Tuesday, December 27, 2011
The I opened a box from Liz and Steve. Inside was a Double Wedding Ring Quilt. I was speechless. I've always wanted one of these. The top was pieced in the 1930's (with fabrics from 1880-1930's) and Liz quilted it for me. The scalloped edge is sweet. She left the binding to me....she knows I LOVE to bind quilts. I love this new quilt!!!!
Sydney gave me a big box too. Inside was a lovely big bowl. It is a work of art! And Sydney made it for me. She wanted it to look like a quilt and it does. Here's the inside "blocks."
The outside is painted like big blocks too. Polka dots, stripes, such color! OK, so I cried a little as I looked at it. What a wonderful treasure. I can imagine eating popcorn out of it, bringing pasta salad to a pot luck in it, serving greens from it. I'll keep it forever.
Of course the bottom is pretty special too.
Lots of other things too, I feel blessed.
We all know that Christmas isn't really about the presents, right? It's really about the Gift in Jesus that God provided His Son to save us from our sins. The real blessing of Christmas is the forgiveness and love for each of us from the Lord above. And the love of family, the caring things they do for us. May all of you feel as blessed as I am.
Sunday, December 25, 2011
I, on the other hand, celebrated with Liz, Steve and Sydney. We took a quick road trip to Grants Pass, Oregon so we could see Steve's Grandma (Sydney's "Grandma the Great) and Sydney's cousins on Christmas Day. We started out early and made a pit stop at Trees of Mystery.
Shouldn't every Christmas Eve start with a visit with a gigantic Paul Bunyan and Babe, the Blue Ox?
Next stop was Dairy Queen in Cave Junction, OR. This is a treat for those of us living in isolated Eureka. I showed Sydney a photo of what it had looked like 30 years ago when we used to bring her Mama there. Eventually we made it to Cave Junction and our hotel. Sydney had worried Santa wouldn't find her if she wasn't at home but last week when she saw Santa she told him she'd be in Oregon. The hotel was all decorated up for Christmas! A beautiful tree, stockings hung above the fireplace and candles and poinsettias all around. After arriving in our room Sydney hung the stockings with care.She looks pretty excited doesn't she! Mama found a great place for dinner and afterwards we let Sydney open one present....it was the doll her mom had had as a girl and Grammy had made a bunch of new doll clothes. (notice The Sound of Music playing on the TV!)
Right after the doll clothes were all tried on, we put on Home Alone, hoping Sydney would soon be asleep. Nope, she watched the whole thing. Afterwards we waited for her to fall asleep. Finally Steve and Liz went to the car with the luggage cart to bring up all the loot. Still awake. Steve went to sleep and Liz and I went to the lobby. Half hour later we went to the room. Still awake. Lights out, Grandma stroked her forehead and sang to her. Still awake. Mom and Grammy sat in the dark for another 1/2 hour. Finally, finally around 11:45 pm, Sydney fell asleep. We set up the little tree we'd brought and set out the presents.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
We followed this tradition when my own children were born and stockings were filled with treats and fun trinkets. Stockings were first, presents were second. I remember the year the girls noticed that I rarely had anything in my stocking (I was the one who filled theirs and their father's). They have made sure every year since that my sock was full. When the girls were born I bought some pre-printed quilted fabric and made the family stockings. Then made some more when the girls were teens. When the sons-in-laws joined the family they each got a stocking too.
Fast forward to last week when Liz announced we were all going to have new stockings. She wanted to make them for the entire family so that when we had a Christmas together at Grammy's house everyone had a matching stocking. They were all to be out of red and green 1930's reproduction fabrics. They will all have the names embroidered on them. And she was just starting them. Well, actually just her family this year. By next year everyone else would have them. She gave me some pieces of her 1930's fabric collection and I made one for me. I finished it tonight.
What could be more 1930's Vintage that that? Several of the fabrics have Scottie Dogs on them. I'm all set! Now if only someone fills my sock!
Monday, December 19, 2011
Aunt Lulu (Lucianna) and Uncle Paul lived in Lawndale just a stone's throw from our house. Although all of their children had been born in Illinois by the time I knew them they were Southern Californians. They had the very first color TV in the family (years before my folks got one) and I remember watching the Rose Parade one New Year's Day at their house. There must have been 60 people crammed into their living room all oohing and ahhing over this small, nearly circular screened TV and saying that the green faces of the hosts "looked so wonderful." We marveled over that color TV.
On Christmas Day their family would come to our house to see what Santa had brought. Their youngest child was four years older than I so now I can see the humor in it all. Uncle Paul always brought a FIVE pound box of See's Candy. We were in heaven!
Here's a picture of the Clacks: Aunt Lulu, Carolyn (about 6 or 7 in this photo), Uncle Paul, Kenny (16) and Eddy (14). I don't know if Peggy was already in college, but she's not in the photo. They are standing in our driveway in Los Angeles. As you can see the house across the way isn't quite finished yet. I was two and a half when we moved into this house (my very first memory is being entrusted with holding a lamp on the way to moving into the house).
Why are we walking down memory lane? Aunt Lulu, my father's oldest sister passed on last month at age 96. She still drove (and drove well!) up until just a couple of months before she passed on. She had the blackest hair, and when she smiled her eyes sparkled. Her laugh was a tinkling sound. And she laughed liberally throughout her life.
Uncle Paul was a Jack LaLane follower. He took vitamins and supplements and worked out in a gym. He didn't laugh, he chuckled. He was always throwing children up in the air and catching them (except the one time he dropped my brother Pat!). He loved to fake punch people in the stomach and then ask them to hit him hard in return. He was proud that you could never hurt him when you punched. His entire face scrunched up into one big grin when he smiled.
I got a call yesterday that Uncle Paul had passed away. I think he was 98. I last saw them when Dad married Willie in Bement, IL, the old home town. They had moved back many years before. Uncle Paul's dementia was showing some then and just over a year ago he'd moved into a specialize care center. The last time I saw him though, Uncle Paul made a muscle and then asked me to hit him in the stomach! His grin was huge and he hugged me hard.
And so, the last of a generation has passed. My cousins, my brothers and I are the older generation now. I remember how I couldn't wait until I got to sit at the grown-up table on holidays and when I finally got there I realized it was more fun at the kid table. I don't know if I'm ready for to be the older generation....sometimes I'd rather be a kid.
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Thursday, December 15, 2011
The square blocks are 4 1/2" in size. It's my interpretation of a quilt made by Jane A. Stickle during the Civil War. I loved making it although as you can see, it's quite challenging. While we were at Quilt Market in October I fell in love with another quilt. This one is called "Common Bride" and the original (and pattern) is by Edyta Sitar. Here's the pattern.