Sunday, July 16, 2017

The 2017 Vermont Quilt Festival

Best of Show Quilt "Floral Treasures" by Janice Cunningham. .
My oldest daughter and I celebrate our birthdays each year by attending The Vermont Quilt Festival. No need to shop for a gift for either of us as we select our own gift when we shop in the wide variety of vendor booths while there. My husband goes with us each year to photograph the quilts and this year we went on Sunday, June 25th.  It was the last day of the show and is always a shorter day, but often that better matches our energy levels. It is over an hour away from home and so going for about 6 hours, makes for an eight hour day total, by the time we return home and that seems to be sufficient challenge for my body! There is a lot of walking and this is the one time of year that I use a walker, though in truth I take it mostly as it makes a wonderful shopping cart with its large basket!
Detail of the center motif. This is all hand-appliqued,embroidered and quilted.

We are familiar with the lay-out and scope and know how to time ourselves to see all the new quilts, some of the antique ones and visit the vendors' shops.  My husband's pictures give me all the time I want to spend studying the contest quilts at home on my computer while sitting in my comfortable desk chair.  It is my inspiration for the year ahead and we have learned that the many vendors provide a hands-on experience with new fabrics and patterns and though we limit our shopping there, it guides our shopping for the year ahead as most vendors provide shopping on-line as well. For a quilter, one can never have enough fabric, notions or patterns! Need has little to do with our choices!
Check out the quilting, done with silk thread and by hand. Beautiful detail!

I hope you will enjoy but a few of the pictures my husband took. I am not sure if you can enlarge or view these close up on your computer, but if you can, you will find the details simply amazing!) They represent but a few I randomly chose for this blog. Lighting can be difficult in such a setting, but I think my husband does these quilts justice in his photos. All credit goes to the brilliant home fabric artists that live in Vermont and the surrounding states and Canada.  If you like what you see, consider that this is an an annual event held the third weekend in June and plan to come to it next year. Details can be found on-line at The Vermont Quilt Festival web site. It usually lasts three days and they feature guest artists every year that teach special classes.

I have never taken full advantage of all that The Vermont Quilt Festival has to offer. Besides classes, there are wonderful events and drawings for gifts that all quilters and sewers would love. To "do it right" means going all three days and taking advantage of local lodging and transportation for the event, carefully selecting classes and special events to attend all with a three day pass. They have a wonderful display of contest quilts as well as their guild's own collection of antique quilts. Their vendors are specially selected to display the latest in materials, notions, patterns and threads, all related to quilting and fabric arts. I simply love it and can't imagine NOT having such a stimulating event to attend each year to keep me inspired! (Thank you Tom McMillen for the photos!)
"Tribute to Mary Mannakee" by Leslie Cook, Greenfield, MA.
Domestic and Longarm Quilted.
"Metropolis" by Mary Schilke, Wells River, Vt. Longarm Quilted.

"Patience" by Susan Tamulaitis,Winthrop, MA.Domestic and Longarm Quilted.
"Counting Stars" by Susan Rivers, Burlington, Vermont. Longarm quilted.
"Field of Flowers" by Mamie Rabida,Broad Brook,CT.Home Machine Quilted.
"Dahlia, Go Big" by Candi Reed, Douglas, GA. Long-arm quilted.

Friday, July 7, 2017

L'chiam; To Life!

Our new little Addie Rose, a very sweet kitty!
I awoke early and patted Cassie's head on my way back to bed and told her that today's the day that Addie Rose comes home.  My husband, just waking, cautioned me not to wake her and get her going unless I planned to get up with her. Cassie only rolled one eye open, but I let her go back to sleep. She had eyed me with suspicion as I am only her babysitter and not her master/mistress. While out of town for my colonoscopy, she spent a night and part of a day staying at my daughter's house terrorizing her new cat who now needs therapy after a heroic, or was it a suicidal jump to save her life, or kill herself (we will never know)? She landed 12 feet below in their entry doorway, a jump serious enough to break my legs, if I tried it. The cat was still able to seek shelter from Cassie, though there was no need as our dog wasn't really interested in her.  Maybe my daughter will learn to anticipate and plan versus living totally in the spontaneous "now", but she has no time to anticipate, but only to deal with the immediate crisis of the moment these days.  Her new step-mom role in addition to adding a new cat to their busy household has left her a bit ragged!

My colonoscopy is over.  To follow is possible treatment or not?  I will see my primary doctor in July but before I do, my husband and I are going to get our new kitten and several days later go to The Vermont Quilt Festival, our annual birthday celebration for me and my daughter.  Meanwhile I will soon return to my usual diet, abandoned for my colon test.

The dinner to celebrate it all being over wasn't sticking to my diet as it included ketchup and 2 slices of bread which means sugar and yeast! Oh my!! This dinner followed my day and a half fast and drastic colon cleanse. For once I could claim I wasn't full of "BS", but planned to keep my blood sugars from crashing and so we went out to eat on the way home.  I was furious with our young and inexperienced space-cadet waiter who let our meal grow cold under the "warming lights"...It wasn't so tasty after sitting for eight minutes while he lost himself in what was obviously a new summer job. He would never make a good waiter, but clearly he didn't know that about himself yet and my judgement was perhaps too harsh and hasty?

I think he sensed I was hostile and perhaps not so clueless to his spaciness, though he clearly had no idea that I was so ravenously hungry, I could have perhaps gnawed off his arm and eaten it raw on the spot! I tried to appreciate my meal albeit, too cold for ultimate satisfaction.  I ate it like it was delicious, even though it was a disappointment. Food, it seems, these days is a necessity more than the ultimate pleasure it used to be.  I hate being diabetic! Now I consume what I must, when I must and without dessert, instead of waiting for the best restaurant and eating just what I want with a generous slice of cheesecake with sliced strawberries and whipped cream on the side before and during my dinner!

The dreaded test was over and I was hoping it was all the treatment I would need as well. Only one polyp removed and that is likely as good as it gets at my age, and one more "itis" to add to my list of all the others.  I am surprised that my middle name isn't "Itis" for inflammation rules my body. It is part of what goes with chronic Lyme Disease. My husband complained before my test, "If only you didn't get so upset with small things"! Small things, indeed, become big things when there is such a large concentration of them! Life is less than spontaneous these days...too many hard-learned lessons and now I take life in bits and segments. It is easier that way!

Working hard to settle in, make herself comfortable, and pose for a picture!
Today I am biting off more--a new kitty companion...I need one now, a furry friend to replace some of the action that has gone too quiet after my dear Zeldie passed. I need to continue loving and being loved. Why isn't my husband enough for me? He is still working and too busy, and I am only Cassie's babysitter.  She picked her favorites some time ago and I wasn't on the list. I need more love to "keep on keeping-on".  If it is too quiet, I become a diminished version of myself.

Addie Rose is my prize for weathering the loss of my dear Zeldie as well as for continuing to battle my health issues, and create more quilts, along with finishing my bucket list of UFOs.  I am taking on another craft season as well for that is what I do. I get tired of persevering and lose my enthusiasm for tackling my do-list everyday, but know that living life to the full means ever challenging myself! I am aging and slowing down, taking more time for smelling flowers and listening to songbirds outside my patio door and snuggling a kitty is high on my list too, each an important part of loving life. It will soon be time to pick up little Addie Rose at the SPCA shelter and she will remind me every day to pause for love, for that is what life is all about--to love and be loved and share my life with others.
My owners are catching on, pampering me with toys.What I have to smile too?

Zeldie loved my home studio and she even collected some of my smaller projects carrying them off to her little nest spaces not missed much by me, except to wonder why the numbers didn't add up...but at my age, life is an "ever wondrous thing".  I once wished for a Grandma Moses-sort-of-life-style and I have it now! Instead of new paintings, I have new pincushions and quilts to make and Addie Rose will hopefully enjoy Little House with all its bits of sewing clutter!
My own cat perch in the sunshine and what are these silly strips of material?
Life is more than sufficient, but sharing it will make it better. I am excited for this day and the days to follow.  Great expectations? Is there any other way to live? A life with Addie Rose will soon begin and my life will never be the same again. Love changes everything! Here's to life!  L'chiam!
Time to take a serious nap, it's been an intense day!