Category Archives: Vermont

A Great Weekend at VQF

     It has been a few years since I have attended the Vermont Quilt Festival. But this past weekend, I was able to spend  three glorious days soaking up quilts, classes and vendors. I even had the treat of seeing the show with a dear friend , Lynne, from Vermont as well.

     The first class I took was taught by the lovely and funny Katie Pasquini Masopust and titiled “Color”. We were asked to each bring 100 squares of fabric for the exercises. The first thing we did was a color wheel aiming for the most pure colors we could find on the table. Not so easy even though you know the color wheel. Or do you?

We compared our results and the results on black, white and grey.

Then we developed a mini composition with one grouping of the colors.

Analyzed magazine photos with regards to the colors that were used.

Interesting to see how many colors we were missing even though there were at least 2000 colors out on our table.

 And then moved on to the next day’s class which was composition.

More on that class tomorrow. Another great teacher. Sigh. So much to know but oh so good to have the opportunity to take all these classes.

Working on a baby quilt for a friend and a graduation quilt for my daughter this week. And overdyeing last week’s bad ones.

Dyeing Days #1

     One of my favorite things to do watch here other than the sunsets are the farmers cutting the hay. It has been a busy time on the fields around our home. We are here about two weeks earlier than last year and I am enjoying some of the blooms that I usually don’t get to see.

After about three days of getting settled in and walking around in kind of a foggy mood from the last month, I wanted to get busy dyeing fabrics. So I set up my dye studio.

Only to struggle with the process and colors. I wanted deep dark purples and ended up with lots of mottled and tired darks. I think I didn’t make my soda ash solution strong enough. Or I have old dyes.

I was unimpressed with my results with my results from the 50 yards I dyed. I overdyed about 15 yards and the darks still look washed out and grainy. Good thing I am going to the Vermont Quilt Festival this weekend for 3 days. I will have to replenish the dyes to see if this helps.

A Winter’s Walk

     We made it here before the big storm last week. We only received about 14 inches here in Vermont but the wind kept us inside Friday and Saturday. On Sunday I was rewarded by bright sunshine. And it didn’t take me long to strap on my snowshoes and take a two hour hike in the woods.

When I made it up the meadow and into the woods, I was amazed that no one had walked  or skied on the paths yet. I walk along the cross country ski trails and in the nine years I have been walking on the paths, that has never happened before.

It was a breath-taking day in the woods. And then back to the house to play with some free motion quilting on this piece. I didn’t choose wisely with thread color but  the quilting was a little easier and even felt relaxing. So many things to learn.

For Those Missing Snow

tempting view from my sewing machine 

downtown Stowe

Stowe Community Church steeple

snow and more snow

You can’t even see the mountains between the house and the trees.

Lucy just wants to sit in the snow

    I have snow for you here in Vermont.

    The last few years have been all about the learning but now it’s about the making and doing.  But today is for having fun ,  just enjoying the family and the snow. Happy New Year and thanks for reading and checking in with me the past year.  I appreciate the  new connections and the friendships I have made.


Dear Little Home

Dear little home in Vermont,

     I knew from the first time I stepped foot in your doors, that you had good “bones”. The kind of bones that would wrap your arms around my family and just love us to death. From your drafty windows and even the river running through the dirt floor basement 8 years ago, I still knew you should be ours. And you miraculously were.

      I always walked in after a long trip  to get there and just felt more at home there than I did in any of the other homes that I came from. You have lovely, amazing sunsets for us. The radiator heat is just what we love on a cold February morning and you worked even after the dog pulled part of you off the wall. And I love all the country noises from cows across the street to the peepers in the pond in the spring. And your barn is just the best thing-truly.

     Please do not be offended but I need to tell you that you will have a for sale sign in your front yard soon.  You have to know that I have I have cried puddles of unexpected tears about this decision.  Just rivers of tears and I feel as if I am losing one of my best friends. But you are just so far away. It is getting so hard to actually spend time there. I am logically thinking and knowing this is a good thing that you might have someone who can be there more than us. But my heart is breaking and I have really had a rough time for the past few weeks being home. I wish I was closer but I am not. That’s the cold hard facts my friend. One thousand miles is just a long ways away.

    Forgive me – you have been really good to us and I will miss you. I hope that another family will buy you and know how special you have been too. You have been around for for 130 years so I am sure you  have lots to tell them.

A Blue Day

     I didn’t realize I had a “blue” day.

Went to pick blueberries with the girls today. The second batch in less than a week and we haven’t frozen any of them!

And then I tried a natural indigo vat again but  the samples turned out way too light for me. I will add them to my growing indigo pile at home.

I think they are still pretty though.

And then I found a really small nest that fell out of a tree last night during the rain. Beautiful and intricate.

Just Write

    I gave those instructions to myself today. Just write a blog post.

     I had expectations that I would have a finished piece today to have something exciting to show you. But the last three days have been brutally hot and I really don’t want to sweat while I sew. ( Not good to sweat on your art that many people will see.) I really hate complaining about the weather but it has been steamy in my little house in the farmland.  To have a ginormo quilt on my lap is way too sweaty. No air-conditioning here, folks. So during the day we seek water and cool spaces wherever we can find it .

    And I have been dyeing some fabric. Remember when I said I wasn’t going to do that here? Well the truth is that at the last day when I was packing to come here, I dumped a bunch of dyes in a box and shipped it here. I just couldn’t let hot steamy days go without dyeing. Call me irresponsible or call me responsible, this is just the perfect wet studio and I couldn’t let the opportunity pass!

      To me, this is THE space I love to dye fabrics in. Why waste a few days of heat?  I had the dyes, the space and the heat. I needed only the fabric. So, this gave me the perfect opportunity to try some the Kaufman pimatex which Lisa Call sells.  Lisa promptly sent it to me and I am a new convert to to Kaufman pfd pimatex.  I have found a new addiction as it dyes beautifully.

     What would summer in Vermont be without a few yards of fabric on the line?

Inch By Inch

     We have been enjoying great weather and a visitor this week.  It made me appreciate the views and just slow down a bit.

When I can squeeze it in, I am machine quilting. Last night I measured how far I had stitched on my Artprize piece and it was 18 inches out of about 83….just moving along inch by inch.

But things like this just keep pushing me along: a nice blog article in the Experiencegr regarding my work! They are doing a series in regards to the AQS show in Grand Rapids in August.

Hodge Podge

     Just a sampling of what I did before the trip here last Thursday.

Tried to finish up some fabric dyeing of deep browns, blues and a funny mustard color.

I hand basted my Artprize piece-twice. The first time I didn’t follow the You Tube directions correctly using Sharon Schambers method. I really resisted hand basting but was going to hand carry this throughout the airport. The idea of hundreds of safety pins going off through security convinced me to do it.  A few wobbly lines which I am calling organic have been sewn in. Yes, I am doing this one from top to bottom with the walking foot.

And I squeezed in a little ice dyeing. I had a few pieces of fabric left and it was so hot I thought it a great time to try it.

A little ice on top of soda soaked fabric.

A little dye sprinkled on top of the ice and then a few more layers of fabric.

Twenty four hours later, I rinsed as usual and washed and I have some interesting pieces.

Nice markings on the fabrics and it was super easy.

I was stuck in the airport for about 36 hours and my husband came to get me in a CT airport.  I retrieved my lost luggage on Sunday which had the thread it in it for machine quilting. It was really an adventure from the netherlands which I have no idea why it always happens to me.  But this time it exhausted me .

In Vermont now for a few weeks and I hope I catch my breath enough to get the stitching down on Miss Artprize.