Sunday, January 06, 2019

From Wednesday to Sunday -


How precious is this little church?

Sunday seemed like an appropriate day to post what was found on Wednesday.

There is nothing that makes my heart smile more than finding a well preserved old white clapboard church in the literal middle of nowhere.  

Nestled deep into the Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina?  Even better!

Martha, knowing these back roads and scenic drives like the back of her hand, and feeling the same way I do –(that the best most relaxing drives are OFF of the highway!) took a turn out of Boone that I had never been on before. 

And time nearly stood still.

As we rounded a curve and she pulled into the parking lot, I found she had an ulterior motive in mind more than just the scenic drive back to West Jefferson all along. This friend is getting to know me very well!

“I thought you’d enjoy this...” She said as she put her little Subaru into park, turning off the ignition.

I was out of the car in a shot – oh you sweet little church!  

What story do you have to tell?


Old sign, but the siding looked newly painted!

I could hardly wait to get back to the land of cell service and do some googling on my own.  I knew we were between Boone and West Jefferson, but I had no idea which township this really was located in.

Further investigation let me know that we were actually in Todd, North Carolina.


Oh, those sweet red doors!

Can you imagine weddings and baptisms here back in the earlier days?


Beautiful from the back.

Those windows!

And a few headstones -


Margaret Dobbin Lemley.


Mary E Dobbin

A side note – do you see how the rocks are stacked under the church as foundation?  This is the same kind of foundation that is under Quiltville Inn.  Stacked rocks.  Amazing.  

They worked with what they had.


N.M. Dobbin



Though not the names from the headstones above, evidently Annie Dobbin Miller (I used key words Dobbin, St Matthews church and Todd NC for searching) was at one time the ONLY member of the church left here.  She held all the positions and the church was kept open just for her.  Click it to enlarge it to read.  SO INTERESTING!

That doesn’t answer the questions on who the other Dobbin names were – but I know I have some mad genealogists in my readership, so please – if you find anything, post it it in the comments below.

And that brings us into modern day!

A local group called  Friends of St. Matthews Chapel is working to restore the historic church located in the Todd community. That explains the new paint, the new roof!

"We're just a group of people who feel passionate about the church," said organizer Helen Barnes-Rielly. "It's a need in the community, and we each feel strongly about it."

According to information from the group, St. Matthews Chapel was built in the early 20th century in a Gothic Revival architectural style.

For the past 20 years, the community struggled to get the Episcopal diocese to grant the town property access in hopes of restoring it. But it wasn’t until a retired Episcopal priest from Atlanta came to Todd two years ago that the efforts paid off.

Once they got the OK from the church, the board members advocating for Friends of St. Matthews Chapel, a non-profit 501c corporation got straight to work.

“Basically, it’s a gift to Friends of St. Matthews, but with the understanding that Friends of St. Matthews Chapel uses it for the community,” Tanner said. “So we want to preserve it, to restore it to some semblance of its historical state but then to make it useful for the community.”

Many possibilities are being discussed for the various uses of the building, including wedding ceremonies, community classes, concert or country dance venues, art shows and more. [source]

This makes me so happy!  I’m looking forward to long country drives out to Todd to attend a concert or event at St. Matthews.


This was my day – Friday, and Yesterday and Today and beyond!

For those who ordered String Frenzy when we released wave 6 of 500 copies on New Year’s Day – they are shipping in the order in which they came in, and there will be a large load hitting the post office tomorrow.  Luckily it was a beautiful sunny day – with temps reaching nearly 60 outside my window.

More than 200 orders have been processed between my arrival home and yesterday night when I called it quits for the day.

By 8pm I had gone as far as I could go – and I turned to this:


with Emmy Lou as my partner in quilt crime!


A little hand quilting and Poldark on Prime, anyone?


It’s getting there.

One stitch at a time!

In further news – Good Fortune progress and even completed tops are popping up all over in my Quiltville’s Open Studio group on Facebook! People have TOPS done already!!

Oh my goodness. Is this ever fun!

I can’t wait to see what the shares will be with our next Mystery Monday Link-Up tomorrow.  It’s going to blow us all away, I just know it!

And I want to thank everyone - especially my international peeps for understanding why I am no longer able to offer international shipping for physical orders (books & merchandise) due to the increase in postage and the customs and other hoops we have to jump through on both sides of any purchase.  

I am happy to keep the digital patterns available to any of my international customers.


Quiltville Quote of the Day!

Trip around the world quilt from my collection - 
found in Hampton Roads. VA many moons ago.

Kindness and compassion are always a practice because no one gets it perfect all the time -

But we keep on trying.

Have a lovely Sunday, everyone!


  1. Happy Sunday Bonnie! YOU are a gift!

  2. Have a great day sweet, talented Bonnie. I love the Good Fortune quilt.

  3. Nothing like a sweet, soft, purring kitty on your lap to soothe the bumps and troubles away. The meditative rhythm of the purring and hand stitching take me away to a sweet dreamy place. Happy, happy, Sunday, love seeing those old buildings...thank you. Cats in Carlsbad CA

  4. Have a lovely day loving how your hand quilting is coming along and the picture of the little chapel and it’s history are just awesome

  5. I don’t know what’s involved but what is the possibility of having your books as ebooks. That way your international customers could purchase them

    1. I just took a look at Amazon and there are a number of Bonnie's books available on Kindle already.

    2. And also on Book Depository (which ships free to anywhere in the world)

  6. Wonderful way to begin my Sunday morning with pictures and history of this lovely country chapel. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Oh, Bonnie, what a lovely little church. I knew from the sign and the red doors that it was probably an Episcopal church (which is my denomination). So many of those little rural churches have had to be abandoned and deconsecrated as rural populations fell. When I was in college, I was a lay reader at the church in Junction City Kansas. That parish had at the time three of this type of tiny church that it served for aging rural congregations. The priest would do Holy Communion for the main parish, then travel out to one of the rural satellite churches and do Holy Communion there. The other weeks, one of the lay readers would go out to the rural church and do vested Morning Prayer. I mourned as my favorite little parish got smaller and smaller until there were just two or three people there besides me, so I'm sure that at some point it met the same fate.

    I'm so happy that they community is committed to keeping up the building.

  8. I just love that little church and the headstones and the article you've shared! While in grade school history bored me to tears...as I have matured, I have come to just love learning the history of places like this - especially near where I live in NH - some very old history here! Priceless! Thank you for sharing your find! Thank you for all you do and share with us, it helps to keep me in a positive frame of mind. 2018 was a rough year for me as well, here's to a new year with new opportunities - 365 of them to be exact! Happy 2019 everyone!!

  9. According to Ancestry.com 1900 & 1910 census: Mary E. Dobbin was married to Nimrod M. Dobbin in 1883. They lived in Bald Mountain NC. She was the mother of 3 children with 2 living. Margaret B. and Mary Grace. Nimrod (INTERESTING name) &
    Margaret would be the stones you see. Mary MAY have been Mary E. Harden, dau. of Margaret & John Harden of Oldfields, NC.

  10. Love the church~~ Thank you for the Poldark season reminder. Yup, love that series. I be on a watching binge....

  11. i think they call it a fieldstone foundation....fireplaces are made that way as well...

  12. Bonnie, I hope you are keeping track of all these sweet spots so a tour map can be made up so Quiltville guests can take a country drive/tour to see them all. We love them! and that church...sigh

  13. What a sweet & precious little church. The little church is definitely a perfect post for this Sunday! Your pictures & story just warm my heart. Thank you for sharing, Bonnie!

  14. Love your little church! The Dobbin name caught my eye, my great-grandmother was Anna May Dobbin, but since she was born in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada in a long line of Dobbins, I doubt there is any connection to North Carolina. I'm a genealogy buff, and love your little bits of history.

  15. I agree with Shelly, above, on a need for a tour map for your guests at Quiltville Inn. Thank you for the mini quiltcam that I found last night as I worked my way through my quilt blogs emails. Love the dimpling on hand quilted items, your hexies are going great!

  16. Love the sweet church. I agree, I love to find these old buildings when we travel. They do have many stories stored between their walls. Great post.

  17. Love the gravestones. I am a Find a Grave volunteer and you have just made a great find for a family member who has been looking for this person.

  18. Here is some information about the area around the little church.

  19. What a lovely church. It immediately makes me think of the hymn The Church in the Wildwood. I think I'll be humming that all night!

  20. The church is so lovely, and so was the gracious old home you posted about yesterday. Thanks for sharing them with us!

  21. Beautiful little country church...I was married in a little country church over 47 years ago (my husband grew up on a farm in Minnesota). I mostly want to comment on your EPP quilt though...it is stunning Bonnie. I know your son will appreciate the hours you've spent making this labor of love. It will be cherished for sure! I love it!

  22. Very sweet little church - and such a sad ending for poor Mrs Dobbin. Happier end for the church though - it deserves to be looked after!

    PDFs would be greatly appreciated for the future patterns from across the pond! Thank you!

  23. You are so kind and inspiring. Thank you for sharing.

  24. Thank you for your posts of the area where you live and travel through. I love history of this beautiful country and it’s ancestors through the lens of your camera. Love yours quilts too!!

  25. So glad I got the new book before the postage went up. Sad I will have to search out alternative methods of getting my hands on your new books in the future!

  26. I remember that beautiful Christmas hexie quilt that you were working on when you came to our quilt guild to teach a class!! It really has turned out beautifully and great to see it being hand-quilted!! Love it!!! :-)
    That little white church is also beautiful, and I'm so glad you shared. I love looking at all those old places that are being saved....does the heart good!! :-) Blessings to you and yours!!!

  27. Your hexie quilt looks beautiful Bonnie!

  28. Poldark and quilting. You must be in heaven.

  29. What a wonderful inspiration that little church and your photo of it is for a new quilt! I envision grays, greens, and whites with some rusty gold and a bit of red (for thr doors) perhaps in a pattern like the vintage triangle quilt from Kevin.... my head is spinning with ideas... just a little bit of the gold and red so the focus could be on the church and it's gravestones, nestled peacefully in the wooods.


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