The post about sewing and quilting

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So, what’s this post about? Well, the title sort of gives it away but it may be a bit misleading. I mean, I don’t sew nor do I quilt. I once bought one of them sewing thingamajigs that made it easy attaching buttons but, like most things meant to take the work out of work, it didn’t work so well. 

On the other hand, I do cook some (very few dishes) and help clean house and help do laundry (folding) and there’s no doubt vacuuming is my domain. 

But, sewing? Quilting? That sounds like a hobby . . . specifically, Melisa’s hobby. I could type many words praising Melisa for who she is and what she does but suffice it to say she’s smart and capable. These things I’m about to mention are things she does for fun. With that out of the way, let’s begin . . . 

The above photo is proof of another one of her talents . . . she has a good eye for decorating a house. . . and she made the curtains, she made the pillows, she made a cover for the ottoman . . . 

. . . made the valences, as well. 

More pillows, an ottoman made from a garage sale coffee table, and more decorating deftness. 

Made these curtains, the bed skirt, the duvet cover, more pillows, more decorating . . . 

. . . more pillows, another duvet cover, more decorating. 

As far as sewing goes, Melisa is self-taught. Same for cooking/baking, in which she also excels; so much so that she was asked to give the demonstration classes at Williams-Sonoma where she worked part-time after we moved to Colorado. Speaking of food, I’m looking forward to once again enjoying afternoon teas as well as some baked goods I sorely miss. 

In case anyone is wondering, all her sewing is done on this machine . . .

. . . I kid, of course . . . 

This was her sewing room at our Colorado home, although for the big projects the kitchen island and sometimes the hardwood floors were appropriated for the task. She made the white cover for her sewing table. The panel below the Bernina sewing machine is removable for when she sewed.

In many ways, she’s a bit like me . . . but better. Meaning, she gets interested in doing something and starts doing it, working at it until she masters it to her satisfaction.

She’s self-taught but sometimes she does take classes . . . like, for instance, making hats from Alpaca fibers . . . 

For a while, she got into making bags and for those, after following patterns, she started modifying them to her own liking.

There are a number of bags that were not documented. Rather, I’m sure we took photos, but I can’t find them or my memory is faulty. That included a fairly involved carpetbagger-type bag and utility bags made out of denim. 

Sometimes, she made bags for friends or as was this case, a niece of a friend . . . 

A family friend is a huge Elvis fan, so . . . 

Some she gave to family . . . 

This bag was for Melisa’s sister for our 2012 Alaska cruise.

And she made one for herself (we still use it when we travel) . . . 

These next two were modified to her liking. The second one still serves as her gym bag. 

This first bag was made of fabric from the 1970’s, which she found at a garage sale.

Melisa’s gym bag . . . 

There were others, more complicated ones, but the photos are buried in my 100K+ photos. 

In 2015, she got interested in quilting . . . this is one of her practice pieces. She’ll eventually put it together (right now, just panels and there are more panels) but it served to learn quilting techniques. I sometimes listened and watched and helped work out how some things were meant to be cut and sewn (my input was minimal) and for other men who might not think much of quilting . . . it’s complicated. Not always, but often. 

She has a few other unfinished pieces . . . 

That’s just the top and will eventually be extended to be a proper King Size (that’s the size of that bed). 

Another large piece that needs to be finished. Unfortunately, neither of the condos we lived in for the past two years have the room for working on large pieces. 

A few more of her yet-to-be-finished pieces . . . front and back of one:

A practice piece that needs quilting and binding (gosh, I hope I’m using the right terminology) . . . 

A similar piece that will be a runner once completed . . . 

Just to be clear, not finished. Neither is this next one . . . all of the pieces are loose and will be sewn down like the others . . . 

And, another that waits for finishing touches . . . 

. . . or this . . . 

Another work in progress . . . 

. . . as is this . . . 

. . . which will get these pieces added . . . 

. . . to end up looking something like this . . . 

The blue version above is one of two Melisa is currently playing with; here’s the other . . . 

She’s still thinking about what she might add to it, but here are some ideas . . . 

Some patterns she has, some she makes for herself based on what she thinks might look good. I get pulled in for questions about colors and patterns combination. I’m just a soundboard but occasionally, my input helps. 

Some might wonder why so many unfinished pieces . . . well, our current living conditions don’t lend themselves to easily exploring one’s hobbies (I’m really looking forward to a proper office/photo studio in our next house).

But, a part of not finishing some projects also has to do with other projects that take precedence, like things she made as gifts . . . 

For my 65th birthday milestone, she made me a card . . . 

I ask you . . . how am I to top that?!?! Or, even match it? 

Last Christmas she made this stocking for her hairdresser . . . 

And this trio for friends of ours . . . 

Another recent project; before binding . . . 

. . . and, after binding:

Like me, she is acutely aware of any flaws and they loom large in her eyes . . . but I don’t see them.

These next two pieces are from a kit she purchased here. The shop had one of these assembled and for sale for $75 . . . but even I could tell it was a poor job of quilting. Melisa’s — despite her maintaining there are flaws — looks much better.

Those were her first two . . . this next one she says is better (but it looks just as good to me) . . . here are the front and back of it (it’s upside down but note the strip of fabric on the back that allows these pieces to be wall-hung):

Here’s another of her early pieces she considers flawed . . . 

Next, it’s one of two recent pieces . . . this one is waiting for the seeds . . .

. . . while the other one already has them . . . 

Another early project . . . 

. . . and yet another (front and back) . . . 

Finally, a recent piece currently serving time on our coffee table . . . 

That’s one side; here’s the other side (they look similar) . . .

I probably missed a few things but we didn’t document everything Melisa has made. We’re now being more conscientious about taking photos so going forward we’ll have a more complete record of everything. 

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

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