New England Quilts in the Fall, the Harriet Tubman Story & Niagara Falls
Join Mandy Shaw for a unique and unforgettable quilting adventure amidst the glorious autumnal splendours of New England and Canada. Explore Boston and experience the splendid Fall colours of Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and New York State. In the company of Mandy you’ll also follow in the footsteps of civil rights activist Harriet Tubman and learn about the remarkable Underground Railroad. Harriet, who was born a slave in Maryland in the early 19th century, will replace Andrew Jackson on the front of the $20 bill. She will be the first African American and first black woman to appear on any U.S. currency. Her extraordinary story will also be replicated in the quilting blocks that Mandy will show you throughout the tour.
Our tour ends in Canada with a visit to Niagara Falls, one of the greatest sights of the New World, and a stay in the iconic city of Toronto. Harriet also crossed the border into Canada and finally secured her freedom here.
Other highlights on this special holiday include visits to the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell and the Bennington Museum, home of the Jane Stickle quilt. You’ll also have the opportunity to browse for patterns and fabrics at the renowned Keepsake Quilt Shop, America’s favourite quilting store. Two hand quilting workshops with Mandy are also included.
For full itinerary see below
DAY 1: BOSTON
Fly from London to Boston. On arrival transfer to the Revere Hotel or similar for a two night stay.
DAY 2: BOSTON
This morning enjoy a guided sightseeing tour of the historic city of Boston. You’ll see all the famous sights including Beacon Hill, Newbury Street, Faneuil Hall Marketplace and much more. The tour will conclude at the Museum of Fine Arts, home to a stunning textile collection which began when Boston was at the centre of the US textile industry. The collection of over 27,000 pieces ranges from American needlepoint to European tapestries, Middle Eastern rugs, African kente cloths and haute couture fashions. Balance of the day at leisure.
DAY 3: LOWELL
You’ll depart Boston this morning for the drive to Lowell for a two night stay at the Umass Lowell Inn or similar. Later a visit to the New England Quilt Museum is included. Established by an enthusiastic group of local quilters in 1987, the museum celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2012. Housed in a 19th century former bank building it is now a landmark in the heart of America’s historic textile-producing region. The museum is the only institution in the northeast of the USA solely dedicated to the art and craft of quilting, both traditional and contemporary.
DAY 4: LOWELL
This morning you’ll travel into the state of New Hampshire and onto the town of Center Harbour for a visit to the “Keepsake Quilting” store, one of the best of its kind in the in USA. As soon as you enter, you’ll be greeted by a spectacular array of thousands of bolts of cotton fabric, the famous fabric Medleys™, kits, books and patterns and notions. The friendly staff and the store’s warm and welcoming atmosphere will make you feel at home. Later enjoy a leisurely drive amidst some of New England’s glorious countryside on the return journey to Lowell. The day concludes with a hand quilting workshop with Mandy.
DAY 5: BENNINGTON
You’ll depart Lowell this morning for the drive to Old Sturbridge Village. This living museum re-creates life in rural New England during the 1790’ through to the 1830’s. You’ll enjoy a guided visit and there will be time for lunch (at your own expense) before continuing to the state of Vermont and the town of Bennington for an overnight stay at the Hampton Inn or similar.
DAY 6: AUBURN
This morning you’ll visit the Bennington Museum, home of the Jane Stickle quilt. This sampler of heroic proportions has a uniquely pieced and scalloped border, and is composed of 169 five-inch blocks, each varying in pattern, holding a total of 5,602 pieces. Although very little is known of the creator, Jane A Stickle, we do know from the date of 1893 that the quilt was made during the Civil War, Jane was 46 when it was completed. During your visit you’ll have the chance to meet the Collections Manager and enjoy a talk about the history of the quilt. This afternoon we’ll leave Vermont for the drive into New York State, also famous for its wonderful autumn colours and onto Auburn for a two night stay at the Hilton Garden Inn or similar.
DAY 7: AUBURN
A visit to the Seward House Museum is included this morning. William Seward was Secretary of State to President Lincoln and a committed and vocal anti-slavery campaigner in the years leading up to the Civil war. Seward’s wife Frances was also an active abolitionist and in the 1850’s the couple opened up their home to fugitive slaves as a safehouse. Later continue to the home of Harriet Tubman. One of the towering figures of the abolitionist movement, Harriet escaped from slavery in Maryland in 1849 and over the next 11 years made 13 secret missions back, guiding over 70 slaves to freedom via the Underground Railroad. Your tour continues with visits to locations which were known to have been stations along the Underground Railroad. The day concludes with a hand quilting workshop led by Mandy. There may also be the opportunity to interact and share ideas with a local quilting group too.
DAY 8: NIAGRA FALLS & TORONTO
Morning departure for the drive to Niagara Falls. The Falls are divided into two parts-the Canadian and American Falls. The Canadian Falls are the larger, 180ft high with a crest of 2,200ft, forming a curve known as Horseshoe Falls. For the most dramatic close-up view, you can don special waterproofs and take an optional ride on the ‘Maid of the Mist’ boat close to the thundering waters. Later this afternoon continue to the exciting city of Toronto for an overnight stay at The Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Toronto Downtown or similar. Join Mandy and your quilting companions for a farewell drink and a “show and tell” this evening.
DAY 9: TORONTO & UK
A sightseeing tour of Toronto is included this morning. This is Canada’s largest city and its commercial and cultural centre too. You’ll see all the sights including the 1,815ft high CN Tower which dominates the skyline. This afternoon you’ll transfer to the airport for the return flight back to the UK.
Arrival in the UK.