Thursday, December 17, 2009

Blue Willow Table Setting for Thanksgiving

Rows of table settings to serve 35 guests.

Thanksgiving 2009 using Allertons Blue Willow. Hopefully the hastily taken pictures convey the beauty of a Blue Willow table setting.

The Blue Willow belonged to my aunt who served my family on it every Thanksgiving for decades. She inherited it from her mother-in-law who collected it during the war when many pieces were brought to the states or sent to her by her daughter who was serving in England. Near the end of my aunt's life, having just lost her devoted husband six months earlier, she made the painful decision to turn it over to an antiques dealer since it seemed no one in the family wanted it and she was no longer able to prepare such a huge feast for so many people. She was heartbroken as she and my uncle had tenderly cared for it and cheerfully and with great affection for the china, the memories surrounding it, and the holiday, served Thanksgiving dinner on it for so many years. When she learned I wanted to buy one piece as a keepsake we came up with a way for me to keep it in the family. She was so relieved and cried tears of joy that it wouldn't end up being sold off in bits and pieces to strangers. Now I have the wonderful privilege of caring for it and continuing the tradition she and my uncle started by serving Thanksgiving to our large and growing family each year. She was able to attend one Thanksgiving dinner at my house before she died. The Blue Willow is daily reminder of my sweet aunt (and my uncle) as I have many pieces on display throughout the house and I am also one of those people who uses my fine things every day. Having my early morning coffee in my Blue Willow china when I'm the only one up and the house is still peaceful is a gentle reminder of Aunt Louise.

For this tablescape, I used simple silver chargers and simple blue goblets to provide a bit of shimmer. Finding a centerpiece to bridge the deep red walls and the blue willow is difficult so I chose pink and red roses. They were almost past their prime when I rescued them just before the first hard frost. They were a beautiful complement to the blue willow and a way to soften the backdrop of the red walls.

Since this is my first post on a new blog, please forgive the lack of character. I hope you enjoy my first blog post as much as I enjoyed learning how to put one together.

I'm linking to Between Naps on the Porch Tablescape Thursday blog party. Thanks Susan for this opportunity to show my cherished blue willow.