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


QPA
Patchwork & Quilts at The Quilting Patch


 


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

Quiltfabrication
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. šŸ˜‰

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!

Melva

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 MarkMontanoNYC@aol.com 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.
UPCYCLED 4" X 6" MIXED MEDIA POSTCARD SWAP RULES:
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 PayPal.me account here: paypal.me/MarkMontanoDIY *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
CAN'T WAIT TO SEE WHAT YOU MAKE!

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 walmart.com... 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!

Melva

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. šŸ˜‰

✔  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,

Melva

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


Thursday, September 10, 2020

Pieces From The Past - The Pine Burr Quilt Block





Today's letter is from Mr. Christian Fruehbuss, a mixture of both the English and German language was written on Easter Sunday of 1947 - April 7th.  The same date as the previous letter from Rudolf Kasulke, whose letter was censored... yet, Mr. Fruehbuss' was not.  Perhaps they were mailed from different "zones", such as the British Zone (as noted in the address above) and the Russian Zone as referred to in the Kasulke letter or the American Zone as noted in Alfred ??chala's letter.  But then again, according to the postmark on the envelope the letter was not mailed for another 10 days... 


Kiel Germany
Easter, 1947

Dear Mr. Schleich and family,

I was one of your P.O.W. boys who were working on your farm in sugar-beets October/November 1945 the last year of the P.O.W. Camp Trinidad.  It was the best time I ever had in the States and for the next time to this day.

Today, I come to thank you for all that you have done good to us.  I am back in Germany now but I will never come home because my hometown is located in the East of Germany and this area is not allowed to go for Germans.  The whole of population of this region had to leave their homes and so my family is scattered all over Germany too.  I am now in Kiel, a greater town in the North of Germany of the British Zone and specially this winter was bitterly cold without coal here.  Often, I remember the dinnertime in your old farm house and Mrs. Schleich was coming with food and all these good things.  What a time!  All people in Germany speak only about food, you know!  

But I will write some sentences in German because I hope you will understand that too!

Everyone speaks here of calories, calories and yet again calories.  I was very surprised when I returned back to Germany.  We never knew that the food problem was so serious.  We considered it more as propaganda.  If the USA won’t help us, then in Germany many will be starving.   And so it is still much too little and I would prefer not to make any comparison to the time at your place.   

Luxury goods – for example Lucky Strike and coffee – we know nothing about them anymore.  In short, I would never have thought that life in Germany could be so difficult.  Each person only hopes that he will survive the next winter.

Our trip from America was very nice and interesting.  We left from Frisco (San Francisco) through the Pacific, the Panama Canal, the Caribbean, toward England and France.  Now we are again in Germany.  The many destroyed cities were a heartbreaking sight for us. And now I have to live in just such a wrecked city.  The joy of returning home was driven away by the separation from family in the Russian zone.  But it is like this for many people.  Many people are already thinking of emigrating, and we would do it too if we could.    Many people receive help from their relatives in the USA and I am always pleased whenever I hear such stories.  [I had trouble with the next sentence.]  ?We? knew ? to be in that Land and got to know the men there very well.    For that still today I thank you and your dear family.  I also thank you for your kind reception.  A short letter would please me very much.  Your oldest son also understands German already and I hope that that he can read it well.  

Many greetings to all of yours

Your Ch. Fruehbuss

Did you notice the small note with the envelope?  he wrote his address on the reverse side... again.  His address is included at the end of the letter as well as on the back of the envelope.  I am touched at how he signed it "Your ex PW Boy".  

He was not the only one to lay claim to the Schleich family... there have been others that wrote using the same phrase.  Another indication that the men that worked at my Grandparents' farm were treated as family and felt not only safe there, but also welcome and comfortable.

I can only guess that the men were longing for, and recalling, a feeling of comfort and belonging as they penned the letters on Easter.  

Even Eleanor Roosevelt wrote of April 7th, "This is Easter Sunday, a day of hope and rejoicing, the day on which our Lord, Jesus Christ, took away some of the fear in the hearts of His followers. We will go to church today all over the United States and listen to the Easter services, and I, for one, will hope that in countries less fortunate than ours there are people who at this season will gather spiritual strength and hope. As the earth comes to life again, we hope people who have suffered will feel renewed vigor both of body and soul. In this country, our problems are the problems of confidence. We need to realize that we are strong and can afford to trust other people. After every war there seems to be a kind of hysteria which comes from a fear that sweeps over us. We are very lucky that we have some leaders among us whose voices can be heard, reassuringly calling us back to trust in God and in ourselves and go forward without fear.

One of the special foods that were a part of the Schleich family tradition for Easter, I am told by my Mom, was Fruit Soup.  She shared with me one memory, the only memory of being served fruit soup, and going to Aunt Clara's for an Easter dinner when this unusual soup served... something Dad had looked forward to (ok, who are we kidding? Dad looked forward to every meal!)... but Mom was left unimpressed. LOL!  

There are several recipes in the Germans from Russia cookbook that I have. They call for dried fruit such as dried apples, pears, peaches and raisins, which makes sense because fresh fruit would not have been available in abundance in early spring.  Most of the recipes call for milk or cream to be added before serving.  One recipe even includes beef chuck or beef stew meat and egg dumplings.  From just reading the recipes I can understand why Mom wasn't impressed.  It all seems a strange combination.




Mr. Fruehbuss wrote of hoping to survive the next winter which leads me to the reason for choosing the Pine Burr block as the Kansas City Star pattern to accompany this letter.                                                                                                                                                        
The Family Circus children seem to understand that as well. šŸ˜‰  

The Pine Burr block is another challenging block that is foundation paper pieced and will measure 15-1/2" square when completed.  





Never fear!  I have an easy, beginner friendly block for you if you don't feel up to the challenge...  The X Quartette block.  I have a few options for you.  I have given cutting instructions to make it a single 16-1/2" block or you can choose to make four 8-1/2" blocks to create the 16-1/2" block.  

Here are a couple examples... one is mine, the other was from my testers.

I made two blocks as indicated on the pattern and then two more in a mostly reverse or negative layout.

Here is one that Stacey started, but ran short of fabric... using a photo editing program I was able to "complete" her block.  I really like the look of this one.

Now go grab your patterns and get started.  When you have your block finished remember to come back here and link up for your chance to win a free fat quarter.

And, like all of the other most difficult blocks, if you link up a completed Pine Burr block, you will have two entries into the drawing.

Don't forget to tag me on instagram @MelvaLovesScraps and use the hashtag #PiecesFromThePastSewAlong or share on my facebook page - Melva Loves Scraps

And now, with the completion of block #12 you now have enough large blocks to complete row number 4 of the quilt!  You will need 3 yards of background fabric.

You will need blocks #5 (Our Country), #7 (Modern Broken Dish) and #12 (Pine Burr or X Quartette).  Begin by adding a "frame" on the blocks to enlarge and make all three 16-1/2".  If you made the X Quartette, it should already be the proper size.  On block #5, Our Country, I added a one inch strip to only two sides (a side and bottom), and a one inch strip to all four sides of the Pine Burr and Modern Broken Dish blocks.  If your blocks aren't quite the right size, this is where you can make up the discrepancy.  

Cut two 3-1/2" x 16-1/2" strips.  Sew one strip to each side of the center block and add the other two blocks to either side.  To help with block placement here is a photo of the finished quilt layout.  


You can arrange the blocks of the same sizes as you desire to offer a pleasant balance in color and "activity", if needed.

Additional cutting directions for sashing strips...

Row 1 - cut three 2-1/2" x 12-1/2" strips 
Row 2 - cut four 2-3/4" x 9-1/2" strips
Row 3 - cut three 2-1/2" x 12-1/2" strips
Row 4 - cut two 3-1/2" x 16-1/2" strips (not in addition to the instructions above)
Row 5 - cut three 2-1/2" x 12-1/2" strips

Horizontal sashing - You need 4 strips 2-1/2" x 54" long.  Unless you are using extra wide muslin, you will need to have a seam in the sashing between rows.

Have fun!  But before you leave, tell me...one of two things... OR both!

What has been your favorite block, so far?

Would YOU give the fruit soup a try?

Piece peacefully,

Melva


Looking for the rest of the patterns?
You can find links for them on the Pieces From The Past Sew Along Announcement page.

Linking with:

BOMs Away at What A Hoot Quilts
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
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
Colour & Inspiration at Clever Chameleon Quilting