Monday, May 21, 2018

Art With Fabric Blog Hop

Welcome to the Art with Fabric blog hop!  

And welcome to Melva Loves Scraps.

If this is your first visit to my blog, I encourage you to take a look around... you can learn a bit about who I am on the About Me tab; 

Take a quick tour of my studio (though the "tour" needs to updated since I added a second sewing table that is home to my Babylock Jazz that I received at Christmas.  The cutting table was replaced); 

There is a small gallery that features some of my most favorite and/or unique quilts that I have made... 

And one of my absolute favorite "spaces" of my blog is the Quilters Through The Generations page where you can easily find all of the quilters that have been featured in this unique series where the stories of multiple generations are told. You will hear stories and memories of being taught to sew/quilt by sitting on a grandmother's lap, helping to hand quilt at a quilting bee or being "tucked out of the way" as children played under a quilt frame as the ladies quilted.  

I have a passion for vintage quilts, as well as the history of the quilts.  When ever I find a quilt I always wonder... who was this made for?  Who was the maker?  Was it for a special occasion? A wedding?  Perhaps a graduation?  To welcome a new baby?  You know all of the pertinent information that should be included on a label to document the work of art that quilts are...

Sorry for that rabbit trail... back to the Art with Fabric blog hop!  My maternal grandmother was an artist.  I have many, many hand-painted china pieces from her, including a ten-piece place setting of fine china, several water colors and I happen to know where I could get several acrylics and oil paintings, should I ever have a need for them. 😉  But for my inspiration I turned to an area in my past work experience - architecture.  

In 1986 I worked for Burnidge, Cassell and Associates when they had an office in Elgin, IL.  I was their secretary/receptionist and assisted with the payroll at a time that their offices were expanding quickly.  Charles Burnidge was the "guy in charge"... it was from him and a few others that I learned about the importance of natural light, clean lines and angles.  Charles liked lots of angles.  The BC&A design style was easily distinguishable, though not as well known as Frank Lloyd Wright's "style".

I am aware that there is a walking tour of his designs in Chicago (and would someday enjoy the tour should we ever make it back to the area), but when I started searching for FLW architecture his windows stood out to me.  

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The Robie  House and The Falling Water House are among his most notable designs.

See the source image

The clean lines he created in this Prairie style house and the windows caught my attention... and then I started looking for some of his stained glass windows...

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  His Tree of Life Mosaic was often part of his design...

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And then I stumbled upon this picture on pintrest...  I immediately knew this was the piece of art I wanted to make with fabric!

I contacted the FLW Foundation seeking permission to reproduce this piece, but never receive a response to my message that explained what I was wanting to do and why.  

So, with no further ado...  

I used a decorative stitch to create the "stained glass lead lines" and stippled only the white to create the wavy glass look.

I think it will be stunning as a wall hanging or on a long dining room table...

What is your favorite art inspiration for quilting?  

A few months ago I was playing with some fabric art postcards.  While art, they are not replicating a famous artist's work... 

They are still art...  just my own photographs of some area land marks.  

You can get the entire story over at my Small, Smaller,  Smallest post 

As a bonus... I am giving away a pattern for a free style pieced quilt (directions for a throw size or queen size) - Picasso's Quilt

Want a chance to win this?  Leave a comment before May 25th!  I will be doing a random drawing for the winner.  If you are a no-reply blogger, be sure to leave your e-mail address with your comment so that I can contact you (ie - davemelvanolan at aol dotcom).  Good luck and thanks for stopping by.  

I hope that you have enjoyed your visit today and plan to follow along with my quilting projects and adventures by subscribing via e-mail (in the right-hand side bar), on Bloglovin', on facebook or instagram.

Be Inspired... Make Art,


I extend many thanks to Alida at Tweety Loves Quilting for making this hop a fun hop and to each and every visitor for making it a successful hop!  Be sure to visit all of the other bloggers all this week. 

Monday, May 21st


Tuesday, May 22nd


Wednesday, May 23th


Thursday, May 24th

Friday, May 18, 2018

Let's Go Camping :: Things You Do

Pat Sloan Lets Go Camping block 5 banner

Last fall we had planned a trip to Yellow Stone.  This was a trip that we have had on our "bucket list" of places to go for years.  Like 20 some years... we just never made it.  Other things took precedence... things like family weddings, Girl Scout trips and camps... you know, life in general.

We had our camp reservations and as the time drew closer we started watching the fire danger and the weather reports.  

Fire danger and air quality were a real concern since there were fires in the area.  And then the weather turned cool with moisture moving in.  It was only going to be one or two days with about 20% chance of showers.  No biggie... we can handle it.  And then they were suddenly talking about every day with showers.  We purchased rain gear and we were still not daunted.

The camper was basically loaded and they predicted snow.  WHAT???  We packed in our winter gear, but not thrilled about it.  **sigh**

It came down to the day before we were to leave and my husband suggested a sudden change in plans.  You can read the entire story over at Our Mountain Town Vacation.

In short, we visited some mountain towns and enjoyed some long bike rides.  The ride that stands out to me is when we rode (ok, pushed) our bikes up the original Wolf Creek Pass near Pagosa Springs, CO... well, as far as we could go because there was a downed tree laying across the trail.  

We enjoyed the view for a bit and then began our descent down the trail.  


Pat Sloans' Things You Do block reminded me of the downed tree... because though the setting of these blocks is designed to be on point, mine will be square - meaning that my block is going to look like a fallen tree...

I can't wait for more fun this year!  The camper is ready to go and so am I.

What do you do when you go camping?
Do you know of some great trails to ride?

Leave a comment and let me know.  I love to hear from my readers.



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

Linking with:
BOMs Away at What a Hoot Quilts
Can I Get A Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict
TGIFF at Thank Goodness it's Finished Friday
Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts
Finished Or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Riding the Rails

I needed an item to donate for an upcoming fundraiser event that a family friend is assisting with.  The church's youth group is raising funds for a Mission Trip to South Dakota and they are holding a dinner, as well as offering some Musical Entertainment and a silent auction.

I could have easily pulled something from my inventory for the summer Farmer's Market... something like a purse or a casserole carrier... but my mind kept wandering to the train fabric I had in the closet - Thomas the Train and some fun novelty print train fabric...

I also had in mind a big block style pattern - one that I have used a few times before... but couldn't find because I had re-organized all of my pattern books and magazines a few months ago.  I pulled my stack of magazines and searched - page by page - three times and finally gave up.

I remembered the basic dimensions so I drew up a quick sketch and started pulling some coordinating fabrics.

There was a lot going on with the flying geese!  

I started searching for border fabric and felt like it needed some solids to calm everything down.

What a difference that made!  Thank goodness!  Because I was pretty disappointed and discouraged because it was not all that I had hoped for... I even considered tossing the whole thing aside because it drove me NUTS!  

Once the borders did their magic and calmed it all down I sandwiched the quilt and was ready to use my handy-dandy new stippling template.  I love it!

As I pieced and quilted this quilt I considered some creative options for a photo shoot.  We have a train crossing just 1/4 mile down our road that I thought give a try.  With quilt and camera in hand I headed down the road... a few people staring at me as I carried the quilt. 

One idea I had, but could not make work very well was hanging it on the crossing pole.  The wind was blowing, I wasn't quite tall enough to get it draped just right and I could have used a few clothes pins to hold it in place.  But again, I had a good time trying some creative shots.

It is my hope that all in attendance of the fundraising dinner have fun in support of the youth.

When faced with a look that is not all that you had hoped for, what do you do?  
Do you have another tip or suggestion to "fix" or calm down the busy look?

I would love to hear from you!  Leave a comment and share your thoughts...

Keep Calm and Quilt On,


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

Linking with:
Movin' it Forward Monday at Em's Scrap Bag
Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication
Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter
To Do Tuesday at Stitch All The Things
Fiber Tuesday at Quilting Room with Mel
Linky Tuesday at Free-Motion by the River
Let's Make Baby Quilts at Michelle's Romantic Tangle

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Happy Mother's Day

Mother's day can sometimes be tough to navigate...

I think many mom's can relate to this sentiment...

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I know I can!

I would venture to say that my own mom has felt this...

My children are grown adults and have lives of their own.  This was the whole reason for raising independent children, right?

But not everyone has the mushy, Hallmark-y feelings of being "best friends" with mom when they consider their relationship with their own Mom.  

It is because of what I we learned from our own parents - because I certainly did not raise the girls on my own... {{and for those that are single moms, I cheer you!  You must have an amazing support system...}} It is because of what we learned that helped us to become the parents of strong-willed, independent thinking, considerate and compassionate young adults that are examples to others around them on what is like to do the "right" thing.  

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms -- wannabe moms, birth moms, stepmoms, bonus moms, adoptive moms, mentor moms and spiritual moms. And especially to friends for whom this holiday will be hard. Friends who will be standing by gravesites this Mother’s Day. Friends whose moms haven’t been a part of their lives in many years. And those who have challenging relationships with their moms who try to navigate Mother’s Day with grace but some necessary distance. Have a blessed day 


Saturday, May 12, 2018

Quilters Through The Generations - David Stemple

Today I am excited to introduce you to David Stemple - also known as The Quilt Engineer.  He describes himself as a Certified trainer in various Law Enforcement related curriculum, certified Special Operations (Senior Operator), Quilter, and an experienced Leader and Motivator!!!!  

When I contacted Tish and David about being part of this series as a husband and wife quilting family.  What I didn't know at the time, is that they both were from families with lots of quilters in them.  What a treasure trove!

Enjoy Dave's story...

Have YOU ever made a quilt?
I am happy to say I have made several quilts. My first sewing experience was in 7th grade home  economics class, making a pillow.  My next sewing experience was two years ago when my wife, Tish Stemple, taught me to quilt.

Tell me a story about your first quilt.

If you are talking about the first thing I pieced,  the pattern was called Blue Skies/Sunny Days and I was pattern testing for the designer, Sandra at mmm!quilts
This quilt hangs in our living room.  I entered it into our local quilt show and brought home an honorable mention.

The first full quilt from start to finish I made was the Added Up Quilt.  I found it in a magazine at the house and made it for my sister.  The pattern designer was Libs Elliot.  Each of the non-red pluses represent a member of our family and their favorite color.

Did your mother quilt? 

My mother, Bonita Stemple (pictured with Dad, Larry), was a quilter. She liked to make applique quilts. I don't have any pictures of her quilts, but one of my best memories was her sitting down and looking at the top I made for her without her knowing it was for her. She sat on the floor with crossed legs at 60+ years of age and just looked and looked.

How about a grand-mother?  

My paternal grandmother, Mildred “Midge” Stemple, loved to  quilt.  Here are a few of her quilts.

The quilt below was hand quilted (photo  of my grandparents,"Midge" and "Tilley"), showing the detail from the back of the quilt.

Have YOU taught someone to quilt?   
I haven't actually taught anyone to quilt.  But I have led a class on my pattern Star Blossoms at the local quilt shop - Bolts and Quarters - in Parkersburg, WV.  It was a small class with just two participants.  I always enjoy teaching and actually within my agency I work for, that is my actual job. I am temporarily reassigned but my actual job title is lead trainer. I did enjoy teaching but learned a lot and would do things differently. Specifically having all fabric pre-cut.

How many quilts have you made?
If my numbers are correct, I have made (tops and finished quilts) 32 quilts.

Do you have a favorite block?
I love simple half square triangles.  You can do so many different things with them.

Do you have a favorite quilt?

I recently did a quilt based on Liz at Savor Every Stitch’s Haphazard quilt generator. I absolutely love the version I created I call Fractured.

Second runner up would be Cheryl Brickey’s Looking Glass Quilt.

Do you participate in any quilt groups?
I am a member of the local quilt guild, Quilters At Heart Quilt Guild.  It was the annual quilt show that I entered my first quilt (shown at the top of the story) and earned an Honorable Mention.  As Tish stated in her story we are hoping to increase our membership with more activities and guest speakers.

Have you sold any quilts? For how much?
I have sold a baby quilt for $100.  I am currently making a quilt for someone and have been asked to make another.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
Color inspiration comes from nature, then I find a pattern I like or design my own.

What is your favorite part of quilting?
My favorite part of quilting is choosing the colors and fabrics, then building the quilt in my mind before I ever start actually piecing the quilt.

Why do you quilt?
I love the process. From finding inspiration, picking out fabrics, choosing or creating a pattern of my own design, to the order and process of how a quilt comes together. Blocks turn into rows. Rows turn into sections and sections turn into quilt tops. Everything has an order. You have a tangible object when you are finished that you can keep or give away. Giving them away is probably the most rewarding, especially when people realize the work and love that goes into building a quilt.  

Plus is it something that I can share with my wife and we have in common…since she won’t take up running.

I actually asked Tish about running... here's what she had to say about it.

"I really don't like running, but I gave it a good go.  I was doing pretty well and had been slowly training with Dave and one weekend I completely over did it and injured myself.  I'm just not built for running.  As the chiropractor put's just a lot on my bones and joints with all the impact.  I've actually been thinking about giving it a go again, it's just the man it's A LOT of work thing."

Isn't it is a great thing that David wanted to have a activity that he and Tish could do together???  

Last year my husband decided to sell his vintage Honda motorcycle so that we could purchase a truck camper.  He enjoyed riding, but I did not... and he knew that.  So, he opted to sell it so that we would have the opportunity to enjoy camping... something we both enjoy doing.  Even though he hasn't taken up quilting, I do consult him from time to time for overall layout and color balance if something is just "not quite right".  And he is pretty darn cool!  I think I'll keep him... 

Is there someone you quilt with?  
Someone you collaborate projects and designs with?  

Leave a comment... 
I would love to hear about your quilting buddy!

Quilt Happy,


Friday, May 4, 2018

No Guilt - Go Quilt :: One Month Goal

It was going to be a "No Guilt - Go Quilt" day... 

I had taken the Cool Ranch Shredded Chicken out of the freezer and placed it in the refrigerator to thaw over night.  

I had my normal morning routine - breakfast, computer tasks (responding to blog comments, marketing posts, paying bills, etc.) a shower and then I headed to my sewing room. I made great progress on my Wish Upon A Star quilt and enjoyed every minute of it!  

Following lunch I took a walk and remembered that the freezer meal was still in the fridge... Ack!  No worries, "if I start it in the crock-pot when I get home it will still have time to cook on high for 4 hours.  Yes, yes... I will do that."

I recalled as I finished quilting the star quilt and moved on to the binding that I, in fact, did NOT do that.  Ugh!

But I still need something for dinner and that meal still needs to be cooked - it's chicken!  

As I looked at the recipe, I thought to myself, well it is basically like the Loaded Chicken and Potatoes that I cook in the oven.  

So I diced up some white sweet potatoes and tossed them into the roasting dish with the items from the freezer meal (leaving the chicken breasts whole), placed it in the oven at 375 degrees for 45 minutes with a lid on the dish.  I added some diced turkey bacon (affectionately referred to as Facon in our house) and some shredded cheese and returned the dish back to the oven for an additional 15 minutes, uncovered.

It was a success!  Dave will often ask, as I place the meal on the table if he doesn't recognize it, "what do we have here?"  After explaining my forgetfulness about getting the meal in the crockpot we dished up and he gobbled it up!  

Maybe it was because the chicken breast was whole that he felt as though the meal was more complete... I don't understand the logic... All I know is that my mash-up of Cool Ranch Chicken and Loaded Chicken and Potatoes was a hit!  AND I still managed to quilt all day.  Win - Win!

I will be doing a full reveal of my Wish Upon A Star quilt in a few weeks during the Wish Upon A Star Blog Hop hosted by Just Let Me Quilt on May 24th.  I will be offering several give away opportunities - all star quilt patterns!

Other items I will be working on this month are two more Quilters Through The Generations - one featuring Tish Stemple's husband, Dave - The Quilt Engineer and one of the 2018 New Quilt Bloggers, Gail Sheppard of Quilting Gail.

I'll be sharing my Blocks of the Month - It's a Wild Life, Let's Go Camping and the 2018 Color Challenge.

And something completely new for me... The Art with Fabric Blog Hop hosted by Alida at Tweety Loves Quilting.  I will be revealing my "Art" on Monday, the 21st.  I will have a pattern give away during this hop as well!

What would YOU do with a guilt-free quilting day?  
Leave a comment to let me know... I love hearing from my readers.

Quilt Happy!


Linking with:
One Month Goal with Elm Street Quilts
Finish It Up Friday with Crazy Mom Quilts
Can I Get A Whoop Whoop with Confessions of A Fabric Addict
Off The Wall Friday with Nina-Marie
Finished Or Not Friday with Busy Hands Quilts
Needle & Thread Thursday with My Quilt Infatuation
Wednesday Wait Loss with The Inquiring Quilter
To Do Tuesday with Stitch All The Things