Saturday, July 29, 2017

Quilters Through the Generations - Lala Teegarden

Welcome back to Melva Loves Scraps and Quilters Through the Generations...

This week I feature Lala Teegarden - in my family tree she is my Great-Grandma - the mother of my Grandpa Teegarden, Forrest, and the Mother-in-law of my Grandma Teegarden, Tressie.  

From a memory book of my Grandpa's, he shares...

My mama's name was Atchafalya Davis.  She was known as Lala.  She was born on October 14, 1876 in Ray County, Missouri.  Lala bore the lovely Indian name that her family shortened to "Lala".  Mama was a seamstress in town (Trinidad, CO).  She also cooked meals at the Christian Church once a week.  They served complete dinners there for 35¢.  I would help serve the ice cream.

“Lala” Teegarden (on the left) was a member of the Trinidad Christian Church.  There was a group of ladies (pictured above) that quilted at the Teegarden’s.  My mom, Carol recalls, "there was always a quilt set up in the east end of the dining room. The ladies quilted every Tuesday.  Of course, whenever she had some time on her own she would be sitting there quilting.  Lala would piece blocks and when she got the tops put together, place them on the quilting frame ready for the women to quilt.  Any one in town that wanted a quilt could order a quilt from them. The money raised from the sale of the quilts went to the church.  Lala’s daughters (Luna and Viola) quilted from time to time.  Tressie Teegarden quilted some with the ladies.  Everyone was welcome to sit and quilt with them.

This appliqued quilt floral wreath was made by Lala in the 1950’s.  It was found in her cedar chest after she had passed away.  Carol had a group of quilters in La Junta (CO) hand quilt it in the 80's.

Lala made many quilts... These are just a few...
                       The Acorn Quilt

Irish Chain

Ocean Waves

We know that she taught many how to sew and quilt... her daughters (Luna and Viola) and her grand-daughter (Carol) are just a few that we know of personally...

Carol shares...
As a young girl I would sometimes spend the night with Grandma and Grandpa.  Grandma would curl my hair, forming ringlets on her finger.  One time Grandma had accidentally sewn her finger on the machine - and that was the finger she would use to form the curls in my hair.  Every time she pulled her finger out of the ringlet the loose, injured skin would catch... OH, it gives me the shudders to this day when I think about it!

And let's not forget the story from my original post...

Everyone was welcome and encouraged to join in on the quilting. She had been encouraged by her Grandma and the other ladies though she knew that her stitches were uneven.  After leaving the house and returning shortly afterward because she had left something behind, she walked in to see her Grandma picking out her stitches.  Ooops!

Now guess who the lucky gal is that has two of her thimbles as well as an assortment of threads?  ME!  Just imagine the number of hours these thimbles were used, and the countless number of stitches and quilts they graced...

OH, the stories they could tell! Just imagine the number of friendships strengthened as the quilters sat quilting... and counseling... and comforting... and mourning... and celebrating... and maybe even a little gossiping...  Celebrating birthdays and marriages and babies...  

Are you part of a quilting group or guild?  
What sort of projects do you work on as a group?

Does your family have quilters throughout the generations? 
What stories and memories do you have of quilters or quilts from your childhood?  

I'd be more than happy to help you document those stories... just let me know by leaving a comment and I will be in touch ~ you can include your e-mail address in the comment.


Thursday, July 27, 2017

Under The Sea

Last week we found out that we would have the opportunity to reunite (though for just a few hours) with some friends that we love spending time with - The Mercado family...

When they left Trinidad four years ago they were a family of four and have since grown to a family of six.

I had the great honor (while they live in Trinidad) of offering part-time childcare for their first-born, Caia from the tiny age of just 6-weeks old until the time that their second, Zoey, was born about 16 months later.  My husband Dave always enjoyed his lunches with Caia just as much as I enjoyed the days with her.

Even after Meghan and Ivan decided that Meghan would be a stay at home mom I got to entertain the girls (or was it them who entertained me?) when Meghan participated in a weekly Bible study... on these days I had as many as seven, yes - 7!, little girls.

That was always a morning filled with joy and laughter when I got to be with them!

So when the family had the opportunity to return to Trinidad for a weekend we were blessed to spend time with ALL of them.  

I headed to my sewing room with the intention of whipping up a quick baby quilt for their youngest - Gabrielle Grace.  All of the older children have have quilts - yet I let the birth of this sweet gal sneak by... I was determined to remedy that!

I pulled out a pattern for a really quick quilt... One I have made before...

I should have been able to get it together but rather than follow the original pattern I played... 

I was using some fun fish fabric and did some fussy cutting to feature two fish in the center squares - and then instead of making large flying geese, I made fish... This took waaaay longer than I had anticipated and did not get it done before our time together with them...

Oh well... a care package will be going out soon!

 This quilt was not only fun to piece, but I had some fun with the quilting as I created the "current" of the water... Dolphins border this quilt and the backing is the fish fabric... believe it or not, not a single piece of fabric was purchased - all from the various scraps and discarded "stashes" from others.  It measures 38" by 46".

How large of a quilt have you been able to make using only the fabric you have on hand?

We had great fun playing with the kids (and talking with Ivan & Meghan). Take a look...

Until we meet again...


Linking up with Quilting with the Inquiring Quilter - Wednesday Wait Loss 25

Head over to Quilter Blogs to see what other quilters are talking about

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Quilters Through the Generations - Carol Schleich

As part of the Through the Generations series, I introduce you to my Mom, Carol Schleich.

In the first post of this series - Quilters Through the Generations, I needed to ask her about the vintage quilt (shown below)... She answered my question about the vintage quilt (yes, it was made by one of her grandmothers), but I was corrected by being told that it is NOT a quilt... but rather a comforter.  She explains...

A comforter is made out of squares sewn in strips, and usually had a sheet blanket (made of flannel) in addition to the batting for extra warmth in the winter.  This comforter was made by my Paternal Grandma Teegarden, Lala, in the late 30’s or early 40’s.  

For each birthday, as well as Christmas Grandma T.  would give a gift of  pajamas to everyone.  She then used the scraps to create the comforters.  Every family member would eventually receive a comforter as a gift.   The one pictured above was given to Forrest and Tressie Teegarden - my parents.

This is my comforter that Grandma made me for Christmas when I was 10.  Grandma taught me to sew on her treadle machine when I was ten.  I sewed rows and rows of blocks together. 

Lala was very active with the Christian Church Quilters as well as other social groups.  Here she was featured in the local (Trinidad, CO) newspaper in May of 1916 (more than 100 years ago!).... back when they reported on social events and not just news stories that emulate the drama of current times...

You should take note that "tacking comforters" is referred to in this story...

Here is Carol with her Grandmothers - Lala (left) and Myrtle (right) - 

Lala Teegarden made this quilt for me in 1948 for my 8th birthday. This is called Monkey wrench.

  Tell me about your first quilt - 

My first quilts were nursery rhyme quilts with  12-inch blocks that my Mom (Tressie Teegarden)  had embroidered.  She did two sets - one for you and for Kelvin (my brother).  I pieced them with sashing strips and machine quilted them. 

That was the end of my quilting for a while, until I moved back to Trinidad and my daughter, Melva got started in a block of the month club.  She did it one year, then the second year she invited my mother, Tressie Teegarden, (pictured above) and me to the club.  I pieced the blocks and then put it together with the stepping stone and path.  Completed in 2005.

Did your mom quilt? 

Yes, Tressie was taught to do hand sewing by her mom - Myrtle Werden.  She did all sorts of fancy seams and embroidery. She did lots of fancy things for her hope chest - pillow cases, dish towels, napkins, etc.  

This applique heart quilt was made by Tressie Teegarden late 30’s early 40’s. It has the corner stones and path. It was quilted by Lala Teegarden.

Years later Tressie pieced two more of them - sometime in the 80’s.   It also has the corner stones and path.  One was pink and one was blue.  She had a group of quilters in La Junta quilt them.  I chose the blue one and gave the pink one to my brother Forrest.

While Tressie's fancy hand stitches (and china painting) were exquisite, her piecing wasn't quite as precise...  

How many quilts have you made?

I made this Red, white and blue star quilt  for myself to curl up under on the couch. There are a few paper pieced blocks like the Mariner's compass in this quilt.  After making those blocks I decided that I don't like paper piecing.

My husband,Melvin, would use the Signature quilt that Melva had made from his mom's collection of blocks to cover up with while in his recliner in the winter...

But after finishing my Red/White/Blue quilt he decided he needed something longer to cover him as he sat in the recliner, so I made  this scrappy quilt in 2009.

I made a couple of quilts for my Trinidad High School Class of 1958 reunions - Both were given to classmates through a drawing.  One was just a scrappy quilt pieced in the shape of a "T" and the other included photos of some of the area landmarks.  

I may have missed a few, but I have helped with lots of quilts

Did your Maternal Grandma quilt?
Yes, Myrtle Werden, pieced this red and white snow ball with a nine patch quilt, I would guess in the 1930's, but never quilted it. Somehow I ended up with it so I finished it with machine quilting.  I had it on our bed for many years.

It would seem that there may be a quilting gene...

Are YOU from a family of quilters?  I would be happy to share stories of YOUR family Quilting Through the Generations.  Simply leave a comment stating as such and I will email you a questionnaire. (if you are a no-reply blogger be sure to leave your email address in the comments)

Happy Quilting!


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

It's In The Bag

There hasn't been much quilting going on in my studio lately... However, it doesn't mean that I haven't been in there!

I've been doing some wedding dress alterations... You know, every wedding dress NEEDS pockets... 

And I did some fitting alterations as well - A tuck here, a tuck there... and then there was the hem.

We hemmed and hawed (Haha - Get the pun?)about how to do it... you see it has a lace overlay that has a scalloped edge of lace sewn on at the hemline.  Do we take the lace off, shorten it and then sew the lace back on?  Or do we fold it under so that the scalloped edge is still at the bottom???  

In the end it came down to (my) time and (her) money so the bride decided to have me just fold the edge.  

I am happy to say that the dress is safely tucked away in my closet until the day of her bridal shower, when I will deliver it.


And with my small herd of animals made of vintage quilts completed for now, I had a little time on my hands.  FUN!

Have you ever used vintage quilts for a project?  
What have you made with them?

My sister-in-law had shared pictures several weeks ago of some lovely bags that she had made as end-of-the-year gifts for her son's teachers.  
They were super cute and super easy and fast!

The tutorial from Crazy Little Projects can be found here...

Easy Tote Bag Tutorial

Her tips to me were...

- I use outdoor fabric so it's super easy to clean.
- I make the straps an inch or two longer than she calls for (you can always make longer and throw it over your shoulder to get an idea of where it will land and cut some off if it's too long. Hard to make it longer if it's too short!)
- When you are placing the straps, her photo is incorrect. You want the side of the straps with the seam touching right sides with the inner fabric.

I dove into my fabric closet and found three fabrics that are not of the typical fabric used for quilting and the amazingly they matched pretty well... The inside is a green corduroy.

I have a new item to be offered at the next Farmer's market!

My tips... I added a line of top stitching to the bag.  It adds a level of "professional" (or purchased) look.  It will also add to the strength of the bag by preventing the seam to pull if it gets overloaded.

My other tip, since turning the long handle is described in the tutorial as time consuming and tedious... of course, I used a short cut!

Fold the fabric for the handle in half, lengthwise.  Press one edge in 1/4" the length of the handle.

Fold the opposite edge so that it is 1/4" over the center fold and press

You then need to line up the two raw edges of the handle - so that the folded edge covers the raw edge...

Press and sew...
No turning required!

It is time for me to get back to quilting... Well, maybe after another bag or two... or three.

Do you have any time saving tips that you pull out for similar situations?  

Please share! I'd love to hear from you.
Happy Sewing!

See what other quilters are talking about over at QuilterBlogs

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Quilters Through the Generations - Mae Weller

Today I introduce to you a cousin, Mae Weller. Technically she and I are first cousins, once removed.  Or is it second cousin?? But does that really matter??? No.  The fact is we have a branch in our family trees that bear the same names.  I often refer to Mae as "my Quilting Cousin".

Have you ever made a quilt? - Yes, I have made quite a few quilts.

If so, who got you started quilting? My friend, Kerrie, has been on this journey with me from the beginning, (2009).  I met Kerrie and her husband, Jake at church where we were in Bible studies together.  We got to talking about quilting and I told her that I had tried to do one on my own, but it didn’t quite turn out because I really didn’t know what I was doing.  (shown below)  

She encouraged me to take a class at Great American Quilt Factory in Denver. (They have since closed)  I made this purple/green/gray sampler quilt in class.  It hangs on the wall above my bed.

Did my mother/father quilt? My mother (Yvonne Weller) and father (Richard Weller) made a quilt for me when I was a child.  It was a very simple quilt with 4” or 5” squares.  My mother did the sewing and my father helped her tie it with yarn.  I am sad that I don’t know what ever happened to it.

My Paternal Grandmother, Luna Weller, was an avid quilter.  I have one of her quilts.  I believe this Wedding Ring Quilt was one that she made before she got married.  

My dad has told me the story of the times that they traveled from Wray, Colorado to Trinidad, Colorado when he was a small child.  They were visiting my great-grand parents, William and Atchafalya (Lala) Teegarden. (This is where our family tree/branches converge - we have the same Great-Grandmother) The women would sit around a quilting frame set up in the living room and quilt while they visited. Since my dad was so young, he was not allowed to go play with the bigger kids and had to sit with the ladies.  From his comments, I don’t think he was too happy about that!

Have you taught someone to quilt? Yes, I have been teaching my daughter, Amanda, to quilt.  We made this pink quilt for her best friend’s new baby girl.  

We also made this Hazel the Hedgehog quilt for her cousin (my niece), Erin for her wedding. She has made several rag quilts for her friends and is currently working on one all by herself and I couldn’t be more proud!  She does not sew as much as she would like as she is a working mom of 4 boys, (5 if you count her hubby!)

My mom, Yvonne, taught me to sew when I was probably 7 or 8, and I would make doll clothes, and some simple things.  I was in 4-H with my best friend, Colleen Kelley and her mom, Shirley was our leader.  This must have been during Junior High.  My mom, or myself made all of my clothes, including prom dresses and my mom even made my wedding dress.

My mother-in-law, Georgia Ramion, also sewed and we would do projects together.  I can remember going camping together with my parents and my in-laws at Reudi Reservoir.  The guys would go fishing and the girls would have hand sewing projects that we would pull out and do while we enjoyed the mountains.  Mike, my older brother’s first wife, Kathy, sewed as well and she fit right in with the rest of us when they would join us on our camping trips.

How many quilts have I made? I lost track after 20 – I have tried to keep a quilt journal to keep track of my quilts and who they were made for and a little about each one, but it is a little out of date.  A good project for retirement in a couple of years. 

I don’t have a favorite block.  I like to try different ones with each new project.

Do you participate in any quilt groups? Yes, I was a member of the Arapahoe County Quilt Guild when I lived in Denver, now I belong to the Tucson Modern Quilt Guild. 
The Arapahoe guild had speakers that would come and do a program on a topic, such as the use of colors, how to work with curves, etc. They were involved with some of the quilt shows in town.
The Tucson Guild is a smaller guild and we have a show and tell where you can bring in your projects to show, or get help with something you are having trouble with. We sometimes have someone speak, often times, a member of the guild. They will show us a technique one month and then the next month we bring in a project using that technique. Tucson also has "sew days" where we get together on a Saturday and work on projects, either our own or a charity quilt. Last year we made a paper pieced quilt of a modified Arizona Star block that we sent to Quilt Con in Atlanta, just for show, we did not submit it for judging. That was fun! Tonight we are having our Ice Cream social! A great group of ladies!

Have you entered any competitions? No and I really don’t have any desire to enter any. I have not sold any quilts either.

Where do you get your inspiration from? People’s interests that I am making quilts for.  I am in the process of finishing up a book-shelf quilt for my sister-in-law, Toni Weller, as she is a teacher-librarian at a high school and she loves books.  Also, I love bright colors and the fabrics call to me every time I visit a fabric/quilt shop.

What is your favorite part of quilting? I love trying to do my own designs (well they are usually just a version of something I have seen and I put my own twist on them).  I have access to a drafting program, Autocad, and have used it to help me design a couple of quilts.  I have since heard of a program called “Sketch Up” and have downloaded it, but have not played with it too much yet.  I will use it more after I retire and no longer have access to Autocad. I also love the piecing of the tops.  I am not too skilled in the actual quilting, but I recently purchased a small long-arm machine and have been practicing on it.

Why do I quilt? It is my happy place.  I can totally lose myself in my sewing room for hours.  I love the fabrics, I love the sewing and it helps me satisfy the tiny bit of creativity that I have. Most of what I do for my job is very rigid, very geometric.  Quilting helps me take the rigidness out, but helps me keep the geometry in, and sometimes, helps me see outside of the box.

What do you do with your quilts? Well, I have given away quite a few, but there are those that I want to do just for me.  So it is a pretty good mix of one for someone else, one for me. I have them hanging on my walls, or I use them for table toppers, or use them to curl up with.  There have been some that I have helped with that have gone to different charities.