July 7, 2016

Friday Friends - Melinda Sword...

 Welcome to the July edition of "Friday Friends".
This month, I'd like to introduce you to my talented friend, Melinda Sword.

Melinda lives in Port Charlotte, FL. She belongs to our Disconnected Piecers Quilt Guild, and has a quilting and sewing business. I'm going to let her take it from here...

Melinda Sword

Writing about myself is not my strong point. A little about me. I am originally from Michigan where I drove school bus for 17 years. We moved to Florida 4 years ago. We moved here for several different reasons, but my main reason was I was just so tired of being cold all the time.  

Many people have asked me how I got into quilting...if my mother quilted? Not really. I have only been quilting for about 8 or 9 years. I taught myself to quilt through books and the Internet. 

My fascination with quilts started when my 22 year old son was about 4. He was in the hospital on Christmas and he had received a quilt from the Ronald McDonald House. All of the kids that were there for any length of time would receive quilts and fleece blankets to make them feel more at home.  It was a simple quilt, but I thought it was wonderful. 

Brynwood Needleworks - Melinda's 2016 Row By Row Quilt

Years went by and when he was 14, he was again hospitalized for a lengthy stay. At that time I just started making a quilt. I bought a cheap sewing machine and just stared making it. I guess you could say quilting is my therapy. I made so many quilts at that time that were all donated to the Quilts for Kids organization. I don't even know how many I made, but I loved making them. Since then I have made so many more quilts. I love quilts.

The Row By Row quilt program was formed about three years ago. Shops across the United States each created individual rows representing their shops, and quilters traveled from shop to shop to pick up the patterns. Each shop then offers a prize to the person who turns in the first completed quilt using that year's blocks.

I completed this quilt and returned to Deborah's Quilt Basket in Venice to claim a fat quarter assortment as my prize, and because my quilt included Deb's block design (the sand castle on the right side of the quilt), I also won a $100 gift certificate to spend in her shop!

The Row By Row quilt project each year is a fun challenge and it keeps me busy while my youngest child is away for the summer. 

Brynwood Needleworks - Melinda's Dog, Charlie - The Inspiration For Her Charlie Quilt

After we moved to Florida, I had the opportunity to purchase a longarm quilting machine. I didn't use it much for the first year. It's a whole different machine to learn. I've been longarm quilting for others for the last couple of years now, and I recently quit my job to quilt full time.

Brynwood Needleworks - Melinda's Charlie Quilt

My other love is making handbags and wallets, which I also sell. You can only have so many quilts right?

You can find me here: 

I'd like to share a little bit more about my friend and her creations. (She's so modest!) Melinda is married, with three children (two grown - a son and daughter) and her young son, who is the inspiration for her business name "Chunky Monkey". 
Charlie is Melinda's dog. She won ribbons for her quilted version of her sweet, boisterous pup. She also creates pet quilts for other owners. You can contact her to commission your own.

Even though she's been quilting a relatively short while, she really makes beautiful pieces and her longarm work is ribbon-worthy. She's a creative inspiration, and I'm honored to call her "friend".

Thanks, Melinda! I'm so happy to feature you and your creations for "Friday Friends".

1 friends clicked here to leave a note for me:

Createology said...

How lovely to meet your friend Melinda. Amazing quilting skills for being self-taught. Pet owners should love to have her create a likeness quilt of their fur-children. Very nicely done Donna.


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