Earlier this week I headed south from Syracuse, through Pennsylvania and into Maryland for a visit with the Friendship Star Quilters Guild, a fun group of quilters from Gaithersburg, Maryland. On Sunday, despite a late-season heatwave outside, we filled the conference room at a local hotel to work on Bloomin' Steps, a super-scrappy quilt project from the book ScrapTherapy, Cut the Scraps!
This quilt involves a fair amount of piecing, but the result is so worthwhile!
Everyone in the Sunday workshop seemed to enjoy the day.
With some time to kick back before the guild meeting and trunk show on Monday evening, the guild treated me to a few of the local sites. Many thanks to Laurie, my guild hostess for the day! While she drove along the Potomac River, I snapped this photo from the passenger seat. Washington DC is close by, but many of the sites along the mall were closed due to the government shut-down. Here, the Jefferson Memorial looks lovely from a distance, despite overcast skies.
Privately-owned attractions are not affected by politics, so our destination was Mount Vernon, the estate of our first president and his family.
The estate and grounds are managed as they would have been in George and Martha's time, between 1754 to 1799. Several heritage animal breeds are maintained on the property. These sheep greeted us at the entrance to the visitors center.
Look! An Orientation Center just for me! Wonder where everyone else will go . . .
A short walk from the orientation center. The mansion is as impressive as I imagine it ever was!
The gate leading to the mansion has some interesting shapes, I thought. Curves and spikes send a mixed message.
A closer view of the mansion.
The opposite side of the mansion has huge columns and overlooks the Potomac. Not bad on a cloudy day, but I can only imagine the dreamy landscape in nicer weather.
Gardens surrounding the estate are beautifully maintained. Flowers, fruits and vegetables are grown on the grounds, giving tourists like me a real sense of what life must have been like on this farm in the mid 18th century.
The rain set in and spoiled the day for more walking outdoors. Fortunately, we were able to visit the museum filled with artifacts from George Washington's life, interactive exhibits, and videos which explained George Washington's role in American history.
I've said it before, every good tour should end with a visit to the gift shop! I found some gotta-have, gotta-make stitchery!