Sunday, August 1, 2010

A quilt I didn't quilt started me quilting

In 2004, there was a reunion in Brenham of about 30-40 hams, mainly from San Antonio, who had known each other since the mid-1950s or so.  Hams are amateur radio operators. Amateur....only in theory.  They were so much more than that.  Some operators had rigs (radios, transmitters, antenna, etc) strong enough, that if the radio waves, weather, and atmosphere was right, they could call from San Antonio and reach operators a long way away, across the continental U.S., and even in foreign countries.  At that time, they would verify their communication by sending post cards to each other with their call signs, date and time of communication.

These particular fellows, would get together every weekend or so with their mobile sets  and have  a transmitter hunt.  A couple of them would find somewhere to hide a working transmitter which gave off a signal.  The others would get in their cars and, using their sets, would home in on it.  Once they got in the general area, sometimes it would be difficult to find the hiding place.  One time, my DH told me, they hid it on the side of a cliff, in a little cubby hole or cave.  People were tromping on top of the cliff, knowing it was so close and yet so far.

All this is in reference to quilting.....At the time, I was into cross stitching. I bought some cross stitch material that was already sectioned off in squares, a simple computer program, and cross stitched their ham call signs in each square, along with a few antenna, a ham radio and operator, a morse code key, and a truck with a ham antenna on it...My SIL sandwiched the quilt, and we used ties to keep it together.  She ended up with the quilt, and I ended up with a picture....and the desire to continue this mysterious addiction of quilting.  Fair trade, and I got the better end of the deal!

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