Sunshine Serenade & The Chorus of Stitching Saints

Hey, hey! I’m so excited to say that my fourth fabric collection with Windham Fabrics, Sunshine Serenade, is finally hitting store shelves!! This collection, based on a series of paintings I did is full of color, calmness, craziness, and METALLICS, all in one!! Not metallics as in Vegas show girl, but just that right amount of glitz and glamour with subtle hits of silver and gold that dazzle here and there…oh, and we even have some super-soft and fabulous jersey knits!!

In August, on social media, I put out an SOS looking for Needle Throwing Ninjas to help stitch up Quilt Market and look-book samples.  I was overwhelmed with gratitude for the amazing and vast amount of people that came to the rescue offering their services. The results, ya’ll, were stunning!! With every completed project I received in the mail, I was amazed. These people poured in so much time, passion, and love creating unbelievable gorgeousness! (**Please note that all project pattern info and fabric SKUs used can be found via the Sunshine Serenade look-book)

(above: All outfits, besides boy’s button-up shirt, sewn by Alison O’Grady of Sew Bee It Clothier /
Boy’s button-up shirt sewn by Julie Lang of Teddy Boy Style)

This crew of sewists worked at lighting speed to turn around these fabulous projects to make our scheduled photoshoot. We were lucky enough to have Will Ramsey of The Ramseys Photography  out of Houston come to Dallas and take such dynamite pictures!  This husband and wife photography duo it uber-talented, and I would highly, highly recommend them for any of your photography needs. 

Okay, lets talk about these adorable kiddos. Some of these darlings you might recognize from last year’s Garden Party Tango look-book. It’s so fun to go back and see how they’ve grown. Each and every one of these kids has an amazing heart and beautiful soul. This planet is so lucky to have each and every one of them. I’m so grateful for their willingness to model for me and their parents for raising such fun, well-behaved kiddos who know how to rock out to Frozen, play in confetti, eat candy, follow instructions, play lovingly with each other, wait their turn, all while smiling from ear-to-ear.  These kids bring me so much joy!!

So this next picture, happens to be the screen saver on my phone. I JUST CAN’T STOP LOOKING AT IT! It’s perfection and happens to be my cutie-patootie niece and nephew. They really are great buds and have such a good time when they get together…which isn’t nearly enough for this proud aunt!!

Seriously!?! How absolutely precious are these next two sisters? They are the nieces of a dear, dear friend and are absolutely sweet as can be. These two truly are little treasures! We put them in “sister outfits” using the same fabric combo, and they looked, as you can see, just darling. Joy Tapley graciously and fantastically stitched these adorable little numbers!

Next, this mama and mini-me duo is darling, drop-dead gorgeous, and two of the sweetest souls on earth! Their radiance shines so bright, and they take some darn good pictures!! 

(above: Old Glory Quilt (FREE PROJECT) made and written by Elle Casner/ Women’s maxi skirt: made by Julie Lang of Teddy Boy Style / Baby girl’s dress: made by Alison O’Grady of Sew Bee It Clothier )

That little lady was so fun to watch work the camera! She knew exactly what needed to happen when her mom was showcasing the Old Glory Flag quilt. She marched over with such confidence and zest for a melt-your-heart game of peek-a-boo. And let me tell you, even all the other kids we’re totally smitten by this sweetheart!

Not only does Sunshine Serenade make some pretty amazing apparel items, it works great for trendy and stylish fashion accessory items & stunning home decor!

(top left: fold over clutch, middle left: earrings, and bottom left: Zoe Messenger Bag all made by Kristen Wright of Two Blondes and A Sewing Machine  / top right: ladies blouse sewn by Alison O’Grady of Sew Bee It Clothier / top right: Chopsticks Tote, designed and sewn by Erin Schlosser of Schlosser Designs / bottom left: women’s button-up top sewn by Joy Tapley / bottom right: Super Tote sewn by Sally Keller of Sally’s Angelworks)

These next projects were all designed and made by the extremely talented Brooke Sellmann of Silly Mama Quilts. She truly has a magical way of working with fabric!Brooke has written up a tutorial for those fab placemats and it’s available on her blog. You should go check it out and you’ll be having yourself a Sunshine Serenade fine dining experience in no time!!  

Next up are a few fun and fabulous projects! The below “You Are My Sunshine” pillow designed and made by Sally Keller is spot on for Sunshine Serenade…pretty sure the flamingo agrees! And my dress, well, it’s my new favorite. The incredible Alison O’Grady of Sew Bee It Clothier  stitched it up with crazy-amazing precision and detail, not to mention, it fits perfectly!

(top image: You Are My Sunshine pillow designed & made by Sally Keller of Sally’s Angelworks / middle left: quilted pillow by Anna Veach of Mod Quilt Girl / bottom left: Chopsticks Tote, designed and sewn by Erin Schlosser of Schlosser Designs / right image: women’s dress sewn by Alison O’Grady of Sew Bee It Clothier )

Last year, Erin Schlosser of Schlosser Designs designed and made two amazing quilts. She then had the dynamite Danielle Wilkes of Nacho Mama Quilts quilt them. We ended up nicknaming those two quilts the show stoppers…because that’s serious what they did. People just stopped and stared and stared and stared and took a million pictures. This year those two fine ladies did not disappoint and knocked it out of the park with the Le Soleil Quilt below. It’s so creative and different and gorgeous!

…and then there is this quilt that I made. It’s my first quilt that I designed and pieced. It came about out of last minute desperation.  I wanted a quilt that could be used as a prop at the photoshoot that the kids could lay on, possibly with sticky blue suckers, and well, that was NOT going to happen to the beauty above. After an all nighter, I rushed the top to Patty Kopek at Sew Let’s Quilt it with the instructions to just do simple straight line quilting because I needed it back in less than 12 hours. :} She was awesome to work with and pulled a late night herself to get it done…early.

Ya’ll, none, I mean absolutely none, of this would have been possible without this chorus of unbelievably generous and talented stitching saints. It was a complete team effort, and I am insanely thankful for each and everyone of these fine human beings.

First up, is Alison O’Grady of Sew Bee It Clothier. I’m not sure that there are adequate words to describe how very thankful I am God dropped this stranger-turned-friend into my life right when I needed her. Last year, Alison made 9 darling pieces for me for market, and this year TWELVE!! Yep, you read that write TWELVE beautiful and insanely perfect items in just a couple of weeks. Her craftsmanship, perfection, and eye for detail are absolutely phenomenal.  With my baby bear sewing skills, I’m terrified of knits, but she whipped up all the knit pieces like a champ! (Which, by the way, she said not all knits are created equal but these knits are great to work with. I’m so glad to hear that from someone who certainly knows fabric!!) I sent her jersey knits, denim, linen, itty-bitty crochet trim, and even crazy shedding fur fabric…and she never complained once!!  This chick has got it going on! As a breast cancer ass kicker, she’s got an incredible upbeat attitude and enjoys every second of life no matter what she is doing. She does quite a bit of freelance and commission sewing, so if you’re ever in need, she’s your gal. Be sure to check out her Etsy shop and follow her on social media!!

Next, is the super sweet Anna Veach of Mod Quilt Girl. Anna is a super busy working mom, but still managed to find the time to make up a darling quilted pillow. She was testing a pattern for Sara Peterson of the and used that pattern to make up 3 coordinating pillows in time for market. They are oh-so lovely!!

I got to say, when this next stitching saint contacted me to help, I was thrilled!! I was familiar with Brooke Sellmann and her fantastic blog Silly Mama Quilts. I knew she is uh-mazing!! She whips out gorgeous, finished projects like no other. I’m convinced she doesn’t eat or sleep, is chained to her machine and her husband and kids just turn on the water hose that is slipped under the door for her to occasionally get a sip of water. I’d imagine there has to be coffee involved in this chick’s productivity, but not sure how she has time to sip it. Maybe she drinks it through a Camel Pack so her hands can remain on her project? I don’t know, but it seems like she is always sewing!  I’m continually in awe of her Facebook posts and how many projects she is moving out the door. Not only is she fast, she’s really good. She’s got a great design eye and has project perfection down to an art. She’s keeps up with her great blog, writes patterns, has lots of items on Craftsy, has a stellar Etsy shop, and is always so cheery and pleasant. All-in-all, she’s pretty-dang awesome!

Brooke has posted the tutorial for her Sunshine Serenade Placemats on her blog, and is posting the tutorial for one of her fabulous table runners later this week…and rumor on the street, we’ll be giving away a big fat bundle of Sunshine Serenade fabric, so be sure to check in on Wednesday to enter!! Hooray!!

Here a list of Brooke’s patterns that are available for her Sunshine Serenade projects:
On Etsy:

On Craftsy:
This next lovely lady I know quite well. She is the wife of my mom’s cousin and I was the flower girl in their wedding. Growing up, my sister and I babysat for their two amazing older kids, our dad’s worked together, and we truly became so close with them all. So, I can’t say I was entirely surprised when she offered to help, but definitely honored she did. Elle is a great visionary and has an incredible eye for style and detail. I designed the quilt, and wanted it to have a cool vibe to it, and not “just another flag quilt” look. She executed it so, so very well!! She also has written the patterns for it, and the Fun In the Sun Quilt, which will be offered on the Windham Fabrics website as FREE PROJECTS in the very, very near future!! Can we get a Hip-hip-HOORAY for FREE!!??!! 
Next up, we have Erin Schlosser of Schlosser Designs. I’d put this girl up there with Martha Stewart in a craft-off any day! Pretty sure there isn’t anything she can’t make. She is a Janome educator, a fabulous pattern writer and designer, and is also a wonderful teacher.  My first ever sewing class was taught be this gal, and let me just say, she is patient!! The patterns for her beautiful projects below are available via her website.She has helped me out tremendously in my crazy fabric world adventure, and I’m so thankful God placed her in my life!! If it wasn’t for her, pretty sure my husband and I would still be at Quilt Market trying to lay our flooring…but more on that later!
I know I said it before that I was overwhelmed and so very grateful by the number of people, most complete strangers, that emailed me to help with samples. Joy  Tapley was on of those generous strangers that I’m so very lucky to have virtually met. She is so very talented. She used to own a fabric store, so was totally competent and capable and understanding of the crazy fast approaching deadline.  She did an amazing job on the projects below!! I tell you, that women’s button-up shirt is killer. So stylish and so well made!! My drop dead gorgeous sister-in-law modeled it, and I couldn’t resist wearing it one day at market!!  You can follow Joy on  instagram, where she sales patterns and fabric at great prices!
Now we have Julie Lang. This lady is so kind and genuinely sweet as pie!! She’s a crazy amazing seamstress and juggles 3 Etsy shops. She makes tons of great things ranging from little boy neckties and diaper covers to bridal wear! You should really check out her shops: Teddy Boy Style, The Sewing Machine, and The Social Seam.  Last year, she made my nephew’s button-up shirt for market, and this year she so generously offered to do the same. She does incredible work and he really loves his “work shirts, like dad’s”. After market, he wore his shirt and tie from last year to pre-school the ENTIRE week.  Julie also made the lovely long maxi skirt. I, of course picked up a pattern for jersey knits, not realizing it, but Julie was able to tweak it and turn out a gorgeous, oh-so perfect skirt from the woven cotton fabric I sent her. She’s just an all around gorgeous human being!!
This next cutie, Kristen Wright of Two Blondes and a Sewing Machine, is super hip and a crazy great sewist! She whipped out a fold-over clutch, the Zoe Messenger bag, a pair of adorable fabric earrings, and a pair of gym shorts that we displayed at market. She was awesome to work with and so very sweet.  Be sure to check out her cute shop!
Last, but certainly not least, is the fabulous Sally Keller. Sally is a true light in this world. She has a contagious smile, is full of love, and is such a fun person to be around!! She’s crazy talented and made the fantastic You Are My Sunshine pillow and the super tote. I’ve followed Sally for awhile now on instagram, and so thankful for this “social media” friend!!
Truly friends, many hands make light work…and certainly make it a heck of a lot more fun!! I am so very thankful for each and every person who graciously lent me their time, talents, gorgeousness, smiles, and support to make this all come together.  God is so good and has an amazing way of blessing each of us with certain talents and passions that truly make the world go round!! I’m thankful for each and every one of you!
Be sure to check back in the next few days to see my post on the Sunshine Serenade Quilt Market booth and for a little fabric giveaway…and in the meantime, check out Silly Mama Quilts for some great tutorials and your chance at winning a Sunshine Serenade fat quarter bundle starting tomorrow!!


  1. Elle Casner says:

    You are such a creative genius and talent! So honored to be a part of Sunshine Serenade! Thank you, thank you for the opportunity! And if it’s not trouble… can we do it again?! Love and miss you!

  2. Alison says:

    Melissa, this is beautifully written. I am filled with total joy by reading each and every word. What a testament to the love each of us share for incredible fabrics, patterns, ideas to complete your vision for your total look. This project is what collaboration is all about!
    Your insight to the total finished presentation of your newest line for quilt market was so creative!. I am honored to have worked for you, and to have my work along side the talents of the other amazing women!
    Thank you for allowing me to share in this!
    I can’t wait for 2016!

  3. Alex says:

    Fantastic Melissa! Thanks for sharing :)


  1. [...] bundle of Sunshine Serenade…. I will draw a winner Friday, January 30, in the morning…. click here to read a wonderful post Melissa wrote regarding this line…. Happy Sewing! [...]

  2. [...] said in my last post, that many hands make for light work, and certainly makes it more fun. Our booth would have not [...]

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