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Moving through February

It might seem like a middle-of-winter and not much is happening time but that is not true at all when it comes to the Historical Village. Despite the very cold temperatures we’ve been having lately in the Tobacco Valley, the women continue to meet every Friday to quilt from 10:00am – 3:00pm. And yes, if you want to join us either as an experienced quilter or as a novice, you are certainly welcome. It has been an interesting season for the quilts we worked on – four tied ones for the staff at Eureka Healthcare, a lovely burgundy and green one Sally pieced which sold to a woman in New York, two art quilts Rita put together for a project on the pandemic, and a beautiful one made with vintage fabrics Kathy Ingram brought in to have quilted.

Besides Friday quilting, members are also constantly adding things to our online store. We decided to keep it open at least until summer so if you are in the market for a baby quilt, books about the Tobacco Valley, bright potholders or scrubbies, hand embroidered tea towels or pillow cases, or even large quilts (either tied or hand stitched), check out our store online. Just go to the Tobacco Valley Board of History website.

And despite the cold temps and gray skies, we are thinking of Spring when more people begin passing through the Historical Village. Thanks to partial support from the Tobacco Valley Community Foundation, we purchased two new picnic tables that will be ready to replace a couple that have seen better days. And now volunteers are working to get storm windows for the old school house building. These will make it so much easier to keep the building warm next winter when the women are quilting. Special thanks to the EMQS Foundation for facilitating that project. And we have an awesome team of new volunteers who will help repair the ceiling in the old church, repair windows in the Baney House, and offered to help repair the boardwalk. Thanks to all of you who stepped up to keep the Historical Village in great shape. In May, it seems the quilters will be featured in a Backroads of Montana episode! This is a wonderful program on Montana PBS. We will certainly get the word out when we know the date and time.

If you want to be part of keeping our community’s heritage alive, don’t hesitate to attend our next board meeting on March 5 at 10:00am in the old school house. We can always use help with a wide range of tasks from social media, to archives, to fundraising.

Thanks

A hearty thanks to all of you who supported the Historical Village this year. We weren’t entirely sure when we decided to switch to an online shop from our typical holiday bazaar, what might happen. We certainly didn’t expect such an outpouring of generosity from those who purchased our handmade items, and hard work from those who made all the items. Cathryn’s pine needle baskets sold so fast she had to make a few more (which also sold very quickly). Lynda’s huckleberry jams disappeared in a few days as did the special dog treats. The quilters were thoroughly delighted to sell three quilts (two of our tied flannel ones and one lovely hand stitched one that Sally pieced). And you probably missed Renata’s blue starry quilt that was bought up in a flash. There was a run on embroidered dish towels and Jan and Carmen’s lovely Christmas ornaments. Cathy’s spicy peach jam was a big hit as were the hand felted pouches that Carol made. Proceeds from all sales go to the maintenance of the Historical Village. So as you wrap the baby quilt or the toasty scarf that you bought from our online store – you are actually giving twice. Once to the fortunate recipient of your gift, and once to the Historical Village. When you see the old church being painted or a new roof going on the Baney House, please know you are part of making that happen. Oh – and just in case you need a last minute gift, the online shop is still up and running and the quilters are at the old school house every Friday for you to pick up your purchases.

We so appreciate the support from the community. And that was another delight we discovered from having an online store – how far our community actually reaches. Orders came in from Seattle, New York, Kentucky and Israel! It is truly heartwarming to see how many people far and wide appreciate the Historical Village and our efforts. Thank you very much. May you and yours enjoy this season and all we look forward to in 2021.

https://tobacco-valley-board-of-history.square.site/

This Year’s (online) Bazaar

We were tempted to post a photo of a dog rather then the table laden with wonderful items made by the women at the Historical Village. We seriously thought of boasting about old dogs learning new tricks but decided it made more sense to just tell you about the awesome bazaar we’ve set up for you.

Follow the link from the Tobacco Valley Board of History website to our spanking new online store (it says Shop at the top of our Home page). Yes, it will have everything you typically enjoyed at our annual holiday bazaar. Cathryn Schroeder’s pine needle baskets, scrubbies, lovely potholders, embroidered dish towels, and yummy jams. Of course there are quilts – baby quilts, tied flannel quilts, quilts with vintage tops, and quilts hand stitched by the Friday quilters. Actually you should just go to the store now to see everything we have because…..well, there is a lot!

It is truly an online store where you pick out things you want to purchase, and then click on the little shopping cart to check out. The store takes credit cards so that makes it easy. You pay online for your items and then any Friday that is convenient, between the hours of 10:00am and 3:00pm you can stop by the old school house in the Historical Village to pick up your order. Do you work between 10-3 and can’t make it to the Village? No problem. Get in touch and we will arrange an alternate pick up time. And guess what? The online bazaar officially opens November 20 so that gives you plenty of time to purchase those lovely items you want to send to friends and family. And because its an online bazaar, you can shop 24/7. Insomnia? Not a problem – get your shopping done anytime while supporting the Historical Village.

Because as always, 100% of these sales support the Historical Village. So with every purchase, you help us maintain the grounds, keep the buildings looking great and pay the bills. So thank you for your purchases! And if you happen to be a minimalist who really doesn’t want anything more (although the upcycled wreaths Lynda made are really fun), its even possible to make a donation to the Tobacco Valley Board of History from our online store.

We are so excited about this endeavor. But to be clear, we are unable to gift wrap and/or ship items you purchase. We are a small group of volunteers and making all these beautiful items (did we mention huckleberry preserves and Cathy’s spicy peach jam?) and managing the online store is what we are capable of now. We are confident you can wrap your own gifts or support our local UPS store if you need any help with shipping. If you live out of the Tobacco Valley and want to purchase something, get in touch with someone you know locally who can pick your items up and arrange to get them to you.

Always a treat to see the Historical Village stretch into the 21st century! Look forward to helping you find perfect delights for everyone on your list. New things will be added weekly so be sure to check back (the cute catnip toys and homemade dog treats are available now!).

https://tobacco-valley-board-of-history.square.site/

still a bit more

In the Tobacco Valley, we all just finished up a truly delightful whirlwind weekend of bazaars.  So many wonderful ones to visit from Riverstone Lodge to Trego Hall.  No doubt you picked up many wonderful gifts, but if there happens to be someone on your list you are still missing, the Historical Village bazaar continues this Friday (12/13) and next (12/20).  Warm hand-tied quilts in thick flannel, scrubbies, homemade biscotti, embroidered dishtowels, huckleberryIMG_1901 jam, baby quilts and more. Stop by either Friday from 10am – 3pm.

Perhaps you have all your holiday shopping finished up, but are considering donations before this year ends?  The Tobacco Valley Board of History always appreciates your support.  We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit and will promptly send a thank you for your records acknowledging your thoughtful gift.

The Tobacco Valley Board of History truly appreciates the support from everyone in the valley and those individuals who live other places who help us maintain our community’s history.  Thank you for stopping by our Christmas bazaar, attending Pint Night at HA brewery, sending in memberships, volunteering and helping in so many ways to keep the Historical Village a very special place in Eureka.

PO Box 1452. Eureka, MT 59917

Working

The quilters are well into their fall flurry.  One quilt is nearly done (you can tell when IMG_1865knees and elbows start touching), one tied, and another hand quilted one that was pieced by Sally started this week.  The large table with items for our Holiday Bazaar is overflowing with wonderful items made by the women: potholders, baby quilts, aprons, hand embroidered tea towels and pillow cases, casserole covers, hats, scrubbies and more. All proceeds go directly to help maintain the Historical Village. Mark your calendar for December 7.

And then the Tobacco Valley Board of History will be having a fundraiser at HA Brewery from 4:00 – 7:00pm on November 27th.  The Pint Night features live music, a huckleberry pie raffle, a good time connecting with friends, and $1 off every beverage sold that night given to help maintain our valley’s heritage.  Hope to see you there.  And in case you don’t know, HA Brewery now offers a fantastic menu so plan to come hungry.

 

Getting serious sort of

Where does summer go?  In northwest Montana, the season whizzes by with days at the lake, out of town guests, the rodeo, the quilt show, the county fair, the garden, E4A55F53-3248-4750-B461-F2B5E3CE0CEFhuckleberry picking, and those other activities that you might fall into depending on your inclination.  There was fishing and hiking, the Patsy Cline play which was a winner, getting a start on firewood, putting up pickles, and family reunions.  Did you see this year’s Shakespeare in the Park?  Run in the annual Roodell race?  Eat pancakes to support the Animal Shelter (July event) or the RiverWalk (August event)?

Now as we teeter on the end of summer and the beginning of fall, there is a mad scurry to get things in order.  Kids return to school, the firewood does need to be gotten in and all those last minute outdoor projects finished up.  Maybe if you are retired, you start thinking about a visit to Glacier Park or some long distance traveling around the country when vacation spots aren’t as crowded.  Or for young parents, maybe it is just a relief to have a regular schedule again as the school year begins.

Perhaps after the flurry of summer, you think about changes you want to make this coming fall/winter.  It might be time to consider taking up a new hobby.  The quilters at the Historical Village begin meeting on Fridays starting in September.  Stop by if you want to learn to hand quilt or even how to tie a quilt.  Or maybe you decided now is the time to become more involved with this community.  The Historical Village has numerous events that can use volunteer help: rummage sales, book sales, Pint Night at HA Brewery, the holiday bazaar and our winter music fundraiser. Or perhaps as we slip into fall and winter weather, you are looking for some good reads about this region.  Now is a perfect time to stop by the Historical Village museum to pick up books by local authors or ask for suggestions.  The museum store closes for the season on September 2 so don’t put it off. Here are a few titles to get you started:

“Indian Trials of the Northwest Rockies” Darris Flanagan

“The Montana Christmas Tree Story: A Historic Saga of Boom and Bust” Darris Flanagan

“Tobacco Valley” Gary Montgomery

“The Book of Yaak” Rick Bass

“The Wolverine Way” Douglas Chadwick

Change of seasons

The volunteers were out to do a Spring cleaning at the Historical Village in mid April.  Now we are finishing up our last quilt so the old school house can be prepared for summer visitors.  Of course first there will be our annual rummage sale on May 18th.  And then the second graders from the Eureka elementary school will visit the Village in mid May to learn about their heritage in the Tobacco Valley.  But then we will be poised to throw wide the doors for the summer season.  Volunteer docents will have the buildings open and be available to answer questions every single day of the summer starting IMG_1227on May 25th.  Yes, it might surprise you that there are enough volunteers in this small town to have the Historical Village museum open everyday of summer from 1:00 – 5:00pm.  But it is true.  This is a remarkable community where people care enough to put in volunteer time as needed.

Of course this isn’t meant to dissuade you if you were thinking to offer help.  Needless to say there are always things to be done at the Historical Village from trimming shrubbery to painting walls, litter patrol to helping with our events.  And we hope to expand the roster of events at the Historical Village this summer to bring in speakers for demonstrations and talks.

Oh! Just in case you have your calendar handy, you might want to mark July 30 when Shakespeare in the Park performs “Merry Wives of Windsor” in the Village.  And the following weekend is the Eureka Montana Quilt Show on August 3rd.  The Historical Village looks absolutely lovely draped with all those beautifully colored quilts. You won’t want to miss it.

On your calendar

All these events help raise money to support the Historical Village.  Volunteers bake pies, sew quilts, knit hats and play music so our valley’s museum can be everything you want.

quilts for sale

November 21:  Pint Night at HA Brewery.  4-8pm.  Huckleberry Pie raffle. Live music with Dave Leeman and Al McCurry.  $1 from every beverage sold and $1 from every pizza sold goes to the Village.

December 1:  Holiday bazaar from 9-4 in the old school house! Handmade items galore with all proceeds going to the Village.  Yes its true. You don’t want to miss this.

December 7-21: Every Friday until Christmas, the bazaar at the Historical Village continues. A perfect place to pick up last minute gifts and visit the quilters. 10-3 in the old school house.

Do you want quarterly updates about events at the Historical Village? We now put out an e-newsletter.  Leave a comment so we know the best way to contact you.

It takes a Village…

The response to our membership drive has been awesome. Thanks to everyone who sent something towards supporting the Historical Village.  Of course it is not too late if your form happens to be still sitting on the kitchen table/desk.  Just put it in an envelope with your donation, add our address (Tobacco Valley Board of History at PO Box 1452  Eureka, MT 59917), a stamp and you are good to go.  IMG_2672

Hopefully you have seen the Great Northern caboose in the Village. Kenny Westbrook just finished the renovation.  It is so beautiful – and much more sturdy then it was before.  Children are going to thoroughly enjoy climbing on it this summer.  And a few lucky adults will get to sit on the caboose steps to watch Shakespeare in the Parks.

The Village quilters stopped meeting on Fridays for the summer but some of their lovely handwork will be available at the Eureka Montana Quilt Show on August 4.  Of course there are other quilts available for sale at the museum gift shop all summer.  If you are searching for a unique wedding gift or something special for yourself, you might consider one of the tied quilts which are the perfect combination of beautiful, warm and affordable.  Yes, here in northwest Montana, one often needs a quilt on chilly summer nights.

 

Whatever it takes

We are working on a quilt with a history. I suppose that isn’t so surprising. Many quilts have history.  Do you remember that beautiful one made by an elderly quilter from Gee’s Bend?  It was pieced from her husband’s old work clothes.  She said every time she got under that quilt, she felt as though her husband was still with heIMG_2260r.

The quilt we are working on now came from Kentucky. The brother of a friend sent it to me. The women at the Historical Village think the fabrics are from the 1940s.  When it arrived in the mail, the top pieced with colored fabric and squares of plain muslin was stiff with age.  Bev carefully washed it and washed it, finally getting it to a point where it could be quilted. We found a large piece of muslin for the back. But how to quilt this slightly irregular beauty?  The pieced blocks are delicate and also aren’t exactly square. At the same time the colors and patterns are special enough we wanted to do more than simply tie it.

IMG_2263

So Cathryn in her wisdom pointed out that we could quilt the plain squares and tie the remainder.  What a perfect plan for this unique quilt! A pattern with small hearts was selected.  It is a bit slow as the fabric tends to hold the needle but we are getting there.  It might be finished by late spring.  It is one of those quilts that has a lot of character although who is to say how long it might last.  Still it will easily grace whatever bed it ends up on.  Hopefully the person sleeping under it will feel cared for.

Doing this quilt is a reminder how it is not always necessary to stick with the usual plan.  Sometimes a dilemma presents itself that requires creative thinking.  The solution doesn’t have to be !00% of this. It could be 81% of this and 12% of that and 7% of something else, still getting the job done well.  Somebody might have looked at this particular quilt top and thought it wasn’t worth saving for much of anything.  But as we quilt and tie it, the women remark on the fabrics and interesting piecing.  We figured out a solution and are making it work.  Yes indeed, it’s a beauty.