The Book - An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving by Louisa May Alcott
Mrs. Bassett is starting to prepare the thanksgiving turkey when someone arrives to tell her that her mother is ill. Mr. and Mrs. Bassett rush off, leaving Tilly, their oldest of six children, in charge. She decides to go ahead with the thanksgiving preparations to surprise her parents when they return. With the help of her sisters, Tilly creates a memorable meal!
Although it is probably too long for younger children, this is a sweet story girls will love. The illustrations by James Bernardin are beautiful and nostalgic, full of candle and firelight. The characters are Little House-esque (or maybe Little Women-esque) and will capture the imagination of the little girl in your life. On the last page of the book is a recipe for Louisa May Alcott's Apple Slump.
The Craft - Turkey Placemats
Isn't he cute? I've been seeing some hand print turkey appliques on the blogosphere and thought they would make great Thanksgiving placemats. Never mind that I have no clue how to applique anything; I've conquered my fear of the sewing machine! So I bought four green placemats from Walmart for less than $2 each, traced my family members' hands, and sat down to work.
First I cut out a square of fabric (leftover from my pumpkins) around my handprint. Then I stitch-witched to the placemat the part of the fabric that would lay over the palm.
Next, I pinned the handprint to the the square and placemat. Doesn't it look painful?
Setting my sewing machine on the slowest setting - because maybe I haven't entirely gotten over my sewingmachineophobia - I stitched around the fingers.
Ta-da! Unpin the hand and you've got... a hand.
Carefully trim off the excess fabric. Using the machine, stitch two little legs. Then handsew a button for the eye and a piece of felt for the waddle. And suddenly that hand is now a turkey, ready to make your Thanksgiving table extra special!
I only had time to make my placemat, so I have three more of these gobblers to create. I'll probably handstitch the girls', because their hands are so small. Just think how fun it will be next November when we pull these out and see how much their hands have grown!