Any time the alarm rings at stupid-o’clock in the morning on a Saturday, there’d better be a darn good reason. And there was. It was Day 1 of the Cross Country Quilt Shop Quest. Showered, dressed, the van packed, and we were on the road by six.
It was a lovely morning for driving, cool and pleasant with just enough overcast to stop the sun’s glare as we headed east from Spokane.
There was still snow in the mountains of northern Idaho. In late April.
By lunchtime, we were approaching our first stop, Back Porch Quilts in Livingston MT.
See that blue star? The Quilt Shop Navigator showed us exactly where to find Back Porch Quilts.
When Lori complained to her husband Kemp that there wasn’t a quilt shop in Livingston and she had to drive all the way to Bozeman to find fabric, he asked her how old she’d be in ten years. Then he asked her how old she’d be in ten years if she started a quilt shop. He volunteered to build the shelves for the shop’s many bolts of fabric. He even suggested the name for the shop. That was eight and a half years ago, and Back Porch Quilts is going strong.
Lori loves batiks, and Back Porch Quilts’ fabric selection reflects that love. The samples hanging on the walls at Back Porch Quilts showcase not only batiks, but also the western and wildlife prints that she stocks in abundance. There was a particularly handsome cowboy:
And the current block of the month:
While I was chatting with Lori, Frank wandered around the shop taking pictures. He made the acquaintance of Marian, who found the perfect fabric to coordinate with a panel and, as a bonus, a new pattern. He snapped this picture of her with her finds:
You meet the nicest people in quilt shops!
A group of shop hoppers — the Big Sky Shop Hop was in full swing — came in while we were there.
One of them was accompanied by a pair of little dogs. They must have been regular quilt shopping buddies, because they had shop etiquette down pat.
Sometimes, you meet the nicest dogs, too.
Lori also showed us nifty flower makers and some of the amazing variety of flowers they produce:
Things to know about Back Porch Quilts and Livingston MT:
Facebook: Back Porch Quilts
Things to see and do in Livingston:
Livingston Depot Center
The Northern Pacific Railroad Depot in downtown Livingston has always been the center of the community. Built by the railroad in 1902, it served as a stopping point for tourists heading to Yellowstone National Park. Now the grand old depot has taken on a new life as a museum and community cultural center.
Yellowstone Gateway Museum
One of the most impressive collections of local and state historical artifacts, documents and memorabilia in Montana is on display. The museum features themes from the old School House, a Pioneer cabin, Railroad Room, Yellowstone National Park items and the Native Culture Room featuring the Anzick site.
Where to eat lunch: Lori suggested Homemade Kitchen (206 S 11th St # 5) and their tasty homemade soups and sandwiches, but they’re not open on weekends. We found The Other Cafe (1014 W Park St) nearby. It’s a quirky place run by a spunky lady named Patty. They only serve breakfast on weekends, but they serve it all day and their pancakes are fantastic!
Full of pancakes and fond memories of new-found friends, we were ready to get back on the road.
Next time: Bernina Sewing Center in Billings MT