Saturday, March 30, 2019

2019 Color Challenge - Navy Blue

The 2019 Monthly Color challenge by Patterns by Jen highlights the color navy blue and the flower Love In A Mist.

This is a flower that I am not familiar with and this is what I found...

Gardens are not the only medium in which this plant has exhibited its special charms. Over time, these blossoms have become a large part of myth and magic. Although most people think that the name “love in a mist” came about purely for the nigella’s frothy appearance, some legends tell a different story. 

One such tale tells of Frederick I Barbarossa – the holy Roman Emperor – who, in fact, drowned in the Saleph River while leading a Crusade through Turkey. During this Crusade, it is said that a spirit of the water seduced the Emperor, leading him into the shallow river which ultimately led to his demise. On the shore, a delicate nigella flower blossomed, and is thought to represent his own departed spirit – which is now enmeshed with that of water. 

In magic, the nigella flower is considered a Venus herb. Unlike most Venus herbs, though, these plants are not only used to attract love, but to represent the strong feminine power of an alluring woman. As well as being used in love charms, these plants are also applied to spells that can bring about glamour and the binding of a person’s spirit.

The magical associations with the nigella flower carry over into its symbolism. These blooms are often said to represent the chains that bind people together – usually in love, but sometimes in bitterness. They are also said to express perplexity and intrigue, and are often given as gifts to tell the recipient that the giver is fascinated, or simply has a crush.

The temperatures are warming, the moisture is slowly switching from snow to rain and the grass and spring bulbs are starting to emerge... If I were to send this flower - Love in a Mist - to someone, it would be Spring!  "Dear Spring - your weather patterns perplex me!  A few warm days followed by snow storms, blizzards even.  What's up with that?"

Just days before Dave and I said I do, our parents finally (after nearly two years of being together and 1,200 miles apart) were able to meet.  It was a little awkward and strained, but brief.  I remember that his parents brought me roses - five yellow roses and one red rose. Dave's dad explained that the yellow roses represented the friendship and love they felt for me from a small portion of the family - Paul & Sandi (Mom & Dad) and the siblings that made the trip (Pat, Chris and Amy) and one single red rose for the deep, romantic feeling from Dave.  

Awww... what a sweet gesture!  This was one of the first examples of a message in a bouquet of flowers.  I just like flowers for the way they look or smell.  It was fascinating when you really look at the language of flowers.

So far we have had 

Bells of Ireland = Good luck
Pink Carnations = I'll never forget you
Love in a Mist = Perplexed; Intrigue

Hmmm... I wonder what sort of message is being sent?

Everyone has a favorite flower... mine is a wild rose.  It looks very delicate, yet has to be pretty hardy to be able to survive the wild and not be overtaken by grasses and other plants.  

What is you favorite flower? 

Leave a comment letting me know... I love hearing from my readers. :)

Keep calm and quilt on,


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

Linking with:

2019 Color Challenge with Patterns By Jen

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

All About Strings Hop and Give Away

It is time for the All About Strings blog hop that is hosted by Carla at Creatin' in the Sticks... Let the fun begin!  A full list of hop participants and give away details will be near the end of this post...

String piecing... I've never done much with this scrap-bustin' technique, but just KNEW I needed to be in on the fun.  Thanks for stopping by and I hope that you will take a little bit of time to look around my blog... learn a little about me, take a peek into my studio and see some of my favorite quilts that I have in my Gallery... and don't forget all of the quilters I have featured in my Quilters Through The Generations series.  

A quick and easy definition of String Piecing:

String piecing (also sometimes called improvisational piecing) involves sewing fabric strips together. The strips, or “strings”, can be any color combination, from scrappy to graduated color families. The strips do not need to be a uniform width, which makes it a great technique for using scraps!

But honestly, the first thoughts that came to mind when I saw the name of the hop were stringed instruments.  While I don't play (I offer the vocals), Dave has a small collection of stringed instruments... guitars - both six-string and 12-string and a mandolin.

Each one of them has a very different sound and purpose.  When he's leading a group in singing and there are few other (if any) instruments he will use his six-string... It has a loud voice that sings out for all to hear and stays in tune when played hard.  

His 12-string can offer a sound of more instruments during special meditative (quieter) songs because of the octave strings...

But his favorite is his mandolin... This sweet little gal can offer its voice in songs much like a descant echo.... a little angelic, even.  

As a child I had a brief interest in playing the violin... er, fiddle.  But it was difficult to keep the old violin in tune and I wasn't learning the fun fiddle like songs... I moved on to choir.  🎶  The violin now hangs on our living room wall. :)

So why not create a string-pieced stringed instrument???

I sketched out a pattern and settled on the size of blocks as 4" so that it would make a nice sized wall hanging for our basement... this happens to be where the stringed instruments reside.

Using scraps from my scrap bin and a special collection of music/instrument novelty fabrics left from a couple projects I completed several years ago I started in...

I used some light-weight interfacing as my foundations for the string-pieced blocks, a little over-sized so that I could trim them down to the perfect size...

It was coming together nicely... all I had left was the head-stock.

The backing was pieced from the same scrap novelty print collection.  I quilted in texture in the body of the guitar with some matchstick type quilting and used a heavier (maybe an elastic stitch) stitch setting on my machine to replicate the strings.

I pulled out my collection of buttons and found 12 vintage mother of pearl buttons that would work perfectly for the tuners on the head-stock and for the anchor pegs for the strings below the sound hole.  Happy dance!

The neck of the guitar is a little wide and could have been tweaked just a little, but I will keep that in mind should I ever want to make another. :)

I think it fits right in our with our small basement space, alongside the instruments. :)  

Are you musically inclined?  
Do you have another creative outlet beside quilting?

I'd love to hear from you... leave a comment before Saturday, March 30th for a chance to win this Stonehenge - woodland print fat-quarter by Linda Ludovico for Northcott fabrics.  

Be sure to leave an email address if your account is set up as "no-reply".  It would be a shame to be randomly selected as the winner with no way for me to contact you!

Happy Hopping!


Monday, March 25th

Tuesday, March 26th

Wednesday, March 27th
Creatin' in the Sticks
Melva Loves Scraps - Home of the Quilters Through The Generations series

Monday, March 25, 2019

The Adventure Quilt - Road Less Traveled

Block 8 in the Adventure Quilt quilt along hosted by Kate and Tammy is all about the Road Less Traveled.

After Dave made a career change six years ago and became self-employed, we worked long and hard to get his business up and running.  It required a lot of physical labor to do upgrades and improvements to our property and the shop, as well as learning new skills to be able to create and launch a professional web-site and learn marketing tricks to grow our business.

We worked tirelessly for two+ years before we had the opportunity to enjoy a vacation.  Things were still a little tight financially, and to take a week to 10 days off and not continue to complete the work he had in-house to keep generating income was a little concerning.  However, thanks to the growth in our faith and the generous offer from a good friend to let us use a condo in Sun Valley, ID we scheduled some time away.  We made it a point to avoid inter-states whenever possible, both to and from the Valley.  

You can read about the entire story  (4 parts)of our journey to and visit in Sun Valley, ID, but one of my favorite days was when a local art gallery manager suggested we take a two-lane dirt road out of town through a National Forest and joined up with a back highway.

We made a detour when we saw a point of interest sign pointing to a fissure that was caused by an earthquake in 1983.

We had no clue what we were actually looking for, but we trusted our road atlas (no gps device or app again).  Amazingly, the little county road was on our map and we continued to follow it until we came upon a highway that followed the Salmon River and led us back to Sun Valley.  

We enjoyed a picnic lunch along one of the farms...

It really was an adventure on a road less traveled!  Ever since that trip we now prefer to take a slower pace and take two-lane highways.  You never know what you might find!

Now, not every trip can allow the luxury of no time lines or destination deadlines.  As we have learned in our (ahem...) maturity, sometimes it really is okay to take time to smell the roses... even extend our stay for a day or so.  

When need to get away from the crazies of the world, where do you go?  
What road less traveled to you navigate to?  

Maybe it is just an escape to your sewing room... maybe it is a mountain cabin... or a beach cottage...

Leave a comment, with your email address.  I really enjoy conversations with my readers.

Sew Piecefully,

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

Linking with:

BOMs Away at What A Hoot Quilts

Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework
UFO Busting at Tish's Wonderland
Colour & Inspiration at Clever Chameleon Quilting
What I Made Monday at Pretty Piney
Needle & Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation
Can I Get A Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts

Saturday, March 23, 2019

No Guilt:: Go Quilt... And Create!

I needed a little bit of free-form creation time - no real deadlines, no parameters or themes to hold to, no following a pattern...  and I finally got it. I didn't create anything spectacular.  Just a few mini-minis that I will send to a few friends that could use some encouragement.

And thanks to another No Guilt::Go Quilt freezer meal I had the freedom from one more thing to draw my attention away from my studio time.

We enjoyed this Green Chili Chicken and Lime Soup (minus 8 ozs. of mushrooms)

As I entered my studio I had several ideas...  I wanted to do a tiny-quilt.  One of my 5x7 hand-sewn hellos based on this picture.

As I pulled out my scrap bin I found the perfect fabric for the night sky and mountains...  The glittery fabric makes up the stars and the hand-dyed fabric provided the mountains.  You can bet that I did a little happy dance!

All I needed were a few trees, a lake and a moon. I was able to get the layout done, along with getting them stitched down while Dave ran a quick errand in town to pick up some supplies for our recent kitchen project...  

And when he had to run back to the hardware store because of a change in plans, I was able to get stitch in the wording.

God made the ocean and the mountains,
the moon and the stars;
and you!

I don't know about you, but some days I need this reminder!

Thankfully, the kitchen project is nearly done and I have had ample opportunity to get back into my studio and get caught up!  

Thanks to my freezer meals I was still able to sneak away... even if it was only for 10-15 minutes at a time!

When life gets a little crazy for you and you only have 10 minutes to sew or quilt, what sort of project do you work on?

Leave a comment.  I love to communicate with my readers. :)

Quilt Happy,

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

Linking with:

Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts
Monday Making at Love, Laugh Quilt
Movin' It Forward Monday at Em's Scrapbag
Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication
Work in progress On Wednesday at Esther's Quilting blog
Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts
Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework
UFO Busting at Tish's Wonderland
Colour & Inspiration at Clever Chameleon Quilting
What I Made Monday at Pretty Piney
Needle & Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation
Can I Get A Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Off The Wall Friday with Nina Marie
Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts

Monday, March 18, 2019

The Adventure Quilt - Ocean Waves

Kate & Tammy's  great Adventure and Road Trip quilt continues!  This week's block takes us to the ocean... Ocean waves!

And almost exactly 21 years ago our family ventured to California for spring break.  We were able to stay with a friend in San Juan Capistrano, explore the area and spent a day at Disneyland.  

So of course we spent an afternoon at the beach.  Bearing in mind it was March and a little cooler... so the beach that Renee took us to wasn't busy at all.  I don't recall anyone else... AT ALL!

It was the first ocean beach experience for Dave and the girls.  

We cautioned them that it would be a little cool and asked that they only go up to their knees... "don't get your clothes wet" is what I stated (I think)....

Oh well!  Never mind...  The squeals of delight were worth it.

I had been once about 4 years before when I made the trip solo for Renee's wedding.  There is just something about the power of the waves... the sound... the energy.  It can be mesmerizing.   

Renee and I enjoyed from the waves from a distance.  Besides... she had a baby in the belly that I got to feel move!

The Pacific Ocean is the only ocean I have seen in person.  We have made several trips back to Southern California since then for weddings and we dream of making a trip up the coast to Oregon and Washington state.

I have experienced several other large lakes, like the Great Lakes... where you can't see the other side of the lake.  It might as well be the ocean.  I would like to see the Atlantic (much rougher I am told) as well as the Gulf Coast.  Add these to my "bucket list" of places to visit!

I don't think that I could live there... too much wind.  We get plenty of wind here and the coast wind is so different - more of a breeze, but constant.  I think the wind and the sound would eventually wear me down and cause an off mood.  But I love to visit!  The sand between my toes...

I have spring fever bad!  Dave does too... and we are aching (say that with angst... AAAAAAAAAAAAAAching) to get away with our truck and camper!

Tell me, do you have or get spring fever?  
What do you do to combat this feeling?  

Leave a comment because I love to see what my readers have to say.  Be sure to leave your email address so I can respond. :)

Piece Out,

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

Linking with:

Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts
Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
Moving It Forward Monday at Em's Scrapbag
BOMs Away at What A Hoot Quilts
Works In Progress at Silly Mama Quilts
Mid-week Makers at Quilt Fabrication
WOW at Esther's Blog
Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts

Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter

Sunday, March 17, 2019

A Time For All Seasons - A Wee Bit of Ireland

March's blocks for A Time for All Season block of the month is from Carol at Just Let Me Quilt and features shamrocks and a Wee Bit of Ireland...  

I went with a perfectly planned block and a completely scrappy block.  In all honesty, I like the look of my scrappy block better than the planned block... an example of lack of contrast.  My background fabric is not a great enough contrast with my light green fabric.  

As I pieced these blocks I was waiting to hear from my brothers-in-law that a special surprise had arrived in their mail boxes.  (Dave is on the far right)  One of them took over two weeks... **sigh**

We don't normally do impulse purchases from promotional fliers we receive in the mail.  But this seemed just too perfect for these >> brothers...

Fortunately, their service was excellent and fast, and their prices reasonable. It could have turned out much worse... whew!  (I will probably re-think any future impulses a little more and research the company.)

I shared in my Bells of Ireland post in January for the 2019 Color Challenge that Dave's family has an Irish heritage and that these guys come by the blarney naturally.  

There are always shenanigans, blarney and Malarkey when these four are together!

Slowly, the messages of thanks came...  

Each one as unique as they are and the beer of their choice...

Now the boys can have a beer together, even though they are miles apart!  

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Piece Happy,


There are lots of Irish blessings... do you have a favorite?  Leave a comment and let me know.  I love to hear from my readers. :)

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

Linking with:

Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts
Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
Moving It Forward Monday at Em's Scrapbag
BOMs Away at What A Hoot Quilts
A Time For All Seasons March blocks at Sew Incredibly Crazy
Works In Progress at Silly Mama Quilts
Mid-week Makers at Quilt Fabrication
WOW at Esther's Blog
Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts
Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter

Friday, March 15, 2019

Quilt Qwazy Queens blog hop & Give Away

Marian at Seams To Be Sew is celebrating World-wide Quilting day by playing hostess to the Quilt Qwazy Queens blog hop and I am happy to be able to join in on the Qwazy Queen fun!  The theme this year is "qwazy"...  (btw, the details for the give away, as well as the list of hop participants will be at the end of this post.)

I have had in my collection of patterns this Quick-piece Crazy Quilt pattern and template set that came from Mrs. Miller and I have long wanted to use it.  And finally the perfect time and occasion arrived!

I am a firm believer that every woman needs to have a circle of friends that will be there for you in all of the ups and downs of life... girlfriends that will laugh with you and cry with you, stand up for you, but still let you know (gently) when you are in the wrong.  We straighten another's crown without telling the world it was crooked.  We listen to each other... not just what they say with words... but what they say from their hearts.

I am fortunate and blessed to be able to say that I have this circle of friends, some that I have known for 20 years, some for just a few years... We try to get together for a "perfect girls" weekend two to three times a year.  Those that can attend may vary, (sometimes the group is larger, and sometimes small and intimate) but the fact that we have each other's backs never changes. We never have great plans for activities... mostly we just hang out and chat, share devotional times, prayer concerns and prayers for each other.  We take turns preparing meals and cleaning up... laugh and usually stay up waaaaaaaaaaay too late.

We have helped and supported each other through job losses and career changes, divorces, moves, surgeries, major and minor health issues and aging parents.  We have celebrated graduations marriages of children and births of grand-babies.

At one weekend, one of the ladies shared this special story that she found on the web...  it sums up our circle of friends to a tee!

Years ago, I was at the beach with my family when I noticed a group of ladies nearby who appeared to be in their fifties.

With a quick glance, I knew they were on a girls’ weekend. All the signs were there – coolers & cocktails, beach bags with romance novels, straw hats, umbrellas in the sand – but most telling of all was their laughter. Lots and lots of laughter, the kind that draws attention and curiosity from anyone in earshot.

I loved watching these women enjoy each other. Although they were older than me, and well past my season of life in having babies, I could imagine being in their shoes one day, basking in the glow of old friends who still made me feel young again. 

That afternoon, I saw two of them in the elevator. When I commented on how much fun they seemed to have, they smiled and nodded. One replied, “Oh, we do have fun. We’ve kept this beach trip going for twenty years and have been through everything – divorce, death, cancer, unemployment. Don’t ever lose touch with your girlfriends, sweetheart. The older you get, the more you’ll need them.”

The conversation left an impression on me. While I’d always treasured my girlfriends, I’d never thought about needing them more with age. And if I’m being honest, it’s only been in recent years that I’ve taken their words to heart.

Because now that I’m in my 40’s, I’m seeing how real divorce, death, cancer, unemployment, and other major life problems are. I understand what they meant when they emphasized the importance of girlfriends as my age group faces hardships we couldn’t imagine when we were young and carefree.

Last February, I found the advice these women gave me really validated when my dear friend Emily, who I met when our daughters became friends, lost her husband Joe in a plane crash. Emily and Joe weren’t just any couple – they were the couple who had been best friends since age 15, whose incredible love story was still going strong. What they had was special. To have it end early and suddenly was unfathomable, unfair, and hard to comprehend.

Joe’s death impacted a lot of people hard, and throughout their home there was so much sadness and grieving, so many heavy hearts in one place. In the midst of this tragedy, however, there was also so much LOVE. You could feel the Holy Spirit everywhere, working in Emily and the people surrounding her.

As I left Emily’s house the day after Joe’s death, I sat in my car and reflected on everything I’d witnessed. One thing I kept thinking about were the women in Emily’s life, and  how amazing they’d been. It wasn’t just the food being carted in, the affection showered on the family, or the fact that so many people had dropped everything to drive or fly to Birmingham. It was the way Emily’s village came together, how friends from every stage of life were represented (adolescence, college, law school, work, and motherhood), and how well everyone knew her.
And because they knew her well, they could do a lot to lighten Emily’s load.

When I arrived at Emily’s house the morning after Joe’s death, for instance, someone asked if I’d write his obituary. I agreed, of course, and was given the names of surviving family members to start with. Since Emily was meeting with her pastor about the funeral, I began the obituary with the help of four friends who’d known Emily and Joe for decades. My intention was to write a rough draft and let Emily fill in the blanks.

But guess what? Emily didn’t have to fill in blanks, because her old friends filled in the blanks for her. Together they recalled pertinent details of Joe’s life: the special dates he planned with his daughters, how he graduated first in his law school class, which law firms he’d worked with, his role as basketball commissioner, his love for their church mission trip to Maine – the list goes on.
As they talked and I typed, I found myself wondering: How many people have friends who could write their husband’s obituary? What does that say about Emily and her relationships?
All over Emily’s house, huddles of women were taking care of business. As I passed a group from her church, I heard them planning the visitation and family luncheon before the funeral. “Emily wouldn’t like that, but she would like this,” they said. “Why don’t we give her option A and option B?” When Emily emerged from her meeting with the pastor an hour later, the legwork was done. She was given an obituary to proofread, options for Saturday, and updates from friends handling small matters so Emily could reserve energy for big ones.

Our girlfriends can’t save us, because only Christ can fill that role, but they can help make a tragedy bearable. They can read our mind and our emotions, intuitively recognizing what needs to be done – then doing it. They can listen, empathize, and show compassion. They can be the hands and feet of Jesus, used by God to help provide comfort and a timely shoulder to cry on. 

It’s hard to nurture friendships when you’re busy raising kids. Some days I don’t have the time or energy. But one thing I’ve learned from watching Emily cope with her loss is how having strong relationships in place before a tragedy occurs enables the healing process. While faith keeps you standing, friends and family hold your hand as you slowly move forward. They help you find a new normal. They meet you for yoga, bring Starbucks to your home, take your kids for ice cream, plan a girls’ beach trip for your Mother’s Day, get your dog groomed, text you Scripture and encouragement, continue coming to town to check on you, and show love in a million heartfelt ways.

“Don’t ever lose touch with your girlfriends, sweetheart. The older you get, the more you’ll need them.” The women on the elevator that day were spot-on. Now when I see a group like them having fun, I realize the laughter is only part of the story, what comes after the complicated grown-up stuff.  And while we certainly need the wonderful men in our lives, for they play a crucial role, too, men simply aren’t designed to understand us like one of our own.

Sometimes it takes another woman to recognize intuitively what needs to be done – then do it. Or to sense what needs to be said – then say it. Or to take the thoughts and emotions we don’t voice – and know what to make of them. 

Having great friends is largely a matter of being a great friend. The reason Emily’s circle is so strong is because she invests in her people. And in her greatest time of need, she reaped the benefit. I hope this story comes as a friendly reminder of why girlfriends matter in good times and bad, laughter and tears, and through the highs and lows that reveal who’s with us for the long haul, and who’s willing to share in our suffering so that one day, when we’re laughing again on the beach, there will be a history that makes the laughter sound richer and stirs the curiosity of anyone in earshot.

As I selected scraps for my crazy quilt I considered my friends... their favorite colors and scripture verses and songs; favorite foods and family members...  

The name of each lady in the group has been embroidered on a part of the crazy blocks as well as specially selected scripture references.  

When I was ready to quilt it I knew that I wanted to include a blessing and a prayer.

The blessing from Numbers 6:24-26 is quilted into the center of the quilt...

The Lord bless you

    and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you

    and be gracious to you;

the Lord turn his face toward you

    and give you peace.

The border of the quilt has a special prayer...

I thought I was done with it.  All I needed to do was wash it and photograph it.  But every time I walked into the guest room and saw the quilt on the top of the stack of quilts that currently reside there I KNEW it needed something more.  It DESERVED something more... It is a crazy quilt.  They are supposed to be heavily embellished with fancy stitches and ribbons!  This one was, well, rather plain...

But I had other projects I needed to get to... deadlines... I kept saying "I don't have time".  But I found myself unproductive and unfocused because of that crazy quilt!  The Crazy Quilt was making me CrAzY!  😜

One day, after a week of it taunting me,  I finally submitted and grabbed the quilt and headed to my Babylock Jazz.  I started doing random back and forth lines... around the quilted scripture, names and scripture references.  

Once that was done I was able to move on... and, Oh, how I love it!

The backing and binding of the quilt feature little lambs and hearts...  

I can honestly say that I am not sure where I would be without these special ladies!  And one of these special gals will be the recipient of this quilt that has been blessed from above and made with love.

Tell me about your special crazy friends... 
How often do you get together?  
Where do you go?  
What sort of activities do you do?

I'd love to hear from you...

Below is a full list of hop participants.  Be sure to visit to see all of the crazy projects that are being shared.  And before I forget, here are the give away details...

Marian at Seams To Be Sew has secured two $35 gift certificates to the Fat Quarter Shop.  Follow the directions on the rafflecopter link.  

Thanks for stopping by!

Quilt in Piece,


a Rafflecopter giveaway

March 15, 2019

March 18, 2019

March 19, 2019

March 20, 2019

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