Quilts (and other pretty things) along an Eastern States Road Trip

    Why hello again friends. Wow – that was a longer absence than I had planned. But you know what, turns out it was needed. Sometimes we all just need to take breaks, right? Mine was a good one.

    I can’t believe we’re three weeks into summer already – it’s felt full-to-the-brim crazy. But part of that time was also a family road trip that was pretty awesome. It was just so nice to not worry about social media or keeping up with deadlines and to be present with my family. So many vacations in the past (not all, but most) I’ve taken my laptop and kept up with stuff along the way. Maybe because I’m getting older, I just decided nope. Not going to do it.

    Portsmouth, New Hampshire

    But I did take pictures along the way, so I thought I’d share a few fun (very random) images from along the way. There is some quilting related stuff, I promise.

    We started our trip in northern Ohio and worked our way east through Niagara Falls, upstate New York, the Hudson River Valley, Massachusetts and finished at family in seacoast New Hampshire.

    Along the way we visited some historic homes. And you know I loved the antique quilts on the beds.

    Seeing these quilts put me in the mood to make a civil war-era traditional quilt. Making one of those really is on my list one day.

    This was my first time driving through the Hudson River Valley in eastern New York. I’ve always really wanted to see it and it did not disappoint! The river is massive! And so beautiful. We made a quick stop at the Olana mansion built in the nineteenth century by artist Frederick Church on a hilltop overlooking the river and the valley. 

    (Outside of quilting, probably my favorite interest is historic homes.) This was a stunner. My pictures absolutely do not do it justice. You can read more about Olana (and see way better pictures) here. The Persian-inspired details were so cool.

    One of the hidden gems of the site was this beautiful cutting garden with a charming pathway through it. Again, the cell phone picture does not do it justice.

    We stopped at one quilt shop along our journey. (I know my traveling companions and their limitations. Also, with high school graduation and so much other stuff going on right before we left, I just ran out of the time I would have liked to have researched ahead of time.)

    We ended up having a lovely drive through the Berkshire mountains along the way and I was able to stop at Pumpkin Patch Quilts in charming ‘downtown’ Lee, Massachusetts. 

    Notice that hexagon quilt folded up in the bottom right?

    I was so lucky, while I was there the owner unfolded the quilt and let us take a good look at it. It was such a beauty! Made with lots of silks and velvets, it’s probably late 19th Century. The other interesting part was that many of the original papers were still basted inside. I really loved seeing it up close.

    A few more quilt related things:

    Barns. Whenever I see old wooden barns I see their amazing potential for hanging quilts for photos. Man, I passed SO many good ones. And I didn’t bring a single quilt I could hang. This one was in the back of our AirBnb in upstate New York, so I even got to walk around it and admire it up close – not just passing by in the car. Such a perfect venue. Maybe I need to travel with a quilt next time…

    Once we got to my in-laws I was able to make a quick solo run to one of my favorite sources for antique quilt inspiration: Rocky Mountain Quilts (which, ironically is located in York, Maine.) They do not allow photography inside, but you can read about my previous visit to Rocky Mountain Quilts here.    

    And last but not least, the most sentimental quilt sighting for me.  We stopped to visit my husband’s Grandma. Each time we make a trip back to New England, we think it will probably be the last time we see her. But she keeps surprising us. Her quality of life and mind is not great, but we’re so glad for the many great memories we have of her. She has been living in a care facility for a few years now.

    It was so touching to walk into her room and see this quilt! I just went back to reread about when I made it and I can’t believe it’s been 7 years since then. You can read the story behind this quilt here. It makes me so happy to see it still loved and used. Grammie doesn’t remember me or know who I am any more, but it makes me happy to know that she has a tangible evidence of our love for her.

    And there you go. Smart family travels, quilts version, 2019. If you’re still reading at this point, a high-five and a big thanks to you.


    Want to read more about other past travel adventures? You can find them here.