Sunday, December 9, 2012

Operation Homefront and the Quilters Christmas Party!

My maternal grandfather was a recent immigrant from Poland and a newlywed when the United States was drawn into World War I.  He enlisted in the Army and served in the trenches of France, surviving mustard gas poisoning.  My father served in Korea toward the end of World War II, one of my maternal uncles was wounded while serving during the Korean War.  The list goes on, with many cousins, and now their children and grandchildren also serving in our armed forces.  One cousin has three grandsons now serving in Afghanistan, they deployed together in late summer.  So, when I heard through SewCalGal of Operation Homefront and the assistance they provide to our military families, I knew this was an event I needed to participate in!

Going on right now today, our friend SewCalGal is hosting two benefit parties for Operation Homefront, one a physical party for those living in the San Diego area, and the second, a virtual party for bloggers near and far!    For those who haven't heard about Operation Homefront, this is a non-profit organization that reaches out to our military families and veterans with assistance for a variety of urgent needs ranging from housing assistance to gift baskets filled with necessities for new moms who give birth while their husband is deployed overseas.  The needs are many and varied, and our donations not only offer financial assistance but much needed moral support for our nation's true heroes.  You can find more information about Operation Homefront and the benefit Christmas Party right here on SewCalGal's page.
The Christmas season is one of nostalgia, each little decoration evoking memories of earlier years and traditions, of family and friends, and favorite foods and so much more.   Memories of a Christmas season 30 years ago were awakened late this summer when I discovered this little unfinished patchwork ornament in a tin among a collection of embroidery floss, trims, and little bells.
There it was, still pinned, a seam partially hand sewn, just as I had left it 30 years ago this next week as I began labor and left for the hospital for the birth of my daughter.
Now seemed like a good time to get this little 1982 ornament finished and sent off to my daughter in her 30th birthday card!  So, over the past week I handstitched the remaining log cabin pieces, found a suitable print for the reverse side, added batting and double-hand quilted it, first outlining the logs on the front and then the Santa face on the reverse but not allowing the quilting stitches to go through to the reverse side in either case.  I then found some polyester ribbon and decided to add it as one continuous length along the outer edges on both sides of the ornament, then hand stitched the outermost edges together.  This is my 30-year finish!

The inspiration for this ornament came from a little book, published in 1980.  I think next year will be a great year to make not only the dowel tree, but all of the ornaments described in the book.

It seems that all my favorite holiday memories involve fabric in one way or another!  A very special Christmas decoration is this 30-year old fabric tree.  I believe the instructions were in an old Women's Day or Family Circle magazine of the era, though it may have come from another magazine.  Four of these were completed during the summer of 1982 while I was expecting my daughter.  I was living in Alaska at the time and my mom traveled out for an extended visit.  We spent quite a few happy hours cutting all the triangles, piecing and stuffing these trees.  Two went to my mom and my former mother-in-law, and I have the remaining two, which will eventually be passed on to my children.

The next few are from my Thimbleberries phase of the mid-90s:

There are so many more that hopefully I'll be able to share in future posts.  For now, I hope you'll join the Quilter's Christmas Party festivities today and donate whatever you are able to Operation Homefront!  And, from our house to yours, Blessings this Christmas Season!


  1. Lovely posting!!! My favorite is the little patchwork ornament for your daughter!! What a wonderful surprise to have found it this many years later and a perfect gift!!! Love it!!! Have a very Merry Christmas to you and your family. I have a nephew who is in Afghanistan right now, his second tour. We pray for his safe return daily. He has three children at home, the youngest just several weeks old!! Hard to fathom what they are all going through!!! Take care!! Martha

  2. What a beautiful gift for your daughter for Christmas. So sometimes those tucked away and forgotten unfinished fabric objects are just waiting for us to find them at just the right moment to become perfect gifts of love. The little pieced and stuffed Christmas trees you made with your mother are treasures, as are all you Christimas Quiltings. Thanks for sharing ... :) Pat

  3. Oh I love this post and you're right so many memories tied up in fabric. Really what could be better than handmade ornaments to be passed down. I hope you do make the little dowel tree, it looks wonderful and the ornaments can be your own little BOM. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Beautiful....I love your 30 year old finish. What a priceless gift to give. Thanks for sharing your story.

  5. Like a Kodak moment.. priceless!

  6. What a wonderful 30th birthday present for your daughter!

  7. I'll bet your daughter will treasure that ornament - how special! Happy holidays to you!

  8. I'm delighted to have you join the fun of the Quilter's Christmas Party. Thank you for sharing insights on your family and your projects with us today. Very special.

    Not a day doesn't go by that I don't think about the freedom I get to enjoy and how I wouldn't have it without those that have served or are serving. Thanks to all of your relatives! My heart and prayers go out to your extended family that is currently serving. Big quilty hugs to all of them.


  9. Precious memories and and lovely post :)


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