Saturday, June 23, 2018

Quilters Through The Generations - Gail Sheppard


Gail Sheppard lives in the lower mainland of British Columbia, is a retired nurse educator, and her passion is quilting!!  She says that teaching quilting is great fun and she loves doing trunk shows. She is part of 2018 New Quilt Blogger group and bravely stepped forward when my message of recruiting quilters to be featured in my Quilters Through The Generations series was shared with the bloggers.  She has a lovely story of making quilts for family members using her grandmother's fabric... Enjoy!

Have YOU ever made a quilt?  
Yes. I have. My mother didn't quilt, but she taught me to sew – simple clothes, blouses with buttons, skirts with zippers. My grandma, Edith Pearl, lived in Ontario, I lived in BC. We rarely saw each other, but she was my inspiration!

My Grandma was a seamstress as well as a quilter.  Apparently she even went to textile school to learn how to be a seamstress.  She made all of her own clothes.

Tell us about your first quilt...
I made my first quilt when I was 17.  I used cereal box cut-outs and designed my own pattern. I had no idea about what I was doing, I just went ahead and made the top with my mother’s scraps of fabric.   On the phone my paternal grandma, Edith, told me to “tie” it since it would be too hard to quilt it without knowing what to do.

I used my first quilt for 3 years (living in a dorm-like setting) then after I got married, it became the dog’s blanket and was either buried with the dog or burned (it was falling apart by the time the dog got it).  Regretfully, there is no picture.

In the spring of 2016, I was in Ontario visiting my aunt and she asked me if I’d like to have my grandma’s fabric.  Well, that was a question that was easily answered.  My grandma was a sewer and a quilter.  She died in 1978, so the fabrics were at least 39 years old.

Once I got home, I spent several days cutting up her fabric into 3 ½″, 2 ½″ and 2″ strips and squares.  Some of the fabric was obviously from dress making and some of it has some polyester in it.  I used it all.  I decided to make 13 quilts.  They were a lot of fun to make.  

Why 13, you ask?  Well, I have 11 cousins and a sister from my Grandma’s side of the family.  I thought it would be nice if each cousin and my sister & I each got a quilt made with Grandma’s fabrics.  

I made 13 of them between June 2016 and January 2017.
Five of the quilts were gifted Christmas 2016, so I didn't have all of them to take a picture of them all. The rest of them were gifted Christmas 2017.

When I found out that one of my cousin's daughter had cancer, I made the 14th one for her.  It is the only one (using Grandma's fabrics) that was made for a specific person, with only 2 fabrics (the rest are scrappy) and it is the only one with a flannel back. It was started in June 2017 and finished in July. 

In the end, I made 14 quilts with my grandma’s fabrics - you can see pictures of each quilt on my blog (Link given above).

Below is a photo of a quilt that Grandma started and I finished after she passed away in 1978... I completed it in the 1990s.

We would visit my grandma only about every four years.  But I remember that every time we visited she would have a chocolate cake that she made.  It was my favorite, still is.  But none have ever tasted as good as hers.

Have YOU taught someone to quilt?  
I have taught some friends and guild members how to quilt.

How many quilts have you made? 
I have no idea! Probably 200 or more … most have been given away.

Do you have a favorite quilt?  
Yes, several … depends on my mood

Do you participate in any quilt groups?  
I am a member of the Boundary Bay Guild (Ladner BC).   Our guild aims to provide opportunities which encourage our members in their love of quilting through workshops, demonstrations, guest speakers and small groups. We hope to inspire creativity, learning and friendships among our members; also to provide outreach where help is needed in the community.  

I have two different groups of friends that quilt together.  My Retreat group made up of friends from California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia meet for a week each spring. 

Where do you get your inspiration from?  
Mostly the internet.  I love scrappy and have done many Bonnie Hunter mysteries.(You can see these on her blog as well...)  

My favorite part of quilting is choosing the colours/fabrics, cutting, piecing, quilting, binding … I like all of them! When I was working full time – quilting was a stress reliever. Now, it's still a stress reliever, but I enjoy the process and the creativity.
Gail did an amazing job making the 14 quilts...  And what a treasure for each recipient!  

Have you ever received a fabric collection from a family member?  
Yes?  What have you done with your collection?

Leave a comment... I would love to hear about a special quilt or project that you made.

Quilt Happy!


Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Let's Go Camping :: Stir The Pot

2018 6 camping block button
Pat Sloan's Let's Go Camping Sew Along block for June is Stir the Pot - and all about camping food...

There is just something about camping food.  I don't know if it is the fresh air or the cooking over a camp stove or open fire... but food just tastes better when you are camping.  Or maybe it is the fact you are usually more active with the hikes and outdoor activities that cause you to burn more calories and you are just plain hungry!  Yeah, I think that is it!

I have mentioned camping as a child many times... and one of the places that we would go is now just 45 minutes away in a canyon located West of Trinidad.  My Uncle has some property there and we would all congregate at "the property" for holiday weekends.  There is a large meadow that has a beautiful view of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range and we kids would play ball for hours in that meadow... 

or hike up the hill that was across the road where there was a unique rock formation that we referred to as "the castle"... 

Oh, and the hours of playing cards and Uno in the tent!  

My aunt was a Girl Scout leader and was all about cooking over an open fire.  My Mom however preferred to prepare our meals in the truck camper with the stove top and small oven... 

I was a picky eater as a kid and don't really recall much about meals while camping other than breakfast!  Again, I am a morning person... reference my recent It's A Wild Life post...

Breakfast with bacon, eggs and toast.  Oh man!  There is nothing better... 

And at the end of the day... S'mores... who doesn't love S'mores???  But of course, with my current dietary restrictions I am a limited to what I can have...

A few weeks ago Dave and I made a "trial run" of camping at Pueblo Lake State Park.  Both of our daughters live in Pueblo so we had invited both families to visit for an evening of a campfire and S'mores.  I had purchased some marshmallows that I could have... YAY!  I took along some of my Enjoy Life chocolate chunks for me so that I could have chocolate stuffed marshmallows while everyone else enjoyed the traditional s'mores.  Mmmmmm.....

As for dinners while camping hamburgers and brats or hot dogs are always easy go-to meals.  And "campfire stews" or the foil-packet meals are good too.  You can "customize" them for each person.  Mine has sweet potatoes and Dave's has the russet potatoes.  both have chicken.  This makes for easy clean up as well!

My sister-in-law and brother-in-law taught us one of their campfire favorites... doughboys.  You carefully stretch and wrap a canned biscuit on the end of a bark-bare stick (we use dowel rods) and slowly cook it over the coals of a campfire.  When cooked properly you can gently twist it off of the stick.  You then fill the vessel with your favorite jam or jelly... or pudding. Or you can stuff it with a breakfast sausage or hotdog... or scrambled eggs... or anything you want really.  How about a some pepperoni wrapped around a cheese stick and dipped in pizza sauce???  

And, while this block name is Stir The Pot, it really reminds me of how everyone would sit around the campfire at my Uncle's property...

What are some of your favorite things to cook while camping?  

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

Quilt Happy!


Melva Loves Scraps - Home of the Quilters Through The Generations series

Linking with:

Pat Sloan's 2018 Mystery BOM

Friday, June 15, 2018

Some Days... are hard

Some days... Well, what can I say?  Some days I feel fairly confident with my tech knowledge.  And some days... Not!

Today would be one of those "NOT" days...

I was trying to update our business website.  It is a daunting task to me because there is just some sort of mysterious thing on the host end that "points" the directory to the correct place.  

I always plan to do such a task on a day that I feel especially patient.  I thought today was one of those days... 


After my temper tantrum (it was NOT pretty), a phone call to tech support (that, BTW, was not very supportive) and starting over from the start to get the files uploaded correctly, I was finally successful.  Whew...

On to my blog...  I participated in the "Where Flowers Bloom" blog hop this week.  I offered a give away... 

In recent history, my readers have been leaving more comments.  I enjoyed responding privately via e-mail... and then a "thing" happened (another one of those mysterious things) that updated blogger so that I was no longer being notified of comments being made.  

Just prior to the hop I changed my settings so that all comments needed moderation... thinking I would receive an email telling me so.  I was not seeing ANY comments... and I was not getting any emails telling me there were comments to be moderated...

In my post tantrum pity party, my heart sank... and then I dug around in my blogger dashboard I found a section for comments awaiting moderation.  OH MY!  I found all of the recent "missing" comments.  

I have read all of the comments {and feel loved again ;) } and collected contact info for those wanting a chance to win my 1/2 Hexie Template.  I will be responding to the comments this weekend.  Thanks for your patience with me... though I haven't been very patient with myself. :/

I hope that all of the Techy Challenges are done for the day!

I will be headed to my sewing room to make progress on my "Farm Land" quilt.

Remember, you still have time to enter to win the 1/2 Hexie Template on the Where Flowers Bloom post (link provided above).  Just comment on that post before June 18th.

Piece Out...


Melva Loves Scraps - home of the Quilters Through The Generations series

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Where Flowers Bloom Blog Hop

Carla over at Creatin' in the Sticks is graciously hosting the Where Flowers Bloom Blog Hop!  It is the hope of all the participants that you will enjoy the beautiful bouquets of fabric that has blossomed with tender loving care...

I have a collection of vintage patterns that have moved from deep storage, to my pattern cabinet and my "future projects" place in my closet...  They range in dates from 1936 to 1939.

This Flower Garden Block is one that I have considered ever since I started my other EPP project a year and half ago

The Grandmother's Flower Garden is a vintage pattern that I have always loved and admired... but those small 1-1/2 inch hexies intimidate, even scare me.

Photo from Quiltmaker May/June 2013 issue...

I prefer faster projects... but about a year and a half ago I started an English Paper Pieced project as a road trip project.  I have six "blocks" made... I have stated before, that I don't really know how many I intend to make - but I will continue had stitching them until I run out of the coordinating fabrics I have set aside for them... I currently have three additional "kits" ready to go.

As I looked for the pattern for the Riding the Rails quilt I saw two different hexie quilts - one was a flower garden wall hanging (shown above)  and the other made sheep and flowers in a meadow (from Quiltmaker May/June 2014).

I decided to mash-up the two patterns by using the "biggie" half-hexie to make a "Mega Flower Garden"

I copied the hexie template onto some adhesive backed paper and asked my amazing husband to make a template out of plexi-glass... he graciously did so.  AND he made two of them so that I can offer one as give-away on this hop!  Details to win the template will be at the bottom of this post...

The template is 2-1/2 inches wide so a jelly roll would be great to use.

The assembly is easy... just make strips and the join the strips together...

The flowers finish at 12 inches across.

As I cut, pieced and quilted this flower garden I couldn't help but recall my Grandpa Schleich.  (Grandma passed away before I was born...)  My Paternal Grandparents were farmers... They (and their children) including my dad, had a green thumb and could get just about anything to grow.  

Grandpa had a flower garden located at the edge of his front yard after he retired from farming and lived in town.  It ran parallel to the sidewalk and the flowers always smelled so good as you passed by them to leave and I would try to linger just a little longer as we were saying goodbye.  He had flowers of all sorts... but I remember the roses and the snapdragons the most. The snapdragons were fun to pick and make their "mouths move" by gently pinching at the base of the flower...  The roses were so fragrant!  And my favorites...

As I quilted my mega-flowers I did some skill building by using my templates to create flowers in the centers and I used the cloud template to offer some detail to the petals.

Earlier this week Dave and I snuck away for a camping trip.  Our journey took us to the mountains where there was no wi-fi, no cell towers/service, no electricity or water.  We were self-contained in our tiny-tiny home on our truck.

It was just us, the dog and a couple of books... some food and beverages.

We went for long walks, enjoyed a few meals and happy hours, savored some spectacular views and napped.  There were wild flowers along the road and some in the meadows... It is very dry here.  Most of the creeks were dry, but there were still some flowers.  It helped me to appreciate their beauty even more!

Image may contain: grass, plant, flower, outdoor and nature

Photo by photographer Cindy Hurt - 
Wildflowers in Spring near Castlewood Canyon State Park - May, 2018
you should go show her some love on Instagram. :)

What is your favorite flower?

Leave a comment for a chance to win the Mega 1/2 Hexie template
before Monday, June 18th.

And remember, because of recent changes to my comment notifications,
you need to leave a way that I can get in touch with you... an email address in your comment, or comment over on fb or IG for a chance to win.  

Please... please know that all comments are appreciated.  Since I can no longer reply to comments via email, I will be responding to each comment left here on the blog.  If you want to email a comment to me privately, feel free...

I miss the brief conversations that would occur!

Quilt happy!


Melva Loves Scraps - home of the Quilters Through the Generations series

Linking with:

Linky Tuesday at Free Motion by the River
Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter
Needle & Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation
Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication

Monday, June 11, 2018

Where the Flowers Bloom Blog Hop Schedule

Just letting you know that there is a fun hop going on this week that Carla at Creatin' in the Sticks is hosting!  

Be sure to go visit so that you can see the beautiful bouquets that have been created with fabric!

Here is a sneak peek of my quilt...

I will have a give away... be sure to come back on Thursday, June 14th!

Piece happy!


PS... Blogger has recently made changes to the comment notifications that I used to receive - and I no longer receive them.  When you leave a comment on Thursday to enter the prize give away everyone will need to leave an email address to be entered in the drawing. 

Please... please know that all comments are appreciated.  Since I can no longer reply to comments via email, I will be responding to each comment left here on the blog.  If you want to email a comment to me privately, feel free...

I miss the brief conversations that would occur!

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Quilters Through The Generations - Stephanie Collins

Today Stephanie Collins joins us to share her family's quilting story...

Stephanie lives in South Carolina and admits to being a shameless fabric hoarder and vintage sewing machine addict. She started quilting 14 years ago when her husband bought her a sewing machine. In addition to her crafty hobbies, she is an avid runner who enjoys competing in many organized races each year.  She has a blogging home over at Lowcountry Quilts and Embroidery.  Be sure to visit her site after your enjoy her quilting story...

Have YOU ever made a quilt?
Yes.  I learned to sew when I took classes at my local quilt shop. I wanted to learn because my great grandmother had been a quilter.

Tell me a story about your first quilt...

My first quilt was a disaster! My husband bought me a sewing machine, rotary cutter and mat plus all the supplies I would need to make a quilt for my 30th birthday. My late great-grandmother was a quilter and she made it look so easy, unfortunately she passed before I could learn. I bought a beginner’s quilting book and thought I would teach myself (this was before we had all of the wonderful online resources we have today). I had not touched a sewing machine since I was 12 and didn’t even know how to wind a bobbin. My seams were horrible (even with a 1/4” foot) but I finished that little quilt in about a day and a half. I was hooked but knew I needed help!

I gave the quilt to our Yorky puppy and even though it’s been 3 years since he passed away we still call it Teddy’s quilt. I keep it in my sewing room now as a reminder of him.

Does your mother quilt?

My mother, Candy Key, started quilting after I did but never got into it as much as me. I have helped her make many quilts over the years though.

How about a grand-mother?  Great-grandmother?

My great grandmother, Daisy Page, was a terrific quilter! She machine pieced her quilts and hand quilted them.  

I was 12 years old when she passed away, but I still have four quilts that she made displayed in my house.

Have YOU taught someone to quilt? 

I have helped my mom with nearly every quilt she has made. I’m also teaching a friend from church to make a quilt for her son who is away at college. I once taught a 5th grader to quilt so she could enter a quilt into a competition at her school.

How many quilts have you made?

If you count my mini quilts and wall hangings then literally hundreds, I honestly don’t even keep track anymore!  I gift most of the quilts… I’ve only kept a few bed sized quilts and wall hangings for myself.
Do you have a favorite block?

I’ve always been partial to the Dresden plate block.  I have made three of them...

This one was made for our motor home

This green one I made for my Mom for Christmas one years since she loved my red one so much.

And this gold one is my most recent Dresden quilt that was designed by a dear, sweet friend of mine (Melissa Wells at The Happy Cottage).  I haven't had a chance to quilt it yet.

Do you have a favorite quilt?

My favorite quilt would have to be a paper pieced Judy Niemeyer Christmas tree skirt. It took me months to complete and I enjoy it hung on my wall year round.

Do you participate in any quilt groups or entered any competitions?

I am not part of any group but I love taking classes and learning new techniques.  I have not entered any shows but I am planning to enter a king sized bargello quilt this year!

Have you sold any quilts? For how much?

I do a little quilting for profit, usually custom ordered t-shirt or memory quilts. I make an average of $200-$400 per quilt depending on size, detail, etc.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Most definitely my great-grandma! I wish I could have known her as an adult and had the opportunity to quilt with her.

My favorite time spent with my grandmother was while she was sewing. She would always give me scraps of fabric to play with and I remember spending a lot of time cutting it and pinning them together (I don't remember being able to use her machine though, probably because she was always using it). 

She also loved to crochet and taught me how to make a starter chain. I remember having trouble going to the next row so one day while she was sewing, I kept on chaining until I had used up a whole skein of yarn. She though it was funny until she had to take it out and re-roll the yarn. I must have had a chain long enough wrap around our entire house. I guess I was about 8 or 9 at the time... 

My favorite quilt by her is a Sunbonnet Sue quilt. I wanted one very bad so she drew the girls out on newspaper and got busy one summer. It was machine pieced and hand quilted. 

I used to fill the pockets on the overalls with pennies and candy when I was a young girl, and was very proud that none of my friends had a quilt that could hold stuff, lol!

Most of the overalls were made from clothing scraps from her own clothes. The quilt is so old and soft now and everyone in my household fights over it every winter! I need to retire it because it is falling apart but I keep patching it and using it.

What is your favorite part of quilting?

Every part, I love the whole process from choosing the pattern, picking out my fabrics and then piecing and longarm quilting them!  I makes me happy! My best days are days spent being creative and productive!

What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on a traditional quilt, a king sized log cabin in the barn raising design. Although this isn't my favorite, it is for my husband. I know he's tired of all of the feminine quilts that grace our bed!

Stephanie seems to have a natural talent for quilting and certainly comes by it quite naturally as part of her DNA.  I just love her Bargello quilt! The way that the color placement and size gives it a 3-D look is amazing.  Best of luck in the quilt show Stephanie!

Which one of Stephanie's quilts do you like?

Leave a comment to let her know... and don't forget to go check out her blog!

Is quilting a part of your DNA?  Are you willing to share your family's quilting stories?  I would love to help preserve some of the memories and history by sharing them here in my Quilters Through The Generations series.

Quilt Happy,

Melva Loves Scraps - Home of the Quilters Through The Generations series