Hello, I’m Melissa Mortenson. I am the founder of the Polka Dot Chair, a DIY site dedicated to sharing ideas for creative family living. It specializes in Sewing, Quilting, Craft and Family related content.  I am also a published author and licensed textile designer.

Curious about who I am? Here’s a bit more about me:

I grew up in Salt Lake City Utah, and moved to Louisville, KY after I finished college. I guess that’s what happens when you marry a Kentucky boy.   I’ve lived here ever since and love it.


I have 3 kids.  One daughter that is 19 and in college out west, and if she doesn’t give me enough gray hairs her twin siblings do.  They came along when she was 6 years old, a baby brother and sister.  After that our family was complete.

(that’s me in the light green)

I grew up sewing.  My grandmother used to let me play with her scraps of fabric and her old pedal powered singer.  I loved making clothes for my Barbie dolls. When I entered high school, I discovered sewing as a great coping mechanism for the perils of being a teen.

I now have my Grandma’s sewing machine

When I entered college, I put my creative pursuits aside to concentrate on my studies.  I discovered I had a great passion for science and pursued a degree in Molecular Biology. I worked in vaccine research for a brief time.

After that I worked full time for 5 years as the Director of Operations and IT liaison for a startup insurance company.  While at that job I discovered a love for technology.

A Polka Dot Dress and the Kentucky Derby on polkadotchair.com

After the birth of my kids, I picked up sewing again. This time more voraciously.  In 2007 I decided to start a DIY blog, this one.  I soon found great enjoyment in designing and sharing projects with others. I think the design aspect of blogging satisfies my inner scientist.

in South Africa in 2013

I love to make all kinds of things.  My true loves are family, sewing, DIY projects and travel.  You can read about all of them here.

I’ve got more vices than I’d like……  I drink too much Diet Coke, lie to my doctor about how much I actually exercise and can’t seem to keep my house clean to save my life. So don’t wonder how I “do it all” cause I don’t.

My love for polka dots started early, me at 4, I’m the one in the polka dot dress. 

This blog is called the Polka Dot Chair, because I love polka dots… a lot, I even bought a polka dot chair for my craft room.  Hence the name.

Project Teen Book by Melissa Mortenson - 21 Projects to Sew that Teens and Tweens will actually LOVE!

In 2014 I published my first book. “Project Teen: 21 Handmade Gifts your Teens will Love”. It was inspired by my children and my desire to continue to sew for them as they grew up.  I’m convinced that teenagers love handmade quilts as much as babies do.

Derby Style Fabric by Melissa Mortenson for Riley Blake Designs- Cute Fabric for your next sewing project

In 2015 I released my first line of quilting quality cottons with Riley Blake Designs.  Inspired by my hometown of Louisville, the fabric line is called “Derby Style” .  You can find it in brick and mortar stores and online.

I hope you enjoy reading this blog as much as I enjoy writing it.  If you do please make sure you say “hi” and introduce yourself.

I would love to connect with you! You can find me on Facebook, , Instagram and Pinterest.


The Polka Dot Chair was founded and is edited by Melissa Mortenson. This blog does accept payments in the form of advertising, sponsorships, and other related paid campaigns or endorsements. Payments accepted are in the form of cash, products, services, and/or trade of advertisement. Payments are accepted as compensation for the efforts of the writing, crafting, photography, supplies, and time of the writer to provide quality content.

The compensation received from another party will not affect the content written at The Polka Dot Chair. If such an advertisement or sponsorship is received, it will be identified as such on the individual article. The content will always be an honest opinion and review. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the bloggers’ own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.

The owner of this blog would like to disclose the following existing relationships. These are companies, organizations or individuals who are affiliates or where we are contributing to and provide payment in the forms of cash, products, or trade for service: Silhouette America, Shabby Apple, Craftsy, Blurb,  Amazon, & Lifestyle Crafts

Portions of this policy were provided by: disclosurepolicy.org