Tuesday, June 28, 2016

It Is Finished...

I have been working on the "face of Jesus" for six weeks... now granted there have recently been a few things that kept me from getting into my studio.  We had a one week trip to California for a wedding as well a 5 day break as we hosted some house guests.  Along with the typical household cleaning routines and meal prep for another guest, my time of sewing was severely inhibited.

None the less... I finally have Jesus done!  

Now for the quilting... 

FMQ is what I have in mind to give to his hair and beard texture, as well as his cloak. I believe the background will have stippling... but I won't really know until I get there.

I have had several questions about "how did you do that?"  I started with the photograph (with center lines marked) 

and then marked out a grid...

From there I started placing squares on my design wall, working from the center out, one row at a time... 

Since I had decided to use one color for the background, I then started placing that on the wall...

To help me keep track of what row I was actually working on I pinned the picture onto the wall, and used straight pins to hold a ruler in place...

Once I had the picture complete, I would take a picture, make a few changes in shading and then take another picture... I repeated the process until I was satisfied with the final result.

There is not as much detail as I had hoped to achieve, but the quilting helped a lot!

Here are a few close up shots...

All in all, I am pleased with it.  My customer is happy with it as well - and that is what is most important... a happy customer!

I have now moved on from  1" finished squares to some projects with larger pieces of fabric to be ready for the Farmer's Market on Saturday, July 2.  

It is always so challenging to try to "guess" what the visitors will want... that is why I offer a variety of items... quilts, wall hangings, table runners, bibs, bags, therapeutic rice bags, wine bags, tissue covers, plastic bag holders... and more!

Have you ever done a show or market?  
What sort of items do you sell?  
What are some of your more popular items?

Happy summer!


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Friday, June 24, 2016

First... Read The Directions!

Today was sewing lesson one with Brenna.  She did AMAZING!

We went over some basics, and then discussed her "ideal" project so that we have a goal to reach for.

We needed to make a run to the fabric department at our local big box store to select fabric for the drawstring bag/back-pack and to get cord and thread.  We discussed some of the different types of fabric and she settled on a canvas type fabric for the bag since it would be more durable and sturdy.

She quickly picked up on sewing a straight line and how to guide the fabric through the machine.  I had her sew the bottom and side seams... 

And just like that I was quickly reminded that I really should read all of the directions (rather than depend solely on my logic and experience)... When I looked to the next step I noticed that she was not to sew the entire side seams, but stop short 4"... to be able to create the top casings for the drawstring!

Since it was my mis-direction that told her to sew it, I ripped it... it is only fair!

With every seam her lines became straighter and more consistent! And she learned how to pull cording through the casing and the importance of securing the ties to the bottom of the bag.

Lesson #2 with be making a poncho and selecting fabric for a skirt.  I think she will have "homework" with the skirt so that she can become familiar with and comfortable using her own machine.

She had fun! I had fun!  Her mom loved the bag and is just as excited for Brenna as Brenna is about having this opportunity.

Another seamstress has been born!

Happy sewing!


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Sunday, June 19, 2016

Bucket List Check-in

It seems that in just a blink of an eye the year of 2016 is nearly half gone! 

Where has the time slipped away to?!?

I thought it might be a good time to review my Bucket List.

1 - Crayon quilt... a work in progress - I have the fabric pulled and have begun cutting and piecing... one section done!


2 - Feathers... I will come back to this one.

3 - Digitized (photo) Quilt... Not just one, but THREE!  I am over the 1" finished squares.  LOL!

4 - Hand Quilting... a work in progress, but I have 89 blocks done... out of 160 (not including the flying geese).  Getting there!

5 - Wedding quilt - Done and delivered :) True North

6 - Denim Cathedral Windows - an up-cycled quilt made from jeans and flannel - a work in progress... this is one I pull out on days that I want to do something pretty mindless.

7 - Wonky Scrap Quilt... haven't had time to get started.

8 - Block submitted to Quiltmaker 100 Blocks - DoneBlock Submission

9 - Amish Jewel Tone quilt... another one I haven't had time to started.

10 - Farmer's Market... I called just yesterday and scheduled for two Saturdays - July 2 and September 3 - Now I need to get some table runners made before July!  

11 - Donation of t-shirt quilt to Relay for Life event - DoneHope, Fight, Celebrate & Remember

So I have completed five items, working on three and still have six months to complete the other three.  Seems like I am on track with my goals.

Now, about the Free-motion feathers... I am so intimidated by these. I know that what I really need to do is to remember my "Just Do It!" attitude and set aside the fear... I mean after all I am not planning on entering my first FMQ feathers into a show... right? Any tips about getting started and how to make them look right? 

Thanks!  Be blessed...


Be sure to stop by Quilter Blogs to see what other quilters are blogging about!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Sewing - 101

I was recently asked to give a young lady some "lessons" for sewing.  She is 14 and has a great interest in fashion design.  I'm not sure I would consider myself an expert, as her mother so kindly referred to me as, but I have done my fair share of clothing construction, including morphing three patterns together to make my daughter's wedding dress two years ago...

I used the bodice from one pattern, the skirt from a second and the train of the dress from a third.  No easy task as they were all different pattern companies. Yes, I got it done.  She looked beautiful and even more importantly, it was exactly what she wanted and she was thrilled with it!  This coming from the girl that refused to allow me to make any of her homecoming or prom dresses was huge!  

The reason she never wanted me to make any of her formal dresses?  She didn't want them to look home made. :'(  Really?  Okay, so a few years passed between her high school days to her wedding day and she realized that just because it was "home made" didn't mean it had to look like it.  I'm glad she trusted me with the job!

So, now that I have a young lady wanting to learn some fashion construction tips I have to think back to some of my first sewing projects from 4-H. One of my first sewing projects for the "review" was an elastic banded, light blue gingham skirt. It was very 1970's!  Haha... I looked deep in the crawlspace for a photo, but no luck!  Your loss ;)

While deep into the crawlspace I did locate my 
Beginning Clothing book from 4-H!

There are a number of projects that are perfect for beginning sewers... a draw-string bag (I remember using one I made for a gym bag... made out of pink hand towels), a skirt, a tote bag, a poncho and an apron. (I still have the apron... our girls spent numerous hours playing "restrump" {their pronunciation for restaurant} and be waitresses.)

All very good ideas... I believe I will meet with Brenna and see what project she would like to start with and then we will need to go shopping for fabric and notions!

Fun stuff!
What sort of projects would you suggest for someone interested in fashion design?

And don't forget!... Week one of the New Quilt Bloggers blog hop is still going on!  There are many wonderful prizes available, so be sure to visit all of the links below. =D

Just click on the links given below... 

Amanda at Gypsy Moon Quilt Co.

Paige at Quilted Blooms

Tish at Tish N Wonderland

Many thanks to Yvonne at Quilting Jet Girl, Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs and Stephanie at Late Night Quilter for coordinating the blog hop and making arrangements for some amazing prizes!

Be blessed ~ Happy Sewing!


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Sunday, June 12, 2016

Thanks For Stopping By!

Thanks for stopping by Melva Loves Scraps!  The title says it all... I love scraps! I am a Homemaker who loves to quilt, especially with a scrappy look.   I love the challenge of working with scraps, remnants and cast-offs to bring forth something beautiful.

This doesn't just apply to quilting, but with life in general!  I love to cook.  But given the fact that Dave & I are empty-nesters, this means that we have plenty of leftovers.  I love to accept the challenge of transforming leftovers into new meals.

I also have a love for scrapbooking and have a serious need to get caught up... I am three years behind!  This blog was originally started in 2011 when I participated in a weekly scrapbooking challenge.  I soon lost interest in the challenge and the blog went to the wayside until I submitted a block for volume 8 of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks publication.  It was shortly after that I decided that this blog would be a great way to document and share the stories of my quilts and some of the thoughts and experiences of life as I create them.

I hope that you enjoy your visit and that you will choose to return on occasion because you just never know what I might be doing or what my latest project may be.  Some say I am crazy, some say talented… all I know is that life keeps me on my toes!   And I do my best to keep a positive attitude and a sense of humor… and my faith keeps me on my knees and looking up.

Remember, when life gives you scraps, make a quilt!

Some of my favorite quilts…

Desert Oasis...
was a quilt created during a very uncertain time of our lives.  My husband had faced some serious challenges with his job and the future of our financial security and employment were hanging in the balance.  At the same time my Dad was facing the last days of his life. You can read the entire story here.  This was a quilt that offered healing to me as I worked on it.  I enjoyed using it for a short time… I then passed it on to the brother-in-law of a former high school classmate who had suffered a serious stroke.  He has since passed away, but his wife continues to enjoy the quilt and draws comfort from it.

was probably the most intimidating quilt that I have made.  It consists of 1,092 pieces that are 1-inch finished squares.  It was a springboard type project - I recently did another one of a cross and I am currently in the midst of laying out and piecing another “photo” quilt... the face of Jesus. 

The Broken Star Quilt...
was one of the most difficult quilts I have done… It was a 30-year old kit with pre-cut pieces that were inconsistent in size.  You can read about this quilt and all of the headaches and problems I faced while piecing it here.

This Love of Log Cabins quilt was created while I was part of the Addicted to Scraps group  associated with Quiltmaker Magazine & Bonnie Hunter.  

The full story about how there were two misplaced blocks that were discovered after it had been completed and what I decided to do to fix it is hereI was working with a deadline and felt rushed... which is probably why the misplacement was overlooked...

Had I been a little more diligent in taking photos along the way I may have noticed the misplacement of the two blocks.  

It was about 17 years ago when I had started going to a block of the month group and one of the tips the teacher gave was to go to the hardware store and buy a peep hole and use it backwards… it reduces the quilt top so that you can have a better view of what the quilt top looks like from a distance.  Rather than use a peep hole, I now use my digital camera. I snap a photo and can quickly see if there is something out of place…  This is the technique I have used with the digitized Jesus photo.  

I could see that the shading around his nose & lips were quite right… So would change a few blocks and snap another photo and then change a few more... the changes toward the end were very subtle, but necessary.  Have you ever done a pieced "photo" quilt?  Any tips you are willing to share?

So, my tip for quilting... take lots of pictures.  My tip for blogging... take lots of pictures... Readers like pictures and to see the progress of a project.

This is something that I have emphasized to my husband, Dave, over the past three years.  As the "director of marketing" (just one of many other roles) for our business I am always looking for something to share on fb for his page Nolan Quality Customs.  I have been encouraging him to start his own blog... He has been in his trade (gunsmithing) for 30+ and he taught for 18+ years during that.  He has a wealth of knowledge that he can share in his trade. So there is another blogging tip - Just Do It!  At least start it and it will evolve into what it needs to be.  

Again, thanks for stopping by!



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Saturday, June 11, 2016

Time With Jesus...

This week I was able to spend some significant time working on the Jesus wall-hanging... I was doing really good!

And then I realized that I had three more rows at the top yet to lay out and I was short the required amount of background squares... and I had NO MORE! The fabric was from a fat quarter that I had picked up at a quilt show in April and I had no info from the selvage (and I couldn't remember the name of the "store" I bought it from - and even if I had how do you describe a fabric over the phone??)

So, I did what any quilter would do... I dove into my stash and pulled out what I thought was a similar fabric... not a perfect match, but I really thought it would work.  


I dove back into my stash and located more of a yellow (rather than a green) and did a quick audition by placing some squares over the green-ish squares (mostly on the left side) ...

It looked much better!  
So I sat and ripped stitches to pull out all of the green blocks and a few extra of the original ones so that my "salvation plan" didn't seem so "back up".

I know that I still need to go back in and fix some of Jesus' hair and beard shading, but I am really liking the result. It is not a highly detailed "photo" like a sketch or drawing, or even a cross-stitch could be... It is much more like an oil painting or acrylic... you know where you stand back and stare at it.

Thanks MaryNell for the special request for this wall hanging! I have loved the challenges.

Have you ever run short of fabric while making a quilt?  How did you "save" it? I get that the obvious solution is to buy more of the same fabric, but what if you can't... What then?  I'd love to hear what other solutions might be.

Happy Quilting!


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Monday, June 6, 2016

Check Another One Off the List...

It is official... I can mark another item off of my Bucket List!

My submission for Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Volume 15 has gone off in the mail! Hopefully it will be accepted... Watch for details!



Thursday, June 2, 2016

Bloglovin' claim...

Technology challenges me... I believe I finally have a bloglovin' follow option in my side bar!

<a href="http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/12780635/?claim=da9f6zbev6e">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Things to do...

Over the last few weeks I was accepted/invited to participate in the 2016 New Quilt Blogger's Hop. 

This is a group that is designed to help new bloggers improve their blogging skills... There are nearly 60 of us in the entire group and we were broken down into smaller "hives" and then into even smaller groups for the critique portion of the group.  I am part of the Sewcial Network "Hive"... 

The whole purpose it to offer tips, advice and feedback to each other on how to improve our blogs, reach a larger audience and increase interaction on posts.
There has been discussion regarding lots of different subjects... One such subject addressed the subject of how to improve the overall appeal and appearance of your blog. 

I have received my critiques and have already made a few changes to page.

One such change you may notice is the addition of tabs/pages to create a photo gallery of finished quilts, as well as watermarking my photos (something I have thought about for a long time, but tend to forget when creating my posts).

I knew there would be extra work/time required to participate in this group... and I was right, but it has been worth it.  I have learned so much.  And I have had the opportunity to work with some fellow quilters and bloggers.

Feel free to stop by and see what they are up to!

Sharon is at Yellow Cat Designs

Jennifer can be found at RV Quilting

Feel free to wander over to Tish N Wonderland

Susan is over at Seven Oaks Street Quilts

I will be a part of the upcoming blog hop in a couple weeks.  A way to basically kick off the new & improved blogs for all participating.  In the meantime, I am open to more suggestions for improvement... they may already be on my list of things to do, but don't worry about that... If I receive similar suggestions, that must mean that I really need to pay attention to them.  :)

While I have a few more items on my to-do list, I am really, really missing my sewing room!  I will likely be in there for the next few days...

Happy Quilting!