Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Box of Delights--and Another Quilt Finished

Jemima noticed that this quilt has Siamese Cat colors, so she offered to pose when I spread it out for photos.

Detail of the borders with a "leaf stipple" quilting design.

The quilt is for daughter G. who chose the pattern. She also specified a "puffy" batting and minimal quilting.  The 8" blocks are outlined with a serpentine stitch.

A yellow notice card in my PO box yesterday stated that I had a package too large for the box.  I was glad that there were only three people in line ahead of me and several clerks working.  As I waited my turn, a woman puffed in behind me and dumped a cascade of boxes on one of the counters.  Another lady, rather elderly and unknown to me had been speculating about the contents of the boxes as the first woman went back for a second load of packages.  On several was printed, "Open at Once." 
"I think its loaves of banana bread, " the old woman stated.  Drawn into her game, I suggested it might be fruitcakes.  My turn came up just then, so I'll never know if the first woman confided to the second one what kind of goodies she was shipping out in such quantity.

When I saw the return address on my parcel I recalled that a dear friend in New England had alerted me a package was on its way.  I headed to the quilt shop, savoring the thought of a treasure box to open in the evening.
I need to explain that for me, anticipation of a gift is as much a treat as the actual contents of a box or package.  I have been harrassed at Christmas or birthdays because my mode of dealing with such is to unpick the bow, carefully slit tape or stickers, prolonging the actual moment of revealing the contents.
Arriving home last evening to the chaos of ladders, tools, plaster dust on the floor and a tribe of distracted cats demanding their TEA, I brought my package into the safety of my work room and placed it on the daybed.
I knew that putting the binding on G's quilt was a priority for the evening.  Its not a job I relish and the shop does employ the services of a retired Morman lady as a "binder" but it means an additional fee of 25-30 dollars to have this done.  I can do it--not as quickly or quite as nicely, but I make an adequate and acceptable job of it.  It is a tiresome task which requires clearing the sewing desk and dragging up chairs to support the trailing weight of a big quilt.  The puffy polyester batt which daughter ordered is much more troublesome to work with than the traditional cotton batts which I prefer. 
It took about 2 hours to apply the binding to the edges of the quilt--nearly 400 inches around.  I left the foldover and stitch down task [ 400 inches again] for morning.  Before I turned out the lights in here I slit the tape on the package and carefully removed the first item on top--a news letter from my friends, printed on a Christmas paper.  The box with the teapot was visible, but I only patted it. 
This morning before working on the quilt, I opened the lovely card with the black cat, read my friend's note and admired the bars of exotic chocolate. J. came in to announce errands in town, spied my box and immediately began rummaging.
"That's MY box," I shrieked. "I don't want everything out at once.  Put it back!"  J. with exaggerated care, tucked all the items back and ostentatiously closed the flaps of the box.  With the delicious sense of mystery now somewhat upset, I decided it was time to remove each item, to set them out, to handle, sniff, to delight in the deep friendship which the gifts represent.
The book is one I have wanted since reading reviews: "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society."  My dear friend's little painting will hang beneath the framed quilt block pieced by G-grandmother Eliza. The faded blue in the squares will be complimented by the blue background of the painting.  The canister of tea is jasmine green tea.  One of the chocolate bars is labeled "xocolatl, with rich dark chocolate, chilies and nibs."
The other is "Lemon ginger, organic chocolate with crystallized ginger and a hint of lemon."  Both will be savored in deliberate nibbles.
The Wise Woman Tea, the Lemon Grass Lotion and the Raspberry Plum Lipbalm are products of
The Chickadee's Nest Herb Farm in Farmington, Maine. [Wouldn't you love to browse there?]
The cunning teapot is the color of a ripe muskmelon. It sits on a matching cup and has a built in tea strainer.

I am tired this evening, but I am blessed to have a  large project completed and ready for Christmas giving. 
I am delighted with the treasure box of gifts and with my memories of time shared with these dear friends.
Tomorrow we plan a day trip with our niece and her children.
The weather has warmed.
J. has XM radio on a bluegrass gospel program and we are both singing along as we sit at our computers.
The cats are asleep!
An oasis of rest in the midst of the daily plod.

Carole's painting.  I love the tree roots!

Eggnog on G's new quilt.

Teasel and Jemima are sleeping soundly on the day bed. Lovely quiet companions.

I take photos of Teasel at every opportunity.  She is both beautiful and intelligent. [Thus speaks her doting "owner."]


  1. Lovely photos and what a beautiful quilt for your lucky daughter. I'm sure she will be over the moon. One of my dogs is very cat-like in her behaviour and will just curl up and watch you out of one half-open eye.

  2. Beautiful quilts and beautiful cats. You are very talented. I do love the colors of the first one and my immediate reaction before I read your comment was that Jemima was a perfect match. I'm getting behind with my comments. Had two inches of rain last week and my bones are creaking so the computer is last on my list of thinks to do.

  3. I really like that quilt ....the colours work so well together and it looks so warm and snuggly.

    My cats have been under the weather ...either a bug or childrenitis. Felix was first and he looked so sad ...wanted to sleep in out of the way places ...would not eat, although he seemed to want to and dribbled when he tried to ....I even tried him with his favourite tinned tuna. Finally after 3 days he went to the vet but nothing was found to be wrong but they gave him an antibiotic jab (£50 bill) !!!! They said it might be stress due to having children in the house on and off this week ....I'm not convinced ...he is a lot better but 3 others have had similar symptoms now ???? How I wish they could talk.
    We have had a short snow shower today ...first of the year ...but it didn't linger.

    Your pussycats are soooooo beautiful ...lying on the quilts.xx

  4. Jemima blends beautifully with the quilt, it looks lovely and your daughter will be thrilled with it - lucky girl! I know what you mean about the anticipation is almost better than the actual opening of parcels:) Your friend has sent you some lovely things.

  5. That is such a beautiful quilt MM. A perfect backdrop for Siamese and silver tabby cats.

  6. Whht a beautiful quilt, and I too love the soft colours and colour-co-ordinated cats!

    Being in Aries, I am impatient, and not very good at waiting, though I am getting better as I get older. I agree about anticipation being more than half the fun. I have the Guernsey Literary etc book too, so we will have to read it together and compare notes!