What I Did On My Fall Vacation

I suppose I should say “vacations” since there were actually two of them. The first one was my annual trip to Rhinebeck, NY, to meet with friends and to attend the New York State Sheep & Wool Festival. The second one was a trip to Houston, TX, with friends, to attend the International Quilt Festival for the fourth time.

I’m afraid I didn’t take any pictures on the first trip. I can’t explain that omission, other than to say that I was having too much fun. I took the train from Toronto on the Wednesday before the festival weekend, and enjoyed the following two days catching up with everyone, and making a few visits to area shops and restaurants. Saturday and Sunday were spent at the Festival. Monday was the long train ride home. We rented a house in the Rhinebeck area for the second time and it worked out very well once again. It allowed for a lot more comfortable visiting than staying in a hotel does, plus group meals and assorted other food preparation. It was a wonderful trip, made all the better by being able to meet with friends that I otherwise only see on Ravelry.

I didn’t buy much at the fairgrounds, just a few skeins of sock yarn intended for making shawls and fingerless mittens.

Rhinebeck-purchases_0001

The yarns are (from left to right): Holiday Yarns Flocksock sock yarn in Pinot; Cephalopod Yarns Skinny Bugga! sock yarn in Other Mother, and Golden Tortoise Beetle; and undyed Hudson Valley Sheep & Wool Co. sock yarn.

My second fall trip began only eight days after getting home from the first one. After a big rush of catching up with laundry and errands, not to mention sleep, and some tense hours worrying about Tropical Storm Sandy, I was on a plane to Houston.

We arrived on Tuesday (Oct. 30) and got settled into the hotel. I took 3 classes on this visit to the Quilt Festival, and attended 3 lectures. In between I shopped and looked at quilts – such amazing quilts!

Here are some of the results of the classes I took:

classes_Quilt-Festival-2012

From left: “Applipiecing” Curves, taught by Caryl Bryer Fallert; “Under the Sea” fabric manipulation and embroidery (not yet finished), taught by Judith Baker Montano; and “Heavy Metal Play Day” (embossing metal for art quilts), taught by Judy Coates Perez.

I also attended a lecture on “The Elements of Art Quilting” by Lyric Kinard, and one on Modern Quilting by Heather Grant. Both were great – interesting and enlightening. The Modern Quilting lecture was eye-opening for me – I realized that this is a style of quilt that interests me a lot, and that I’d like to explore in the future. (Check out the Modern Quilt Guild blog to see what I’m talking about.)

I think I overdid it with classes and lectures this year – by the time I got to the last one I was a bit brain-fogged and saturated, and was glad the class wasn’t too demanding. In the future, I think I should allow for more free time, and fewer early mornings!

I didn’t buy a lot at on this trip, either, but here is a picture of what I did buy:

Purchases_Quilt-Festival-20

On the left are some pieces of Thai silk, in the middle are some half-yards of fabric from Marcia Derse, and on the right are some fat quarters of Cherrywood fabric in a yummy array of colours. In front are a couple of strands of beads, and a skein of embroidery floss from ArtFabrik, which are dyed by Laura Wasilowski. I seem to be in an orange and purple phase of stash enhancement. I wonder if that means anything?

I also want to mention that I sewed a new bag for myself to use at Quilt Festival. I wanted something small that would hold essentials. I’d seen a leather bag at Roots that I liked, so I decided to copy it in fabric. I’ll probably write a blog post about the making of this bag, but I thought I’d show it off here.

Small-bag-finished_0004

It has a long strap to sling the bag across my body, and both outside and inside pockets to hold everything. It worked out perfectly.

Now it’s time to sit back, relax, and reflect on all that I’ve seen and done in the past few weeks. And to sleep late, rest up, and recover from this jet-set lifestyle. And maybe rake some leaves or something.

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4 thoughts on “What I Did On My Fall Vacation

  1. No – it isn’t hard to do at all, unless you get really elaborate with it. It’s fun, and the metal sheets are thin enough to sew onto an art quilt when they are finished.

  2. You might be the perfect person to answer this question: Is Rhinebeck to knitting what Houston is to quilting? I’ve been to Houston many times, and lately I’ve been on a knitting kick so I’m thinking of doing a different trip this fall. Is Rhinebeck the sort of thing one would travel over a thousand miles to attend? If not, any suggestions? Thanks.

  3. Hi Maureen. That’s a difficult question to answer. Rhinebeck and Houston are quite different things. I think a closer thing to Quilt Festival in Houston would be the Stitches shows. Those are held in convention centres, and have classes and vendors. I’ve never been to one, but they look like similar concepts to the Quilt Festivals. The New York Sheep & Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, on the other hand, is a very large county fair. It’s held at a fairground, and the various buildings hold vendors (mostly small, independent dyers, spinners, makers of spindles and wheels, and some yarn shops). It also has sheep auctions, rides and things for children, sheep dog demonstrations, some classes in knitting and spinning, and other things. It is pretty big, though, and a lot of fun. You might have similar things closer to you. I know there are a few other large Sheep & Wool Festivals around the US, including the one in Maryland. The biggest reason I go to Rhinebeck is to meet up with friends that I normally only see online at ravelry.com. Although the yarn fumes are pretty heady there, too. Hope this helps!

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