This year, as we get ready for Thanksgiving, I decided to look back to when I had a little more time for some inspiration.  We’re hosting a big crowd of family, and these days we’re just barely keeping up with things, so If I don’t think about it now it’ll be white plates on plain tables.

A few years ago, in our old house, we hosted a small Thanksgiving dinner for our family and I used things from around the house to set a casual table that made me really happy:

 

 

It was a long table and I didn’t have any proper linens (still don’t) so I used a pair of linen curtains from Ikea as my tablecloth (dropcloths would have been easy too) and layered them with a pumpkin-colored Kantha quilt or “Nakshi Kantha.”

Kantha is a type of embroidery popular in India (in West Bengal) and it’s often used to make simple quilts out of old saris and cloth.  I’m sure you’ve seen them, but I can’t get enough of them.  I have a few in my own home and use them all the time- from picnic blankets, to throws on the sofa, to bedspreads to table cloths- I am in love.  They’re all different and I can (and have) sift through piles of kanthas for hours to find my favorite ones to bring home.

 

{I picked up about 15 of my favorites from Market this year for our home furnishings store in Great Falls Virginia, opening December 7th.  On a sidenote- I’m wanting to keep everything I find for the shop!!! Help I’m a hoarder!!!}

 

Once I’d layered the table with the linens, I added an old pitcher full of peachy-orange pine branches we found outside on a walk, pumpkins leftover from Halloween and a random collection of mismatched wooden candlesticks I’d amassed.  From there, I layered in little pots of herbs I had in the kitchen for some green ( I HAVE to have my green 😉 😉 walnuts and some trays and cutting boards for casual, family-style serving.  I set out my plain white Pottery Barn plates with my Grandma Maestranzi’s Wild Clover China.  (I didn’t have chargers so the bigger plate worked.)
It was so easy to put together and I remember just really enjoying the process.  We had to remove some of the bigger things of course as the meal took place, but sitting down to it just felt so special and we got to enjoy it all day.  My Grandmother has always put together beautiful tables and I remember being so excited for her to see it.
So, here’s the recipe, which I’ll probably try to follow myself this year:
Solid anything as basic tablecloth
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Pretty Quilt
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Central Vase or Pitcher of Nature Finds
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Leftover Pumpkins
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Random Candlesticks
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Cutting Boards & Serving Pieces
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Potted Hebs if there’s room
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Plates & Silverware & Linens & Glasses
Here’s to hoping we all get some time to enjoy the before-process of Thanksgiving!!