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Thursday, August 6, 2015

Quilters in Unusual Places

You know, we all seem to stumble on quilters in the most unusual places...

But never did I expect to find them on a trip, thru the Prison Museum in
Canon City, Colorado.

My youngest son was messing with me over these goofy license plates we are collecting in the Row By Row Experience. He even agreed to go along on a road trip, to quilt shops, to collect them with me.  Now that's real love. LOL!!

It was when he saw a billboard for the prison museum and an ad for prison made license plates at the gift shop, he made me stop and go thru it.  Not my idea of a fun filled thing to do, but he had gone in all these quilt shops... I really couldn't tell him no!

 I had to take a quick photo.

Once inside,
the women's cells really captivated me.
They were much nicer than the men's.
Floral bedspreads, furniture...some of their personal touches
 that you just didn't see in the men's cells.

A peek between the bars, even shows a bag of knitting.
I found that strange, since one of the "shanks" they displayed, was
made from a sharpened knitting needle.

For those old enough to remember gum wrapper chains...
This frame, brought it all back to me.
I am guessing that this was made from tiles,
but I sure reminded me of making gum chains as a kid!

I stumbled on this display titled "Forgotten Female Felons",
from the late 1800's.
It was there, that I found a quilt, a little piece of history of these women.

I couldn't help but to stop and read the names.
See the numbers and wonder just what life had to offer for these women behind bars.
Quilting wasn't the first thing that came to mind, but
just like it does for all of us today, I am sure it brought those prison women together, too.

I was stunned at the incredible talents that prisoners had.

Can you imagine? Never in a million years would I be able to create something like this.
I found it interesting that it was confiscated as contraband????
With all that goes on in the world today...
I have to wonder just what kind of threat this was?

My attention quickly turned toward the machines,
 the women used for sewing and quilting.

 I've never heard of a Union Special or Monarch machine.

Oh my, how times have changed.
Such pieces of history.

These were for sale in the gift shop. 
Made by the prisoners today
They are "sew" darn cute!

At one point I was marveling at the talent that was so wasted.
One of the workers came out of her office.
She was the prison historian who gave tours.

I must say, she educated me a bit...

She explained that these folks learned their skills in prison. 
Prior to being incarcerated they had no idea they had the talents.
Now they have nothing but time to hone their skills.

It got me to thinking...
It's really so important to have programs for kids.
Keep them off the streets and allow them to
see just what they have to offer the world.
Each and every one of us has something special.

That alone was worth the stop at the Prison Museum!

Back to the real reason we stopped.
Those darn license plates.

The Row by Row Experience 
The First Stitches" quilt  shop in Canon City

The prison made plate that YES...
someone who remains nameless made me buy!

This metal one is going to be hard to stitch on a quilt.
Can't say I think its' going to be very cozy to snuggle up to either!

While we were in Canon City, we visited the Royal Gorge.
I hadn't been there, since long before the fire in 2013.

The bridge stood strong, but it destroyed all but 1 building in the park.

They have used the charred planks from the bridge on the new visitors center,
which is absolutely gorgeous!

We were hiking up a trail and stumbled on visitors!

I had seem them earlier by the picnic area and thought they were statues.

I almost had a heart attack when they moved.

All my years of living in Colorado, and I have never seen a
 Big Horn Sheep outside of the zoo!
What a treat!

I quickly learned, that I am not up to the climb that these sheep love.
Exhausted and out of breath, I took the easy way down.
You can see the remnants of the burned trees in distance.

What great day at the gorge and in Canon City.

I hope you are all able to get out and enjoy the Row by Row Experience.
I've made 2 day trips with friends, and 2 over-nite trips.
It's made for some fun little mini-vacations.
"Sew" many wonderful shops we have visited.
"Sew" many new projects...
 "Sew" little time!


I better get going on them all!


  1. Wow....that was really interesting. I well remember those gum wrapper chains. I was just showing the kids how to do it the other day.

    That gorge is incredibly deep. YIKES! Looks like you had a great trip.

  2. What a wonderful trip you and your son were able to enjoy. That prison museum was totally interesting and really does put thought to what our young folks are doing with their time and talents. Amazing scenery and Big Horn Sheep. Love the license plate you bought your son! A good reminder to always walk the good and narrow...

  3. I had no clue there had been a fire at the gorge - I've been there many times growing up! My Grandpa even saved me from an aggresive deer there once, I will never forget that. Seeing the Big Horn's must have been amazing! So fun to see the pictures - I miss Colorado!

  4. I had no clue there had been a fire at the gorge - I've been there many times growing up! My Grandpa even saved me from an aggresive deer there once, I will never forget that. Seeing the Big Horn's must have been amazing! So fun to see the pictures - I miss Colorado!

  5. Thank for the enjoyable journey. Going on little trips with you and a couple of others are my way of traveling and seeing things I would never see otherwise. Seeing it through your eyes makes it more personable than just looking up sites. Thanks

  6. Now aren't you glad your son asked you to check out the museum? What a wonderful surprise and a great thing to share. I'll bet he has enjoyed going shop hopping with you though he probably doesn't want to admit it.


Thanks for stopping by today. Your comments really do make me day!