9/15/12

Quilt Shop: Deer Country Quilts

Click right here for my Dots on Dots block!

We didn't get as far as we'd hoped to yesterday.  We drove from West Glacier to Butte, Montana, on our way to Grand Teton National Park.  We saw some beautiful country along the way...bringing to mind the reason Montana is called Big Sky Country.  There were wide open spaces and flat country mixed in with the occasional rolling hillsides.  Very beautiful.  It reminded us of West Texas at times.

As a bit of housekeeping, Kate B., asked me in a comment yesterday about the melting glaciers in Glacier National Park.  I would like to respond to you personally, Kate, but you are a no-reply blogger.  Email me if you like, and I'll tell you how to change that.  As for the glaciers, yes, they are melting and will be gone within the next decade.  Indeed, there were signs posted at various pull-outs on Going to the Sun road that talked about it.


We visited the park around 15 years ago, and we could definitely see a difference in the size of the glaciers since then.  One estimate I read was that the glaciers would be gone by 2020, but  I think that time frame has been shortened even more.  That is one of the biggest reasons we decided to visit Glacier this year.

But to get back to the drive yesterday, the air was filled with smoke and so I didn't take very many pictures.  We tried to figure out where all the smoke was coming from and finally decided it must be from the four fires burning in Idaho...or maybe it's more than four...or less than four.  I can't keep up.  In any case, it meant that it wasn't very good picture-taking since everything was shrouded in a blue haze.

Part of the reason we didn't get very far was because we were delayed by some pretty significant road construction along Montana Hwy 89.  It appeared that there had been a large landslide that was being both blasted and cleared away with heavy machinery.  It meant two stages behind the "follow me" car.  While we were stopped, I took a couple of pictures of the Seeley Lake area.



Oh and, by the way, did anyone lose a needle?  You might try looking here:


We saw these traditional haystacks all along the way.  In general, we see the hay either rolled up or baled, and so it was fun seeing these big haystacks.  It kind of made us want to stop the car and jump on!

But you really want to hear about the quilt shop, don't you?  Thanks again to Heartsease54 for telling me about this shop in Seeley Lake, Montana:  Deer Country Quilts.  What a feast for the eyes!  It starts before you even get in the door.  The shop is housed in this log cabin.


I snapped a picture of this sign as I went through the front door.  They put me in a good mood right away by picturing this block that I made for the Plain and Simple Amish sampler quilt I'm making.  I think I made it in almost precisely these same colors!  I was trying to find a picture of it, but I think I deleted it somewhere along the way.


Oh my gosh.  The fabric never ends at this shop, and there is definitely something for everybody.  They had beautiful batiks and great novelty fabrics, as well as a huge supply of civil war reproduction fabrics.  When I first started quilting, I didn't care too much for the dark civil war fabrics, but they have grown on me.  (Frankly, a lot of things have grown on me...mold, and such.)  I might have to start including some in my stash.  They would work well in the Pony Express sampler I have on my to-do list (if I ever get to-doing it).  

This next image was taken standing in the far corner of the store.


And this one was taken standing on the other side of the room.


There was a roomy and comfortable classroom on the opposite end of the building that included a nice restroom for customer use.  There was a class going on.  I don't know what they were making, but from the sounds of it, everyone was having a good time.  Their laughter filled the store.


The one complaint I had about the store was the way they had their fabric displayed.  Most of it was stacked up four bolts deep as you see it in this next image.


I reached for one of the red bolts in the center, which meant leaning over all of that fabric and trying to lift a heavy bolt out from among its brothers and sisters.  It was almost more than I could do.  The fabric clung to the sides of the other bolts, and in my leaning position, I was off balance.  Not to mention my arthritic hand that was none too happy about this task I had put before it.  A person shorter than I am would have been hard pressed to pull the bolt free.  Still, with the amount of fabric available in the store, it would have been hard to display it any other way.  There was a LOT of fabric, and this method of display was visually appealing to say the least.

If you are someone who likes working with wool (I'm talking to you, Debbie), you would have loved this shop.  This whole wall was wool.


Also, they had a good supply of solids, which is sometimes hard to find.


There were beautiful quilts hanging all over the store.  I like the watermelon quilt in the upper left corner of the image above.  The bird houses below were hanging next to the door to the restroom.  So pretty.  This was fusible applique, and it was not stitched down in any way.  I've seen that several times in the quilt shops I've visited.  It has me wondering if these quilts are just intended to be wall-hangings, and so the quilter has felt it unnecessary to stitch down the applique.  It just seems to me that those pieces will peel up if the quilt is ever washed.  Does anyone know?


I ended up selecting three fabrics.  A fat quarter of this next one because I thought it was so cute.


I bought two yards each of the next two.  I loved this Christmas batik.  There was another one similar that had reindeer on it, but I chose this one with the Christmas trees.  I am realizing that the quilt shops all have their Christmas fabric out.  I am light on Christmas fabric, and so I'm enjoying seeing what's available.  My preference is for these sort of non-traditional prints.


This next one was displayed with their Christmas fabrics, but I think it could be used for anything.  The swirly lines are metallic gold.  Pretty, huh?


So I loved this shop.  Thanks again to Heartsease54 for putting me onto it.  And thanks to all of you who have suggested quilt shops.  We aren't always able to stop, but the suggestions are definitely appreciated.  Oh yes, and after going on about the Quilt Shop app in a previous post, I want to say that the Quilt Shop app is not all inclusive.  We missed seeing a shop in Big Fork, Montana, and it was the home of Bigfork Bay Cotton Company.  I love their patterns, and so I was sad to have missed an opportunity to see their shop.  It wasn't included in the app, but it was listed in the Quilter's Traveling Companion directory.  I just didn't look until we had already passed it by.  Rats.

In any case, I rated Deer Country Quilts five rotary cutters out of five.


It was a beautiful shop to see and to browse, and the sounds of women's laughter coming from the classroom couldn't help but put me in a good mood.  The service was warm and efficient when I asked to have my fabric cut, and being inside a log cabin couldn't have been more charming.  The store is right along the highway in Seeley Lake, Montana, and so you can't miss it as you drive by.  It had a parking lot plenty large enough for us to park our rig comfortably while I did my shopping.  Mike did his usual napping in the car while he waited.  It's a win-win for us.

Today we're on to Jackson Wyoming and Grand Teton National Park.  We are traveling interstates most of the way, but on our map, even the interstate is designated as a scenic highway.  There are lots of options for camping in the Tetons, but we've kind of decided to stay in the little town of Moran which is on the eastern side of the park.  Sometimes the campgrounds are located in such a way as to mean a lot of driving when seeing various parts of the park.  With Moran being situated kind of in the middle, we should avoid spending a lot of time driving back and forth to see various sites and locating trailheads for hiking.

6 comments from clever and witty friends:

Wendy said...

Wonderful post, Barbara!! You've showcased one of my favorite destination quilt shops an hour's drive from my place ... beautiful! Definitely worth five cutters :) Can't wait for your next review :) :) Safe travels!!

Rachel said...

Oh My!Seely Lake looks so peaceful! The haystack, um, let's go! The quilt shop-SWOON! The fusibles. I have not tried not sewing them down, BUT my (now 20 year old) daughter made a fused fish quilt as her first ever quilt. She missed some edges when originally applying them, we repaired them this past summer. They frayed and curled. a lot.Pretty fabrics! SO sad you missed Big Fork, they are one of my faves when they travel to Road to California (I have never been there personally...LOL)

Kate said...

Love your fun fabric finds. Looks like a great place to live if you are a quilter.

quiltmom said...

My Barbara what a shop- it is positively amazing to view- I loved seeing all that color but I bet in person it was almost overwhelming - where does one begin - I bet you found some lovely things there.
Warmest regards,
Anna

heartsease54 said...

Barb, so glad you were able to stop at Deer Country Quilts, it is a wonderful store. But you didn't miss out in Bigfork as they closed the brick & mortar shop this past spring to concentrate on their pattern & kit production. They still have an online presence and still sell Aurifil thread. I did do quite a bit of damage to my credit card at their close out sale-they even had their thread on sale. Sad to see a store close, but at least this time it isn't really closed, just in a different form. Oh, and the haystacks you saw, they use the old method of using a beaver slide-you probably saw these too. Large, tall loosely constructed edifices built to tilt and pile hay. This valley is one of the few in Montana to still use these contraptions.

quiltzyx said...

I saw it! I saw MY needle in that haystack! Call me next time you go by it & I'll guide you right to it....

Great yardage you bought at that beautiful store. I did actually buy some (more traditional) Christmas fabric today at the smallest LQS I know of - Beautiful Quilt Fabrics in San Dimas, CA. We stopped in there as we decided to put a small white border on the wedding quilt & needed more of the WOW fabric to match & I knew they had it.