Sunday, June 28, 2009

Vermont Quilt Festival (part one)

The Vermont Quilt Festival is hosted at St. Michael's College in Colchester, Vermont, with the show itself nearby at the Champlain Valley Expo Center in Essex Junction. The college is quite welcoming to the quilt show attendees...we fill up several dormitories and town houses, have meals at their cafeteria, and have most of our classes (taught by nationally famous instructors) in their classrooms.

This is Pontigny Hall where i shared a suite with my friend Betsy and two quilters from Quebec.
We had individual small bedrooms, a shared bathroom, and a living room area with small fridge and microwave. I spent a lot of time in my room sewing, transforming the bed into a work surface.
I was working on the block of the month blocks that i won from my quilt group in February. I saw a picture in the May/June 2009 issue of Quiltmaker magazine of a simple and attractive layout for a quilt made from basket blocks. When my quilt group visted my friend Karen Sue's in-home quilt shop i took the magazine with me and looking at the picture, guesstimated how much fabric i would need for the setting squares and the narrow inner and wider outer borders. I didn't actually go to the web site to look at the directions before i started work on the project; in fact i didn't sit down and do any math until after i started work on the project, either. I had eight blocks so i needed a ninth block, which i made. Then i spent a while shuffling the blocks around, first on my bed and then on the suite's living room floor.
Next i cut out all the setting squares and laid them in place. I realized i had a problem after i measured the length and width...i didn't have enough fabric for the outer border! Luckily for me, there's a quilt shop relatively near St Mike's, called Yankee Pride in Essex Junction, Vermont. So i headed off there in the rain. Needless to say, they didn't have the fabric that i had planned to use for the border, so i had to come up with something else. I'm pretty pleased with what i picked...we'll have to see how it actually goes together! The next challenge was that although these blocks were supposed to be 12 1/2" square to finish to 12", once i started to square them up, i realized there was a great variation among them, with the smallest measuring 11 1/2" square and only a couple exactly 12 1/2". I had to cut all the blocks to 12" square, so they'll finish to 11 1/2", and i added strips of fabric to the sides of the block that was too small and then squared it up.

Before i could start sewing everything together, i realized i had to cut down the setting blocks, since i'd cut them 12 1/2" square and none of the blocks was that size any longer. Before i left for home on Sunday, i had sewed all the rows of blocks together (the rows form diagonally) and started sewing the rows to each other.


  1. I biggified the photo of your room to see all your quilty stuff :) It made the room look much nicer than your standard dorm room! And I think the basket quilt is going to be gorgeous - looking forward to seeing the finished product.

  2. It looks like you had a great time! Your quilts are beautiful!

  3. You are making Mom miss quilting very much! Mom use to have a friend that was from Colchester, VT.

  4. Your squares show up beautifully on the lighter color and the border colors should be great. Lot's of work getting everything the right size!
    I went to this festival in the 90's and it was terrific. So glad you enjoyed it!

  5. your quilts are fab...great colors!