Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Virginia is for……Quilters!

Die, Kudzu, Die!

For those of you unfamiliar with the south – you might not even have a clue of what the heck KUDZU is.  Just think of it like the old Jack & the Beanstalk legend – this leafy green vine grows at incredible rates – it’s true!  You can actually WATCH it grow (up to a foot a day!) until it covers everything in its path, turning anything that stands still into topiary sculptures. 

It will grow up the tallest tree, and then grow back down to the ground again forming curtains of green around everything.  It is comically (and non-comically as it has consequences) known as "the vine that ate the South."

But what do I see here?  Kudzu, you have nearly met your match for this year.  Nights are getting colder, things are starting to turn yellow-gold, and with the first frost event (who knows when that will be – this IS the south!) it will just curl up, die and be gone with nothing but brown stalk vines remaining – until spring.

For more on Kudzu, Click HERE.

My day yesterday started out with a couple of mundane but necessary errands – so many planes.  So much standing to teach.  So many miles walked getting from terminal to terminal -  Chiropractic is my savior and keeps me upright and moving forward.

I go about once a month.  But OCTOBER is by far my favorite!


The office is on Main St in Winston-Salem, in an old house turned office and the house dates to the early 1900s.  It’s perfect for Halloween decorating.  My inner child was giddy with all the fun.

Trick or treat season rocks!

Oh my word.  Hello!

My bones are quaking!

The head under glass is the doc!

His mom made it years ago – the eyes?  Well, artistic license! LOL!

Oooh.  Just Oooh!

This little gem – an antique spool cabinet turned table with the addition of legs - was not an impulse purchase.  I had visited it at least 3 times over the past couple of months.  I left it there last Wednesday – but all through my trip to California, that niggle just wouldn’t leave me alone. 

I told myself that if it was still there on my way back up to Virginia that it was time to bring it home.

I needed a bigger table by my favorite hand stitching chair.  The little stand I had could be used as a night table next to one of the beds at Quiltville Inn, or could go in between the stitching chairs in the Hen Den, but this one – was for me.

Welcome home little perfect table!

And that tall thing in the center of the table?  It’s a vintage string ball holder. Sometimes it holds a cone of thread if I happen to be working off of a cone, and scissors can go in the top, but here I have used it to hold my Alex Anderson 4-in-1 Essential Sewing Tool.  It kept rolling it off the table, and this way it stays put.  I love this thing.

It has four Must-Have quilting tools in one.  It has a Flat-ended presser cap for finger pressing, folding, burnishing.  It also has a super-sharp seam ripper under that cap for fast "un-sewing". The pointed wood-end cap is helpful for turning bias tubes and “poking out” corners of things you’ve turned right side out after stitching (like pillows, cushions, purses and bags.)  And the extra-long stiletto under the pointy cap also comes in really handy.  

These will be available in the Quiltville Store SOON.  

They are on order, but likely to arrive after I leave for Kenya, so we’ll get them in the store when I come back.

I am up to date on place mat bindings!

It’s time to get another batch of place mats made and quilted, but I don’t know how I”m going to squeeze that in.  It’s been nuts since I got back Sunday night.

This post is a bit late this morning as I had to meet the gas company to fix a little propane leak I could smell while walking the side porch at Quiltville Inn.  

The pest control guy was here when I arrived yesterday afternoon.  We got set up on quarterly visits with them, so that is done.

We have located a chimney sweep who can get that taken care of so we will be safe to fire up the wood stove in the Hen Den.

We need a storm window for the kitchen “over the sink” window – the one I didn’t have them replace during the great 31 window replacement of 2019 because it has stained glass in it.  I wanted to keep those windows, so we need an outside storm window so that the breeze won’t blow the paper towels (or visiting quilters!) around like last year. (The first winter of any home tells you exactly what you don’t want to repeat!)

The on-demand hot water is proving to be interesting because no one is actually LIVING at the house.  If someone was, and using hot water regularly, it wouldn’t take so dang long to get any hot water to any shower or kitchen sink.  We are making an appointment to have that looked at, and possibly having to add a second one due to the size of the house.

MY FIRST GUESTS are coming in a month and I am getting a bit panicky!  It’s just a trial run.  I’ve invited my bee friends from Winston Salem to come Black Friday weekend and just stay 2 nights and give it a go to let me know what it needs so we will be really ready by Mother's Day, our projected opening time frame.

Son Jeff is about to arrive and help with the painting.  Today we start in on the trim in the dining room, and then FINALLY can set up the book shelves and get the books out of boxes.  That room will be done (But I still have my eye on a beautiful antique buffet for one wall!)

After the dining room, the focus is on the sewing room because as soon as the painting is done in there I can start covering insulation board with copious amounts of flannel for design walls.  Then THAT room will be ready to sew!  YAY!

And then – hallways, bathrooms, all window frames, moldings and doors. It’s down to the nitty gritty folks.  Can you hear me in an excited panic, just a bit?

This is a reminder to everyone that for the entire month of October the digital PDF pattern for my Punkin Patch Table Runner is on sale at half price in the Quiltville Store for only $4.00 - No coupon needed!

It's time to get your autumn love in full swing!

Here is Judy’s finish that she just sent in!

She writes:

Hi Bonnie,
Just had so much fun this past weekend coming up with my version of this table runner.  I found the pattern in Quiltmaker, although not your usual clear directions.  But, I had forgotten that you also included it in String Frenzy - now I understand!

So while family watches football, I sew.  Then when we get our first untimely snowfall, I sew.  Last night I took it over to our daughter who has just moved back to the Yukon, and put it on her new table in her finally-finished renovated house.

Here it is, dwarfing our coffee table.  It made a very small dent in my fabric collection but, as I keep at it, I see the stash dwindling, even getting to the dregs of my orange strings.  I even made a flange to try to use up a small piece of that striped fabric.  My default quilting is meandering.

Thanks for the fun you share with so many.

Thank you Judy!  I love it – and that piped binding?  PERFECTION!

So go grab your pattern – pull yourself some oranges – and get sewing!

Quiltville Quote of the Day -

It's got to happen right where you are, right now.

Not when things are different or better.

Choose happiness right now.

Enjoy your Tuesday, everyone!


  1. Piece on, Quilt on, Bind on, Repeat

  2. Do you want any more quilt store licenses? I have two that I could send if you'd like.

  3. Kudzu is horrible, but I've noticed that bamboo is a close second in North Carolina these days. It seems to be growing wild everywhere. Maybe we need some Pandas.

    1. AGREE. Kudzu and Bamboo.....
      They are the evil cousins of Ivy and Wild Roses (that grow in the woods)

  4. Wow seems like time has flown by since you bought Quiltville Inn, I can't believe that it is almost time to open it up to all of us who love quilting. You have done so much on the house, and it looks beautiful from the photos. I just hope one day I can be lucky enough to get to come to a retreat. Have fun on your Kenya trip because lots will be happening when you return.

  5. It's so exciting to hear the to-do list at the Inn shrink as you check big items off. You're in the home stretch!

    How great that you're so close to your first trial run. Looking forward to hearing how your 'beta testers' enjoy their stay over Black Friday weekend.

  6. Talk to your plumber about a recirculating line. Some in demand units come with them already. Don’t spend the extra money on a tank until you have fully reviewed this option.

  7. Judy’s runner is gorgeous. Thank you for sharing.

  8. I watched a documentary a few years ago on using Kudzu vines for making fuel instead of corn. Too bad that didn't work or they didn't follow through on it one.

  9. You may already have the flannel for your design wall so this might not work for you. I searched for flannel with squares that would be big enough for my design wall because I have a terrible time getting things straight on my wall. I finally decided to purchase a flat flannel sheet in gray with white window panes. It was great weight and it has proved to be wonderful. Used a coupon and it wound up much cheaper than the other flannels I had been looking at. LL Beane to the rescue!

  10. Hoping to one day visit and attend a retreat all the way Christchurch, New Zealand. I've been watching with such interest, all that's been achieved to date … you have all worked so hard.

  11. You have the kudzo. In the Northeast, we have the Japanese honeysuckle. Can we make a date for them? The Japanese honeysuckle also grows incredible and seems to eat and thrive on heavy brush killer. All my real honeysuckle is gone. The Japanese has no scent so no longer the beautiful fragrance of honeysuckle on the evening air. Sigh!

  12. Bonnie, about that design wall - use fleece instead of flannel! I just set up my wall after a move, and found fleece holds much better. Found extra-wide white at fabric.com reasonable priced.

  13. Love that little table! Could you tell us where you got the piece that's holding your thread, scissors, and needle threader? That looks very handy.

  14. I REALLLLLLY enjoyed reading this today.
    You have a lot to do, goodness!!
    Howeverrr, it is all good, and that is the good life

  15. I really love what you did with Alex Anderson's 4 in 1 tool. It is by my sewing machine all of the time. I now have three of them since the seam ripper is broken on one of them. However, I use the stiletto part so often that it stays put. I was trying to figure out something that would keep it handy without rolling off the table. Thanks for the wonderful idea.


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