Melissa Miller Curley

MQU‘s Cheryl Sleboda talks with quilter and contributor Melissa Miller Curley.

Originally posted on March 27, 2018 by Cheryl Sleboda

We caught up with Melissa Miller Curley, whose quilt “Sandrine” is on the cover of the latest issue of Modern Quilts Unlimited #22.  She was able to tell us a little about what’s going on with her and her quilt adventures!

Hey there, Melissa! So, tell us… when did you first learn to sew? When did you make your first quilt?

My mom is a quilter, so I have been sewing off and on for as long as I can remember – I’m not even sure when I made my first quilt!  Sewing has been a daily activity of mine for the last seven or so years.  Even though we don’t live near each other, my mom is still the first person I ask when I have a quilty question; I am so grateful for the ability to attach a photo to a text message so she can “see” my question when I ask it!

What is a technique that you have never tried that you would like to?

I would love to learn how to put facing on a quilt instead of the usual binding – it’s always fun to have options, and this is one that I am wanting to learn sooner rather than later!

What about the Modern aesthetic appeals to you?

Everything!  I especially love negative space, minimalist designs, and straight line quilting, and a lot of my work reflects that.  And I know that there are certain aspects that officially make a quilt modern but I love that by labeling a quilt as modern, we now have an open door that allows us to put anything on a quilt and to make it look however we want…some of the old ‘rules’ no longer restrain us.


Sandrine, by Melissa Miller Curley

What advice would you give to a beginner in quilting?

Try new things!  There are multiple ways to do a lot of different techniques…if one way isn’t working for you, find a resource or a quilter who can show you a different way.  Most quilters are more than happy to share their methods with others.

What kinds of fabrics are your favorite to work with?

Solids, especially Kona Cotton, are my favorite fabrics to use, closely followed by different textured fabrics such as denims, linens, wovens, chambrays, etc.  Since I don’t work with a whole lot of prints, I tend to use them as backings…many of my quilts are all solids on the front with a fabulous print on the back.

What kind of projects are you working on next?

I have several exciting projects in the works…class projects that I will teach at my local quilt shop, an upcycled denim project using my family’s old jeans, my local guild’s finish nine project that challenges us to finish nine UFOs by the end of the year (brilliant! I can put off the other 20+ until another year, guilt-free!), charity projects through my guild (we’re finishing up our Quilts for Vegas drive, and starting smaller quilts for a local NICU), and I’m also venturing a bit into the home décor world and getting some of my pieces into people’s homes.

Thanks for talking with us, Melissa!  To see how to make this quilt, check out the latest issue of Modern Quilts Unlimited! To see more of Melissa’s work online, check out her Instagram at

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