Visions In My Head

And visions of little quilts all dancing in my head tonight. Tomorrow is the first day of our Mendota Mini Quilt Retreat hosted by Chris and me!

Do you know how many quilts I’ve started? Do you know how many quilts I’ve finished?

Quilt 3

I’ll post what we’ve got accomplished tomorrow night. I’m always optimistic.


Destination Mendota, Virginia

When my cousin called from South Carolina and said they were coming up…I thought “what are they going to do?  It’s raining nonstop here,  and it could be so boring.”      “Boring is good,” Alisa said.    And then, they arrived, and to keep everyone on their toes, I called Alisa (correct name) “Alisha” (incorrect name) and mixed up Caroline and Rebecca all weekend long.   They were so gracious not to say anything. Oh…and I never bothered to clean the house and didn’t get groceries this week, but it all worked out!! Hey…they’re family!! Here they are…oh…and that is Andy.  My grandmother, Eva Sproles, is his great grandmother–that is how we are all related. We are “first cousins, once removed.”

The Lambs

I should not have worried about being bored. Andy was easy to entertain. He likes to hunt and fish, and we live on the river. Plus — we gave him and Oth (my sweet nephew in-a-way) an assignment — rid us of the skunks that are entering the bee enclosures. Twenty-four hours later we are down four skunks. You are looking at the Skunk Dynasty. “Stinky, Stinky,Stinky.”

Andy and Oth

And what did the girls and I do? We payed our tribute to A. P. Carter and the Carter Family by taking pictures of the store (now a museum) and the Carter cabin. Here’s a couple of the pictures..

Carter Fold

Carter Cabin

Carter Family Music Center

And since these three are serious quilters, we visited Tennessee Quilts in Jonesboro and Short Sheets in Bristol. I’m inserting about ten pictures that are a feast for your eyes. These ladies and these pictures have made me zealous in my desire not just to learn to quilt but to have one done by Christmas. Think I can do it? Yes!

Tennessee Quilts 1

Tennessee Quilts 2

Tennessee Quilts 3 Polka Dots

Tennessee Quilts 4

Tennessee Quilts 5

Tennesse Quilts 4

Are you loving it? Who cares about the upcoming Bristol Race? It’s not “Gentlemen…start your engines.” It’s “Ladies…grab your scissors (actually rotary cutters). Here’s my “Fat Quarters.”

My Quilt Stack

Learning all kinds of new quilt slang…these are “jellyrolls”!!

Jelly Rolls

And the Carter Family tribute that we started on Saturday morning as we took pictures? Serendipity stepped in and we continued on Sunday morning at Mt. Vernon Church. Oscar Harris, Dale Jett, Laura Cash and Daryl Jayne gave us great music — Carter Family style! We shoved pushed jumped stepped in and had our picture taken…Daryl is missing as he’s behind the camera!!

The Gang 2

PS! Alisa and I have something in common! She is a blogger, too! I would appreciate it you’d visit her site some day and say hello. She’s a teacher, and she’s the kind that everyone wants their third grader to have as their teacher. Here’s the link:

Hope you have a great week. Please be sure and visit again during the week. Hometalk has been nice enough to feature one of my “Clipboards.”


Please Help Me!

Next Wednesday I am off and I’m taking my camera with me to see (and maybe help a little) the progress of the Mendota Cemetery Quilt.  I’ve heard it called “stunning.” 

Quilting fills so many roles in a rural life.   It’s a necessity, an art, a magnificant gift, a frusteration, and a great way to raise money.  Everyone could use a good quilt, and most everyone can spare a dollar for a chance on a quilt.

In just a few weeks, this sweet quilt will find its way home with someone.  It was quilted by Ruby Smith.  Ruby is 96. She was my mother’s dearest friend.    I “sharpened” this image.  Look closely.  Tiny, perfect stitches by a hand that has known 96 years on this earth. 

Goodson Kinderhook Fire Department Quilt

All of the proceeds will benefit the Goodson Kinderhook Volunteer Fire Department.  No matter how you vote, who your family is,  whether you talk Yankee or Southern, or whether you go to this church or that church, if you smell smoke, you’re going to call 911.   Following that call, as soon as humanly possible, a big red truck with the sole purpose of putting a fire out– or  saving your life or even sometimes your pet’s life, is going to pull in your driveway.    

Please help us raise money for the the Goodson Kinderhook Volunteer Fire Department.  Tickets for this quilt are $1.00 each.  Please consider buying….just $5.  If you live a long ways off, please still consider buying the tickets.  If you send me your address, I’ll send you the tickets with a self addressed stamped envelope for you to return your check and the stubs for drawing back to me. 

If you live nearby, yet it’s still not convenient for you to hook up with me, just send me your address.   We’ll do the same as if you live outside the area. 

I would love to sell 100 chances on this quilt.  Please help me. 

Thank you.



Mendota Cemetery Quilt 2013

Hi! I’ve been gone for a few days. Well, not gone, but not online. I’m back!! I’ve missed you!!

When I started blogging in April, one of the earlier  posts  involved our Mendota and Mt. Vernon cemeteries and the fundraising that supports the upkeep of these cemeteries.  Dale Jett and Hello Stranger put on an amazing show right here in Mendota during May.  Here’s our talented and kind pals….

That show also was the kickoff of our quilt raffle. Both were very successful. And fun!

Now…present day!   It’s time to get ready for 2013! In just a few weeks, we’ll be setting the date for the 2013 benefit; and earlier this week, a few of us met in Kingsport to purchase fabric for the new quilt.

We planned to visit several quilt shops, but we found exactly what we needed at a shop called “Heavenly Stitches Quilt Shoppe” on Ft. Henry Drive in Kingsport. One of the owners, Paul, was there,  and we yakked it up with him. Very nice.

The quilt we’re making is a “flying geese” pattern, so this year’s quilt will be called “I’ll Fly Away.” Recognize that? “I’ll Fly Away” is a song made popular by the Carter Family and one that Dale, Oscar and Teresa sing regularly and DO AN AWESOME JOB!! It all ties together. Beautifully.

And Heavenly Stitches has lots of fabric to choose from…a rainbow of color!

Fabric Array at Heavenly Fabric

Here’s the fabric we selected for the new quilt.  The first one in the lineup…the black and blue…was the “inspiration” fabric.

Fabric for Mendota, Virginia Cemetery Quilt

Since I’m a quilter wannabe and not a true quilter, I can only tell you the little bit I know about the fabric selection…you have to have a dark and then a light for this quilt.

Mendota Cemetery Quilt - The Chosen Ones

We’ll have several work days on the quilt, and I’ll be participating. I’ll take you along and show you the progress of how these fabric selections become a beautiful quilt.

Paul, the owner of Heavenly Fabrics, invited us to look around at some of the quilts on display.

Black Quilt at Heavenly Stitches

Have you heard of the Shiloh Baptist Quilters in Benhams (Bristol, Virginia)?   I’m not sure what the relationship is or how this quilt ended up at Heavenly Stitches, but Paul said this is their work.




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.


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!!


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