Ghosts of Thanksgivings Past

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This Thanksgiving morning, all is well.  I have family to be with today, plenty to eat, a lovely home to eat in.  And if I did not have those things, I have many friends who would gladly have included me in their Thanksgiving celebrations today.

But as I think about Thanksgivings of the past, things were not always so wonderful.  There was Thanksgiving 2001, when my daddy passed away just a week before.  After the funeral, we did go on to have Thanksgiving with my husband’s family, but when we came home, Daddy’s chair was empty.  It broke my heart.

Just a year later, we buried my mother-in-law three weeks before Thanksgiving.  That year, the five of us ate a small meal in the dining room that before had hosted 50+ family members each year.  We spent many hours going through things in the house before it was sold, dismantling a life.

These were hard times, and everyone has them.  I think of innocent children whose lives are wretched due to the consequences of someone else’s sin, and my hard times don’t look so bad after all.

But one thing we all have in common, the thing we must be most thankful for today–we have hope of a much better life for eternity, without all these sorrows.  The Bible says,

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. John 10:27-28

If you are need more information on how to have this hope in your life, I recommend this link:

Are you saved?

Houston Quilt Festival

For years, I have heard about the International Quilt Festival held in Houston each year, but never had opportunity to go.  Now that I have a quilting friend and we live closer to Houston, we got brave and journeyed that way!

After surviving the drive into Houston (it really wasn’t that bad–Saturday morning) and finding a place to park, we walked over to the convention center.  Our first impression of the Quilt Festival–overwhelmingly huge!  We immediately realized there would be no getting to see all the vendors and quilts in the one day we had available.

So we made a plan for how to use our time, and picked which quilt exhibits sounded interesting.  Here are some highlights from the show:

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All those tiny pieces…just amazing!

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There were so many beautiful art quilts!

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This quilt was part of the “70,273 Project”, which represents the number of disabled people killed by the Nazis.  Their fate was determined by two red Xs written on their medical form.  Quite a sobering exhibit…

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Absolutely adorable!

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And this was one of my very favorite!

We did not see all the quilts, and certainly did not visit all the vendors, but we sure had a good time!  Looking forward to next year!

Shirt Stripe Boxes Quilt

About 3 years ago, I saved a Pinterest picture of a really cool quilt made from striped men’s shirts.  My mother loved stripes, so I come by this fascination honestly :-)

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Fast forward 3 years–now I have a new sewing room, with a design wall just begging for a project.  The Shirt Stripe Boxes quilt came to mind, and I started to work.  It took some doing to figure out the right way to make the blocks, because the picture I pinned had incorrect instructions!  But with some experimenting, I figured it out.

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I had several blocks done, when I saw that I needed more variety of fabrics.  The local thrift stores were no help…and then I remembered a bag of striped scraps under my bed!  What a treasure trove it was–quite the walk down memory lane, with some scraps from maternity clothes, and an outfit worn by my son 24 years ago.  But it was just what my quilt needed to really make it pop!

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And here it is, in all its glory!  The design wall was absolutely essential, because there were 3 sizes of blocks to fit together.  And I also took a picture of the layout before taking blocks down to sew them, just in case I forgot which way they went!  This is a couch quilt, and instead of using batting, I just backed it with a flannel sheet and quilted it in 3 inch squares.

This pattern was created by Kaffe Fassett, an incredibly talented artist and designer.  If you like bright colors, you should check into his fabric lines!