MEL's Practical Joy

A 9 Month Block of the Month Quilt featuring
Machine Embroidery Applique and Quilting in the Hoop
MEL's Practical Joy Quilt

If you've been around Meaning of Life Designs for a while, you may remember hearing about MEL. 

MEL is a Machine Embroidery Lover.

She loves to use her embroidery machine to create beautiful works of art she's proud to display in her home, and even gift to her family and friends.

MEL loves the challenge of learning new techniques.

And yet there are times when she loves to create just for the fun of it.

MEL's Practical Joy is a quilt to be created just for the fun of it!

It's playful.

It's refreshing.

It's full of joy!

Imagine the rest of the year being all about joy.

Are you looking for a breath of fresh air in some potentially turbulent times?

Could you use a little uplifting right now?

Will you join me for a joy-filled quilting adventure as we transform the hand drawn illustrations shown above into a quilt that is filled with vibrant colors?


MEL's Practical Joy measures 73" x 89" - the perfect size for a twin bed!

Each month you'll work on a new block, sometimes two.

First, you'll stitch the embroidered applique designs onto the background fabric.

Our super simple technique for perfect design placement is easy to master, and needs nothing more than a pin and an ironing board.

4 different styles of border surround each of the blocks.

Easy strip piecing creates 2 of the borders, the other 2 can be stitched in the hoop using your embroidery machine. 

Finally, you'll create a quilt sandwich and complete the quilting for the block - all in the hoop.

When it's time to assemble all the blocks, you'll discover a way to add sashing to the front and the back of the quilt at the same time that might leave you wondering why nobody thought of it before!

The result?

A soft and snuggly work of art that is filled to overflowing with joy!

Here's What's Included...

This is what you'll need to complete the project...

Machine Embroidery Design

Embroidery Machine

Single needle or multi-needle embroidery machine in good working condition.

Minimum hoop size: 8" x 12" or 200mm x 300mm

A magnetic hoop is an awesome accessory for your embroidery machine to make quilting in the hoop a breeze.

Machine Embroidery Design

Fabric & Thread

Fabric as specified in the fabric requirements. Fabric is NOT included! An optional fabric kit is available from

Embroidery thread: We love AURIfil Cotton Mako 50 weight. 

Bobbin thread: Superior Bottom Line #619 Tan is recommended.

Machine Embroidery Design

Stabilizer, Fusible Webbing, Batting

Stabilizer: OESD Ultra Clean and Tear or Floriani Stitch N Wash 20" rolls recommended.

Fusible webbing: Heat N Bond Lite recommended.

Batting: Quilter's Dream Bamboo recommended (previously called Quilter's Dream Orient).

Machine Embroidery Design


Needles: Superior Titanium Top Stitch 80/12 recommended.

Mary Ellen's Best Press.

Scotch® Magic™ Tape.

Machine Embroidery Design

Basic Sewing Supplies


Thread snips or small scissors (Havel's Double Curved Scissors Extra Fine are Sarah's favorites)


Fine point Sharpie Pen or 0.5mm mechanical pencil.

Machine Embroidery Design

Rotary Cutter & Iron

Rotary cutting supplies - mat, cutter and rulers. 20.5" x 20.5" Omnigrip ruler highly recommended.

Padded ironing board (June Tailor Cushioned Quilter's Square N Blocker)

Small iron

Whether you're an experienced embroiderer, or you're just starting out, creating MEL's Practical Joy can be a playful, fun and joy-filled experience for you.

For the first time ever, we're offering a monthly stitch-along to go with the quilt!

We're calling it MEL's Joy Club.

There's nothing like being part of a community of like-minded, creative women (and maybe a few men!) while bringing this project to life, each in our own way.

As well as setting aside time each month to let our inner MEL play, we'll bring more joy into our everyday lives as we embrace the wisdom in the book, Practical Joy, by my good friend M. Shannon Hernandez. Shannon's illustrations in the book are the foundation for this super fun and joy filled quilt!

As Shannon says, "May you dive into {MEL's} Practical Joy with an open heart and mind, and give yourself permission to add more joy to your life than you ever thought possible!"

Are you ready to get started?

Choose the option that is right for you.

When you pay in full, with a one time payment, you'll receive each new block as soon as it's released. See the schedule below! 

  • You'll also receive a copy of the book, Practical Joy: Simple Tools to Cultivate More Joy Every Day, by M. Shannon Hernandez.
  • International customers will receive a PDF version of the book.

When you choose the installment plan, you'll make 9 monthly, automatic payments.

  • You'll receive block 1 immediately, and subsequent blocks every 30 days.

Full Pay Options

MEL's Joy Club


One time payment

What's included: 

  • Everything in MEL's¬†Practical Joy


  • Recordings of each stitch-along so you can rewatch whenever you want, or watch if you can't make the live date.






MEL's Practical Joy


One time payment

What's included: 

  • 9 months of joy-filled quilt blocks featuring machine embroidery applique and quilting in the hoop.
  • Detailed written instructions and¬†getting started videos.

  • Multi-formatted designs.
  • Immediate & 24/7 digital access.
  • Lifetime access.
  • A copy¬†the¬†book, Practical Joy: Simple Tools to Cultivate More Joy Every Day by M. Shannon Hernandez.
  • 1 block free when compared with the installment plan option.
  • The recording of¬†Jumpstart into Joy, a live "Practical Joy" training with Shannon that took place on May 8, 2023.
  • The recording of a Joyful Celebration with Shannon last¬†December 20, 2023.¬†

Installment Plan Options

MEL's Practical Joy

$33 Monthly

9 Monthly Payments

What's included: 

  • 9 months of joy-filled quilt blocks featuring machine embroidery applique and quilting in the hoop.
  • Detailed written instructions and¬†getting started videos.

  • Multi-formatted designs.
  • Immediate & 24/7 digital access.
  • Lifetime access.
  • The recording of Jumpstart into Joy, a live "Practical Joy" training with Shannon that took place on May 8, 2023.
  • An invitation to a Joyful Celebration with Shannon on December 20, 2023. {This zoom session will be recorded}
  • The recording of a Joyful Celebration with Shannon last December 20, 2023.¬†

What people say about Meaning of Life Designs...

embroidery appliques
"Your designs are beautiful!"

Oh, your designs are beautiful!

When I read your instructions, it's just ABC.

This is what you do, and all I need to do is follow it.

~ Shirley S, fellow MEL from CO
embroidery appliques
"Easy to do!"

Your designs are so wonderful, and they're easy to do if you just follow the instructions.

It's good that you are an engineer, because then you figure out how it goes together so that other people can do it.

And I think that's a talent, a good talent.

~ Mailyn W, fellow MEL from AR
embroidery appliques
"Fun and amazing!"

I think Sarah's designs are just fun and amazing.

When I get everything stitched out, it's like I'm holding it up and I go, wow, did I really do that?

~ Carol C, fellow MEL from TX

Meet Your Instructors

Dr. Sarah Vedeler

Since I was a young girl, I've had a love for sewing.

That love transformed into a hobby, a passion, and then a career.

Nearly 2 decades ago, I started designing my own quilts and offering those designs (as well as classes on how to use them) to quilters all over the world.

I discovered my super-power and purpose:

To ignite the fire of creativity in the hearts and minds of people who are hungry to experience the transformative process of creating something beautiful themselves.

Watching people of all skill-levels and walks of life grow their skillset and their confidence using my designs has been incredible.

In beautiful nerdy fashion, I mash up my PhD in Theoretical Computer Science and career as a Software Engineer with a love of color and design. 

The result?

Machine embroidery applique and quilting in the hoop designs which allow YOU to create spectacular quilts and other projects. 

Sarah Vedeler
Practical Joy

Introducing M. Shannon Hernandez

M. Shannon Hernandez is ALL ABOUT THAT JOY in life and biz.

Shannon is the founder of Joyful Business Revolution™ where she and her team partner with service-based business owners (both online and brick and mortar) teaching them how to grow their business for GOOD, resulting in more joy, more time-off, and more profit with purpose.

When not speaking and teaching globally, Shannon is reading fiction, snuggling her cat, traveling the world, spreading joy, and hanging with the love of her life, Maria.

Are you ready to fill your life with more joy

MEL's Practical Joy
MEL's Practical Joy
MEL's Practical Joy
MEL's Practical Joy
MEL's Practical Joy
MEL's Practical Joy

Our Stitch Something Awesome Guarantee!

Create something amazing and don't forget the share the results with us! We are always on hand to help and dedicated to making sure you experience the joy of creating craftwork that you can't wait to show off, or your money back.