Friday, November 15, 2019

Out and About in the Afternoon.

Oh how I love an old barn with a barn quilt!

I made a quick call to Martha yesterday, inviting her to ride with me to Sparta for lunch.  It had been a while since we sat down for a meal, the two of us.

And truth be told, there was more to this outing than just friendship.  I needed some moral support.  I needed to go by the vet to pick up Sadie’s remains and bring her ashes home.

I just didn’t want to do it by myself.  And if Martha came, we could go to lunch, fill the afternoon with news and catching up, and then the burden of picking up Sadie would be halved and shared.

I’m so grateful she said yes.

Winding roads and mountain backdrops.

I love this place in all seasons – and even in winter it has its beauty.  One of my favorite sights is seeing the cattle grazing on even the steepest of hills. 

One of our conversations revolved around the instincts of cattle.  They will not hike straight up a mountain, preferring instead to walk switch backs  across and up a bit, and back across and up a bit more, and across and climb just a bit and walk across…..they know that the route is much longer this way, but it is less taxing on them physically.

I knew there was a life lesson in there.  Sometimes we need to take the longer route, enjoying time with a friend, than run straight up the hill when your heart is at stake.

So after picking up Sadie’s ashes (which are in a lovely wood box with delicate carvings) and her plaster paw print (which made me cry) we took the longer road home while emotions settled.

Old abandoned house across the river, up hill.

I don’t know where the road is to this place – but no one has lived there for decades.  It’s just going to ruin!  When the trees are leafed out it is more difficult to see.  So there is one good thing about winter – things are revealed where they were hidden in summer.

I may have posted this house before.

It’s awesome!

More barns with barn blocks.

Once upon a time – a hub of community.
Now empty.

Walmart and Dollar General the next town over are the new staples.

The beautiful views and cool breeze on my face were lovely.

Cox’s Chapel, Mouth of Wilson VA

Part of the history that came with Quiltville Inn states that the bells of Cox’s Chapel could be heard ringing from the porch of the house.  I had never been able to find exactly where the church was located – but Martha knew! 

She also knew some folks buried here -

So we walked up the hill and soaked up some of the afternoon sunshine, though still cool – and enjoyed that blue blue sky.  The earliest grave here dates to 1878.

Driving down a dirt road -

Oh, you poor house!

What is the story with this former beauty?

There was once a lovely front porch with lattice work skirting.  It had electricity at one time – and someone had added a room on the back – a bigger kitchen space maybe?

From the front -

This house must have been a beauty in its time.  There are two grand chimneys built from site-made brick.  I am envisioning the lady of the house getting ready for Thanksgiving just a week or so away – what would she have cooked for her family?

There are many blackberry bushes all around the property and Martha and I have already made plans to come pick here next summer.

There is also a creek that burbles by next to the road – it was a lovely sound.

Oh house, what is your story?

A bit of holiday cheer happening at my own dirt drive -

I have always been one of those who DEMANDED that Christmas stay at bay until after Thanksgiving.  But with Thanksgiving happening at the dead end of the month this year – I am fighting a losing battle.

When I arrived on Tuesday evening, I saw that The Hubster had installed blinking twinkle lights on our entry gate.  How can you NOT smile?  It was a great Welcome Home gesture – celebrating the fact that my 2019 teaching year is over. (Well, except for a fun stitchery workshop with my Germany travelers in a couple of weeks!) These lights run on a battery pack – 6 hours on, 18 hours off on a timer.  I’ll take it.

In fact, when a Christmas song came through my playlist on shuffle yesterday – I didn’t even bother to hit skip.  I just let it play.  It’s futile.  You can’t stop Christmas from coming.  And it is perfectly okay if things overlap a bit. 

Let’s face it – if we were all Canadians, our Thanksgiving would be over by Mid October – and there wouldn’t be this fight of “too early, too soon!”

Life is just too short to keep the things we love at bay for the “proper season.”  Calendar police be danged!

Early morning with the string bin!

I am 5 placemats short of a dozen.

I’ve been up since 5:30am.  WAY too early.  But I can’t help it.  My brain won’t shut down.

I'm just feeling way more pressure right now than I should. Most of it is regarding the replacement passport (now we sit and wait) and the Frolic Mystery (coming up so soon!) and the Germany trip (Need to write that pattern for my travelers) and my dad coming next Saturday and Dave is going to Oregon next Friday for a funeral (He won’t be back until Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving) and the retreat not being ready quite ready the way I want it is a bit stressful.

Oh and Sadie. Sweet Sadie.  I miss you so! But now that her last detail has been taken care of I can put my heart at rest.

So this is where I am this morning.  Deep breaths.  Time to head on over and dig in.

Did you see that The Quilting Company is running my Wanderlust Workshop again?  Click HERE for more info.

In this course I walk you through scrap quilting basics and beyond in this online workshop. You will not only be equipped to create my Wanderlust quilt, but take to making any scrap quilt!

Course Runs November 11, 2019 - December 13, 2019 (And there is time to dive right in!)

Sorry about the delay in getting the word out – It happened while I was teaching in Indiana and was buried under piles of other emails.

Quiltville Quote of the Day -

Give love and forget that you gave it, don't keep score!

And may I just add that this vintage string quilt has me all a-flutter and inspired!

Have a wonderful Friday -


  1. Take deep breathe and enjoy the small moments of happiness

  2. I can see why you love WV,such a beautiful area. Ok look forward each day to see what you have wrote on your blog. Thank you so much for sharing your world with all of us. Prayers that your passport will arrive soon and that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your famiky.

  3. I have a number of converging pressures and deadlines all coming to a point in the next couple of weeks, too. Not quite on the same scale as you do, but I feel you! I'm trying to remind myself that the way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. Ok. Next bite. Next.... next.... Hang in there!

  4. You have more energy than the Energizer Bunny! I look forward to your blog every morning. Thank you so much for sharing your piece of the world with us! hugs!

  5. I totally understand your concern about some of the upcoming matters that you are a bit stressed over. That being said - remind yourself that you are your own worst critic and likely no one else will see any "shortcomings" that you don't point out to them. You work so hard and give so much of your time and talent that my guess is people are too busy thinking about all you DO get done!

    Beautiful pics and thoughts about Sadie.

  6. Your quote today has "YOU" written all over it! You found your meaning and purpose and for that I am truly grateful for your talents, time and love that you pour into your creations.I'm glad Sadie's remains are back home with you and now you can let your heart rest and heal. ((hugs)) Beautiful photos of the old homesteads and barn quilts also.

  7. Up in Canada we are not be fighting the thanksgiving and Christmas tug-a-war. Instead it's the remembrance day (veterans day) and Christmas. Maybe two weeks of more christmas time but well take it.
    Thanks for posting daily Bonnie and sharing your heart, soul and so many guilty things.
    Have a grand day...

  8. I don't know if I will ever get to see Virginia, but I so love the journeys you take me on in your daily blog. Have a blessed day!

  9. Such a gorgeous place you have picked to live, your twinkling lights on your gate are adorable.
    Love that beautiful little church so pretty. Such a shame those lovely homes have been abandoned so sad. I hope you and your family have a wonderful thanksgiving and you have an enjoyable visit with your dad.
    Love and quilty hugs
    Anne xxx

  10. Deep breathing! So glad you had company on the trip yesterday. The stories those old houses could tell. Lucky you to have your Father coming, I am missing mine since 1980!!

  11. Beautiful drive for such a taxing chore. Sweet Sadie knew how much she was loved. I love the Paw Print to remember her.
    Thank you for sharing so much with us. The Inn is looking wonderful!

  12. May you hear the click of Sadie's nails as she trots about after you. Take a moment to pause and hold her in your heart. Happy Thanksgiving, as I am so thankful to you. Paula in Omaha

  13. You are so generous with all of us in sharing your gifts, which go beyond quilting. You inspire each day with your words and pictures. I'm so glad Martha was able to go with you. A friend's support makes life better, even in sadness. Take Care

  14. I love giving my knitting and crochet away and to a smaller extent quilts. Has anyone ever made a horse blanket? I need help. Not quite like a regular quilt.

    1. My son asked me to make an attachable kayak quilt to hang from the back of a top carrier to protect his vehicles while loading and unloading....Mothers are supposed to be able to solve everything, right?! At 45 he still delights in challenging me. Anyway, I found enough clean canvas from a drop cloth to use for top and back and raided my stash of felt scraps for the fill. Some of it I pieced like I do batting scraps and put that between the larger pieces to make 3 layers. My Bernina 730 with a jeans needle and 30 wt machine quilting thread successfully quilted all this heavy stuff together. Two long velcroed straps and I was pleased to receive his jaw-dropping grin when I delivered it.

      You probably wouldn't want to use canvas for the horse blanket -- maybe cotton upholstery fabric would work -- but the felt is my suggestion for an economic fill. Quilters can do anything! Good luck.

  15. Life moves on as we all know. Be sure to enjoy every moment spent with family and those we hold dear (pets included). Just as Sadie has passed on those we hold dear won't last forever either. Embrace each day as it comes and be sure to hug the ones you love and hold dear. We have a concrete paw print of our poodle Edison and a cross that marks the place we so lovingly buried him. He was 17 years old.

  16. Oh, Bonnie, how I love this post and how I so relate to cows on the hill taking the gentler way up the hill. I turn 70 next month and I still need to learn that lesson. Thank you for the sweet reminder!! I hope Sadie is up in Heaven running with the sweet pups I have lost through the years. With no children of my own, my dogs are my children and miss them all so very much!! Please have a wonderful weekend!! Breathe and think about those smart cows!! Oh, and I want that empty house!! :-)

  17. A lovely day to bring Sadie home. Wonderful views, history and weather.

  18. I love that empty house.
    This could be another QUILTVILLE INN in the future......

  19. So glad you had support today. So much emotion. Love the quote you picked. Thanks for sharing the photos and allowing us to be part of your journey.

  20. Dear Sweet Bonnie, I don't know how or why I missed your post about Sadie but as I write this , tears are coming down my face. I am a busy Mom taking care of a very ill daughter and so many many times I have escaped to ramble the Blue Ridge Mountains with you and Sadie or wandered into the sewing room to podcast an the evening or sew with you two! I am so very very sorry for your loss. I have two dogs that are my constant companions and I often think that God has given Man dogs to gently remind us poor creatures of His constant love and willing compansionship if we but turn to Him. May your adventures be safe and joyful and may you know that this unknown quilter in California shares your loss. Carolyn

  21. Bonnie awhile back you were asking for anything you might have forgotten that your retreaters might need. I was recently retreating and the hostess had a first aid kit with bleed stop. I was going to send you a picture but not sure how. It is a powder that is poured onto an injury. I have no idea if this is a standard feature, but with all the rotary cutters in use I think it would be a good addition. Excited for the mystery.

  22. I think this is my favorite post ever; filled with sweetness, sadness and beauty. You are so special; if anyone had not seen it before they do now. Blessings...treasure your memories of sweet Sadie...remember the love she gave you.


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