Sunday, June 19, 2022

A Tribute Quilt to President Abraham Lincoln

 I made this original tribute quilt to Abraham Lincoln about 20 years ago. It is hand-embroidered, hand-quilted, and hand-appliqued and is one of the few quilts I have ever done in red, white and blue. I still have it hanging in my home and I enjoy seeing it.

Sunday, June 5, 2022

Quilt Exhibition at Billings Farm & Museum - 2022

 On June 3, 2022, we were invited to a sneak preview of the 36th Annual Quilt Exhibition at Billings Farm & Museum, Woodstock, Vermont. There are contemporary quilts by Windsor County Quilters and challenge quilts by the Delectable Mountain Quilters. The exhibit will be open daily from June 4 - July 10 at their 69 Old River Road location. 

Here we highlight just a few of the outstanding quilts that caught our attention. As we entered the exhibition space on the 2nd floor of a former barn, we spied "Big Blooms" by Cynthia Dalrymple. It features a striking array of flowers appliqued onto a background of black/white print fabrics. 

Next, I asked my husband (the photographer of the family) to take a photo of "Big Sur Sunset" by Norma Ippolito which was inspired by a sunset at Big Sur, California. The colors are just wonderful!

"Pandemic Pastime" by Charlotte Croft was an effort to use a box of fabrics given to her during the pandemic. The hexagons look rather cheerful and I would say that she used the fabric to good advantage!

"Homage to Ukraine" by Donna Tardiff is a lovely, small, wall quilt. The Sunflower is the symbol of Ukraine, that war-torn country which is in our thoughts and prayers. 

"Familiar Mountains" by Natalie Frost includes the embroidered name of each mountain depicted under each block. Nice work!

Finally, we liked "Lock Down #1" by Sherry Bingham which features both piecing and applique. This is an outstanding quilt that is nicely-quilted. 

The website for Billings Farm & Museum is and their phone number is 802.457.2355. The museum is well-worth the trip any time of the year to enjoy all that is offered. It is a great place to take children to see farm animals and it is also very appealing to adults who love history. I wrote an extensive article about the farm and museum for The Quilter magazine some years ago and we have visited many times now. There is a wonderful gift shop on the premises that among other tantalizing objects sells cheese made from the farm's own Jersey cows. Hope you enjoyed this glimpse of the exhibit.

Happy Quilting!

Patricia L. Cummings

Thursday, March 3, 2022

Ukrainian Embroidery

 In 1997/1998, I had the privilege of taking a group correspondence course through the Embroiderers' Guild of America. The course centered on Ukrainian embroidery. Course requirements were to complete two Samplers and one free-standing rose pattern worked with waste canvas over white cloth in typical colors of red and black stitches (on a white background).

I loved this course and earned a certificate of completion. In the meantime, I collected several books on Ukrainian embroidery which I find to be very beautiful!

Here are photos of my counted thread work and I am including a photo of Sunflowers, the national flower of Ukraine. Our hearts stand with the Ukrainian people during this time of great suffering and war. We pray for peace!

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Holy Family in Bluework

 Greetings, my friends! I just finished embroidering and quilting a miniature quilt that was inspired by an antique wall splasher in my collection. This intricate quilt took a long time to embroider due to its tiny details and overall size. It measures only 12 1/4" tall x 16 3/8" wide. I really had fun making it though at times I thought I'd never finish! I am calling it "Holy Family in Bluework." I just have to add a sleeve to the back for hanging and it will be all set!

I hope that all of you are enjoying the holiday season. I like listening to the selection of Christmas carols available through the Alexa device that plays amazon music. Soon I will be making Stollen, that wonderful Austrian/German sweetbread that was so favored by some of my ancestors. It is an all-day affair to make it between preparing all of the ingredients and letting the dough rise several times before baking it. 

We are enjoying our (artificial) Charlie Brown type of Christmas tree which we have had for at least 10 years now. Every year, more and more needles grace the living room floor and one of these years, we will have to buy a new one. Real trees are in short supply this year due to farmers selling off their land about 10 years ago now in lieu of keeping Christmas tree plantations. With the supply chain issues, I heard that artificial trees are also more scarce than usual.

We drove around the other night to look at Christmas lights. They were few and far between but the ones that were up were very nice! I was happy to see that Concord, NH still has a nice creche downtown and a tall holiday tree.

I am wishing you the very best Christmas ever (or whatever other winter holidays you celebrate)!

Patricia Cummings

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Bill Staines, NH Singer/Songwriter, Passes

 I was very much saddened by the news that Bill Staines, NH folksinger/songwriter, passed away on 12/5/2021. Without knowing it until three weeks ago, the pancreatic cancer from which he had suffered for 20 years had metastasized in a very aggressive way. He was 74 years old. I was lucky enough to have attended two of his concerts in my hometown, summers ago. Bill was internationally-known and was a well-loved musician, a gentle soul.

In 2003, I was so inspired by his song, "Redbird's Wing," that I designed a quilt based on the lyrics. I contacted Bill and he graciously allowed me to print the words of the song on the back of the quilt. You can probably hear this song, if you Google it. It begins:  "Oh, I have left the ground behind/ On windy whispers, I am climbing/ past the spruce and spindly pine/ where winding waters sing..." He was, of course, referring to riding in an airplane over Alaska. The lyrics are full of imagery and led themselves well to visual interpretation. I call my quilt, "On Windy Whispers."

What a joy it was to know Bill's music. I also enjoy the music of his talented son, Bowen Staines, and have his CD-ROM. The apple did not fall far from the tree. Bill is perhaps best known for his song, "All God's Critters Got a Place in the Choir," the basis of a book for children, and published in the Rise Up Singing songbook. The people who love folk music in New England have certainly lost one of the greatest folksingers of our time. Rest in peace, Bill Staines. We are going to keep on singing and playing your music!

Patricia Cummings