‘Pivotal Moments’ and Remembering a Special Woman •

Barbie Butz is a freelance columnist for The and Paso Robles Press; you can e-mail her at barbiewb@hotmail.com.

When people die, they often leave us with precious memories that we cherish for the rest of our lives. I want to tell you about a very special woman, Virginia Allen, who has left us not only fond memories, but also examples of her creative talent for years to come. She was a quilter, and those of you who are quilters know how much you put into each quilt you make.

Virginia has sewn dozens of quilts and donated many to non-profit fundraisers. They were works of art and their owners still appreciate them.

I first met Virginia when she joined the Atascadero Quota in 2003. In 1974, she moved to Atascadero to live with her son and daughter-in-law, Jim and Janet Stecker. She was also an active member of the VF chapter of the Philanthropic Educational Organization (PEO) and attended Atascadero First Methodist Church.

Virginia has always felt most comfortable behind a sewing machine; by the age of 12 she had sewn most of her own dresses, and in her twenties she worked for a tailor designing wedding dresses. His interest in quilting began after he moved to Atascadero. Eventually she bought an embroidery machine and her quilts became even more elaborate. She shared her love of sewing with her sewing group, Stitch and Bitch, and faithfully attended the meetings.

With patience and love, she continued quilting in the early 1990s with Lynn, the owner of a sewing studio in Atascadero. She worked 1 or 2 days a week on quilts in the shop.

Virginia Allen loved giving something back to her community, and donating her quilts to the fundraiser was one way to do that. Although Virginia passed away in 2019 at the age of 95, her legacy lives on through her beautiful quilts.

Jim and Janet Stecker donated one of the Virginia quilts to the Atascadero Performing Arts Center (APACC) committee for a fundraiser. Proceeds will be used for APACC’s goal of establishing a performing arts theater in Atascadero.

The quilt measures approximately 68 by 90 inches and is on display at Karen McNamara’s Hope Chest Emporium in 5800 El Camino Real. The fundraiser will be held as an auction with a starting bid of $250 and a winning bid of $25. Bids were submitted on the 26th. March begins and closes on Mother’s Day, May 9, at 4:30 p.m.

It’s a work of art you have to see. If you are a quilter, you will love the details Virginia has put into it. If you are a quilter, you will admire his work!

For more information, visit atascaderopac.org or the ACMPA Facebook page.

Talk about fundraising: A group of 7 extraordinary women from Atascadero have published a wonderful booklet, Pivotal Moments, Memoirs from Boomer Women.
All of these women are members of the Atascadero chapter of the American Association of University Women (AAUW). Proceeds from the book help the affiliate fund its community programs.

His memoirs include adventures, trials, defeats and victories. According to Lynn Martin, the author, stories ranging from teenage courtship to online dating at age 70, from lighthearted romances to profound revelations, bring to life this charming collection of essays written by a group of memoir writers on California’s Central Coast.

They are Marilyn Hamilton, Liz Helgerson, Myra Lathrop, Eileen O’Grady, Martha Staib, Shirley Summers and Linda Zirk. They met monthly for about five years and worked as a writing group. My congratulations to them for this inspiring and insightful look into the lives of adult women from all walks of life.

The book costs $16.95 and is available on Amazon. For more information about the AAUW, visit atascadero-ca.aauw.net or call Linda Hansen at (805)466-1068.

Here’s a quick recipe for salmon spread. Have fun!

Salmon Pate
1 can (about 7¾ ounces) salmon butter
½ cup, melted
2 tablespoons chopped onion
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
Salt and white pepper, to taste.

Remove skin and bones from salmon; flake with a fork. Put the first six ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into a small bowl or serving dish. Cover and refrigerate until firm.

Serve with crackers, crusty rye bread or pumpkin spice bread.

Happy Easter. Enjoy our beautiful weather.

On you.

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