Friday, December 27, 2019

The Year in Review and Plans for 2020

Hey there!

As we prepare to usher in the new decade and year 2020 resolutions are being thought of and plans considered for implementation... but how did I do with my goals for the current year?  

My list was quite brief... just three items.

✔#1 - Assemble and complete the Sunbonnet Sue blocks that I got from Dave's aunt.

The quilt has assumed its new home with Dave's aunt.  She has placed it on her guest bed which happens to have an antique headboard, close to the same age as these Sue's.   

✔#2 - Continue participating in weekly linky parties and monthly hops

The linky parties are always fun to check out and see quilters and their projects that you may have never "met" or visited.  The hops are always so inspirational!  While I participated in fewer hops this year (there seemed to be a "summer break" by some of the hosts) there was still plenty of opportunity to get some creative juices going.  Some of my favorites were...

These sweet little angels  was inspired by the DeGrazia Chapel near Tucson, AZ...

The Be A Diamond hop inspired this birthstone quilt...  You may wonder where the diamonds are in it... but take a look at the close up shot below. 

The Quilt Qwazy Queen hop inspired me to make a Crazy Quilt for a sweet friend that was moving from Colorado to Indiana to care for her aging parents.  

I wanted to send her off with a reminder of our group of friends with a quilt that has each lady's name and favorite scripture on it... 

I shared a sweet story about a group of girlfriends that have been there for each other through all the ups and downs of life and I am reminded evermore so of the important role of friendship and girlfriends since our group of ladies has experienced the sudden loss of one of our own.  Sheryl will be deeply missed... Would you say a prayer for her family as they try to navigate the fog of loss and mourning and life moving forward when they don't want to?

✔#3 - Participate in two Block of the Month sew alongs... 

Not only did I do two sew alongs... I participated in THREE and a Mystery Quilt

Sew Incredibly Crazy & Friends did a wonderful job with the Time For All Seasons BOM... and it isn't over yet!  They have one more month of patterns to be released.  I loved that they offered both pieced and appliqued blocks.  The applique blocks are really, really cute... but I opted to skip those and make only the pieced blocks.

The 2019 Monthly Color Challenge has, once again, been excellent with simple blocks that encouraged lessons in color value.  I will be working on getting a top completed very soon.  As with each of the blocks, I have shared some personal stories, memories, thoughts and plans.

The third sew along was the Adventure Quilt hosted by Kate & Tammy of Seams Like a Dream and Tamarinis.  They had weekly pattern releases and was fast paced, but I managed easily because of the blog hop "summer break".  It was all a win-win deal!

I participated in my first ever mystery quilt that was hosted by Carole From My Carolina Home.  It was interesting and a learning experience that were I to repeat the pattern I would choose some different fabrics.    

I haven't quilted this one yet, but the top is assembled and sandwiched and waiting...  My first UFO of 2020!!

I think the finish of this project needs to be one of the first on my plans for the coming year!

But before I get to that list I wan to take a look at my Top Five...

The most popular posts for the year...

#5 Quilter's ADD

I  was overwhelmed with the various projects and stages of projects and deadlines and I was conflicted in what I REALLY wanted to be working on... I created my list and prioritized, grabbed one of my No Guilt::Go Quilt freezer/crockpot meals and got to work. (If you want to see some of those recipes do a tag search for No Guilt::Go Quilt.)

#4  Thrift Shop finds

I found a Harry Potter panel that I turned into a two-sided quilt for our youngest and some Denver Bronco fabric was used in a quilt for our oldest... both Christmas gifts that were well received.  The Harry Potter panel was featured in the Witchy-Stitchy Blog hop 

#3  Grandmother's Flower Garden was the birthing point for two things... my custom quilting services for others since the owner of this quilt top was my first customer... and my Pieces From The Past Sew Along that will begin in January.  I had mentioned in the post that I had letters from former German POWs that wrote to my grandparents asking for care packages and help in getting back to the US.  Many of them were written in German and needed to be translated.  

Several readers contacted me willing to assist with the translation and others expressed interest in the content of the letters.  Thus, the plan for the Pieces from the Past Sew Along!  More details will be in the 2020 planning section below. :)

#2 Thomas the Train was for the Nifty Novelty hop...

It also happened to be the result of a pattern test for Jen over at Patterns by Jen.  

This was probably the most fun I had with a photo shoot.  I recruited a friend who has a passion for photos and we traipsed all over town to the various trains and rail road crossing areas.  It also happened to be one windy day!  We had a ball!

And the most popular post was the one that contained Exciting News!

I received permission from C&T Publishing to share the vintage Kansas City Star quilt patterns that my Grandma saved and since the letters from former POWs have been translated I will be publishing one letter and one pattern every three weeks, beginning January 23rd.  There will be an opportunity to link up your completed block for a chance to win a fat quarter and for everyone that completes all 20 blocks there are five copies of the Kansas City Star Sampler pattern book.

The blocks will vary in size from 9 inches finished up to 16 inches finished.  The skill level will vary from beginner to advanced and will include a variety of techniques, including pieced, English paper pieced, foundation paper pieced.  (fear not if you are a beginner... I'll have some easier options available if you don't feel up for a challenge.)  Some simple applique and embroidery can be utilized as well. The sampler quilt will finish at approximately 66 inches by 81 inches

Fabric requirements:

I have used a variety of fabrics - prints and solids from assorted fat quarters -  approximately 20 total. 

An additional 4 yards of muslin or background fabric will be needed for the background of the 20 blocks, sashing strips and one border.  

A second border will require 1/2 yard and the final border requires 1 yard.  Binding will require 3/4 yard and backing 5 yards of standard width fabric.  

When your blocks are complete share on instagram, tag me (@MelvaLovesScraps) and use hashtag #PiecesFromThePastSewAlong or post on my fb page - Melva Loves Scraps.  

I'd love to see your fabric selections.  I know not everyone is a fan of 1930s reproduction fabrics... I would LOVE to see these blocks made modern.  Maybe batiks are your thing... or even some mono-chromatic blocks... black/white/grey blocks would be interesting to see!  You know the 2020 pantone color is Blue... shades of blue would be pretty!  Show me what your plans are!

Speaking of colors... Here is my 2019 Makelight Colour analysis  >>>

And my Top Nine of 2019...

As for other goals for 2020... In addition to finishing the Scrap Dance Minuet quilt, I will finish the other two sew along projects (color challenge and time for all seasons).  

Because I am hosting my own sew along for the year, I will be taking a break from any additional BOMs (I think...).  You see, I'm just not sure how much time will be consumed with the responsibility as hostess.  I will, however, continue to participate in any linky parties with new projects that I may find myself working on... and any adventures that we have while traveling with our truck camper. 

I want to continue to experiment with the Eco-printing process and I will continue my National Parks Postcards Camping Journal (both mentioned in my Quilter's ADD post.

So there you go!  A year in review and plans for the future...

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!  

I'd love to hear if you plan to participate in Pieces From The Past Sew Along!  

Leave a comment... 

Happy New Year!


Plan to join me for the fun sew along that will feature vintage Kansas City Star quilt blocks!

Linking with:

Best of 2019 with Meadow Mist Quilts
2020 Planning Party with the Quilting Jet Girl
Can I Get A Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Brag About Your Beauties at From Bolt to Beauty
Peacock Party at Wendy’s Quilts and More
Finished or Not Friday at Alycia Quilts
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
Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Colour & Inspiration at Clever Chameleon Quilting
Mid-week Makers at Quilt Fabrication
Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter
Put Your Foot Down at For the Love of Geese
Creative Compulsions at Bijou Bead Boutique

Thursday, December 19, 2019

2019 Color Challenge - Purple - Crocus

Jen's 2019 Color Challenge block for December was inspired by the Crocus.

The crocus is one of the first flowers to emerge in the spring and has a reputation as a symbol of cheerfulness and glee as it brings the landscape alive with color after a long winter and has long been a symbol of youthfulness and cheerfulness.

"The crocus is a genus of flowers that derived its name from the Latin word crocatus, which means saffron yellow. Saffron is a spice derived from the saffron crocus (Crocus sativus ). It is one of 80 species of the genus crocus, says The Flower Expert. While not all crocus species produce saffron, they are all similar in appearance and share the name."

I had no idea that saffron was derived from this flower!!!

Now if I had researched this prior to this writing, I would have sought out a recipe that called for Saffron.  But since I did not, you get a story about a Girl Scout trip that our daughters took to Hawaii.

How is is possible that their trip took place 15 years ago???

They worked for two years to earn the money for the trip... they held bake sales, sold GS cookies, washed cars and more.  And most of the time we were alongside them acting as chaperones... yet WE didn't go.  Oh, don't get me wrong... we could have... and we would love to visit the islands... just not with a bunch of Girl Scouts!

There were other parents that stepped forward for that job.  

When we cashed in our coin jar for spending money for them the only thing we stipulated was "bring us something... but not something knick-knacky"...  The rule was that it had to be "consumable"... or fabric. LOL!

The girls politely obliged with bringing macadamia nuts, some chocolate covered nuts and.... a big ol' stack of fabric squares!

Now, I'll be honest... I don't know what the "twin size" is supposed to mean.  

Does it mean that if you sew all the blocks together you will have a twin sized quilt top?

Probably... but I couldn't do just that.  And what FUN is that???  I wanted contrast!  I wanted patchwork...

But, hey!  What a deal!  Only 13 bucks!

I have used these fabrics for a wide variety of projects...

Quilts for each of the girls and one of their friends... quilts for us... quilts for the Alzheimer Walk event held at my Dad's nursing home... table runners, even tablet covers!  

Here is a small sampling of the quilts I made...

I even traded with the GS leader for a third style of print^^!

Yet I still have a large stack of them!

The gift that keeps on giving!  You can bet that the macadamia nuts and chocolate didn't last that long!  LOL

I just love the idea of fabric as a souvenir.  Whether it be a scarf, shawl, a hanky or even a t-shirt!

What sort of souvenirs do you like to receive or purchase?

One of my favorite commercials  that made me giggle was a Disney Resort ad... A family was in the elevator at the resort with a young child and a baby in a stroller when someone asked the child if this was their first trip to Disney... the child replied with "Not for me.  We were here two years ago.  But this is my baby sister's first time.  Mommy and Daddy call her their little souvenir."  Bahaha!

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

Merry Quiltmas!


Plan to join me for a fun sew along that will feature vintage Kansas City Star quilt blocks!  Fabric requirements coming soon!

Linking with:

BOMs Away at What A Hoot Quilts
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
Peacock Party at Wendy’s Quilts and More
Finished or Not Friday at Alycia Quilts
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

Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts

Thursday, December 12, 2019

A Time For All Seasons - December Blocks

December is a month of celebrations, family and gifts.  And Carol over at Just Let Me Quilt offered up some really cute blocks...

I mean that singing angel is adorable!  But I have been skipping over the applique blocks of this BOM and doing two of the pieced blocks.  The gift block does have piecing, but there is still the bow that is required applique.  

She graciously offered an entirely pieced block for those like me that prefer them.  I made two of them... one yellow and one with a very light blue.

The star is a significant part of the Christmas season... in Scripture it lead the shepherd and wise men to the manger where Jesus was born.  

Jesus, the light of the world...

I couldn't help but recall the song from a children's Christmas program.  You probably know it yourself.

Do you see what I see? 

A star, a star, shining in the night with a tail as big as a kite... with a tail as big as a kite.

A star tops many a Christmas tree as a reminder to us all to be a light in the world.

There was a bonus block this month again, also applique 😔

But as I wasted  spent time on social media I saw a red mitten pattern tutorial from Kelli Fannin.  It was for an 8 inch block, but with a little math I made it a 10 inch block.  And I LOVE it!

I recalled the time (years ago!) when I made a "garland" with 24 red mittens as an Advent Activity calendar.  I cut the shape of the mittens out, I had our oldest daughter, Heather, color them and then I wrote a different activity on each mitten... one for each day.

The activities included baking cookies, decorating cookies, hanging the Christmas stockings, putting up the tree, etc.

It took some careful planning to make sure that the activity wouldn't conflict with other things that had to happen... like pre-school and play-dates. lol!

I had another idea that was rolling around in my mind for a sort of "charlie brown tree" and I could not ignore the calling!  I pulled out the graph paper and pencil and got to work.

It is really simple...  start with 1-1/2 inch strips and sub-cut to the various sizes...

From white cut:

8 strips -  5"
4 - 4-1/2"
2 - 3-1/2"
2 - 2-1/2"
2 - 1-1/2" square 

From Brown cut one 2-1/2 rectangle

from Green 1-1/2" strips cut:  

1 - 10-1/2"
1 - 8-1/2"
1 - 6-1/2"
1 - 4-1/2"
1 - 2-1/2"
4 - 1-1/2" squares

Now that these blocks are complete, let's take a look at the collection of blocks all together!

Lookin' Good!

With two January blocks, I see that I will need to fill in a few blanks... Probably some sort of "sunflower" block for September since I only made one of them... and another pinwheel block.

As Christmas approaches (quickly!), we are preparing our annual Christmas letter and I thought that what Dave had to share was a good reflection...

"Well Melva, Shelby and I seem to be finding a very quiet rhythm here in old Trinidad, CO.  We used to be involved in so much around town, TSJC, and with the kids and just building our home and life here and up and down the Front Range with all of our Christian friends, many that we consider part of our extended family.  
     But over the last couple of years many of those activities have come to an end, much like the seasons change, it almost happens and you don’t realize it’s going on until one day you’re going wow where did all that business go." 

A time for all seasons...  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 plant and a time to uproot,
         a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
          a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
          a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
          a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
          a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
          a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

Are you making time, in this busy season, for the important things?

What special, important time are you going to make happen?  

Maybe it is a visit with a long, lost friend, or a great-aunt that you have seen in years... maybe it is just slowing down long enough to read a special bed-time story to your child... or grand-child...  or taking a special dinner to an elderly neighbor...

Whatever it might be... DO IT!

Merry Quiltmas!


Plan to join me for a fun sew along that will feature vintage Kansas City Star quilt blocks!  Fabric requirements coming soon!

Linking with:

Put Your Foot Down at For the Love of Geese
Needle & Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation
Creative Compulsions at Bijou Bead Boutique
BOMS Away at Katie Mae Quilts
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
Finished or Not Friday at Alycia Quilts
Scrap Happy Saturday at Super Scrappy
UFO Busting at Tish’s Wonderland
Colour & Inspiration at Clever Chameleon Quilting
Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter
A Time For All Seasons at Sew Incredibly Crazy

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Virtual Cookie Exchange Blog Hop

Welcome Melva Loves Scraps and to the final day of the Virtual Cookie Exchange hosted by Carol at Just Let Me Quilt!  If you haven't had a chance to see all of the goodies (recipes) offered by the other bloggers you will want to check out the list of participants at the end of the post.

Who doesn't love Christmas Cookies?!?  Every individual has a favorite and I am here to share one of our family favorites.  It was mentioned in last year's post... Magic Cookie Bars.  The yummy sweetness of the graham cracker crust, sweetened condensed milk, nuts, chocolate candies and coconut is difficult to resist!  

But with the dietary restrictions put in place to improve my thyroid health I have not been able to have them.  SO SAD!

I did find a paleo-GF recipe for them that I tried after the virtual cookie exchange last year.  They did, in fact, turn out very tasty and even passed the "inspection" of the  resident chief cookie monster - he goes by the name of Dave.  Here you go!

GF-Paleo Magic Cookie Bars
3/4 cup blanched almond flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 pinch fine sea salt
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil,, melted and slightly cooled
1 large egg white

1 cup dark chocolate chips, or chunks, divided, plus more for garnish
3/4 cup pecans, roughly chopped
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, plus more for garnish
2/3 cup homemade caramel sauce**

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8"x8" square baking pan and set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the "s" blade, pulse the almond flour, coconut flour, and salt several times, until combined.
Add the maple syrup, oil, and egg white and process until the dough comes together in a ball.
Press into the bottom of the prepared pan to form a firmly-packed layer.
Cover with parchment paper, then weigh the parchment down with rice, dry beans, or pie weights.
Bake for 25 minutes until the edges start to turn golden.
Remove the crust from the oven.
Distribute 3/4 cup of the chocolate over the warm crust. They will melt slightly. (That's ok, and encouraged.)
Sprinkle the chopped pecans evenly over the chocolate layer.
Add the coconut in an even layer over the pecans.
Distribute the remaining 1/4 cup of chocolate chips around the pecans and coconut.
Pour the caramel sauce evenly over the top of the bars, coating all of the exposed chocolate, pecans, and coconut.
Sprinkle additional chocolate chips and coconut over the top of the caramel layer.
Bake for about about 20 minutes, until the caramel has seeped into the bars.
Cool completely before cutting the bars.

2/3 cup coconut (palm) sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 pinch fine sea salt
3/4 cup coconut cream, (5.4 ounce can)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Add the sugar, maple syrup and salt to a small saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer.
Place on the stove and turn the heat to medium.
Stir continuously until the mixture comes to a rolling boil, then reduce the heat slightly to bring the mixture down to a simmer or low boil.
Continue to stir until the mixture reaches 220F. It should take several minutes.
Once the mixture reaches 220F, turn off the heat and stir in the coconut cream until it has melted into the sugar mixture.
Turn the heat back on (medium) and continue to stir until the mixture reaches 210 again.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla.

Stir to cool the mixture slightly, then transfer to a heatproof container. Allow to cool to room temperature before serving.

I have since found some GF graham crackers and make the paleo caramel sauce to use in place of the sweetened condensed milk and follow the original recipe...  Note:: I use the Enjoy Life brand of mini chips and unsweetened flaked coconut.  Mmmmm... not as colorful as my original version when I used the red and green holiday candies... but sometimes I have to accept a compromise. 😜

Now that I have the cookies made (two batches - one to share, one for us to keep) I need a way to deliver this deliciousness...  Thus a quick little project that will give you an opportunity to practice some free-motion quilting!

A friend sent a video to me several years ago... 

This quick covered dish carrier is great for using seasonal fabric... 

You can choose your favorite... 

Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, 4th of July...  

the possibilities are endless!

Is there someone on your Christmas list that needs one of these carriers?  Surely at least one!  Maybe it's YOU!  😉

What is your favorite cookie that you would gift with one of these carriers?

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

Happy Baking and Quilting!


Don't forget to check out all of the recipes and projects shared this week!
December 2nd

December 3rd

December 4th

December 5th

December 6th

Plan to join me for a fun sew along that will feature vintage Kansas City Star quilt blocks!

Linking with:

UFO Busting at Tish’s Wonderland
Sunday Stash at QuiltPaintCreate
What I Made Monday at Pretty Piney
Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Colour & Inspiration at Clever Chameleon Quilting
Mid-week Makers at Quilt Fabrication
Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter