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Meet Melissa Stramel of Lilac Lane

December 26th, 2011

I had the pleasure of meeting Melissa at Quilt Market in October and am so glad I did. She is super sweet and definitely talented. She is a mother of 3 and owner/designer behind Lilac Lane.  She is also, one of our sponsors for the New Year’s Eve Twitter Party, (that you do not want to miss) and is recently featured for her Family Tree quilt on, where you can order kits, too!

Anywho, we did a virtual interview and here’s what Melissa had to say.

Quilting History: Although I’m a relatively young quilter, I’ve been quilting for a long time. 4-H was very influential in my life. I’ve always considered quilting an art. During college, I came home and made a Christmas quilt every year. It’s something I enjoy immensely (my husband says I’m kind of nutty about it.) I got really serious about quilting when my children (ages 7, 6 and 4) were born, took some classes, never completely followed the teacher’s instructions as I always went out on my own tangents. The rest is history. I like to think that I follow my own path. You will always be able to pick out my quilts because they are scrappy. I can’t seem to throw any leftover bits of fabric away. I put things together that other people wouldn’t dream of. And then they ask me how I coordinate things so well! I like designs that look complicated while actually being relatively easy.

When did you first begin quilting? I actually made my first quilt at age 10. It is a counted cross-stitch teddy bear quilt. I gave it to my youngest daughter when she was a baby and she still sleeps with it. My first patchwork quilt was finished around age 13. My mom made me rip out over and over again until all the nine-patches lined up.

Who or what inspired you? My next-door-neighbor was very inspiring. She was like a grandma to us, and as one of six children, she would often take us to do special projects and give my mom a break. Sewing, quilting, ceramics and playing a game of Aggravation were some of the things she taught us. Oh and cooking, especially fried bread. Man, I haven’t had that in a long time and it sounds so good right now!

Do you have a funny or unusual quilting story? I tend to take quilts with me when I know I’ll be sitting for awhile — to the beauty shop, baseball games, the carwash. One day I was getting my tire changed and binding a quilt. The mechanic and I had quite a conversation about quilting. You never know who you can promote your art to!

One piece of quilting advice you would give to any quilter or aspiring quilter? Get the quarter inch foot for your sewing machine! I always give one to new quilting friends and they say it makes all the difference in the world. Also, it’s good to be careful but don’t be a perfectionist to the point where your quilts never get finished. It’s okay to have a little mistake here and there. That’s what makes our quilts beautiful and unique!

Goal for 2012? Goodness, that’s a tough question. Of course I have goals but they’re sort of hard to define. I would love to have a fabric line come out. And I have lots of ideas for more patterns. Things around Lilac Lane are always busy, busy, busy, but still I seem to somehow get things done.

Hope you enjoyed getting to know her a little better and you’ll check back with her on Facebook and her blog .

See you at the Twitter Party 10p – 12:30a CST

Get Party Instructions here.

1 Comment »

  1. Chris 's creative mind says

    I really enjoy interviews of quilters. It’s a chance to get to know the inner-tickings of the artist/designer and I always learn something. Thank you for posting the photo of the family tree. :razz:

    and her story about the mechanic is so true… you never know who is a quilt-fan. We know an air-traffic controller and a lawyer, both men, who quilt.

    January 12th, 2012 | #

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