Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Nubble Lighthouse

From York Beach, Maine one can see the Nubble Lighthouse at the end of land jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean. One can drive out to the Lighthouse and it is beautiful in any weather. This week, on a sunny day in April, we took the opportunity to drive from New Hampshire to Maine, stopping at Bob's Clam Hut in Kittery, Maine, a famous restaurant of ours for years now. It was a grand day!

The Nubble Light / photo by James Cummings

In 1994 I took a photo of the Nubble Lighthouse in the winter and made a miniature quilt with a photo transfer.

The Nubble Light in Winter / a quilt by Patricia Cummings

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Poem: You Know that You're a Quilter

You Know that You're a Quilter
a poem by Patricia L. Cummings

You know that you're a quilter
When your home could be a shop
So filled it is with notions
and cloth from Fabric Hops.

You know that you're a quilter
When you need a live-in-chef
To remind you of the need to eat
When you'd rather just be left...

To mark and cut and piece and quilt
And sing the whole day through.
You know you are a quilter
AND the things you like to do!

Your children sleep under quilts
that you have made with care.
Your husband wears a quilted vest
Even though others stare.

Your toaster sports a cover,
Quilted with your two hands.
As you work on finishing a quilt
yet another one you plan.

The world is prettier still
Due to quilts that you have made.
They adorn every surface
in homes that are humble or grand.

Doll quilts, wall quilts
And bed quilts, too,
Greet visitors and loved ones
And they're all made by you.

To all quilters now we say:

May your blessings be many,
And your troubles be few.
Take time today to celebrate
All that you do!


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Calico Garden

One of the most favorite quilts I ever made is called "Calico Garden" and is a reproduction of a quilt made by Florence Peto in the 1950s. She was a quilt dealer from New Jersey and a quilt historian who was a consultant for the Shelburne Museum when that museum was amassing its quilt collection.

"Calico Garden" 39" x 49"

The quilt took me a year to make. It is pieced, appliqued, and hand-quilted. I used the pattern provided by Hoopla, a company owned by Froncie Quinn. The swags and border flowers are made from chintz fabric and are much larger than the ones on the original quilt that is now held by the Shelburne Museum. I did submit documentation and a photo of the quilt to the museum for their records. A documentation sheet came with the pattern. I finished this quilt in September 2001.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Spring is Here!

After a long winter during which we had a lot more snow than last year, April is here! Finally, we are seeing some Glory of the Snow (little blue) flowers, the first to bloom in our yard. We had been hearing about the baby animals at the Billings Farm & Museum in Woodstock, Vermont and decided it was time to visit there again. A few years ago, we wrote a magazine article about the place and so, we are fairly well acquainted with its history and offerings but listen, who can resist animals?

Here are some photos from our day trip.

Curious cow (Milking cows are leaner than animals raised for beef)

Baby lambs resting in their sweaters

Mother sheep catches a ray of sun while babysitting two lambs

Percheron horses enjoy some fresh air on a gorgeous spring day (yes, that is snow!)

Friendly sheep that did not mind being petted. All photos by James Cummings

Friday, April 7, 2017

Quilt Blocks Galore!

During the course of time that I was actively involved in magazine publishing, I made many quilt blocks to serve as illustrations. The blocks were of different sizes and I gave no thought to make them color-compatible to use in a Sampler quilt(s). Now I am left with piles of quilt blocks that are discordant to each other, some large enough to finish into its own small wall quilt or pillow (but how many small wall quilts or pillows does a person need?).

Many of the blocks I reproduced have a political or Biblical association. The following block was difficult to make. You will notice that it is made with half-square rectangles which took some time to master, piecing them by hand. The name "Ararat" is that of a new elephant at the Kansas City zoo at the time that the designer Eveline Foland created this block for publication. The block had no association with the Republican party at the time it was made in the 1930s, yet it has taken on that significance. The equivalent would be the quilt called "Democratic Donkeys." A vintage example of a quilt of that kind is shown in my book, Straight Talk About Quilt Care.

But back to my original dilemma: what to do with all of these loose blocks? I welcome any ideas!

"Ararat" block made as sample for a magazine article