Saturday, November 17, 2012

Cotton and Sacks

I went to my semi-annual quilting retreat near Birmingham last weekend and had a ball!  Not a single one of us wanted to come home when Sunday arrived.  We are already planning and making reservations for the next one in April. 

On the way up, I stopped at a cotton field in southern Alabama and took pictures.  There appears to be a bumper crop of cotton in this area this year, and the fields are hanging white -- some more than others -- but all showing great harvests. 
Although cotton was grown on our farm when I was growing up, it has been a long time since I've been close to it.  I've actually pulled my picksack and picked cotton by hand.  Thankfully, I was young and Daddy decided to discontinue cotton growing before I got big enough to be really expected to pick much!  Hand picking cotton is not a fun task and neither is chopping cotton in the spring.  

Since I'm a quilter, I thought it would be interesting to show what cotton looks like in the field just before picking.  Remember that this field has been chemically defoliated prior to machine picking, so it doesn't look like this for a long time.  Cotton has lush, beautiful green leaves up to this time. 

Cotton is just one of several important crops grown in the northern part of the county where I live, along with peanuts, corn and soybeans.  Most people think only of amusement parks when they think of Florida when in reality they are only a minuscule part of the state.  There are billions of dollars of agriculture in the state.  

With the holidays sneaking ever closer, I decided that I'd just do a fall setting for my dining room table.  We never use the room but at least it looks festive. 
I bought the fabric pumpkins last year at the heritage festival, along with the turned wooden vase made of pecan wood.  You can't see much of it, but it is a gorgeous piece of artwork. 

I've lusted after European grain sacks for years and never found one that was in really good condition and that was priced right.   Until a couple of weeks ago. 
It is very large and now I'm having difficulties figuring out what to do with it.  I'm thinking a couple of pillows with some sort of applique on them.  Any ideas?  
Look at that lovely texture and that faded red stripe on the cloudy white sack. 

Y'all take care.  


  1. I love the look of cotton fields like that. I didn't realize they grew so much of it in Florida, interesting. No suggestions for the sacks, but have to say, good score!

  2. That is SO interesting about cotton - I didn't know any of the facts you shared - neat! Wonderful old grain sack (and in such perfect condition too). Pillows sound perfect - and perhaps 'old style' stencils for decorating detail?
    PS love the fabric pumpkins and arrangment - really pretty!
    Hugs, Issy

  3. Love your photos of the cotton fields. And as for that grain sack, I have a couple of pillows of similar material.