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Archive for the ‘Traditions’ Category

Christmas Quilts, Christmas Memories

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

Christmas may be over officially for 2016, but it will come around again.  And now that the recipients (except for Kate C.–don’t read this post Kate!) have received and opened their gifts, I can share.   I’d love for you all to know about Christmas Quilts, Christmas Memories, edited by Karey Patterson Bresenhan and Nancy O’Bryant Puentes, the cousins who were half of the four (along with their mothers) who founded quilter’s Mecca, the International Quilt Festival.   This petite square book (my iPhone 6plus is a tiny bit taller) is a holiday gem of antique quilts and Christmas memories — and to my utter astonishment, including yours truly!

Christmas Quilts, Christmas Memories, Ed. Karey P. Bresenhan and Nancy O’B. Puentes, available from the Texas Quilt Museum

As a contributor, we received a complimentary copy at Quilt Festival this year.  I **devoured** the book on my flight home–literally read it cover to cover between Houston and Boston.  Well known folks from the quilt community and members of Karey and Nancy’s families shared special Christmas Memories with an antique quilt on the left page.   I was astonished that I know of or actually know most of the quilty folks in the book, and I just cherish that they shared their memories.  I knew I would order many copies to give before I got off the flight!  I gave copies to my sons hoping that they will eventually read the book and maybe find traditions they would like to start for their families and lives.

Here’s the start of my memory, about collecting ornaments from around the world, first as gifts for my parents, then as an annual tradition. What’s this year’s ornament going to be?

As I read through the book, I was more and more astounded that I was selected to have my memory included given who else is in the book.   As I read, I felt closer to those I know for their quilt pursuits, loved the glimpse into their every day lives and memories.   Here’s the stories and the contributors:

The Christmas Memories table of contents

and the contributors to the book

This book is small but delightful beyond all proportion to its size.  It is beautifully printed, fits nicely in your hands, and I’m so happy to have it, and still a bit gobsmacked to be in it!  You can order it from the Texas Quilt Museum website, here.

And what was this year’s ornament?  Well, one of the reasons our tree is groaning with stuff is that we added FOUR this year.  In my defense, the two blown glass ones were gifts for the boys to be taken to their own places when they are settled.   I am actually looking forward to sharing the bounty with them and not having quite so much to put on (and take off and put away) each year, but love sharing the story that goes with every ornament on the tree.

After Eli was accepted to F&M, we went on a college visit and took the long way home via Vermont and the requisite trip to Ben & Jerry’s factory (the original one) and tour. Of course I had to add an ornament–I navigate the world by ice cream stores!

To commemorate Eli’s first year in college, a Franklin & Marshall ornament. Thanks to Eli for adding it to the tree.

When Eli and I visited England 2 years ago, we went to St. Tiggywinkle’s hedgehog (and now other wildlife too) rescue, about an hour west of London. This one is for him.

When we lived on San Juan Island when the boys were little, a great horned owl would perch in the fir tree beside our driveway, silhouetted against the night sky. Joshua remembers the owl and we were talking about it not long ago, so this one is for him.

And here’s the groaning tree….honestly, I just LOVE IT!   And this year was beyond delightful because all three of the kids, Joshua & Ashley and Eli, helped trim the tree!

The tree on Christmas Eve after Santa arrived.  It was a particularly bountiful year!



A Word for 2014, and a song

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

So every year or thereabouts, the QuiltArt list has a discussion as we approach and dive into the new year.  What will your word be for the coming new year?   I could remember my word for 2011—-the worst of the years from hell:  breathe, and a more apt word I never picked!   But I couldn’t remember what word I chose for 2013.  It appears I forgot to pick one.  So here’s what I wrote to the QA list:

for 2010:  simplify
for 2011:  breathe
for 2012:  refresh
for 2013:  I missed it this year!
for 2014:  hmmmmm….

(and it’s a good thing I keep emails and can use the search function on my laptop…the only one I remembered was “breathe” for the year Mom died, our oldest hit the bottom of his pit–luckily not a deep one–and other insanity.)

Actually, maybe “hmmmm” **should** be my word for the year.   Musing.  I’ve been thinking things like “re-assess,”  “re-evaluate,” and so on.   New avenues?  or Pathways?  Meanderings?  Explorations isn’t quite right.  Walking (not in the literal sense).  Trails?  Review isn’t quite right either.  

Maybe I should just toss my cares to the wind and say “fudge” (yes, the chocolate, edible kind!)!  Oh, why limit myself, how about “Dessert!”   I think I need some whimsy!  Command decision made:  Dessert it is!  

I’ll close with a favorite t-shirt quote: 

Life is uncertain.  Eat dessert first!

Cheers, Sarah

PS:  yes, art can be the dessert!

So there you go:  Dessert if my word for 2014!  Makes me giggle!  WOOT!

And in that vein, I’m planning on (decaf) Kahlua Coffee with whipped cream for tonight (since we have Kahlua and no Irish Mist), so here is one last song for the year:  James Taylor singing For Auld Lang Syne–love this!  The older I get, the more the song brings tears to my eyes as I remember those whom I have loved and are gone, those whom I love now, one of whom I fear may not be with us this time next year (send her healing power to southern Texas that she be among the three percent that survives this cancer), and the beauty of life.  Indeed,

“so here’s a hand my trusted friend
and give me a hand o’ thine,
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet
for auld lang syne.”

Thank you for visiting me here in 2013.  Here’s to a healthy, loving, joyful, artful 2014 for all of us.  Hugs, Sarah

Happy Hannukah

Sunday, December 21st, 2008

I have a few Christmas traditions….. putting certain ornaments in certain spots on the tree (mostly high up for safety from the cats and dogs–some of these babies are now more than 45 years old, but were new when I got them), watching White Christmas, listening to The Night The Animals Talked (becoming problematic…. none of our cassette players works any more except for the one in my car… had to sit out there last year, and can’t find my box with the old 33 rpm records to get the record copied into digital) on Christmas eve, and for the past decade or so, listening to the Peter, Paul and Mary Holiday Concert.  For a girl who was baptized a Protestant Christian and went to 10 years of Catholic schools, I don’t know if it is odd that one of my favorite songs is “hayo, Haya”,  about the miracle of the lights and another is “Light One Candle.”  Since today is the first day of Hannukah, when the light in the temple should have burned out but lasted for eight days, I’d like to share it with you.

I couldn’t find Hayo, Haya by Peter, Paul and Mary on You Tube, but here is a California high school chorus singing the song (in Hebrew I’m guessing, since it isn’t in English)… but the melody is just as haunting:

As with  so many wonderful things, you can find it on the internet, and in this case on YouTube, so here you go  for Light One Candle (with, I think, Korean subtitles!):

So in the spirit of peace, joy and equal opportunity faithfulness, go in Peace to love and serve the Lord, whichever and whomever you choose, for there are many paths to what is good and right.