About 50 miles southeast of Spokane, Washington, lies a small town called Oakesdale. Once the junction of three major railroads, the town was named for Thomas F. Oakes who was then the vice-president for the Northern Pacific Railroad. It is now a farming community nestled in the beautiful hills of the Palouse and is surrounded by wheat fields.
|View of the Palouse Hills from Steptoe Butte|
In this small town, there is a group of quilters who call themselves the Sew Ladies. They meet every-other Wednesday at the home of Russ and Darlene Rickett. They meet from September through May and then take the summer off. Their numbers range between eight and fifteen, and their ages range from 55 to 80. They have been meeting for the better part of eight years and have become a close-knit group. They bring their sewing projects and sew together for most of the day, taking time out for “Senior Lunch” at the school in Oakesdale.
|Dawn’s Scrappy Quilt|
Back in January, the MPS guild program was titled “Keeping Your Resolution to Reduce (Your Stash)”. MPS members, Dawn DeLong and Vickie Rooks, were our speakers that evening and they shared with us many great ideas for getting our stashes organized. Then they showed us ways we can use all those scraps that inevitably pile up in our sewing areas and followed that up with a small trunk show of beautiful scrappy quilts. After the program, Vickie and Dawn shared their notes and on-line links with the MPS website chairs, who in turn created a web page that included those notes, links, and a few pictures of Dawn’s and Vickie’s scrappy quilts.
|Vickie’s Scrappy Quilt|
Darlene’s daughter was so inspired by this program, she went right to work in getting her stash and scraps in order. And she also shared the link to the newly created web page with her mother. She was pretty sure the Sew Ladies would find it interesting.
committed women met in the Rickett dining room and set up their machines around the table. Besides Darlene, the other sewists were Patty Johnson, Charlotte Welker, and Besse Cooney. Patty brought pretty pastel strips, Charlotte used 30’s reproduction fabrics, and Darlene cut her strips from “Civil War” fabrics. Besse decided to leave her color comfort zone and used strips of batiks in browns and oranges. All the strips were 2½” wide.
|Besse and Patty|
The plan was this: They would spend the morning sewing all of their strips together, break for lunch and then, in the afternoon, begin the race of turning a 2½” x 1600” fabric strip into a quilt. Darlene, Patty, and Charlotte connected their strips using a
diagonal seam, while Besse sewed her strips together using the Race II method of placing a 2½” square between each strip. Russ hung around to take pictures.
already. And they are making plans to do this again, but with more of the group next time. Darlene figures she can get eight sewists around her table and who knows how many on smaller tables in her living room.
Isn’t it great how Dawn and Vickie inspired another group of quilters in a town 350 miles away? This is what makes the global community of quilters so great!
|The Sew Ladies and their Race Quilts|