The post about sewing and quilting

For them not interested in reading, you can go directly to the SmugMug Gallery HERE . . . but, it’s not annotated.
For a slideshow click HERE. When you click the link, it will open in a new window and you have two options:
1) Manually scroll through the photos by clicking the “<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos.
2) There’s a PLAY/PAUSE button at the bottom-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow will run a full-screen slideshow. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos as this will pause the slideshow.
If you want the full experience, keep reading.

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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.


Note: if you are not reading this blog post at, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.


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About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
This entry was posted in Melisa's Stuff, Sewing and Quilting and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to The post about sewing and quilting

  1. sandra getgood says:

    The quilting is art, and absolutely beautiful…and this is a fascinating study of decorating . And those apricot-walnut strudels are truly mouthwatering. Fascinating post….what talents Melisa has, and how lucky you are!


  2. paolsoren says:

    OK, let’s be clear about this. Sometimes you come across as a bad tempered easily annoyed cranky misanthropic person. But you have this angel in your presence. A skilled, artistic competent angel.
    I have often wondered if you had any redeeming features. Now I know you must have. Don’t know what they are but you must have some.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. OHMYGOSH!!!! I love this post! (No offense to you, because your post are always great, but I love this post!) I love quilts! :-)

    Melisa is a very talented quilter/seamstress! Please thank her for sharing her talent,a and her art, with us! She has an amazing eye for colors and patterns! :-)

    And thank you, Emilio, for doing some cooking, cleaning, and laundry, so she can have more time to sew! :-)

    One of my best friends quilts and sews as a hobby. And then started teaching quilting classes. I helped her teach a class on hand-sewing quilts and that was fun.

    I’ve made several quilts by machine, but only one by hand. (which took a ton of time and work.) My favorite ones that I made were made using children’s drawings. I had my Kindergarten students draw on white paper with fabric crayons. I ironed their masterpieces onto squares of white fabric and made a child-bed-sized quilt out of them to be auctioned off to make money for the school. ‘Twas fun! :-)

    HUGS!!! :-)


  4. oneowner says:

    There’s no doubt that your wife is extremely talented. The hat alone proves that. I want one!!!


  5. mvschulze says:

    Your wonderfully talented (really talented….) wife should start up one of those lucrative entrepreneurial chic companies and call it simply “Melisa.” At least maybe just start her own web site! Nice Stuff! M :-)


    • disperser says:

      That sounds like a lot of work and also dealing with “the public” . . . but I will pass the compliment and suggestion along. I’m guessing she’ll pass on the suggestion. Thank you.


  6. Wow. Melissa is VERY talented. I’ve always admired people who can sew and/or quilt so she has my admiration.


  7. Emily Scott says:

    I am in total awe. More Melisa quilting posts please!


  8. What a delightful post, I had to check and make sure it really was from you, and you even had the decency to omit the usual load of rubbish at the end. Well done

    What an exceedingly talented woman is your Melisa, I am completely gobsmacked; I showed this to the WO, who is without such a gift, and she too was awed by these works.

    You are an extremely fortunate man, and it’s obvious and gratifying to see that you are fully aware of that.

    You should do posts like this more often


    • disperser says:

      First, thank you. Second, I didn’t omit anything at the end.

      Lastly, I had to get permission to do this as she prefers not to share too much out here in the InterWeb . . . which is opposite to my propensity to share every non-important thing about me — leaving out the important things, obviously.

      If you click on a few of the links, you can see some of the teas we have as well as proper holiday meals like this one:


  9. Melissa has done a lot of beautiful work. She is a talented woman. I wish I had her talent in decorating and the bags and quilts are amazing 😊.


  10. AnnMarie says:

    Even though I saw these and commented via email, this creativity is worth reviewing. Such good work is always inspiring.


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