Tuesday, July 4, 2017

New England Quilt Museum/Road Trip Part I

     I've been wanting to blog about the Vermont Quilt Festival since I got back-- the trouble is, there are WAY too many photos of gorgeous quilts! So I'm breaking it up into two photo heavy installments-- 
Part I: the road trip up, and Part II: theVermont Quilt Show.

     My friend Tere and I drove up from Cape Cod to Burlington, Vermont-- this is my third year in a row. The scenery was not the point this time-- the "Row byR ow shop Experience" had just started and we really wanted to do it. So we planned to start at the New England Quilt Museum and then visit 4 or 5 shops after that, as many as we could squeeze in.

     I have never been to the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, MA -- I don't know why I assumed it was in an old building, but it was an absolutely fabulous, completely renovated space. 

   The main exhibit had some of the AQS winners from past shows. The top winners in the Paducah spring show are all purchase awards, and they must have quite a collection! I'm not really ready to give any of my "babies" up for sale, but fortunately that may never be a problem. Here's my favorite from the display:
"The Beatles Quilt" Sue Nickels and Pat Holly 1998

    I mean, couldn't you just see this on a teenager's bed instead of in a low-lit, air conditioned museum? If that had been on my bed, it would have 'rocked' my world... no doubt transforming me from a shy mess to the most popular girl in my class. It even makes me start liking pink! The blocks are all based on songs... can you guess which are my favorites?

We would be so happy, you 'n me! 
No one there to tell us what to do!

     Here are some other high points of the exhibit-- I'm not sure how I picked the high points in the show, when they were all high points, but here they are:

"Star Struck" Cheryl See 2011

Lord knows, I do love a star.

"Ricky and Lucy" Nancy Sterett Martin and Karen Sistek 2015

     If you're like me, you have seem some of these images in magazines many times. But to see them in person is a treat! You have no idea of the size of these birds and the detail- forget every feather being quilted-- every vein in every feather was quilted.

Likewise, I have never seen a Janet Stone quilt in person, but I feel a kinship for her love of typography after having trained as a graphic artist. The attention to detail in her work is phenomenal.
"Charm School" Janet Stone 2012

Just look at the quilting. And I can just imagine how much fun it must have been shopping for a charm for each letter of the alphabet. It appears to me she found all the same brand-- they are all gold and all the same-ish size. Only I would notice that. XOX

Here, she managed to make the same fabric look like two different ones by outlining the right side in thread. Yup. That scrolly fabric is outlined in thread. 

Another exhibit was called "Twisted" based on a book where artists had taken old quilts and updated them. I hope all my UFOs and machine embroidery test stitchouts find as wonderful a fate!

     At this point, Tere and I were already WAY behind schedule, and so we left, vowing to return. Did I mention the fabulous gift shop!!

Then we did this.

 If you don't know what the "Row by Row Experience" is, you need to find out! You visit different shops and pick up a free pattern for a row, then you assemble your quilt and there are prizes if you are first to do that at each shop. I never really intend to make a row quilt, but such a good excuse to support our brick 'n mortar shops! 

We went to 
Bits 'n Pieces, Pelham, NH
Pine Tree Quilt Shop, Salem, NH
Quilted Threads, Henniker, NH
A Quilter's Garden, VT
all of which were fabulous although I have to say, Quilted Threads had the biggest machine embroidery department! XOX

Here's a tiny portion of my haul:

By the 4th shop I thought I couldn't possible see anything else new, but each shop had more and more wonderful things and so I supported each $$$$ as best I could, haha. It's a wonderful testament to the health of our industry that all of these people are designing and selling all of these beautiful things.

Did I mention we were behind schedule? Because now we were beyond behind... at this point we would not make it to the Vermont Quilt Festival awards ceremony. I have to say, I did feel like ribbons and glory could not possibly make this day, filled with a good friend who loves sewing as much as I do, any better. XOX

... but stay tuned for Part II!


  1. Thanks for sharing.....BEAUTIFUL quilts!

  2. Fun times. Can't wait for Part II.

  3. I thought you couldn't take pictures at the museum? It least it was the last time I was there. Beautiful quilts!

  4. Just ask! Usually the policy is just no flash. XOX