Saturday, January 05, 2019

This, That and The Other Thing ---


Isn’t this just PERFECT?!

While out antiquing in Boone with Martha and Toni, we drove right past the new Hobby Lobby that was having its grand opening.  Toni said “I’ve never been in a Hobby Lobby!”  And Martha made a quick turn and we wound our way through some side roads to get back to the parking lot.

Toni is an artist, she needed paint brushes anyway, so why not give her the whole she-bang?

It turns out that wall decor was 50% off, and while I didn’t think I would find anything I needed, I came away with TWO signs for Quiltville Inn, this one going right outside the Quilting Quarters door.

It’s a HEXIE!  How could I say no?

And this one will go somewhere, as of yet undecided:


Yes, yes it is!



So this one will go over her food and water at the cabin.  Just too cute.  And I got out of there for under $30.00 and I couldn’t be happier.

While dropping the signs and the Martha Washington sewing cabinet at the Inn on my way home Thursday morning, I remembered to get THIS for those who have emailed me about it:


I should buy this by the 5 gallon bucket -
But I’d never be able to lift it!

we matched the paint on one of the drawer fronts in the kitchen by taking it in.  I am painting all cabinets, door frames, doors, moldings and baseboards with this paint.  It is awesome!


It’s not stark white, it’s a bit “aged” looking as seen by the paint dot at the corner of the label.  If this helps anyone, great.  It also gives me a place to direct folks for more information if I get any more emails about it.  Oh, there is SO much painting to do!


As seen on my drive home through Sparta, NC.

This old house could use a coat or two!

If you have followed me for any length of time you know of my love for old farm houses and tumble down buildings.  This is one that can really only be seen when the trees have no leaves.  I was on a wide open empty road so I was able to pull to a stop, roll down the window and shoot this from the car.

I look at these houses and I just feel it in my heart – all of the love and the living that once took place there.  Can you hear it?  The echoes. 

Highway 93 is long and windy and steep in parts, and there are not a lot of places where you can pull off and stop – there is no shoulder for most of the road. 

There is one house that I have looked for EVERY WINTER – because you can not see it in the summer/fall at all until the leaves are gone.  It’s off the side of the road, down an embankment, and from the road all you can see is the roof line – but it is tucked down in there.


Usually all I can see is the far right side of the house!

But having a bit of time, I drove up the road a bit more than 1/4 mile and found a place where I could pull off and I hiked my way back to get a shot of the house from the road, as close as I could get.


Brightening up the exposure a bit.

I not only hear echoes with this one, but music coming from a wind-up gramophone, or an old 1930s radio. Maybe a piano in the parlor.

The funny thing is – I posted the photo to my Instagram and Facebook and here comes Martha with a “Remind me to tell you the story about that house…..” comment.  This woman knows EVERYTHING and EVERYONE!  It’s like Walton’s Mountain, you know?

It’s almost like sitting around the table with “The Sisters” and sharing just a tot of “The Recipe.”  LOL.

“It belongs to the woman who lives in the house above it. She was an orphan and taken in by her maiden aunts who lived in the house. She takes care of the house and won’t entertain selling it. She has no children and neither does her present husband, so it will be interesting what will happen to it. I understand it is still furnished!”

So for now, the house is still taken care of in its original state – a very good thing!  I’m happy to know it isn’t abandoned, and in time I hope someone will be able to love it and care for it and put some living back into it.

Isn’t it just so INTERESTING what we find out there if we just look?

And speaking of interesting:

January 04, 2019 at 03_47PM

Well Hello’s Bells!

Sometimes mysteries are a mystery to me too. Remember I was working on this mystery while my brother was at the end stage of his life and I wasn't focusing too well while making my notes. Not to mention dealing with a crazy new book release during the Thanksgiving holidays when part 1 went live.

It turns out that you only need 192 4-patches and I had you make too many. Oops. How about piecing them into the back somehow. Or use them as a starter kit for a quick mini?

Thank you for understanding.  I have updated Part 1, and also the PDF copy with the correct number.

It’s also safe to say that it likely won’t be my last mistake either!


And this breaks my heart – but it’s time.

The last postage jump from last year had rates to Canada jumping by more than $3.00 per 1 lb parcel.  Global shipping on a 2 to 4 lb package is $32.00 and going higher.

I’ve drug my feet on doing this for a long long time, but with the new book release, and MOST of the international ordering customers balking when I  billed them for their postage to get their package where it needed to go because they forgot to add it to their shopping carts – it’s just time.  

I can no longer fight the international shipping game.

If a package goes missing – my tracking only goes as far as the USA border.  Beyond that, I can’t find your package for you and I can’t refund you because there is no way to track it.

And the customs fees!  Oh, my!

I love my international customers, but I’d rather see you spending your money on fabric than on postage and customs fees. 

So – please please please talk to your local shops and see about getting them to carry my merchandise where you can readily buy it and some fabric on the side instead of paying for postage.  It will help them, it will help you.

Perhaps there is an online retailer within your own country who would benefit from your support.

I am honored that you have ordered through me over the years, but things have just gotten ridiculous.  I spend more time refunding and canceling people’s orders once they find out what their shipping needs to be to get their package to them – it’s just time.

DIGITAL PATTERNS are the exception!  I am happy to provide those for you as always as they don’t require any kind of shipping. That's a win for us both.

I will honor those international orders that have come through up to YESTERDAY. This notification is going up on the Quiltville Store today.

I am no longer able to accept physical (books and merchandise) international orders.

And that feels like a really sad note to end on.  So how about a bit of Lola Love?  Click to play:


And big boy Dresden got his turn, too!


Quiltville Quote of the Day!

String star quilt found in North Carolina.

Life isn't perfect. Just like our quilt blocks, points don't always meet up the way they should.

That doesn't mean it's not beautiful! Have a wonderful Saturday, folks!


  1. It is sad but I totally understand why it's necessary. Postage fees and border handling fees make it outrageously impossible!

  2. The signs are perfect! Have a wonderful weekend!

  3. Excited about your Quiltville Inn! That opening day will come! And hopefully all of us can attend the fun. Thank you for letting us join your mystery quilt patterns. They are fun, I put all my WIPs aside with no problem. Can’t wait for the next!

  4. Love that Lola and Dresden! A perfect start to my Caterday is to see kitty videos.

  5. Love all the old houses on your treks. My husband and MIL used to make fun of me on rides through back roads in East Texas as I saw everything with POTENTIAL! She would say “Potential to fall down”. Mehhh

    1. Back home in Kentucky is a house that sits between US 23 highway and the river which faces toward the river, not the road. It was built in the days when everything was transported by boat or barge. So interesting to think about all that house has seen in its lifetime. It unfortunately also has "potential to fall down" because it's now a wreck. So sad.

  6. What a pity!! I love your signed books. Books can be bought elsewhere, but I liked the idea of supporting you and the Quiltville Inn. BoddyBonusRuler is a must have and I think it will be difficult to find it elsewhere. Have a nice weekend. I am making bonustriangles and love my BoddyBonus Ruler. Thanks

  7. Sad about the book ordering. Just curious, can you eventually have your book digitalized enabling people to order your book and bypassing the postal headache? Just a question, I have no idea what it would involve.

    1. I found a Kindle version on Amazon. Though not a preferred hard copy book, might be an alternative for international quilters.

  8. Happy Saturday! I had to put my Mystery assembly on hold. Leaving on a Jet Plane to see my family in Wyoming. Two blocks shared will have to do for the Link-up Monday.

    1. I am in WY. Where is your family? I live off the grid on top of South Pass

  9. Ugh, postage is the worst!! I can totally understand your not wanting to deal with international orders because of it and the lack of tracking. I’m just glad I got my books ordered from you last month, and am regretting not ordering a ruler too.

  10. It's too bad that international customers won't be able to order your books from you. I think the Postal Service is shooting themselves in the foot with their ever increasing postage rates and closing area sorting centers. A couple of books of stamps last me all year because I switched to paying all regular bills online, mostly because since the closer by sorting center was closed and everything has to go to Omaha first too much gets lost and I can't afford those late fees. Plus it now takes three days for something to go to someone right here in town.

    1. Hi, I hope that you realize it’s not the USPS that is charging the higher rates. International postage rates are decided by the countries that they are being sent to. The USPS continues to have one of he best postal systems in the world.

    2. Postage for mail inside the US is also going up. The "Forever" stamp, which was back to 47 cents, is now 50 cents. Flat Rate packages are also going up from $5.95.

  11. Ugh on the international shipping. I am glad I got my offer in earlier this week, and remembered to add my shipping charge. But I'm sure you international customers will keep supporting you however we can.

  12. Mail has gotten crazy in general but international shipping rates are so bad that I gave up trying to send birthday presents to my nephew's children in Germany and do gift certificates to amazon.de instead. Functional, but just doesn't have the personal touch! And I can't even be sure that a package ordered from somewhere in my state will get to me, so the post office is on my bad list right now.

  13. Bonnie, since I live in Canada, would it be possible for you to offer the Hunter Star quilt pattern for sale, as I will not be able to order your book anymore? Thanks. Also, thanks for the Mystery. I learn so much from you. Happy New Year and lots of Good Fortune!

    1. It already is. Please check the store. Also, if you have a friend in the USA they may order and ship it to you.

  14. That's my plan as I'm fortunate to have cousins in your area. Also, living close to the U.S. border, friends have U.S. post boxes so easy solution for me. Happily, my String Frenzy arrived safely. Thank you for all you share with us, Bonnie.

  15. Great news on the excess 4-patches! I messed up a few on the trimming to size stage and was going to sew some more later on when I got over being annoyed with myself. Now I wont have to! This is my first mystery quilt and I have absolutely LOVED it! I live in Australia and have lamented the cost of purchasing your books due to the postage cost. Fishpond.com.au has a range of your books which included free shipping in Australia and I think booktopia does as well. Takes a few weeks to be delivered but is reliable. I've also bought one of your digital patterns, which was quite convenient and am looking at your digital string book. Thanks Bonnie for your generous heart with some much information and free techniques and patterns on your site, I have been refining many of my skills based on your tips. Happy New Year.

  16. Postage has always been why I havnt ordered directly. It is what it is.

    I love your new signs. They are fabulous.

    Have a great day.

  17. I just used that same paint om my older oak kitchen cabinets. It covered with 2 coats. Bonnie what is the name of the color? It looks just like the color I used.Mine is called crumb cookie, not a stark white but a warm off white. We have some of these old houses here in New England too, tucked away in the woods. Oh to know the history of these houses.

  18. Bonnie, The Minnesota quilters are excited that you will be with us in June. Connie C. wonders if you need to use her tan FW again?? Maybe we will have Good Fortune done by then.

  19. Hi Bonnie - Hobby Lobby has a doormat that would be great for Quiltville Inn. It says "This is our happy place."

  20. Unfortunately, Canadian postage is going up again this month! I understand completely but I'm really glad I got my book last month! :)

  21. I am relieved to know that when I had a bunch or red four squares left over I didn't screw something up. Again, I really love this year's mystery, thank you so much, Bonnie.

  22. Bonnie, I love love your old houses! So intriguing, the stories they could tell. I wish you could give 'em all some of that special Bonnie love and a fresh coat of paint. I have a fantasy vision of a whole string of lovely gracious homes as quilt retreat centers... anyhow, keep posting those cool pictures! 😁

  23. Hi Bonnie, thank you for puttiang up with the international shipping mess for this long. i've found and american address that will forward me my purchases and have used that for my last order, on someone like you, i just can't give up!!!!! onward and upward!!!

  24. I use a forwarding company that is based in USA. NZ post has an agreement with them. It can still be a similar price as USPS as mail is forwarded back to New Zealand but great to be able to buy from smaller businesses that don't offer international shipping.

  25. What a super house - was a surprise to find nobody lives there! That veranda looks super!
    I'm sorry to say that I've not purchased anything from the US for a few years now - the postage seems to cost more than the items purchased! Very sad because I had a fair few favourites but as you say, customs duty on top makes it even worse. A lot of quilt shops over here have closed as the price of fabric and overheads are so expensive - and I know some of my favourites in the US are no longer about. :(

  26. Postage is terribly expensive no matter where you live. I used to buy quite a bit of stuff from US but the cost to post it to Australia is totally prohibitive. I buy digital wherever possible now.

  27. For anyone in UK I bought mine as early Christmas present to myself from Blackwells.co.uk post free. Thank you Bonnie for all you do. X Christine

  28. Your wonderful and thank you for sharing your journey with your friends. So glad you found some treasures along the way. Thanks also for the pictures of the old houses, I understand and my mind goes to what the walls have seen and the warmth of a family just living within its walls.

  29. That house needing the paint is so Civil War!

  30. You know Bonnie, If my memory serves me correct this is the way that Quiltville started, just saying love the pictures of the house, and all the info you have been collecting…. Just saying is there a second inn in the thoughts????

  31. Love your signs but so sad I will no longer be able to order from you, I have always just paid the postage with no problem but now I won’t get the joy of having a signed copy. I understand you are doing this to save us excessive postage costs but still a sad day so pleased I already have my signed copy

  32. I'm so glad to know someone else hears the "voices from the past" in these old houses. I moved near Huntington, WV, over a year ago and can feel so sad at the state of what were once such stately homes. Most of them I'd just like to w
    alk through and hear the ghost whispers. I have a vivid imagination!

  33. I think that's one of the reasons why I enjoy being out in the country, living and/or driving the back roads. The dreams you can have of taking someone's 'trash', and turning it into something useful. Isn't that what quilting is, too, to an extent? Repurposing fabric yardage and scraps into something useful. That's that creative spirit that is in us quilters.

    A suggestion to Canadian customers... find someone you know that lives near the border, and have the items shipped to them, and then arrange to come visit them! Pick up your items from them. My daughter lives in Montreal, but she has a post office box in Plattsburgh, NY, where she has her friends and family who are stateside, send there. She comes across the border on a regular interval to pick up her 'mail'. It's a solution for those can do it, on the Canadian side.

  34. Bonnie, I am so thankful for your daily blog posts - especially those on your new Inn. Great way to start the day. We live in a 208 yr old farmhouse - not as interesting as yours - just utility variety. I love to learn the history of these interesting old homes and wonder about "if these old walls could talk". I love my copy of String Frenzy and plan to pick one to do (whenever - if-ever I can find the time) Have fabrics gathered for Good Fortune and will start cutting today (so far behind but needed to finish MIL's and her roommates nursing home quilts. She is 105 at the end of the month) I love the finished quilt but may have to leave off 2 rows from the width, 1 or 2 rows in length and leave off final border to make small enough to be a nursing home lap quilt. Maybe I will make one full-sized for us - I love that final border.

  35. You can use the red and white squares in your Winston Ways quilt. I'm about one third finished with my blocks just sewing them between other projects. Love it!

  36. I understand on the international shipping decision. It's a shame, but the whole system has gotten so out of control. I sent a holiday package to Australia last fall - was a 'flat rate' box but cost just shy of $100!!! "6-10 day delivery" took three weeks. Crazy stuff. Not doable for a small business.

  37. Bonnie-
    I love little old churches too. Did you have a chance to see any of the Russian Orthodox ones on your trips to Alaska? I Love the big white house you found too. Some how the story of ownership does not surprise me. My Grandmother's farm in Minnesota was that way, Bought by my Grandmother, her brother and sister. The brother and sister never married, and Grandma raised her kids there (Grandpa died when my Dad was 2). She took in one of her nieces when her parents were killed in a run-a-way buggy accident, when she was 6. A Lot of history in old houses and churches!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Kasilof, AK
    Where it is sunny, but very cold (The coldest it has been in 2 years). -1 last night, and all ready down to zero at 7:30pm tonight. It will be a cold one tonight!

  38. I fully understand Bonnie the international shipping saga - I no longer mail anything to South Africa for the reason it either gets "lost" and also the cost of the mailing its way too expensive. But I know how you must feel as you want to help out the international customers too.


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