Monday, June 29, 2015

The Best of the Vermont Quilt Festival 2015

In its 39th year, the Vermont Quilt Festival is New England's largest and oldest annual quilt event.
Here are the Best Of Show quilts from this year's VQF experience.

Hexagon Quilt "La Passion" by Grit Kovacs from Ebstorf, Germany won Best of Show from Outside the USA and also Best Piecing. Grit writes, "My hexagon quilt is an original design, sewn by hand, and took two and one half years to complete. The inspiration developed on a holiday in France. I used 7,240 pieced. Long-arm quilted by Birgit Schuller."

Best in Show and the Governor's Award for Best Vermont Quilt comes "Celestial Sedona" by Norma Ippolito of Chester, VT. Norma writes, "This quilt features a variety of construction techniques. Building from the center out, it became a three- year journey resulting in the most challenging quilt I have made, and also the most rewarding. Pattern Sedona Star by Sarah Vedeler Designs. Quilted on a home sewing machine."

Sharing blue ribbon winner Micheline Caron's "Sous Une Bonne Etoile" because it is the same quilt design as the Best of Show above. From Canada, Micheline also quitled this beauty on her home sewing machine.

Heidi Merrill's "Curves Bliss" earned Best Long-Arm Machine Quilting. Heidi is local to us here in upstate NY. From Clifton Park, she writes, "I made my own design and used EQ to design my own pattern. I used Suzanne McNeil's 10 Minute Block method, but modified it by cutting out the backing to reduce bulk. I used alternating chain blocks to create the overall design."

Best Applique Award goes to"Le Jardin Joyeau" by Christine Wickert of Penfield, NY. She writes, "Two chunks of silk- one brick red and the other a stripe- begged to be used for Beautiful Botanicals design by Deborah Kemball. The stripe became the backing. Hand quilted."

The Best Miniature goes to "6522", George Siciliano's masterpiece.  He writes, "This quilt has 6522 pieces of dupioni silk....It's not fused, embroidered or painted. Just good old fashioned piecing. Quilted on a home sewing machine." George and his wife Ginny are master quilters and teachers and live in Lebanon, PA.

"Creme Caramel" by Joanne Mac Nevin of Pembroke, MA earned the Best Machine Quilting Award on a Home Machine. She writes, "My sweet tooth is very pronounced and, from the beginning, this quilt has evoked visions of caramel, vanilla ice cream, custard, marshmallow fluff, butterscotch, whipped cream and a little mocha. Yum! The pattern is White Chocolate by McCall's Quilting and the border is Ice Blueberries by Pat Delaney."

Finally, "October" by Susie Wimer of Ranson, WV earned a blue ribbon and the Founder's Award for this show. She writes, "I love leaves and cannot resist picking them up in the fall. I used real, actual sized leaves for the pattern. My then six-year old grandson then helped gather them, learning the trees as we went. By the time I finished he was fourteen years old. Hand quilted."

These are the Best Of Show which I was able to capture quickly on my camera and remember to share with you. I was also a participant and vendor this time around.  My apologies if your quilt is missing. Please feel free to comment below and share a photo or to do the same at This Quilting Mama on Facebook. Thank you and stay tuned for more quilts from the Vermont Quilt Festival 2015 over the next few weeks.
Peace and Happy VQF inspired quilting ahead,

Friday, January 2, 2015

The Day After or What Happened Here?

The day after a big holiday when you look around and try to process all that just happened.....

Months of preparing those homemade gifts........with last stitches placed at the very last minute.

The cookies were made......yes all 16 kinds.
Thank you, Grammy Lucille!

There was great anticipation of child and parent alike as the wait for the Santa seemed to overtake all.

The feast was prepared and beautifully presented. 
Thank you Grandma Dorothy and Grandpa Ed.

But with all this excitement of tablets and helicopters, books and toys, cookies and candy,
would we remember beyond this ONE day..........

all that is important to carry forth?

The love of God for us given in the form of a baby.

May we remember, carry that love onward, and live in worship, awe and peace.

 Happy New Year!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Halloween Special: Paul and Pauline's Guest Bathroom

Pauline and Paul live in the heart of the Catskill Mountains in upstate, New York.
This is their beautiful home. I've asked them to help me share the art of their guest bathroom with you in a special guest-artist post. This piece was created during a Halloween party last year.
Finally, here it is.........sorry it took so long, Pauline. But you know how it is with kids! ;-)

Welcome to our home.  It was built in 1936 by a Norwegian fisherman and the house has many features that are clearly inspired by boats.  Not the least of which being the perilously narrow and steep staircase to the basement, more like the ladder to the ships hold than a proper set of stairs that will have toddlers and moms carrying laundry traipsing up and down continually.

We are especially proud of the guest half bath.  I have always felt that color belongs on the walls, and loved those houses in the magazines and on the historic house tours that have rich and varied colors on the walls throughout.  But my husband is less adventurous (in this area of life).  So we’ve compromised.  We agreed to muted shades in the main rooms: living room, kitchen, halls, bedrooms; and that I could do what I want with color in the bathrooms.  I figure you spend so little time in the bathroom, even if you hate it, it doesn’t impact your life too badly.  And if you enjoy color?  Given what you do in the bath, you are entitled to a little inspiration, joy, and color for the few moments each day that you spend there, brushing your teeth, shaving, wiping the toddler’s bum…

Back before we were married, when this guy was a high roller and I thought this was how all girls were treated by their beaus, we used to go to fancy restaurants for dinner.  Now that we’re married and have two kids, I realize that what was really happening is what they call “courting.”  In one of these restaurants the bathrooms were wall papered with wine labels.  We thought that was very cool and started saving the labels from every bottle of wine we drank in a black plastic cigar sized box.  I was just learning about wine and, you will remember, my then boyfriend was still trying to impress me.  So the labels added up pretty quickly, and were all kinds of wines from bourdeaux to burgundy; viognier to vermentino; reislings, cabernets, pinot noirs, chardonnays, montalcino, montepulciano, Mondavi, Opus One.  We saved enough labels to paper all four walls, and Paul threw himself into the project whole-heartedly one week while I was in the City at work.  He meticulously decoupaged the labels to the wall in a patchwork and over-layered manner, pleasing to the eye with a few SENA medallions covering the blank spots.  But he decided, wisely I think, that once the door wall was covered, it was plenty!  Don’t over-do it.  Now it’s a surprise!  You enter the small yellow bathroom with carrot colored trim and when you turn around to close the door, voila! Wine labels!  Fabulous!

The stained glass four-seasons of the sun was given to us by Paul’s mother when she moved from Boston and divested of many of her beautiful pieces of arts and furniture.  We were the lucky inheritors of many of these pieces.  This particular stained glass is vibrantly colored and epitomizes her exuberant primitive love of the full rainbow spectrum of color.  I love it because it catches the evening sun and throws bright colors on the walls while blocking the view into the bathroom from the grilling area outside!

There is a tiny detailed drawing of a ship on the wall opposite the vibrant glass covered window.  There are tiny details of funny birds and unreal creatures on this vessel in full sail.  To fully appreciate it, take the Chinese magnifying glass down and get a better look!

But, yes, the piece de resistance is the mirror, framed in a bouquet of vinyl records.  Paul bought this as a Christmas gift for himself since there is a long tradition in this house of buying gifts for oneself.  We came from very different traditions around Christmas and are, even after 20 years, still assimilating our different attitudes about it!  He found it in an artisanal shop in Woodstock; one of a kind.  It was really a no-brainer.  He had to have it.  It featured in one of his music videos (  If you are as devoted a fan of classic rock and roll and all its early influences, then you will understand the meaning of vinyl and why this was meant to be.

This Quilting Mama's Selfie!
Thanks for your interest in our things!  We used to spend weekends making our house just-so – before the kids.  I love the energy and constant chaos in our house now, but I am saving all my house-beautiful ideas from when the kids are a little more grown up and the chaos settles down a bit.

Halloween party fun for all ages!

Pauline and Lynn, friends since high school 

This Quilting Mama as clergy!
It was Halloween after all.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Amish Market in Flemington, New Jersey

On a trip to a quilt show, I had the privilege of spending some time at this Amish Market in Flemington, New Jersey. At breakfast the second day (Yes, I had to go there twice as it was that wonderful!), I asked my server if it would be acceptable to photograph the market if I avoided taking pictures of the people. She said YES! This is the photo journey of my time.

Some of my favorite Amish Proverbs from the book "Amish Values for Your Family: What We Can Learn from the Simple Life" by Suzanne Woods Fisher  
  • Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.
  • The kind of ancestors you have is not as important as the ones your children have.
  • The best things in life are not things.
  • A family that works together, grows together.
  • Very few burdens are heavy if everyone lifts.

Here is the website if you want to plan your trip to this wonderful place: