Thursday, April 14, 2011


When I was in Iuka recently, my friend Bren and I went to Booneville via Highway 30, and along the route (our old Northeast MS Community College route), just west of a little town called Paden, is a quilt shop. I say shop...  The quilts have taken over Mr. Claude Wilemon's home.  It's not only his residence, but his studio, fabric store and showcase of some of the most beautiful quilts he has designed. He doesn't make them, but designs them and has an artist's eye for just the right combinations of fabrics. Bren said he is in his 80's and has operated this business for 43 years. People come from afar to see his designs. Not only does he have hundreds of quilts, but fabrics for sale, collections of Depression glass (I don't think for sale), and handcrafted headboards to display the works of art. He designs and cuts the kits and others do the piecing and quilting. I'm not sure how the transactions/commissions work between him and the craftsmen/women, but the prices rangefrom $200 to $600.


I don't make quilts - at least I haven't yet - except one when I was in high school, pieced from scraps from the shirt factory and about 3 feet square - I dream about them and love them. I love the patience of the women (and men) who make them, the creativity, the heritage, fellowship and stories that go with them. I have one of my sister's that I hope to finish for her - she started it over 30 years ago in England. And I bought a kit from Quilting by the Bay when I visited her last fall in Panama City.  Maybe soon I'll get started...

Paul set out four hostas at the Iuka house that came from our yard, but were first grown in Mama's yard. They're along the slope that goes down into the Low Garden at the Iuka house. Today when I got home from an errand, on the carport were two flat boxes of hostas - probably three times as many as we dug up from our own yard a couple of weeks ago - the ones that went to MS.  He dug up, I mean.  When he got home this afternoon, he asked me if I saw the prize he brought me. I had not idea where they'd come from! The hostas at City Hall had to be thinned out, as all occasionally do, and he brought some home. So we gathered up old flower pots once again and I divided - literally cut the roots with a butcher knife, they were so thick - and had twelve assorted sized pots of hostas.  I have chosen a place for them already - bordering the turn-around at Iuka house. Now to completely complement them there will need to be at least three and maybe five azaleas behind the hostas. I'm sitting on a rolling garden stool that is indispensable not only for gardening but other near-ground-level chores.

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