Sunday, August 23, 2015


When I was a candidate for the title of master craftsman in quilting through EGA, the requirement was that every stitch be done by hand except for one side of a quilt binding. That was true of all six projects that were submitted for the scrutiny of the judges. In the past, I have done machine-piecing but even though I have been quilting for 30 years, I decided to sign up for a "" class with Kaye England called "Re-piecing the Past: Civil War Blocks then and now." I am so happy I did!

A lot of invaluable tips are shared in the class, and block after block is taught via videotaped segments that are clear and understandable. However, I am glad that I have had some prior experience with machine-piecing. A beginner would have a difficult time keeping up. I had difficulty with one block but I will try it again now that I have reviewed the lesson a second time.

Here is a photo of one of the quilt blocks I enjoyed making. I did not have an appropriate toile fabric to add for the center so I chose to include the image of a lady wearing a Civil War dress.

I am not sure if I will make a Sampler Quilt with all of the blocks. I feel that the class is a point of departure and the knowledge I learned is transferable to other projects. There are still several blocks remaining to try my hand at. I feel more confident now that I understand the processes of joining triangles by machine. I highly recommend the class. I appreciate the fact that I was able to purchase it on sale and that there is unlimited lifetime access to the class content.

Oh, and I did finish the master craftsman program in the year 2000. So you see, one can teach an old dog new tricks! This was certainly a good refresher course and a chance to become re-acquainted with my sewing machine after spending years in quilt research and publishing so many books and articles!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Billings Farm & Museum Quilt Exhibition

Until September 20, 2015, visitors to the Billings Farm & Museum in Woodstock, Vermont will be able to view 40 quilts made by Windsor County quilters. Twenty-eight quilts are hanging in the barn gallery and 12 of the quilts are relegated to being displayed in a special room just off the gallery.

A Judy Niemeyer design took center stage at the exhibit
Read more about this quilt and others on my website:
Quilter's Muse Publications -
Note:  My website is best viewed with Google Chrome or Internet Explorer for a browser.

This is the 29th Annual Quilt Exhibition. For the price of admission to the museum, one can tour the dairy barn, see farm life exhibits and the 1890 farm house. Quilting demonstrations and activities are scheduled for each day. Among many other tantalizing items, the gift shop now offers Billings' own special cheese made from milk from their award-winning Jersey cows.

Woodstock is a fine place to visit. The town features lots of little shops: for books, antiques, and specialized shopping; a village green for strolling or picnicking; and other nearby attractions such as the Teddy Bear Factory. The Woodstock Inn attracts visitors in all seasons, including winter when cross-country skiing is available. Of course, on the way to Woodstock, you might want to stop at the Country Store in Queeche, VT that is right next door to an Antiques Mall. All in all, we always enjoy the trip to the Billings Farm and at this time of year, with quilts in place, there is even more of an incentive to go there.

Patricia Cummings