Friday, September 30, 2016

Five Things Friday ~ #8

It is Friday and that means that I am here to give you a run down of five things that made me smile this week.

#1)  Fresh veggies - shared with us by a friend... Thanks Jaquie!

#2)  Our house being sealed, once again, from the outside elements and critters and the best news is that the crawl space should no longer get water in it when heavy rains come... YAY!  It has been quite the project.  After years of water weeping in and causing the wood to rot, we had to open it up remove the board on top of the foundation and replace it with a new one.  We still have some work to do, but at least nothing can get in!

#3)  While I am not a fan of Christmas decorations or music in September (that just needs to wait until after Thanksgiving), I am a firm believer in starting Christmas shopping early... And I have done just that!  Two gifts checked off the list =D

#4)  The opportunity to repair someone's very special quilt.  

It has needed lots of help.  This quilt was tied in 6" increments.  I have repaired some tears, I quilted in the sashing strips just to stabilize the quilt and have begun quilting around the stars (I have 10 of the 20 blocks done)  

And I will need to completely replaced four star points in one block.  This ought to be fun!

#5)  A photo of our grand-daughters having some snuggle time...

Is your life filled with happiness and joy? Remember your life is shaped by your thoughts... think good things and good things will come to you!  

Happy Friday!


Jump over to Gypsy Moon Quilt Co and see what other people are smiling about.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Gertie Goat

"Gertie Goat" began as a fun little project that had been hanging out on my cutting table for a few months when on a day that I should have been preparing for the upcoming local farmer's market weekends, I chose to play with Gertie. The pattern for her comes from Volume 8 of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks.  She reminded me of the goat that had a patchwork face and named after me...

The whole idea was to send a fun little table topper or wall hanging to our friends (Jack and Jamie) that own the Lazy J Goat Farm in Seymour, Texas.  As Gertie showed off at the farmer's market weekends I participated in, she got lots of attention.  

And then some pictures of Jack's dad and his twin brother from their childhood showed up on facebook...

It was shortly after the appearance of these pictures that we heard the news of Mr. Miller's passing...

     Jackson Ormand “Jack” Miller, Jr., 77, of Bay City, formerly of Victoria, died Saturday, September 17, 2016, after a long struggle with Parkinson’s. He was born December 7, 1938 in Victoria, to the late Jack O. Miller and Ellen Braman Miller. He was a lifelong member of the Episcopal Church. He was a rancher, conscientious property owner and conservationist who was particularly interested with the improvement of the wildlife habitat of the ranches. Jack’s favorite place to be was “on the Miller Ranch west of the River.” 

     He is survived by his wife Zia Crowell Miller. They married January 27, 1962 in Louise, TX. He is also survived by sons Jackson O. Miller, III and his wife Jamie Becker of Seymour, TX and Daniel Carl Miller of Bay City; brother Stephen S. Miller and his husband Norman Miller of Chicago, IL; grandchildren Catherine Elizabeth Newell, Alicia Margaret Miller, Daniel Carl Miller, Jr., Sgt. Kerah Marlene Miller, United States Army and Jackson Ormand Miller, IV and four great-grandchildren. Jack was preceded in death by his twin brother Daniel Braman Miller. He retired after 35 years of employment with his cousin D.H. Braman, Jr. of Refugio.

     For the past four years, Jack has been respectfully care for by a dedicated staff and special loving care givers at the Matagorda Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. He passed away peacefully with his wife of 54 years holding his hand.
In lieu of flowers, consider contributions to Christ Episcopal Church, or a charity of your interest. You might consider supporting Matagorda County Cattlemen and the beef producers by enjoying a good rib-eye steak.

It was then that I realized Gertie needed to be a memorial gift to Jack... I hope that you two (Jack & Jamie) enjoy Gertie and recall fond memories of your dad as you make some of your own on the Lazy J Goat Farm.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the family in this time of loss. 

Much love and blessings,


Saturday, September 24, 2016

Majestic Mountains - Fall Setting

** This is a second entry in to Blogger's Quilt Festival (fall 2016).  Be sure you head over to Amy's blog and vote for my quilt!  At the very least, you should really take a look at all the amazing quilts that have been entered... Voting begins September 25th. 

Majestic Mountains... 

I lift my eyes to the hills -- where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord, Maker of heaven and earth.
~ Psalm 121:1-2

A pattern from Amy Ellis with my own scrappy twist to it.  

Rather than having the meadow reflect a spring time setting, I used the darker greens, yellows and oranges and tans.  

While the pattern did not have a border or "frame", I wanted the final look to be more like a framed piece of art.  

I was able to create some depth in the quilt by doing the different directional free-motion quilting.  (I don't think I have ever done such tight quilting!)  I actually feared that I was over quilting it, but am extremely pleased with the finished quilt... especially the sky portion.

Thanks for stopping by to see my quilt.  I hope that you will take a closer look and will come back often to see what I am doing.



Friday, September 23, 2016

Five Things Friday ~ #7

We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have 
~ Frederick Koenig ~

I continue my Five Things Friday... #7.  

#1) Our view as we sat on the front porch relaxing and watching the world pass by after a short bike ride ~ The serenity and peace is difficult to describe with words...

#2) The time with the grand-daughters and their Momma was a blessed time!  We so much enjoyed the time that we forgot pictures... but here is some artwork that Emma and "Kampa" created.

#3) The stack of finished quilts ready to be sent to their new owners...

#4)  The beginning of the fall 2016 Bible Study and the opportunity to reunite with some old friends as well as a few new ones.

#5)  Early morning drives on the way to spend the day with some of our favorite people and the ability to watch God's art transform...

I have linked up with Amanda over at Gypsy Moon Quilt Co... head on over there and see what others are happy about.  

And don't forget to tell me what happy moments stand out in your week!

Happy Friday!


Thursday, September 22, 2016

I've Got a Peaceful, Easy Feelin'...

** This is one entry in to Blogger's Quilt Festival (fall 2016).  Be sure you head over and vote for my quilt!  At the very least, take a look at all the amazing quilts that have been entered... Voting begins September 25th. 

The word of the week seems to be "Peace"... I have had a peaceful week lacking lots of drama and excitement, some quiet and peaceful evenings with my husband as we enjoyed a few evenings on the front porch, yesterday, September 21, was "World Peace Day"... AND I finished a twin-sized quilt that was hand-dyed featuring a 24" peace sign appliqued in the center of the top.

I will admit that I was timid about the project since the customer's idea and my style of quilting did not mesh a year ago.  I did not want to purchase some tie-dyed fabric at $10+/yard only for him to not like the fabric.  So, it all began with a full-sized flat sheet and a tie-dye kit that together cost about $20.  I know that some quilters argue against using sheets as backing because of the high thread count (and the needle cutting the fabric), but for years I have used (and will continue to use) the inexpensive cheap economy grade store brand sheets that are of a looser weave and thread count.  

I "studied" several Youtube videos that offered tips and lessons and then proceeded with some trepidation, but my husband, Dave, kept reminding me... "Remember the video?  There are no mistakes in tie-dye".  Thanks!  


After letting it "hatch" for several days, as suggested, I untied and unfolded the sheet... And low & behold (much to my relief)... I had a spiral!

I rinsed... and I rinsed... and I rinsed... and I rinsed some more to get as much of the dye out of it as possible and then transferred it to the washing machine with a cold water rinse... multiple times.  And eventually placed it in the dryer so that the color would "set".  I mean, if you have a stain on clothing and it goes through the dryer it is pretty much permanent, right?

I e-mailed a photo to my customer and got his approval. Yippee! (along with a bit of relief) I moved forward...

I made my template for the peace sign and with fusible applique centered the peace sign on the fabric and used a button-hole stitch in black.  I prepared the quilt sandwich and then marked grid lines on point for quilting and used variegated thread.  

Once the quilting was done and it was time to trim to the proper size.  I borrowed a laser level from dear hubby.  I measured and marked to the desired dimension.  

(It doesn't really show well in the photo, but there is a third laser that I had positioned through the center of the peace sign.)

Once I marked the lines for the edges, I trimmed, and was ready for the binding.

I opted for a purchased (left-over) {it really is about scraps here ;)} batik that had teal, green and purple in it.

As I worked on this quilt, I kept hearing in my mind the song Amazing Grace to the tune of Peaceful Easy Feeling (by the Eagles).  I am happy that the customer and I were able to collaborate on a project after our "creative ideas not meshing" a year ago.  So.... Yes, I do have a peaceful, easy feeling as this quilt is completed.

All that is left is a label... "To the wonderful Moonbeam,  #119 ~ True friendship is a knot tied by the hands of angels ~ Your loving brother, Saccharin"

What is or would be your "hippie name"?  Leave a comment to let me know...

Peace Out,


Stop by Quilter Blogs to see what other quilters are doing... 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Five Things Friday ~ #6

When you do what you love, you can pull back the bed sheets every morning feeling excited about beginning another day, and you'll be filled with a heartfelt joy that is highly contagious. ~ Unknown

It is Friday!  How can it be???  I have been lax in taking photographs but have to also say that I feel I have been fully present in the moments that have made me smile.  So, let me "paint" some pictures for you...

#1) As I worked this week (for those that don't know, I am a receptionist for an oral surgeon that comes to town every other Wednesday so that his very rural patients don't have to travel quite so far) one of the patients has had a very difficult and challenging time recovering from full extractions and faced yet another surgery with great fear and in trepidation.  I watched as the assistant and Dr. prepped her for surgery and comforted her and her daughter.  As she left the office she hugged the Dr. with all the might a 98 lb woman could muster and expressed her gratitude for his patience and compassion with her.  The Dr. and assistant commented that they felt as though they "had found the golden ticket"! 

#2) The smell of freshly cut wood... As Dave worked to create an entry into the crawlspace below our bedroom the smell of freshly cut lumber filled the room.  There is no picture because we had emptied the closet and the room was a complete mess.  But within just a few hours the access hole was completed (as well as the inspection of the space) and everything returned to normal. 

#3)  Some tie-dyed fabric and a peace sign... 

I have appliqued the peace sign onto the dyed fabric and await the variegated thread that I ordered so that I can quilt it.

#4)  Breakfast - Home made granola and bagels (Bagels take a long time to make and use just about every method of cooking possible!  You broil the, boil them and then bake them ~ but they are soooo worth it!)

#5)  No words needed... this just made me smile =D

Come on, join in on the fun!  What made you smile this week???  Leave a comment.  I'd love to hear from you... AND smile with you.  Be sure to stop by for a visit with Amanda at Gypsy Moon Quilt Co. and see what she is smiling about as well.



Also... In case you missed it... The is my block that I designed for the Cloud 9 Blog Hop that has been going on all week.  Interested in how to make it?  Here is the tutorial

The list of Day 2 participants is here... and Here is the list of the Cloud 9 participants from Day 3.  Check out their blocks and I think you can enter to win a FQ bundle from the hosts (must enter by 9/16 11:59 EDT).  Have fun hopping!

Wednesday, September 14th

Host: Stephanie @Late Night Quilter

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

A New Love

If you happened upon my blog in search of the Cloud 9 Blog hop you can find a list of today's featured blocks here... Day 2 - Cloud 9 Participants.  If you happen to be looking for my Cloud 9 Block you can find it here... Cloud 9 Dragonfly Block.  You can find the list of all Day one participants at the bottom of my Dragonfly tutorial.

A New Love... 

A few weeks ago as I worked on a wall hanging made from a hand-painted piece of fabric from Africa...

I realized that over the years I have developed a love for fabric from other countries. 

Now, I am not just talking about fabric made in China or anything like that.  I mean fabric that is used for native clothing or hand painted and batik dyed fabrics.  

One of the quilts I made had a very modern feel to it...  As you can see with the large animal skull print and flowers it never would have worked to cut it up into small pieces.  The entire look would have been lost.

The next few featured fabric from Indonesia.  I finished this quilt that had been started by another quilter.  I completed the borders and quilted it to look like ripples on a pond from a duck.

I then used two other pieces as borders for some very special memory quilts for a friend's grand-daughters.  Their Mom lost her battle with MS and left four young girls, as well as their dad.  I had donated some blocks to a group on facebook that collected blocks for MS.  They then assembled the blocks into quilt tops and auctioned them off.  My friend purchased the two that featured her daughter's picture on them.  I then made two more so that all four girls got one.

These quilts feature a photo block of their Mom.

The first one was purple with flowers and the other was blue with flowers...

So earlier this year one of Dave's customers was planning a trip to Africa for a Safari hunt.  I mentioned to his wife that I would love a piece or two of some sort of fabric from a street market.  The wall hanging (above) and this one is what she picked up for me...

                      or maybe not so new...

But as I reflect back a few years, I guess my love for fabric from various areas really isn't something new... 

Our two daughters were in Girl Scouts and had traveled to Florida and returned home with some typical souvenirs for us - which was nice - I mean they thought of us, right?  A few years later they were able to travel to Hawaii for 10 days.  This time I told them to return with some sort of fabric item - A skirt, wrap, scarf... anything that I could sew.  {{Dave requested some sort of consumable, edible item... I think he got macadamia nuts and coffee?? }}

Success!  They both brought back packs (a large stack) of 7-in squares Hawaiian print fabric.  I have gobs and gobs of the blocks left!  LOL! 

Each of the girls got a quilt made with them....  I have one quilt.... And I have given at lease three others away as gifts... as well as used some of the blocks in other scrappy quilts!  

So, even though I haven't traveled far, far from home (I have made it a few miles across both the northern and southern borders of the US) I have been blessed with the opportunity to enjoy some wonderfully made, beautiful fabric from other countries.

Should I ever get the opportunity to travel abroad, I will definitely be on the hunt for some special souvenir fabric!  How 'bout you?  
What sort of souvenirs do you like???

Happy quilting!


See what other quilters are talking about at Quilter Blogs

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Cloud 9 - Dragonfly Tutorial

Welcome to Day 1 of the Cloud 9 New Block Blog Hop, and welcome to Melva Loves Scraps!  I hope that you will take some time to look around...

My block is a Dragonfly...  

Did you know... Dragonflies are not your average insects. These mysterious and ancient creatures have lived on earth for millions of years, far longer than humans. They sometimes appear fearless and maybe even a bit nosey, not hesitating to land on a nearby twig or even on a gardener’s hat. (from Dragonfly SymbolismIf a dragonfly repeatedly flies alongside someone as they take a morning walk, following the passing of a loved one, what would it mean to them?  For those involved, these real life experiences symbolize hope, immortality, and the afterlife. They provided comfort during a time of need. 

On to how to make the block...

Cutting instructions –

Background – Cloud 9 Sky
1 – 4-7/8” square
4 – 4-1/2” squares
7 – 2-1/2” squares
1 – 1-1/2” strip (at least 9” long)

Body – Cloud 9 Shadow
2 – 2-1/2” squares
1 – 1-1/2” strip (at least 9” long)
Large Wings – Cloud 9 Lilac
1 – 4-7/8” square
Small Wings – Cloud 9 Iris
2 – 3” x 6-1/2” rectangle

Join strips together.  Cut to 1-1/2” sections

Sew sections together to make three 4-patch blocks

Join 4-patches with 2-1/2” squares as shown  

Sew 2-1/2” squares together as shown to create the head of the dragonfly.
Arrange and sew blocks accordingly to create 4-1/2 inch squares to create the body of the dragonfly
For the wings mark 4-7/8” square on the diagonal – 1/4” from center
Stitch on the marked lines - cut.
Press open – mark 2-1/4 inches as shown
Place the rectangle on the mark and the center seam – 
Sew 1/4” from rectangle edge
Press open (I left the entire background portion on the back of the block so that there would be less chance of the fabric pulling because of the bias edge.)

Trim to make square  

Place 4-1/2” background squares in place and assemble rows as shown.
Join rows together.  Press the seam with the wings open to reduce bulk.

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope that you like my block.  I believe the assembly instructions to be complete, as they were tested by a few quilters.  BUT, should you encounter a problem, please let me know so that I can answer any questions you may have or make any necessary adjustments to the instructions.

Also, please be sure to check in with Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl. There are prizes to be won!!! Some lucky winner will win a fat-quarter bundle of Cloud 9 Cirrrus Solids.  And be sure to visit all today's participants to see what blocks they created.  There will be, no doubt, a wide variety of blocks, styles and techniques.  I know I will be checking them all out!

Abigail @Cut & Alter
Janice @Color, Creating, and Quilting!
Lorinda @Laurel, Poppy, and Pine
Renee @Quilts of a Feather
Kathryn @Upitis Quilts
Kim @Leland Ave Studios
Amanda @this mom quilts
Holly @Lighthouse Lane Designs
Irene @Patchwork and Pastry
Jennifer @Dizzy Quilter
Karen @Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats
Anne @Said With Love
Suzy @Adventurous Applique and Quilting
Sharla @Thistle Thicket Studio
Kathleen @Smiles From Kate
Amanda @Gypsy Moon Quilt Co.
Sarah @Sarah Goer Quilts
Chelsea @Patch the Giraffe
Jinger @Trials of a Newbie Quilter
Anja @Anja Quilts
Daisy @Ants to Sugar

Dragonflies have always reminded me of lazy, laid back summer days at the cottage that my Mother-in-law and Father-in-law had in Michigan.  So, tell me... What does the visit of a Dragonfly remind you of? 

May you find hope as you work on the Dragonfly.



Head on over to Quilter Blogs to see what other quilters are doing!