High Cotton Tablescape

High Cotton Dining Table

Have you heard the saying, “We’re in high cotton”?

Now that we live near cotton fields, we enjoy seeing them bud out reddish and eventually open into white, fluffy puffs of softness. We don’t have the opened cotton blooms yet.  With our Spring rains this year, all of our crops in the area were planted later than usual.  Soon, though, we’ll see those puffy cotton bolls opening.

Do you remember the fabric I bought for our master bedroom window treatments?  I still need to get that project under way, y’all, but I wanted to show you again those cotton blooms puffed up on that fabric.  You can see why I was drawn to it, living in the rural South.

Cotton Boll Fabric

Most years, we see healthy stands of cotton.  High cotton means you are doing well, you are successful.

Cotton Boll

The term high cotton, or tall cotton, began in pre-Civil War times on rural cotton farms when they had a good crop and enjoyed high crop prices.  Prosperous times.

Cotton in Old World Planter

Don’t we all look forward to prosperous times?  Times of reaping the benefits of our labor.  The harvest.

Since my centerpiece cotton is fairly delicate, I gingerly stuck the stems into a foam block down inside the old world style container and covered the foam with Spanish moss.

Old World Map Place Mats

I wanted to continue the old world map theme of the place mats.  Old world has nothing to do with cotton, but I love contrast.  See how the place mats contrast all the delicate white?

They are Pimpernel place mats, a long time favorite of mine, interesting to look at closely, and they wipe clean easily.  Y’all know I’m the queen of using what I’ve got.  No need in buying something new.  We should enjoy the things God has already blessed us with.

White Soup Terrine

I get hungry for soup about this time of year, in anticipation of cooler weather.  That’s one reason for the soup tureen.  The other reason is the white color.  And I love the styling of it.

Place Setting

I realized something when setting this table.  I have no soup bowls in any of my China patterns. Why is that?  We love soup!

Let me qualify that by saying we do have them in our everyday pattern, but not the fine China.  Or, the not-so-fine-but-sentimental China, which is the Piggly Wiggly plate you see here.

I added a bowl from the thrift store.  It’s not China, fine or otherwise.  Just an everyday cheap bowl.  See?  We don’t have to have everything fine and fancy to be in high cotton (wink).

The creamy-white napkins are 100% cotton with cotton crochet rosette ties.  You’ve seen them before in Piggly Wiggly China Debut.  The stark-white Battenberg lace tablecloth is cotton, another nod to the cotton theme.  I like to mix different shades of white.  I never have liked things to be too “matchy”.


The bronze wear is a set that my grandparents brought from the Pakistan area, where they lived in the late 50’s while my grandfather fulfilled an overseas construction project.

I like the bronze and black with the old world place mats.  Have you seen bronze wear before?

Painted Gourd Pears

Finally, these painted gourds are made to look like pears, and I put them in a bowl lined with a Battenberg bread linen.  If you’d like to see how I painted the gourds, visit How to Paint Gourds for Fall Decor.

Gourds or pears have nothing to do with high cotton.  But, they do have a history of association with the old world.

High Cotton Tablescape

See how we can combine very different things to create contrasts of color, weight, and texture?  Use the things you have in your home.  Combine them together in different ways, and you’ll have a unique table to enjoy.

Share the memories of your passed-down treasures while you enjoy the blessings of a good meal.

Nothing too fancy.  Just high cotton, y’all.

Thank you for visiting! ~ Just a note to remind you to follow me through email, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, Instagram,  or Hometalk.  Also, I’d love it if you shared Curtain Queen Creates  with all your sweet friends.  Thanks, y’all.

I’m joining these parties this week:









  1. says

    I love your beautiful table! I have been looking for some cotton branches. Even though my state is known for cotton, it’s more in the northern area of the state!

    • Kim Hood says

      Yes, we laugh when we see people pulled over and cutting branches – tempted to stop and ask if they have permission. 😉 You can buy them on line and in some antique markets. Or, maybe you have a friend in the northern area of your state that can send you some. Thank you, Tammy!

  2. says

    You explanation of the cotton phrase is so interesting! Yes, I guess we would all like to be “in high cotton” and hopefully everyone has some high cotton moments! All you pieces are beautiful and I love the centerpiece, both the cotton and the container. Thank you for sharing with us. Linda

  3. says

    Having lived in North Alabama many years, those fields do hold memories of those years gone by. Your post is lovely and I love how you shared so many wonderful and interesting parts of “The South” with us. I’ve also lived in Mississippi and love it. I’m now following you on Pinterest.


    • Kim Hood says

      Thank you, Helen! I appreciate the compliments so very much. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Love that you’re following on Pinterest! 🙂

  4. Cindi says

    When we lived in West Tennessee we enjoyed watching the Cotton fields grow and then being harvested. How ever we did not enjoy the heat and humidity!!

    • Kim Hood says

      Yes, the heat and humidity can be terrible this time of year. How did they manage back in the day with no A/C?

  5. Susan says

    Yes I have heard that phrase. In fact, my hubby uses it quite often and used it just the other day as we were driving by some cotton fields on our way to Houston. Your tablescape is fabulous!

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

  6. says

    I’m a Northerner through and through, but I did know what high cotton meant and your title made me giggle. I love how you have carried the metaphor throughout your tablescape. I may have to steal the idea of filling up the ends of the table with larger serving pieces — and they are both beautiful. The Battenburg lace tablecloth is stunning (and reminds me that I have one or two in my linens stash). Great post!

    • Kim Hood says

      Thank you, Jennie! I’m so glad I could spark an idea and the Battenberg reminder. I appreciate your compliment very much! Congratulations on your move to your new blog. I’ll miss your seasoned dishes, though. I so love that title! (Must be because I’m seasoned, too.) 🙂

  7. Sylvia Faye says

    Sometime ago I came across your blog and the name truly caught my attention. I moved from Virginia (where I grew up) nearly 61 y ears ago and it has been ‘a spell’ since I had heard that term and it made me smile and still does. I am not in ‘high cotton’ but at one time lived in North Carolina (grade 1) and we lived across from cotton fields and did a little picking…my brother and I. We made a trip down memory lane, my brother and I about five years ago and I highly recommend this to all those out in blogland to do it at least once in their lifetime. I called my writing about it ‘Back in Time’.
    Bless ya’ll,

  8. says

    Wonderful tablescape Kim! It is so funny that on the way to the coast today we passed some cotton fields and my hubs said “cotton doesn’t grow tall, I wonder what wear they get the high cotton saying?” And voila! You have answered our question!! I love love love this table!!!

    • Kim Hood says

      Thank you, Jenna! What a coinkidink! Glad I could answer that question for you. 🙂 I so appreciate the compliment, considering you are an expert at tables, in my book.

  9. Kathleen says

    Hi Kim,
    I love your high cotton table! This NYer has never seen cotton growing, but someone sent me some cotton so I could show my 4th graders what it looked like. They were amazed!
    It makes a great centerpiece for your lovely table.
    Come over and link it up to my party, Let’s Dish. It’s a perfect fit!
    I don’t think I have ever been here before, so I am going to poke around! 🙂

  10. says

    Kim, Love this table, the centerpiece is perfect! Cotton just fascinates me…the way it grows and that we can turn it into clothing! Looks great displayed in the old world container. I know you treasure the bronze wear that once belonged to your grandparents. Such a special set and so unique! Beautiful tureen! Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful table! XO

    • Kim Hood says

      Thank you, Susan. I enjoyed my trip down memory lane while setting this table. And yes, cotton blooms are fascinating!

  11. says

    I like the old world map theme. Your place mats fit in so nicely. Every thing looks so good together. Lots of white makes everything look so fresh. The white tablecloth makes the cotton puffs stand out in that great old world map container. I really enjoyed stopping by today.

    • Kim Hood says

      Thank you for stopping by, Candy! I’m glad you like the table and hope you’ve gotten a little inspiration from it. I hope you’ll stop by again soon. 🙂

  12. says

    I love your high cotton tablescape, with an old world theme. LOVE, the centerpiece with the cotton bolls. I was surprised to see some in Hobby Lobby yesterday, but it was in rough shape. It’s so strange that we rarely see any here in Georgia. Visiting from The Dedicated House.

    • Kim Hood says

      Welcome, Babs! Thank you for visiting. Yes, when I lived in Marietta, GA, there was an antique shop in the square that sold cotton. I have no idea if they are still open. You would think GA would grow plenty of cotton. So glad you stopped by!

  13. says

    Enjoyed this post! Love the bouquet of cotton branches. I grew up in south Texas near where cotton is grown, so high cotton is a term I’m very familiar with. ‘-)

  14. says

    Love your table. I have been thinking of using cotton stalks for a table but haven’t’ got it together. I even have a cotton bolt corsage.
    I lived in a small town in West Texas that was surrounded by cotton fields. I had family that were farmers and we would sometime just drive out to check the cotton. (Small town not much to do 🙂 ) But when they started the cotton gin up after the first freeze you new it by the sound 24 /7 and all the cotton dust that was in the air. But those were great memories and fun times. Thanks for fun table!

    • Kim Hood says

      Thank you for sharing that, Cathy. Farm life seems to draw people back to some fine memories. I’d love to see your coursage – something new to me. I hope you’re having a blessed weekend. 🙂

  15. FABBY says

    Hi Kim! Your table is stunning! I love the cotton centerpiece idea, it’s unique, never seen one before!!! Your china is gorgeous too. Thank you for your sweet and kind visit.
    Big hugs,

  16. says

    Oh yes, I know that expression well. I live in cotton country too. Love your cotton themed tablescape. your battenberg lace tablecloth is gorgeous, and I love those placemats. I’m going to check out your post about the dried gourd pears. Those look so pretty. I love the fabric you bought for curtains. laurie