Sunday, September 15, 2019

Squanicook Guild Show 2019

The Squanicook Colonial Quilt Guild presented a show called "Autumn Festival of Quilts" on September 14 & 15 at the Hawthorne Brooke Middle School in Townsend, Massachusetts. The show was excellent and showcased the talents of many quilters. I asked my husband to take a few photos of quilts we really enjoyed seeing and those are presented here to honor the quiltmakers who made them and to encourage you to attend their show in the future.

"Wayne's Hunting Quilt" by Ann W. Penn

A very large quilt at 104" x 90" is called "Wayne's Hunting Quilt" made by Ann W. Penn. She machine pieced it and had Melissa Hayes of The Complete Quilt do the machine quilting. The quilt is fetching with its many images of wildlife and its autumn hues in the print designs. It was made for Ann's friend's husband who is an avid hunter and fisherman. Ann acquired the fabrics from various sources.

"Allen's Celtic Quilt" by Anna-Maria Poole

"Allen's Celtic Quilt" by Anna-Maria Poole is based on one of her son's Celtic drawings when he was in high school. The quilt measures 58" x 99" and caught our attention! I loved the neutral color fabric which has stars!

"Robin the Quilter" by Robin Murch

A whimsical addition to the show was a doll called "Robin the Quilter" by Robin Murch. The doll is based on a published pattern by Elinor Peace Bailey and represents Robin after a successful day of shopping at quilt shops.

"Hampton Ridge" by Barbara Seney

I fell in love with "Hampton Ridge" by Barbara Seney, an 89" x 89" quilt based on BOM patterns published by Paula Barnes. "A Stitch in Time" quilted the quilt. The color choices are great and the borders really complement the pieced blocks.

"Scraps for Naps" by Sandra Tuttle

A very colorful quilt is entitled "Scraps for Naps." This lap size quilt was made by Sandra Tuttle from a published pattern. It is machine-pieced and then machine quilted by "Seventh Heaven Quilting." This looks like a great way to use up leftovers from the scrap bag. I enjoyed Sandra's placement of colors!

"Vintage Rose" by Leo McClure

"Vintage Rose" by Leo McClure measures 78" x 78" and is based on a Judy Niemeyer pattern for paper piecing. This was Leo's first attempt at that technique. The quilt is machine pieced and machine quilted by Leo McClure, "Quilts by Leo." The pink triangles in the center of the quilt give it a focal point and interior movement. Love the color combination!

All in all, this was a wonderful show! I hope you enjoyed a peek at a few of the spectacular items on display!

Friday, August 23, 2019

Moose Festival Quilt Show and Fiber Arts Show - 2019

Each year our car heads toward Colebrook, New Hampshire where the annual Moose Festival is underway for a few days. Our main goal in going is to see the display of quilts and fiber arts at the local church. The quilts are mainly draped over pews. This year there were a lot of unfinished, vintage and antique quilt tops in the mix. We took a few photos to give you an idea of our favorites in the show. The Moose Festival runs through the weekend and started today (August 23, 2019).

This beautiful batik quilt is called "Log Cabin - Fields and Furrows" by its maker, Jessica Falconer
A colorful pieced quilt called "New York Beauty" by the quiltmaker was positioned at the front of the church and was draped so is not seen in its entirety.

Name tag for "New York Beauty"

A group Sampler quilt, made by an entire (small) guild, features a very clever center block that shows three quilts on a line as well as a Barn Quilt. This was assembled by Sonja Sheldon and quilted by Carol Flanders and is owned by Jean Haynes.

The raffle quilt this year is to benefit the Colebrook Fire Station and it is a beauty in red, white and green! Tickets are $5.00 each.

It is always a joy to see what other creative minds are currently making (or have made in the past). On hand were several hand-hooked rugs, framed embroidery pieces, some quilted clothing, and a framed piece of Crazy Patchwork. For us, it was a 2 1/2 hour drive but the time went fast as we enjoyed New Hampshire's lush greenery of summer and some music on CDs that we brought along. We enjoyed walking the length of Main Street with all of the vendors in place and small shops to enter. I especially liked the small dish of "Moose Tracks" ice cream that I chose to help cool off on this end-of-the-summer day. And, of course, a trip up north would not be complete without a stop at Potato Barn Antiques. All in all, with sun shining and only fair weather clouds to accompany us on this trip, it was a fine day, indeed!

Saturday, August 3, 2019

The Man Who

Back in the 1960s, my Dad served as clerk to the Board of Selectmen in a small New Hampshire town. On one occasion, he was to drop off some paperwork to one of the Selectmen at his home. Upon approaching the door, Dad noticed that the door was open with just a screen door in place. Shortly, he heard a woman's voice calling "Man Who," "Man Who." Dad did not know what to make of this strange call out. He knocked on the door and soon the lady of the house appeared. She explained that she was calling her cat and that she named him "Man Who" after listening to all the political pundits on television claiming they were the man who did this or that. Dad came away chuckling. He always did enjoy humor.

Humor seems to be what is lacking in our current election process. The Democratic debates showed no levity whatsoever. Not that there is a lot to laugh or joke about in today's America. We all know the problems and they seem to only be getting worse.

I like to think of the 1960s. There was much civil disobedience, much vocalization when it came to folksingers speaking out and singing out their hearts, trying to call the status quo into some kind of accountability. There was hope, too. "We Shall Overcome" and "Not Gonna Study War No More" were two of the more popular songs. Bob Dylan and Joan Baez were oh so young back then, just "kids" really but people with a social conscience.

When I think of it, folk music has always been the voice of the common folk who have been concerned with issues bigger than themselves. Whether the topic was prison ("Midnight Special" or "Folsom Prison Blues") or the war in Vietnam, there was a song addressed to the issue.

A yellow rose, the symbol of insincerity but beautiful just the same. Let's hope for sincerity and truth in our politics. Rose photo by James Cummings taken in our garden.

Every Sunday night my husband and I have a "date" to do some coloring in my studio while we listen to the New Hampshire Folk Show on National Public Radio. Last week's offerings included many songs that had references to the city of Baltimore, nostalgic thoughts, all. The songs were appropriate due to the previous week's slammings by Tweet by the official Tweeter-in-chief which demonized the city as "rat-infested" and a place "where no one would want to live." These thoughts were followed up with personal attacks on Rep. Elijah Cummings who is from Baltimore in retribution for political discourse. The songs leveled the playing field a bit, giving voice in a sense to a city under attack.

Baltimore has always been a fine city and in the mid-19th century, the place where the famed "Baltimore Album" quilts were made and presented to departing Methodist ministers. These quilts are some of the most prized in the world and have, in some instances, been duplicated by members of the Baltimore Applique Society (and other quilters) who wanted a challenge.

We need to start seeing the good in places and in each other. We need to bring back communal laughter which could bring on a sense of well-being again. Not laughter in a jeering and hateful manner but perhaps laughter at our own human condition, bringing on a sense that we are all in this life together and need to make the most of that fact.

And so, I leave you with my memory of a cat named "The Man Who." Let's hope that the results of the next election will bring us the man or the woman who can turn this country in a different direction.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

More Poetry from Sweetheart Pillows

In 2011 my book Sweetheart & Mother Pillows was published by Schiffer Publishing, Ltd. The other day, in going through my files, I found a few poems that were printed on some pillow covers that I would like to share with you today. These particular poems were not included in the book.

The first one is from Old Round Tower, Fort Snelling, MINN. It shows the image of a World War II infantryman, a tank, anti-aircraft, and a flying fortress. The poem is dedicated to "Sweetheart" and reads:  "Until you and I shall meet again/ Sweet thoughts of love to you I send/ And though I am so far away remembering/you day-by-day/ May all my blessings be with you/ Your sweetheart always true."

Another pillow cover is from World War II and has a blue background with 6 red roses and one bud and green leaves. The "Sweetheart" poem states:  "The hours I've spent with you, dear, /Are the happiest I've known. My happiest hopes and dreams are those/ I've shared with you alone / And as I wish you every joy.../ I'm looking forward, too / To all the future joy I'll find/ When I return to you."

Also, I saved the words from a WWI pillow pouch that shows three Doughboys carrying an American flag, Lady Columbia holding up a wreath and features a poem with the heading "Forget Me Not." It says, "O East or West/ it's home that's best./ The saying's surely True./ For when my thoughts would seek their rest, / They all come home to you."

Souvenir de France pillow cover that I acquired after publication of the book.
This shows soldiers marching through the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and is from WWI.

My book features hundreds of poems that appear on military pillow covers and pillow pouches that were sent home to loved ones, usually when military personnel was deploying overseas to battle areas, especially during World War II. Not all pillow covers featured poems; some just name the military base of origin.

I was just re-visiting my book in preparation for a presentation I am giving this week on the topic. I cannot help but be impressed by my own work and the photographs of pillow covers (and a quilt) taken by my husband for the book. It was a lot of work! Captions are very detailed and I researched every military base named on the pillow covers. The book serves as an historical document, a price guide and a care guide for these specialized vintage and antique items from World War I and II and the Civilian Conservation Camps. I am happy to have written this unique book on an obscure topic that most Americans today are not at all familiar.

Patricia Cummings

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Gift of Redwork

I am so happy to have just completed a small quilt based on a quilt block done in Redwork by my friend in Germany. Tamara Shpolyanska decided to take the photo I sent to her which depicts my husband Jim and I wearing Civil War costumes and turn it into an embroidered piece. We had dressed up in these clothes while giving a presentation about Civil War quilts in August 2011 to a local historical society. By Christmas, we decided to don the garments again to take a "selfie" in front of our Christmas tree to send as the front of our Christmas cards that year. It is from that card that Tamara got the idea to embroider us. She has been a big fan of Redwork and enjoyed my articles in The Quilter magazine and the book(s) I wrote on the subject.

I layered the quilt block, hand-quilted the block, and added borders which are tied. Of course, I added a sleeve for hanging, as well as a quilt label which gives credit to Tamara for the Redwork and myself for the finishing of the piece, the place(s) where this object was made, and the date it was finished. I am very grateful to Tamara for this gift!

Jim Cummings and Pat Cummings dressed in Civil War costumes

The original photo from which Tamara worked