Holiday Visit


Even in this unusual year, the holiday rush is taking place. So, no Honoree this week, but a heart-felt wish for merriment and light from my house to yours.  And a virtual tour. I’d like to welcome you to my home and share my holiday spirit with all my quilting friends.

I live in an 1886 house built by a local stonemason as a honeymoon cottage for one of his daughters.  We don’t have snow yet—I’m still hoping for a White Christmas—so this is a shot from a past year.

The turret is the ideal place for a tree.  This year we have a live Fraser fir downstairs with old-fashioned lights, glass ornaments, and lots of glimmer. There’s a little artificial one upstairs with a funky tree skirt I made.

I have quilts in every room downstairs.  They make easy decorations and provide a nice backdrop for my collections of angels and the turned wooden ornaments my husband makes.

There are Christmas tins all over the kitchen.  I started collecting these years ago while garage-“sailing” with a friend; she bought furniture, but all I could afford were the tins at 10-25 cents.  The price has gone up, but the new ones I buy now come with cookies. I think they’re rather jolly.

We spend most of our holiday time on this back porch with a wood-burning stove, watching classic Christmas movies. Here’s where I show off the Santas, and the third tree.  The quilt is one of four new Christmas ones I made this year—a record, thanks to staying at home.

And would you like another peek upstairs?  We have Christmas quilts on both beds; blue is my color, and Jack loves red.

Back to the kitchen for a cup of coffee and cookies. I usually bake at least a dozen kinds of cookies each year.  This year, I made seven kinds of shortbread, plus other recipes.  I can’t share one in person, but here’s a picture from some cookie plates of Christmas past:

Or how about these that look like quilt blocks?      

If you were here, you could use a cup from my mug tree.  When I was working, I often got a holiday mug in the grab bag, so I found a way to display them all without taking up counter space.

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed this “visit”. I look forward to having a real, in-person visit with many of you at the 2021 Celebration, but in the meantime, I wish you happy, happy, merry, merry, and all the best of the season.

Your quilting friend,


I’m Anna Harkins, and I volunteer on the Collections Committee at The Quilters Hall of Fame. What else would you like to know about me? Married, no kids; one old horse, retired, and live in a western suburb of Chicago. I’ve been quilting for about 20 years (I wish I could say I learned from my grandmother, but some of us come to this later than others), and I’m a quilt history dilettante, “a person who cultivates an area of interest, such as the arts, without real commitment or knowledge.”  There are real scholars among you, and I have no pretensions to that level—hats off to you! But I am interested, especially in the people who have made up the quilt world here in the US, which is why I’ve agreed to blog for The Quilters Hall of Fame. I plan to write every week, and I hope you’ll join the discussions.


  1. Dear Anna, what a lovely visit with you. I always wanted to live in a house like yours. Have lived in old houses and new houses but never one that shines so at Christmas. Thanks for sharing with us.

  2. Hi Jean. I wish I cold have seen you in person. Maybe someday we’ll have MFSG near here and you can come for an in person visit. Hope to see you soon in 2021. Anna

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