Monday, February 28, 2022

Orphans Found a Forever Home

“I will not leave you orphaned. I’m coming back. In just a little while the world will no longer see me, but you’re going to see me because I am alive and you’re about to come alive. ~ John 14:18-19

The month of February has zipped by in the blink of an eye and spring is just around the corner!  We have dealt with an abundance of challenges that we either worked our way through or around, overcame and conquered or decided to ignore because it just didn't matter.

As we get ready to turn another page of the calendar, I am happy (and a bit surprised, if I'm honest) to share the flimsy quilt top of Orphans No More (it includes a few additional orphans from a fellow quilter).  shown below :)

These additional blocks were picked apart or cut down to be used on the sides and top...

Here are a few close-up shots. As I dug through my scrap bin for the pineapple blocks, I found more orphans!  Again, just what this top needed. 

The top measures 60" x 82" and it is ready to be sandwiched and quilted.  As I mentioned earlier this month, my 
plan for the quilting is a hanging star grid with lines 4" apart, machine quilted and then big-stitch hand quilting with variegated thread in between, making the quilting lines 2" apart.  The hand quilting part will be a road-trip activity for me when we head to the Gulf Coast in March. 

Rebecca Grace had asked if I just made it up as I went along... Why, yes!  That is exactly what I did.  A bit of improv and creativity to get it all to work out, but fun and rewarding to see it ready for quilting.

As I celebrate the finish of this top, I celebrate with our friends living in Romania as the adoption of a little girl they have raised since birth, was finalized just last week.  

Tim & Caroline have been working with orphanages in their area for years.  They had been told by doctors that they would likely never be able to have children of their own.  Anna came to live with them as soon as she was released from the hospital.  And, surprise, surprise... not long after receiving Anna, they learned that she was expecting a child!  The adoption process for Anna has taken over 6 years.  But, at long last sweet little Anna is finally, officially a Bailey!  💗 I will forever associate this quilt with Tim, Caroline and Anna.

If you would like to learn more of their story you can follow the highlighted link above and sign up to get newsletters and updates.

We know several families that have adopted children and they often celebrate "Gotcha Day"... the day that the adoption was finalized... much like the celebration of a birthday.  

Though each family has special traditions to celebrate a birthday... 
What sort of Birthday traditions are in your family?  
How would you celebrate "Gotcha" day?  

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

Piece in love,


Linking with:  

One Month Goal at Elm Street Quilts
Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
This & That at Days Filled with Joy
To Do Tuesday at Texas Quilt Gal

Friday, February 25, 2022

A Finish is Close at Hand

While I WISH I could celebrate a Friday Finish, I have nothing of that sort to show... 😢 

I did get some of the new-to-me orphans "resized" and added to the sides of the quilt, and even feel that they blend, rather than looking out of place.  I successfully got the top to 60" wide, but the length is short of my 80" goal.

I still have a few more resized orphans and plan to add a few scrappy pineapple blocks to them.  

In the technology world, our new computer arrived on Wednesday.  This was two days earlier than had originally been stated. YEAH!!!   However, there is always a learning curve and new discoveries... Trying to get our email set up with Outlook was an adventure all its own.  

On top of this, we learned that there is no CD-ROM drive!  What??? Oh, and no new monitor.  Not that we needed one, but still.  We had asked the rep on the phone if we could save some money by not getting a monitor, keyboard and mouse... she told us we would only save about $15.  Okay... go ahead and include them in the quote.  Ummmm.... 😞  Whatever... I moved on.

"Whatever" is my new response to stressful situations.  It will all work out somehow, and it will probably look differently from what I think it should look like or be done.  So.... whatever.  I am choosing this new approach from Philippians 4:8...

"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."

I believe that I will have this top, which happened to be my One Month Goal for February, done just in the nick of time!  And if not... whatever.  See!  I'm doing good right???

We have had a cold FRIGID stretch of weather lately... But no snow of any sort for us.  (It was to the North and to the South, but nada here.)  We need the moisture desperately, but once the temps start to warm up next week, (predications of 60s by midweek) the lack of moisture means that the ground will be dry enough to use the tractor to pull the camper out from under the carport and load it on the truck!  OOOOOhhhhhh!  I am so excited for this to happen.

We have started a somewhat loose itinerary that includes the Space Center in Houston, Galveston, Lake Charles, Natchitoches, LA and more.  Louisiana is a new state for both of us.

Ideas and suggestions of places to see or visit and things to do are welcome!

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

Stay calm and keep piecing,


Linking with:

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
Patchwork & Quilts at The Quilting Patch
Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework
Sunday Stash at QuiltPaintCreate

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Happy Two's Day!

What a unique day!  2/22/22... that falls on a Tuesday!  How 'bout we celebrate with two tu-tus?

Below is our oldest granddaughter on her first birthday, sporting her fluffy tutu with pride.

This picture brings a big smile to my face every time.  She has always been a bit of a daredevil... there was no telling her to sit down in that rocking chair.  Five grandparents stood there holding our breath hoping that she would not topple off.  She did not and was quite proud of that too!

As I was completely absorbed in the studio, I was able to successfully complete blocks 3 & 4 of the Pieces in the Garden Row Quilt.  

Those tiny 1" finished 4-patch blocks were fun to match up and make different color combinations.

I am looking forward to being able to share a full reveal.

Row 2 and another conversation about Tressie's childhood friends will be published on March 3rd.  So, there is still time to get the pattern and make up 12 Bow blocks before the "Block Parade" link up closes at midnight, March 2nd.

Remember, the randomly chosen winner will receive a special tea selection from Cornerstone Tea Company!

I had a special story last week that featured a few of my Mom's favorite memories of her mother to celebrate what would have been Grandma's 107th birthday.  The special discount code to get 15% off an order with Cornerstone Tea Company can be found there too!

During breaks of playing with my scraps and sewing I cleaned my cutting mat and machine.  It was tricky getting my large mat into the tub since it didn't fit in there flat, but it was worth the extra effort of frequent shifting to properly clean and moisturize.  While I was at it, I changed my rotary cutter blade.  

❧  I'm ready to go for a few more weeks of piecing.  I have nothing new on the horizon other than prepping steps for the next two blocks for the BOM event at the LQS...  I'll be teaching them about the Our Country block, which has some very simple foundation paper piecing, and the Basket of Diamonds block.

❧  ... and more tiny blocks for the Garden Quilt.  (Sorry, I don't have much I can show you. 😔)

❧  I may take a look again at my Orphan Quilt since the orphans from Roseanne arrived.  I really should take a serious look since it was my One Month Goal project.   Hmmmm....

I am a little betwixed about how to incorporate them on the long sides and make them look like they weren't an afterthought.  

Do you have any ideas or suggestions?  Cutting or "unsewing" to make smaller sections is an option... What do you think???

Keep piecing!


Linking with:

Tuesday To-Do at Texas Quilt Gal
Midweek 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

Saturday, February 19, 2022

What To Do While We Wait

As we wait on so much in life, I offer these few thoughts...  

Waiting... waiting... waiting... Waiting is hard!

We are waiting to hear from the Lord about our future...  Service, yes.  Ministry?  Maybe? but to what level or extent.  Pastoral level???  Youth??? Music???  Mission?  We have no idea!

We are waiting for the arrival of a new desktop with all of the programs I (we) have become accustomed to... so that life in the business side of life can return to normal.  For now, we are recording all income and expenses on a hand-written spreadsheet.  But I am ever so grateful that we were able to get successful backups of documents onto an external hard-drive. 

I am so limited with my basic photo editing abilities and spend a great deal of time transferring files from camera to laptop to my tablet and then back to the laptop to be able to do some of what I want.  

We are waiting for things to dry out a bit more so that we can put the camper back on the truck and hit the road for a road trip and vacay...  We have had snow every 5-6 days for weeks.  The temps have been warm enough to completely melt most of the stuff between the storms and the ground is rather squishy and mushy at this point.  We need the ground to be a little firmer before we load the camper... and we are getting a little impatient.  

So, I have been busy with some secret tiny sewing, (hand)writing and testing the patterns for the Pieces in the Garden sew along.  

But impatience leads to finding things to keep one busy that we Dave usually wouldn't do... like deciding that the high-traffic corners of the hallway NEEDED to be fixed.  The areas in question are right outside my sewing room.  This means that his mutterings and mumblings were a distraction to me... and the drywall dust.  *ugh* He has tried to keep it to a minimum, but it just gets everywhere.  He kindly told me "I wouldn't bother dusting until some paint gets put over it."  Gee thanks... 😜

As he waited for some paint to dry, the hall corner project spilled over to the living room and turned into prepping fixing the computer desk for the new computer.  

I was quietly trying to ignore what was going on...

Taking small pieces of scrap fabric and making them even smaller and then sewing them together to make them a little bigger.

With every little piece, I am recalling memories of Grandma and realizing that the small bits and scraps of life and the memories that we recall, all put together, are what makes life LIFE!

And what is life without a quilt???  Cold... that is what it is.  

I am dreaming of spring and warmer temps... and walking on a beach and sleeping in the camper with the sound of the surf on the sand... and riding bikes on the beach or on the streets of a quaint little island/town...

Take me away!

If you could go away, right now, to anywhere at all, where would you like to go?

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

Keep Piecing!


Linking with:

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
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

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Teatime with TT and Carol

Welcome to Teatime with TT... Tressie Teegarden.  Today happens to be the birthday of TT.  So grab a cup of hot tea and celebrate with us!  There is a special discount code for a 15% discount purchase from Cornerstone Tea who is partnering with me for the Pieces in the Garden Sew Along.  The code will be at the bottom of this post.

Were she still living, Tressie would be 107 years old.  I asked my mom to share some special memories and thoughts of her mother... And here's what she had to say. 

Sixty-eight years of my life was my memory of TT ~ she's my Mom... So how can I pick out just one? I guess I will go with her love of the outdoors and camping, which began as a child, since her family would go camping. 

The earliest time of camping that I remember from my childhood was when I was about three and we went camping at Camp Crocket in the San Isabel National Forest. We spent lots of weekends there all year around as a family.

Then after we moved to Trinidad my brother, Forrie, and I were older, 
(I was 6 when we moved back from Pueblo, CO) and we would pack up the car with camp stove, picnic suitcase, pots, tarp and sleeping bags. Each night we would have to set up camp and each morning pack up the car to go.

After Forrie and I were on our own, Dad built a camper for their pickup. That camper saw lots of places. Then they replaced that camper with an overhead camper, it also saw lots of places from coast to coast. They spent a lot of time at Forrie’s property in their camper.  
Dad dug a trench and laid electric line from a power pole to a pine tree and put a plug on a tree to so that we could have electricity in our campers. Below is a picture of the first camper Grandpa built. 

Side note: Forrie owns 15 acres located in a canyon between Trinidad and Stonewall and we still go there for weekends with our own family for the Nolan Family Camp Weekends.  Forrie built a cabin using the inheritance that he had received after their passing.

When TT wasn’t camping she would enjoy her teatime out on the patio in Tucson. She could have tea outside almost every day as it was warm enough in Tucson. After dad died and we moved her to Trinidad she had a back patio where on nice days she could have her tea and look at her beloved Fishers Peak (as shown in this photo). In the winter she had a dining room table that was in front of a big picture window where she could have her tea and at look at the peak.

Another memory of TT... Her mother taught her to sew and make fancy seams and how to do embroidery work. Mom also knitted and crocheted. As early as I can remember she made all my clothes until I started making my own.
Here we are with some of her hats
January 2003 when we were packing the house
in Tucson for the move to Colorado
She crocheted a yellow dress and hat for me when I was about one.  One Easter when I was about two, I had a light blue coat and bonnet with white fancy work on them. Each Easter I had a new outfit.

When I was about four, I had a navy-blue skirt with a cape and a red hat 
(she loved hats!) and drawstring bag with fancy work on them. My dresses always had embroidery, or smocking.

I was a majorette when I was seven, and she made my outfit and hat. When I was around 8, I had a red and white dress... it might have been hearts with a heart pocket with lace around it and a hoop skirt. Also had a blue poodle skirt with pink poodle.

When my own children, Kelvin and Melva, came along, she knitted sweaters for both of them and made suite jackets for Kelvin. One year as a Halloween costume, TT made Melva an orange and black majorette outfit.  

While she was at an assisted living facility in 2006 the staff helped us host a tea party in her honor.  It was a pleasant time and Tressie loved being at the center of attention.  (If my computer had not died, I'd share a picture showing the evidence of this.  The smile on her face is priceless.)  Tressie loved her sweets as much as she loved tea.  And if chocolate was involved, it was all the better!  Though she wasn't a fan of the flavored teas.  She preferred the plain black pekoe tea, lightly brewed.  Here's a recipe for a sweet "crumpet" that she would have happily enjoyed...

Butter Cookies

2 cups Almond Flour
6 tablespoons butter - softened
6 tablespoons powdered Sugar 
(I use 1/3 cup coconut sugar - pulverized in the food processor until it is a super-fine texture)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix in food processor until all ingredients form a ball.

Shape into 30 small balls.  

Use a spoon or finger to form a divot in the center of the cookie.  

Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes.  

Place a small amount of mini chips or a large chocolate chunk in the divot.  Return to the warm oven for 1-2 minutes... just until the chocolate is softened. 

Gently spread the chocolate.  Let cool... enjoy!

What are some of your favorite cookies?  

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

Don't forget to check out Cornerstone Tea... here's the discount code - CAMPING - It will get you a 15% discount on your purchase, valid through March 2nd.

Monday, February 14, 2022

Adjustment Time...

It has taken a few days to work through the frustration and shock (and some relief) of losing our desktop computer...

Relief came once we had successfully rescued and backed up all of our documents and finally made the decision to order a new one and not deal with the likely future crashes that were certain to come (as we were warned by our techy son-in-law and our local emergency computer consultant).

And now we wait 12 more days for the new computer to arrive.  But who's counting?!?  My fingers are crossed that we actually get a little earlier than that, but I am not willing to hold my breath for that to happen... 😨

Once I came to terms with my limitations I returned to the studio and my Orphan Quilt.  I have used all of the blocks I had on hand and have just one narrow section to fill in at the bottom of the top.

I added the 2" wide strip of double flying geese on the lower left, as well as a piano keys piece on the lower right... both helped to reduce some of the scraps I had on hand.

I'd like to make it just a little wider, and I thought I'd do that with some borders, but Roseanne over at Home Sewn By Us has kindly offered to send me her orphans.  

The additional orphans should make this quilt just the right size... approximately 60"x80" and no need for borders...  

Leaving it in more of the style of vintage quilts.  

It is almost as if I had anticipated the distractions that would come to us with my shortest ever To-Do List... Just work on the Orphan Quilt.   Hmmmmm.... 

❧ So, for now, I will set this project to the side and pick up my notebook of block sketches and rough patterns for the Pieces in the Garden Row Quilt and get to work with those.

There is a special post celebrating Tressie's birthday on February 16th and includes a discount code that will get you 15% off of a purchase at Cornerstone Tea who is partnering with me for the prize give aways during the sew along.

❧ I'll be caring for my cutting mat as well.  I found this post about doing so on the Quilting Digest blog.  While I'm at it, I'll do a cleaning and simple maintenance of my machines.

Proper maintenance (just like backing up computer documents on a regular basis) can eliminate some serious headaches. 

When was the last time you cleaned your sewing machine?  
Or shown some love to your cutting mat?  

Leave a comment... I love hearing from you!

Stay calm and keep piecing,


Linking with:

Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Tuesday To-Do at Texas Quilt Gal
Midweek 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
Stitch Sew & Show at Life in the Scrap Patch 

Friday, February 11, 2022

Technical Difficulties


I wish I could say that I have a finish to share this week... I wish I could say that things have improved in our computer world... but I CAN'T, not really.

While we were able to salvage all of our files from the desktop AND we have a laptop to do some minor things... we thought things were looking up.  The computer finally made it all the way through a scan and seemed to be doing better... and then it tanked AGAIN.

Having had enough fun, we chose to order a new computer.  Sadly, it will be two weeks before it arrives.  **sigh** 

I have been working on a fun little story of memories of Tressie that will (hopefully) be shared on Thursday.  Fingers are crossed that I can locate all of the pictures I know are somewhere on the external hard drive or that I can get the scanner connected to the portable thing that will be my friend for the next few weeks. 😜

Soooo... all that to say, I may be a little scarce here for a while.  Catch me over on fb at Melva Loves Scraps or on instagram at MelvaLovesScraps.  

But before you leave, tell me...

Are you making progress with the 12 Bow blocks for the Pieces in the Garden row quilt?  

Keep piecing,


Linking with:

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
Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework
Sunday Stash at QuiltPaintCreate

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Thankful Thursday - February 10

Thankful Thursday could easily find me grumbling and griping... BUT!  I refuse to do that... Despite the issues I have had with our desktop computer shutting down and poor sleep and various commitments that have kept me out of my studio, I am here to say I am still thankful!  

I am ever so grateful that the computer has continued to re-start, and I can get some of the most important and immediately needed documents saved to an external hard drive.  Whew!

I am also thankful that we have a laptop so that I can continue my writing of patterns and stories.  BIG WHEW!

Yesterday afternoon, as I left Dave home to babysit the transfer of files and trying to run a virus scan, I was with quilters for the Pieces of the Past BOM event hosted by the closest to me LQS, Patchwork Phoenix located about 30 minutes away from me in Raton, NM.  Some of the quilters shared their recent finishes... this one, that has 365 FPP 3-inch blocks is STUNNING!  She said that one of the blocks had 50+ pieces!  WOW!

We had a great time together... it was officially my first time leading a "class" of quilters.  

I was demonstrating the assembly of blocks 3 & 4 from the Pieces from the Past quilt.  I fielded questions from the quilters about English Paper Piecing.  It will be a first time using the technique and most were willing and interested in learning.  

When we were done several of the ladies enjoyed looking at all of the future blocks, the various techniques that will be used in the blocks and the layout of the quilt.  I look forward to getting to know all of the even better in the months to come. 😍

For now, you know where you can find me.  😂 I'll be in therapy this afternoon...

What are YOU thankful for?

Keep piecing!


Linking with: 

Put Your Foot Down at For the Love of Geese
Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation

Monday, February 7, 2022

Orphans No More

Winter has finally arrived in southern Colorado...  Though it only seems to appear for a day or so and then it thaws and leaves a mucky, miry, muddy mess that requires additional efforts to take our usual walks... but the view from the top of the hill is beautiful!

Dave and I use this walk to process and talk through the many things and situations that take place in life... and any exercise benefits we may get from it is bonus!

It is almost as vital to me as my creative time in the studio!

In recent months we have been sensing that there has been a shift or a change of purpose in our lives... a changing of seasons, so to speak.

For the past 18+ months we held the role of worship leaders at our church... and a few months after assuming that role, the church suddenly needed an interim pastor.  Dave bravely stepped in and filled that need until a new pastor was selected and hired.  

As I said, in recent months as we have talked and thought (and maybe even complained or grumbled) we have wondered what the next season looks like...  After much deliberation and conversation with the Pastor, his wife and another leader, we announced that we will be taking a sabbatical.  We don't know what it look like nor how long it will be, but we are open to whatever it might be...

All this to say that my time in the studio with my orphan blocks has been therapeutic... 

✔  These left over, sometimes imperfect, blocks have found their place in this odd, misfit of a quilt top.  

John 14:18... I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you came to mind one day.  All of us have a place and purpose in life and as we search for our new purpose , this quilt will remind me that we too will have a place... very soon!

I have just a few small slivers of space to fill in, but I am not far from having all of the orphans and a few scraps fully assembled and ready for a border.  

I filled a few of the gaps with the double flying geese (FPP) blocks.  I have printed them in a variety of sizes... 2", 3" and 4" wide.  And those bow tie blocks were pieced recently when I was trying to figure out patterns from the Pieces in the Garden row quilt

If you are a bit intimidated with the 4" bow block that I chose (shown above), this would be a great alternative.  It is an easy block with just six pieces:  2 blocks of the main fabric cut to 2-1/2" square and 2 blocks of background fabric, also 2-1/2" square.  You'll need two more 1-1/2" square of the main fabric.

Lay the smaller block on the background block (as shown in the center section of the photo at the right) and stitch on the center line, trim and press open.  

Easy, Peasy!

I had a question about the flying geese units in for the bow block... from an anonymous reader.  I would have happily answered via a private email, but since the reader prefers to be anonymous, here you go.

"having trouble figuring where the flying geese are placed.
can't tell from the picture provided... all pieces look to be half squares"

Well... that's because the photo shown above does not have any flying geese in them.  This was one of the first blocks I made and then modified the pattern... Good eye!

Here is a photo of the block made WITH flying geese units. :)  You can see that they are on all four sides of the block as well as two in the center of the block.  It offers the same look to the block with few seams/pieces.  

✔I have the pattern for row 2 ready for March 3rd and all 16 of my blocks pieced, and photographed... You'll have to come back to see which one it is. 

✔And I prepared the various step examples for the BOM event with the quilt shop in Raton, but it was postponed because of a scheduling conflict with the owner of the shop.  I'll be meet with the quilters on Wednesday.

So... what will I be working on for the coming week???

❧  I'll continue with the Orphan Block Quilt... I think I want to make it wider.  Probably some sort of scrappy border.  

But, I already have a plan for the quilting... The hanging star grid with lines 4" apart, machine quilted and then big-stitch hand quilting with variegated thread in between, making the quilting lines 2" apart.  The hand quilting part will be a road-trip activity for me when we head to the Gulf Coast in March. 

I am already dreaming of warmer temps, walks on the beach and the sound of surf... Ahhhhh!  We want to tour the Space Center in Houston, spend a few days in Galveston again and then head to Louisiana and maybe Alabama.  

Do you have any tips or suggestions for us?  
Places that are a MUST see, or places we could camp in our truck camper?

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

Keep Piecing,


Linking with:

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