Friday, August 30, 2019

Thrift Shop Finds and Pattern Testing

The week had been long and we needed some time away to unplug and shut out the world.  The world was shouting and we wanted to retreat and hide... and heal.  But we also had not seen our girls or the grands for waaaaaaay too long 6-8 weeks???  How did this happen?  Oh, a quick trip to Lincoln happened and derailed some plans.

We decided to make an "errand run" for some special groceries that I cannot find in our little town and make some thrift shop stops.  We scored with some much needed work jeans and shorts for Dave and I.  As I waited on him in the fitting room I perused the fabric section...

I found three items that followed me home.  I even passed two of the up once and then they just jumped into the cart the second time I made my way around the rack.

First up was the Bronco fabric.  I have several Bronco shirts ready to be made into a quilt and this fabric will we perfect as the border...  

Next up was the Harry Potter panel.  My first thought was "ooohhh!  My Becca Boo would have loved this as a quilt when she was younger!"  

I thought that since she is nearly 30 (again, how did this happen????) and married that she might not appreciate it quite so much.  

But since it was priced at just a few bucks it was just too good to pass up.  I figured someone would like it.  So it came home...

The final piece that jumped in was this large poppy print... There was something about it that caught my eye the first time around and then the second time the price tag sealed it... $1.50 for 2 yards!

We finished our errands and picked up the grand daughters and headed to Pueblo State Park to set up camp.  We had a great view of the lake and an easy walk down to the water where we skipped rocks and looked for fossils in the shale rock.  They were everywhere!

That evening as we enjoyed s'mores around the campfire I mentioned the HP panel and Becca got super excited about the possibility to get a quilt featuring the panel.  Her husband, David... not so much.  I think he even said something like "don't encourage this Harry Potter obsession."  

But I think I know what she will be getting for Christmas!!!  He is a minimalist and likes the contemporary, clean, sleek look.  I think I will do some sort of Irish Chain in blues and greys for the top and use the panel for the backing.  The best of both worlds so that they both can enjoy it.

As the sun said good night we did too.  The neighbors in the campsite right next to us however did NOT.  Their vulgar language and music kept Dave and I awake for several more hours... with not a ranger to be seen or heard to enforce the quiet hours.  **sigh**

The girls, however...

seemed to sleep fine! 

While it was only one night and anything but remote and quiet our souls were soothed just being able to hug and love up on our family.  There will be time for some quiet soon.  It will involve long bike rides and time relaxing.  But in the meantime...

I have some pattern testing to do for Shannon Fraser Designs.  She will have a pattern release next month... be sure to watch for it!

Is it bad that when I see "Yard Sale" I think fabric???  I mean it IS sold by the YARD!  lol!

Have you had any great thrift store finds?  

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

Stay Calm and Quilt,
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
Off The Wall Friday with Nina Marie
Brag About Your Beauties at From Bolt to Beauty
Peacock Party at Wendy’s Quilts and More
Scrap Happy Saturday at Super Scrappy
UFO Busting at Tish’s Wonderland
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
Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter

Sunday, August 25, 2019

2019 Color Challenge - Red Orange & Marigolds

Marigolds provided the inspiration for the August 2019 monthly color challenge block of the month focused on Red-orange offered by Patterns By Jen.

The name Marigold is of English origin and the meaning of Marigold is "mary's gold" and usually symbolize passion and creativity. 

This block really did spur on some passion for me....

The pattern called for just two colors.  

The problem I ran into was that I didn't have a large enough piece of a print fabric to make the block - that wavy stripe-y fabric, topographical looking print in the middle of the 1/4 block...  And I really, REALLY wanted it... I was passionate about wanting to include that fabric!

I had to make a way for it to work... So, a slight pattern adjustment and creativity was required.  I love it, though!  And it wasn't even difficult.  I am glad I used it.

This happens to everyone, right?  Sometimes a mood will hit and you just HAVE to do something or make something...  Something far from the plan that you have.  I know some quilters refer to it as a "DrEAMI" moment - Drop Everything And Make It.

Life this week has been filled with challenges.  Not anything life threatening, but small little obstacles and detours... ALL WEEK!  I could use some fun DrEAMI moments in my studio to sooth my soul and calm my mind... or a quick camping trip to escape the realities of life. 😉

What sort of DrEAMi moments have you had lately?  

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

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

Linking with:
Scrap Happy Saturday at Super Scrappy
UFO Busting at Tish’s Wonderland
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
2019 Color Challenge at Patterns by Jen
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
Put Your Foot Down at For the Love of Geese
Needle & Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation
Creative Compulsions at Bijou Bead Boutique
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
Peacock Party at Wendy’s Quilts and More

Monday, August 19, 2019

A Time For All Seasons BOM - August

As we traveled down the two-lane highway on our return home from Lincoln, Nebraska I had set the repairs and hand quilting aside since I just couldn't do it anymore.  My hands were a little tired and my eyes said "no more" - they would no longer focus clearly as we moved down the slightly bumpy highway.

You know that saying about having enough coffee to thread a sewing machine while it is running?  I felt like that was what I was doing most of the day since the two-lane highway wasn't silky smooth.  Threading the needle and trying so carefully to take the proper sized stitches and getting the needle in the right place... all a challenge.  And I was done with it.

I took in the view and the smells of the freshly cut fields of hay...

I was taken back in time to my childhood and my days in 4-H and "fair time".

I participated with some of the home economics classes like sewing, knitting and crocheting.  There was an interview and the fashion revue.  I can't recall if it was my first year of second year of 4-H but the date and time for the interview was mid-week and in the afternoon in a small town about 30 minutes from our house.

Now, as a child I don't EVER remember showing up late for anything.  I mean ANYTHING.  My parents were prompt people and taught me that if you are  5 minutes early, you are on time.  And 10 minutes early was even better.

Back to the interview day... I remember running down the stairs from my bedroom and interrupting Mom's tv time  (General Hospital) asking "Isn't today the interview for 4-H?" 

She jumped up off the couch and told me to change my clothes and get ready. FAST!  Now remember it usually took 30 minutes to get to the extension office... I know that she was speeding... and praying that a state patrol didn't stop her.  We made it there in record time!  In just 20 minutes she dropped me to run in while she parked the car.

I had made it in the nick of time!  Keep in mind that there were many afternoons that I would spend at the pool, so the fact that I was home was a big surprise.

I don't remember much else.  I don't remember how the interview went.  I don't remember how my projects did... though I know I had a Grand Champion, a Reserve Grand Champion and a couple first places but I could not tell you what projects they went with.  There was a long skirt for Sewing I, some small projects for Knitting I and Crocheting I... and I was the only one from our club to go on the next year with Knitting II.

It's been a few years since then...  whew!

And apparently I really liked red and purple... I remember wanting to use the two colors together in a project and was told no by both my Mom and the knitting instructor.  I was just ahead of the trend of the red hat society ladies!  haha!

There were some gorgeous sunrises and sunsets over the fields...  

A friend from high school still lives in the "neighborhood" where I grew up.  I say neighborhood loosely because the closest neighbors were a good distance away.  She lives about 1-1/2 miles from my childhood home... she took the pictures below.

So my first block for the August A Time For All Seasons block reminds me of the cut hay fields and the sunsets...

And my second block caught me dreaming of an upcoming trip that Dave and I are planning for late February along the Gulf Coast of Texas... Sand and Sea.

We have had some suggestions from friends...

"Corpus has some really nice museums, and good beaches, and there is Surfside RV Park & Resort if you are camping. And the USS Lexington aircraft carrier is there to explore, if you like that sort of thing. Galveston has a great beach and beachfront area, great architecture to see just walking around the historic area as well as historic home tour, a couple of gardens you can tour, fishing piers, an entertainment pier and a state park."

"Mustang Island State Park has just opened for beach camping again."

"Definitely check out the ferry ride in Galveston bay. It’s free and you might see dolphins among all the bird varieties!"

"Kemah, just north of Galveston, is kinda’ nice. Quaint shops and a boardwalk with restaurants (and beer for Dave). Been there a few times."

Do you know of any additional "Must See" attractions? 
Do you know anything about the space center?  Where is it located?  Are there tours?  

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

Stay Piece-full,

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

Linking with:

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
A Time For All Seasons BOM at Sew Incredibly Crazy
Mid-week Makers at Quilt Fabrication
WOW at Esther's Quilt Blog
Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter
Put Your Foot Down at For the Love of Geese
Creative Compulsions at Bijou Bead Boutique
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
Peacock Party at Wendy’s Quilts and More

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

In Memory Of...

Dave and I recently received a phone call letting us know that his college roommate (also named Dave) had passed away suddenly and his wife was in need of assistance with the specialized tools that he had acquired over the years.

We had not stayed in close contact with him and his family over the years.  The Dave's had spoken with each other only a few times in the 34 years since they graduated together in 1985.  He and his family had attended a reunion at the college 17 years ago and it was fun to reconnect and get to know his wife and children.  Other than that there were a few Christmas letters/cards that were shared.

Fast-forward...  time passed and life carried on... flew by really!

We made plans and packed for the road trip to Lincoln, NE to assist Susan with an inventory list of tools and values... it was a whirlwind trip but it was successful.  

I had two quilty projects to occupy my time... Finishing the repairs on the Grandmother Fan quilt for a customer and hand quilting the English Paper Pieced project that I started as a road-trip project more than two years ago.

My original plan was to focus on the repairs and then, if I had time, I would do some of the hand-quilting. 

It wasn't until we were just a short way out of town when I discovered that the nylon thread I had been using for the repairs was still at home on my machine... 

So I pulled out this table topper...  I had the center block stitched in about 3 hours (& got a second block done before we stopped for the day).

We had just arrived in a small town (Limon, CO) when Dave quickly pulled to a curb and said "Go inside and get the thread you need."  I was completely unaware that there was a quilt shop there!  I jumped out and ran in to The Quilted Heart.  The staff was very attentive and helpful as they asked what I was looking for.  As it turned out they happened to be out of the thread I was wanting to purchase.  When I explained that we were just passing through town and why I needed the thread they immediately began looking in the extra supply (near the machines in the back of the store) and came up with two options.  

They not only found some for me, but because it was a partial spool, they gave it to me at no cost.  I can guarantee that I lived closer I would be a frequent patron of the business!  And if you are ever close by... YOU should too!

We hit the road and continued on to our destination for the night... Ogallala, NE.  The campground was on the edge of a corn field and it was quite humid.  (82 degrees and 60% humidity... I was dripping wet!)  We made the most of it though, as we always do!  Here Dave is relaxing on our "patio".  LOL!  

When we reached our final destination the next day we had a wonderful visit with Susan.

Susan is a quilter as well and we so enjoyed hearing her stories of how she and Dave met - through his sister - and became "pen pals" and got to know each other through weekly letters for more than a year.  She told us that she had made a quilted wall hanging to commemorate their 25th anniversary last year I was in awe.

She had it all there... (sorry that the picture is a little fuzzy...)  postage stamp blocks for the way they met.  The Nebraska Pinwheel and Ohio Star blocks for their birth places.  Ocean Waves and shells representing one of Dave's visits to Florida to meet her in person.  A lighthouse representing another trip together.  A Sunflower and cow print fabric for a trip to the State Fair when she visited him in Nebraska.  

As well as the fact that flowers were an important part of their relationship since Dave had asked the Lord to reveal the woman he was to marry by having HER send flowers to HIM... 

She wore flowered shirts and sent notes with flowers on them and eventually, yes, she sent him flowers with out his requesting it.  

She included a snowflake with some little jewels because he proposed to her in the winter and the cross (made with postage stamp blocks) in the center and over it all, just as their marriage reflected this.

She captured their relationship so well...

Sarah, the main character from the Patchwork Mysteries series that I am reading, stated "A quilt can tell you many things about the person who made it or the person it was made for.  It is a link to the past."

After sharing some of our stories of time spent with Dave as a student at Trinidad State Junior College, we moved on to the task for which we were there for.  We spent a long day organizing and inventorying the shop.  

But it wasn't all work... Susan and I made time to visit the International Quilt Museum and even made arrangements to meet another friend of mine who lives about an hour away in Nebraska.  It was a wonderful and welcome break... and so inspiring.

I think my favorite exhibit was the Dualities quilts byEmiko Toda Loeb - These are two sided log cabin block quilts...

And the detail in them incredible!  I think those logs are only 1/2"...

Though the brightly colored quilts from India were fun too!

More than a week has passed since our trip, but I continue to recall the blessings that we encountered in helping Susan... There is no doubt that God had his hand in all of it.

So thinking of Susan's 25th Anniversary quilt, I wonder... what would I include in a quilt commemorating our marriage?

A sawtooth mountain block to represent Colorado, my birthplace ... A log cabin block since Dave was born in Illinois, home of Abe Lincoln.  A heart and a cross because we have given our hearts, not just to each other, but to our Lord.  A block with some sort of mountain for our years of living in Colorado... some music notes since we both love making music... a small house that would resemble our first and only home we have owned...  I will have to think a little longer on this.

What blocks would you include in a wall hanging to commemorate YOUR life?

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

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

Linking with:
Scrap Happy Saturday at Super Scrappy
UFO Busting at Tish’s Wonderland

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Quilters Through The Generations - Connie Mounsey

Today I introduce Connie Mounsey.  Here is what she has to say...

I was born in Lubbock Texas and now reside in NW Oklahoma. I am a longarm quilter now and have quilted for the public since 2012. I have 5 children, 4 are grown and I have a 12 year old still at home. I live in a 1907 Folk Victorian that was remodeled in the 30s and when I started quilting in 2008 the first quilt I made was a 1930s reproduction quilt. The prints are so happy. They remain my favorite fabrics to collect. 

Have you ever made a quilt? 

Yes.  My mother, Janet Bryant, taught me to sew.  I don't really remember how old I was when I started sewing. She was a home economics teacher and has always sewn. She made our dresses, even made prom dresses for my sister and I. 

In home economics we made aprons and a pair of shorts and I remember sewing a few garments at home. In the 80s my Mom and I made a bow tie quilt together. The bow tie block is my favorite block.  It was the Georgia Bonesteel quilt as you go method. I pieced it and she hand quilted it. This was her first quilt and she started making quilts after that.

She made this beautiful Leymone Star quilt my mother made. She hand quilted it. It’s one of my favorite quilts.  

Fast forward to 2008 when I fell on the ice on my front porch and had a compound fracture of my ankle. I was so bored and my mother brought me a featherweight and I made a modified nine patch out of 1930s prints. 

I was hooked. She had a longarm then and she did my quilting for me. 

I went to stay for a week during fall break and a friend and I brought quilt tops and used my mom's longarm and I was hooked again.

Did you have a grand-mother or Great-grandmother that quilted? 

Three of my great grandmothers were quilters. 
Left to right my mother's grandmothers - Esther Murray Wheeler, Willie Salome Detwiler Lockwood, and my dads grandmother Florence Warrick Armstrong McWilliams next to her is her second husband Lawson McWilliams. This photo was from my parents wedding in 1968.

I don't really remember much of my mom's two grandmothers that quilted . Mom has a quilt that both of her grandmothers contributed signature squares to. They both lived in a little town and the quilt was for my Mom's paternal grandmother Willie Salome Detwiler Lockwood. A lot of the squares are from cousins and other family members. My great grandmother Lockwood was moving to Lubbock, Texas and this quilt was made for her in the 40s I think. 

I have three quilts that my father's grandmother made. Florence Warrick Armstrong McWilliams. She liked to make difficult patterns. One of her quilts that I have I used on my bed growing up and it is so loved and worn out but I still treasure it. 

I recall that she had a quilt frame in her living room that always had a quilt on it. 

My Mom is shown here with the last quilt my great grandmother McWilliams made. The top was in my grandmother's things when she passed away and I found it. Much of the scraps are from clothes my mom made us. She had given the scraps to my great-grandmother. My mom added the red border and hand quilted it.

This quilt I inherited when my grandmother Bryant passed away. It was made by my great grandmother Florence Warrick Armstrong McWilliams.

Have you taught someone to quilt? 

I have taught my grand-daughters Tiffany Mounsey and Mary Jayne Mounsey, and my nieces, Sadie Bryant and Erin Shick.  Mary Jayne started really young... here she is on my lap and then at age 4, sewing on her own.

Here is my grand-daughter Tiffany and first quilt top.

Below is my niece Erin is proud of her quilt top...

This is the only picture of my niece Sadie’s quilt she made. She picked all the fabrics out. It was gorgeous. She already knew how to sew but hadn’t ever made a quilt before. 

Do you have a favorite quilt? 

I just love the log cabin. It is the first class I took at the local college and met a lot of real nice ladies. It was an Eleanor Burns Quilt In A Day class.  I gave that quilt to my Mom for Mothers Day. 

I had inherited my husband's grandmother's sewing room and used fabrics from her stash and my stash combined. She was a quilter up until her death at 90.  

I have made several log cabin quilts...

Do you participate in any quilt groups? 

I go to a sewing group on Tuesdays every week.  I go to my favorite quilt store and we have a group of ladies that get together and we sew. We walk next door to a Mexican food restaurant and have lunch together. Sometimes I have customers to meet. They drop off quilts and I pick them up or I can meet them there. 

Have you entered any quilt competitions? 

I entered the County fair and won 2 blue ribbons. One was a star sampler and the other was a quilt I made in a class I took.

This 1930s sampler quilt I quilted with free motion quilting. Each row I did a different pattern. It is one of my favorite quilts. 

Where do you get your inspiration from? 

I find inspiration on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook

What is your favorite part of quilting? 

Sewing - I like to sew with my vintage sewing machines. I have a featherweight and a Singer 15-91 that I like to sew bindings on with. My only modern sewing machine is my Gammill longarm. I am a long arm quilter now and I quilt for the public.

I have no idea of how many quilts I have made.  I haven't kept up a count and most of my quilts are given away.

In addition to a love for 1930's fabrics I also love civil war fabrics. In this quilt I combined broken dishes block and triple four patch blocks...

I also love vintage quilts. This quilt came to me in a Walmart sack. All the blocks were pieced but not sewn together. I love all the vintage fabrics in this one. I have quite a stash of vintage quilt tops to get quilted one day.

Connie's love for scrappy quilts is evident in her quilts featured here.  She stated "I think I have more pink and green in my stash than other colors.  My pink & Green log cabin was an attempt to use some of them up."  I love the log cabin for this very reason...  It is a pattern suitable for scrap busting!  

What is your favorite "scrap busting" pattern?
Leave a comment... We'd love to hear from you!

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

Are you from a family of quilters?  
I'd love to share your story in this series.  
Send me an email at
letting me know that you are interested.