SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, TEXAS
Palm trees started appearing along the highway as I headed south to South Padre Island, Texas. It was a Tuesday and I just came from the Las Cruces, New Mexico Las Colcheras Quilt Guild Show where they were getting snowed upon. Though there were palm trees, there was not the warm weather one would expect when going south to a tropical island. There, the cold fog, gusts of wind that froze your fingers and dark, menacing clouds promised to keep people indoors, which is exactly what I did when I arrived at the campground.
The next morning I drove Ranger (my motor home) down to the beautiful South Padre Convention Center to check in. It sits on the shore of the Gulf of Mexico. That morning there were kites flying from the beach despite the cold weather. Dixie, the building manager, helped me locate where I would be setting up my booth the next day. The location was good, right by the front doors as you entered the main room of the convention center. I was the first to see them and the last to say, “Come back next year!”
With the information in my pocket, I walked next door to the South Padre Birding and Nature Center. They are now an alligator rescue as well and quite proud of it. While there weren’t a lot of birds to been seen on this particular day, being new to the area, I did end up with three new lifers on my life list. To see the full report of this birding adventure, please go to other website, RPHancy.com.
With this being my “free” day, I drove back to the campground and had lunch at Pier 19, quite literally on the water. The mahi po-boy came highly recommended and it did not disappoint. If you order anything off the menu, it had better be this po-boy. After an early dinner I headed indoors to escape the wind and weather to do some painting.
Thursday was Set Up Day. My morning of birdwatching was cancelled because of a delay of quilt hanging but the booth was erected in a couple of hours and photos of all 326 quilts were taken (some are shown below).
Friday, the show started with a slow wave but when rumors of busses arriving started, the great hall was filled with over 1000 quilters. The energy from the quilters buzzed in the large room. My booth filled with so many people I was told get a bigger booth for the next year! The day flew by as our stencils flew off the display rack. I was grateful to demonstrate for so many that have never seen how we have reinvented stencils for quilt marking.
Saturday the sun was out and it was a beautiful day. We had the moms toting the children, more veterans learning about quilting. My new friendor (vendor friend), Emma of Westfield Laser + Design, came by so I could show her how to incorporate our stencils with their beautiful laser cut applique. Although not as busy as the previous day, it gave me a chance to chat longer with our quilt-marking customers which is always a treat. The show wrapped up and we labeled it a success – ending a beautiful and warm February day.
The next morning I headed out and pointed Ranger to Tucson, Arizona. Come see us at the Quilt Fiesta on February 21st, 22nd and 23rd at the Tucson Convention Center!