Monday, August 13, 2018

Weekly update: batik week

We had free tickets for a concert at Ravinia on Tuesday, but free means lawn seating and it poured. The Zion Park District's weekly concert on Thursday was also free, also outside, and it poured.   That meant two evenings to sew!

I finished the maple leaf wall hanging. It's my OMG for August. I will donate it to the quilt guild for the silent auction at Sept. 29-30 quilt show.   24 x 36, 1-1/2 yards.

Though the maple leaves were finished I didn't put the batik FQ boxes back on the shelf.  Here's what happened;

   Thursday night.

Sunday night. (Yes, there's a hole in the bottom row. I trimmed a block too much and need to replace it.)

I'd probably have gotten the blocks set but I couldn't resist playing with batik scraps.

What I really, really, really need to do is get started on the AAUW holiday raffle quilt. "Started," as in,  "finalize the pattern/design." I have bookmarked ideas and gone through magazines . . . inspiration, please strike this week!

Link ups:  Design Wall Monday
Monday Making
Oh Scrap
Moving It Forward

Monday, August 6, 2018

Weekly update: vacation fabric, stash report, design wall

I splurged on souvenirs this vacation -- four t-shirts, two mugs, a stack of postcards, embroidered patches, and refrigerator magnets. The patches and the magnets have become a routine and the postcards are handy.  I actually needed to replenish t-shirts.  The mugs will replace some that are irredeemably stained.

Is fabric a souvenir?  I suppose not, though sometimes when I cut a particular piece I can remember when and where I bought it.  On this trip I went to three shops -- Golden Gese in Concord, NH; Quilted Threads in Henniker, NH; and Fabricate in Bar Harbor, ME.  I also went to Marden's . (Marden's is a surplus and salvage chain. I remember the very first time I heard about it -- my hairdresser in Auburn said she'd gotten wallpaper at "Maahd'ns" and I had no idea what she was talking about. I soon learned. I still have fabric and, I confess, needlework supplies, from those days. In the 24 years since I moved away they've expanded fabric departments tremendously -- imagine designer fabric (Kaufman, Michael Miller, Benartex, etc.) for $4.99/yd.!)

The Maine Quilts show had an extensive vendor mall.  Some of the sellers were familiar -- Sew Batik from North Dakota, for example -- but there were many who were new to me.

Here's the entire haul.  Batiks, novelties, some Australian prints, some typography prints, a few white-and-black prints.

Included in the stack are FQs of colorful shweshwe prints from South Africa. I have a collection of blue, red, and brown shweshwe. I didn't know it comes in other colors!  (The vendor is Susan Sato of Easy Piecing . The website doesn't include the shweshwe, but she carries it!)

The stash report for July:
Fabric in (all from vacation):  43-3/8, $263.11 (avg. $6.06)  (Is that all? It seemed like a lot more.)
Fabric out:  27-1/4
YTD in: 203-5/8, $706.37 (avg. $3.75/yd)
YTD out:  365-5/8
Net decrease: 162 yds

 It was far too hot to do anything outside this past weekend so I read and sewed. (Oh, yes, and spent much of Saturday writing the travelog blog posts.) 

When we left for New England I had six maple leaf blocks on the design wall. I used some of the new batiks in the additional blocks.  The blocks are 6" and I don't think there will be a border.  This will be a wall hanging or a runner for the silent auction at the quilt guild show in September.  Finishing it is my One Monthly Goal for August. (Whew. I linked up just in time!) 

Monday link ups: 
Monday Making
Oh Scrap!
Design Wall Monday
Moving It Forward

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Summer vacation, part 7: history on the way home

We included more sight-seeing on the final days of our trip.   

 Monday, July 30:  The Oneida Community was founded by John Humphrey Noyes in the 1840's. Noyes was a "perfectionist," saying that individuals could choose not to sin, and thus achieve holiness in life. He and his followers were evicted from Putney, Vermont, and settled in Oneida, New York.  Community members practiced gender equality to the extent that children belonged to all adults. They practiced selective reproduction. (They had "amative" and "procreative" relations.)  An early and very successful industry was manufacturing animal traps.  The community disbanded as a religious entity in 1881. The successor Oneida Corp. began making silver plate which is what Oneida is known for today.

Mansion House is 93,000 square feet. It's part museum, part lodging, and part apartments.

I was very intrigued by Community member Jessie Kinsley's braided art.  She drew the design on paper. She cut fabric (mostly silk) into thin strips and braided it, then glued the braids to make the design.

There was a wonderful album quilt awkwardly hung opposite a staircase.  It is  documented here.

I-90 pretty much follows the Erie Canal across New York. Our next stop was the Erie Canal Museum in downtown Syracuse. The museum includes the last remaining weighlock building where barges and cargo were weighed and tolls assessed accordingly.  The exhibits provide the historical and commercial context of the canal. It truly did open up the country, allowing crops and resources from the west to reach the east and allowing people and manfactured goods to go west.  Towns sprung up along the canal route.

The original canal was replaced in 1918 by a larger, deeper barge canal.  Railroad and now the highways have supplanted the canal for major transport.

Tuesday, July 31:  When we stopped at the Pennsylvania Welcome Center off I-90 about 8:30 a.m. I picked up a brochure advertising a boat tour around Presque Isle State Park in Erie, PA.  The first tour of the day was 11:00 a.m.  Well, why not?
 Presque Isle is French for peninsula ("almost an island").  The park was created in 1912 and has 3,200 acres. There are several public beaches, a picnic pavilions, and campsites. The Tom Ridge Environmental Center is a new building that highlights the ecology of the park and Lake Erie. (Unfortunately we did not have enough time to tour the entire facility).   The park's historic significance goes back to the War of 1812. Admiral Perry's fleet sailed from PI to defeat the British Navy in the Battle of Lake Erie.  (We learned about that on our 2005 Road Scholar trip to South Bass Island at the western side of the lake.)   The 90-minute boat trip was informative and delightful.

Perry Monument

Presque Isle Light House 

And with that we concluded our touring.  It was pedal to the metal from then on -- after the last night outside Toledo, we got an early start and pulled into our driveway just before noon on Wednesday.   Home again!

Summer vacation, part 6: the Shakers

I first encountered the Shakers in the mid-1970's when the Bicentennial led to a renewed interest in American folk art and craft.

The religious sect began in Manchester, England, in the early 1700's.  It was formally United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing; "Shaker" came from "Shaking Quaker" because of the religious dancing during worship.  Founder Ann Lee (known as "Mother Ann") and eight followers emigrated to the colonies in 1774.   They practiced gender equality and celibacy.  They grew through conversion and, later, by adopting orphans. They were pacifists and successful entrepreneurs -- the seed and herb industries began in the 1780's. They made furniture and household accessories (baskets, boxes). They invented the squared-off broom.  Their hymns are well-known (especially "Simple Gifts"). 

[Wikipedia has this summary.]

At their peak there were 5000 Shakers in 19 societies from Maine to Kentucky. Now there are two Shakers who live at Sabbathday Lake, Maine.  The Shaker properties are individually owned and maintained by non-profit trusts

We visited three Shaker villages on this trip. What a treat!  We'd been to two of them years ago; another was new for us.  (Our 1999 Road Scholar trip was to the Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill, Kentucky, with a side trip to see the remaining Shaker dwelling at South Union, Kentucky.)

Saturday, July 21:  Canterbury, New Hampshire  (with daughter Julie and granddaughter Alyssa). Canterbury was active from 1792-1962.  The remaining sisters voted to close enrollment thinking that converts would not interpret and practice the faith as they thought it should be.  They opened the site to tourists and, until the last sister died in 1969, they conducted the tours.  We were there during arts week with performers (dance, music) and artists (sculptor, potter).

The early 20th century Canterbury Shakers installed an organ in their meetinghouse.  They had an orchestra

Saturday, July 28:  Sabbathday Lake, Maine 
The community was established in 1782.  The last two Shakers in the world live here. (We did not see them).   The tour was something of a disappointment. Only two buildings (and the visitor's center/shop) were open. Interior  photography was not allowed. 

The meeting house has the original (1794) interior paint.

Sunday, July 29:  Hancock Shaker Village, Massachusetts
As we were planning our post-Magpie route home I realized that we'd go right past Hancock. GPS told us it was only 284 miles from Poland Spring. (Ah, the compact-ness of New England.)  Despite traffic congestion from southern Maine to Worcester we made it to Hancock at 2 p.m.  There was a chair in the shade where Stevens sat while I roamed the grounds.  Founded in the 1780's, Hancock was the largest Shaker community (300 at its peak).  It was the first to become a museum, in 1960, and it is well-planned to accommodate tourists.  There are 20 authentic buildings.  It's also an active  farm. 

The round stone barn is the most distinctive building at Hancock.  Why did they build it? "Because they could," said the guide. It was an efficient way to feed and milk the cows.

A few more Shaker photos:

Summer vacation, part 5: Poland Spring history

Poland Spring House at its height (burned 1975) 
Maine Inn (where we stayed) 
In 1794 Jabez Ricker and his family moved to a farmstead in Bakerstown, Maine, now known as Poland. In 1797 the family opened an inn.  In 1844 Hiram Ricker cured his dyspepsia by drinking water from a spring on the property and in 1859 began commercial sales of Poland Water.   Poland Spring House opened in 1876 to take advantage of the new popularity of summer vacations as well as the mineral water. 

The spring is a relatively small hole in the ground with this ornate shrine over it. 

The original pump house. The modern bottling plant is down the road. (Water is sourced from a dozen Maine springs with the same geology.)

 After the 1893 Columbian Exposition the Maine State building was dismantled, shipped back, and reassembled on the inn property. 

There are nine kinds of Maine granite in the structure. (We learned about Maine granite when we were on Mt. Desert Island.)

Summer vacation, part 4: the Magpies and Maine Quilts

The Magpies began in 1997 as part of the Usenet News Group rec.crafts.textiles.quilting. We've met up in person pretty much every other year since 1999 -- New Mexico (twice); Santa Clara, CA; Chicago; Lowell, MA; Kansas City; Australia; Vancouver, BC; Fort Worth.  Sometimes there's been a quilt show but other times we've enjoyed seeing the city and sometimes we've actually sewed.

This year we had the Pine Tree Piefest in Poland Spring, Maine, with the 41st Maine Quilt Show among the events.  Most of the Magpies gathered earlier in the week.  Stevens and I arrived Thursday afternoon after our Acadia/Mt. Desert Road Scholar ended.  There were seven 'Pies and three husbands (all of whom had met on the Australia trip).
Dinner at DeMillo's in Portland

Ellie was the hostess with the mostest.   She lives in New Gloucester, Maine. I knew her when I lived in Auburn but our paths diverged. (She didn't quilt back then, and I was just a neophyte quilter.)  Her first cousin Celia, one of the original Magpies, brought her into the group.  Ellie arranged for lodging at the historic Poland Spring Resort .  Mind you, I lived in the next town for a decade but I never had occasion to visit the resort. 

Quilt Car from the New England Quilt Museum (Lowell, MA) 

The women spent Friday at the quilt show at the August Civic Center.  (The men were left to their own devices.)  What a great show!  Over 500 quilts on display, made by quilters all over the state.    I saw an Auburn friend and a library friend.  There was a large vendor mall.  Of course I bought fabric. 

"Crocodylus Smylus" is 21' x 6'. The photo only shows its head. It, the pink rhino, and the fruit bat are by Susan Carlson. There was an exhibit of a dozen of her beautiful collage quilts.

Global Supply Chain (bottom center and bottom right) show has clothing labels sewn on the blocks to show the many places we get our cothing. The names of countries are in the quilting.

Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilts were represented.

 Katie and I sat in on a noontime lecture by Kristy Daum (her website: St. Louis Folk Victorian)   The Benedict Cumberbatch pixel quilt is about 8' x 9'.

Friday dinner was at Ellie's cabin on the shore of Sabbathday Lake. We showed off our purchases and exchanged favors.

(The brown wooden thing at the front is a binding bobbin. Clever idea!)

On Saturday we went our own ways.  Stevens and I went to Marden's in Lewiston where, yes, I bought fabric.  Marden's is a renowned close out and salvage store. They were just getting into quilting fabric when we moved to North Dakota in 1994.  I still have fabric from that very store. We then went to Bowdoin College in Brunswick where we sat in on the annual meeting of the Alpha Delta Phi alumni association. (We were invited by Nessa, the owner of Fabricate in Bar Harbor. She was there along with her AD husband and their AD daughter.)  For dinner we went to a  church supper at the First Congregational UCC in Gray -- beans and casseroles, with pie for dessert. We had a second dessert at Hodgman's Frozen Custard, a 75-year-old ice cream stand in New Gloucester. (It's been on many best-ever ice cream lists.)

The Piefest ended after breakfast on Sunday with hugs and "see you on line" and thoughts about where we'll meet up the next time!