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Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Cleaning in the Dark --


I told The Hubster “It Feels Like 11pm!”

I had been washing windows, scrubbing appliances, doing detail work in the Quiltville Inn kitchen to get all things ready.

“It’s 7pm.” was his reply.  

GAH!  I just can not wait for the Winter Solstice to happen.  It’s dark when I wake up, it’s dark when I go home – and I am solar powered.  I am ready for jammies 2 hours past dark, and ready for sleeping 2 hours past that.  My eyes were closing during NCIS last night – it was only 9pm.  This morning?  Up at 4:15am.  THIS IS SO STUPID!

But the kitchen is looking great, isn’t it?

The gas stove grates are off the top.  I brought them home to try some more deep scrubbing on them.  I think I will have to resort to the “ammonia in a bag” soaking trick.  As much as I love this house, there were things that were just neglected over many years, and the stove was one of them.  I’ve never seen so much cooked on grease on gas stove grates in my life.  I even tried cooking them in the oven on CLEAN cycle.  All that did was turn on the smoke alarm! LOL!


It is SO VERY DARK OUTSIDE!

The window will get winterized tonight.  We never got around to ordering up a storm window for the outside, and we want to avoid the blowing of paper towels that was evidenced LAST winter when the wind comes through the cracks.  I am not replacing the kitchen windows – they have sweet stained glass in them and are only a problem in the dead of winter.  The shrinky plastic doesn’t look that great, but warm is better than cold.

All of the dishes, glassware and stemware have been ran through the dishwasher and are CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN. The only thing I haven’t gotten to in here beside the stove grates is the floor and I will wait on that a bit as there is much traffic going through here right now.


THIS has been a pain in the EVERYTHING.

Old hexagon tiles with years of build up and grime.  I have used a steamer, a scraper, several different scrubbers, elbow grease and Ajax.  It isn’t the grout, it’s the surface of the tile and no matter what I do it doesn’t look clean.  But I guess that is just the way it is.

 I am going to try Brillo pads and Barkeeper’s Friend next. My floor steamer usually does a great job – it got paint off of the hardwood floors downstairs and some other tough gunk as well – but these hexagon tiles? Just old house, I guess – and I am not replacing them.

I pretty much found myself working one hexagon at a time.  Who has time for that? 


Maybe folks will spend more time looking at walls – than floors?


Loads of questions have come in about our wood stove!

I’m putting the info here so I can direct folks to it.


It’s an L. Lange & Company cast iron burgundy enameled wood-burning stove from Denmark!

In the research I’ve done, I’ve found this stove to date to approximately 1979. These stoves stopped being imported into the United States in the 1980s, but can still be found used. 

When we burn wood in it, the enamel turns a dark brown.  It puts out plenty of heat.  I can’t wait for the gals in the Hen Den to enjoy stitching around it.


Flock of White Flamingo Lamps!

And they will have these tasks lights to see by!


From IKEA.

They assemble easily, the light height can be adjusted by sliding it up and down the pole.  They emit a lovely circle of LED light which can be directed just where a quilter needs it.

The Hen Den is next on the list to be detailed, and the lamps will be put into place by each stitching chair.


Warm Hands, Warm Heart!

Pattern writing happened at the QPO yesterday! Kit assembly will be up next on my list for my Quiltville Goes to Bavaria travelers! December 1st is quickly approaching and there is so much to be done.

Be looking for Warm Hands, Warm Heart to also be a new digital pattern release through The
Quiltville Store upon our return home from Bavaria and Austria!

I really loved working on this one – the stitchery was quick to finish.  I started it on my flight to California for Alex Anderson’s retreat early October, and finished it on my return flight home.  And the borders were fun to piece.


I carved out an hour for this!

Another cushion cover gets its backing and binding. I love having the Singer 201 set up and ready, walking foot always on just for this purpose!

Small projects are all I seem to be able to work on lately. But I'm glad I have them, as it drives me nuts to have nothing for my hands to do in the evening.


Binding finished last night!


Small projects give such a great feeling of accomplishment!

All I had was a partial fat quarter of this green that has been in my stash for a long time.  So happy it found a place as binding on this cushion cover.

This was the best way I could think of to preserve parts of a vintage quilt that was falling apart. There are more pieces, some smaller.  One has a tulip applique that needs to be restitched before I can turn it into a cushion - but there were so many good parts to this quilt and I am glad they can be enjoyed around the inn.

There is also another shredded quilt where the CENTER is good…I may be turning that into a table runner.  Could I find time to apply a binding to that today?  Maybe – just maybe!  But what color of binding will it need?

I also want to take a moment to thank everyone for the lovely sweet condolence cards you’ve sent in regards to Sadie’s passing.  Every day I think the hole in my heart will get smaller.  Every day I try to rationalize with myself that “She was a dog.”  “Nothing lives forever.” “This is just part of life.”  “She had 13-1/2 good long years.” “How much longer could she have lived?” And other things….but it’s still a hole.  So thank you.  From all of us. Your kindness has been felt by us all and is so appreciated.


Quiltville Quote of the Day -

This is speaking to me this morning. I am surrounded by folks who show kindness in so many different ways.

Thank you for being such an example to me.

Yes, truth is important, but kindness first.

Have a wonderful Tuesday, everyone!




42 comments:

  1. I too have had a terrible time cleaning grates on a gas stove. I found if I spray them very well with oven cleaner and put them in a large garbage bag and let them sit overnight they will scrub up easily with a brillo pad the next day. love the kitchen in the Inn! Hope to stay there someday

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    1. This is how I clean gas barbecue grill grates. Works every time. Easy peasy!

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  2. Dogs become part of our family and it’s okay to feel the way you do. Everyday, I think about my sweet companions Chelsea & Madison that passed 3 & 7 years ago. Sadie will always be with you. Time will heal your heart but she will never be far from it.

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  3. Bonnie, Quiltville Inn is looking amazing. I have followed your journey in this beautiful "fixer upper" and you have accomplished a fantastic, inviting piece of heaven in this! Best of luck to you in the rest of the journey. I really don't know where you get this energy from but "solar" is good.

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  4. Try the spray on oven cleaner on the stove grates. My go to is Easy off heavy duty. It has worked for me and is my go to. I lay out newspaper and place the grates on the paper and spray them thoroughly. Let them sit for few hours then wash.

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  5. Try a paste of peroxide and baking powder on the grout.

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  6. Hi Bonnie....try using oven cleaner on the grates....works great! Lol

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  7. Everything looks great! Everyone is going to feel so welcome. I wanted to pass on a tip about your oven. I haven't tried this myself and it is about the oven racks but maybe it would help with your grates. You wouldn't have to use your tub but maybe just the kitchen sink. https://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/how-to-clean-dirty-oven-racks/

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  8. Thank you for all that you do for so many! Those paw prints 🐾 in your heart are indelible, I just love your banner shot with sweet Sadie on the porch; count me in as one who is eager to make memories at the Inn. Hugs to you, my friend.

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  9. everything looks beautiful!! even the hexie floor tile, I'm sure no one will care if the floor isn't sparkling, it is a very old floor! You have done a wonderful job getting the inn together!!!

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  10. So excite for your test retreat only wish I was part of it.

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  11. Love, Sweat and Tears...A true labor of love. Thank you so much.

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  12. Your Quiltville Inn is stunning!

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  13. Oh Bonnie, you all have been very busy bees! Looks like everything is coming together beautifully.
    Sadie will forever be a part of your family. Losing a cherished fur baby is a difficult thing and are special parts of our life as long as we live. The best I can do is plant something beautiful in the holes left in my heart from loss. Some holes are just bigger than others.

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  14. Only people who are not animal lovers will not understand the grief of a pet passing. My Max passed 6/15/2018 and I still get choked up when I talk about him. He was my baby for 17 years. Don't be hard on yourself or let others make you feel guilty for grieving. Sadie was a member of your family and she was a big loss for you! Hugs!

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  15. My goodness Bonnie! I'm getting tired and sore just reading about everything you are doing at the Inn! My hat is off to you, I could not compete. I can't wait to hear about all the fun stuff that will be happening when your "testers" come!

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  16. The Inn is looking so great!

    Your hexagon tile - I'm wondering if the glaze on the tiles is worn. If stains have seeped through microscopic faults in the glaze, it's possible that nothing will brighten them. They're clean - you've scrubbed and steamed!! - but they may look dingy no matter what you do. It's frustrating for sure, but most guests will expect some wear and signs of aging in an old house. It is what it is, right?

    The antique 9-patch/4-patch with today's quote is so lovely and soft!

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    1. I agree about the tiles. I have spent countless hours scrubbing similar tiles at our church without the resulting gleam I envisioned. I have come to the realization that no matter how much they are scrubbed with whatever method used, they are never going to gleam again due to age and wear.

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    2. About the hexagon tiles, did you try using coarse salt? get your favorite scubber or a used dryer fluff to scrub. tiny bit of water.
      Another idea is vinegar and water. pour some on and let it soak for a bit. See if anything changes then scrub. I know how you feel, I love pretty floors too .

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  17. Please keep Sadie on the porch for all of us to remember her. Bless you Sadie

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  18. Our first apartment many years ago, had a kitchen floor, that I just could not get clean. I tried everything I could think of, and it never was clean. I just had to give up, and "know" in my soul that it was clean. When we moved out, we knew the next tenants. I had to tell them that we really are clean people, that we had scrubbed that floor to within an inch of it's life!

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  19. I love seeing the Inn evolve and hope that one day, I will have the pleasure of spending time there.
    I recently found a quilt attached to another quilt top that had good and bad areas. I took the two apart and trimmed off the bad portions of the first quilt, found binding fabric that matched fairly well and now it rests on the back of my chair. The portion I saved is large enough for a nice throw over my lap at night and is red and green baskets, circa 1890's.
    Anna in IL

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  20. Loving your Dresden plate framed in the bathroom. Amazing what you have accomplished with Quiltville. Bravo to you and the family for all your hard work!👏

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  21. Bonnie, I know you're ten years younger than me, but I bet you're still developing sore muscles from all the cleaning & scrubbing. I know I'll be sore tomorrow from laying out my Allietare blocks on my living room "design floor".

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  22. I love your "flock of flamingo lights!"

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  23. Bonnie,please do not combine btillo pads with bar keeps friend. Mixing chemicals can lead to lunch damage or worse. Try hydrogen peroxideit cleans like nothing else I have ever used. I had an old kitchen with the hexagon tile countertop. No matter what I used it looked dirty. I spilled peroxide on it by accident. It bubled and grumbled for awhile when it stopped I wiped it up and oh my not shiny but Clean!

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  24. Bonnie, Your dream is coming true and your family has worked so hard to achieve it! Well done and it all looks wonderful! Hope to some day make it up there, but if not, I sure am enjoying it vicariously!

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  25. Have you considered that the tiles never had a shiny surface dueto the risk of people sliping and falling on wet floors.

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  26. Flock of White Flamingo!! That's exactly what came to my mind when I saw that photo!! Things are looking fantastic at the Inn♥

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  27. Hi Bonnie, Try spraying the white tiles with peroxide and let it dry. Then spray them again and scrub with whatever you want. I have also used Clorox bleach toilet bowl cleaner and scrubbed. It must be Clorox bleach toilet bowl cleaner. Other brands do not seem to work. Your retreat center is beautiful and I only wish I could visit, but illness keeps me home.

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  28. Maybe try the Mr. Clean Magic Erasers on you hexagon flooring. Hope something works to your satisfaction.

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  29. Bonnie, yes Sadie was a dog, but she was YOUR dog! Well loved and part of your family for all those years. It is okay to mourn her. She loved you too.Blessings!

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  30. Your hexi tiles are probably scratched. Unfortunately they will probably never look better than they are now. You know that they are clean and the dull look is just like my wrinkles, I have earned them.

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  31. Bonnie, Mr. Clean magic erasers clean everything, they might work on the bathroom tiles. Also, a cleaner called Awesome that you can get at the Dollar store [ I think it is Ammonia ] really degreases, gets rid of soap scum too. Everything is looking fantastic.

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  32. The house is beautiful, job well done, and the winter solstice can't come soon enough

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  33. Oh, I soooo agree with you regarding these dark days. I've been getting sleepy around 8 each night....unreal! I love the house...it's the "house of my dreams"....I've always wanted an old farmhouse with high ceilings, little tiles on bathroom floor, wonderful cabinets....at nearly 67 I think it may be time to stop dreaming... :( I am so pumped about Frolic starting....can hardly wait!!!! Blessings....

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  34. consider the look of the tile floor as patina. Likely the shiny part of the tile has worn off long ago and nothing will bring back its luster. You know it is clean!
    And I know you miss Sadie. We miss Sadie. We have 3 fur babies and one is very special to us. Best dog we have ever had. Hate the thought of him aging. But it happens. We shall love him while we have him. We love the others as well but not like Wally.

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  35. Such progress at the Inn!! Hmm, that old tile may just be old tile with now dingy glaze from so many years of service and no longer dirty. Scrubbing off what is left of the glaze will not improve them. Part of the charm of such an old house!

    Grief for any loved one's passing just is, and it comes and goes more or less intensely for as long as it does. Sadie was a part of your family for all those years, and will always be in your heart, along with the joy of knowing her bright spirit. I love seeing her celebrated in the pic on top of your blog

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  36. The bat way I have found to clean bathroom tile is to make a dilute solution of Clorox and water (1 to 2) and spray heavily onto the floor. Turn on vent and open windows. Walk away for several hours .... then come back and mop (make sure to use gloves). May need to mop two or three times ensue all Clorox is removed. Will not hurt tile or grout and you will be amazed at how white and clean. Dirt that would not come off any other way will be removed. Hope this helps and saves your hands and back. Concentrated solution for stubborn spots. Just walk away... hard but the Clorox does the work.

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  37. I just love everything you have done on the Quiltville Inn. I so wish I could have your energy and creativity. I love the comfyness (sp) of the Inn. The ladies are going to love it!

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  38. I put my stove grates in the dishwasher to clean on a regular basis to keep them looking as good as new.

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