Monday, April 30, 2018

Let's Go Camping - What You Take

This "What You Take" block is part of Pat Sloan's 2018 Let's Go Camping block of the month and it is nice and orderly... just the way I like things.  Including my lists for packing the camper.

Years ago when the girls were younger we had a pop-up camper that we would drag back and forth from Illinois (where we lived at the time) to Colorado (where my family lived - we eventually moved to CO, but that is a different story).

After we were living in Colorado and as the girls grew and became more active with their social lives (Girl Scout camp, trips and athletic and school events) the camper sat unused for a number of years.  It finally reached the point of dis-repair and we discarded it.  

Fast forward a few years to last fall when we borrowed  a truck camper.  It is the ideal size for Dave and I and we thoroughly enjoyed our 10 day mountain vacation.  So much so that upon our return home we made an offer to purchase the camper.

We are near camping season again and we are both excited to be hitting the road soon.  We don't know where exactly we will be going, but we know we will be going often for short trips (three-day, two-night) with our bikes in-tow, to explore the beautiful area that we live in.  There are lots and lots of National Forest land and state parks to explore within a few hours of our house.  

Now, I know that Pat designed the patterns to be on point, but since I am combining these blocks with the "It's A Wild Life" blocks, I am making the to be square.  I thought the Route 66 fabric was a fun addition to the block since we will be "on the road".

Last year as we prepared for our trip we had to stock the camper.  It was a quick an easy task since we had our "Camp Cook Box"  and pantry list from our years of using the pop-up camper.

And, of course we had a separate list for our meals/menu items.  

Oh, and we take "big girl/boy" coffee cups - real mugs - and happy hour glasses.  


If you want to come along on our adventures be sure to follow me by signing up in the side bar so that you get an email notification when I make a new post, or join me over on bloglovin', facebook or instagram.

Am I missing anything??? 
Leave a comment about what you would take camping.  

I love hearing from everyone!



Linking with
Pat Sloan's 2018 BOM Mystery
Movin' It Forward Monday with Em's Scrap Bag
Pieceful Sunday at JANDA Bend Quilts
Oh Scrap! at Quilting is more fun than housework

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Quilters Through The Generations - Tish Stemple

Today Laticia "Tish" Stemple joins us with another long line of quilters.  Tish and I "met" in the 2016 New Quilt Blogger group - you can find her over at Tish's Adventures in Wonderland.  She has a great sense of humor and a love for life and quilting.  Well, quilting is her life!  Her blog profile explains... 

"In my world the books would be nothing but pictures...of quilting. I'm a quilter who likes to live on the edge. Sometimes I run with scissors and stitch outside the lines. I hope you'll join me on my quilting adventure, because we are all mad about quilting here."

Have you ever made a quilt?  
Oh you know, maybe one or two…hundred?

Who got you started quilting? 

Technically, I am pretty much self-taught, relying on wonderful quilt bloggers to teach me things.  I did receive a little instruction from the owner of a quilt shop that is to blame for my quilting addiction.  I started out my creative life as a cross-stitcher.  I had just finished a set of 8 cross stitches called Wedding Herbs.  I didn’t want to frame them and hang them (that would have been serious wall space) so I wondered if I could have them made into a quilt.  I stopped at the local quilt shop to inquire about the cost of having them turned into a quilt.  After much discussion and a bit of Jedi mind persuasion, I left the shop with 20 fat quarters, a Turning Twenty book, rotary cutter and ruler and enthusiasm on making my first quilt.  Those cross stitches are still just hanging out in a box in the back room.  Possibly my first UFO?

Tell me a story about your first quilt...

My first quilt was a Turning Twenty made from fat quarters in varying shades of reds, gold/creams, and greens.  It ended up being queen sized and I pieced it on a small Brother machine my mother purchased from Walmart a few years before.  After I completed it, it was sent to a long armer who quilted it with an all over holly leaf design in variegated thread.  That was probably, 2004 or 2005.  The quilt then set in a container, not even trimmed, until December 2016.  I finally decided to free it and finished it off with a flanged binding.  I am glad I waited, I love that binding.  It now covers our bed.

Does your mother quilt? What is her name?

I have to say I come from a long line of quilters.  Living in West Virginia, part of the Appalachian Mountains, I think that is more common than not to have quilters in your background.

I can remember my mother, Janice Lower, making quilts when I was younger.  They were more for function (keeping me warm) than for fun.  She worked in a sewing factory making garments when I was younger, so setting at a machine was probably the last thing she wanted to do in the evenings.  

This quilt was made from left over bits of my clothes.

The Sunbonnet Sue quilt was also made from left over bits from clothes

Mom made the quilt below before she and my dad got married. The fabric was leftover scraps from the sewing factory she worked at.

Mom pieced the above quilt top from a pattern in a magazine sometime in the early 80’s.  I hope to quilt it and give it back to her.

Did any of your grandparents quilt?

Yes, my Great-Grandmother, Alice Roby (my father's mother's mother)

The quilt below was made by Great-Grandma Roby...

My mother recently gave me this quilt top made by Great-Grandma Roby and asked if I would quilt it.

This is my grandmother (dad’s mom) Leona Holsberry.  She was my fellow cross-stitcher in crime and someone who always encouraged me to be creative.  I didn’t really start quilting until after she passed away and always regret that we never got to make a quilt together.

This hour glass quilt was one she made and she hand quilted it.

This is the quilt she made for David and I when we got married.  It was a panel quilt and she hand-quilted it.

From my Mother's side... This quilt top was hand pieced by my great grandmother (my mother’s father’s mother), Alice Simmons.  It is still unquilted.

This quilt top was made by my great grandmother (my mother’s mother’s mother), Roena Carpenter.  It is another UFO.

This is my grandmother (mom’s mom), Bertha Simmons.  She was always sewing something for one of the kids or grandkids.  With a total of 11 kids, 15 grandchildren and 15 great grand kids, she kept busy. 

She loved to make homemade stuffed animals.  One of her favorite quilts (sadly I couldn’t get a picture) was a quilt with all of her children’s handprints on it.  This basket quilt one that she pieced many years ago.

Having had so many quilters in my life, it makes me sad that I didn’t take up quilting until after they had passed away.  Well, mom is still here, but I’m trying to convince her to start quilting again.  Though all the unfinished quilt tops in this post makes me realize one thing…UFO’s are just part of my heritage.

Have you taught anyone to quilt?

I am happy to say that almost two years ago, I taught my husband, David Stemple, to quilt.  I think he loves fabric as much as I do. Maybe more.  I joke and say I will take over the world, one person at a time.  By take over, I mean convert them to quilters.  Think how happy and warm the world would be.

About a year ago, my Uncle, Carl Williams, purchased a long arm machine with the hopes that we would get it up and running.  He use to help his mother (hand) quilt, so he’s always talking to me about quilting.  Hopefully, we can make the stars align and get it working soon.

Do you have a favorite block?

I’ve always loved Jacob’s Ladder, but I’ve never made a quilt using it.

Do you have a favorite quilt?

Picking a favorite quilt…isn’t that like picking a favorite child?  If I had to pick one, it would be the one I call the Death Quilt.  Everything about this quilt was an emotional journey.  

You can read the story about the Death Quilt on Tish's blog.

Do you participate in any quilt groups?

Yes, I am the secretary for our local quilt guild, Quilters At Heart Quilt Guild.

Every year the guild makes a charity quilt that we raffle from May until October.  The money generated from the raffle then goes to a local charity voted on by the guild members.  We also host a local quilt show each May during the annual Strawberry Festival hosted by the city of Buckhannon.  Currently we are a very small guild and are looking to increase our membership.  This year we are trying a few new things, like planning guest speakers, more classes, day trips, hosting challenge quilting events and having a weekend sew day for fellowship.  We are always looking for suggestions to make our group even better.

I have entered our local quilt show for the past few years.  I think it is important to share your work, no matter where you are on your quilting journey.  Be proud of what you accomplish.  From a just starting beginner to a well-seasoned quilter, all quilts should be loved and seen.

Have you sold any quilts? 

To date I have made two commissioned quilts.  I provide the customer with an estimate of what I think it will be in fabric and labor hours.  Knock on wood, with both quilts, I came in very close to my estimate.

What is your favorite part of quilting?

Once upon a time I would have told you piecing the quilt, but now I have to say quilting the quilt.  I love when I can add an extra layer of visual interest beyond just the piecing of the quilt and the fabrics.  

Why do you quilt?

The short answer; to keep my sanity.  Quilting allows me to express myself in so many ways; from colors to textures.  I try to squeak in at least 15 minutes of something creative a day.  I feel unbalanced and well, grumpy, when I’m not able to focus my energy to creating something.  If only that applied to cleaning.

What do you do with your quilts?

As of right now, I either gift them away or hoard them.  I know that sounds bad.  I jokingly say my daughter will have a great estate sale someday, if I don’t learn how to part with some of them.  Estate sale... or possibly bonfire. 

While communicating back and forth with Tish about this story I commented that the UFOs (Un-Finished Objects for those not familiar with the term) seem to be a generational thing.  Tish is trying to combat this very characteristic in herself and hosts a weekly linky party that features the successful completion of various quilter's UFOs over on her blog.  She uses it as a tool for herself and encourages other quilters with a large collection of unfinished quilt tops to tackle the pile(s) one quilt at a time. 

It may not be polite to ask, and please do not be offended by my asking (no one is forcing you to answer)... 
How many UFOs do you have?
Do UFOs run in your family as well?

I do love to hear from everyone... leave a comment!

Quilt on,


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Lift Your Hearts & Your Hands

Recently I was commissioned to make a gift for a friend... Glenda Kinkel is soon to be the Lay Director of the Emmaus of the Rockies Walk #175.  Having been a Lay Director in the past, I know that it is a huge undertaking... but I also know that it is not a task to be done alone.  There is an entire team that helps to make a successful, Spirit-filled weekend take place - a 72-hour event where the participants grow in their faith and belief in God and learn and experience God's grace in abundance.

Glenda has been leaning on God for the help and guidance needed for the Walk and the scripture from Lamentations 3:41 has been her focus...

When I first considered designs for a wall hanging I saw a blank canvas... and it remained that way as I prayed for a full week!  I pondered the words... and hearts and hands stood out to me.

I did a search for quilt blocks with the name "hands" in them.  I located the "Hands All Around" block... a curved, pieced block was mostly what I found. But I could not find a pattern that finished to a 12 inch block.

I did, however find this pieced block by the same name...

The "Hearts" part was easy... I pulled out my "Pieces of the Heart" block!

The cross is a log cabin style block that I made based on some pictures that I have seen.

When it came time for quilting, I had envisioned using my new ruler skills to create a Celtic Trinity symbol (indicated by the arrow in the photo above)... I did do a small amount of that to create the circles in the blocks.  I had searched for a simple design to follow (I used the one on the lower right.) I used radiating lines from the center of the cross in the lower portion of the quilt.  

Glenda, I pray that you are blessed as you lead the ladies on their personal journey on the Emmaus Road.



Melva Loves Scraps - home of Quilters Through The Generations

Monday, April 23, 2018

April Color Challenge - Orange

Hey there!

The April Color Challenge featured Orange and is hosted by Patterns by Jen

Orange... What does orange mean to me?

It can mean a beautiful sunrise or sunset that calms my soul and warms my heart.  This is the view from our front window...

It reminds me of my high school - La Junta High School - whose mascot is a Tiger... Orange & Black ruled!  "We are the Tigers - Mighty are we - We are the Class of '83"  

Image may contain: text

It is a fruit!  And one that I loved a child... still do, but know better now!  Too many oranges and I get the hives. 😔  The solution then was take an antihistamine and carry on... don't stop eating oranges.  Never!  

Like I said, I know better now. But, I tell you, there is nothing better than fresh picked oranges. MmmMmmMmm...

Image may contain: indoor

Orange is also associated with fire - campfire is what comes to mind...

There is something so mesmerizing and peaceful about staring into a fire and watching the flames move and the embers glow.

I took this picture last year while on our fall Mountain Town vacation...

Ahhh.... I feel more relaxed already!

And I present to you my orange block... 

Another fun block that is a great exercise in color value.  Thanks Jen!

What does the color orange bring to mind for you?

Leave a comment to let me know...

Give away announcement!  The winner of the reverse applique pattern is Joyce.  Congratulations!  And I offer many thanks for everyone that participated. 💕

Keep calm and quilt on...


Melva Loves Scraps - home of the Quilters Through The Generations series
Linking with:
BOMS Away at What A Hoot Quilts

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Binding - from the past - Quilters Through The Generations

I was prepared to share a new Quilters Through The Generations story with you, yet the individual that I had scheduled has experienced some technical difficulties... therefore, I thought I would take a little different approach.

I participated in a blog hop this week that addressed, and hopefully removes, some of the challenges of binding.  Last month on instagram Amy from Amy's Creative Side hosted #quiltfest.  Each day she had a topic or word and encouraged all quilters to share their personal definition or perspective on the subject.  

One of the techniques (I call it "backing as the binding technique") offered by one of the quilters was simply to trim the front and batting to the finished size - leaving the backing 3/4" larger...

fold in 1/4" 

You then folding the back over the front raw edges and you are ready to either hand stitch or machine stitch the binding.

Last year when I started the Quilters Through The Generations series and started examining the quilts from my Grandma and Great-Grandmothers I noticed that some of the bindings were done in this fashion - the photo show below, for example.

I actually have used this technique (several years ago) when I had run out of the fabric I had intended to use as the binding.  It was a simple finish and looked good.  The draw back I see in this is that the "binding" is a single layer of fabric and could wear thin a little quicker (as indicated in the photos with the arrows).  

So, tell, me, is this a viable binding technique?  

I think absolutely! 
(Especially in a pinch.)

And one that quilters of my family has used... it must be in the genes. 😉

Quilt Happy!