Tuesday, November 24, 2020

To Do... #1 Give Thanks

 Last week's list...



✔  Sew on a label - it still needs a name, but I will wait for the little guy to arrive for that. 






✔  Postcard blocks - As I had anticipated, I didn't get very far with this one while we were away... but I took the time to finish it yesterday as I recouped from our time away and a busy weekend.  

This little hummingbird still needs an eye embroidered, but I think he turned out pretty cute!

Our time away was fun, wild and crazy and boy do we have stories to tell!  lol.


In the Purgatoire River bed at the bottom of Picket Wire Canyon is a trail of dinosaur tracks.  This, in my mind, was the ultimate destination.  However, it was a good distance...


And the other sign that was at the trailhead was a bit daunting...



We descended on foot on the first afternoon... thinking confidently that we would be able to make it to the Mission.  Ummmm... didn't happen.  We did make it to an abandoned homestead.

And were able to scout out the path prior to our trek with the bikes.  The next day we were loaded up with lunches, snacks and lots of water.


The sign at the top of the trail suggested we be prepared for flats... We were!  Two spare tubes and a patch kit with six "scabs".  We'll be good...


I was concerned about my tires because the back tire is nearly bald from our trip down the mountain at Telluride last year (another crazy idea/adventure!)  We enjoyed the ride once we reached the bottom of the canyon, visited the homestead a bit more and then headed toward the Mission.  Sadly, the first flat came before we reached it.  


We used the pump and ride as far as you can method until we found some shade.  


We had made the pact at the on-set, "when one walks, we all walk".



We made the necessary swap out of a tube and we were on our way once again.  With a few more "distractions" before we reached the Mission site, we laughed and talked along the way.  It was a much needed time of socializing that we all needed.  


After taking in the scenery and inspecting some of the gravestones we were on the move again.



A few more "walking sessions" took place because the tires were leaking nearly as fast as they were getting filled, but at long last we arrived at the dinosaur tracks!









Since we were by the river, we took advantage of the water and found/repaired the punctured tubes so that we could make our way back out of the canyon... after all, remember, it was MANDATORY!

While we were there we ran into another hiker who told us about a "shortcut" back out.  We were up for it, but in the end, I'm not sure it was a shortcut.  While it may have cut off some distance, it was rigorous and rough!  The trail was a single track and it was impossible to keep the bike on the path AND walk in the path.  We were dodging cactus on the left and the right and at one point it became rocky, rough and narrow.  So much so that we had to carry our bikes through a section.  
It was rOuGh... but we made it to the rim of the canyon! Woohoo!


And then it happened... one more flat tire - this one on Dave's bike. 😭  We had no more patches and we had taken the bad tubes and lined the tires of the "problem" bike to reduce the occurrence of the flats.  We resumed the pump and ride fast and as far as you can.  We had sent our friends on ahead for the truck to pick us up.
Keith arrived with his "chariot" when we were just .7 miles from camp.  Dave refused to give in so close... He had stopped to pump for one last time and the pin that held the handle in place had fallen out.  *UGH*  We were so close.  As Dave pushed his bike to the back of the truck the missing pin was found... laying in the middle of the road!  We were back in business.

Oh. My. Gosh... We made it back on our own wheels! Wow!

After consuming copious amounts of water we celebrated with some happy hour beverages and watched the sun set again.  It was gorgeous!


So... never think that you are over prepared... and always give thanks!

As for my To-Do list for next week?  

#1 Give thanks and enjoy Thanksgiving Day with our little family on Thursday.

#2  Spend a little time in the studio doing something creative... I have no idea what, but, I will certainly find SOMEthing.

Be blessed and stay safe!


 
Melva


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
To Do Tuesday at Home Sewn By Us
Mid-week Makers at Quilt Fabrication
Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter
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, November 17, 2020

Ta-Dah! Tuesday

 I set forth my list of To Do's and they all became Ta-Dah's!  I love a productive week...

I'll be wrapping up the table topper with our business logo


I love the way it looks! And the win-win is that when Dave wants to do photos of the the guns he builds or restores there is no need for watermarking the photos.



He did tell me that it is too nice to be left on the table between shoots so it will be protected from grease and oil stains.  

Just look at all that texture!  Though it seemed to take forever to do the acres of stippling, it was worth it. 

And the 80% cotton batting, after washing and drying it, adds to it!





 Releasing the next Pieces From The Past block - #15 - The Maple Leaf Block - a super simple pattern that is a very traditional and a family recipe for pinto beans that ties into the letter from former Prisoner of War, Erich Vogel. 

This is a hotpad that I made using the pattern...  I love the effect of the printed background and "disappearing" leaf.



 Starting a baby quilt for a special young lady we have known for about 20 years.  

Not only did I start it, I finished it.  The center panel featuring Tigger says "Let's Go Explore".  The quilt is a small one... perfect for a newborn baby and tummy time.

❧I'll be sewing on a label before sending it off... one of the projects I'll be taking with me as we run off for one final camping trip for the year.

We'll be headed to a canyon that has dinosaur tracks in it - The Picketwire Trail.  

❧I'll take along a few more postcard blocks to stitch, but honestly, I don't know how much time I will have for that since the trail to the bottom of the canyon is 5 miles one way.  I may be too tired when we get back to camp.  

No other great plans other than trying out a new No Guilt::Go Quilt recipe for Creamy Chicken tortilla Soup.  I'll be making a few adjustments to it so that is falls within my dietary restrictions, but that won't be hard.  Omit the corn and stir in dairy free cream cheese rather than sour cream.


With the holiday season looming just around the corner I decided to pull some pretty fabric out of storage and make some wraps to sell.  A tutorial to make them is available on Marie Bostwick's blog.   

As Marie said... "I saw a pretty ruana in a local boutique with a $129 price tag, then I had an epiphany…

Hey! I can make these myself!"

And make them I did... I had enough fabric for six... and I have sold five already (at a much more affordable price).  As my sister-in-law stated... this is perfect symphony attire - if they ever start up again.  

And two of my friends purchased some as Christmas gifts for family members.  

Thank you to everyone who supports a small business!

Are you making Christmas gifts?
What are you making???  I'd love to hear your ideas.

Stay calm and keep quilting,

Melva

Melva Loves Scraps - Home of the Pieces From The Past Sew Along
that features vintage Kansas City Star quilt blocks!
Linking with:
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
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
Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework
Sunday Stash at QuiltPaintCreate
Patchwork & Quilts at The Quilting Patch
Scrap Happy Saturday at Super Scrappy
UFO Busting at Tish’s Wonderland

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Veterans Day - Remembrance Day

Rudolf Kasulke   



As I prepare another pattern and letter release for the Pieces From The Past Sew Along I cannot help but remember the former German Prisoners of War that worked at my Grandparent's farm in Model, CO.  How the men that happened to be associated with an army known for doing atrocious acts and exhibited poor humane treatment to so many citizens viewed to be "lesser" than others.







Gotthart Hauswald
So many of the men only wanted to live a good life and treat others with kindness - the same kind of treatment and hospitality that they received while at the Schleich farm.  That was evidenced by the numerous letters stating that they recalled their good memories of the time at the farm to sustain them in their current deplorable conditions that they returned to post WWII.  Details of those conditions can be seen by clicking the link above.


I know that the "holiday" was created to commemorate the ending of the Great War, now know and referred to WWI... 


I recalled that while Phillip never served in the US Military, he did complete the Draft Registration Card on September 12, 1918 at the age of 20 years.


If you recall, he and Katherine did not even become Naturalized US Citizens until December 1942 and June 1943... yet his commitment and allegiance to the United States was evident decades before by this act.  Of this, I am quite proud.







My Dad and Uncle Leroy both served in the 1950s...  




Veterans of all branches and eras, I honor you with this short video that touched me when I saw it for the first time more than 10 years ago...

Thank you for your service.


God Bless,

Melva






Monday, November 9, 2020

All A "To-do" Over What To Do

 The past week has been tumultuous for a deeply divided America... I know many people that enjoy the "adult coloring books" and many of my friends would think that I, as a quilter and quasi-artist, would enjoy them as well.  Truth be told... they sTrEsS me OUT!  and this is exactly what I would have done to a page this week had I been given one...


And just this morning I sent this to a friend... 


I retreated to my studio for some "therapy" on Friday to applique our business logo onto a quilt and again Saturday afternoon to begin quilting it.  I was tense and frustrated AND the wind had been blowing and gusting.  I just could not seem to get into a nice rhythm... My mind kept focusing on other things.  The stippling looked fine, but I was experiencing thread breaks far too often.  I did make some decent progress, despite feeling like I still had acres of area to finish... a brisk walk probably would have helped... but... did I mention that the high winds kept me from that?  *sigh*

I called it a day and shut down for the day to join my husband for an early happy hour.  It was Saturday after all. 🍺🍷

Sunday after lunch we did go for a walk... the wind speeds had reduced some and it was a pleasurable journey.  Upon my return I made my way back to the studio and resumed stippling the remaining vacant acres of area.  I was much more relaxed and calm and I didn't have a single thread break!  

I finished the circle area of stippling and decided to stitch in free-motion feathers on the outer edge of the circle.

I marveled at the fact that there was such a difference in the two quilting sessions.  Have you ever noticed such a difference yourself?

Do you have any tips or tricks to remedy such tension problems?

I will continue the stippling on the remaining 1/2 acre of area.  but I need to cautious about sitting for extended periods of time... too long of a session and my left hip screams obnoxiously at me.  

Speaking of obnoxious screaming...  I recently asked one of the EPP groups for tips and suggestions about what to do.  "I have been experiencing pain in my left hand, specifically my index finger joint and radiating up to my wrist.  Any suggestions to alleviate the pain?  Other than giving up the hand sewing?"

I have had a few suggestions such as a compression glove and stretching.  A few years ago I came across a link for stretching exercises for sewers and I was recently sent this one on hand health.

Do you suffer as well?  Do you have tips and suggestions on relieving the hand or hip discomfort that I experience?  

I am open to suggestions and will certainly be consulting our youngest daughter who is a Physical Therapist Assistant the next time I see her.

❧ I'll be wrapping up this special project this week...

Other items on the agenda will include...

❧ Releasing the next Pieces From The Past block - #15 - a super simple pattern that is a very traditional and a family recipe that ties into the letter from former Prisoner of War, Erich Vogel. 

❧  Starting a baby quilt for a special young lady we have known for about 20 years.  

Piece Out,

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

Sunday Stash at QuiltPaintCreate
Patchwork & Quilts at The Quilting Patch
Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
To Do Tuesday at Home Sewn By Us
Mid-week Makers at Quilt Fabrication
Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter

Thursday, November 5, 2020

November Throwback Thursday

It difficult to believe that the end of the year is just around the corner!  Raise your hand if you want to recall years past when we could come and go as we pleased, gathered with friends and family without concern about how many could be present and we didn't need a mask to enter businesses!  πŸ™‹

Well, we can dream, right?  

While we're at it... let's take a look back at some of the special November finishes we have had and may have let slip our minds.  

From 2015 this Broken Star quilt was quite the challenge!

Read the full story here...

It was a kit that was 30 years old and transferred from one person to another and lived in various closets before it reached my studio.  It was partially assembled with inconsistent seams on top of the fact that the pre-cut pieces varied in size, some by as much a 1/4"! You can get the full story by clicking on the photo.

The Pumpkin Patch Table runner was a fun log cabin style block that was included in Quiltmaker's Volume 16 of their 100 Blocks publication.  I included several yummy pumpkin recipes in the post so you may want to check it out.

Pumpkin Log Table Runner

Now it is your turn... Let's see your fabulous finishes from previous Novembers!  Did you see October's?    Shannon and Turid shared some beauties...

Show some love to your long, forgotten finishes,

Melva


Monday, November 2, 2020

OCC Sewing & 500th Post Celebration/Give Away

 As I had planned last week I have been a busy little elf in the studio creating some special WOW gifts for our church's Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes. 

✔  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.

 As it turned out, I have had extra time... let me explain.

On Thursday we received a message stating that our son-in-law had reported for his mandatory bi-weekly covid test on Monday.  The results revealed a positive.  Ummm... we had just delivered the kiddos home on Sunday night, so in reality, there was a very real chance that one of the grands could test positive as well.  For the sake of others, we have been self-isolating until all test results are in.

Am I concerned for my health?  Not really.  Our daughter (the Momma of those sweet children) was sick 12 months ago.  Really, really sick with a bronchial infection and flu like symptoms that antibiotics and steroid treatments did nothing to help.  

It became our suspicion in March and April that she had the virus pre-pandemic.  Our suspicions were proven to be true when she donated blood in May after they started testing for the CV-19 antibodies to make convalescent plasma to use as treatment for covid positive patients... her donation was positive.  Meaning... the kids, who had also been slightly ill at the same time as her, have also already been exposed.

**UPDATE** All tests for the grands and their Momma were negative.  Our son-in-law still has no symptoms.  We all good!

None the less, out of respect for those that fear a possible exposure we have been home since receiving the news.


As of Monday morning, I have 6 pairs of shorts for boys and 16 skirts for girls of various sizes and colors.  I grew bored with skirts and moved on to making 12 hair scrunchies - using the last of the small elastic that I had in my stash. 

Up next are infinity scarves and light/sheer/frilly scarves for little girls. 

What else have I done?  

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

I had made a large shopping trip prior to the news of our son-in-law's test results with plans to prep crockpot freezer meals.  I have 16 meals ready for the making allowing ample opportunities for some No Guilt::Go Quilt days in my future!

I haven't had any new recipes for some time.  I have not tried this Chicken Curry recipe, mostly because I don't care for curry, but the reviews on it were good, and there may be readers out there that have different tastes that myself.


 
✔  I filled an order for three therapeutic rice bags for a customer...  Each bag has a flannel cover that is machine washable for sanitary purposes. :)



✔  I did some deep cleaning... woohoo (spoken in an unenthusiastic tone with an eye roll)

And now... for the celebration and give away!  A few weeks ago I was doing some updating of the blog (did you notice I created a tab at the top for the Pieces From The Past Sew Along?) and I saw that I was approaching 500 posts.  I reflected back to when I started the blog in 2013 and how my quilting skills have improved, and how the writing and content of my posts have morphed into story telling. No need to go looking... I'm actually a bit embarrassed... but it is our past that shapes and makes us who we are today.


In clearing out some old pattern books I came across this little gem featuring some fun, folk-art type patterns featuring wool, flannel and plaids.  If there is one thing I have learned through the Pieces From The Past Sew Along, it is that the choice of fabric style and colors bring new life to something vintage making it modern and new!  

I personally lean toward this kind of primitive/traditional but I have learned from many of you that bright and bold can be just as fun.   

 I can already envision that sampler wall hanging with bright colors indicative of the Northern Lights with big stitch quilting.  

So, for a chance to win this pattern book, leave a comment by November 8th 11:59 p.m. (MST) on how you found my blog and how you follow me... 
There are a variety of ways!  Via e-mail (you can sign up in the right hand margin), bloglovin', facebook and instagram.

Be sure to leave an email address if you are an anonymous or no-reply commenter so that I can contact you.  fyi, I do not have a mailing list nor will I sell your contact info to anyone.  Your privacy is respected here...

My apologies, but the winner must have a US mailing address. 

Piece Happy!

Melva
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
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