Thursday, October 1, 2020

Pieces From The Past - The Rolling Stone

Klaus Hesselbarth
Gut Wierlauke
(21?) Soest Land

Dear honored Mr. Schleich!

You will surely be very surprised to receive a letter from me.  I worked at your farm when I was in the POW camp in Trinidad.  I belonged at that time to the Ruhr Group.  As we left and said goodbye to you, you told us to write to you sometime.  Especially if it went bad for us and we needed something, we should feel free to turn to you.  If it would be possible, you would help us.  I now come today with a question.  If you are unable to help me, I would really like to hear from you.

Certainly you would have heard that here in Germany there is hardly anything to buy.  I have a $99 dollar check from a bank in Denver for my work in America.  I want to ask if it is possible for you to cash the check and to buy for some things that are badly needed.  I would especially like some cigarettes and tobacco.  Please write me sometime and let me know what you think.  I would then send you my check and my wish list. 

After my discharge as a prisoner, I have been in middle Germany working as a farm hand since I lost my homeland due to the partitioning.   Thank God I was able to find my relatives, who had to flee from the incoming Russian troops.  

I wish you and your family everything good for the future I would be pleased to hear from you.  My address is on the other side of the paper in the upper left corner.  Best regards to you and your family.

Klaus Hesselbarth

If it is not possible to answer in German, send it in English.  I have enough knowledge for reading and translating.  

This letter was one of the last letters to be translated and I was quite excited to have a message from my translator, Amy... well here's what she had to say...

As I translate each letter, I've been googling the name just in case I find something.  Well I finally did find something:  an article from 2009 written in a German magazine about the flight out of East Prussia.  Like he says in the letter, his family had to flee the  Russians and the area was annexed.  The article says that Klaus was not with his family when they fled because he was in a POW Camp.  It says after the war he studied agriculture, he met his wife in his place of work, and he was able to reunite with his family in the Family Reunification Program.  The farmer he was working for told him that if he didn't mind having everyone in his one room, then he should go ahead and bring his parents over.  His oldest son was born on the teaching farm, where he took his training.  He would later become director of a research institute for livestock farming.  Even though he wasn't there for the flight out of East Prussia, he has a lot of artifacts and is in contact with lots of survivors and is dedicated to keeping the knowledge of the event alive and to pass that knowledge on to future generations.  

If you happen to be interested, like I was, here is the link to Klaus' entire story.  The picture of Klaus reveals that he was quite proud of his collection as well as his efforts of keeping the story of his parents and many others fleeing their homeland for safety.
Oh, how I wish I could contact Klaus' children!  Oh, and to read the memories of Klaus' father, Walter... "If my report is such that my son and his children see through what a hard time we have gone, the purpose of my story is fulfilled."

I have reached out to the magazine editors, with no response, as well as an individual on social media that I suspect is a descendant, again with out any response.  

I wonder... Did Mr. Hesselbarth ever get his check for $99 cashed?  Does it remain in his collection of artifacts?  This inquiring mind wants to know.

A photo from Walter with a young Klaus...  Sorquinces - Walter Hesselbarth was the manager of the Count's Sorquitten (Polish: Sorkwity). He had accepted the post on the condition "that I get a free hand", as he had explained to the then owner - Baron Bernhard von Paleske. “The estate had around 5000 hectares of usable agricultural area,” recalls Klaus Hesselbarth. The village of Sorquitten was founded in 1379. The estate was a former fiefdom of the Teutonic Order and changed hands several times over the centuries. Today's castle is located in the former Sensburg district on a headland between two lakes in a landscape park that is now a natural monument. In the course of time seven outworks belonged to the estate. In the Sorquitter Gutsforst with particularly dense pine and spruce stands, there was a good population of game. Sorquitten was famous for its deer hunts. After the war, the castle was used as a family vacation home for the “Ursus” tractor works under Polish sovereignty. Later it was a castle hotel that has since closed again. – 

If you have any suggestions or ideas of how to locate/find or contact the Hesselbarth family, I welcome them... 

I will leave no stone un-turned.

Block #13 is called The Rolling Stone... (see what I did there?😉)

It is an easy block that should come together quickly for you... four Square in a square blocks and some strip piecing and you will find yourself ready to link up for an opportunity to win a free fat-quarter!  Don't forget to tag me in your photos - instagram, @MelvaLovesScraps and use the hashtag #piecesfromthepastsewalong or share over on my facebook page, Melva Loves Scraps.

Quilt Happy!


Monday, September 28, 2020

Link-Up Opps... All In One Place and Announcing THROWBACK THURSDAY PARTIES

 I have been blogging for seven years and it has been a learning curve for sure, and as technology changes and adjusts the social media platforms do the same and the learning curve is continually changing.

Once upon a time, blogs were all the rage.  Readers followed closely, the audience was vast and then social media stepped onto the stage and bloggers had to adjust.  Facebook and Instagram and Pinterest stole a bit of the spotlight and have become a form of micro-blogging offering a snap-shot or advertisement for what might be on the blog - the place where you can get "the rest of the story."

To support others and "share" an audience of readers link ups or linky-parties act as a sort of "central hub".  One blog can direct you to many other projects, tutorials and inspiration in abundance.

Here is my current list of linky parties that I have been participating in for a while... these are just a few of the parties I have found... I am sure there are many more.  If you host one, and would like to have it added to the list, leave a comment.  I'll be more than happy to add it.  If you participate in other parties that are not on this list... leave a comment.  Again, I'll be happy to add to the list.

BOMS Away at Katie Mae Quilts

BOMs Away at What A Hoot Quilts


Quilting is more fun than Housework
Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More FunThan Housework

Sunday Stash at QuiltPaintCreate

Patchwork & Quilts at The Quilting Patch


What I Made Monday at Pretty Piney

Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt

Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and DollQuilts


Colour & Inspiration at Clever Chameleon Quilting

To Do Tuesday at Home Sewn By Us

Mid-week Makers at Quilt Fabrication

Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter
For the love of geese
Put Your Foot Down at For the Love of Geese

Needle and Thread Thursday
Needle & Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation

Creative Compulsions at Bijou Bead Boutique
Can I Get A Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a FabricAddict

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

Throwback Thursday party at 
Melva Loves Scraps

And just recently, I have started a Throwback Party.  We celebrate and share each quilt finish as they are completed with pride... and then the quilt is gifted or donated, or tossed on the bed or couch and loved on...  

My goal for this linky party is to revisit some of our favorite finishes that may have forgotten about.

On the first Thursday of each month (or close to the first Thursday of the month) I will open a link up.  Details of the party are not overly difficult or strict... Link up a finish from previous years in the same month that it is currently.  For example, if the current month is February, any finishes that you had in February of previous years are welcome.  The Throwback Thursday linky party will be available all month.  

However, if you really, really want to celebrate a previous finish from a different month, you are welcome to do that as well... I won't kick you out of the party. 😉

This month, September, Maggie F and Gretchen shared several fantastic quilts!  Take a peek at them by clicking on the logo above... It is fun to see the changes in pattern styles and fabric choices over the years... and to see where we were and how much we have grown as a quilter.

Start to search your archives for your October quilt finishes from last year or before and be sure to come back to share and celebrate again.

Piece Happy!


Saturday, September 26, 2020

Postcards Swapped

 A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was participating in a postcard swap hosted by my friend Mark Montano...

Kayleen and I enjoyed our morning together making and creating.

She used a children's reader from the mid 1940s as her background of the postcards...

My postcards included copies of letters and text from blog posts included in the Pieces From The Past Sew Along and pictures of local landmarks that were printed on fabric.  On the back of the postcards I included a label that stated my social media handles and a QRC that, when scanned by a smart device, will direct the individual to my blog page for the sew along announcement and my family's story of coming to America.

When the postcards were finished we packed them up and sent them off to Mark and then waited.

A short time later I received the return parcel containing a variety of 10 postcards...  Mark had more than 150 participants in this swap.  It was an overwhelming success!  So much so, that many more individuals expressed their disappointment in missing it.  So Mark had announced that he will be hosting a second swap.

It was a fun and creative activity for me to participate in.  If you might be interested in participating in his second swap you can find all the details over on his facebook page - The deadline is November 15.

Here are the details from his post...

I'll be sending out the postcards to a group of special ladies that I haven't seen for a while...

 Join our international POSTCARD SWAP! The theme for this swap is UPCYCLED, LAYERED & COLORFUL! Use your imagination!
*THE FIRST 40 PEOPLE WHO SIGN UP (and send me a screen shot of their paid participation fee AND their mailing address) GET A 5" X 7" GEL PRESS!
To be eligible you must send a screenshot of your paid participation fee to me at with (GEL PRESS CONTEST) IN THE SUBJECT! Please include your mailing address in the email. We are going to try to get these out quickly so you can use them for your cards if you want! *Contest opens at 7 a.m. PST Friday morning, September 25th, so entries before that won't be considered BUT you can get everything prepared beforehand to email me at that time.
1. There is a $10 fee to participate in the swap in the US and $15 if you are participating from another country.
This covers the cost of envelopes, organizing with my assistant, packing and 1st class postage (with tracking) for sending the postcards back to you.
Please use my account here: *Use the FRIEND TO FRIEND option when sending the participation fee.
2. Postcards are to be 4" x 6" in size (no smaller or larger) and no thicker than 1/8". Create any kind of art you want! Make them colorful, sparkly, upcycled and something you're proud of.
Deadline is November 15th, 2020 meaning cards need to be here with me by November 15th.
3. Everyone submits 10 cards and gets 10 different cards in return. If you want to send 11, that's GREAT! *On rare occasion a card is destroyed in shipping OR a participant's cards get lost in the mail and arrive late...I keep sets of cards for them as well just in case and an extra is always appreciated.
4. Please sign your postcards on the back so people know who made them and include a social media handle so that you can make some new friends! You could also clip a business card to each postcard. Just let your new friends know who made it.
5. Make sure that you print your return address CLEARLY so that we can easily address your package and get it back to you without a problem. We ship everything in 6" x 9" manilla envelope. If you want to enclose a return envelope, that's awesome, too!
6. Please (try) to use an upcycled material like cereal box cardboard, newspaper, phone book pages, thin corrugated cardboard, magazines or old book pages. Whatever you toss out that can be incorporated!
7. Please put 4" x 6" pieces of wax paper between each card so that they don't stick together. Sometimes heat and humidity during transit can cause some paints to stick together. Wax paper will insure everything is pristine.
8. Send postcard packages to my studio: Mark Montano 2126 Cove Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90039
9. Deadline is November 15th, 2020 meaning cards need to be here with me by November 15th

I'll be sending out the postcards to a group of special ladies that I haven't seen for a while...

Who would you send some sweet love to?  

If you were to participate, what sort of upcycled items would you use?  

I keep thinking about mini quilts... all fabric, but 4"x6" is pretty small... even smaller than the 5"x7" cards I have made.   I may give just one a try and see how it goes.  Maybe raw edges, trimmed with pinking shears... Hmmm........ 

Leave a comment... I always love to hear from you!

Piece Happy!

Melva Loves Scraps - Home of the Pieces From The Past Sew Along
that features vintage Kansas City Star quilt blocks!

Linking with:

UFO Busting at Tish’s Wonderland
Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework
Sunday Stash at QuiltPaintCreate
Patchwork & Quilts at The Quilting Patch
What I Made Monday at Pretty Piney
Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Gone Quilting! & A No Guilt::Go Quilt Jamaican Jerk Chicken

 Last week FLEW by!  I didn't complete each of the items on last week's Tuesday To-Do list, but I did make progress.

  Finish "Papa's T-shirts" baby quilt - I will be sandwiching and quilting tomorrow

❧ Apply fusible stabilizer to the t-shirts for the graduation gift and begin the layout of the quilt top.  I have a story about the stabilizer...

  Oh, and I have a pattern test  Still testing, but I should have the top pieced by the end of today

  If I have time... I would like to "harvest" the graphics of the third set of t-shirts and get the fusible stabilizer applied to these as well.  Again... the story about the stabilizer.

We enjoyed our time away.  We had a very productive afternoon of shopping and picking up the necessary supplies to continue operations in the studio and Dave's shop and made a quick stop at our oldest daughter's house for a selfie since "we were in the neighborhood".   We snapped the picture, sent it to her in a text message, and then headed to our campsite to set up house for a few days.

Suffice it to say she thinks we are weird because we didn't let her know we were there.  The conversation on facebook was hilarious!

We took a looooooooooooong bike ride on the path from Pueblo Lake State Park to downtown - 20 miles round-trip - the next day.  

We enjoyed lunch at the Ale house on the patio and relaxed in the shade before returning.  The last two miles at a slight up hill grade was totally against our personal rules of biking... always go uphill first... meaning that the downhill grade is the last of our trip.  

However, I am proud to say that neither of us walked the hill.  Woohoo!

The next day we were a bit saddle sore, but enjoyed a leisurely walk around the campground before heading home.

Home... where we found two packages sitting on our porch.  One I had expected, the other was not anything I ordered.  But neither of them were the fusible stabilizer I had been waiting on.  

I could go on and on about how I order the stabilizer from amazon, yet it comes from but I won't go down that rabbit trail. lol!

There was indeed a box from walmart with a sticker on it from FedEx stating that the contents of the package had been damaged, but were contained in the box.  It was a gallon jug of molasses for plants (used in hydroponic growing systems).  The jug had leaked and was placed in a few plastic bags and sealed up.

Great... now I have to try to track down my stabilizer!  But I didn't have time that afternoon... just as well, because a few hours later FedEx arrived again and delivered a box from wallyworld with my stabilizer, undamaged and unharmed.  Whew!  

I still don't know why we got the molasses... who cares?  It went out with the trash on Monday.

All is well and I am headed to my studio to continue with last week's overly ambitious list.  I might have had all of the tasks complete if we had stayed home... but what fun would THAT have been?

But quickly, before I run off here is what I happen to have in the crockpot...  You will notice that I made a few adjustments to fall into my acceptable dietary restrictions. :)

It has been awhile since I share any No Guilt::Go Quilt recipes.  

Do you have any favorite go to recipes that free up time for you to quilt?

Please share!  I'd love to have a few more to add to my collection.

Quilt Happy!


Linking with:

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
To Do Tuesday at Home Sewn By Us
Mid-week Makers at Quilt Fabrication
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

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Feeling Ambitious!

 The week flew by!  But I had a productive week!  And this week will probably fly by quickly as well since we are planning a camping trip.  Our original plan was to go to Red River, NM with some friends, rent an ATV and go exploring some of the mountain trails.  

Since their plans and schedule changed, we are still going (we NEED to for our sanity), but we will instead head just 80 north to Pueblo so that we can combine running errands, visiting the girls and grands and having some time away.  Taking a long ride on the bike path is a part of the plan.  

As we review last week, I met my goals... mostly. 😉

✔  Prepare a few more Postcard Block kits for the camping journal quilt.  

I prepped a mountain scene and a flower block

✔  Scrapbooking!  While my goal was to get all of 2018 completed, I didn't actually get all of it done, but I did complete through July.  And that was just in one day.  I probably could have continued on the next day, but I had other pressing matters to address.

And this brings me to the goals for the coming week...

❧  Get the f
inal five patterns for the Pieces From The Past Sew Along written and sent to my new group of pattern testers.  

I have had t-shirts for three memory quilts arrive since last week!  

❧  Finish "Papa's T-shirts" baby quilt for my customer.  I am waiting on the fabric I ordered for the backing.  The Grandparents are making a trip to California to see the new baby in October and I promised that it would be ready to make the trip with them.

I can just envision Papa snuggled up with the little guy and telling him of the adventures that he and Grandma had on these road trips... can't you?

I was initially stumped and confused about the whole quilt in the beginning, but when I found the multi-colored prints in my stash I was on-board with the project.

❧ Apply fusible stabilizer to the t-shirts for the graduation gift and begin the layout of the quilt top.

❧  Oh, and I have a pattern test for Shannon Fraser Designs that is due by September 24.  It is only a baby quilt, so once I get the fabric pulled I'll be good.

❧  If I have time... I would like to "harvest" the graphics of the third set of t-shirts and get the fusible stabilizer applied to these as well.

It may be an overly ambitious list, but I can hope.  As long as the deliveries of the on-line purchases arrive in a timely manner, I think it is reasonable.  

It has been a while since I have been so productive and it feels really good to be back in the groove.  And a few days away will help even more!  

How are YOU doing?  What's your current mood?  Feeling ambitious like me?  Stuck in a rut?  I know you are probably not alone... 

But with the month of September flying by (how is it possible the middle of the month???) I don't want you to miss out on the Throw-back Linky party for September.  

We always celebrate a recent finish, but how often do we look back on some of our favorite finishes?  Let's show some love to our September finishes of previous years.  

Piece Out,


Linking with:

To Do Tuesday at Home Sewn By Us

Mid-week Makers at Quilt Fabrication

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
Friday Foto Fun at Powered by Quilting
Finished or Not Friday at Alycia Quilts
Scrap Happy Saturday at Super Scrappy
UFO Busting at Tish’s Wonderland
Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework
Sunday Stash at QuiltPaintCreate
Patchwork & Quilts at The Quilting Patch