Tennessee was granted statehood in 1796. Interestingly, it was the last state to secede during the Civil War, and the first to be re-admitted to the Union. It stretches from the Appalachian Mountains in the east to the Mississippi River in the west. Geographically it is broken into three “grand divisions", each with its own beauty and sights to see.
|The Great Smoky Mountains|
Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are famous for their beautiful fall scenery and shopping, and you wouldn’t want to miss the Dollywood theme park while you are there. Knoxville hosted the 1982 World’s Fair, and you can still see the Sunsphere, built especially for the World’s Fair as you drive through.
|The Sunsphere in Knoxville, TN|
In 1974 Walter Cronkite designated Knoxville as the “Streaking Capital of the World.” It was in the spring of that year that an estimated 5,000 people on the University of Tennessee’s famous Cumberland Avenue took their clothes off…stripping on the “strip.” The atomic bomb, modern history’s most closely guarded secret, was developed in nearby Oak Ridge.
|The stage at the Grand Ole Opry|
Nashville's Grand Ole Opry is the longest continuously running live radio program in the world. It has broadcast every Friday and Saturday night since 1925. The phrase “good to the last drop” was coined by Theodore Roosevelt at the Maxwell House Hotel in Nashville after he finished a cup of the locally produced coffee they served.
Just down I-24 in Coffee County, Bonnaroo is held each year - a massive music festival attended by tens of thousands each year and boasting a wide variety of styles of music.
|The crowd at Bonnaroo 2013|
Chattanooga, down on the Georgia border, is famous for the world’s steepest passenger railway line and the largest fresh water aquarium in the world.
|The Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanoga|
The Glen Miller Orchestra won the first gold record awarded by the music industry for its recording of The Chattanooga Choo-Choo. Coca-Cola was first bottled in 1899 at a plant on Patten Parkway in downtown Chattanooga after two local attorneys purchased the bottling rights to the drink for $l.00.
|The famous ducks of the Peabody Hotel|
Cotton made Memphis a major port on the Mississippi River. The Memphis Cotton Exchange still handles approximately one-third of the entire American cotton crop each year. Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley, is also located there, and sees 600,000 visitors each year.
|Graceland by Thomas Kincade|
It is the second most visited private home in America, second only to Biltmore House in Ashville, NC. The legendary railroad engineer Casey Jones, who was killed when his train crashed on April 30, 1900, lived in Jackson, TN and Jackson is also the home of Pringles Potato Crisps!
The license plate block I designed represents the different divisions of the state. At the bottom of the block, you can see the brown representing the Mississippi River, also known as The Big Muddy, which borders the western section of the state. Next you see the green rolling hills of the central portion of the state, and finally the gray and blue bands which reflect the beautiful mountains of the Great Smokies. All of this under a beautiful Tennessee blue sky! The red, white and blue circle comes from the center of the Tennessee flag. The three stars in its center represent the three grand divisions of the state.
Outer Ring - 4 Light Red
Inner Ring & Stars - 1 White
Center - 93 Light Navy
Starting from the bottom, take the bottom two applique pieces (the brown Mississippi piece and the light lime piece) and overlay the brown on the light lime. Using your preferred technique, applique the two pieces together along the top of the brown piece. I used a machine blanket stitch with clear thread. You could just as easily use needle turn applique or raw edge stitching.
After stitching it down, turn the piece over and cut away the light lime that overlays the brown, so that you have a piece with only one layer.
This will help reduce the thickness of your finished piece. Repeat the process until the entire landscape applique is finished.
To make the Tennessee state symbol, trace the symbol in the PDF to cut circles for the outer, middle, and inner circles, and the three stars. As before, I used Heat-N-Bond to make my symbol, so I traced the designs onto Heat-N-Bond before ironing it to the fabrics. Assemble the symbol.
After the lettering is completed, attach the landscape applique and state symbol. You’re done!
If you'd like a copy of the PDF file that contains the landscape diagram, the lettering and the state symbol, please request it in a comment below, leave your email address, and I'll send it to you!
And now for the fun part - the giveaway! American Made Brand has provided a fat quarter bundle - eight beautiful, colorful pieces of their new fabric!
And I'm adding to that a "uniquely Tennessee" gift bundle - GooGoo Clusters (the world's first combination candy bar, invented right here in Nashville, TN), Moon Pies (made in Chattanooga, TN since 1917), and a few other goodies to give you a taste of Tennessee! So how can you win all this goodness?
1. Leave a comment sharing how many US states you've visited or lived in, and which is your favorite!
2. Hop over to the American Made Brand site, then come back here and leave another comment mentioning your favorite color out of the fifty for a second entry!
3. Leave a comment letting me know you're a follower for a third entry!
Easy peasy! Entries will be accepted until Tuesday, June 3rd at 6 pm, and I'll announce a winner on Wednesday, June 4th. Please please please be sure you aren't a no-reply blogger - or if you are, or don't know, please leave your email address in your comment. It would be a shame if you won, but I couldn't reach you to let you know!
Oh, and by the way, if you're looking for a place to purchase these wonderful solids, my friend Shannon at Fabrics N Quilts (in Jamestown, TN) has all fifty colors! Check her out - she'll set you up in fine style!
PS Be sure to check back Sunday to see the beautiful quilts that have been created by the participants in this year's Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge, and then come again next Monday for something really special! Hope to see you then!