MEL BEACH ONLINE PORTFOLIO

Selected works that showcase my creativity, worksmanship, series work and accolades. 
Additional information about my design inspiration and process is available by visiting the blog post linked below each quilt.  

Challenge QUILTs

I love stretching my creativity through the completion of 70+ quilt challenges at the local and international level. Some challenges are inspired by the challenge theme, whereas others are designed to showcase the challenge fabrics.

  1. Do You Know the Way to San Jose?  January 2018 22” x 34” San Jose/Silicon Valley is home to a growing number of high-tech companies, causing a major shift in the area’s demographics, housing market, traffic, and local art scene. This abstract cityscape reflects the confluence of both industries: hardware as symbolized by the two upcycled HP laptops (note that HP was founded in Silicon Valley) and software, as represented in the printed fabrics and free-motion quilting in the background. The skyscrapers are indicative of the changing housing landscape towards more and more high-density apartments, several of which have been constructed near the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles. The congested highway represents the swell in population, which has overwhelmed the current infrastructure, and has generated a mass exodus of families, working professionals, and artists who can no longer afford to live, work or create here in the Bay area.  Exhibits/Awards: Pacific International Quilt Festival (October 2018), won Viewer’s Choice in Project Quilting’s Hometown Proud weekly challenge (January 2018).   Blog Post

1. Do You Know the Way to San Jose?
January 2018
22” x 34”
San Jose/Silicon Valley is home to a growing number of high-tech companies, causing a major shift in the area’s demographics, housing market, traffic, and local art scene. This abstract cityscape reflects the confluence of both industries: hardware as symbolized by the two upcycled HP laptops (note that HP was founded in Silicon Valley) and software, as represented in the printed fabrics and free-motion quilting in the background. The skyscrapers are indicative of the changing housing landscape towards more and more high-density apartments, several of which have been constructed near the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles. The congested highway represents the swell in population, which has overwhelmed the current infrastructure, and has generated a mass exodus of families, working professionals, and artists who can no longer afford to live, work or create here in the Bay area.

Exhibits/Awards: Pacific International Quilt Festival (October 2018), won Viewer’s Choice in Project Quilting’s Hometown Proud weekly challenge (January 2018).

Blog Post

  2. Sealed With A Kiss  April 2018 33” x 33” Improv pieced K’s dance using Riley Blake’s challenge fabrics.  Exhibits/Awards: Chosen as one of 10 Finalists in Riley Blake’s Fabric Challenge (April 2018), received a Special Award-Judge’s Choice in the 2018 San Mateo County Fair (June 2018).   Blog Post

2. Sealed With A Kiss
April 2018
33” x 33”
Improv pieced K’s dance using Riley Blake’s challenge fabrics.

Exhibits/Awards: Chosen as one of 10 Finalists in Riley Blake’s Fabric Challenge (April 2018), received a Special Award-Judge’s Choice in the 2018 San Mateo County Fair (June 2018).

Blog Post

  3. Free Styling, Spiraling & Flying Geese  November 2017 47” x 52” Improv pieced spirangles sparkle and dance in this modern remake of the traditional flying geese quilt design.  Exhibits/Awards: Juried into Pacific International Quilt Festival (October 2018), awarded 1st Place Modern Quilts for California State Fair (July 2018), juried into Modern Quilt Guild’s QuiltCon (February 2018).   Blog Post

3. Free Styling, Spiraling & Flying Geese
November 2017
47” x 52”
Improv pieced spirangles sparkle and dance in this modern remake of the traditional flying geese quilt design.

Exhibits/Awards: Juried into Pacific International Quilt Festival (October 2018), awarded 1st Place Modern Quilts for California State Fair (July 2018), juried into Modern Quilt Guild’s QuiltCon (February 2018).

Blog Post

  4. Peace by Piece  November 2017 37” x 37” Abstract peace signs dance throughout this improvisationally pieced design. Squares of hyper-bright primary colors were stacked, whacked and shuffled prior to inserting the black strips, creating a modern twist on Mondrian’s abstract style featuring a primary palette. Zig zag meander quilting adds energy throughout the smaller blocks, with peace sign filled pebble quilting showcased in the larger peace sign block.  Exhibits/Awards: Juried into Pacific International Quilt Festival New Modern Quilts Competition (October 2018), awarded 3rd Place for Modern Quilts, Small at California State Fair (July 2018), juried into Modern Quilt Guild’s QuiltCon (February 2018)   Blog Post

4. Peace by Piece
November 2017
37” x 37”
Abstract peace signs dance throughout this improvisationally pieced design. Squares of hyper-bright primary colors were stacked, whacked and shuffled prior to inserting the black strips, creating a modern twist on Mondrian’s abstract style featuring a primary palette. Zig zag meander quilting adds energy throughout the smaller blocks, with peace sign filled pebble quilting showcased in the larger peace sign block.

Exhibits/Awards: Juried into Pacific International Quilt Festival New Modern Quilts Competition (October 2018), awarded 3rd Place for Modern Quilts, Small at California State Fair (July 2018), juried into Modern Quilt Guild’s QuiltCon (February 2018)

Blog Post

  5. Spinning Stars  November 2016 72" x 72" Made as part of Modern Quilts Unlimited "Everything Old Is New Again" Blocks and Quilt Challenge in which traditional quilt blocks were given modern makeovers.  Exhibits/Awards: Juried into International Quilt Festival (November 2018), awarded Special Award for Best Modern Quilt/1st Place Modern Large Quilts in the San Mateo County Fair (June 2018), 3rd Place in the Modern Quilts Competition at Pacific International Quilt Festival (October 2017), juried into American Quilting Society Paducah (Spring 2017) and Machine Quilting Exposition (2017).   Blog Post

5. Spinning Stars
November 2016
72" x 72"
Made as part of Modern Quilts Unlimited "Everything Old Is New Again" Blocks and Quilt Challenge in which traditional quilt blocks were given modern makeovers.

Exhibits/Awards: Juried into International Quilt Festival (November 2018), awarded Special Award for Best Modern Quilt/1st Place Modern Large Quilts in the San Mateo County Fair (June 2018), 3rd Place in the Modern Quilts Competition at Pacific International Quilt Festival (October 2017), juried into American Quilting Society Paducah (Spring 2017) and Machine Quilting Exposition (2017).

Blog Post

  6. Fields of Quilted Dreams  August 2014 54" x 71" Original modern design to celebrate the production of solid cotton fabrics that are grown and manufactured here in the United States.  Exhibits/Awards: Selected as a Finalist and included in the traveling American Made Brand's Farm to Fabric Quilt Challenge exhibit (2014-2015).   Blog Post

6. Fields of Quilted Dreams
August 2014
54" x 71"
Original modern design to celebrate the production of solid cotton fabrics that are grown and manufactured here in the United States.

Exhibits/Awards: Selected as a Finalist and included in the traveling American Made Brand's Farm to Fabric Quilt Challenge exhibit (2014-2015).

Blog Post

  7. Orange You Glad I Got the Blues?  April 2016 40" x 24" Original applique design using hand dyed fabrics and a commercial print to simulate the improvisational nature of Jazz Music.  Exhibits/Awards: Juried into International Quilt Festival (November 2018), 2nd Place in California State Fair in the Art Quilts Small Category (July 2017), won Honorable Mention Ribbon at Pacific International Quilt Festival (October 2016), juried into Jazz Impressions Exhibit at the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles (May 2016).   Blog Post

7. Orange You Glad I Got the Blues?
April 2016
40" x 24"
Original applique design using hand dyed fabrics and a commercial print to simulate the improvisational nature of Jazz Music.

Exhibits/Awards: Juried into International Quilt Festival (November 2018), 2nd Place in California State Fair in the Art Quilts Small Category (July 2017), won Honorable Mention Ribbon at Pacific International Quilt Festival (October 2016), juried into Jazz Impressions Exhibit at the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles (May 2016).

Blog Post


Activism/Awareness Quilts

Quilting has provided me with a powerful voice to raise awareness about the world in which we live as it relates to sustainability, gun control and the current political climate.

  8. Under the Sea Debris  March 2018 30” x 51” This quilt was designed to raise awareness how our use of single use plastic items pose a significant danger to the marine eco-systems. Various plastic items were upcycled into this underwater scene.  Exhibits/Awards: Honorable Mention ribbon at San Mateo Couny Fair (June 2018), won Viewer’s Choice through Project Quilting (March 2018).   Blog Post

8. Under the Sea Debris
March 2018
30” x 51”
This quilt was designed to raise awareness how our use of single use plastic items pose a significant danger to the marine eco-systems. Various plastic items were upcycled into this underwater scene.

Exhibits/Awards: Honorable Mention ribbon at San Mateo Couny Fair (June 2018), won Viewer’s Choice through Project Quilting (March 2018).

Blog Post

  9. Body Count  October 2017 27" x 41" Made to raise awareness about the staggering recurrence of mass shootings in the United States. Each bullet's head stamp identifies a city, state and date of a mass shooting from 2017.   Blog Post

9. Body Count
October 2017
27" x 41"
Made to raise awareness about the staggering recurrence of mass shootings in the United States. Each bullet's head stamp identifies a city, state and date of a mass shooting from 2017.

Blog Post

  10. RE$I$TAN¢E  April 2017 39" x 34" Real $1 USD were folded and manipulated to represent programs and legislation (ie. affordable health care, environmental protection, education, women's rights, arts and sciences) that would truly make America Great for all.  Exhibits/Awards: Juried into the Threads of Resistance Traveling Exhibit, which included Pacific International Quilt Festival at the Santa Clara Convention Center (October 2017).   Blog Post

10. RE$I$TAN¢E
April 2017
39" x 34"
Real $1 USD were folded and manipulated to represent programs and legislation (ie. affordable health care, environmental protection, education, women's rights, arts and sciences) that would truly make America Great for all.

Exhibits/Awards: Juried into the Threads of Resistance Traveling Exhibit, which included Pacific International Quilt Festival at the Santa Clara Convention Center (October 2017).

Blog Post

  11. Peace of Mind  53" x 53" Improvisationally pieced using charms swapped with quilters around the country. Background is stitched with messages of compassion and hope from family & friends along with 30 translations of Peace.  Exhibits/Awards: Exhibited at San Mateo County Fair (June 2018), won 2nd Place in Modern Quilts Small Category at California State Fair (July 2017), juried into New Modern Quilt Competition at Pacific International Quilt Festival (October 2017), Featured in KQED’s 100 Days of Trump ((April 2017).   Blog Post

11. Peace of Mind
53" x 53"
Improvisationally pieced using charms swapped with quilters around the country. Background is stitched with messages of compassion and hope from family & friends along with 30 translations of Peace.

Exhibits/Awards: Exhibited at San Mateo County Fair (June 2018), won 2nd Place in Modern Quilts Small Category at California State Fair (July 2017), juried into New Modern Quilt Competition at Pacific International Quilt Festival (October 2017), Featured in KQED’s 100 Days of Trump ((April 2017).

Blog Post


MANDALA QUILTS

I am fascinated by the radial symmetry and meditative nature of creating mandala designs. My mandala series explores different quiltmaking techniques to create original mandala designs.

  12. Sparkling Stained Glass Mandala  June 2018 32” x 33” Made for the Hoffman Fabric Challenge. Challenge fabric featured jewels which were fussy cut out and laid out into a floral mosaic mandala design.  Exhibits/Awards: Chosen at Hoffman’s Curator Choice for the Applique Category and is included in the Hoffman traveling exhibit (August 2018).   Blog Post

12. Sparkling Stained Glass Mandala
June 2018
32” x 33”
Made for the Hoffman Fabric Challenge. Challenge fabric featured jewels which were fussy cut out and laid out into a floral mosaic mandala design.

Exhibits/Awards: Chosen at Hoffman’s Curator Choice for the Applique Category and is included in the Hoffman traveling exhibit (August 2018).

Blog Post

  13. Lime Light, Star Bright  November 2016 31" x 31" Pieced Modern Mandala made using Michael Miller solids & prints.  Exhibits/Awards: 2nd Place in Pieced Quilts at the California State Fair (July 2018), juried into Quilt Con (February 2017) and Pacific International Quilt Festival (October 2017).   Blog Post

13. Lime Light, Star Bright
November 2016
31" x 31"
Pieced Modern Mandala made using Michael Miller solids & prints.

Exhibits/Awards: 2nd Place in Pieced Quilts at the California State Fair (July 2018), juried into Quilt Con (February 2017) and Pacific International Quilt Festival (October 2017).

Blog Post

  14. Technicolor Trellis  July 2017 27" x 24" Modern Mandala made using Bias Tape Applique.  Exhibits/Awards: Juried into the 2017 Hoffman Fabric Challenge Traveling Exhibit.   Blog Post

14. Technicolor Trellis
July 2017
27" x 24"
Modern Mandala made using Bias Tape Applique.

Exhibits/Awards: Juried into the 2017 Hoffman Fabric Challenge Traveling Exhibit.

Blog Post

  15. Crayon Etched Mandala  March 2016 18" x 19" Inspired by crayon etched art from childhood. A rainbow commercial print was covered with solid black fabric prior to free-motion quilting a mandala design. Once complete, swatches of the solid black fabric were carefully trimmed away for a brilliant reveal. Made for Project Quilting's Through a Child's Eye 1-week Challenge.   Blog Post

15. Crayon Etched Mandala
March 2016
18" x 19"
Inspired by crayon etched art from childhood. A rainbow commercial print was covered with solid black fabric prior to free-motion quilting a mandala design. Once complete, swatches of the solid black fabric were carefully trimmed away for a brilliant reveal. Made for Project Quilting's Through a Child's Eye 1-week Challenge.

Blog Post