Monday, December 31, 2018

Planning Party!

Another year end post... this one is reviewing the goals I had for 2018, assessing the success of them, and planning for 2019. 

Publicly announcing some goals helps to hold one accountable and possibly even some public shaming (in jest), but when you walk along side a group of quilters or friends, it is easier to accomplish said goals!

How did I do with 2018?  Any shaming to be deserved???

Goal #1 - two commissioned baby quilts

   


Goal #2 - three t-shirt quilts (The goal was three, I actually made 4)





 This one had so many shirts I had to have some spill over to the back...
Momma loved it!  

No automatic alt text available.The fourth quilt was a Harley Davidson quilt, that somehow managed to get out of the house without a final photo... 















Goal #3 - Baby's First Year quilt  




Goal #4 - Farm Quilt  
















Goal #5 - Dresden/Tie quilt  

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Goal #6 - Ruler Class - I attended in February and have used my new skills, though not as much as I thought I would. 

Blogging Goals - 

✔ Weekly Linky Parties & monthly Blog Hops; 
Continue Quilters Through The Generations series - I had 15 quilters stories, an average of more than one per month... however, I am in need of more quilters to be featured.   You can email me at MelvaLovesScraps@NolanQualityCustoms.com if you are interested in documenting your family's story.

Accountability worked for me!  No shaming needed.  LOL!

Goals for 2019... 

#1 - Assemble and complete the Sunbonnet Sue blocks that I got from Dave's aunt




#2 - Continue participating in weekly linky parties and monthly hops

#3 - Participate in two Block of the Month sew alongs... 

          One will be the 2019 Color Challenge hosted by Patterns By Jen

I am still looking for a second one... Suggestions???   
Leave a comment!

I have enjoyed the sew alongs that I have participated in this year.  I have been pushed to try new techniques and improve my skills.  I even quit whining about all of the applique in the blocks in the It's A "Wild" Life BOM after four or five of them!

It doesn't mean that I am in love with applique, as some predicted may happen, but I don't even think twice about the technique now.

While my goal list may seem a little wimpy, I feel comfortable with them because the monthly hops will keep the creative juices going and plenty of opportunity for some No Guilt::Go Quilt days!

Happy New Quilt Year!

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

Linking with:

Planning Party at Quilting Jet Girl

Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun than Housework
Moving It Forward Monday at Em's Scrapbag


             
           






Sunday, December 30, 2018

Best of 2018

As 2018 draws to a close and I reflect on the quilts of the year I look back and see that I have grown as a quilter... 

For a number of years I have been frustrated when people say "I want to buy one of your quilts", but quickly change their mind when I let them know the cost of the said quilt... 

I am no longer offended by their shock or comments.  In fact, recently I even giggled to myself.

Why the sudden change you may wonder?  It is not an all of the sudden thing.  It has taken years to evolve and grow.  It all started years ago in a women's study group when we worked through the book "The Creative Call", a book that helps one to discover and answer the call to be an artist.  At the end of the study one of the participants created "graduation" certificates that said we were now artists.  it also helped that I signed up for various hops and blocks of the month groups that challenged me as a quilter and an artist.

Artists of just about any medium simply must answer the call to create.  It is a part of their soul... their very being.

I find myself at peace most when I am creating something... anything! in my studio.  And while I have certainly created numerous quilts (mostly throw sized or baby quilts and wall hangings - thanks to my participation in monthly blog hops) I have found the most pleasure out of making what I call "Hand-sewn Hellos" - 5" x 7" mini quilts or cards.  Every one unique... like snowflakes, no two alike.

This brings me to my Best of 2018...  By the stats provided, my most popular posts ranked as follows - 



#5 Quilters Meet & Greet
#4 Coming Up in March
#3 Let's Go Camping - Things You Do
#2 No Guilt::Go Quilt
#1 Wish Upon A Star

Interestingly enough, only one of the posts actually focused on a finished quilt...



My personal favorite quilts are ranked as follows - 

#5 - Farmland



#4 - Let's Go Camping - Finished


#3 - Wish Upon A Star - shown in my previous list...

#2 - Grandmother's Flower Garden - A super-sized hexie pattern based on the vintage pattern




#1 - Echoes & Reflections - This was a pattern test for Shannon Fraser and is my favorite because of the traditional style of the pattern and the rich colors that I used... oh, and the feathers!



Based on other social media platforms, here are my top 9 from instagram - where some of my hand-sewn hello cards appeared.  These are hand-cut and feature a few of the local landmarks.  I may try marketing them in the community in 2019.



And my Makelight Colour of the year analysis...


Thanks for journeying through the year with me!  I hope that you will follow along for the coming year.  You can subscribe (in the margin to the right) by e-mail, join me on bloglovin', facebook or instagram.  

I have been working on some "housekeeping" here on the blog.  You may have noticed that I am adding tags to my posts... so if you are interested in seeing all the posts related to the 2018 Color Challenge blocks, just look for that tag... interested in the No Guilt::Go Quilt recipes, look for the tag.

I will also be updating my gallery... you can find that tab at the top of the blog, along with the Quilters Through The Generations tab.  I have enjoyed getting to know each of the featured quilters and hope to enjoy many more stories of quilters from one family in the coming year.  Are YOU from a family full of quilters?  Let me know by leaving a comment below, along with an email address to contact you, or email me at MelvaLovesScraps@NolanQualityCustoms.com.  I would LOVE to hear from you!

I hope that as you review your own year you are able to say that you have grown as well.  I will be planning a few goals for the year to come... 


Are you a goal setter?  
What are YOUR goals?  

Leave a comment to share with me.  Accountability is one of the best ways to secure success.  Let's be accountability buddies!

Quilt Happy!

Melva


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


Linking with:

Best of 2018 Linky party hosted by Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs
Planning Party at Quilting Jet Girl
Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun than Housework
Moving It Forward Monday at Em's Scrapbag










Friday, December 28, 2018

It's A "Wild Life - Midnight Picnic

The December block of the month for the It's A "Wild" Life from Amy at Sew Incredibly Crazy features a rascally raccoon munching on a cookie from a picnic basket... so cute!



I am a lover of "Little House on the Prairie" and remember the episode of when Mary "rescued" a raccoon in the woods and gave it to her sister Laura... and she was going to make a pet out it.  Pa was NOT happy about it...  It happened in Season 1, episode 10.



I had great fun as I was pulled fabric for the block, the woven look for the basket was a given, the sky fabric was left over from the curtains and bed ruffle that my daughter used in her youngest daughter's room.  And I have to admit that I did a silly little dance when I uncovered the tiger print and decided to use it for the jeep!  lol...

Sadly the fate of that little raccoon that Laura had as a pet was not a happy one.  Pa had good reason to be concerned because the little guy was suspected to have rabies and Laura hid the fact that she had been bitten by him.  Fortunately, Dr. Baker was able to prescribe some gumdrops.  I think we all know how it really turns out... Laura went on to live a long life.  

We didn't have raccoons where I grew up... good thing!  I didn't want to risk the the chance of getting rabies.

I have 11 months worth of blocks sewn together and waiting for the January block to be completed and attached to the bottom of the quilt top.  Even though the block was released early, I am simply going to have to wait until January to get it done.  I have baby quilts that need to be completed for two upcoming showers of some young ladies I have had the honor of watching grow into beautiful soon-to-be Moms.



"Little House" was one of my favorite shows in my childhood...  

What was your favorite childhood show?  

Leave a comment... I'd love to hear from you!


Quilt Happy!

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

Linking with:

Christmas Linky Party at Freemotion by the River
Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts
Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication
Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter
Can I Get A Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

2108 Color Challenge - Black & White


The final block in the 2018 Color Challenge from Jen at Patterns by Jen is Black & White.

A few weeks ago my husband and I were watching the Netflix series "The Crown".  More specifically, the episode of Princess Margaret having an official photograph done... and suddenly it brought back a flood of memories from a summer visit to my Grandparent's home in Tucson, AZ... 

My brother must have expressed some interest in photography because I recall tagging along on several photo shoots.  

One particular lesson involved a trip to the zoo.  It was mid-summer and quite warm...even in the morning.  At there was a bear that was enjoying a cool down in a small pool of water.



I remember thinking "I want to do that"... cool off, that is.  I mean, it was summertime... in Tucson!  It was hot...  I was about 12 years old... While I was enjoying the time at the zoo, I was bored with the photography stuff.

When we returned to the house for the afternoon, we headed to the dark room, much cooler than being out in the sun, for a lesson in the developing process.  I don't recall details... other than there were a few shallow trays containing different chemicals... and at some point a red light was turned on so that you could see what you were doing.

Thus, the reason for my inclusion of a splash of red in my block...





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I do love to document life's events by snapping pictures and placing the photos in albums so that I can go back and enjoy the moments captured in the photo. There is that saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words".  And there is just something about  a black and white photo that conveys a statement of elegance.  

(These are not photos taken by me... rather, credit goes to the photographer of my daughter's wedding.)

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For just a moment... time stands still.  For just a moment... you can "remember when".  For just a moment... you can time travel.


Sign ups - NOW


I will soon be using more black and white blocks that had been the start of a project by someone else for a quilt that I will feature in the Black & White blog hop January 21-24 that is hosted by Carla at Creatin' in the Sticks.  Be sure to come back and see what develops!


I hope that there were some moments that you captured in your memory, like snapshots in an album, this year, and that you Christmas season has been blessed.

Quilt Happy!

Melva


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


Linking with:

2018 Color Challenge at Patterns by Jen
Christmas Linky Party at Freemotion by the River
Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts
Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication
Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter
Can I Get A Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict



Sunday, December 16, 2018

Gingerbread Man Mug Rug - Tutorial





We recently had a fun little get-together with some friends.  It was an evening of catching up, laughter, dinner, goodies and... cookie decorating!

I bravely mixed up sugar cookies, Dave rolled them and cut out gingerbread men shapes and I baked them... It was a team effort and they turned out amazing!  Many thanks to Karen at Tu-Na Quilts for the recipe, tips and suggestions. 

Rules of the game... you have 1-1/2 minutes.  There are three bowls in front of you - one of frosting with a knife, a bowl of m&m's, one with mini chocolate chips and a jar of sprinkles.  While blindfolded you need to decorate your gingerbread man as you please.


It was hilarious!  


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One person couldn't find the knife to spread the frosting, so they used their fingers...  someone broke a leg off... one little guy lost his head... a few tried to give body parts, but most just tried to make their man look like a normal gingerbread man with two eyes and a nose and buttons down the front.




Image may contain: dessert and food




Image may contain: dessert and food



You wouldn't think it would be so hard.  I mean everyone has seen a gingerbread man... two eyes, a nose, maybe a mouth and buttons.  But when you can't see where the frosting is going or how much you have, it really is a challenge!

So, a few weeks ago I shared in the Virtual Cookie Exchange hop a pair of table toppers that I designed - a gingerbread man and woman... I also shared a fun little mug rug.



Here is a tutorial on how to make the mug rug...

Cut:

6- 2-1/2" squares of tan
3- 2-1/2" squares of background fabric
9- 1" squares of background fabric

On three of the GBM (gingerbread man) fabric place three of the 1-1/2" background squares, mark center line, stitch, trim and flip to "shape" the head and two hands.








**Note** If you want to use decorative trim it is easier to add to the "hands" before sewing this step.



Join the blocks to make the rows and then join the rows...

Make your quilt sandwich and quilt as desired and finish with binding.

I used only decorative stitches on my first mug rug (shown above).  I used some picot ribbon on my second mug rug (below) along with some decorative stitches to create the buttons and face.  And I am in love with the button-hole stitching on the binding!



This little guy looks a little like he may have been decorated at our party... blindfolded!  lol.  Maybe he is just smirking...

If you want to make the larger table topper, cut the squares to 5-1/2" and 1-3/4" and assemble in the same manner.



Well, there you have it... A quick little last minute project!  Because every quilter has last minute projects that just HAVE to be added to gifts.  The mug rug would make a really, really cute tag on a gift.

How many are you going to make???

Leave a comment and let me know...  I love to hear from my readers.

Merry Quiltmas!

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


Linking with:

Moving It Forward Monday at Em's Scrap Bag
Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts & Doll Quilts
Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework
Pieceful Sunday at Janda Bend Quilts
Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
Sunday Stash at Quilt Paint Create
Linky Tuesday at Free Motion by the River 
Fiber Tuesday at The Quilting Room with Mel
Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter
Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication
WOW at Esther's Quilt Blog
Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts





Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Bunny Patch - No Guilt::Go Quilt #7

After last week's technological challenges of our computer, web-site and anti-virus issues, I needed some serious therapy time in my studio!  I spent more time on hold and on speaker phone with tech support as the issues were resolved.  As it turned out, we had multiple issues that needed to all be resolved for everything to work properly.  

Since the resolution of all that techy stuff I was more than ready devote some serious time to a Christmas quilt that needed to get done.  But, I needed something for dinner, a crockpot meal preferably, so that I could spend the day uninterrupted at my sewing machine.  I had a few items on hand, but nothing to create a complete, cohesive meal.

After getting all of the squares cut, I pulled out my trusty recipes, including my Winter White Bean and Italian Sausage soup.



I compiled my shopping list and headed to the store to gather all of the ingredients needed to make up 18, yes, eighteen! freezer meals.  It took up the remainder of the day, but it is soooooooo worth it! 






I was finally able to spend a day in getting this little bunny patch quilt done for the newest little baby girl in the family!













This is little Harper Olivia Hopp... Isn't she just a doll?!?  

Image may contain: one or more people, people sleeping and stripes

The Bunny Patch pattern is from Quiltmaker magazine, March/April 2012.  I love the variety of "Patch Pals" they have offered over the years.  From a penguin and elephant to a monkey, lion and giraffe, as well as several others.   




Now that this little "hopper" is ready to be shipped out, and I have meals ready to go for easy meal prep, I can get on with the other Christmas items I need to get made.  These include some flannel pajama pants and a tool holder.  It shouldn't take much time... and then maybe I will put together a tutorial for the gingerbread mug rug I shared in the cookie exchange post (link below).  It goes together really fast, something you may want to add to your last minute gifts to make list. Because we all tend to do that, right?  

Would you like a tutorial for this mug rug?  Let me know by leaving a comment below...

In the baking arena, my husband and I have committed to making some sugar cookies that will be decorated by our guests on Saturday evening.  If you read my Virtual Cookie Exchange post, you know that I DON'T do rolled and cut out sugar cookies.  **shudder**  Dave thinks alcohol will be required for the  decorating of the cookies... I think that alcohol will be required in the making/baking of the cookies.  Bawhaha!

I think I am need of more therapy time!  You know where you can find me...

Sew Happy!

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

Linking with:

Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
Moving It Forward Monday at Em's Scrap Bag
Fiber Tuesday at The Quilting Room with Mel
Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River
Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter
Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication
Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts

Monday, December 3, 2018

Regularly Scheduled Programming Will Return Soon...

I am currently wearing the hat of web-master for our business - Nolan Quality Customs... 




I am not an expert in this area and I am fumbling my way through the process of updating some photos and information.  

I really, Really, REALLY hope that the update will be completed soon so that I can return to my studio... I have a quilt that needs to be made for a little babe that will soon be arriving!




If you could whisper a quick prayer that this web update moves along quickly, I would greatly appreciate it.

I am reminded that many time we are called into areas that we feel unqualified... But that is just the way it is, right?  God qualifies the called.  


What are you working on?  


A special Christmas quilt?  A fun Christmas project?  
I'd love to hear from you!  leave a comment...

Sew Happy!

Melva


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

Are you part of a family full of quilters?  I would love to feature your family's story!  Send me an e-mail (MelvaLovesScraps@NolanQualityCustoms.com) and we can begin the interview process.