Falling Leaves Quilt Retreat a success

22_quilt-1232HARD AT WORK  — Terry Syvertson, president of the Montana Prairie Quilters, is busy sewing at the quilt retreat which was held at Norley Hall on Friday.  I-O Photo by Deanna Wakkinen

By Deanna Wakkinen, I-O Reporter

Conrad’s very own quilting retreat was a first annual event this past week. Organizers included Pam Steiner, Linda Van Tongeren, Helen Stordahl and Judy Ketterling.

These women are part of a quilting guild called the Montana Prairie Quilters that meets the second Saturday of every month at the Lutheran Church from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Anyone is welcome to join the guild and the cost is a mere $10 a year and $1 each time of attendance.

The Prairie Quilters contribute to our community by donating welcoming packages to new parents at PMC. These packages include a receiving blanket, a bib and a burp cloth.

From near and far, including Dutton, Brady and Cut Bank, 14 women participated in this year’s function. Steiner noted that they have the capacity for 20 and hope to fill up next year.

The retreat is a “shoe string operation” and all provided their own machines and materials.

This quilting retreat spanned three days and included a catered brunch and supper by The Lobby of Conrad. Steiner commented that she attends two to three retreats across Montana each year. She also noted that these retreats span all across America.

Those in attendance paid a small fee of $75, which covered the cost of food and building rent. Steiner said the cost is likely to go up next year. With two meals provided, all were expected to eat breakfast at their residence and to bring snacks to share.

Overnight accommodations were not provided by Norley Hall and were not included in the fee, but those from out of town chose mostly to stay at the Super 8 Motel.

A special guest, Janet Masten, came to instruct a mystery quilt. The mystery quilt instructions are given over the three-day span and those involved are creating blindly, with no clue as to the ending result. Masten came from Kalispell.

Other projects of the event included table runners, gifts and other personal projects.

This event, like many around the country, provides, above all, camaraderie. Tips, techniques and notions are all shared.

Steiner, who has been a registered nurse for 48 years, simply said that “quilting has kept me sane.”

For more information on the Montana Prairie Quilters, contact Terry Syvertson at 278-3390.