Friday, April 19, 2019

Thursday for Breakfast!

It all happens here!

There’s been a general store on this corner for eight decades. The building dates back to 1934 as Hoffman’s Store until 2008 when Sarah’s family bought it.

10 year’s later, Sarah’s store has become the place to get gas, pick up some homemade food and something to drink, and enjoy the good life on one of the prettiest backroads in Virginia.

I was invited to come meet the locals, and make some new acquaintances and soon to be friends!

Isn’t this the CUTEST place?

And the quiche was delicious!  The conversation was lively and I enjoyed meeting everyone and telling them about my plans for “The Old Fields Place” which is legendary in these parts.  Email addresses and phone numbers were exchanged.  Information on “how long have you lived in these parts” was gathered.

I am envious of those who have been here 20 years or more – or even “was raised here all my life” with roots so deep they go back generations.  My roots are just starting.  But some day I hope to be able to say “20 years or more” myself.

Little did I know there would be another celebrated author in our “Breakfast Club!”

Deborah Tilson Clark brought in her newly published book  - Friend, Foe or Family: a selection of short stories she has written about life in Appalachia. 
In this selection of ten short stories, Deborah Clark creates a community of characters and shared culture that, while part of the people, time and place of traditional Appalachia, also is set firmly in today's sensibilities. Each story features a women who is caught up in her relationships - to her neighbors, her work, her family or her own spirituality - and is working through them, easing the efforts with humor and honesty.
Of course, I had to purchase a copy for Quiltville Inn right away – We NEED this book of short stories on hand to capture life as it is around here.  I dug into the first story last night - Ooh, this is good!

This was just a DELIGHTFUL morning – I even met one of my neighbors who lives less than a mile from me – tucked down and up on a side road.  If I hadn’t gone to this breakfast we never would have known each other existed because we can’t see each other’s houses for the trees and hollers.

Appalachian Traffic Jam.  LOL!

On my way back – not only was I stuck behind a truck pulling a shed for several miles down a 2 lane road with a double yellow center line (No passing – EVER!) but when he went straight, and I turned back off – I got stuck behind a dump truck going even SLOWER on the winding mountain roads. 

That’s how it is here.  There is nothing you can do about it so just breathe in, breathe out, and look at how green and gorgeous everything is getting.

Restoring my faith in contractors!

I was in Marion running errands (more on that tomorrow!) when I got a phone call from the counter top guy that not only was he on his way (I asked them to call me from about an hour away…) but was running EARLY! 

I told him I was in Marion and would be arriving at the cabin about the same time that he got there. 

Shed in the way – dump truck slowing my pace, I arrived back to the cabin only 10 minutes ahead of him. 

THIS is the way it should be!  If you aren’t going to make an appointment – don’t leave your customer’s hanging. Let them know.  Reschedule if need be.  Let people know you are coming.  It takes so very little effort and I was so happy to have him here taking measurements for the new counter tops for the kitchen and bathrooms at the cabin.

Demo and installation is still a few weeks away, but we are making progress on moving forward.

It was during his visit that I heard some very sad news.

With Gwen Marston, February 2009.

Looking back to February 2009 and wondering how the past 10 years could fly by so fast. Thank you for all the inspiration, Gwen. You made me believe in following my own scrap quilt passion wherever it lead. You will be so very missed.

Evidently about a year ago Gwen was diagnosed with a fast-moving cancer. Family and friends chartered a plane to take her back to her beloved Beaver Island, Michigan last week, one last time. I don’t have any further information. 

The Quilt Alliance has a wonderful interview with Gwen from 2007.  You can access it HERE.

I love that I can still hear the inflections of her voice even by written interview.  I love this excerpt:
Ann Calland (AC) This is Ann Calland from Marion, Indiana. What do you feel is our intention with quilting? What is it about quilting that makes it so hot now? 
GM: I will tell you one thing, when I travel a lot and I’m on the planes, people will say to me, what do you do and I say I’m a quiltmaker and they go “what?” I then say a quiltmaker, you know quilts, blankets. Oh my grandmother, almost without fail. Then the conversation starts and they remember that they have an aunt, almost everybody has an aunt or a granny that made quilts, so it starts triggering. 

I think it is just that personal. In the beginning people were making them with used clothing, which is another thing that is kind of lost and I don’t go there either, but I did, those quilts are like family history a lot of them, that everybody’s clothing, Uncle Harold’s shirt and bla bla bla were in there, and I think everybody knows that it was hand done for the family. Also, because nowadays we don’t make anything, we don’t even make our beds most people. You don’t make your own pie crusts, most people don’t. I would like to say I do. [laughs.] 
Anyway, I think that maybe it is that, because a lot of people have hung on, I mean there are a lot of people getting rid of their family quilts, they couldn’t care the less, but a lot of people are hanging on to stuff that they don’t really know too much about, but grandma made it and so.

Quiltfolk Magazine also has a wonderful article HERE.

Oh my dear Gwen, you will be so very much missed!

Today – it’s raining on the mountain.  I have a lunch date planned with Martha and Toni – probably the last time I will see Toni as she leaves for Montana while I am in Texas next week.

Grab your friends and love them hard, no matter how long they are in your life.  Don’t take them for granted.  I’m grateful for the internet and the ability to keep up with Toni as she moves into her next chapter.

My own Spring Break is winding down – I’ll be heading back to Wallburg late tomorrow afternoon.  Easter Sunday will be spent at home, getting ready for my flight to Dallas on Monday.  It’s been an awesome 3 weeks “off road.” But I’m ready to be surrounded by quilty peeps!

Quiltville Quote of the Day!
Vintage quilt found in Alabama.

Don't keep yourself from growing just because complacency is more comfortable.

Time is passing too quickly for that!

Have a wonderful Friday, my friends!


  1. Your career gives you the opportunity to meet and reconnect with people everywhere, but I love the fact that you have and keep so many good friends close to you. Have a Happy Easter!

  2. Love your daily Blog..it refreshes me..brings back great memories and makes me look forward to each new day with the positive quotes..grab my coffee and breakfast..reading glasses and I am content

  3. Thank you for your post about Gwen Marston. I followed your links, esp. the Quilt Folk article and am instantly drawn to her work. I want to find out more and if her books are still available I'd like to track them down for purchase. What a fine person and quilt artist.

  4. so cool..............Amazon has the book in stock....I may never make it to Quiltville Inn...or anywhere east of the Mississippi...but I will get to enjoy these stories.....BTW I am almost older than that darling store! Thank You Bonnie for bringing so much happiness into every day.

  5. Well said Bonnie. Tell people how much you care about and love them. Family, friends, everyone in ypur life. Tomorrow is not guarenteed to anyone. Went out with my hubby on our anniversary, Jan. 23 this year. We had a wonderful evening, making plans for the spring and summer. In less than a month my dear hubby and soul mate was gone. We have no regrets, but would have loved more time together. Not to be, so people, as Bonnie says, tell those around you they are loved.

  6. I'm thinking there's going to be a lot of catering from the Fox Creek General Store to the Quiltville Inn. Yum!
    RIP Qwen. Gone too soon.

  7. I was so saddened by Gwen's passing. I heard about it last night on Facebook. She was such an inspiration to me in her articles in Ladies Circle Patchwork Quilts in the 80's. I always wanted to take a class from her, but never had the opportunity. She will be missed. And, yes, I heard her voice in my head when I read the article last night!

  8. The 3 red stripes on the mustard quilt ( April-7th ) are a reminder of Gwen Marsden talking about " Martha Washington solution to get things to fit together..." The history we share is amazing and a tribute to quilters then and now .

  9. So did you meet Gwen at Sister's Outdoor Quilt Show? I'm not as familiar with her, other than what Lori told us when she had the Gwen inspired SAL.

  10. Love this quote! So true! thanks you Bonnie for all the inspiration and for sharing Gwen's story. ox

  11. Oh, I wonder if that was Cheryl's she shed?

  12. Yes, Gwen will be missed. I was able to take a class from her several years ago.

  13. WOW... that was a QUICK 3 weeks' Spring Break. It seemed like just yesterday that you came back from Pigeon Forge!

  14. Thank you for letting us know about Gwen Marston. She was a huge influence on me way back when I first fell in love with quilting. I am so sad to hear the news.


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