Sunday, June 30, 2024

Sew & Tell ~ July 1, 2024

Ready? Set. SELL!

What I did last week... And what I will be doing this week...

The Living Estate (Senior Downsizing) Sale is taking place Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

There was only one morning that I made took time to finally touch and fondle any fabric... at this point in time, I don't even remember which day it was.  My Mom had a quilt that needed the binding replaced.  Out with the old and in with the new.  

We can't have something worn and tattered in the new place!
She has settled in quickly and seems to be very happy with the place.  Does she miss her big house?  Yes, but no.  

I stopped by unannounced one afternoon to drop off her fine china and silver to be placed in "deep storage" (the upper cabinets that she cannot reach anyway).  She was willing to part ways with it, but the girls thought it would be nice to someday be able to pass it on to one of her great-grandchildren (she has four and between my 2 daughters and I and this one from Mom, we have a set of china for each great-grand).  Of course, neither of the daughters offered to store it.  

I digress... back to the story... I stopped by unannounced, and she was not in her apartment.  I took care of my task and then went in search of her.  She was visiting her friend on the lower level!  I love that she has a wonderful community of neighbors.  They watch out for each other, and several stopped by to say welcome and to see if she needed any assistance with anything.  Phone numbers have even been exchanged.  I firmly believe that this move has been a very good thing... all orchestrated by God when we began the conversation of "what next" last September.

As Mom stood looking at all of the "stuff" she could not take she was saddened but understands and agrees that she could not stay in the house.  It was too difficult to maintain the yard and it was becoming increasingly more difficult to stay up with the cleaning and small repairs of the inside.  She really does like her new place.  

She watched Dave and I closely as we worked to replace the mailbox that they had.  

This old pump became a mailbox holder many years ago. Exactly when is unknown, but I suppose there is a possibility that this was the box that received some of the letters that the former POWs sent... It was around when she and Dad dated.  There were a few letters delivered to that location in 1949!  I love the idea that the letters that inspired my first sew along were placed in that box!

This photo shows that it is now proudly in place in one of our flower gardens.  Dave has talked of creating a water feature with it.  He also wants to make some sort of birdhouse insert so that it can be insulated and used so as to not bake the little birds.  

Time for this week's feature... Viridian shared the finish of her Silk Path Quilt made of used blue and white reproduction fabrics and finished at 60"x85".  The pattern is from Bonnie Hunter.   Jump over to her post to see a photo of the full quilt and show her some love.

That's all I have for this week...

Have a blessed and safe time as we celebrate America's Independence Day this week! 🎆

Keep Piecing,


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Thursday, June 27, 2024

Pieces of My Life ~ Diamond Solitaire & Steps to the Altar

With the last block of Pieces of My Life, I shared the story of Dave and I meeting and falling in love with each other and within a few months' time, I had a promise ring from him. It is a small tiny solitaire that he borrowed money from one of his sisters in order to purchase.  It means the world to me.  

A year later, he gave me an engagement ring.  The diamond wasn't much bigger, but it had setting that made it appear larger.  When we were ready to purchase wedding rings, I bought him a plain band and we repurposed that promise ring to become my wedding ring. Both the promise ring and the engagement ring had a matching "twist" to them so that they nested together nicely.

We renewed our wedding vows on our 13th anniversary and at that time Dave had our local jeweler (and friend) replace the small diamond solitaire (block #11) in the "engagement" ring with a much larger stone.  At that same time, I had the jeweler join the two rings together... permanently stuck together... like Dave & I. ;)

After our "formal" engagement we started taking the necessary Steps to the Altar (block #12) by choosing our wedding date - August 10.  We discussed how large of a wedding party we wanted, how large our guest list should be... and the all-important detail of what our wedding colors would be.

Pink and Blue were very popular at the time.  I loved pink and Dave suggested that we pair a deep rust with it.  The reaction we had from others when we told them was one of shock.  LOL!  But honestly, it worked!
Our wedding was done on a very small budget, but it was all either of us could have hoped for.  I'll share more details with the next few blocks.  

For now, jump over to my payhip store to grab the patterns.  I hope that you enjoy making these blocks and that my stories spur on some of your own memories.  

But before you go, tell me... if you married,

Did you fall into the trend of popular colors?
Or did you, like me, bypass them and go with less popular colors?

If you have not been married... what would you do?

Keep Piecing,


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Please note: 
This linky party is open for those participating in my sew along event.  
If you share a link that is not related it will be deleted. 

Sunday, June 23, 2024

Sew & Tell ~ Moving

The week was filled with packing materials, boxes and lifting... BUT the move has been made and Mom is pretty well settled into her new apartment. 

 It took four "movers", two trailers and five vehicles in one load, followed by a second load on two trailers with a few straggler items in vehicles again.

We were all numb by late afternoon on Friday.  But no one was injured, and there were no damages to any of Mom's belongings. 

The work of clearing the house out in preparation for a garage sale and the sale of the house begins... 

Other than the move, the only thing that I have to show is this paper embroidery.  I've been working on this piece for several weeks. It was the perfect creative activity for me to focus on for a few minutes each evening.  Knowing that God's hand was in all of the arrangements and details of her move was comforting.

This week's feature is Diann at Little Penguin Quilts.  She showed off her Paducah Star quilt that measures 48" square.  I love that a simple traditional block became a modern looking quilt and her colors are gorgeous. 

Diann also shared her My Heart block from the Pieces of My Life Sew Along as well as her story of life-long friends and how she met her husband.  Jump over to her blog to read all about it. 

Speaking of Pieces of My Life... There will be two new patterns released this week ~ Have you been keeping up?  Are you using the memory pages that I have developed?

Interested in getting the pages?  Send me an e-mail with the subject line of "newsletter" and I will add you to my list. 

Gotta go!

Keep Piecing,


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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Sew & Tell ~ Day Camp & VBS Done

We survived!  Haha... Actually, the big girls are easy to have around.  They help out when asked without complaint and for the most part have figured out how to get along and know that we don't tolerate their fighting.  

There were popsicle breaks in the afternoons, bedtime stories, and games following dinner.  

Emma enjoyed the embroidery more than Maggie.  Emma finished her towel within a few days and loved the French knots.  

Grandpa got in on the action and helped Emma make the petals on the flower. 

The French knots were a challenge for Maggie, and she didn't like them, but she loved the running stitches and the cross-stitches.  We'll finish her towel in July at our "family camp weekend."

Both girls asked to do some sewing on the machine.  I gave them a choice of pillowcases or a drawstring bag.  Both chose the bag as their project.  They made their selections of fabric, and I made one for baby sister, Hanna... because... well, she can't be left out. ;)

There was fun in the sun at a splash park and at Trinidad Lake, as well as movie time.  Emma had selected the book The Secret Garden at the library.  She didn't get far, but they watched the 2017 version of the movie.  It was very different from the movie I watched when our daughters were young.

Playing at Trinidad Lake with a neighbor boy

We read The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe at bedtime.  We didn't finish it, but we still enjoyed the movie on Thursday night after a dinner of lasagna and sparkling cider to celebrate the end of the week.

We had a great time with them... and they enjoyed their time here as well.  They stated several times that they wished VBS went all summer and are talking about coming again, not just next year but several years ahead, when Emma would be old enough to be one of the volunteer helpers. 

We love our time with the grands!  But we were wiped out!!! We reminded ourselves several times... this is why we had kids when we were young. ;)

I made very little progress on the Plus Quilt... and this week I will be busy helping with the final details of Mom's move.  It will be happening by the week's end.  After the move is done... we will go camping.  Hmmmm... It may be a few weeks before I get back to it.  Good thing it isn't needed until October!  This is quite the contrast to the 10-year anniversary quilt that I whipped out a couple weeks ago.  😮  Summer activities seem to push quilting to the back burner for many... I see so many talking of gardening, travel, activities with children or grand-children, and many more.

Is this something that happens to you as well?  
What sort of activities/distractions cause your quilting to stall?

Let's take a look at this week's randomly selected Sew & Tell Feature... Congratulations to Gretchen at Gretchen's Little Corner where you can join the celebration of her finishing her Hearts & Wreaths Quilt.

Hearts & Wreaths was put into the quilting frame January 5, 2024 and removed from the frame May 31. I spent last week binding the quilt. I was very enthused about this quilt so the quilting went quickly, 5 months for a short stitched quilt is fast!

Let's get the new party started... What have you been working on?

Keep Piecing,


PS... Every once in a while, you need to do some "housekeeping" and that is one of the things I have been doing in conjunction with my husband's website. I've added a new tab at the top of my blog so that you can easily find all of the links to the stories of the Pieces of My Life Sew Along. :)  Do you have other suggestions?  I welcome constructive and gentle critiques.

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Sunday, June 9, 2024

Sew & Tell ~ Grandparent's Day Camp Plans

Welcome!  I am thrilled to have you stop by for Sew & Tell.  The place where you can share your latest creative projects and find inspiration for new projects.

The past week had a relaxed pace for me as I completed the Plus Quilt flimsy.  When I shared on Friday, I was well motivated and ambitious and actually thought I might be able to not only get the quilting done, but the binding as well. 

I plan to do a sort of quilting design that would resemble a healthy heartbeat, with a heart in the middle of each "rhythm".  
The name of this quilt will be "My Heart Beats For You."  I need to practice this design on my FMQ jig before I start quilting.  
The "lazies" snuck up on me on Saturday morning and I had no desire to do quilting.  I piddled around with several things... like looking at the furs that we acquired a few months ago.  I purchased some stocking caps on clearance and want to make fur pompoms for them.  But now I can't decide on which one to cut into to begin the repurposing step.  There is one that I would actually wear for a fancy event... The other mink stole could be transformed into a vest but there wouldn't be large enough fur pieces to make a pompom.  The full-length fur will become a large throw but I'm not ready to cut into that one... Such problems! 

So, instead of quilting I gathered some things together for our afternoon "day camp" projects with the girls.  I put together some small embroidery/sewing boxes with pencil boxes (that were mysteriously sent to us last year).  I have included a small embroidery hoop, a few needles, a thimble, pincushion and a notepad.  I will add in some scissors and a pencil and let the girls pick through the embroidery floss from the tin that was my Grandma's embroidery/crewel tin.  (One of the items that followed me home from a down-sizing session at Mom's.)

I will make up a small "corner design" for a dishtowel for them to learn on.  I plan to include running stitches, cross-stitch and a few lazy-daisies and French knots in the design.  Depending on how well they do with that, and if they have a continued interest, we can do another corner or another item like a pillowcase or apron.

The first thing we will do on Monday afternoon is to make a visit to the library to allow them each to choose a book to read.  I need to pick up a second copy of The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe for us to take turns as we read aloud.  I have the book on CD as well and will pass the nearly 90-minute drive listening to the book as we drive to Emma's softball game on Tuesday evening.  They can follow along in their books.  Thursday evening will be the last night they will be staying with us, so I have a "movie night" planned to watch the movie.

We hope to spend one afternoon splashing, romping and playing on the shore of Trinidad Lake. Finally, if needed, we will give some tie-dying a try... with a twist by using natural dye made with avocado skins, red cabbage, beets and yellow onion skins.  (Maybe... after reading the process of creating the dyes, it may be easier to buy some Rit Dye and call it good. LOL!)

That's it... there's our "organized" Day-Camp activities.  I think that is enough to keep them busy occupied a good portion of time.  I don't want to over-organize and over-plan their time with us.  Besides... we have plenty of other "stuff" they enjoy playing with when they visit... like the Barbies, Big Girl Dolls, board games and card games, as well as outside stuff too.

Ok, I'll be honest... I don't want to overload ME with the responsibility of coordinating more activities and I feel this is just the right amount. 

Time for the Sew & Tell feature.  This week it is Allison at A Messy House is A Sign of a Happy Quilter. I think this is her first time sharing in Sew & Tell and this is just one of the lovely Moda Blockhead blocks she has. Be sure to visit to see what else she has on display for all of us... and be sure to tell her that I sent you ;)

That's all I have for you this week. :)  Let the party begin!

But before you go... tell me if you ever went to visit your grandparents for a week or more.  What sort of activities did you get to do?

I had this opportunity several times.  The first time I was about 12 years old, and I was so homesick for Mom & Dad.  After a few days I got to talk to them on the phone and then I was good.  Back to my happy, normal self. 

Keep Piecing,


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Friday, June 7, 2024

Plus Quilt - A Friday Flimsy Finish

I feel as though I am in an airplane circling the airport, waiting for approval to land... This feeling comes from the fact that I am still waiting for a final move-in date for Mom's apartment. 😧 I had hoped for March... Mom though May would be good... and now, here we are in June. 😐

My phone call to the landlord this week brought the sad news that he had strained his back (while picking up a piece of lint on the floor).  The tile floors have been grouted and sealed and I think the carpet install has been scheduled (though I don't know the date).  A new glass-top stove is on order and he is awaiting the arrival of a replacement faucet since the one he purchased has missing parts. :(

In the meantime, I enjoyed time in my sewing room at a slower pace than last week.  The Plus quilt that will be a wedding gift for a nephew is now a flimsy.  After beginning the layout on the design wall I realized that it was going to end up much larger than I really wanted.  I decided to eliminate a few rows and columns so it 
will finish at 76" square.

Each one of the fabrics selected for this quilt has flowers on it.  I was told by the Groom's mother that both of them really enjoy flowers and flower gardens.

I made a special trip to the LQS in Raton, NM (a 30-minute drive) on Thursday to pick this backing fabric up. Sadly, the shop is closing due to the owner's husband being diagnosed with lung cancer.  If you care to lift them in prayer as they begin the treatment, I know that they are welcome and appreciated.  If you are looking for any great deals, go check out the website for Patchwork Phoenix.  This was just $5/yard.  Well worth the time and cost of the drive to make the purchase. :)  She is willing to ship as well. 

In other news... If you missed it, I released the next 2 patterns for the Pieces of My Life sew along - A small star and the My Heart blocks.  I mentioned this:

I have "revamped" my email list for the memory pages to include ONLY those that have downloaded any portion of the book.  My list went from nearly 500 down to less than 100.  If you have not received a newsletter with the "private" link to the pages for this section, but would like to, please let me know by sending an email at  I have made the previous pages available for purchase for a small fee.

I have spent a great deal of time working on this sew along as I have written patterns, tested them and created two quilt layouts... not to mention the pages and memories and stories that I have shared and will continue to share (pages available at no cost if you subscribe to my newsletter)...  and am happy to have you join me.  If you have a deeply appreciative heart and would like to leave me a "tip" or buy me a "ko-fi", I have added in a button below and in the side margins (of the full web page) so that you can do so.  

If you leave an anonymous or no-reply comment saying you would like to receive the pages, I cannot do anything for you.  I must have an email message or you must leave your email address in the comments. It's just the way it is. 🙎

I'll be back on Sunday evening with next week's Sew & Tell Party... hopefully with a final finish of the Plus Quilt. Be sure to join me then too.  If I am slow to respond to comments or emails next week, be patient... we have two grand-daughters that will be visiting to attend VBS in the mornings and then a mini "summer camp" with Grandpa & Grandma. :)  I'll share our plans with the Sew & Tell party.

On another blogspot note... has anyone else been encountering issues with links and highlighting?  All I have to say is that it seems there are some weird things going on and it is a little frustrating.  I've worked through most, but still.  Does it really need to be this hard???

Be Blessed and Keep Piecing,



Thursday, June 6, 2024

Pieces of My Life ~ Blocks 9 & 10 ~ Small Star & My Heart

Welcome back to Melva Loves Scraps and the Pieces of My Life Sew along. 💙💜

With these blocks ~ a single star and My Heart ~ we transition from our childhood and teen years to the awkward yet exciting time of being a young adult.  Prompts in the Memory Book pages include questions about memories of cancelled school days because of a snowstorm and winter activities to the time that you ventured into the world as an adult...

I recall the excitement of turning 18, graduating high school and dipping my toes into the "adult" world of no parent to answer to at college.  It was freeing yet terrifying all at the same time.  

I only worked a portion of the summer, earning money to pay for college.  I think I had planned to have the entire month of August "off".  During that month, I had plenty of time to hang out with friends and even made a week+ trip to Tucson with one of my besties to stay with my Grandparents.  Karen and I drove Grandma & Grandpa home.  They had wrapped up a big trip of theirs... we were not aware of it but, Grandpa was not well.  But Karen and I thought it was really cool of them to let us do all of the driving.  It was a little like having our own little road trip!

Karen and I generally got along really well... except when we had to share a bed.  After sharing a bed for two nights in Tucson, Grandma & Grandpa gave up their bed (they slept in the camper in the driveway) so that I could get some sleep and Karen and I could be besties again.  We walked all over town.  We wandered around the University of Arizona Campus and enjoyed our time together.  When it was time to go home, we met my parents at the Grand Canyon.

Sidenote:: I think this was the time and location that Grandma said something about me someday writing my memoirs.  She must have known!

It was time for Karen to return back to the HS for her senior year and I prepared to go to Trinidad State.

I remember I was excited to begin my classes.  Move in day was on a Wednesday or Thursday and Registration on Friday.  But I was freaking out because I had to write a check for said classes.  I knew that didn't have enough money in my checking account to cover the cost ($1,050 plus some odd change - Yes, I still have all of the paperwork from registration with classes & cost!) and I didn't know where I was going to find enough to cover it.  Mom assured me that she would put money in the account to cover it.  Thanks MOM!  I did get a work-study job using my secretarial skills that I was learning in my classes for the Basketball Coach.  I was able to reduce the cost of college by getting all of my books through the athletic department.  The job helped me to have enough for the gas expense of going home some most weekends.  I also had a dorm scholarship to help cover the cost of room & board.  

I met Dave on one of the first days on campus and the first weekend on campus was filled with activities.  I attended the Freshman mixer on Saturday night with a group of girls from the dorm.  Dave was also in attendance with a twinkling star look in his eyes.  He was a good dancer and even won a dance contest with another girl.  He strutted back and forth in front of the table we were sitting at.  The other girls were encouraging me to ask him to dance... I was a big ol' chicken and needed some courage to do so.  That courage came in the form of beer that was provided at the dance.

After consuming the proper amount of liquid courage, I did ask him.  He said yes.  I thanked him for the dance with a kiss as we left the dance floor.  I was the one he left the dance with. After the dance we went to some apartment in town where the party continued.  We were pretty much a couple from then on... even though I had a little business to take care of back at home... like break up with a guy that told me to go enjoy "the full college experience".  I found out from Karen shortly after my leaving town that he was see on a date with someone else. We parted ways without much fanfare.

A few pictures from our college years photo album

After being together for just a week or so, Dave told me that he would marry me.  I did not believe him.  In fact, my response was "You're crazy!"  

I guess he knew what he was talking about. (Just like Grandma knew, too) LOL.  By November we had talked about getting married when he was done with the gunsmithing program.  Shortly after, he talked to my Dad about wanting to marry me and for Christmas he gave me a promise ring. 

Bit by bit and piece by piece, Dave captured my attention, my heart and my devotion.  I'm glad he knew... and that he was patient enough to not give up on me.

I have "revamped" my email list for the memory pages to include ONLY those that have downloaded any portion of the book.  My list went from nearly 500 down to less than 100.  If you have not received a newsletter with the "private" link to the pages for this section, but would like to, please let me know by sending an email at  I have made the previous pages available for purchase for a small fee.

I have spent a great deal of time working on this sew along as I have written patterns, tested them and created two quilt layouts... not to mention the pages and memories and stories that I have shared and will continue to share (pages available at no cost if you subscribe to my newsletter)...  and am happy to have you join me.  If you have a deeply appreciative heart and would like to leave me a "tip" or buy me a "ko-fi", I have I have added in a button below and in the side margins (of the full web page) so that you can do so.  

I have offered all of my sew alongs at no cost to you.  They truly are a labor of love and I get great joy out of creating them.  I find great joy in seeing your creations also.  Sooo... 

It's now time to for you to get your patterns in my payhip store.  Don't forget to come back to bring me some JOY as you share your blocks in the parade of blocks.

But before you go, tell me...

Do you believe in "love at first sight"?

Keep Piecing,


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