Monday, February 19, 2018

A Presentation, and Presidential Side Trip!


Afternoon crowd on a beautiful sunshine filled Sunday!

I was just tickled with the turn out in Bedford, and when the audience is as interactive and into it as this one, we had some great laughs going, interesting interaction with questions from the audience, and a whole lot of down-home Virginia quilty good times!

Starting a 1pm, left me the morning to take at a more leisurely pace.  Emails cleared out of the inbox.  phone calls answered. ducks all placed in a row for future venues coming up quickly.

And with still more than a hour to go before I had to leave Lynchburg for Bedford, about a 1/2 hour drive -

I was able to do some more of this:


This project is finally getting somewhere!

I can’t share the bulk of it yet, but let’s just say that the assembly line of the seemingly endless stitch & flip corners and resulting bonus triangle bonanza finally paid off and I was sewing units into block quarters, and then block quarters into blocks by bedtime.  YES!


When was the last time you saw….

An old style Dairy Queen like this?!

We actually grabbed our after-lecture late afternoon lunch at the diner next door as this little place is only open “seasonally” and that won’t start until around Memorial Day.  But I love it!

While sitting at lunch, Kevin mentioned that Thomas Jefferson’s summer home was not that far up the road, about 5 minutes drive from where he lives.  Would I be interested in seeing it?  YES!

Give me history, and I’m all in.  And off we went.


Poplar Forest front entrance.

There was only one problem.  The front entrance was closed.  OH NO!


Virginia split rail fence.

Being the resourceful guy that he is, and having a friend who works on site, we were quickly winding our way through the countryside, through neighborhoods, hither & yon and finally we wound up at the back service entrance.

It pays to know someone who knows someone!


The countryside is greening up with imminent spring!


And there it is.  Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest.


Stone marker at front of house.

“A place of inspiration to live a life of curiosity and creativity.”

Don’t we ALL want to be able to say that about our homes?

Thomas Jefferson designed the plantation and used the property as a private retreat and a revenue-generating plantation. Jefferson inherited the property in 1773 and began designing and working on the plantation in 1806. While Jefferson is the most famous individual associated with the property, it had several owners before being purchased for restoration, preservation, and exhibition in 1984.

Slaves were present on the property from the time prior to when Jefferson inherited the plantation through when the United States officially abolished the institution in 1865; recent archaeological excavations at Poplar Forest have provided insights into both the role of slave labor as well as the slave community on the property.

Poplar Forest was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1971, and is presently operated as a historic house museum and working by the nonprofit Corporation for Jefferson’s Poplar Forest. The Corporation is also responsible for the ongoing archaeological study and restoration work at the property. [source]


Another stone marker.


And I love the big old craggy tree, branches still bare!


Beautiful, just beautiful!

I have always thought that Thomas Jefferson possessed an amazing mind, and he used it!  He was way beyond his time.

To stand here, in the place where he stood and dreamed, wrote and reflected.  It was just an amazing afternoon, and the perfect crown on this President’s Day weekend.


There are other buildings on the property.


Our shadows in the bottom corner of the house!

This building is being held up by braces on two sides.  One of the brick houses is said to have been quarters for the plantation overseer, and these, possibly quarters for slaves and servants.  We didn’t have time to explore further, and nothing was open for us to find out more.


Back side of house.


T.J. peed here.  LOL!

There are two octagonal privies on the property, one at each corner of the yard.  When ya gotta go, you gotta go, and this is where to go.  Likely the most upscale privies for miles.  I find it fascinating that they are still standing.  A testament to  Thomas Jefferson’s craftsmanship and design skills.

Every octagonal home must have matching octagonal privies!

It was a wonderful way to end a busy day – I am so glad we did this.

Today we are busy in a Jamestown Landing workshop from String Fling for 50, appropriate for Virginia as it was Jamestown, Virginia that inspired the quilt.  Bring on the strings!

As soon as the workshop day is over, I’ll be pilling myself and my stuff into Moby for a road trip over the Fredericksburg, which should take me somewhere between 3 and 4 hours.  I’ll stop for dinner somewhere along the way.


Quiltville Quote of the Day!

Do you want to know who you are?
Don't ask. Act!
Action will delineate and define you.
                        -Thomas Jefferson.

If you want it bad enough, it's worth getting out of your comfort zone to reach it!

Happy President’s Day, my friends!


  1. Not only were you in my hometown but my neighborhood as well. I grew up within walking distance of Poplar Forest. So glad you enjoyed it!

  2. Hopefully we'll have some sunshine for you here in Fredericksburg! Supposed to be an unseasonably warm week.

  3. Bonnie,
    I just left Fredericksburg and am in route to Hampton Quilt a festival!! Safe travels.

  4. Snowy in the PNW overnight. Glad to see your weather is good for exploring the area. Jefferson was industrious. Love the Octagonal Privy, lol. Safe travels to yoru next class of quilters. They are lucky to have you. I always learn something when I attend your workshops.

  5. proud to be a DAR daughter, an organization that supports historic preservation!

  6. Great write up today. Love Love the photo's of Thomas Jefferson's retreat. Wouldn't that be fun if you could do a retreat there?? Big dreams. Hope you had a safe drive to your next location. :)

  7. I am in the process of making my third Jamestown Landing quilt. First was all greens, second all blues and this one is red, white and blue. Really enjoy this pattern.

  8. I was at this place last week. This is such a joy as a place for food! I had a beautiful time at venues in San Francisco. It reminded me of another center in the city. A beautiful, wonderful place that had excellent atmosphere.


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