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I Love Fall Most Of All

Fall brings memories of falling leaves, racking a jumping in leaves, hot apple cider, carving pumpkins, and carefree days on the farm when harvest was winding down. Fall offers something for everyone! My granddaughter, the one who is the tween, loves these crisp cool mornings which allow her to wear her favorite hoodie and leggings. Can you imagine awakening each day to the hills showing off their vibrant fall colors? Later in the day as the fog lifts and the sun is just at the correct angle, the reflection of the beautiful hills can also be viewed on the cool still waters of Cordell Hull Lake. This view has been putting a smile on my face for decades. No reason to drive three hours east to view fall colors, the hills of Granville are a patchwork of color.

The natural beauty would be enough but there is more, fall is a busy time in Granville. Historic Granville hosts the Fall Festival, the first Saturday in October, October 2, 2021. A part of this day is the Scarecrow Festival where the scarecrows outnumber the residents in Granville, creative scarecrows and fall decor line the streets. The Craftsmen are busy in Pioneer Village demonstrating old-time crafts and selling one-of-a-kind original works of art.

The Ralph Maddux Motorcycle Show pays tribute to a Granville resident who loved motorcycles and owned the first Harley Davidson Shop between Nashville and Knoxville. Ralph was riding the curves on Highway 96, down Martin Creek, long before maps included this route on motorcycle rides. Come see the beautiful bikes.

But what I really want to do is tell you about the Granville Quilt Festival and the Granville Jazz Festival which are also a part of this season.

A Weighted Blanket Created with Beautiful Quilts

I recall cold winter nights at my grandparents' house, standing in front of the roaring fire in the big rock fireplace before running upstairs and jumping into bed. To compensate for the fact that there was no heat upstairs, the bed was covered with stacks of quilts. The weight from the number of quilts made turning over in bed a challenge but kept us warm and cozy. Years later my grandson requested a weighted blanket for Christmas. I smiled recalling my own childhood weighted blanket created by beautiful family quilts, as I searched Amazon for his gift.

Who among us, fortunate to have a quilter in the family, has not contemplated a work of art that not only kept us warm but fascinated us with color and form? Perhaps we recognized a piece of fabric from a favorite dress of our own. The quilt may have been from a previous generation and caused us to wonder about the relative who made it. Where did she live? What was she like? What inspired her to take fabric from worn clothing, flour and feed sacks, even strips of rags and turn them into useful ornamental works of art?

Over the centuries, quilts have been designed and created with love for babies, brides, children and grandchildren; even for soldiers who shivered on their cots, far from home frightened and alone. Quilts were hung over doorways and windows to keep out the cold. On the journey West, the pioneers used them as cushions on hard wagon seats and as insulation for their covered wagons. When it became necessary, quilts were used as shrouds to bury loved ones along the trail. Quilts were reminders of journeys and arrivals in new places, of comfort and warmth, of memories left behind and newly made. In no other medium do we find an ongoing visual testimony to the women of this nation who have passed down an art form that has endured with its imagination and beauty.

Quilts for storage of information prior to iCloud

Before the days of iCloud and USB storage of information, the family Bible or quilts were used to record important dates and events. These signature quilts contained multiple hand-embroidered names and dates. Women made these quilts to commemorate births, marriages, deaths, and other momentous events. Signature quilts with a collection of community names were central to raising funds for schools and churches. Women would sell a place on the quilt for 10 cents and embroider the name. After enough signatures were collected, the quilt was raffled off. Examples of both type signature quilts may be viewed at Sutton Homestead.


For the Love of Quilts

by Janie Elizabeth Pedigo Phillips

As much as I would love to say that I am a quilter, I am not. That’s not to say that I haven’t quilted before; but my true love is collecting antique quilts. This great love started when I was a child. My Ma Pinegar (my maternal grandmother Nola Lee Young Pinegar), gave me a beautiful flower of the month quilt which she had lovingly embroidered with 12 different flowers representing each month of the year. She embroidered the date she gave it to me so that it would be a forever keepsake of my birthday.

Ma Pinegar was not the only quilter that inspired my quilt love. Grandmother Lula Jane Hayes Pedigo (paternal grandmother) also quilted, and I have several of her quilts in my collection. Perhaps the thing that really touched my soul was a quilt I got after the death of my great Aunt Berchie Barbara Hayes.

She died at the ripe old age of 101 (never married) and had kept everything she (and her parents) ever had...or so it seemed. Her daddy (my great granddaddy Jimmy Hayes) was born in the 1800’s right after the civil war and slept on a tiny twin size bed (we referred to it as Papa’s bed.) After taking care of both her mom and dad till their deaths, Aunt Berchie slept in Papa’s little bed for many years. After her death, I found a beautiful Star quilt that had been cut to fit that little bed of his. No doubt that my great-great grandmother, Elizabeth Hayes, made this for her little Jimmy.

Today, I am the grateful owner of Papa’s bed and that beautiful old quilt that was cut to fit. It is my hope that my love for quilts will be passed on to my grandchildren Addi and Judah. Judah will get Papa’s old bed and quilt if he wants it, and I bought an antique pink and white quilt for my little 1 yr. old Addi to use on her own bed someday.

Passed from generation to generation

Having directed Granville Quilt Festival for 20 years, I have heard many stories of quilt love like mine. If you are or know of a quilter/quilt lover, please encourage them to enter a quilt. Our event is held at the old Methodist church in Granville, TN the first Saturday of October each year. For more information, go to the website. Entries are taken on the Thursday before the event at various locations across middle TN. Share this with others.....For the Love of Quilts.

Janie Elizabeth Pedigo Phillips

Make plans to enjoy the beautiful quilts on display at the Granville United Methodist Chruch on Saturday, October 2nd, 9AM- 3:30PM. You can view quilts from 27 categories, the best in needlework and artistry, all in one building. Whether you are a quilter or have a love for quilts, this is the place to be. Connect with your past with the vintage patchwork quilts and marvel at the artistry in the modern themed quilts.

To learn more about the Quilt Festival, visit this page.


Play that Music

I recall special events in Granville in the late 1940’s and the 1950’s where men and women gathered under a shade tree to pick and sing. It might start with a couple people and soon there would be seven or eight picking and singing. There were even times that someone performed a flat foot buck dance in the street. People gathered around to encourage them and to be entertained. What an appropriate forerunner to the organized musical presentations in Granville. The fall Festival hosts Jazz on the Cumberland where quality jazz can be enjoyed.

Chris Neeley heads up the Jazz on the Cumberland Festival and shared this with me: "When you think of music in Tennessee, the first things folks call out is country, bluegrass, and maybe even some Appalachian old-time music. In 2004 in the Upper Cumberland the far east corner of Middle TN, I was asked to organize and host a festival to get youth involved who are in school band. I reached out to Carroll Gotcher, Band Director for Jackson County Schools. Carroll said wouldn't it be neat to have a jazz festival. With his guidance and more from Glenn Martin, the Watertown Jazz Festival coordinator, the first Jazz on the Cumberland kicked off without a hitch. It was held in the Granville Veterans Park at the edge of the Cumberland River and Cordell Hull Lake. The first Saturday in October in 2004 was a cold blistery day. The JC Middle/High School Jazz Band performed first. We had two jazz trios, one led by Nashville's Lynn Beal and the other by Glenn Martin. We ended the day with the 129th Army Band of the Tennessee Army National Guard."


Make plans to attend the Fall Festival in Granville on October 2. To maximize your pleasure and reduce your frustration, pick up a schedule when you enter Granville. This schedule will tell you times and locations of all events. The day begins at 9AM, arrive early. Walk the streets and enjoy the Scarecrow Festival, marvel at the beautiful quilts displayed in the Granville United Methodist Church as a part of the Quilt Festival, and check the schedule for times of musical entertainment as a part of Jazz on the Cumberland. Don’t miss the Craftsmen Festival, the Pioneer Village is filled with craftsmen, demonstrating, and selling one-of-a-kind “made in Granville”works of art. The Motorcycle Show is sure to impress, take a look at the beautiful bikes on display.

Food choices are numerous, down-home cooking available at the tent beside Sutton Store, freshly smoked pulled pork, hamburgers, and hot dogs available at the Event Center, and check your schedule for other places serving food.

Need to “sit a spell”, enjoy sitting, people watching, and visiting at one of the many benches located throughout town. All museums, the historical home, and the barns and out buildings are open with guides available.

A fun family fall day in historic Granville on the banks of Cordell Hull Lake, what could be better! There is something for all ages and all interest. Join us, you will not be disappointed.

If you wish to extend your day past 5PM, check at Sutton Store and call 931-653-4151 for availability of seating at the Sutton Ole Time Music Hour.

See you Saturday!

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