Monday, October 15, 2018

Save The Bees - Block 3

The Save The Bees block was a quick little project that I was able to do early in the morning before breakfast...

Early morning time in my studio is a favorite of mine and I'm not really sure why I don't do it more often.

Well, maybe because if I go in there early, I get lost in there and don't get all of the necessary "chores" done... okay, yep, that's it!

As I enjoyed my early morning studio time I was also sipped a cup of spiced Chai latte sweetened with a little honey...  

A few months ago several girlfriends and I were together for a weekend of being unplugged and reconnecting with each other.  

Every get together that we have is a special time and involves some special activity coordinated by a lovely gal that loves to ask questions.  She presented a scripture from Psalm 119...

"How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!"

She asked us to share what this verse means to each as an individual.

To me, my time with that group of ladies is like the honey in my tea.  I love my chai tea every morning with a splash of cream... but the honey in my tea is like my relationship with those ladies.

They are the ones that have been there by my side -  through the ups and downs, twists and turns and challenges of life... life made even sweeter by knowing they were lifting me in prayer and ready to step in to help when needed. 

What gives your life a little extra sweetness?

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

Quilt happy,

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

Friday, October 12, 2018

Moose Go Camping!

When Joan, at MooseStash Quilting, created this block "Moose Go Camping"  she had no idea how true of a statement that was for me!

It has been over two months since we had been camping with our daughter and her family!  How did this happen???

With deadlines for my husband in finishing a project he had been working on, unfortunate timing of poor weather and other events and trips, time just did not allow it. 

We were finally faced with, take a few days and go, or take the camper off of the truck.  As luck would have it... we had an appointment to get a new windshield in our jeep, as well as a need to get to Pueblo to see our daughters and grands, along with some errands (ie., shopping for a few items we cannot get locally).  

The weather was predicting cool temps and overnight rain, but we have a heater in our tiny, tiny home and it does not leak.  We enjoyed time watching a football game and spending time with the grands and then lunch at a local brewery and a nice visit with our daughter and her husband as we caught up on life and the progress of their new house being built.

But, NO!!! we are not taking the camper off.  We have plans to go south into New Mexico and Texas to enjoy some great bike trails.  

So... We. Must. Go. Camping.

We Moose Go Camping!

Camping is what we did... 

Upon our return home I finished the tent and moose... I noticed that as I appliqued this block my mood was improving as I progressed.  

I had started out a bit grumpy... okay, a lot grumpy, despite the recent night away.  

But as I enjoyed a cup of tea on a cloudy, drizzly afternoon, my mood was changing... 

As I shared on instagram... "There is nothing that a little faith, a cup of tea and some quilting cannot fix!" 

One "Moose Have Faith!"

What do you do to turn you mood around?
Leave a comment... I'd love to hear from you. :)

Quilt happy!

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

Linking with:

It's A Wild Life BOM at Sew Incredibly Crazy
BOMs Away at What A Hoot Quilts
Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts
Mid-Week Makers at Quilt Fabrication
Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter
Fiber Tuesday at The Quilting Room with Mel
Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River
Needle & Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation
Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Finished Or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilt

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Quilters Through The Generations - Deborah Wheeler

It has been a while since I have had a Generational Story to share... But Deborah Wheeler has graciously agreed to share her family's story of quilting through the generations.  

Her love for quilting is rooted deep in her DNA as she grew up with quilters all around her, playing under a quilt frame as a young child, and learning embroidery as a preschooler from her grandmothers.  

Many of her quilts are given as gifts as she enjoys sharing something she made that will not only keep them warm but also remind them of how much they are treasured.  

Thank you Deborah for sharing!  I enjoyed learning of your family... I am certain that others will as well.

Have YOU ever made a quilt or helped make a quilt?

I have both made and helped make quilts. 

Who helped you get started quilting?

My mom, Shirley Flinn,  and my grandmothers, Rose Flinn and Betty Zinn, got me started on handwork when I was very young (preschool age) by doing embroidery  and also getting me to help hand quilt whatever quilt happened to be in the frame. I was always encouraged to help even if my stitches were those of a beginner.  

I remember when I was too young to quilt, we would play under the frame as my mom, grandmothers or the ladies of our church women’s group quilted above us.  It is one of my earliest memories. I loved sitting around a quilt frame hand stitching with my mom and my grandmothers.  On my 50th birthday my Mom and my sisters helped me hand stitch a quilt I was making.  My mom has also helped me on another quilt I made.  She is a very accomplished hand-quilter.  She checked out my hand quilting and matched her stitches to mine so the quilt looks like it was quilted by one person (although her stitches were consistent and mine were not!)

Tell me about your first quilt...

I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t surrounded by quilts as my grandmothers and my mother quilted, as well as some of my aunts, great grandmothers and great aunts.  

Over the years I made a few quilts with help from my mom.  One was a friendship quilt - shown here -  we made in girls club at our church.  We each made blocks using tri-chem paints and put our name on the blocks.  My mom then hand quilted it for me.  

I also made a baby quilt for my husband’s niece when she was born and a couple of quilts when our oldest daughter needed a bed quilt as well as one for our bed (both from fortrel).  

I had to look up what fortrel was... turns out it is a polyester fabric developed by Fred Fortress - here is what I found.  
Fred Fortess, a developer of Fortrel polyester and holder of 40 patents, died Saturday in Philadelphia. Mr. Fortess, who was 77, worked on development of man-made rubber and easy-care and flame-retardant fabrics. He worked for 31 years for Celanese Corp., where he received patents for new fibers and dyeing and finishing processes.

The first quilt I made on my own was the fortrel quilt I made for our daughter. 

These quilts were made before I knew anything about quilting such as a quarter inch seam or how to match up seams. I used a template cut from a cereal box and scissors to make the blocks.  In spite of that, both of these quilts were well loved and are worn out. 

My other “first” quilt was made in the beginner class I took with my sister, at a local quilt store - The Quilting Bee - in 2005.  By this time my children were all teenagers or done with high school and I had time to pursue quilting, something I had always wanted to do.

I remember being so nervous with all the new tools that were available.  They sure made quilting a whole lot easier than cardboard templates.

Below is the quilt I made in that class.  

It was a simple row quilt.  We had a wonderful instructor who taught us all the basics of quilting. And I haven’t looked back.  It is something I love to do. 

I still have the quilt I made in that class.  I use it on the coldest of winter nights. I also have the fortrel quilt I made for our daughter and hope to take it apart, repair the top and put new batting and backing on it.

Who taught you to sew?

My mom, Shirley, taught me to sew and to hand-quilt.  She is an excellent seamstress. I also took Home Ec classes in school.  The teacher said I would do a lot better if I would follow her instructions but I thought my mom gave better instructions and they didn’t always agree with what the teacher said! 

My mother has made many quilts and continues to do so.  She makes a lot of whole cloth quilts that are hand quilted.  Each of her grandchildren received a baby quilt and her children all got at least one double size quilt for high school graduation.  They are well-loved.

I don't have a good picture of my mom's quilts because the quilting does not show well... but she usually does the orange peel quilting design which was traditional in my Grandma Rose Flinn's family. She does not piece many quilts but her hand quilting is wonderful.    She also includes either a ruffle or prairie points around the edge.  All our girls had the ruffle on their baby quilts... and one of them, as an adult, may still like to hold the ruffled edge when she sleeps. 

Mom made this car quilt that featured embroidered car blocks for my brother when he was a teenager.

Did your grand-mother(s) quilt?  Great-grandmother?

My maternal grandmother, Betty Zinn, and my paternal grandmother, Rose Flinn, both were expert quilters.  

My Grandma Zinn (pictured on the left) always had a quilt on the go.

Grandma Flinn (pictured on the right), who lived in the same farmyard as we did, would stop in to hand quilt whenever my mom had a quilt in the frame.  

These are very special memories for me.  My Great- Grandma Conway and Great-Grandma Boettger (my grandmother's mothers) were also quilters.  

Here is a four generation picture from 1959 of my Great Grandma Conway, my Grandma Zinn, my Mom Shirley and me (a baby).  Turns out we are all quilters.

My sister is the caretaker of a family heirloom crazy quilt (pictured below) made by my Grandma Flinn’s sisters in 1900 - this was the year my grandmother was born - prior to their move west from Ontario, Canada.  

When her sisters made this quilt they were ages 14, 12, and 6.  I also have aunts and great-aunts who are/were quilters.  These are the ones I know of and I am sure there are others both present and in the past who passed on this love of quilting through the generations.

My Grandma Rose Flinn was an excellent embroiderer and she, along with my mom, taught me to embroider.  I do not have either of their skills but still like to do handwork once in a while.

Have YOU taught someone to quilt?  

My daughter Cherilyn and I did the Oregon Shop Hop in 2007 and we made a quilt together using the blocks we collected.  My daughter still has it.  I didn’t win her over to quilting.  She said she will stick with stained glass.

How many quilts have you made?

I have made more than 50 quilts ranging in size from wall hanging to queen size.  My favourite blocks are friendship star and churn dash.  Plus I love house blocks.

Do you have a favorite quilt?

Hmmm...I like them all but I really do treasure the quilt (pictured below)  that my Grandma Zinn gave me for my high school graduation...   

...and the one (pictured below) that my mom made with fabric I purchased on a trip to Missouri when I was a teenager. (you'll notice the ruffled edge)

Do you participate in any quilt groups?

I did belong to a quilt guild for a while but found that with working full time I did not have time to work on my own projects so I have put that on hold until I no longer work full time.  

I do belong to an on-line facebook group, Prairie Quilt Militia, where we make mystery quilts and block of the month. I really enjoy the mystery quilts I have made with this group, two of which I finished this year.  (shown here...) 

There are also retreats for those who are close enough to attend.  It is a wonderful group.

What do you do with your quilts? 

Most of my quilts are given away to family.  This quilt was donated to Quilts of Valour.  I have given several others away... one quilt I gave to a community member going through treatment for cancer.  Another was given to a coworker when she entered a new chapter of her life. I find it very rewarding to know that something I have made will keep someone warm and also remind them of how much I treasure them.

I have never sold a quilt or entered any quilt competitions. I quilt for pure enjoyment and do not have a desire to enter any quilt competitions.
Where do you get your inspiration from? 

I get inspiration mostly from fabrics and colours.  I usually use patterns and then pick out colours that I love to work with or that the person whom the quilt is for will love. 

This year I made this Big Foot quilt for my husband for his birthday...

Bill is my biggest supporter of my quilt hobby and he is great at picking out colours for my quilts.

I also completed this rainbow quilt for our daughter and her husband for their anniversary this year.

What is your favorite part of quilting? 

My favourite part of quilting is the piecing.  I love small pieces.  And then hand stitching the binding. The hardest part for me is figuring out a quilting design.

Why do you quilt? 

I quilt because I love the whole process and find it very relaxing.  I also feel connected to my family's past because it is something that the women in our family have done for generations.


Deborah shared that she wouldn't always follow her Home Economics teacher's instructions because she had learned differently from her Mom.  

I, too, was a "rebel" in Junior High Home Economics...  During the clothing construction portion of the class the teacher wanted us to pin across the seam and sew over the pins.  I had been taught in 4-H that you should pin parallel to the seam and remove the pins as you approach them because sewing over them was just an accident waiting to happen when the needle hit the pin and would break.  

Now, with clothing construction as well as quilting, I will pin across the seam... but I NEVER sew over the pins (or if I do it is an accident).  I have had way too many broken needles.  And it is startling when it happens.  

So, which method were you taught in sewing?  
Do you sew over pins?  
Or do you remove the pins?

Feel free to leave a comment or question for Deborah as well...

I love to hear from my readers...

Quilt Happy,

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

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Save The Bees Block of the Month #2

In August I somehow found myself signed up for anther Block of the month that could involved applique over at Jaquelynne Steves' blog.  

I did applique the first block...  I then placed it in a wall hanging for the Welcome To My House blog hop earlier this month.

One of the options for this block of the month was to embroider the block.  I learned how to embroider when I was about 8 or 9 years old, and as a young Mom in my twenties, I enjoyed doing counted cross-stitch in the evening when the babies were tucked in for the night.  I found that it kept me awake by keeping my hands busy... otherwise, I would snooze on the couch for the evening.  I probably could have used the extra sleep, now that I think back.  

I really didn't have much interest in pulling out my collection of (now nearly vintage) embroidery thread, but I did want to try out some of the stitches on my machine.

I traced the pattern onto my fabric with a wash out pencil and then selected various colors to "paint" and outline the lines.  

I used the straight stitch and a stitch I call "lightning zigzag" for my outlines.   It offers a sort of "fuzzy" look to my bee and the flower stem and leaves, that I really like!

I then filled in the bee using fabric markers.  

I think because of all the applique that I have done in BOMs this summer, I found the slower pace with the "painting" relaxing.  

(These blocks were projects for me to enjoy on Sunday afternoons.  I try to make sure I don't "work" on Sunday in my studio and do something for fun, for me.)

I do like the fact that the fabric is not stiff from fusing pieces onto the background.

Honestly, I am not a fan of bees... they sting.  And it hurts.  I am grateful that I am not allergic to bee stings!

We tend to have more wasps or hornets in our area... I don't like them either!

But, a few years ago, when our dog was only a year old and still a very curious pup she would snap at flies and other insects that would bother her... 

She once enjoyed some mushrooms that were growing in our yard... that turned out very badly!  I still gag when I think of the mess...  *ugh*

On this particular day, as the photo shows below, she snapped at something that was a stinging insect!  

Poor thing... she earned herself a trip to the vet, a shot followed by some benadryl.  

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She has since become a smarter and more mature dog that no longer (or rarely) snaps at the insects... she shakes them off.  Oh, and she doesn't eat the mushrooms in our yard either!

Have you ever done any thread "painting"?  

I realize mine isn't really painting... 
or maybe it is just by a beginning artist!

I would love to hear about your techniques and any tips you might have... 

Leave a comment!  I love hearing from my followers. :)



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

Monday, September 24, 2018

2018 Color Challenge - Red Violet

The 2018 Monthly Color block pattern may have been simple and fast... but the fabric selection was not!

Red-Violet... my selection was limited.  I have used lots of various shades of purple, violet and lavender in the past with several of quilts that I donated to the local Alzheimer fundraising events.  But because of this... my options were limited, but I was sticking to my guns about using only fabric in my stash... I refused to purchase anything.

I had several pieces that were acceptable but were not large enough in size.  I have a fabric storage area in our guest room closet on the main level as well as a cabinet in the basement... and the scrap bin in my sewing room closet.  I must have walked back and forth at least 20 times in the hopes that something new would reveal itself.

In the end I finally settled...

I had to sew two pieces of the mottled red-violet fabric together to make it large enough.  It really isn't horribly noticeable, but it was not an ideal situation...  Sometimes you just have to accept the imperfections of life and move on!

If I were to do a second-chance block, I would make the corner squares four-patch blocks and do a totally scrappy look with the center nine-patch as well... 

This block was particular in "who it wanted to play with".  With scrappy blocks and quilts, the more the merrier!  You can just move a small piece around until it seems happy.  Something like a large group of people or a classroom... You can't seat Jimmy next to Adam because all they will do is fight.  And you can't seat Melody with Samantha because they are too much alike and will just get lost together...  You see, you want contrast as well as blending, but sometimes it takes placing a Billy or a Jennifer in between two "clashers" or two "too much alikes" to bring everything into peaceful a harmony.

In the music world, melody is the lead... harmony is to enhance the sound and offer a depth to the song.  It is meant to support the melody, not overtake it.  And when done properly, it can be a beautiful sound... However, if harmony overtakes the melody it sounds "off" and when someone sings the harmony part alone, well, let me be honest... it can be down right awful.

Finding the balance in music, as well as life, can be a challenge.  And when all is well balanced, it can be beautiful!  But when out of balance... things don't sound well or go well.  This is where I seem to be right now... life seems a little out of tune.

Image may contain: 9 people, including Dana Harvey Storch, Melva Nolan, Betty Flores and Phyllis Dana Beals, people smiling, people standing and indoor

I haven't had any needle and thread action for a number of days because of a class reunion event {{How is it possible that 35 years have passed??}}... It was definitely a good time, but I have MISSED my creative outlet/therapy!!!!  I think I will see if a scrappy version of this block can help to bring things back into balance.  

What do you do when things feel a little off?  

I'd love to hear from you!  Leave a comment below. :)

Seek Piece and find Peace...


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

Linking with:
2018 Color Challenge at Patterns By Jen
BOMs Away at What a Hoot Quilts
Main Crush Monday at Cookin' Up Quilts
Monday Making at Love, Laugh, Quilt
O Scrap at Quilting is more fun than housework

Friday, September 21, 2018

It's A "Wild" Life :: He's So Foxy

Carole over at Just Let Me Quilt has created another super cute block for the It's A Wild Life Block of the Month...

Again, it is so cute foxy, I hardly minded the applique!

At the beginning of the summer Dave and I headed just a mere 80 miles to our north to Pueblo Lake State Park for a few days.  We enjoyed some time with our kiddos since they all live in Pueblo.  How convenient for them... and fun for us!

Image may contain: outdoor, text and nature

On our last morning at the park we followed a paved path that winds its way from near the camp ground and visitor's center to the Arkansas River.  It actually goes all the way into downtown Pueblo... (we want to enjoy the trail again soon, now that the hot summer temps are going away soon.)  

As we rode our bikes and enjoyed the view and the quiet Dave noticed some activity not far from the fish hatchery.  We both stopped and watched a Momma fox with two kits romp and play.  

Image may contain: outdoor
Shortly after our return home my photographer friend, Cindy,  shared some great shots she captured of a family of foxes that were in her backyard.

Be sure to show her some love over on instagram...

Image may contain: grass, outdoor, text and nature

And one final one...  This one just makes me laugh!

Image may contain: outdoor

Now you may have noticed that I wandered from the original pattern (I simply cannot follow a pattern.  I mean, maybe if my life was dependent upon it, but even then... )  I just HAD to sneak in some piecing... Using another orphan log cabin block from my Farmland quilt, I created the grass (similar to what I did in the Lunchtime block in July.

I then paper pieced my tree and then basically "filled in" the sky area.  I used a short cut on the flowers by using some sunflowers from my stash.

I was told by a little birdie that the October block likely includes applique... I am not surprised!  I am over it.  The whining and complaining that is.  I will find a way around or through it.  

Watching wildlife can be quite entertaining.  We have been lucky enough to have turkey, deer, elk, bear and mountain lions in our yard - most without any damage or harm.  (The mountain lion was trapped and removed...)  I once saw a bobcat cross our yard!

My husband used to do lots of hunting... I know not everyone is a fan, but bear with me - he is a wise and moral hunter, though he doesn't hunt much anymore.  

He favorite was bow season for deer.  In the early hours of the morning he would watch deer come into the area.  He liked it best when does would come in with their fawns.  He would never draw to shoot in such a case, rather, he would drop acorns, twigs or leaves from the stand and watch them.  He had many stories of the young deer looking around (but never up) to see where they were coming from... and he would never startle them in such situations, but chose to wait for them to quietly leave the area before exiting his stand. 

Last fall we had five to six deer in our yard that would frequently cause both of us to pause our work and watch them as they wandered in our yard. 

What is your favorite wildlife creature to watch?

I'd love to hear from you!  Leave a comment below to let me know...  

Piece Peacefully...

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

Linking with:
It's A Wild Life BOM at Sew Incredibly Crazy
BOMs Away at What a Hoot Quilts
Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts
Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River