Monday, March 02, 2020

What a Difference March Makes!

The Sisters of the Stash in the Sunshine!

It hit 57 degrees yesterday – where the day previous there was 4’’ of new snow on the ground. 

Spring can roll in, fickle as all get out, but eventually winter is bound to lose the battle and give it up to the sunshine we all long for!

I just noticed the storm door is wide open in this photo.  LOL!  Oh well!

My friend Martha stopped by yesterday, knitting in hand and spent some time meeting the ladies, and it was wonderful to introduce my local friend to my friends from far away – combining them into one big group of wonderful women.

This is the side benefit of having such fun quilters come stay – I get to be in a kitchen surrounded by women, and women’s chatter – or sitting in a comfy chair in the hen den sipping tea, and enjoying conversation.

I have lived in a house of men for so long – just me as the only female (unless you can count on female pets!) I never realized how much I have hungered for for the comfort of having other women around who GET ME.  You know?  If you have a houseful or a family full of daughters and sisters and other women, count yourself among the blessed!

Everyone has a story to tell – a story worth hearing.

We are connected by our life experiences!

This is Jayne, and FROLIC is her first big quilt!  And we all cheered her on while she put that last seam into the top.  Can you feel her excitement and remember your own when you made that first BIG project?


She even did great on the “scary” part of trimming the edges leaving 1/4’’ seam allowance!

Jayne, you are a joy to have around!

Sunny Sunday along the New River.

Mary, Karen and I felt such a need to go stretch our legs after sitting and sewing for hours upon hours – Martha suggested we try a hike along Round House Road.  PERFECT!

It is close to the Inn, it’s not a busy road at all, and it’s a beautiful walk.  And it’s a dirt road, which is much softer on the knees than hard pavement.

Click to Play:

I love the sound of running water!

THIS is why they call it Round Rouse Road!

Dan Idol built this "Round House" in 1874, very close to the New River in Mouth of Wilson, VA. According to several sources, the house was completely submerged, except for the very top of the chimney, in the great floods of 1916 and 1940.

Unfortunately, the house has been abandoned for many years and is in terrible shape.

Besides being vandalized over and over, time and the elements have not been kind to it. I can only assume that it will not be around much longer. I love capturing photos of this place – because who knows when it won’t be standing the next time I come by.

For comparison – a photo of the house from 1900.

Little abandoned cabin in the snow.

Big abandoned farmhouse with a “pull through” barn.

Another farmhouse, empty on a hillside.

Snow still present where the “sun don’t shine!”

Lonely hilltop cemetery, belonging to the McMillan family.

Patriarch and Matriarch.

They buried children far before their time.

It always hurts a parent’s heart to learn of things like this.

The resiliency of spring, despite the snow!

Another child lost.

The bottom line says “Resting in the arms of Jesus.”

Another McMillan son, aged 37.

Harder to read – the stone is crumbling.

But this one passed at 29.

We commented that earlier cemeteries are often marked by the very young due to childhood diseases that we can now easily cure, or those who survived through a long life making it to 80 or beyond, through their own true grit – but having to bury many of their own children along the way.  There didn’t seem to be much middle ground in the McMillan family.  I am so curious to know more about them.

Such a beautiful view!

Hiking back from Alleghany County,NC back into Grayson County, VA!

The little dam falls of Wilson Creek.

And the day continued – we filled it full!  I wound up taking a group to West Jefferson NC to go antiquing – but we drove by the cabin to drop Dave back off – he had brought my van to me as had driven me to the inn through the snow the morning before and just dropped me off as I didn’t want to be driving in that stuff.

A handful of ladies toured the cabin property before we went antiquing, took a drive up to the top of Mount Jefferson and then returned back to the inn for some of this to round out our active day:

Some Electric Slide on the front porch at Quiltville Inn!

The front porch was ROCKIN’!!!

There is much more to share – and still much more to do as today we are loading up that big 15 passenger van and taking the whole group (Minus Mary who is returning to Boston today – Bye, Mary! We miss you already!) to Wytheville to visit Batiks, Etc and then have dinner at the 1776 Log Cabin restaurant for the culmination of The Sisters of the Stash retreat at Quiltville Inn.

The group will be heading out tomorrow morning – and I’ll start preparing for our next retreat that starts THURSDAY!  Whew!

Quiltville Quote of the Day

Lemoyne star quilt found yesterday in West Jefferson NC

You cannot force creativity, it has to take its own path. But if you give it room to flow and leave self criticism outside the door, you will create an environment where creativy can blossom and thrive .

You just might surprise yourself!


  1. Spring is right around the corner! I love the line dancing on the front porch, it's the perfect place, and it's always good to step away from your machine often for some stretching or dancing!!

  2. the cemetery brought to my mind this: The old hymn by Fanny Crosby "Safe in the arms of Jesus" that was sung at babies funerals in the early 1900's. (I don't remember this I have been told by grandparents.)

  3. Looks like around here in western nc

    I love old cemeteries. Was down in st marys ga last two weeks and it was full of Scotts, French, etc- early settlers 18th century. Same scenario with children and so many so young for various reasons. I love the beautiful cemeteries; so peaceful and old headstones.

    So many houses here, in great smokey mtn park area falling in as well. We forget these things take money to fix ... and then to move to an area where you can't make $? So they go, once the roof goes. It's a vicious infinite regress.

    Glad you could move somewhere and build it and they will come.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. What you have missed is that the parents outlived the children - the father was last to die - there was no one left to inherit the house. Know the story before making conclusions :)

    2. Which house was the McMillan home, the round one? So sad that there wasn't an extended family.

  5. I can't wait every morning to read Bonnie's post...it'a always so interesting and kind..I don't make any of her quilt patterns, but enjoy reading about her everyday life..keep up the wonderful work Bonnie..love all your pics...I'm an antiqueing person also, and love all the history that you find..have a wonderful day..

  6. Love the scenery photos. Each of the four seasons have their own beauty to savor!

  7. Oh it makes my heart ache for all those beautiful old empty houses. I love old homes, I wish my husband was a handyman. I would have bought me one when we were younger. Now I definitely would not to tackle one. But I sure do love them. It looks like so much fun and sisterhood at the Quiltville Inn.

  8. Always seems sad to see empty houses when there are so many homeless.We have many empty farm houses, here in Iowa,too.

  9. Line dancing is always a fun way to get the blood moving! You have a beautiful area that I can’t wait to come see one day. Yes, it is very sad to see that some families will not continue on because of the parents having to bury their children.
    Enjoy that warm sunshine! Happy quilting! 🧵

  10. John Wallace (the toddler). That was also the name of Meg's younger brother in A Wrinkle in Time, wasn't it? I know their house was supposed to be in New York (or one of the other states surrounding it, but they also lived on a hill, in an old draft farm house. Probably no coincidence between them at all, but it makes you think.

  11. Always sad to see these old houses empty when they should be full of love and laughter, they need people like you and Dave to bring them back to life, you did such a fantastic job on Quiltville inn.
    Your ladies certainly had lots of fun and their retreat looks like it was an enormous success. So nice you could join in the fun and you have your room ready for you at the inn.
    Thank you for sharing these lovely pictures with us.
    Love and quilty hugs
    Anne xxx

  12. What a way to bring such life back to the old property! Dancing! Super fun! Such a pity about all those beautiful empty houses and the sad little cemetery with a stunning view for resting places. Always lovely to see the scenery and the little trek by the stream. Did enjoy!

  13. I am so very intrigued by the "Round House" in your photos. It seems a very unusual kind of structure. I am familiar with "round barns" here in the Midwest, which are unusual, but a few still survive. Curious to know what the advantage of such a structure for living would be. Is it having a "basement" or just cheaper to build, or both? I LOVE that you LOVE to do historical research on the world around you, Bonnie ! It gives so much more background and flavor to what you see in everyday life. Thanks!

  14. I grew up on a farm in southern Ohio, the house was built in 1848 & part of the underground railroad. My parents sold to Amish who keep the property maintained. Unless you have unlimited resources to keep up with the maintenance it's very difficult to restore old places. The walls are a foot thick & we had no central heat & most were original windows. Those have been replaced by the Amish. They have the knowledge & resources to accomplish this. Many of these homes/farms are in rural areas, jobs that pay well are limited. That means a long drive into a larger city for a job. As Bonnie said, as the parents pass on many times there's no one to take over these homes, pay the taxes & have the $$ to keep up the property.

  15. Love seeing the magnolia quilt block beside the front door. It looks great there!!


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