Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Leapin’ Leopards!

Would you just look at this big guy??

I am slowly going through the 3,000 photos and videos I took while in Kenya – I would love to thank those who said “Put the camera on SPORT mode and take burst shots!” because they were so right.  The animals are moving, the vehicles are moving – people are jostling around to get the best vantage point for their own photos, the safari vehicles were rocking.  There is no way in heck to use a tripod and special settings.  Just burst shot and go and hope you get something good.

Or wonderful – just look at his eyes! The tufts of fur in his ears – the individual hairs on his belly fur.  And that gorgeous grain of dead tree wood – magnificent.

I am so glad that I didn’t just go to Africa with only a cell phone.  I can hardly wait to take my Canon SX70HS to Germany in a few weeks.  With a bigger memory card.  Because I intend to take ALL the photos!

Oh my goodness!

When we first spotted him, he was down on this lower burl of the tree…but as so many vehicles crept closer – he decided that wasn’t far enough to safety and up he went – right up the tree to a higher branch.

Now that doesn’t look quite comfortable??

If I can’t see you, you can’t see me!

Click to Play:

And did you see the rainbow?

It couldn’t have been more perfect.

Unless you are the Leopard – Up a tree.

“I’m going to close my eyes and count to 3 and you will all be gone!”

And this is where we left him to his own devices.

I’m sure that tree is a favorite location for spotting what just might become dinner on ground level.

This was so majestic – to see this in nature.  I really don’t think I would be happy to see a Leopard caged up in a zoo ever again. 

Africa changes you – for the better!

Dear time change. Thanks for making 6:00 p.m. feel like midnight!

We’ve been working tirelessly behind the scenes to get things ready, and every day new things are happening.  Quilts are being hung on walls, other decor things are putting finishing touches here and there making things more homey.

Last night’s job just before this photo was taken was a two person job  - mattress wrestling to get the zipper mattress covers on all the mattresses to protect from allergens, dust mites, and other creepy crawlies.  A necessary job.  And while I am in Indiana (I fly out tomorrow!) The Hubster is washing all of the sheets with fragrance free, everything free detergent so sheet sets will be ready for beds before retreaters arrive Black Friday! 

I’ll be bringing many more of my own quilts up here for beds.  Vintage quilts will be a second quilt, and folded at the end of the bed for display, and to use on top if nights are chilly.  I’ve also got woven cotton blankets for women of a certain age who sleep hot and only need that and a sheet! LOL!

Things still to obtain – luggage racks, wall mounted reading lights, power strips for near each bed for chargers, personal fans or Cpap machines – There is still coming ALL of the time.

Click to Play:

The quilting quarters is nearly there - complete with Ikea Jansjo Lights!

Design walls are up, I just need 6 BIG power strip things - one for each set of tables.

I’m a bit concerned about table vibration, but these should be sturdier than the plastic hollow core folding tables.  I went with these because I HATE a bouncy table when I am travel-sewing.  I’ve got some of that rubber waffle –textured shelf liner and may cut a piece for under everyone’s machines.

What kind of things do YOU find helpful with machine/table vibration on retreat? 

The cutting tables still need to be assembled – that will happen soon, and I’m planning on a couple more big board ironing stations, but those may not be ready by Black Friday.  Regular ironing boards may have to do.

These arrived yesterday!

One for each fridge!

And I know there will still be more that needs to come – I’m sure there will be things I will have completely overlooked.  And that is what test retreats are for, right?

Not ALL the painting of trim and doors will have been completed either – but we’ve got the winter to keep working on that.  This is just FORM AND FUNCTION retreat.  Are retreaters warm enough.  Are the beds comfy?  Is the temperature in the sewing/dining/kitchen and den comfortable.

Does the power stay on with 12 machines and irons?

Is there sufficient hot water for showers and washing dishes and cooking?

The new hot water heater installation should be completed on Wednesday.  The 500 gallon tank will also be installed.  The Mitsubishi split unit for the garage/shop is due to be completed today – so progress, progress, progress!

Binding is on -

I’ll be stitching this on my way to Shipshewana!

We’ve got 50 quilters joining me on retreat!  4 days of workshops and a lecture.  Bring on the quilty fun – I’m ready!  I’m so excited to be spending this last teaching weekend of 2019 surrounded by my quilt tribe.

Quiltville Quote of the Day -

Just give. Living without giving equals an empty life.

There are so many opportunities to give each and every day.

And it can be as simple as giving a smile to a stranger, or listening when someone needs an ear and a shoulder.

Have a wonderful Tuesday, everyone – I am Winston Salem bound this afternoon for tomorrow morning’s flight OUT!


  1. Thinking of everything. Good idea to have a test retreat. I am so jealous. I would love to spend some time at your Inn. Maybe I can get a group from here in St Louis to go.

    The photos of the leopard are breathtaking. National Geographic magazine-worthy. That camera was worth every single penny. Can't wait to see the stuff you shoot from Germany. I have been to the Christmas markets there on a number of occasions. It's why I like to visit in December. Drink some hot mulled wine for me. They serve them in cute little mugs with the name of the town and year on them that you keep as a commemorative. Here's a little tip. You don't have to drink the wine;you can just buy the cup. I always drank the wine though.

  2. Have fun in Shipshe. One thing we miss and I supply at our retreat are small paper cups for the bathroom.

  3. I have a PowerShot 40x -- an earlier version of your camera. Have gotten fabulous pics from it! The sport mode is great for those quick sits -- I call it the point and pray method!

  4. Thank you Bonnie for this great Blog! I feel so included in what is going on! Thank you for your giving!

  5. Those leopard pictures are amazing!

  6. There are no words for your video, even Awesome is not enough. The picture of Quiltville Inn is beautiful. Canon may need to give you a percentage because a lot of us may be purchasing one of these cameras. Safe travels.

  7. Oh awesome footage of the leopard. What a gorgeous animal - even down to the toes are spotty! Looked pretty well fed - maybe it was a tourist earlier on! Or better still - a poacher hunter. LOL! Thank you - loved this!

  8. I just bought a 2 Port plug for Charging my phone and Kindle. It plugs into the wall. Would that work better than a Power Strip?? Awesome zoom on your Cannon camera.

  9. Thank you for sharing your pictures. I am so excited for you as you prepare for your test retreat. I can imagine all the fun that will be had. You have put so much thought and effort into creating everything. I hope everyone who gets to come there appreciates it.

  10. The leopard is so majestic! Then to see how far away you were! Wow...love your camera. Love the blue ceiling on the porch at Quiltville Inn, so warm and inviting.

  11. Gorgeous photos!
    So green with envy about the quilt retreat testers... lucky ducks!
    Have fun with the quilt tribe in Shipshewana!

  12. To avoid vibration while sewing I bought a yoga mat and cut it to fit under my machine. Seems to really help and you can get quite a few out of each mat. I bought it on sale at Bed Bath & Beyond.

  13. Oh, Bonnie, you amaze and delight me every single day! Your Inn is spectacular, your quilts and photos wonderful, but more than that, your warm heart and shared wisdom inspires and uplifts people every day. I will miss your sweet Sadie and I hope you will keep posting pictures of her as you are able, I just love her. She was part of it all. Safe travels!!

  14. I am using a yoga mat that I cut to size for under my machine to eliminate vibration. It has worked great and I bought it AT A Goodwill and gifted many friends with their own vibration stopper! It's a perfect thickness.

  15. Great photos Bonnie.

  16. The leopard is majestic! Thank you for sharing your time in Africa with us through your pictures and videos. Quiltville Inn is looking better and better. Love the picture with the lights on upstairs! Have fun on your teaching retreat!

  17. Your photos are WONDERFUL You are so right about seeing these magnificent animals in the wild. I loved the tree he was in almost as much as I loved him. (I have a thing about trees). Quilt villa Inn looks amazing. Enjoy your next adventure, Bonnie.

  18. I am from Scotland and have friends near Shipshewana and have visited it on many occasions especially the quilt shops - wonderful fabrics - suitcase full on the way home! and also have been once to the quilt festival. Have a wonderful time.

  19. The leopard photos are fabulous. Quiltville Inn looks fantastic.

  20. Those photos are AMAZING!!!! That zoom is just terrific. I'm so grateful you are sharing so much of your wonderful trip with us!
    I love Shipshewana!! Have a great time!

  21. Those photos are just amazing!! And I can't get over the zoom on that camera! Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful trip with us!

    I love Shipshewana! Hope you have a great time - and don't spend too much in their great fabric stores!!

  22. Great photos! I'm tempted to purchase the same camera for my travels but worry about the weight around my neck on 3 to 4 miles city walking tours. Was the camera weight any issue for you? I'm looking forward to the photos of your first retreat in a few weeks. I can only imagine how excited you must be. Everything looks wonderful!

  23. Your post today took my breath away! From your new header pic (love) and each beautiful snap of the leopard. Breathtaking indeed! I'm so happy for your finishing touches on your Quiltville Inn dream. Safe travels to Shipshewana!

  24. Awesome leopard photos and videos. And at Quiltville Inn, love the blue under the chair rail. For bouncing tables, I've found if I set my machine on the end right over the legs it's a lot more stable. Just picked up my paint chips for Frolic mystery. I want to finish Good Fortune top before starting on Frolic though. Have so many projects in progress it's ridiculous. And my deepest sympathy for the loss of Sadie, you had many good years together. My girl is 12 now and feeling her age, two previous dogs were 15 and a 1/2 and 11, so I know time with her is to be cherished now. So glad you are able to share so much with us. thanks

  25. I have a Janome and they have a mat for under the machine to cut vibrations, Just a thought.

  26. THANK YOU for sharing so many pictures. My situation will never let me travel with you or come to your retreat center, but I can live vicariously through your wonderful pictures and descriptions. Thank you, thank you, thank you. By the way, three friends and I are pooling our fabrics to make the mystery quilt as a donation for a women's shelter. We'll each only have to make a quarter of the blocks, but still have all the fun.

  27. That video of the Leopard is AMAZING! You can see his heartbeat...WOW! Thank you so very much for sharing your adventures with all of us. I am living vicariously through you. I continue to be amazed at all you accomplish. You have a wonderful vision for what you want and you continue to make progress everyday. Many Thanks to you and your family for allowing us to be part of it. The House looks lovely and will be a wonderful place to relax and make memories. Many Thanks for allow all of us to share your accomplishments.

  28. Bonnie, I read your blog every morning with my cup of coffee and so enjoy your adventures. The pictures are fabulous, so clear! Love hearing how the quilt inn is shaping up, it is such a beautiful home, so cozy. Will you open up retreats for individuals who aren't part of a guild or group? I would love to come and enjoy it sometime.

  29. You got great pictures of the leopard. I'm a little jealous. I did get some pictures, but not full on like you did. Congrats. Thanks for sharing.

  30. Your African pictures are fabulous, and the inn is going to be wonderful.
    Nancy A: SewingGranda@gmail.com

  31. wow wow wow the photos and video of Africa are amazing! Thanks for sharing!

  32. You did a fantastic job taking photos. Your leopard pics are priceless. I am jealous

  33. You have done so well with the Inn. Everything looks great! You should be proud of yourself and all that the guys have done. I like to put a sewing machine mat under my machine (with a gripper underneath) when I travel with my machine. It helps cut down on that bounce. Wish I could come to the Inn and stitch with everyone.


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