Sunday, July 2, 2023

Sew & Tell ~ July 3, 2023

With summer in full swing, I have been thinking about the various sounds of the season... The Fourth of July is nearly upon us and the celebration with family and friends, for many, encompasses an extra-long weekend since the 4th falls on Tuesday.

The sound of crickets chirping outside the windows, the laughter and squeals of joy (and sometimes the cries and wailing of little ones) as children play in a pool or in the water... the sounds of fireworks in the neighborhood... dogs barking in response.  And the drone of fans and air conditioners working to keep the air just a little cooler.

These were just a few of the thoughts I pondered as I worked on a few mini-quilts requested by a customer.  A matching set of four that resemble the Colorado flag.  You see, my customer is headed to a family reunion cruise to Alaska and each attendee was requested to bring a few items that represent the location of their residence.

This is not the first time I filled an order for them.  Earlier this year, I made two wall hangings for them... the Colorado flag with prairie point mountains and Fishers Peak and Simpsons Rest.

Their family does something unique by having an auction... What a great idea to cover the cost of room or facility rental.  

As I finished up the mini-quilt/mug rugs, I turned my attention to our Camping Journal Quilt.

I completed several blocks while traveling to and from Illinois for the Nolan Family Reunion.  We enjoyed five different campgrounds along the way, with the longest stay in Illinois at a Forest Preserve.  It was a lovely place to camp... quiet with well-spaced sites so that it didn't seem as though your neighbor might hear you whisper.

We met several people and had some nice chats.  On our first day there we were just settling in for a quiet afternoon.  I was going to sit and stitch and Dave was going to do what he loves to do... people watching.  

A young lady, Samantha, selected a site and proceeded to attempt to set up her tent.  Another guy that was also in a tent was soon helping her and Dave was chuckling.  Next thing I know, Dave was going over to assist.  Things were not going well, and I was soon called in as well.  

The tent that had just been purchased was obviously assembled incorrectly. The IKEA like instructions indicated that it was a quick 60 second set up that required just two people...  It took 4! of us nearly two hours to get it set up correctly.  There was a twist in the body of the tent as it was attached to the poles.  A screwdriver was required to correct the issue.

Then... we figured out that the poles had not been put together properly and hinged in the wrong direction.  The support for the rain fly seemed to have been MIA, but the tent was up.

We walked away as Samantha was happily filling her new air mattress... less than 10 minutes later the photo shown is what we saw.  She had not unzipped the bottom of the door zipper and attempted to get her giant mattress through the small opening, causing a collapse.  She was deeply embarrassed when I showed her the lower zipper.

We were grateful that it was not sweltering hot, and sticky with humidity.  The skies were a clear blue and free of the haze from smoke.  We enjoyed the trails throughout the property... on bike and on foot.  Shelby enjoyed the many walks and attention that she received from us as well as all those we met along the way.

(They say that the area was in a drought... though it is still green in comparison to what we know drought conditions to look like.)

The Family time was so special.  We visited with one of the last remaining Aunts on Dave's Mother's side.  She was thrilled to have us visit with her and her youngest son who cares for her.  There was an evening of dinner with two sisters and brothers-in-law, breakfast with a brother and a campfire evening with the sisters and spouses again.

The formal reunion brought numerous cousins as well all of the Aunts & Uncle from Dave's Dad's side. Laughter and stories were abundant.  While the travel time across the country was long, we are glad that we did it with a joyous event, rather than a somber funeral.  With the oldest living aunt at age 85 and the youngest living uncle 75, we are well aware that such a sad occasion could be right around the corner.

We passed the time of driving listening to Harry Potter 3&4.  These will be the last of the HP books we borrow from the library... #4 was almost 20 hours long!  We cannot imagine how long book 7 would take to listen to.  We'll find something else for future travels. 

Here's a look at how our Camping Journal Quilt is coming along...

I have the patterns selected and laid out to continue the border... 16 in all for now.

On our return home we stopped off in Ogalla, Nebraska at Lake McConaughey for two nights.  As we wandered some of the sites in town we found a small craft store that was going out of business.  They had reached the point where everything that remained was discounted 80% off the sale prices marked.

I snatched up a few of the last remnants of fabric and a spool of thread for just $4.12.  

What a deal!  Nearly all of the fabric was gone, as were pattern books.  She had lots of lace and trims and zippers.  I passed on all of that...

Remember... zippers and I are not really friends. ;)

Thanks for the spectacular showings in the past two weeks of Sew & Tell.  I have taken the time to visit each link and admired each and every project shared.  

The featured projects are from Andree and Laurie...  Well done!

Time to link up this week's projects!  

Keep Piecing,


PS... before you go, what sort of sounds of summer do you hear?  Leave a comment... I'd love to hear from you 😍

Linking with:

Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Monday Musings at Songbird Designs
Craftastic Monday at Sew Can Do
To Do Tuesday at Quilt Schmilt
Mid-week Makers at Quilt Fabrication
Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter
Put Your Foot Down at For the Love of Geese 


  1. Your minis are so darling, Melva. You are such a creative soul. It sounds like a wonderful camping trip. I have found that most campers are willing to lend a hand when someone is in need which is so nice. Your camp journal quilt is looking fabulous. I remember a number of the blocks that you showed last year from your adventures. Have a happy 4th of July

  2. Samantha was lucky to have you and Dave nearby - lol! Your family get-together looks like so much fun.
    Unfortunately, we hear dogs barking most of the time outdoors. We are grateful that the 4 constantly barking dogs that were next door are no longer there, but someone keeps their poor lonesome dog out most of the day (and it is hot!), and he sounds so mournful. :( I like the sounds of winter more than summer - lol!

  3. The mini quilts are fun and what a great idea to bring to a reunion. The camping quilt is quite something - will you do a border all around? Love the camping story and precisely why I don't do it....never good with bugs and construction of a place to sleep.

  4. Your camping quilt has really grown!! Glad you had a nice time at the reunion! Campgrounds and boat ramps are almost always guaranteed a show of some kind!

  5. I love the camp journal quilt!

  6. Where in Illinois? I perked up at "forest preserve." Glad the trip here and back went well. Summer sounds: bird song in the morning.

  7. I adore the camping journal quilt ... what a great idea!! Lots of fun projects in the works! Thanks for inviting me to join the party! :)

  8. So nice of you to help that girl put up her tent! I'm not sure I would do much better as it's been a while since I've been camping. Love, love your journal quilt! So exciting to see it grow. Thanks for sharing on my weekly show and tell, Wednesday Wait Loss.

  9. Fantastic hiking boot fabric choice! Quilts that tell a story are my favorite!

  10. Besides my gasp of admiration over your camping quilt, I love to hear to songbirds first thing in the morning. They sound so cheery and hopeful.

  11. What special gifts to take to your customer’s family reunion! They are lovely! Gorgeous projects! You are indeed talented!
    Your quilt journal is so creative and filled with happy tales to share with your family! Great purchase on your fabric!

  12. Your camping quilt has really grown! Wow! Looks like you had a wonderful trip. Love the minis! Thanks for linking up with Monday Musings and hosting Sew & Tell!!

  13. Hi Melva, what a great idea to have a camping journal quilt.