Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Best Of and Year-End Review

 As I have prepared for this post and reviewed the activities of the year I am filled with joy and gratitude... despite of the strangeness of the year with unrest and division of "camps" with the political, social, medical and financial ups and downs, twists and turns and unknowns.

I think I have mentioned previously that a friend told me years ago that I was an optimistic pessimist... all because I plan for the worst, but hope for the best.  Life is far too short to dwell on the hardships of life... when life gives you scraps, make QUILTS!  

I believe with all my heart that I am not the only quilter that lives by this quote!  So many of us dove into our stash to make masks earlier in the year... creating more scraps for even more quilts!  

As I recalled the various quilts I made this year (20 in total all in varying sizes from postcard to King-sized) by looking through my digital photo albums I thought of each recipient that was on the receiving end of them.  Words cannot express the joy I felt when I saw or heard of their reactions when they saw their memories recreated into a quilt for the first time.  Several of them were t-shirt memory quilts, one was a quilt that told the story of a family's legacy, and one that made me feel as though I was crawling up into the lap of my Grandma Schleich -  the Pieces From The Past Sew Along Quilt.

Top Five?  In order of popularity???  Aside from the obvious Pieces From the Past Posts, (and the 500th Post celebration with a give away) it is as follows:

5)    Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Happiness featuring an improv pieced 5"x7" mini-quilt mug rug

4)    Live Love Laugh ~ another mini-quilt using half-hexies and free-motion to replicate the sound waves of laughter

3)    A Time For All Seasons ~  The finish of the Block of the month hosted by Sew Incredibly Crazy & Friends

2)    Masks from Fishes & Loaves ~ When I thought I had reached the end of my elastic supply there was more to be found... I also found some much needed inspiration and creativity.

1)    Feeling Ambitious ~ When I felt as though I was stuck in a rut, with the help of Roseanne and Sue over at Home Sewn By Us, and their linky party for weekly planning, I had overcame that rut, but then just bit off more than I could handle.  There is just something about "announcing" a plan for the coming week that can help to keep moving forward.  Though it is important to remember that sometimes life happens and the plan doesn't go as well as you thought, but you can pick up where you left off and move forward... and there are still friends that offer encouraging words and pats on the back to get you going again.

As part of the year-end review it is customary to review the goals that had been determined... What were they?  

1)  Host the Pieces From the Past Sew Along

2)  Finish Scrap Dance Minuet Mystery Quilt and 2019 BOMs

3)  Further experimentation with Eco-Printing

4)  Continue with my Camping Journal Quilt

Did I successfully accomplish them???

The Pieces From the Past Sew Along had its kick-off in January.  To date, I have published 17 of the 20 blocks.  There is still time to join the fun.  With permission from C&T Publishing, the patterns are free and released every three weeks.  The blocks vary in sizes and techniques as well as skill levels, from beginner friendly to more challenging.  No need to be afraid of the most difficult blocks because I have included alternative blocks that can used as an option.  Most of the blocks take about an hour to piece, some a little longer... but there is still lots of time before the wrap-up in March.

To date, I have had 322 participants download patterns from 19 different countries.  And I have loved seeing the variety of blocks that have been linked up on the blog for the fat-quarter give away with each post.  From the traditional 1930s fabrics to modern, bright & brilliant colors and prints.  Each one is so unique and I look forward to seeing the finished quilts.  

I did successfully complete the scrap dance minuet, the 2019 color challenge and the Time For All Seasons quilts...

I did not get to experiment with the Eco-Printing.  😥  This was something that I had wanted to continue with my friend Kayleen and the timing just never worked out.  I did, however, use some of the amazing fabric we dyed in The Legacy Quilt - the commissioned, king-sized quilt for my friend's God-son.  You can read the entire story, the meanings of blocks and the reason for selecting them, colors and more details by following the high-lighted link above.

The Camping Journal grew by 37 blocks this year!  I continued using some of the blocks from Fiona Sandwich, but designed a few of my own as well.  We camped 25 nights at 12 different locations between February and November.  We enjoyed hiking and biking, just the two of us and a few times with friends.  Memories made every. single. time!

The year end reviews from instagram are always fun to look at... here are my top 9 and annual color analysis...

I just love the bubbles of color!  So me! Mostly calm and mellow colors with small, bright colors that pop.  And the top 9 pics reveal my sense of humor and love for Mrs. Bobbins as well as my quiet moments of meditation and encouragement.

Now that I have reviewed my year I need to begin looking forward to a new start with a new calendar year.  Aside from 2013 when Dave made a career change from college professor to being self-employed,  and the loss of my Dad, 2020 has  been one of the harder years we have faced together... and we are excited to see what 2021 has to hold for us.  

One thing for certain... well, two, but one is we cannot contain our joy about welcoming an new grand-daughter in May!

Who knew 6 years ago when I made these little shirts for our first grand-daughter, Emma, that we would end up with three little ladies to love???

The other thing we know?  Whatever may come our way, God will good from it.

What are YOU looking forward to in 2021?

Leave a comment... you know I love to hear from all of you!

As I sign off I share the wisdom from a yogi tea tag... "Peace of mind comes piece by piece."

I'll be working on that piece by piece... Happy New Year!


Linking with:

To Do Tuesday at Home Sewn By Us
Best of 2020 at Meadow Mist Designs
Mid-week Makers at Quilt Fabrication
Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter
Needle & Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation
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

Friday, December 25, 2020

Christmas Blessings To You

 Because quilters are some of the most generous and kind people on this earth...

A Quilter's Night Before Christmas
(author unknown)

'Twas the night before Christmas,
And the quilts were not made.
The threads were all tangled, the cookies delayed.
The stocking weren't hung, the pantry was bare.
The poor weary Quilter, was tearing her hair.
Stacks of fat quarters, tipped over in streams.
Visions of Log Cabins, had turned into dreams.

When what to her wondering eyes should appear,
But a bus full of quilters with all of their gear.
They went straight to work with just a few mutters,
Sorting and stitching and brandishing cutters.
The patterns emerged from all of the clutter,
Like magic the fabrics arranged in a flutter.
Log Cabins, Lone Stars, Flying Geese & Bear Tracks
Each quilt was a beauty-even the backs.

Her house how it twinkled, her quilts how they glowed.
The cookies were baking, the stockings were sewed.
Their work was all done, so they folded their frames,
And packed up their needles, without giving their names.
They boarded the bus, and checked the next address.
More quilts to be made, another quilter in distress.

She heard one voice echo, as they drove out of sight,
Happy quilting to all and to all a good night!

In case you missed it... I released Block #17 - Double Cross - of the Pieces From The Past Sew Along on December 23rd... an early gift to you!  

I know that the holiday season is typically very busy and you may have had to set aside the blocks for this sew along.  But I want to let you know that I have extended the link-up deadline for Block #16 - The Corner Star Block - to January 1.  

And... if you are late in joining the fun, it is NOT TOO LATE!
All of the letters, stories and blocks are still available by selecting the tab at the top of the page for the Pieces From The Past Sew Along.

There are just three more blocks to be made before the sew along wraps up in March.  Where has the time gone?  

May your day be blessed and joyful,

Merry Christmas!


Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Pieces From The Past - The Double Cross Quilt

Today's letter is from C.M. Lankau, typewritten and easy to read...

As the year nears the end of 1947, just a few months short of 2 years from when Camp Trinidad was shut down, it would seem that those that that lived in the Russian Zone of Germany were among those that struggled the most.  With the lack of housing and food and the harsh winters must have seemed unimaginable and mind-boggling!  It also seems fortunate for Mr. Lankau that his wife had relocated OUT of the Russian Zone, yet times are still hard... and he doesn't want to dwell upon the harshness of life for them.

Rather, he draws upon his memories to sustain and recall a more pleasant time and space.  Mr. Lankau and his family were among the fortunate families to be able to start over in a new area... and to have received one of the often requested CARE packages!

He wrote of the package coming from the Winger's, who had a 600-acre farm near Trinidad.  The Winger's were not among the names that my family would recall when talking about living in Model, but the Winger's were recalled by Ernst Ruehr in his letter to Phillip and Katie that accompanied the Flower Garden block.

There is an interesting bit of a story connected to the Winger farm and a story that made  the New York Times headlines in November 1943.  The story announced the "discovery of a hidden electrically lighted 150-foot tunnel leading beyond the outer fence".  

"Fully 65 feet outside the fence, it was covered by foliage growing in a dirt-filled box, which could be lifted out by men escaping.  The entrance to the tunnel was located beneath a trap door in a closet of a barracks building in the German Officers' Compound." 
The tunnel had been completed in early September, two months earlier.  When the tunnel's exit was discovered after several escapes some crude tools were found - a small scoop which was a part of a common fire shovel, a five-foot long furnace or stove poke that was badly bent, and an improvised wooden trough about a yard long and 10 inches wide, obviously used to remove the dirt from the excavation.  The men had also equipped a glove light on an extension cord to see what they were doing.

After investigating, it was revealed that an unknown number of prisoners worked for approximately 26 days to complete the tunnel.  The entrance of the tunnel was under the floorboards of a closet in the room and covered by a trap door on which were piled coal, boxes and other movable objects. 

Here are a few details of the tunnel and escapes as recounted in Prisoners of War at Camp Trinadad, Colorado 1943 - 1946 by Kurt Landsberger...

"Due to the length of the tunnel we needed light and illumination as well as the capability of taking out all the soil dug up.  Normally, such tools were not available to POWs.  Every day the American soldiers came in with their jeeps and trucks for the daily head count and to bring in the supply of food.  From them we obtained screwdrivers, pliers, claw hammers and rope.  Empty wooden barrels, formerly filled with butter, were rebuilt into a wooden sled on which we could place empty food cans.

Inside the wooden roof of each barracks were electric cables to light up the various rooms.  We had sufficient material on hand since each barracks was about 20 meters long and had three electric cables.  One was a ground cable which carried no electricity and therefore was available for our tunnel construction.  We helped ourselves to switches, sockets and bulbs from various empty or unused barracks."

"Digging was not done in the dark.  Electricity was provided by the cable, switches, sockets and bulbs.  This resulted in a well-functioning  lighting and emergency signaling system.  The lights could be turned on and off by a switch hidden in the closet.  If there was an unexpected and sudden roll call and head count, the lights were turned on and off three times.  This meant rush back.  If flashed on and off twice it meant stop using the hammer, someone was on the POW's walking path.  When the light was switched once, that meant everything was OK again.  A second electrical circuit was installed at the end of the tunnel to provide signaling capabilities from there too."

A side note here::  My Maternal Great-Grandfather, Ralph D. Werden was contracted to install electrical services to the POW Camp in early 1943.

He was was a licensed electrician in the community from 1921 into the 1960s.  For an individual to have a  personal tie to Camp Trinidad on both sides of the family is something that can only happen in a small community!

The connection to the Winger farm was through three Japanese-American sisters employed by L.T. Winger.  These sisters may have been "accomplices" to the escape.  It is a complicated and heartbreaking story of distrust and mistreatment because of one's heritage.   The Shitara sisters, known in the contemporary press as “the Nisei Sisters,” were prisoners at the Amache concentration camp.  By Executive Order 9066, over 7,000 Japanese, most being American citizens, were forcibly imprisoned at the Granada Relocation Center in Granada, Colorado from 1942-45 - Camp Amache, about 2-1/2 hours from Camp Trinidad.  The Shitara Sisters had been hired out to work at the Winger Farm and, because of the distance, resided on-site.  They met the German POWs when they too had been hired by L.T. Winger.

From WestWord - "Haider, an Austrian, told the women he’d spent time in a German concentration camp for opposing Hitler and then was forced into military service; he hoped to escape in order to get away from the hard-core Nazis in the POW camp and join freedom fighters in Europe.  Three of the sisters agreed to help him. They arranged for him to pick up civilian clothing and maps on his next visit to the farm. The night of Haider’s escape, they met him and a fellow escapee on the road outside the camp and drove them to New Mexico in a borrowed automobile."  This was the third and last escape from the POW Camp.  

During their trial, the third treason trial of World War II, the sisters’ race, class, and sex all worked against them as the nation watched.  You can read much more of the details on this case on the Colorado Encyclopedia and Enduring Communities web-sites.

Upon Haider's and the other prisoner's return to Trinidad, "we were treated according to the Geneva Convention Article 104, and sentenced to 30 days in prison with bread and water."

"Irony of fate:  in the same prison were the three American tower guards, since we claimed that they must have been asleep as we climbed the fence.  We had decided on that story since we did not want to betray our tunnel.  The American guards suffered a much harsher treatment; a year and a half of prison and dishonorable discharges.  Therefore we were glad when our 30 days were over; however, our conscience bothered us and we felt somewhat guilty for the fate of the young Amis."

Haider had attended a reunion years later in 1964, and stated "My most important task was to make amends and to rehabilitate the three guards punished wrongly, and the officers present promised to take this up with the proper authorities.  Later we received notification that their records had been cleared retroactively."  

How interesting that Mr. Winger would send a CARE package... perhaps he to was offering some sort of restitution or correction to the unfortunate punishment and unfair trial that the Shitara sisters had endured.

Mr. Lankau's memory of Katie's cake and chicken make me smile, but the memory of the kindness extended to him makes my heart swell with pride.  And his inquiry of the "big sons" and how they worked so hard... well, yes.  Yes, all three of the sons were hard working men all of their lives.  The older two, my uncles, Bill and Leroy, and my Dad, Melvin, continued to stay active and busy even after retiring. And after working hard they would almost always reward themselves with some sweet treat.  

Clara is on the left in the front row (her husband is behind her)
Bill, Leroy and Melvin in the back row

When I inquired about cakes that Grandma would have made my Mom didn't recall any but here's a goodie that they would have enjoyed on a break ~ not overly sweet and no frosting required.  Enjoy!

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake

1-3/4 cup boiling water 
1 cup uncooked oatmeal
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cocoa
Chocolate chips

Pour boiling water over oats and butter.  Let stand 10 minutes.  Add sugar.  Stir until butter is completely melted.  Stir in eggs.  Sift together flour, soda, salt and cocoa.  Add to oatmeal/sugar mixture.  Add chocolate chips.  Tip:: if you toss a tablespoon of flour or so in with a cup of chocolate chips before stirring into the batter, they will distribute more evenly and not sink to the bottom of the cake.  Pour batter into a greased and floured 13x9 pan.  Sprinkle walnuts and a few additional chocolate chips on top.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. 

Mr. Lankau certainly had an attitude of gratitude and included a small souvenir booklet that features local landmarks of Lübeck.

From the introduction of the book... "Lubeck is a city with which one cannot help falling in love even after a very brief visit.  Seven church towers of shining red brick rise like sentinels with patina green helmets above the houses clustering thickly at their feet on the island of the Old Town, washed by the Trave and the Wakenitz.  In the shelter of gates, walls, and ramparts one feels at once secure and also welcome.  For this city reveals with every step of the appreciative visitor its proud and glorious past and its happy, energetic present.  It showers upon us its hole being:  The joyous fellowship of old and young! to preserve the good and the vigorous in everything is the inner strength of this city which will enable it to survive for centuries and will be its stay in the future.

Lubeck's access to the sea is via the Baltic spa of Trave-munde.  There, on the banks of the Trave, spreads in contemplative calm the little old fishing town.  Passing by the wharves of the ocean-going ships we reach the trim yacht harbour, and then we are facing the open sea, with the broad, white beach stretching from the Norder breakwater to the Brodten headland.  Here the sea breezes and breaking waves provide the vacationer with relaxation and new strength for his workaday world.  Thus Travemunde perfects the colorful variety of Lubeck, that old but eternally young Hanseatic city, which cannot be beheld without being deeply experienced.

It looks like a quaint village and I would love to visit!  Lubeck obviously was not severely damaged during WWII like Berlin had been.

I have rambled long enough...  On to the pattern!  Because of the scandalous connection of the Winger farm employees with one of the POW escapes I selected the Double Cross Quilt block to accompany this letter.  

This block was one of the most challenging patterns I had to write with Y-seams and such.  And to be honest that there may have been some ripping out of seams, tears and alcohol... 
However, you will be happy to know that, in the end, I was able to create a beginner friendly pattern for you!  Yay!

Before you go, leave a comment to let me know what bit of detail captured your attention.  

And don't forget to come back and link up your finished block for a chance to win a free fat quarter.  Also, remember to use the hashtag #PiecesFromThePastSewAlong and tag me in your instagram - @MelvaLovesScraps - or facebook - Melva Loves Scraps - pictures of your finished block. 

Merry Christmas!


Linking with:

BOMs Away at What A Hoot Quilts
Colour & Inspiration at Clever Chameleon Quilting
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
Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Off The Wall Friday with Nina Marie
Friday Foto Fun at Powered by Quilting
Scrap Happy Saturday at Super Scrappy
UFO Busting at Tish’s Wonderland


Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Mini Corner Star Ornament - Pieces From the Past Bonus


As I wrote the first Corner Star post I kept looking at the pattern and I knew that I wanted to use 1/4 of the block at a reduced size to make an ornament.  There were many other tasks that needed to be addressed before I could sit and play.  When I finally did, it took a couple of tries, but finally found the proper sizes.  And I have to say that I am pleased beyond measure with the finished block.  

As I read the accounting of a Christmas celebration at Camp Trinidad for the German POWs and how the tables were decorated with small wooden stars that held candles, I could not let this block get lost or set aside in my long list of tasks to be completed...  It nagged at me even after making the first one incorrectly.  

I continued to wonder about the humble celebration the men had here in Trinidad, as well as how they may have celebrated after their return home.

Written in 1943... "First Christmas day as POW.  We spent Christmas evening with beer and wine, coffee, tea and cookies.  We met in groups, and games, conversation and when available, the music heard on the radio helped us overcome our melancholic mood, as well as longing and nostalgia.  We had a small Christmas tree in our room.  A truck took us to a forest and under the supervision of a forest official we were able to cut down a few trees and take them with us. . .   We also gave presents to each other."

"The Führer sent $9,000 to Camp Trinidad, with $2,250 for each section of the camp, and the Pope gave 2 Swiss francs per POW.  We have not been forgotten."

The population of Camp Trinidad never reached more than 3,900, though it had been built to hold up to 5,000 men.  The Führer's gift was approximately $2.30 for each prisoner.  Adjusted for inflation, $2.30 in 1943 is equal to $34.97 in 2020.  That is a nice little gift.

And the Pope's 2 francs equaled about .47 cents (US dollars) which is equal to $7.07 in today's US dollar values.

Indeed, these men were not forgotten while at Camp Trinidad!  Sadly, they really do seem to have been forgotten once they returned home.  

These sweet postcards were included with another letter that has yet to be published, but  I just couldn't resist sharing them now.  After all, it IS currently the Christmas Season...

Can anyone tell me what they say?

I am guessing something along the lines of "Merry Christmas" and "Happy New Year"... maybe something of the new year being lucky, since there are 4-leaf clovers?

My mind takes lots of rabbit trails as I design and piece blocks and quilts... In my first attempt of the mini block I had thought that just making some 1" x 2" flying geese blocks for the points would work, but I was not satisfied and eventually, in the early morning hours I realized where I had gone wrong.  

The flying geese that I had tried were too long and eliminated the extra points from the half-square triangle!  

I knew what I needed to do and quickly set to it...  For those that don't like FPP, I apologize because I found it easiest to make the entire 3-1/2" block using this technique.  

In the Mini Corner Star pattern you will find two sizes of the block - 3 inches and 4 inches.  Be sure that when you print the pattern pages, you are printing at 100% and that the 1 inch test square is accurate.  When making the 4" block you will want to trim the seam allowance after it is pieced to 1/4" (as indicated by the arrows in the picture).

Also, please note that the side (rectangular) pieces will be a little long.  Piece #4 on both rectangular sections with the star points will overhang the square body of the block. (shown in picture)

Press open and trim to the appropriate size - 3-1/2" or 4-1/2".

If you happen to make any of the mini blocks I'd love to see them!  Use the hashtag #piecesfromthepastsewalong or tag me on instagram @melvalovesscraps or post on my facebook page.

Merry Christmas!

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

Friday, December 11, 2020

Naughty or Nice?

 I stumbled upon a list of Naughty or Nice for Quilters that made me laugh and I just had to share with you.


✦  You added more items to your UFO list than you completed

✦  You measured once and had to cut twice

✦  You bought too much and had to sneak packages inside

✦  You got busy sewing and forgot to make dinner

✦  You photocopied the pattern and cheated the designer out of her due

✦  You turned into the "Quilt Police"

✦  You bought the book/pattern you already owned because you have so many you forgot you already have it

✦  You spoke like a sailor when you realized you were sewing with no bobbin thread


✦  You finished your project!

✦  You gave a quilted item as a gift

✦  You can always find something nice to say about other people's quilts

✦  You rejoice in your friends' quilting successes

✦  You donate your time and talent to sew for worthy causes

✦  You shared your best scraps

✦  You shared tiny pieces for crazy friends or pet beds

✦  You taught your skill to a new quilter

✦  You did a sewing chore for someone who doesn't sew

If you need a little help with item 4 on the naughty list - forgot to make dinner a time or two I can help you out.

Here's a new No Guilt::Go Quilt slow cooker recipe that I found for Cashew Chicken...

Crock Pot Cashew Chicken

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thigh tenders or chicken breast tenders

1 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp canola oil
1/2 cup coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
4 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
4 Tbsp ketchup
2 Tbsp honey
2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1/2 cup cashews


Place diced chicken in a slow cooker. Combine soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup, sugar, garlic, ginger, and pepper flakes in small bowl; pour over chicken. Cook on LOW for 3 to 4 hours.

Combine 1/4 cup water and 4 teaspoons Tapioca starch (or corn starch) and stir into the sauce to thicken. Serve over rice with some stir-fry veggies.  Garnish with cashews. 

Makes 4-6 servings.

So how do you measure up?  

Are you a "Naughty" quilter?  

Or a "Nice" quilter?

In all honesty, I confess to a few of items on the "naughty" list, but I can check off more items on the "nice" list.  How 'bout you?

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

Merry Christmas,



Melva Loves Scraps - Home of the Pieces From The Past Sew Along

that features vintage Kansas City Star quilt blocks!

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Throwback Thursday Christmas Style

Hey there!  Time is flying by and before we know it we will be turning the page, the last page of the calendar for 2020.  Who's ready??? 🙋

But before we do that let's take time to look back at some of our most favorite Christmas quilts.

At the top of the list for me is the restoration of a vintage tree skirt.  My friend Jamie tells the story of it...

"I recall the tree skirt fondly.  Some years it was under our pine Christmas tree that we'd cut down from our wooded back yard.  Some years it resided under the three tier ceramic Christmas tree that Brenda Collier made when "everyone" was doing ceramics."

Another favorite is the Advent Calendar that I created using 4" blocks from the 2017 Christmas Countdown, tutorial included.  

Each block was a pocket where you can place a small gift, a scripture card or some candy.

Now it is YOUR turn!  Link up some of your favorite Christmas quilt projects... 

Or, leave a comment telling me about a special Christmas quilt and why it is a favorite of yours. 

You know I love to hear from you. 

Stay Pieceful,


Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Best Laid Plans...

Sometimes we make plans and everything falls into place... and sometimes... we are taken for an unexpected ride.

We went for a detour ride (again) this week.

✔  Playmat quilt for our Great-nephew.

I had great fun creating the various buildings, landscape items and  more for this playmat.  

The hot air balloons that help to form the mountain range is one of my favorite features.  

I quilted waves into the water and added some loops to be like grass in the light greed and some rolling hills in the dark green.

Remember the pattern was free over on the JoAnn Fabrics webpage.

Now we just need to purchase some little cars, wrap them all up and ship them off.

That is where the the remainder of the list stalled.  Here's why...

A few weeks ago (on a Saturday afternoon) we received an unexpected call from a few of our Church's leaders stating that the newly appointed Pastor had resigned and that he felt that the Sunday Worship service needed to be cancelled. WHAT?  As Worship leaders we offered to add a few songs and extra prayer time, but agreed with the leaders that the service should NOT be cancelled.

And while Dave was at it... he offered to give a brief message.  WOW!

All went well.  Well enough that he was asked to offer a message  for the following Sunday - the first Sunday of Advent.  Hours went into the preparation and it was all well received.

This was a detour!  The leaders were so impressed that they asked if he would continue for the remainder of Advent.

BIG DETOUR!  While a little surprised, we were not shocked.  However... MAJOR DETOUR, they asked if he would consider being the interim pastor.  Oh My!

We are currently "handling" it, being in constant prayer, but know that the reality of it being a long-term solution is unrealistic - for the Church and for us.  I mean... we have a business to run.  We also know that God works in mysterious ways, but we are both confident that it is not part of God's long-term plan.  As one of my friends stated, "For such a time as this" have we been prepared...

So... as we prepare for the third Advent Sunday we tread water and try to carefully balance our regular routine/work and all the extra "holiday" stuff AND navigate the detour.  

So for this week I will pick up on last week's list where I stopped.

❧ I want to create some small quilted Christmas Ornaments based on the current Pieces From The Past block - Corner Star - with plans to write about it and share a modified pattern for them.  I may not get as many done as I would like, but whatever I get done will be just fine  because they are just extras and I am not going to stress over them.

❧ Annual family Christmas letter.  As I mentioned last week, our letter is unusual with each of us writing our own "column" - a tradition that started about 17 years ago.  As the girls grew into adulthood we had originally planned on having it in a new format that included just the two of us - but at what point do we "cut them out"?  

As the family has grown with the additions of sons-in-law and grand-children, we thought that we would simply have to fill in with that news on our own because so many of the recipients on the list have known all four of us for all of the girls' lives.  But who better to offer an update on their lives than the ones living them???  So the tradition has continued...  Though it expanded from a standard page to legal sized, front and back.  And if the updates are not received??? I have a back-up plan that includes a pictorial telling of the year for them.  (This is not a new idea - I have had it in place for a few years since our oldest is a bit of a procrastinator and likes to submit right at the deadline.)

As "editor" of the letter I have issued a deadline for the updates - by this week's end, so that Dave and I can prepare envelopes for mailing this weekend and get the letter printed (and folded) on Monday morning.

The best laid plans don't always go as we would like, but sometimes the detour is a grand blessing.  Any thoughts and prayers for us as we navigate our way through the remainder of the Christmas season are deeply appreciated.

Stay Calm and Piece,


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
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