Sunday, July 29, 2018

It's A Wild Life - Lunchtime!

The It's A Wild Life block this month is called "Lunchtime" and I had great fun making it!  Amy over at Sew Incredibly Crazy did a great job with this block >>>.  

I found several ways to personalize it...

As a lover of the scrappy look I had planned on using a variety of blues and greens for the pieced block.  

I'll be honest... while the block is really cute, it involved a lot of applique.  I am beginning to sound like a broken record... I don't like the technique.  I considered skipping the block...  

And then another member of the fb group shared her block with a scrappy look.  I was sold!  

But rather than scrappy I took an improv block that was made of blues and cut it up to make the pieces for the water areas and then used a left over log cabin block from my Farmland quilt and used it for the green background pieces.  It was together in less than an hour... AND I re-purposed the leftover blocks - Bonus!

I was still on the fence about doing the applique...  **sigh**

And then the idea came to me that I could use rainbow fabric for the fish and call it a "rainbow trout".  SOLD!  ๐Ÿ˜‚  I crack myself up! There was no turning back! 

I love it! Oh, and I actually didn't grumble and gripe my way through the applique process.  Improvement!

I already shared my bear stories... so I don't have anything new to add to that... 

But this reminded me of a time in 1972 when our family traveled to the San Luis Valley to visit some cousins that lived there.  While there we went fishing at La Jara.  It was my first time fishing... I didn't really care much about it.  But my brother was really excited for it - I have no clue as to why, but he was.

Before making the trip my parents had purchased me some new cowboy boots.  Now those boots?... that was something I was excited about. 

<<<  I insisted on wearing them with my shorts.  I think my Dad would have preferred me not to, but I wore them anyway.

I don't remember how long we stayed there fishing... But as I recall, Kelvin was the first to get help with the bait and learning how to cast.  

I remember having some help to cast as well... Maybe from my dad, but he was never much of a fisherman, so maybe it was my cousin...

Here's the exciting part...  I made my first cast by myself... it didn't go out very far... but I caught a fish!  It could have been a rainbow trout! Yes, yes. I am certain it was a Rainbow Trout! 

And that is where the memory ends.  As I said, I have no idea if we were there 1/2 an hour or all day... but the important thing is, is that I remember wearing my boots with my shorts and that I caught a fish!

I still don't get excited about fishing... If you catch something, you have to clean it...  And it interrupts my reading time!  Now this may seem a little odd, with my love for camping and all, but what can I say?  

Do you love fishing???  
Or are you a little more like me, and find it interrupts the quiet time?

Leave a comment for me!  I love to hear from my readers...  

Remember, It's a wild life out there...
Don't let it disrupt your "piece-filled" time...

Piece Out,
Melva loves Scraps - home of the Quilters Through The Generations series

Linking with:
It's a Wild Life July block at Sew Incredibly Crazy 
Linky Tuesday at Freemotion By the River
Main Crush Monday at Cookin' Up Quilts
Movin' It Forward Monday at Em's Scrapbag
Monday Making at Love, Laugh, Quilt
BOMs Away Monday at What a Hoot Quilts
Fiber Tuesday at The Quilting Room with Mel
Chameleon's Colour Party at The Clever Chameleon

Friday, July 27, 2018

Christmas in July ~ #2

I had such fun with the first Christmas in July post and so enjoyed Jamie's memories of Mrs. Fishback and the vintage Christmas tree skirt I thought I would share a few of my own memories. 

Last December Moda offered a Countdown to Christmas sew along that I participated in.  Each day they gave a pattern for a 6" block.  All sorts of techniques and skill levels.  It was an excellent exercise for skill building and focusing on  1/4 inch seams.  Some of the blocks had lots of pieces, which meant lots of seams and lots of opportunity for ending up with smaller than the 6-1/2 inch blocks...

At the same time I was doing the American Quilters Society countdown blocks as well.  Only these made 4-1/2 inch blocks.  Oh my!  

I made an Advent calendar with them... You can catch the entire tutorial over on my February 27th post.

As a child, we had a Christmas calendar made of felt.  It had a tree on it and small pockets.  My brother and I would take turns removing the small ornaments for the tree from the pockets and pin them on the tree.  

The first pocket always had the star to go atop the tree.  And the last pocket always had Santa Claus in it.  

I remember that we would fight over who got to start the calendar.  My mom would have to make a note each year of who would open #1 so that we would alternate turns... such silliness!

Mom would make Christmas cards each year.  She would pull out the Christmas boots - yes, boots - I am standing in front of them in the photo.  They were felt and in the shape of a cowboy boot.  My Grandma Teegarden made them for each of the grand children.  And each was personalized with our name and things we loved. 

Here is the front of this card... quite fancy!

Back to the Moda blocks...  A few of my favorites - 

 I enjoyed the whimsical little snowman with the scarf and jingle bell buttons... 

Frosty the Snowman was one of my favorite Christmas programs.

The peppermint candy...  My Aunt Clara always had a dish of ribbon candy.  My parents would make an assortment of candies... hard cinnamon or mint candy, chewy caramels and popcorn balls.

My Dad's hands were very large and he made the best popcorn balls.  He would get a big ol' handful and start pressing it together, carefully adding small amounts at a time until he had a generous sized ball.

Oh, look!  That peppermint striped candy turned into a shirt!  My mom made red and white striped shirts for the whole family!  It was great...

There were a few years that we would travel to my cousin's house for Christmas.  

I remember one particular year, I think I was in my teens... My youngest cousin Karri had begged and begged to open gifts on Christmas Eve (and have just the stockings on Christmas morning.)  I had heard of some friends getting to do this and it sounded good, so most of us kids agreed...

Everyone was finally so tired of hearing her ask, the adults consented and we opened gifts early.

It was all fun until the next morning when all we had were the Christmas stockings... It was such a let down.  The stockings were done in no time at all.  I decided then that I didn't like it and I would choose to open gifts on Christmas morning if ever given the opportunity again.

Our tree had lots of homemade ornaments - stars and boots made of felt, knitted and crocheted stockings and wreaths... and several vintage glass ornaments.  I am lucky enough to have many of those ornaments - some of them now close to 100 years old.  My favorite is a glass tear drop that was from a chandelier.  The way the light shines through has always fascinated me...  

We had a real tree for several years when I was little, but because my Mom was allergic to them, and the mess they made, we eventually got an artificial tree... actually I only remember the artificial tree and know of the real trees because of photos.

Dave and I had a real tree for our first Christmas.  As I removed all of the decorations and attempted to remove it from our upstairs apartment I experienced an asthma attack... It was pretty scary.  We purchased a LARGE artificial tree two years later when we would be celebrating our baby's first Christmas.  We still have that tree... 31 years later. 

As presents were purchased and received they would be placed under the tree.  I don't recall how old I was, maybe in third or fourth grade... my brother had told me how he knew what he was getting for Christmas because he had snuck a peek into his presents while Mom and Dad weren't home, and taped them back... and he encouraged me to do the same!  

I did so... I was super excited that I was getting exactly what I asked for, but the let down (guilt) in finding out before Christmas day... awful!  I couldn't play with the gift, and I couldn't let Mom & Dad know that I knew!  Again, if ever encouraged or given the opportunity to open a gift early... I will pass it up!

One tradition that Dave and I started with our girls was to put clues on the gift tag.  For example, for a set of salt and pepper shakers the clue was "Shake it up baby, now.... twist and shout."  

We would all sit in a circle and take turns reading the clues, trying to decipher the clues to make a guess and then opening the gift.  It can take hours to get through the gifts... which is wonderful and exciting.  It allows us to see what others get and savor the moment... because giving really is better than receiving!  It is a little more difficult to do now with little ones that don't quite have the patience for the clue thing, but they are learning. :)

What Christmas traditions do you have? 

I would love to hear from you... Leave a comment!

Sew Happy!


Don't miss out on all the Christmas In July posts...

July 23

July 24

July 25

July 26

July 27
Melva Loves Scraps - Home of the Quilters Through The Generations series

Linking with:
The Chameleon's Colour Party at The Clever Chameleon

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

2018 Color Challenge - Yellow Green

This month's challenge block color is a funky one... Yellow Green.

I don't have a lot of this color in my stash, but I managed to find just enough for this block.  The lightest color didn't photograph very well, but it really is a (very pretty, actually) mottled yellow green fabric.

The way my mind works... follow along :)

It makes me want a piece of key lime pie!  Sadly, it is not allowed due to my dietary restrictions. So. Sad...

It also makes me want a margarita!  

How about lemon-lime soda?  Like 7-Up... which brings to mind the game we used to play in grade school to pass some time... Thumbs up, seven up.  I couldn't recall all of the details of the game, so I had to look it up on-line...  

All but seven students put their heads down on their desk, with their thumbs up (๐Ÿ‘).  The remaining seven people stand in front.  Each of the seven quietly move about the classroom and push a thumb down... when all have returned to the front of the class, those that had their thumbs pushed down are supposed to guess who of the seven put their thumb down.  And there is to be no cheating by peeking down and watching for the shoes that pass by you.

If you guess correctly you trade places and play again...

Am I the only one who remembers this game???

There really is no "purpose" to the game other than the teacher could have a few quiet moments before the next bell or activity. 

There was always somebody who would "tap" their best friend... or the boy that had a secret crush on a girl and be disappointed that she didn't guess him... 

You know... all that childhood stuff we go through as we try to figure out life and that we are shaped by.

<<< Me...  second grade

Did you play this game or some version of it?  I'd love to hear from you :)  Leave a comment below...

Sew Happy!


Linking with:
Color Challenge at Patterns By Jen
BOMS away Monday at What a Hoot Quilts
Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation
Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts
Wait Loss Wednesday at The Inquiring Quilter
Color Inspiration at Clever Chameleon

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Christmas in July Blog Hop

Welcome to the Christmas in July blog hop that is hosted by Carol at Just Let Me Quilt!  I was excited to sign up for this hop because I had the perfect project to share!

In January my friend Jamie sent me a vintage felt Christmas tree skirt that was 50+ years old and was in some desperate need of some love and attention.

It was stained and discolored, it had a few holes in it and it had some items hanging loose and nearly falling off.

She wanted it to be brought back to life somehow.

My first idea was to soak it in "Retro Clean", designed to bring age-stained fabric back to life.

It was not successful. ๐Ÿ˜•

My next step was to purchase some felt.  I planned to move all of the appliques to the new felt.  

I wasn't happy with the look after I sewed the beaded and sequined edging to the new felt.  It made me even cringe a little!

I took the edging off and put all of it back in the closet until I figured out what to do next... When I asked Jamie if she wanted the skirt to be made of red felt her response was "Not necessarily, but it was my childhood Christmas tree skirt.  So if you change it to a different material, make it grand. "

Um... no pressure!

I located a pre-quilted red fabric in my local wally world fabric department and knew this was it...

I carefully removed all of the bows and ornaments and then machine appliqued them on the new skirt.  It was slow going because of all the bling.  But the more I got done, the more I liked it.

Jamie had let me know that there was no need for a center hole or opening as she planned on placing a special ceramic tree atop the skirt.

Jamie shared this story...

We lived in San Antonio on Valleyfield Dr.  So did Mrs. Dorothy Fishback.  Mrs. Fishback lived several houses down the street.  She and mom enjoyed visiting and would talk about their latest crafts.  Mrs. Fishback had been an artist for Hallmark cards as a young lady.  I remember she would painted lovely floral pictures on miniature canvases as bookmarks and as little mementos to send us in the mail after we moved away.

Mom and Mrs. Fishback stayed pen pals your decades. Dorothy was born Dec 12, 1901 and passed away June 26, 1997.  That generation knew how to pen lovely letters.

Mrs. Fishback was always sending us little packages of goodies she had painted or sewn, especially at Christmas time.  One year she made us all an ornament that was cut from Styrofoam and then covered in tiny sequins.  They hang on my Christmas tree now and they are just as lovely as they ever were.  Now we call them "vintage".

One year, my father commissioned Mrs. Fishback to make a tree skirt for my mother as a Christmas gift.  Of course, it was to be a surprise.  My dad enjoyed Christmas so much and put a lot of forethought into his gifts.  Mom can't recall the year but she feels that Mrs. Fishback must have been in her 80's by then.

I recall the tree skirt fondly.  Some years it was under our pine Christmas tree that we'd cut down from our wooded back yard.  Some years it resided under the three tier ceramic Christmas tree that Brenda Collier made when "everyone" was doing ceramics.

As my parents minimized Christmas with age, the tree skirt would cover the marble top table we had inherited from my Grandma Becker.  On top of the tree skirt would be a Norfolk Island Pine tree that they had grown from a sapling.  The tree pot eventually leaked on the red felt which bled and stained the white ornaments.

I found the tree skirt folded neatly among the other ornaments made by Mrs. Fishback in the attic on my most recent visit home to see my mother.  I absconded with all I could pack in my car, including the three tier ceramic tree and macramรฉ wall hangers made by Mrs. Mattern.

This Christmas I was surrounded by my childhood memories and of our dear friends and family members, some still alive and others who have passed on.

I wanted the tree skirt to be vibrant and rejuvenated.  I knew Melva would be the perfect person to fix the skirt.

Before sending the skirt back to Jamie I had a little photo shoot...(it was a quick one, so please just ignore the mess in the background.)   Here is the completed, restored skirt with a fabric tree that was made by my Grandma...

Merry Christmas... in July!  Be sure to visit all of the other blogger that are participating and see how they are celebrating Christmas in July - they are listed below.  

And be sure to come back again later this week to see another Christmas project that was on my UFO list.  Oh, can I mention with the completion of this particular project, there is only one project that remains!  Woohoo!

Quilt happy!


July 23

July 24

July 25

July 26

July 27

Melva Loves Scraps - Home of the Quilters Through The Generations series