Sunday, December 31, 2017

Welcome 2018!

Last week I shared a review of the year with my "Best Of" list and as 2017 rolls out and I consider what some goals for 2018 might be (as I veg on the couch because of a cold that has whooped on me), here is what I have considered...

Quilting Projects - 

Two commissioned baby quilts for a special friend that excited to become a Great-Grandma. One will feature Eeyore... details on the second one is to be determined.

Three commissioned t-shirt quilts for the children of another dear friend - her twin boys will be graduating from High School and her oldest daughter, who graduated with her Bachelor's degree and will soon be starting a new adventure in a new state.

A Baby's first year quilt for our youngest grand-daughter using her various first holiday outfits and monthly onsies.

A few years ago I was gifted some special farm landscape fabric from a friend in Canada that is similar to the landscape of their property.  His wife is a quilter as well and we have exchanged some fabrics over the years... 2018 is the year to turn that fabric into a quilt - my current plan is that is will be a log cabin quilt with the furrow layout representing the furrows found in fields, as shown below.

And finally, I really plan to finish the Tie/Dresden Plate quilt that I started.

With the recent acquisition of the Babylock Jazz, I would like to take a class on ruler work.  It looks interesting...

Of course, I will be needing a new table for the machine to sit down in... coming soon!

Blog related goals - 

I would love to be able to grow my audience of readers.  I have seen some slow growth in the past two years.  Joining in on Instagram and creating a page for Melva Loves Scraps on facebook have been a large part of this growth...

Plans to implement continued growth include blog weekly posts and participating in more link-ups, blog hops and quilt alongs.  I think I can realistically do the link-ups and hops once a month, without the loss of much time in my studio, affecting my commissioned quilts.

I plan to continue with my series, Quilters Through The Generations, though maybe only monthly rather than weekly.  The frequency of these posts depend greatly on the timing of the interviews and the recommendations or  "leads" for the quilters to be featured.  

Here is where YOU can help!  

Do you know of a family full of quilters??? I would love to interview them and compile their stories and preserve a piece of history with each story of the quilts they made... you just need to encourage them to contact me or give me their contact info (e-mail or phone number would be easiest, but I can certainly mail an interview sheet to them.)

So, there you go... my quilting and blogging goals for 2018.

On the more personal side of life, my focus word for the coming year will be light... Light offers hope.  Light chases away the dark and reveals truth.  Where there is light, there is no room for fear.

Do you have a focus word for the year?  I'd love to hear from you by leaving a comment below...

Happy New Year!


Linking up with Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl for her 2018 planning party...  head over there and see what other quilters are planning. :)

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Best of 2017

As another calendar year draws to a close many are taking the time to remember the past 12 months and ponder what they might do in 2018...

Cheryl over at Meadow Mist Designs is hosting a linky party for such an opportunity!  She has encouraged me to pick the "Best of 2017" - the top five posts or projects of the year.  So, here are mine... in chronological order of their occurrence. You can read the entire story on each quilt by following the links I have included by clicking on the quilt title.

Jen Rosin & Janice Holton hosted a fun mini blog hop that I nearly missed out on because I was in the midst of finishing a wedding quilt for my daughter's upcoming wedding... At the last minute I decided to take a break form the over-sized queen quilt and work on this mini quilt that offered plenty of opportunity for creativity.

#2 Love is...

This was a wedding gift that was designed for our youngest daughter, Rebecca, and her husband, David.  They have a very modern style in their house and this was a step out of the box from my typical quilting style (much more traditional) yet, it opened my eyes to something new.

#3 Heart of the Home

I have a passion for vintage quilts, traditional quilts and preserving family stories and heirlooms.  When a customer contacted me and asked me to turn this embroidered table cloth into a quilted throw I was excited to oblige...  

#4 Quilters Through The Generations

As I worked on the "Heart of the Home" quilt I pondered the history of quilting in my family and wanted to learn more about the quilters before me, so I began a series of stories featuring generations of quilters.  I learned that my own quilting roots run deep - at least 5 generations, including my own children... Be sure to read about all of the families I have featured.  

I have had a short break since the the last of the stories was shared, but the return of Quilters Through The Generations is coming soon!

Do YOU belong to a family of quilters???  Let me know.  I would love to share your stories!

#5 A Vintage Treasure

This restoration/repair was a challenge, but I was able to keep the center of the quilt complete with the original blocks by removing one side and edge of the quilt and using complete blocks to replace the severely damaged blocks.  I added wide borders with cross-hatch quilting so that it was large enough for a full-sized bed.  You can see some of the progress photos on instagram @MelvaLovesScraps

Now that I have reviewed my top five... Let's take a look at how I did in meeting my 2017 goals...

#1 Wedding Quilt - Check - story link above in Love Is

#2 Psalm 23 wall hangings -I had started with a total of 6 panels (4 at the beginning of the year)... I am down to two.  One was a gift of encouragement to a friend who had recently lost her husband and the other was a house warming gift for some friends - Check

#3  English Paper Piecing - I have a total of five hexies assembled... but am unsure when I will be "finished" with it... it is a road-trip project and it could go on for years!

#4 & #5 - A Tie project and Dresden Plate blocks - These two projects became one when I gathered the ties of my Grandpa and Dad and realized that there were not enough ties to complete a circle... So I pulled out a Dresden Plate template and picked out stitches from the ties to make Dresden Plates out of the ties...

#6 A Bear shaped baby quilt made of receiving blankets never even got started... 

BUT, I did get a Baby's First Year Quilt made for our oldest Grand-daughter...

I will have consider for a short time more what sort of goals I want to aspire for in 2018... 

What sort of goals are you planning for the coming year?

I enjoy the encouragement that I get from my followers.  You can find me on Bloglovin', Instagram and facebook, or you can subscribe and receive notifications via e-mail.

Thanks for stopping by... and be sure to watch for the return of Quilters Through The Generations in 2018!

Sew Happy,


Monday, December 4, 2017

Just For Fun...

I have enjoyed a weekend of quilting for "just because".  After the past two weeks of diligently building up my inventory I jumped in on a few Christmas Quilt Alongs...

The Moda Bake Shop - Every day they are offering a 6-inch holiday themed block.  

The first was the Peppermint Twist Block.  It was fun, but when you forget to trim the pinwheels that make up the peppermint the remaining pieces of the block don't fit very well.  I was frustrated and ready to give up and say "never mind, I won't be continuing with this one!"... until I realized my problem.  

I did get the block completed, and trimmed to 6-1/2 inches.  

The Christmas Cottage was fun to put together!  I did some fussy-cutting so that the house would be decorated with garland.

And the gift-wrapped star... this one was more challenging because of the small pieces, though, in the end it was fine.

The American Quilter's Society is also offering a block a day...  These are smaller blocks that finish at just 4 inches.  Oh. My.

Block one was quick...  

Block two???? NEVER have I worked with such small pieces!  I mean the smallest pieces were 1 inch squares - this means that their finished size was just 1/2 inch.  But I got the block together and it mostly lays flat.  Yay me!

Block three was a snap!

Sometimes a girl just wants to have fun! And definitely I had fun and it was a welcome break.  And working with the teeny-tiny, itsy-bitsy pieces makes you well aware of the need for accurate seams and only makes you a better quilter.

What sort of projects do you turn to when you "just want to have fun"?

But I am back in my studio today for business... I'll be making a few aprons and more... still fun, but not "just because."  Oh, but trust me... after the show on Saturday, I will be back to playing in my studio and getting caught up with the Christmas Countdowns.

Sew Happy!


Friday, December 1, 2017

The Holiday Season is Here!

The passing of Thanksgiving last week marked the "official" beginning of the Holiday Season...

This is the time of year that can get pretty crazy with all of the parties, gatherings and get togethers on top of everyone's regular schedule, that, let's be honest here, is sometimes, many times, most of the time already over busy.

During the past several years Dave and I have made it an intentional thing to live a more simple and relaxed life.  Being self-employed allows this to be a bit easier than when you have an employer dictating the hours and location of work, and an expectation of productivity. While we try to keep "regular business hours" (it is just part of our personalities! Type A), so that we are able to generate enough financial income to support the simple life we have.

That said, with the Holiday season in full swing, I am participating in a local Christmas Craft Extravaganza that will be held in a week.

I learned a few years ago that...

 I am not a "crafter"... I am a Quilter - 

I came to that conclusion because I do not "craft" or create items simply to pass the time and try to sell items at a price that barely covers the cost of materials.  No, I actually make a living on my sales.  

The upcoming show has been successful in the past and I look forward to showing the large variety of items I have available.

Last week I worked on bowl cozies, wine bags and aprons...

This week I have been making purses.  A variety of sizes and styles.  I guess my daughter who loves "bags" gets it from somewhere!  I love making them!  They are fun, and most of the time, quick projects. 

And I have had the opportunity to use fabrics that are not traditional quilting fabrics that found their way into my fabric closet from friends.  Most are heavier, canvas type fabrics - and in large quantities! Yards and yards of them...  And the fact that I have several fabrics that coordinate well together is a bonus!

Here are a few examples...

These were the most popular and I received several requests for them!  It is a good thing they come together quickly and that I had plenty of the green vine canvas, the plaid fabric and the green corduroy fabric... There were a few ladies that were ready to fight for them!  

And then there is this stow 'n' go market bag... This one wasn't as fun to make. Pfffft. <~ That's a raspberry sound, by the way.

The pattern was not well written and I struggled in the assembly of the bag and ended up disregarding some of the directions, but I managed to get it finished.  

I'm pretty sure it will be a one of a kind since I was not impressed with the pattern and tossed it in the trash.  

It does, however, fold up nicely for storing in the car or the glove compartment.

With the weekend just around the corner I think I will be finding something small, fun to work on... Hmmmm... So many possibilities!

And since there is only one month left in the year I think I need to re-visit my my list of "want to do" quilts and see what it is left undone.  

Or maybe I need to straighten up the mess that has been left behind in my studio from all of that productivity!

May your "Holiday Season" be fill with love and joy... and some not-so-crazy schedules!


Linking up with Wednesday Wait Loss