Tuesday, August 24, 2021

To Do List Tackled

Some weeks I seem to slog through the list like a sloth but last week's list was tackled like a BOSS...


✔  The car quilt ~ Rules of the Road ~ was successfully completed and my customer is very pleased with it.  
She stated "that quilt is one of the cutest ever.  The stippling quilting is darling for the cover."


✔  Wedding Quilt... the fabric pull is done and the pattern has been selected.

I'll be creating a heart layout using half-square triangles with a scrappy look of green fabric.
  


✔  Baby Quilt - DONE!  Using a big block pattern, this little quilt was done in a day!  I always forget how quickly they can come together.  

While it may not be what I consider to be a baby-ish quilt in the primary colors, it will match perfectly with the woodland creatures theme that is oh so popular right now.


Among other things I was able to accomplish... 

Since Dave is more focused on prepping for a black powder hunting trip in a few weeks, I have decided that I would turn my attention to Fiona Sandwich's Summer Camp sewing.  This type of sewing is usually reserved four our camping trips, but rather than wait for him to take me camping...  I have marked a few more items of of the sewing challenge list...

Rachel challenged us to find a fabric that could be used for three different things... The blue fabric I found worked for Sky, Mountains and Water!






Another challenge encouraged us to turn a block upside down to create a new block... Using her mountain block, I turned it upside down and flipped one to create a mountain range for our family's summer cabin camping trip in July.

The dark sky fabric has some shimmer to it reminding me of how we enjoyed the view of the twinkling stars over the Sangre De Cristo mountain range as we roasted marshmallows over the campfire.





Another block that will be counted as one of 10 - this gives me 6 done, only 4 more to go!

This was the Liberty Bell block that I modified to be a wedding bell with a green background... Janna's & Justin's wedding will be a part of our camping quilt. :)












And the last "camp block" I completed was Devil's Tower.  I am hopeful that we will be able to take a bit of a trip after our time in Chicago for the wedding... up into Wisconsin, maybe Minnesota and across the Dakotas and Montana, south across Wyoming and return home in southern Colorado.  Devil's Tower is on my radar!

❧I have a few more blocks prepped and will continue marking off challenges.  Summer Camp will soon be closing so I hope to get several more challenges done.


❧  I will start cutting scrappy fabrics for the wedding quilt and get something on the design wall.

I think that will keep me busy for the week...

Have you been to Devil's Tower?  What other sights are must see stops on the route that I mentioned?

Leave a comment... I'd love to hear your suggestions!

Piece Out,

Melva

Linking with:

To Do Tuesday at Chris Knits & Sews
Mid-week Makers at Quilt Fabrication
Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter
Stitch Sew & Show at Life in the Scrap Patch
Put Your Foot Down at For the Love of Geese
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, August 20, 2021

Rules of the Road

When it comes to following rules, I think we can all agree that safety should be first when driving...


There are so many cars, some going in opposite directions, on this quilt with only ONE stop sign.  It looks like chaos could ensue any moment now!  


I did outline stitching of the cars and tires and because of the one and only stop sign, I used meandering loops.  I actually caught myself singing... 
🎵🎤 "The wheels on the cars go round and round, round and round, round and round." 🎵

This was a fun quilt to finish for my customer.  I am sure her great-grandson will love it!


Once again, I love the Hobbs Heirloom Fusible batting for the finished results that it offers.  It is 80% cotton and 20% poly, so there is a small amount of shrinkage that takes place when you wash and dry the quilt.  It is super inviting to snuggle up under!

This quilt took me back to when our girls learned to drive.  Dave was the one to teach them... I recall being in the car when our youngest was behind the wheel for the second or third time (why was I thinking it was "safe" to be in the truck with her and Dave?) and I was certain there was going to be a head on collision involving us!  After a little more experience, she was allowed to do some highway driving as we made a cross-country trip for our summer vacation.  I would volunteer to move to the back and promptly go to sleep.  And it seemed that not long after her getting behind the wheel we would end up in a construction zone with slower speeds.  Was God protecting us??? LOL!  She has turn out to be a safe driver, it just took some time.

Have you ever taught someone to drive?

Tell me of your experiences!  I'd love to hear.

Safety first!

Melva

Linking with:

Put Your Foot Down at For the Love of Geese
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
Scrap Happy Saturday at Super Scrappy
TGIFF at Songbird designs
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
Favorite Finishes at Meadow Mist

Monday, August 16, 2021

Tuesday's Two-step

Sometimes life doesn't happen as you plan... sometimes it seems that things simply don't go smoothly.  That was this past week.  Nothing major and I did "roll with the flow" but just some speed bumps and detours... As the day that I was to leave approached life happened... we needed to attend a funeral that afternoon.  While it was not for anyone close to us, we needed to go in support a Christian sister as she said a final good-bye to her Dad.

And then word came that one of the ladies was unable to make it because she was ill.  Being cautious and not wanting to leave her out, we opted to postpone our time together until September.  

✔  Big horn sheep block 

With the completion of this block, I am half-way to being able to mark off another item in the Summer Camp Sewing Challenge that Fiona Sandwich is holding...  Sew any ten blocks!





✔  Release block #7 ~ Prairie Flowers ~ of the Pieces of the Santa Fe Trail Sew Along.

Marion's Mother needed to return to Missouri to care for her house that was vacant and unrented and in need of some care.  So in the heat of August, 1856 they began their journey in a small train of 20 wagons.  Because the wagon train was such a small party they were susceptible to many attacks.  Young eleven-year-old Marion shares some harrowing experiences... you can read about them by following the link above.


Since I had a change in plans and unplanned time at home I began the quilting on another quilt sent to me by my faithful customer in Texas.  This fun car quilt is for another great-grandson...

❧  I will be finishing it and the binding it this week... a full week ahead of schedule!


❧  We received a wedding invitation for a niece a few weeks ago.  They are getting married on October 16th so I need to settle on a quilt pattern for Janna and Justin and get a start on their gift. {Pronto!}  I have an 18"x20" panel that looks like an old-timey marriage certificate that I will incorporate into the back of the quilt, that will serve as the label as well.  

❧  Another niece is expecting her first child in October.  I need to get a baby quilt done for them as well {Pronto!}

Sometimes you just need to do a little two-step when your plans change and roll with life.

What will you be working on this week?

Who knows how to do the Two-step?  

Dave and I love to dance, but have never taken any dance lessons.  Years ago when my brother was single he and a few other friends took some country dance lessons to be able to meet the girls.  To my surprise, he was actually very good!

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

Stay Pieceful!

Melva

Linking with:

To Do Tuesday at Chris Knits & Sews
Mid-week Makers at Quilt Fabrication
Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter
Stitch Sew & Show at Life in the Scrap Patch

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Pieces of the Santa Fe Trail - Prairie Flowers

In the words of Marion Russell...

The market place in Santa Fe was a wonder. In open air booths lay piles of food stuffs. Heaps of red and green peppers vied with heaps of red and blue corn and heaps golden melons. There were colorful rugs woven by the hands of the Mexicans and deep-fringed shawls, gay with embroidery. There were massive Indian jars filled to the brim with Mexican beans. There were strings of prayer beads from old Mexico, beads worn smooth and shiny to a patina by many praying hands. Mexican turquoise in heavy settings of silver. Silver was way cheaper than tin. Here was to be found exquisite Mexican drawn work and intricate Indian bead work.

This was old Santa Fe, asleep among the red hills.  Sheep grazed on distant mesas, a hot wind blew across the mesquite.  There were saw-tooth mountains silhouetted against the sky.  Through a great wooden gateway flowed the Santa Fe trail from across a wide, hot valley.

From September of the year 1852, until August of 1856, we lived in New Mexico.  Will and I had three years in the Catholic school.  We learned to speak the Spanish language.  Unconsciously we had learned to love the land of great distances and long silences.  We had become familiar with the sunsets and great dawns that burn down into the valley and that flame up over the blue mountains.  The stunted thorn trees, the sand that reflects sun like polished metal, and the thin gray lines that writhe in the heat waves like a nest of spiders, we loved with knowing we loved.

When mother received a letter saying that her home in Missouri was standing unrented and was fast falling into decrepitude, she decided to return there and forget her dream of California.  When she told Will and me what she was planning we didn't mind, for we thought only how nice it would be to hit the trail again.  We did not realize how homesick we would be for New Mexico before we would come again to Santa Fe.


On a hot August day in 1856 we left Santa Fe for Fort Leavenworth.  This time we took passage in a small train of twenty wagons - too small for adequate protection from the Indians.  The wagons were all ox-drawn and oxen do not walk as fast as mules or horses; however, they did walk more evenly and we were able to sew or even read as they ambled slowly eastward.  The east-bound wagons were not so heavily laden.  We slept in our covered wagon although many wagons held bales of buffalo hides for eastern markets.

On this trip across the Great Plains I was eleven years of age and Will was thirteen.  We read and reread "Pilgrims Progress" and a travel book written by some missionary.  It told of natives spearing fish off coral ledges, of hibiscus blossoms and snakes so large they might have swallowed our covered wagon.

Will walked all day by the wagons.  Mother busied herself sewing ball after ball of rags to be woven when reaching home into a fine rag carpet.  I think that the walking and carpet rag sewing helped them to kill the time as the slow oxen bore us onward.  I had nothing to do but help with the carpet rag sewing, a task that I loathed.

It is a most remarkable thing that today I can find nothing outstanding about that trip eastward.  Folks tell me it must have been a unique adventure, and beg to hear about it.  I assure you it was often tiresome and boring.  

August is the hot time of the year and I think I shall never forget how I sweated under the canvas curtain.  I remember Mother's flushed face as she bent over her sewing, and how I wound the long rag rope into tight, hard balls for her.  I can see Will trudging wearily close beside the wagon.  I can see the hot August sun shining on the polished horns of the red and white oxen.  Slowly we passed Fort Union and slid slowly down in a valley.  How small and forlorn seemed our string of twenty white covered wagons.

Eliza, Will and Marion had several harrowing and frightening encounters with different tribes of Natives, a woman ready to give birth and asking for assistance, not only for the delivery of her baby, but protection from her abusive husband.  While her telling of them would continue to hold your attention, they were all simply too long to include all of the details.  

It was Will's discovery of two trappers that had been scalped and killed near Pawnee Rock and an encounter with some Border Ruffians, when the wagon-master decided that they would camp at Diamond Springs and "stay there until such time as a larger caravan might join us or the Government be induced to send a detachment of soldiers to protect us."

Mother tried to say that she could not see where we could be in much more danger on the road than in camp; but being a woman no one listened to her.  

It was decided to break the great lock of a great stone house that was nearby, with windows boarded up and massive door barred and bolted.

We used that grand, old parlor as a community hall while we camped there... After two weeks at Diamond Springs our food supply began running low, but still the men refused to press onward.  Finally, mother arose to her small height and announced firmly that she was much more afraid of Old Man Famine than a host of Border Ruffians.  I knew my mother meant what she said and was not surprised when she awoke me early one morning and told me to dress quickly, as she and I were going to walk to Council Grove.  Council Grove being the next stop on the Santa Fe Trail.

She then awoke Will and told him he must stay and take care of our things at the wagon.  Before the sun arose or before anyone was stirring around the camp at Diamond Springs, mother and I made our way afoot out to the Santa Fe Trail.  Autumn was coming and there was a tang in the early morning air.  The hazel furze was yellow; there was the buff of honey-suckles and the violet of passion flowers.  This was a different world from that of New Mexico with its dim distances and long silences.  We walked for a time in silence.  All that I though of was the warm bed I had left in the wagon.  I wished that mother had left me to guard the wagon and taken Will with her.

Council Grove was 16 miles from Diamond Springs, and we halted only once and that was to eat our lunch in the shadow of a ruined water wheel.  The Trail forded a little stream near us.  I rested and slept for a moment, my head on my mother's spread-out dress skirt.  When she awoke me it was with some tenderness.  "We walk on now, my baby."  She steadied me as I walked on beside her.

All I could think of was how tired I was, and how hard it was to keep up with my mother, who evidently wanted to reach Council Grove before night came and caught us.  I tried hard to be as brave and as uncomplaining as my mother, but the muscles in my slender thighs were twitching with fatigue when we climbed the steps of the store at Council Grove.  When the grocery-man there asked me kindly if I was tired, I remember how I burst into tears and how mother had to answer him for me.  

We stayed that night in the home of the grocery-man where his wife put us to sleep on a great feather bed.  As I dropped off to sleep that night I found myself wondering if all the beds in Heaven were not duplicates of the grocery-man's big feather one.

Mother awoke me early next morning.  The Big Silver Dipper still hung in the mid-night blue of the heavens.  I saw it as I drew on my shoes and stockings.  But mother said we must hurry, a westbound wagon train was embarking.  The driver who rode in a nice top-buggy said we might right back to Diamond Springs.

I shall never forget that ride in my first top-buggy.  Behind a team of dappled, spanking grays we out-distanced the slow moving wagons.  As we covered the weary miles our feet had stumbled over the day before, I began building castles in the air.  When I grew up, I said to myself, I would travel endlessly back and forth over the Santa Fe Trail.  I loved the trail and would live always on it.  I would travel always in a red-wheeled buggy like the wagon master's behind a team of spanking grays.  I would sleep every night on a great feather bed like the grocery-man's.  I also would like a pink dress and red rose for my hair.  

These were the dreams of my childhood... but I still would like the buggy ride, and the red rose would not go badly.

We met the caravan and mother was able to tell the wagon master that she had broken trail as far as Council Grove; that there were no Ruffians to hurt him.  I also remember that for days I was stiff and sore from my long pilgrimage.  My life as I look back seems to have been lived best in those days on the trail.

You can read more on the National Parks Service page about Plants Along the Santa Fe Trail.   Plants like Breadroot Scurf-Pea, Cane Cholla, Compass Plant and Running Buffalo Clover.

You may have noticed that Marion had several mentions of the flowers along the trail that inspired this block - Prairie Flowers...


This block could be considered an intermediate block given the number of pieces, but rest assured, I have made it as beginner friendly as possible.  The dimension of the pieces in the outer sections of the block are oversized to remove the concern for the ever elusive scant 1/4" seams, and the pictures capture each step in assembly of the block.  

Get your pattern, make your block and then share it!  Don't forget to use the hashtags #PiecesoftheSantaFeTrail #PiecesoftheTrail #PiecesoftheTrailSewAlong and tag me on instagram @MelvaLovesScraps or share to my fb page Melva Loves Scraps.  
 
Be sure to come back and link up your block for a chance to win a fat quarter too!

What color flowers will you be making? 
I chose red for my quilt to represent the red rose that Marion wanted in her hair... but loved the block so much I wanted to see how purple looked as well.

Leave a comment.  I'd love to hear your thoughts on color choice or anything else in the story that captured your attention.

Stay Pieceful!

Melva


Interested in the rest of the block patterns?  You can find details in the introductory post.

Block 1 - April 8 ~ Kit In The Corner
Block 2 - April 29 ~ Double Nine
Block 3 - May 20 ~ Indian Star
Block 4 - June 10 ~ Snow
Block 5 - July 1 ~ Indian Corn
Block 6 - July 22 ~ Shoo Fly
Block 7 - August 12 ~ Prairie Flowers
Block 8 - September 2 ~ Granny's Choice
Block 9 - September 23 ~ Comfort Of Home
Block 10 - October 14 ~ Wagon Tracks
Block 11 - November 4 ~ New Mexican Star
Block 12 - November 25 ~ Tecolote
Block 13 - December 16 ~ Label 

Linking with:

Put Your Foot Down at For the Love of Geese
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
BOMS Away at Katie Mae Quilts
Scrap Happy Saturday at Super Scrappy
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

Monday, August 9, 2021

Caught Up!

August... the month of the calendar that seems to get many last minute, end-of-the-summer activities added to it and suddenly you realize that it is FULL!

While Dave was away last week I got caught up!  Or so I thought!  Let's take a look at last week's list...

❧  help a friend learn how to do Foundation Paper Piecing - This didn't happen because my friend's schedule was too full. 😕  


But that gave me plenty of time to make labels for five (5!) quilts.  One was my customer's memory quilt which received a label, was laundered and sent off to its proper home.  


One label was for a quilt from my inventory and will be a wedding gift for a cousin getting married this month.  


The third label was for my customer's Cake Walk Quilt

Back to my list...  more on label 4 & 5 in a moment.


✔  soaring bird and
big horn sheep blocks - Bird done, plus a tree and a flower, but not the big horn sheep.  


✔❧  wall hanging for a new Mom at church 

Labels 4 & 5 were for the gifts for the baby shower, this wall hanging as well as a small "tummy time" quilt that came from my inventory.

The idea for this wall hanging was formed in my mind well before I had even looked through my stash.  

It took some digging in my stash to find exactly what I wanted, but I was blessed to have exactly what I needed!  The horse print was left over from a project that I had made for a friend's grand-daughters about 10 years ago, the pink paisley was left over from a scrub top I made for our daughter and the brown was just hanging around from a quilt I finished a year ago.  The lower boot portion was a small scrap from a friend that has crosses and the Christian fish symbols on it.

The addition of the origami butterfly ended up being the perfect accent to fill that space.  The instructions were found over at Michelle's site, "The Creative Blonde".

So... what will I be focused on this week?  I'll be visiting some girlfriends this week... so I'm not really sure how much sewing or quilting I will get to... but I can guarantee that we will experience some fun times, good food, deep conversations and laughter - and laughter is always good for the soul!  

Laughter is almost as good as a long therapy session of creating in my studio. Okay, it could be even better than that.   


❧  I'll take along my Postcard patterns and supplies, and I may actually get that big horn sheep block pieced (FINALLY!), as well as knock off a few other items on the Sewing challenge list.

❧  Release block #7 of the Pieces of the Santa Fe Trail Sew Along... You can find all of the details if you follow the above link.

I guess I did better on my list than I had originally thought!  One item was beyond my control, and most of the remaining items I did were "bonus" items.  I was disappointed that my friend wasn't able to come over for a "play date" and learn how to do FPP, but this brings me to the question...

Have you ever done FPP?  What is it that you like about this technique?

If you have done it, do you like it?  Have you taught anyone this technique?

Stay pieceful!

Melva

Linking with:

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
To Do Tuesday at Chris Knits & Sews
Mid-week Makers at Quilt Fabrication
Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter
Stitch Sew & Show at Life in the Scrap Patch

Monday, August 2, 2021

July Favorite Finish - Cake Walk Quilt

As I looked back over the past month... where did it go, by the way?  I can see I spent a great deal of time in my studio...

But the favorite finish of the month was the Cake Walk Quilt... it is my customer's quilt featuring Dresden Plate bocks and a few Sun Bonnet Sue blocks that appear to be "walking around the edge of the quilt".  



I struggled with a quilting design idea and went back and forth about several options, but finally settled on "connecting the dots" as one reader suggested.  


I stitched in some flowers that reminded me of a cabbage rose in the dots and in the center of the Dresden blocks, and added in petals that resemble a sunflower on the blades of the plates.

The Sun Bonnet Sue blocks seemed to be lacking something...

I considered a cabbage rose on either side of the girls, but that didn't seem to be enough.  Even Dave, my husband who I often consult about ideas, had nothing...


And then an idea came to me... in the early morning hours.  Create a "frame" around the girls with a cabbage roses connected with vines and leaves.  

Perfect!

An extra wide binding, as my customer requested since there was no border, finished off the quilt perfectly.

It does lend itself to a vintage quilt without the border.





I have never done rounded corners on a quilt... 

The extra wide binding offered a bit of a challenge with them but I didn't hesitate to gently gather the excess of the binding by doing a running stitch.  I like the look of it!

Have you done rounded corners on quilts?

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

Stay Pieceful,

Melva

Linking with:

Favorite Finishes Monthly Linkup at Meadow Mist
Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Mid-week Makers at Quilt Fabrication
Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter
Stitch Sew & Show at Life in the Scrap Patch
Put Your Foot Down at For the Love of Geese
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
Scrap Happy Saturday at Super Scrappy


Tuesday To-Do Linky Party

If you are looking for the Tuesday To-Do Linky Party, you are in the right place!  Chris Knits is off enjoying vacation and has temporarily passed the torch to me...

As Roseanne says over at Home Sewn By Us, Gladys Taber wrote, “Contentment is a list with half of it crossed off.”

So here's where I am with my to-do list...

✔  Memory quilt...  

✔  Cake Walk quilt... this was the Dresden/Sun Bonnet Sue quilt for a customer.  

I bounced back and forth so many times between these two quilts I feel like a pinball!  It all depended on how large of a block of time I had and what I felt like I could get done...  

As I waited for the fabric to arrive for the Memory quilt I finally had a full plan for the Cake Walk quilt. 


I quilted in a cabbage rose-ish type of design in the grey circles and some sunflower-ish petals on the Dresden blocks.  The SB Sue girls got outlined... 



At this point the borders were on the memory quilt and backing fabric had arrived.  

Once it was sandwiched with Hobbs' fusible Heirloom batting I started marking for the jumbo Baptist fans...




With the markings done...

The Sue blocks still need something... maybe a couple more cabbage roses?  


Since I had no ideas I decided I would quilt the jumbo Baptist Fans on the memory quilt...

And then the idea hit me early on Sunday morning!


Ooooh, cabbage roses connected with vines and leaves creating a pretty "frame"...  It was the perfect solution!

So Monday morning I suddenly found myself faced with two quilts ready for binding!  Woohoo!


I knocked out the two items I had on my list from last week... wow!  That was a close one!




I will be burying thread tails as I binge on Netflix...  getting these quilts ready for an official photo shoot and shipping them to their forever homes.

Dave is going scouting in a few hunting areas he got a license for with a friend for the next few days and while he is gone I will be...

❧ helping a friend learn how to do Foundation Paper Piecing

❧I'll be stitching in the evening on the soaring bird and big horn sheep blocks as I enjoy the Olympics.  

❧During daytime hours I need to work on a wall hanging for a new Mom at church.  The nursery has a western theme so I think I will be making a cowboy boot block with some pretty pink paisley fabric.

Now it is your turn!  How did you do on your To-do list???  

Stay Pieceful!

Melva

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