Sunday, November 18, 2012

Have Thanksgiving Tablecloth, Will Travel

I have a Thanksgiving tablecloth that I have collected signatures on since 1996. It travels to any Thanksgiving meal my family is invited to.

It all started when I found a wonderful piece of autumn fabric that I fell in love with. At a quilting retreat I cut the fabric into squares and started piecing them together like a puzzle. I worked for hours putting the pieces together. Some I cut straight and others were on point. As I worked on it I still didn't know what I was going to do with this creation. Suddenly it dawned on me. I was piecing and quilting a Thanksgiving tablecloth.

The first Thanksgiving that came around since I had started on the quilt was 16 years ago. Our best friends, David and Christy, had invited our family for Thanksgiving dinner. I didn't have the quilted tablecloth finished yet but I basted the edges and brought it along for our decorative tablecloth. After sharing our thankfulness and awesome food, I had everyone sign the muslin back of the tablecloth. It was now an official traveling Thanksgiving tablecloth, so I named it "Have Tablecloth, Will Travel."

Since I have a large family, most holiday dinners are at my home so the tablecloth hasn't traveled much but it has collected a wonderful assortment of autographs.  

Over the years when I've entertained for very special occasions I have pulled out the quilt for signatures to remember the celebration. I have wonderful memories from tea parties, family gatherings, reunions and baptisms. Every Thanksgiving since 1996 is accounted for.  

As I reminisce over the names on my quilt, I remember with great love those who have signed it and are no longer with us. On the quilt below are the names of three of my beloved relatives, my Mother-in-Law Louise, Aunt Mary and Uncle Ed. May they rest in peace.

Besides the signatures on my quilt, I have it well documented. Having been a docent at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum, Golden, Colorado, I learned the value of writing down the story of a quilt. I have the details of the story written in my quilt journal but even more important is the sewn in tag in the corner. I have recorded the name of every quilt square and the name, date and purpose of the quilt. 

Thanksgiving traditions will be in full force later this week. Families gather to celebrate another year of thankfulness and togetherness.  This holiday has always been one of my favorites. I love the food of the season and I love offering an open invitation to anyone who needs a place to go for the day.  I know I always cook too much food but that way I'm assured no one goes away hungry. 

My family has a few favorite food traditions we look forward to every year. Besides the usual turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, one of our most popular dishes is the potato casserole.  Even with a huge bowl of mashed potatoes, the potato casserole demands its place on the holiday table. Here is the recipe I use in case you want to add it to your Thanksgiving meal. Warning, it will be a favorite.

Cheesy Potato Casserole

2 lbs frozen hash browns
1/2 cup melted butter
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cans of cream of chicken soup (sometimes I add a 3rd)
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
12 oz sour cream (or a little extra to add to the creaminess) 
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Melt 1/2 cup butter
Add 2 cups crushed corn flakes
Sprinkle on top of casserole

Bake 350 degrees 1 hour

(I don't know the origin of this recipe I have it written out on a piece of paper so I apologize for not giving credit to the original creator of this delightful dish.)

I am thankful for each of you who are reading my blog posts. I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving. May we always remember to be thankful for all the blessings we enjoy every day.  A grateful heart is a joyful heart (Luke 1:38).


  1. Thank you, Jeb, for your comment. I wish you were here too. I sure miss you, especially at Thanksgiving and Christmas and Easter and when ever I don't get to see you!