WIP – Floret quilt

I’ve been working on a second quilt for Cloud 9 Fabrics’ Quilt Market booth, and I’m especially excited about this one. It’s an original design of mine, it features some gorgeous fabric from Aneela Hoey (selections from her new collection Vignette), and it’s going to be released as a free pattern that uses Jen Carlton Bailly’s awesome quarter-circle templates.

Here is the story of this quilt in photos. I can’t wait to show you the whole quilt, hopefully later this week. 


Hope you have a great week!

The Kindred quilt

I’ve become a bit of a Lisa Congdon fangirl lately. I know that she’s a famous talented designer and illustrator who seems to be everywhere, but just two years ago she wasn’t really on my radar. I know, sad. Whether she’s reminding me to be brave, standing up for worthy causes, or just making beautiful art, she’s an inspiring person to be aware of.

I’m so glad to have some more of Lisa in my life. I have her art in my home, I’ve taken her line drawing class on Creativebug with my son, and I have the privilege of sewing with her Kindred collection for Cloud9 Fabrics This quilt is called “Cubism.” It’s designed by Michelle Engel Bencsko, Cloud9’s creative director. It features all of the prints along with Cirrus Solids in Limestone. 

My creative contribution to the quilt is the texture, which I used by quilting zigzags in the prints (I used the seams as guides and spaced lines 1/2″ apart). Then I free motioned vertical lines about the same distance apart to enhance the cube illusion.

 I’m really proud of how the texture looks on the back.

 I’ll let you know when the free pattern is available online, but I couldn’t resist posting some pictures of a finish. It’s been a little while. There’s nothing like a finish to get a week off to a great start. Hope you have a great week too. 

New classes and a new look

September has brought reality back to our sunny summer lifestyle in fits and starts. We haven’t yet had a full week of school, so the transition doesn’t feel complete. But I am so thrilled to be back in business, so to speak, as fall descends and quilty activity just feels right. I have been making lots of plans for the year ahead, and I’m so excited to share them with you as I can.


The first is that I’m teaching Beginning Quilting at Rock Paper Scissors in Montclair, NJ this fall. I love this class because everyone in it finishes a baby quilt that’s 40″ square (like “Positivity,” pictured above). We talk about and practice the entire process, from choosing fabric to design, cutting, piecing, walking foot quilting, and binding. If you or someone you know would like to learn the basics of quilting, check it out. We’ll have class on Monday evenings, October 5, 12, 19, 26, with one week off and the final lesson on November 9. Call the store at 973-337-6759 to sign up.

The second piece of news is my new branding, a simple and stunning logo designed for me by a friend and quilty partner in crime, Daniela Di Iorio of Modern Stitch Studio. I love how the new blog header lets the work on my site speak for itself, and you’ll see it has already been put to good use on the Peek Pattern in my Etsy shop. There’s even this cheeky image, which helps those who may not know how to pronounce my last name.

IG Phonetic A

Ha! Anyway, I’m so grateful that the site more accurately represents me and my work and excited to slap my name on everything I do.

There is so much other good stuff happening, including some sewing for Cloud9 Fabrics for Quilt Market, the completion of the Ballet Bag quilt, and more Peek projects. Stay tuned and get more frequent updates on Instagram (@melintheattic). As always, this is the place for longer stories and bigger pictures.

Catching up – August

In August I started itching to get back to quilting. For all my hand-stitching, I hadn’t even turned on my sewing machine in weeks, and that was ok. I needed portable projects for keeping up with the boys. So I decided to hand quilt the Ballet Bag quilt (which I may or may not name “First Position”). 

The boys had camp for two weeks, so I also started designing. It felt so good to stretch those muscles, and though it took a little while to get going, I designed and pitched some really good concepts. I really hope that I have the opportunity to make those quilts.

On the first weekend of August, my mom and I got to spend a weekend in New York (she won a contest on IG for two nights at the Iroquois Hotel in Manhattan! winning photo here), and I’m so lucky that she invited me to come along. We spent it taking in art in many different forms.  At MoMA, I was sad that a whole floor, the one that had many of the minimalists, was closed for the installation of a new exhibit. They put a few on an open floor, but it was crowded and a tiny bit disappointing overall. It was good for me to examine my changing taste, especially how being exposed to discourse about quilting as art, and how it affected my reaction to certain work. I also realized that I was much more tuned in and interested by the stories about artists’ process. 

Highlights for me included the architecture floor, a collection of film posters belonging to Martin Scorsese, and a photography piece arranged the photos into groups that resembled the shape and size of a quilt. Interestingly, the photos were examining a global life-cycle of textile production from New York City to Africa. (I’m looking up her name. I tried to document all of the artists whose work I photographed but sadly didn’t with hers.)

Later in the day we went downtown to the neighborhood between TriBeCa and Chinatown where I lived for three years in college. In an alley is a tiny room that houses Mmuseumm, a collection of ephemera and cultural artifacts. This place made me so happy. It tickled the part of me that delights in things that are ironic, absurd, and provocative. The items in the collections were sometimes dubious in their authenticity (a collection of inmate inventions), but sometimes delightful (the “Cornflake Index,” with each flake in its own tiny case). The guide was so well written, the selection of items so diverse in their mundanity and value, I found myself more inspired than surrounded by priceless works in MoMA.

 In the evening, my mom, sister, and I went to see Hedwig and the Angry Inch with Taye Diggs as Hedwig. It was a magnificent way to round out our weekend of art, with music and theatre that challenges convention in the punk spirit. It was heart breaking and beautiful and helped me continue the internal conversations about my own artistic identity.

 Later in August, we spent a week in my home state, in the town and on the beach where my husband and I shared our first kiss and he proposed to me. There were toddlers in the house, so not much hand sewing to be had, but there was lots of music and coffee and daily Del’s lemonade (A RI must).  We came back home to New Jersey and the town pool and lots of library time. I’m working on reading my fourth novel of the summer, Loving Day by Mat Johnson. I’ve also read The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan, The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, and Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

I also came home to a newly tuned-up sewing machine, and finally plugged it in yesterday when my in-laws unexpectedly offered to take the boys to visit family for the day. I decided to use donated improv blocks from the Denyse Schmidt workshop I attended to make a quick top for NJMQG’s charity efforts. It’s so colorful and beautiful in its collaborative color. The fabric is all Free Spirit Solids and Denyse Schmidt prints.

  The kids are back to school on Wednesday, and I’m already laying ground for a fall full of quilting. I’ve enjoyed the pace of monthly blogging, and I’m happy that I have this record of my summer’s creative notes. This time of year is a great chance for new beginnings, so I’m going to seize the season and get to work.


Catching up – July

Ah, the leisurely pace of summer. I have been loving it. Now that my boys are 4 and 6, we have all been able to enjoy these long days full of outdoor adventures, family time, afternoons at the town pool, and daily frozen treats. It’s amazing how luxurious it can feel to set up a slip and slide in the backyard and read a book while the boys go from tentative dips with their toes to a full-on water fight.


On the sewing front, I spent the first week of July working on the ballet bag quilt, which is inspired by the colors of shoes and leotards from my childhood of dance classes. I think it will be a small wall hanging– the blocks are 2 3/4″ finished. This is the first quilt that I’ve made in a very long time that has such a personal connection to me, and I’m hoping to explore other sides of my identity in future quilts.


One afternoon, I got an amazing package from Cloud9 Fabrics— a FQ bundle of Rainwalk from Anna Graham of Noodlehead! (Her 241 tote pattern is a favorite.) I decided to have a fun improv-inspired afternoon of sewing and make some giant strip blocks like the ones we did in Denyse Schmidt’s class. I love them and hope to finish them as a baby quilt soon.


In mid-July, we went with extended family to the Jersey Shore, where we rent a house with a big porch. I really enjoyed learning new embroidery stitches in a sampler from Nydia Kehnle, Experienced stitchers had told me that I would get hooked on embroidery, and they were totally right. I used Perle Cotton and LOTs of YouTube tutorials.



One of the most luxurious parts of my summer — and I am fully aware of how lucky I am — is to soak in inspiration and art in these more relaxed days. I have plenty more on the horizon for fall (new quilt designs!), and the kids have a bit of camp still in August, so I’ll be more present here and on social media than I have been for the last month. But posting will still be light until the kids go back to school in September.

I hope there is lots of sunshine and color in your world.