Monday, March 25, 2019

A Blue Ridge Mountain Day to BREATHE!

Can I just start HERE?

Spring is arriving a bit slower 100 miles away from “home” in Wallburg NC.  But green is slowly creeping up the hills behind Quiltville Inn and I found so much joy and peace in watching the mama cows and their babies wandering the creek from where I was standing on the back porch.

No worries of them coming up this far – there is a fence they can’t cross.  But I love seeing the signs of warmer months ahead creep in one day at a time.

Being here for JUST YESTERDAY was a bonus.  I am so glad that I came here instead of straight home to Wallburg.

Today I can rush to get ready for New Orleans tomorrow.  But yesterday – I just needed  TIME OUT.

Photos from Mountain Quiltfest in Pigeon Forge will continue tomorrow – but today. How about some Quiltville Inn updates?

This little lovely rocker has come home to rock!

All paths cross at Dollar General! LOL!

Carrie was in my classes at Pigeon Forge.  She shared a photo with me of a gorgeous oak rocker she no longer needed, and asked me if I would like it at the Inn.  ABSOLUTELY!

At that moment my plans changed from driving all the way home to Wallburg, NC – or changing direction and come back up I-81 to the cabin.  BEST IDEA EVER.

I pulled off of I-81 at the designated exit and met up with Carrie for the passing off of the oak rocker.

Thank you, Carrie!  This chair is going to be amazing – possibly in a bedroom.  Maybe in the den.  We will see. 

As it is, it was wonderful to just sit and rock a bit on the porch yesterday in between checking out what has been done in the past week since I’ve been up – It is amazing how much can be accomplished in the span of just a few days.  Every day brings us one day closer to being ready and I can’t wait to host groups of quilters within these walls.

Remember the “Wall of Knobs” in THIS POST?

Do you know how hard it is to find a replacement door knob for a VERY OLD door?  A door knob with BOTH set screws in place (Seen in the brass part just below the beautiful shiny glass.) I have searched for months – The knob originally on the front door at Quiltville Inn is just like this – but the screw wouldn’t stay in because the threads were stripped within that brass part – it was just a worn out old set up that couldn’t be fixed.  So a similar replacement was on the “search list.”

If I had not made that detour to find the antique mall from the billboard on the interstate – I may still be searching for this knob.

And if you are finding a knob, and you are there anyway – why not keep looking?  I found a vintage salt/pepper that will look great in the kitchen at Quiltville Inn... I have lots of “white accent” type things going on in there, and it all looks wonderful with that huge white porcelain “apron” sink.  The thing that sealed the deal?  The stoppers on the bottom are rubber not cork, and they are both in place. 

Knob replacement accomplished yesterday morning!

Repainting still to come.

Welcome home, my pretty!

Any guesses what this is??

Let there be electric heat/air!!

The house was built in 1884 and “updated” and added on to in 1906.  LOL.  There has “NEVER” been central air or heat on the ground floor.  The upstairs has wonderful hvac for the comfort of my guests – but the ground floor?  The previous owners never got around to it.

It’s likely the kitchen was a huge heat source for the ground floor – with a big ole family sized wood cook stove.

The den has a wood stove – and the Quilting Quarters has 2 back to back fireplaces that now have new gas inserts.

Beyond that?  No heat.

And this is what we have done this past week to remedy the situation.  Click to play:

How many of you noticed those MITERED CORNERS on the molding around the wood stove hearth? Yes, The Hubster has mad skills!

I posted the following to my Facebook comments on this video when the demands pushing the line of ridiculous to absurd flipped my switch.  Before anyone makes “SUGGESTIONS” on how I should do something, shouldn’t do something, need to do something please adjust your perception of the following to know that I am saying this in a soft voice with a smile, a giggle and a tongue in cheek where needed:

This is a 135 year old house. I nearly didn't take on this venture because of other people's demands.

All bedrooms are upstairs. We are not handicap equipped nor are we required to be.

(The question of “What are YOU doing to HELP the handicapped?” stopped me in my tracks.  This is not a rehab facility!)

If this house doesn't fit your personal needs or preferences, please find a different retreat or build your own.

I am not providing meals.

We will not have RV parking.

You will not get a discount if you stay somewhere else and only plan to stitch inside during the day.

We are opening a quilting retreat venue that will function much as a Vacation Rental by Owner. Your group of up to 12 people rents the entire house for the duration of your stay splitting the fixed cost amongst the members of your group evenly. It would be unfair to your group to have YOU pay less because you stayed in your camper outside.

It is not a bed and breakfast facility bookable by singles. We are not charging “by the bed.” If you are a single, FORM A GROUP. Put the word out there, or start taking down names of folks who would love to join with you.  This is how new friendships happen!

If you are a small group wanting others to round up your group to the max of 12 to split the cost at the most economical amount per person, I will have a “waiting list” of singles or other small groups willing to join you.

No, you may not bring your emotional support animal.

There are no couples suites for you and your husband or boyfriend or significant other.

I do not have a kosher kitchen.

There will not be a Keurig in every room.

There will not be a quilt shop next door.

There are no personal private snoring quarters.

The requests and advice I am getting on a daily basis are driving me batty. (People are so eager to be “helpful” aren’t they?)

What I want is to provide a clean and friendly authentic vintage house experience in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwestern Virginia for groups of up to 12 quilters who want to form friendships, work on their projects, laugh, talk, eat and build memories while stitching together.

I will be available to add on a workshop on a limited basis.  I will not be teaching every day or every weekend. 

Maybe I was naive to think I could do this, but past experience has shown me that those making crazy demands are usually “problem children” to begin with.

We have worked long and hard over the past year to get this far. Some days I just want to say stuff it all and just keep it “By Invitation Only” with no more crazy requests as to what I need to do, should do, shouldn't do. This venue has put me so far into debt and I think that folks should respect my vision for MY retreat, and stop with the demands.

This morning – just this morning –“I have a baby grand piano in Idaho that you need for your Inn. I am willing to donate it to you.”  Sorry, I so appreciate the offer – but I don’t have SPACE!  There is nowhere to put it.  And who is going to deliver it??  LOL!  (really kind, seriously – but no.)

SO!  We go from here! 

Love the ceramic tile that looks like wood!

And that chimney looks WONDERFUL!

(And yes I love this stove, but it will be fall before we fire it up!)

Can we laugh at the ugliest dining room chandelier on the planet?

(Split unit on the wall behind)

It’s so ugly it is cute!

My plan is to move this to the front “grand” staircase and replace the 1970s uglier pendant lamp that is hanging there.  Two new lights will be placed over the dining tables in the dining room.  We will shift things around a bit.

That leaves one weird chandelier still in the Quilting Quarters that may just be used for spare parts.

New LED lights are going in the Quilting Quarters – we want bright daylight in there for quilters to see by.  The walls will be covered with design walls.  AFTER we repaint – so there is still so much to do. I want to repaint the dining room above the chair rail with a very light gray and get rid of the yellowish cream.

I calmed my frazzled crazy request nerves by getting this together!

No nap happened – but does slow sewing count?

Fireweed Quilt Top is together!

Borders? No Borders?  Not sure yet.

But what matters is that it is now UP off the floor and whole.  Here I am “stay stitching” around the outside edge of the quilt top to add some stability and to keep those seams at the edge of the quilt from popping open during the quilting/binding process. (or the border adding process should I decide to do so!)

Fireweed block pattern found in the Sept/Oct 2014 Addicted to Scraps column in Quiltmaker Magazine. Quilt pattern to come at some point. It’s not a completed quilt yet, and there can’t BE a pattern until the quilt is completely done.  Likely next book down the pipeline, so work on some other UFOs and just put this one at the bottom of your “must make” list for now.

Sunday night at the Blue Ridge Movie Lounge!

*Side Note*  Wouldn't it be fun for a retreat group to all go to the movies together?  It's couches, love seats and recliners - too much fun!

It was a Dirty Dancing night – digitally remastered!  SO much fun to see this one.  When I think back over the years, I think Jason was in Kindergarten the last time I saw it in a theater.  What you see here is a commercial before the show due to “copyright” laws. It’s unlawful to take a photo of a movie playing in a theater. Besides. The lights would really be out – here they were only on dim.

We love this place – and they’ve got some good ones coming up in the next few months as well.

As soon as this posts, I’m off back to home.  There are book orders to get out, and quilts to pack for tomorrow’s flight to New Orleans!  The Gulf States Quilting Association Event starts Wednesday!  Those of you who are coming – we are going to have a blast!

Quiltville Quote of the Day!
Vintage album block quilt found in North Carolina.

Anger is one letter short of DANGER!

It doesn't solve anything, it builds nothing, and it can destroy everything.

Exhale and let the anger go.

Have a lovely Monday, everyone!


  1. Bonnie, you are the best! There will always be the problem children. They want to be, they have a skewed view of things as pertain to them. You have many who love you for who you are and are your cheerleaders. Count me as one of them.

    1. You can never please all the people no matter how far you bend over for them. You are so tactful in your responses, you are amazing. Hope to someday visit your retreat place and make some great new friends.

    2. It seems we have become a nation of selfish people, at least 38% of us. This is your enterprise, do what you feel is right, and screw those asking for "stuff" for them. I would like to come to a retreat, but have a limited number of quilting friends, and never found a home in the local guild. So I am a loner, and if I can ever find the time and the funds, I would be on the singles list looking for a group.

  2. Sometimes the "NO COMMENTS" settings are good to use ;-)

  3. ..........Guess that rules out destination weddings at Quiltville Inn....don't throw that spool of thread at me, I was kidding.....giggle....

    1. Hey, can still happen! What a great idea of having as a wedding event leading UP to the wedding! A quilting retreat for the bride's friends and maids, to step away from the frenzy of upcoming nuptials!

  4. OH yes... there all always "helpful" suggestions and entitlement issues to deal with.
    A smile with a firm NO at the ready is how I deal :)
    Have a great Monday!

  5. Wonderful views of the Inn and surrounding area. so peaceful, and then I spy the Fireweed Quilt and think, "That's how my brain is working this Messy Monday!" as I spill my homemade Cobb salad all over the table. (Beautiful colors, do love it). Safe travels, Bonnie!

  6. Oh Bonnie! I can't believe the nerve of some people. Take those suggestions and comments with a grain (or maybe a pound) of salt. Keep doing things your way and be happy. Remember there are many of us who hope to get the opportunity to visit YOUR Quiltville Inn.

  7. Bonnie, just sending a huge {{{HUG}}}. It must be almost impossible some days to keep moving forward toward your dream when so many of us try to make your vision meet our wants -- you know, because you cannot possibly have considered all those things yourself. LOL! I am so happy it is coming together for you -- not by luck or privilege as some seem to think, but by your own hard work and determination. Have fun in NOLA!

  8. Your place, your rules. So wonderful of you to want to share the quilting magic with us. And that you think of us singles. Not easy to find 11 more swedes as crazy as I am that what to go to a retreat far away. Many thanks to you with everything.

  9. Here's what I think you should do (wink) - Grab a cup of tea, sit down, pat yourself on the back and relax! Thanks for sharing your remarkable progress.

  10. I like what you want to provide in your quilt Inn. Keep it up Bonnie! You and your hubby are doing a fantastic job! Beautiful new quilt.

  11. The video was so nice to see your progress and I love you rules. Get it out there on the front end, then your "groupies" can't say they didn't know. You are certainly right about the claw foot tub. I stayed with friends at a rental property in Tennessee this past week. We were there for a softball tournament, no sewing time. It was a refurbished 1920's house and we had the bedroom with the claw foot tub fixed with a shower. I am almost 69 so I understand the be careful getting out of the tub. Thankfully I was extremely careful.
    Keep up the good work and the updates. Love, love what you are doing to refurbish but keep its original feel.

  12. I really enjoyed the update video - things are looking amazing! You've gotten so much done! I think your 'ugly' chandelier is really sweet. ;)

    Fireweed is gorgeous. So much motion. It's been really fun watching it grow.

  13. I just have to laugh at all the things you say people are asking for - I guess a lot do not understand what a quilting retreat is and your vision for it which I believe is absolutely wonderful!! It will be a wonderful place for 12 like minded quilters to stay and the rest can go find another place!!

  14. Dear Bonnie- I can understand your frustration at comments about your new venture that do not appear to be helpful or indicating "special" accommodation. The "upside" is that you have entranced and wetted our appetites for this dream of opening the Quiltville Inn and it might be simply, that we all want to be part of this dream or a dream of our own, and not left out. I know myself, I look forward to all the updates about the Inn and feel as if I'm part of it, because you are so open to sharing it with us. We can learn from your example, and build our "own Quiltville Inn", by being open to and taking on challenges in our own lives, big and small. Thank you for your daily inspiration.

    1. Ditto. I dream of coming there. Will have to sign up for your waiting list.

  15. Yea, for the updates! I wanna be part of an orpan group. Meeting new Quilty friends is the best! It will be a dream to visit your sweet Virgina inn. You are doing so much, I am grateful to follow along .

  16. It really is amazing what some people think and speak. I am grateful that you are letting us all share in this dream of Quiltville Inn. Seeing all of the amazing work y'all have done so far is inspiring. A stay at Quiltville Inn is definitely on my wishlist. Hoping my sis and I can make it happen. Til then I, along with so many others, are enjoying sharing your journey with you. Thanks for all you do. P. S. - Today's quote is an excellent lesson/reminder.

  17. Well I for one love this Quiltville Inn with all it's history and work you and yours are doing but I even laugh at the ugly comments you get. There is always "people" who are never happy, remember they like this everywhere they are or go.
    Store, home, and probably church.

  18. Thank you for the update on Quiltville Inn. It's really coming along nicely.
    I live in a 60 something row home and all of my door knobs are glass. Even as I have upgraded kitchen and bath, I wanted the doors and door knobs to remain. The contractor thought I was crazy! LOL. Your Inn is going to be a wonderful retreat area. I don't have 12 friends any more that could come but I would certainly love a place on your wait list. I might never come inside! I like porches and those are wonderful. Maybe you can tell I don't have a porch. Haha. Thanks so much for all that you do. I truly appreciate your talents. Peace and blessings.

  19. I find the idea of a very light gray color in the dining room VERY appealing. Nothing like a fresh coat of paint. The last movie I watched was "An Ideal Husband" 1998 with Julianne Moore. I never get tired of viewing "Pride and Prejudice" with Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth.

  20. Love the rocking chair - such a thoughtful addition to the Inn.

  21. Place looks oh so charming. Thanks for the tour.
    Really like the purple setting triangles on your new quilt. You have wonderful taste in all aspects of your business (and life). Thx for sharing.

  22. Here is a giggle: A friend posted a picture on Facebook of her kids eating her fresh chocolate chip cookies. Someone posted that "the cookies were too flat". Out of the blue and so unhelpful. I can understand asking a question before making a reservation but complaining and demanding are so rude. Ana USA

  23. This comment has been removed by the author.

  24. Loved the comment re cows coming too close. I hadn't seen a fence, but thought there must be one someplace.

    Imagine how a previous owner would love to be at that big wood stove, cooking or canning(!!) with that beautiful AC running.

    Love the view of the table with the gorgeous lace tablecloth through the open door.

    Last - yesterday, I read about a men's quilting retreat that started 21 years ago. There were 20=ish of them this year, from all over the USA and Canada. Many of them probably started as "singletons" who have connected and now have amazing friendships and memories. Anyone who is dreaming of experiencing a Quiltville Inn retreat shouldn't let being alone stop them; as you said, join a group and make new friends.

  25. Oh Bonnie...you patient, kind lady! Send all those problem children to their rooms withe the direction to not come out until they have their acts together! I am so sorry such a lovely venture as the Quiltville Inn is being beset by such nonsense.

    From the day you found that quaint house, I viewed it as a peaceful, warm retreat where good people could spend good time quilting and laughing together. I so look forward to sitting around the table or out on your porch with a nice cuppa, enjoy good company and a beautiful country.

    Please know there are a whole lot more of us who understand what Quiltville Inn is about than there are "naughty birds" who need a time out.

    Be strong, be at peace, and relish in your wonderful accomplishment.

    We are proud of you and have your back!

    Thanks so much for being you.

    Loretta McGinn

  26. boy some people have a LOT of nerve i'd say....continue with your vision and be firm with those who would try to change YOUR idea of what YOU want...

  27. Thank you for sharing your vision. It is fun to follow your journey, even though I don't envision myself ever being able to see the Quiltville Inn in person. Do take any suggestions with a grain of salt. It maybe that they haven't commented with the right words. (Our oldest daughter was upset yesterday, because she took something her dad said as more than a passing suggestion. He was thinking about a project she wants to undertake and was just relaying a possibility, not something that had to be done that way). Many have the vision of what they would want or need stuck in their own heads. I am sure occasionally someone has a good thought, but you have been working on this long enough now to have sorted out what is needed. You can't be everything for everyone. (We have been thinking of a walk-in shower to replace our clawfoot tub for years. It hasn't happened yet. Only good thing is the sink is close enough to steady oneself upon existing the tub).

  28. I love the things you have done and are working on. How you manage to remain so gracious and up-beat is inspiring. I'm sad for those who find it necessary to criticize and demand. They must have very unhappy lives. Keep being you - lots of us like you just as you are.

  29. Such a polite hissy fit! It's about time too. We've never met but I LOVE your blog and look forward to reading it everyday. Can't wait to be a guest at Quiltville Inn...when you're ready. So proud of what you've done so far. It looks great!

  30. Good for you and your dream, vision, hard work and money. Some people mean well some are just selfish and some feel entitled. You are in control and it will be so perfect and inviting. Know how many are living vicariously through you. Go to it!

  31. You've got this! We'll all help! Marilyn Marks

  32. It's your Inn/home and so you may choose the rules. It is beautiful. People need to remember they are guests. They may look at the amenities and decide whether to partake or not. Our slogan in Nebraska is "Nebraska - it's not for everyone". Maybe you could adopt it also. LOL. Love reading your blog everyday. You are my bright spot.

  33. This is going to be awesome! I do hope that most of those "demands" were really just inquiries and not expectations. Your house. Your rules.

  34. Years ago I was raising $27,000 to refinish floors and replace carpeting in the sanctuary of our church. One afternoon a womwn (not even a church member or attendee) phoned to tell me that I was "doing it all wrong". I asked her to hold the phone a minute so I could get paper and pencil to take notes. She was thrilled when I asked her to please spell her name and include her phone number which I needed to carefully write down. I then thanked her for the call and told her that next year I would contact her as she would be completely in charge of the event and she could institute all her ideas. Never heard from her again.

  35. I *adore* your doorknobs! I grew up in what is called a "Milwaukee bungalow", and then rented the lower in a similarly styled duplex for twenty years. Those crystal knobbed doorknob sets were a popular thing back then. Alas, my 1970s built condo has no character, lol. I'm slowly replacing the interior doors, which includes nicer doorknobs.

    Love the pictures of the inn, love that I'm pretty easygoing when it comes to retreats, LOVE that you have a list for singletons wanting to join a group-will check it out.

  36. The Inn looks lovely!! Thank you for sharing all the hard work. Well done on sticking up for yourself!!!
    Bonnie, Newark California

  37. I read & enjoy your blog every day. Quiltville Inn looks like a wonderful place and I can tell by your answers that you are having some interesting requests. I will never understand why some people think everyone and everything should be arranged to accommodate them.

  38. Thanks for blogging. The quotes are always right on and helpful to me. Thank goodness not everyone is negative!

  39. Wonderful Quote of the day and the pointers below it.

    I like all your notes about what Quiltville Inn is and is not! I may have to make several trips up and down the stairs, as I am not as nimble as I used to be, but I am used to it. Stairs are great exercise, and the reason I have them in my house.

    I can't wait to join a group and come visit you and Quiltville Inn! I Love old houses!

    Kasilof, AK
    Where the sun is shining today and it is trying to be spring here, too!

  40. I'm hoping at some point to come visit your retreat, whether it's as a group, or just renting the darned thing for me and a couple friends as a half-birthday gift to me some year, or whatever. And I wanted to bring you a present.

    Now I know what it will be. A counted cross-stitch sampler that says, "No is a complete sentence."

    Of COURSE you should have your retreat as you envisioned. And without the criticism of others. It will be wonderful and awesome.

  41. I have that same ugly chandelier hanging over my dining room table at our farm house that is 90 years old!! I HATE it too!! Taking off those crystals and cleaning them is a major pain! The new rocking chair is a real beauty and I'm glad you got to spend some time rocking on the porch looking at the beauty around Quiltville Inn. Nothing like the peace of God's creation to bring us peace. Of course, there is nothing like whiny, demanding folks to try to steal that peace. Quiltville Inn is your dream that is coming true through your hard work and sacrifice. The Inn looks so beautiful with the updates you have made...a visit there is on my bucket list!!! I'm willing to drive from Washington state to stay there!!

  42. "Don't Let Them Steal Your Joy!!!" I hope you can find peace in my mantra. Every morning as I sit with a cup of coffee reading your blog I can just envision myself sitting on the porch of your retreat center drinking coffee with some quilty friends. Thank you for taking me to such a peaceful place, so full of love and dedication to a hobby I so much enjoy.

  43. The Inn is looking wonderful. I love old things and the quirky stuff that comes with old things. Don't let those problem children get you down. Too many people these days think everything is all about them, and those poor people don't know how to enjoy anything.

  44. Bonnie, I would(hope) to get to your retreat center someday.....did I mention YOUR retreat center????. This is YOUR DREAM!!!!!!!YOUR PLANS!!!!!!YOUR MONEY!!!!!!You do WHATEVER YOU WANT!!!!!!!!!!. Keep going with YOUR RETREAT, like you said, this is YOUR RETREAT(oh, maybe I said that, LOL) but still, you know what I mean.....Keep up with the updating us on YOUR RETREAT, love it..

  45. Amazing..... Thank you so much for updated tour. The Inn looks absolutely wonderful and I hope one day to visit. Thanks for sharing all the progress with us. Hold firm - Givers need to set limits because Takers never do.
    Your dream is coming to life and its going to be fantastic!

  46. I believe that if someone steps up to pay my bills ONLY then do they get to have a say in my business. Until then unless I ask for their opinion I can guarantee I am not interested in it.
    You, dear Bonnie, have the patience of a multitude of saints. I sincerely cannot fathom the audacity of individuals who presume to instruct you on how to run your life. I wish you only the very best in your endeavors. You deserve a rest and a reprieve from such ridiculous nonsense.

  47. Bonnie...I am not a 'problem child" but I must tell you that the chandelier you called ugly looks just like the one in MY dining room!! And I like it!!!

  48. I just wish I could have your life. I dream of having a quilting Inn / retreat. Live your dream.

  49. Bonnie, love Fireweed! And, make YOUR retreat venue the way YOU want it!

  50. Bonnie - just for fun - there is a retreat house near Lake Tahoe with similar sized groups - you might want to look at the web site...http://www.sewreadyretreat.com/. I rented it with about a dozen friends, and we had a fabulous retreat. One fun thing was that one group started leaving a block behind on the design board, and then other groups added to it - and it became many !!!!

    1. LOVE the idea of leaving the block behind for the next groups to contribute to. Inspiration and connecting, incognito!

  51. Our quilting group is small, so I don't expect to be able to go to The Inn, but perhaps someday......I think that it is wonderful that your are able to embark on this new adventure. Couldn't you put the baby grand in the Post Office??? :~)

    1. I'm sure Bonnie considered that option, but the Post Office is going to be her mail fulfillment center, as well as become her studio, I'm sure. And then we'd have the same issue... shipping costs to get it from Idaho to Virginia. That's expensive. I remember when my parents arranged to send me my grandfather's Singer threadle sewing machine to me from California to Kentucky, where I was living. It cost me over $500 to have it shipped via commercial truck service. And that's only a quarter of the size of a baby grand piano. Then you have to have it tuned again, once it gets delivered, professionally. If it's in the Post Office, then only she would see it, and have the benefits, along with anyone helping her in shipping items from her 'store'.

      BTW, Bonnie, not trying to take away from your thought process. These are MY musings as to why you probably wouldn't consider this idea. I'm like you when it comes to thinking logistically, which comes to thinking logically.

  52. Wow! What amazing progress you are making at Quiltville Inn, I love that door knob so pleased that you managed to find a replacement. Those wall heater/ air conditioner will make things very comfortable for the retreaters. I hope I will one day be able to come over and stay from the UK and share the ambiance of this lovely building you are restoring and fixing up it looks amazing.
    Love and quilty hugs
    Anne xxx

  53. I LOVE the red stove/ fire. It looks wonderful. I'm loving watched you develop your inn.

  54. Great Vision, wonderful responses to those with inappropriate comments, and a "Atta Girl" clap on the back for the great changes to your vintage Inn! (The piano in ID was the icing on the cake!!! Maybe one for each room, sweetie?????)
    Love your newest quilt and the cows in the back pasture!

  55. Humans always simple amaze me:(. The place is fantastic, guess what I finished Good Fortune yesterday.

  56. I had a similar chandelier over my dining room table. I didn't think it was ugly. But it was covered in dust and dirt after a bathroom reno. So I replaced it. Much easier than cleaning it.
    Bonnie, just keep on doing what you are doing. I love your rules! Perfect! Can't wait for the reservation list to come out.

  57. Oh my goodness - I just howled my way through that list of things! Sorry - you have been so stressed by the demands, but I saw the funnier side of it - so awful you have to laugh. The retreat has come on leaps and bounds and is awesome. Love seeing the progress so thank you for the tour.

  58. Maybe every helpful comment should have a $50k pricetag. Then you could amass the money to build them their own retreat and hire a manager for them. Complainers and problem-children should have their own little world to live in so that dreamers like you can live YOUR dream!

    Keep on truckin' Bonnie. Hugs to you!

  59. I am sure these problem children are the same ones complaining about your wonderful pets. Onward and upwards!

  60. We have one of those split units and ADORE it! The brand is Pioneer, so we named it Merriwether after Lewis and Clark. And because it takes lousy weather and makes it merry! :)

  61. Wonderful to get a tour of your amazing progress so far! The windows look fantastic...love how there are several places where there are windows on both sides of a corner! You certainly made the right decision with the Mitsubishi heater/AC....we have one in our sunroom addition and it is a workhorse! The Inn is going to be breath-taking when you complete your vision of renovating it! Thanks for letting us share in the journey, and never mind all the problem children....too many people have no filters these days! :)

  62. I am following your journey to a functioning Quiltville Inn with great interest. I will probably never be able to visit, but all the pictures and descriptions are almost as good as being there.
    People will drive you crazy with their demands, if you let them. Laying out the rules from the get-go is the only way.

  63. I could have been one of those problem children! However due to many health problems would never think to impose my "needs" on a quilt retreat or anyone else.
    Someday I may drive past your retreat just to have a look,as I have enjoyed the journey you have so lovingly provided through your blog.
    My grandparents' home was a 4 plus story stone home with turrets and built in 1858. Every door had glass doorknobs, other than tha front door.There were transoms over some doors to allow for air flow during the hot summers.
    Thank you so much for sharing all the updates.

  64. Snicker, snicker! You definitely have your hands full! EVerything looks beautiful!

  65. Bonnie, I loved it!!! I own a retreat in Wisconsin and have had the same "helpful" advice from the beginning-and still do-but have found being upfront from the start sure clears up any unrealistic expectations. I am sooooooo waiting for the reservations to open, I have my 11 friends ready to go (yes, even though I own my own!!). I can't wait to spend a week just relaxing, sewing, relaxing, watching nature - and did I mention RELAXING. The place is looking amazing and you're doing a great job maintaining the history and charm. Can't wait for the announcement that reservations are OPEN!!!!

  66. I really like that fireweed quilt top. It would have made a pretty mystery quilt.

  67. As the song says, “just do it your way!” The Inn will be booked as far out as your teaching gigs as soon as you open.

  68. Quiltville is coming along beautiful! I can't believe how far it has come already. Loving all of your changes and sharing your journey with us. That RED fireplace is so cute! and I love the chandelier too! The Blue ridge mountains in the background is a piece of heaven I hope to share someday!

  69. Looks like it will be a wonderful place to gather and relax. This is your vision and I think it is going to be great. I hope to make it there one day. As for the suggestions being made, the people making the suggestions should try to take on the task of opening a retreat center. I think they would change their tune and appreciate all the work that goes into this. I'm sure they would realize you can't accommodate everyone's needs. Can't wait to hear when the opening will be.

  70. All I would say to those 'problem childen' is this. Take a look at the homes that are vacation rentals by owners (VRBOs), particularly like cabins in the Great Smokey Mountains. Do you provide food for everyone through those rentals? Nope... you provide your own. The owner isn't there, 24/7, as a rule, either. They arrive to give you the keys, a tour of the facilities, and then you're on your own. You know this, by visiting Doris' retreat in Texas! But these problem children have never, obviously, been in such a situation. As you said, it's not a B&B, where the innkeeper and staff are there to accommodate the guests' needs. You're on your own! :)

    Love your blog, and bringing us along, vicariously. I love the Shenandoah valley area of Virginia. I used to live in Elizabeth City, NC, and worked in Chesapeake, Virginia, so on the weekends and free days, I was exploring those states, day drives, etc. I live in North Dakota now. What a difference. Some day, I'll bring hubby back to show him it all. He loves seafood, and taking him to all the places where it's abundant and so good, like in NOLA, too! Places where he's never been.

  71. I absolutely LOVE your retreat house. Visiting it is going on my bucket list:) Until then, I live vicariously through your posts.

  72. I have the twin sister to your "ugliest dining room chandelier" in my bedroom !!! How funny! And when we sell this house, it goes with me

  73. Oh Bonnie, your ugly chandelier is very close to the two that I bought from Sears back about 1973 to put in the living and dinning rooms of my 1913 house in Blaine, Washington! I was young, and they were perfect in the space. Mine had 40 crystals that I took down 1 to 2 times a year to wash and polish. So not my style now. But oh how I loved them in that house with 9'3" ceilings!

  74. Bonnie -- I smiled when I read the issues you are dealing with -- not because they are funny or because you are so, so right in your responses, but because I went thru many of the same issues. You are right to lay out the "operating rules". After running a retreat for 8 years, I know that many people have absolutely no idea what it takes to make it all work -- personally, professionally, or legally. Retreat owners are not in business to please everyone -- that's just not possible an would be legally and cost prohibitive even if you wanted to do it. People need to recognize that these are personal places, personal homes, personal attachments of the owner that are being shared. They are not "conveniences" for the masses and many will not find them useful. You are totally on the right track. Do not lose faith and continue to just be clear about what you do and do not offer. It will please many. I will tell you that I stopped advertising...didn't need to. Everyone booked again and again, spring and fall, a year in advance, and were quite happy with the rules and regs, many of which were just what you have outlined. I did cater food. . . you might find a willing soul somewhere nearby willing to do that for an extra cost --meaning to plan the menu, pick it up, serve it and clean up. but, in reality, most retreats just let folks cooks their meals and groups do a fine job of splitting up the meal tasks. It works. You are right! You are totally in the right frame of mind. Publish the "rules of the house" and let everyone who doesn't want to - or can't - adapt move on. My friends and I already want to book!

  75. Bonnie, I love reading your blog and following your instagram. You are so positive and joyful. Thank you for sending your joy out to be shared. I know it’s work to create like you do. I love your Inn updates and hope to visit. I had several non working glass doorknobs I saved as we updated our old farmhouse and my smart husband installed them as curtain holders in my cozy sunroom. They are so sweet there. Love your decor for the Inn! Keep going and ignore any negative comments. You are amazing!


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