Sunday, October 13, 2019

Duct Tape Queen! *Singing*

This is me in design wall land.

There are many reasons for covering every available wall space in the Quilting Quarters at Quiltville Inn with design wall boards, (Foam insulation board covered with flannel.) and the top 12 reasons are the 12 quilters the Quilting Quarters will hold! 

I can’t wait to see these walls covered with blocks and parts – dreams and possibilities.  BRING ON THE COLOR.  It’s far too “beige” in here as it is!

I have used foam insulation boards for design walls at my own home studio in Wallburg, NC.  Those I covered with grey fleece, and they wouldn’t hold anything of weight as the blocks got bigger and heavier with seams, so I am opting for flannel this time.

Some folks said they used staples in their own design wall experience to hold the fabric to the foam board, but I’m STICKING (see that pun there…punny! haha!) with duct tape. There are many reasons for this, but the duct tape lets me unstick and readjust until I’m certain things are a taut as I want them to be. I don’t enjoy picking out staples.

Four sewing tables pushed together makes a great work surface!

Foam boards everywhere!

Only we were 2 boards short.

For those curious - I can reach the top of the design wall with my extended arm.  That's as tall as I'm going. It's as tall as the door way.  If someone needs more design wall than that, they may have to occupy a floor somewhere.

(I really don't want folks standing on chairs or climbing on tables....would you?)

My day also included a long drive to Bristol VA to pick up the LAST two twin mattresses we need (and more duct tape and 2 more foam boards and while I was at it curtains and rods for bedroom number 3.) and back to Quiltville Inn to unload and regroup.

Mattresses are on ALL beds! Curtains will be hung before retreat test group #1 arrives Black Friday.

This morning I am washing the thermal blankets that will go over the sheets and under the quilts – these will be followed by all the sheet/quilt washing – I am in a bit of a panic as I realized with the time that I am gone to Kenya, and the time I am gone to Indiana next month – that I really only have the equivalent of 3 weeks worth of work to get things as ready as possible.  I’m in a bit of a dizzy dither and trying to calm myself.

Today I am humming “Duct Tape Queen!” to the tune of Abba’s Dancing Queen and getting these boards ready to install.  Jeff will be painting in here before I return from Kenya, and then some washers and screws and these will be mounted.

And these lights?  SO BLAZINGLY AWESOME!

And there are blinds for the windows, but we need to paint the trim first.

I purchased several California King Flannel Sheet Sets for my design walls.

AmazonBasics Everyday Flannel Bed Sheet Set - California King, White. They run about $30 for the set. But there are then no seams in my 4'x8' design walls because the fabric is super wide and long. It was much cheaper doing them this way than purchasing by the yard.

I removed the elastic from the fitted sheets and am able to cover a design board with the fitted sheet as well, even the pillow cases - I took the seams out and unstitched the cuff hem and these pieces are big enough to cover personal design boards as well.  There will be free standing design walls that can be moved around as well…Oh, so much white flannel!

I keep telling myself – ever step is one step closer!

Grassy Creek, NC Post Office.

Photo taken with new camera.

I’ve taken some practice shots over the3 past few days – and this is a scene I dearly love.  This little post office is “over the hill” from the cabin.  And the operating hours are 12:30 –4:30.  I come here if there is an afternoon post office drop off that needs to happen.

Where was I standing?

On the hill – next to Grassy Creek Methodist Church, circa 1904.

My visit to the Old 1908 Courthouse museum earlier this summer let me know that the architect for this sweet church is the same architect that not only designed the 1908 courthouse, but  Quiltville Inn as well.  I love having ties to this community!

Frank Milburn was known throughout the southeast in the period from 1880 to 1920 as a prolific architect. His designs for public buildings, including courthouses, state houses, train stations, and others were built in Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, North and South Carolina, as well as Virginia.

Milburn had a prolific architectural business, primarily in the southeastern US from the 1880s to the 1920s. He was noted for using very modern business practices, especially for the time. He reused designs (or portions of designs) as much as possible, reducing the cost. There were several other public buildings in the region that bear a striking resemblance, however, the Historic 1908 Courthouse is only one of a few public buildings that survive. [source]

A publication that Milburn used to promote his business can be seen here. Fascinating!

Grassy Creek Methodist Church from the cemetery across the street.

I love the clarity this camera gives!

And mind you, these are not “original” sized photos – they’ve been saved as smaller files for posting here – I’d sure love to know what this building was in its day.

Other things going on today:

If you'd like to win one (USA addresses only please) enter to win on this past Wednesday's blog post. Drawing to happen Monday!

And SURPRISE!  We will be drawing THREE LUCKY WINNERS!

You can order them directly at
myironez.com and save 15٪ using coupon code BH15off on the checkout page!

October is still in full swing!

And so is the half-price sale on my Punkin Patch Table Runner pattern, only $4.00!

This is my last day in Virginia - I head home to Wallburg tomorrow to prepare for my trip to JFK, NY on Tuesday, and off we go to Kenya on Wednesday!

There are still some things I need to pick up on my way home tomorrow – (including a hat with a wide brim to protect my neck and face – it’s going to be hot hot hot down by the equator!) Oh – this is really going to happen!

Quiltville Quote of the Day -

Life is not a race. Each day is different. Don't gauge what you should accomplish today by what you accomplished yesterday or last week. Just do what you can to the best of your ability.

(This is a reminder to myself as I am a bit panicked over having my first test retreat in just over a month, and I will be gone for a couple weeks between now and then!)

Always take time to listen to the birds singing.

This lovely early applique quilt was found and purchased in North Carolina in the traditional colors of teal blue and oxblood brown with triple sashings, lots of echo quilting and Baptist fans.

I'd love to find a place to hang this one for display at Quiltville Inn!

Have a lovely Sunday, everyone!


  1. I like using tape to hold my flannel on my design walls too. Things are really shaping up and Time is flying! What seemed a long way off when you first bought the inn are now really close. So exciting!

  2. So exciting that maybe I can visit Quiltville next year. Take care of you too, Bonnie 😉

  3. Sew smart to use Flannel sheets and Duct tape. Lucky Test Retreaters! It's gonna be exciting to see the Quiltville Inn full of your close buddies. Have fun packing. Is the hubster going along for Kenya??

  4. It is all coming together so beautifully! The gals of your group are going to love testing it out for you! Super jealous I will be here (hosting a kickoff party) but know you will share it all with us. Safe travels to Kenya!

  5. Bonnie I wish I lived closer, I would love to see your new Inn when it is up and running. Thanks for the daily blogs and have a wonderful trip to Kenya.....

  6. What a treat to have followed you on this adventure, Quiltville Inn, since day 1. I have loved seeing all your hard work and progress in making this dream come to life.

  7. Question? How will you get all the thread strings off of all those design walls? I have given up on mine (a flannel backed table cloth).

    1. Use a lint roller. It wisks those threads right off.

  8. Enjoyed the booklet on the architect! Check out some of the prices listed for those buildings! And a QUILT is even mentioned on page 80 if you flip that far. It appears to be referring to insulation.


  9. Just letting you know that although you will be near or on the equator, you will find that the days are not that hot, hot and the evenings can be cool. You'll be going out on safari before daybreak and you will appreciate using the blankets supplied in the Land Rovers.

    1. Nairobi is nearly 6,000 feet above sea level. It should be lovely weather.

  10. As always, your posts inspire me and give me a moment to reflect on the enormity of the quilting community. I am so happy for you. This has been such an endeavor of passion, I can "hear" it in your words. Bless you. If I were closer I would wash sheets for you! And make beds :) Have a wonderful trip to Kenya. Looking forward to more photo's.

  11. In Salt Lake City today and tomorrow, more MacTel tests for the worldwide study. I hope when your days aren't so madly rushed we can get you into it also. Looking forward to seeing the Kenya shots. Sharyn in Kalama

  12. Such exciting times for you right now. I understand the "panicky" feelings, so please try to savor every minute of your "dream" coming to fruition.

  13. Get a hat you are really happy with and if possible on that attaches. My preference id a drawstring. You dont want a hat that flies off. The inn is coming along nicely. You have a great support system and if you need more put out a work day schedule and I bet there will be volunteers.

  14. Relax!! The test retreat will be just fine. Safe travels, Bonnie!

  15. You've worked really hard to make this dream come true. Go and enjoy Kenya

  16. Great idea on the flannel sheets I was wondering how to get a nice big piece of flannel for my design wall. All you tips are so helpful thank you.
    Hope you have a wonderful trip to Kenya, your new camera is going to take some wonderful pics,
    Safe journeys
    Love and quilty hugs
    Anne xxx

  17. Bonnie, I love the woodwork by your double sided fireplace. I also chuckled at the picnic table by the church. Looks like it's been there quite awhile also. Best wishes on your trip and the inn will be just right on Black Friday. Thanks for your blog.
    Polly Blank

  18. Very interesting article on Frank Milburn. I always look forward to reading your blog every morning!

  19. See her sew...press that seam...diggin’ the quilting queen!
    Also! Enjoyed the Milburn booklet. I am now curious about whether he designed any homes in my area. We have some really lovely historic homes in Westfield and Mayville and Jamestown New York. Perhaps a visit to the historical museum is in order.

  20. Wow! I love history and found the Milburn book fascinating. He really was way ahead of his time, even selling advertising in his promotional book. Beautiful buildings. Have fun with your new camera ~ it takes fabulous pictures.

  21. When I first built my new sewing room and covered my giant design wall, I used duct tape, too. But after awhile it started to sag so I took it off and used spray glue to hold it on better. It's been working great ever since.

  22. Hi. Absolutely the best ideas ever. Thanks for sharing.


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