Thursday, March 30, 2023

Farmhouses, Barns & Green - Oh My!

Pastoral scenes.

That's what we were in the mood for yesterday -

We'd finished up making every corner of Quiltville Inn ready for Nola's Bonniacs who were arriving around 4pm.

It was only 11am - what should we do with the time in between?

Get in Martha's car and take some undiscovered backroads - that's what!

The intention was to eventually end up at a favorite little Mexican place in Jefferson, NC - but they were closed!  Still - check out this scene.

Little old farmhouse with a red roof.  Outbuildings. Nestled right up against hills of green.

No one lives here now, but the land is still farmed.  And that's the way it goes around here.  The land holds the value - not the house.

Still it is hard to see these old beauties go, and I can imagine the wash being hung out on the line, the children playing in the yard, the meals being cooked in the kitchen and the vegetables growing in the garden.

This beautiful barn with the twin dormers on top.

So classic!

This barn is one I can see from the road - just the twin tops of it - but I'd never taken this road.  The farmer guys were outside doing something with machinery and wondered if something was wrong when we stopped to take a photo.

Nope!  Just barn hunting, thank you very much!

Done another dirt road -

How long has this house and barn been here?  How long has it been vacant?

Things that caught my eye - the roofs were evidently green at one point before the rust took over.

The house was originally a log house until asbestos shingles were added to the outside.

One chimney going up the center.

What you can't see is the creek just below where I am standing.  I'm sure the sound of burbling water through open windows in the summer - perhaps some gauzy curtains wafting in a gentle breeze - was soothing.

There are still cattle on the hills behind.  The land is still used and valued.  It's just that no one lives here anymore.

This was someone's pride and joy.

The sidelights beside the front door are colored glass.

I love imagining how the additions came to be added on.  Maybe with the blessing of indoor plumbing.  Perhaps when the family grew as children were born.

Perhaps mama needed a big new modern kitchen with its own fireplace hearth in which to feed her growing family and those who may have also worked the farm.

A kitchen with its own back door.  A kitchen filled with light and good smells and a big table to sit around, share a cup of tea or coffee and shoot the breeze while the canning jars processed in the cooker.

Further on up the road we came across something I always wondered about:

Where do baby pine tress come from??

Right here!

This was my first glimpse at a seedling farm - look how close they are planted!

When they are ready, they are transported by refrigerated truck to wherever they will be planted.  A full field like this will plant many many hillsides.

Check out how they are spaced on the hillside above where they will grow for 7 -8 years until they are ready to be cut.

I'm not sure how long it takes the seedlings to be ready to transplant - but it's a process!

When we arrived at our lunch destination to find it closed, we quickly decided on another little diner, sat ourselves down at the counter and ordered.

We still had time!  What should we do?

An antique mall wander?  Sure!

The only quilt worth photographing.

Crazy patch - with BIG patches sewn in columns.  Likely made quickly and thickly to be warm,

No time for hand quilting - this one was machine quilted in long vertical rows.

The real treasure?

The backing is feed sacks - logos still visible!

But they are "wrong side out" making them hard to read.

I reversed and enhanced this one so we could read it.

It was "wrong side out" on the quilt backing likely so it was less obvious, but making it read backwards

It says "Eshelman"

Look what I found about Eshelman with a google search!  It's the same writing font. Oh, what a fun discovery!

I can easily see this quilt at home in any of the old farmhouses we'd passed by earlier in the day.  Chickens in the yard, pecking their way through handfuls of Eshelman's Pennsy Scratch Feed.

And the sacks all being saved and sewn together for quilt backings.

My finds for the day.

I have been looking for a big square tray for a side table next to the coffee station at the inn. Isn't this pretty?

And the measuring cup - I threw out my 2 cup measure because the red markings had all worn off.  What is with that these days?  They don't make red marks that stay on?

This one was in great shape and the red lines were all visible.  

Now the coffee station is much less cluttered and boxes of tea have a place to live.

Ready for Winter Blues Workshop!

Nola's Bonniacs have chosen Winter Blues as their retreat workshop project and we'll start digging in this morning.

Just about everyone had arrived by the time I headed home for dinner - I hope they've had a good night's rest and are ready for some scrappy fun!

Two Days Left!

Price reverts to full when I wake up and come to the computer to change it on Saturday April 1st.

New River Star PDF pattern purchases are still flying out of the Quiltville Store and the Quiltville Etsy Pattern Shop.

The introductory price is already marked 25% off and is good through Saturday 3/31/23 - no coupon code needed.

Get your pattern now while it is still on sale!

Quiltville Quote of the Day -

Sometimes we've got to work through our fear until we come out the other side. 

It's better to do something - than find ourselves doing nothing.

Have a terrific Thursday, everyone!



  1. Anonymous6:47 AM EDT

    Wow you are up early today! Love your photos of those old farm houses.

  2. Anonymous8:49 AM EDT

    Did you notice how the green of the grass is the same as the green in your New River Star quilt? I look forward to that shade every spring.

  3. Anonymous10:21 AM EDT

    The red markings on measuring cups were fine in the days of hand washing dishes. It’s the dish washers with really hot water and caustic soaps that do in the markings on cups. Maybe someday they will find markings that will stay. Have a great day!

  4. Anonymous10:36 AM EDT

    Those measuring cups have to be washed BY HAND if you want the markings to remain!!!!

  5. You had a good wander with Martha. My Sister in Law was an Eshelman. Fun feed sack find. That Quilt could tell quite the story for sure. It's greening up here in the PNW. I have a row of early blooms. daffodils are up but not blooming. We have a late Spring just as the Groundhog predicted. I''l be sad to see March end, I have enjoyed seeing all the IGQuiltfest prompts. Today is Must Make...Thinking Thinking.

  6. I love your “adventure “ pics! So many interesting places to hike! Re measuring cups: I have had many of the 2 cups thru the years, all having lost their marks within a few years. But have only lost one 4 cup due to breakage. I can throw it in the dishwasher and it looks like new, forever. If it comes from the same company, why can’t they use the same paint?

  7. Anonymous11:09 AM EDT

    I can see why you love your VA backroads! Beautiful country!! Pat

  8. I like that you find positive things about these old houses. They make me sad. Where did the people go? Why did they leave? The crazy quilt is pretty crazy!

  9. Anonymous1:20 PM EDT

    Love the old farm homes. Janice

  10. I always love taking a walk with you! I would take a walk in that area any day when there was free time! Thank goodness it's Friday-eve... Have fun with the new group!

  11. All the red markings on my 2 cup disappeared after changing Dishwasher soap to the new Cascade!! CJ Burmeister@gmail.com

  12. Wow! Love that old house. I could live there today. Such beautiful countryside. I'd have chickens, garden, my dogs, and make Bonnie Hunter quilts to hang outside 😀

  13. Anonymous12:27 AM EDT

    Check Amazon for tea assortments. Economical. I am enjoying lots of variety.

  14. Anonymous4:48 AM EDT

    What a fun day exploring the back roads and barn hunting. My kind of thing. Hubby and I do a lot of this.
    I loved your imagination of what it was probably like when the houses were full of life back then. Thank you Bonnie!

  15. Anonymous12:43 PM EDT

    My mother's family roots run deep in Lancaster Co PA, and ESHELMAN is one of those deep taproots. Gosh, do you suppose that feedback backing piece came from my Great⁴ grandfather? 😉


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