Archive for September, 2011


This summer I entered my quilt Witch Hobble in the Billings Farm and Museum show which is dedicated to quilters from Windsor County Vermont.  It’s a small show drawing from a small area and is fun because of the wide variety of quilts submitted and exhibited.  I attended the artist reception and enjoyed the judges comments about the winning quilts.  It seemed they all mentioned the story about the quilt that spoke to them and led to the choosing of the winners.  Alas, I did not receive a prize from the judges.

Imagine my surprise when I got a call last week saying that I had won the First Place Viewers Choice award for small/ medium quilts.  Apparently, viewers were as intrigued as I was with Kathy Loomis’ skinny piecing technique.  And clearly from the judges comments, they didn’t really know how I did it either.  I was invited to come to have my photo taken and it was submitted to the local paper.  I also received a lovely ribbon.


Dye workshop

Recently I took a natural dyeing workshop through Six Loose Ladies yarn shop.  We brought in Nancy Zeller of Long Ridge Farm in New Hampshire.  The dyes we used were Earthues dyes which are extracts of natural vegetation and insects.  This was a boiling method (as opposed to other dyeing I have done in the microwave and cold batching) and we had 4 stations, each station making two colors.  When we were done, we each came home with eight skeins.

Batch one used osage orange and weld for a nice yellow, and added logwood grey for an olive green.  Batch two used pomegranate and osage orange for a golden beige and added madder for a lovely rusty orange.  Batch three used logwood grey for a soft gray and added logwood purple, yielding blueberry.  And batch four used Lac (a bug extract) for a beautiful purple-y pink and added logwood gray for a deeper purple.

Nancy was energetic and knowledgeable and a good time was had by all.

An Inkling of Autumn

The crispness in the air these days signals the waning of Summer and the fact that Autumn is waiting in the wings.  There are other signs too: apple laden trees, fields of goldenrod in full bloom, and milkweed pods poised to open; but probably the most striking manifestations are tiny spots of color in the forest understory, visible only at a slower pace and with a keen eye.  These are a foretaste of the glory to come, in a few weeks, after a cold spell.  Until then we’ll be content with a reminder of the quiet beauty that God has hidden beneath the green.

Guardians of the Blackberries

The blackberries this year have been abundant and sweet.  They rarely make it back into the house as they are eaten right away.  I have met some wonderful creatures as I hunted for berries, mostly very beautiful, large orb weaver spiders whose abdomens measure a good 1/2 inch across.  The give-away to their presence is the large round web they weave.  Then, at one corner are some leaves that have been woven together with silk to make a snug little retreat, just spider size.  The insects they trap in the web are “embalmed” and carried home to be eaten in private.  Each night they weave a new web and retire to their retreat during the day to wait for meals to come to them.  These two patiently endured me prying open their homes to get photos.  I tried to identify them but found nothing that looked exactly like them.  They are perhaps a species of garden orb weavers or very pale marbled orb weavers.  If you are squeamish about spiders, don’t click on the links as there is probably more than you want to see.  If you’re interested, there is an amazing amount of beauty and diversity in the spider realm.

Summer Bounty


Art Every Day Month



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September 2011
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