I’m baaack- what an adventure my trip to Montana was! I do miss travel and teaching in-person and I was happy to do both for 9 days. Today I’ll post about my classes and the travel in between Bozeman and Havre.
Bozeman is gorgeous right now! It is a college town, home to Montana State, with enrollment around 17,000 students. I enjoyed my brief stay and I ate very well! Bozeman is a foodie town and I enjoyed excellent cuisine while there. Our classroom was held at the Eagle Mount facility which has a variety of outdoor and indoor activities. This was the view from the parking lot:
I spent two days with the Gallatin Quilt Guild, 90 members strong. I taught Modern Fills and Yes You CAN Free Motion Quilt! and had a blast. The energy in the room was high and everyone was so engaged – love that! And the room was a fabulous place to teach – wide open spaces and superb tech:
Lookie this – does it get any better for tech?
It did get better – guild members made lunch each day: soup one day and tacos the next, both with yummy home made deserts! (Thank you for the photos Sue – I didn’t take many of my own).
Two quilt tops were brought for ideas on how to quilt. I thought this was a spectacular top by Sue and encouraged her to show this:
Can you imagine how cool this will look quilted up?
And the President had taken a trip to Africa and collected fabrics along the way. This is what ended up from a round robin:
I regret that my photo does not do it justice. It is a beautiful quilt with some great fabrics, design and piecing.
Look at this border that Deb picked up at a quilt show – it’s all pieced, a perfect addition to this top:
I hope to see this someday in a show also.
Once I finished teaching for the day, I met my friend Lynn and we started our trek to Glacier. We stopped for the night in Deer Lodge, home of the Montana State Prison – interesting architecture, no?
I was amused by all the the “prison” themed businesses – here are just a few:
I’ll post about my visit to Glacier in next week’s post, but we did hit a nice sunset on the way:
Once Lynn and I spent 3 days in Glacier, we said goodbye and I got on the Amtrak at Whitefish and rode to Havre, my next gig. I was surprised by the Whitefish train depot; pretty cool!
The tracks parallel Glacier for the first hour or so and then it’s plains. I was a little disappointed to see that I missed the wheat by about a month. I was hoping for “amber waves of grain”. A field of wheat swaying in the wind is a beautiful thing. Through the dirty train windows, this is a bit of what I saw:
Ya gotta have a place to store all that grain:
Riding the Amtrak was a delight! The seats were incredibly spacious and very comfy. The train was clean and the staff was super friendly and helpful. It was a pleasant way to spend a few hours. Oh, did I mention? The train I rode was the first day train in almost a week. There had been a derailment the previous week that killed 3 and injured over 50. All this in an area that is not exactly rich in hospitals. It was a great tragedy.
Once I got to Havre and checked into my hotel, this greeted me:
That was sooo nice, a wonderful touch. Wendy Gerky, the owner of Bearly Square Quilting, was a great host. I taught there in 2015 also and wrote about it here. Wendy showed me around town and talked about its history and industry. Bearly Square is BERNINA dealer, stocked with a great selection of current fabric, notions, thread, batting, whatever you might need. I wish I lived just a little bit closer.
For some reason, my book was not available anywhere before I left – none of the distributors had any. But Wendy worked her magic and got a whole slew of them and we sold almost all:
Once again I taught in a fabulous classroom. Does all of Montana have fabulous classrooms me wonders?
The 2-day class was full and I just love teaching the same students for multiple days. It was the best machined classroom I think I have ever been in. ALL the machines were great, every one. Most were newer, high-end BERNINA’s but there were also models of other brands and older machines that were excellent. And everyone knew their machine! Do you know how rare that is? I attribute that to owner Wendy and tech Taylor with that.
I love to cruise the crowd and see what handy gadgets and things students bring. Louise is quite the embroiderer and look how she covers her BERNINA:
That is the coolest cover I have seen!
I woke up on day one and took this photo from my hotel room. The Hi-Line Railroad is an important part of the Montana economy and runs right through Havre. What you see in the background are the Montana badlands.
I have to brag on my students. They were fantastic! There was a huge variety in experience levels, from new beginners to those with a lot of experience. And there was a big age range too with some in their 80’s (and vibrant!) all the way to those in their 30’s (guessing). Some were greatly challenged by the unstructured nature of the class and by “drawing” with the machine. But they embraced it!
I love it when we get pretty far into a class and I look out and no one needs me. Don’t get me wrong, I always walk the class. But when it all clicks, students are happily creating on their own and isn’t that what it’s all about?
Everyone allowed me to photograph their quiltlette. Everyone seemed happy, and tired. Sorry the photos are so small but I didn’t know how else to show them all:
I hope to see some more completed Start With a Square’s; I am so proud of their work!
After my second teaching day ended, Wendy drove me to Great Falls, where I caught my flight the next day. I find the plains beautiful:
Havre is about 40 miles from the Canadian border (I think) and I wish I’d take a photo of the sign in town: “Canada”, with an arrow. Not a town in Canada, a province in Canada, just, Canada. Um, Canada is a pretty big country!
Airports always seem to have some kind of art. This one was a surprise:
It was a wall in the ladies bathroom in the Salt Lake City airport! Who knew?
I was a little sad to say goodbye to Montana. I caught this view from my window on the plane:
The red/pink is vegetation, not rocks. I wish I knew what that was.
I’ll post about Glacier next week and there will be lots of pretty photos. I think we hit it at peak fall color!
I’ll link up with: