Alright. Its still just the beginning of November but we are already making quantum leaps towards the holidays as December is just around the corner. December 5th is the day of all the bazaars in Eureka and we want to be ready. Actually most of the women are. Cathryn has been making beautiful pine needle baskets. Joan is sewing up a storm with baby quilts. Carmen is knitting like mad. Judy is making holiday table runners and cute pin cushions shaped like birds. I admit that I am the only one who is still mulling over what to make for the bazaar. While most of these women have multiple talents besides quilting like Cathryn’s basketry or Carmen’s knitting (and did I mention Mary Louise’s utterly delicious homemade chocolate covered cherries?), I do better with other things. I have tried sewing hats in the past and we ended up donating them to the thrift store. Or one year I tried making those small lapel wreaths that I remembered from my Girl Scout days and…well…they weren’t a hot item either. Fortunately though the other women are very talented and we will have piles of lovely things to sell at our bazaar. In fact we were so relaxed about it this past week that even with the bazaar approaching and two quilts set up on frames, we decided to do lunch out in Fortine where we spoiled ourselves with pies. It did seem like the ideal occasion to take a photo of the group. Unfortunately Renata leaned back just as the photo was taken and Dianne was still quilting. But it is most of us gathered around the table at Renee’s Rolling in Dough rather then around the quilting frames. And I did so enjoy relaxing with the other women and didn’t ponder at all what I will do for the bazaar. Instead I just listened to their stories and savored the banana creme pie.
I surely would give this job of posting to anyone who has more consistency. Where has the fall gone? Last week was the holiday bazaar and we did well raising funds to help cover the costs of the Historical Village. Next Friday we will have pizza to celebrate Christmas and exchange small gifts. I barely made it to any Fridays this fall and the ones that I have managed to show up were too short. Quilts have come and gone. One lovely one that the group worked on – an old top that someone donated covered with squares containing names that women had stitched was finished before I really had a chance to even work on it. This week when I showed up there was a quilt I hadn’t seen before and I still haven’t heard the whole story of where it came from and who it belongs to.
Gary stopped by this week. He shows up often on Fridays to say hello to everyone and check in as he is part of the Board of History. He told us he was having trouble with the kitchen sink in his house and would have to crawl under the house to fix a pipe. We all sympathized with him as of course no one enjoys crawling under a house in winter. Different suggestions were made….had he tried this concoction to get the drain going? Had he tried hot water? Had he tried snaking it out? He had tried most everything as of course he doesn’t want to crawl under his house to fix the pipe if he absolutely doesn’t have to. Finally one of the women shrugged and said, “We are usually pretty good at solving problems, but we aren’t going to manage this one.” We all laughed but I would easily agree that this group is remarkable at problem solving. Between them there is so much wisdom and plain old common sense: the medical knowledge from Cathryn and Bev who worked as nurses, the advice Mary Louise can give from running a ranch, or Bonnie from her years of work and raising a family. Cathy is a wiz at numbers and geography, Diane a stickler for details. Its not that I have any doubts about these women dealing with plumbing problems but in the end they agreed Gary would just need to go home and put on his overalls.
We had a successful Holiday Bazaar selling numerous items that the quilters had made from mittens to baby quilts to embroidered pillow cases. The money raised will help us pay to have the roof redone on the old school house next summer. The county commissioners also made a very nice donation towards the roof costs and to help us get a new sign for the entrance to the Historical Village.
The following week we had our annual Christmas party. Each quilter had taken some remnant of a quilted piece and sewed it into a gift. Bonnie made hers into a lovely framed piece. There was a pillow and a table runner and a shawl with an eight-pointed quilted star stitched onto the back. The creativity of these women continues to amaze me even after a year of sewing with them. And their creativity is not limited to quilts but is evident in other parts of their lives – what they give to the community, to their families, to themselves. The Tobacco Valley is blessed to have these individuals.