Sunday, January 15, 2017

Sewing Ninja

Today in class at Delve MIY, a showroom for Frond Design Studios, I was called a Sewing Ninja.

I absolutely loved it.

It was a class of 6 women that I was teaching how to sew a pillowcase using french seams to make it look beautiful inside and out. The directions are simple and only call for one yard of fabric. 

Years ago, my grandmother taught me about french seams. I can still feel the light that filtered through the window the day she shared it with me. We had just dug into her stash that was stored in a dark blue rubbermaid container, above her compact washer and dryer. What a cherished memory.

When they called me a Sewing Ninja, it made me laugh. My relationship with sewing has been complicated and not easy.

You see, learning to sew is a skill. Some are naturally gifted towards it and others struggle a bit. I don't think anyone talks about this, but it is true.

I am gifted at free-spirited sewing, but have worked very hard for every skill that I have grown with a sewing machine.

This spurs me forward to teach in a way that creates a simpler path for the people I teach. May what I found hard, be made a little simpler for them.

So, when I think of a Ninja, I think about the hours they put into growing their skills. Becoming a master at their craft came with a personal price and dedication that they chose.

That is me and sewing.
I chose to sew.
I choose to grow in sewing.
My career is dedicated to this growth.

Sooo......perhaps, I am becoming the Sewing Ninja that I always dreamed of becoming.

This makes me insanely happy.
Cheers to the future and the detail sewing that is entering my life soon!

Sewing Ninja M

*photo found on Pinterest. no source found

Monday, January 2, 2017

A Quilt for Coco Bean

We have two nieces and one nephew. Coco Bean is the youngest and our goddaughter. She is three and has a darling personality. My favorite thing she does is say 'cheese' everytime that she gets her photo taken. I hope that she never grows out of that.

My sister, Charity, had mentioned that Coco Bean could use a new nap blanket for daycare. I love to make handmade gifts for my peeps and jumped at the chance to make her a quilt.

It is a simple strip quilt that I whipped up in an afternoon.

As you can see, it is free spirited and lively. I think that the strips were 7" wide. It went fast as I followed my whim and artistic intellect.

For the back, I took one of my favorite fabrics, called Angel Wings, and seamed it together to play with the color movement.

Oh my goodness, I love! It is a wonderful use of this running panel.

I am planning on making a quilt for all of my immediate family members. After all, if you have a fabric designer in the family, you should get quilt designed and made by them. Right?? 

No worries, I will share the journey. 2017 will be a year of blogging, that I am sure of.

All fabric shown are paintings from my studio that have been printed on fabric for Frond Design Studios. It is a mix of the Discovery Tree collection and Celebrate!

Check for it at your favorite local quilt store. If they aren't currently carrying it, they can simply set up a wholesale account with Frond! Here is a link!

Here is also a nice little link for you:
And of course, you can pop by Delve MIY in the New Bo District of Cedar Rapids, IA and come SEE ME IN PERSON! I like that option the best. Come play at the new Make and Take area with me. It will be fun! Promise-sauce.

Catch ya later!
-Melissa Marie Collins

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Dance

There are things that you dream of.
And they happen.
There are things that you wish for.
And they happen.
There are things that you hope for.
And they happen.

And when they do, tuck them into your heart for the hard days...... because this is life. 

Celebrate them. Hold onto them.

My husband, Louis M. Collins, had dreamed of capturing a ballerina in action.

I had a garment growing in me and a recent fabric collection released from Frond Design Studios called Celebrate!

Babette Lam was home from college and visiting her family.
We all came together to create.

It was an amazing, emotive experience.
Truly a celebration of life.

We have a message for you:
If you are a Dancer, Dance
If you are a Photographer, Photograph
If you are an Artist, Create
If you are a Garment Designer, Design
If you are a Quilter, Quilt

Whoever you are, do the things that you desire to do. Life might not slow down for you. It might not get easier for you. You have to sieze the moments and participate in the beauty that can be created.

Do your thing.
Dance your dance.

Melissa Marie Collins

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Lily Wearing Angel Wings

Lily walked into Delve carrying a lily that she had picked for me. We had never met, but she is the daughter of a gal that I have known from my teen years. She came with her mom, grandma, and brothers. We all chatted and talked of many things, with the highlight being how simple sewing can be.

She left with a couple yards of Angel Wings and Moonwind from my Discovery Tree collection for Frond Design Studios, to make a pillowcase dress. 

Yesterday, I found that the dress was finished and she was wearing it to a wedding.
What a fantastic idea!
It is vivid and beautiful on her. Matches her creative soul.

Before Lily left the day of her visit, she had also given me a painting. I will cherish it and tuck it into my young art collection that I have been growing over the years.

I hope to see her again!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Prayers in the Sand

Sometimes, you have to take your prayers out of the closet and communicate them in a visual manner. Not for God, but for yourself.

My husband is going through a health challenge. Right now, we are in the middle of testing. Things could be fine, and things could also not be fine. It is an uncomfortable place to be. It brings fear to the forefront and dances like a boogey-man in front of your face.

Today, we went to one of our favorite places, Palisades State Park, to find peace. We go here often, it feels like home to us.

We made our way to the sandbar. It took a bit of careful stepping and dedication to get there.

I sat down on the sandbar and discovered a stick sitting next to me. Naturally, I started to draw with it. Through my movement flowed my fears about Louis' situation, my hopes, and the outcome I desired.

My design became a circle. It was then that I realized what I had done.

I had drawn a Prayer Circle. And I knew who I had drawn it for.

I then asked Louis to stand in the center and listen to my prayer statements.

With each swirl, I made declarations to support his health and life. Next, I drew two more large circles.

I asked him to connect a line from the swirl to the outside circle in agreement with my prayer declarations.

Then I wrote Yes an(d) Amen.

Our prayer looked beautiful in the sand.

We both left this moment feeling more connected to God and confident of our healing prayer declaration. 

Sometimes, we feel the urge to do unconventional things in expression of faith. I find that these moments are what make life both interesting and miraculous.

No matter what news the final testing brings, I believe that healing is happening.

Yes and Amen.

Monday, May 23, 2016


The Frond Quilt Market crew is traveling back from Salt Lake City.

This is what we just prompted photography art making and poetry....I thought I would share.

we traveled forward with hope in our hearts
and were greeted by a rainbow
a promise fullfilled

Friday, April 29, 2016

A Healing Journey

Walking through life, sometimes we need help.
Sometimes, we become stuck in a cycle of emotional pain.
In order to release it, we might need a helping hand.

Someone that is outside of the cycle.
Someone who has knowledge.
Someone who has been trained.
Someone who is a healer.

I chose Sandy.

She has assisted me in releasing the emotional pain cycle that I had been in.
She has shown me kindness and care.

Together, we have created a safe place for inward work to be done.

Why do I share?
Because perhaps someone else needs her. 

I vowed long ago to share my journey on this earth from an honest place. To be authentic. To share what I feel compelled to share.

This honesty has assisted others to live their truth. Planting truth seeds in others makes my journey through the dark forests of life feel redeemed and valuable.

I created a Healing Tree tryptic for Sandy, sharing how I experience her and how I see her.

My husband, Louis M. Collins, documented the paintings for my portfolio. I gave him creative freedom. He did not disappoint.

If this post strikes a cord in heart and you feel like you might want to reach out to Sandy, you can email her: