Hello again, here at last is the December newsletter from The Quilt Lady. Whatever the weather is doing where you are, and whether you are on your own or with loved ones, make yourself a glass of something seasonal (gluhwein works for me!), have a mince pie or two and snuggle up under a quilt, and when you are comfortable, then I’ll begin. Ok, not quite ‘Listen with Mother’, but I’m sure they would not mind the creative liberty. (American peeps, this was a radio programme, followed later by a tv programme called ‘Watch with Mother’, that aired in the last century when I were a young snippet.) In the middle of November I did my talk for SW Quilters, just down the road at Tresillian. This time, I took along a large selection of feed sack quilts, made during the depression years, plus a few from the tail end of the 19th century as contrast, and some feed sack odds and ends. I knew several people in the audience this time, and am still not sure whether this is better or worse than talking to a room full of strangers. As usual, I could have talked until my voice gave out, but managed to wind things up before I was hooked off stage. From the number of people who came and chatted to me afterwards, I think it went down very well. A few ladies brought some wonderful treasures in to show me, but none came home with me this time. Talking of bringing treasures home with me, I have recently acquired this little beauty. It is English, paper pieced, the top is made entirely from silk, and it dates from the early to mid 19th century, probably c1840. The papers are still inside, and where there is some deterioration in the fabric, I can see that the maker has re-used old letters, an auction catalogue, a maths primer, and what I think may be a chemist’s prescription – would need to find a few more bits of that to be sure. I was beyond excited when I saw all these, actually you probably heard the squeals of delight from wherever you are! IMG_2218 This rather bad photo was taken in my conservatory under difficult circumstances, sorry. Hopefully though, you can see that it has a centre diamond shaped medallion, made up of 20 diamonds within a diamond blocks, and 5 diamonds made of half inch hexagons, arranged 5×5. All paper pieced all the papers still there. I love that the maker managed to not only work with such tiny pieces, but managed to create a definite pattern in each of those 5 diamonds. This second photo gives you the scale reference on those hexagons. Amazing! IMG_2210 Around the centre medallion is a solid border and then diamonds in random silk fabrics, and around 3 of the outside edges is a black and white gingham check silk valance with decoratively cut edges. This would have been somebody’s pride and joy, and a lot of work and creative skills went into it’s making. And I am a very happy bunny to be able to give it a new home. I recently flew to Florida for the last few days of November, and into December, for my father’s 80th birthday celebrations. My brother flew in from Spain as well, and as my other brother lives in Florida, it meant that for the first time in way too long we were all together. I seemed to spend the whole time buying food, preparing food or eating food, having arrived in time for Thanksgiving, meeting up with friends for a brilliant night out, not to mention the actual birthday celebrations. And lest friends are worrying I can happily reassure them that I also had more than a few glasses of good stuff. (thanks for the chocolate vodka Jacquie, hmm, delicious!) It was a wrench, as it always is, to leave to come home, but good to be back home. Home for another 4 weeks at any rate. We will be moving during the first week of January, and I am both excited and nervous about the prospect. The process of selling one property in order to buy another is slow and painful, and incredibly frustrating. But we have now exchanged contracts and will complete on January 3rd. Yay! So, not much in the way of Christmas festivities here this year. Boo! Photos of our new home to come. In the meantime, I send all my good wishes to you for a very merry Christmas and a healthy, prosperous and happy New Year. Wherever you are, whoever you are with, however far away your loved ones may be, remember, Christmas is a time for thoughtfulness, friendship and love, and I thank you for yours. I look forward to getting together with you again in 2014. Sara