Sunday, December 31, 2017

Welcome 2018!

Last week I shared a review of the year with my "Best Of" list and as 2017 rolls out and I consider what some goals for 2018 might be (as I veg on the couch because of a cold that has whooped on me), here is what I have considered...


Quilting Projects - 






Two commissioned baby quilts for a special friend that excited to become a Great-Grandma. One will feature Eeyore... details on the second one is to be determined.







Three commissioned t-shirt quilts for the children of another dear friend - her twin boys will be graduating from High School and her oldest daughter, who graduated with her Bachelor's degree and will soon be starting a new adventure in a new state.






A Baby's first year quilt for our youngest grand-daughter using her various first holiday outfits and monthly onsies.












A few years ago I was gifted some special farm landscape fabric from a friend in Canada that is similar to the landscape of their property.  His wife is a quilter as well and we have exchanged some fabrics over the years... 2018 is the year to turn that fabric into a quilt - my current plan is that is will be a log cabin quilt with the furrow layout representing the furrows found in fields, as shown below.

























And finally, I really plan to finish the Tie/Dresden Plate quilt that I started.











With the recent acquisition of the Babylock Jazz, I would like to take a class on ruler work.  It looks interesting...

Of course, I will be needing a new table for the machine to sit down in... coming soon!








Blog related goals - 

I would love to be able to grow my audience of readers.  I have seen some slow growth in the past two years.  Joining in on Instagram and creating a page for Melva Loves Scraps on facebook have been a large part of this growth...

Plans to implement continued growth include blog weekly posts and participating in more link-ups, blog hops and quilt alongs.  I think I can realistically do the link-ups and hops once a month, without the loss of much time in my studio, affecting my commissioned quilts.


I plan to continue with my series, Quilters Through The Generations, though maybe only monthly rather than weekly.  The frequency of these posts depend greatly on the timing of the interviews and the recommendations or  "leads" for the quilters to be featured.  


Here is where YOU can help!  

Do you know of a family full of quilters??? I would love to interview them and compile their stories and preserve a piece of history with each story of the quilts they made... you just need to encourage them to contact me or give me their contact info (e-mail or phone number would be easiest, but I can certainly mail an interview sheet to them.)

So, there you go... my quilting and blogging goals for 2018.

On the more personal side of life, my focus word for the coming year will be light... Light offers hope.  Light chases away the dark and reveals truth.  Where there is light, there is no room for fear.

Do you have a focus word for the year?  I'd love to hear from you by leaving a comment below...

Happy New Year!

Melva

Linking up with Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl for her 2018 planning party...  head over there and see what other quilters are planning. :)

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Best of 2017

As another calendar year draws to a close many are taking the time to remember the past 12 months and ponder what they might do in 2018...

Cheryl over at Meadow Mist Designs is hosting a linky party for such an opportunity!  She has encouraged me to pick the "Best of 2017" - the top five posts or projects of the year.  So, here are mine... in chronological order of their occurrence. You can read the entire story on each quilt by following the links I have included by clicking on the quilt title.


Jen Rosin & Janice Holton hosted a fun mini blog hop that I nearly missed out on because I was in the midst of finishing a wedding quilt for my daughter's upcoming wedding... At the last minute I decided to take a break form the over-sized queen quilt and work on this mini quilt that offered plenty of opportunity for creativity.












#2 Love is...

This was a wedding gift that was designed for our youngest daughter, Rebecca, and her husband, David.  They have a very modern style in their house and this was a step out of the box from my typical quilting style (much more traditional) yet, it opened my eyes to something new.



#3 Heart of the Home

I have a passion for vintage quilts, traditional quilts and preserving family stories and heirlooms.  When a customer contacted me and asked me to turn this embroidered table cloth into a quilted throw I was excited to oblige...  









#4 Quilters Through The Generations

As I worked on the "Heart of the Home" quilt I pondered the history of quilting in my family and wanted to learn more about the quilters before me, so I began a series of stories featuring generations of quilters.  I learned that my own quilting roots run deep - at least 5 generations, including my own children... Be sure to read about all of the families I have featured.  

I have had a short break since the the last of the stories was shared, but the return of Quilters Through The Generations is coming soon!

Do YOU belong to a family of quilters???  Let me know.  I would love to share your stories!



#5 A Vintage Treasure

This restoration/repair was a challenge, but I was able to keep the center of the quilt complete with the original blocks by removing one side and edge of the quilt and using complete blocks to replace the severely damaged blocks.  I added wide borders with cross-hatch quilting so that it was large enough for a full-sized bed.  You can see some of the progress photos on instagram @MelvaLovesScraps





Now that I have reviewed my top five... Let's take a look at how I did in meeting my 2017 goals...

#1 Wedding Quilt - Check - story link above in Love Is



#2 Psalm 23 wall hangings -I had started with a total of 6 panels (4 at the beginning of the year)... I am down to two.  One was a gift of encouragement to a friend who had recently lost her husband and the other was a house warming gift for some friends - Check














#3  English Paper Piecing - I have a total of five hexies assembled... but am unsure when I will be "finished" with it... it is a road-trip project and it could go on for years!






#4 & #5 - A Tie project and Dresden Plate blocks - These two projects became one when I gathered the ties of my Grandpa and Dad and realized that there were not enough ties to complete a circle... So I pulled out a Dresden Plate template and picked out stitches from the ties to make Dresden Plates out of the ties...






#6 A Bear shaped baby quilt made of receiving blankets never even got started... 



BUT, I did get a Baby's First Year Quilt made for our oldest Grand-daughter...


I will have consider for a short time more what sort of goals I want to aspire for in 2018... 

What sort of goals are you planning for the coming year?

I enjoy the encouragement that I get from my followers.  You can find me on Bloglovin', Instagram and facebook, or you can subscribe and receive notifications via e-mail.

Thanks for stopping by... and be sure to watch for the return of Quilters Through The Generations in 2018!

Sew Happy,

Melva


Monday, December 4, 2017

Just For Fun...

I have enjoyed a weekend of quilting for "just because".  After the past two weeks of diligently building up my inventory I jumped in on a few Christmas Quilt Alongs...

The Moda Bake Shop - Every day they are offering a 6-inch holiday themed block.  


The first was the Peppermint Twist Block.  It was fun, but when you forget to trim the pinwheels that make up the peppermint the remaining pieces of the block don't fit very well.  I was frustrated and ready to give up and say "never mind, I won't be continuing with this one!"... until I realized my problem.  

I did get the block completed, and trimmed to 6-1/2 inches.  









The Christmas Cottage was fun to put together!  I did some fussy-cutting so that the house would be decorated with garland.











And the gift-wrapped star... this one was more challenging because of the small pieces, though, in the end it was fine.




The American Quilter's Society is also offering a block a day...  These are smaller blocks that finish at just 4 inches.  Oh. My.

Block one was quick...  







Block two???? NEVER have I worked with such small pieces!  I mean the smallest pieces were 1 inch squares - this means that their finished size was just 1/2 inch.  But I got the block together and it mostly lays flat.  Yay me!







Block three was a snap!




Sometimes a girl just wants to have fun! And definitely I had fun and it was a welcome break.  And working with the teeny-tiny, itsy-bitsy pieces makes you well aware of the need for accurate seams and only makes you a better quilter.


What sort of projects do you turn to when you "just want to have fun"?

But I am back in my studio today for business... I'll be making a few aprons and more... still fun, but not "just because."  Oh, but trust me... after the show on Saturday, I will be back to playing in my studio and getting caught up with the Christmas Countdowns.

Sew Happy!

Melva

Friday, December 1, 2017

The Holiday Season is Here!

The passing of Thanksgiving last week marked the "official" beginning of the Holiday Season...

This is the time of year that can get pretty crazy with all of the parties, gatherings and get togethers on top of everyone's regular schedule, that, let's be honest here, is sometimes, many times, most of the time already over busy.

During the past several years Dave and I have made it an intentional thing to live a more simple and relaxed life.  Being self-employed allows this to be a bit easier than when you have an employer dictating the hours and location of work, and an expectation of productivity. While we try to keep "regular business hours" (it is just part of our personalities! Type A), so that we are able to generate enough financial income to support the simple life we have.

That said, with the Holiday season in full swing, I am participating in a local Christmas Craft Extravaganza that will be held in a week.

I learned a few years ago that...


 I am not a "crafter"... I am a Quilter - 

I came to that conclusion because I do not "craft" or create items simply to pass the time and try to sell items at a price that barely covers the cost of materials.  No, I actually make a living on my sales.  

The upcoming show has been successful in the past and I look forward to showing the large variety of items I have available.

Last week I worked on bowl cozies, wine bags and aprons...

This week I have been making purses.  A variety of sizes and styles.  I guess my daughter who loves "bags" gets it from somewhere!  I love making them!  They are fun, and most of the time, quick projects. 

And I have had the opportunity to use fabrics that are not traditional quilting fabrics that found their way into my fabric closet from friends.  Most are heavier, canvas type fabrics - and in large quantities! Yards and yards of them...  And the fact that I have several fabrics that coordinate well together is a bonus!







Here are a few examples...
























These were the most popular and I received several requests for them!  It is a good thing they come together quickly and that I had plenty of the green vine canvas, the plaid fabric and the green corduroy fabric... There were a few ladies that were ready to fight for them!  







And then there is this stow 'n' go market bag... This one wasn't as fun to make. Pfffft. <~ That's a raspberry sound, by the way.

The pattern was not well written and I struggled in the assembly of the bag and ended up disregarding some of the directions, but I managed to get it finished.  

I'm pretty sure it will be a one of a kind since I was not impressed with the pattern and tossed it in the trash.  

It does, however, fold up nicely for storing in the car or the glove compartment.




With the weekend just around the corner I think I will be finding something small, fun to work on... Hmmmm... So many possibilities!

And since there is only one month left in the year I think I need to re-visit my my list of "want to do" quilts and see what it is left undone.  

Or maybe I need to straighten up the mess that has been left behind in my studio from all of that productivity!

May your "Holiday Season" be fill with love and joy... and some not-so-crazy schedules!

Melva

Linking up with Wednesday Wait Loss

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!


May your Thanksgiving be stuffed with love, family & friends and bound together with peace.

Melva, Dave & Shelby

We will be celebrating with some friends today as we hike a wildlife area and enjoy the gorgeous land.  
Saturday will be a day with our family and our traditional meal...


What are your plans for today?

Monday, November 20, 2017

The Winner Is...



Well, it is Monday morning and I just finished responding to all of the (the ones I could) comments left on my Pumpkin Log post that was part of the 100 Blocks Road Rally.






I  have done a random drawing for the winners...

Congratulations to Mary O. and Allison, who follows bloglovin'!  As soon as I receive your mailing addresses (I sent you an e-mail), I will be sending you an issue of Volume 16.








I was able to be away for the weekend with some girlfriends and was unplugged for the entire time away.  It was so refreshing.  I am now re-charged with the desire to return to my studio and keep preparing items for the upcoming Christmas Extravaganza. 

So... if you need me, I will be finishing some bowl cozies.



Be blessed,

Melva


Want to see what other quilters are talking about???  Head over to QuilterBlogs

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Road Rally Wrap-Up

Hey everyone!  Thanks so much for participating in the 100 Blocks Volume 16 Road Rally!




Hasn't it been great fun seeing all of the blocks from the featured designers and learning some great tips about making them?





If you have not already left a comment on my Pumpkin Log post, you still have time!  

I will be doing a drawing on Monday, November 20th in the morning and making an announcement here about who the winners are.  I will send an official e-mail to you to get your mailing address, and of course, if you are following me here, on Bloglovin' IG or fb you will see the announcement as well.







I am currently "between stories" of the Quilters Through The Generations series... but I will be back!  With the busy season of holidays approaching, I think I will make the return in January... but I may be back early.  We will have to wait and see.

Go on, Sew Happy!

Melva

Did you miss a day?  You can catch up here...

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Friday, November 17, 2017

Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks - Volume 16 - Block Tour Road Rally - Day 5

Welcome to Melva Love Scraps and the fifth and final day of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks - Volume 16 - Road Rally!




Visit each of the participating designer's blogs to learn about the origin of each block, explore layout options and get some tips and hints to help with the assembly of the blocks.  A complete list with links is at the end of this story.

And while the tour has been taking place all week, I have been keeping busy in my studio with some final touches/repairs of a quilt that needed a little help and in preparation of an upcoming Christmas show.







This quilt is a purchased quilt that was poorly constructed.  The stitches for the piecing of the blocks is approximately 7 stitches per inch and the thread tension of was rather loose.  








The quilting was 6+ inches apart which allowed for a lot of movement or shifting when the quilt was tugged on when being used.  







There were lots and lots of repairs that were not hidden well.



I spent hours on the floor last week seeking them out, fixing them and re-sewing them.  




When I began quilting the feathers I found even more open seams!  Ugh...




Once the quilting was complete I washed it and dried it and then started seeking out the open seams again - easier to see with it freshly laundered - and made more repairs.

It is finally, I think?, ready for delivery.  I have let it "sit" for a few days and have gone back over it and found yet more seams.  AND I had Dave, my husband, look it over.  



While not working on the big quilt, I was in my studio making up some fun Curious George and Beatitude Bear pillow cases ...
























and a new stock of Bowl Cozies...




I shared my story of the Pumpkin Log block yesterday, as well as a few yummy pumpkin recipes...  and a chance to win one of two copies of Volume 16!

You still have time to enter!  Leave a comment on yesterday's post (Pumpkin Log) by November 19th, 11:59 pm.

I will be doing a random drawing for the two winners on Monday, November 20th.  Keep in mind, if you are a no-reply blogger, be sure to leave your email address in your comment so that I can contact you should you win.  Good luck!

But for now, just for fun, tell me... 
Do you like perfect pumpkins?
Or pumpkins that are a little "wanky"?



I hope you enjoyed the Road Rally!

Melva



Be sure to visit today's featured designers on the Road Rally!


Block #1553
Designed by: Janice Averill, Iris Quilts & Dyed Fabrics

Block #1511
Designed by: Kathie Beltz, Kathie Beltz Quilt Designs

Block #1562
Designed by: Tina Dillard, Quilting Affection Designs

Block #1563
Designed by: Patty Dudek, Elm Street Quilts

Block #1568
Designed by: Gina Gempesaw, Gem Hill Quilts

Block #1535
Designed by: Tiffany Hayes, Needle in a Hayes Stack

Block #1572
Designed by: Bonnie Hunter, Quiltville

Block #1586
Designed by: Jen Shaffer, Patterns by Jen

Block #1590
Designed by: Sandra Starley, Textile Time Travels

Block #1593
Designed by: Elaine Theriault




See what other quilters are talking about over at Quilter Blogs

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Pumpkin Log - Day 4




Welcome!


Welcome to Melva Loves Scraps. 

Welcome to Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Volume 16 Block Tour Road Rally.
If this is your first visit to my blog, allow me to introduce myself to you over at the "About Me" page...





And welcome to my "Pumpkin Patch".  Today I am not only sharing some tips and hints about my Pumpkin Log Block, but I am sharing with you some of my favorite Pumpkin recipes.

First off, let's take a look at my block...



The idea for this block came to me several years ago... actually around the same time as I created "Pieces of My Heart" - in 2012..

As I developed the idea for this block I was sipping on a cup of chai tea with some homemade pumpkin spiced creamer.  So many of the prepared creamers include ingredients that are hard to pronounce and who really knows what they are???

So, here is a really simple AND yummy recipe to make at home - where you can control the ingredients... πŸ˜‰


Pumpkin Spice Creamer 

Ingredients
•1 can sweetened condensed milk
•1-1/2 cups skim milk, milk, half and half, or cream (you choose based on the fat content you prefer!)
•3 tablespoons canned pumpkin
•1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
•1/2 – 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, to taste

Instructions:
1.Combine ingredients in a container with a cover. Shake until combined, or use an immersion blender or traditional blender and blend until smooth.
2.Store, covered, in the fridge and shake/stir before using.



While the basics of my block are a log cabin, I used the stitch and flip method on the corners to offer a roundness to the pumpkin... You can see in some of my first pumpkin log blocks that they really needed the roundness added - note the lower block with the square top... not quite right.

And note that on the upper pumpkin the stem looks a little lost being in the orange of the pumpkin, not on top of the the pumpkin, like the lower one...



But this is how we learn, right?  Trial and error are the best teachers!

But of course, all that trial and error made me hungry!  It was time to stop for a break so I pulled out the recipe for some yummy Pumpkin Bars...  This recipe made its way to me via a friend of my sister-in-law Sharon, Denise... Thanks Denise and Sharon 😍




















Once I had refueled from all the trial and error stuff and I was satisfied with the final outcome of the pumpkins with the "rounded" corners and the stem on top of the pumpkin, I grew the pumpkin logs into a table runner... just perfect for a fall table.



One other tip... for the final "round" of the pumpkin I cut the strips a 1/4" wider than indicated in the pattern, to allow for a few "imperfect 1/4" seams".  We may try to be precise all of the time, but in reality, while we may try, a little extra allowance is sometimes needed.  When the entire block is pieced, trim to 12-1/2"

More recently, I was playing with some "wanky" pumpkins with some of my scraps.  I mean, not all pumpkins are perfect!



For this table runner that I was recently commissioned to make I played with some "bent" stems and am pleased with the result.


Now with all the pumpkins growing in the pumpkin patch I need one more recipe... And since I am on a restricted diet and am no longer allowed gluten products, among many other things, here is one that falls into my limitations AND still tastes good.  My husband even likes them!

It is from Elana's Pantry...


Nut-Free Pumpkin Crumb Muffins
Serves:8Muffins
Ingredients
  • Muffins
  • 5 large eggs
  •  cup canned pumpkin puree
  •  cup coconut sugar
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  •  teaspoon celtic sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  •  
  • Topping
  •  cup palm shortening
  •  cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
Instructions
  1. In a food processor, combine eggs, pumpkin, and coconut sugar
  2. Pulse in coconut flour, salt, baking soda, and pumpkin pie spice until well combined
  3. Divide batter between 8 paper lined muffin cups
  4. Rinse out food processor
  5. In a food processor, combine shortening and coconut sugar
  6. Pulse in coconut flour and cinnamon
  7. Sprinkle topping over cupcake batter
  8. Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes
  9. Cool 1 hour
  10. Serve
Recently, our grand-children enjoyed a trip to the local pumpkin patch...
The kiddos may be perfect, but just look at that "Wanky Pumpkin" on the right!



I hope that you have enjoyed your visit to my Scrappy Pumpkin Patch and that you will stop by again soon.  You can subscribe, or follow me on Bloglovin', but either way... Do stop by again.  You can also catch me on instagram @MelvaLovesScraps or on Facebook, again, Melva Loves Scraps

There are two opportunities to win a copy of Volume 16.  To be entered follow my blog, instagram or fb, and let me know which recipe you might try.

Be sure to stop by Quiltmaker too!  There are daily prizes to be won!  You don't want to miss out!

Happy quilting,

Melva


Here are the rest of the featured designers... 
Block #1559
Designed by: Cynthia Brunz, Cynthia Designs

Block #1560
Designed by: Kate Colleran, Seams Like a Dream

Block #1561
Designed by: Melissa Corry, Happy Quilting

Block #1530
Designed by: Abigail Dolinger

Block #1566
Designed by: Yvonne Fuchs, Quilting Jetgirl

Block #1567
Designed by: Leila Gardunia


Block #1597
Designed by: Anne Wiens, Sweetgrass Creative Designs