Monday, September 22, 2008

The Spirited Autumn Event!

It's time for The Spirited Autumn Event!
From Monday, September 22nd (the Fall Equinox) until Monday, October 6, Members of Etsy's Earthpath Artisans Street Team are offering special promotions on selected items in their shops. The event focuses on Fall Themed and Magical items, just in time for Halloween!
Search Etsy using the TSAE tag to find participating items.

Be sure to stop by Etsy to check out all the wonderful handcrafted fall merchandise!

My Few Minutes of Fame

What a lucky day! My Dragonfly Quilt (the one I created earlier here as a tutorial) was featured on Etsy's front page today! It was highlighted in a fabulous treasury, created by JenSport, who is one of my teammates on Quiltsy Team. Be sure to check out her shop for some great bibs, bags and quilts! Here is a screenshot of the front page (mine is the one on the upper right):

The dragonfly quilt received 8 new hearts today, and so far has 885 views. I am doing the happy dance!

Oh, and be sure to check out other great quilters on Etsy, by searching "Quiltsy Team".

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Dragonfly Applique Quilt is Finished!

I finally finished the quilt I blogged about on June 25. I have to admit, I had a lot of fun making this one. Bright and cheerful, in every color of the rainbow!

No two dragonflies, nor the frames around them are alike. Each one was appliqued using coordinating color thread using a zigzag stitch. The backing of the quilt is a soft, yellow cotton, and the binding is hand-stiched on, in a black with mini white dots, to coordinate with the dragonflies' bodies. All color and black fabrics are prints, and the background and sashing are white solid.
I hand-quilted with cotton quilter's thread around each dragonfly, inside and outside of each "frame", and along the border. I also washed and dried the quilt to test washability, and it's OK!

This truly one-of-a-kind quilt measures approx. 49" wide and 54" tall. It will be a great large sized throw to snuggle under in the winter - or when someone blasts the A/C. It would also make a super duper large baby/toddler quilt. If you are interested, it is currently for sale in my Etsy shop at MelodysUnchained!
I also make custom quilts, so if you know of anyone who is wanting one, let me know!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Halloween? Already?

I was thinking last night, that it might be too late to think about creations for summer customers. Summer is well under way and people are enjoying their vacations, lazy days in the sun (or under their favorite tree). Back to school time is near, and you know what that means!

Apples for the teacher. Fall crafts. Halloween. Then not too long after, turkeys, cornucopias, pilgrims, and yuletime preparations! Eeek. What are we gonna be for Halloween? Better start on Samhain projects, because I am the worlds best (worst?) procrastinator and have a zillion UFO's (unfinished objects) in my sewing stash. I also have a lot of ideas, but then I ponder them for a long time before I actually cut and sew.

This year, I vow to be better. I am going to start a Halloween project today. After I do the dishes, vacuum, and surf the net. OK, maybe tomorrow!

Meanwhile, I am posting a Halloween poll for your enjoyment!
<-------------- See it to the left. Please take a second or two and take my little survey! And come back often to see the results!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

EarthPath Artisans Gypsy Challenge!

Joining "Street Teams" on Etsy allows us to network, share skills and ideas and promote Etsy and our shops. Teams are based on a shared interest, location, or crafting medium. Not only that, we make friends!

The EarthPath Artisans Street Team (EAST) is having a Gypsy Design Challenge! Our team members have pondered the term "gypsy" and their interpretation, and have created a variety of items based on their interpretation.

We have each entered our challenge piece in the callenge pool for any and all to vote on their favorite. Anyone can vote!
Here's my entry:

And here are few of my favorites (I can't tell you which I voted for, but it was a very difficult decision!

The purpose of this challenge is not to win prizes or compete with each other; rather, it's a way to build team camaraderie and inspire us to explore new themes and stretch our creative muscles. The winer gets bragging rights and a little extra attention from an adoring public!

Winners will be posted on the blog and on Etsy.So stop by the EAST Challenge page on Flickr to see pictures of the entries, and then go vote at the EAST blog
You can also see many of the entries on Etsy by visiting the team shop's favorite items page. Please come and vote! Voting ends July 21st. We'll see you there!
Note: many of these ARE available for purchase by clicking here:

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

How I Make an Applique Quilt

I have been quilting since 1996. I have tried different methods and patterns, and I think that appliqué is my absolute favorite. With so many options with patterns, colors and layouts, the variety of outcomes are unlimited!

You can make a quilt of any size, with any size appliqué. One BIG appliqué design or appliqués randomly placed all over. Or, you can make several blocks with a design in each and sew them together, either alternating with plain patterned fabric blocks, or separating them with sashing.

I once made this Mickey-themed appliqué quilt for my soon-to-be-born niece. I ironed on the appliqués and carried the squares with me, and hand stitched with a buttonhole stitch around each patch. This was done on a road trip, with hubby driving, so I had all the time in the world to work on them. It made the time go by faster, and because they were smallish (less than 12x12 inch), very portable! Appliqué quilts can be fun and easy, especially if you appliqué with your sewing machine!

Here’s how I will be making a dragonfly appliqué quilt today:

You will need:
  • Drawing or computer graphic of a dragonfly. It is easier to work with simple line drawings, one that will not have a lot of tiny pieces, especially if you are a beginner.

  • Various fabrics for the dragonfly’s wings and body. I keep all my fabric scraps from other projects, so I had a wide variety of patterns and colors for this project. You can also make them all in your favorite colors or a couple of colors to match your décor.

  • Iron-on paper-backed fusible web such as Wonder Under ® (usually comes in bolts that you can have cut at the fabric store. 1 yard should be plenty, with lots leftover for future projects)

  • Thread in assorted colors, to coordinate or match fabrics, or a dark color such as black. I like to use assorted colors and mix them up!

  • Background fabric cut in squares or a quilt top, blanket, sheet, etc. that you will appliqué the dragonflies onto.

Determine the size of your squares and your dragonfly. If you use a computer and a graphics or desktop publishing program, you can resize the image to fit in your squares, or make a variety of sizes for an all-over design. Or you can draw them in assorted sizes (I’m not that artistic, lol). If you do letters or numbers, print or draw in reverse (iron-on setting).

Trace your picture onto the smooth (paper) side of the fusible web. Trace each individual shape separately. Here, I traced the bottom wing set as one piece, and the top set as one piece, then the body. The body will be laid over the center of the wing sets. If you can’t see the lines of your original picture clearly enough through the fusible backing, you can use a light box, or tape your picture to a window. It might help to tape everything down to hold it in place. Roughly cut out the pieces of your dragonfly, leaving some paper around them.

Here’s the fun part. Dump out your fabric stash scraps and find your wings and bodies! Make sure your scrap will be large enough for the wings. You can also do these wings in two pieces, if your scrap isn’t large enough, because the body will cover the center.

Following the manufacturer’s directions for your fusible backing, press each dragonfly piece to the back side of the fabric you have chosen for that piece. Be sure that the paper side is up, or your iron will get icky!

When you have the pieces ironed onto the fabric, carefully cut out each piece on the lines.
Peel off the paper backing. Lay your background fabric on your ironing board. Lay your pieces on it, without ironing them, just to be sure of your placement. I like to fold the fabric squares and lightly iron them to find the center. Iron it onto the background. If you have a lot of layers for your appliqué, it might help to do them one at a time. If a piece is not quite right, you can often heat it up with the iron and peel it off to re-position it. Be careful, though, because sometimes this distorts the fabric, changing the shape of the piece.

Once everything is in place, it’s time to sew them onto the background. There are a few options here. For a wall-hanging or art piece, you can stitch in a straight line around the piece. For a quilt that might be used and need to be washed occasionally, it will be best to do a satin stitch or a zigzag around the edge.
If you want to add antennae, you can either do a stitch with your machine, or hand-stitch them on afterward. I like to mark the design with a dissolvable marker or chalk pencil first.

For your dragonflies, butterflies, or other applique project, the possibilities are endless. Use your imagination when choosing colors and fabrics. Use assorted patterns and colors. You can also embellish your butterfly with buttons, sequins, beads, metallic thread, fabric paint, bows, etc. have fun!
I have to take more pictures, but soon I will post an assortment of my dragonfly blocks, and more steps as I work on the quilt. Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Sock Monkeys

My DD had a sleepover last weekend and two of her friends came over to stay the night. We have a small apartment, with not much to do. The closest movie theater is at least 45 minutes drive, and the last time we rented movies, they didn't watch them.

All 3 of these girls are energetic and creative. I wanted to find a way to entertain them and focus some of their creative energy. Since I helped DD and some of her Michigan friends make sock monkeys, I decided that we could have fun making them in Alabama, too! So I went to a few stores and found some super cute tights on clearance at Wally's. I bought several pair and let each girl choose their own.

I learned to make the monkeys following tutorials I found on the internet, and kinda adapted them to my own little procedure. We spend three and a half hours making these lovelies. These are made by 10-year olds!
They had a little help with the general sewing, but did most of the work themselves. The girls had fun playing with them and posing them for pictures, before moving on to making cupcakes. While these aren't for sale, I do have some for sale in my shop at PartyPoofers . The mini crocheted monkey is one I made for my daughter following an Annie's Attic pattern from a vintage booklet.

You can also find some great tutorials for making your own sock monkeys at:

Have fun!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

My Other Shop

When I joined Etsy, I wanted to have another outlet for my business, Party Poofers. was fairing badly, and sales were very low, partly due to the extreme amount of competition out there for wedding- and event-related businesses. It was hearbreaking, because Party Poofers was one of the FIRST event favor businesses on the internet, having started out in 1996.

So I joined Etsy and added a few items for sale. I made a few non-event related items, and some even sold. I was having fun! As our move to Alabama became more of a sure thing, I decided the easiest and best thing would be to close Party Poofers (.com) for good. It was actually a weight off my shoulders. So I concentrated on listing my destash at, and opened a new shop, Melody's Unchained, where I could make what I wanted, when I wanted. I was no longer limited to just wedding crafts or baby shower favor tags. I decided for a while to make handbags. Then I added quilts of all sizes. I wanted to crochet rugs, so I did. I wanted to add handmade clothing to my line, so I did. All these and more you can find at Melody's Unchained.

As the Party Poofers shop emptied, my plan was to clear it out and close the store. However, I recently realized that Melody's Unchained is getting crowded with categories and the variety of items is vast. So, I have decided to keep the Party Poofers shop open, and add some handmade items there. My latest craze is making cute little hats for babies, toddlers, and kids. My daughter wants one, and it will be teen sized, so I plan on making some in that size, too. Party Poofers has been reborn as a shop for bright, cheerful accessories and fun things for all ages! I may add baby/toddler/kids quilts, clothing, crocheted toys, and more. I am not completely sure yet, we will have to wait and see how it re-evolves!

Of course, as always, I welcome e-mails, comments, and even custom orders! Be sure to take a look in both shops at what is for sale, as well as my sold items. I have excellent feedback! Please also take a look at my flickr photos at, to see some items I have made for gifts that have not been on Etsy. Click here for a sneak peek of a few of my most recent creations for Party Poofers.

Sunday, May 4, 2008


I've been doing more cooking these days, making recipes from scratch, I thought this was funny!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Some of My Most Recent Creations

Click on any of these thumbnails to go to my Etsy Shop!

Peacock Zipper Coin Purse Kokopelli Quilt ACEO
Cotton Panel Skirt Moon and Stars Goddess
Melody's Unchained

Friday, May 2, 2008

Revolution Money Exchange

Although I already accept PayPal, money orders, and checks in my Etsy store, I recently started accepting Revolution Money Exchange as well. RME is an easy, secure, and reliable way to send and receive money online between account holders FEE FREE. It costs nothing to set up an account, and they will credit your account $25 when you sign up before May 15, 2008.
Refer A Friend using Revolution Money Exchange
I have had two orders in the past week that have used RME as their payment method. It is easy to use! And you can withdraw money any time (including the original $25, with no further obligation).

From the RME website, About Us page:

Launched in 2007, a new payment network – Revolution Money – was created to deliver significant value to both consumers and merchants through two products, RevolutionCard and RevolutionMoneyExchange. The RevolutionCard eliminates costly interchange fees for merchants while simultaneously providing consumers with enhanced PIN-based security, identity protection, and periodic merchant discounts and incentives. MoneyExchange offers an easy and secure way to send and receive money online between accountholders for free. The accounts are issued by First Bank & Trust, Brookings, SD, Member FDIC and part of the Fishback Financial Corporation. These products are leading the transformation of the payment industry by providing secure, easy, and instant payment solutions to everyone.

For a list of Etsy sellers who currently accept RME as an optional payment method, please check out this blog: I STILL will accept PayPal, money order, or check. I just wanted to let you all know of another option!

Thursday, May 1, 2008


I finally got around to making a blog place! Yay me!

A little about me... I grew up in S. California, and then transplanted to southern Michigan, where we lived for about 14 years. Recently, my husband's job has brought us to Alabama. I love that it is warmer here. This SC gal will not have to shovel snow next year!

I have been crafting, drawing, coloring as far back as I can remember. One of my favorite childhood holiday gifts was an "art kit". I remember the rows and rows of crayons, watercolor paints, pastels, and colored pencils. I remember "making doll clothes" with mommy's leftover fabric, either with needle and thread, or just tying it around my dolls.

I suppose my creativity comes from both parents. Daddy was able to fix anything with his resourcefulness, even if that meant a trip to the mechanic later! Mom made us clothes for our baby dolls, barbies, and I remember her making us a dollhouse out of a cardboard box. We cut windows, a swinging door, and even put plastic wrap on the windows for "glass". Add little curtains, pictures on the wall cut from leftover magazines, and ottomans made from spray can lids, stuffed with cotton and finished with a ruffled fabric top!

I ran an online business for several years. I made party/baby shower/wedding favors, bridal accessories, and special gift items. It was a business my dear sister started, but had to stop due to health reasons. We were one of the very first favor businesses online. Then over the years, the competition got rough and business slowed. So at the end of 2007, we closed the business.

Now I make what I want, when I want, when I feel like it. Quilts, purses, ACEO's, crocheted animals and accessories, whatever strikes my fancy...Melody's Unchained! Ok, not entirely true. I do occasionally take on a custom request or two, but still I often get to create as I go, or design the project. I am never happier than when I have a fresh project that I am enthusiastic about, a stack of fabric, glue, glitter, paint or what-have-you, and a diet coke or fresh cup of tea!

Welcome to my newest endeavor - a blog site! Please come visit often with a fresh cuppa joe, and read a while! I hope to have tips, project instructions, guest bloggers, and even updates on my family or pets or latest masterpieces! Feel free to drop a line sometime!