Mel Beach's quilting adventure began in 2003. At first, she learned to quilt on her own via books, magazines and television. Since moving to sunny San Jose, CA, she has immersed herself within the quilting community both locally and online. She loves to share her quilt-related adventures and design process with other quilters via her blog: pieceloveandhappiness.blogspot.com. She enjoys adding new tricks and techniques to her quilter's tool box and making it her own through her use of bright colors and beautiful quilted texture.
Mel is especially drawn to participating in Quilt Challenges, and had participated in more than 40 quilt challenges at both at the local and national/international level. Each new challenge is an opportunity to work with different fabrics, explore new design ideas, experiment using new techniques and ultimately grow as a quilter. Many of her quilts have been juried into travelling exhibits including:
- CREA-TV--finalist in the Be Creative! Quilt Challenge
- Butterfly Boxed Sets--2016 Hoffman Challenge Travel Collection
- We Are the Knights Who Love to Quilt--2015 Hoffman Challenge Travel Collection
- Wicked & Winding Ways--finalist in the 2015 WICKED Cherrywood Challenge
- Owl You Need Is Love--2014 Hoffman Challenge Travel Collection
- Fields of Quilted Dreams--finalist in the 2014 American Made Brand "Celebrating Farm to Fabric Challenge"
She has also had several of her quilts published including:
- Sideways Sine Waves Spirals--RaNae Merrill's Sideways Spiral Quilts book
- CREA-TV"-Quilters Newsletter, April/May 2016
- Wicked Windy & Winding Ways--American Quilter, March 2015
She enjoys creating in her studio, and has two studio assistants/rescue dogs, Susie Q and Panda. Other hobbies and interests include: gardening, photography, dog training and reading.
Phone: (408) 712-8115
I started quilting in 1987. My parents were coming to visit and I needed a blanket for their bed. I thought it made sense to begin my quilting career with a queen-size quilt. Yes, I finished it. No, it was not good. It was highly improved when a light bulb over the bed exploded and lit certain sections on fire, melting the polyester batting.
In spite of this awkward beginning, I continued to make traditional quilts and only within the last ten to twelve years have I branched out into making art quilts. I love the process and challenge of coming up with an idea and problem solving while creating. I also love the opportunity of occasionally working with my husband's photographs. The collaboration of his eye and how I can interpret that vision can be exciting.
I've had quilts published in several magazines including:
- Quilting Arts
- International Quilt Festival Quilt Scene
- American Quilter
My quilts have shown in several juried shows including Pacific International Quilt Festival, Road to California, International Quilt Festival/Houston, and AQS Paducah. Some have even earned ribbons! Most recently, one of my pieces was shown at the Visions Art Museum in San Diego as part of the biannual show Breakout: Quilt Visions 2016.
I currently live and sew in Saratoga, California with my husband Curt and dog Samson.