Saturday, January 26, 2013

Coonhound Heaven

My friend Terry and I became buddies about 20 years ago, sharing a common interest of horses and art. Since she retired, she has gone to the dogs, showing her beautiful collies and shetland sheepdog. She has taken me to Kentucky to see one dog herd sheep, to various towns and states to see her show her conformation dog, and to hospitals and schools where her therapy dog works miracles daily.

Just for fun she has taken me to a miniature horse sale where I almost bought a mini donkey whose ears were longer than its legs.  We've been to 4-H horse shows, and I took her to the Dixie National Quarter Horse Show in Jackson.  I am a Quarter Horse person, and she is not. But she liked the free-style reining.

Today tops it all. We went to a National UKC Coonhound Winter Classic at the Batesville Civic Center.  Thank goodness she didn't want me to go to the night hunts last night.  I don't do cold and wet in the dark.

So today we joined the other thousands of visitors to the event.  We really went to see her friend Sabrina show her Redbone Hounds.  This was the bench show where the dogs are judged on their conformation. See photo below and right.

While there we walked around looking at the vendors. I've been to a lot of dog and horse shows where there were vendors' booths. But just look at the floor of this arena.  Vendors showed off their wares which included every kind of night head gear, tracking devices, dog food, collars and yes, even a booth of camouflage lingerie trimmed in pink lace.  No thanks.  People were standing in line to have their dog's 10-minute pencil portrait drawn.

Well, I'm glad I've been, but don't know if I want to go back.  The next adventure for us may be my idea to visit a labrador training facility in the area.   Life is good!

One of the exhibitors gets a hug from an affectionate Treeing Walker Coonhound.

For more information visit one of my favorite community newspapers, The Panolian, for this article.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Wrapped in Memories

Today I finished binding my Pineapple quilt. This was one of our Loose Threads projects that we started back in the summer. If any of you outlive me, you will see it again, on my casket.

Last summer when my Aunt Dorothy, a noted quilter, died, we placed one of her beautiful quilts on her casket. It was absolutely breathtaking.

Why this particular quilt for me?  Each block is a little package of memories.  When I make a quilt, I put the scraps that are big enough to use for something else in a ziplock bag and throw them in a big plastic tub.  When we were assigned this quilt, it was supposed to be "scrappy" meaning that it should be made of completely random fabric scraps.  As usual, I didn't exactly follow the rules.

I went to my little bags of fabric and found that I could make blocks that looked little mini-quilts from the project they were a part of. One block contains reproduction Civil War fabric and a vintage scrap dating to around 1900 that was part of my vintage quilt restoration.

Blocks can be found that came from my granddaughters quilts, from a project my daughters and her friends did this summer for their friend who was battling breast cancer.

Some came from material used to make table runners that I gave for Christmas one year.  The reds and blacks came from Jason and Janice's Ginger Jar quilt, and other came from Hayley and Olivia's quilts.

Many blocks are based on color and contain a little of all my scraps.

If the blocks didn't represent a quilt, they produced a memory. My friend Terry lets me accompany her on dog show trips, almost always conveniently located near quilt shops.

Some of the beautiful batiks came from a shops in Corinth, Miss., and Jackson, Tenn. The pink used in the cornerstones came from a unique fabric place in Franklin, Tenn., and much of it came from our own little shop in Senatobia—Cotton Treasures.

Thanks Chantay Rhone for the beautiful quilting in stunning melon-colored thread in the Van Gogh pattern.  If you look closely you can almost see his distinctive swirly shapes of his famous Starry Night painting. Fellow quilter Genell Clayton pushed us out of comfort zones to do this pattern from Gyleen Fitzgerald's Trash to Treasure book.

So when my bluegrass friends sing, "I'll Fly Away" at my funeral (I hope it is a long way off!) I'll be wrapped in the memories.