Thursday, January 31, 2019

2019 Color Challenge - Bells of Ireland - Green

It is a new year, and a new block of the month challenge for me!  Patterns by Jen is doing a new color challenge, this one inspired by flowers.  Count me in!

I, personally, have a heritage of primarily German and little English... My husband, Dave also has a strong presence of German in his heritage, along with some Irish and maybe a little Polish, we been told over the years.

It used to be quite entertaining to listen to the conversations about percentages of nationality among the family.  And now you can pay for the results with DNA testing with a simple swipe of a swab in your mouth!  With guaranteed accuracy... but with caution because the results may shock and rock  your world. 

And much to my surprise, when I did a quick search for Irish Bells I discovered...

"Surprise, surprise. Bells of Ireland are not native to Ireland. They are native to Syria, Turkey and the Caucuses. Bells of Ireland plants are a lucky symbols, perhaps linking their name to the luck of the Irish."

Dave has often shared stories of his Grandpa Nolan (Clarence) and how he loved to watch Notre Dame football with great excitement and speaking, maybe swearing (?) in Gaelic.

Some of the other family members favorite memories include watching the Cubs games together and how he made doll furniture from aluminum cans (with elaborate scrolls offering a fancy look to it).  He had a twinkle in his eye and a grin on his face and an unforgettable laugh, that some describe as a guffaw.  And one of his children stated that he was the king of making things up... anything to make the family laugh!

Dave and I have long talked about making a trip to Europe (Germany primarily), but some of the surrounding countries would probably be included.  We have it on an imaginary bucket list... but apparently international travel is not very high on our bucket list, because we have been married for nearly 34 years and we haven't made it yet!  None the less, I do think that a visit to Ireland would be worth it.  We don't even have passports!  We should do something about this... but honestly, there is so much more right here in the US that we want to travel to see.  International travel may have to wait a little longer...

Last year in the color challenge I shared about my draw to more muted greens, probably because I grew up in an often drought stricken, arid Southern Colorado where green, wasn't emerald green... in contract to the green of the humid mid-west of Chicagoland.  And I have been told that the green of Ireland is even more brilliant than the mid-west green!  I can believe it, but cannot really fathom it...

This year's block goes to both extremes... the bright emerald green and the muted light green... with some sweet purple flowers that bring to mind some wild violets.

Do you have a "bucket list" for places to visit?  
What is your favorite place to visit?

Leave a comment to let me know... I may add it to ours!

Quilt Happy!

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

Linking with:
January Link Up at Patterns By Jen
BOMs Away! at What a Hoot Quilts
Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter
Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Patchwork Mysteries... Concluded

Recently I shared about an unfinished quilt that was passed to me from Dianne Rudder-Rich.  When I posed the question about the name of this quilt pattern to a few quilting groups on fb the common pattern name that was given in reply was Rising Star.

Here is what I was able to learn about the quilt's maker...

Dianne Rudder-Rich’s grandmother’s name was Boots Skorepa.  

She was born in 1911 died 2007 and lived around Cleveland, Ohio for most of her life, then Columbus, Ohio until mom brought her here to South Carolina in 2003.

She didn’t work outside the home, but they had a farm for a while.  She was a heck of a carpenter, cook, and quilter.  She could pretty much do anything. Her hands were always busy, crocheting, sewing, quilting, something.

Her parents were both from Prague- she spoke “Bohemian” and loved to polka.

Boots is on the right and her daughter Sandy is on the left.  Notice the horse tattoo on her arm. ;)

I carefully marked (with pencil... because that was how all of the other wreaths were done) the remaining six wreaths that were needed to complete this quilt.  

I will sometimes mark with pencil myself, but never quite so heavily (as shown above)... especially on light colored fabric.  I was correct in my thinking that the markings wouldn't wash out completely... I have to move on to plan B for the removal.  Which is either using Dawn dish soap and a tooth brush, or using Retro Clean.  

Do you have a suggestion to get the markings out?

The things you notice when finishing someone else's quilt...

1)  All but two of the stars are appliqued with a sort of an outline stitch... Do you see the difference?  I think the two that don't match may have been the first ones to be completed, and Boots didn't like the look of it... but rather than re-do, she left it.

2)  The variations in the type of fabrics did not scare her.  she boldly used cotton with polyester and satin like in both of the above pictures... or all cotton...

Or a cotton and light gauzy polyester (below)... or cotton and textured poly like in the last picture!

Or satin and poly like in this 1/2 star... which reminds me of a crown!

When Dave asked me what I was doing with it when it was done I responded with "I don't know.  Maybe I will make a child's quilted jacket like ones that you pointed out to me at the show in Dallas."  

I didn't think to snap a picture at the show... and quite honestly, it probably would have been pretty rude of me to do that.  But here are some examples I found available on etsy.

I even have some vintage table cloths, hankies and napkins in my collection that I can use for the collars and pockets, as well as a couple of other vintage quilts that have already been cut apart for various other projects.  I think I will start with them first.  

It would be a shame to cut up the Rising Star quilt... but, then again, the jacket would probably last much longer.  The jackets at the show were only up to children's size 3... and three year olds don't really wear out jackets like that.

Ooooh, I am excited!  I have a couple little girls in mind to be the perfect models for my first jackets... maybe for Valentines Day... or Easter.  I'll see how fast I can get them done. 

I have perused my pattern collection and found a few vintage patterns that I can modify and make work.

Stay tuned!


Remember... leave a comment if you have a suggestion for getting the markings out of the quilt!
Melva Loves Scraps - Home of the Quilters Through The Generations series

Linking with:

Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts
Moving It Forward Monday at Em's Scrap Bag
Linky Tuesday at Freemotion By the River
UFO Busting at Tish In Wonderland

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Black & White Blog Hop

Welcome to the final day of the Black and White hop hosted by Carla at Creatin' in the Sticks.  There will be a list of all bloggers participating at the end of the post...

When I signed up to participate in this hop I knew exactly what my source of inspiration would be...  

These were passed on to me from a local fellow quilter who was trying to lighten her load/stash since her interests had changed.  She still enjoys quilting on occasion, but is not passionate about it anymore. 

I had no idea what I would create, but I did know that I needed a baby quilt for a shower... (yep, another baby shower!  You can see the other one on my Save The Bees Finish) and the theme was Dr. Seuss...  not exactly black and white, but I thought I could make it work. After all, that cat in the hat is a black and white pencil sketch with a splash of red in the tie and hat.

I started making four-patch blocks.  

I dove into my stash and found some coordinating colors and wanted to make the blocks a little wonky and playful like the picture above.

With the help of my Mom we had the top pieced, complete with borders and ready for quilting in an afternoon.

There was a winter storm predicted so I planned a No Guilt::Go Quilt day so that I could get the quilting and binding completed the next day.

It wasn't a freezer meal, but it is so simple to put together... 

and who doesn't love Tomato Soup and grilled cheese sandwiches (with GF bread for me, of course) for a warm winter meal???

I just toss all the ingredients into my lined crockpot (doubling the recipe and skipping the frying of the onion and garlic part) and let it cook on low for 4-6 hours.  Just before serving stir in a small amount of heavy cream.

I used a two color binding to create the flange look and a pop of color.

So, how did I do?  I think this quilt falls well into the B/W AND Dr. Seuss themes!  Win-Win!  AND, it is my second finish of the year...

The shower was more than a week later.  Sadly, there was another winter storm that prevented me from make the 80 mile trip to the shower.  

I did get a few pictures though.  My youngest grand-daughter, Maggie, was so in love with little Grayson... until he had a poopy diaper - then she said "I don't want it. It stinks."  Haha!

I still have plenty of the scrappy black and white blocks left for another quilt.  I am certain I can find plenty of inspiration from the other bloggers in this hop.  

But, what would YOU make with them?  

Leave a comment... I love to hear from my readers. 

Quilt Happy!


Black & White Blog Hop Schedule

Monday, January 21st
Just Let Me Quilt
Needled Mom
Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats
Life in Scrapatch
Bumbleberry Stitches
keepsake moments
Vroomans Quilts

Tuesday, January 22nd
MooseStash Quilting
Elizabeth Coughlin Designs
Quilts by Joanne
That Fabric Feeling
Songbird Designs
Two Maker Chicks

Wednesday, January 23
Selina Quilts
Quilt in a not-Shell
Patchwork Breeze
Adventurous Applique and Quilting
Kathleen McMusing
Cynthia's Creating Ark
Everyone Deserves a Quilt
Homespun Hannah's Blog

Thursday, January 24
Seams to be Sew
Storied Quilts
Kathy's Kwilts and More
Ms P Designs USA
Den syende himmel
Melva Loves Scraps
The Joyful Quilter
Creatin' in the Sticks  

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

2018 Color Challenge Finish

Last week we had a road trip planned for my husband's  our business (he does the actual work in the shop, I do the office stuff)... it would be a 10 hour drive on the first day, two days at a trade show in Dallas and then a short 3 hour ride to our next destination in Seymour, TX for a few days and the return home, 6-1/2 hours.

I worked feverishly to have plenty of hand-stitching to pass the time on the road.  I had two quilts to hand sew the binding and another quilt needed six feathered wreaths hand stitched.

And I am pleased to report that I completed all of the hand sewing with the exception of one feathered wreath.  I had time... but my hands just refused to do any more!

Once the binding on the 2018 Color Challenge quilt binding was complete, and thread tails carefully tucked away, I headed out to a fence that holds our friends' goats for a photo shoot.  Our friends in Seymour, TX is home of the Lazy J Goat Farm and was home to my namesake, Melva, the patchwork-faced Nanny.

When I first headed out there the little girls were hopeful that I had some food for them to enjoy... and were quite interested in what I was doing.  

However, I was not quick enough to get a picture with them right by the fence and the quilt.  

I am happy to have this quilt complete and am relieved to know that it didn't become a UFO buried in my closet.  The rainbow striped fabric with a black background was perfect for the binding and has been hanging out in my stash for some time.  It wasn't something I purchased, but like the farm animal backing, was acquired from others cleaning out their personal stash.  The narrow flange of light grey offers a nice break and transition.

It seems just perfect that the farm animal fabric was photographed at Lazy J Goat Farm!

As I pieced the rows with the setting squares on the edge, I had envisioned feathers.  But once the top was sandwiched I could not ignore the call for it to be a more modern, linear type of quilting.

It reminded me of a weather vane and the Scripture from Proverbs 3:5-6 came to mind... Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He'll make your path straight.

I carried similar quilting lines into the borders...

While there were only 12 blocks in the challenge, my layout required 13.  So, an extra block was created, creating a Baker's Dozen.  It is the upper right block in the fence shots above.

If you missed each of the monthly posts, you can find them all under the 2018 Color Challenge tag or, Red, Blue, Yellow, Orange, Green, Purple, Yellow-Green, Red-Orange, Red-Violet, Blue-Violet, Blue-Green and Black & White.  

Finished size of this quilt is 61 inches, square.

Many thanks Patterns By Jen for the fun challenge and exercises in color value.  It has been a fun learning experience and I am looking forward to the 2019 Color Challenge.

We had great fun on our trip.  But... It feels good to be home... There's no place like home... there's no place like home!  However, I will be dealing with all of the laundry today

I stitched my way down the road... and we listened to an audio book that we borrowed from the local library.  Ashes From Beauty  by Win Blevins - a book about a young man that joins up with some mountain men and falls in love with an Crow Indian woman names Meadowlark.  It was a good fit for the two of us to listen to... Mountain man and Indian adventures with a romance story woven in!

What do you do to pass the time?

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

Quilt Happy!


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

Linking with:

Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts 
Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River
BOMS Away at What A Hoot Quilts
Movin' it Forward Monday at Em's Scrapbag
Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
UFO  Bustin' at Tish In Wonderland

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Patchwork Mysteries

Several years ago my husband, Dave, had given me a nook tablet.  I have read many e-books, mostly free of cost.  Even the Anne of Green Gables series that took me well over a year to read!  After finishing that series my search for more free books turned up empty.  That is when I turned to the the series of mystery/quilting books that an Aunt had passed on to me last summer...

I am so enjoying the stories of Sarah, a quilter and quilt historian and restoration expert, and her family and friends.  The way that she takes on a project and traces the history of the quilt maker inspires me.

In August I received a message from my sister-in-love,

I was given an unfinished quilt that my friend's grandma made. She has many quilts (they look hand made to me) and my friend is tasked with finding homes for them - the good ones will go to relatives, but she wondered if you might want to finish this somehow (not sure how as you wouldn't have the same material) and do what you wish with it? There is an obvious area on the back where she used a darker blue material for some reason.

Actually, it IS finished!  With the exception of six hand-stitched feathered wreaths.  And it is entirely hand stitched and quilted!  I cannot imagine the hours that have gone into this quilt...  by someone much more patient than I!  I will be finishing the wreaths on an upcoming road trip.

From Patchwork Mysteries, book 3, Muslin Mystery...

"A quilt can tell you a lot about itself, if you know how to look at it.  Some fabrics were sold only in certain parts of the country, so often you can tell where a quilt was created just by identifying the materials.  But what you really want to know is who made it, and what her life was like, when she was born and when she died.  And that can be hard to find out."
I am hopeful to be able to gather a bit of information on the quilter and will share the info when I get it, along with more details about this quilt and how it is made.

I am far from a quilt or fabric expert, but if I had to guess, I would say that the stars are made of left over fabric from clothing construction, or clothing spanning decades.  Some of the fabric appears to be flour sack cloth and others from the 60s or 70s, maybe even the 80s.  It includes cotton and polyester; silk and satin.  

I currently don't have any UFOs... Now I am not bragging... I am just a bit over the top about finishing a project that I start.  Even the year-long BOMs were a challenge for me to just let sit as I completed blocks!  

But if someone went through your UFOs and passed them on to another quilter to complete, what sort of info would you like for them to know? ... about yourself?  ... or about the project?

Would they have all of the necessary instructions and fabrics to finish the quilt?

Leave a comment and let me know... maybe I will ask that question of the grand-daughter I got the quilt from.

Quilt Happy!


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

Linking with:
UFO Busting at Tish In Wonderland

Friday, January 4, 2019

Save The Bees Finish

It is another 2018 Block of the Month Finish!  Woohoo!

I simply refuse to let the monthly blocks sit in a pile and become UFOs... two down (Pat Sloan's Let's Go Camping and Save the Bees), two to go (2018 Color Challenge and It's a Wild Life).  

The Save The Bees BOM was a short stint, but it was fun.  Two of the blocks offered a choice of applique or hand embroidery.  The embroidery would have been fun, but I wasn't really interested in that... (had there been road trips planned, I probably would have considered it to pass the time.)

And, well, applique... not my favorite, but thanks to the designers of the It's A "Wild" Life BOM, I have gotten over my dislike and fear of the technique.  It is far from my favorite, but has become a technique that I don't mind. (My favorite would be piecing!).

I chose to be a bit more creative and do some painting with thread.  It is really more like the paint with water books for toddlers.  I had received a set of aurifil thread in a give away and used the brilliant jewel toned colors from the set.

The bulk of the quilting is stitch in the ditch and then I did FMQ to outline the flowers and bees and did loops in the borders (similar to the path of the bees in the flower blocks, all with nylon thread.  The binding is a scrappy binding, adding a final pop of color and playfulness to the quilt.  The finished dimension is 52" x 46", the perfect size for tummy time on the floor with plenty of color and interest to entertain a baby.

This will be gifted at an upcoming baby shower that will welcome a little one... Eliza.  She was a healthy little(?) gal at 9 lbs 6 oz and 22-1/4" long.  I cannot wait to see her and hope that I have a chance to snuggle her and love on her.  

Image may contain: 1 person, sleeping and baby

I just love the way the quilting "popped" the flowers and the bee's path

And, quite honestly, I was surprised at how the appliqued letters and the honey comb block were not as stiff as I had anticipated.  Yay!

My first finish of the 2019 is "in the books".  You can catch up on the other blocks by following the label "Save the Bees" or follow the links here... Blocks 1 and 2, Block 3 and Block 4.

I have read from numerous quilters that, while they enjoy BOM sew alongs, they tend to not assemble the blocks to make the top, thus creating another UFO for themselves.  This is a concept that I cannot grasp...  

Have you had your first finish for the year?  

Leave a comment.  I'd love to hear what you have been working on. 

Quilt Happy!

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

Linking with:

Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter
Mid-week Makers at Quilt Fabrication
Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts
Needle & Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation
BOMs Away Monday at What A Hoot Quilts
Moving It Forward Monday at Em's Scrap Bag
Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts
Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework
Pieceful Sunday at JANDA Bend Quilts