We had not stayed in close contact with him and his family over the years. The Dave's had spoken with each other only a few times in the 34 years since they graduated together in 1985. He and his family had attended a reunion at the college 17 years ago and it was fun to reconnect and get to know his wife and children. Other than that there were a few Christmas letters/cards that were shared.
Fast-forward... time passed and life carried on... flew by really!
We made plans and packed for the road trip to Lincoln, NE to assist Susan with an inventory list of tools and values... it was a whirlwind trip but it was successful.
I had two quilty projects to occupy my time... Finishing the repairs on the Grandmother Fan quilt for a customer and hand quilting the English Paper Pieced project that I started as a road-trip project more than two years ago.
My original plan was to focus on the repairs and then, if I had time, I would do some of the hand-quilting.
It wasn't until we were just a short way out of town when I discovered that the nylon thread I had been using for the repairs was still at home on my machine...
So I pulled out this table topper... I had the center block stitched in about 3 hours (& got a second block done before we stopped for the day).
We had just arrived in a small town (Limon, CO) when Dave quickly pulled to a curb and said "Go inside and get the thread you need." I was completely unaware that there was a quilt shop there! I jumped out and ran in to The Quilted Heart. The staff was very attentive and helpful as they asked what I was looking for. As it turned out they happened to be out of the thread I was wanting to purchase. When I explained that we were just passing through town and why I needed the thread they immediately began looking in the extra supply (near the machines in the back of the store) and came up with two options.
They not only found some for me, but because it was a partial spool, they gave it to me at no cost. I can guarantee that I lived closer I would be a frequent patron of the business! And if you are ever close by... YOU should too!
We hit the road and continued on to our destination for the night... Ogallala, NE. The campground was on the edge of a corn field and it was quite humid. (82 degrees and 60% humidity... I was dripping wet!) We made the most of it though, as we always do! Here Dave is relaxing on our "patio". LOL!
When we reached our final destination the next day we had a wonderful visit with Susan.
Susan is a quilter as well and we so enjoyed hearing her stories of how she and Dave met - through his sister - and became "pen pals" and got to know each other through weekly letters for more than a year. She told us that she had made a quilted wall hanging to commemorate their 25th anniversary last year I was in awe.
She had it all there... (sorry that the picture is a little fuzzy...) postage stamp blocks for the way they met. The Nebraska Pinwheel and Ohio Star blocks for their birth places. Ocean Waves and shells representing one of Dave's visits to Florida to meet her in person. A lighthouse representing another trip together. A Sunflower and cow print fabric for a trip to the State Fair when she visited him in Nebraska.
As well as the fact that flowers were an important part of their relationship since Dave had asked the Lord to reveal the woman he was to marry by having HER send flowers to HIM...
She wore flowered shirts and sent notes with flowers on them and eventually, yes, she sent him flowers with out his requesting it.
She included a snowflake with some little jewels because he proposed to her in the winter and the cross (made with postage stamp blocks) in the center and over it all, just as their marriage reflected this.
She captured their relationship so well...
Sarah, the main character from the Patchwork Mysteries series that I am reading, stated "A quilt can tell you many things about the person who made it or the person it was made for. It is a link to the past."
After sharing some of our stories of time spent with Dave as a student at Trinidad State Junior College, we moved on to the task for which we were there for. We spent a long day organizing and inventorying the shop.
But it wasn't all work... Susan and I made time to visit the International Quilt Museum and even made arrangements to meet another friend of mine who lives about an hour away in Nebraska. It was a wonderful and welcome break... and so inspiring.
I think my favorite exhibit was the Dualities quilts byEmiko Toda Loeb - These are two sided log cabin block quilts...
And the detail in them incredible! I think those logs are only 1/2"...
Though the brightly colored quilts from India were fun too!
More than a week has passed since our trip, but I continue to recall the blessings that we encountered in helping Susan... There is no doubt that God had his hand in all of it.
So thinking of Susan's 25th Anniversary quilt, I wonder... what would I include in a quilt commemorating our marriage?
A sawtooth mountain block to represent Colorado, my birthplace ... A log cabin block since Dave was born in Illinois, home of Abe Lincoln. A heart and a cross because we have given our hearts, not just to each other, but to our Lord. A block with some sort of mountain for our years of living in Colorado... some music notes since we both love making music... a small house that would resemble our first and only home we have owned... I will have to think a little longer on this.
What blocks would you include in a wall hanging to commemorate YOUR life?
Leave a comment... I'd love to hear from you!