Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Surviving Sandy

Did any of you in the northern part of the United States ever think you would see a hurricane?  I know I never did!  And what a storm Sandy was...and is!  I can't imagine 18 foot waves on Lake Superior.  Our street suffered about a 3-hour power outage and that was about it.  We were very lucky.  I hope everyone else is safe and with family and/or friends.  My thoughts and prayers are with each of you.

Blissful hugs,

Sunday, October 28, 2012


With the forecast so dire, my hope for all of us is rainbows.  Things can be replaced, but life is precious.  May you and your loved ones be safe through the storm.  

Blissful hugs,

Saturday, October 27, 2012

More Smiling Students

Time to catch up on some student finishes.

First is Gale, who finished the center of this stunning landscape at the August retreat.  The colors are much more vibrant than they look in this pic.  Gale has an eye for color!

Debbie S. completed this hand pieced Hexagon Bliss quilt.  Started in a class in 2009, it is now quilted and bound.  

I begged Debbie to show her face with the quilt, but no.... So, knowing her arms would get tired of holding the quilt before her face, I patiently waited.  And got THE LOOK for my efforts!

These three lovely ladies were in the Goose in the Pond class held today at O'Susannah's in Watkins Glen.  Each learned to safely and accurately rotary cut, machine piece and press these blocks to perfection.  This was Laurie's first quilt class ever (lime sweater), Claire's (in red) third as she's making a big quilt from these blocks, and Linda was fine-tuning her skills.  They did an excellent job!  And we had a great time from beginning to end.

Congratulations, one and all!  Seeing the pictures brings back happy memories of these students and classes.  May the adventure continue!

Blissful hugs,

Friday, October 26, 2012

Last Stop

The last stop on my Shelburne Farms tour was the breeding barn.  Here's the drive to the entrance.

You can't imagine the  number of pictures I had to take to get one good (?) one of myself.  I need much longer arms!  Anyways, here I am standing at one end of the Breeding Barn.  It's a huge structure and until 1932 (or 1939) it was the largest open span building in the world!  Check out those skylights.  The structures on both sides near the floor used to be horse stalls. Way in the back there are three hay wagons set side by side--there is room for at least that many more across the aisle, showing how big this place is.  

A little less than half the length of the building on the outside front.

This was taken on the back side of the barn.  Look at all the detail work and the sheer number of windows!

From the inside looking up...and up!  You can see from the ground floor all the way to the top of the cupola-like structure at the top.  You can see the viewing platform in the center on the second floor.  For scale, the round windows are approximately 18-24 inches across.  For those of you who ride, can you even imagine riding in this place?  All that space and light?  The barn is being restored and is presently used for events.  There is a poster showing it lit up with candles and white lights, with round tables and guests seated for a banquet.  Just stunning!

And last, the view out the arched door looking back down the lane.  Several people had suggested that the mansion was the building to see--but for me nothing beats a great barn!  

That ends the away mission tour, and we will now resume some other nonsense to keep you entertained, or to be used as an insomniac aid!

Blissful hugs,

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Gardens

The formal gardens at Shelburne Farms are being restored and replanted according to the plan formulated in the late 1800s.  This shows only part of this enchanting place.

This is the view from the retaining wall just above the koi pond.  Yes, there are actual fish and lily pads in the pond, as well as a small fountain just over this wall.  That is Lake Champlain beyond the balustrade.

 Fall blooming iris and many other flowers were still colorful even this late into the fall.

And wouldn't these vines make an interesting quilt design?  What an unexpected surprise!

Even in the rain, such glory.  The dining room in the main house is probably bigger than my entire house!  It's hard to imagine living in such a time.

Blissful hugs,

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Rainy...and too cute!

After my real reason for visiting Vermont--helping to judge the Champlain Valley Quilters Guild show (more on that in a bit), I made my way to Shelburne Farms.  While the weather was perfect on Wednesday and Thursday, I awoke on Friday to drizzle which quickly became torrential rain.  Oh, well--I definitely don't melt!

Here are some of my new friends from the Farm Barn:  First are the sheep.  They actually stand on the "ladder" in the front and eat the hay out of the top of the bin.  The three chickens were quite entertaining on their own.

Can we say "too cute"?

This goat was quite a mooch.  Conned me out of part of my pain de chocolate!  And you know how I hate to part with anything chocolate.  Okay, okay--I really only shared the buttery, flaky pastry part--which was also realllllllyyyyyyy good!  Who could resist that face?

This is Ariella, a Brown Swiss cow, one of over 100 raised on the farm.  Guess what I did?  (Probably NOT what you think!)  I learned to milk a cow!  It's definitely not how they show it on television.  The milk comes out in a stream about the size of a 30 wt thread!  And it's fun to aim--hopefully into the bucket!

Can we say rain?  What you see is not dripping off any eaves--it's just raining that hard!  From where I am standing to the building on the far side is a courtyard of 2 acres!  I was at the Farm for about five hours and it rained every single second!

The quilt show was held October 20 and 21 and it was amazing!  We judged some stunning quilts, and there were also several exhibits, including some of Vermont's antique quilts.  Some of these were over 200 years old.  What a thrill to see them up close and personal.

When I started to post tonight, I realized I had really fallen down on the blogging job this month--only four!  So I am going to try really hard to blog every day for the rest of the month to get that count up.  But I also realized that I am easily going to beat my yearly total from last year!  So there's the good and the bad news!

I have about two more posts from my away mission, but I may take a break to show you a couple new things before continuing.  Only time will tell--stay tuned.

Blissful hugs,

P.S.  I am listening to Black List by Brad Thor.  And I am still knitting while waiting for downloads!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I'm Back from...

A little trip across a lake by ferry.  The sunset was beautiful, and the mountains....  After doing the landscape quilt earlier this year, I now pay special attention to mountain ranges and their layering.  It had been a perfect day--in the 60s and windy.  Being on the water at sunset is so special.

More on this trip in the next post.

Blissful hugs,

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Monday, October 8, 2012

Wonderful Surprises!

Thankful--and lucky.  That's how I feel!  Here are some of the unexpected surprises I received recently.

The table runner I made from a kit given to me a few years ago by a friend.  I think it's the perfect backdrop for some of the surprises.  You may recognize the Mason jar I won from Sharon Stanley on the left.  In the middle is my bowl with candle, pumpkins and Indian corn.  My mom gave me the pumpkins and corn; she recently borrowed the green polished glass chips I usually have around the candle.  A good trade, eh?  On the right is a beautiful glass pumpkin given to me by my friend Laurie.

She made it at the Corning Museum of Glass and it is so cute!

Here's a close-up.  Don't you love the curly tendril? Thanks, Laurie!  I love it!

I'm sort of improving on my "staging" of objects.  Or at least I think I am!  Next up, two new additions to the jar collection!  A bale-top quart jar, and a metal and glass topped pint jar from Cheryl!

Can we say yahooooooo!  I love them, Cheryl; thank you so much! 

When I got to the LQS about a week or so ago, I was handed a plain brown paper bag with a note from Debbie wishing me a Merry Christmas!  Inside was a bottle of my most favorite hand piecing pins from Little House.  You can cool your jets--they are no longer available in the United States (or at least I have been unable to find them).  I haven't used them for class in several years so as not to taunt those of you who do not have them.  But to have a brand new bottle of 100 virgin pins in this cute glass jar with a cork stopper?  Go Sharon--Go Sharon--Go Sharon!  Okay, enough gloating.  Many thanks, Debbie!  

Special thanks to each of you for your thoughtful gifts!

Blissful hugs to all,

P.S.  I just finished listening to Full Cry by Rita Mae Brown and have started Full Black by Brad Thor.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Handwork Student Finishes

As promised, more spectacular finishes!

First, Emily with her Mariner's Compass.  Check out the stripe used in the small star points and the way she fussy-cut the large star points.  Stunning!  (You're in my thoughts, Emily.)

Kathy had never hand pieced before making this beauty.  Soft, serene fabrics make this just lovely.

Traci (remember her from yesterday?) with her compass.  Diagonal stripes make this sing!

Marie (a regular in the student finishes pics!) had a flimsy-NOT!  Her flower garden applique was quilted and bound.  Check out the additional piano key border using all the fabrics from the flowers!

You may recognize this face--yes, it's Traci!  With her appliqued dancing flowers flimsy.  She was most disgusted not to have entirely finished all her projects before the new classes started.  I'd say she did great just getting this amount of flimsies done!

As always, Kilroy was here!  Actually it's Terri!  If memory serves, she used a large scale Kaffe Fassett fabric for the center--isn't it too cool for words?

Congratulations, Ladies!  You seriously are an inspiration to many who read the blog--including me (your humble blog writer).  And the new adventure has begun!

Blissful hugs to all,