Thursday, December 1, 2016

Holiday Greetings!

I seem to have gone AWOL!  Actually, we went away for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend and had a great time.


At last check I had been working on getting a king-sized quilt ready for sandwiching... 



I did successfully get the borders on this fun, playful quilt before we left for Texas.  




With five days away from my sewing room, you can rest assured that I did not miss any quilting opportunities!  I grabbed one of the projects from my "To-do This Year" list to work on while on the road.  It is a throw-sized quilt made from Quiltmaker's Bitty Blocks that I am hand quilting.  I hadn't done much with it over the summer, as it was just too warm to have on my lap.  We enjoyed listing to an audio reading of the Chronicles of Narnia as Dave drove and I stitched.



The Log Cabin blocks were my favorite to quilt... 



and the Flying Geese - even though there seemed to be thousands of them.


I made great progress on the quilting and have only four Bears Paw blocks left.  Of course, why wouldn't I make progress??? It was a 7+ hour trip each way.

Our friends have a lovely piece of property where they are raising goats... And I got to meet my namesake - Melva (she is the patchwork faced goat below)- and her baby girl, Amy Grant.  The goats were great fun to watch and listen to...



This is Hank (the Goat Dog) - head of ranch security... if you get the reference to this you know about the children's books that feature Hank the Cowdog.  If you don't you need to check them out!  Especially if you have children or grandchildren that you want to read entertaining bedtime stories to. (My dad loved these books... and when his Alzheimers progressed and he was no longer able to read them himself, my mom would read them to him.  He would laugh and laugh at the antics of Hank and the situations he would find himself in.)

The dogs had fun running and playing.  Well Hank would try to herd our dog, Shelby, who was only concerned with retrieving the tennis ball.  And inside Hank was only concerned about getting the squeakers out of the squeaky toys...  











While the rest of the gang were off seeking wildlife I enjoyed some quiet quilty time as Shelby rested from her playtime with Hank.



And what a sunset!  It seemed to go on forever... The longer I watched, the the colors became more brilliant and bright and it grew wider and broader, taking up the entire horizon. Even the Eastern sky was pink... I stopped stitching and enjoyed my glass of wine on the patio in reverent silence. 


The evenings were spent playing a rousing game of Golf - the card game - and filled with laughter and fun as well as some angst and frustration at the luck of the draw...


 
     
Somebody was hoarding all of the jokers!  




In the end it was all fun & games and no got hurt... LOL!

On the final afternoon I joined in on the fun at "The Ranch" and went shooting... One just cannot resist the silliness of plinking at marshmallows on a pond!




















Thanks for joining me on our "Holiday". As we enter the Christmas season I will be a busy little elf in my studio preparing an assortment of gifts... **code for I may not be sharing much here for a few weeks**

May you be blessed in this Holy Season,

Melva

stop by QilterBlogs to see what other quilters are talking about.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Five Things Friday ~ #12 ~ And A Give Away!

Sometimes we need to be reminded to find things to be happy about... it could be an unexpected phone call or text from a friend, or the reminder (from someone whose life ends suddenly and unexpected) that life is short and we need to be sure that those we love know it.  

So this week I stand reminded, again, that we need to enjoy life and look for the happy moments... even in the rough times.

Last weekend I had the opportunity to seek refuge with a small group of very close friends.  We enjoyed time fellow-shipping, enjoying some yummy appetizers and a holiday brunch as well as small gift exchange.  I was blessed to receive this original painting.  It found its home in my sewing room in the perfect space... the wall at the end of my sewing table, right next to my design wall.  


"After another long day at work... THIS is my happy.  I would not trade snuggle time with my Littles for anything in the world.  My heart is full." ~ Heather

I so enjoy watching my daughter in the role of Mommy... It makes my heart smile 
















II have been blessed abundantly by the many comments (more than 120 at last count) and visitors on my To Have and To Hold post.  There is still time to visit and leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Quiltmaker's Volume 14-100 Blocks.  















I had fun whipping up this quick wall hanging... I went with a pop of color and was amazed at how different is was from the first one that I made.  (click on the link in the previous sentence to see the original)

















This was the first week in nearly a month that I have had the opportunity to spend large blocks of time in my sewing room and that always brings a smile to me.  I have been working on this fun quilt for my cousin and his wife.  I searched and searched for a pattern but was unable to find an original source so I started doing some math and jumped in.



Bonus smile that I want to pass on to you...


  
I recently received a tote of fabric and patterns from somebody... who doesn't smile at this???  However, I really don't have a need for all of these patterns, though, so I thought why not pass the blessings on...  If you are interested, follow my blog, and send me a postage paid envelope (a flat-rate envelope with postage paid is $6.45) and I will happily send you 25 patterns (for your own personal use) contact me at davemelvanolan@aol.com and I will give you my mailing address. These would be perfect for someone just getting into quilting.

So Have you received an unexpected blessing recently?  Have you shared with others so that others can smile?

Happy Friday!

Melva


Be sure to head over to see what Amanda and others are smiling about... You can find Amanda at Gypsy Moon Quilts.



Head over to QuilterBlogs to see what other quilters are talking about.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

To Have & To Hold

Hi!  And welcome to Melva Loves Scraps!  Thank you so much for stopping by and being part of the Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Volume 15 Blog Hop.  I hope that you will take the time to look around my blog and get to know me.  I also hope that you will become a "follower".  You can sign up to receive notifications via e-mail of my posts or, if you are a bloglovin' fan, you can easily find me there as well - there is a button in the right side of the page.

And, in case you didn't know it... there are prizes to be won!  For a chance to win a copy of 100 Blocks, Volume #14, simply leave a comment about how you would use the block... Would you change the color of the rings?  Use the block in a sampler quilt?  Or perhaps a label? Or even a ring bearer's pillow?  Let me know!  



Now, believe it or not, "To Have and To Hold" is a product of a project gone bad.  A customer had asked for a quilted wall hanging and drew me a sketch of his vision... We had agreed upon wedding rings as they were a symbol of eternal love, rather than the cupid.  The entire story really is not important here, but in the end the customer and I agreed that his vision and my creative style were not meshing and the project was abandoned.  
I "auditioned" several different fabric choices for the rings and the diamond before finding what my mind's eye wanted.

Here they are... 

  
I felt that this one was too neon-like... 



This one was too bronze-like...


This was my very favorite.  It reminded me of a ring with the engraving on it.  Sadly, I appliqued it onto fabric that was far too thin (as a practice) and  it didn't look right... Ugh!   AND even more sad, there was not enough of this fabric remaining for another block... Back into the stash! I Liked the look of this one so much that I considered using some  bridal runner fabric that I use as interfacing that has a similar filigree engraving look, but in the end changed my mind... 


As you can see, I went ahead and used the button-hole stitch to outline the rings and used a zig-zag to mark the diamond cuts to help determine how much more detail was needed. (The diamond looks a little wonky on this one...)

I was finally pleased with my fabric choice (rings, diamond and background) and the amount of stitching that was needed... 

All that was needed then was a border!



Since the original project was abandoned, I have not had the opportunity to use this block in a quilt... yet.  But our youngest daughter's wedding is in April and I have plans to use this block as part of the label for their wedding quilt.  Though I will likely be auditioning fabric again as they are having silver rings, not gold.  Back to the stash!

So tell me what your thoughts are... 
(remember you have a chance to win a copy of Volume #14) Have you thought about it?  How would you use "To Have and To Hold"?  It could be fun as a 40th anniversary gift with a ruby stone instead of a diamond... 

Melva





Friday, November 4, 2016

Five Things Friday ~ #11


Some weeks don't go as planned... heck, some days don't go as planned!  This was one of those weeks filled with days that took an errant turn.  Yet, time and life continued on.  


#1) I was blessed to be able to spend a wonderful weekend with my Grand-daughters while their parents enjoyed a weekend away.  Though I must admit that the time with the girls would not have been possible without the help of my youngest daughter.  You see, Dave was out of town and I was not brave enough to  care for the two of them alone... though a friend pointed out and reminded me that I "used to do it all the time"... my response?  "I am out of practice and smarter now!" Haha!

Rebecca and tag-teamed the demands of these two quite well and we enjoyed the Mother-Daughter time together as well.



R

#2)  Is this not the most precious picture??? That look... melts my heart EVERY TIME.  Maggie Kay is now three months old... **sigh**

















#3) I enjoyed time back in my sewing room and finished the "Psalm 23" wall hanging... It was so peaceful and calming... (you can read about the details of this project at the above link)



And then we received the news that a very dear friend's health was declining quickly (after a short illness that had been progressing, but was expected to turn around) and that he had been removed from dialysis and a ventilator would be removed the following day.  We quickly rushed to his wife's side to offer support and to say good bye to Dave.  






#4) As we recall our memories of 16+ years of friendship we can't help but smile...



He was a quiet guy... (unlike my husband - also in this picture) but his smile spoke volumes.  He knew how to have a good time, he had a compassionate heart and loved his God and his family.  We were blessed by his friendship... and we will miss him very much.



#5)  A special thank you gift arrived!  How exciting to see my block in the calendar... for the month of June, of course, because that is one of the more popular months for weddings.  I'll be part of the blog hop in a few weeks.  Watch for the post about my block "To Have and To Hold" on November 15 =D





Some weeks don't go as planned...   But even when the events of the week are unexpected or unwanted you can always lift your face to the sky and know that somehow God can make you smile... It is all about an attitude of gratitude.

Be Blessed,

Melva

Head over to Gypsy Moon Quilt Co. and see what has her smiling =D

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The Lord is My Shepherd

In my recent acquisition of fabric I found several pre-printed panels  that featured the 23rd Psalm and a beautiful waterfall scene.  A total of six! As well as a matching pillow...

I was excited on Friday to pull one out and begin the sandwiching process... until I noticed that the scene was not printed straight.  


After a quick assessment, I decided that the easiest fix was to cut the border off, square up the center and do my best to get the border sewn back on as straight and square as possible without taking too much away from the stained glass look.
























I feel as though I was successful, with the exception of the "sway" in the corners.

But once it was quilted and binding was done, it was not noticeable.



This one will hang in our church.   

Here is a close up of some of the detailed quilting that I did...



Would you have done something differently?  I have five more panels... and I am always open to other ideas and suggestions for fixing a problem.  Please share... 

Blessings,

Melva

See what other quilters are doing at Quilter Blogs

Friday, October 28, 2016

Five Things Friday

It has been very busy the last few weeks and something just had to be skipped on the "To Do" list and the Five-Things-Friday posts with Amanda over at Gypsy Moon Quilt Co. are the things that didn't get done. While I didn't share the snapshots of things that made me smile, I was taking note and offering some words of thanks for each one.

So here's a quick look at some of the items this week that brought me the most joy...

I love my chai tea and when Solar Roast in Pueblo, CO had a sale I quickly got my order in! 


I had the help and support of Dave as we emptied the guest room closet of the games and craft stuff left from when the girls still lived at home and made room for the large collection of fabric that my friend recently passed on to me.  I have one more cabinet to go through and then all of my fabric will be in one place!  Woo hoo!


I had the blessing of spending an entire weekend with some special ladies as we served our Lord... this is just one picture of some "down time" between the busy times of getting things in place and completing our assigned tasks.
After four busy days of walking more than 62,000 steps I was welcomed home by our little gal, Shelby... who, obviously did not sleep well while I was gone.  She wanted to be by my side as I got caught up on laundry and other chores but just could not keep her eyes open any longer. 

I haven't had much time in my sewing room this week but I did sneak in there to make up these cute little tea cup pin cushions that will be part of my inventory for next years Farmer's Market days.  The cups and saucers were part of the every-day dishes that my Grandparents had.  I had made several for my mom and for the girls a few years ago for Christmas... It was during the purging of items and moving items from the closet to the basement that I decided it was time to part with the remainder of the set, but kept these final items.  Somethings are just hard to let go of... but I still have the memories 


Be sure you head over to see what brought Amanda (and others) some smiles...


Happy Friday!

Melva


Head over to Quilter Blogs to see what other quilters are blogging about...