Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving! (and jeans)

Happy Thanksgiving! It's such a great holiday -- getting together with friends and family, great food, lots of warm feelings all around. And there's a 4-day weekend! When my kids were little, DH and I tried to help them get into the spirit of the holiday by having a Thanksgiving tree (or turkey or cornupia) and for the week or so before the holiday and writing things on construction paper leaves (or feathers or fruit) that we were thankful for. We hung this on the wall and it became the centerpiece of our celebration.

When the kids were little, they dictated what they wanted to say, and then added their own decoration.
It clearly made an impression on the girls. Jocelyn wrote about it in her first grade class.

I'm not sure if her teachers knew what she was talking about -- here's what she wrote:
Hi im Jocelyn and -- I wunt to tel you. about my famli's thanksgiviig evrey year my famliy get's redey For tKanksg we make a tree or a tkey. and if we make a tree -- we Put levs. and if it's a -- trkey we Put fetrs.

We saved all the leaves and feathers and fruit and now our Thanksgiving ritual is to read them all aloud. We laugh and we cry -- they bring back so many memories! All kinds of things show up --
"I'm thankful I'm 5."
"I'm thankful for being able to cut out these feathers." (By Val, who had only just been entrusted with using scissors)
"I'm thankful for all the good things in life and clairanets which are good."
"I'm thankful the pilgrims escaped."
"I'm thankful for no more World Wars...yet anyway."
"I'm thankful I'm tired and sleepy."
Not all grand sentiments, but lessons on the road.

And now for some quilting content. I'm trying to have something to work on when I'm not actually in my sewing space. Just got Bonnie's book, Scraps and Shirttails, and she suggests a great way to cut up jeans. So I got my pile of old jeans and have started ripping as she suggests. So many ideas come when doing stuff like that. How much fun to incorporate this stitched-on stripe into the quilt:

And what if I sewed on the two ends of this waistband and ran a shoelace tie through them?
I think I'm going to embroider some of the pockets and jeans strips as handwork. It should be a fun quilt!

Several of you asked for a binding tutorial to show how to make stitched-in corners and not have to deal with joining the binding on the side. I'll work one up next week after the holiday.

To my American friends, may you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! And to my international friends, have a great week!


Catherine said...

Your family turkey tree is precious! I can't wait to see what you do with those jeans!
Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

True Blue Nana said...

So neat that you saved those things for you kids. they always love looking back at what they did when they were little. Also neat what you are doing with your old jeans.

Exuberant Color said...

It is so important to not let the little kids take everything for granted. What great memories to look back on.

I have never ripped the jeans before. some of the denim is so tough. I have all different weights in my collection of old jeans and can see that the lightweitght ones would tear.

The Quilting Pirate said...

What a wonderful family tradition! I think we need to start this!

Happy Turkey Day Cheri and thank you for being my friend!

sewkalico said...

Oh, how wonderful to have such a lovely tradition. (And kids say the cutest things!) Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours from me and mine.

Lazy Gal Tonya said...

oh that is wonderful. Well, If I'd been the teacher I definitely wouldn't have had a clue - it all makes sense in context.very sweet. Happy Thanksgiving!

em's scrapbag said...

What a wonderful tradition. Thanks for sharing. Happy Thanksgiving to you. I am so thankful to have you be part of my life.

ROZ said...

What a wonderful paper turkey, and decorations. I don't know how your machine can sew over all those jeans, I'm too chicken to try it.

meggie said...

Your Turkeys & Trees or Cornucopias are a lovely idea for children to learn about the celebration.
Some lovely fabrics there.

Clare said...

What a wonderful thing to do. Lots of memories for you all to cherish for a long time to come.

My first 2 years of quilting was spent cutting and sewing jean fabric. I kept some of the labels on the back pockets, but never the pockets (or the waitstbands!). Have fun and don't forget to buy a jeans needle for the machine piecing!!!!!

Grannyspot said...

We did something similar with our kids, but alas I didn't save their responses from one year to the next. Now, I notice, that the activity has been "commercialized" (like all those "home made" games we used to play - Battleship, Dictionary, etc.) and you can buy "Thanksgiving Trees", which operate something like Advent Calendars, with pockets containing cards for people's thanksgivings... Better than not paying attention to gratitude, I guess, but something gets lost in the "translation"! It's our culture - a variation on fast food or take-out, I guess!

jacquie said...

we do something like this, but definitely not as creative. i post chart paper around the house and a bunch of colored markers and folks write all day what they are thankful for...depending on whose around we get pictures and all sorts of different things. they are a treasure to keep and look at the ones from years past.

Norma said...

So great to look back on those wonderful childhood things. Some day they will share those with their children.

I have a jean quilt going.....the cut up denim makes a lot of lint and I found I had to really clean my machine a lot as I sewed. You have some great ideas for use of the odds and ends of the jeans, be sure and post pictures as you go along.