April 21st, 2016

Happy Spring. You may have been wondering why you haven’t heard from me. Or maybe, you’re like me---very busy. Since I last wrote I have hardly touched a thread or needle.


Sunday, April 3rd was a very special spring day.  Most of you  know that I serve on the Gallatin History Museum Board of Directors. For several years it has been a wish of mine to host an event--- Books and Brunch in Historic Homes to benefit the Museum. With the help of a very devoted committee and generosity of owners of some of Bozeman’s finest historic homes, we kicked off our first annual event.

In my mind it was about as perfect as any long anticipated day could be. The level of anticipation was something akin to Christmas morning and the opening of the gifts! A sunny spring day, birds singing,  champagne toasts, great food,  readings from Bozeman and the Gallatin Valley- a history by Phyllis Smith, enjoyable brunch conversation learning about Bozeman’s early years. I think a few photos will be proof positive what a glorious day it was!

Are you familiar with TEDx Bozeman? Or maybe you have TEDx in your town? TEDx’s mission -- Ideas Worth Spreading-- is amazing. This year’s theme was Confluence. The concept evokes the ribbons of time, innovation, curiosity, and discovery. It provides a diverse community platform for sharing thoughts, ideas, and initiatives by a collection of individuals, all of whom share some sort of tie to the state of Montana. Bill and I were invited because of our connection with Anne Perkins, Ph.D. professor at  Carroll College in Helena, MT.  Some years ago Bill and I were asked to serve on the board of the newly created Human-Animal Bonding Program, Anne had created. The classes were so popular that the program evolved from a minor to the Anthrozoology major and eventually became its own department in 2014. It is the only undergraduate degree of its kind in the country. We were so proud of Anne. Her presentation was wonderful!
The presentations were diverse, entertaining, and worthwhile. It proved to be a wonderful Saturday afternoon and evening. When TEDx concluded we were invited to a lovely reception. We were honored to be included.  If you get a chance to attend a TEDx event I would recommend attending.

Monday arrived. It was a day we had been dreading for a long time. The road in front of our property is being widened to accommodate the rapid growth of Gallatin County. This meant we were forced to sell our land to the State of Montana Highway Department and sadly the removal of cherished Evergreen trees.


  More lanes

I stood in the pasture to watch trees that we had started from 2” seedlings being broken, stripped of their limbs, and torn from the ground. It was sad to see such beautiful specimens- seven Evergreen trees, an Ash tree, Lilac bush, Honeysuckle bush and a Maple tree - gone in a matter of a few minutes. There are many accidents and one man has been killed  at the corner of S. 19th and Goldenstein. I understand a more safe road is needed but the destruction still hurts. The sign and covered wagon announcing the entrance to Quilting in the Country are permanently gone. I stood and shed tears for the ending of things as they were.

Coincidentally, a friend Collette, who appreciates such living things as trees came by to check on using the Bunkhouse as a spot for an art show featuring her student work with masks. She helped us celebrate the lives of those trees we had raised from 2” seedlings. I suppose “murdered” is too strong a word to use for the tree removal but that is what came to mind. She shared a Native American tradition of sprinkling tobacco in the places where the trees had been. 



The last of three beautiful Evergreen trees along with lilac bush, honeysuckles. Gone in minutes.

Collette recommended we collect a few pine cones and twigs from the trees to start a fire for a releasing ceremony in our fire pit. She told us the Evergreen is a tree symbolizing infinity. They are the perfect symbol of life. We use them as Christmas trees and for burning in our fireplaces. They give us oxygen, shade and joy. We were grateful for those trees we had grown since 1986. We felt better!


The same day the trees died we picked up Bill’s new car—a Chevy Volt. He is thrilled with it! I’ll ask him to tell you about it later. It is the first 2017 Volt in Montana.
A friend had given us complimentary ski passes for Big Sky Ski Resort. The big question? Would our skis fit in the new car? They did. We got instruction on driving the new car from the trainer at the car dealership and left for Big Sky. It was really warm and sunny on the ski hill and we feared the late spring conditions but it was a perfect day.



We truly understood the MT slogan—Big Sky. The sky was gorgeous. The year that was going to be filled with many days of skiing concluded with one beautiful day being our first and last day of ski season 2016.
The next day the movers came in a rain/snow event to move our hide-a-bed and piano from the garage to the Bunkhouse. Perhaps you remember the move to the garage from our parlor during renovation in the house last year. One of the young male movers remembered the piano. He told us it had taken him 6 months to recover from that move! Historically, the piano is important. It came from Virginia City, MT. If the piano could talk it would have some tall tales to tell!
I hardly ever eat lunch out but last week I ate out two days in a row.  It had been many years since I had eaten at Old Chicago. My friend and I shared the lunch special and it was good and the perfect amount. The next day another friend and I drove to Livingston to meet a special friend from there. I had eaten at Gil’s only in the summer when their huge overhead doors are wide open. It is a fun, funky place. I wanted to show my Bozeman friend the Murray Hotel and tell her about the Quilting in the Country Gateway to Yellowstone Retreat we held there some years ago. At the retreat we took over the second floor, ate at various restaurants in Livingston, even went to a bar where one of the retreater's friend was playing. It was a grand time! Oh, yes we quilted too! The Murray is undergoing some restorations and one of the employees was willing to show us around. I encouraged my friend Jean to consider celebrating her wedding anniversary there. Livingston is such a great get away place. Jean and her husband could spend the night at the Murray Hotel, eat dinner at Second Street Bistro, explore the shops and hike along the Yellowstone River bordering the city park. Maybe there would be a theater production too!
Time passes by so quickly and we miss seeing good friends as often as we would like. Along with a few friends we do see regularly, we were able to  invite one couple we hadn’t seen  since last summer, for a potluck supper last Friday evening. Recently I had been in conversations at different times with 4 or 5 women concerned about never using the fine china we had received as wedding gifts. Comments like—I never use it,  I can’t even give it away, what will I do with it- I’m down- sizing. Enough of that sort of conversation, I thought. I was getting out my best dishes! The meal wasn’t very fancy but using my Lenox china made the evening more special. I really enjoy washing and drying the dishes by hand and rethinking the fun and conversations of the evening. Do you have elegant china? When is the last time you had it out of the china cupboard?
Here is the recipe I used for dinner last week.  It a favorite from my friend Linda Curtis.
¾ C. Dijon mustard
1 ½ C. bread crumbs
¾ C. parsley, chopped
3 garlic cloves
1 T. dried thyme
1 T. dried rosemary
2 T. olive oil
Mix 2 T. mustard with olive oil. Brush on meat. Mix remaining ingredients/ press on roast.  350’. 1 ½ - 2 hours to 155’.


​NEW PATTERNS! ​ Crabapple Hill came out with some adorable mini quilts just in time for summer and we couldn't resist. We even ordered the floss so we can carry floss kits. Order by clicking on the picture or the name.

Root Beer Float




Sale Patterns! Here are a couple patterns we thought you might enjoy for spring and summer. Now 25% OFF and supplies very limited. Order by clicking on pictures or names.

Sending My Love

May Basket by Magenta Rose





A little pocket could be sewn on the back of the heart. A pretty special way to give $$'s to a graduate, grandmother or mother, bride. Anyone who would enjoy the keepsake embroidered heart!


Hope by Crabapple Hill



For years I keep a list of women I would like to become friends with. Kathy Sheehan’s name was on that list and we did become good friends. Then Kathy moved away from Bozeman. What a disappointment that was, but we’ve kept in touch.
Kathy is coming to the June Retreat! She sent her retreat down payment, and a lovely note on a great card with a Rhode Island Red Hen on the cover.
Here’s what Kathy wrote:
“Dear Jane,
Here is my deposit for the retreat at Nine Quarter Circle Ranch for two night, June 12-14, 2016.
I am excited beyond words! As advertised, there will be “delicious food, quilting, and wonderful camaraderie”.  I just can’t say what one excites me most! But maybe “camaraderie”.
Can’t wait to see you!”

June 12-14 and September 15-18. Please consider the Spring or Fall Quilting In The Country Retreats at the remarkable Nine Quarter Circle Ranch. Outside of Bozeman on your way to Yellowstone National Park, the ranch is one of Big Sky's oldest dude ranches.

The June Retreat is 2 nights, the September retreat is 3! FSeptember is longer and will give you time to finish the theme project and work on your own projects. Rest, read, hike and just generally relax with your old and new friends. Sounds delightful, doesn’t it? Too bad it isn’t next week! If you’ve been planning to attend one of my retreats—now might just be the perfect time. Please don’t procrastinate. Join me! You'll love the project (pictures to come soon!) -- the Montana Star with needle felted flowers.   

June 12-14, ONLY 2 nights,  $399.
September 15-18, ONLY 3 nights, $525.