Wednesday, December 24, 2014

It's My Birthday! (This Quilter''s Night Before Christmas)



Today is my birthday.

Quite possibly the most significant birthday of one's "Wise Woman's Years of Elder Wisdom."

Yes, I am that old!



I am officially a Wise Woman with many blessings to count, today.


And yes, I have been told...more than once...that I am a Wild and Crazy, Wonky Wonked Woman!

So, from my infinite place of wisdom and gratitude for having lived so long, I hereby offer you many a varying version of Christmas melodies, songs, and poetry....all based on those of us who are passionate about the creative arts of sewing, crafting, painting, drawing, collaging and quilting!



Warning! I Shall Wear Purple.....

And since it is my significant birthday today, and yes, I am once more donning purple, I am sharing some sugar plum dreams and a bit of fun with all of you.


Bet you never, ever in your own sugar plum dreams,  that so many people would spend this much time creating quilty pleasures of abundance and lore ...once you finally, finally finish reading this.... and get to the bottom of the post filled with my Quilter's Sing along.



Happiest of Holidays from the rooftop of my home, where yes, I have been known to sit out upon shakes and tiles to sing, meditate, or recite poetry. It keeps strangers at bay and brightens one's energy to the max.

 
And as my father, used to say it brings us all the more closer to the heavens above.  No wonder everyone says "Good Heavens!" when they look up and see me sitting 'Up on the Housetop click, click, click...and down through the chimney with good St. Nick! Especially when I am sitting on the roof, meditating in a nightgown or my red and white polka dotted pj's.


Seriously?
Now, this year, I am not sure if I can get my first leg to lift up and over that high windowsill to get 'up on the rooftop' (or not)!  And then if I do, I have to remember to bring my cell phone ...just in case, I can't quite lift that leg to get back into the house and off of the roof once again!!!

My Christmas Chickens are lined up for the show, waiting for me and Santa and good cheer to bring them fresh Christmas treats!

Only the littles lined up to wish me a happy birthday? Thank you Dorothy, Edith, and Little Nell..!!!!

Their four elders, Penelope, Matilda, Ping, and Pia,  were apparently just too tired!!!

Hey! It's almost Christmas, y'all!!!  MERRRRRY CHRISTMAS! 


And Happy Birthday, today, to me Hopefully, with all the chatter and clatter upon the rooftop..you already forgot that I'm older. 
I did!!!



DOWN AT THE QUILT SHOP (sung to the tune of  "Up on the Housetop")
 
Down to the quilt shop quilters go,
Out comes the MasterCard all aglow.
Out through the checkout with lots of stuff,
All for the quilts and the tools and such.
CHORUS
Sew-sew-sew,
Who wouldn't sew.
Go-go-go, who wouldn't go
Down to the quilt shop
Click-click-click.
Out through the checkout with lots to snip.
First are the UFO's that fill the drawers,
So many there that we can't ignore.
Finish them all, do them one by one.
Finish them all then we'll have some fun.
CHORUS
Next come the quilts that are in our heads,
All that we've planned for all our beds.
One for the master room and one for the guest,
We'll stitch them all and do our best.
CHORUS
Last we'll make gifts for all our friends,
Quilts and placemats without end.
Coasters and bookmarks, ornaments - so much!
Wrap them up in ribbons and bows and such.
CHORUS

 (Author Unknown)



Stitcher's Christmas

 Twas the night before Christmas, and, oh, I was weary.
My stitching unfinished, my eyes getting bleary.
The stockings weren't finished, the chimney was bare.
And I knew that morning soon would be there.

My children and husband were tucked in their beds,
But visions of back stitches ran through my head.
I'd stitched ornaments and presents and gifts by the ton,
And now, I was finally, almost, almost done.

As I poised my needle for one more back stitch,
I heard something outside that made my hand twitch.
I jumped up from my stitching, and flew to the door,
Pressed my eye to the peephole, tiptoe off the floor.

My stitching forgotten, I peered into the night.
When suddenly, I got a terrible fright.
On my porch appeared Santa, holding his sack.
He knocked softly, and I took a giant step back.

I unlocked the deadbolt, and let Santa in,
He entered and gave a mischievous grin.
"Hope you don't mind if I come in the door?"
"Coming down the chimney can be quite a chore."

He said "You're up late. Still working I see."
"Do you know how tired you're going to be?"
"I know, Santa," I said, with a sigh,
"But I'm still back stitching the stars in the sky,"

"And the fields on that stocking look blobby you know,
I need to back stitch the drifts in the snow.
I've been stitching and stitching and stitching, no rest.
I just tried to finish stitching too much, I guess."

"I know what you mean," he said with a smile.
"This is my busiest time of the year, by a mile."
He stooped down by the tree, and he opened his sack,
And began to pull presents out of his pack.

"I've got some things here I think you might like,
An oak stitching frame, and a brand new Ott-Light.
A bundle of floss, and a great big mat cutter,"
I smiled and felt my heart go a-flutter.

He put down gifts for us all, then he waved his right hand.
"Go to bed," he said, glancing at my floor stand.
He gave me a wink, and stepped out the door.
I just stood there a moment, glued to the floor.

After he'd left, I turned back to my chair,
Picked up the stockings, and started to stare.
The back stitching was done! The stars lit the sky!
And on my son's stocking angels sung on high.

I ran to thank Santa for this final gift,
And watched as his sleigh started to lift.
I heard him exclaim as he pulled out of sight
"Merry stitching to all, and to all a good night!

 (Author Unknown)



Merry Christmas my friends

If I were old Santa, you know what I'd do
I'd dump silly gifts that are given to you

And deliver some things just inside your front door
Things you have lost, but treasured before.

I'd give you back all your maidenly vigor,
and to go along with it, a neat tiny figure.

Then restore the old color that once graced your hair
before rinses and bleaches took residence there.

I'd bring back the shape with which you were gifted
so things now suspended need not be uplifted.

I'd draw in your tummy and smooth down your back
Till you'd be a dream in those tight fitting slacks.

I'd remove all your wrinkles and leave only one chin
So you wouldn't spend hours rubbing grease on your skin

You'd never have flashes or queer dizzy spells
and you wouldn't hear noises like ringing of bells.

No sore aching feet and no corns on your toes
no searching for spectacles when they're right on your nose.

Not a shot would you take in your arm, hip or fanny
from a doctor who thinks you're a nervous old granny.

You'd never have a headache, so no pills would you take.
and no heating pad needed since your muscles won't ache.

Yes, if I were Santa, you'd never look stupid
You'd be a cute little chick with the romance of a cupid.

I'd give a lift to your heart when those wolves start to whistle
and the joys of your heart would be light as a thistle.
But alas! I'm not Santa. I'm simply just me

the matronest of matrons you ever did see.

I wish I could tell you all the symptoms I've got
But I'm due at my doctor's for an estrogen shot.

Even though we've grown older this wish is sincere
Merry Christmas to you and a Happy New Year!


'Twas the Night Before Christmas, Quilter's Version!

'Twas the night before Christmas,
And the quilts were not made.
The threads were all tangled, the cookies delayed.

The stocking weren't hung, the pantry was bare.
The poor weary Quilter, was tearing her hair.

Stacks of fat quarters, tipped over in streams.
Visions of Log Cabins, had turned into dreams.

When what to her wondering eyes should appear,
But a bus full of quilters with all of their gear.

They went straight to work with just a few mutters,
Sorting and stitching and brandishing cutters.

The patterns emerged from all of the clutter,
Like magic the fabrics arranged in a flutter.

Log Cabins, Lone Stars, Flying Geese and Bear Tracks
Each quilt was a beauty-even the backs.

Her house how it twinkled, her quilts how they glowed.
The cookies were baking, the stockings were sewed.

Their work was all done, so they folded their frames,
And packed up their needles, without giving their names.

They boarded the bus, and checked the next address.
More quilts to be made, another quilter in distress.

She heard one voice echo, as they drove out of sight,
Happy quilting to all and to all a good night!


(Author Unknown)

Twas the Night before Christmas (oh, yes...there are LOTS of versions, after all we're quilters!)

'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house,
The only one sleeping was Quilter's dear spouse.

The Log Cabin stockings were almost completed,
"Just a few stitches left, "our sweet quilter repeated,

"Then I can hang them and head off to finish
The pillows I'm making, fulfilling Mom's wish

For something "quilty" to put on her couch",
As she pricked her poor finger, and yelled out an "Ouch!"

When from out in the kitchen there arose such a crashing,
She sprang from her work , and she dropped all her sashing.

Away to the doorway she flew like a plane,
Wondering just what was happening and who she could blame.

When what to her wondering eyes should appear,

But Old Mrs Claus and her bag of quilt-gear

With her elves bearing gifts, through the kitchen she came,
She directed and pointed and called them by name.

"Now Elna, now Pfaff, now Bernina and Viking,
The Hoffman and Mumm should be just to her liking.

To the sewing room - there, it's just back of the hall,
Now dash away, dash away, dash away all!"

"My Dear," said The Claus (as she liked to be called),
There really is no need to worry at all.

Your projects will all be completed this night,
I'm terribly sorry we gave you a fright.

Sit down. Have some tea. It's relaxing, you'll see.
My friends and I've come a long way to help Thee.

She thought she was dreaming, our Dear Quilter did,
In fact she quite feared that she'd near' flipped her lid!

But the flash of the needles and twist of the thread
Soon gave her to know she had nothing to dread.

They spoke no more words, but went straight to their sewing.
How the work went so quickly she had no way of knowing.

The stitches, how tiny! The corners, how straight!
This Claus-woman's talent was awfully great.

They finished the pillows, then started a quilt.
Before they all knew it, the whole thing was built!

Now old Mrs. Claus, she knew quilters real well,
And she knew they'd need help on this night most of all

So she said to our quilter, "Just move over, dear,
I've brought my own needle. We'll get done, never fear.

I told dear old Santa about what quilters do.
How they plan all these projects but have other work too.

So he taught me his magic for doing things fast.
There, that pillow's done. Now this is the last."

They tidied their thread snips, and picked up the scraps
And chased our dear quilters six cats from their laps.

They left behind gingerbread (just to be nice)
And the whole house smelled sweetly of Christmas and spice.

As they scurried away with their thimbles still gleaming
Dear Mrs. Claus paused, her cap ribbons streaming.

"Merry Christmas, my dear, now just have a ball!
Relax and enjoy. Happy Quilting to all!"


Attributed to:Brenda Groelz, Kathy Rockbugs, Marilyn Root, Cindy Swafford



 Aussie Jingle Bells (sung to that tune, of course!)
 
Dashing through the bush, in a rusty Holden ute,
Kicking up the dust, Esky in the boot.
Kelpie by my side, Singing Christmas songs,
It's summer time and I am in my singlet, shorts and thongs!!!
Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way,
Christmas in Australia on a scorching summer's day. Hey!!
Jingle bells, jingle bells. Christmas time is beaut
Oh what fun it is to ride in a rusty Holden ute!!
Engine's getting hot, we dodge the kangaroos,
The swaggie climbs aboard, he is welcome too.
All the family's there, sitting by the pool,
Christmas day the Aussie way, by the Bar-b-q!!!
Come the afternoon, Grandpa has a doze,
The kids and Uncle Bruce are swimming in their clothes.
The time comes round to go, we take a family snap,
Pack the car and all shoot through before the washing up :-}

Accredited to:Colin Buchanon



The Night Before Christmas (another slightly different version)
 
'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house,
The only one sleeping was a Quilter's dear spouse.

The Log Cabin stockings were almost completed,
"Just a few stitches left," our sweet quilter repeated.

"Then I can hang them and head off to
finish the pillows I'm making, fulfilling Mom's wish

For something quilted to put on her couch",
as she pricked her poor finger,our quilter said,"Ouch!"

When from out in the kitchen there arose such a crashing,
she sprang from her work, and she dropped all her sashing.

Away to the doorway she flew like a plane,
wondering just what was happening and who she would blame.

When what to her wondering eyes should appear,
but Old Mrs. Claus and her bag of quilt-gear.

With her elves bearing gifts, through the kitchen she came,
she directed and pointed and called them by name.

"Now Elna, now Pfaff, now Bernina and VIking,
the Hoffman and Mumm should be just to her liking.

To the sewing room - there, it's just back of the hall, now dash
away, dash away, dash away all!"

"My Dear," said The Claus (as she liked to be called),
"There really is no need to worry at all.

Your projects will all be completed this night,
 I'm terribly sorry we gave you a fright."

"Sit down. Have some tea. It's relaxing, you'll see.
My friends and I've come a long way to help Thee."

She thought she was dreaming, our dear Quilter did,
In fact she quite feared that she near flipped her lid!

But the flash of the needles and twist of the thread soon gave her to know
she had nothing to dread.

They spoke no more words, but went straight to their sewing.
How the work went so quickly she had no way way of knowing.

The stitches, how fine! The corners, how straight!
This Claus-woman's talent was awfully great.

They finished the pillows, then started to quilt.
Before they all knew it, the whole thing was built!

Now old Mrs. Claus, she knew quilters real well,
and she knew they'd need help on this night most of all

So she said to our quilter, "Just move over dear,
I've brought my own needle. We'll get done, never fear.

I told dear old Santa about what quilters do.
How they plan all these projects but have other work too.

So he taught me his magic for doing things fast.
There, that pillows done. Now this is the last.

They tidied their thread snips, and picked up the scraps
and chased our dear quilter's six cats from their laps.

As they scurried away with their thimbles still gleaming
dear Mrs. Claus paused, her cap ribbons streaming.

"Merry Christmas, my dear, now just have a ball!"

(Author Unknown)



Merry Christmas and Happiest of All Holidays to you and to yours. With love and best wishes from my hands and my heart! Now, take this last week before Christmas and use it well ;-) And if you're all done, and have a lot of time in your heart and on your hands...click on the article titles under the photos and learn a bit more about crazy old me, my cats, and oh..yes, my 7 chickens who have been known to come on into the dining room for dinner.


 Chicken dinner for Christmas? I think not!!!



Michele Bilyeu
Salem, Oregon
2014

And because I may not remember to post
AFTER Christmas...here you go!!!




The Week After Christmas
By Dessie Nichols

'Twas the week after Christmas and all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even her spouse

The quilting frame had replaced the tree by the stair,
In hopes she'd not be disturbed, as she quilted there

Outside the flurries of snow from the sky,
Made not a sound as they floated by.

The needle also made not a sound
As through the quilt it slid up and down.

When out from the kitchen there arose such a clatter;
She flew out of her chair to see what was the matter.

There in his long johns, stood a sleepy-eyed spouse,
Grumbling, "Why can't I find something to eat in this house?

A knock on the door gave them both a fright
Who'd be calling at this time of night

They opened the door, and what a surprise!
A very weary-looking Santa stood before their eyes.

"I know it's past Christmas, and you think I'm out of my mind,
But I'd like one of your quilts, if you'd be so kind.

"You see I'm ashamed," he said with a pause,
"But I forgot a present for Mrs. Santa Claus.

"Sir, please help me 'cause you must know how I feel,
A woman can make a man feel like a number one heel."

The lady smiled, and turned with a grin,
Returned with a quilt, and handed it cheerfully to him.

"Here, Dear Santa, is my latest creation."
And she gave it to him without hesitation.

"the Quilting is good, and the colors quite nice,
""I want her to enjoy it; there will be no price."

"Thank you and God Bless. I knew quilters were great!"
"now I must hurry, as the time is quite late"

And they heard him exclaim, as he turned to depart,
"Only a quilter would have such a big heart.


Michele Bilyeu blogs With Heart and Hands as she shares a quilting journey from Alaska to Oregon with thousands of free Quilting, Sewing, and Crafting Patterns and Tutorials. Help change the world, one little quilt, art quilt, and prayer flag at a time!

17 comments:

  1. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!! Wishing you the BEST Birthday EVER and a wonderful Christmas as well!! All the best!
    P

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  2. Oh, Michele! Your post was so delightful this morning.There are tears from laughter in my eyes. This was such an awesome way to start this very busy day. Thank you.
    First, let me wish you a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY. You know the saying--you're only as old as you feel. So if you feel like sitting on the rooftop, I say "Go for it". I can't get up on mine or I would be tempted to go up there. My hubby thinks I am a little "off" because I like to get up in the middle of the night and go out on the deck. I don't know what the neighbors think.But it is so beautiful and peaceful when the moon is full and the stars are out.
    Now, I will wish you and your family a very MERRY CHRISTMAS.I hope the new year is filled with lots of peace and joy with many, many blessings. Thank you for all the beautiful things you have shared with us this year.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Terrific post - Happy Birthday (did you get your e-card?) - thanks for sharing yourself with all of us! Merry Christmas to you and all of your family!!

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  4. Happy Birthday dear wise woman! but I think you were that before these years came....

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  5. Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas!

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  6. Fun post Michele. All sounds good, but I don't particularly like the thought of you climbing up on your roof. Please be safe and have a very Happy Birthday. Definitely time to celebrate big time.

    SewCalGal
    www.sewcalgal.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Have a very Happy Birthday and and Merry. Merry Christmas!

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  8. Happy Birthday Michele, all the best of the season to you and yours. Merry Christmas.

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  9. Awe girlfriend I love you and your incredible posts. Happy birthday, Merry Christmas and happy new year all rolled into one. Don't forget to dawn your red hat too!

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  10. A very very Happy Birthday to Michelle who spreads such cheer throughout the year.

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  11. Happy birthday Michele! And Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours. I love that your little ones Dorothy, Edith and Little Nell came out to wish you a happy birthday. Such good girls! Wishing you all the best in 2015 and I look forward to many more interesting blog posts from you!

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  12. A very Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas Michele!

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  13. I always get a failure to deliver email when I post here..but....maybe this time you will get my best wishes for another fun and love filled year- Happy belated Birthday!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And Cher...I do not know why!!! Everyone else's is coming through just fine. Some bizarre setting of some kind. But I am always seeing you whether it tells you that you have failed or not! Check your settings..are you using a phone, perhaps? That does weird things.

      Delete
  14. Happy Birthday, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

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  15. Happy Birthday, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from me too! Looking forward to more sewing and sharing in 2015.

    ReplyDelete

Michele Bilyeu blogs "With Heart and Hands" as she journeys between Douglas, Alaska and Salem, Oregon.