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              Little Red Hen by Little Golden Book 

Recently while glancing through the "new books" section in the library, I came upon a book that brought back a flood of childhood memories.  I will tell you the name of the book in a bit.  Memories can definitely pull at your heartstrings.  And during this time of the year as we gather with family and friends we sometimes reflect on the times of our youth.

In our family along with favorite decorations, and holiday foods, we also bring out a collection of well loved holiday books that will sit on a table in the family room.  Everyone enjoys re-reading or glancing through them.  Along with German favorites from my childhood there are several books, bound in gold along one edge, familiar to many of you as Little Golden Books.  I can remember countless hours spent reading and re-reading books with titles such as The Little Red Hen, The Poky Little Puppy, and Five Little Firemen.  When our children came along we naturally read them these same favorites, carrying on a tradition that we hope will continue for many years to come.

So, it was only by accident that I was carried back to my childhood reading days when I discovered the book celebrating 65 years of Golden Books.  The title is Golden Legacy:  How Golden Books Won Children's Hearts, Changed Publishing Forever, and Became an American Icon Along the Way.  The coffee table size book, filled with hundreds of book covers, is sure to bring back a flood of childhood memories for many of you.  It also follows the history of just how a small publishing company from Racine, WI, came to influence the reading habits of hundreds of thousands of children around the world. 

How does this relate to quilting?  Well, it really doesn't other than the idea that traditions are kept alive one person at a time.  Quilting is an art form that can be passed on to future generations by sharing.  Maybe you have a young person in your life that would love to spend time learning about a craft you love.  Take time to share your passion and pass it on.

Lilo (TQSWizard)

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When I decided to do the Christmas concert in La Veta, I did not intend to make a recording of it - neither audio nor video. But as it happened, Kat's husband captured a live audio mix of all four shows and Justin, at the last minute, decided to set up a video camera and man it at all the shows. The combination has allowed me to edit it all together just as you saw in "Do You Hear What I Hear?" (see December 19). Since it seems so many people enjoyed that video, I thought it would be fun to give you another one or two songs from the concert - hoping to enhance your holiday spirit.

Then, having finished editing the entire show, I've decided to do something I hope you'll find even better - to post the entire concert! However, in preparation for the posting, there are several things you need to know.

1. It will not be available to purchase on DVD - ever. You can wish, you can hope, but the reality is - it will not happen. There is lots of content that I have permission to use, but not to sell. So please don't ask - please don't whine - just accept the fact now and enjoy it exclusively right here at TQS (plug in your good computer speakers or get headphones).

2. It is a live recording. It is not polished or even professionally produced - even if you think it looks and sounds pretty good. So remember, the whole recording was a last minute decision and if there is something you like - or something you don't like - it was all an accident - even so, I still thought many of would enjoy the opportunity to see it.

3. It is posted on the blog for EVERYONE who is a member to watch. However, it will not have chapters - so, you'll simply have to fast forward or watch the whole thing - and it is 72 minutes long! So, get a cup of nog or cider and kick back. It will be best watched from beginning to end with no interruptions.

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Dear Alex,

I couldn't agree more. One year ago I was trying to develop a site that would be the home for a new quilt show, free from network executives and restrictions - hoping you would join me. The vision was sketchy at best. I've learned so much this year and have sooooo appreciated having you be my personal mentor to keep me from looking like a fool on camera. For me, the most rewarding and unexpected aspect of this endeavor has been the relationships that have been established.

First - you and John. When I look at our overall vision - and wonder how it can work, I'm just so happy that we all (A, R, J and J)bring something to the table. We have been blessed to get along so well and we always work out any challenges by focusing on our goal to do what is best for our community.

Secondly, the relationships with the production team. I would not have predicted that we would have become a family. The thrill of coming together for tapings was the highlight of my year. It was never 'all business' - but rather a gig with lots of fun, with folks that know their stuff - and to think my first inclination was to use only two cameras and do the editing myself -ha! And here, I should not fail to mention Web Guru Bob who has worked tirelessly and faithfully all year.

Finally, I would not have predicted that we would have created a HUGE worldwide family. While I know it was part of the plan - seeing it in action will forever be the most rewarding thing I have ever done. I could not have done it all without you - so thanks for your commitment and support.

Now is a time to reflect and renew - I've reflected here - I'll talk about renewing later. Everyday "It's a New Day!" and now we're coming upon "A New Year" too!

P.S. - Look for my online surprise tomorrow.

 

From Alex  - I Can't WAIT!!!! 

 

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You know my feelings about Johnny (sigh), so when Adair said she was going to go and see his latest flick, I jumped on board (mind you I only go to one movie a year). Surely a musical would be a great way to celebrate the holiday season. Oh my- Not for the faint hearted or those with any level of decorum. Although there was one great line - my face was in my hands for many of the scenes (Adair said the effects were "fake looking" especially the way the blood squirted-eewww- who CARES?!)- Perhaps I should have done my homework. Yell My bad! LOL

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In running through some family pictures I found a Christmas photo of my first trike - unlike Ricky, I was pretty thrilled with the aspect of new wheels, epecially donning my donald duck cap! Note the suitcase -  I still like cool cars, exotic clothing and appreciate a decent suitcase - somethings really never do change! Fun memories of presents - time to share!

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Dear Ricky -

I can't believe our first year birthday is around the corner! If you had told me last Jan. 1st where we would be today, I would have thought perhaps you were smoking something unsavory. Isn't it amazing what the Internet has allowed us to do as an entire community? When I think of the friends we have made, it boggles my mind. Also, I wonder if people know that we have never even met web master Bob face to face? - Simply Amazing! And to think that we are working with Angel (my old boss at HGTV), the crew from Chicago (Harpo) and folks from all over CO (God Bless Lilo) - these are all people who have caught the vision and dream of ours. I never knew what working 150% really meant - but we all do now LOL.

The best part for me? (beside of course getting to know you and Justin on such an incredibly close level) - is the creative freedom we enjoy coupled with the instant communication possible worldwide -

Merry Christmas my friend -

Kiss

 

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OK - not going for sympathy - BUT heads up to your working environment - I have hurt my back appliquing! NO KIDDING - BE SO CAREFUL how you are sitting and positioning your body when quilting. Apparently I didn't .  Hey, at least I am quilting...........Embarassed

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Story Submitted by: NancyAnn1959

Irene’s (Mostly Purple) UFO’s by Nancy Allen In August of 2006, a lovely elderly lady named Irene came to see me after the quilt shop where I teach referred her. She had fallen and injured her shoulder and was unable to quilt. She was getting up in years and her children had urged her to get her sewing room in order and finish up some projects. She brought me three quilts to finish for her. One was a small Christmas wall hanging, kind of like Sun Bonnet Sue. Another was a large lovely hand appliquéd quilt with tulips in several shades of pink, leaves and vines. The last was all hand pieced of little squares and triangles of several small purple, pink, green and light blue calicos. It took me a few weeks of work to fix the problems, piece rows, add borders and get the quilts ready for long-arm quilting. The little wall hanging just needed binding. I called the number Irene had given me and left a message saying she could come pick them up, or I would deliver them to the quilter if she preferred. A few days later, Linda, the shop owner, called me to ask if I had heard what had happened to Irene. Her daughter found her sitting in her Sunday clothes, in her favorite chair, with a book in her lap. She had peacefully passed away. I didn’t even know that she was 85 years old! Her daughter Julie asked me to have the quilts quilted and to call when they were finished. A month or so later, she came to pick up the quilts. The purple one was to have been a Christmas present for a family member, but we didn’t know for whom. She said there were several other UFO’s and asked if I’d be interested in finishing them as well. I was happy to do so; it would have been a shame to leave them as UFO’s forever. Julie brought 2 more projects: The first was a very large Amish style sampler. It had 16 blocks, all made from solids of red, blue, deep pink, black, and of course, purple. A few blocks had been cut out but never pieced, a couple of blocks needed to be taken apart and fixed, and I had to come up with 1 block on my own. The sashing had not been completed either. It was a challenging but fun project. The other project we called Julie’s Quilt. Julie could remember as a child, helping her mother pick out many purple fabrics, mostly calicos and small prints. She helped cut out 5” squares. Her mother then arranged the squares, pinned them in rows and labeled each row. The cutting was done quite crudely, just as a small child would have done. Irene had wisely used a ½” seam allowance. But, only a few rows were ever sewn together. Julie remembered that she was supposed to help her mom with this project, but was not really interested and so as the years passed, it just never was completed. I also found a striped fabric that worked great as the border with mitered corners. I took both quilt tops to be quilted by our very talented long-arm quilter, Tara, and they turned out beautifully. Julie was thrilled to have her quilt done after all these years. In the box with all the purple fabric were several more yards of additional purple fabric. This was of a totally different style than Julie’s quilt, one of them almost an Asian print. It was obviously meant for a different project. Julie asked if I could choose a pattern and make a quilt from this purple stash. I quickly grabbed a “Quilt in a Day” book and showed her a pattern I have made several times that works well. She said “go for it!” and I got started. I estimated that there were about 2 yards of 6 different fabrics. I cut strips and sewed. I cut squares and sewed some more. I cut triangles and sewed. On and on it went. Before I realized what I had done, I had pieced many more blocks than I would need for just one quilt. And there were still several yards of fabric remaining. I checked with Julie and her sister Jinni (all 5 of Irene’s children have “J” names) and they decided I might as well make 2 quilts. These would not be as large as the earlier quilts, so I could quilt them myself on my home machine. It was fun making them similar, but with different borders. They turned out well, if I do say so myself! I later learned from Linda at the quilt shop that Irene loved Quilt in a Day. When Julie picked up the 2 purple quilts, she brought me 1 last project. This one was all in blues, surprisingly. It was sort of a star, similar to a large lone star, only with 3 intersecting stars and each diamond area was made up of gradating strips. There were about 12 different blue and white fabrics in all. It must have been quite a difficult pattern and I could see why Irene got stuck. It was unclear what she intended it to be, maybe just a tablecloth, maybe a quilt. Julie wanted it made into a quilt. Luckily, there was a yard extra from about 6 of the fabrics. I took it apart in a few places to fix intersections, and sewed strips all around to frame it. There were 24 points and 18 miters! I then puzzled over whether to try and piece white fabric or to appliqué the whole thing onto a large square. I ended up doing the appliqué and then thought about a border. I chose one with gradating strips that appear to be woven like chevrons. Another white border and it was ready for quilting. It will be labeled “Irene’s last quilt” and will be stunning. From each of the projects, I have many scraps. I’ve told Julie and Jinni that I can use them when making charity quilts in my guild. They liked the idea that Irene’s fabric scraps would be used to comfort patients at the hospital, migrant children or the homeless. They have made many donations of fabric, yarn and other craft items that they found while cleaning out their mom’s house. This whole endeavor lasted over a year. I’m kind of sad that there are no more quilts from Irene to work on. Even though I only met her once, I felt close to her while working on her projects. It has been a real honor to help keep this lovely woman’s quilting legacy going by making sure all the family members get a quilt “From Grandma’s (mostly purple) Stash”.

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I know most of you could not possibly come to La Veta for my Christmas concerts, so instead I was able to put together a video of one of the songs from concert for you. The song is Do You Hear What I Hear and it was the opening song of the show. It had been twenty years since Kat Bowser and I have peformed together. I had a blast creating the arrangement and I hope you'll enjoy this holiday song.

Justin taped the four shows from different angles - so the video is a compilation of them all. 

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Click Here

Just when you think you have heard this song one too many times - Kudos to the men of IU

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