Archive for the ‘Travels’ Category

NYC! The Bowery Savings Bank, and the way home….

Sunday, June 15th, 2014
Across from (or near?) Grand Central is the Bowery Savings Bank, and the stonework and carving was another source of incredible inspiration.

Across from (or near?) Grand Central is the Bowery Savings Bank, and the stonework and carving was another source of incredible inspiration.

Here is a close-up of one of the stone pillars just to the left of the doorway  pictured above:

How lucky we are that the titans of industry 150 years ago poured money into buildings that are art!

How lucky we are that the titans of industry 150 years ago poured money into buildings that are art!

Marie Z. J., I had to take this photo just for you:

An angel for Marie

An angel for Marie

Looking up the facade of the buidling

Looking up the facade of the buidling

and a closer view of the carvings

What a fabulous quilting design or applique this could become

What a fabulous quilting design or applique this could become

The lanterns/lights are just as fabulous.

The lanterns/lights are just as fabulous.

There simply isn’t enough time to make all the art that is inside of me!

And perfect lettering...sigh....

And perfect lettering…sigh….And it looks like this place is now an ultra chi-chi restaurant.   Hmmm.

On the way home, I stopped off in Fall River, Mass.  My father was born there and I recently discovered (in a well DUH SARAH, of course they are) my grandparents are buried here, as is my Aunt Mary M., whom I remember, along with two brothers who died young.  So I sought out the Catholic cemetary and after a lot of wandering around trying to decipher the mystery of how the plots are numbered (I had called written a couple months ago to find out the plot numbers, etc), I found the family monument:

 

Apparently plots were sold with 6 spots--there are many such "family" monuments with names on the back in this cemetery.  Frankie died as a baby and was apparently buried in a different part of the cemetery where there is no marker to show him...so sad, but at least they added him to this stone.  It appears from family records that when Johnnie died in 1924 they purchased this spot (which was paid up in full in 1926).  The stone was erected in 1961--not sure if Aunt Mary did that, or perhaps my Dad.  He did stuff like that for his family, but there are no records now and anyone who knew is long since gone.

Apparently plots were sold with 6 spots–there are many such “family” monuments with names on the back in this cemetery. Frankie died as a baby and was apparently buried in a different part of the cemetery where there is no marker to show him…so sad, but at least they added him to this stone. It appears from family records that when Johnnie died in 1924 they purchased this spot (which was paid up in full in 1926). The stone was erected in 1961–not sure if Aunt Mary did that, or perhaps my Dad. He did stuff like that for his family, but there are no records now and anyone who knew is long since gone.

The back is weird:  it shows ONLY the death dates!  I asked but it isn't possible to change and add the birth dates, or I'd take teaching income from a gig or two and add the birth dates.  My grandparents, born in the 1880s, are at the top, followed by Aunt Mary, Aunt Nan, Frankie and Johnnie.  All but Mary were gone before I was born.

The back is weird: it shows ONLY the death dates! I asked but it isn’t possible to change and add the birth dates, or I’d take teaching income from a gig or two and add the birth dates. My grandparents, born in the 1880s, are at the top, followed by siblings in the order of birth: Aunt Mary, Aunt Nan, Frankie and Johnnie. All but Mary were gone before I was born.

On the way home, the GPS always wants me to go 95 and 93 through downtown Boston.  Which has some of the worst drivers in America.  And a couple interchanges near the Big Dig tunnel and the bridge that are white knuckle experiences for me.  Usually I take I-495 around Boston which nominally takes a half hour longer.  This time I decided to try 95/route 128, the inner ring road around Boston.   Now I know why I will never do that again.  I started to go around Boston at 2 pm.  It was 4:30 before I cleared it…bumper to bumper.  UGH.  It would have been at least an hour faster to take the “long” way on 495–and it wasn’t even rush hour!  And no accidents.  One roadside info sign said next major highway interchange was 12 miles ahead.  Time to get there (mid afternoon!!!!) was FIFTY , 50, MINUTES!!!! SHRIEK.  Was really glad to get home to rural, not-busy-roads Maine!

On route 128, the ring road around Boston.  Horrid.

On route 128, the ring road around Boston. Horrid.

So that’s the trip!  Fun, except for the driving in Massachusetts!

 

NYC! Building Inspiration

Monday, June 9th, 2014
Down at the end of this avenue is the Chrysler Building--now I've seen it for real (even if from a distance)

Down at the end of this avenue is the Chrysler Building–now I’ve seen it for real (even if from a distance)

There were so many inspirations in buildings and architecture it is hard to know where to begin….

Looking up is always a good thing.  Love the rhythm of the fire escape and windows.

Looking up is always a good thing. Love the rhythm of the fire escape and windows.

And what about this modern looking pair:

Wouldn't this make a stunning Modern quilt?  Just add color (or not).

Wouldn’t this make a stunning Modern quilt? Just add color (or not).

The building on the far corner caught my eye for the astounding stonework visible just above the busses

The building on the far corner caught my eye for the astounding stonework visible just above the busses

Poor Deirdre…she kept turning around and I was taking MORE pictures….

But LOOKIT this design?  Isn't that breathtakingly, gobsmackingly wonderful?  Think applique and crazy threadwork.....

But LOOKIT this design? Isn’t that breathtakingly, gobsmackingly wonderful? Think applique and crazy threadwork…..Sigh…. Inhale, breathe, GASP!

And these shards jutting up from between the larger buildings...

And these shards jutting up from between the larger buildings…

So one more NYC post after this one…the Bowery Savings Bank Building.   How lucky we are to inherit these buildings and the crafstmanship and artistry that went into them!

NYC! with friends and fun

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

For the first time in more than 30 years, I got to visit New York City, thanks to the Northern Star Quilt Guild and my friend Deirdre Abbotts!  On Tuesday of last week I gave my Journal Quilts and Journaling for Quilters lecture to the Northern Star Quilt guild in Somers, NY.  Thanks so much to one and all for inviting me down–I hope I get to return to teach!  When the engagement was booked, Deirdre suggested I plan on staying with her and she’d take a day off work and we’d go to the City and play–So we DID!  FUN!

Cheers!  With Luana Rubin and Deirdre Abbotts

Cheers! With Luana Rubin and Deirdre Abbotts–see below for more info

The week before heading down, I found and fell in love with Gudrun Sjoden’s clothing, website here, and discovered they have just ONE store in the US:  in New York!  So we went, and I indulged.  No pics of the clothing, and I forgot to take pics of the inside of the store other than this one, but I can tell you I could have dropped four figures on clothing in there with no difficulty.  Fortunately, I restrained myself (a bit).  And I figured out what sizes I take in her clothes, so now I can order online.  <Beam>

Behind the cash register at Gudrun Sjogen's NYC store

Behind the cash register at Gudrun Sjoden’s NYC store–I <3 this line!

Deirdre lives about an hour’s commuter train ride from NYC, so after a brief stop we headed in to the city armed with our fare cards for use on the train and subway.  Because we got there in the late morning, we shopped a bit, went to Purl Soho, walked around Soho a bit (which seems a lot more skyscraper-ish and less Bohemian than I remember from 30 years ago) and went clothes shopping (where Deirdre got the deal of the week on the sale rack).  We then had a late lunch at Le Pain Quotidien at the recommendation of the shop clerk.  SCORE!  Seriously, some of the best tasting food I’ve had in years.  A simple open-faced sandwich, but every component was succulent and savory:

Two "tartines" at Le Pain Quotidien in Soho.   The drizzled sauces were incredible...I've written in hopes they'll share some of the ingredients since the place has a website with some recipes given.  YUM!

Two “tartines” at Le Pain Quotidien in Soho. The drizzled sauces were incredible…I’ve written in hopes they’ll share some of the ingredients since the place has a website with some recipes given. YUM!

Deirdre had noticed that Luana was in town, so we texted back and forth hoping to meet up for a drink or something after Luana’s business meetings and play (Denzel Washington in A Raisin in the Sun).  Luana thought they’d be out at 3:30, so Deirdre and I decided to subway up to the theatre (near Times Square–what a zoo), but turns out that was intermission time.  So we just HAD to go to City Quilter while Luana watched the second half before meeting her for wine and appetizers at her hotel, near Grand Central.  I brought home a couple of their custom prints…fun!

Cheers!  Raising a glass to friendship!

Cheers! Raising a glass to friendship!

I’ve got a couple more posts with buildings and inspiration!   Stay tuned–here’s a sneak peek:

How lucky we are that the titans of industry 150 years ago poured money into buildings that are art!

How lucky we are that the titans of industry 150 years ago poured money into buildings that are art!

Venice, Florida!

Friday, March 8th, 2013

Just quickly popping in to share a photo ot three before another week evaporates!   After returning from teaching in Florida, I left about 16 hours later to attend the New England (High School) Wrestling Championships with Paul and Eli, and since my return from that have been slamming on multiple deadlines between now and March 15th!   But wanted to share a photo or two, let you know I haven’t disappeared, and will be back with more.  First, the eye candy:

After class Tuesday, my host Betty Jordt took me to Sharky's on the pier for supper.  Shrimp and a sunset---perfect!

After class Tuesday, my host Betty Jordt took me to Sharky’s on the pier for supper. Shrimp and a sunset—perfect!

And a teaser about the class:

In my quilting design class, where we brainstorm ideas for tops folks bring in.  Not sure who took these photos for me, but thank you!  I forgot to take photos on Tuesday

In my quilting design class, where we brainstorm ideas for tops folks bring in. Not sure who took these photos for me, but thank you! I forgot to take photos on Tuesday, so really glad to have this one!

And what FUN…. Rebecca H. from Camden is a snow-bird, and she and her friends traveled to Venice from their Florida winter homes to come to my lecture!  SO FUN to have familiar faces in the audience!  THANK YOU for coming!

With Rbecca and her friends just before my lecture to 200+ (!!!!) people

With Rebecca and her friends just before my lecture to 200+ (!!!!) people.  I’m on the far left with Rebecca next to me.  Great quilters choose good colors LOL…totally unplanned!

Let me knock off a few urgent items (like magazine submissions!) and I’ll be back!

 

First Glimpses, IQA / Houston Market and Festival 2012

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

I left Owl’s Head airport in Rockland at Sunrise:

Sunrise from the Cape Air plane to Boston

And departed Boston’s lights at 6:30 pm,

Taking off from Boston-Logan airport, Monday night, en route home

Arriving back home in Owl’s Head at about 7:35 pm:

Yes, it is that dark here! The long string of lights you see are actually the runway!

I really like the lights of home.  Or more precisely, the lack of lights!

In between I had the most fun I’ve ever had in Houston:  I taught Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday (with demos on the show floor), and Friday morning.  Saturday I got to visit the Texas Quilt Museum in LaGrange, Texas (about 90 minutes by coach bus each way), and Sunday got to see the show.  Then home on Monday…nothing better than coming  home to hugs with my guys and slurps from the critters.

The Rituals exhibit during Market. I’m so glad I took this picture, because I thought I was losing my mind! During Market, my quilt was facing the aisle. When I returned on Wednesday night when Festival opened they had swapped the quilts from front to back and end to end! So glad I’m not crazy and that I really did remember this correctly! My quilt is Strength and Calm, a standing figure on a yellow-to-gold-to-plum background (just to the right of the lady in the red dress).

And part of the other side of the “Rituals” exhibit. Thanks to Havel‘s for sponsoring this exhibit! We, the artists, truly appreciate your generosity.

This year I was able to donate again to the IQA Silent Auction. Here are the donations from award winners, teachers and authors on display.

My donation was the Koi, which is a first cousin to the Koi quilt I made 8 years ago. He has now swum off to his new home! Enjoy, and thank you to whoever bid on him. I appreciate your support of the International Quilt Association!

I’ll be back in the coming days with pictures from my classes, trip to LaGrange, and the show floor.  As always, I am blown away and inspired by what I was able to see!