Thursday, July 7, 2016

July Meeting Notes

The July meeting is coming up Tuesday and it's our annual Summer Pot Luck! Bring your favorite dish to share. The meeting starts at 6:30.

At the August meeting we will learn how to use Intense pencils to color our quilts.

Virginia Quilt Museum news from Elsa:
We're scheduled to volunteer at museum on July 30th.  On that day there is an artist reception for the National Parks exhibit which opens on July 26th.  We're only responsible for the docent's job.  We need 1 additional person for the morning and afternoon shift.  Contact Elsa Brooks if you can help.

When you think about the National Parks, do you think of quilts?  You would if you have seen any of the 177 art quilts made by people across the country in honor of this year's National Park Service Centennial.  Curated by Donna DeSoto, each small quilt in the exhibit represents either the flora, fauna, or landscape of one of the 59 National Parks, and they are coming to the Virginia Quilt MuseumJuly 26!  

But there is no need to wait to celebrate the because the museum is celebrating the NPS 100 Birthday with "Arts and the Parks" all month long! 

Current Exhibits (May 10 - Sept 10)

Wiley's Colonial Heritage by Jane Lloyd c. 1850
American Pride: Eagles and Stars
Visiting Exhibit
Guest Curators: Pat and Arlan Christ

"American pride ran deep as individuals and their families immigrated and settled in this new country.  They stood up to fight for the survival which allowed them to establish a home or farm for their family and continued to fight through the centuries to the present day. As each generation passed and each war was fought, the United States of America grew and strengthened because of such dedication and conviction of its citizens."
~Pat and Arlan Christ 

 The Christs, husband and wife quilt collectors and historians from Pennsylvania, dedicate their exhibit of patriotic quilts to those who have served in the United States military and their families who remained at home to provide the food, clothing and materials needed to supply the troops.  These creations are a true testament of the "American Pride" that was worked into each stitch.

Along the Spice RouteVisiting ExhibitGuest Curators: Paula Golden & Ann Reardon

Tanzanian Cardamom by Peg Green
Returning crusader knights brought with them treasure chests not filled with jewels, but cinnamon, ginger, and peppercorns. The story of spices, some 5,000 years old, is also the history of trade and commerce. The American continent would not have been discovered as early, had it not been for the European desire to break the Arab traders' spice monopoly.

"Along the Spice Route" features 41 wall quilts depicting artistic interpretations of spices that refine modern cuisine. The exhibit offers an opportunity to discover the spices' countries of origin, the importance of ancient trade routes, and the lasting connections between the world's cultural heritages.

Campaign Ribbon featuring bust of Grover Cleveland. Crazy quilt made by Sally Blakey.
Presidential Connections: Quilts, Virginians, and the Whig Party

From the Collection of Wayne Harrison and the VQM
Just in time for the heat of the presidential race, this exhibit presents a series of quilts and material items related to presidential campaigns. All items demonstrate connections between Presidents with Virginia family connections and the Whig Party. The early-mid 19th Century political connections as demonstrated by quilt patterns and campaign memorabilia are certain to impress any fan of American history and politics.

Treasures from the Vault: A Ray of Sunshine
Curated by Kate Gallota, VQM Intern
THROUGH July 20th Only

Dresden Plate Quilt by Cloah Lockhart. Donated by Harry and JoAnne Lockart
This exhibit includes a selection of Depression Era quilts that feature not only the popular patterns of the time but also popular fabrics. Tied together through the yellows in each quilt, the exhibit is named "A Ray of Sunshine", a title that not only represents the bright and cheerful colors, but also the joy that was found in the creation of these pieces despite the trying times of 1930s America.
As could be expected, the price of fabrics during the Great Depression was too high for most women to afford, so the trend of using scrap fabric was common. Fabrics came from old clothes, recycled quilts and even feed and flour sacks.

Upcoming Exhibit (July 26 - Sept 10 

Inspired by the National Parks: Celebrating 100 Years
Curated by Donna De Soto

A colorful celebration of the 59 US National Parks, this collection of 177 original art quilts depicts the widely varying flora, fauna and landscapes of each of our nation's National Parks.
Delight in the textile tributes to these national treasures - from Acadia in Maine, to Voyageurs in Minnesota, to Yosemite in California, to Haleakalā in Hawaii, to our very own, Shenandoah.

Save the Date:

July 26thWalkabout Main Street - Exhibit Soft Opening
Come to the Museum on the first day of the "Inspired by the National Parks" exhibit. In partnership with Harrisonburg's Walkabout Outfitter, the day features reciprocal outdoor-lover giveaways that will get you a prize at the outfitters (with your VQM admission receipt) OR free admission at the Museum (with your Walkabout Outfitter receipt), plus a chance in a drawing for cool outdoor gear!
Read More Here.
July 30th 
Official Gallery Opening
On this day, free with museum admission, the Gallery Opening will focus on our own Shenandoah National Park.  Local artists will join us with a SNP-inspired Community Art Show featuring a variety of art forms.  Also included will be an SNP traveling display, lecture, reception and music.
Read More Here.

Upcoming Exhibits (Sept 20 - Dec 17
Midnight in the Garden of Quilts:
Quilts from the Polly Mello Collection
Prepare yourself for a walk down the dark side of quilting, with quilts and ephemera from the eerily wonderful"Quilts That Go Bump in the Night" collection of Polly Mello. 

In this infamous collection of macabre quilts and ephemera, we are shining a light into the dark cobweb covered corners of quilting. It is Midnight in the Garden of Quilts, so prepare yourself to walk down the ghostly path where you will see mourning quilts, coffin drapes, quilts of presidential assassination. There are critter quilts and quilts from the headlines and the always favorite "Creepy Crib Quilts".

Save the Date:

Oct 21-22. "Mourning and Meaning Through Cloth" SeminarThis two-day seminar will explore the links between textiles and death, funerals, and mourning traditions in American History. Featuring keynote speaker Polly Mello and Opening Speaker Professor Craig Friend, editor of Death and the American South
FULL SCHEDULE AND TICKETS available in mid-July. 

A Potpourri of Quilts: The Floyd Quilt Guild
Curated by Karin Tauber

This guild exhibit displays some of Virginia's finest quilting talent. Southwest Virginia, long-known for its artisan crafts and Appalachian quilt-making talents, shines in this exhibit.
The Floyd Quilt Guild's members' interests are as diverse as quilting itself.  In this exhibit, they pay tribute to time-tested styles and techniques, explore the diversity of fiber art, and study new trends as they emerge.  The quilters share a dedication to the integrity of construction while pursuing their own unique and personal creativity.

Treasures from the Vault: Crazy Quilts
Curated by VQM Curator Gloria Comstock

Come view a selection of the Museum's own crazy quilts.
Popular throughout the late 1800s, the very labor-intensive style of "crazy quilts" features small and irregularly-shaped pieces of fabric. Exotic blends of fabric, such as velvet, silk and satin are common, as are embellished additions like lace, ribbons and beads. Early on, crazy quilting was a national fashion among upper-class, urban women, who took full advantage of the array of fabrics available from the newly-industrialized textile industry. These quilts are called "crazy" for a reason!
Over time, rural areas and small towns picked up on the style as well, although rural quilters typically preferred sturdier and less-expensive fabrics and employed fewer decorative embellishments.

Upcoming Programs

Arts and the Parks Month
in partnership with the Arts Council of the Valley

Join us for a full-month of events celebrating our National Parks and the art they inspire!

1) "Craft Your Own Adventure: Story and Craft Morning"
Wednesday, July 13th & Wednesday, July 27th
10:30am @ the VQM
National Park story time and nature-themed crafts for children ages 3-7, featuring Librarian Bly Brown.

2) "Sharing Your Outdoor Adventure:
Digital Storytelling 101"

Monday, July 25th
7pm @ Court Square Theater 
Stace Carter_ 2015 Artist in Residence at Shenandoah National Park


Camping, hiking, boating, biking, climbing - your outdoor adventures are a huge part of your life and you want to share them, but how? 

Come learn tips and techniques for engaging ways to capture and share your outdoor experience in photos and video. You don't need to be a "techy" to craft digital stories that connect people with your outdoor experiences. Beginners are welcome! Just bring your phone or camera.
With 2015 Shenandoah National Park Artist in Residence and Apple Distinguished Educator, Stace Carter

3) Soft Opening: Walkabout Main Street
Tuesday, July 26th
10am - 4pm @ VQM and Walkabout Outfitter (H'burg location only)

Celebrate the soft opening of the VQM's "Inspired by the National Parks" exhibit in this partnership with Downtown Harrisonburg's Walkabout Outfitter!


3) Inspired by the National Parks: Official Gallery Opening
Saturday, July 30th
10am - 4pm @ VQM
1:30pm - Lecture @ St. Stephens UCC Church
FREE with admission 

Join us for a full-day celebration and the official opening of the "Inspired by the National Parks" exhibit! 

In a true celebration of the National Park Centennial, in addition to ALL 177 of the exhibit's breathtaking quilts, local artists will be on site for a Community Art Show featuring works inspired by our local park - Shenandoah!

Plus, at St. Stephens Church at 1:30, Shenandoah National Park Ranger Mike Punches will present "A Brief History of the National Park Service".  (The lecture is free; donations are appreciated).
Inspired by the National Parks, exhibit companion book

Then at 3:00 at the Museum, join exhibit curator,Donna DeSoto for an
 Artists' Reception. Music will be provided by Mike McCray.  

Ms. DeSoto will be available to sign copies of her book, which will be available at the Museum's shop the day of the event or through online advanced purchase HERE.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

10 Question - Meet Jennifer Raymond

Jennifer Raymond is one of our newest members and our youngest! Her daughter, Rebecca Belle Raymond, turned 1 month on July 1! Peg "found" Jennifer and brought her to meet us. She's a relatively new quilter so we have a responsibility to get her totally hooked on quilting!

1. If you live in Hanover (or the area), how many generations of your family have lived here and how did they come to settle here? If you moved here, where are you from and what brought you here?

Where I'm from is a particularly knotty question, as I grew up moving around for my father's job (he works for GE).  I was born in Vermont, spent my early childhood in the suburbs outside of Boston, MA, did a stint in Parkersburg, WV and Vincent, OH, before my family settled outside of Albany, NY from 1999 onwards.  My mother's family is from the Deerfield, MA area, and my father grew up in in suburbs of Boston.  I identify most strongly with upstate NY and Western Massachusetts, as that's where I spent many of my summers.

As for how I came to this area, I met my husband, Michael, while going to school in Davidson, NC.  While he grew up in North Carolina, much of his father's extended family lives in and around Richmond.  After we both graduated, we lived in the Metro Washington, DC area for about four years.  While it was a great place to live while we were both getting started with our careers, we knew we wanted to live someplace a little less urban.  About two years ago, Michael applied for and got a job working for Capitol One - partially because it'd be closer to family, and because we liked the Richmond area.  We decided to move to Ashland, and rented a house.  A few months ago we bought a property in Doswell, and we've been settling in since.

2. When you were young what did you plan to be when you grew up and what happened with those plans?   
When I was very young I wanted to grow up to be a grandma. I thought they had the best job... I just didn't realize that being a grandma wasn't a career.

When I was a little older (a teenager) I knew I wanted to become a writer.  I loved using the written word to communicate ideas.  I thought I'd want to go into fiction, because reading fiction was how I got through middle and part of highschool.  I loved escaping into stories!  When I got to college, I majored in English Language and Literature.  I loved every moment of study, but by the time I graduated I was a little burnt out on academic writing, and had lost some of my confidence in being able to make a career of writing fiction.  While I was working for my Alma-Mater for a year, my now-husband-then-boyfriend Michael began encouraging me to begin making a career of designing knitting and crochet patterns.

Nearly seven years later, I design knitting and crochet patterns full-time.  My job still involves a lot of writing: writing for my blog, pitching ideas to editors, instructional writing and technical writing.  Meanwhile, I get to engage a part of myself I didn't realize was marketable: my love of teaching, and my ability to take ideas out of thin air and make them a reality.  Each day of my job is different, and I love being able to work for myself.  And many of the skills that grandma's get to use (like crafting!) I use everyday!

You can check out my website at  I'd love new visitors!

3. What are your favorite things to do in the area?
I'm still discovering all the things to do in the area!  Directions not being one of my strong-suits, it'll probably take me another 3-5 years to really feel comfortable around here.  Still, some of the things I like to do:
  • Every Friday we're in town my husband and I (and now our new daughter, Rebecca) head over to the Caboose in Ashland for their wine tasting.  More often than not we get a bottle of wine, and bunch of small cuts of cheese, and then head home to have a dinner of wine, cheese, leftovers and a movie.
  • Speaking of wine, every once and a while we'll head out and explore some of the great wineries in the VA area.  We'll make a day of it, take backroads, and stop at anything we find interesting.  I love poking around antique shops, checking out local yarn and fabric stores, and stopping at historic battlefields and landmarks.
  • Both my husband and I love to bike.  When I lived in the DC area, I didn't have a car, and I got around the city with public transportation and my bike.  Many times I was logging more than a hundred miles biked in a week.  Here, we like to take bikerides around the countryside, noodle around the city on our bikes, or plan out a daylong bike trip.  We're eagerly awaiting when Rebecca can sit up, as then we can put her in a bike trailer and take her along with us!
  • I'm also really fond of touristy local attractions.  Our last trip we went to Luray Caverns.  Now that we have Rebecca, I'm looking for day trips that we could take a baby along.  I'd love for some suggestions!

4. Tell us a little about your family
My intimidate family consists of my husband, Michael, and our new daughter, Rebecca.  She was born on June 1st, and we're still getting to know her!

5. What hobbies or activities do you do other than quilting? Where do you do them? How did you get involved with them?
My primary hobbies are also my career: knitting and crochet.  I learned to crochet when I was seven, and knit about a year later.  I crochet and knit all throughout school, never once following a pattern: I'm particularly bad at following directions. (I always think I know better than the designer!)  As a result, I find it much more intuitive to create my own patterns than to follow directions.  I'm a part of the Ashland Stitching Group that meets at the library on Monday nights.  It's actually how I found out about CSQ!

I also love to read fiction - particularly fantasy, science fiction, historical novels and romance novels.  Some of my favorite authors are Seanan McGuire, Illona Andrews, and Nalini Singh, among others.  I love listening to books on tape for nonfiction.  I love to listen to Bill Bryson, especially because he's got a great narrative voice.  The last book I listened to was on the periodic table, titled The Disappearing Spoon.  It was great.

6. What’s your favorite vacation spot? Where do you want to go next?
My husband's family owns a property in rural Scottsville, VA.  It's a rustic old farmhouse, with no internet access and spotty cell-phone coverage.  I love being able to unplug for a long weekend and spend time with family at "the Farm."

As to where I'd like to go next - I wouldn't mind a trip to the beach, but only in the off-season.  I burn too easily to enjoy the beach during the summer!

7. What saying best describes how you like to live your life?
"All who joy would win must share it. Happiness was born a twin." Lord Byron.

8. Show us a photo (or photos) of where you create.

Where I do most of the creating, writing, and planning is in my office.  On the right is my sewing machine chair and table (the table is out of view).  On the left is my work station: my computer and (right now) a lot of clutter that needs to be cleaned up!  This room is also where I run my business, so it gets a lot of use!

9. Show us a photo of the quilt that’s on your bed right now.

So funny story: I'm a rank beginner quilter.  I have two quilts to my name - the first a 9-block star quilt I hand stitched in highschool (back before I even knew what the bias to a fabric meant), and the quilt that is on my husband's and my bed right now, known affectionately as "the Train Quilt."

Yous see, my husband loves modes of transportation, and in particular loves ships and trains.  Back before we were married, I came across some vintage train fabric, and snapped it right up.  I knew right then I wanted to make a quilt for him, although I didn't even have access to a sewing machine at the time!  I found some other train-themed fabric - I was certain I wanted no cartoony childlike fabrics.  It was hard to find fabrics I was happy with.

While I was working on a the quilt, and knitting friend happened to mention she had about a yard of train-track fabric, and offered it to me.  That fabric became the border, and my first mitered corners.  I'm proud of how I got the tracks to line up at the corners.  I only had a 6 x 2" piece of fabric left of the train track when I was finished - it was meant to be.

Not knowing much about quilting techniques, and knowing I didn't want to tie the quilt like I did my star one, I ended up nearly killing my sewing machine by stitching random lines (like train tracks through a countryside) all around the quilt until I thought I'd hit a good density.  It worked remarkably well, considering.

My mother-in-law, a quilter also, did the binding for me, because by that point, I was nearly burnt out on the task of making the quilt.

Michael loves the train quilt, and it stays permanently on our bed.