Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sisterhood of the Traveling Quilt in a Classic New England Town

Block NE-3 of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Quilt project was made by Nancy of UniquelyNancy of the quaint New England town of Warren, Connecticut.

Originally part of Kent, its neighbor to the east, Warren was settled in 1737. In 1786 the western Connecticut town was incorporated and named for the Revolutionary War hero, General Joseph Warren, who was killed in the Battle of Bunker Hill. Even though for most of its history Warren has been an agricultural community, by 1810 Warren became known as an educational center with 5 private schools and an academy which produced 15 ministers and educators.

Warren lies in the highlands between the Housatonic River Valley and the basin of Lake Waramaug (a glacial lake of extraordinary clarity and beauty) which has been a recreational and tourist mecca since the early 19th century, once supporting 7 inns and now ringed by spacious summer homes with lawns sloping down to the water. You can drive, bike or run around the lake on winding town roads or camp, swim and canoe at Lake Waramaug State Park. Warren shares the lake with its neighbors that have all joined together to create watchdog groups dedicated to maintaining its water quality and monitoring its use to prevent incursion of invasive aquatic plants.

Warren center, consisting of the town hall, the grammar school, a general store and a liquor store, is dominated by its Congregational church which was built in 1818 on a knoll overlooking the village center. The church steeple features a clock visible for miles -- a clock that in the 20th century had stopped functioning until artist Eric Sloane organized a fall festival and auction to raise funds to restore it to working order. The festival has continued and still retails the flavor of Mr. Sloane's harvest fair and auction. Sloane, whose last studio was in Warren, is famous for his paintings of New England landscapes and barns which usually feature dramatic skies and weather formations. He is also well known for his massive mural of the American landscape and clouds and weather patterns above it which adorns the main gallery of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. Collections of his early American tools and implements as well as a re-creation of working studio are permanently displayed at the nearby Sloane-Stanley Museum.
Today, Warren remains a very rural enclave with virtually no visible commercial center. It has recently undergone a modest housing boom as families from more suburban towns to the south have chosen a less crowded environment to raise their families.

Nancy has been a professional seamstress and costumer for over 20 years, though she has been sewing for 50 years! Nancy's focus is mainly on handbags and quilts. She loves using bright fabrics with unexpected color combinations. The new art quilts make Nancy's brain spin with new ideas.

Nancy's items are truly unique. You might check out Nancy's "sold" items for a peek at some of her Teapot Handbag creations...and her Tomato purse. She's very talented and well worth your time to check out her shop, UniquelyNancy.


rooee said...

this blog post makes me want to jump in the car and go visit CT!

Adult Communities New York said...

Wow, This is another picturesque place to live. Retirees will enjoy going there to relax.

Nancy said...

I love all the wonderful blocks and write ups about the traveling quilt. Thank you for the great job!

Selvage Quilter said...

Great idea! Nice job.