Saturday, May 11, 2013

Charlie Pirtle Memorial Scholarship Quilt 2013--Honoring a Man of the Outdoors

Elusive Elk

I just finished this quilt.  I made it in honor of our friend Charlie Pirtle, who passed away in 2008. 

Charlie was a great man who was great fun.  He loved the outdoors and he loved to teach others about it.  He taught for many years at the Becoming an Outdoors Woman in New Mexico workshop.  Charlie's students loved him.  His fellow instructors loved him and sought him out during "down" time to visit with him.  Charlie was an appreciative audience and a wonderful story teller.  Charlie always told me--with that glimmer in his eye--that he would  buy a nice rifle from me (a gift from my dad) with his "pocket change." 

This memorial captures the essence of Charlie Pirtle. 

About this quilt:  Charlie was an avid supporter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.  He contributed  recipes to The New Elk Hunter's Cookbook.  (Even if you don't use elk meat, Charlie's Chili recipe on page 248 is one of our favorites with beef stew meat.  I think of Charlie every time I make it and I thank him for this recipe every time we eat it!)  Charlie loved elk.  He loved to hear them, look for them, see them, watch them, track them, and hunt them.  He supported the preservation of elk and their habitat.  Elk are plentiful at the NRA Whittington Center where BOW in NM is usually held.  Therefore, it was an easy decision for me to choose this elk quilt pattern, Elusive, by Montana artist Toni Whitney.  I enlarged the pattern by 50% to add drama to this already intense design. 

The quilt that I made will be raffled next weekend at the Becoming an Outdoors Woman in New Mexico workshop in Raton, New Mexico.  Funds raised in the raffle go to pay for a scholarship for a student to attend the BOW workshop.  BOW is a program where women can go to learn basic outdoors skills in a non-competitive environment.  Raffle tickets are only $5.  If you would like to support this program and the raffle, please contact Leilani right away at  If you are interested in the BOW program, visit the New Mexico website here.

 In keeping with Charlie's old fashioned-ness, in order to win the Charlie Pirtle scholarship, applicants must write an essay about the outdoors.  It must be hand written (not typed or printed from a computer).

Just to give a tiny bit of insight to the quilt making process--a labor of love:

Eye, ears, and a nose

Head and chest (you need food cans to keep things from slipping!)

On the quilting machine

Quilting is done!
I think Charlie might be willing to pay pocket change for it . . .