Quilt Stories from the Road

This month my husband and I explored a bit of central B.C.  Besides enjoying the mountains, ranch lands, canyons, lakes and waterfalls, I managed to do a bit of quilt spotting.  That’s my department.

Dancing Quilts   In 100 Mile House I visited a quilt shop called Dancing Quilts.  There were lovely quilts on the walls, lots of bags on display, popular with customers, and tempting fabric.  Faith, the owner, and her staff were very welcoming.  There are several guilds in the area, and I can imagine quilt making being an enjoyable activity during the cold and snowy Cariboo winter.

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This quilt-as-you-go quilt was made by Faith and is one of her most popular classes.

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Barkerville   We visited the historic town of Barkerville, in the mountains east of Quesnel.  In 1862 Billy Barker struck gold there, setting off a massive gold rush.  The town had 2,000 residents at one point.  Barkerville today is a living history museum with old wooden buildings full of artifacts and street performers bringing the past to life again.

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Quilts and old sewing machines were in some of the buildings.

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In a small museum devoted to the arts, crafts and tools of Barkerville residents, I read the following:

“Sewing circles and quilting bees played important roles in the community.  They allowed busy women to meet socially and produce useful articles.  These get-togethers provided opportunities for women to plan weddings and other events, to exchange news of births, deaths and marriages; to learn about fashion trends; to share successes and problems; and to discuss community issues.

The handicrafts that have been created through women’s meticulous labour, though never fully appreciated in the past, are slowly being recognized as works of art.”

When the sun set behind the hills around the town and the air chilled, it was easy to imagine that the residents of old time Barkerville would have valued a cozy quilt.

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The Turtle Valley Donkey Refuge   In the town of Chase we learned about a donkey refuge in the area.  The Turtle Valley Donkey Refuge is a haven for abused, neglected and abandoned donkeys where they can live out their lives in a caring and protective environment.

Nineteen years ago, Rob and Shirley became the owners of their first two donkeys.  Today, the refuge they built is home to more than 100 donkeys.  A small team of people care for the animals and are working hard to make the refuge sustainable into the future through various fund-raising endeavours.

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In the Donkey Shoppe, I spied some quilted items for sale and learned that they had been donated by a North Vancouver quilter and a local quilt guild.

Thank you for the hot tea, Shirley, and to you and Rob for all the interesting and moving stories about the donkeys that live at the Turtle Valley Donkey Refuge.

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