Sue Spitulnik

Writing, Sewing, Travel, and Thoughts



Patriotic Quilt

I made this quilt for Bob Whalen after he became a member of the Rochester Veterans Writing Group. The triangle in the middle is a replica of his 13th Armored Division shirt patch, which he wore during WWII. The outside blocks are called kaleidoscope blocks.
Bob became a father figure to me. He shared his positive attitude with everyone he met, had group lunches at his home, and always had a compliment waiting. He left us at the age of 95. I miss him deeply.

Day 13 – Rt. 66 trip

The last picture I posted last night was of our new Irish acquaintances dancing. After the musicians finished, four of them and we went to dinner, at different tables, in the hotel dining room. The restaurant called, Peace, Love and Avacado, had a full, interesting menu. What I didn’t take a picture of was my southwest chicken salad. Some of you are telling us we will have to diet when we get home and some are even claiming we are making you gain weight. I want you to know that when we aren’t eating we are usually in the car, getting to another tourist stop, which I share with you, or another food stop. Today I took quite a few pictures from the car to prove we are doing something other than eating.

But first; our guide book let us down again. We went to the Rt. 66 Diner in Albuquerque only to find the open sign not turned on and the door being “guarded” by a very thin, seemingly old female that we guessed was a street person. On the loading dock next door there were two young men that also seemed to be street people. They had looks that said, you lock your car, we will still relieve it of its goods. I was glad the diner wasn’t open. We asked Siri where to eat and she sent us to The Shop. We had to order our food at the counter, and for the second time on our trip I was told, “We don’t serve decaf.” Bob got a burrito that was huge because it was filled with potatoes and I got my “usual,” Huevos Rancheros. As usual it was different than any I have had, but delicious. I ate most of it.


Our next stop was at a very nice quilt shop in Corrales, NM. I got more fabric for this trip’s memory quilt and Bob had a grand time chatting with the ladies. One of the fabrics has “cat”tus on it. Bob groaned. I bought it. We will be getting a new cat, or two, when we finish our travels.


I haven’t found any good bathroom signs lately, so thought I would post this one for the ladies. Eleanor Roosevelt was a “tuned in” woman and the saying is too true.


Leaving Corrales, I was able to get a picture of a typical adobe style house. All day I kept saying, “They are so small and they are all the same color.” Very few have an actual grass yard. It gives, go outside and play in the dirt, a whole new meaning.IMG_1247

The mountains off in the distance were beautiful. Most were so far away, they were lost in the haze, but this one was pretty close.


We dove highway 25 North to Santa Fe. Again the speed limit was 75 mph. Places are  spread out, but still accessible.


A first floor retail store and upper floor apartment in Santa Fe. The same color as everything else. Not to my liking.


We found Marcy Street and discovered the town square of shops, street musicians, local jewelers trying to sell their creations and very interesting people to watch. Bob told me if I saw something I wanted in one of the stores to not hesitate. I decided the fur coat I loved in one of the shops, for $3,400.00 might make him have a heart attack, so I didn’t buy it. I did tell him about it, but he didn’t tell me to go back and get it.


So many jewelers and musicians with Spanish or Native American backgrounds, and here is a blue eyed, blond, cellist. Bob listened to the chamber music he was playing while I drooled over the furs.


A church. I know nothing more except it’s the same color as every other building.


Leaving Santa Fe on highway 25 north. Some beautiful scenery.


Another shot of scenery on 25 north.


The small town of Pecos is also on 25. This is what I call a full service stop. Food, liquor, groceries, gas, and the necessary room. I didn’t see any ammunition, but it might have been there.


We were getting short on time so we decided to take Rt 3 south to Rt 40 to get back to the hotel. Well, we had a beautiful, peaceful ride mostly by ourselves on a road through the mountains. The curves kept us at 30 mph for the first half of the route, so it was not a shortcut, but we didn’t mind. We crossed many “cattle or deer guards,” that were as rough as a bad train crossing. (Deer grates, mostly derived from the cattle guards long used on ranches, allow your driveway to stay open while keeping out the deer. They do this by placing a massive grate in the ground that deer generally will not or cannot cross.) We eventually ended up back on Rt. 40 so stopped at Clines Corners, a truck stop that touts it is the largest in New Mexico. We concur. I found some slippers I have been looking for and some good postcards.

The picture below of a turtle is especially for our friend Rhonda. It’s not as nice as the painted one we found. but it’s pretty unique.


We hadn’t eaten since breakfast to we stopped in Moriarty because Siri told us this place was good. We can agree. The building is the same color, but the semi-like trailer next door where they do all the food preparation was shinny red and silver. Dinner, shown below, was excellent. We have enough left overs for a snack in the morning before we get on the road.


My two sides are potato salad, which is like a lumpy mashed with seasonings and relish, and the other is a chopped coleslaw. It has seasonings I can’t decipher, but I enjoyed it. See, another vegetable. The corn bread was dry and crumbly, but yummy.

While at the Wild West, I had the chance to talk to a deputy. He said the bars on the windows and doors is “just a thing.” The crime in the local area is not all that bad.


We ended our day in the hotel lounge with a couple of “toddies.”

National Day of Threading the Needle

This day represents one of my top interests.  I grew up in a 4-H household learning to bake, do household chores easily, including folding fitted sheets, and sew.  We started our sewing lessons by making our own sewing box to hold our scissors, threads, seam ripper, hand needles, tape measure and straight pins.  Our first sewing project was an apron.  I still wear one when I get serious in the kitchen.

My projects advanced to skirts, blouses, dresses, and other clothing.  At that time,  girls still wore dresses to school every day.  I proudly wore “homemade” gowns to high school formal dances.  Happy they were different than anyone else’s.   I got an easy A in history by making a replica of the flag Betsy Ross made.  I wish the rest of the class had been that easy for me.

Soon it was time to make baby clothes.  I was a U.S.A.F. wife, lucky to be able to stay home with my children.  Making their clothes filled hours, the clothes fit, and were less expensive than buying pre-made.  My son was born first.  His Aunt Georgia made him a baby quilt.  When my daughter was born in England, there was no big sister handy to make her a quilt, so I made one myself.  It was just squares of flannel sewn together on a sewing machine.  I’ve been making quilts ever since.

A typical comment quilt makers hear is, “Are you really going to cut up all that good fabric, then sew it back together?”  Absolutely!  Choosing the colors and fabric designs for the quilt pattern you want to make is part of the fun for me.  The days of using old clothes, flour sacks, or fabric scraps to make a quilt are generally gone.  Building a fabric stash in your cupboard, drawers, closets, and storage tubs in now the norm.  Quilters will drive long distances to check out a new quilt shop.  There are even events called Shop-Hops.  If you visit all the shops that are involved in that hop, you are eligible for nice prizes.  The local one near where I live lasts four days and covers 400 miles if you go the full circle all at once.  It is no longer and inexpensive hobby.

A quilter needs homes for her quilts.  In other blogs I have mentioned my husband’s large family.  They are the recipients of quilts I just have to make because there is a new technique or pattern that has caught my attention.  I give them for 5oth anniversary’s, weddings, and in some cases just because the fabric told me who it should go to.  Oh, my children and sisters have a bunch too.

I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my hand, but I must have had a needle because my sewing studio is larger than our family room.  The colors and creativity make my soul sing.

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