Saturday, December 04, 2021

Where Rhododendrons Grow -

This was Thursday!

And when early December days get warmish - the quilters get out walking!

Okay, THREE of us got out walking and I'm glad we took just an hour to do this.

This is down Bear Branch, and yes those are giant rhododendron bushes growing along that stream - Rhododendrons keep their leaves through the winter, and though they may get a bit droopy with the incoming ice and cold, they are about the only other thing that stays green besides the pine trees.

Zooming in once again on that tumble down cabin -

Such an austere setting - I wonder what life was like here back then.

Yes, that's a great barn tucked into these trees!

And heading back to my van - for a bit of perspective!

Yesterday was Rhododendron Trail, Part Two release day as you know, so I'm playing a bit of catch up here.

I was also gone in the afternoon so I counted on Melody who has been here before to take those who wanted to go up Round House Road yesterday -

They had a great time!

And yes, there are short sleeves and bare shoulders because temps reached the middle 60s yesterday - even weirder, it was 77 in Winston Salem as I left my appointment and headed home.

Crazy December weather!  But at least we were out in it enjoying it so we can reflect on it say - oh, FEBRUARY when we are tired enough of winter to really grumble?  LOL

When I returned, I walked into the house to find myself greeted by yummy smells wafting from the kitchen - Dawn was baking cookies!  Oh joy!

You know, it is such a great feeling to know that retreaters feel at home enough to get in there and bake for each other.

I'm happy knowing that all of the needed utensils and pans are available, and folks who have been here more than once are just making themselves at home, knowing just where to find what they need.

And yes, I got the side benefit of a warm melty chocolate chip cookie in the process!

And the holiday music has been playing non-stop adding to the magic.

The plan for fire pit didn't materialize.  The warm temps brought wind.  And blowing wind plus fire pit just makes for a lot of smoke in everyone's faces.  It was a nice idea though -

I think these gals can find other things to keep themselves busy!

Tracy is cranking through her UFOS!

Melody is deep into Straits of Mackinac sashings!

(Quilt from String Frenzy)

Dawn is also finishing up her Straits of Mackinac blocks!

Instead of fire pit, we have fire places - 

And loads of good company!

And I did remember to take a photo of the banister!

I wish this garland were longer - so I could wrap more of it up the stairs.

Made by my mom as tree garland.

I used this on our tree for many years.  With the sale of the Wallburg house, son Jeff took the tree for HIS place - but he passed on grandma's yoyo garland.  LOL.  

I think it's adorable and I'm happy to be able to use it here - and yes, it's held in place with blue painters tape.  Whatever works!

My only sewing yesterday -

I finished up that side fill in section, which brings me to...***DRUMROLL*** The LAST large corner fill in section.

I am kind of racing the clock on this - those corner sections of background hexies are huge, and there is still a significant section to quilt.  But I want it done by New Year's.  That's the goal anyway.


The high is supposed to hover around 57.  Not as lovely as yesterday, but I have some die hard walker/hikers who would like to go up to Rhododendron Trail at Grayson Highlands and see if we can find the ponies along the Appalachian Trail.  

It might be the last chance we get for temps in the 50s.  I'm game.

And then we'll play the rest by ear.

How about your own weekend ahead?

Did you enter the IronEZ Holiday Gif-Away yet???  Enter to win ON THAT POST.  Drawing to happen on Monday, 12/6/21

Even more: Use coupon code BH15OFF to save 15%!

Get two or three while you are at it.  You are going to LOVE keeping those spray bottles in line and off of your ironing surface.

Need more bottles? They are now selling the new fine-mist bottles in a 2-pack so you can have one at your stand up ironing station, and one by your machine for work station pressing.

Click on over to the IronEZ website where you will find limited time FREE SHIPPING (within the USA) in addition to your 15% off should you also wish to gift yourself or a quilting friend.

Quiltville Quote of the Day -

The learning curve is long and sometimes makes a wide swing in either direction but stick with it!
This is your love, your passion, don't give up on it.

Keep working on those Rhododendron Trail units -

Have a wonderful weekend!



  1. I'm making some ornaments for extended family and finishing the binding on a Christmas quilt I made 2 years ago. Excited for that finish! (My sewing room is a mess!!)

  2. It’s awesome that your having warm enough weather to get out and enjoy it! Even better to return to a fresh baked cookies (I love the smell as much as the cookie). My week end will be filled with flying geese in the makings!

  3. Loving the colors for this year's mystery! My half squares are done and just finished clue 2 cutting....

  4. Wish I had someone to bake cookies for me!! No trip to the US for family Christmas. At 75 prefer not to take stupid chances so instead am trying to focus on finishes by Dec. 31. Means I have to deny myself the mystery start because if I start piecing I won't conquer the to-be-quilted pile. Playing with all this year's beautiful colors will be my reward in January. Definitely strong incentive. Glad you have conquered several of your life complications so well this fall. Hope you have inticing things to look forward to in 2022 as well. Happy Holidays!

  5. Your weather is like ours in Colorado right now, Wed & Thurs. was in the 70's!! Saw grasshoppers, flies and killed a mosiquto!! Weird weather indeed! Enjoy your weekend!

  6. Pretty it is be cold in those mountains. I live in the Smokies and snow can be so beautiful … especially at Christmas.

    Love the new Mystery quilt!!!!! No oranges etc.
    I am one who waits to see the finished quilt. Just can’t dive into without knowing the end.
    Happy hugs
    Sweet Ambrosia aka JulieinTN

  7. Did you know that Rhododendron's are natures thermometers. The leaves will go up and down in the cold weather (down tight the colder it gets and up as it warms)Native Americans used this info.

  8. I love, love love! the yo-yo garland, uh oh, gotta make one! OK add it to the list of all the zillion projects I want to do! Thanks, Bonnie! 😁❤

  9. Lovely weather in December for the walks. Go-getters these Retreaters! They need to walk off those cookies, lol. Did they make yours Gluten free? Fireplaces are so cozy, I miss mine!

  10. Glad your ankle is well enough that you can hike again. I was sad not to get to see the Rhododendron trail in September but understood that your ankle wasn't ready then.

  11. I started the Rhododendron Trail quilt in honor of the park near my house (well, right nrext to my house) that has the largest collection of rhodies in Central Europe - Pruhonice Park near Prague, Czech Republic. Our rhododendrons are spectacular in the spring, and people come from all over to see them. So this one's for them! :) http://www.pruhonickypark.cz/en/the-pruhonice-park/

  12. I now have an earwig of "long and winding road". Long and winding road that always leads back to needle and thread. Thank you, Bonnie for giving so much of yourself to the world. Everything is Pink and Yellow and Neutral!

  13. This weekend will be all about decorating outside and inside. Looks like it will be dry most of the day today and tomorrow, rain expected all next week here in the Willamette Valley. That yoyo garland is darling. Enjoy your weekend Bonnie.

  14. I made a yoyo garland exactly like that one for my sewing room.
    Gee everyone must be sewing!
    I just have to press geese then I'm done. Thanks for another easy clue Bonnie.

  15. Bonnie, your landscape photos are wonderfull! There is beauty all around us in each season if we just stop and look.

  16. It's so nice that your retreaters feel so much at home in the Inn. What a lovely place to be!

  17. Thank you for the YoYo idea... I have a bag of yoyo's of my moms, so now I am sewing them into a garland for my decor! Thanks for the sharing Bonnie


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