Saturday, December 07, 2019

The Sights, Scenes and Sounds of Munich!

The Christkindlmarkts are AMAZING in Munich!

Every stall is full to the brim with goodies just begging to be brought home.  I am already looking for another carryon sized suitcase because I just KNOW my luggage has surpassed weight limits. 

The Liebkuchenherzen are amongst my favorite sights – the simple phrases are ones I can “usually” figure out with 2 years of high school German behind me decades ago.

Friday, December 06, 2019

Frolic Mystery, Part 2!

It’s time to FROLIC!

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Is there anything more fun than a Texas Longhorn frolicking in a field of bluebonnets?

While this posts I am on tour with my Quiltville Goes to Bavaria group, and I hope you are also following along through social media as I am posting as often as I am able, be it through this blog, or on Facebook and Instagram.  The Bavarian region of Germany and Austria is full of such magic during the Christmas Season.  I am loving every minute of my time with this wonderful group of Quiltville travelers!

I have several more trips coming up – if you’d love to join me look for the tabs at the top of the blog – they link directly to the Craftours.com site for each trip.

And now on to Part 2 of our Frolic Mystery.  As I promised – because I am traveling, this is going to be a very easy peasy step, but plays an important roll later.  If you weren’t able to finish your 144 four-patch units from Part 1, perhaps this is a week where you can also get those done.

Thursday, December 05, 2019

Innsbruck in the Sunshine!

Don’t let the Austrian sunlight fool you!

It’s frigid cold out here!

But with a lot of walking, some long-johns and wool socks, warm boots, hats, scarves, gloves and glühwein, all is well!

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

To Rattenberg We Went!

The view from my hotel room is magnificent!

Yesterday I posted a little video with the sound of church bells ringing at 7am – things were still dark.  This was my view after breakfast before we loaded up onto the bus and made our way to Rattenberg Austria for our glass blowing expedition.

The cutest hotel!

No wonder we heard the church bells so clearly!

All Aboard!

The fresco touches on the buildings is so classically Bavarian!

This guy looks a little bit cold!


With just over 400 inhabitants and a surface area of 10 ha Rattenberg is Austria´s smallest historical town. And it is adorable!  We were here for our glass blowing workshop.

The Easter egg colors of the buildings – so fun!

Quiltvillians lining up to go in!

We are such a large group – 42 of us total – that we had to do this in shifts, or it would be line a herd of bulls in a glass shop!


There are blown glass ornaments and decorations everywhere.

Our translator giving us the run down of what we see going on here.

Beautiful menagerie of color!

Blow, Joyce, blow!

We each had an opportunity to make a blown glass Christmas ornament to bring home.

Mary’s turn!


And this is how it turned out!

I love it!  What a great souvenir!

There was loads of time for shopping in the wee town!

Cute little glass angels and bels!

And above it all, those Alps!

The river Inn runs right along side.

The shop displays area so festive!

Shapes, colors, textures – SO lovely!

These little touches – so whimsical!

More Frescoes.

And always a beautiful steeple.

Rattenberg, Austria, you captivated us!

And the Apfel Struedel was to die for!

And this was only the FIRST half of our day!  Our next stop was Innsbruck for more Christmas Market wandering, and that deserves a whole NUTHER post as there are just to many photos to share.

My beautiful room back at the Residenz Heinz Winkler!

Blissful slumber under down duvets.

Really – they are sometimes too hot!

(Where is a quilt when you need one?)

It’s time to throw on the boots, grab the stuff, meet the gang for breakfast and head out for today’s adventures!

Quiltville Quote of the Day -

Kindness costs nothing, yet the rewards are so great!

Scatter it around! EVERYWHERE!

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Willkommen in Nürnberg!

We made it!

I met up with my Quiltville Goes to Bavaria travelers at JFK airport, New York – and other than the flight being extremely bumpy, it was uneventful and I slept through at LEAST half of it (missing the breakfast portion!) which was something that never happens on a flight – I was THAT tired.

But that enabled me to hit the ground running the moment we landed in Munich and started the process of gathering luggage (There are 42 of us total!) and making our way to the bus for our first excursion of the day – A leisurely time strolling the streets of Nürnberg and enjoying not only the Christmas markets, but the all around street scenes and shops and restaurants – Oh, this is so wonderful!

Sunday, December 01, 2019

Those Busy Sew & Sews!

Look at them go!

One side benefit of running a retreat and checking on the retreaters in the morning?  They FED ME BREAKFAST!  And oh, it was so yummy!  You haven’t lived until you’ve had a sausage and cheese grits casserole -

And just so you don’t have to go without it, it has been suggested that we start a “Quiltville Inn Favorites” to help with other groups’ meal planning.  Things that work great in large batches for 12.  Things that can be made ahead and frozen for those who are driving in.  Things that are easy to prepare from grocery store pick up items purchased on their way into town for those who are flying from further a field.  Just favorites.  in BIG BATCHES.  

So be watching for that to happen in the future….like down the line when life slows down type of future.  But the ideas are flowing and it is taking on a life of its own!

Pardon the overhead-light-itis!

The dining room is a great gathering place!

And I love that everyone can sit at ONE LARGE TABLE so everyone can talk to everyone else and not miss any of the great conversations.

It has also been determined that we need APRONS!

Martha Claire is busy making lasagna, and protecting her shirt with a dish towel.  Hey, whatever works!  But I will definitely be bringing some aprons over.

And can I just say that the smell of meals cooking in this kitchen – all those delicious aromas -  really makes this place feel like a HOME!

And I just may have to watch my diet if they keep feeding me!

There has been much stitching by the comfort of the wood stove!

Holly is bound and determined to finish all the blocks!

And the design walls are being put to good use!

It is so fun to see what everyone is working on!

Something Christmassy!

ZERO problems with running irons and machines at the same time!


Hurry up and shoot the photo already, Dad!

That is so much better…LOL!

it was extremely hard to pull away and leave!

But my heart is full – that they are making themselves at home!

From here Dad and I left Virginia for North Carolina and turned the car toward Greensboro.  We stopped at the mall in Winston Salem to visit Jeff for lunch on his lunch break.  We made it to the airport in plenty of good time.  I dropped Dad off and headed home to pack for Germany.

Only 4 hours later his flight still hadn’t left and he was calling me with updates. 

The dilemma of him stay8ing the night in Greensboro at an airport hotel and trying to fly out in the morning, or to fly to Chicago tonight and stay there and catch a flight to Phoenix tomorrow was decided by the gate agent telling him that there is no seat availability on ANY flights leaving Greensboro tomorrow.  The Sunday after Thanksgiving is a mad house of holiday travel.  He would have better luck trying to catch a flight out of Chicago.

So as I write this my nearly 80 year old dad is now on a plane bound for Chicago and I don’t even know if he will be able to find a hotel room on a busy holiday weekend. I hate the idea that he will have to sleep in the airport.

And he, in true Wilkinson fashion said “It’s an adventure! Let’s see what happens!”

And now you know where I get it.

I hope by the time I wake up at 3am to post this (Yes, I am writing this before going to bed because it is the only time I can. I will post it from the airport) there is a text telling me that all is well and that he is tucked in safe and warm for the night and his flights for Phoenix are all arranged and all is well.


Luckily, dad’s connecting flight to Phoenix was ALSO delayed and he was able to make it.  He landed in Phoenix about the time I woke up to hit send on this post.

All I keep thinking is the lyrics “By the time I get to Phoenix, she’ll be rising…..” Remember the Glenn Campbell song?

Whew!  So glad you made it, Papa – have a good sleep.  I’m off to catch a flight!

Quiltville Quote of the Day -

Too many people get lost listening to the noise of the world, instead of to their inner self. Listening, really listening is one of those things I am focusing on right now.

3:40 a.m. and I am headed to the airport! Greensboro to Atlanta to JFK and I will meet up with our Quiltville goes to Bavaria group and off we will go!

Stay tuned for the continuing saga!

Saturday, November 30, 2019

When Hearts are Full to Bursting!

Quiltville Inn Beta Test Retreat is in Full Swing!

Can I just tell you how much this means to me?  I know you’ve been hearing about the progress for the past year and a half – every little detail.  I talk about it and talk about it until you have likely heard ENOUGH ALREADY.  But did you ever have a dream you dreamed was impossible, but you went for it anyway?  And when it came to fruition, and you stepped from simply dreaming into reality – you couldn’t find the words to express your gratitude?

That’s me right now.  And I’m teary eyed as I’m typing this because these ladies mean so much to me!  They gave up a good chunk of a holiday weekend to come TEST. ALL. THE. THINGS.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Frolic Mystery, Part 1!

Click HERE for Printer-Friendly Version.

Happy November 29th, everyone!

I hope that those of you who are stateside in the USA had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Last year we were doing our first post for Good Fortune on November 23rd.  This year with the way that Thanksgiving and Black Friday fell, we are starting 6 days later.  This might just mean that we push into January a bit as well – I don’t want to short-sheet anyone on mystery quilt time!

For those who don’t celebrate our American Thanksgiving, I hope you can still feel a sense of gratitude and holiday festivity coming your way from those of us who do celebrate.

We all have so much to be grateful for, no matter what time of year it is and we don’t need a designated day to focus on that gratitude.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving, 2019!

From my house to yours -

Wishing you health and happiness and time with those you love.  And soft gentle memories of the ones who are absent from us all.

Yesterday was a day of finishing touches. Each day the “to do” list gets shorter and shorter.  And I am learning that some things can just be put on another list to happen later.

There is a lot of truth to the saying “It is what it is.”  And I am standing back and smiling, focusing on all that has been accomplished in the past year, not on those things that have to wait a bit.

Things got hung on walls in the Hen Den!  These big barn quits and folk art paintings on wood are HEAVY and we really did need 3 people to do them.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

A Very Tree-Riffic Tuesday!

This is what was going on at Quiltville Inn yesterday!

More Asplundh tree removal.  By the time they are done, there won’t be any more shade trees left at all!

I know it’s important.  We don’t want trees taking down power lines in storms.  We don’t want trees falling onto the porch and damaging the house.  But I love the trees!

There was a time in my life where I lived where there were very FEW trees….open fields and farms for miles, but trees were few and far between.  I love being in wooded areas surrounded by trees in every direction.  So let’s hope that they leave us SOME to shade the side yard at the retreat.  They mentioned the chestnut trees on the other side of the garage/shop may also need to be topped.  Sigh.

And then there is THIS tree action:

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Little Things and Big Things–and Memorable Things, Too!

Oh the cuteness of these little cream pitchers!

These arrived from Betty Price, and her box didn’t include an email address to get back to her, so I hope she sees this!  There was a simple post it note of “If you can’t use these, pass them on…” But Betty, they are TOO CUTE and YES!  I will find a place to display them – who knew they even made such things?

So thank you very very much.

Another early morning arrival to the QPO to get the day’s mail order out the door before dad wakes up.

Poor guy – we were binging The Crown last night, and just after 9pm he said “I’m feeling drowsy, is it time for bed?”  And I was feeling it too after our busy day, so off he went to the guest room upstairs, and I to the master right below him on the main floor.

Monday, November 25, 2019

When Multi Tasking Doesn’t Work!

I am singing “Let it Go!” to myself -

It’s not in my nature to let things go – to let things slide.  To say “You can’t do it all!” and not force myself to double down and get it done.

Sometimes no matter how you try to multi-task things, it’s just NOT going to fit.

I was up at 5:30am this morning to get a shower and head over to the QPO (Quiltville Post Office for our many new readers – welcome!) to get a couple of mystery clues written.

The placemats are pieced.  The bindings are made and ready.  It just wouldn’t take TOO much time if I could just get this loaded in the long arm?  It could be running while I fill mail order, and write two Frolic clues ahead of time, plus write this blog post -

I mean, It’s now 7:30 and I told Dad I would be back for breakfast at 9am.  That should be plenty of time, right?

And as I sat here with invoices printing, while piecing a backing – I hit the brakes.  NO.  No, I can’t do it all.  I am out of time.  It is what it is.

And the most important thing is to be with my dad.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Things We Do While Waiting -

These happened yesterday morning.

I had hoped to have some time while in Wallburg to not only get the Essex linen foundations cut for our upcoming Germany trip (ONE WEEK FROM TODAY!) but to also get the four remaining place mat tops pieced and ready for quilting.  Now let’s be serious – do I really think I can get these quilted and bound before the Ms Bee Haven Beta Test Retreat Group shows up?  Doubtful.  But it felt good to let everything else just take a back seat while I listened to some podcasts and just stitched in the comfort of my old home basement studio.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

November ‘19 Quilty Box Gift-Away!

Guess what I found waiting for me when I returned home to Wallburg last night?

The November Quilty Box and Quilty Box Mini! In the nick of time – because November is quietly slipping away into December.

They may have stuck Thanksgiving down as far as they can in November, but I still feel like I need a couple of November weeks left to get done all that needs to be done around here.  Are you with me?

Friday, November 22, 2019

Like a Flock of White Flamingoes!

The Hen Den is nearly ready!

There are a couple of barn quilts to hang on walls – but they are so heavy that I can’t do it myself.  I need to attach some hanger things to the back, and then with help put them over hooks on the walls.

The problem is – I’m out of time!  I head back to Winston Salem today as my dad’s flight gets into Greensboro tomorrow for Thanksgiving week.

We’ve ran the gauntlet and have gone as far as we can go.  The Hubster is on his way to Oregon – I’ve lost my man help!  But Thanksgiving Day may be filled with last minute touches while the turkey cooks.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Made for Cozy Dreaming!

Late afternoon photos bring interesting lighting!

This is the turret room, bedroom #3 complete with pea-soup-green walls.  The previous owners did a great job on choosing colors that were quite original to the dating of the house.  Colors a bit out of the ordinary that make my scrap quilts sparkle without being too matchy-matchy or blending in.

It’s like they knew me before we even knew the house existed!

Detailing these rooms has been such a joy – and my inner 10 year old wants 2 weeks to sleep in each and every bed to make sure they are comfy and just right!

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

The Lion Sleeps Tonight -

In the Jungle, the mighty Jungle-
The Lion Sleeps Tonight!

Only it was early morning and the sun was just up and this was all before breakfast!

I always thought the Giraffes would be my favorite.  But there is something about the BIG cats – Leopards, Cheetahs and Lions that just make me catch my breath with their raw beauty.

And if it weren’t for that fabulous zoom on my camera, I wouldn’t have been able to see them clearly at all.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Cleaning in the Dark --

I told The Hubster “It Feels Like 11pm!”

I had been washing windows, scrubbing appliances, doing detail work in the Quiltville Inn kitchen to get all things ready.

“It’s 7pm.” was his reply.  

GAH!  I just can not wait for the Winter Solstice to happen.  It’s dark when I wake up, it’s dark when I go home – and I am solar powered.  I am ready for jammies 2 hours past dark, and ready for sleeping 2 hours past that.  My eyes were closing during NCIS last night – it was only 9pm.  This morning?  Up at 4:15am.  THIS IS SO STUPID!

But the kitchen is looking great, isn’t it?

The gas stove grates are off the top.  I brought them home to try some more deep scrubbing on them.  I think I will have to resort to the “ammonia in a bag” soaking trick.  As much as I love this house, there were things that were just neglected over many years, and the stove was one of them.  I’ve never seen so much cooked on grease on gas stove grates in my life.  I even tried cooking them in the oven on CLEAN cycle.  All that did was turn on the smoke alarm! LOL!