Thursday, October 25, 2018

Long Island Road Trip

A couple of weeks ago, I (Teri) went to Mineola on Long Island to visit the Evening Star Quilters. They had invited me to do a lecture at their meeting, followed by a class—this Eight-Pointed Star with Sprigs of Berries (above), from Elly Sienkiewicz's book, Spoken Without a Word. This was the very first block that I taught, so I was thrilled that they had chosen it; the star has such a simple elegance to it.

I asked my friend, Kristy, to join me for the road trip. Not only was she an invaluable help to me, organizing and working my sales table, but she loves to drive and hates to be a passenger, so she was also my chauffeur. Lucky me! I was able to make a ruched flower while she drove north on I-95. And we made such good time that we were able to scout out a quilt shop on our way.

When I am on a road trip, I am always searching for fun places to stop. Yes, that usually means a quilt shop. As we crossed the New York state line, I opened my search app and typed in a q. My phone is now smart enough to know that what I want is a "quilt shop near me." We were delighted to find one in Brooklyn, not far off of our route to the hotel. Brooklyn General Store did not disappoint!

The store was once a general store, but it had been turned into a general fiber store, with so many scrumptious goodies to see and stroke. Yarns, threads, and fabrics galore! I bought some needles, a wooly pincushion ring, and some stunning wool thread for leaves. 

 Isn't this knitted tree awesome?!

As we continued our route to the hotel, we enjoyed the Manhattan skyline and caught a glimpse of the Brooklyn Bridge. 

My contact from the guild, Cathy, called us and asked if we wanted suggestions for dinner destinations and kindly sent us several restaurants from which to choose. Neither of us had ever been to a Portuguese restaurant, so our decision was easy. Kristy chose bronzini, and the fish arrived smiling at her. I selected a goat stew, because it sounded intriguing. Both meals were absolutely delicious—as was the New York cheesecake, of course.

Of course, food is part of the adventure of any road trip. We knew we needed to get some New York bagels during the trip, so we set out to find some for breakfast the next morning. Why do they taste so much better in New York?! 


Cathy also suggested that the Clark Botanic Garden would be a fun visit during the day, as we would not be meeting the ladies for our pre-meeting dinner until 5:30. Again, her input was superb; we both enjoyed our wanderings through the gardens, still full of flowers and stitching inspiration.

Mr. Bee posed politely while I took his picture.

I love autumn asters!

Doesn't this look like an appliqué design?

 Mr. Monarch was enjoying the lantana.

I haven't stitched a coneflower. Yet.

Oh, those roses were stunning, ...

... as were the dahlias!

These magnolia seed pods would be fascinating to stitch, with those shiny leaves and velvety red pods. This was a perfect way to spend our afternoon!

We met some of the ladies for an excellent Italian dinner before heading to the meeting to set up for my lecture. The quilts shared by the Evening Star Quilters were fabulous. They were busy preparing for their quilt show the following week, and had a lot to show and tell about.


After my lecture, The Stories in Our Quilts, it was fun to see my quilts all lined up on display.

The day of our class, we arrived to see an eager group who were ready to stitch!

I loved seeing this finished block from our past Academy class, Zierblumen.
Didn't she do a stellar job? 

There was some serious stitching going on around the room. We learned back-basting appliqué,  several stem techniques with bias silk ribbon, and a variety of ways to make those tiny berries. We explored using wired ribbon to create the star, though most chose to stay with the fabric choice that they had initially made. It was fun to see the creative approaches around the room: one lady used a velvet ribbon to make her leaves (below), which she fused and would later stitch. 


Hand-dyed silk ribbon cording created this stem (above), with two leaves beautifully stitched. The day flew by too quickly, and many agreed that another day to sit and stitch would be ideal. Hopefully we might see a few of these ladies at the Academy of Appliqué next March, where they could have three-day classes to enjoy nothing but stitching! 

Kristy and I had a fabulous trip to Long Island, and we were honored to visit the Evening Star Quilters. Our hostesses were gracious and fun, and so excited about stitching and quilts. We were warmly welcomed and felt that we were surrounded by old friends, though we had only previously met a few of these lovely ladies. I was honored and grateful to have been invited. I am certain that their quilt show the following weekend was a smashing success; I wish I could have seen it. 

Thank you for a terrific time on Long Island, Evening Star Quilters!

We may have stopped to get a few (dozen) bagels to take home.
You know they must be good when the line is out the door and down the sidewalk.
And they were!