New Curtains for Christmas

Last summer, I took down the venetian blinds in the kitchen to give it a more open, airy look and repurposed some old lace panels to make curtains.

When fall came, I didn’t want to put the blinds up again but wanted a little more covering for the windows.  I found some wonderful reproduction feedsack fabric while in Ohio Amish Country and made some curtains that looked great with the autumn, Halloween and Thanksgiving decorations.

I really liked the curtains but I thought they might clash with all the bright reds and greens that go up at Christmas time, so once I again I made a set of curtains using white and red gingham.  They were the first things to go up in the kitchen before I began my holiday decorating.

They’re so bright and cheerful that they might be up until Valentine’s Day and into spring.

It’s Turkey Time in my November Kitchen

Turkeys are the main attraction in my November kitchen, accompanied by some pilgrims and other fall decorations.

The shelves on either side of the window over my sink hold some turkey items…l


The big rustic shelf holds a painting I did on enamelware and two vintage turkey candles.

The middle shelf has some small vintage pilgrim candles…



…and on the bottom shelf are a turkey tile and some more candles.

My doll table is decked out with a crocheted-edge tablecloth, silverware and plates, plus a miniature turkey and pumpkin pie with whipped cream.

On the walls are a cross-stitch piece that my daughter-in-law did for me….

…a quilted turkey wall hanging I made several years ago…

…a pilgrim enamelware platter that I painted in 1996…

…and a patchwork wall hanging with my favorite Rockwell Thanksgiving picture.

It won’t be long until I’ll be buying the real turkey to stuff and roast for my family once again.

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Kentucky Log Cabin Quilt

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I love Judy Martin’s quilt designs.  Even on fairly easy patterns, there’s a little something extra and interesting.  Last summer her web site featured glimpses of her newest book, Judy Martin’s Log Cabin Quilt Book.  On her web site her readers were given the opportunity to vote for their favorite patterns in the book and I immediately fell in love with the Kentucky Log Cabin.  I had decorated one bedroom in a lodge/cabin theme and had yet to make a quilt for the full sized bed.  I requested the book for my birthday in September, but didn’t have time to start the quilt until after the Christmas holidays.

I changed the layout to give me the look and size I wanted – big enough to cover the entire mattress plus an overhang on sides and bottom to come to a certain point on the bedskirt. 

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Although the pattern wasn’t difficult, a degree of precision cutting and piecing was required and I wore out three rotary blades making this quilt.  I felt it was worth it.

I was in the middle of making pillow covers to match the spread when I saw a forum discussion of an old-fashioned method of covering pillows by making a large flat topper that would cover the pillows, tuck under top and bottom and have an overhang to match the quilt.  This is basically a long, narrow flat piece that I designed using four applique cabin blocks and some of the coordinating maroon fabric.  This was my answer and I know in the future I’ll always make a matching or coordinating topper rather than covers that have to be removed every time the bed is used.

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I machine quilted using stippling for the body of the quilt and decorative stitching on the borders.  I like the quilt very much with the pieced log cabins and secondary star design. 

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Christmas Village

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As soon as the leftover turkey is in the refrigerator and the big graniteware roaster is washed and stored away for another year, I begin setting up my Christmas village.   The village is the most time-consuming decorating I do (except maybe for the tree which my two youngest grandchildren always set up for me).  My first illuminated house, an early Department 56 model, was a gift from my oldest daughter and youngest son.

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It has been joined over the years by a church (handpainted by my oldest daughter), and school.

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Three Department 56 pieces commemorate visits to Germany, Austria and England.

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There’s a “Wonderful Life” train station and a “Christmas Story” Higbee’s Department Store.

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There’s a barndance barn with musicians and dancers to honor all the years my husband and I enjoyed square dancing plus a farm barn with all kinds of animals to remember the years we lived in the country.

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There’s a miller’s house, a windmill and a lighthouse…..

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There’s a 30s style movie theatre and garage….

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an antique store, a bank, a large house, a toy store, a JoAnn’s shop, and a gift store.

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And, of course, there are countless small figures of people, animals, telegraph poles, clocks, etc., and all the lighting to put in place.   This all started out just taking up the top of the piano but now it’s spread out over five different surfaces and I love it when everything is set up and all the lights are turned on.  Now, it’s really time for the Christmas season to start.