Despite the mounds of snow currently in the Tobacco Valley, we are inching towards spring. Days are getting longer. The sun, when it is out, seems warmer even when it is bouncing off the snow. There is even that sense that below the snow, small green shoots are getting themselves ready. Before you know it, in just a few months, we will see crocus coming up and the lilacs in the Historical Village will be putting out buds.
We are still working on the Hawaiian fabric quilt that Joan pieced. Yes, it isn’t the easiest fabric to quilt and all the women are quick to point that out. At the same time, there are the bright colors and we are doing some lovely designs on it. The border has leaves that remind us of February hearts. At least that is what I think when I sit there appreciating the quilt and the quilters. Lynda pointed out to a visitor last week that some women can quilt and talk, while other can only do one or the other – not both at the same time. I am one of those who can quilt or talk. Actually even listening to a good story or some interesting idea requires me to pause in my sewing. Cathryn on the other hand can easily quilt, talk and listen, managing to do all three very well. I like to think it is a skill that comes with age.
Most of the quilters here are in their eighties. A few are in the nineties and some others in their seventies, but eighties is our average. This is probably one of the criteria that makes this group so special. All those accumulated years of experiences, wisdom, taking care of babies and family, work, travel, love and hard knocks…so many things that polish a life, creating that wonderful patina. And when the women are quilting together on these wintry mornings, there is a glow that comes from their conversations as well as their silences.
The visitor Lynda spoke with was encouraged to try quilting with us as she waited in the old school house for her car to be fixed. She said holding a needle would probably give her hives and we laughed at that one. And then different women started telling how they began to hand quilt, the wheres and the whys. All those threads that brought the group together here in Eureka, Montana, sitting around the quilting frame stitching hearts during a frosty February.