A Full Heart and Busy Hands

I love this time of year.  I love the leaves changing colors and the temperatures edging lower.  The sky is so blue it nearly makes your eyes ache to look at it.  I love that it’s nearly Thanksgiving.  When I was growing up, my mom’s big holiday was Christmas.  She and Dad would pull out all the stops on presents and on decorating.  Jingle bells jingled and the tree was always huge.  There were tons of presents and tons of relatives and Christmas is still that sweetest of sweet spots in my childhood memories.

In 1983 I married into a huge family.  My husband had two sisters and two brothers and nieces and nephews nearly as far as the eye could see.  And Bill’s mother’s big holiday was Thanksgiving.  The family was too big and too spread out for everyone to get together at the same time for Christmas, but by-golly-gee when Thanksgiving Day dawned, Lena had pulled out all the stops for her favorite holiday.  Turkeys.  Dressing.  Cake.  Green Beans.  Pie. And her potato salad.  Oh, my goodness could that lady cook.  Don’t even get me started on her biscuits….my beloved paternal grandmother could not even rival Lena’s biscuits and gravy.

Probably unbeknownst to her, she transferred her love of Thanksgiving to me.  I love that holiday because it’s a little slower than Christmas and it is a wonderful beginning to the holiday season.  I love it because there’s a little more time to linger at the table and talk.

And it’s also my birthday…which is pretty darn sweet.  My birthday falls on the 24th, so it’s right around Thanksgiving.  As I was waltzing into the Thanksgiving season this year, I was thrown a loop by my tribe of Sit and Sew buddies – they threw me a little surprise birthday party.

I’ve never had a surprise birthday party before.  It made me just a bit teary.  My best bud Janet made me this cake…

Bday Cake

There’s a story behind this cake.  See, Janet is the Hospitality Chair for the guild.  When we had our Quilt Reception after the judging this year, I asked her to make a cake for the occasion.  And I kept texting her pictures of all these 3-D sewing machine cakes that I thought was just perfect for the reception.

She quickly let me know she didn’t do fondant.

I have no clue what that is…but evidently it’s important on a 3-D cake.   “Fine,” I huffed.  “Then how about a long arm cake?”

She said no to that too.

Hence the reference on my birthday cake.

I got some nifty presents…these girls know me too well.

I have gotten some work done this week.  I finished my pinwheels for Halo.  I had forgotten how much I love those little blocks and enjoy making them.


I was deeply saddened by the death of Nancy Zieman on November 14.


She had been seriously ill for a number of months.  I never had the opportunity to go to Beaver Dam, WI, or sit in on one of her classes.  But back in 1985 when a young 24-year old woman discovered she was pregnant with a baby girl and wanted to learn to sew, Nancy’s programs taught her how to do just that.  I watched her show every Saturday and subscribed to her lessons by mail.  At that time, I knew I couldn’t afford to buy Meagan the dresses I wanted her to wear, but between Nancy Zieman and Martha Pullen I learned to make them.  Those were sweet, precious times as I discovered not only could I sew, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I grew more and more confident as I read through their information and taught myself how to sew.  I am one of many that count myself as part of Nancy’s legacy.

With Thanksgiving next week, there won’t be a blog the week of November 23.  My big birthday plans are to clean out the closet next to my studio and move some project boxes into that and straighten my studio.  Right now, it looks like a hurricane has ripped through it.  I also have treated myself to some zippers for my long arm.  Those will also be installed.


Have a wonderful Thanksgiving….


Still quilting fearlessly…


Love and Stitches,

Sherri and Sam

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