Thursday, February 27, 2020

From Once Upon a Time -

This is the 2004 version of Quiltville Inn.

What a difference 16 years makes!

In fact, things have kind of flip-flopped.  The general store is now falling down – way beyond repair. The only thing to make it better would be to raze the whole thing.  And then do what with this corner?  I have no idea.

At least in 2004 there was still a sign over the front door of the store. Windows weren't broken.

My Quiltville Post Office stood empty, covered in vines.

And check out all of those bushes in the front yard of the house?  Holy. Moly. It looks like a jungle. Clearing that must have been a huge undertaking.

And it looks like there is a “no trespassing” sign on the front porch post.  Was the house vacant at this time?

Over the past 3 years I’ve been in love with this place (First seen when we made our first visit to check out the cabin with our realtor) I have appreciated even more what the previous owners did for this place – they did all of the heavy stuff.  

The rebuilding of the porch, the interior drywall where it was most needed, the kitchen remodeling – all of the blood, sweat and tears stuff that brought it to where it was when we bought it.

What we have done to the place has been minimal as compared to what they did while they lived there.  This house has had plenty of people who have loved it over the past 135 years it's been in existence.

2004 house side view.

Oh, those bushes!  So glad they are gone.

These photos are from Peter LeBrau’s 2014 post entitled Virginia Ghost Towns.  (Give the post a read – it’s awesome!)

I love how he closed with:

“Down the road I found the probable culprit- a huge Walmart store with a parking lot filled with cars. Adjacent to the Walmart were the usual grim collection of soulless commercial structures that, had I been blindfolded and dropped here, I wouldn’t have been able to differentiate from anywhere else in America.

(I believe he must be talking about near-by Galax, VA)

These photos and the trip that brought me to Mouth of Wilson were taken in May of 2004, and it wasn’t until a few days ago that I came upon a book titled “Lost Communities of Virginia” by Terri Fisher and Kirsten Sparenborg, published by Albemarle Books, 2011, ISBN 978-0-9742707-3-9. 

There is a chapter on Mouth of Wilson, which is in Grayson County. There is some history of the town in this book and a description of some of the buildings, but no real analysis of how or why the town (or this part of it anyway) was allowed to die.

It’s probably not much more complicated than the example I see repeated over and over in Virginia- a once beautiful old farmhouse in a terrible state of disrepair with a single wide trailer sitting beside it where the occupants now live. There’s not even enough respect to bury the dead and raze the house that is now beyond repair. 

The little town of Mouth of Wilson had some charm, but clearly no will or interest in preserving any of that. It was cheaper for the townsfolk to let it fall apart and head on over to Walmart. It’s been ten years since I was last in Mouth of Wilson, and I am curious to see what its current status is. I’ll keep you posted…”

I have ordered the book to keep at Quiltville Inn….and I think that Peter needs to see just what we’ve done with the place! 

As of 7am this morning there is a group of quilters in a 15 passenger van making their way to retreat from Louisville, Kentucky!  One of their members is flying from Boston to Charlotte and renting a car and driving up.

As the saying goes – “If you build it, they will come!”  I just ordered these postcards from Vista Print yesterday! (Favorite photo from Mother’s Day last year with the Rhodies blooming!)

Yesterday afternoon’s promise of spring!

These daffodils are on the hillside right off the back porch overlooking the creek beyond.  Could it be? Possibly? Spring is coming?

This was going on this morning – Click to Play:  (LOL!)


It’s hard to say a cheery good morning to THIS!

Our little bit of renovation continues:

What’s all of this pipe??

We are building some railings for the first set of steps up the brick walkway.  I generally have quilters come to the back porch off the side of the garage/shop because there are only 2 steps up to the porch.

But if the back yard is extra wet and muddy – some may decide to come up the front walk.  There needs to be railings there.  There have never been railings there.  But there WILL be railings there.  Once the snow stops.  Eventually.  It will stop?  Won’t it?

There are also plans to build a walkway with paving stones across the back yard – summer project.  We have to dig out part of the grass to inset those – and it needs to be wide enough for quilters to unload their cars into the provided wagons, and wheel the wagons across the yard to the back porch for offloading.  In due time, right?

A day in the life of a laminating fool!

These are very last minute things on the to do list – things that have been pushed back for “some time when I have time.”  I had time.  It happened yesterday.

The manual for the commercial kitchen range is small with very tiny text.  I enlarged the “important” operating pages to full size, highlighted the most important bits and then sent them through my laminator.  I love this thing!

Hooray for easy to read, easy to find.

I will be punching a hole and connecting these to each other with a ring.  they will hang on a hook by the side of the fridge, easy to find, easy to use, easy to put back.

I also laminated a couple of menus from local eatery places should quilters decide that they would rather keep quilting than cook!

Gentle reminders for using fusibles!

The welcome packet information that every group receives has this same info, so this is just a reminder for those who have forgotten.  It’s not fair to other quilters to have the irons gunked up with fusible.  So anyone fusing knows they need to bring their own iron as a courtesy to others (and to my irons, thank you!) with a reminder to put a cloth down on the ironing surface before fusing to keep any gunk off the ironing board as well.

I’ve placed these reminder cards near the “No water in irons” cards – and all will be well!

And since the laminator was hot, hot, hot!

I received this old Pullman car QUIET sign as a gift.  the cardboard is fragile, one corner was already breaking off, so I decided to preserve it by running it through the laminator as well. 

I’m going to hang it in the common area outside of bedrooms 1, 2 & 3! 

I’m curious as to who will be my late night quilters tonight, who will retire early and be the first ones up and sewing?  We’ll keep the coffee flowing!

Another String Placemat binding was finished last night!

There are two more to go.

And then I will have enough for two groups of back-to-back groups of quilters – my goal!

My plan this morning?  Get myself down the mountain and to the QPO to get the mail out, do some cutting and kitting of block parts and warm up the inn for those arrivals happening early afternoon!

And also – There are only THREE DAYS LEFT on our digital mystery quilt pattern sale!  our Frolic mystery is now found in the Digital Patterns section of the Quiltville Store, and I have placed it and other previous mysteries at the low price of only $6.00 each through February 29th.  Hurry on over and grab your copies before they return to their regular prices on March 1st.  No coupon required.

Quiltville Quote of the Day -

Some things cannot be rushed. All we can do is blossom at our own pace! And allow the same to others.

Talkin Turkey quilt from my book String Fling shared by Ramona during our retreat in Temple, Texas three years ago - my how time flies!. Love the purple!

Have a warm and wonderful Thursday, everyone!


  1. Reading this, I could not help but think of Hamilton, Missouri and what the Missouri Star Quilt Company did for that small town. Maybe Bonnie’s work will revive Mouth of Wilson. I wondered if all the abandoned buildings are still there, probably even more vine covered by now.

    1. My hubby & I drove through Mouth of Wilson last September. There are several buildings just down the highway, on the opposite side from Quiltville Inn, that comprised the commercial district of Mount of Wilson, that are still in fairly good shape, it appears. They would need renovation, just as Jennie Doan's family has done to Hamilton, and even Ree Drummond (Pioneer Woman) has done for her local town, Pawhuska, Oklahoma, restoring small town America. We need to throw our support behind them all!

  2. I would demolish the general store and develop a lovely park on that corner.

  3. 'It’s probably not much more complicated than the example I see repeated over and over in Virginia- a once beautiful old farmhouse in a terrible state of disrepair with a single wide trailer sitting beside it where the occupants now live. There’s not even enough respect to bury the dead and raze the house that is now beyond repair.' I said this same thing to my husband on Tuesday as we made our way from SE MN to Gulf Shores...nearly word for word! It made me so sad to see the once beautiful old houses standing in such disrepair, so lonely - there were so many! Thank you for caring for one of those houses that could have also been a ghost house!

    1. I've seen this too especially since moving to North Carolina. Often, though it is not lack of respect or anything to do with that, it has to do with not having the money to take care of the property or being older and not having family to help like many of us do. I appreciate seeing the renovations taking place, good on ya Bonnie.

  4. I do love hearing about all the happenings at Quiltville Inn. You’ve made such progress!

  5. Wish I was in that van full of laughing,giddy friends heading to Quiltvill e Inn. What a great experience for them all.

  6. I have followed your journey with this project from the beginning and I so admire your dedication to it. The amount of work, worry, time and resources make it more than special. Please know that those of us who so appreciate your talent and generosity wish you only the best. Thanks for sharing, love this stuff!!!

  7. Possibly send one of your new postcards to Peter LeBrau - inviting him to have a look.

  8. My husband calls Wal-Mart and surrounding box stores Anywhere USA. So true.

  9. I love seeing the different weather you are having. it is 81 degrees here in Santee California (San Diego County) today. Love the placemats. wish I could visit your inn. It is lovely. Have a Great Day. Hugs.

  10. I love the siding on the old store!

  11. Bonnie,

    You may want to suggest to your retreaters that along with all their goodies, they may want to have an "ICE" (in case of emergency) card with them. It can just be a 3x5 card with any pertinent information an EMT may need like current meds, any allergies, doctors name, who to contact in their family for emergencies. To ensure privacy we keep them underneath our sewing machines so no one walking by can see them. I was at a retreat and someone was having a diabetic crisis and no one knew what was happening to her because her friend was in the shower! We now have "ICE" cards at every retreat, in fact, they are mandatory!

  12. You keep learning new things about your town. What fun! We have ~6" of white stuff here in Ann Arbor, MI so no spring for us yet.

  13. Your Inn is beautiful. I'm glad you restored it.

  14. Thanks for the information on the building and the pictures. Here in Texas Hill Country an old General store closed two years ago. It was a sad day.

  15. I live too far away to probably ever be a guest at Quiltville Inn, but I love reading about your success. Your guests are very lucky to be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor, and then of course, their own. Hope everyone enjoys their retreat time.


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