Monday, April 29, 2019

Pinwheels - Bonus Block - A Time for All Seasons

I didn't do any of the bonus blocks in last year Sew Incredibly Crazy Friends "It's A Wild Life" BOM.  Because the designers are being so gracious in offering two blocks - one pieced and one appliqued -this year, I am sticking with the pieced blocks, two of each.

This first bonus block is an easy to piece block that features two pinwheels designed by Carla at Creatin' In The Sticks.

My first thought when I saw the block was of the Walk to Remember in 2011.  My Dad had Alzheimer's and was a resident at a nearby nursing home for 4-1/2 years.  

While his diagnosis was Alzheimer's, I'm not sure it was accurate... he definitely had dementia and memory loss.  He eventually lost the ability to communicate along with his mobility.  But he always knew who we were when we visited him.  The look of recognition and joy in his eyes were all we needed to see to know that he knew us.  We never experienced the vacant stare or angry outburst from him, that so many others have to endure.

So, why do pinwheels remind me of him?  

He was like a big kid and loved to play like a kid with our girls when they were young.  He would unashamedly blow bubbles with and for them (even after they lost interest) or blow at a pinwheel to make it go around causing them to squeal with delight. 

In 2011 our entire family participated in the Alzheimer's fundraising event, A Walk to Remember.

At this particular event they gave everyone a flower/pinwheel of a specific color, based on our relationship to the mind altering disease.  Those that lived with it got a blue one... Family and loved ones that supported or cared for ALZ patients still living with the disease got a yellow one.  If you lost a family member to ALZ you were given a purple one.

My Dad had a blue one (there is a small glimpse of it on the side of his wheel chair), while the rest of us had yellow flower/pinwheels.  He held his flower for a portion of the walk as we all took turns pushing him.  Sadly, he was one of the few residents that attended the event, but he loved it and would let you know if you were going to hit a bump in the trail or wave and say "hey", his hello, to others as we passed them.

In his memory, I made a purple and a yellow pinwheel.  

He passed away in April of 2013... It is sometimes difficult to realize he has been gone for 6 years... he celebrated his 81st birthday on April 29th... the nurses took a cupcake into his room and sang Happy Birthday to him.  He opened his eyes and smiled his ornery toothless grin and went to sleep... 

I am certain that the celebration in heaven when he arrived was glorious!

Happy Birthday Daddy! 🎢🎡🎢

My apologies for such a melancholy post... But from Ecclesiastes 3

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

     a time to be born and a time to die, ...
a time to weep and a time to laugh, 
a time to mourn and a time to dance,

Quilt on...


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

Linking With:

BOMs Away at What A Hoot Quilts
What I Made Monday at Pretty Piney
Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
Moving It Forward Monday at Em's Scrapbag
Colour & Inspiration at The Clever Chameleon

Friday, April 26, 2019

2019 Color Challenge - Glory of the Snow

Jen's April block of the 2019 Monthly Color Challenge is inspired by the Glory of the snow flower...

Glory-of-the-Snow is so-named because in some climates it blooms early enough that it pokes its little bright blue six-petaled flowers right out of the snow.  The star-shaped flowers appear above linear, mid-green, basal leaves. In milder climates, they bloom earlier than in their native habitats, in early spring.  And are natives of western Turkey, and were first described in 1877.
It seems to happen every year... spring peeks out.  The grass starts to turn green, the bulbs that have been hibernating all winter bravely poke their little noses out and then Mother Nature says "not yet."  But the snow doesn't scare these little flowers!  (The flowers in the picture below are actually daffodils... but they are pretty tough flowers as well)

So... on a snowy day in April I enjoyed making my April block.  I had a variety of blues to choose from but with the bright blue to pop against the blue-grey background... just like the blue flowers pop against the grey, gloom of a snow storm!

You may know that a Snow Day at my house means a Sew Day!  And guilt free because I used one of my crockpot meals.  No Guilt::Go Quilt!

We enjoyed Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings...


4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 tablespoons butter
2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of chicken soup
1 onion, finely diced
2 (10 ounce) packages refrigerated biscuit dough, torn into pieces

Place the chicken, butter, soup, and onion in a slow cooker, and fill with enough water to cover.

Cover, and cook for 5 to 6 hours on High. 

About 30 minutes before serving, place the torn biscuit dough in the slow cooker. Cook until the dough is no longer raw in the center.

With my dietary restrictions, it takes a little time to modify the recipe, but it is so worth it!  We like it to be more like a chicken pot pie with more veggies like potatoes, carrots, celery and green beans... Enjoy!

If you might be interested in having my fully-modified recipe, leave a comment letting me know (WITH an e-mail address so that I can get back to you).

Happy Spring!

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

Can I Get A Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts
Scrap Happy Saturday at Super Scrappy
UFO Busting at Tish’s Wonderland
BOMs Away at What a Hoot Quilts
2019 Color Challenge at Patterns by Jen
What I Made Monday at Pretty Piney
Colour & Inspiration at Clever Chameleon Quilting
Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter

Monday, April 22, 2019

Be A Diamond

Welcome to Melva Loves Scraps and the Be A Diamond blog hop hosted by Carol at Just Let Me Quilt.  If you have never visited before, I hope that you will take a little time to look around.  I hope that you will like what you see and choose to sign up to follow via e-mail, or you can catch me on bloglovin', instagram and facebook.   

When I saw the announcement for this hop from Carol, I just KNEW that I I had to be part of the event.  You can find a full list of bloggers that are participating at the end of this post.  

You will also find some details about a prize drawing. =D

Several years ago my daughter wanted to make a quilt as a gift for a friend.  She perused some catalogs and found a pattern that inspired her.   

She grabbed some graph paper and started sketching...

I liked the block as well and made a quilt for some friends who were getting ready to make a move to Romania where they would serve as missionaries. (shown below)

Now, you may wonder how does this even remotely fit into the diamond theme???

Well... with a little bit of quilting I was able to create the facets of a cut diamond...

Last year I had a bit of a lucky streak going and was selected as the the winner of two different prize drawings and won a batik jelly roll and a set of Aurifil thread... and they matched just perfectly!  And I had been waiting to find the perfect quilt to feature them...

The stars aligned with this hop!  It was like it was destiny... or kismet... meant to be!

As I cut and pieced the blocks and assembled the rows it reminded me of the birthstone charts that I used to look at in the Farmers Almanac when I was a kid.

I always thought that I was lucky to have the diamond as my birthstone... you know because it was considered valuable and precious.  But it was a bit boring... it was... just white.

The other stones were just so... pretty!

BUT... when the light hits a diamond just right you can see a prism...  all of the colors!  Just like my quilt!

Just looking at the top on my design wall without the quilting it looked... well, like a diamond in the rough.  

I quilted in feathers on the gemstone sections...  

and then did straight line stitching with grey thread to make the facets.  WOW!  Did they pop!

I am in love with the way it turned out!  But the white border needed something special. Something just as special as the body of the quilt.  So I located some variegated embroidery floss and did some big stitch quilting.  (the link will take you to IG to get a closer shot of the floss)

I consider myself lucky to have had just enough of the jewel-toned stripey fabric for the binding and the brightly colored hot air balloon fabric for the backing in my stash.  

The finished size is 48" x 41".  It took a little math to make sure that the white border would allow for the final border of 2-1/2 inch squares to come out perfectly.  

It seems that the stars really were aligned for this quilt... the jelly roll, the thread, just enough binding fabric and a brightly colored backing.  Maybe I should go play the lotto, or something...

But you could be lucky too!  Leave a comment before Saturday, April 27th... 

What is your birthstone?
And let me know if you like it, or wish that it were something different.

You will have a chance to win this quilt pattern, English Crackers

I love to hear from my readers... but remember, if you are a no-reply or anonymous commenter, you will need to leave your e-mail address so that I can contact you if your name is chosen the winner. 

Be sure to visit all of the other bloggers that are sharing their diamond inspired quilts this week!

Quilt happy!

Melva Loves Scraps - Home of the Quilters Through The Generations series
April 22

April 23

April 24

April 25
April 26

Friday, April 19, 2019

A Time For All Seasons - April

Basket Upset is the block of the month designed by Carla at Creatin' In The Sticks for the Sew Incredibly Crazy and Friends BOM.

And have I got a story for you! As I made the block I was taken back in time to Easter of 1992. Heather was 4-1/2 years old and Rebecca was two.

Dave and I have always been bargain shoppers and sometime in the midst of a harsh mid-west winter we found a swing set that had been deeply discounted. We snatched it up and stored it away until Easter.

After the kiddos had gone to bed on Saturday evening, we headed out the the barn where the swing set had been hidden for months (disassembled). We put it together and moved it to the yard.

Sunday morning the girls had to wait in their rooms upstairs until they were allowed to go into the living room to see what sort of Easter goodies may have been left for them on the dining room table in their Easter baskets.  

They had fun with the baskets and finding the "hidden" eggs (they were a little obvious, but the girls were small)... and then little Becca discovered what was outside!

You can catch the short clip here...  

We quickly dressed the girls in some play clothes and took them out to play.  The slide was a little "sluggish" so I grabbed a dust cloth and sprayed some furniture polish on it and wiped it down.  

Good times...

This year will be much more quiet for the two of us.  We hope to attend a Sunrise service... another one of my favorite memories. 

What are some of your favorite Easter memories or traditions?

Leave a comment... I love to hear from my friends!

Have a blessed Easter... He is Risen!  He is risen indeed!

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

A Time For All Seasons at Sew Incredibly Crazy
Can I Get A Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts
Brag About Your Beauties at From Bolt to Beauty
Scrap Happy Saturday at Super Scrappy

UFO Busting at Tish’s Wonderland

Monday, April 15, 2019

The Adventure Quilt - Open Spaces

As I pieced these final filler blocks for the Adventure Quilt hosted by Kate & Tammy I could not help but have the once popular song by Dixie Chicks running through my head... Wide Open Spaces

It is a song that I could hear coming from my girls rooms as they got ready for school in the mornings.  

I always thought it was about getting out of the city and heading to less populated areas... 

But as I listened closely to the lyrics I realize now that it is really a "coming of age" song that speaks of a young girl's desire to move away from home and have the "space" to make a few mistakes without the watchful eye of the parental units.  Lol!  How naive I was... 

I recall having those very feelings as I went away to college... ready to spread my wings and find a life of my own.

None the less... there really is something about getting away from busy-ness of life... to a place where you can shut out the noise of the world... a place to unplug from life... 

When we made the big move from Chicago-land to Southern Colorado in December 1994 we traveled west on I-80... as you cross over the state line from Nebraska to Colorado the majestic views are breath taking.  And as we turned south onto CO71, a two-lane highway at Brush, CO you could actually see Fishers Peak... the flat-top mountain that graces our view from the front yard.

Now we are talking about wide open spaces...  That's nearly 250 miles!  

The open space between Brush and Trinidad is prairie so I went with some muted and light greens representing the grass and shrubs that grow there...

Where do you go when you need some space?

Leave a comment... I love hearing your thoughts. :)

Next week will be the final frontier.  Woohoo!  I am ready to assemble this Adventure quilt.   

Remember, life is a journey... enjoy the ride!

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

Linking with

BOMs Away at What A Hoot Quilts
Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
Moving It Forward Monday at Em's Scrapbag
Oh Scrap! At Quilting is More Fun Than Housework
UFO Busting at Tish’s Wonderland
Brag About Your Beauties at From Bolt to Beauty
Scrap Happy Saturday at Super Scrappy
Mid-week Makers at Quilt Fabrication
WOW at Esther's Quilt Blog
Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts

Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter
Colour & Inspiration at Clever Chameleon Quilting
What I Made Monday at Pretty Piney

Thursday, April 11, 2019

The Fabric Of Our Lives

I have had a work in progress that has been hanging around for years!  I mean yeeeeeeeeeeeaaaars.  

The t-shirt quilt lived in the form of shirts stashed away in a dresser drawer in the basement for a long time... until the collection became so unruly that it was overflowing its allotted space.  That was when I pulled the shirts out and cut out only the parts that would be used in a quilt.  (truth be told, I wish I had cut the red one just a little over-sized) As some of our shirts reached the point of no longer appropriate to be worn in public because of stains or paint or tears in the them, I trimmed them down and added to the collection. It became much more manageable and a controlled. 

As I hovered in times between projects and deadlines I would pull out the squares and prepare them for a quilt by adhering fusible stabilizer/interfacing to them.  

In January I stabilized the final few and had determined that there were enough blocks to make a generous sized throw.  I pulled out the fun Route 66 and license plate fabric that I had purchased with the intention of it being sashing strips, borders and backing.  When I ordered it I had estimated generously... and it is a good thing!  

I had used some of it for borders and sashing strips in two other quilts.... But I had JUST enough of the Route 66 fabric for this quilt!  Whew!  That was close...

The license plate fabric that I used for the final border was not nearly as close, but exactly what was needed to represent the time spent traveling to acquire most of the shirts. :)

As I assembled the top I thought of the old cotton theme that was used in commercials...  You know... "Cotton - the fabric of our lives".

As I looked over the shirts I realized that this quilt was just THAT - representative of our lives... the fabric of our life.

There are shirts that represent our work lives...  Fox Valley Rifle Range, Trinidad State Junior College and Nolan Quality Customs. >>>

There are shirts that represent our vacations... the Washington DC, Gettysburg, Disneyland and San Diego trips.

A few are just down right ironic and funny!  Like the "Bad Spellers" shirt that Dave was given by his uncle when we moved to Colorado.  You see... Dave was never really great with spelling.  He was making a career change from Gunsmith for Fox Valley Rifle Range and becoming a gunsmithing instructor at Trinidad State Junior College.  

Truth be told, he really isn't that bad with spelling... he can tell when a word doesn't look right.  It was just that until he became a teacher, he never cared!  Thank God for spellcheck.  Though it is only helpful when a word is really mis-spelled.  If the word is a real word, just not the right word (like maid instead of made), it doesn't work really well...

That bad spellers shirt was never one of his favorites, though it has been strategically placed in the quilt next to a shirt that contains a mis-spelled word... "Trinidad State Junior Colege"... (You can see this in the close up of the TSJC in the photo above.)

The story with this shirt is that Dave and a few of his co-workers had visited the bookstore for some classroom supplies and while there the store employees were unpacking a new order of shirts and sweatshirts. Dave looked them over and complimented the fact that they looked nice and asked how much they cost.  He then noticed that "Colege" was not correct!  Yep, the "bad speller", the guy that took grief from just about everyone about his spelling... He was the one to notice the error!

The bookstore was not able to return them... they had no choice but to sell them at a greatly reduced price... and hope that others didn't stare closely at the shirt to notice the mistake. LOL!  

Dave and I have so many memories of TSJC...  It is our Alma mater.  It is the place we met... we danced, we ate meals together, did homework... we fell in love and made plans for our future as husband and wife in Illinois with him working for the family business, FVRR.  We  eventually returned to begin his career as an instructor.  I was even an employee for a few years in the Alumni & Foundation office.

So many memories woven into this quilt...  **sigh**

The John Deere shirt is included because Dave is in love with their tractors.  I mean he makes the "Tim-the-toolman" grunts when he sees one.  In 1988 he could not have been more proud than when we had recently acquired an 8-week old yellow Labrador puppy (Samantha Amber) AND a used JD lawn tractor from his Brother-in-law.  Life was good... he had his puppy, a lawn tractor and a beer... a few minutes later he looked over and saw the pup sound asleep and realized his beer can had been tipped over and... well, as the dog grew older and no longer used for hunting, he would crack open a beer and pour a little into her dish.  If he didn't, she would sit and stare at him and begin to drool.  Sam enjoyed the beer making adventures that Dave & his friend, Keith had... she was always more than willing to handle the taste-testing with them!  And it obviously caused no damage... the girl lived for 15 years!

Speaking of dogs and beer... One of our favorite mountain towns to visit is Cuchara, CO - home of The Dog Bar.  A place where vacationers and locals can go enjoy a beer and lunch or dinner on their patio and keep their dog right next to them!

One of Dave's summer classes enjoyed an evening there... Some classes he just enjoyed a little more than others... and this was one of them.  

And then there are just some other fun memories... like when he was dared to wear a pink shirt to class.  Yep he did!  And the "mystery" shirt that showed up on his work bench from a fellow employee...  it took him months to figure out who it was from!

And who could forget our memories from Indian Lake (the location of the cottage his Mom & Dad had)???

What would your memory quilt contain?  
What makes up the "fabric of your life"?

Leave a comment... I love to hear from my readers.  Be sure to leave an email address if you are using a no-reply account.

Quilt Happy!


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

Linking with:

Moving It Forward Monday at Em's Scrapbag
Mid-week Makers at Quilt Fabrication
WOW at Esther's Quilt Blog
Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts
Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter
Needle & Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation
UFO Busting at Tish’s Wonderland
Colour & Inspiration at Clever Chameleon Quilting
What I Made Monday at Pretty Piney
Can I Get A Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Off The Wall Friday with Nina Marie
Brag About Your Beauties at From Bolt to Beauty
Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts
Scrap Happy Saturday at Super Scrappy
Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
Oh Scrap! At Quilting is More Fun Than Housework