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Topaz Quilting & Embroidery Update 9/11/2016

Fifteen Years Ago Today . . .

Time can heal all wounds, but it should never erase our memories. Fifteen years ago today, I remember waking up at 6:00am Pacific time, to the radio alarm clock. I had it set to KSFO in San Francisco. The morning crew was just getting word that a plane had hit one of the World Trade Center towers in New York City. At that time, they didn’t know what kind of plane it was. They were thinking that a small sightseeing plane may have gotten out of control or something. I remember going out to the front room and turning on the Fox News channel and then waking up Kevin and telling him that something was going on. That was when the second plane hit the second tower of the World Trade Center. I watched as the TV showed the second plane slam into the side of the south tower and watched in horror as the flame ball came shooting out the other side of the building.fireman-100722_1280

I remember turning to Kevin and saying, “We’re under attack! This is no accident.” I couldn’t think straight. Tears were running down my face as I just sat there watching the devastation that was unfolding before my eyes.  They were down on the streets of New York City, trying to get camera crews in the area for more pictures and live shots. I think it was around 6:30am or so, when the news anchor came back with, “The Pentagon has just be attacked. A plane has just flown into the Pentagon. We’ll try to get more on the confirmation and video as it becomes available. It truly looks as if America is under attack!”

They started evacuations at the White House & Capitol Hill, fearing that they may be targets next. All the while, more pictures of New York were filling the screen. I had to take a shower and get ready for work. Why that was even important to me is still unknown. Here was America being attacked and I wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to be late. I remember, taking the fastest shower I had ever taken. I had to get back to the TV to see what was happening. Kevin was banging at my bathroom door, “the tower fell!!”

I came rushing out of the bathroom, toothbrush still in my mouth, as I got to the TV, images of dust clouds came pouring onto the screen. One of the camera crew & reporters made their ways into a business and filmed the dust cloud as it filled the entire street. They lost connection and the main studio came back. Hundreds of firefighters and police were still in the towers trying to save people. There was a sobering reality that many of them may have just been killed. My mind was just reeling with fear, anxiety, anger and sadness. The second tower came falling down about 30 minutes later. It was pure shock!

world-trade-center-67695_1280I finally made my way to work, the car radio filling the silence with up to date reports, which really were just a rehash of what I already knew. The breakroom TV was going with the CNN channel on. The reports were the same. Our employer, Lexar Media, didn’t push us to work that day. Some of us did, just to get our minds off of what was going on. Tears were flowing from many of us that day. It was the worst thing I had ever seen. Sadly, we also heard about the 4th plane that had crashed into a field in Pennsylvania.

The days and weeks to follow, revealed the true nature of the horrendous acts committed that day. The loss of life and the devastation facing families & friends. I had a customer who was in New York who lost her son in the twin towers. That made it all the more personal when I found that out. It was already personal, but now it affected people I knew.

Fifteen Years Later!

Today, I hold deep in my heart, the memories of that day! I remember the lives lost, the heroes who saved so many more, and the evil that touched our shores. It is a personal day of mourning for me, tears still just a fresh as the first day. The wounds may have scared over, and the pain of the loss our country suffered may have subsided some, but it is not something I soon want to forget. I want to remember and I want to honor all those who lost loved ones that day. September 11th is not just another day for me. It shouldn’t be flag-1075125_1280another day for any American. Thank You for sharing this day with me. Thank you for the strength and love you share with each other today. May God Bless Us All! May God Bless America!

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Embroidery – The artwork that hides in plain sight (Part 1)

embroid1001-190x300Embroidery is something that we see all over the place. We find it in the grocery store, mechanic’s shop and on the playing fields of our favorite sports. Embroidery is everywhere, and yet, we hardly even notice it. For many years, embroidery was something that was done by hand. You would find it in fine garments, handmade quilts and linens. These items would be considered treasured family heirlooms passed down from mother to daughter. How many still remember grandma’s fancy doilies dotted throughout the house? I’d bet that one or two were handmade and embroidered with care and lots of love.




Once we hit the mechanical revolution, embroidery became a little more commonplace. We started to see it put on garments, fabrics and household decor’. It was usually very expensive, but it was gaining popularity with each passing year. As the machines became more affordable, embroidery became something more people could afford. Businesses picked up on embroidery and started using it for their logos and to label workers shirts. Name tags gave way to embroidered names on shirts. More and more demand was put on the embroidery digitizers and embroidery companies to come up with great new ways to get a companies branding out to the public. Soon, embroidered gifts, towels, luggage tags, golf club covers, and so much more was embroidered with a company’s logo and slogan.embroid1003


By the early 1900’s, embroidery was a mainstay in the corporate world. However, it wasn’t limited there. More embroidered items became available to the general public. For a price, one could have draperies, covers, clothing, towels and pillows beautifully decorated in elaborate embroidery designs. This once personalized and time intensive art form was now becoming common place, and we still couldn’t get enough.embroid1002

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National Embroidery Month 2/2015

It seems that every time I turn around, it’s another “National Day of” or “National Month of” and it seems that they just run over each other. It’s not at all surprising though. There are only twelve months in a year and that means only 365 days (366 days for leap year) to celebrate, recognize and honor thousands of causes and events in a single year. February has always been Black History Month, to my understanding, and I respect that. It is a major part of our history and it’s very important to reflect and remember the wonderful contributions made by our fellow Americans.

One of the other “National Month of” for February is National Embroidery Month. Now I have been doing some research on the actual creation of National Embroidery Month and I’m not able to find any word on the history of it. I find posts going back to 2007, but most of them are “Celebrate National Embroidery Month. Save $$$ on this new embroidery machine!” So I’m leaning toward it being a made up event to help sales of embroidery machines after the Christmas rush. I’m thinking that since most people are now starting to file for their income tax returns and claiming their refunds, machine dealers are trying to keep the idea of a new machine in the front of American minds. Later posts, like those around 2012 – 2014 start to reflect more on embroidery and the history of the craft. I feel that if we’re going to focus on something for an entire month, we should really make it more about the education and celebration of the item of focus and not a commercial push to make money. sewing-586206_1280

So in keeping with the spirit of National Embroidery Month, I’m going to put together a quick history of Embroidery. A task that is not all that small, but important none the less. So stay tuned and watch for a small, two part posting on Embroidery History and the role it’s played.

Embroidery is something that we see all over the place. We find it in the grocery store, mechanic’s shop and on the playing fields of our favorite sports. Embroidery is everywhere, and yet, we hardly even notice it. For many years, embroidery was something that was done by hand.