Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Brand Ambassador Into- Mel Beach

Our 7th Brand Ambassador is the extremely talented Mel Beach back on board for a second year! Her unique ability and creative eye is the perfect additions to our 2020 team!

Mel Beach is a San Jose, CA based quilt artist, teacher and lecturer, who breaks away from tradition by adding her own modern, beautifully textured, and colorful twists.  She loves stretching her creativity through her completion of 80+ quilt challenges at the local and international level.  Her quilting journey draws upon her inquisitive nature of asking "What If?" and “Why Not?”, working in a series, comedy improv studies, along with her love of nature, photography, and sketching. 
Her award-winning quilts have been exhibited internationally, juried into national quilt shows and traveling exhibits, published in books and magazines, and Mel has been featured on Quilting Arts TV and The Quilt Show. 

Photo:  Quilt Shows:  Spinning Stars made as part of Everything Old Is New Again challenge sponsored by Michael Miller Fabrics and Modern Quilts Unlimited on display at 2018 Houston Quilt Festival (left) and Carmen Miranda Mandala made with Sew Fruity collection and juried into Pacific International Quilt Festival 2019 (right) 

How long have you been sewing/quilting? 

My first quilt was made in 2003 using T-shirts from high school, college, and summer camp.  I didn't know about stabilizer, quilting, or binding…so there was a lot to learn!  I got the quilting bug, went out and purchased quilting cottons, and have been quilting ever since!  I was mostly self-taught, learning from books and magazines.  In 2011, I enrolled in my first quilting class and learned a ton of new tips and tricks for getting better results!  I was hooked and enjoy adding new techniques to my quilting tool box by taking a variety of quilting workshops and setting annual New Year's Resolutions that are focused on quilting/creativity. 

What other hobbies do you enjoy? 

Most days start with a morning walk, followed by a yoga or a group cycling class.  I enjoy taking photographs to document my quilting adventures and capturing inspiration in the form of color combinations, lines, shapes, and textures!  I also enjoy fabric dyeing and stayed cool this summer with a series of ice dyeing experiments. 
For the past 4 years, I've been taking comedy improv classes, which are not only super fun, but I've been able to transfer these skills into both my quilting and teaching.   

What was the biggest change in your life in 2019? 

2019 was a busy and exciting year, especially with a full schedule of travelinglecturing, teaching quilting workshops, and even taping segments for Quilting Arts TV!  When I wasn't on the road, I stayed busy in the studio creating fun new quilts, developing new workshops, and I recently purchased my first Long Arm machine! 

Photo:  clockwise starting top left:  Traveling/teaching, packing quilts for trunk shows, new Long Arm machine, taping for Quilting Arts TV 

What is your favorite food? 

Sweet and salty combinations, such as caramel & cheddar popcorn or chocolate & pretzels, are dangerous to have around me!! 

Do you have any pets? 

I have three studio assistants:  Susie Q, Panda & Callie.  These rescue pups serve in a variety of important roles: companionship and entertainment, protection against delivery persons, and serving as models for my quilt finishes.  

Photo: Top left clockwise—pups on their charging station, Callie Coordinating with a stitched composition notebook, Panda posing with Pin Wheels & Pink Lemonade, Susie Q pumped about Pumpkins made with MM fabric 

What is your favorite color?  

I gravitate towards using bright and vibrant colors in my quilts, and love adding pops of black and white prints!! 
Photo:  Mel Beach with Peace by Piece Quilt—made for Our Yard MQG/Michael Miller fabric challenge 

Follow Mel's quilting adventures via her website and Instagram @melbeachquilts 

Photo:  Mel with her quilt: Always Follow Your Heart 

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Brand Ambassador Intro- Teresa Mairal-Barreu

Our 6th Brand Ambassador for 2020 is our amazing international ambassador Teresa Mairal-Barreu.  She's incredibly talented and we are beyond excited to have her as part of our team. 

People in the quilting community know me best as TeresaDownUnderI have a clear memory of my mother, needle and thread in hand or hunched over an old black pedal-powered Singer sewing machine. She would always be sewing something, whether clothing or embroidery or even mending, and now in her 80s, she’s still active with her mind and hands, spending hours on Spanish lace. I trace my connection to quilting back to observing her create from the time I was very small. In my early years, I didn’t give her creativity a second thought, but later I naturally gravitated toward quilting. 

I was born in Huesca, a provincial capital of the Aragon region of Spain. I graduated from university with a degree in French philology and a post- graduate degree in computer studies. For the last 15 years, I’ve combined a day job with building an outlet for my teaching vocation by developing online resources dedicated to sharing my love of quilting and making it accessible to everyone. I have contributed to numerous publications and other resources, sharing my inspiration and techniques at Mypatchwork. and on my popular YouTube channel, Teresa Down Under.  
  1. How long have you been sewing/quilting? 
  2. Since 2014. 
  1. What other hobbies do you enjoy? 
  2. Drawing, painting, sculpting, silk painting, felting. 
  1. What was the biggest change in your life in 2019? 
  2. I started the year promoting my first book Turnabout patchwork. 
  1. What is your favorite food? 
  2. Dark chocolate. 
  1. Do you have any pets? 
  2. I dont but I feed wild birds that come to my garden sun as sulphur crested cockatoos, crimson rosellas, galahs, king parrots, corellas. You can seem them on my Instagram feed. 
  1. What is your favorite color? 
  2. Red. 

    Make sure to follow her on all her platforms to see all her Michael Miller Fabrics posts!
    Facebook: Instagram: Blog: Pinterest: Twitter: 
  3. YouTube: