Thursday, July 18, 2024

Pieces of My Life ~ Large Spool

Welcome back to Melva Loves Scraps and the Pieces of My Life Sew Along!  

We are halfway through this sew along event... With each passing day (and each block) we are making new memories...

Are you keeping up with the blocks?  How about your memory book?  

This block is a Large Spool, and measures 12-1/2", unfinished.  There are several bias edges so you may want to spray starch your fabric to avoid the pieces from getting stretched allowing the block to be a little wonky.

As our wedding day approached, I remember going shopping for a wedding dress with my bestie/Maid of Honor.  Jamie was married in June and I was right behind her in August.  I found one that I really liked at a department store in Pueblo.  When I talked to Mom about purchasing one, she told me she wanted to make my dress and was willing to and planning to make my dress.

We made a trip to the local fabric shop and selected the pattern, fabric, lace, ribbon and pearl beads.

I wore a long white gown of Contessa, overlayed with ditto dots.  Pearls accented the fitted bodice and sweetheart neckline, which was edged with flounce lace.  The gown featured short puff sleeves of ditto dots, gathered with elastic to form a ruffle, accented with pearls.  

The gored skirt flowed into a cathedral length train.  

My veil was a fingertip length pouf veil, edged with lace and decorated with pearls.  The headpiece was decorated with rose motifs, pearls and white sequins.  

Two years later, after the birth of our first daughter, my Mom made a Christening dress with some of the remaining fabric of my wedding dress.

I look forward to being able to make some special dresses for our granddaughters when they are ready to be baptized.  There is still fabric from my wedding dress, and I have fabric from Heather's dress.  There is enough from both that could be used for at least a portion (the bodice portion?) of the three dresses that will be needed.

Now is the time to get your pattern... head over to Payhip to find the Large Spool pattern.  But before you go...

I have seen many clever wedding dress upcycling options, a Christmas Tree Skirt, for example...  I have also heard of a group that will accept donations of wedding dresses to make "Angel Gowns" for still born or pre-mature babies that don't survive.  What a beautiful idea...

Have you passed on your wedding dress?  
Have you repurposed your dress?

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

Keep Piecing,


PS: If you would like to receive the link for the memory book pages that accompany this quilt via the newsletter, send me an email and I will add you to the list.  If you are interested in the previous pages, they are available in my payhip store for a small fee. My email address is

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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Mid-week Update

I think... I may actually be caught up on my rest and housework.  The past 3-4 weeks have had me so out of routine.  So much so, that I was a day early for an appointment that I had last week.  Thankfully, the chiropractor happily worked me into his schedule.  He is such a thoughtful guy... he kept apologizing for the wait that I had.  I reminded him that I was the one that had the wrong day.  The funny thing was that I actually had it on my calendar correctly... I just didn't know what day of the week it was!  LOL

As I shared in the Sew & Tell party on Sunday/Monday... we had just returned from a long weekend of our "Family Camp".  As promised, here are some pictures that summarize the variety of activities we had... a baseball game, archery, roasting marshmallows and making s'mores, puzzling, an "at home" escape room" where we solved several cold case mysteries that took place in Chicago... painting, crocheting, embroidery and quilting, hiking, hand pies and doughboys... water play, whittling lessons, naps, reverse dying, tie dying, ice dying and driving lessons...

Sunset baseball

Who wants a S'more???


Whittling Instruction

Waking up with a puzzle

Driving Lesson!

Mystery Solved!
And Chicago style food enjoyed all day.

Korean Checkers

Water Play!

Hiking Buddies

What a view!

Shelby sought a little shade and rest

Reverse Dying

More water play... 

Another fun Family Camp enjoyed by 4 generations. <3

This is just a small sampling of our time together... I tried 3 times to create a short video... all which were too large to upload. :\  I finally gave up when there was a lightning strike nearby and opted to turn off all of the electronics. I know you will trust me to believe that the long list of items I listed really did take place ;)

I returned to my studio on Monday and was longing to get back to creating... however, neither of the two projects I have in progress were not something my mind was ready to tackle.  So, I did what everyone that procrastinates does... I started a new project!

A few years ago, I gifted my Mom a Flower Letters Story - Audrey Rose.  It is a story told through a series of letters.  It took place at the time of WWII.  Audrey met and fell in love with a soldier and eventually married.  They talked of building a house when he returned home and how they wanted a stained-glass transom window at their front door.  

Included with the letter was a coloring page to recreate the stained-glass window.  I chose to recreate the window in a quilt.  It is a bit "rustic" and I still need to stitch the fused applique pieces down.  But not now...  

My creativity began flowing as my mind cleared and I am ready to tackle the tumbling block quilt for a customer.  

It is a little wonky because of bias edges, inconsistent seam allowances not to mention the inconsistent sizes of the pieces... It will be a challenge for sure, but I am ready to make it all it can be. :)

If you would like to join this week's Sew & Tell party, you can find it here.

Do you have family weekends or vacations?

Leave a comment... I'd love to hear what you do when you get together.

Keep Piecing,


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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Sew & Tell ~ July 15, 2024


We have just returned from our annual Family Camp weekend.

I'm getting the party started for now and will return with pictures from our time together and all of the various activities we did in a few days.  😘

Keep piecing,


Wednesday, July 10, 2024

A Memorial

In 2017 I began a series of stories and interviews with quilters that came from a long line of quilters in their family... I called it "Quilters Through The Generations" and I began at an obvious starting point for me... my family.

I included stories from two cousins, my Mom, a great-grandmother and an uncle.

One of those cousins, Diane Ashton, recently passed away.  If you read her story, you will find that she wasn't really a quilter... rather, she was a quilt collector.  She had 50+ quilts... all documented and registered with the Colorado Quilt Consortium.

Diane's brother is working to get all of the documentation of these quilts, including digital photographs, into files and formats that can be easily accessed.

Diane's sons chose to have her buried with one of her most precious quilts... a pink "Hearts & Flowers" quilt that was made by her mother and grandmother.  

Diane was kind and thoughtful person.  Our daughter, Rebecca, was privileged to live with her for a short time as she completed a clinical rotation for the Physical Therapy Assistant program she completed in college.  The rotation was with the Colorado School of Deaf & Blind, just a short distance from where Diane lived... which reduced the amount to travel time required for the completion of this rotation.  It was during the winter, and we all felt better about the whole situation.  Diane even made the 2-hour drive to attend Rebecca's graduation party.  

When my Mom had her double knee replacement surgery her rehab facility was just a few minutes away from Diane's home.  Diane made it a point to visit her several times during the 10-day stay Mom had at the facility. 

Diane will be missed by many!  May you rest in peace.

As we wrapped up the downsizing sale for Mom after her move, I am reminded of the importance of letting your family know your wishes and desires for the end of your life... BEFORE the end of your life.

I wrote of this topic almost a year ago as I reflected on the anniversary of 9/11 and the lives lost on that tragic day.

You can find a sample Quilter's Letter of Instruction at

If you haven't written such a letter, please consider it!

If you are part of a family of quilters and would like to be featured in a "Quilters Through the Generations" story, let me know.  I would love to revive the series...

Keep Piecing,


Sunday, July 7, 2024

Sew & Tell ~ July 8, 2024

I have been kidnapped by the downsizing sale... share and talk among yourselves.

I'll see you in a few days when the ransom has been paid.

Keep Piecing,


Sunday, June 30, 2024

Sew & Tell ~ July 1, 2024

Ready? Set. SELL!

What I did last week... And what I will be doing this week...

The Living Estate (Senior Downsizing) Sale is taking place Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

There was only one morning that I made took time to finally touch and fondle any fabric... at this point in time, I don't even remember which day it was.  My Mom had a quilt that needed the binding replaced.  Out with the old and in with the new.  

We can't have something worn and tattered in the new place!
She has settled in quickly and seems to be very happy with the place.  Does she miss her big house?  Yes, but no.  

I stopped by unannounced one afternoon to drop off her fine china and silver to be placed in "deep storage" (the upper cabinets that she cannot reach anyway).  She was willing to part ways with it, but the girls thought it would be nice to someday be able to pass it on to one of her great-grandchildren (she has four and between my 2 daughters and I and this one from Mom, we have a set of china for each great-grand).  Of course, neither of the daughters offered to store it.  

I digress... back to the story... I stopped by unannounced, and she was not in her apartment.  I took care of my task and then went in search of her.  She was visiting her friend on the lower level!  I love that she has a wonderful community of neighbors.  They watch out for each other, and several stopped by to say welcome and to see if she needed any assistance with anything.  Phone numbers have even been exchanged.  I firmly believe that this move has been a very good thing... all orchestrated by God when we began the conversation of "what next" last September.

As Mom stood looking at all of the "stuff" she could not take she was saddened but understands and agrees that she could not stay in the house.  It was too difficult to maintain the yard and it was becoming increasingly more difficult to stay up with the cleaning and small repairs of the inside.  She really does like her new place.  

She watched Dave and I closely as we worked to replace the mailbox that they had.  

This old pump became a mailbox holder many years ago. Exactly when is unknown, but I suppose there is a possibility that this was the box that received some of the letters that the former POWs sent... It was around when she and Dad dated.  There were a few letters delivered to that location in 1949!  I love the idea that the letters that inspired my first sew along were placed in that box!

This photo shows that it is now proudly in place in one of our flower gardens.  Dave has talked of creating a water feature with it.  He also wants to make some sort of birdhouse insert so that it can be insulated and used so as to not bake the little birds.  

Time for this week's feature... Viridian shared the finish of her Silk Path Quilt made of used blue and white reproduction fabrics and finished at 60"x85".  The pattern is from Bonnie Hunter.   Jump over to her post to see a photo of the full quilt and show her some love.

That's all I have for this week...

Have a blessed and safe time as we celebrate America's Independence Day this week! 🎆

Keep Piecing,


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Thursday, June 27, 2024

Pieces of My Life ~ Diamond Solitaire & Steps to the Altar

With the last block of Pieces of My Life, I shared the story of Dave and I meeting and falling in love with each other and within a few months' time, I had a promise ring from him. It is a small tiny solitaire that he borrowed money from one of his sisters in order to purchase.  It means the world to me.  

A year later, he gave me an engagement ring.  The diamond wasn't much bigger, but it had setting that made it appear larger.  When we were ready to purchase wedding rings, I bought him a plain band and we repurposed that promise ring to become my wedding ring. Both the promise ring and the engagement ring had a matching "twist" to them so that they nested together nicely.

We renewed our wedding vows on our 13th anniversary and at that time Dave had our local jeweler (and friend) replace the small diamond solitaire (block #11) in the "engagement" ring with a much larger stone.  At that same time, I had the jeweler join the two rings together... permanently stuck together... like Dave & I. ;)

After our "formal" engagement we started taking the necessary Steps to the Altar (block #12) by choosing our wedding date - August 10.  We discussed how large of a wedding party we wanted, how large our guest list should be... and the all-important detail of what our wedding colors would be.

Pink and Blue were very popular at the time.  I loved pink and Dave suggested that we pair a deep rust with it.  The reaction we had from others when we told them was one of shock.  LOL!  But honestly, it worked!
Our wedding was done on a very small budget, but it was all either of us could have hoped for.  I'll share more details with the next few blocks.  

For now, jump over to my payhip store to grab the patterns.  I hope that you enjoy making these blocks and that my stories spur on some of your own memories.  

But before you go, tell me... if you married,

Did you fall into the trend of popular colors?
Or did you, like me, bypass them and go with less popular colors?

If you have not been married... what would you do?

Keep Piecing,


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