Tag Archives: sewing

Picking Up a Needle & Thread

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I’ve never been much of a sewer or a stitcher. I consider this a bit of a deficiency in my creative skill set, particularly since my grandmother was such a talented seamstress. She started when she was young, and passed her sewing knowledge on to my mom. The buck stopped there, however. The sum total of my sewing experience includes making a pencil-shaped pillow in seventh grade home economics, and doing a wee bit of embroidery as a teen. My adult sewing adventures are limited to sewing an apron (with the help of a teacher for the afternoon) and sewing buttons onto some art and craft projects. Oh, and I did embellish this tote with reverse appliqué and embroidery when I attended Craftcation in April.  I think it’s super cute.  :]

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I’ve been wanting to further develop my skills with needle, thread and sewing machine for a while now. I’ve actually had an embroidery sampler (above) and a book on embroidery (below) awaiting my attention for about three years (!).  So, after a small delay (cough), I’m kicking off my adventure into the land of fabric and thread now. I’ll start with my trusty book and this embroidery sampler, and will go on from there. I’m not sure if I’ll stick to artsy applications of sewing and stitchery – embellishing accessories, making pieces to add to assemblages, and making mini art quilts – or if I’ll get into making utilitarian things as well. I’ll be interested to see where this road leads, and how far I’ll go. :]

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What about you, dear readers? Do you embroider? Sew by hand or with a machine? Do you crochet? (That’s something else I’d like to learn) Have any of you learned to sew from a DVD or online class that you might recommend?  I hope to hear from you about your adventures in sewing and stitching…

Warm regards,
Melody

Posted in books, crafts | Also tagged , , , , 6 Comments

“American Pie” Apron

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As a member of the CRESCENDOh Design Team, I get the opportunity to play with stamps and kits in exchange for sharing the projects I create – such fun!  I recently had the pleasure of making an apron from an Apron of My Eye kit (American Pie), and love the results.  I hadn’t sewn since making a pillow in home economics when I was in the 7th grade, but took this kit along to a first sewing lesson and was able to complete the apron with guidance from my sewing teacher – fellow Design Team member Cynthia Shaffer.  I’d planned out my design before heading over, and just needed to do the actual sewing.

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I love this apron kit for multiple reasons.  First of all, the fabrics included in each kit are a bit different, so no two aprons will ever be exactly alike.  Second, I was able to lay out the apron’s design myself so it’s perfectly suited to me.  For example, I’m a big fan of symmetry; I was able to make my apron beautifully symmetrical.  I also opted not to include a pocket, but did include a decorative four-square panel front and center.  And finally, because this project doesn’t require complete precision and is supposed to be a bit more funky it’s well suited to multiple skill levels.

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Virtually everything I needed was included in the kit.  All I pulled from my personal stash was thread and five buttons (though three buttons were included in the kit).  Nice!  I had ten fabric squares and a few bits of trim left over – because I opted not to include them in my design – and have tucked them into my stash of art supplies for future use.  I look forward to wearing this darling apron, though it’s almost too cute to use!

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I hope you have a great day, and a wonderful weekend!

Warm regards,
Melody

Posted in art, crafts, DIY | Also tagged , , , 8 Comments

The Remarkable Women Series: Ariella Fiore – The Quilting Mama!

Welcome to the first installation in my Remarkable Women Series!  A little something I’ve whipped up for my blog, the Remarkable Women Series will highlight admirable women in short articles that will be posted here at melodynunez.com.  Words that might apply to these Remarkable Women will include: kind, active, talented, philanthropic, and fun!

If you haven’t subscribed to this blog already, please do so now. You’ll be eligible for upcoming giveaways and you’ll catch future blog posts – including additional installations in this series.

That said, on with the show!  Please allow me to introduce my first Remarkable Woman:

Ariella Fiore, The Quilting Mama

Ariella Fiore’s life combines the best of many worlds.  She lives in the urban San Fernando Valley, but keeps chickens.  She’s tech-savvy (and seems to be addicted to Facebook!), but also sews and puts up jam made from the fruit harvested from her fruit trees.  She’s a bit of a wild child, but is also a devoted wife and mother.

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Ariella is not easily defined, and she is a spectacular example of joie de vivre.  French for “joy of living”, joie de vivre doesn’t mean that every moment and every day in Ariella’s life is perfect.  On the contrary, some of her Facebook posts mention the trials and tribulations of her everyday life.  I think Ariella embodies joie de vivre because of her gusto.  She’s not an observer – she’s an enthusiastic participant in this crazy thing we call life.

I met Ariella, then Ariella DeCastro, in my 10th grade year.  We were both students at the Alexander Hamilton Academy of Music, and she was a grade ahead of me.  We were on the same bus route, and we remained friends after she started driving herself to school soon thereafter.  I was drawn to Ariella, as many were and are, because of her kindness, sense of humor, and abundant personality.  She wasn’t a “blend in with all the others” girl – could not be shaped by the cosmic cookie cutters that molded others, restrained them.  Even then, at the ripe old age of sixteen, Ariella was unique, knew it, and – most importantly – embraced it.

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Flash forward approximately 20 years, and Ariella is living the dream – her dream.  She has a loving husband, two bright and adorable children, and she’s got a garden that turns this apartment-dweller (several shades of) green with envy.  She’s active at her children’s school, involved in the Fiore family computer business (EPG Technologies), and frequently performs in local musical theater productions.

A social butterfly, Ariella has a knack for bringing people together, and her cooking and baking skills are invariably put to use whether she’s the hostess or is a guest.  On top of all that, she’s also got her own business – The Quilting Mama, which offers hand-sewn items at craft fairs and through an etsy.com store.

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Ariella is a decidedly passionate person, and one of her greater passions is saving the planet.  She is the reduce-reuse-recycle queen, and is so vigilant that she doesn’t even use disposable party goods (plates, cups, etc.) when hosting get-togethers – regardless of size.  While many of us (myself included) are blithely using plastic sandwich bags and tossing them after one use, Ariella ensures that her family contributes as little to the landfills as possible.

She’s so committed to responsible living that even her Quilting Mama product line is earth-friendly.  Her reusable, sandwich-size Food Bags, Green Sleeve Coffee Cozies, and Reusable Swiffer-style Dry Cloths are just a few of the ways she’s trying to be part of the solution and not part of the problem.  She also sells wonderful baby blankets, adult bibs, and other goodies.

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Click here to visit The Quilting Mama Store

Oh, and don’t be afraid to contact The Quilting Mama with special requests. In the past I’ve asked for baby blankets and an adult bib with special patterns and dimensions, respectively.  Ariella was very accommodating, and the finished products were just what I hoped for.  (Please note: I’m not a paid endorser, just a fan!)

Some people you meet in life are admirable.  Some are unforgettable.  Some are fun, some are talented, and some are simply a joy to know.  Ariella Fiore is all of these things, and I’m glad to have met her on the school bus all those many years ago.

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(The photo of Ariella Fiore was taken by Maggie West.  All other photos were taken by Melody Nunez)

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