Purple Sandwich Quilt

Click on a scene to see an enlarged version and read Jewell's story notes. Information about the quilt's "secret pocket" and general notes about the one-room schoolhouse are found below.

  purple sandwich quilt

   Note: There is a "secret pocket" on the back side of the quilt. Click Here to see the contents of the pocket.



Grades are a relatively new aspect of education these days. In the country schools they had “Readers”. A child didn't go from grade 1 to grade 2. They went from 1st Reader to 2nd Reader and moved forward by their ability to read more and more difficult material. It was common to hear a man say that he made it through the 5th Reader, etc. If you were fortunate enough to make it through the 7th Reader you pretty much 'graduated' from school. If you wanted to teach school you would take 4-5 months more and get through the 8th Reader, which pretty much qualified you to be a teacher. However, most potential teachers went away to a couple months of teacher's college or “normal school” first before they took their place as a school marm on the prairie.

Most schools would stop as soon as the first major snow storm hit. It was no longer safe to send the children out to school then. The school wouldn't resume again until the first of the Chinook Winds (warm winds) blew, making the country safe again for travel.

Jewell was having a little class reunion at her dining room table with her older sister Margie and their other girlfriend from the Pleasant Valley Country School.  They were the only three left to reminisce.  Suddenly their classmate said, “Do you know why I always hated you Peterson girls?”  Well, Jewell could feel a story coming on.  She grabbed the coffee pot, filled the cups, pushed the homemade fudge forward, leaned in and said…”Do tell!”  Her friend said, “Well, it was the dinner hour….”

 Jewell’s mother, Mae Blyth-Peterson, was a school marm at Pleasant Valley Country School, cir. 1914.  After she quit teaching, married and had children she sent Jewell and her siblings to the country school as well.  This quilt is filled with fun memories of the kinds of shenanigans that took place during the dinner hour at a country school in northern Montana.  Join in with stories of your own! 

For Events, Storytelling or Quilt Show Exhibitions contact Storyteller Jean Wakely
jeanwakely@gmail.com    507-663-9085
Registered with the Montana History Museum, Helena, MT.