Yearly Archives: 2010


It was planned today that I would post for Kaffe Fassett’s Blog Tour. I have been carrying Kaffe Fassett’s Simple Shapes Spectacular Quilts around with me for the last few weeks. And I have been thinking about Kaffe, about the book, taking in the photos, thinking about how cleverly the geometries work together and about how Kaffe draws inspiration so flawlessly from nature and then shares it so easily.

Saturday at Textile Fabrics, I looked at bolts of his fabrics, spoke with the (amazingly knowledgeable) staff about the fabrics and pondered what I wanted to write about Kaffe and his full body of work while outside it rained and rained and rained.

Yesterday morning, it was still raining and I sat and wanted to write about Kaffe but could only think about all the folks in Nashville who were not as lucky in that moment.

While I thought yesterday morning that my car – sitting in the front parking lot of Textile Fabrics – was 5 foot underwater. Now, I know that my car is safe and dry – as was I. But there are so many people in Nashville who are not safe and have, in fact, lost so much…

So, I think that Kaffe – with his respect and love for nature – would appreciate that I postpone my real blog post about his book until later in the week and dedicate this day to the lovely folks of Nashville who need all of our good wishes for the next days as they begin to pick up the pieces that water has displaced.

I am home now but my thoughts are for my friends in Nashville. Traci will be hanging her flooded quilt-tops out on the line this morning. I think that perhaps it will look a bit like the photograph of Kaffe’s quilts above.

May the sun shine on Nashville today.


Nashville Sunday morning and Mother Nature has a grip on the city. The storm moves through – and through again.
There are now rivers where once there was nothing. Roads are flooded, families are moved from their homes and we sit here watching the rain and lightening while listening to Patti Griffin: Downtown Church. Feels just like church.
Thanks to Traci, I am headed to the Ryman Auditorium on June 15th to see Patty play. I can hardly breathe. I have not been to the Ryman since the last time the Opry played there in 1974 – while my grandfather and grandmother Perkins swayed in the pews.

Sunday morning indeed: Patti Griffin: Downtown Church


My Gram Perkins loved to crochet (aside from making bread, canning, gardening, raising kids, and sewing). On those rare days growing up when I was sick and got to skip school, I would stay with my Gram Perkins. Curled up on her couch underneath one of her beautiful hand-made afghans, I would lay there with my fingers twirling her fine crochet stitches. As I would twirl and dream, she would bring a constant supply of freshly peeled oranges from Florida, cut-up peaches from Alabama or any other fruit she had on hand. To this day, those moments on her couch hold some of my fondest memories – being sick, underneath an afghan, eating oranges and in the nurture of my grandmother.

When I opened Norah Gaughan’s Comfort Knitting & Crochet: Afghans, I felt transported to my Gran Perkins’ world. Continue reading


Thank you to everyone who braved the weather and joined us for our Open House, Sample Sale and Earth Day Celebration over the weekend. (And to Butch and Robert Rausch for playing along…) It was lovely to open our studio and the event was so successful that we decided to go ahead and plan for next year… Mark your calendar & plan your trip:
Alabama Chanin
8th Annual Open House & Sample Sale
April 29 & 30, 2011.
We have also added Two-Hour Workshops to both our Events and to the Open House next year. The seating is limited for each session so register early. We also have a range of these new Two-Hour Workshops coming soon:

May 1st and 2nd @ Textile Fabrics in Nashville

May 8th @ Barneys in Chicago

May 14th @ Purl Soho in New York City

June 12th @ Warehouse Row in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Contact us for more information.

My son Zach cooked for us at our Open House over the weekend. I asked him to write up his recipe for Pimento Cheese since we had so many folks rave about his special blend. I have always prided myself as a good cook but I believe that Zach has surpassed me.

Lovely when your children do you one-up…

Zach’s Pimento Cheese

3 cups shredded Hoop or Sharp Cheddar Cheese (about one large block)
9-10 squirts of Tabasco (Or as you see fit)
1/4 cup Roasted Red Peppers diced
2 tablespoon Prepared Horseradish
1 1/2 tablespoon Lemon or Lime juice
1/2 cup Aioli or Mayo made from olive oil
Fresh Herbs fine chop (Oregano, Thyme, Rosemary, Parsley)
Salt n Pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and stir vigorously.  If too spicy add another tablespoon of Aioli.  If not spicy enough, add more Tabasco.  You may want to find some of the different styles of Tabasco such as Chipotle or my favorite, the Roasted Garlic style.  Enjoy!!

If you have another great Pimento Cheese recipe, please share it with us in the comments below!


Celebrate – verb:

To observe (a day) or commemorate (an event) with ceremonies or festivities:
Today we celebrate Earth Day and the joy of life.

To make known publicly; proclaim:
The newspaper celebrated the beauty of her life.

To perform with appropriate rites and ceremonies; solemnize:

We will celebrate the light that her life brought to Earth.

While today we begin our Earth Day Celebration @ The Factory, it is a mixed blessing as Tuesday of this week our friend, mentor and local hero Marigail Mathis passed away.    While this is a sad time for all of us, Marigail was the kind of person who made life worth celebrating.  Her vision, joy, enthusiasm, support, laughter and kindred spirit will be sorely missed in my life; however, what she has given to me – through her friendship – will be celebrated eternally.

Celebrate the life of someone you love today.


I lived in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina for almost 10 years of my life. In fact, I lived at one time or the other in just about every one of the cities and my son, Zach, was born 28 years ago when I lived in Durham.

Shortly before Zach’s arrival and in teenage rebellion style, I left Alabama at 18 with my best friend (and a whim) heading towards Chapel Hill. Our first house in the area – rented for $50 a month -  was in the middle of a tobacco field and you could literally see the sunset through the kitchen wall. I remember telling my mother, “This is paradise.”  The memories of that first summer still make me laugh but at the arrival of winter, I found more suitable “paradise” where the heat from the wood stove actually warmed the house.

However, I can still smell the rows of tobacco being worked by migrant farmers that drifted through those walls. And from time to time, I feel the sense of driving down the streets of Durham with the overwhelming smell of tobacco infusing the entire community.

How lovely to read this article today in the New York Times about how the greater Durham/RTI community has been able to make the leap from traditional (and chemical ridden) tobacco farming to sustainable local cuisine. I especially love the story of Neal’s Deli where the son of famed chef Bill Neal carries on the family tradition.

It is heartening to think that the fields on the outskirts of our little town may one day be bountiful again.

*Photograph by Travis Dove for The New York Times


California to Oregon and back to Alabama again. The travels, the people, the trees, the forests and the ocean were amazing. But then again, there is no place like home.

Thank you to everyone at RedBird for making us feel at home, the Edible Schoolyard (coming to Alabama soon!) for hosting us, Alice Waters and all the folks at Chez Panisse, Chef Bruce Hill and the great staff at Picco’s, Marci and the whole staff of Powell’s Books for their beautiful exhibition of our Textile Stories Quilts and support of Alabama Studio Style, everyone at Mario’s Portland, JP and all the great students at Pacific Northwest College of Art and Oregon College of Arts and Crafts, Jack and everyone at the ACE Hotel in Portland, our great supporters in Berkeley and Portland and a slew of others who helped along the way and made us laugh… 

(Special thanks go out to Sally whose beautiful little purse – filled with goodies – gave Maggie a joy that got us home with smiles and busy little fingers!)

Luckily, nothing stops around here and we are getting ready for all of the great events starting this Thursday for Earth Day 2010 and our Annual Open House and Sample Sale starting on Friday.

Plan to join us!



Thank you to the amazing Penelope Greene and all the folks at the New York Times for the lovely piece about Butch, the Woods of Wonder and the Doo Nanny.

I love this picture of Maggie jumping on the bed:

And thank you to Robert Rausch for the lovely images of my family.

Don’t miss Robert’s pictures here.