Living History in Nashua, NH
Welcome to the latest addition to our District #1 website...our "Report Card!" Here we will add interesting information about our schoolhouse and our visitors. We will include fun facts about one-room schools in general and the "goings on" at the Little Brick Schoolhouse in the graveyard.
Gail Pinet donates a Hand-made Quilt to District #1
Just prior to the COVID lockdowns of 2020, Gail Pinet of Nashua visited the District #1 Schoolhouse and made a promise to sew a hand-made quilt based on a picture she had of the school. What a wonderful proposal! When we received a call in December 2022 that the quilt was finished and ready for hanging, we met with Gail for the unveiling. Absolutely beautiful!
A promise kept!! There was our little school in fabric, complete with trees, grass, blue sky, clouds, stone wall, gravestones and fallen leaves, tiny stitches holding down the scene before us. Now it will grace the wall of the schoolhouse for the 2023 spring season and beyond. Visitors will want to know who the artist is, and we have the scoop. But before we share, we know you want to see it!
Meet the creator of the schoolhouse quilt...
In Gail Pinet's own words....
I fell in love with arts and crafts and basic sewing at a very young age. When I was about 6 years old, I learned to sew on my grandmother's Singer Treadle Sewing Machine. I always found different ways to be creative with fabric scraps. My sister Sandra and I would take warn out clothes and a bottle (Sprite, Moxie, ginger ale, and take a wooden spoon from our grandmother's pantry. We'd cut up fabric scraps to make a puppet. Taking a wooden spoon from the pantry was a very bad thing and we always got in trouble for that!
I started quilting in 1970 taking a class at The Schoolhouse Gallery on Middlesex Road, Tyngsboro, Massachusetts.
Milly Cunningham owned the shop and taught quilting by hand to everyone who wanted to learn. Milly taught me everything I know about quilting, rug hooking, wool applique.
It is hard to say how many quilts I have made over the years, but what I can say the number is in the hundreds, including quilts for various charities. As a native of Nashua, I visited the District #1 Schoolhouse because I love history and decided to put my part of history on the walls of that schoolhouse.
Finding the fabric for the quilt was interesting. I stopped at various quilt shops and asked if they had fabric that would be good for this wall hanging. I belong to the Souhegan Valley Quilters Guild, so I also asked members to look in their stash to see if there was any fabric I could use.
The design of the schoolhouse wall hanging came from a photo I was given of the school. Construction of the quilt was placing fabric on top of another and pinning. I looked at the photo and started cutting, pinning , and moving fabric around until I was happy with the results. When everything was in place, I hand-quilted all the pieces.
My husband David and I both love history. My husband and I are both Nashua natives who love Nashua history and belong to the Nashua Historical Society. We've also worked in various Nashua charities.
When we travel, we love to go to museums. One museum that stands out in memory was on a trip to the Pioneer Museum in Hot Springs South Dakota. There were many large rooms with lots of history. One room I visited was filled with old quilts. They asked me if I had any information for taking care of quilts, and if they are hand made. I gave them lots of information to help them and they were most appreciative. After leaving, we stopped for lunch and my husband David said, "Do you see that quilt shop?" Big mistake. I went in and purchased fabric and when we returned home to New Hampshire, I started making a wall hanging for their museum with the fabric from South Dakota. I called the Pioneer Museum and told them what I made and they were very happy and thankful for the wall hanging. They have it hanging in their main office.
More locally, Nashua Historical Society is a wonderful place for people to visit. The members and volunteers are all great to work with so my husband and I volunteer for the (NHS) Abbott-Spalding House Open House on many occasions. We've both donated items from our families to the Nashua Historical Society. In further support, I have taught quilting to raise money for them in the past.
In addition to the District #1 quilt, I made and donated a quilt to the VA Cemetery, Boscawen, NH that honors all branches of the service. It hangs proudly in their main office. Another history themed quilt is one I designed relating to Helen Keller's Life. I entered it in the Deerfield Fair and won a blue ribbon. I then donated it to the Helen Keller School in Talladega, AL. where it hangs in the main lobby, matted and framed. I was pleased to give them the blue ribbon I won at the Deerfield Fair. (click on the photos to enlarge)
At the schoolhouse we are forever grateful for Gail's dedication and her kind "promise kept." School children for years to come will enjoy her work of art and maybe, just maybe, be inspired to take up quilting on their own someday.
What Our Visitors Say...
It's always fun to receive thank you notes and cards from our many visitors over the years. Oftentimes a picture is worth a thousand words. Here are a few that we enjoy sharing. Maybe you have ideas about how much you enjoyed your field trip to the District #1 Schoolhouse.
Our address is: District # 1 Schoolhouse, c/o King's Daughters, 49 Legacy Drive, Nashua, NH 030652