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Pretty 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.

Pretty Quilts featured by top US quilting blog Diary of a Quilter

Pretty Quilts and Travel Stops

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.

Pretty Quilts featured by top US quilting blog Diary of a Quilter

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.

Pretty Quilts featured by top US quilting blog Diary of a Quilter

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

Pretty Quilts featured by top US quilting blog Diary of a Quilter

Pretty Quilts featured by top US quilting blog Diary of a Quilter

Pretty Quilts featured by top US quilting blog Diary of a Quilter

Seeing these pretty 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.

Pretty Quilts featured by top US quilting blog Diary of a Quilter

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.

Pretty Quilts featured by top US quilting blog Diary of a Quilter

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.

Pretty Quilts featured by top US quilting blog Diary of a Quilter

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?

Pretty Quilts featured by top US quilting blog Diary of a Quilter

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:

Pretty Quilts featured by top US quilting blog Diary of a Quilter

Barns. Whenever I see old wooden barns I see their amazing potential for hanging pretty 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…

Pretty Quilts featured by top US quilting blog Diary of a Quilter

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.    Pretty Quilts featured by top US quilting blog Diary of a Quilter

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.

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33 Comments

  • Reply
    hopflower
    June 21, 2019 at 7:41 am

    What a lovely trip you took. I would think you had a great time; and such gorgeous quilts to see, which I know had a great deal of meaning for you. I really am surprised to hear you have not made a Civil War quilt. But knowing your proclivity for making quilts, I bet it won’t be long now. Actually we are not into three weeks of summer, though. Today is the first day!

  • Reply
    Candace
    June 21, 2019 at 8:15 am

    I always enjoy your travel tales and picture. Beautiful scenery, quilts and the story of grandmother–Thanks!

  • Reply
    Cheryl
    June 21, 2019 at 8:42 am

    Yay! Pumpkin Patch is in my neck of the woods! There are several more wonderful shops if you ever get back to this area. Western Massachusetts is beautiful any time of year.

  • Reply
    Brenda
    June 21, 2019 at 10:30 am

    Love your pictures! I keep thinking we need a big barn….I think it would make a great sewing room! Wouldn’t that be fun. Have a great weekend!

  • Reply
    Kim
    June 21, 2019 at 12:57 pm

    It looks like you had a most wonderful trip!! And love that your husband’s grandmother has your quilt on her bed. It’s so important to have those connections — and for you to be able to provide that comfort — when the recognition has been cruelly taken away,
    .

  • Reply
    Karen Seitz
    June 21, 2019 at 5:07 pm

    I always love to read (and see) your travelogues. Hope Ohio treated you well while you were here. No tornadoes like we’ve had in Dayton!

  • Reply
    Gwyn
    June 21, 2019 at 6:40 pm

    From one displaced Yankee girl to another. It looks like you got a better day in Portsmouth than my 17 yr. old son did with his Grammie. His was wet, wet, wet. Here in southern Indiana, we are looking forward to meeting up with the rest of the family in NH. We always take the same route through Ohio, upstate NY, then across VT, into NH. I did a shop hop in upstate NY a few years ago. There are some great shops in the towns along the thruway. There’s also a great shop in downtown Portsmouth if you like the colorful mod vibe, Portsmouth Fabric Co. Thanks for sharing the lovely photos!! In my dreams I can taste fried clams and sun kissed, juicy wild blueberries. I’ve got to get my travel projects ready; leaving in a week!

    • Reply
      Amy
      June 22, 2019 at 12:26 pm

      Don’t you just love New Hampshire! And yes, I’ve been to the Portsmouth Quilt Shop. It’s a fun place. As for weather, we were lucky with one stunning day and one with heavy rain. Sounds like it’s been an extra wet spring. A shop hop across upstate New York sounds so fun.

      • Reply
        Gwyn
        June 22, 2019 at 3:50 pm

        Ladies from my mom’s NH guild planned it with someone who frequently travels from MI to MA. We did 7(?) shops in two LONG days via charter bus during the Row By Row event, so all the shops had treats, sales, demos and Row By Row lined up for us. Well organized and I didn’t have to drive! My son is out of school by the end of May and band camp starts July 15 and first day school is July 29… Ugh. This Yankee girl cannot stand it! In August I should be in my bathing suit in the lake picking blueberries on the shore. I literally cry on the first days of school, not because I miss my kid and his high school days are numbered (daughter in college), but because of the deep connection I have to those blueberries and my dad.

  • Reply
    Carla
    June 21, 2019 at 6:53 pm

    What a wonderful sounding trip! I’m glad you allowed yourself to unplug some and enjoy just being with your family.

  • Reply
    Barbara Ann Jones
    June 21, 2019 at 7:12 pm

    Just confused….Summer began today, June 21, not 3 weeks ago.

    • Reply
      Amy
      June 22, 2019 at 12:23 pm

      I guess I should clarify – by “summer” I mean summer vacation. My kids got out of school at the end of May.

  • Reply
    Rosemary Barron
    June 21, 2019 at 11:40 pm

    Loved hearing about your trip. We live on the coast in Oregon but I absolutely love New England. I make Reproduction quilts and love them. However I make quilts using the bright colors that you use and more I save all my scraps and definitely use them. . I am 81 years old… 82 in a couple of weeks and quilt my heart out. I’m very fortunate to still have my mind intact… Sort of. LOL life is good and I believe that quilting has been a big help in keeping me fresh and alert. Happy quilting.

    • Reply
      Amy
      June 22, 2019 at 12:23 pm

      That is amazing, Rosemary! You go!

  • Reply
    Elaine Papworth
    June 22, 2019 at 12:08 am

    Missed your posts, but happy to read you were having lovely family time. I always look for quilts and barns when we travel…thanks to Erin and you! Hugs 😘

    • Reply
      Amy
      June 22, 2019 at 12:22 pm

      Thanks, Elaine. xo

  • Reply
    Mari
    June 22, 2019 at 2:02 am

    I loved this post. Sweet, sentimental, interesting, a delight. A wonderful travel blog post.

  • Reply
    Dorothy
    June 22, 2019 at 2:17 am

    Nice trip—nice photos—but you stated “we” are 3 weeks into summer ?? I thought “summer” started on June 21st 🙂

    • Reply
      Amy
      June 22, 2019 at 12:22 pm

      I guess I should clarify – “summer vacation”. My kids have been out of school since the end of May. That’s when our summer lifestyle starts for me.

  • Reply
    theliteratequilter
    June 22, 2019 at 5:30 am

    I would love to see Oolana! What a great trip!

  • Reply
    Cathy B.
    June 22, 2019 at 5:33 am

    How sweet that Grammie still uses your quilt – I’m sure she remembers you even if she can’t express it. Next time through be sure to stop at Boldt Castle in the Thousand Islands. Well worth the stop!

  • Reply
    Little Quiltsong
    June 22, 2019 at 6:01 am

    What a lovely trip – and so many beautiful pics along the way. Was so touched by the quilt you made for your husband’s grandmother – and that it is still in use. Next time you are in Niagara Falls – remember I am just 2.5 hours away, of course on the Canadian side, but so close to meeting face to face :)!

  • Reply
    Martha Handley
    June 22, 2019 at 5:23 pm

    I especially enjoyed this edition of your newsletter as I am originally from Western New York. Thank you for sharing your pictures of New England, the antique quilts, and the quilt you made for Grammie. It is so beautiful and looks so comfy. I really like that the blocks are rectangular! Would you consider sharing the pattern, or even just the dimensions of the pieces?

  • Reply
    Rosemaryflower
    June 22, 2019 at 6:07 pm

    Thank you Amy for sharing your fun family adventure. It must have been nice to just go and take such a great route through upstate NY and Niagra Falls and fart around NH. It is nice to visit family.
    Amazing those old quilts. wow

  • Reply
    Marianne
    June 22, 2019 at 6:11 pm

    Thanks Amy for all the great info! My daughter and I are taking a trip next week to Provincetown Mass, I will be sure to look up the Portsmouth Quilt shop!
    So proud of you for “unplugging.” It’s really necessary these days to make that happen.
    I have relatives in the Hudson Valley, near Woodstock NY, what a lovely little town that has become!
    Thanks so much for all your wonderful posts, I truly enjoy reading them😍!

    Marianne

  • Reply
    Lorraine Barnett
    June 22, 2019 at 7:45 pm

    You are making memories. How special is that?! I loved your pictures…what a gorgeous part of the country.

  • Reply
    June
    June 22, 2019 at 9:14 pm

    Thank you for sharing your trip and beautiful pictures. I love quilts that have a story behind them. I’m glad you got to see your grandmother and spend precious time with her. I worked once in an Alzheimer’s home….I’m sending hugs. Where exactly do you live? My father in law was from Kittery Maine. I grew up on Long Island.

    • Reply
      Amy
      June 22, 2019 at 9:51 pm

      I live in Utah, but my in-laws are from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. I just drove through Kittery while we were there! Such a beautiful spot.

  • Reply
    Melanie Martin
    June 23, 2019 at 6:40 pm

    Haha Amy! Thanks for the high five! I always enjoy reading whatever you post, even if it’s not super quilty. Some beautiful glimpses of far off places and good ol’ red barns are always welcome. I’m glad you got some quality time in with your family. 🙂

  • Reply
    Helen L
    June 24, 2019 at 12:56 am

    It was so good to read of your adventures and to see the wonderful pictures. Someday I hope to go out east, but haven’t made it out there yet, so seeing through your photos is lovely! And good for you, for not subjecting your family to too many quilt shops: such restraint!! 🙂 You have been blessed for that by lovely memories on a wonderful trip that you can cherish when the kiddo’s are not living at home anymore. Hugs, H

  • Reply
    Donna F
    June 24, 2019 at 8:11 am

    lucky for your kids. The kids in NYS are still finishing up their year. Enjoy your summer with family and friends.

  • Reply
    mary k maloney
    June 24, 2019 at 11:22 am

    kudos for taking such great pics and sharing your vaca with us. I thought it strange that a quilt shop wouldn’t allow photos.

    • Reply
      Amy
      June 24, 2019 at 12:51 pm

      It’s not a traditional quilt shop – they sell restored antique quilts. Still wish they would allow photos though because some of those quilt are stunning!

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