In the mid-90s Melissa Lewis took up quilting after two years of pursing a master's degree in Organization Development while also working full time. Needle and thread got her out of her head and into her creativity. It was soothing, grounding and established a common bond with a grandmother she never knew. For many years traditional and contemporary quilting and doll making helped her stay balanced during her career as a communication skills consultant/speaker and in her present work in chaplaincy.
Recently, Melissa found new inspiration by challenging herself to use every last scrap of fabric left over from another project. As her materials became smaller and more limited (pieces that would normally end up in the trash) the work became more fun and exciting, leading to an improvisational technique she calls "quilted lace."
Realizing that fiber art can emerge from the tiniest of scraps, Melissa relishes the hunt for hidden textile treasure in thrift stores and other hiding places where misfit fabrics long to be rescued and transformed. Wool socks become a tiny farmer's sweater, a child's thrift store vest lining becomes sheep fleece, a garish pillow cover becomes island grass, medical scrub tops become lacy gardens of color. (If you've ever donated colorful cotton clothing to charity, take a good look. You might see an old friend!)
Manipulating needle, thread and fabric keeps Melissa grounded in this hectic modern world. Melissa rescues fabrics, and the fabrics return the favor.
A northern Virginia native, she now lives in Weaverville, NC with her husband Ray.
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