Let me preface this by saying that sewing is generally not considered a "man" activity. Growing up, I observed my Mom working on any number of textile products, from smocking to quilting to making matching shorts for my brothers and I. She even went so far as to teach us to mend buttons and sew our own patches on to our Boy Scout uniforms. When I married Heather, one of the things that impressed me was her ability to create beautiful works of art out of ordinary fabric. It's a talent I admire very much.
With that out of the way, I'd explain one of our family traditions. When we visit places, we generally try to find two types of souvenirs: a fridge magnet and some kind of embroidered patch. The magnet goes on the fridge, where we and others can see it, and the patch goes in an envelope, awaiting some kind of use as part of a project.
Over the past few weeks, I've been working on a project to make use of the patches, and the block for 2005 is finished. The end goal is to have a block like this for each year, a sort of pictorial chronicle of our family adventures. Maybe one day they will become part of a quilt or blanket, but for now, it'll be fun to just look at them.
The block for 2005 contains patches from a mountain hiking trip (Mount Whitney), our honeymoon (Grand Teton National Park; Yellowstone National Park; Cooke City, Montana), a day trip (Timpanogos Cave National Monument) and our Christmas road trip (Carlsbad Caverns National Park). 2006 will be forthcoming, and we've already got quite a stash for 2007. Hopefully, we'll continue to have some grand adventures to add to the collection.
8 months ago