Saturday, July 22, 2017

Quilters Through the Generations - Carol Schleich

As part of the Through the Generations series, I introduce you to my Mom, Carol Schleich.

In the first post of this series - Quilters Through the Generations, I needed to ask her about the vintage quilt (shown below)... She answered my question about the vintage quilt (yes, it was made by one of her grandmothers), but I was corrected by being told that it is NOT a quilt... but rather a comforter.  She explains...

A comforter is made out of squares sewn in strips, and usually had a sheet blanket (made of flannel) in addition to the batting for extra warmth in the winter.  This comforter was made by my Paternal Grandma Teegarden, Lala, in the late 30’s or early 40’s.  

For each birthday, as well as Christmas Grandma T.  would give a gift of  pajamas to everyone.  She then used the scraps to create the comforters.  Every family member would eventually receive a comforter as a gift.   The one pictured above was given to Forrest and Tressie Teegarden - my parents.

This is my comforter that Grandma made me for Christmas when I was 10.  Grandma taught me to sew on her treadle machine when I was ten.  I sewed rows and rows of blocks together. 

Lala was very active with the Christian Church Quilters as well as other social groups.  Here she was featured in the local (Trinidad, CO) newspaper in May of 1916 (more than 100 years ago!).... back when they reported on social events and not just news stories that emulate the drama of current times...

You should take note that "tacking comforters" is referred to in this story...

Here is Carol with her Grandmothers - Lala (left) and Myrtle (right) - 

Lala Teegarden made this quilt for me in 1948 for my 8th birthday. This is called Monkey wrench.

  Tell me about your first quilt - 

My first quilts were nursery rhyme quilts with  12-inch blocks that my Mom (Tressie Teegarden)  had embroidered.  She did two sets - one for you and for Kelvin (my brother).  I pieced them with sashing strips and machine quilted them. 

That was the end of my quilting for a while, until I moved back to Trinidad and my daughter, Melva got started in a block of the month club.  She did it one year, then the second year she invited my mother, Tressie Teegarden, (pictured above) and me to the club.  I pieced the blocks and then put it together with the stepping stone and path.  Completed in 2005.

Did your mom quilt? 

Yes, Tressie was taught to do hand sewing by her mom - Myrtle Werden.  She did all sorts of fancy seams and embroidery. She did lots of fancy things for her hope chest - pillow cases, dish towels, napkins, etc.  

This applique heart quilt was made by Tressie Teegarden late 30’s early 40’s. It has the corner stones and path. It was quilted by Lala Teegarden.

Years later Tressie pieced two more of them - sometime in the 80’s.   It also has the corner stones and path.  One was pink and one was blue.  She had a group of quilters in La Junta quilt them.  I chose the blue one and gave the pink one to my brother Forrest.

While Tressie's fancy hand stitches (and china painting) were exquisite, her piecing wasn't quite as precise...  

How many quilts have you made?

I made this Red, white and blue star quilt  for myself to curl up under on the couch. There are a few paper pieced blocks like the Mariner's compass in this quilt.  After making those blocks I decided that I don't like paper piecing.

My husband,Melvin, would use the Signature quilt that Melva had made from his mom's collection of blocks to cover up with while in his recliner in the winter...

But after finishing my Red/White/Blue quilt he decided he needed something longer to cover him as he sat in the recliner, so I made  this scrappy quilt in 2009.

I made a couple of quilts for my Trinidad High School Class of 1958 reunions - Both were given to classmates through a drawing.  One was just a scrappy quilt pieced in the shape of a "T" and the other included photos of some of the area landmarks.  

I may have missed a few, but I have helped with lots of quilts

Did your Maternal Grandma quilt?
Yes, Myrtle Werden, pieced this red and white snow ball with a nine patch quilt, I would guess in the 1930's, but never quilted it. Somehow I ended up with it so I finished it with machine quilting.  I had it on our bed for many years.

It would seem that there may be a quilting gene...

Are YOU from a family of quilters?  I would be happy to share stories of YOUR family Quilting Through the Generations.  Simply leave a comment stating as such and I will email you a questionnaire. (if you are a no-reply blogger be sure to leave your email address in the comments)

Happy Quilting!


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

It's In The Bag

There hasn't been much quilting going on in my studio lately... However, it doesn't mean that I haven't been in there!

I've been doing some wedding dress alterations... You know, every wedding dress NEEDS pockets... 

And I did some fitting alterations as well - A tuck here, a tuck there... and then there was the hem.

We hemmed and hawed (Haha - Get the pun?)about how to do it... you see it has a lace overlay that has a scalloped edge of lace sewn on at the hemline.  Do we take the lace off, shorten it and then sew the lace back on?  Or do we fold it under so that the scalloped edge is still at the bottom???  

In the end it came down to (my) time and (her) money so the bride decided to have me just fold the edge.  

I am happy to say that the dress is safely tucked away in my closet until the day of her bridal shower, when I will deliver it.


And with my small herd of animals made of vintage quilts completed for now, I had a little time on my hands.  FUN!

Have you ever used vintage quilts for a project?  
What have you made with them?

My sister-in-law had shared pictures several weeks ago of some lovely bags that she had made as end-of-the-year gifts for her son's teachers.  
They were super cute and super easy and fast!

The tutorial from Crazy Little Projects can be found here...

Easy Tote Bag Tutorial

Her tips to me were...

- I use outdoor fabric so it's super easy to clean.
- I make the straps an inch or two longer than she calls for (you can always make longer and throw it over your shoulder to get an idea of where it will land and cut some off if it's too long. Hard to make it longer if it's too short!)
- When you are placing the straps, her photo is incorrect. You want the side of the straps with the seam touching right sides with the inner fabric.

I dove into my fabric closet and found three fabrics that are not of the typical fabric used for quilting and the amazingly they matched pretty well... The inside is a green corduroy.

I have a new item to be offered at the next Farmer's market!

My tips... I added a line of top stitching to the bag.  It adds a level of "professional" (or purchased) look.  It will also add to the strength of the bag by preventing the seam to pull if it gets overloaded.

My other tip, since turning the long handle is described in the tutorial as time consuming and tedious... of course, I used a short cut!

Fold the fabric for the handle in half, lengthwise.  Press one edge in 1/4" the length of the handle.

Fold the opposite edge so that it is 1/4" over the center fold and press

You then need to line up the two raw edges of the handle - so that the folded edge covers the raw edge...

Press and sew...
No turning required!

It is time for me to get back to quilting... Well, maybe after another bag or two... or three.

Do you have any time saving tips that you pull out for similar situations?  

Please share! I'd love to hear from you.
Happy Sewing!

See what other quilters are talking about over at QuilterBlogs

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Quilters Through the Generations - Mae Weller

Today I introduce to you a cousin, Mae Weller. Technically she and I are first cousins, once removed.  Or is it second cousin?? But does that really matter??? No.  The fact is we have a branch in our family trees that bear the same names.  I often refer to Mae as "my Quilting Cousin".

Have you ever made a quilt? - Yes, I have made quite a few quilts.

If so, who got you started quilting? My friend, Kerrie, has been on this journey with me from the beginning, (2009).  I met Kerrie and her husband, Jake at church where we were in Bible studies together.  We got to talking about quilting and I told her that I had tried to do one on my own, but it didn’t quite turn out because I really didn’t know what I was doing.  (shown below)  

She encouraged me to take a class at Great American Quilt Factory in Denver. (They have since closed)  I made this purple/green/gray sampler quilt in class.  It hangs on the wall above my bed.

Did my mother/father quilt? My mother (Yvonne Weller) and father (Richard Weller) made a quilt for me when I was a child.  It was a very simple quilt with 4” or 5” squares.  My mother did the sewing and my father helped her tie it with yarn.  I am sad that I don’t know what ever happened to it.

My Paternal Grandmother, Luna Weller, was an avid quilter.  I have one of her quilts.  I believe this Wedding Ring Quilt was one that she made before she got married.  

My dad has told me the story of the times that they traveled from Wray, Colorado to Trinidad, Colorado when he was a small child.  They were visiting my great-grand parents, William and Atchafalya (Lala) Teegarden. (This is where our family tree/branches converge - we have the same Great-Grandmother) The women would sit around a quilting frame set up in the living room and quilt while they visited. Since my dad was so young, he was not allowed to go play with the bigger kids and had to sit with the ladies.  From his comments, I don’t think he was too happy about that!

Have you taught someone to quilt? Yes, I have been teaching my daughter, Amanda, to quilt.  We made this pink quilt for her best friend’s new baby girl.  

We also made this Hazel the Hedgehog quilt for her cousin (my niece), Erin for her wedding. She has made several rag quilts for her friends and is currently working on one all by herself and I couldn’t be more proud!  She does not sew as much as she would like as she is a working mom of 4 boys, (5 if you count her hubby!)

My mom, Yvonne, taught me to sew when I was probably 7 or 8, and I would make doll clothes, and some simple things.  I was in 4-H with my best friend, Colleen Kelley and her mom, Shirley was our leader.  This must have been during Junior High.  My mom, or myself made all of my clothes, including prom dresses and my mom even made my wedding dress.

My mother-in-law, Georgia Ramion, also sewed and we would do projects together.  I can remember going camping together with my parents and my in-laws at Reudi Reservoir.  The guys would go fishing and the girls would have hand sewing projects that we would pull out and do while we enjoyed the mountains.  Mike, my older brother’s first wife, Kathy, sewed as well and she fit right in with the rest of us when they would join us on our camping trips.

How many quilts have I made? I lost track after 20 – I have tried to keep a quilt journal to keep track of my quilts and who they were made for and a little about each one, but it is a little out of date.  A good project for retirement in a couple of years. 

I don’t have a favorite block.  I like to try different ones with each new project.

Do you participate in any quilt groups? Yes, I was a member of the Arapahoe County Quilt Guild when I lived in Denver, now I belong to the Tucson Modern Quilt Guild. 
The Arapahoe guild had speakers that would come and do a program on a topic, such as the use of colors, how to work with curves, etc. They were involved with some of the quilt shows in town.
The Tucson Guild is a smaller guild and we have a show and tell where you can bring in your projects to show, or get help with something you are having trouble with. We sometimes have someone speak, often times, a member of the guild. They will show us a technique one month and then the next month we bring in a project using that technique. Tucson also has "sew days" where we get together on a Saturday and work on projects, either our own or a charity quilt. Last year we made a paper pieced quilt of a modified Arizona Star block that we sent to Quilt Con in Atlanta, just for show, we did not submit it for judging. That was fun! Tonight we are having our Ice Cream social! A great group of ladies!

Have you entered any competitions? No and I really don’t have any desire to enter any. I have not sold any quilts either.

Where do you get your inspiration from? People’s interests that I am making quilts for.  I am in the process of finishing up a book-shelf quilt for my sister-in-law, Toni Weller, as she is a teacher-librarian at a high school and she loves books.  Also, I love bright colors and the fabrics call to me every time I visit a fabric/quilt shop.

What is your favorite part of quilting? I love trying to do my own designs (well they are usually just a version of something I have seen and I put my own twist on them).  I have access to a drafting program, Autocad, and have used it to help me design a couple of quilts.  I have since heard of a program called “Sketch Up” and have downloaded it, but have not played with it too much yet.  I will use it more after I retire and no longer have access to Autocad. I also love the piecing of the tops.  I am not too skilled in the actual quilting, but I recently purchased a small long-arm machine and have been practicing on it.

Why do I quilt? It is my happy place.  I can totally lose myself in my sewing room for hours.  I love the fabrics, I love the sewing and it helps me satisfy the tiny bit of creativity that I have. Most of what I do for my job is very rigid, very geometric.  Quilting helps me take the rigidness out, but helps me keep the geometry in, and sometimes, helps me see outside of the box.

What do you do with your quilts? Well, I have given away quite a few, but there are those that I want to do just for me.  So it is a pretty good mix of one for someone else, one for me. I have them hanging on my walls, or I use them for table toppers, or use them to curl up with.  There have been some that I have helped with that have gone to different charities.  

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Scraps... of a different kind

I had spent weeks preparing for the Farmer's Market and  was looking for a bit of a "change in scenery" when it was done.

I pulled out my collection of scrapbooking supplies and rummaged through the brochures, maps and souvenirs - things I had saved over the last four (yes, 4!) years.  I pulled out stacks of pictures - which, thankfully, had been sorted and placed in chronological order (at least for the first few years) and I started creating pages...

In 2013 our life changed dramatically when Dave left the college and we became self-employed.  It was a tumultuous time full of emotions and hard decisions... but going back through the pictures reminded me that, though it was difficult at the time, we are much happier (and healthier) than we could have imagined.  

I didn't spend a great deal of time embellishing the pages... I pretty much wanted to simply get them in the book.  But once I had 2013 "In the book" I took a bit more time and care with 2014.

It too was filled with emotion, but much more joyous events!

We celebrated our oldest daughter's wedding with family and loved ones by our sides and we welcomed our little "Sweet Tater"

She earned that name while her Momma was in labor and asking for a Baconator from Wendy's and sweet potato fries from Carl's Jr. for dinner as soon as Emma was delivered.  You see, it was late in the afternoon and she hadn't had anything to eat since dinner the night before... and she was HuNgRy!  Thus, the name "Sweet Tater".

With 2014 completed I was prepared to carry on and get completely caught up... I had it all out and was ready, but was unable to locate the pictures for 2015... Ooops!  It seems I didn't take the time at the end of that year (as I have in previous years) to do a giant order of prints. {{I did have photos of all my 2015 quilts, though.}}

So... it was time to pack it all up and set it aside, and place an order for prints (**and double check that I had 2016**).  

I had a pleasant break from the frenzy of sewing that took place in June and I am ready to return to sewing. In fact... I have completed the alterations of the wedding dress for my daughter's best friend (she requested pockets!) and I am ready for some projects that involve turning some vintage quilts into some decorative items - a pig and a cat to be exact.

Come back and see how they turn out.  

What do you do when you need a break from you sewing studio?

Thanks for joining me!



Saturday, July 8, 2017

Quilters... Through The Generations

I am beginning a new series on Melva Loves Scraps that will feature families that quilt.  I'm not sure of the frequency of this series or the length of the series... But I am super excited about it!

I hope that you will find it as interesting as I do.  Heritage is so important and sharing the stories of quilters and the quilts they made are important as well.

The whole idea started because I have a vintage quilt sitting in my cedar chest downstairs that I know was made by a Great-Grandmother but that is all I know. (I think...  I guess I don't really know.)

It is a simple scrappy quilt (one of my favorite!) made up of 4-inch squares and tied at the corners...

I have heard stories of my Grandma and Great-Grandmothers being quilters but didn't know much in the way of details of their lives or the quilts that they made.  So I reached out to a few of my cousins and asked for their help.  This is where the idea for a series came about.


To kick off this series I have answered a few questions that I shared with my Mom and cousins...

Name -   Melva Nolan

Have YOU ever made a quilt?    Yes - lots! My mom taught me to sew while in 4-H but I started quilting as an adult.

If so, who got you started quilting?  My friend Diana invited me to a “Block of the month” club in 2002 and I was hooked.

Tell me a story about your first quilt. 

My very first quilt was completed in 1993 – I has cross-stitched blocks of a wild rose arranged in a checker board pattern.  I really had no idea what I was doing when I quilted it – turns out I did a “quilt as you go” kind of thing by creating sandwiches with the blocks, batting and some interfacing and then assembled the blocks together.  I then made a backing that was stitched into place at the seams along the borders and at the binding. I managed to fumble my way through... 
It was on our bed for years – until I finished my first BOM quilt in 2003.  It now resides in my cedar chest next to the vintage quilt that I referred to above. :)

Does your mother quilt? What is her name?  
Yes, Mom (Carol Schleich) has made several quilts.  After the first year of me doing the Block of the month thing I invited her along the next year. 

This is one of the quilts we made together for the Walk to Remember Alzheimer event in my Dad’s honor…

Over the years she has told me a story of  her childhood and helping her Grandma and friends do some hand quilting.  She felt pretty good and had been encouraged by her Grandma and the other ladies.  After leaving the house and returning shortly afterward because she had left something behind, she walked in to see her Grandma picking out her stitches.  Ooops!

How about a grand-mother?    
I believe my maternal Grandma (Tressie) Teegarden did make some quilt tops that Mom later had quilted by a group of quilters in La Junta, CO.  She used the applique technique.  
(Come back to see pictures when I feature my Mom - Carol Schleich)

My paternal Grandma (Katherine - Katy) Schleich passed away a few years before I was born, but years later I ended up with some signature blocks from a collection of “stuff” that was passed onto me when her daughter, (my aunt) Clara Wirth passed away.  I cherished those blocks, patterns, crochet thread and fabric.  All of the names embroidered on the blocks were familiar to me having grown up hearing stories of these families told by Dad and his siblings as well as my Grandpa Schleich.  There was not a block with her signature so I pulled out a copy of her citizenship certificate, traced her signature onto a piece of fabric and embroidered it.  Using some of the vintage 1930’s fabric from her collection I completed a block featuring her name.  I then arranged the blocks (of inconsistent sizes due to varying seam allowances) onto a larger piece of fabric and appliqued them.  I gave the small quilt to my Dad.  Mom still has it and eventually, when I end up with it again, I may pull the blocks off and do something different with them, though I don't really know what...  
(Again, come back to see pics... )

Sadly, there are no descendants of the families whose name appear on the blocks in the community.

The BOM club that I got started in featured 1930's reproduction fabrics.  I pulled out my Grandma Schleich’s vintage collection of fabric and made a block using her fabric as well.  So by the end of the year I had two sets of blocks.  

These monthly gatherings were during the same year that my Grandma Teegarden had been moved back to Trinidad.  Each month I would make the blocks and then visit with her and show her the blocks.  We discussed colors, patterns and prints and some of her memories of growing up in Trinidad and being a young lady in that era.

These quilts hold some very special memories of our time together…  I called the quilts “Getting to know Grandma” (I and II) because as I spent time with Grandma T I also felt a special connection with my Grandma S through her fabric.

Have YOU taught someone to quilt?   
I have helped both of my girls make quilts...  

Heather has made several baby quilts for friends and has one work-in-progress of her collection of CSU-Pueblo t-shirts. (It has been moved to the "on hold" pile since becoming a Mommy...) 

Rebecca made one quilt – in 2009.  She had a difficult time getting the blocks to be uniform in size and got frustrated with it and was ready to call it quits.  I jumped in and encouraged her to finish, helped her to find the smallest blocks and then either trimmed the other blocks down or picked out a few stitches and made some adjustments.  I’m pretty sure she has done very little quilting since then.

I also taught a good friend how to do a “Quilt In A Day”.  We made a throw size or crib sized quilt using the quilt-as-you-go technique in 2006.  She continues to make these sorts of quilts as quick gifts for church members welcoming a new baby to their family.

Watch for future stories featuring Quilters... Through The Generations.  In fact, I have added a tab at the top of my blog where I will link directly to each Through the Generations post.

Are there generations of quilters in your family? Let me know!  I would be happy to work with you and your family to help document the stories of your family's quilts and quilters.

Happy Quilting!


See what other quilters are talking about at QuilterBlogs