Sunday, November 29, 2009

Central Vermont Quilt Show 2010 update

The guidelines for the 2010 Central Vermont Quilt Show, the tote bag challenge guidelines, and the entry forms are all ready and have been emailed to members of the Calico County and Heart of Vermont Quilt Guilds. I also posted them on the Green Mountain Quilters Guild yahoo group. The show is scheduled for Fri. and Sat., May 7 and 8, at the Old Labor Hall in Barre, and it is sure to be even better than last year's. Kim is hoping to organize a parade of quilts from City Hall park to the OLH for the grand opening, and we will have a few more vendors and quilts on display.

Meanwhile, I just finished sewing the binding down on this year's show raffle quilt, pieced by Jen of Baby's Breath Quilts and machine quilted by Linda at the Constant Quilter in Andover, NH. In exchange, the Constant Quilter will be vending at our show. Tickets will be going on sale soon for this gorgeous quilt.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

2,000 miles and more

It has been a while since I've written, and during that time I've been to St. Louis and on vacation to points south. The St. Louis jaunt was to a library advocacy conference sponsored by the Gates Foundation. Our library director, a trustee, and I (representing the Friends group) joined 168 of our counterparts from Missouri, Vermont, and Hawaii for the energizing event. It was fun to travel with Karen and Nancy, and we even got to go up in the Gateway Arch after the conference. It was an interesting ride to the top in an egg-like car.

A couple of days after returning, Paul and I headed south, stopping first to see Fallingwater, a house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in western Pennsylvania. The visitors center is a rustic looking building about a 5 min. walk along a woodsy path to the house. The setting is just as spectacular as all the photos suggest. From there, we wound around back roads to West Virginia where we spent the night.

In the morning, we headed toward Bristol, Virginia, with a stop at Tamarack, a spectacular rest area featuring West Virginia artisans and delicious food by the Greenbrier resort. Bristol, the birthplace of country music and home of the Carter Family, is actually in both Virginia and Tennesee. The border is marked in the middle of its cute downtown. We visited a museum of the history of country music in the basement of the Bristol Mall, where a friendly guide gave Paul directions to the Carter Family Fold, the cabin where AP Carter was born, and the graveyard where AP and Sara were buried. Early the next morning, we wound down the back roads to see them all.

From Bristol, we went north to Charlottesville and the home of Thomas Jefferson, Monticello. Many librarians have a special affinity for Jefferson whose collection comprised the beginnings of the Library of Congress, but we also enjoyed seeing the very practical house he designed with its large windows and skylights. The day was gloomy and chilly, but it seemed bright inside. I had visited the house when I was 13, but it was fun to see it from the perspective of someone who knows a little more about its owner and has also owned an old house. We were sorry not to be able to walk around the grounds more, but it was freezing. Hurricane Ida was roaring up the east coast, so we retreated to the warmth of a Holiday Inn for the night.

In the morning, it was still raw weather so we drove through town to see the University of Virginia (founded by Jefferson) before setting out for Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. It's only about 3 1/2 hrs. north, and we were able to visit the Eisenhower Farm and view a film about the Civil War and the "Cyclorama" (a huge painting depicting the battle) at the new (2008) visitors center. I was disappointed that the new visitors center eliminated the famous Electric Map which gave an excellent overview of the events of the battle. The next day, Paul and I took a guided tour of the battlefield, and our guide, Bill, told us that many guides regret the National Park Service's decision. Bill seemed to think that there may be a move afoot to resurrect the map somewhere in town.

Bill was an excellent guide, driving our car and telling stories about the battle, the terrain, and the many monuments. History really came alive, and it was the highlight of our visit. At a spry 82, Bill has lived most of his life in the town where the battlefield was his playground. He confessed that he is the mayor of Gettysburg, so we felt honored to have him as a guide. Later, we walked around the well-preserved town and also visited the museum and extensive gift shop in the visitors center. We felt we really "did" Gettysburg, and it was well worth the time.

In the morning, we drove to Carlisle and Dickinson College to stroll around my old college campus and to see the student union where I worked at the info desk, worked in the food service, and spent many hours putting The Dickinsonian together years ago. Then we went to Camp Hill for breakfast with an old college friend, her husband and son before turning the car north for the last leg of a very fulfilling vacation. It is good to be home and sleep in our own bed (hotel pillows are too soft), but we have plenty of good memories to hold us for a while. And we really did put 2,000 miles on the car!