Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Words of Life - Postcard Swap II

 I recently spent an afternoon doing "playing" as I waited for the delivery of the flannel backing I had ordered for the latest commissioned t-shirt quilt.  

My friend, Mark Montano, had announced a second postcard swap since his first was a resounding success and there were many that had missed it and wanted a second chance.

I had a new idea for postcards... quilted, of course!  I wanted to create some in the likes of the hand-sewn hello card I made in the World full of hearts post in April.

I chose some "words of wisdom" fabric.  Now, I'm not sure this is the actual name for the fabric and I have no idea who made it... but the words were encouraging words.

I made confetti with assorted red/white print fabrics and shaped a heart and then placed a small piece of tulle over the confetti and did free motion quilting to hold the confetti in place.  I added some matchstick quilting to make some texture.  I then placed a piece of cardstock to the back and stitched the perimeter of the edges into place.

When I had used all of the encouraging words fabric I pulled out some fall quotes fabric.  Using orange and green confetti I made pumpkins...

It was nearly time to call it a day and go make dinner so I grabbed a strip of leaf fabric and made two cards with banners...

Here's the set of 10 cards I sent off for the swap...

Last week was a very short week for me since we had taken a "holiday" with some friends at their family cabin (and then had grandchildren arrive for a two-night sleepover).  

When you enter the house it is like taking a step back in time... the furniture and furnishings are of another era... a time of simplistic necessities and a sense that love, joy and laughter have filled this house to the rafters.  

Upon our return home I quickly got back to the quilting of the t-shirt quilt since the backing had arrived.  

I had prepped the binding ahead of time so it was ready when I was ready...

And now that it is complete, it is ready to be sent off to its new home.  

Block #14 of the Pieces From The Past Sew Along was published on schedule and I hope to see some of the Owl Blocks link up soon.  Have you grabbed your pattern yet?  The letter is short and the block is an easy one to piece.  Be sure to join the fun!

Since I completed the tasks I had stated two weeks ago...

Ten postcards for the second postcard swap 

✔ I'll be writing again... the next letter and pattern for the sew along will be published October 22.

✔ If the red flannel backing for the t-shirt quilt arrives, I'll be quilting that as well.

 What do I have lined up for the coming week?

❧  I will be making items for the Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes...  I have fabric pulled to make shorts for little boys and skirts for the girls.

❧  Something else... not sure what, but surely there will be something that captures my attention!

I didn't even mention that we had to come up with costumes for a Harvest Celebration... We had a hunter, a rubik cube and a clown. 

It is time like these that we never question why we keep something around... those clown pants utilized some flannel that is probably about 20 years old and a pattern that is pushing 50 years old.  LOL!

When was the last time you used something that has been hanging around for, what some would consider, way too long? 

Piece Happy!


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

To Do Tuesday at Home Sewn By Us
Mid-week Makers at Quilt Fabrication
Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter
Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework
Sunday Stash at QuiltPaintCreate
Patchwork & Quilts at The Quilting Patch
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
Scrap Happy Saturday at Super Scrappy

Friday, October 16, 2020

Finishes... Finally!

 It seems like it has be eons since I shared an actual finish!  Truth be told, I really have had several, but there was secret sewing involved and custom quilts delivered without "finish" photos, so I had to wait... and wait... and WAIT.  Lol!

First up was the baby quilt of "Papa's T's" - Papa sacrificed six of his Harley Davidson t-shirts.  I rushed to get it finished before Grandma and Papa made the trip to visit Greyson, but as promised, Grandma sent photos!

I think that the first story Papa shared with Greyson about his ride to Silverton, CO and the little guy is already planning his first ride there.

Below is the back of the quilt featuring some fun novelty fabric of vintage license plates...

He seems to love it as much as Grandma and Papa did! 💖

Next up was the pattern test of "Wild Blossoms" by Jen Shaffer at Patterns By Jen...  the pattern is available in four sizes.  I tested the baby size that is 36" square.

The borders and the backing are from some fabric that my sweet sister-in-love so kindly shared with me after I expressed my love for it (read that as I was drooling over the luscious goodiness of the flannel tie-dyed stuff.)  It was the inspiration for the color choices of this quilt. 

I selected a solid purple, but used random scrappy teals and turquoises for the contrasting color.  I chose to do a "big stitch" binding to finish the quilt.  

At the current time, this quilt is hanging out in my "inventory" until the perfect recipient is revealed.  

It may be for the new grand-baby that we are expecting in May.  Look at the adorable "announcement" 🠊
Finish number 3 was another t-shirt quilt.  It was another graduation gift and was just delivered this week, via USPS.

And here's how it looks on her bed... Perfect!  She loves it, by the way. 💗

Last up is another pattern test... though it is not a completed quilt, it IS a completed flimsy.  The Shattered Star was designed by Shannon at Shannon Fraser Designs.  In fact, she just kicked off at Shattered Star Sew Along!  
Recently my husband requested a quilt to sit atop the work table in his shop.  Ok, his work generates a lot of dust, metal chips and various oils and cleaning products... not the ideal place for a quilt to live.   

But what he requested was for one side to be a solid grey with the business logo on it with the idea that it would be used for photos of the various projects he works on. This Shattered Star top will be the reverse side of the logo.  It has been placed on the To-Do list and is working its way to the top.

Well there you go... my big finishes that can finally be shared!  There is one more that was another pattern test but has not been released yet.  Here's a little teaser...

Happy Friday!


Have you ever, like me, delivered a quilt and then realized that you didn't get any photos of the finished quilt?  What do you do to remedy the problem?  

Most of the time I let it go, but I am so thrilled that I didn't "let it go" with Papa's T's.  Leave a comment... I love to talk with my readers. 

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

Linking with:
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

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Check-in of Tuesday's Two

 Has it really been only a week since I last posted???  It flew by!  Yet there was so much that went on...

My To-Do List consisted of...

❧ Piecing the top for the third memory quilt in a month. 

❧ Write the last Kansas City Star quilt block pattern.

Did I meet those two goals?  I can answer with a resounding "Yes!"

Though there were plenty of distractions along the way, I completed both tasks just yesterday... well, last night.  For me to continue working of "quilty" projects into the evening is unusual, but the daunting task of that last block pattern was staring me in the face since I put it out there for the world to read.  I still need to proof-read and send off to the testers, I can confidently say "It is DONE!".  

As I considered why I had been putting it off I realized that while the Pieces From The Past Sew Along continues into March of next year, writing that final pattern drove home the reality that it is 2/3 complete. 

It is like reading a good book for many... when the final pages of a book are read and the back cover closed and set aside, there is a brief time of mourning.  I know this is the case for me, anyway.  Missing the characters of the book I usually have to pause for a day or so before picking up a new book with a new story-line and characters.  But now is not the time for that pause...

I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know my ever-increasing audience, the various participants of the sew along and pattern testers as the series has progressed.  You have all become special friends to me!  And I am not ready for it to be over.  So, with resolve, I will continue to pour my heart into the writing of the stories and history featured in the series and savor each moment along the way.

The t-shirt quilt offered a good distraction from the pattern writing as well.  I participated in the Saturday Sew-In over at The Inquiring Quilter and was happy to share that I had the top pieced and ready for borders by the end of Saturday.

So, the pattern writing and the pieced top were completed between Saturday and Monday... what happened to the days prior to Saturday???

We ran away!  We ran to the mountains and the San Isabel National Forest.  

Our view was spectacular!  The same view as when we were there in May, but in the full glory of fall colors.  The golden glow of the aspens was nearly blinding when in the center of a grove.  The reds of the scrub oak or oak brush was stunning.

Last year we had hiked the road toward the top of the mountain, but gave up before reaching the top.  Dave was insistent that we could make it to the top... I was game for a long day's hike with a packed lunch.  He preferred the idea of making the journey in the truck using 4-wheel drive.  

I was unsure and bit of a nervous wreck inside, but simply stated "if you really think we can make it safely, ok." **gulp** 😖  

We did indeed make it to the end of the road.  There was not a big open meadow as he had suspected.  Instead, the road just ended.  There was a small campfire ring made of stones that had been used sometime in the past.  We contemplated setting up camp and making the journey down in the morning... Dave decided it was better to make our way down after enjoying the view and our lunch.

We began the journey down the hill and the screaming in my head was deafening.  Dave was carefully and slowly maneuvering our way back down the trail and I was shocked to realize the journey UP was less scary than the going DOWN.  **whimper**  We were through the worst of the hairpin turns and rocks when suddenly there was a strange sound... a rock had punctured the side wall of the right rear tire and losing air fast.

Dave calmly climbed out of the truck and began the process of changing the tire with even thinking about it or grumbling.  Which is a good thing because there was plenty of grumbling and whining going on in my own mind for the two of us. (I can laugh now, but it was not funny at the time.)

When we returned to our campsite it was only about 3:30 but I needed a small glass of wine to help me loosen up and relax. I grabbed one of my Camping Journal postcard blocks and within a few minutes I felt better.  Dave had commented "well, that was fun!"  I just looked at him and he was like "wasn't it?"  I replied with "it was an adventure.  I'm not sure I would call it fun!"  I kept stitching... 

Here are the two blocks I finished... the palm tree is representing our visit to Pelican Island while in Galveston, TX earlier this year, and the Canyonland is for one of our nights at Mills Canyon in April.

The time for camping season is drawing to a close, but we are hopeful that we will be able to head south (maybe to Palo Duro near Amarillo, TX) for a few days before the camper comes off the truck for the winter... Oh, but wait... Dave and his buddy may be headed out for a deer season at the end of October.  Hmmmmm.... maybe we can sneak another trip to the south in November. I can be hopeful anyway.  I suppose the season has to end sometime.  **sigh**

Time to head to my studio and get something done.  What will it be?

❧ Ten postcards for the second postcard swap hosted by my friend, Mark Montano.  These cards will feature some quilted fabric scraps with words of affirmation and quotes from Anne of Green Gables.  The cards have to be in Mark's possession by November 1.

❧  I'll be writing again... the next letter and pattern for the sew along will be published October 22.

❧  If the red flannel backing for the t-shirt quilt arrives, I'll be quilting that as well.

There you go folks!  You were the precise motivation I needed to meet my goals.  By my simply putting it out there for the world to see gave me focus.  Thanks for holding me accountable!

What are YOU working on this week?  

Leave a comment... I 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:

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

Monday, October 5, 2020

Letters - Present and Past


A few weeks ago I received a "soft package" in the mail, unexpectedly.  It was from our friend Susan.  Dave and I were honored to be able to assist her last summer when her husband, Dave's college roomie, passed away suddenly.  She was left with a basement full of tools and equipment that she didn't know what to do with or what their value was.  

We made a quick trip to Lincoln, Nebraska to create an inventory list with actual values as well as realistic re-sale values.  But while there, Susan, who is also a quilter, and I managed to sneak away for an afternoon with a third friend from a nearby town and visited the International Quilt Museum.

The entire story of that trip is told over on "In Memory Of".

In August, Susan and her daughter had taken a vacation road trip to Colorado to visit one of her husband's sisters and we had planned on making arrangements for a meet-up somewhere in between where they were staying and where we live, but the timing and our schedule simply did not allow it.

She shared in her letter that while with her sister-in-law they had visited several quilting shops during the "shop hop" week and that she thought of me.  Upon her return home she had once again visited the "First Friday" event at the IQM and recalled our visit the year before and purchased a fat-quarter that "caught her eye" with the museum's logo on it.

What a sweet note... It certainly brought a smile to my face!  Now I just need to have some sort of great and inspired idea to use it.

Speaking of letters...

Last week I published another POW letter and Kansas City Star quilt block.  The author of this particular letter had been featured in a magazine article in 2009 telling of his parent's fleeing East Prussia during WWII.  

The article was discovered by my letter translator, Amy and it states that the testimonies of the war and post-war events were typed up by the Grandsons of Walter Hesselbarth - Klaus' sons.  I had expressed my desire to locate the Hesselbarth family...

And just a few hours after publishing the letter/pattern I had a message from a reader stating that she had located an obituary for him from 2012, but it included the son's name and mailing address.

In hopes that he has not moved, I wrote a letter telling him of his father's letter requesting assistance with cashing a check and receiving some provisions - Tobacco and cigarettes, specifically.  

With fingers crossed and a little prayer whispered, I sent it off.  

How long does it take for a letter to make it from the United States to Albstadt, Germany???  According to my quick search, the average delivery time is 12.9 days.  Is this total days?  Or is it business days?

I guess I need to keep busy and a bit distracted for at least the next 10 days.

I have had some recent finishes and some secret sewing with pattern testing.  But I will leave that for another post...

My To-Do list this week will include:

❧ Piecing the top for the third memory quilt in a month.  This one features some college shirts from football and dance team events.  I have the blocks backed with fusible stabilizer so piecing it shouldn't take much time.

What else???  Sadly, I think I will be spending less time in my studio than I would like, but sometimes there are simply tasks that MUST get done... 

The Sew Along posts and stories do not write themselves... neither do the patterns.  

I have just one pattern left to write and I have been putting it off because... well, there are just a lot of little pieces to it and I really have not been in the mood...  Piecing is much more fun than writing... BUT I MUST GET IT DONE.  Quit procrastinating Melva!  So I am putting it out there... 

❧ Write the last Kansas City Star quilt block pattern.

I probably should clean house... and I hope that we can sneak away to the mountains before all of the aspen leaves drop.  Wasn't it just a few weeks ago I was feeling really ambitious???

I think I have asked this before, but... 

What do you do to get motivated to tackle a task that you have put off long enough?

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

Want to help me stay distracted?  Search your archives for some quilts that you completed during October of any year prior to 2020 and link up photos or blog posts in my Throwback Thursday Linky Party.  Show me some eye candy and let's celebrate some fantastic finishes from years gone by.

Piece Out,


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

Linking with:
To Do Tuesday at Home Sewn By Us 

Friday, October 2, 2020

Throwback Thursday - October

We have turned another page on our calendars to yet another month and somehow we have arrived in October!

Welcome to the October Throwback Linky Party!

it is time to share some of your October finishes from prior years...

Here are a few of my favorites.

The Harry Potter quilt was a gift in 2019 for our youngest daughter, who is a BIG HP fan and her husband, who really isn't... My compromise was to make one side for her and one for him. ;)

Magical Harry Potter Reversible Quilt

This well loved quilt was in need of some major repairs... 
Major Quilt Repair
follow the link below to see what it looked like when it arrived in my studio in 2016...

Time for you to share!  Don't forget to come back throughout the month to see what others are sharing as well.

Quilt Happy!

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