It feels good to be out of the car (those of you who grew up in the 1970’s now have a song going through your heads. You’re welcome). I’m glad to be back in Montana after attending my younger daughter’s college graduation in Middlebury, Vermont. The graduation was great. I was so proud of Mairin, and I loved her friends!
A Quilt Shop for Every Town
As soon as the ceremonies were over, my husband and I hopped into Mairin’s car and drove from Vermont to Denver, switched cars with her sister, and headed north to Montana. Our 3,000-mile route took us through rural Indiana, Missouri and Kansas along I-70. We were welcomed to each town by a weathered billboard advertising its quilt shop. In the middle of America, a quilt shop appeared to be the center of the community.
Although I wanted to stop and check out each shop, we were on a mission to drive 3,000 miles, so we kept moving. In my imagination, each shop had its own specialty – batiks, Civil War reproductions, solids, florals. Some had classrooms. Others occupied a couple of spare bedrooms in an old farmhouse. All were welcoming places for the women of the town to congregate and talk about families and quarter-inch seam allowances. The shops of my imagination were also havens for weary travelers to discover new fabric lines and be inspired by local handmade masterpieces.
My Hopes for The Confident Stitch
I hope The Confident Stitch is becoming such a haven not only for those who live in Missoula, but also the people who travel here virtually and in-person. We love fielding sewing questions, even if we don’t know all the answers. We have been helping a refugee from The Congo learn to use a modern sewing machine, and we are working on expanding our work with Missoula Soft Landing to help refugees create things they can sell. We are in the process of increasing the number of Sewcialists Union get-togethers per month. I hope you have felt supported by us, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned hand-maker. And, I hope to see you soon, in-person or virtually!
I’ll leave you with this John Steinbeck quote from Travels with Charley:
I’m in love with Montana. For other states I have admiration, respect, recognition, even some affection. But with Montana it is love. And it’s difficult to analyze love when you’re in it.