Sunday, March 12, 2023

Sew & Tell ~ I'm Baaaack!

There really is no place like home... 🏡 Our time away was wonderful, restful and fun.  We explored, we strolled and meambled on the beach, rode our bikes, laughed, ate a good portion of seafood, enjoyed the sunrises and sunsets and I created using items from nature. 💗🐚

You may have seen the mini quilt I shared last week...

I really like it... Dave thought this one was a little out there.  When I proposed another idea for a mini, he was on board with it (not that I needed his approval) and helped me to hunt for the perfect shells.

After finding a broken and surf-worn oyster shell, some almost matching clam shells and a smaller shell with a whole in it, I made an angel. 😇 This is #10/52 minis I am doing this year.  It has been a fun change and challenge to think outside the box and has spurred some new ideas and possibilities.

Let me start at the beginning... We had planned to leave early on Thursday morning, but with a storm threatening to move into our town on Wednesday afternoon and the potential to shut down Raton Pass, we scooted on down the road 12 hours early.  We had strong cross winds as we traveled across New Mexico on our way to the panhandle of Texas.  

We discovered that we had lost our awning to the wind when we stopped in Clayton, NM and decided to wait out the windstorm so we found an empty parking lot, made and enjoyed a quick dinner and as the sunset we joined the semi drivers back on the highway.  We stopped in a very frigid Amarillo for the night.  Thank goodness our furnace kept our little trailer cozy warm as we slept.  After a few cups of tea and coffee, some cereal and muffins, we were back in business and on our way to Seymour and our friends with the farm... where it was still cold!

We enjoyed the day with Jamie & Jack and had a good time as we taught them how to play Rummikub.  After a quiet night of sleep, we took off in the still frigid temps and made our way to Sommerville Lake State Park where we met up with our friends, Tom & Betsy.

It was a little overcast and slightly windy, but warmer than what we had left Seymour, TX that morning so we weren't complaining (too loudly).  

The next morning, we drove to Galveston where we made a stop for a seafood purchase at Katie's Seafood Market... a stop that has become a tradition for us when we visit.  🦐 The next stop was the ferry to take us to the Bolivar Peninsula, our final destination.  Betsy said she was a little nervous as they crossed... we had gotten separated in the line for the ferry because we had to ditch two full gas cans since they were not permitted.  UGH!  As we drove through a small neighborhood near the ferry launch we spotted a guy walking his dog.  He was a little confused, but willing to take them off our hands.

Once we met up with Tom & Betsy again, we finally found our way to Crystal Beach.  We quickly got settled in and enjoyed the view and "happy hour".  You can see from the picture it was still a little breezy (isn't there always a breeze on the shore?)... and a little humid which was releasing the naturally {tight} curl that happens with humidity. With each day it seemed to grow in size.  There was no controlling it or taming it.  It wasn't long enough to pull back and clips and hair pins didn't help... thus the "natural" look.  LOL!

Sunday afternoon was when the sun finally appeared! YAY!!!! We enjoyed several hours in it and, ooooh, it felt so good... 

We walked along the shore, collected a few shells, watched Shelby play in the surf (BTW, she was very happy to have made the trip with us) and we just talked about life in general.  Tom tried out his metal detector but didn't locate anything of significance.

Betsy and I shared stories about grandchildren and their parents and learned more about each other.  It was a sweet time of friendship.  A small fire was enjoyed each evening on the beach.  We did some stargazing and satellite spotting, jokes and laughter.  As the days passed, we did some exploring at a local bird watching site where we saw very few birds but encountered many mosquitoes.  We also explored Fort Travis where we were pursued by mosquitoes.

I found it interesting that it was used from pre-civil war all the way through World War II when it was declared surplus property and sold in 1949 (about the same time that Camp Trinidad was dismantled and sold off piece by piece.)

Our time with Tom & Betsy came to an end when we parted ways at Beaumont.  We were meeting with Dave's very first customer and some other customers/friends... and avoided high winds and a storm on the beach.  Dave and I wandered downtown and were surprised to discover that there wasn't much going on there... We saw a few murals, went to the Port of Beaumont and visited Saint Anthony's Cathedral Basilica.  What a beautiful cathedral.  The stained-glass windows and the mosaic floors were stunning!  

Our plan to avoid/miss the storm worked!  (Tom & Betsy were dodging severe storms and tornados as they turned back northeast.) We had just a short time of rain on our last night in Beaumont and woke to a beautiful day!  We traveled back to Bolivar Peninsula and Bolivar Flats... a much quieter section of the beach.  

This was where I was collecting shells for my angel mini-quilt.  We were fascinated with the difference of shells we found.  I played with them, sorted them, and decided to keep a few for a special project.  I found the perfect piece of driftwood that will be the background for an oyster shell cross.

I'll be sharing my finished souvenir as soon as the drift wood dries well enough to adhere shells to it. :)

All along the way I enjoyed making quilted hearts and I left a little trail of quilted hearts as I finished them...

We knew that we needed to return home when Dave's phone started ringing with customers.  Amazingly, there were very few calls during the first 12 days of our trip.  God's timing is always perfect and we turned our thoughts toward a journey home.  We spent time with the friends we made last year at a boutique RV park in Crystal Beach and enjoyed a time of Praise in the Park again. 

Our next destination was a state park northwest of Austin, TX ~ Inks Lake... It was a beautiful park, and the locations and layout of the campsites were well executed.  We enjoyed a gorgeous sunset and moonlit walk before we retired for the night.  

We had one more overnight stop before we made the final leg of our journey... The phone was busy with customers contacting us, and because of the remote location and poor cell service, conversations were cut short.  We revisited Jack & Jamie in Seymour.  Our time with them is always too short but full of joy... and plenty of food!

A few other blocks I stitched together
while on the road...

A recap of our two-week vacation.  In summation... 
14 days 
2,159.2 miles
237.76 gallons of gas
8 different campsites
22 blocks to stitch and add to our camping journal quilt

Time for you to Sew & Tell!  Link up a blog story, or social media link... or a regular ol' picture.  I want to see what you have been doing while I was away.

Keep Piecing,


Linking with:

Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework
Sunday Stash at QuiltPaintCreate
Scrap Happy Saturday at Super Scrappy
Patchwork & Quilts at The Quilting Patch
Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Monday Musings at Songbird Designs
This & That at Days Filled with Joy
To Do Tuesday at Quilt Schmilt
Mid-week Makers at Quilt Fabrication
Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter


  1. It looks like you had a wonderful time with friends, and great beach walks. Your little quilts with shells are lovely. I love this mosaic floor too! You are so lucky to have some natural curls in your hairs ;))
    Thank you for sharing your journey, and linking up!

  2. It sounds like a fabulous trip with a mix of relaxation and adventures. How fun that your hubby helped you find treasures for your mini quilts. I adore the angel one. Glad you had a safe and fun trip. Have a great week.

  3. Welcome home! Yes, I so enjoyed your posts of your fabric and seashell creations! Your hand quilting is so pretty and precise! Love that big stitch binding! Your joy-filled photos with friends, both human and furry, are beautiful! And the stained glass photos in Saint Anthony's Cathedral Basilica were most definitely stunning! Your quilted hearts are a sweet kindness to strangers. I may have to borrow your idea! Thank you for sharing!

  4. You had a beautiful trip, I loved hearing all about it! Great job on your mini's. You could use command hooks in your camper to hang them. I have two that have little clips on them and work great for small quilts.

  5. Melva, what an amazing trip! Had to giggle at the photo of your pup in the chair. Your mini-quilts are wonderful and it tickles me to think of the trail of minis you left along the way. And I love your minis with the shells.

  6. Awesome mini quilts, Melva!! Looks like a good vacation, too.

  7. Hi Melva! It sounds like you had a wonderful two weeks except for that very windy start. I have a friend that has made some artwork from driftwood and stones she's picked up at the beach. I have a beautiful nativity that is so special, we keep it out all year. I just LOVE your angel. {{Hugs}} ~smile~ Roseanne

  8. So glad you had such a great time and thank you for sharing all of the pics, esp the St. Anthony's. Gorgeous!!

  9. Sounds like a lovely trip! Love the angel mini quilt. Thanks for sharing on my weekly show and tell, Wednesday Wait Loss.

  10. Melva you had a wonderful vacation seeing some wonderful friends and places, and best of all, missed the worst of the weather. It sounds wonderful. I love your little angel and have been smiling thinking of people finding your hearts along the way. Thank you for linking with To Do Tuesday and for hosting Sew and Tell.

  11. Looks like you had a great time away! Love both of your minis :) I hope you had a good week and thanks for joining in on Monday This and That! xx

  12. You definitely have a love affair with south Texas! So glad you were able to go and enjoy. What seafood did you buy at Katie's? Did you and the other couple share cooking duties or did you eat out?

  13. Sounds like a fabulous trip, Melva! I love the new ideas for the mini quilts! Shells are lovely! I really like the angel. So glad you missed most of the bad weather. It's been crazy!