First, the big news: C & T Publishing has accepted my book proposal, and is going to publish my book AnglePlay—A New Look at Triangles!! That’s the good news—the bad news is that the book package has to be in August 1, 2004—so it’s going to be quite a push between now and then! If you would like to be part of the team developing quilts for this book, please email me right away (firstname.lastname@example.org), and I’ll send you some guidelines for the quilts I need to showcase the enormous breadth of possibilities with this half-rectangle shape!
Again, it’s been a busy month—but I’m home for the year. What a delight to know that I don’t have to get on an airplane or stand in any airport lines til January…I love this time of year not only because it is the holiday season, but also because it is a time to tie up loose ends, catch up on what’s been neglected while I travel, and take a deep breath and make plans for the shiny new year ahead.
Main Street in Gloversville, taken on the rainy and overcast morning I left town. The buildings are fascinating; the history is palpable…
My most recent teaching trip took me to New Hampshire and upstate New York, where it was a little warmer than it had been in Seattle the two days before I left—winter came with a jolt this year! What a delight it was to greet colleagues from years ago as we gathered to teach at the 15th anniversary of A Quilter’s Gathering in Nashua, NH. We who travel and teach quiltmaking feel like a family after a few years; it is always delightful to have teaching paths cross with people you haven’t seen in a while! And the conversation picks up where it left off, no matter how long we have been traveling divergent itineraries…
I drove a rental car from Manchester, New Hampshire to my next teaching post, Gloversville New York. What a delightful trip! The four hour drive was made on a crystal clear, crisp and sunny New England autumn day—it was positively soul-restoring! The tracery of tree limbs was like nature’s art lesson on the tree structure; all the leaves have fallen in that part of the country. I became aware of a whole array of colors of winter woods as I journeyed south and west. I drove through numerous passes formed by blasted New England granite. It was so cold that the streams that once cascaded down rock bluffs on either side of the road were frozen into magnificent inverted bouquets of icicles.
Though I was on freeway most of the trip, highways like The New York Throughway seemed kinder and gentler somehow, because of numerous deer crossing signs, and fields of grazing cows. This ambiance was underscored when I spied a bumper sticker on the car ahead that said “Magic Happens.”
Mary Jane White of Broadalbin, New York with her (believe it or not!) first machine quilted quilt…No photograph would do this quilt justice: it is breathtaking! Mary Jane has been quilting only since her retirement in 1999; this is her first big project and her first machine quilting! The background is formed with Easy Pieces blocks, and her magnificent poppies applique design is so stunning. She took home a 3rd place ribbon on this quilt this year from the Vermont Quilt Show. Congratulations, Mary Jane!
Whenever I drive in a new area, I am fascinated by names of places. This trip was no exception. The “Quaboag River” near Palmer, NY, came before the turnoff to “Chicopee”. So many names are obviously American Indian in origin: Oneonta, Saratoga, Caroga and Great Sacandaga Lakes. How would you like to be from “Defreestville”, near Albany, or at the bend of the “Housatonic River” in Massachusetts? I giggled as I passed “Mabey’s Moving & Storage” near Albany—does that mean “maybe we’ll move you—maybe we won’t”????
My destination was the fascinating town of Gloversville, NY, which is adjacent to Johnstown, the birthplace of Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Gloversville takes its name from the days when the chief industry in the town was glove making, and leather tanning to support it. One of my students remembered her mother and grandmother sewing gloves in their homes, on industrial machines provided by the factory. Many businesses in the town have the word “Glove” or “Glove City” in their title, and you can still see faint names of glove manufacturing companies on the brick walls of the old factory buildings. Unfortunately for the town, the glove making industry has gone overseas, taking with it the livelihood of many in this historic and picturesque town. A huge industrial park at the edge of town is jarring after viewing the historic architecture of the houses and shop fronts in town; but the jobs are badly needed. I wondered why I saw so many WalMart trucks as I got closer to my destination; then I found that a huge Wal Mart distribution center is at the edge of town.
I got the warmest welcome I’ve ever had from the Sew Busy Quilt Guild and the Gloversville Sewing Center! When I opened the door to my hotel room, there was a whole tote bag (personalized with my name) full of the biggest assortment of snacks I’ve ever seen! A heaping plate of fruit was most welcome, as I’d survived pretty exclusively on turkey sandwiches the week before! These were no ordinary snacks: they included Trina Zimmerman‘s famous almond biscotti and lemon poppy seed mini-muffins. Rumor has it that Trina made over 500 biscotti to be distributed at a recent Shop Hop…Wow…someone told me they call her “the Martha Stewart of Gloversville”—thank you Trina, and the Sew Busy Quilt Guild!
A photograph of the Gloversville Sewing Center, which gives you a good idea of its size, but certainly not its considerable charm! The weather was less than wonderful the whole time I was there, but this shop was quite an oasis!
The Gloversville Sewing Center is a wonderful shop—huge and wonderful selection of fabric, and a spacious classroom over the large sewing machine department. Many thanks to John and Diana Marshall for their delicious cooking and wonderful hospitality, above and beyond the first class teaching situation they made available in their wonderful shop!
I could have spent a couple weeks in this area, just savoring the historic buildings and reading about the stories they held. But as I left town at the end of my brief visit, there were snow flurries and high winds—so I was glad to get back to the airport with the rental car intact…
Taken through a stained glass window from the lobby of David’s apartment building. I was intrigued with the single large tree in the courtyard, with big city all around…
And there was even more joy to come on this trip—visiting my son David in his new apartment in New York City! What a delight seeing him in his new space in Manhattan, embarking on the next stage of his career in directing theater! I fell in love with his apartment, which has lots of windows, high ceilings, hardwood floors and wonderful woodwork—but I don’t envy David the rent he has to pay…I got quite a tour of Manhattan on the shuttle bus from the Newark airport the night I arrived—two and a half hours worth! But I loved every minute—seeing the people, the lights, the color, hearing the accents and the snatches of conversations…A special delight was being with David on his birthday—we went out to birthday dinner one night, and the next day walked across Central Park to the Metropolitan Museum of Art—memories are made of this!
My December newsletter is going to be quite short, but will appear nonetheless. In the meantime, I wish you all a wonderful holiday season, and high hopes and optimism as you make plans for the year ahead!