Thursday, April 2, 2020

Piece By Piece - Flower Garden Block

Last week I released Block #4 of the Pieces From The Past Sew Along - the Flower Garden block.  It is an English Paper Pieced pattern, but mentioned that it could be pieced on the machine as well... so I decided I would give it a try!

If you hesitated with making this block because of the labor intensive hand stitching, I encourage you to consider trying this machine piecing method.  It is still time consuming, but also much faster... I had it done in about 2 hours.

I started with tracing the templates onto the paper side of freezer paper...



After cutting the templates out (using scissors approved for cutting paper!) I pressed them on onto the fabric - shiny side down!  Trim apart leaving a 1/4" seam allowance.









Beginning at the edge of the freezer paper template I attached the 6 petals.  Finger press each petal out and do not stitch to the edge of the fabric... only to the end of the template.

Carefully fold the "flower" to match and align fabric edges and stitch along the template, but not to the edge of the fabric.  Be sure to lock your stitches or back stitch to secure.




When the entire flower is formed, from the back, press seams... as they desire.  You will notice that there is a natural direction in which they will want to lay down. 😉



Press the outside edges under 1/4" and pin to a 10-1/2 inch background piece.  Applique as you desire.  Trim to 9-1/2 inches square.

I machine appliqued this one using a button hole stitch to show you that there are different options.



As I worked on the machine piecing of this block I enjoyed a cup of tea... one of my comforts that I seek out when I need some calming or grounding.

I thought that the quote on the teabag tag was so appropriate!




Are you participating in the Pieces From The Past Sew Along?  
Have you pieced the Flower Garden block yet? 

There is still time to finish it and link up for a chance in the fat quarter give away!  Follow the links above for more details and patterns.  The next release date is April 16th...


Are you a fan of slow stitching?  

Leave a comment... I love to hear from my readers.

Quilt happy!

Melva
Melva Loves Scraps - Home of the Pieces From The Past Sew Along
that features vintage Kansas City Star quilt blocks!





PS - I recently learned that the embroidery pattern on Payhip had a fee attached to it...  This was NOT supposed to be case and I have corrected it.  It is indeed FREE!  If you wanted to do that block as an alternative to the Flower Garden Block, and hesitated because of the cost... GO GRAB IT NOW!



Linking with:

Can I Get A Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Off The Wall Friday with Nina Marie
Brag About Your Beauties at From Bolt to Beauty
Peacock Party at Wendy’s Quilts and More
Friday Foto Fun at Powered by Quilting

Finished or Not Friday at Alycia Quilts

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Faith, Hope and Creativity

I had shared last week over on facebook and instagram...

"Hey everybody! I had been thinking all week that I was 'broken' because creativity was just NOT happening... I was in a funk. 

The tide finally turned  after finishing a baker's dozen face masks for a friend's medical office.

Woohoo!" 

The creative ideas started to flow...  I started jotting down ideas and pulling fabric out for some small projects and sketched out some block ideas for my camping journal quilt...

And then I had decided that the pieced backing I had attempted for my Pieces From The Past quilt had spent long enough in "time out" so Jack (the ripper) and I sat down and had some good long talks about how sometimes you just have to try something and if it doesn't work, you try again. It doesn't mean you failed... it doesn't mean you give up... You just try again!

I quit fighting what the quilt wanted all along and set aside my own desires for a pieced backing and went with a unbleached muslin backing.  I also knew that the quilt wanted some sort of traditional 1930s style quilting... but I wanted more than just cross-hatch stitching or outline stitching in each block...  I wanted something fancier...  As I prepped the sandwich I considered options... and then I googled vintage 1930s quilts and studied the quilting of them.  

A few things I noticed... vintage sampler quilts did not have sashing strips...  vintage quilts often had no borders... and the vintage utilitarian quilts had simple all over quilting designs.  I liked the Baptist Fan pattern and decided on that.  Except as I sat and pondered the size of the fans and the distance between the arcs of the fan I groaned... I whined... because even an inch apart they would take fooooooorevvvvvvvver!

I reasoned and rationalized that the quilt already has a modern spin to it because of the sashing strips and borders... I decided I would make jumbo fans.

It was exactly what the quilt wanted!  With each arc that was stitched I felt hope grow... like that little mustard seed of faith.

















In the current times of the Corona Virus and stay at home orders and the fear of "what ifs" and statistics that are delivered to us via news stations and social media we have to work extra hard to hear what the message of the mustard seed is... it is faith!  It is hope! 


It is okay if faith starts small... It is okay if sometimes it falters and fear steps in again... Just like the conversation that Jack and I had... get yourself up brush yourself off and try again!

I will be finishing the binding on my Pieces From The Past quilt with another bit of a modern twist... but I'll save that for another time.


If you have been struggling with creativity and joy in quilting (or other hobby), have you "turned the tide"?  Where do you go for inspiration?

Leave a comment... I'd love to hear from you! 

That is all... carry on!

Melva
Melva Loves Scraps - Home of the Pieces From The Past Sew Along
that features vintage Kansas City Star quilt blocks!


Linking with:

Sunday Stash at QuiltPaintCreate
What I Made Monday at Pretty Piney
Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Mid-week Makers at Quilt Fabrication
Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter
Put Your Foot Down at For the Love of Geese
Needle & Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation

Creative Compulsions at Bijou Bead Boutique


Thursday, March 26, 2020

Pieces From The Past - The Flower Garden Block

This post brings us the first letter that required translation...  Dated July 14, 1946 Mr. Ernst Ruehr opens with recalling the work in the sugar beet fields.


He had a lot to say!  He covered both sides of the paper and he wrote in the margins as well as making a PS statement upside down on the top of the second page!

Here's what he shared...  My volunteer translator, Amy, had some difficulty reading his hand writing (go figure!), but did a great job in translating.  I offer my deepest appreciation to her.

Wiesbaden, July 14, 1946

Dear Mr. Schleich,

I often think back to the time when we were pulling up beets for you and the other farmers.   I have the nicest memories about Mr. Eckert and especially about you and your wife and your strong sons, about the fields and the house and the farm.  Everything was in good order.  You and Mr. Eckert were the main conversation and the aim of our whole group was the beet harvest.  We were so very sorry when we split up and sent to another workplace.  We would have liked the chance to say goodbye to you and your family (and also Mr. Eckert).   We were deeply disappointed to be parted from our friends and were inconsolable for a long time.  I finally had the good fortune to exchange a few words with your son.  I am sure he passed on my greetings and said how much we enjoyed coming to work with him.  It was good working for the others, but not as good as for you.  Believe me, I think back often and fondly to those times.  In many respects, it went better for us back then in Model than it does here today.   ? a friend from back then writes that to me and many others think of it the same way.

We worked gladly there.  Most of the people were kind and friendly to us.  After the work was done, there was often something good [a treat].    I have all that as a lovely, grateful memory.  I came to love the landscape and the view of the Rockies and the only thing that affected the peace and happiness was the worry about my dear relatives, about whom nothing was known.   One only knew that in Europe everything went upside down, that that horrible war had brought terrible suffering.  And we were able to live so well in your happy land!  [??Nearly?? from us],  there was not homeland any more,  the parting had been difficult.  I would have gladly remained there, for I also have a home no longer.  My old father (74 years old) was ? year in July driven out of our house, out of the [?old] homeland in North Bohemia, and he had to abandon all his belongings.  He couldn’t even bring a bed with him.  He lives very badly and he is often terribly sick.  I have only received news from him twice.  He is in the Russian Zone and I cannot yet visit him.  I finally found my brother in Bavaria where he is working for a farmer.  (He was captured by the Americans on April 20th, but he was released again as sick on May 30, 1945.)  I own only what I had on me as a released POW.  I found work in a nursery and accommodations here with an acquaintance.  It means lots of work, which I am happy to do, but there are never any friends, and that is the saddest thing, with which many, many people suffer.  

How are you and your dear family, and how is the Eckert family, to whom I send my best regards.    It would make me very happy to receive good news from you.  With best wishes for you and our loved ones, and also for the Eckert family.  I sent my best wishes also to your children.  
Yours Ernst Ruehr. [address listed]
[ he adds some additional text at the top of page 2, written upside down – very blurry and smeared!  I can’t read most of it but I captured what I could]

Please give my regards sometimes to all my acquaintances, neighborhood friendly from me!   Mr. Joe Heard, Mr. Baker, Mr. Garcia. and Family Degurse and Family Winger   [I think he is listing the names of people he remembers and wants to send his regards to.]and last not least Mr. Remer!
--------------------
[he adds additional text down the side of page 1.  It is rather squished in, so a bit difficult.]

May God protect you and watch over you!

On January 16th, we left Trinidad, went to San Francisco and the on the boat ( SS Brasil, 20,400 tons), through the Panama Canal, next toward England, a short stop in Liverpool,  then over to  Le Havre France, toward Germany, Heilbronn, where I was released on March 23rd.  The trip to Le Havre was interesting and pleasant. I wonder if I will ever get to see it again.  The world is actually small.
*****************
The photo of the SS Brasil was found on the Naval Historic Center's page.  {{It is simply amazing to know that there is so much information and old photographs available at our fingertips!}}


****************

I grew up hearing about sugar beets, yet they remained completely foreign to me!  With the help of Britannica on-line I learned that sugar beets are a form of beet in the amaranth family (Amaranthaceae), cultivated as a source of sugar. Sugar beet juice contains high levels of sucrose and is second only to sugarcane as the major source of the world’s sugar...  Sugar beets were grown as a garden vegetable and for fodder long before it was valued for its sugar content.  

Having grown up in the lower Arkansas Valley area I knew that there had been lots of sugar beets grown there and that they used to be processed in the area... a town was even named for it... Sugar City.

It would appear that the US prefers sugar cane over sugar beets, but sugar beets remain a popular sweetener choice in South America, Africa, the Middle East, and southern Europe. 

In my research I have discovered... "Today, sugar beets account for HALF of all refined sugar production in the United States, and around 20% of all sugar in the world! Cane sugar and beet sugar are the two processed sweeteners that most of the world’s processed food industries are built upon.

The processing of the beets results in the same end product as sugar cane processing – pure white sugar. Once refined, it has no nutritional value beyond the calories it contains. Calories are not something most people need more of! Incidentally, visually and taste-wise, beet sugar is completely indistinguishable from refined cane sugar.

The trouble is, beet sugar is one of the very WORST sweeteners on the market today. And if you eat anything processed in North America that contains added sugar, you are probably eating it whether you know it or not."
Interesting!

I was curious as to why the crops had changed and asked a fb group from the LaJunta area.  The thoughts and info offered in response to my questions varied.  From the loss of water rights to the lowering of tarriff rates and the increase of sugar cane production from the Caribbean, as well as the possibility of the introduction of artificial sweeteners. 

However, I don't think that Katie was too concerned about the source of sugar for her special treats.  But, remember... sugar was one of the rationed foods.


Here is a Zucchini Brownie recipe that I recall getting from Katie's & Phillip's oldest child, Clara when I was about 10 to 13 years old.

The brownies are light and moist and tasty (even a little healthier since there is zucchini involved??) and became a regular in my Saturday morning baking routine.  It is one that I still use... with a teeny bit of adapting for my dietary restrictions.  The first would be to reduce the sugar to 3/4 cup and use coconut sugar instead of white sugar.  The second change would be use a GF all purpose flour or Einkorn flour.





Aunt Clara was more like a Grandma to me... We would visit her and her husband, Uncle Bill and get special treats as well, but we were never to ask for them.. yet somehow we just could not resist asking and would get either cookies that she had on hand, or as an extra special treat, ice cream sandwiches!  

<===  Clara & Bill's wedding picture from 1939.

Because Clara also had a brother (Edward William) who went by the name of Bill, Clara's husband was referred to as Büschwah (I made up the spelling, but it should be pronounced Būsh-wah)... 

I'm fairly certain it was a word he made up.  He was a real character {{a BSer??}} with an bit of an odd sense of humor and used the word often enough that it became the name the family called him.  

In the letter Mr. Ruehr mentioned that he had the good fortune to exchange a few words with one of the sons... I believe that would have been Bill (not Buschwah), as he was the oldest of the boys... my Dad, the youngest, would have been only 13 years old in the fall of 1945, the next oldest, Leroy would have been aged 17 and Bill would have been 21.

Mr. Ruehr also mentioned that he found employment at a nursery... it is for this reason that I chose The Flower Garden Block - found on page 203 of the Kansas City Star Sampler Book.  This pattern has been made available to you at no cost with special permission from C&T Publishing.

It is a simple English Paper Pieced block that, after being pieced, will be appliqued onto a background square.  I used two strands of black embroider thread to applique and outline each piece.




If you have never done EPP, I encourage you to give it a try.  Here is link to help you get started.  

Rachel at Fiona Sandwich walks you through glue basting your pieces in preparation for hand stitching them at the 3 minute mark, explains thread color selection around the 11 minute mark and how to stitch the pieces together around the 13:30 -15 minute mark.  Rachel uses plain paper for her templates... I prefer to use card stock.  It is your choice...





Once all your pieces are prepared to be joined together you will need to gently bend the piece (without creasing it) as you stitch it together...

A couple of beginner EPP quilters tested the pattern for me.  

One stated "As a beginner to EPP, I found the video link you sent me very helpful plus the hint to fold the petal."  




You always have the option to machine stitch this block using Y-seams.  Be sure to add your 1/4" to the pattern templates and lock your stitches at the beginning and the end of your stitching - indicated by the dots that the arrows are pointing to... DON'T sew all the way to the edge of the piece.










If you would like a completely different alternative to the Flower Garden block, you can choose to use this embroidered flower pattern.

It is a design for a pillow case.  Popular items in years past as wedding shower gifts or even for a young ladies hope chest.  

I received several sets as a child that I recall fondly.

I used the pattern in two different ways...



The first was a single flower that was enlarged to fill the square.  You will find the enlarged pattern on page 2 of the pattern.  

I used three strands of embroidery thread for the stitching and a blended 4-strand piece for the lazy daisy stitched leaves.  

What I mean by blended is that more than one color was used to make up the strands of thread I sewed with.  

I used a blended three strand of two peach and one  rusty-orange color.  The center of the flower has blended threads of one yellow, one peach and one darker rust.

The blended threads add a unique touch and added depth to the piece.  This was a trick I learned in cross-stitch many  make that many, many years ago.



The second layout out used the original pattern size - four times.  I adjusted the placement of the flower's tendrils until I was pleased with the look.

I used a single strand of outline stitch for this one and a double strand for the leaves.  The center of the flower was stitched with a blended peach and yellow two-strand thread.












Roseanne and Sue over at Home Sewn By Us created a lovely layout as well...

I look forward to seeing a completed block from them.













Not a fan of hand embroidery either?  You can do what I did in 2018 with two blocks from the Save The Bees BOM.

I traced the pattern onto my fabric with a wash out pencil and then selected various colors to "paint" and outline the lines using a variation of a zig zag stitch, it looks more like a lightning strike.  

So, you see... you have options!

It is only a 9-1/2 inch block and it really won't take very long...

Gather up the ingredients and whip up a batch of brownies.  While they are baking, pick your favorite show to binge watch and enjoy a few relaxing hours of hand sewing... When the brownies have cooled take a break to rest your hands, enjoy a cuppa and then go back to it...  slow stitching is a real trend now.  

And with the recent self-isolation/ stay-at-home situation, you probably have a few more days to get it done before schools and jobs return to a normal routine.  

It takes time to adjust to the slow stitching pace... trust me!  It wasn't that long ago that I refused to slow stitch this block to the left...  I hope that you will find some pleasure in the slower pace.


So... What are your favorite "binge worthy" shows?  
I need a few more since I have recently completed some of my favorite series.


Leave a comment and let me know what you are watching!

Don't forget!  When your block/blocks are finished come back and link up for the fat quarter prize drawing.  (Sadly, because of prohibitive costs and complicated customs forms, winners need to have a US mailing address.)  But I would still LOVE to see blocks from all over the world!

And to mix it up... if you do the English Paper Piecing pattern you will have an extra entry into the fat quarter give away!  How's that for incentive??? 

Share to my fb page or tag me on instagram... be sure to use the hashtag #PiecesFromThePastSewAlong so that we can see the variety of blocks everyone has created.

Happy Stitching!

Melva
Need the previous blocks???  You can still download them...

Block 1 - Signature Block
Block 2 - Lost Goslin'
Block 3 - Mayflower



Linking with:

BOMs Away at What A Hoot Quilts 
UFO Busting at Tish’s Wonderland

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Therapy Needed

This week has been... well, challenging.  In many ways life for these two self-employed individuals didn't change at all!

While we watched others worry, and concern and panic escalate we sat here being reassured with our faith in our God who is bigger than all that is occurring in our country and around the world.

We have continued our news fast that began before our Texas Trip with the exception of a few Presidential announcements and the local health department updates via social media.  We are continue to try to reassure our daughters when they call with concerns... like "What am I going to do with the kids not being in school (now through 4/17) and both of us considered essential personnel?"  Umm.... "You're 80 miles away... they can come here for a few days."  {{She has it figured out, btw...  local in-law family to the rescue!}} 

Like I said... life was pretty normal/unchanged until we tried to go to the grocery store... Oh, and the whole TP thing is pretty crazy and ridiculous.  

We have tried our very best... and then we got the news from our Pastor about worship.  Never did I think that there would be a day that we American's would be told we cannot go to church.  Thankfully, with the help of modern technology, we have many options for worship on-line.

Still so sad... 


So I did what most quilters have done... sought refuge in our sewing  rooms/spaces or studios.  However, with the Pieces From The Past Sew Along in process I haven't had much time for creating and playing.  And I miss quilting... I have been busily working on pattern writing, photographing the blocks, scanning letters and putting thoughts to "paper" as all this unfolds before us.

Just a few weeks ago in the Lost Goslin' post I was feeling grateful that I would likely never know the feelings that come with a need for rationing, the fear of the unknown future or the hope that I might find what we were looking for at the grocery store.

So many times I have sought solace in my studio and found it... I have even turned some tears into joy like when I made my Oasis in the Desert quilt... and the Green Pastures quilt shortly after my Dad died.  


That has not been the case for this week.  I tried, I really, really tried to do something productive...  I managed to turn a simple table runner that I'd had in my inventory for years into a trash bag for our car.  It took about 15 minutes.  That was all, though the idea and how to make it work had kept me awake for well over an hour the night before.

It includes a quart-sized storage bag so that wet or messy items don't soak through.





That went well so I decided that I would pull the orphan blocks from the testing and creating of the patterns for the sew along and do a pieced back for the quilt.  I had a vision in my mind and I proceeded forward... only to discover that after 80% assembled... I hated it.  It wasn't anywhere close to what I had envisioned.  So I will soon have a date with Jack to take it apart.

I found that there was unbleached muslin left in the fabric department at the local Wallyworld on my last journey out in search of TP  (6 rolls in the closet... I think we are safe.  But then again... who knows how long this will go???)  **UPDATE** Our sweet daughter is sending four rolls with her sister when she comes for a visit this week with our Grands. 💗 Ten rolls in storage!  Woohoo!  We're living high on the hog now. ;)

So... Here we sit in uncertain times... and for an undetermined length of time.  I relate to the former POWs that returned to their homeland and uncertainty that they faced in finding their families, their homes, new jobs... a new life in their war-torn land.

I thoroughly enjoy receiving comments regarding the letters to my Grandparents from these men.

One that stands out in particular was from Susan the Farm Quilter.  She stated...

"I so enjoy reading the letters from the German prisoners back to the American farmer who obviously won his respect and friendship. They offer something the history books leave out...the human connection!  You are providing the threads that make history and the people who lived it three-dimensional and real.  They've gone from being cardboard cutouts to 3D real people, with hopes, dreams, fears and hearts that connected during a very trying time for the world."


So, as we wait out this challenging event you could fill some of your time with leaving a legacy for your own children or grandchildren... record the stories of your childhood... of your grandparents... of your favorite holiday traditions and recipes...  I have a free document entitled "Priceless Conversations" over on Payhip - the same place you can find the block patterns for the sew along. (Feel free to grab the patterns while there 😉)

Also, have you seen the requests for face masks??? I think that my orphan blocks need to sit in time out for a bit longer because I believe that have found something productive the get my mojo moving in the right direction.


How are you passing the time in this current state of social distancing?  

Leave a comment... I'd love to hear from you!

Sew Happy!

Melva 




Melva Loves Scraps - Home of the Pieces From The Past Sew Along
that features vintage Kansas City Star quilt blocks!

Linking with:

Sunday Stash at QuiltPaintCreate
What I Made Monday at Pretty Piney
Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Colour & Inspiration at Clever Chameleon Quilting
Mid-week Makers at Quilt Fabrication
Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter
Put Your Foot Down at For the Love of Geese
Needle & Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation

Creative Compulsions at Bijou Bead Boutique





Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Texas-sized Trip - II

I think many can relate to, perhaps even said, the statement "I need a vacation to recover from my vacation."  

Our trip was not overly stressful or overly busy (especially after I rolled my ankle) but Dave and I were both struggling to get "back into routine" last week.  Probably because we were so relaxed.  I mean two weeks of no hard and fast schedules... to deadlines to meet.  We were still early to rise (we saw the sunrise on most days) and early to bed (especially while camping - like 8 p.m. on most nights!).

After a week of being home, playing catch up with bills, phone calls, email messages, and re-stocking our pantry and freezer, we are finally ready.

{{Edit:  I started writing this post on Monday morning (3/9)... and here I finalize on Wednesday afternoon (3/11)... maybe we weren't really ready to resume a higher productivity level  LOL!}}



I will pick up where I left off with the first post of our trip - After a quick stop in Houston to visit a former student of Dave's and to see where he leads a gunsmithing team for a high-end retail store we arrived in Galveston and navigated our way through town to the ferry that would take us across the bay to Bolivar Point.



It was a completely new experience for us!  We were like little kids.  Once on the ferry and moving across the bay (about a 20 minute trip) we went to the upper level to enjoy the view.  Dave is a lover of all things on the water and he had to wander the entire deck... front, back and both sides.  




The view really wasn't any different, but we noticed that the seagulls followed the ferry and other barges and ships.  Swarms of them! 

It reminded us of the scene from 'the birds'.



We arrived on the Bolivar Peninsula and found our way to the house... 

Our view for the next few days...




After another seafood dinner (seafood tacos this time) and a seafood breakfast burrito the next morning we were ready to explore Galveston.  We started with the visitor's center and asked a few questions about the point of arrival for passenger ships in the early 1900s... more specifically, "My grandparents immigrated to the US through Galveston in 1907 and 1912.  Where would the ship have arrived?" and "Where can I get additional info or photos about this?" 

We were directed to a museum that had just reopened in the County Courthouse (turns out that was about the 1900 hurricane.  Interesting, but not what I was looking for.)

We then visited the history/research department of the Rosenburg Library... After explaining what I was looking for and the info I desired, we were told that the immigrants would have arrived on Pelican Island where they would have had to pass another physical/health check, pass through registration and customs and then board smaller boats to be transported to Galveston.  From there my grandparents' families would have journeyed to the train depot to board the train for Kansas.

I was allowed to search photo collections to see what the wharf and life as an immigrant looked like...

All photos shared here are from the Galveston and Texas History Center; Galveston Photographic Subject Files: Immigrants. Rosenberg Library, Galveston, Texas.

I found info on the quarantine and life-saving stations, learned of meals being served in a cafeteria as passengers waited for their turn for customs inspections, transport boats and registration... I felt as though I was transported back in time... 


Forshey Postcard Collection. U.S. LIFE SAVING STATION AND FEDERAL IMMIGRATION STATION, GALVESTON, TEX., circa 1915





Below is an Aerial view of the quarantine station on Pelican Island. 1927


"The examination of the customs officials whose duty it is to look into every piece of baggage and trunk, or box and thoroughly examine every item of the contents. This is a tedious process and as so few of the inspectors and speak any European language it is necessarily a slow procedure. At the present no one is allowed in the Customs' Department. The government is very strict and properly so."




Left, 'Alice', a Quarantine Boat, Galveston, Tex. circa 1915.

Registration below...



Right, Immigrants on a boat used to transport them from steamships to the mainland, Galveston, Texas. circa 1910
The next day we visited Pelican Island..


It was a surreal experience for me... Imagine 100+ years prior I stood where my grandpa stood as a 9 year old boy and my grandma, a mere teen, probably helping to keep track of her younger brothers as the customs process and registration occurred.





As I soaked in all the information and locations in the evening I enjoyed some hand sewing of the National Park Postcard blocks.  I continued to ice my still sore and very bruised ankle/foot and Dave and I enjoyed the view... as he offered me action filled reports of what was happening in the bay.
There was a helicopter across the bay that he figured was doing some sort of water rescue training...  There was a man descending from the helicopter... now he is in the water... he's going back up... oops, he's in the water again... now he has a basket...  


It had been a very windy day, so some rough water rescue training sounds plausible... It was a good day!

We had one last day and we wanted to make the best of it!  We loaded the bikes on the back of the truck and made the ferry crossing.  We road all over the town... from the quaint, eclectic shops in downtown to the seawall and beach.  I don't know how many miles we covered, but we enjoyed seeing tree carvings and historic houses.  We perused a few antique shops, a gift shop on the beach and the shore.



As we wrapped up our ride and headed for the truck I saw a sign for a local farmers market.  

So we headed over there after loading the bikes.

Dave found a decadent piece of chocolate cake, and I found some really yummy, perfectly sweetened GF chai spice cookies.

We were actually in search of some more fresh seafood.  When we inquired about it we were told that a fish market like that doesn't exist in Galveston.  Well...

We went on our way and did a quick google search... Guess what?!?  Katie's Seafood Market DOES exist in Galveston... Off we went!

The little gal that helped us was just as excited as we were that we found this hidden gem!

We brought home 5 lbs of seafood.  Talk about excited!!!  





The next morning I made certain I was up early enough to enjoy the sunrise from the view of the kitchen...

It was time to pack up our clean laundry and food and my entertainment bag and head toward Beaumont to visit friends for the day and one night.

Dwight and Angie were the first of Dave's customers nearly seven years ago when we started up his business.  Over the years they have become good friends.  We see them every one to two years.  

They always have stories to share about their travels and most recent (and upcoming) safari hunts in Africa.  

Our time in Texas was quickly drawing to a close... yet we were ready to return home to our familiar surroundings.

We had two long days of driving ahead of us... but we still had not reached the bottom of the entertainment bag!

The return trip produced a completed test block (an alternate block) for my Pieces From The Past Sew Along... a pattern collected and saved by my Grandma Schleich... the one I traced the footsteps of while in Galveston.

And... now YOU probably need a day or two to rest up from OUR vacation.  Thanks for tagging along.

I have many thoughts and stories that are still spilling out from me... like "I should have asked about the train station."  I have searched through some of the on-line collections from the Rosenburg Library, but now I wish I had seen it in person...

And I wish that we had checked the schedule of Pier 21 Theater and had the opportunity to see their movie Galveston - Gateway on the Gulf a film about the more that 200,00 immigrants from all over the world that entered the US via Galveston, TX.

It would seem that this trip was all about heritage for me... from the quilts and quilt blocks that I saw at the Institute of Texan Cultures in (San Antonio) and the Naturalization ceremony that was taking place while we were there, to walking on the ground that my grandparents would have walked as new arrivals to the US, to working on blocks for the sew along that focuses on them and their farm and their connection to the prisoners held at Camp Trinidad.  

I am moved with deep emotion at how life can come full circle...  I only hope that I can carry on a legacy of kindness and care extended to others as they did.  They didn't have much to share, but they treated the men working on their farm well and generously shared what food they had.  



It is suggested in some of the letters that that was not the situation at all the farms... I guess maybe it may have been more than just Grandma's talents as a cook that had the men proud to say they had worked on the Schleich Farm for the day {wink, wink}.  The men only desired to be respected as humans.  Of course,  having the same native language of German to assist in the communication probably went a long ways.   

I have rambled enough...  In recap - "What we did on our vacation."  We went to Texas for two weeks.  We ate lots of fresh seafood.  We rode our bikes on the beach.  We listened to an audio recording of The Story.  I did lots of hand sewing.  I injured my ankle.  We rode bikes in Galveston.  We ate more seafood.  We visited with friends and customers.  We brought seafood home with us.


So, tell me... Are you a seafood lover???  What is your favorite seafood recipe?

Leave a comment...I'd love to give it a try with some of the seafood we have hoarded away in our freezer!

Quilt Happy!
Melva

Linking with:

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Can I Get A Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Off The Wall Friday with Nina Marie
Peacock Party at Wendy’s Quilts and More
Finished or Not Friday at Alycia Quilts
Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework
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Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts