Last weekend, Hubby and I had the honor and pleasure of celebrating the 80th birthdays of my BFF Karen’s parents with 58 of their closest friends and family. It was a surprise party, and mom Bev was overwhelmed when she saw her BFF Eileen, who she hadn’t seen in 20 years.
I had a chance to chat with the two of them, as they recounted stories of their earlier days.
The invitation specifically said “no gifts”, yet Karen’s parents have been a part of my life for 35 years, and I wanted to give them something special. What to do? The night before the event, I decided that a quilt was in order. I dug through my stash for some cream fabric, cut it into 5” squares and ironed freezer paper to the back of each square for support. I bought a rainbow-colored pack of permanent fabric markers. At the event, I passed out the squares at each table during dinner and asked each attendee or couple to sign a square. They could add comments or other things to their square if desired. The response was truly amazing, as each attendee worked on their square. So many of them took the time to personalize their squares, using several colors and adding motifs that tied them to Bev & Don. Here are some of the squares. The biggest thrill for me was watching everyone creating their squares – they had so much fun! It was as if I had given them permission to play! I will combine the squares with photos of the attendees, and hope to have the lap quilt finished in time for Don’s actual birthday in December. I’ll post a photo of the quilt when it is completed.
Hubby and I will be making wonderful memories next February 13-27 when we cruise New Zealand and Australia with the Quilt Camp at Sea gang on the cruise of a lifetime. Many of the quilters on this cruise have cruised with organizers Pat and Len Tobin several times because they take care of all the details that make the cruise extra-special – daily door prizes, swag bags, extra treats, block exchanges and more. One of the nicest details, for me, is having the classroom space to use for sit & stitch (or chat) time with the other quilters. Some very special friendships have formed on these cruises, and new ones are formed each time, as new cruisers participate. In fact, the Quilt Camp at Sea motto is “creating friendships at sea, one quilter at a time”. I get the same warm & fuzzies on these cruises as I did at Don and Bev’s 80th birthday party, and am already “sew” excited about this upcoming cruise. I will be making my class samples next week for my sashiko class and my super-easy-stained-glass class, then preparing the kits for each student (all you need to bring is your basic sewing supplies, such as scissors and pins). There are still 3 or 4 spots in my classes, but the last date to sign up is Saturday Oct. 10 (Pat tells me that all of the paperwork MUST be done by Monday). Lots of spouses are going on this cruise, so Hubby will have company while I am quilting. (On the last cruise, Hubby took part in an on-board pub crawl organized by the cruise director!) Please consider joining Hubby and I for 2 wonderful weeks of summer Down Under in the middle of our winter – email Pat or Len at QuiltersAlaskanCruises@comcast.net or call (360) 456-3819 (Pacific Time Zone).
Thinking of summer Down Under reminds me of my last post, as part of the EQ7: Seasons Row-along. Since my row was snowmen, I asked readers to comment on their favorite thing about winter. While a few readers mentioned crisp fresh air and snow-covered trees, most of the comments seemed to favor crackling fires and snuggling under quilts to escape the cold. (I really think those readers need 2 weeks in the south Pacific next February!) Congrats to Edna L. for posting a comment – she has won a packet of Toscana suede-like texture fabrics courtesy of Northcott. I also want to mention winners of my STRIP-R post on Sept. 10th. Packets of the luscious Artisan Spirit – Ambience fabrics went out to Lori W., Carol J., Shirley J., Lisa E., and Ellen M.
Also along the “winter” theme, I have had numerous requests for a pattern for my Stacked Presents quilt featured in The Quilter magazine a few years ago.
The pattern PC185 Stacked Presents is now available at www.quiltwoman.com and includes 4 sizes from wall hanging 32” x 37” to queen-size 90” x 108”. You can make it in holiday fabrics, or choose bright or elegant fabrics for a completely different look.
To my fellow Canadians, have a Happy Thanksgiving. Hubby and I will enjoy turkey and pumpkin pie with our boys and extended family. Since the pear tree in our backyard has a bumper crop, I will be making Pear Cranberry crisp as well:
Pear Cranberry Crisp
Combine 4 cups cored diced unpeeled pear, ¾ cup cranberries, ¾ cup chopped walnuts, ½ cup sugar, 1 tsp ginger & ¼ cup flour, and place in a greased 9” x 13” dish.
Combine 1 cup oatmeal, 2/3 cup flour, 2/3 cup brown sugar and ½ cup butter or margarine until mixture is consistent and crumbly. Loosely spread over fruit mixture. Bake at 350degrees for 30-40 minutes or until fruit is tender. Serve warm, with vanilla ice cream if desired.