Friday, March 19, 2021

Antique Mall - On the Loose!

I saw this sign, and cracked up - seriously!

I actually thought of purchasing it and hanging it outside the back porch door at Quiltville Inn - but maybe my retreaters wouldn't find it as funny as I do?  LOL!

Here we are at Friday, and I'm just getting around to talking about my little outing (Because that is what we call dentist appointments these days!) from Monday.

I wish all dentist appointments were like this -  go in, get numbed up from your ears to your nose, get some work done, and then be turned out into the world after being told to "come back in 90 minutes."

What else was this girl to do?  I couldn't just sit in my car when there was an antique mall I hadn't been in for months and months just about a mile down the road, could I?

I needed to show some love to vintage quilts.  I needed to see just what was there.

I donned my mask as I pulled open the front door with the 'PULL HARD!" sign, and in I went.

Oh, wonderful! 90 minutes to wander may not be enough!

1930s album block

It had been forever since I went somewhere without a "purchase quickly, no dawdling" list.

I wanted to run my fingers over stitches made by someone I will never meet.  Someone who lived a parallel life through other global hardships.

This beauty is special because the yellow setting and border fabric is all the same.  the blues are all the same, though the triangles and center square in the blocks are all different dress prints of the era.

Right now I'm listening to The Four Winds by Kristen Hannah.  The audio book (I love my audible membership!) is 15 hours long.  And the narrator is WONDERFUL.


Texas, 1934. Millions are out of work and a drought has broken the Great Plains. Farmers are fighting to keep their land and their livelihoods as the crops are failing, the water is drying up, and dust threatens to bury them all. One of the darkest periods of the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl era, has arrived with a vengeance.

In this uncertain and dangerous time, Elsa Martinelli—like so many of her neighbors—must make an agonizing choice: fight for the land she loves or go west, to California, in search of a better life. The Four Winds is an indelible portrait of America and the American Dream, as seen through the eyes of one indomitable woman whose courage and sacrifice will come to define a generation.

And I'm thinking about this beautiful 1930s quilt and the much different life it must have come from - but we'll never know the story.

And the book - my goodness, I can't stop with it.  The dust bowl years lasted 8 years - 8 years where people were treated worse than trash because they happened to fall on hard times - harder than any time I can imagine.

It helped me put into perspective just how GOOD we have had it over the past year.  Anyway - read it. Listen to it. But devour it.  You won't be sorry!

I think I've posted this one before - 

Which means no one has bought it!

I adore that splash of green on the left -

And of course the pinks turn out to be GINGHAMS on close inspection.

Be still my heart.  Again.

This had me thinking of quilters of yesteryear - as compared to quilters of today.  Tell me true - if you had a bunch of blocks with screaming green logs, would you put them all to one side, or would you scatter them around?

I often see vintage quilts were blocks of like colors or fabrics were grouped to one side, or in a row, instead of forced separation.

Today?  We'd likely scatter those puppies so that things were "balanced."

I kind of like things, just how they are here.  And though it didn't come home with me - if it is still there the NEXT time I go, I just may have to pick it up.

The borders are chambray, with the borders being rolled to the back and machine stitched down (likely by treadle as the stitch is super tiny) as binding.

Vintage top -

Groupings in rows by color!

Oh how I love the shirtings, indigoes and burgundies!

Isn't this sweet?

I'm thinking 1890s - 1920.

Machines were in short supply!

Lonely Wheeler & Wilson missing a bobbin plate.

Hello! you look like you were a workhorse!

I wonder at all the things you must have sewn over the years.

And this sweet door stop!

Perfect for the release of Tulip Time!

I was suspicious, though.  The price tag said "VERY OLD!"  but the paint says "VERY NEW" to me.  Unless someone has repainted it.

It stayed there on the shelf.  I'm still supposed to be down-sizing, so anything that enters the confines of my car just for "décor purposes" is UP-sizing.  But I'm still thinking of it.

How could I fit this all in during 90 minutes??  The time flew by, and I so enjoyed being amongst the every day items of folks that used them in their every day lives.

Yeterday's Instagram IG Quiltfest photo prompt for day 18: 

The prompt was Workshop Class Love: Share a finish or in-process photo of a project you started in a class. This can be in person, online, with your sewing bestie...tell us what you love about the instruction.

I took it from the side of the instructor, not the student. I have been traveling to teach since 2004. I started the blog in 2005. But I have been teaching quilting wherever I have been since 1989. The winds of change are blowing me in a slightly different direction.  

I will still teach for retreat groups should they wish to add a workshop to their stay at Quiltville Inn, but for now I'm hanging up my instructor hat, and saving my travel time for international tours with Craftours.

I'm excited for international travel to begin again, and plan on groups of quilters going with me to exciting places in 2022 and beyond!  Check the tabs at the top of the blog for current planned trips and come with me!

To celebrate spring, the printable PDF pattern for Tulip Time is also currently marked 25% off in the in the Quiltville Store, no coupon required. This sale is good through Wednesday, March 31st, 2021.  The pattern will revert back to full price on Thursday, April 1st, 2021.

And to kick off Tulip Time, I am collaborating with my friend Irene at Cotton to Quilts with a FABULOUS Gift-Away!  Enter on THAT POST to win!

Also to remember:  The PDF pattern for our Unity quilt is marked 25% off due to the "Quilts of significance" prompt during Instagram's IG Quiltfest.  Sale ends Sunday!

Yesterdays and last night's heavy rain have left us things really starting to green up around here.  I'll take it!

It's probably to muddy at Grayson Highlands for a hike today - but hopefully tomorrow!

What Friday kinds of plans do you have going on?

Quiltville Quote of the Day -

The world is full of too much "Hurry up already!"⁣
Some of the best things take a slower pace, but the end result will be so worth it!
Quilting taught me this is true! How about you?
Vintage shoofly quilt photo sent by my friend Allison who received a bunch of cutter quilts in not great shape, but worthy of photos! Thank you friend!



  1. I feel so fortunate to have met you at a workshop in Trumbull CT several years go (who counts anymore?). We did Scrappy Mountain Majesty. I’ve been a blog follower since the beginning. Thanks for all you’ve done to make quilting what it is today. Your energy and humor and creativity are inspiring.

  2. I'm so happy I was able to take an in-person class with you a few years ago (Jared takes a wife in Sioux City, IA)! You are an excellent teacher! I do understand your desire to stay closer to your beautiful home and retreat center! Best Wishes!

  3. Oh my, do I need 2 or 3 of those signs! One for home, one for the health department COVID clinic where I work as a retired nurse, another for the main health department clinic where I also work. (Retired??!! HA!) And maybe another one for my sewing room.

  4. I listened to that book as well. It is a great book, and I think that's the one where there is an interview with the author at the end of the book, which was interesting to listen to! Enjoy!

  5. LOVE the vintage quilts. So simple. As for the grouping, I think it would depend on my mood and what the pattern called for. But I probably would have put those greens together like that. Love to hear about your excursions. This weekend we are doing some shopping, and I am currently wading through my buckets of scraps to see what I have to play with. Have a wonderful weekend!!

  6. Your instincts are correct. I have the same doorstop and I can guarantee that it isn’t that old.

  7. I just read the book and it was great. Another good one of hers is The Great Alone. I listened to that one and just like you enjoyed the narrator. Vintage quilts are my favorite for me to make.

  8. I have Four Winds on my "waiting to be listened to" list. The Great Alone was also good. I am still sad to have missed seeing Bonnie at Asilomar in 2020 (I was signed up).

  9. I just finished The Four Winds on audio, what a gripping story. My family was in central Oklahoma during that time and stayed there (I was born and raised there). Treasured quilts in my home were made by my Oklahoma grandmothers. Thank you for sharing the word about this important novel!

  10. I'm so happy I was able to take a class from you in Bedford, PA, a few years ago. Also heard you speak to the Genesee Valley Quilt Club in Rochester, NY. So now the big question is will you publish any more books since, PDF patterns have proved so lucrative and don't require a 2 year lead time? I think many people will be rethinking their lifestyle and habits after this endless year, except maybe the beach and bar crowd, who are perfectly willing to throw caution to the wind.

  11. The 1930 album block is interesting as the square seems to collide with the sashing as if it is appliquéd to the quilt. Am I imagining things? As for today, after our walk, between the rains, got to get charity quilts off the rack and bound. Enjoy your weekend and the first weekend of Spring!!

  12. Your Workshop at the Quiltmaker's Block Party in Portland Oregon was the one I chose to spotlight. I learned so much from you that day. You were so kind, even when I had my block turned wrong. Wonderful to see your Antique shop browsing again. I have a few I want to visit but haven't dared with the Covid. THANK YOU for all you have taught through your workshops and retreats. I am a devoted Quiltvillian.

  13. I really like that burgundy/navy quilt top. Fun variation on an almost-familiar block.

    In the photo with the white cookstove in the center - I LOVE the chrome-leg benches and table on the right. Not sure I've ever seen that style of table with bench seating before.

    Fun! Been awhile since I've done an antiques run. Thanks for the vicarious visit!

  14. i would agree that the tulip doorstop has been repainted...it looks so very 30s to me in style...

  15. Thanks for the book recommendation, I put the audio version of The Four Winds on hold and I am number 608. There are 100 audio copies, I'm guessing it will be a few weeks/months.

  16. Two things, Bonnie. First, have you covered GINGHAMS before. I see this again and again and I still don't understand what makes a gingham or not. Can you list a link or tell us what makes a gingham? Second, I inherited the same looking door stop from my Mom. The colors in mine are brighter but it's definitely the same 'mold'. She bought it new; I would say within the last 20 or 30 years. I never thought of it as vintage.

  17. It looks like that quilter was joining the blocks as she went along. She made a column at a time. I have done that to keep the pieces from getting lost, and if I needed to substitute fabrics, I wouldn't unpiece to scatter the colors. That is a more modern (in my quilting lifetime) aesthetic.

  18. I so love the vintage quilts you feature in your daily posting. Do you happen to know the name of the red and blue blocks that were set on point?

  19. Bonnie, I read your post today at 3:40 pm MT. I typically read it in the morning. That may explain why my place on the hold list for the audiobook of "The Four Winds" is #333 on 17 copies. 15 hour read, times 333, divided by 17, divided by 24 hours in a day. Looks like a minimum 12 day wait for me if everyone is a binge listener. I just noticed a similar comment from K.L. Good luck to all!

  20. After I retired, I took 3 workshops in 2018 hosted by Mary's Quilt Shop. I finished a tropical twist baby quilt, a bed quilt of Jared Take's a Wife and a wall hanging of Wonderlust. My husband surprised me with your classes as a Christmas gift. I had a great time, learned a lot from you and met some really nice people. It was a great experience. I continue to follow you, learning and being inspired all the time. Change is good. I wish you the best in all you do in the future.

  21. I just finished reading "The Four Winds". Fabulous story. I could almost "taste the dust in my teeth". An important book to read for all women. Not all of us realize how good we have it! I truly enjoy your hints and patterns.

  22. Love your sign. Made me chuckle.

  23. This quote of yours would be very nice placed on one of your quilts at the end of your blog. "You are always at a crossroads, one plot twist or decision away from a totally different life. The key is to ENJOY the uncertainty!" 💙⁣

  24. I feel so fortunate to have taken Pineapple Blossom from you at VCQ Celebration! I finished it and love it! Still have lots of your patterns I want to make! Thanks for all you do!

  25. Anonymous11:13 PM EDT

    That book must be as great as you say. I went to our library website and it is 6 months till I can get it. All her books are the same. I have put a hold on 3 of them.

  26. Hey Bonnnie,
    I think I'd be inclined to scatter the solid color all over the quilt. The old-timey quilt with the green all on one side, is, in fact, stunning. I'd never have thought of doing it that way.

    Keep on keepin'....

    Loretta McGinn

  27. I always think that they must have been adding fabrics slowly and making blocks with the scraps available until they put it all into a quilt top. Like, nowadays, we have so much fabric available, we can plan out thr whole quilt top ahead of time. But may this quilter just had a pile of dark ginghams and chambray scraps from a few old shirts. She was able to make a row of log cabin blocks, two extra blocks, with some strips leftover. When she visited a friend they traded scraps. then her son ripped another shirt while working, too far gone for the mending pile, and it went into the scrap pile, so she made 5 more blocks and complete a row, and had the start of 3 more. Then that green came into the picture and she finished those last rows. Sure, the green is bright, but she wanted another quilt by winter. So even in the piecing of the scrappy tops I can imagine a story!


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