Thursday, February 13, 2020

All Those Loose Ends!

Yesterday was Cleaning Crew day at Quiltville Inn!

And the story behind FINDING these folks is one that still gives me chills.  And the story kept running through my mind as I let them do their thing at the retreat house next door while I trimmed the Cairdeas quilt and sat down to apply a binding, SO grateful that the feed-dogs fix of the evening before had this machine purring like a proverbial kitten.

Or more like Dresden and his audible deep purr from his perch in the flyers box on my counter top while observing everything I was doing!

He loves that box.  Of all the bins and boxes, this one is his favorite.  Crazy boy!

Top view – binding in KELLY GREEN, of course!

Back to the story – (I don’t remember if I have told the whole thing yet, have I?)

I first met Ellen who lives in Independence, Virginia when she placed an order through the Quiltville Store. She followed up her order with an email stating she would be happy to save me the mailing and just pick it up herself.

I was totally game!  Anything that helps me meet and get to know other quilters in this area is wonderful.

We got on like wildfire, and have met a couple of times for lunch.  She has sisters who also quilt, and I’ve met them in the past as well, and it boggles my mind sometimes how people can be so connected to each other in ways that we don’t realize.  Case in point – back to the cleaners!

While at lunch one afternoon with Ellen, I asked her if she knew anyone who did house keeping.  She didn’t, but knew someone who did and said she would get back to me.  I received Susan’s phone number by email and gave her a call.

When I explained to Susan who I was, how I got her number, and what I was doing where, I asked her “Are you familiar with Mouth of Wilson and the big white house at the junction of highway 58 and highway 16?”

Her response blew me away. “Oh, yes.  I used to clean that house.”

SHE KNEW MY HOUSE!  I quickly invited her to come see what I was doing with it so that she could make a decision as to whether she wanted to take on cleaning this house 2 to 4 times a month.

One of the reasons I am having all retreats start on Thursday with the base retreat stay checking out on Sunday is consideration for the needs of a housekeeper.  It can’t be Monday one week, and Thursday the next, And Sunday the next after that, and sometimes twice a week if two shorter retreat stays are booked back to back.  It makes their life a living nightmare.

She said she previously had a crazy job of cleaning a bed & breakfast that had people coming and going all of the time and she could never get any kind of schedule in place for her own life.  I want a housekeeper who will enjoy the job, and be able to fit it into their life with some kind of normalcy.

When I explained to her that I had planned cleaning days to only be Wednesday before the next group checks in on Thursday, she was thrilled – and hopeful, as was I.

Yesterday Susan and her husband William came to clean the retreat top to bottom to make things ready for today’s Pieceful Hearts group arriving from Augusta, Georgia/North Augusta, South Carolina. 

When they left, I walked through the house smelling the clean, seeing the clean, feeling the clean and I did the happy dance of joy.  This is going to work!  It’s going to be a benefit to me, freeing up my time, and it is a benefit to them as it brings steady work on "Wednesdays Only" so they can fit the rest of their life around it.

Another side benefit – Susan has sensitivity to fragrances and harsh chemicals, so she is using gentle cleaners, and any of my guests who are also sensitive won’t have to worry about ammonia or bleach being used in the bathrooms.

Okay – a long winded story, but I am in awe of how things fall into place if we believe they will.

I heard already from Patty this morning – the Pieceful Hearts girls are already on the road and I expect them to be pulling up about 1pm.  It’s really happening!

This also happened while cleaning was going on.

6 placemats quilted!

Love that license plate backing fabric, too!

While the cleaning was also going on, I was able to put the finishing touches on the printer-friendly version of the String Placemat Tutorial. You’ll find it under the Free Patterns tab at the top of the blog, just scroll down to the S section for STRING PLACEMATS. 

Thank you for your patience in waiting – it’s been so crazy behind the scenes getting ready for all of this.  And that goes for Quilt-Cam, too.  

Quilt-Cam has to fall in between everything else, and my main focus this fall/winter has been the Frolic Mystery, getting the retreat ready, working on quilts behind the scenes for publication deadlines, pattern writing for new digital pattern releases, recording a couple of podcasts, writing blog posts for my publisher, as well as this daily blog and the other social media posting that happens.  

I don’t have a staff. It’s just me.  So thank you for your patience.  Hopefully we can fit in a Quilt-Cam soon.

6 quilted, ready for trimming!

This was the greatest way to use up small pieces of batting.  I just laid the batting onto the loaded backing fabric, basted the placemats in place and quilted across two-in-a-row and when I reached the end of those two, I laid in another piece of batting, chose a different quilting design, and quilted the next set of two, etc.

Next up – binding!

I hope to find myself in one of the comfy chairs in the Hen Den spending time with these ladies and putting some binding stitches in!

Making progress on this one!

I’ve decided to call this one “Courthouse Square” as it is a variation on Irish Courthouse, and has this fabulous Texas fabric as backing.  I was given the fabric by Deb Lutrell, owner of Stitchin’ Heaven quilt shop.  We had just visited their new Quitman location, and were enjoying a dinner across from the courthouse square.  Yep. That’s the name!

Pattern to come shortly.

Binding to happen hopefully at Quiltville Inn this evening as I spend time with my guests!

Quiltville Quote of the Day -

The immortal words of Michelangelo.

Nothing else needs to be added to what he said other than: Aim higher!

I posted this quote on my wall 2 years ago when we were in the midst of closing on the Quiltville Inn property and waffling with emotions on whether we could really make a go of it in our extremely rural corner of Southwestern Virginia.

Would folks really come?


Have an awesome Thursday, everyone!


  1. Hope it goes smoothly! Marilyn Marks

  2. I am excited to see pictures of my friends in Pieceful Hearts guild as they visit Quiltville Inn! Patty has quilted several of my projects and is a very talented quilter. Sandy at sewhigh.blogspot.com

  3. I'm so excited for you!
    Great Karma on the housekeeping situation!! Win-Win!

  4. love the place mats.. can not wait to come to quiltville inn

  5. Cheers to the 1st official retreat. May you be Blessed with great weather and tons of stitching love.

  6. Love the story about the cleaners. I love it when a plan comes together like that. Looking forward to hearing about the first retreat. I just know they are going to love it there.

  7. I've followed your blog, your life, for years. Each day I start my day with coffee and a visit to Quiltville. Thank you for a daily dose of encouragement and motivation!

  8. Yay for Ellen!!!!! I am a sister, even though not by blood, definitely by quilting and love! Ellen is my friend, Julia's sister, and we met you in Bedford, PA last year, along with our friend Joni. Julia and I will be back to Bedford, VA's workshop in a week-ish. Then, we'll be joining you for a 4-day event in Fayetteville, NC, when you will meet blood sister #3!!! Cannot wait! We were disappointed not to get drawn in the lottery for a retreat at Quiltville in first time around, but we are very optimistic that we'll be able to get there eventually, Bonnie. Yes, they will come!!! Have a great day!

  9. If you build it, they will come!

  10. Bonnie on behalf of all of us who follow you we know that this will be a great experience both for you and all of the quilters who are lucky enough to participate. For some of us, who will never be able to attend we are living vicariously through you! We love it! Where else could we be a part of something so extraordinary and not be there. Thank you for your generousness, your attitude, your willing to try new things, and above all for just being YOU!

  11. Bonnie your endeavor at Quiltville Inn has been blessed with awesome karma right from the start because you are such a loving, giving person yourself. You share so much with all of us that we all want to help your quest in whatever way we can. Hence the gifts that have found their way to you along the journey to Quiltville Inn being a reality. I am thrilled for you that your first group of lottery winners are on their way to you today! Take a break from everything else and just enjoy this first group of retreaters. Don't worry about filling your slots....you built it and they will come!


  12. Bonnie, I was wondering if you would like more china for Quiltville Inn? I also have 2 boxes of assorted vases, hobnail milk glass, little relish trays, etc. I live in Greensboro and would be happy to meet you somewhere next time you're here. You are welcome to whatever you like. I wasn't sure how to email you privately so I hope that this is ok. Thank you and I'm glad to see your dream coming true!

  13. So happy for you Bonnie! Enjoy every minute of this first group of quilters to the Quiltville Inn.

  14. So fun! I’m hoping I will make it someday, but we’re in Northern MN. and it’s a long drive! (I don’t fly) but if I can’t retreat, hopefully I can come visit!

  15. I keep saying how exciting this is, (you opening Quiltville Inn) because as long as I've been a quilter, I've wanted to do just that. I'm living vicariously through you.
    I'm so glad you found an Inn-cleaner, and what a great story! So happy for you! And this is just so exciting!!

  16. Oh how I wish I too could visit Quiltville Inn. But being way out west, no group and that dream will remain just that, a dream. Sounds like you're going to be really busy and have a huge waiting list, that will continue to grow. Don't imagine many groups will give up their spot on the calendar. You have started something that fits so many of us perfectly. Enjoy the ride.

  17. I concur, couldn't say it better... looking forward to full report, xo Cats in Carlsbad CA... and the celtic knot pattern!!! xo

  18. exciting times for all of us Boniacs'. Enjoy your time with your first official group of Quiltville Inn retreaters. Let the stitches be many, the laughs plentiful & the beverage of choice never run out.

  19. Love the backing for Courthouse Steps which is done in Texas State Flag colors. I may have married a yankee, but I am a Texas girl born in and raised.You are doing a marvelous job with Quiltville Inn and all the other jobs you juggle. Thank you. Suzanne with the dump machine.

  20. Unbelievable, here I am along with 11 friends at Quiltville. It has been a most amazing day and we are loving our retreat. This place is amazing, thank you Bonnie for letting us live a dream and opening this wonderful home/retreat. Pat Hinkle, Martinez, GA

  21. I love how everything is falling into place for you! Shows how this was all meant to be. So deserved, you work so hard!

  22. This is all good news. This makes me happy.
    I love your puddin' boy Dresden. So handsome

  23. So excited to see it all come together for you. Quiltville Inn looks wonderful!!

  24. First thing I thought of when I saw the photo of the placemats - look at all the backing trims that will go into a scrap box!!

  25. Thanks Bonnie for allowing us to be part of this wonderful journey of yours from afar. I do not know how you manage to get it all done, always with a smile on your face (that comes thru in your writing as well!). I feel like I am right there with you & your guests!!!! Have a blast this weekend!!!!!

  26. Hurray for beginnings after your years of preparation! I'm so happy your dream of a quilt retreat center is beginning to bloom. Enjoy more time closer to home and building many more quilty friendships.


If you are commenting as "anonymous" please leave your name at the end of your comment.

Did you know that ad space on this blog provides for all of the free patterns and free mysteries and challenges at no cost to you? Without ads, this blog would not be possible.

Thank you for understanding the many hours that go into this blog 6 days a week, 52 weeks a year. :)