Saturday, March 16, 2019

Twice to Galax and Back Again!

I made my first foray to downtown Galax VA!

With Toni in Tow!

We’d been talking about it for some time.  Another girl’s day out where we could wander, shop, enjoy lunch and explore.

Last time it was the three of us – Martha, Toni and myself.  Off to Boone, NC we went and had a great time.

This trip however – Martha was enjoying the company of her son and granddaughter and we know how that takes precedence – so we issued her a rain check redeemable at any time with no expiration date and set out down winding mountain 2 lane highways – past Independence, VA and on to Galax.

I’d driven THROUGH Galax before – it’s an easy drive when coming from Eastern Virginia to Southwestern where the cabin resides.  I sort of knew where downtown was and always wanted to explore, but I was always coming through at the end of a long drive, shops closed for the night.

Yesterday was THE DAY!

Our first stop-and-wander!

The old First National Bank Building -

Along with all of the different art forms produced and sold by students at the school, the building itself is a treasure and we were invited to tour both floors and classrooms – how fun!

The thing we loved the most?  The converted vault space!

How cool is this!

And we came upon our first WEIRD THING of the day:

What the heck is it?  It’s a SAFE?!

A round safe?  Cool!

Old advertising card, no date.

I wasn’t able to find out much, but Mosler worked from their Hamilton, Ohio factory from 1891 on forward until they closed in 2001.

Their safes and vaults were renowned for their strength and precision manufacture: several Mosler vaults installed in Hiroshima's Mitsui Bank building prior to WWII survived the nuclear attack, a fact the company widely publicized in its marketing. (Is it any wonder?!)

It was just an amazingly weird thing – especially since you wouldn’t think you could store all that much in it with the round shape.

It just goes to show you, you will never know what you will find if you don’t get out and just see what there is to see.

Gorgeous Victorian writing desk -
Way beyond my price range!

This one was so cool though – it had hidden compartments and drawers on the sides of the desk – I surely would like to know who originally owned this one and what things they wrote while using it!

A 6 drawer spool cabinet – way out of my price range as well.

I am sensing a theme here!

Oh sweet nine-patch!

Beautiful Baptist Fan Quilting!

When I mentioned the Baptist Fan quilting to Toni (Who has been quilting since forever and attends a local Baptist church!) she asked “Why is it called Baptist Fan?” 

I honestly have no idea.  I’ve also heard it called Bishop’s Fan when being applied to Amish quilts, but it was one of those all over designs that could be accomplished easily at a church quilting bee -

Imagine the quilt stretched out on 2 x 4 boards, C clamps in place and rested on chair backs.  You could have several ladies around the frame, easily quilting the design  with the natural arc of their arm – it’s also called “Elbow Quilting” by some.  Hold your arm at the elbow, and then move the held arm counter clockwise – Easy quilting movement, right? It feels natural.

At any rate – I think she believed me.  But now I really want to know how the fan quilting got it’s denominational name!

(It’s a good topic for National Quilting Day – feel free to leave your words of wisdom and quilting knowledge in the comments section below!)

We had a great day of visiting, and the conversation continued all the way back to Quiltville Inn where we had left Toni’s car and taken my van just in case we found really cool BIG STUFF. 

Part of the discussion was “I’d really like to find an old church pew for the side porch – it would be perfect under the stained glass kitchen window.”

“I saw something about one in Facebook Marketplace this morning before coming to meet you.  I’ll forward it when I get home.” was her reply.

Oh, it’s perfect!  And only $75.00!

I had not been home 20 minutes when a text to the seller showed that it was indeed still available.  But I needed to pick it up last night because the guy was heading out of town. 

It was back in GALAX!  With nothing else but a relaxing evening ahead anyway – The Hubster and I grabbed up Sadie and some other things that needed returning to Lowes and headed out.  My 3rd Galax-to cabin-and back to Galax leg of the day, followed by the 4th leg home.  A 45 minute drive each way.

But the PEW MUST BE HAD!!!

9 feet of wonderful vintage pine pew.

We will head back to the Inn today to move it out of the garage and on to the porch – it was dark, cold and late by the time we got back.

Now for the funny story – Remember, I’m not done with the antique mall stuff yet.

The man shed needs a wood stove.

When home I shared photos of this one.

A tad bit rusty – but that can be dealt with.

Look at that fun shape!

Due to the space he has – we really need something along the “pot belly” line so it doesn’t stick out too much from the corner of the shed into the door space. 

We’ve spent the morning watching YouTube videos on how to remove rust from cast iron stoves and get them running.

It looks like there may be another drive out to Galax today to pick this one up.  It IS the Hubster’s birthday today after all.  If he wants a stove project, he can have a stove project.

A happy man with a happy man shed leaves his wife more time to quilt! (Even if his birthday coincides with National Quilting Day - the Struggle is Real, believe me!)

And don’t forget what ELSE is going on today for National Quilting Day:

What: My video interview (including a tour of my cabin quilting studio) for the Quilt Alliance's StoryBee series

Why: To celebrate National Quilting Day

When: All weekend long starting Saturday, March 16th

Where: The Quilt Alliance closed Facebook group, Quilt Alliance Story Circle.  (Click and JOIN!)

You can also view the many other StoryBee interviews with your favorite Quilt Artists through the weekend.  Don't miss this opportunity!

This is a special PRIVATE GROUP event so you will have to join the group to access the interview.

Quiltville Quote of the Day!

Happy National Quilting Day!

I hope today finds you with project in hand and time to create!


  1. I can only surmise that "Baptist Fan" quilting was a take on the deep south ladies in Baptist churches fanning themselves prior to A/C...but who knows. Love your adventures and the wonderful things you find. Happy birthday to your hubster and Happy Quilting Day! As someone who grew up solely with wood-burning stoves, I appreciate seeing the pic of that 'rusty old thing' and hope you'll post a pic when your hubs gets it all cleaned up - it's a beauty even with the rust.

  2. Bonnie, I have no idea about Baptist Fan, but I totally love your vintage tours with all the fun stuff you find! Love the woodstove! The Inn and post office look great!!! You're amazing! Love your blog every day and always feel uplifted. Happy March, happy spring!

  3. Isn't weird how often that will happen? How long has it been since you were through Galax? Now three round trips in a couple of days. That wooden pew and the sweet 9-patch are good reminders of how it is the simple things in life that can really make us smile. Happy Quilting Day!

  4. Really enjoyed your trip to Galax all of them. LOL Your interview was wonderful and even though I need to be packing for a week in Tennessee with my 93 year old Aunt in Nashville, followed by my granddaughter playing Softball in Murfeesboro, I had to watch your interview. Time well spent - now to the packing!!

  5. I belong to a hand quilting group that every monday gets out the c clamps,
    boards and saw horses to quilt. Great socializing.

  6. Great post this morning. Love the Church Pew and wood stove. When I think of Baptist fans, yes quilting; but also the church/court scene from To Kill a Mockingbird with Gregory Peck and the balcony shot of waving church fans, Baptist fans(?). Have a great day!

  7. Enjoyed the interview very much. Have watched two others too, not as enjoyable as yours.

  8. My first post-college job was at Mosler in Hamilton. Kind of a family thing as my grandpa, dad and uncle also worked there. They also built the safe which houses the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights at the National Archives.

  9. Thank you so much for all you do and share! I am especially grateful to you on this, National Quilting Day!

  10. Sounds like you both are enjoying this weekend. I agree with you that when a man is happy and occupied with his own project then we get more time for ours. Galax looks like a fun town to explore. Happy Quilting Day!

  11. What a fun time you had in Galax. Love the church pew and the old stove. Great additions, I'm sure! Loved your interview and several others, too. Happy National Quilting Day. I'm sure you will get some sewing time in as well. Hugs!

  12. When touring the Gen. Crook House in Omaha the docent showed a quilt with Methodist quilting: crosshatch to show they were anti-drinking and anti-smoking. She had never heard of Baptist fan quilting although she said she was Baptist.
    I love following your adventures. Happy Quilting everyday.


  13. Here is the little I found on Baptist Fans:

    The fan design is most commonly known as "Baptist Fan" or "Methodist Fan" because it is a very common utilitarian quilting design that was often used for quilting bees in the basement of churches - hence the name. These utilitarian quilts from the last half of the 19th century and early 20th century were quickly quilted by the church ladies for fund raisers. Those sweeping fans, you see, are easy to quilt when you are sitting around a quilt frame. They follow the natural movement of your arm. Each person did the section in front of them, then the quilt was rolled and a new section appeared before you to be quilted. This design is seen over and over again in antique quilts.


  14. Look at the brick building to the left in your first picture. The way that roof has been done is the only permanent way to keep a roof between higher walls from eventually leaking again. The sealing around the edges eventually comes unsealed due to temperature extremes and there's more leaking. We had that problem here on the public library roof. The bank has had that issue as well as some buildings owned by my husbands cousin. Not to mention my old high school where we dodged 5-gal. buckets in the hallways any time it rained. Just saying this from experience knowing you don't want to be told what to do.

  15. Oh, I adore that saying "innocent little hobby" - indeed it's what I think often. Great blog today. Thanks for sharing.

  16. An innocent little hobby - LOL!!!

  17. Your explanation of Baptist fan is just the same as Elenor Burns has described in her shows, and seems a logical explanation as if you hav e group of ladies sat in a row you would only have a small space to move your arm without injuring a neighbor.
    I love your antique finds I’ve never seen anything like that safe so unusual and that beautiful desk wow!
    Hope your hubs has a wonderful birthday, and enjoys his little pot belly stove
    Love and quilty hugs
    Anne xxx

  18. Hi Bonnie- No great quilting wisdom for the day, including none on Baptist fans! But, I love your church pew, and the the writing desk, the spool cabinet and wood stove. Mosler Safes- almost every Army unit I know of had at least one of some size, number of doors, drawers etc, dependent on what all you needed to store for safe keeping!

    Kasilof, AK
    Where high temps are bringing an early like spring melting, and more ice at night.

  19. What a great trip and cute town. I retired from a bank in SW Wyoming and we had a round safe in our main vault. It always reminded me of a washing machine. I learned from the history channel that round safes were harder to break into. Thank you for sharing your fun day.

  20. I have my grandmother's "quilting boards" and c-clamps. I am not in the least able to figure out how to use them or search on youtube to find out how to use them. I would sure like to know!
    How lucky you are to be make such great finds on your Girls Day Adventure--the stove seems to be the icing on the cake. Happy Birthday to your Hubs!

  21. This might be the answer you are looking for on the baptist fan: http://minickandsimpson.blogspot.com/2009/06/fuss-free-hand-quilting.html

    Clearbrook MN


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