Saturday, April 14, 2018

On a Quilt High

A prize winning quilt, Dragonfly Polka by Sylvia Smith of East Dorset, Vt.

My oldest daughter and I went to our local Maple Leaf Quilt Show last Saturday and had a marvelous time.  It is, of course, wonderful to see creations by some of the many who stitch away in their homes over the winter months like me, but at quilt shows, the quilts are only part of the celebration. Seeing old friends not seen for a long time as well as viewing vendor's booths filled with the newest and latest in machines, and materials are fun too.  The hallmark, however, of this particular event is getting to shop at their Consignment Shop. It is filled with all sorts of "white elephants" from their quilt club members and there are books, patterns, notions, threads and materials, at great prices! I have never met a quilter that isn't tempted by getting more fabrics and such for their private stashes!

Quilters were everywhere and it felt good to get the support of those who share our love and passion for quilts . As one woman right next to me at the sale said, "I don't even know you, but you appear to be like me and would agree that shopping for materials is more fun than sex!"  I knew exactly what she meant! We were all on a "quilt high" and picking through bags of delicious scraps is truly a joy, and this show and sale did what it was supposed to do, recharge our spirits and resupply us to keep us all creating quilts!

My daughter and I piled high my special quilt-show-rollator, a walker on wheels that keeps me balanced at quilt shows when I am not focused on walking and doubles as a shopping cart besides. Complete with basket, it was like driving a truck and gave me breathing room in a crowded sale as well! There were enough bargains for everyone and we were all delighted to pounce on so many great deals!

And to think that a yet bigger quilt show, The Vermont Quilt Festival is right around the corner at the end of June (in Colchester, Vermont)! It is one of the biggest quilt shows in the East and happens every year, unlike our local Maple Leaf Quilt Show that happens only once every two years! Our calendars are marked and I am practicing at relaxing well at night to ensure I get a good night's sleep the night before.  I have even been working out at the pool by swimming laps to get stronger as well. It is much like a marathon that a person must train for!

I invited one of my on-line friends I correspond with for this show, but soon realized that her focus was on traveling with her dog. She didn't understand that adding her dog to my own menagerie added a complexity to this event that I was not prepared to deal with. At seventy, and being physically challenged, my focus must be without major distractions in order for me to successfully take-in and enjoy such events! Quilting is what I do, and quilt shows demand that I collect and focus my energies for such events. They are "over-stimulating and exhausting events", but so important as they keep me motivated and charged for the rest of the year! They are not merely fun events, but ones that I don't want to miss. I realized that for those who travel, they may not be as important as they are for me! They are the only events that I really get out for and they create "a quilt high", that energizes me for the entire year!

Bless you, members of The Maple Leaf Quilter's Guild! What a wonderful event you put on for the community and a special thank you from this old lady, who didn't wait two years for the next show, but rather returned the next day with my husband who loves to see the quilts and photograph them for me. It is his gift to me, so I can enjoy the show whenever I want! Thank you, Tom McMillen for these and many more lovely pictures! I hope my readers will enjoy them too!

Maple Leaf Guild's own member was the 2018 Featured Quilter,
Sharon Shorey. This is her I Dream in Miniature Quilt.
Each block is an entire miniature quilt.
This miniature quilt, Tennessee Waltz, by Sharon Shorey
measures only 15 x 21 inches. Her detail is incredible!
Another miniature, Stars in Stripe by Sharon Shorey measures 20 x 24 inches!
Plaid Bird Houses by Sharon Shorey.  Sweet miniature quilt measures 8 x 8 in.
Hats off to all those who entered their quilt(s). You certainly delighted those that came to see your work! One of these years perhaps you will feature me as a guest quilter, not that my own quilts are done so well, but rather that I have so many to finish that perhaps I will in fact, turn into the Grandma Moses of Quilters, and be one of the most prolific quilters of my day, though I must admit that as yet few are finished! Though I plan to complete each of them, I also love to start new ones!! I am one of those that can't seem to focus on doing one quilt at a time and so one great day, I will finish dozens! UFO's are what quilters call their unfinished quilts, and I am not the only one that dreams faster than I can sew! I do remind myself, however, that it isn't about the number of quilts I do, but rather all the fun I have playing with fabrics each day!! It truly makes for a perfect retirement!
This wonderful quilt, Ties that Bind, is made out of neckties and then
beautifully embellished with white feather stitching.
By Diane Planter of North Clarendon, Vermont. 
I loved this quilt, A Challenge, by Janet Block of Rutland, Vermont. The
colors are so unusual and it is so richly quilted!
This was another favorite and won the 2016 Viewer's Choice Award. It is
called Harvest Celebration and is by Sylvia Smith of East Dorset, Vt.
It is so bright and colorful!

This is a close up of one of the blocks of Harvest Celebration by Sylvia Smith.
 It shows the amazing quilting and beautiful applique work!

Last, but not least is my friend and quilter, Holly Young of Florence, Vt.
proudly showing off her beautiful Red and White Quilt. Holly loves
scrap quilts and so do I. She won more awards with this year's quilt!
Way to go Holly! I will have to get her to autograph this picture! I
am so proud to know this talented, fun and silly quilter!
I love Holly, as she always shares her errors, making so many of us feel
like our quilts aren't the only ones that have them! The Amish actually
intentionally add errors to their quilts as only God makes perfect things.
I never have to intentionally add errors as they seem to find my quilts.
Holly laughed saying it wasn't until she hung up her quilt for the show
that she immediately saw the row of triangles going in a
different direction! I think it adds a bit of humor to her quilt
and makes Holly a humble and human quilter, like us!...
There is another quote about "pride going before a fall?" I
know that one too well!

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