Saturday, August 31, 2013

Autumn Joy

I have always marked Labor Day as the end of summer and the beginning of fall.  (Fall 2013 officially begins September 22).  Grandmother Bessie taught me to love, appreciate and respect each of the seasons and I love fall for so many reasons.

Sedum, Autumn Joy

Next Year (the garden) is beginning to make the transition from summer to fall.  The Sedum pictured above will turn pink, then cinnamon and then copper brown for the birds.

Miss Oak Leaf Hydrangea has already made the change into her fall colors.

Miss Purple Coneflower did not want her sister flowers to leave her behind in the fall line up.  Soon the dogwood tree will be wearing her lovely red leaves and the maples will be showing their beautiful yellow, oranges and reds.

With an extra day in the weekend, Thistle Manor has also begun to make the transition from summer to fall.  I call this rug Pumpkin Row.  The inspiration for this rug came from a photo I saw in a magazine.

Pumpkins for the mantel.

Pumpkins under the cloche

Old crow chair pads

Jo Morton bed topper with fall colors.

Thank You,  Grandmother Bessie for instilling in me the joys of autumn!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Bless Be the Tie that Binds

Jo Morton Broken Dishes

Ahh, finally something gets finished!  With summer winding down, the daylight hours growing shorter and a new season of Duck Dynasty, the binding has been added.  Am planning on using this quilt during Christmas.

I fell in love with this quilt when I first saw it on  Pinterest.  Yes working with those small half square triangles was tedious and never ending but the finished quilt was so worth it!  The binding and large outer border are some of my favorite Jo Morton fabric.

The minute I spread the quilt on top of the bed, Miss Callie Mae claimed it.  The colors in the quilt will make it a fall favorite.  A sleepy calico and Jo Morton fabric what's not to love.

 Goose Tracks

This will be another fun quilt to use at Christmas time or Valentine's.  (Most of the fabrics used in this quilt are French General)

In addition to being a fabric addict I am also addicted to Duck Dynasty.  Here are the words from one of my favorite scenes:

Phil Robertson to Miss Kay:  "You are my best friend, and I love you dearly, I'm going to be with you for the long haul, until they put me in the ground.  Good?

Miss Kay responds:  Perfect

Phil and Miss Kay their hearts are bound with love.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Quilter's Retreat at Spring Creek

On Saturday as I was checking out at one of my local quilt shops there was a brochure sitting on the counter.  The brochure caught my eye when I read "Plan a Quilter's Retreat at Spring Creek."

Plan a Quilter's Retreat at Spring Creek!  I could not believe my eyes.  I asked the shop owner if I could have one of the brochures and immediately started reading.

Spring Creek Retreat is located in Reliance, Tennessee (approximately one hour from Chattanooga and two and a half hours from Atlanta).  It is surrounded by the beautiful Cherokee National Forest.  Their website is  Curosity may get the best of this old cat and I may check it.  Hey, Spring Creek and quilting, I can't go wrong.

DISCLAIMER:  Beverly, the owner has never heard of me.  Am sure there are many Spring Creek's in the USA.  My Spring Creek is in North Carolina. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Antebellum Road Trip

White hall was built for Dr. Aaron White in 1844.  During the American Civil War, White Hall was the headquarters of Confederate General Earl Van Dorm in 1863.  It was here Jessie Peters came to visit the General and caused the White family much distress because of her indiscreet behavior.

The Court House in Columbia is an impressive building in the town square.

After a delicious lunch at the Market Cafe, we took a stroll around the town square.  

A town with a book store qualifies as a great  town.

A fun sign and fun shop.

The train depot, a beautiful building in need of restoration.

Maury County is called the antebellum homes capitol of Tennessee.

Built circa 1817 by Samuel Polk, father of the 11th President of the United States, James Knox Polk.  This home was the first brick home in Columbia and is a Registered National Historical Landmark

A refreshing fountain at the rear of the Polk home offers a relaxing respite from the heat and noise.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

"be a good boy, Harry"

On August 18, 1920, Tennessee passed the proposed 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution by a one-vote margin, becoming the 36th state to ratify the measure and clearing the way for its official adoption eight days later.  Incredibly, women's suffrage in the United States ultimately hinged on an 11th-hour change of heart by a young state legislator with a very powerful mother.

Minutes after Tennessee ratified the 19th Amendment, essentially ending American women's decades-long quest for the right to vote, a young man with a red rose pinned to his lapel fled to the attic of the state capitol and camped out there until the maddening crowds downstairs dispersed.  Some say he crept onto a third-floor ledge to escape an angry mob of anti-suffragist lawmakers threatening to rough him up.

The date was August 18, 1920, and the man was Harry Burn, a 24-year-old representative from East Tennessee who two years earlier had become the youngest member of the state legislature.  The red rose signified his opposition to the proposed 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which stated that "the right of a citizen of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex."  By the summer of 1920, 35 states had ratified the measure, bringing it one vote short of the required 36.  In Tennessee, it had sailed through the Senate but stalled in the House of Representatives, prompting thousands of pro-and anti-suffrage activists to descent upon Nashville.  If Burn and his colleagues voted in its favor, the 19th Amendment would pass the final hurdle on its way to adoption.


After weeks of intense lobbying and debate within the Tennessee legislature, a motion to table the amendment was defeated with a 48-48 tie.  The speaker called the measure to a ratification vote.  To the dismay of many suffragists who had packed into the capitol with their yellow roses, sashes and signs, it seemed certain that the final roll call would maintain the deadlock.  But that morning, Harry Burn--who until that time had fallen squarely in the anti-suffrage camp--received a note from his mother, Phoebe Ensminger Burn, known to her family and friends as Miss Febb.  In it, she had written,  "Hurrah, and vote for suffrage!  Don't keep them in doubt.  I notice some of the speeches against.  They were bitter.  I have been watching to see how you stood, but have not noticed anything yet."  She ended the missive with a rousing endorsement of the great suffragist leader Carrie Chapman Catt, imploring her son to "be a good boy and help Mrs. Catt put the 'rat' in ratification."

Still sporting his red boutonniere but clutching his mother's letter. Burn say "aye" so quickly that it took his fellow legislators a few moments to register his unexpected response.  With that single syllable he extended the vote to to the women of America and ended half a century of tireless campaigning by generations of suffragists, including Susan B. Anthony, Alice Paul, Lucy Burns and, of course, Mrs. Catt.  He also invoked the fury of his red rose-carrying peers while presumably avoiding that of his mother--which may very well have been the more daunting of the two.

The next day, Burn defended his last-minute reversal in a speech to the assembly.  For the first time, he publicly expressed his personal support of universal suffrage, declaring, "I believe we had a moral and legal right to ratify."  But he also made no secret of Miss Febb's influence--and her crucial role in the story of women's rights in the United States. "I know that a mother's advice is always safest for her boy to follow,"  he explained, "and my mother wanted me to vote for ratification."

(Reprinted from History in the Headlines)

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Apple Butter

AppleJack and me have been making AppleButter--three dozen half pints and counting!  The last of the apples were peeled, cored, cooked and canned this morning.  Making AppleButter is one of our favorite fall activities.  It begins with a trip to one of the local apple orchards and selecting just the right variety of apple.  Grandmother Bessie selected what she called a cooking apple--tart and firm.  Her apple variety of choice was a Winesap, AppleJack's variety of choice is an Arkansas Black, I'm happy with either one.

My recipe for making AppleButter comes from a publication from the Agricultural Extension Service of The University of Tennessee/Knoxville first printed in June 1914 and reprinted in 1981.  Yes, it has been around a few years and is tried and proven true.

  • Wash fruit, remove stems and blossom ends and cut in quarters.  Add one third to one half as much water as fruit.  Cook apples until soft.  Put through a colander, food mill or sieve.
  • Combine pulp with sugar, using 2 cups pulp to 1 cup sugar.  Add spices as desired.  Cook mixture slowly, stirring frequently until thick--about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  • Pour hot apple mixture into hot jars leaving 1/2 inch head space.  Adjust caps and process in boiling water bath.  Pint size jars should stay in the hot water bath for ten minutes.
Making AppleButter was also one of Grandmother Bessie's favorite things to do.  AppleButter was made in the fall of the year in the mountains, the temperatures would have been cool.  Making AppleButter was a community activity--the women gathered together, brought a pot luck dish to share for lunch, worked together and shared their bounty.  I cook my AppleButter in the stove, Grandmother Bessie and her community built a fire and cooked the AppleButter in a huge iron kettle!  Cooking and stirring the apple mixture was an all day job and I am sure it gave the women an opportunity to visit.  Grandmother Bessie and Great Grandmother Sarah Miranda liked their AppleButter thick--"it has been cooked enough when it will stand a spoon" declared Sarah Miranda.  We don't cook ours this long--long enough to spread on a piece of toast or biscuit is long enough for us.  

We share the AppleButter with neighbors and friends.  It is given as gifts at Christmas time, stitch ins, and hostess gifts.  If we ate all the AppleButter we have made we would look like Porky Pig!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Looking ahead, looking behind

As a new week begins, I once again find myself asking "what have you accomplished?"

  • With an abundance of rain comes an abundance of weeds.  I think I have pulled a semi truck load of weeds from the garden this year.  
  • AppleJack made his first stop at the apple orchard on Saturday and purchased a bushel of apples to make apple butter.  We made twenty four half pints on Saturday using about one half of the apples.  The remaining apples will be peeled and cooked this week and the fruits of our labor will be given away as gifts to friends.
  • With cooling temps and September knocking on my door, I am making the transition from summer decorations to fall decorations.  Time passes so quickly, the summer of 2013 was a fast one.
  • The St. Charles Needlework Market is August 24-25!  Am beginning to see some of the highly anticipated releases, my shopping list is growing!
  • Am teaching a class at CCA called Bad Girls of the Bible.  To teach is to learn twice.
  • The long arm quilter called and I picked up the four quilts she had quilted for me--three miniatures and one twin size.  Bindings are in process.  The new season of Duck Dynasty starts Wednesday and duck watching and bindings seems like a good combination.
  • The red/white/blue HST quilt is still growing--another eight rows are being added.  Whew!  Will this quilt ever be completed?
  • A 400 mile road trip to visit family
  • Received my pre packet volunteer information for the 25th Festival of Books.  Finished reading Thomas Jefferson:  The Art of Power by Jon Meacham who will be one of the authors at the festival.
  • Stopped by the LNS to pick up the fibers for a Bee's Blessing:  Burlap, Pecan Pie and Schneckley.  Visited with a friend whose husband who is having cardiac challenges.
  • As summer is coming to an end, the Garden Centers are reducing their inventory to half price and this gardener cannot resist a garden center or good sale.
  • Drooling over the latest issue of A Primitive Place magazine and wanting to rearrange every piece of furniture.
  • Finding a charm pack of wool and needle flannels by Primitive Gatherings at Little Blessings quilt shop.
  • Enjoying garden fresh okra, green beans, and and tomatoes from the Farmer's Market.
  • Registering for the Three Bags Full rug hooking class in November
  • Hair cut!!!!!
  • Writing a letter to a friend.  Yes, cursive and mailed with a stamp.
Another busy week ahead--high hopes of marking some items off my to do list and adding them to them done list.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Liberty Hill School Girl Workebox

Liberty Hill
School Girl Workebox

The school bells started ringing in Music City last week.  Summer is coming to a close and its time for reading, writing, and arithmetic.  (Grandmother Bessie would have called them the three R's).  Music City stopped teaching cursive writing two years ago and I'm sure arithmetic is called something different.  Carolyn (Liberty Hill) has scored another hit with her school girl box--she named it Elizabeth.  Dear Great Great Grandmother Elizabeth would have been so proud to have a needlebox like this one.

And if painting Elizabeth on the outside wasn't enough goodness, Lancaster County painted on the inside.

Thank you Carolyn (Liberty Hill) it is going to be a good school year!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Working on my PhD (s)

To be clear, I am not working on my Doctor of Philosophy, I am working on my Projects Half Done.  Some people call unfinished projects UFO's, PhD's has such a nice sound.  With all the quilting and fabric pulling my sewing room looks like a hurricane touched down.  While doing some damage control aka house cleaning, I kept coming across PhD's.  In no particular order, here are the PhD candidates:

Christmas at Hollyberry Farm (The Christmas sampler gets a few stitches added each day)

Hannah Hope aka Hannah P Sharp
R & R 
(Poor Hannah, she has been a candidate for years.  I stopped working on Hannah when I reached the over one stitching and recharting from Hannah Hope to Hannah Sharp)

Ewe Alone
114th exemplary by Sheepish Designs
(I decided to stitch the sampler in silks instead of DMC's and changed all the colors, back to the coloring box for more colors.)

In The Garden
La D Da
(Poor Adam, he looks like he is suffering from a Vitamin D deficiency)

Adam and Eve
by the Marking Sampler
Remember the Ladies
(The tree reminds me of a telescope)

Bargello Sewing Case
Barbara Jackson
Cross Stitch Sampler Magazine
(On those queen stitches)

Two Red Houses
Little House Needleworks
(There is a reason it is called counted cross stitch)

My plan for completing my PhD's:  stitch every day, work on the most completed project first, and fight the urge to start a new project.