Inspired by the Harley-Davidson 110th Anniversary

Today's sewing project is a little different than my usual quilty or crafty things that I love so much.  I do this project because I love the person who wears these so much.  I am very proud of my Harley riding, Navy veteran husband. Over the years we've been on many motorcycle rides. We both enjoy the thrill of the open roads. In fact when he want to take a long ride, and doesn't have any plans to head to a specific place, I can get him to take me to far-away quilt shops. For him, any excuse will do to take a ride. I joke about how a prerequisite of living in the Milwaukee area is that you must own a Harley motorcycle. And we do.  As an added benefit, our daughter, Jennifer works in clothing design at Harley which gives us the opportunity to meet many wonderful people from the company including her boss, Karen Davidson. One of our most memorable trips was to Sturgis where we actually rode along with Willie G and Karen and their entourage. Plus we get some of the samples to try out before they hit the market, how cool is that?! But I digress. This is about the patches.

We collect patches from Harley dealers and events on our travels. They make great souvenirs that are easy to carry in our limited luggage space when we are traveling on the bike. My to-do list includes sewing them onto my husband's vests. I am very delinquent in that task.  But in the last few days all I can hear out of my sewing room window is that low hum of the Harleys (some people say it sounds like 'potato-potato-potato...') coming in to town. With the 110th Harley-Davidson Anniversary Celebration starting today, the sound is constant which I find a little exciting.  I imagine the places where they are coming from and I wonder how their journey was to get here. There I go, daydreaming again instead of getting to the patches.  So I am inspired to get those patches sewed on so that Jeff can wear any of them as we go out to enjoy the events around town.

He has a leather vest dedicated to the American Legion Riders, a group of veteran motorcycle enthusiasts that work towards raising money for the Legacy Fund and the Fisher House, two important causes that support veterans and their families. He also has a leather vest from our local HOG (Harley Owners Group) chapter.  He wears the Legion Riders vest, of course, at all the ALR fundraisers and when the group is riding in parades. He wears the HOG vest when we are out going out of town. With the large Milwaukee Chapter patch on the back it's a way for people to see where we're from at a glance.

110th Anniversary
Jeff's Vests
The third one is a jean vest that is much nicer to wear because it is so much cooler in the summer than the hot, sweaty leather ones. But The leather ones have been around for years and have had patches on them as well as signatures from the Davidson family. It's a sort of status symbol if you have their autographs on your vest. They needed some new patches added so I got out my leather needle and got them all sewed on.  The jean vest was a blank canvas, no patches, nothing on it. I thought that would be a good place to put all the patches that represented places we've been. But after getting them all on, I still had a large blank space. That's because I have patches from other cities however, I can't remember where I put them.  I'm sure they are in one of those 'safe places' that seemed logical at the time, although I have no idea where exactly that would be. But they will turn up when I least expect it (hopefully soon).

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