Thursday, May 26, 2022

Pieces in the Garden - Star - Block #5


“Bride’s Quilt”

Once upon a time, there was a little girl, who wore a bow in her hair.  When she grew up, she began a friendship with a young bachelor.  As the hours and days passed, they began to look at each other with stars in their eyes, and as their love grew, they thought about taking steps to the altar.  So, the young girl got out her spools of thread and made clothes to get ready for their wedding ring day.

After they are married, some of their times together will be bright as noon and others will be dark as night.  But they will try to share their happiness, their miseries and their chores – she grabbing a wrench to help with household repairs and he grabbing a towel to help with the dishes.  Sometimes they will have broken dishes, but they will try to remember that “things” can be replaced, whereas harsh words, possibly spoken about the broken dishes, could chip away love.  They will try to follow the Golden Rule as they are learning to communicate openly with each other.

They will also try to keep in mind the symbolism of Jacob’s ladder – “steps of communication” between themselves on earth and God in heaven.

Please join me for a cup of tea as Forrest tells me of his High School memories and how he and Tressie met... (he must have forgotten that the tape recorder was still on, because he had A LOT to share! 😂)

Grandpa, tell me about your high school days.  What year did you graduate?  How many were in your class?  Tell me about your graduation day.

I graduated in 1930.  There were about 150 students in my class.  We were called up on the stage in the auditorium to get our diplomas.  The principal was R.B. Mertz.  Mom and Pop were there, but I don't know if anyone else was there.

I once went to study hall, and I was clear at the back of the room.  The teacher went down the row and said, "Little Teegarden, where are you?"  She came to my desk and said, "I had your brother."

While I was in high school, I worked at Kress' Department Store.  The boss had a girlfriend in Grand Junction.  I went with him once and we got caught in a snowstorm.  We went off the road and got stuck.  We had to hitch a ride to the next town where he bought a new car.  Actually, he kinda traded it.  We left and the other guy had to wait for the weather to get better to get his new car.

What were your school colors and mascot?

Our school colors were blue and white.  Our class flower was a tulip.  Our motto was "Where there is a will, there is a way."  Class colors were purple and gold.

Did you go to your Prom or a big dance? 

No, I didn't dance.

Grandpa, tell me all about Grandma.  How old were you when you and she met?  What did you do together on dates?  

I knew Tressie for a while, but not very well.  One day I called her up and invited her to go ride around.  I had Jimmy Madison with me.  She was talking to him and I was driving.  She didn't pay much attention to me.

(While in HS) and after, about 12 of us guys had a club called Delta Handa Stag Club.  We smoked pipes and played poker.  One night, while playing poker, Tressie and Anna Mae were out in her Essex car driving around and decided to let the air out of my tires.  Guess they didn't think we needed to play poker.  It was some time before I learned that it was her that did it.

One time the Stag Club had a fancy dinner at the Bloom House.  I was working for Montgomery Wards and had been in Raton on a job, so I was late.  Tressie was at the house visiting with Mother when I got there.  Tressie had on a yellow organdy dress.  We went to the dinner then had a dance afterwards.  

Central Park in Trinidad, CO
If you look closely, you can see that there are lights strings lighting the pathways

How long did you date before you got married?

We dated for about 2-1/2 years.  I wouldn't get married because I couldn't support her.  We would go to the park.  They had an open-air dance floor with a big tree growing up in the middle of it.  We danced at Central Park a lot.

What did your parents think of her?  

They thought more of her than they did of me.

What did you do for a living?

I got an apprenticeship with the railroad as an electrician, but they did away with that.   I did a correspondence course in electrical work and then went to New York for two weeks.  I must have been 18 or 19 years old.  

On my way, I stopped off to see Camby and Clair Newcomb.  They went to Park College, a Baptist school in Missouri.   They had to work while they went to school.  I visited them and then caught a train to Kansas City.  I was riding the train because my Dad would get free passes through (his) work.

After I got to New York, I was in my hotel room on the 4th floor on Thanksgiving Day.  I looked out the window and saw these big balloons going by.  I couldn't imagine what was going on.  I learned that it was the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.  This was in 1932.

When I finished my two weeks in New York, I went to Washington D.C. for a side trip.  A guy wanted to show me the town.  I told him that I could afford it.  He said it would only cost me five bucks.  He showed me all the sights.  I saw the White House, but not the inside of it.  I went home after seeing Washington D.C.  

I worked for Reed Electronics for a while.  I was the service man and had to travel to New Mexico and everywhere.  I was on the road about three days a week.  He went broke and then I went to Montgomery Ward.  I serviced radios and did electrical work.  Eventually I earned $5 a week.

I had a small shop with the Corley's on Commercial Street.  Mr. Corley owned the radio station.  I didn't have my shop there very long.  

I found it interesting that Forrest didn't go to any dances in high school "because he "didn't dance," yet he and Tressie went dancing at Central Park and his Stag Club events.  In the Mid-1950s they enjoyed square dancing as a family for several years.  Did he take dance lessons somewhere along the way?  Or maybe he just had more confidence in dancing with Tressie.  Love can do that... Love can make you brave.

Dave and I have always enjoyed dancing.  Though we have not had formal dance lessons, we do pretty good... and we always have fun!  In the late 1980s we went on a ski trip with my brother and some of his friends.  We were at a bar after a day of skiing and Kelvin asked me to go dance.  I was shocked!  He was another one that "didn't dance" in high school.  LOL!  But some of his guy friends had talked him into taking some dance lessons... and go meet girls.  Well, ladies, because they had to be 21 or older.  As we got onto the dance floor he took off with a Texas Two Step that floored me!

So that brings me to the question... 

Have you ever taken dance classes?

Leave a comment... I love to hear your stories!

Head over to Payhip to get the pattern... And be sure you come back to link up your finished blocks for a chance to win a selection of teas from Cornerstone Tea Company!  I encourage you to check out her tea selection and use LOVETODANCE in the promotion box to get a 20% discount for all teas through June 22nd.  

Follow me on facebook at 
Melva Loves Scraps or on instagram @MelvaLovesScraps and use these hashtags so that everyone can see our gardens grow!  #PiecesInTheGarden #Piecesinthegardensewalong #Piecesinthegardenrowquilt #TeaTimeWithTT

Keep Piecing!


Linking with:

Put Your Foot Down at For the Love of Geese
Needle & Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation
Off The Wall Friday with Nina Marie
Brag About Your Beauties at From Bolt to Beauty
Peacock Party at Wendy’s Quilts and More
Friday Foto Fun at Powered by Quilting
Finished or Not Friday at Alycia Quilts

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Summer Camp Prep Exercises

Last summer I participated in the (on-line) Fiona Sandwich Summer Camp, hosted by Rachael. It was great fun to choose an activity, select a postcard block for our quilt and happily mark off an activity on the "activity sheet".

The summer camp activities were enjoyed so much by participants that she created a "Winter Camp" with similar activities and projects.  Our camping journal quilt, at that point, was caught up, so I skipped out on that one.

I am ready to go with the summer camp again...  This year the aim of the camp is to "cultivate your inner artist."  

This summer, we’ll explore all things with color, and choosing fabrics for your National Park quilt blocks. The activities will help you see colors in a new and fresh way. You’ll discover how to maximize the fabrics you have, and confidently choose colors for your travel quilt. 

I spent one afternoon last week sorting through and organizing a collection of fabric that I have gathered for use in our camping journal quilt.  (I won't mention that I should have been working on the borders of a t-shirt quilt.)  I tried to limit my fabric choices to the ONLY what I had set aside.  I did have to wander to my stash closet for a few fabrics... I NO purples of any sort!  It was for the purpose of matching the swatches!  Really!

Here are some practice sample swatch pulls...

Before Sorting

I'll be cleaning up my now-organized postcard block stash and getting it into a small box for transport because the plastic bags they started in were a little full.

After Sorting

I only have five more spaces for blocks in the main part of our quilt.  Dave requested that it be a little wider than the other quilts we currently use in the camper so I will add a narrow border all the way around and then add two blocks to each side.  I'll be a little sad when it the top is done...

But I am sure I will find something to work on that will be just as meaningful.

After playing with the color exercises, I did in fact return to the T-shirt quilt and shared the finish last Friday.  With that finish it opened up the weekend for more creative time!  

I made the little music notes block that are next to the guitar in my journal quilt (above) and six journal covers.  All the details are over on yesterday's Sew & Tell.  

This week's To-Do list includes...

❧ Prepare the step samples for the Pieces From the Past BOM in June, Blocks #11 & 12

❧ Write pattern, test and photograph Block #6 of the Pieces in the Garden Sew Along.  

There is still time to get the pattern for block 4, Hours and get it linked for the prize drawing of a great prize from Cornerstone Tea Company.  The most recent winner, Kathy, had this to say... "a HUGE thank you for the prize package. Oh my goodness what a huge and lovely surprise! I have sample four now, and they are all winners!"

Block #5 will be published on Thursday.  Are you ready?  If you are a sucker for romance, this story will put a smile on your face. 💗

In regards to the Summer Sewing Camp...

Have you ever done "color" exercises? 
Or know how to use a color wheel?

I have very little experience in this field, but I do know that nature never gets it wrong... so I tend to pull inspiration from there... or just keep trying different combos until I am happy with it. 😉 But I look forward to having a better understanding of how colors best complement each other and why some combos don't play well together at all.

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

Keep Piecing!


Linking with:

To Do Tuesday at Texas Quilt Gal
Stitch Sew & Show at Life in the Scrap Patch

Monday, May 23, 2022

Monday Morning Sew & Tell

With the Friday finish of the Marathon quilt, I had the entire weekend open for creating and playing!

I made some music notes with two hexagons and some 1/2 hexies... 

Appliqueing them onto the background fabric was a pleasant task as I watched an episode of Call the Midwife. 

That was when the scrap bin came out and I started planning for the journal covers...
By the day's end I had six covers ready to be quilted!

The FPP double flying geese pattern found its way into the mix as well as the big half-hexies with the purple bear.  That bear was one of the fun blocks I made during last year's Fiona Sandwich Summer Sewing Camp - it fulfilled the "make a block with unusual colors" activity.

Two orphan blocks from the Pieces in the Garden sew along also found a home.  That camel fabric is something that was in a stash of fabric given to me a few years ago... I think it is something printed by Spoonflower.

Details on how to make the journals can be found at The Dizzy Quilter.

I have one last cover left to finish, but all-in-all, I had a very productive weekend.  One filled with creativity and inspiration.  

As I stitched and planned, I was thinking of September and "National Sewing Month."  I have an idea for a "30-days of sewing" challenge or a "National Sewing Day Photo Challenge"...

It wouldn't be super difficult.  The photo challenge would simply involve a daily posting or sharing of various sewing notions related to that day's number.  For example... Day one could be one thimble, or one spool of thread, or one seam ripper... Day 2 could be two pins, or two pairs of scissors...  

The sewing challenge would be similar to the #100daychallenge, but with sewing.  Whether you decide you want to spend 5 or 10 minutes a day sewing, or 5 hours sewing, the idea is to sew every day for 30 days. Photos of your progress or project would be shared on social media.

I've contacted the official home of National Sewing Month several weeks ago but have not had a response...

Is this something you would be interested in participating in?  
Would you be willing to offer a prize or two for give-aways?  
Would you be interested in being part of a blog hop?
Would you like to co-sponsor/host an event like this?

Leave a comment, or send me a quick e-mail... I'd love to have some feedback.

Keep Piecing!


Linking with:

Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Mid-week Makers at Quilt Fabrication
Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter
Stitch Sew & Show at Life in the Scrap Patch

Friday, May 20, 2022

Marathon Quilt Finish

After recovering from the marathon painting and cleaning session over the weekend, I got borders done and moved to sandwiching the quilt.  

My standard quilting of 4" squares on point, allowing the t-shirts to be the focus, was wrapped up Thursday morning... leaving just the binding for the afternoon.  Easy, peasy!

But before I could do the binding I had a little job to do... I left myself a little note on my Babylock Lyric, to remind me that I needed to do a cleaning before I continued sewing anything!  

Well, okay then!  At least I was polite and said "please."  LOL!

I am waiting for label info from Mom & Dad, but once that is done it will be washed and dried and ready for a "formal" photo shoot.  I'm thinking I need to find a track... it just seems fitting! 😉  Finished size is approximately 70" x 90".

Here are a few more close up views.  

We were supposed to be going camping over the weekend, but there is a cold front coming through that has messed up our plans... There is actually a chance of snow!

And THIS is why I haven't planted any flowers. Ok, I'll be honest... I don't plant flowers because I don't like weeding. The truth is out. The few flower beds that I have are low maintenance. I do, however, have some seed for herbs that I want to get in the ground. I may do that quickly this afternoon before the rain/snow starts and then go hide in my studio.

With this finish it means that I have the entire weekend free to play and create and I have some fun ideas... 

I'll be playing with some hexagons to sew one final block for our March trip to Texas/Louisiana. I hope it all works out as well as the plan in my head says it will! It was another of my quilting in my sleep ideas, so fingers crossed, I will have a really great idea to share next week!

Roseanne over at Home Sewn By Us has had a journal cover on her to-do list for a few weeks and I kept thinking... "I should do this too!"  I will soon be in need of a new sketch journal so I gathered up several partially used composition notebooks and am ready for the project with some  fun ideas for the covers.

What are YOUR plans for the weekend?  

I certainly hope so!  Leave a comment... I'd love to hear from you. 💗

Make the world a brighter place!  Go Create!


Linking with:

Off The Wall Friday with Nina Marie
Brag About Your Beauties at From Bolt to Beauty
Peacock Party at Wendy’s Quilts and More
Friday Foto Fun at Powered by Quilting
Finished or Not Friday at Alycia Quilts
Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework
Sunday Stash at QuiltPaintCreate
Scrap Happy Saturday at Super Scrappy
Patchwork & Quilts at The Quilting Patch

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Thankful Thursday 5/19/2022

 In the world as it is, with the busy schedules and expectations of doing more with less, we need to take time to stop and smell the roses...  Take time to appreciate the moments that often get overlooked, ignored or even trampled over as we move to the next activity.

Last week I read a devotion that addressed a common response to the question, "How have you been?".  So many of us often reply, "Busy."  And some of us will continue with, "It's all good, but we've been really busy."  

The writer went on to address the need to justify this busy-ness.  And I won't get into that... 

I started thinking about my common response and recalled that a number of years ago I was introduced to an acronym for busy... Being Under Satan's Yoke.  Yikes!  I certainly don't want to be THAT.  But how do you handle or describe an over-full schedule?  

You count your blessings!  Maybe a better response to "How have you been?" would be "I have a full life", "abundantly blessed" or "blessed to overflowing".  But if you aren't really enjoying all of those "blessings" maybe the schedule or routine needs to be examined and adjusted.

The month of May is often a "full" month filled with end of the school year activities, graduations and parties to celebrate, and plans for family vacations and holiday weekends.  It MAY be a good time to hit the pause button, even if only for a few minutes, to count the blessings we forget to appreciate in a full life.

Our lives are indeed blessed!  Our Sabbatical has been a time of healing and restoration to our tired souls.  We continue to wait for the appointed time to return to a ministry... and waiting can be difficult... but worth every moment.

The little things that I have taken notice of recently... the sounds of the birds singing as we go for our daily walks.  The sounds crickets outside the windows as we enjoy some downtime watching the TV...  The feel of a breeze as we sit on the front porch enjoying our view... The smell of rain... 

The array of colors, not only in nature but fabrics too!  The feel of fabric as my fingers work to align seams or caress it as I prep a quilt sandwich...  

The well-worn edges of a few clothes pins as I hang laundry out to dry... clothes pins that could be nearly 90 years old since they came from my Grandma's pail of pins after we moved her to Trinidad.  Generations of hands have touched these clothes pins - at least 4!  How many loads of laundry have they held securely as clothing flowed in the breeze drying?

The smallest of details have captured my attention lately and have made me evermore appreciative of everyday things that reach our senses... IF I take the time to notice them.

Break the trend of being B.U.S.Y. and enjoy the blessings and miracles all around you!  My life is full... of blessings AND joy!

As I have been writing out the memories of Tressie, I am thankful that I had the many years I had with her as my grandmother, but especially for the few years that she lived near enough for me to stop by for a visit and a cup of tea on her patio. 

Have you read the most recent story that includes memories from my cousin, Karri as well as a recipe for scones and jam?

What will you do to break the trend of BUSY?  

Read a book for 5 minutes?  Watch the sunset as it fades?  Or watch the dawn break as the sun rises?  Maybe it will be to take a deep breath and enjoy the smell... or watch the flight of a butterfly or dragonfly... or watch as a bird pulls a worm from the ground...

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

Blessings & Prayers,


Linking with:

LeeAnna @ I Like Thursday at Not Afraid of Color

Monday, May 16, 2022

A Marathon Weekend and Quilt

As I stare at the beginning of this week, I have a tired, blank, empty stare...

After painting ALL day on Saturday, cleaning carpet on Sunday and getting furniture back in place I am exhausted!  What a week...  Let's take a look at what was on the "list" and what I accomplished.

✔ Block #5 of the Pieces in the Garden Sew Along was photographed... You'll be able to see what it is on May 26th. 😉 
A bonus pattern and story have been written and the blocks photographed.  These will be released June 9th.

✔ I have 16 No Guilt::Go Quilt freezer meals prepped and waiting.  👏  I tried out a new one and I am happy to say that it is good enough to add into our regular rotation of freezer/crock meals.  

Smothered Chicken

3 large chicken breast halves
1/4 cup pinot grigio wine (I used sunset blush, because it is what I had on hand)
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 cloves minced garlic

Place all of the above ingredients in a 1 gallon-sized freezer bag.

Needed on the day of cooking:
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons flour

Thaw freezer bag overnight in refrigerator.  Add contents of bag to crockpot.  Add the broth.  Stir the flour into the heavy cream until well mixed.  Pour over the chicken.  Cover and cook on low setting for 6 hours or on high for 3 hours.

Optional:  Remove the chicken from the crockpot into a large serving bowl.  In a small bowl, add 1 tablespoon flour or cornstarch and just enough water to mix and dissolve completely.  Pour into the pot.  Stir and cook until thickened.  Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve over rice or mashed potatoes.  Enjoy!

Note:  Brown rice flour (or another gf flour of your choice) can be used in place of regular flour.

✔ I had the t-shirt graphic blocks "harvested" and was ready to fuse as soon as the fusible interfacing arrived on Thursday.  By Friday evening I had the top ready for borders...

The recipient of this quilt is a runner.  He ran cross-country and track throughout high school and college and beyond.  There was even one "jersey" that had USA on it.  I think I need to find out the story of that one.  

Did he try qualifying for the US Olympic team?  

And that is where the weekend activities and marathon painting/cleaning took over... sending me into a state of exhausted staring.

This photo was taken just before we had a mishap with a paint spill. I won't say who was responsible for it... but I am glad that I didn't do it!  😧 We both acted quickly and got it cleaned up without tracking it all through the house as I raced to get the ladder outside and the shampooer out of the basement and filled with hot water to work out as much paint as we possibly could from the carpet.  We even had to remove a portion of the baseboard trim.  What a mess!  Paint was dripping off of the ladder once placed outside on the patio so that needed some attention as well.  

In the meantime, there was a second pan of paint sitting on the floor in another area that could have easily become its own separate mess.  Once we had regrouped and finished clean-up we were able to laugh about it.  

So maybe you understand my state of staring...  It's a little like needing a day of vacation to recover from your vacation. LOL!

❧ I need to return to the t-shirt quilt to get borders on it and then get it quilted.  And I think that will be all that is on my list this week.

What are your plans for the week?

Judy has been working on her Pieces in the Garden blocks...

And Kathy Reeves should be getting her prize package from the drawing for block #3 - Bachelor blocks soon.  

Karen over at LilyPadLoveQuilt shared her Bachelor blocks and her Hours blocks.

I agree with her statement that the Bachelor block was not as fun or easy as the Hours block.  Despite the small 4-patch units in the Hours, it comes together really fast!  

How is your garden row quilt coming along?  I'd love to see the progress...

Even Mrs. Bobbins is joining the fun!  😆

Keep Piecing!


Linking with:

To Do Tuesday at Texas Quilt Gal
Mid-week Makers at Quilt Fabrication
Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter
Stitch Sew & Show at Life in the Scrap Patch
Put Your Foot Down at For the Love of Geese
Needle & Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation

Friday, May 13, 2022

Lacking a Friday Finish

Sadly, this week is lacking a finish.  But there is a good reason for that...

I had shared back in February that Dave started a project to repair some drywall seams/cracks in the hallway ceiling.  It had spilled over into the living room, and we were planning to paint... and then it was time to take our trip across Texas and Louisiana.  So, we cleaned things up and put things (mostly) back into place.

He has finally decided that it was time to begin painting.  Stuff came off the walls and into boxes...

On Sunday we got the ceiling painted and now we need to do the walls.  I think that happens tomorrow.

I was also waiting for the fusible interfacing to arrive... so there was that, too.  LOL... I passed my time with some pattern writing and testing...  and this is all I can show.  The actual photo shoot will take place this afternoon. 📸  But you'll have to wait until June to see them.  Anticipation... ♩♪𝅘𝅥

This is a bonus block that will be released in June

There's a new Teatime with TT story... this one shares memories of my cousin Karri and how Tressie made every day fancy.  Have you downloaded your pattern for the current block, #4 - Hours, yet?  Make it a plan for the weekend!  The blocks come together easily and quickly, despite the small 4-patch blocks in it.  I'd love to see how your Pieces in the Garden Row Quilt is progressing!  Here's a shot of mine...

And this is Mrs. Bobbins'...

So, in a way, I have some finishes for the week... just not a finished quilt that I can show and share.

While we are not painting, I'll be in the studio cutting interfacing and fusing it to the t-shirt blocks I harvested.

What will YOU be doing?

Happy Friday!


Linking with:

Finished or Not Friday at Alycia Quilts
Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework
Sunday Stash at QuiltPaintCreate
Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Scrap Happy Saturday at Super Scrappy
Patchwork & Quilts at The Quilting Patch