A daily record of gratitude; from quilting to photography to a mix of technology, books, movies and the musings of life!

Welcome to my Blog of my daily gratitude and photo of the day!

Since January 1, 2012, my goal is to write a daily sentence or two (or paragraph or two) about gratitude of the day and to include one photo (at least) that I took that day (but will add others from time to time). It has definitely been a challenge most days throughout the past eight years, and welcomed the challenge again this year - 2020 - Covid and all. I hope you will continue the ride with me!

Friday, April 13, 2018

#CelebrateOthers - Julia Tavano 99 Years and 364 Days Old

On the eve of Julia Tavano's 100th Birthday, I wanted to give a shout out to Julia and her family on this terrific milestone occasion. The family will be celebrating her birthday with a big family reunion, tomorrow, in Hartford, CT. Wooohoooo 100 Years Young!!!

I met Julia and her daughter Judy, plus Judy's husband Ross Gardner, at my guild's annual quilt show in Bowie, Maryland, last month. The trio has been coming to our show for the last five years, and I noticed how carefully and lovingly Judy and Ross wheeled Julia around the show, giving her the chance to really look at each quilt and everything else at the show with, what seemed like, nary a rush on anyone's part. I finally had to ask this trio how they liked the show and what was their connection. Judy mentioned that her mother comes to live in Maryland for two months each year (with them), and our quilt show is smack dab in the middle of her stay. They saw an advertisement a few years back, and this began a new tradition for the three of them to visit our show.

When Judy leaned over to me and whispered that her Mom was a quilter, and did stunningly beautiful quilts, I knew I'd wanted to delve more into this "renaissance woman's" life. They obliged. 

Julia was born in Hartford, CT, but lived in East Hartford most of her life. She was married for 52 years and had three children (Judy, Louis, and Maryann). She began quilting after her retirement from the State of Connecticut as a payroll accountant in her early 60's, and her very first quilt was featured at the Woodlawn Plantation in Alexandria, VA in the late 1980's. Her daughter described this quilt as her "masterpiece", which is a breathtakingly hand-stenciled-hand-quilted Baltimore Album style quilt. Interestingly, Julia has "only" made about 25 quilts because each quilt is simply, outstanding; and quality over quantity is how Julia liked to do things.

During her quilting years,  she sewed on a Singer, then Bernina sewing machine, and belonged to the Piecemaker's Quilt Guild of Glastonbury, CT. She was also a very prolific artist, dabbling, then mastering, other crafts as rug hooking (which her daughter Judy loves to do); rug braiding; basket-weaving; cake decoration; stenciling; knitting; crocheting and needlepoint. I say this is truly inspirational and awesome; and her secret? Well....there is no secret according to Julia. Can you believe that? However, she did say to "get up every day and do what you have to do." Spoken like a true 100 year old, I'd say!

So, you maybe thinking, what inspired Julia through the years? Her thoughtful and delightful answer: her mother, who was also a "renaissance woman" in her own right and "never used a pattern on anything she made" (and think about that, her mother was born in the late 1800's!).

Believe it or not, this color blue loving lady still lives in the family home where she married and raised her family, albeit with a live-in caregiver nowadays. She goes out twice a week to soak in a therapy pool, still reads and loves to check out recipes in her extensive cookbook collection! A full and happy life indeed! Happy 100th Birthday, Julia!


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