuned for a show of her wonderful doll quilts!
Until then,
Janet O.