Monday, March 18, 2019

The Adventure Quilt - Ocean Waves





Kate & Tammy's  great Adventure and Road Trip quilt continues!  This week's block takes us to the ocean... Ocean waves!

And almost exactly 21 years ago our family ventured to California for spring break.  We were able to stay with a friend in San Juan Capistrano, explore the area and spent a day at Disneyland.  

So of course we spent an afternoon at the beach.  Bearing in mind it was March and a little cooler... so the beach that Renee took us to wasn't busy at all.  I don't recall anyone else... AT ALL!




It was the first ocean beach experience for Dave and the girls.  


We cautioned them that it would be a little cool and asked that they only go up to their knees... "don't get your clothes wet" is what I stated (I think)....

Oh well!  Never mind...  The squeals of delight were worth it.


I had been once about 4 years before when I made the trip solo for Renee's wedding.  There is just something about the power of the waves... the sound... the energy.  It can be mesmerizing.   


Renee and I enjoyed from the waves from a distance.  Besides... she had a baby in the belly that I got to feel move!



The Pacific Ocean is the only ocean I have seen in person.  We have made several trips back to Southern California since then for weddings and we dream of making a trip up the coast to Oregon and Washington state.




I have experienced several other large lakes, like the Great Lakes... where you can't see the other side of the lake.  It might as well be the ocean.  I would like to see the Atlantic (much rougher I am told) as well as the Gulf Coast.  Add these to my "bucket list" of places to visit!

I don't think that I could live there... too much wind.  We get plenty of wind here and the coast wind is so different - more of a breeze, but constant.  I think the wind and the sound would eventually wear me down and cause an off mood.  But I love to visit!  The sand between my toes...



I have spring fever bad!  Dave does too... and we are aching (say that with angst... AAAAAAAAAAAAAAching) to get away with our truck and camper!


Tell me, do you have or get spring fever?  
What do you do to combat this feeling?  

Leave a comment because I love to see what my readers have to say.  Be sure to leave your email address so I can respond. :)

Piece Out,

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


Linking with:

Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts
Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
Moving It Forward Monday at Em's Scrapbag
BOMs Away at What A Hoot Quilts
Works In Progress at Silly Mama Quilts
Mid-week Makers at Quilt Fabrication
WOW at Esther's Blog
Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts

Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter



Sunday, March 17, 2019

A Time For All Seasons - A Wee Bit of Ireland



March's blocks for A Time for All Season block of the month is from Carol at Just Let Me Quilt and features shamrocks and a Wee Bit of Ireland...  




I went with a perfectly planned block and a completely scrappy block.  In all honesty, I like the look of my scrappy block better than the planned block... an example of lack of contrast.  My background fabric is not a great enough contrast with my light green fabric.  


As I pieced these blocks I was waiting to hear from my brothers-in-law that a special surprise had arrived in their mail boxes.  (Dave is on the far right)  One of them took over two weeks... **sigh**






We don't normally do impulse purchases from promotional fliers we receive in the mail.  But this seemed just too perfect for these >> brothers...

Fortunately, their service was excellent and fast, and their prices reasonable. It could have turned out much worse... whew!  (I will probably re-think any future impulses a little more and research the company.)


I shared in my Bells of Ireland post in January for the 2019 Color Challenge that Dave's family has an Irish heritage and that these guys come by the blarney naturally.  


There are always shenanigans, blarney and Malarkey when these four are together!







Slowly, the messages of thanks came...  

Each one as unique as they are and the beer of their choice...

Now the boys can have a beer together, even though they are miles apart!  


Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Piece Happy,

Melva





There are lots of Irish blessings... do you have a favorite?  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:

Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts
Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
Moving It Forward Monday at Em's Scrapbag
BOMs Away at What A Hoot Quilts
A Time For All Seasons March blocks at Sew Incredibly Crazy
Works In Progress at Silly Mama Quilts
Mid-week Makers at Quilt Fabrication
WOW at Esther's Blog
Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts
Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter


Friday, March 15, 2019

Quilt Qwazy Queens blog hop & Give Away


Marian at Seams To Be Sew is celebrating World-wide Quilting day by playing hostess to the Quilt Qwazy Queens blog hop and I am happy to be able to join in on the Qwazy Queen fun!  The theme this year is "qwazy"...  (btw, the details for the give away, as well as the list of hop participants will be at the end of this post.)

I have had in my collection of patterns this Quick-piece Crazy Quilt pattern and template set that came from Mrs. Miller and I have long wanted to use it.  And finally the perfect time and occasion arrived!

I am a firm believer that every woman needs to have a circle of friends that will be there for you in all of the ups and downs of life... girlfriends that will laugh with you and cry with you, stand up for you, but still let you know (gently) when you are in the wrong.  We straighten another's crown without telling the world it was crooked.  We listen to each other... not just what they say with words... but what they say from their hearts.






I am fortunate and blessed to be able to say that I have this circle of friends, some that I have known for 20 years, some for just a few years... We try to get together for a "perfect girls" weekend two to three times a year.  Those that can attend may vary, (sometimes the group is larger, and sometimes small and intimate) but the fact that we have each other's backs never changes. We never have great plans for activities... mostly we just hang out and chat, share devotional times, prayer concerns and prayers for each other.  We take turns preparing meals and cleaning up... laugh and usually stay up waaaaaaaaaaay too late.




We have helped and supported each other through job losses and career changes, divorces, moves, surgeries, major and minor health issues and aging parents.  We have celebrated graduations marriages of children and births of grand-babies.

At one weekend, one of the ladies shared this special story that she found on the web...  it sums up our circle of friends to a tee!




Years ago, I was at the beach with my family when I noticed a group of ladies nearby who appeared to be in their fifties.

With a quick glance, I knew they were on a girls’ weekend. All the signs were there – coolers & cocktails, beach bags with romance novels, straw hats, umbrellas in the sand – but most telling of all was their laughter. Lots and lots of laughter, the kind that draws attention and curiosity from anyone in earshot.

I loved watching these women enjoy each other. Although they were older than me, and well past my season of life in having babies, I could imagine being in their shoes one day, basking in the glow of old friends who still made me feel young again. 

That afternoon, I saw two of them in the elevator. When I commented on how much fun they seemed to have, they smiled and nodded. One replied, “Oh, we do have fun. We’ve kept this beach trip going for twenty years and have been through everything – divorce, death, cancer, unemployment. Don’t ever lose touch with your girlfriends, sweetheart. The older you get, the more you’ll need them.”



The conversation left an impression on me. While I’d always treasured my girlfriends, I’d never thought about needing them more with age. And if I’m being honest, it’s only been in recent years that I’ve taken their words to heart.

Because now that I’m in my 40’s, I’m seeing how real divorce, death, cancer, unemployment, and other major life problems are. I understand what they meant when they emphasized the importance of girlfriends as my age group faces hardships we couldn’t imagine when we were young and carefree.


Last February, I found the advice these women gave me really validated when my dear friend Emily, who I met when our daughters became friends, lost her husband Joe in a plane crash. Emily and Joe weren’t just any couple – they were the couple who had been best friends since age 15, whose incredible love story was still going strong. What they had was special. To have it end early and suddenly was unfathomable, unfair, and hard to comprehend.

Joe’s death impacted a lot of people hard, and throughout their home there was so much sadness and grieving, so many heavy hearts in one place. In the midst of this tragedy, however, there was also so much LOVE. You could feel the Holy Spirit everywhere, working in Emily and the people surrounding her.

As I left Emily’s house the day after Joe’s death, I sat in my car and reflected on everything I’d witnessed. One thing I kept thinking about were the women in Emily’s life, and  how amazing they’d been. It wasn’t just the food being carted in, the affection showered on the family, or the fact that so many people had dropped everything to drive or fly to Birmingham. It was the way Emily’s village came together, how friends from every stage of life were represented (adolescence, college, law school, work, and motherhood), and how well everyone knew her.
And because they knew her well, they could do a lot to lighten Emily’s load.

When I arrived at Emily’s house the morning after Joe’s death, for instance, someone asked if I’d write his obituary. I agreed, of course, and was given the names of surviving family members to start with. Since Emily was meeting with her pastor about the funeral, I began the obituary with the help of four friends who’d known Emily and Joe for decades. My intention was to write a rough draft and let Emily fill in the blanks.

But guess what? Emily didn’t have to fill in blanks, because her old friends filled in the blanks for her. Together they recalled pertinent details of Joe’s life: the special dates he planned with his daughters, how he graduated first in his law school class, which law firms he’d worked with, his role as basketball commissioner, his love for their church mission trip to Maine – the list goes on.
As they talked and I typed, I found myself wondering: How many people have friends who could write their husband’s obituary? What does that say about Emily and her relationships?
All over Emily’s house, huddles of women were taking care of business. As I passed a group from her church, I heard them planning the visitation and family luncheon before the funeral. “Emily wouldn’t like that, but she would like this,” they said. “Why don’t we give her option A and option B?” When Emily emerged from her meeting with the pastor an hour later, the legwork was done. She was given an obituary to proofread, options for Saturday, and updates from friends handling small matters so Emily could reserve energy for big ones.

Our girlfriends can’t save us, because only Christ can fill that role, but they can help make a tragedy bearable. They can read our mind and our emotions, intuitively recognizing what needs to be done – then doing it. They can listen, empathize, and show compassion. They can be the hands and feet of Jesus, used by God to help provide comfort and a timely shoulder to cry on. 

It’s hard to nurture friendships when you’re busy raising kids. Some days I don’t have the time or energy. But one thing I’ve learned from watching Emily cope with her loss is how having strong relationships in place before a tragedy occurs enables the healing process. While faith keeps you standing, friends and family hold your hand as you slowly move forward. They help you find a new normal. They meet you for yoga, bring Starbucks to your home, take your kids for ice cream, plan a girls’ beach trip for your Mother’s Day, get your dog groomed, text you Scripture and encouragement, continue coming to town to check on you, and show love in a million heartfelt ways.

“Don’t ever lose touch with your girlfriends, sweetheart. The older you get, the more you’ll need them.” The women on the elevator that day were spot-on. Now when I see a group like them having fun, I realize the laughter is only part of the story, what comes after the complicated grown-up stuff.  And while we certainly need the wonderful men in our lives, for they play a crucial role, too, men simply aren’t designed to understand us like one of our own.

Sometimes it takes another woman to recognize intuitively what needs to be done – then do it. Or to sense what needs to be said – then say it. Or to take the thoughts and emotions we don’t voice – and know what to make of them. 

Having great friends is largely a matter of being a great friend. The reason Emily’s circle is so strong is because she invests in her people. And in her greatest time of need, she reaped the benefit. I hope this story comes as a friendly reminder of why girlfriends matter in good times and bad, laughter and tears, and through the highs and lows that reveal who’s with us for the long haul, and who’s willing to share in our suffering so that one day, when we’re laughing again on the beach, there will be a history that makes the laughter sound richer and stirs the curiosity of anyone in earshot.


As I selected scraps for my crazy quilt I considered my friends... their favorite colors and scripture verses and songs; favorite foods and family members...  

The name of each lady in the group has been embroidered on a part of the crazy blocks as well as specially selected scripture references.  




When I was ready to quilt it I knew that I wanted to include a blessing and a prayer.

The blessing from Numbers 6:24-26 is quilted into the center of the quilt...


The Lord bless you

    and keep you;
25 
the Lord make his face shine on you

    and be gracious to you;

the Lord turn his face toward you

    and give you peace.

The border of the quilt has a special prayer...

I thought I was done with it.  All I needed to do was wash it and photograph it.  But every time I walked into the guest room and saw the quilt on the top of the stack of quilts that currently reside there I KNEW it needed something more.  It DESERVED something more... It is a crazy quilt.  They are supposed to be heavily embellished with fancy stitches and ribbons!  This one was, well, rather plain...

But I had other projects I needed to get to... deadlines... I kept saying "I don't have time".  But I found myself unproductive and unfocused because of that crazy quilt!  The Crazy Quilt was making me CrAzY!  😜







One day, after a week of it taunting me,  I finally submitted and grabbed the quilt and headed to my Babylock Jazz.  I started doing random back and forth lines... around the quilted scripture, names and scripture references.  




Once that was done I was able to move on... and, Oh, how I love it!

The backing and binding of the quilt feature little lambs and hearts...  



I can honestly say that I am not sure where I would be without these special ladies!  And one of these special gals will be the recipient of this quilt that has been blessed from above and made with love.


Tell me about your special crazy friends... 
How often do you get together?  
Where do you go?  
What sort of activities do you do?


I'd love to hear from you...

Below is a full list of hop participants.  Be sure to visit to see all of the crazy projects that are being shared.  And before I forget, here are the give away details...

Marian at Seams To Be Sew has secured two $35 gift certificates to the Fat Quarter Shop.  Follow the directions on the rafflecopter link.  

Thanks for stopping by!

Quilt in Piece,


Melva





a Rafflecopter giveaway










March 15, 2019


March 18, 2019


March 19, 2019


March 20, 2019


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

Monday, March 11, 2019

The Adventure Quilt - Round About

In the summer of 2005 we took a family vacation across the country.  We had a weekend stop in Michigan to enjoy time with Dave's family at the family cottage in Southern Michigan and then continued east... a first for all four of us!

Our first stop was in Gettysburg, PA... and this was our first experience with a round about.  Thankfully, I was not driving - I was simply the navigator reading the map.  It was before smart phones and GPS thingys, though I may have printed out some directions to get us to our hotels since I had done reservations on-line.

We were a little stunned as we entered the round about... Our girls had been quizzed on round about rules during the tests to get their driver's license, but NONE of us and actually traveled THROUGH one.  

I think we may have gone around the crazy thing a few times before we figured out which "exit" we wanted.  LOL!




A few years later, our tiny little town got its very own round about!  The entire town was anticipating the opening of the round about.  There were many citizens of the community that were very vocal and let the city officials know they were not happy about it!  One friend of our's happens to be employed by the City even took his lunch break at one of the fast-food places near the area so that he could be entertained by the confused drivers.  

Years have passed and, for the most part, most of the residents have adjusted and know what to do there.  Though, (whispering...) my Mom still avoids the intersection... shhhhh... don't tell πŸ˜‰

This block was primarily paper pieced.  I tried to do a shortcut for the four blocks that are like fence rails... I ended up doing them paper-pieced in the long run.  So much for saving time!

Kate and Tammy will have this block available for just a short time more... head over there and grab yours!

I love that they included a paper pieced block.  While I don't prefer paper pieced... thus my attempt at a "short cut", I am not afraid of it.  


How about you?  
Do you like foundation paper piecing?  
Or will you avoid a block because of it?  
What is your favorite piecing technique?

Leave a comment and let me know your feelings?  I'd love to hear from you!

Quilt happy!

Melva


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

Linking with:

Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts
Needle & Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation
Moving It Forward Monday at Em's Scrap Bag
BOMs Away at What A Hoot Quilts
Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter
Works In Progress at Silly Mama Quilts
Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication



Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Sewing for Lent - Sewing Kits

As Fat Tuesday rolled by and ushered in Ash Wednesday, a time of reflection, repentance and preparation for Resurrection Sunday, also known as Easter, I find myself contemplating my relationship with God.

As I shared last year in my Little Dresses for Lent story, the idea of giving something up or taking on something new and how it is supposed to be a challenge and draw you closer to the Lord... with the intent that you need to draw closer to God to gain strength to complete the challenge or task.



While I still have plenty of the plaid fabric (and other suitable fabric) for the little dresses that were included in our church's Operation Christmas Child Shoe Boxes, I feel compelled to creating small sewing kits.


I have a pattern printed out... but for the life of me I cannot find the original post for it on Beyond the Reef's blog page.  I will be keeping the basics of the pattern (size and general construction of it) but I will modify it and sharing a simple tutorial.

I have plenty of felt to be used for the needle holding portion of the the book-like kit, lots of scrap pieces of batting and tons of scrap fabric in my scrap bin that will accommodate the 4-1/2" x 6-1/2" cover and inside.

And if I have trouble finding large enough pieces, I can always string piece the covers... how cute would that be???

You may notice my notation at the top of the pattern picture a list of items to be included so that the child receiving the shoe box actually has something to sew together.

6 pins
5 needles
A spool of thread
40 charm squares

In addition to these items I am planning on including two or three buttons.  And for the spool of thread I thought I would use bobbins.  Perhaps I can even get a few LQS to donate some pre-wound bobbins.  

But, I wonder... 

Should instructions be included?  I'm thinking some Ikea assembly instructions - no words - only pictures. 

Do you think 40 charm squares is enough?  

Should a piece of flannel be included as a backing?

Or just let them use as their creativity and desire leads them?

Please leave a comment letting me know your thoughts.  I welcome your input and ideas.  Be sure to include your email address with your comments so that I can correspond with you about this. 😁

Quilt on and stay at peace,

Melva


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

Linking with:
Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter
Mid-week Makers at Quilt Fabrication
WOW at Esther's Quilt Blog
Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts
UFO Busting at Tish in Wonderland
Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts
Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
Moving It Forward Monday at Em's Scrap Bag
Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation


Monday, March 4, 2019

The Adventure Quilt - Traveler



Block #5 of the road trip quilt from Kate & Tammy represents the traveler...






Kate stated that is often referred to as the Mississippi Star that has been tweaked a little...


It reminds me of a spurs on a boot and tumbleweeds.

We have made the trip from Southern Colorado to Amarillo (and continued to Seymour or Dallas/Fort Worth area) numerous times and it seems like we encounter wind, dust storms and the great tumble weed migration on our return trip between Dumas, TX and Clayton, NM... every. time.



The star could easily be representative of the individual with wanderlust... My grandparents were lovers of traveling.  It may have skipped a generation because my Mom doesn't seem to have the travel bug... But I do!  Now don't get me wrong... I love being at home and could easily become a bit of a hermit... but I dream of traveling world-wide.  

Maybe when we retire we will take up residency on cruise ships!  Travel the world to our heart's content... we'd have access to medical care, someone would prepare all of the meals, clean the room, change out sheets and towels... I could do that!

Oh, I suppose we might tire of it eventually, but until then we would experience the variety of cultures and society and cuisine world wide!


What sort of retirement dreams and plans do you have?  

Or maybe you are already living your retirement dream... Good for you!  What does a typical day look like?

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

Quilt happy!

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

Linking with:

UFO Busting at Tish's Adventures in Wonderland
BOMs Away at What A Hoot Quilts
Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts
Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
Needle & Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation
Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter
Mid-week Makers at Quilt Fabrication
WOW at Esther's Quilt Blog

Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts