Melissa Frankel’s boldly colorful and graphic art has been seen on numerous television shows and commercials, in Quilting Arts magazine, and has been juried into the American Quilter’s Society, the International Quilt Association, and the World Quilt and Textile shows. Her art quilts have also been exhibitied in galleries with the textile art collective, Quilts on the Wall, and at juried shows in Southern California, as well as being in the permanent collection of Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Irvine, CA. She is driven by the challenge of recreating the perspective and light in the photos that she takes of people, trees, and flowers. Her professional background in Set Decoration for television, film, and theater has led her into the life of part-time studio artist, part-time decorator; with an eye for what an audience might see, she can express her fascination with the world while creating art that is understood and appreciated by others. A member of SAQA (Studio Art Quilters Associates), Melissa works primarily with silk and cotton; she uses hand painting and detailed stitching to add detail and depth to her pieces.

Artist Statement

I find myself drawn to nature not only for its beauty, but because of its mysteries, and its quiet persistence. I make my artwork as a reminder that everything in nature, and much that is man-made has beauty in it, even the mundane.

I gravitate towards fabric because of its comforting and pliable nature. It has the ability to be manipulated with sculptural results, while still maintaining the flat plane of a painters canvas; for instance, combining wool, which swells when steamed, with silk charmeuse, which is highly reflective, can create three dimensional relief that captures light. Using thread along with oil pastels, watercolor pencils, and textile paint, I add to the illusion of depth and perspective. I often combine the realistic portrayal of nature with the exaggerated, using complimentary color combinations, and extreme value contrasts.

For the last few years I have been recreating my photographs of plants by using paints and pastels on white fabric. I am excited about exploring new methods of combining digital printing with paints and stitching as well as rediscovering familiar processes involving fabric and thread alone. In the end, the image always dictates the techniques.



Art Quilts juried into the following shows and publications:

Road to California, 2004

American Quilter’s Society 21st Annual Quilt Show, Paducah, KY, semi-finalist, 2005

International Quilt Association Quilt Festival – Chicago, “Celebrate Spring”, finalist, 2005

International Quilt Association Quilt Festival - Houston, finalist, 2005

World Quilt and Textile Show, Manchester, NH and Columbus, OH, 2005

Quilting Arts Calendar 2006 Judge’s choice, published in Fall issue, 2005


Also exhibited at:

Kaiser Permanente Hospital, Irvine CA - permanent collection
"Fiber Pathways I and II", VIVA Gallery, Sherman Oaks, CA 2005, 2007
Provincetown Art Association Museum, Provincetown, MA 2005
“Unraveled”, Malaga Cove Library, Palos Verdes, CA 2004
“Unraveled II”, Malaga Cove Library, Palos Verdes, CA 2005
Mashpee and Truro Public Libraires, MA 2006
Hollywood Studio Gallery
Pinacoteka Picture Props
Omega Cinema Props

Quilts seen on the following tv shows / commercials:
Desperate Housewives, Half and Half, Eve, Missmatch, Outback Steakhouse, CSI, Weeds, Over There

Owner, Bliss Handbags and Accessories 1998 – 2005
Purses sold at Jennifer Kaufman and Jacqueline Jarrot, Beverly Center and online at

Set Decorator and Shopper / Buyer 1997 – present:
Television and feature films including CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, E Ring and shows for NBC, CBS, Warner Brothers, MTV, SCI-FI, Showtime, Nickelodeon, Los Angeles, CA

Set Decorator and Prop Master 1994 - 1997:
Intiman Theatre, Seattle, WA
Empty Space Theatre, Seattle, WA
Seattle Shakespeare Festival, Seattle WA

Additional work in theater:
A Contemporary Theater, Seattle, WA
Goodspeed Opera House, East Haddam, Connecticut
Arena Stage, Washington, D.C.
Mark Taper Theater, Los Angeles, CA

Germantown Friends School, Philadelphia, PA
Bachelors of Arts with Honors from Wesleyan University, Middletown Connecticut, Musicology, French
LA Community College - Computer Aided Architectural Drafting
Otis School of Design - Fashion Draping
additional studies with: Jane Olson, Becky McClure, Esterita Austin, Rosemary Eichorn, Sharon Schamber, Jane Dunnewold

Member of Studio Art Quilt Associates, Los Angeles Fiber Artists, Quilts on the Wall, American Quilter’s Society, International Quilt Association, American Craft Council



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