Choose Kindness

Choose Kindness

“Choose Kindness!! That’s what I tell my kids constantly and I stand by wholeheartedly!!” Melinda Sazama, Quilter & Mom, Naples, FL.

Thanks to my friend Lisa I found Melinda when my Great-Nieces and Nephews were being born in to the world. Because I had the great idea to gift them each with a handmade quilt and also monogram their name on their very own quilt. (see below for illustrations) And, that’s what Melinda does!!!

I had an appreciation for quilting since my high school sweethearts grandmother would sit at her picture window in front of a bird feeder surrounded by piles of pieces of colorful cloth assembling the most envied, soft, comfortable blankets for her family.

I was so grateful to have found Melinda. She has made seven quilts so far and one on the way July 2022.

I asked Melinda to write a little about herself. There’s a Grandma thread…Enjoy!!

“I am an energetic, homeschooling mom of 3.  Originally from Grosse Pointe, MI, I have lived and worked in Naples over 15 years with jobs ranging from landscaping, massage therapy, house cleaning, and minor home renovations. 

A devoted mother and friend, I spend time caring for and encouraging my family, collecting and no longer overwatering potted plants, and spreading my love of the outdoors and active lifestyle.

Having grown up loving (and still using!) a quilt from my grandma, I learned to sew over a decade ago to make quilts for family and friends.  

I now sells quilts for fun and to help support my family. ”

Thanks Melinda!! It has been a pleasure knowing you.

You can reach Melinda at

The first one for Rowan. I added the shells though maybe not the best idea. Made from her Great Grandmother Judy’s Flannel Robe.

Here’s her sister Penny’s Rainbow Quilt :))

Charlie and a Rainbow!!

Variations for the Bates Family :))
Emilia Rose

Nora 2022
They grow so fast!!!

Expecting one in July 2022….:)) Stay tuned for an update!!!


Imagine my surprise and delight when I opened a box that contained this “practice” quilt made by my friend Barbara Vanderwater in Hawaii. She sent it to me on her exit from the island to work for a spell back in her other home Catalina Island where I’ve visited with her in the past. This is such an exquisite gem. It’s amazing. It arrived with two Heart Rocks. Aloha!
I don’t know if I’ve shared with Barbara the tradition that I’ve upheld of having a quilt made & monogrammed for each of my great nieces & nephews. 7 so far and 1 on the way in July!!  I was fortunate to have met a quilter here in Naples who accommodates me when needed. My family is prolific and I imagine there will be several more ahead. When I showed her this she exclaimed, “batik print”. I like that. And the colors!!!


ALOHA from Hawaii

Here is a poem someone shared with me recently.

Vera Jewel

My grandmother ruffles through a box of material

that smells of mothballs. 4X4 squares

of old curtains, denims, dresses, ties, scarves.

Anything that could be cut to make quilts

packed so tightly in a yellowed box

the color on the fabric has no room to fade.

She searches for a newspaper article.

I’ve been through the box twice. Its not there.

She is so sure, so serene

as if by memory alone she can will it there.

Her fingers lull through the fabric

loosening the earth of her past.

Each square, a sermon, a kiss, a new dish.

Hands still immersed, she recites the article.

It is of my father’s early promotion in the Army.

I know how she must have studied it, line by line,

until the words became his uniform,

his boots, his medals, his tags.

She does not find it but she smiles. She offers me

the fabric to make quilts, pillowcases,

anything that can be sewn into a memory.

I take it, though I have already memorized her:

the smell of mothballs on her hands,

the rows of vegetables she nurtured

wearing the flowered dress that lies in pieces in the box.

I see her in my sleep. Words on a page.

I recite her.

~Poem entitled Vera Jewel

by Michelle McMillan-Holifiel


Friendship from Mark Nepo

Friendship from Mark Nepo

Nothing among human things

has such power to keep our gaze

fixed ever more intensely upon God

than friendship. — Simone Weil

….Honest friends are doorways to our souls, and loving friends are the grasses that soften the world. It is no mistake that the German root of the word friendship means “place of high safety.” And as Sant Martin said, “My friends are the beings through whom God loves me.”

There can be no greater or simpler ambition than to be a friend.


  • Center yourself and open your heart to the unnamable place of high safety.
  • After a time, look around in your heart and see who is there.
  • Breathe gently and give thanks for the true friends you have.