NJ Quilt Fest and Memory Lane

Thank you Manusco! I’m sure they weren’t aware that selecting Edison, New Jersey as the new venue for the NJ Quilt fest, would bestow upon me a priceless gift.   In addition, I am quite certain they had no idea that they would have my professional and personal lives joining paths for the weekend.

 

So, believe it or not I actually grew up in the town of Plainfield which is right next to Edison, in fact my high school was in Edison.  Good Ole “Evergreen School” (my elementary school) I remember it felt overwhelming walking the halls as a young student.  Now the aged brick building appears so small.  Ah those early school days..

Yes, rings were exchanged and vows were made. Unfortunately when I recently witnessed the establishment it was evident that the church had aged over time. It no longer evoked  an establishment that housed an assembly of participating parishioners. Instead its lack of visitors was evident by the hollow, unkept, grounds and vacant parking lot.

 

My Days Intertwined:

Class was, of course, in session throughout the weekend.  And my students were incredible as always.  I couldn’t believe that one of my students actually went home and redid her “in class” project.  A shout-out to Valeria for doing an amazing job!

 

My timing couldn’t be have been more on point.  The weekend I was in town also happened to be the life celebration of a dear friend of mine who had passed last year.  Perhaps you recall my post last year that spoke of Paul.  He was a second brother to me and his presence is missed daily.  Paul is one of those rare individuals that we may have lost but will never forget.  My older brother had a “gang”, okay  let’s revise that a little.  My brother was part of six, very close friends, who spent a lot of quantity and quality time together.  Most of them knew me since the time I wore diapers.  Thankfully I don’t remember such early introductions, bottom line, they were all an extended part of our family.  When Paul lost his battle with cancer in 2017,  it was an enormous loss to me. I wasn’t sure how to deal and process the grief that I was experiencing.  In a shocker, quilting became my therapy. It was my means of getting through such devastation.  My mind and hands went to work constructing a special piece for my brother in honor of Paul.  Ironically the binding was completed during the Quilt Fest and I delivered this little memento at his party later that weekend.

Life has a way of placing us where we need to be at exactly the right time.  Although none of us will be able to close the missing piece that Paul has placed in our hearts, we will forever relive our lives with him strolling, together, down “Memory Lane”.

Walking Through the Past and Reminiscing

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Recently I have been reworking my class handouts and my trunk show, “Lisa H Calle’s Trunk Filled with Anything but Junk”, which incidentally makes it tweaked debut at the AQS Lancaster Quilt Show.  Yes, there was a small shameless plug about my upcoming Trunk Show in the previous statement.  But moving right along, I have been sifting through my older quilts (for the upcoming show..shameless plug #2) and since I was overwhelmed with fond memories I felt the need to share some of my favorites projects with you!

First, is Hula Hibiscus!  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this quilt!  This piece undoubtedly taught me the most!  And through all the learning curves I cannot say enough how much I LOVE this quilt.  Do you get the idea that I love this piece?

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Hula Hibiscus center

Hula Hibiscus center

For more details on how this quilt came to life check out my youtube video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ccudgni0sq8

 

As I reflect on the portion of my quilting journey when I quilted for customers, I am taken back to “sew” many fun days!  Here are some of the projects I completed that were an absolute blast to produce.

 

And then there are those that I truly miss having in my possession.  For one reason or another they were given away, but in my heart they will forever hold a special place.

There are many more pieces I could share with you, but you would then have to neglect other business, and family responsibilities.  Let’s face it I’ve been doing this for a long time and  you could be here for a quite awhile!  I refuse to believe that I’m the only one out there that does this every so often, or am I?

Do you have quilts that you find yourself thinking about with fond memories, or projects that have changed you in some way? I’d love to see what quilts have meaning to you!unknown-40

Twas the Friday Before Christmas

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The year 2016 is rapidly coming to a close and the reminiscing of holiday traditions can be heard during family meals, and seasonal festivities.  December provides the magic of reliving family customs that had soon become known as a “remember when?”  And it goes without saying that laughter, and many smiles can be seen when sharing these stories with others.

Growing up in the Hagstoz household, I was very fortunate.  Our family had more than on tradition which yearly brings such treasured memories of my childhood.  These are memories that will forever be ingrained as what brought the holiday spirit to our family.  So what were our family “remember when’s?”

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Christmas Eve:  One present, yes we were opened one present every Christmas Eve.  These were gifts placed under the tree from a sibling, grandparent, but OBVIOUSLY NOT Santa!  As evening came upon us, the excitement of which present we would unwrap grew within us.  Which one to choose, and what would it be?

 

“Twas the Night Before Christmas”, that lovely story was narrated by my father every Christmas Eve.  Probably by the time I was 7 years old I was quietly reciting the story right along with him. Our evening was not complete without the annual bedtime story prior to Santa’s arrival.

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Going to bed with sugar plums dancing through my head ALWAYS occured on December 24th. 

Do NOT even think about descending the staircase on Christmas Day.  Yepper, the Hagstoz children were not to even entertain the idea of going downstairs prior to my father checking under the tree to make sure Santa did deliver our gifts.  Did my father not realize that was an insult?   The Hagstoz children, especially me, were more than deserving of Santa’s visit the night before!

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I am quite sure my fellow followers have holiday traditions to share, memories that will add to the festive spirit that I’d like to share during this wonderful season.  So please let me know what magical memories you have experienced growing up.

 

It Wouldn’t Be Thanksgiving Without…

 

 

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Cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, stuffing, pumpkin pie and we cannot leave out TURKEY. We all have at least one part of our holiday meal that is a tradition and is served at every Thanksgiving dinner.  Those dishes that have our mouth’s watering all afternoon as we anticipate the first bite and the small taste of heaven that fork brings; or not.  For our family it was creamed onions.  I giggle as I look back on this one particular Thanksgiving moment.  At the time I was in high school and my grandmother would be joining us for the holiday.  As my mother, sister and I slaved away in the kitchen for the feast, that would be devoured by relatives within 10 minutes, my grandmother swept over the array of food and inquired why she did not see “the creamed onions“.

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What my grandmother did not realize was that although we presented her lovely creamed onions at EVERY Thanksgiving meal, it didn’t mean we necessarily enjoyed them.  This year my mother bravely chose to skip the creamed onions.  My mother may have won the battle that year, but my grandmother would win the war.  Nan ventured out that Thanksgiving and traipsed all over town.  She invaded any open deli, grocery store, gas station, and pharmacy in hopes that one merchant might possibly sell those amazing creamed onions.  Her mission was unsuccessful, and the creamed onions were absent from our Thanksgiving dinner (I secretly smiled). BUT you bet your bottom booty there were creamed onions every year going forward, like them or not!

So what is the one food that has always been present during your Thanksgiving gathering?  Is it a traditional entre or side that you anticipate with thoughts of “YUM” entertaining your mind? Or maybe you are quickly reminded of how you will need to bypass that one Thanksgiving “will not be excluded” dish.

I cannot wait to hear all the Thanksgiving loves and loathes that have been, and are, a traditional experience!

Oh I forgot to mention tomorrow this quilter will be diving into her “MUST HAVE” mashed potatoes and corn, but I am sure creamed onions will be found somewhere on the table!
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