Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Stay Home and Sew!

I have some big travel coming up.

Saturday I am flying to California to teach at two back to back sessions of Empty Spools Seminars at Asilomar.

I am a lucky girl!  I am happy to be going back for a second time – and with the opening of Quiltville Inn, this is likely the last time I will be going that far to teach for that length of time -

Because of this trip, booked more than 2 years ago, the Inn is closed for the next 3 weekends.  

We are in the midst of a life change, and if you could simply put yourself in my shoes, you’d see and feel how torn I feel.

2020 is the year of seeing more clearly what I want to do with my own life, rather than let the industry carry me as to what it wants, expects and demands me to do.

(Okay, that said - if you read this far I am a bit worried about Asilomar - This just in. That quarantined cruise ship?  They are moving the exposed passengers to ASILOMAR where I will be for nearly 2 weeks.  Am I worried? A bit. Am I panicking? No.  But I am under contract and an email to the people in charge states that as long as Asilomar is open to the public, we are moving forward and my classes are full.)

As I folded the last load of towels yesterday hot and fluffy from the dryer, and refilled the towel baskets that go on each guest’s bed - I realized that although running a retreat house is a lot of work, it’s a different kind of work. One that allows me to be home to my own dinner, to my husband and family, to my own bed at night – and feet up hours of stitching in my own chair.

I’ve been called a “die hard” over the past several decades of my quilting career. I've always been go go go go go.

I am making a change.

Beautiful foot pedal  grips made by the Original Quiltvillians this weekend!

Different sizes – because pedals come in different sizes, just like quilters do!

These foot pedal grips will be available for future guests to use to keep their foot pedals from creeping on the wood floors.  Thank you ladies!

And yes, this does tie in to what I was talking about above -

This weekend was my first retreat workshop, and not having to fly across country (which equals losing two days of home time both coming and going) to get to where I’m teaching, and having a full class of TWELVE instead of 40 to 50 was just so so so nice. Only a 7 mile drive. I look forward to doing more of this.

My travel is scaling way back in the future.  I am teaching more “local” (within driving distance) events – but even those are fewer and further between.  I just want to be welcoming groups to retreat at Quiltville Inn.

I will keep a few “international” travel trips going each year – because I DO need a break from time to time, and I love to explore far away places where I’m not lugging 100 lbs of quilts and seeing nothing but the airport, the inside of a hotel room, a classroom, a conference center and then back to the airport and then home. 

International travel allows me the ability to spend 10 days with a group of folks and really get to know them and explore the world with them as just one of the group….not during forced sewing machine time!  It’s different.  So I’ll keep doing that.

One on one time allows me to do THIS!

Lucy brought her Craftoptics to retreat – and I had mine with me for working on a binding while in the Hen Den.  (We had told each other we needed to do a selfie with both of us wearing them at the same time, but it never happened.  We were BUSY!) 

Because there were only 13 of us including me, we were able to let folks flip our glasses part with the prescription in them out of the way, and just let people rest the magnifiers on top of their own glasses and see what they could see.

We could talk about them, share our experiences – because there was time to do so at a retreat pace, where there wouldn’t be at a lecture or large class space with a 6 hour class deadline to fit it all in.

And yes, we love them.  And can’t live without them when it comes to close stitching.

If you want to know more, visit Craftoptics and send them a mail – let them know you read about it here.

And because I was able to send this photo to them with some questions that someone had asked, the answers came back with a special offer for my readers.  

You can save $100 off the original price of the the WOW Package (glasses and light)  by using coupon code QUILTVILLE100.  And you will also get one free future prescription update the next time your eyes need a new correction.

That’s right – the glasses the magnifiers are attached to are fitted with your OWN prescription.  And as your eyes and prescription change, you just send in your Craftoptics and they will put your new prescription in the glasses for you – that goes for bifocals and all.

I just did this with my last prescription change.  It was quick and easy.

Truly.  I can’t do all the hand stitching I do without these.

Okay – this post has gone on a bit of a tangent – but all of this is because I was home and able to spend time with a small group of retreat ladies, not lecturing to an audience of 300 and needing to pack up that 100 lbs of quilts and be out of the building by 9:00 p.m. with no time to connect with people.

Another reason to stay -

The cattle are roaming and mooing and saying good morning!

Photo off the back porch.

The are grazing close to the fence -

And the daffies are smiling!

And the birdsong – lovely!

I am hoping that our first April group will enjoy the porch – As the weather warms the porch will become more and more of a gathering place.

I am still in need of another patio table and 6 chairs to get seating for 12 out there.  It will come!  I keep checking facebook marketplace to see what is available.

So to wrap this bit of train of thought back together – I will enjoy Asilomar and the other events that have been scheduled for this year, but don’t be surprised if more and more I am not traveling for shows, workshops, etc.  

I just know where I want to be. Where I need to be. It’s time.

Today I’m not leaving the cabin.

THIS is coming together.

I don’t know why I thought I could get it all laid out and start the assembly process last evening.  This girl is not as flexible as she once was!

Why here at the cabin?  Because I want to sew on my 301 in the cabinet, which is better than table top sewing at the retreat house when it comes to the assembling of big things.

Because I plan on binge watching a whole series of something on the wall mounted TV in my basement studio at the cabin while I web this top together.

Because there are no QPO cats here to undo my layout!

Blocks first, sashings second.

Cornerstones third! 

I have set my quilt 12 x 16 blocks. My blocks finish at 4''.

The sashings are 1 1/2’’ x 4 1/2’’ cut from strips in the 1 1/2’’ bin of my Scrap User’s System.

The cornerstones were gleaned from the 1 1/2’’ square box – always full of an amazing variety of various things – the tail end of the Scrap User’s System, and I am in to this box all of the time.  It never disappoints.

If you don’t know about webbing the top, check the Tips & Techniques tab at the top of the blog for more info.

It promises to be a day of much up down up down, but once webbed it will be off the floor.

How is your own Shoo Fly Shoo Leader & Ender challenge coming together?

Quiltville Quote of the Day -

It's time do decide if that thing holding you back is bigger than you are.

Take the leap!

Have a lovely Wednesday, everyone!


  1. As I have followed your quilting journey for years, I wondered how long you would be traveling so often. I had a chance to go on the road and possibly become a national known professional quilter, but had four small kids at the time and just couldn't stand the idea of leaving them with my husband while I traveled. I was so happy when you bought that beautiful house with the thought of a retreat, I knew then you might be thinking about sticking closer to home. Now you can still bring us the joy of quilting from home where your heart is! I look forward to the time I can meet up with you at the Quiltville Inn for a retreat!

  2. It sounds like you are having a pinch me moment! So excited for you and the next chapter with the Inn!!

  3. Happiness and peace come in the most mundane of simple tasks.
    Folding warm towels, watching nature , inviting spring.
    Love your post today.

  4. Sounds like a wonderful life change Bonnie!
    So happy to see your Shoo Fly ready to become a quilt top... it's looking beautiful!
    My Shoo Fly leader ender is coming along well... I have made just over 100 blocks so far.

  5. A very positive life change in my humble opinion. And that quilt layout just sparkles!! So pretty!

  6. It is wonderful to see you enjoying the fruits of your labors and your dreams coming true. You do what makes you happy! You've certainly earned it.

  7. Congratulations on having and answering this epiphany!

    That pedal pad pattern can be found on the So Sew Easy site. As soon as I saw them, I knew I had to make several for myself! Thanks for showing them.

  8. Good for you. You sure deserve this easing off. You've earned it.

  9. It seems like you are finding your peace and it looks lovely.

  10. So happy for you!

  11. You sound like you have the perfect plan. Travel is great, but after awhile it can become tedious — even though you love it. Quiltville Inn is giving you the ability to still interact and teach with quilters from all over. I’m looking forward to coming one day. Hope all goes well at Asilomar.

  12. So exciting to see your shoo fly shoo quilt top coming together, I’ve been toying with the idea of putting mine on point but need to make a few more to get the size I want.
    Nobody can blame for wanting to enjoy your new venture, you have done so much travelling over the years it must be nice to have the guests come to you retreat inn. I’m so happy for you how it’s all come together.
    Enjoy your time in Asilomar I will pray that you and all your pupils are safe.
    Love and quilty hugs
    Anne xxx

  13. Change can be good, and the changes you are making are really good for you. You will be getting the best of both worlds now, with less stress (which is always good). Yes, travel right now is a bit scary. I'm facing travel later this month (after just getting over the flu and pneumonia). Hopefully we'll both be safe and healthy.

  14. I can totally understand why you'd be wanting to curb the travel and stay near to home. I'm thinking probably hubster's about ready to slow down his pace as well so the Inn is the perfect place for you to continue with your teaching and hostessing and visiting and 'playing' with fellow quilters while remaining at home more and slowing the pace. LOVE the newest scrappy quilt!

  15. I'm surprised you haven't set up a treadle machine or two at the Inn!
    And at least one at QPO.
    Stay safe and healthy!

  16. Here's hoping you made quick work of your Shoo Fly Shoo today, Bonnie!! Looking forward to seeing the completed top.

  17. As Quiltville Inn was being put together I was hoping you would take this step. I hung up my business travel shoes and retired at 58. Our heart knows when its time to downshift towards a quieter phase in life. Wishing you years of blissful retreats close to home.

  18. I am very glad I had the opportunity to meet up with you during your travels--and I totally get why you want to begin a new chapter!

  19. Good for you reassessing your work and deciding to stay closer to home. I thought it must have been so exhausting travelling everywhere - I was amazed at your energy! Still, what your future holds looks fun too. Your little blocks are happy blocks - to me they are jumping in the air with their little arms and legs sticking out, going "yippeeee!"

  20. Bonnie, I am sincerely delighted for you~~ You have worked hard. It is time for your ship to come to rest in the harbor and go only on occasional adventures. Life is good~

  21. I am so happy that you are looking towards the future!

    Leaps of faith can be good for the soul! 30 years ago I had the best paying, best benefited (sic) job of my career. However, to have the job I had to live in a place that I knew would never feel like home. After two years of dithering and escaping to the island of my heart, I packed up my cats and moved to “my” rural pacific northwest island. You know, a place that really did feel like home. I had no idea what I would do for work because my skillset would not be needed on the island. It was time for a midlife reinvention. I made it all work and today, while I am poorer in terms of money, I am much wealthier in terms of quality of life.

    You have already created your perfect life...and now you can reap the benefits of all of your hard work!

  22. Bonnie, already numerous people have chimed in with eloquent compliments. I don't think I could add anything to the conversation except 'You Go, Girl!' Blessings to you, and thank you for sharing this journey so freely with all of us.


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. :)