Saturday, September 29, 2012

Harvest Moon

                                                             Photo by Dan Bush

The harvest moon shows up tonight.  The full moon closest to the autumnal equinox, it is said that the moon's light is so bright that it helps farmers extend their working day to gather their harvest.

I see the moon,
          the moon sees me.
                       God bless the moon,
                                       and God bless me.

Have a joyful weekend!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Fifty Years Later

On September 25, 1962, Loretta Lynn became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. On Tuesday night, fifty years later, we all celebrated.

One doesn't have to be a fan of her music to appreciate this gutsy lady's rags to riches story.

This is her beautiful home in Tennessee--a little different than the one where she lived with her family in Butcher Holler.

My daddy always loved her, but he called her Roletta instead of Loretta.  She probably didn't mind.

Congratulations to this strong, talented woman.  I hope she keeps singing many, many more years.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

African Quilt/Wallhanging

Here is the complete view of the wall hanging that was at the fair last week.  I love making these art quilts, and it is not that hard after you make a few.  I never use a pattern for my art quilts.

The first thing you have to do is see it in your mind.  I have made several using sunrise or sundown as the theme.  The most important thing is to start with some really beautiful background fabric.  Most like this will range from $10 to $14 dollars a yard.  I used less than half a yard on this one.

I had the elephant template that I had used on a baby quilt years ago.  The elephants are the same except for size.  You can do amazing things with a copy machine these days.  The giraffe came from another project, and the tree I drew freehand.  Using WonderUnder, I made the animals and tree, then ironed it to black fabric.

After the items are cut out, place on your background fabric carefully and pin them where they need to go.  It is easy to reposition them now, but once you iron them on, they are there to stay.

I machine appliqued the animals and tree on the background fabric.  After you finish this, press really well and trim the edges to make it perfectly square or rectangular.

You can use any pattern you want for the border, but I thought these hourglass blocks went well with this quilt.  See the blue border between the background fabric and the hourglass blocks?  Make it so your border blocks will fit.  This border can be as wide or narrow as you want it to be.

Add an outside border.  The top is done and ready to be quilted.  Make your quilt sandwich (top, batting, and backing) and pin together well.  I chose to machine quilt the center so it would look like the rays of the setting sun.  The borders and blocks were quilted 'in the ditch'.   When the quilting is done, use bias binding to finish the quilt.

So does that sound easy enough?  Does it sound a little challenging?  If so, this quilt is for sale.  Email me at

Friday, September 21, 2012

Folklife Friday: Come to the Fair

I always try to attend the county fair, but it isn't nearly as exciting as it used to be.

Some brave leaders at the elementary school I attended would bus all the students who wanted to go into town for the "School Day at the Fair".  We always went with our dollar which would last all day because rides were ten cents and most of the day was spent standing in line.  You had to be careful not to be tempted by the heart-shaped jewelry which was lovely but cost 25 cents and that could really eat into your ride budget.

Our parents warned us about the people who worked at the fair, the ones with tattoos and cigarettes, because they thought just working at the fair made you dishonest.   Watch them, they said.  One year, we even heard about a girl my family knew who fell in love with the merry-go-round operator and left town with him when the fair ended. That was the last we heard from her!

Back then, I was shy, although I know some of you find that hard to believe.  A cute fellow, who was also shy, asked me to ride the Scrambler with him.  It is hard to know which side of the car to sit on, because neither of them is all that great.  After the ride started going real good, I was practically in his lap and red with embarrassment.  Lesson learned. Pick your Scrambler partner wisely.

Nowadays, I love all the exhibits and animal shows.  Back then, the exhibit buildings were just a place to use the bathroom.

These fine animals were getting ready for  the mule show.

I know it is blurry, but that's my granddaughter on the right.  My thrill of riding has been replaced by instinct to protect mature bones and body parts.

Even the moon showed up.

I can't find a scriptural reference, but I'm pretty sure it must be a sin to go to the fair and not have a corn dog.  We had a corn dog, and Hub bought these lovelies called Fried Oreos.  Interesting. They were real good, but I think my eyes crossed from the sugar and fat.

Still pretty after all these years. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

North Alabama State Fair

Y'all know that I try to take quilts to the fair every year. Here are some of the ones that won after the judging on Tuesday.

There is very limited space to exhibit at the fairgrounds, so this wall hanging is are only seeing a fourth of it.

Some of you will remember that hummingbird fabric in the center.  It only took me two years to get it in a quilt.

Machine quilted scrap quilt.  This one won third place, but there was lots of competition.  This is the most popular category.

Machine quilted appliqued falling leaves. 

Again, this is only one fourth of the quilt.  Hand quilted crib quilt.

I didn't enter any canning items this year, but I love seeing all the winners.  It looks like a huge, beautiful pantry.

The fair will be here until Sunday night.  Local peeps, you still have plenty of time to check this out!

Monday, September 17, 2012

100 miles or less: Rattlesnake Saloon

The Rattlesnake Saloon was opened on Labor Day, 2009.  Dining there is an unique experience.

It is way out in the boonies in Colbert County, Alabama.  It is hard to get to, even for locals, but they have had visitors from all over the United States and many countries throughout the world.

Sitting comfortably under the huge rock overhang, I couldn't help but think about the people who have sought shelter there from storms or heat.  I can imagine the Native Americans using this place for a meeting area or a dry place to camp for a while.  Not so many years ago, it was used as a pig pen.

They have good food and live music and a hitching post if you want to ride your horse there.  Most of us were picked up in a pickup, called the "Saloon Taxi", that runs from the parking lot to the restaurant continuously while they are open.

The Rattlesnake Saloon is aptly named.  During construction, workers unearthed a mother rattler with twelve babies.  We didn't see any live ones while we were there, but this fellow welcomed us.

It looks like an old west saloon, with swinging bat doors and this fellow gracing the building.

The notorious G-Man gets ready to face the sheriff outside.  Is it High Noon yet?

There is additional seating on the rock ledge above the restaurant.  Some call it the "lovebird" section.  Be prepared to climb a lot of steps if you want to eat there.

This may be the most unusual place I have ever dined.  Definitely worth a visit, regardless of where you live.

Have some snake-eyes while you're there.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Finding the Beauty

Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God's handwriting.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
The love of beauty in its multiple forms is the noblest gift of the human cerebrum.
                                                                       ~Alexis Carrel

Keep your faith in all beautiful things; in the sun when it is hidden, in the Spring when it is gone.
~Roy R. Gilson

A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

There is beauty everywhere.  We just have to open our eyes, open our minds, and open our hearts to see it.