Sunday, April 19, 2009

Spring Break

Spring Break--time for a road trip! The faithful hound, Gracie, traveled with me, as I hate to leave her for more than a couple of days. I like to think that it matters to her.

I stopped back into Eastern TN to visit a lovely lady--Marcella Epperson--who welcomed me with a "little snack." Two hours later, after quiche, a congealed salad (always have loved 'em) and an ice cream sundae, she showed me the beautiful quilts handed down from her mother, including the one painted on her barn. What a nice visit.

Off the next day in the cold to the Knoxville area, where I visited a farm founded in 1825, where two sisters--one 92, and the "baby" at 88--took turns telling tales of the old days and pored over the family Bible to get it all just right. The weather was crazy--sunshine and snow at the same time!

Finally on to Georgetown and Stamping Ground, KY to see the Buffalo Gals' trail. The folks in the area are so welcoming. The Landrys, who are at the heart of this project call themselves "elderly," but everyone knows that 70 is the new 50! And any man who can hang 100 quilt barns while standing on scaffolding isn't elderly in my book! They set me up with an itinerary and even bought me breakfast at Cracker Barrel. Love me some Cracker Barrel!

OH--and my new friend--the GPS! What did I ever do without that voice?? Honestly, I was amazed at how easy it was. Even tiny rural roads are mapped. Now she did get a little testy whenever I pulled off onto a lane to take a picture--"Turn around. Turn around."
The barns in this area are mostly black, so the quilts really pop out. Over 100 of them, and quite a few with great stories.

Gracie had fun running and chasing pine cones; I got muddy lying in a field of alfalfa trying to get just the right photo. I know it is alfalfa only because when the farmer came out to see about the groundhog in his field (not sure how he came to that conclusion, since my Honda was parked nearby), he told me that's what I was rolling around in.
Whew--we got home tired and ready for some rest. Next trip--North Carolina in a couple of weeks. Stay tuned.

Eastern TN

I visited Eastern Tennessee last month, and in between quilt barn conversations, I found out so much about the rich history of the area. So many farms that have been in the same family for over 100 years! Roy Settle, who directs the quilt trail program there through the RC & D there (That's Resource Conservation and Development, for the unitiated), was so gracious in helping me to find great quilt stories. Most of the quilt barns in the area are reproductions of actual family heirlooms!

I also found out the value of GPS. I had Google mapped my route but then one visit lasted longer than expected, and all of a sudden, I needed to go from stop B to stop E! ( I did call and cancel C and D) OOPS. So I flagged down a couple of local folks who had the gadget attached to the dash; they plugged in the address, and I was off.