Happy Thanksgiving!

Ok, so I’m a day late and everyone else in the world is out shopping, but better late than never!  We hosted Thanksgiving for the first time since moving back east 2 years ago.  The last time we hosted for the family (which primarily means my husband’s paternal side of the family) was back in 2001, when circumstances allowed everyone to come to us in Chicago.  Nevertheless, I prepared a full Thanksgiving feast for just the 5 of us each year we were in the midwest. 

Yesterday, there were 12 of us in total and even with delegating a bunch of the obligatory Thanksgiving dishes and tasks, it was still a lot of work.  So, today, I’m resting (at least this morning.)  Of course, it probably didn’t help that on Monday, I was still finishing up the last of the painting of the kitchen/family room and on Tuesday I spent all day “finding” the dining room again after using it for family room storage for the nearly three weeks of painting.  (No more 25 year old Band-Aid colored walls – yeah!)

It’s so easy to get caught up in all the “doings” to not actually enjoy the holiday.  I was determined to finish my tasks in time to spend a few hours with the boys making turkey napkin rings/place-cards.  I enjoyed my time with them and and it gave them an opportunity to contribute to the preparations.  I think they came out really cute.


To accomodate us all,  my husband made a table extension for the dining room table using the legs and basic idea from an extension his grandfather had made many years ago.   In true Cheney fashion, he made the extension so long that we actually had to take the leaves out of the table because the combination was too long!  (At least we know we’re still good when the family grows!)  The extension was actually longer than the table!  Once the tablecloths were on and the table was set, you couldn’t even tell itwasn’t one long table. 

To stay with tradition, he insisted we sit on the ends.  I felt like we were on opposite ends of the world!  Reminded me of one of those movies where the ultra rich aristocracy sits worlds apart at ultra long table – only difference was that we didn’t have the luxury of a butler to pour the wine and do the dishes – bummer!

We had lots to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.  We had a bounty of food on the table, everyone is in relatively good health, those working are still gainfully employed,  Greg’s sister and aunt are new homeowners this month, both boys got very good report cards, and Helle-May Designs is about to start a new chapter. (More on that last one in the next post!) 

Hope your Thanksgiving was filled with good food, family and friends!


Celtic knot follow-up

A little late evidently, but I finally went on the AQS website to check out the new Lancaster show coming at the end of March.  Turns out Linda Hahn is teaching the Celtic knot workshop, but it is already full!  Told you it was a great class!  There is a wait list you can get on.  Don’t know if that is just for cancellations or if they’ll add another class.  It’s worth a try!  It seemed a good number of the classes are already full but there’s still more workshops and lectures to choose from.  Better act now!

Speaking of which – you better also  book a room.  I got one, but there doesn’t  seem to be  a lot of those left either.

After having been in the midwest for 9 years, it’s interesting to see the difference in quilt show interest.  The AQS Paducah show was the show that as a quilter you just had to attend.  But it was quite the challenge to find a room.  Reservations a year in advance were a must.  I guess I just couldn’t plan that far in advance, not with 2 small children, anyway.  So sadly, I never made it. 

I did attend the Nashville show three times, which in itself was an interesting venue.  It was always held at the Opryland Hotel.  If you’ve never been, it’s like a city under-roof, complete with its own river.  What it lacked was public transportation!  It could easily take 20 minutes at a brisk pace to get from one end to the other (add another 20 minutes if you made a wrong turn!).  I guess the benefit to that was not feeling guilty about eating all the rich food!  I generally don’t like country music, but I loved attending the Grand Ole Opry performances each time.  Something about that place is really special.

Now that I’m on the east coast, Lancaster seems to be one of the big draws.  I didn’t have a chance to attend the previously owned Lancaster show the first 2 years I was here, so I am determined to make it in 2010.  Should be fun!  I’m signed up for a lecture on learning to use all those other settings on my digital camera.  I finally figured out how to use the close-up feature, but haven’t a clue on what all those other settings can do for me! 

 Very exciting news regarding Helle-May Designs coming soon!  More on that shortly!


Celtic Knots


My friends teased me that they were surprised that I had signed up for this month’s guild workshop.  I haven’t done too many workshops in the last year because I’ve been so busy with my own projects and didn’t want to start something I couldn’t finish.   Before I started quilting 9 years ago, I had lots of boxes of unfinished needlework, knitting and sewing projects.  When the quilting bug bit me, I promised myself that wouldn’t happen with quilting.  Can’t say that I’ve been perfect, but I am proud to say I can count my UFO’s on one hand!

Anyway, I’ve always been intrigued by designs, especially the Celtic knots that are made with bias tape, so I jumped at the chance to take the workshop with Linda Hahn this past weekend.  Linda was just named NQA teacher of 2009, so I figured I’d learn a lot!  Wow!  what a great workshop!  She made it so easy!  We used Clover’s 1/4″ ready made fusible bias (it comes in lots of beautiful colors) and a pattern by Rosemary Kurtz.  The way Linda teaches it, you place a knot pattern under a transparent teflon pressing sheet and following the pattern, fuse the bias tape to the pressing sheet.  Once it cools, the “knot” lifts off an then you fuse it and either machine or hand stitch it to a background fabric.  It never occurred to me that you could make the knot and then apply it to the fabric.  Some of the corners took a little finessing, but otherwise it was pretty simple with stunning results. 

 celtic-knots.jpg  I used the color “Earthtones.”  It’s  variegated with shades of green,  gold, and red.  Perfect for fall.

I had to miss my husband’s grandmother’s 89th birthday party to take this workshop, so I figure the least I could do is make her a Christmas present with one of the knots.  I thought a small pillow would make a nice gift.   My mother and I did visit her on her actual birthday this week – so I think I’m still in good graces! 

 sexy-seniors.jpg  My mom, Heljo, on the left and Grandmom, Peg, on the right.

Since my husband’s side of the family is Irish, I figure at least a few members will receive these as gifts.  (Hope they’re not reading this!)  (Between the Irish on my husband’s side and my Estonian heritage we eat a lot of potatoes! LOL!)

If you have the opportunity to take this workshop, I highly recommend it!  We finished making 4 knots in a half-day workshop.  I will probably machine sew them to a backing.  Linda recommends using a mono-filament thread and a zig-zag stitch.

 When I get the presents done, I’ll share.  Probably in December.