The Winner of the Mendota Quilt

After months of planning, buying fabric, cutting, sewing and coordinating the work of others,  the 2012 Mendota Cemetery Quilt “Common Ground” came to life.  More months followed of selling tickets, and then  it came to a climatic end at the Mendota Homecoming today when the winner was drawn.

Chris was the ring leader of the Mendota Cemetery quilt.  Without her, there would be no quilt.   She’s been out of town all summer helping a family member.   She’s back–and just in time to draw the ticket.

Over 1600 tickets were sold.

I had about 1/16 chance in winning. It didn’t matter. Today was not my day. It was Libby’s day!

Libby bought a $1 chance from my neighbor Margie. Next week, she’ll be enjoying the Mendota Cemetery Quilt called “Common Ground.” I would like to be a fly on the wall when Margie calls her and tells her!!

This was not my original post for today but I was so excited I had to share it. Living in a rural community means many things…and today, these things are all good.

We’re already whispering about next year’s Mendota Cemetery Quilt.  I’ll take you along when we get the fabric.   We’ll be working hard to top this one.


Daily Mendota August 17

Yikes…today is almost over and I have not been very productive.

I went to get my hair cut and highlighted this morning.   I was so happy when Louetta called and asked me to come in at 8:45 am instead of 11:00 am which was my original schedule. I thought…”wow…I’ll come home and get a lot done.” There are so many things that can go wrong with that kind of statement!

So…. I didn’t do any of the things I intended, and here is is 9:40 pm and I just put the jars of spaghetti sauce into the pressure canner. No’s only one batch of nine pints. It will put my spaghetti sauce stash right at 71 if they all seal.

I’m waiting for the comforting sound of the pressure canner jiggling.    I’ll listen to that for 40 minutes, turn the stove off and go to bed.  Tomorrow, I’ll get the jars out and they will still be quite warm.   Sigh. 

Back to my hair appointment…Louetta has been doing my hair since 1998 when we bought the land that this house sets on. She had her shop on the corner of Benhams and Reedy Creek Road in the Benhams community.  This was the closest hair salon to my house.    Later, she moved the shop into a house she owned on Reedy Creek Road.   Shortly thereafter, she moved the shop into the basement of the house that she lived in on Reedy Creek Road.   (These were two different houses.)   The interesting fact about this is that she sold that house while having a garage sale.  I am not kidding.   Following that,  she moved back to to the corner of Benhams and Reedy Creek Road and changed her salon’s name to Louetta’s Carribean Splash.   Following that, she moved her shop to Lee Highway beside Domino’s Pizza and called her salon “Louetta’s Hair Pottery and Color Works.” Now, she is near Exit 10 on Lee Highway, and I think she kept the same name.

Louetta is not afraid of change.

She is Louetta Canter but she was a Millard before she got married. This is important because my parents always said “the Millard girls are very handy and creative.” It’s true. For all of Lou’s customers to follow her around (and these are just a few of the moves…there were others before I ever showed up), she has to be pretty good. .

While I was there, I pulled out my camera. I wanted to show you Louetta’s Great Grandmother Jackson’s quilt.

It’s a beautiful quilt that has been used and loved. It’s hanging on a walking stick…there’s a story about that, too, but I’ll have to get Louetta to tell us about that.

Here’s Louetta.  She has so much more nerve and God-given talent than most…especially me…I love her moxy.


Yellow Bedroom Redo

Here’s our yellow guest bedroom. I wanted to give you the real picture before I got started.  It has become a junk repository. I will be replacing the very cheap Targe’ window treatments with some blue and white valances I’m making. I’ll remove the duvet and use a white battenberg duvet in its place. I’ll add one of my favorite quilts at the foot of the bed for warmth and color. This project should not take more than a day, and the cost is the fabric which I purchased for $8.95 per yard at Short Sheets Fabric in Bristol, Virginia.  I already had lining fabric and touch up paint for walls, as well as the bedding.

Hope to have the reveal/after picture tomorrow evening.


Mendota Cemetery Benefit 2012

dale jett hello stranger

Dale Jett & Hello Stranger

Last night was the Mendota/Mt. Vernon Cemetery  Benefit 2012.  Here’s what went good and what when bad:

Good things…people came!  They came to our benefit.  I never doubted the talent of the artists — Dale Jett & Hello Stranger (in the photo…that’s Dale Jett, Theresa Jett and Oscar Harris).   They have played at the Opry.  However,  I kept thinking of  Oscar’s comment that sometimes “at home…people just think that’s ol’ Dale and ol’ Oscar…we see them at the Rally Mart.”

That was not the case.  They played their best, and the people gave their best.  They clapped and clapped and when Oscar thanked them, they kept clapping.  I teared up.  Bet that Dale, Oscar, and Theresa were sniffling around on the stage, too!

Note to self:  Next year bring tissues!

Bad things…we ran out of food!    Given the opportunity, we’ll do better next year.   We planned for 200.    350 showed up.   We totally underestimated this benefit.

My feet are hurting but my heart is full.

Oh….and we raised money.  It looks like each cemetery (we divided the proceeds between Mt. Vernon Cemetery and the Mendota Cemetery) will get about $1500 to help with the mowing expense.  We sold a bunch of quilt tickets, too, and that is not in the count.

I recall my sister, Pat, nudging me a few years ago when we were sitting at the Mendota Homecoming.  She said “don’t you just love living in the country?”

I do.




Cemetery Quilt

My parents are buried in a community cemetery.  It’s so pretty.  So peaceful.  My husband and I will be buried there.   I hope that’s not for a while.

At one time, the Mendota Cemetery had enough money gaining interest to pay for the upkeep, but that was when interest rates were 12% and gas for the mowing was 60 cents per gallon.  Now, we have to do fundraising.    We are quite a little fundraising machine.  There’s bingo.  We have afghans with screen printed pictures of our rural scenes.  We have cookbooks.  Did I tell you that we never charge any community member for burial there?  Part of the tradition of rural life is pulling together during hard times, and death is a hard time.

We’re raffling off a quilt this year as part of our fundraising.  We’re having a benefit, too, but I’ll write about that later.

Quilt called Common Ground

The quilt is a compilation of 30 women, but there were really only a few that did most of the work.  I was not one of the few, but I did sew six or seven strips together, so I can claim my piece of the quilt’s history.  It’s called “Common Ground”…or maybe “Uncommon Ground”?  See, I don’t even know but I’m still taking credit for part of the quilt!

As the quilt neared completion, we wondered if we could sell 500 tickets.  Margie called me.  I called Nancy.  Nancy called Margie.  Margie called Lisa.  Lisa called Chris.  Chris called Linda.  Maybe not all in that order, but you get the picture.   We could not decide.

I ordered big.   I recalled my neighbor Jennifer saying “we serve a big God…think big!”  She was talking about another subject, but I recalled her statement when ordering the raffle tickets, so I ordered not 500 — but 1,000!!!   Guess what?  Tonight I ordered another 1,000 tickets!

We will have to do a quilt every year following this success.    Maybe I can do more than six strips!!


My Nephew’s Present

This is a double wedding ring quilt. For once, I had the perfect gift.

My nephew Will got married last week.  I am not even sure if I was invited to the wedding, but I’d already made plans so it didn’t really matter.  What was great is that for once, I had the perfect gift.  I gave my nephew and his new wife something I think they will come to treasure.  I gave them a quilt.

I didn’t make the quilt.  Mrs. Ruby Smith made the quilt.  She was in her late 80’s when she made the quilt…she’s in her 90’s now.  It is the double wedding ring pattern.   I believe it has a bit of my mother’s clothing in it.  Mother died 8 years ago.

Will and Jaimee, I hope you treasure this quilt.  I treasured it and for some reason, it wanted to come to your place.  You almost got towels and a cookbook.


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