Friday, June 28, 2019

Fun in the Sun!

I needed a second block for the A Time For All Seasons BOM hosted by Sew Incredibly Crazy and Friends.  The June blocks were all applique and I had decided in February {at the beginning of the BOM} I would do only pieced blocks, as they were offering one pieced and one applique block each month.  






I could have simply made a second sail boat block...






But since I had modified Carol's block, I wanted to capture the sun portion of her block shown below.










I came across this free pattern from AQS.  The pattern makes a 16-1/4" finished block... obviously too big since all of the blocks are 10-1/2 inch unfinished.  






So I tried to do some math and make it 10-1/2"  While it is ok... (I tried to convince myself of that for a minute  second or two)  




Oh, no it is NOT ok!  All of the snowball block points are seriously cut off... Ugh.   I absolutely was not happy with it (my quilting math skills to reduce a block size is lacking).  

So I tried again and made it 1/2 size (8"+) and added some blue sky as borders to get it to the 10-1/2 inches.

The points don't overlap like the pattern picture shows, but it is MUCH better!  One I can accept and live with and look at.


Last week while camping near the Great Sand Dunes National Park we were enjoying an evening campfire and the sunset...  It's like my sun block!
































The view in the other direction was just as stunning...






























And then you look at the picnic table... LOL!

This was the result of our hike to Zapata Falls in the Zapata Falls Recreation area south of the Sand Dunes...

The description of the area from a visitor's guide...

Drive 2.8 miles up the bumpy gravel road.

THAT was an understatement!

BuMpY!  It took us 30 minutes to go that short distance... It was like driving in a dry creek lined with river rock!








































Once we were settled in to our campsite we took the short 1/2 mile hike to the creek.  Again, the description from the visitor's guide.  "You must hike through the water into the cave to view the falls.  Watch for falling rocks.  Water is cold, and may be swift and deep in early summer."




This is the picture from the visitor's guide...



















This is what we saw from inside the cave...


 There was no way we were going to get where those people in the first picture were standing... 

So, here's our selfie - we were looking AT the fall.  It was loud and it was wet and it was COLD!  I can't believe that I actually scaled the rock wall and crossed a rushing mountain creek.  It wasn't something I really WANTED to do, but I didn't want to be a baby about it.  Dave went before me and made sure that I was safe every step of the way.  My hero!




After a very brief discussion, we then had to get back across the creek and down stream... hopefully without falling!



Mission accomplished!  Here is a shot of the "high water mark" on our jeans.



I had rolled my pants up above my knees, yet they still ended up soaked.  Oh well.  It is a memory in our minds and an adventure we will be able to recall for years... every time I look at the completed A Time For All Seasons quilt.

Here's a review of all the blocks I have done so far...  I will have make a few more extra blocks... and I missed the May bonus block of the May Pole Dance. **sad face**  For now, I may go back and make a second pinwheel block.



I am ready for the July blocks!  I'm thinking picnic, fireworks... maybe a star block or a flag?  I am excited to see what they come up with!


What comes to your mind when you think of July?

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

Quilt Happy!

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

Linking with:

Off The Wall Friday with Nina Marie
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
Sunday Stash at QuiltPaintCreate
What I Made Monday at Pretty Piney
Main Crush Monday at Cookin’ Up Quilts
Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Colour & Inspiration at Clever Chameleon Quilting
Mid-week Makers at Quilt Fabrication
WOW at Esther's Quilt Blog
Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter
Magic Crafts at Ulrikes Smaating (1st Wed of month)
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
Brag About Your Beauties at From Bolt to Beauty


Sunday, June 23, 2019

A Time For All Seasons - June Blocks

Ok... so this month I am a bit of a rebel... The blocks for month of June all had applique.  The designers of the Sew Incredibly Crazy and Friends BOM drug me over the hump of my dislike for applique last year in their It's A Wild Life BOM... and I so appreciate that! I have even chosen, on my very own, a project that featured appliqued letters to make a fun little baby quilt.



I considered Carol's (from Just Let Me Quilt) sailboat in the sunset... modified.  (I hope that you don't mind Carol!)  With the exception of the sail, it is entirely pieced with the boat and the mast stitched in.  I wanted to honor her hard work in creating this block... and for offering it for FREE (for a limited time).




As I worked on this block we were getting ready for another camping trip. 

This trip was taking us to the Great Sand Dunes located near Alamosa, CO... just two hours away.  A place that Dave had never been... and the last time I was there was 40+ years ago.  I had twisted my ankle at a summer gymnastics camp the night before the trip and earned myself a trip to the ER for x-rays. It turned out to be a serious sprain, rather than a break... whew!

I spent most of the trip hopping around because we didn't have any crutches available and it was late at night by the time the ER visit was complete, back before the hospital sent you home with everything you needed for the recovery.




As we made the drive to the Dunes we read up on our destination.  There was info about renting (or bringing) sand sleds or sand boards.  The wind can really blow in that valley and I was hopeful that I would see someone with a sail board.  

My hopes were dashed... but we certainly did see lots and lots of people on the dunes with their sleds and boards.  We had no interest in this activity... you end up with sand in places that sand shouldn't be... and that is VERY uncomfortable!


As we walked to the top of the first dune, after crossing Medona Creek at the base of the dunes, people were enthusiastic and excited to be there.  Many could be overheard about "how fun (or great... even epic)" it was going to be to slide down the Dunes.   

We reached the top, we saw the deep valley on the backside of the dune, rather than the incline continuing up.  It was really quite an illusion.  We opted to walk along the ridge of the long dune and enjoyed watching families as they attempted (yes, attempted!) to slide down the sand pile.  

As I watched one family, the first to make it to the bottom of the hill was asked "How was it?" from the top of the Dune.  The response made me laugh. out. loud.  "That was completely un-exciting."  They began the trudge back up the hill, to return the board to the next family member in line as we made our way back down to the creek.



We marveled at the number of families that had parked themselves near the creek for the kids to play and splash in the water and sand as though they were at an ocean beach.

We crossed the creek back to the camper to retrieve our chairs and enjoy a snack - creekside.  That was the best entertainment!  There was a pulse or surge to the water flow... that alone was fascinating to watch.  


It wasn't like a normal mountain creek with snow run-off, that runs swift with rapids formed by the rocks and trees in the river bed or creek bed. (I'll share the story of the rushing creek and Zapata Falls with another post)  We were informed by a Ranger that the creek has reached its peak flow on June 9th, but that didn't keep the kids from having fun in tubes and with noodles.  The giggles and laughter made us smile. Watching the parents trying to keep up with the little ones made us tired!  I am sure we would have tried to keep up with the grands had they been there...

After getting settled into our campsite we enjoyed lunch and a hike... followed by a brief nap and another hike.  The picture below is from the top of the Dunes Overlook Trail.



It was fascinating to watch the dunes as the lighting of the day changed.  The shadows from the clouds, as well as the angle of the sun causing shadows to move made the view change constantly.  As the wind moves the grains of sand, the Dunes are an alive and ever changing thing.





I found inspiration, not just in the ripples in the sand, but also in the way the creek flowed in and around the sand...

I feel that some sort of art-sy, free-motion quilted, improv piece is just around the corner!

We visited with one couple just a little older than us as we sat at the side of the creek... she seemed to think that the Dunes were "dirty"... 

We stated, "well, yes, you can see some dirt mixed n with the sand".  She corrected us and insisted that it was "dirty" because it wasn't white like the Dunes near where they lived.  (I'm unsure of where that might be.)  But yes, there are different colored dunes, based on the color of the dirt and sand in the area.  I mean White Sands in New Mexico, is obviously... white!  LOL!


Have you been to the Great Sand Dunes?  
Or Dunes located elsewhere?  
What color were they??? 

Leave a comment... I'd love to hear your stories of your visit to one of the many Dunes locations.  




Quilt Happy!

Melva


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

Scrap Happy Saturday at Super Scrappy
Sunday Stash at QuiltPaintCreate
What I Made Monday at Pretty Piney
Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
Moving It Forward Monday at Em's Scrapbag
Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Colour & Inspiration at Clever Chameleon Quilting
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
Magic Crafts at Ulrikes Smaating (1st Wed of month)
Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts

Brag About Your Beauties at From Bolt to Beauty


Monday, June 17, 2019

2019 Color Challenge - Orange








This month's flower inspiration for June's 2019 Color Challenge by Jen at Patterns by Jen is the Sundaze Blaze Starflower.


It is bight and sunshine-y and cheerful.  

And the Card Trick block captures the essence of the flower wonderfully!

Once upon a time... I used to love gardening.  It was something my Dad taught me.  

He grew up on a farm and enjoyed the outdoors and cultivating not just farm crops but helping his Mom with the garden.  He learned to operate heavy equipment during his time in the Army and that eventually became a large part of his work history.  

When he retired after his first by-pass surgery in 1990, he needed something to keep him busy.  He and his brother started a lawn care business.  It offered exercise to both of them as they push mowed their client's yards.  He also had a very large garden.  It was much larger than he and Mom really needed for just the two of them.  Much to Mom's chagrin... but Dad was willing to assist with any canning or freezing of the the produce and he was happy to share the excess with his brothers and sister and others.


As I stated, I used to enjoy gardening.  When we lived in Illinois we had a very large garden.  I would can quarts and quarts and QUARTS of tomatoes - enough to last us for the year, bags and bags of green beans, potatoes, cabbage and zucchini.  We had a small section for salads that included carrots, radishes, lettuce and spinach.  

And salsa... let's not forget the salsa!  We grew everything required, the tomatoes, of course, jalapenos and a variety of peppers and onions.

After moving to CO we gave up the garden.  We had been too spoiled with the rich black dirt and the ease of which the garden grew in the mid-west.  The growing season here is too short for tomatoes, the nights too cool and the soil too hard.  And we had a fixer-upper of a house to be concerned with.  

So my dad helped me plant a few flower gardens.  I would get up early and do the weeding and watering before it got too hot and before the noise of the day started (ie, children demanding attention).  It was my quiet time... and the plants flourished.

As girls grew older and they slept later, the early hours came later and more convenient... and the weeding happened less frequently. πŸ˜•

Now I can barely be bothered with weeding...  I'd rather quilt!

When you started quilting what activity got pushed to the wayside?

Leave a comment... I'd love to hear that I am not the only one to give up one thing or more so that I can quilt!

Quilt Happy!

Melva

P.S. - We actually purchase all of the produce to make our salsa now... it is SO much better than purchased salsa and worth every penny!



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

BOMS Away at Katie Mae Quilts
BOMs Away at What A Hoot Quilts
Sunday Stash at QuiltPaintCreate
What I Made Monday at Pretty Piney
Main Crush Monday at Cookin’ Up Quilts
Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
Moving It Forward Monday at Em's Scrapbag
Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Colour & Inspiration at Clever Chameleon Quilting
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
Magic Crafts at Ulrikes Smaating (1st Wed of month)
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
Brag About Your Beauties at From Bolt to Beauty

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

A Lost Art

With the recent finishes of two vintage quilts I have been thinking back...  back when phones were attached to the wall and had a curly cord on it... when film had to be sent in to have photographs developed... a time when letters were a common way of communication...

Before Dave and I married we wrote letters to each other because we simply could not afford to make long distance phone calls to each other every day.  We would talk on the phone once a week... taking turns to make the calls so that we didn't run up the long distance phone bills for our parents (yes, we both still lived at home before marriage).

The art of writing letters is lost skill... Ok, maybe not totally lost.  Not long ago we received a letter from a friend that we had not heard from for over a year.  She shared about their travels and a recent visit to the Creation Museum in Kentucky (this is the museum that has Noah's Ark) and updated us on their children's and grand-children's activities and such.  

I also thought of the letters from the former German Prisoners of War that were sent to my Grandparents from 1946 to 1949 that I mentioned in my Grandmother's Flower Garden post

It made me realize just how bad I am about letter writing.  When the conveniences of life, like the phone, social media and email, distract us and snatch away some simple things in life.  I am certainly not denouncing technology because I am a user of all these things and they have allowed me to reconnect with some friends from my childhood as well as make new friends (like YOU!).  I enjoy the interaction and little snapshots of life that I get through brief "conversations" and comments.

BUT... I have decided that when we go out on our camping excursions I will be taking along a pad of paper to send hand-written letters to a few people that don't frequent social media and technology.  

I just LOVE getting notes and letters from friends... so why wouldn't they LOVE it just as much???  




I will personalize it even further by sending one of my "hand-sewn hello" cards... Have you seen them?  I started making them last year and they feature some of the local landmarks.  

<< These feature Fisher's Peak, but I have Stonewall, CO and the Spanish peaks as well. (below)

(I need to refine the Spanish Peaks cards, as I am not completely happy with the look... even though I took the outlines directly from a photograph.)







When I started making them last year I was thinking I would contact some of the local museums and gift shops to have them sell them. I have been lazy about doing that.  

Why?  

Because, I am actually afraid that there would be great interest in them and I would then have to mass-produce them to the best of my ability and grow tired of making them.  (I can only do about five at a time because they are cut with an exacto knife and my fingers get sore and tired.)  Is that weird???  Fear of success?  

Hmmm... I will need to jump over this hurdle and see what I can do.  I guess the first step is to make an appointment with a few local shops and see if there is an interest in them.  The other thing is to simply state that there is a limited supply available.  


When was the last time you received a hand-written letter?  
When was the last time you SENT a "thinking of you" note?

Leave a comment... it is almost as good as receiving a hand-written note in the mailbox! πŸ˜‰

Quilt Happy!

Melva


Melva Loves Scraps - Home of the Quilters Through The Generations series
Linking with:
Sunday Stash at QuiltPaintCreate
What I Made Monday at Pretty Piney
Main Crush Monday at Cookin’ Up Quilts
Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
Moving It Forward Monday at Em's Scrapbag
Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Colour & Inspiration at Clever Chameleon Quilting
Scrap Happy Saturday at Super Scrappy
Mid-week Makers at Quilt Fabrication
WOW at Esther's Quilt Blog
Magic Crafts at Ulrikes Smaating
Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter
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

Brag About Your Beauties at From Bolt to Beauty

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Grandmother's Flower Garden

"If quilts have taken the country by storm, then the hexagon Flower Garden, or Grandmother's Flower Garden, or the French Rose Garden---whatever your locality calls it---well, it's a whirlwind."

"Listen in on any group of ardent quilt fans and you will hear frequent mention of this most popular pattern of the day and it is not hard to see why." 
Romance of the Patchwork Quilt - 1935 (From Patterns From History)

When I was asked to quilt a vintage Grandmother's Flower Garden for a friend I was excited... and then I was nervous.  Would I really be able to quilt it in a fashion that would match the hand-piecing done by a Mennonite quilter from Missouri?  I would do my best.

I had discussed with the owner of the quilt top about doing some posies in the flowers and helped her find some fabric for the binding and then set to the task of sandwiching the quilt.

I searched for photographs of other vintage flower garden quilts to see how they were quilted. The vintage quilts had traditional quilting in the hexies, but when I removed the word "vintage" there were Baptist fans, there were feathers and more... making feel better about my suggestion of posies and vines. 

I started with doing some vines in the "garden" background areas and then made my free-motion "posies" in the flower.



I had originally thought that the fabrics spanned several decades... the purple on the right I thought at first glance was some flower sack fabric from the 1930s and 40s, but after having a chance to really stare at it as I quilted, I realized it is not 100% cotton and probably from the 1970s... like much of the fabric appears to be.


So this begs the question... how old is "Vintage"?  Would this quilt be considered vintage?  Or just antique?

As I typically do while quilting, I let my mind wander... it again took me back to simpler times... time well before I was born... the 1940s and my grandparent's farm.  My Dad frequently talked about what a good cook his Mom, Katherine Schleich, was.  This fact was confirmed when some of the German Officers from the POW camp located near Trinidad, CO would argue about who would get to go to the Schleich farm for the day...




One day she had made doughnuts and one of the Officers had gotten powdered sugar on his shirt. 

She went to brush it off but he stopped her because he wanted to go back to the camp and brag that he was one of the lucky ones that had been with Phillip and Katy.

When the POW camp was disbanded and the prisoners were sent back to Germany my grandparents received letters for three years (1946-1949) from the men that had worked at their farm.  

The conditions that the men described in their letters after they returned home were awful...  




Did you catch that second paragraph???

Some of the men's letter had them practically begging for a care package from the US... one Officer even asked Philip and Katy to sponsor them so that he and his family could return to the US (Trinidad area specifically) and become citizens.  

I have a notebook of nearly 20 letters from the men that worked at my grandparent's farm.  But not all of them are in English.  (Not an issue for my grandparents since German was their first language)  I have ten letters that need translation.  Do you know anyone willing to do this???  Email me at MelvaLovesScraps@NolanQualityCustoms.com if you are willing to help me out.  I would love, Love, LOVE to be able to read the remainder of these letters.

Once the quilt was ready for binding I considered finishing by machine, but decided that this hand-pieced quilt deserved a hand-stitched finish.




I love look of the backing... 
the way the flowers match the binding makes my heart smile.

I had fun with the photo shoot...  Here are a few of my favorite shots.




This was at my Uncle's cabin in one of the back canyons of the area... His last name is Teegarden... he is a tea drinker (and a quilter & was featured in my Quilters Through the Generations series) !  How fun is that??? It is all about gardens!  πŸ’“

Below is another shot on one of the wood piles...




  
There is so much to love about this quilt...  the work and time that went into the piecing, the selection of the fabric that, as my husband said when he saw it, "screams 1970's", the fact that the owner of the quilt appreciates this so much and thought that it deserved to be finished.  And I feel good that it will have the opportunity to comfort those that will have the opportunity to snuggle up under it.  


Some quilters "rescue fabric" from the fabric stores and take it home to live in their stash and hopefully finds it way into quilts...  



I enjoy this as well. But I really love to rescue unfinished quilts and help them become finished!  Taking them from a closet or trunk  and allow them to be loved.

Leave a comment for me!  I love to hear from all of you in cyberland. :)  Did you know that you can catch up with me over on instgram and facebook?  I try to not cross-share, so you just never know what I might be up to or what you will see.

Quilt Happy!

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

Linking with:

What I Made Monday at Pretty Piney
Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
Moving It Forward Monday at Em's Scrapbag
Colour & Inspiration at Clever Chameleon Quilting
Mid-week Makers at Quilt Fabrication
WOW at Esther's Quilt Blog
Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter
Magic Crafts at Ulrikes Smaating
Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts
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
Brag About Your Beauties at From Bolt to Beauty