Sunday, September 10, 2017

One for the Done Column!

Last evening by dinner time I had ONE LAST SIDE to sew.

Just ONE seam left on my Hourglass Leader & Ender Challenge from last year.

My poor allergy affected eyes had been plaguing me all day.  Oh, ragweed and goldenrod season, you have brought me to my knees.

Matching points and pinning through blurry, sticky weepy eyes is no fun.  But after dinner, I was down here in the basement again, determined to do ONE LAST SEAM.

We did it!

And if there are any points that are glaringly off – I so don’t care.  I love the overall effect of this quilt top and I can’t wait to get it into the long arm machine this next week.

I’m dreaming of thread colors and just the right edge to edge design to add texture and whimsy as this puppy is far too busy for hand guided free motion quilting.  Most of my quilts don’t have any open space to show off fancy quilting as it is.  I’m okay with that. 



But there was one last thing to do:


Stay stitch around the outside edge!

I tend to do this with quilts with pieced borders.  It minimizes stretching while quilting, and it keeps all of those bazillion seams from popping open during handling and the quilting process.  I just set my stitch length to the longest possible stitch, and stitch all the way around the outside edge of the quilt about 1/8’’ from the edge.  Any stitching will be covered by binding.

Give this a try on your next project that has piecing to the edge.  It really helps.

I shared this video on my Instagram stories this morning, sorry for the cut off text! The sun was coming through the trees at such a beautiful angle.

And yet CNN is on and I’m keeping up with what is happening in Florida.  9 days until I am supposed to be in Fort Lauderdale, and now there is also Hurricane Jose following Irma.  This makes me so sad for Florida and anyone else in the path of these storms!

We also got out for a bit of a drive yesterday.


Downtown Mouth of Wilson, VA!

That used to be a farm supply.auto shop and gas station across the way.  Fields Motor Company built cars here in Mouth of Wilson from the 1920s.

The Mouth of Wilson hub of industry was right here at the junction of highways 16 and 58.  The main industry here now would be the ever present Christmas Tree farms as seen on the hills in the background. Christmas Tree farms are everywhere in this area.


Close up.

What was this like in its heyday?

Yesterday while out and about I talked to someone who said that when Christmas tree season gets ramped up around Thanksgiving time, this building is used for the assembly and making of Christmas wreaths that are shipped everywhere across the USA.  That gives me hope!  This building has purpose!  I would love to stop by when this is going on and meet my “neighbors” and see the process.  I wonder if they’d let me do a blog story on it?  I can smell the pine in my head already.

This junction of buildings is about 7 miles from where Quilt Villa is.


Across the street from the farm store.

This used to be the Fields General Store.  I’m not sure when it closed down, but it sits eerily vacant in its current state of age-worn disrepair.


Fields sign still visible under the eves.


Hope lives here!

This is the OLD post office.  A new one was built up the highway a bit – modern and beautiful in every way.  I would guess this one dates from about the 1950s, perhaps?  At any rate, The Blue Ridge Discovery Center is currently operating out of this renovated space.


The “NEW” post office, up the highway a few miles.

Mouth of Wilson is also the home of Oak hill Academy, a co-ed college prep boarding school.  

If you are driving through Mouth of Wilson – this is definitely one of those “Blink and you will miss it” kinds of places.  There is no Walmart, Dollar General, or full fledged Grocery store.  You will find a couple of mini mart type gas stations down both highways and they do carry milk, eggs, bread, snacks and other useful items. They also have sandwiches, burgers, and other hot food items, one that I know of has an  attached diner serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.

These are hardworking people trying to make a living and provide services in what has apparently become a modern day ghost town.

And this is why I love this place.  It is different from “Retail America” where all the stores have the same names in the same kind of strip malls and you can’t tell whether you are in Seattle, Cincinnati or Pittsburgh.

I love this corner of Virginia. I’d love to see it make a comeback.


Quiltville Quote of the Day!

Vintage grandmother's flower garden quilt shared during our Iowa workshops in early August.

This is something that has been flowing through my mind since I made the choice to postpone my Oregon visit.  This is what I’m thinking about as Hurricane Irma is hitting, soon to be followed by Jose.

What will I do?  I don’t know yet.  But I can’t lose myself while trying to please everyone else.

Have a lovely and SAFE Sunday, everyone.

It's about balance. And I am always trying to find the balance point in my day-to-day life.

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  1. Shortly after I saw your thought of the day on Facebook, I saw this:

    You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep others warm.

    It seemed to me like they are similar sentiments, but one is more blunt! Balance is the key to life and you seem to be achieving that.

  2. Love this quilt - very nice. I like color controlled scraps. Thank you for such nice pictures.

  3. Life is all about Choices. You are making tje best choices you can , stay safe. Glad you can enjoy the new surroundings of your new Quiltvilla. Christmas is coming. Family time and the Mystery!! We talked about the Mystery at our Sew-inthis week. I've hooked up a few more in Walla Walla to your Blog!

  4. Oh! that is so pretty! I love the layout - and hope your allergies go away soon!

  5. I love this quilt just the way it is! Beautiful!

  6. Your Leader and ender is just beautiful. I loved that you ended it with that beautiful color - PURPLE!! Just the right touch. Your thought for the day really hit me in the head today. I so badly needed this reminder right now at this time in my life. Thank you. I may print it and blow it up wall sized to keep reminding me! lol

  7. I worked in the cafeteria at Oak Hill Academy when I lived on a farm in Troutdale. I would occasionally take a few students home with me because they were homesick for their parents.
    I miss the area, especially now that I am in the middle of Hurricane Irma!!

  8. Love, love, love your hour glass quilt. I reminds me of a beautiful stained glass window. I love all of your "back in the day" kind of pictures of Mouth of Wilson. It would be fun to jump in a time machine to visit in its hey day when all of those businesses were alive and thriving. I do enjoy all the modern conveniences around me, but I would love to be able to take a peek into the past. Was life simpler back then? I don't know, but I bet it sure was fun!

  9. The thing I thought about was the TV program "The Waltons" when you shared pictures of the Mouth of Wilson. Could this be an inspiration village for the program? I love your leader/ender quilt. Will you make a print friendly guideline I can take to my cutting table? Having a nice Sunday in PA, also watching huriicane coverage and in prayer for my family and friends in its path.

  10. Your quilt has turned out beautifully, gorgeous colours. So sorry you are suffering with allergies, hopefully it won't last too much longer. When we visit your wonderful country and travel through the more quieter towns, I often wonder what things were like in bygone days. I always have said I was born in the wrong era! We should have flown to Florida yesterday but our vacation was cancelled at the last minute due to Irma. I was hoping to travel over to see it I could get a glimpse of you when you visited but unfortunately that isn't possible now. Maybe some other time I could make it to see you somewhere. Take care.

  11. You have as much right to "call in sick" as anyone else. For me it's not going to work and passing illness to patients while for you it's YOUR safety first and your absence causes NO HARM.....a bummer but not harmful.

    No one will take as good of care of you as you will. Words to live by.

  12. pretty quilt indeed...be careful what you wish for...look at hamilton, mo....retail shops exploding everywhere...walmart can't be far behind...

  13. It will take entrepreneurs to bring life and jobs to SWVA. There is still a belief among long tine residents and natives that the only good jobs are factory style jobs with benefits, etc. nice, but unlikely. Local individuals and groups with ideas that preserve the uniqueness of the area while providing products and services to attract tourists and help the local community is the answer. But that takes vision, hard work, some capital, willingness to take risks and overcome all the negativity. Dollar General and Walmart and "call centers" won't do it. Floyd, VA has just about got it right. They are exploiting their agricultural and music heritage.

  14. First, the hourglass quilt is beautiful. I also stay-stitch around finished quilts but I use my serger with a 4 thread over lock, or three thread if that is how it happens to be threaded and a longer stitch for a couple reasons. First it stabilizes and compresses that edge making the binding much easier to apply. In addition, with the four thread stitch, it clearly marks my seams at 1/4 inch. Has worked well for me for some time now.

    Second, you were not meant to go to Oregon and maybe Florida. Just that, don't fuss about it. Won't change a thing. Quilters are flexible people and new arrangements will be made because they WANT you. Cherish this bit of time. You sure have earned it, I would never be able to keep up your grueling schedule.

    And last, Thanks for sharing your Mouth of Wilson stories, we sold our cabin and I miss it like crazy!

  15. Do what you think is right for you, Bonnie. You can't please everyone and 99% of us stand behind you.

  16. I'm so glad that you ended with the purple and not with a beige/tan border - beautiful! As others have said enjoy this time off - get caught up, indulge in a little self care and snuggle with the fur kids and the hubster, too. A blessing in disguise, yes there is disappointment but classes can be rescheduled and this found time is a gift - just say "thank you universe".

    Like others thoughts and prayers for those affected by Mother Nature on both coasts. I also enjoy all the history and herstory lessons that you give, it's most likely that I will never visit those places so I thank you for them.

    Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

  17. The Fields General Store would need a lot of repair, but would be a lovely fabric shop! Your flimsy is beautiful!

  18. Bonnie, I love your quilt!!!! Wasn't able to start one, but this may give me a need incentive. As for your stay stitching around the quilt - I do this all the time, whether a pieced border or solid fabric. It also keeps the fraying down and protects the edges a bit. My long armers always want to know why, since they have never seen anyone else do it. Good luck with your allergies.

  19. Rinse your eyes with tap water, when they start feeling gummy. It clears the allergens away. You can do the same thing with your nose, if it gets stuffy. It really does help alot.

  20. Your Hourglass flimsy is just perfect. Love the soft colours, it looks like the perfect quilt to just relax under with a good book.

  21. I just knew that little building was the post office the minute I saw it. Guess that shows my time in small town America!! Love it!!

  22. The quote of the day is very true because it happened to me. I've since made a big change - and feel better for it!

    I do love the smaller villages and little towns, sad seeing them go. Hang in there little unspoilt town!

  23. What awesome colors!! I would love to do one like that! Hope your allergies go away soon because that will mean that mine are on the way out too!!! I am to the east of you in Suffolk and it has been such a bad year for allergies.

  24. I am absolutely in love with Mouth of Wilson. I want to buy the round house with my brother who is having family probs. as I am. We could fix it up and hide from everyone. I'd quilt and he would ride his bike. We could open a little business doing something in one of those empty buildings....ah dreams.

  25. Bonnie, you have to get some Zatador for your eyes! My retina specialist told me about them and allergy eyes are no longer a problem....Walmart or any drug store carries them.

  26. Well Said and Well Done. Always appreciate your insights (and quilting) !! A day to day balance is sometimes a hard concept.
    I give credit to God and the faith he provides.

    Thank you Bonnie for your ideas and inspirations.
    Blessings to all.

  27. Your leader and ender quilt top is beautiful.

  28. I put this quilt together twice. The first time I didn't arrange my rows like yours Alk my rows were colored rows. I had no neutral in between the color s. The more I looked at I the worse I hated it. I ripped the king size quilt apart and started all over. I added the neutral rows. It made all the difference. It is being quilted now!

  29. I see a quilt shop with a retreat area upstairs in the "wreath" building. Great old building.

  30. Your quilt is beautiful. It looks like crystal gems. Hoping there is a pattern & tutorial on the horizon. Thanks for your tours of the world that I probably will never get to see. As our homeland seems to be in distress from wildfires, horrific storms & the earth tremors you keep the peace of home & yesteryear in the forefront that helps us stay grounded. Quilting has a purpose, a worthy outcome, a calming of the mind & a place for love to grow through the chaos. Thank you.

  31. From Linda Marglon...a friend's eye doc. told herabout an over the counter eye drop to relieve discomfort from allergies. It's called "ALAWAY". The first morning after I used it I felt so much better. It stings a little at first but is very soothing. Wouldn't be without it now ! (I sound like one of those spam posts!)
    Love your hourglass quilt...wish I had followed your lead!

  32. I really love this quilt, I think that I may have to make one myself!


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