Saturday, October 17, 2009

Ain't No Sunshine Where She's Gone . . .

Yes, I know--this photo isn't exactly consistent with my title. But this is what the Moon Creek Farm would have looked like if I had been there on a pretty day. Photoshop made it just right for a picnic!

I have been looking forward to returning to Eastern Tennessee for quite some time. I keep planning trips, but each time I am slated to go, it rains. This time, I was joining a group for a bus tour, as I wanted to document that experience. Roy Settle, who heads up the quilt trail in the area, had been kind enough to reserve a spot for me, so off I went.

It didn't pour--just a bit of drizzle off and on, so the day was a success. The tour started in downtown Greeneville, TN, where a park ranger played the role of President Andrew Johnson, who was a resident of the area. He regaled us with stories of "his" youth and time in Greeneville. I didn't know the president had been a tailor; a story was told about his having made a quilt for the mother of a gal he wanted to marry. Apparently, it didn't work out, but still--it was a cute quilt story!

Downtown Greeneville is just beautiful--lots of restoration and preservation of historic buildings. We saw a couple of quilt blocks there and then boarded the bus.

Speaking of cute quilt stories, Mary Grace, the tour guide on the bus is such a great storyteller--both of quilt lore and family stories. We hardly noticed when the bus headed down a road that was about a lane and a half wide!

First stop was the farm where Samantha Blankenship raised chickens for her 4-H project. That's her upper right with her mom, the quilt made for Samantha by a family member, and the quilt block made by kids at an elementary school.

That's one of the things--wait I mean two of the things--I love about this particular quilt trail. One is that a lot of schools have been involved in painting the quilts. The other is that many of the quilt blocks correspond to an actual quilt.

On their are many photos of barn owners with their quilts. You will also see that a wide variety of community groups participated in the project. And hey--while you're there, buy a couple of raffle tickets for that gorgeous quilt! It's a great fundraiser, and although I have already bought the winning tickets, by all means, try and prove me wrong!

Back to the bus--there really was something for everyone. Barn owners brought out quilts (on the bus if it was drizzling, outside if not)--which were much admired.

Everyone got out to ask questions at the Rural Resources farm; I missed the talk because I was busy taking photos and then got suckered into this goofy photo op by Barbara Webster. Yeah, that's me. Why couldn't I be the flower?

Our final stop was the Walnut Ridge Llama farm, where the beautiful Maple Leaf quilt was brought out for show and tell, and the llamas were the hit of the day. I bought a pair of llama fiber gloves; I never buy souvenirs, but just this once.

After the tour and lunch, I headed over to Roy Settle's office and looked through his photo files for a bit. The entire time, I kept thinking,"Hey--an early day. The football game starts at 3:30; you can watch at least the second half." I wanted to make sure I looked through all of the photos but really did want to get to my room and kick back for some Gator time.

I finished up, got to the motel, got good and comfy, and then realized SIGH. It was Friday.


  1. Hi, Suzy! I just discovered your blog. It's great! The pictures are really inspiring and I'll tell the potential barn quilt owners in Missouri to check it out! I know of 15 barn quilts in our state now, and I hope we'll have another 10 in our county next year. This is a great project and lots of people are excited about it. Thanks for everything you're doing!

    Margot McMillen in Callaway County, MO

  2. Hi Margot! SO glad that you are enjoying the blog. I do need to get back in touch and catch up with the goings on in MO.

  3. Great photos & stories... how's the book comin'?


  4. Getting there--this was my last trip except for Southen Ohio to wrap up with folks there. I have far too much information, though--could have done a series, I think!

    I hope you are doing well with your new ventures.