Friday, July 13, 2018

But wait; there's more!! (NE Inspiration)

What would a road trip be without a quilt shop or two? I (Teri) did stop and visit a couple, and then we made a special trip to a quilt shop that might be familiar to you. I knew of it because I've received their catalogs for decades. But we will visit that shop later in the post.
Without further ado, I hope you enjoy the rest of my New England inspiration.

Norton House–A Quilter's Paradise, housed in a building nearly 260 years old, is in Wilmington, Vermont, east of the the Green Mountains. How cool to shop for fabric in such an historic building, filled with centuries of stories.

The New Hampshire Law Enforcement Officers Memorial on the grounds of the Legislative Office Building in Concord, the state capital. It was difficult to capture the entire design without a helicopter; I can only imagine how impressive it is from an aerial view. It is shaped like a star, with the red, white, and blue flowers filling in the spaces between the star points. Stunning.

Lobster is everywhere in Bar Harbor, Maine. Wouldn't this notecard be a wonderful basis for an embroidered design?

Fabricate is a charming quilt shop in Bar Harbor. They also have scrapbooking supplies, and a room of yarn, as well. And it's housed in such a uniquely shaped building!

We saw this door on the side of an old church in Bethlehem, New Hampshire. I love the wood, the handle, the hinges—such character! What is it about old doors? They certainly pull you in... 😉

My wonderful husband drove over an hour to take me to Keepsake Quilting. It was just too close not to go and see this shop in person! The catalogs are jammed with quilt goodness, and the store did not disappoint.

What a greeting as I entered the front door! So bright and cheery.

I found rows and rows and rows of fabric in room after room...

...with notions sprinkled throughout the store, ...

...and patterns and precuts galore.

The spacious, inviting porch has plenty of seating for patiently waiting husbands. Mine found some freshly baked cookies at the neighboring grocery store to tide him over while he waited.

My package was tied with a beautiful bow—of fabric, of course!

I thought it was special that they tied my bag with a fabric bow, but look how nicely they folded my fabric to put it in the bag. Such presentation! If you ever are driving through New Hampshire, Keepsake Quilting is a must-stop. Everyone there was friendly and helpful, and the shop is oh, so inviting! It certainly lives up to its catalog.

One of our lunch stops had tables painted with lovely, quilt-like designs. I could easily visualize them appliquéd and/or embroidered.

This is just screaming to be stitched! Can you hear it, too?

But then there was this lovely sign, hanging on the wall right next to the table where we ate dinner one night. What? Really?! THAT is hardly inspiring. Well, maybe it inspires me to cook some lighter meals now that we're home! No more lobster rolls and blueberry pie.

By the way, have you checked out the rest of our vacation inspiration? Kara's Spain trip, Inspirational Quest (Vacation), and part one of my NE trip, New England Inspiration, are chock full of color and beauty. And don't forget to leave a comment on yesterday's post with your six-word story of the bees and fuchsia! I just happened to finish this busy little bee the day before we left for our vacation, but more about him to come in the very near future. 
I got a tiny bit of stitching accomplished on this trip, but I found so many things to spark my creativity. I'm home and ready to stitch!

How about you? Have you found inspiring sights during any of your summer travels? Please share!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

New England Inspiration

Evidently, even my devices were in vacation mode last week. I (Teri) spent a fair amount of time trying to post just ONE photo in last week's short post, and I thought I'd finally gotten the photo included. Really—it was in my draft. Imagine my surprise when I saw a big, empty box in the post! Proof, I suppose, that we had totally "vacated the premises." (By the way, did you know that's where the word vacation is derived?) But we're back, as promised. Kara shared some stunning examples of colorful inspiration from her trip to Mallorca the other day. And here are some highlights from my road trip north. One big lesson I learned on our 2000-mile trip was that highways are better for stitching, but not for seeing the beautiful country scenery. And skinny stems are better stitched in a hotel room. 

We were on the road for ten days, and visited five states; I took a ton of photos, as you can imagine. It was a daunting task choosing which to share. I hope that you, too, might find some inspiration here. Enjoy!

Mountain Inspiration

This is Jordan Pond and the Bubble Mountains, one of my favorite places in Acadia National Park, located in Maine. In fact, one of the very first quilts I ever made was a landscape of this very scene, based on a photo I'd taken on our honeymoon. 

A stunning view from the top of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia. I love the progression of rock and grasses, to trees, to water, and sky. So many textures and colors!

I always love a lichen-covered rock. Talk about texture!

From Maine, we traveled to the White Mountains in New Hampshire. This view is near the top of Mount Washington. Don't you love the colors in those mountains? A perfect study of color and distance. (For perspective, that is a human at the top of the "hill.")

Again, from Mt. Washington. I noticed that the greens get darker in the distance, as the blues of the mountains get lighter.

This view is from the top of Whiteface Mountain, near Lake Placid, New York. Again, the greens get darker as they are further away, until they seem to become blue, and then they get lighter as they get further away on the horizon.  

Again, from Whiteface Mountain, overlooking Lake Placid. Note the colors. Such amazing beauty!!

Water Inspiration

Looking down from the pier in Bar Harbor, Maine, I couldn't help but be struck by the colors and textures of these rocks.

More rocky shoreline at Bar Harbor

The strong lines of the lobster traps and iron railing are such a contrast to the softness of the sunset over the harbor.

Nothing compares to the complementary colors of a sunset; it can be no accident that the blues and oranges of this sky are exactly opposite each other on the color wheel. Nature in perfection. Or perfection in nature...

A walk through gardens at the Sieur de Monts Spring in Acadia was quiet and peaceful. The cute frog on the rock seemed to be trying to blend in and become invisible. The birches created a lovely backdrop for the ferns and mossy rocks lining the stream.

Can you say azure?! This cloudless sky (no photo enhancement) was the deepest blue, reflected nicely on Lake Placid.

Floral Inspiration

I am notorious for stopping wherever I see a flower to take a close-up photo. One never knows when it will be necessary to have a reference when stitching that flower—it is important to embroider the centers just right, you know? Some of these are wild flowers, but many were planted in gardens or flower boxes as we explored. I'm not picky; there is no such thing as an ugly flower!

Lilies and beach evening-primrose

Nasturtium and giant allium

A rose is a rose...

Lilies and marigolds
Oh, those colors!!!

Mountain laurel and spreading dogbane—from gardens at the Sieur de Monts Spring in Acadia

Japanese meadowsweet and cinquefiol

Pinewoods coneflowers, at the base of Mt. Washington

Orange hawkweed and common yarrow, at the base of Mt. Washington

Tufted vetch


I love birches, but when I'm in an area with a colder climate, I always notice the ones that bend over like this. It reminds me of Robert Frost's poem, "Birches," which you can read by clicking here. "One could do worse than be a swinger of birches."

I have a bit more to share, but time is waning for today, and you've probably looked at enough of my photos for now. Come back tomorrow, and I'll share the "quiltier" part of my trip. Yes, I made at least one quilt shop stop!

For today, I'll leave you with this image. We sat next to this pair on a bench while waiting for breakfast one morning. I challenge you to tell this story in only six words—mine is in the caption. Please share yours in the comments below! (Story comments will be granted one entry in a surprise giveaway; the winner will be announced next week. Be creative!)

What a blissful way to go.