Now with everything that’s happening in the world, I finally have time to work on my projects which include a few blogs! Especially one about a special summer reunion. I had so many things to talk about last summer but I never got the time to post. So I am playing catch up. Hoping you’ll enjoy them.
Last summer was an exceptional one for me! You know what usually happens every summer: your weekends get booked even before summer has started and you end up in fall without having done anything meaningful in this short twelve weeks of hot weather and late sunsets.
Well last year I decided to work it out differently. I promised myself I would find time to roam the roads and find fellow quilting friends and see what they’ve been up to during the long winter. My goal was to explore strange new locations, be part of special summer reunions, to seek out new quilters and go where no quilter had gone before!
And boy did I enjoy the ride! I am looking forward to sharing my new findings with you and hopefully I can have some of you inspired to send me new locations for me to go to next summer!
A very special reunion
So early spring, I was invited by Barbara, a member of the Lennoxville Quilt Guild, to a Show & Tell in a unique location. It sound so unreal that I had to accept to come and be part of this special summer reunion just to see this place. It’s located two hours south of Montreal in Standstead, Quebec, Canada and Derby Line, Vermont, USA: Haskell Free library and Opera house.
That’s right! You’ve read me well! The building is doubly unusual: it not only stands ON the Canada-United Stated boundary but also contains the rare combination of a library and a theatre that can seat 500 people. It was built between 1901 and 1904 as the gift of the Haskell family of Vermont. It was Martha Stewart Haskell who came up with the idea of building a library and opera house to enrich the lives of the community and support the cultural needs on both sides of the Canada-U.S. Border, both English and French.
Why did we meet in this lovely location?
Because we were able to be joined by the North Country Quilters of Vermont! We were all under one roof and absolutely no borders to cross.
I was warned beforehand that when I arrived and walked up to the library that I was only allowed to walk on the sidewalk. I absolutely could not put a foot on the road or the state trooper would drive up the road to arrest me. They weren’t kidding! We could see the car down the road.
So just to be on the safe side, I walked on the grass and crossed the lovely flower border that kindly advised us that we were now in the US. I walked up the stairs and into the beautiful Library which was built in the Queen Anne Revival style, as designed by James Ball. Once inside, you could see a black line going across the hallway and in the reading room. This was the only thing that reminded us that we had a foot in the US and the other in Canada. Other than that we were just a bunch of quilters sharing the same passion for fabric, pattern designs and sewing machines.
It was a unique setting for such a great evening.
I met so many passionate people and they had an unexpected surprise for me. They knew about my obsession with the 2014 Winter Sochi Olympics and made sure that Judi Robitaille Dunklee would come to the meeting.
It just so happens that her daughter is Susan Dunklee, an American Biathlete who was actually at the Sochi winter Olympic! Judi was kind enough to bring some of the memorabilia from the Olympics for me to see. I was amazed to see them “for real”… All the designs I had dreamt up for years were now at my fingertips. She showed me the duvet her daughter received as well as her dossard! As I was holding them to take a closer look, I just wanted to sing “it’s a small world after all” cause I really felt I was at Disney World.
I could not have asked for more! Meeting friendly quilters in a unique place and seeing the real Sochi design artwork!
Thank you Barbara, Meghan, Judi and so many more who took time out of their busy schedule to come over on a hot summer evening for such a special summer reunion. I will never forget it! It will be one of the best moments of my summer.