Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Shelburne Museum

While visiting Maine and Vermont a few weeks ago, my hubby and I wanted to visit The Shelburne Museum and boy were we glad we did!  We had no idea what to expect, but had heard many wonderful things about it.  Both early American history lovers, we were sorry we didn't allow more time there.  The museum has many historic buildings (most were moved there from another location) situated on 40+ acres of land.  A shuttle bus allows on/off access as you move around the property, and the shuttle drivers fill you in on a lot of the history, and the exhibits housed in each building.  Not knowing how long we would have and what was in store, I headed for the antique quilt exhibit first.
This is the only photo I was allowed to take of the quilts.  Of the more than 600 vintage quilts the museum owns, you can see about 60 antique quilts at on display any given time with half of the exhibit rotating every two years.  There were remarkable pieces on display.  I really enjoyed being able to "flip" through the quilts on those moving display boards.  They were under glass, and you could really get up close to see the stitches and fabrics.  

Coverlets were housed in the same building  Isn't this display of indigo and white stunning?
Signage told the story of how the coverlets were made way back when, and any history of the weaver.  These two beauties really caught my eye. 
The details is extraordinary.  My heart just swelled taking it all in, and I thought how fortunate that it has survived all these years in perfect condition for us to enjoy now.  As fibre artist, wouldn't it be something if our work survived this long and ended up in a museum?  Don't think your work would make the cut?
In the room next to the Coverlets was a collection of still my heart!  
 I'm betting that Miss Fanny Clark, 9 years old, never expected her sweet schoolgirl sampler to be in a museum either, so there's hope for us all!  
While I took my time staring, studying and appreciating all of the samplers in the room, it was this needle work that stopped me in my tracks.  Only once before have I been in the same room with a piece like this (in the home of an antique sampler appraiser friend.)  So very rare, they are seen mostly in books, this pole screen dating to c1810-1830 was the gem of the collection, in my humble opinion.  The display card read as follows...."The pole screen was a practical object on which young ladies exercised their needlework skill.  The purpose of the screen was to protect one's face from the heat of the open fire, and for this reason the height was adjustable." Love, love, love!
For this Prairie Woman whom loves life in early America, this building was so fun for me!!!  I could have pulled up a chair and stayed the day.  The building was relocated from "downtown" Shelburne to the museum property decades ago.  In its day, it was a bustling Dry Goods store that served the community, but had been boarded up, and sealed shut along with the contents of the shop displays, etc.  Rescued from destruction, the museum took it and restored it to it's days of glory....just as it was when it closed its door.  To walk through those doors is to walk back in time.
The General Store volunteers are very enthusiastic to share their knowledge of the thousands of items in the shop.  Just as you might expect, people would come to the store for everything they needed.  

Food, hardware, ammunition, medicine, household goods, clothes and yes, fabric!  Who wouldn't want that fabric display?!! (Fabrics were reproductions)
Just look at all the yummy 'goods' you can shop for!  
Like this little sewing section with all those wonderful spool cabinets?
Need a few storage containers?  Band box?  Firkin?  Yes!!!  The store also served as the post office.  
Did you notice this sign in the photo above.  I had to inquire.  A lot of General Store's bartered with the community, and offered credit.  This sign means no credit and no bartering. Interesting.....another term of a bygone era.  As with every generation, we loose phrases of everyday life, and with today's technology, it seems so many are disappearing much too quickly.

Well...I hope I've given you enough of a sneak peek of just a few of the many, many things to see at The Shelburne Museum.  There are so many reasons to visit Maine and Vermont, and I hope someday I'll return.  The countryside was lovely, food yummy, and some of the warmest, friendliest people I've ever met.  

Back to work in the present day.....but I always take a piece of the nineteenth century with my everywhere I go.  

Friday, August 12, 2016

Introducing Conestoga Crossing!!

Conestoga Crossing by Pam Buda for Marcus Fabrics.
Quilt size: 95" x 112"
I had to bump my post about The Shelburne Museum because I am way too excited to wait to announce my newest Block of the Month program.....

Conestoga Crossing!!  

You just have to take a look at the fabrics I designed for this quilt.  Click here to see them on the Marcus Fabrics website.  Very soon, I'll post more close up photos of the fabrics for you to enjoy.

The colors are my favorites.... deep reds, greens, black, dusty golds, and a few yummy blues. All are reproduction prints created from my many antique quilts from that era.  The black border fabric turned out better than I hoped, thanks in large part to Faye Burgos, my awesome Art Director at Marcus.  We worked together to make it really special, and it has such a soft coloring about it, and looks very old, just as it should.  Spectacular!

You know how I love to include little historical stories about life in the 1800's, and I admit I am quite smitten with what it was like to walk The Oregon Trail.  The stories are about preparing for the journey, what is was really like to walk the trail (yes, walk!), some of the stops along the way, and arriving at the final destination....the Land Claims office.  

For the quilt design, I wanted to separate the center of the quilt and add a dramatic frame. Notice the medallion effect of the center "square" of Flying Geese which surround a large star....who doesn't love a star?! There are eight sampler blocks all framed by Chain Log Cabin blocks.  I also just had to have basket blocks in this quilt, which are probably my second favorite block to make.  I love all basket blocks, and this basket version seemed to really fit the quilt.  Not to worry about difficult blocks...I promise!!  All are rotary cut and use modern piecing skills you're very accustom to.  The block size is 12" with the finished quilt measuring 95" x 112". 

I really hope you like Conestoga Crossing, and invite you to take the Journey with me on the Oregon Trail!!  

Conestoga Crossing is an exclusive Block of the Month program I designed for Marcus Fabrics and is only available through participating quilt shops.  It will begin in January of 2017.  Ask for it now at your favorite shop, and I look forward to seeing you on the Trail!

Monday, August 8, 2016

The Busy Thimble Quilt Shop

After all the fun in Augusta, Maine, we were making our way toward Vermont but took a little time before we left Maine to visit a quilt shop that has long, long been on my wish list to visit. The Busy Thimble Quilt Shop in Litchfield, Maine.  
The shop is situated along a country road and down this sweet garden path.  What's inside made this Civil War Repro lover's heart skip more than a few beats!  
Shop owner, Cyndi Black was there to greet me into her wonderful reproduction fabrics world.  (You met Cyndi in my last post about the Maine Quilts show.)
You know that feeling when everything you see everywhere is what you love?  Your eyes can't stop taking it all in.  Yes, oh yes...that happened to me at Busy Thimble.  
I was talking with Cyndi and trying to take it all in all at once.  I began my search.
CW Reproduction fabrics.....glorious fabrics in every corner and sweet cranny!!
This is the store where you want to move it.  Put your purse down, find a chair and devour.  I told Cyndi that her shop made me want to go home and start sewing.  That means I was inspired....which doesn't happen at every shop I visit.  Cyndi has many talents...obviously, but I've come to know her through her blog, and her true, uncanny talent to choose just the right fabrics that make a new quilt look 150 years old.  You can see she has the inventory to do just that!  I would go on record to say that if you love CW Repros like I do, visiting The Busy Thimble is reason enough to make a trip to Maine.  Never mind you'll find lots and lots of wonderful things in Maine, but you need look no further for a reason to go.    

Treat yourself to Cyndi's here.

An important note:  I wanted to say that in my last post about the Small Quilts Inspired by Antique Quilts, I failed to credit Wendy Reed as the Co-Curator of the exhibit.  It's important to me that creative credit gets its please accept my apology, Wendy.  The exhibit was stunning because of both of you!

Coming next....a recap of my trip to the Shelburne Museum.  Off to find a needle.....and where did I put my thimble?

Friday, August 5, 2016

Home From New England

My husband and I arrived home late last night from eight wonderful days visiting New England.  We began our trip in Augusta, Maine where I was a member of this year's faculty for the Maine Quilts Annual Quilt Show.  And...what a show it is.!!  Admittedly, I was so taken with and drawn into the entire show experience, I completely forgot to take pictures of the show!!!  ( this a bad thing to be "present" in what's happening in your life at the moment?  I would say yes until the regret sets in when I wish I had photos to share and remember!)  So, I'll have to paint a picture for you.  

The show is comprised of the work of 2100 members of the Pine Tree Quilters Guild, the one and only guild in all of the state of Maine.  The guild has chapters within local municipalities , and the show displays the work of the members within.  The quilts hanging for viewing were spectacular, to say the least.  You can image the great talent and body of work among a large group such as this. (Truly kicking myself right about now for not taking pictures!)  Their raffle quilt was an amazing quilt that was designed by Edyta Sitar, and was pieced and applique perfection.  I didn't win as surely I would have a photo of that!!  Teehee! (Click on the show link above to see a photo.)

They invited six national teachers and offered classes from each teacher everyday, as well as noon lectures while you enjoyed your lunch.   Raffle baskets and a silent auction rounded out a bevy of activities.  There was so much to enjoy over the weekend, and many, many quilters did just that!

Me and Cyndi Black of The Busy Thimble Quilt Shop
Off in a room all its own was a separate display of antique quilts curated by Cyndi Black of The Busy Thimble Quilt Shop.  Cyndi and several of her extremely talented quilter friends showcased these antique quilts and made miniature versions of each!!  Unbelieveable!  The photos just don't do justice to the always.  The collection was called Small Inspirations from Antique Quilts.  

Cyndi and I are standing in front of a an antique potholder quilt on loan from a Maine museum.  It was such a feast for the eyes in so many ways.  Notice Cyndi's miniature version to the left behind me.
Here is a full view of the original, antique quilt....velvet rope and all.
This is Cyndi's miniature reproduction.  If you'd like to see more about Cyndi's piecing adventures with this quilt, you can visit her blog, The Busy Thimble.  I had the pure pleasure of visiting her shop, The Busy Thimble, and will post photos of that very soon.  

Here's more eye candy of some of the other antique quilts and the miniature reproductions in the exhibit.....
This quilt was one of my favorites because of the workmanship and challenge of the blocks in miniature.  The Lone Star in the upper left corner for difficult...for me, at least!  
But what really blew me away was this Compass Rose!!  How spectacular is that?!!!  All hand pieced, too.  I should hope I am ever this good!  

If you ever get the change to visit and take classes at this annual event, don't pass it up.  It was one of the most memorable quilt shows I've ever attended.  Click here for the Maine Quilts website and follow news of upcoming shows.

My thanks to Callie and all the volunteers at the show, and to all of warm and wonderful quilters whom took my classes and lecture.  You made me feel very welcome and I enjoyed every moment with all of you!!  

More about The Busy Thimble Quilt Shop and my travels to Burlington, VT, and the Shelburne Museum coming soon. 

Make your needle happy and go stitching!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

New England, Here I Come!

My hubby and I will be traveling to New England tomorrow for the Augusta, Maine Quilt Show!  I'm so jazzed about returning to Maine because there's just something so special about New England.  I'll be teaching four workshops and giving a lecture through Sunday, and spending time with fellow quilters is one of my favorite things to do.  For my hubby, he will be hunting lobsters.  

Monday, we will head over to Vermont for a few days of exploration and vacation.  I can hardly wait!!  

Watch for another Scrap Give-away coming soon!!  I have loads of Star Spangled Liberty scraps in need of a new home.  

Find a shady porch, grab an iced tea and some hand stitching.  What a fine time that would be!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Last Chance!! Tokens: Union Forever Special Offer!!

Hello Dear Readers!

Just a quick reminder that my special pre-order pricing ends tomorrow on my newest Tokens of the Past: Union Forever quilt trio kit.  

My sincerest thanks to all of you whom already placed your order.  You guys have blown me away with this one, and I'm so very grateful.  Please know that your support allows me to keep creating fabrics and quilt patterns to enjoy and inspire, and I try never to take that for granted. I'm so very thankful to you all!!!!!!!!!

Click here for all the details.

My husband and I have been invited to join a big bunch of our friends to go cruising on Lake Michigan today on a friend's family boat.  Something I haven't done in years, so we're excited. 
It is horribly hot and humid, so I hope I don't melt.  Hope you enjoy your weekend, too.

Happy Summer!! 

Monday, July 18, 2016

A Little Chenille Trim

Since my post for our Buttermilk Basin Summer Blog Hop, I've received a couple dozen inquiries about the red chenille trim I added to my Americana Pinkeep.  I promised to let everyone know how easy this really is.
The hardest part of adding the chenille trim is finding the chenille trim.  (I've solved that problem for on!)  The chenille comes in a soft ecru color and it takes the color in dye very, very well.  I chose a color of Rit Dye (wine) I wanted, and mixed it up in a Ball jar with very hot water. (Follow the directions on the box/bottle.)  Then, just drop in a length of chenille into the jar and let it sit in there a day or two.  Check to see if the color is what you're looking for, and wearing gloves to protect your hands, rinse the trim, and hang to dry.  That's it!

I stitched the trim to my finished pinkeep by whip stitching (or couching it) over the seam.  Use thread to match the color of the chenille trim and sew it down as you go.  When you get to the ends, have them overlap about 1 inch or so.  Easy, breezy!

It adds just a little touch of something special to the whatever you're making.  You can double the chenille to make it thicker if you have a larger project.  You can twist it, too.  

Now...about finding the chenille trim.  I bought mine from one of my all time favorite shops, Quilter's Station in Lee's Summit, MO.  I called there today, and they still carry the chenille, and would be happy to send it you by mail.  Or...if you're lucky enough to live nearby, definitely stop in.  You won't be sorry you did....and it's a must see if you're traveling in Missouri!!!  
You can call the shop girls to order yours at Quilter's Station at 816/525-8955.  The chenille is very reasonably priced.   

If you missed out on my Buttermilk Basin Summer Blog Hop day, no worries!  Click here to get all the goodies you missed.   The blog hop is still going on, so be sure to check the Buttermilk Basin blog for the designer schedule.  There's so many wonderful projects and recipes there just for you!

There's just 7 days left to take advantage of my special price offer for my brand new Tokens of the Past: Union Forever! quilt trio.  This has been a very hot item (thank you, everyone!!!) and is only available by pre-order....if you've been thinking about ordering this quilt kit, there are just days left to do so.  Click here to read all the details.

Happy Summer Stitches!  

Monday, July 11, 2016

Welcome to our Summer Blog Hop!

Welcome to my day on the Buttermilk Basin Summer Blog Hop!  

Summer is in full swing here and I'm doing my best to enjoy every lovely day.  We've had a run of warm and comfy days here where the weather is perfect and being outside is wonderful. 

The house is still decorated in all things Americana, and I've been in this patriotic mode for awhile.  I'm sure it has everything to do with my new patriotic fabric line, called Star Spangled Liberty (Marcus Fabrics), about to hit your local quilt shops next month.

Stacy asked all of us some summer related questions, so I'll fill in my answers for you:

Do I have a Green Thumb?  Well...I can grow things outside the house but have no luck growing plants and flowers inside.  I'm OK with that.  

Average Temp Where I Live:  Here in the suburbs of Chicago, we average temps in the high 80's to 90's with some humid, sultry days getting into the 100's.  I'm not a fan of the hot, humid days and look forward to the cooler days of fall.  

How Do I Stay Cool During The Summer?  Staying indoor with the A/C.  We used to have a pool, but no longer.  I try to enjoy the cooler mornings.

Favorite Summer Drink:  Iced Tea (year round favorite), frozen peach slushes and strawberry martini's.

What Did I Do For July 4th?  Stayed home this year, had a BBQ, and enjoyed the mild weather outdoors.

S'Mores:  Well....I've only had one once and I don't care much for marshmallows.  Am I the only person who doesn't enjoy S'Mores?

Do I Frequent Farmer's Market:  YES!!  We are so blessed to have a truly excellent Farmer's Market about 10 minutes from home.  You can see more about this below.

Favorite Summer Fruit:  Summer brings all of my favorites.  I adore dark cherries and haven't met a berry I didn't love.

Do I Enjoy Handwork Outside?  Oh yes...outside, inside, in the car, on a plane.  I enjoy hand stitching wherever I go.

Favorite Summer Tradition:  It's funny how our favorite summer traditions have changed over the years.  They are so different now than when our kids were small.  The one thing that remains over the years are cooking and dining outside to enjoy the weather because winter will be back before we know it!  We frequent places with outdoor dining, and several places where we meet our friends to enjoy live music, drinks and good food.  

Every Sunday in Frankfort, IL, which is the next suburb over from where I live, they hold a spectacular Farmer's Market.  The village of Frankfort has a town square, village green, loads of artisan gift and antique shops and lots of wonderful restaurants.  (On Thurday evenings, they also have a terrific Cruise Night where my hubby goes to show his collection of vintage cars and hang out with friends.)  We try hard to attend the Farmer's Market every Sunday, weather permitting.

They always have live entertainment.  We bring lawn chairs, a small cooler and choose a shady spot to enjoy the music and people watching.

Loads of people, old and young, families with little ones, and dogs all come for the fun.

Of course, we all come for the food and special items by local farmers and artisans.  The variety of offerings is quite amazing.

Our absolute favorite booth is Stamper Cheeses.  They're a local family whom make their own over-the-moon delish artisan cheeses and offer samplings of everything.  Smart move as they often sell out early in the day which is why we make it our first stop.  We enjoy so many of their creations with the Almond Apricot Gouda and Raspberry Asiago being our favorites.  This Farmer's Market is such a gem in our community and it's absolutely free.  What is not to love?
The Potluck recipe I want to share with you is a big, big hit whether I take it to a Potluck, or just make it for us at home.  It's easy, has just a few ingredients, and is absolutely delicious!
Ice Cream Jell-O has been in our family since my kids were young and a neighbor brought it to a block party one year.  It's something cool, light and fruity when you're serving heavy things like BBQ chicken or ribs, bratwurst and smoked brisket.  It's so, so good, we often have a little as a dessert!  Are you groaning over another Jell-O recipe?  TRUST ME, this is not your ordinary Jell-O recipe and is quite DIVINE!
There's nothing hard about making it.  Like all layered Jell-O recipes, it just takes time and is totally worth it.  You can substitute any flavors of Jell-O you like, but lime, lemon, peach and black cherry are the standard flavors the recipe calls for, and we love them just the way they are.  Click here for a downloadable/printable copy of Ice Cream Jell-O.
In keeping with my Americana theme this month, I was inspired to design this little Americana Pinkeep for your stitching pleasure.
Just the perfect, small stitching project to bring to your porch or patio and whip up.  You'll have the remainder of the summer to enjoy it!  

Click here to download/print my Americana Pinkeep pattern.

If you love making patriotic quilts, be sure to visit my blog for a limited-time special offer on my new Tokens of the Past: Union Forever! quilt trio.  

Click here to read all the details.

My thanks to Stacy West of Buttermilk Basin for once again hosting this oh-so-fun Summer Blog Hop. 

Hey, it's so very nice outside, I'm gathering something fun to stitch, a strawberry martini, some cherries, and a slice of Raspberry Asiago cheese.  See you on the deck!