If you’re Rhinebeck-bound, we would love to see you at Jill Draper’s studio in Kingston on Saturday night–details here.

Kay Leaves Nashville, Brains Totally Blown

Dear everybody,
A quick red alert to let you know that the Greenville Advocate has written a fantastic profile of Greenville, Alabama’s fabulous quilter and patron saint of Mason-Dixon Knitting: Elmira. Here’s the article–scroll down. Thanks so much to the story’s enterprising reporter, Angie Long.
Kay Gives Up Will to Live, Buys Whiffy Tablecloth, Quits Knitting
Tuesday was a push-the-envelope day that included two big stops on the Tour of Ann’s World. First was an outing to Grundy County so that Kay could see for herself the challenging circumstances under which I was blogging last summer during vacation. (“Wow,” she said. “The low bandwidth. I don’t know how you managed.”)
(To meet our pig ‘n’ lard requirement for the day, we had an encounter with some barbecue and cheese grits that we will never forget. It looks like we can cross EAT LUNCH off the list of things we ever have to do again.)
Second was a spin through the Tailgate Antiques Show out at Opryland. Under normal circumstances either of these would be considered a full day. To combine Grundy County and the Tailgate was to risk having our heads explode from the combination of caffeinated travel and
whiffy old textiles.
After three hours of car knitting, after going through a hundred motel rooms of stuff ranging from Precious Artifact of Domestic Life Circa 1721 to Weird Hank of Flax That Looks Like Human Hair, it appeared that Kay had hit the outer limit of human endurance. “Cannot . . . take it . . . anymore . . . ” she moaned. “Must . . . stop this . . . madness.”
She managed to see clearly enough to recognize a tablecloth that needed to go home with her, but she was listing as we headed back to the Mom Bomb.
Her parting words to me as I deposited her at the Snooze Inn: “I’m giving up knitting. Luv ya.”
PS Here’s the 2004 Creaky/Nonfunctioning Swift of the Year:




  1. I’m home! Airing out that [exceedingly whiffy] tablecloth as we speak! I had a wonderful, dizzy, delicious time, and I’m giving deep thought to the question of whether my true destiny is to be a Nashville Soccer Mom. The story about quiltmaker Elmira Sanders is making me weepy. I had no idea she was 84! How could she be 84?! Quilting: the new wonder drug for longevity, health and happiness. And she has such a great sense of humor (“I have the patience.”) xoxox Kay

  2. Ladies – it was about time that I let you know how much I adore both of you: VERY MUCH.
    I’m still bitter for having been on vacation (the nerve!) when I could have met you both. And Polly.
    The only thing that keeps me going is having met Kay.
    Alright, that’s it, continue on.

  3. Hearing about your day makes me sad that I have to work during the day. I know…Raising America’s Youth, to be sure, but I miss stuff like the Opryland gig.
    Kay, it was such a treat to meet such a nice Yankees fan. I keep thinking of you wool allergies and it makes me sad.

  4. Sounds like it was a glorious meet up with many a memory to hold in your hearts till next time! I really love the article about Elmira. When I saw the pictures of the completed quilt and her I was struck most not by the beautiful quilt that was obviously a work of great skill and expression of artistic interpretation but what struck me most was Elmira and her twinkling eyes filled with love and laughter and knew the quilt you now have in your hands Anne would be much much bigger than you expected because of the love and laughter Elmira will have sewn into its very heart. I also wondered at the time how she managed such beautiful work with arthriticy hands and understood she must be some determined woman. You are fortunate to own the quilt but I suspect more fotunate to have found Elmira in your life I do hope you get to meet each other.

  5. You know, I didn’t quite realise that Elmira had made & quilted your quilt all by hand. Which puts it a whole new category of fabulousness!! It’s nice to read a little more about her too – I hope you get to meet her someday Ann.

  6. A fantastic article about a wonderful,talented woman.I do hope you meet Elmira soon.

  7. And what was the price tag on the UNswift? Sure wish I could’ve joined y’all over there, but I’m still crunching conference & gala deadlines ~

  8. yes! can i rent “the patience”? just for a day?

  9. What a beautiful story – that Elmira is amazing. And how fun to see someone refer to the “world wide web” with such awe! Good reminder not to take this amazing medium for granted.

  10. I loved this article. I’m still wondering whether or not to write the town of Greenville with a “hey! don’t you people realize you should buy your blankets from elmira and not the new superwalmart!” but I’m waffling.
    Thanks for more notes from the road. Calvin Trillin has nothing on you two.

  11. I’m so glad Elmira is getting all this attention!
    The quilt is amazing. The story was adorable.
    I hope Kay is recovering from her life as a soccer mom!

  12. Ann, I do hope you took Kay to see the concrete Parthenon, not to mention the Hall of Fame……
    The Elmira story takes my breath away, and the quilt is quite fantastic.


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