By Jim Schroeder
Colorful patterns of patches, cloth and historical depictions of Montana women are on the Hi-Line Quilt Guild's "Petticoats 'n' Prairies" queen-size quilt, which will be raffled on the last day of Havre Festival Days.
The quilt was designed by guild member Suzanne Huston and it took her nearly a month to create.
The quilt was painstakingly sewn by members of the Hi-Line Quilt Guild, who started working on it just after Christmas and finished it in mid-July. Huston also hand-dyed many of the fabrics that are sewn on the quilt.
The quilt was mainly sewn and stitched using five Pfaff sewing machines at Crazy Quilters in downtown Havre. Each 1-by-1-inch patch that's used for the background of the depictions was hand-cut, Huston said.
"My feeling is you've got a lot of people working on it so make it spectacular," Huston said.
"It will be sad to see it go because it's like it was born here," added Debbie Baker, co-owner of Crazy Quilters.
The quilt has been showcased in Montana Women magazine and the guild has sold raffle tickets for it in many states and even to someone in Ireland.
The historical depictions of Montana women are faceless because of the large number of women involved in the roles that the quilt depicts, Huston said.
The quilt includes historical depictions of Lucia Darling, the first school teacher at Bannack, and Hilda Redwing, who was the grandmother of Ed Solomon of the Solomon family of Havre.
Redwing was a wife and rancher in the Bear Paw Mountains in the 1930s and preferred outdoor ranch work over being a homemaker, Huston said.
Last year, a Hi-Line Quilt Guild quilt raffled at Havre Festival Days was won by a resident from Kansas.
This year's quilt is more traditional than the one given away last year, Huston said.
Proceeds from the "Petticoats 'n' Prairies" quilt will be given to the Natalie Patrick Foundation Inc. for family and consumer science programs in Hi-Line schools.
The "Petticoats 'n' Prairies" quilt will be displayed at the Hi-Line Quilt Guild's Festival of Quilts at the Holiday Village Shopping Center from Friday through Sunday. Tickets for the raffle are $3 for one or $5 for two tickets.