Announcing @mellytesta Insta GIVEAWAY winners!

Wow. The Florabunda! Blog Hop Celebration was a great success. My fellow artists and Hoppers created a wide array of styles, using the format of wall art, bed and baby quilts and usable items like a shopping tote, and a stylish purse and wristlet combo. 

I have compiled a Florabunda! by RJR Fabrics Pinterest board containing every post on the hop as well as pins that will alert you to where you can find Florabunda! for purchase through the web (These pins are labeled, STOCKIST Alert!). 

If you have made something with Florabunda! I would like to pin it to this board! Let me know! These posts are labeled, Blog: on the Florabunda! Pinterest board. This board is quickly growing. Happy Dance.

The Fabric GIVEAWAY on Insta was a great success. Thank you for helping us spread the word about Florabunda! to your friends and fellow quilt enthusiasts. Thanks too, for your enthusiasm and for following the Hop!

Our Insta winners are:

The Day 1 GIVEAWAY goes to: Stitchy.Stitchy

Day 2 GIVEAWAY goes to In the Boon Docks 

Day 3 GIVEAWAY goes to tkhoover49

Day 4 GIVEAWAY goes to blessedinsta

Please comment here or PM me through Insta, to claim your prize.


The Blue without You pattern GIVEAWAY from this post remains open until July 1, go comment.

The Quilty Box GIVEAWAY from this post remains open until July 1, go comment there too.

Debby Brown is giving a A La Cart Cutie pattern away too.

 

 

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Florabunda! by RJR Fabrics and ‘Connect the Dots’

I am calling this quilt, ‘Connect the Dots!’, because it does just that!

I made this quilt with several intentions in mind. First, I wanted to demonstrate how Florabunda! can be used. Then, I wanted to make connections with the offerings of my good friends.

This quilt pairs Florabunda! with Jamie Fingal’s Hopscotch. Hopscotch is a huge line of low volume prints in a plethora of colors and values. It was easy to choose fabrics from this line. Jamie’s prints help elevate the visual impact of Florabunda!

I couldn’t be happier to say, Jamie is a good friend of mine. Using her fabrics alongside mine is meaningful to me in so many ways.

Jamie and I often meet up and share a meal with friends at Quilt Festival, retreats, and venues we might teach at together. I cherish the friendships and female connection these dinners cultivate. We all meet up, as friends and fellow artists, to laugh and toast. We celebrate milestones together. We are good friends. Jamie curates a show called Dinner at Eight along with Leslie Tucker Jenison (also on this Hop and an RJR Designer). Jamie shows up and makes good things happen. 

Then, I have been improving my more traditional quilting skills by exploring Victoria Findlay Wolfe’s books, taking her classes and using her templates. I used Victoria’s Bow Tie template to make ‘Connect the Dots’.

In making this quilt, I learned about and fell in love with sewing curves. I thank Victoria’s teach style and skill for this.

If ever, you have told yourself that, ‘curves are too difficult’ for you? Buy the Bow Tie template along with the Mirror Ball Pattern, read the pattern from start to finish, twice. Cut one block, sew one block. That’s it. That’s what I did. It’s so easy. I am disappointed I ever told myself curves were difficult. I could have been making dotty quilts a long time ago! 

All of which is to say, I see love, and female friendship, and a shared love of quilting, when I see these fabrics and templates used together.

This truly is  a #quiltwithlove connection. 

The other things I learned in the making of this quilt? 

  • free-motion stitch in the ditch <—useful! At one point, the dots were PUFFY, no more.
  • free motion machine quilting <— I had been on a matchstick quilting kick, no more.
  • Franken-batting <—I had several 2′ strips of cotton batting floating around, time to use it up!!! I did not know there was a great descriptive like this though, so. I am using it!

Don’t forget to check out my post about my June 2018 Quilty Box! I am hosting a Quilty Box GIVEAWAY and think you should win it! The Blue without You GIVEAWAY is still open too. Please leave comments on both posts. 

Check out the New Florabunda! Pinterest Board! So many pretty projects there!

Debby Brown is giving an A La Mode Cutie pattern away too! 

June 7–Tiffany Hayes
June 9–Sara Mika
June 10–Lyric Kinard
June 11–Kathy York
June 11–Teri Lucas
June 13—Tiffany Hayes
June 13–Jamie Fingal
June 14–Debby Brown
June 14–Heidi Kelly
June 15– David Gilleland
June 15—Melanie Testa <— Here!
June 16–Melanie Testa <— Right Here!

 

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Quilty Box and Florabunda! by RJR Fabrics

I feel honored to be asked to curate the June 2018 Quilty Box. Quilty Box is a subscription service geared toward introducing quilters to new fabrics, tools, creative ideas and products. My Quilty Box will introduce you to the fabrics in Florabunda!, Mistyfuse, the Goddess Sheet and Aurifil Mako’ ne 12 weight cotton thread. ‘The above quilt which I call, ‘Be Mine’, has been made into a pattern for my Quilty Box. In addition, ‘On Point’, a pattern created specifically for Florabunda! is included (so you will get TWO patterns in my Quilty Box, a wall art pattern with everything needed to make it, and a bed quilt pattern). 

In creating this project and pattern, it was my hope to create a wall art piece that played up the central floral motif in Florabunda!, the Blowsy Rose. I wanted the piece to be playful, bold and graphic. I hoped it would have a graffiti like appeal. And honestly, I hope young folk might be attracted to making this as a gateway into the passion of sewing and quilting. If you know of a young person who might Love this Quilty Box, please order one today!

Why did I place these items in my Quilty Box?

Misty fuse is an extremely lightweight fusible or glue that allows you to bond fabrics together by way of ironing. Mistyfuse paves the way for raw edge appliqué. This is a technique every quilter should have at the ready. (Jamie Fingal used raw edge appliqué in Hexi Spring, her Florabunda! Blog Hop contribution.) 

The Goddess Sheet is a silicone ironing cloth that assists quite well in the use of Mistyfuse. They sell these sheets in many sizes, one big enough to cover an ironing board! (I don’t yet own the largest one, but I want to!) The silicone sheet will protect your iron from the fusible. My preferred size is the 21×27″ Fat Goddess size, though I own the Goddess Sheet, Big Goddess Sheet too. 🙂

Aurifil Mako’ne 12 weight cotton is a gorgeous, heavy weight thread with great sheen. It sews wonderfully both by hand and machine. Most of my hand printed quilts are machine quilted using this thread. I love it.

This is ‘On Point’, a pattern that utilizes Florabunda! so nicely and is included as a pattern in the June 2018 Quilty Box. 


Today I would like to GIVEAWAY a June 2018, Melly curated, Quilty Box as part of the Florabunda! Blog Hop Celebration. Please comment on this post, which I will leave open until July 1. And, while you are at it, check out these fabulous artists and their contributions the Blog Hop.

June 7–Tiffany Hayes
June 9–Sara Mika
June 10–Lyric Kinard
June 11–Kathy York
June 11–Teri Lucas
June 13—Tiffany Hayes
June 13–Jamie Fingal
June 14–Debby Brown
June 14–Heidi Kelly
June 15– David Gilleland
June 15—Melanie Testa <— Here!
June 16–Melanie Testa <— Here!

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Melly Testa uses Florabunda! by RJR Fabrics

I used Floribunda! by RJR Fabrics and combined with Flaurie & Finch’s Darling Dots, which pairs beautifully with my collection. This quilt effectively uses the simplest of blocks, the Half Square Triangle, while playing with color to create a central medallion of four stars, surrounded by a zig zag border that contrasts nicely with the lightest background prints in the center. 

I utilized matchstick quilting, as straight-line quilting is a favorite of mine. a go-to machine quilting idea that I use to ‘level the playing field’ when I quilt my handprinted fabrics. As you will see on Sunday, I have moved away from the straight lines-I am extending the Hop out, so please check back!

The back of this quilt utilizes 12″ Half Square Triangles in Meadowlark (my first line of fabrics with Windham Fabric. And well, maybe I shouldn’t talk about my first line right now, but, I have to!). Beside which, who doesn’t like seeing the back! It is almost as important as the front.

Meadowlark, like Florabunda!, has a vine or Tendril like print in it (Florabunda!’s Tendril prints seen below). I may just continue designing vine prints with every portfolio I submit, so that over time, I produce a huge collection of vines and tendrils!

 

 

 

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David Gilleland uses Florabunda! by RJR Fabrics

David Gilleland is a quilter and owner of Vector Quilts, he is a quilt designer whose patterns have made it onto Nancy’s Notions (that’s two links, please click both)! Check out his FB and insta. While you are at it, join Quilting with David Gillebrand, where I am a member and I often scroll and chat, in order to receive inspiration.

David is a foundation piecing aficionado who runs an entire business around his craft. In this quilt, David pulls Florabunda! into his paper pieced world by playing with the idea of making a star that is almost more of a flower with playful and curving petals that end in a sharp point. I am thrilled with David’s contribution to the Florabunda! Blog Hop Celebration just for the fact that his quilt is so different than the others.

Check out David’s post about working with Florabunda! here.


Here is the complete, updated link list of  participants in the Florabunda! Blog Hop Celebration:

June 7–Tiffany Hayes

June 8–Deborah Boschert

June 9–Sara Mika

June 10–Lyric Kinard

*June 11–Kathy York 

June 11–Teri Lucas

*June 12Susan Brubaker Knapp  

June 12 Leslie Tucker Jenison 

*June 13—Tiffany Hayes 

June 13Jamie Fingal 

June 14–Debby Brown 

*June 14–Heidi Kelly 

June 15– David Gilleland 

June 15—Melanie Testa <— Here!
 
June 16–Melanie Testa <— Here!

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Debby Brown Quilts uses Florabunda! by RJR Fabrics

Debbie Brown is a quilter, teacher, designer and shop owner. We’ve just recently gotten to know one another and it makes me glad. Check out her blog, FB, and insta.

For the Florabunda! Blog Hop Celebration, Debby combined her A La Mode Cutie Pattern with Florabunda!. This patterns’ effective use of block size and fabric placement makes it a great way to highlight each print in Florabunda!

I think it glimmers!

It also offers the gratitude of being a quick and easy quilt top to complete, which is a real bonus if you ask me. Check out Debbie’s post, and win a copy of her A La Mode Cutie Pattern here.

Which brings me to my love of precuts. I love Patty Cakes, charm packs and ‘think less’, enjoy more, kinda projects! (Those are Instagram GIVEAWAY links, so click ’em!) I appreciate not having to ‘do it all’. Its about the gratification of making something quickly and loving it, because it all works without thinking about it! So head over there and enter to with this Patty Cake!!


 

ALSO!! Check out my Instagram where RJR Fabrics and I are doing Florabunda! Blog Hop Celebration GIVEAWAYs!! 

And as a reminder, here are all the participants in the hop:

June 7–Tiffany Hayes

June 8–Deborah Boschert

June 9–Sara Mika

June 10–Lyric Kinard

*June 11–Kathy York 

June 11–Teri Lucas

*June 12Susan Brubaker Knapp  

June 12 Leslie Tucker Jenison 

*June 13—Tiffany Hayes 

June 13Jamie Fingal 

June 14–Debby Brown 

*June 14–Heidi Kelly 

June 15– David Gilleland 

June 15—Melanie Testa <— Here!
 
June 16–Melanie Testa <— Here!

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Heidi Kelly designs a purse and clutch using Florabunda

When I first met Heidi Kelly, we were at a gallery opening for the METAvivor Serenity Project, which was loud and exciting. As we were talking, I noticed the clutch she was holding contained a recognizable textile designers’ print. I asked her if she had made it. It turns out, she had. Heidi and I are both breast cancer survivors. And, you can imagine that finding community and support during an experience like this is crucial. To find friends who -also- share a passion for making, stitch, and quilting fabrics? Precious.

Heidi is on the right, Marianne Duquette Cuozzo, another creative survivor, is on the left.

Check out Heidi’s websiteFB, Insta, and Etsy

This is what Heidi has to say about working with Florabunda!,

“I was so excited to work with Melanie Testa and her Florabunda! collection not just because I absolutely adore mixing and matching prints, but Melly and I share a very important bond, we are both breast cancer survivors. Being able to collaborate with a fellow artist and breastie was an amazing experience.

Florabunda! is an exciting collection of prints and not to mention beautiful, vibrant colors. I chose to design a one of a kind handbag and coordinating makeup bag. I used 8 different fabrics and all are represented in the handbag.I added a small makeup bag that not only can be worn as a wristlet on its own, but has a metal clip to attach it to the inside of the handbag. My favorite print is the large floral print with the pink background, which I used as the main fabric for the handbag. Thank you to Melanie for this amazing opportunity and a chance to really push my creativeness.

Check out Heidi’s interview of me here. And Heidi’s post about using Florabunda! here.


And as a reminder, here are all the participants in the hop:

June 7–Tiffany Hayes

June 8–Deborah Boschert

June 9–Sara Mika

June 10–Lyric Kinard

*June 11–Kathy York 

June 11–Teri Lucas

*June 12Susan Brubaker Knapp   

June 12 Leslie Tucker Jenison 

*June 13—Tiffany Hayes 

June 13Jamie Fingal 

June 14–Debby Brown 

*June 14–Heidi Kelly 

June 15– David Gilleland 

June 15—Melanie Testa <— Here!
 
June 16–Melanie Testa <— Here!

Please follow RJR Fabrics and Quilty Box  and me, @mellytesta on Instagram! That is where we will host most of the the giveaways (my blog will have some extra swag).

And hey, if you don’t know who Quilty Box is, you should! I am their featured artist for the month of June. They are a quilterly subscription service that introduces you to the latest products, fabric lines and patterns, by up and coming quilt makers and artists. They will be giving a Melly Box away to one of you off this blog on June 16. In the meantime, get ready to see what my colleagues made!

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Jamie Fingal uses Florabunda! by RJR Fabrics

Jamie Fingal is an artist, textile designer, friend, and fellow MistyFuse fanatic. Check out her FB and insta here. 

For the Florabunda! Blog Hop Celebration, Jamie contributed this 18×18″ square wall art piece, called  Hexi Spring. Knowing Jamie as I do, this a raw edge appliqué using Mistyfuse, our preferred fusible. 

Mistyfuse is an extremely light weight fusible webbing that comes in black, white and ultraviolet, read about the differences on the Mistyfuse web site. They also sell what they call a Goddess Sheet, which is a silicon ironing cloth, perfect for use with fusible webbing . The Goddes Sheet comes in many  sizes, you can cover an ironing board with one, an especially good thing for fusible fanatics! (I mention this because my Quilty Box offering contains -both- of these items. The web release of my Quilty Box will occur on the 16th).

But I would like to back up and say, I love that Jamie has photographed with great wall art piece by clipping to a gate! As you may know, I have begun to photograph my work in city setting, because well, I live in New York City!

Please check out Jamie’s post about working with Florabunda! here.


Check out my Instagram account to catch up on other Florabunda! GIVEAWAYS!! There are two on Insta! This one. And this one Remember to comment this post to win a copy of Tiffany Hayes, Blue without You! A pattern made specificlly for Florabunda!

And as a reminder, here are all the participants in the hop:

June 7–Tiffany Hayes

June 8–Deborah Boschert

June 9–Sara Mika

June 10–Lyric Kinard

*June 11–Kathy York 

June 11–Teri Lucas

*June 12Susan Brubaker Knapp  

June 12 Leslie Tucker Jenison 

*June 13—Tiffany Hayes 

June 13Jamie Fingal 

June 14–Debby Brown 

*June 14–Heidi Kelly 

June 15– David Gilleland 

June 15—Melanie Testa <— Here!
 
June 16–Melanie Testa <— Here!

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Florabunda!’s Blue without You Pattern debut and GIVEAWAY!

Just look at this sun dazzled quilt. Doesn’t it make you want to curl up and read a book, out in the sun? Hope for a breeze. Have a full day of relaxation and contented, good feelings? That’s how it makes me feel!

Tiffany Hayes designed Blue without You,  specifically for Florabunda! Isn’t it lovely?

I am offering you a copy of Blue without You as a GIVEAWAY, off my blog today! Comment on this post to win your copy. I bought one for myself too!


Please!! Check out RJR Fabrics Instagram page today and each day this week, as this is the second day of the Florabunda! Blog Hop Celebration GIVEAWAY!! RJR will be highlighting some of the blog hop participants and will host a 5-day-long giveaway, all through Instagram. (Follow them on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/rjrfabrics/). 

Quilty Box , a company that sells and ships specially selected fabrics, tools and other exciting products for quilters by subscription, will also have special offers for those who follow Florabunda! Blog Hoppers on Instagram (don’t forget @RJRFabrics, @QuiltyBox and @MellyTesta) to increase your chances for winning the give-aways).

There are 12 quilt makers and artists participating, and all of us have made quilts and usable items showcasing Florabunda! Join us each day through June 16. 

June 7–Tiffany Hayes

June 8–Deborah Boschert

June 9–Sara Mika

June 10–Lyric Kinard

*June 11–Kathy York 

June 11–Teri Lucas

*June 12Susan Brubaker Knapp  

June 12 Leslie Tucker Jenison 

*June 13—Tiffany Hayes  <—Blue without You Pattern Release

June 13Jamie Fingal 

June 14–Debby Brown 

*June 14–Heidi Kelly 

June 15– David Gilleland 

June 15—Melanie Testa <— Here! <—I added this day for myself.
 
June 16 Melanie Testa, Quilty Box Swag!

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Leslie Tucker Jenison uses Florabunda! by RJR Fabrics

Leslie Tucker Jenison and I are good friends. Just to stand near Leslie, feels like you are being hugged and appreciated. She likes to cook, she is a visual artist with strong traditional quilting skills, she too works with Procion MX dye (which is a special bond in itself.). Check out her web site, blog, FB and insta here.

We are also fellow designers in the RJR Fabric fold, pun intended. Leslie recently released, Urban Garden with RJR Fabrics and we both marvel at how well they interact with one another. 

Here you see 5″ charm pack squares from Leslie’s line intermingling with charm pack squares of Florabunda! The crossover and connection between the fabrics are dazzling. I imagine that RJR Fabrics planned all of this, but still, I stand in awe.

To mix up my aphorisms, I am amazed how good Leslie’s chocolate is with my peanut butter! Please go check out Leslie’s post about Florabunda! here.

Flaurie & Finch’s Darling Dots are a fabulous pairing too. Susan Brubaker Knapp used Darling Dots with Florabunda! here


Please!! Check out RJR Fabrics Instagram page today and each day this week, as this is the second day of the Florabunda! Blog Hop Celebration GIVEAWAY!! RJR will be highlighting some of the blog hop participants and will host a 5-day-long giveaway, all through Instagram. (Follow them on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/rjrfabrics/). 

Quilty Box , a company that sells and ships specially selected fabrics, tools and other exciting products for quilters by subscription, will also have special offers for those who follow Florabunda! Blog Hoppers on Instagram (don’t forget @RJRFabrics, @QuiltyBox and @MellyTesta) to increase your chances for winning the give-aways).

There are 12 quilt makers and artists participating, and all of us have made quilts and usable items showcasing Florabunda! Join us each day through June 16. 

June 7–Tiffany Hayes

June 8–Deborah Boschert

June 9–Sara Mika

June 10–Lyric Kinard

*June 11–Kathy York 

June 11–Teri Lucas

*June 12Susan Brubaker Knapp  

June 12 Leslie Tucker Jenison 

*June 13—Tiffany Hayes  

June 13Jamie Fingal 

June 14–Debby Brown 

*June 14–Heidi Kelly 

June 15– David Gilleland 

June 15—Melanie Testa <— Here! <—I added this day for myself.
 
June 16 Melanie Testa, Quilty Box Swag!

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Susan Brubaker Knapp uses Florabunda! by RJR Fabrics

Susan Brubaker Knapp is host of Quilting Arts TV, which in itself, makes her a quilt world superstar. Susan is a prolific artist, whose strengths run the gamut from traditional quilting to bold artistic statements in wall art form. Susan has authored several Workshop DVDs and a book. Check out her FB, and insta.

And, now. behold this vibrant and juicy baby quilt!

This delightful quilt, named ‘Ups and Downs’ leans away from the blue offerings in Florabunda! and delves deeply into the Bengal Rose coloring within the line. Susan added in some of Flaurie & Finch’s Darling Dots), which I also mention in Jamie’s post. I couldn’t be happier that there is so much color cross over between all of the RJR Fabric lines! Happily, it means that the reach of Florabunda goes that much further! And in this case, it means the addition of dots, which I love!

This is what Susan says about working with Florabunda!: 

“My first impression of Florabunda is that it looks hand printed and hand crafted, and I absolutely adore that look. You don’t see fabrics with that kind of vibe come around very often, at least not in quilt shops and fabric stores. These fabrics are rich in detail, and the colors are saturated and vibrant. This is a fabric collection happy and full of life. It makes for a very joyful baby quilt!

Because of their large scale and high level of detail, these fabrics really shine when you can use them in big, uncut pieces. So I designed my baby quilt to use mostly larger strips of fabric. For the same reason, I think all the Florabunda fabrics would make really wonderful quilt backings. And what about a big tablecloth or pillow made in one of the Blowsy Rose fabrics, with their big, loose roses?

To complement Melanie’s Florabunda fabrics and give them a little breathing room in my baby quilt, I chose polka dot fabrics with white backgrounds from the “Darling Dots” line by Flaurie & Finch for RJR Fabrics. I also used other purple dot fabrics from the same line.”

Check out Susan’s post about working with Florabunda! here. And while you are there, say, “Hello” to Wicked for me!


Please!! Check out RJR Fabrics Instagram page today and each day this week, as this is the second day of the Florabunda! Blog Hop Celebration GIVEAWAY!! RJR will be highlighting some of the blog hop participants and will host a 5-day-long giveaway, all through Instagram. (Follow them on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/rjrfabrics/). 

Quilty Box , a company that sells and ships specially selected fabrics, tools and other exciting products for quilters by subscription, will also have special offers for those who follow Florabunda! Blog Hoppers on Instagram (don’t forget @RJRFabrics, @QuiltyBox and @MellyTesta) to increase your chances for winning the give-aways).

There are 12 quilt makers and artists participating, and all of us have made quilts and usable items showcasing Florabunda! Join us each day through June 16. 

June 7–Tiffany Hayes

June 8–Deborah Boschert

June 9–Sara Mika

June 10–Lyric Kinard

*June 11–Kathy York 

June 11–Teri Lucas

*June 12Susan Brubaker Knapp  

June 12 Leslie Tucker Jenison 

*June 13—Tiffany Hayes  

June 13Jamie Fingal 

June 14–Debby Brown 

*June 14–Heidi Kelly 

June 15– David Gilleland 

June 15—Melanie Testa <— Here! <—I added this day for myself.
 
June 16 Melanie Testa, Quilty Box Swag!

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Teri Lucas, my Quilt Coach, uses Florabunda!

Teri Lucas is a quilter, teacher, quilt enabler and coach whose machine quilting skills are amazing. Check out her Insta and FB here. Teri is a good ‘in-person’ friend too. Her enthusiasm for our quilting community is catchy, while her encouragement to go farther and try new things is incredibly endearing. Teri introduced me to both Tiffany Hayes and Debbie Brown, two people who contributed great work for this Hop! 

This is what Teri has to say about working with Florabunda!,

“I ended up using one of Debby Brown’s Cutie Patterns, Share and Share Alike. The Cuties are patterns I think you’d enjoy as they are simple, graphic and use fabric efficiently.

Why, oh why would I want to participate in a blog hop featuring the artistic stylings of Melanie Testa? It’s simply this: Melanie is a friend, one I’ve laughed heartily with. When she hugs, she hugs with her very being. When she creates her stuff speaks to this quilters heart. Yeah I know, seems like I’m going all fan girl here, and in a way I am.

There’s something deeper though, it’s about Melanie but it’s about the work she puts into doing that thing she does. In a way, I get that work, as it’s what I’m do when I free-motion machine stitch. It’s intense, all-in, and sometimes really frustrating. At the end there is something beautiful. For Melanie a (second) line of fabric one that speaks of her dedication to understanding printing, color, and quilting. This is, without a doubt, fabric I NEEDED for my collection.”

Check out Teri’s post about Florabunda! here.


ALSO!! Check out RJR Fabrics Instagram page today and each day this week, as this is the first day of the Florabunda! Blog Hop Celebration GIVEAWAY!! One Fat Quarter bundle per day (except Friday, when RJR Fabrics is doing their very popular, What Color Are You? event!)

And as a reminder, here are all the participants in the hop:

June 7–Tiffany Hayes

June 8–Deborah Boschert

June 9–Sara Mika

June 10–Lyric Kinard

*June 11–Kathy York 

June 11–Teri Lucas

*June 12Susan Brubaker Knapp  

June 12 Leslie Tucker Jenison 

*June 13—Tiffany Hayes 

June 13Jamie Fingal 

June 14–Debby Brown 

*June 14–Heidi Kelly 

June 15– David Gilleland 

June 15—Melanie Testa <— Here!
 
June 16–Melanie Testa <— Here!

Please follow RJR Fabrics and Quilty Box  and me, @mellytesta on Instagram! That is where we will host most of the the giveaways (my blog will have some extra swag).

And hey, if you don’t know who Quilty Box is, you should! I am their featured artist for the month of June. They are a quilterly subscription service that introduces you to the latest products, fabric lines and patterns, by up and coming quilt makers and artists. They will be giving a Melly Box away to one of you off this blog on June 16. In the meantime, get ready to see what my colleagues made!

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Kathy York and Florabunda!

I am quite taken by Kathy York‘s work. She has the ability to make me gasp with her use of color. Her reach extends from technical, with beautifully pieced and quilted modern quilts, to a sometimes painterly and often graphic appeal in her art quilts. Check out her FB and Insta.

In this baby quilt, Kathy used the blue range of fabrics in Florabunda! As we quilters do, she added some white, which allows visual relief as well as pop and sparkle. This pleasing baby quilt was hand quilted too.

Check out Kathy’s post about Florabunda! here.

ALSO!! Check out RJR Fabrics Instagram page today and each day this week, as this is the first day of the Florabunda! Blog Hop Celebration GIVEAWAY!! One Fat Quarter bundle per day (except Friday, when RJR Fabrics is doing their very popular, What Color Are You? event!)

And as a reminder, here are all the participants in the hop:

June 7–Tiffany Hayes

June 8–Deborah Boschert

June 9–Sara Mika

June 10–Lyric Kinard

*June 11–Kathy York 

June 11–Teri Lucas

*June 12Susan Brubaker Knapp  

June 12 Leslie Tucker Jenison 

*June 13—Tiffany Hayes 

June 13Jamie Fingal 

June 14–Debby Brown 

*June 14–Heidi Kelly 

June 15– David Gilleland 

June 15—Melanie Testa
 
June 16–Melanie Testa

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Lyric Kinard shows Florabunda! off with a Tote

Lyric Kinard is an artist, author and teacher who published Art + Quilt, in addition to offering DVD workshops, a thermofax screen print service and artworks in her shop. Lyric updates a fab Call for Entry list, which I delve into regularly. Check out her FB, Insta. Not only all of this, but Lyric is a kind, good, and caring soul. 

This tote thrills me because its boxy shape and extra pocket, which seems ripe for a trip to the farmers market over the weekend. It reminds me of the pretty printed woven plastic totes, but made better by being cotton. The Tendril and Ivy in the Sprout color, really play nicely with Polyanthra in the Lustrous color. When I asked Lyric about working with Florabunda!, she talked about the ease of mixing and matching the different prints.

Use this link to get a full size PDF of Florabunda!’s color card. In the meantime, this small card shows the color connections that can be found within the line. It can lean to grey, teal, blue or pink, with supportive tonal and single color prints too.

Check out Lyrics Florabunda! Blog Hop post here.


June 7–Tiffany Hayes

June 8–Deborah Boschert

June 9–Sara Mika

June 10–Lyric Kinard

June 11–Kathy York 

June 11–Teri Lucas

June 12–Leslie Tucker Jenison 

June 12–Heidi Kelly 

June 13Jamie Fingal 

June 14–Debby Brown 

June 14–Susan Brubaker Knapp 

June 14– David Gilleland

June 16—-Melanie Testa Here! 

Please follow RJR Fabrics and Quilty Box  and me, @mellytesta on Instagram! That is where we will host most of the the giveaways (my blog will have some extra swag).

And hey, if you don’t know who Quilty Box is, you should! I am their featured artist for the month of June. They are a quilterly subscription service that introduces you to the latest products, fabric lines and patterns, by up and coming quilt makers and artists. They will be giving a Melly Box away to one of you off this blog on June 16. In the meantime, get ready to see what my colleagues made!

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Sara Mika and Mock Pie Studio uses Florabunda!

Sara Mika is a delightful connection for me, I have yet to meet her in person, but I look forward to it. Check out her blog, FB, Etsy and Insta.

Sara’s art quilts are strong, playful, graphic and artistically expressive. Like me, Sara comes at quilting from a fine art perspective, but her more traditional quilting and design skills are tight too. Her corners are amazing, and although I think I am doing well with my own corner’s Sara’s are better! I appreciate surrounding myself with artists whose skill sets are more advanced than my own. 

When I asked if she would be interested in using Florabunda!, Sara made this baby quilt, Kaleidoscope. I am happy to say, RJR Fabrics has a free pattern for Kaleidoscope on their website. 

Check out this blog post to see what Sara at Mock Pie Studio has to say about Florabunda!


June 7–Tiffany Hayes

June 8–Deborah Boschert

June 9–Sara Mika

June 10–Lyric Kinard

June 11–Kathy York 

June 11–Teri Lucas

June 12–Leslie Tucker Jenison 

June 12–Heidi Kelly 

June 13Jamie Fingal 

June 14–Debby Brown 

June 14–Susan Brubaker Knapp 

June 14– David Gilleland

June 16—-Melanie Testa Here! 

Please follow RJR Fabrics and Quilty Box  and me, @mellytesta on Instagram! That is where we will host most of the the giveaways (my blog will have some extra swag).

And hey, if you don’t know who Quilty Box is, you should! I am their featured artist for the month of June. They are a quilterly subscription service that introduces you to the latest products, fabric lines and patterns, by up and coming quilt makers and artists. They will be giving a Melly Box away to one of you off this blog on June 16. In the meantime, get ready to see what my colleagues made!

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Deborah Boschert’s Florabunda!

Deborah and I are good friends. Check out her insta, FB and Etsy.

In the photograph below, I had just published Inspired to Quilt, which you can see on a banner-ad above Pokey and Deborah’s heads. That was more than 10 years ago! Such good times!  [I have since published two more books, Dreaming from the Journal Page and Playful Fabric Printing] Deborah has  published her own book too, Art Quilt Collage which covers many of the techniques she used in making the above wall art series. I highly recommend it.

This photo captures the first time we met and we were wearing the same t-shirt! We hadn’t planned it!

What pleases me the most about Deborah’s work is that her aesthetic is crisp, clean, playful and her use of stitch is very communicative, as if it were its own language.

This is what Deborah has to say about working with Florabunda!,  “As an artist, I love using botanical shapes in my work and the leaves, flowers, vines and patterns in this collection are beautifully realistic but have a true hand-designed quality about them.  The subtle chevron print may be my new favorite fabric. It’s perfect to ground a design and the colors are familiar but slightly unexpected. You’ll definitely see Florabunda pop up in my work in the future!

Check out Deborah’s corner of the Hop here.


June 7–Tiffany Hayes

June 8–Deborah Boschert

June 9–Sara Mika

June 10–Lyric Kinard

June 11–Kathy York 

June 11–Teri Lucas

June 12–Leslie Tucker Jenison 

June 12–Heidi Kelly 

June 13Jamie Fingal 

June 14–Debby Brown 

June 14–Susan Brubaker Knapp 

June 14– David Gilleland

June 16—-Melanie Testa Here! 

Please follow RJR Fabrics and Quilty Box  and me, @mellytesta on Instagram! That is where we will host most of the the giveaways (my blog will have some extra swag).

And hey, if you don’t know who Quilty Box is, you should! I am their featured artist for the month of June. They are a quilterly subscription service that introduces you to the latest products, fabric lines and patterns, by up and coming quilt makers and artists. They will be giving a Melly Box away to one of you off this blog on June 16. In the meantime, get ready to see what my colleagues made!

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Tiffany Hayes and Florabunda! by RJR Fabrics

Head over to Tiffany’s online presence, Needle in a Hayes Stack, to see her full range of quilt patterns, block of the month offerings, fabrics, kits and notions too. Here is her Insta, her Pinterest, and FB just to keep it tidy! I could not be happier that Teri Lucas connected us!

The pattern for this quilt, Blue without You, can be preordered!

This quilt exemplifies my hopes for how Florabunda! might be used. It demonstrates the range of values found in the blue portion of Florabunda! It vibrates with patterning and density of color. And it highlights the Blowsy Rose print in my favorite coloration of the three, Bluette.

I can easily see this quilt being made up in the Bengal Rose colorings within the line too. With my new found confidence in following patterns and making more traditional quilts, I hope to take the creation of this quilt up for myself! It is ingeniously simple but packs a colorful punch! The blocks are big and the color pulls it together nicely, its pretty snazzy.

Check out Tiffany’s post about it!

June 7–Tiffany Hayes

June 8–Deborah Boschert

June 9–Sara Mika

June 10–Lyric Kinard

June 11–Kathy York 

June 11–Teri Lucas

June 12–Leslie Tucker Jenison 

June 12–Heidi Kelly 

June 13Jamie Fingal 

June 14–Debby Brown 

June 14–Susan Brubaker Knapp 

June 14– David Gilleland

June 16—-Melanie Testa Here! 

Please follow RJR Fabrics and Quilty Box  and me, @mellytesta on Instagram! That is where we will host most of the the giveaways (my blog will have some extra swag).

And hey, if you don’t know who Quilty Box is, you should! I am their featured artist for the month of June. They are a quilterly subscription service that introduces you to the latest products, fabric lines and patterns, by up and coming quilt makers and artists. They will be giving a Melly Box away to one of you off this blog on June 16. In the meantime, get ready to see what my colleagues made!


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Lost and Stolen 2 sided, handprinted Quilt

Last year, I made this two sided quilt and gained its entry into two well loved magazines, International Quilt Festival Quilt Scene 2017 and Fons and Porters, Modern Patchwork, both magazines are owned by F+W media. The front, pictured above, was completely handprinted using Melly Marks stamps and thermofax screens. 

The back of the quilt, is half handprints, half commercial prints. The hand printed aspect of this quilt is what made their entry into these magazines so exciting for me. While I understand folks might be hesitant to print the fabrics used in their quilts, both magazine articles highlighted the handprinted aspect by talking about color value, varying use of texture and motif size. And both magazines showed off the quilt beautifully. Neither showed the back, as I had hoped to discuss this in a future magazine article. 

Placing this quilt in a magazine is a huge deal for me as I so often feel like an outlier in the more traditional quilt community. With this quilt in particular, I felt honored to be embraced and showcased as a quilt maker, despite my penchant for working from the ground up, designing the tools to print, mixing the dyes, printing the yardage, piecing, quilting and then getting the work seen. 

Unfortunately, when the quilt was shipped back to me, it was left on my stoop, by the shipper, and was stolen off my doorstep. I live in New York City. My doorstep opens out onto the street and there is nowhere to discreetly hide a package. 

I contacted the magazine and we discussed my quilts value in addition to the companies shipping policies. As restitution for the loss of the quilt and to honor our longstanding working relationship, they paid me a fee for the quilt, though not its retail value, for which I am still grateful. They also changed their shipping policy to require signature for every shipped item. I am glad they made this change. 

I am deeply sorry to have lost this quilt. I am sorry this event overshadowed my ability to support and highlight this quilts foray into print media. I wish I still owned it. I honestly hope it is being used and loved.

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Improving my skill set and building preferences

In the last two months, I have been a very busy quilt maker.

The image above shows that I have combined some sunflowers (the birds devoured the dried seeds within -Thanks Mom!) with threads for their nests. It seems like a win-win for our feathered friends! Food and nesting material, all on one NYC fire escape! What a great way to use up thread scraps!

Releasing a fabric line has been quite interesting! To experience these fabrics through the designing and print process, submitting them to a fabric house, and now, learning to effectively use them in quilts?

So. Much. Fun.

I will show this entire quilt top next week, during the Florabunda! Blog Hop Celebration. But for now, I would like to say, the pattern for this quilt can be found in Victoria Findlay Wolfe’s Modern Quilt Magic. Like so many of my fellow quilters, I am smitten with Victoria’s innovative quilts, her solid skill set and her precise methods of teaching. This year, I went from trying out ‘y seams‘, to sewing the Cascade quilts’ soft curves, to jumping right into to piecing a Bow Tie quilt with quarter circles! All three quilts use Victoria’s templates (I am a total fan-click links above)!

Where previously, I had told myself these techniques were too difficult or fiddly, now, I am All-In! This is easy! And fun. It’s been a joy to learn new skills, while acquiring preferences in how to most effectively use Florabunda!

During the Blog Hop, I will discuss how these three quilt/tops helped me build preferences and understand how to use Florabunda! effectively. So please join us, on June 7th!

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Random thoughts on fabric and quilting with Florabunda!

It has been so much fun learning to use Floribunda! in quilts. Florabunda! pairs nicely with other designer lines in the RJR Fabrics catalogue.  

For instance, I think it pairs beautifully with Jamie Fingal’s Hopscotch line, an expansive and colorful array of low volume, super-fun prints.  (Jamie is a Florabunda! Blog Hop Celebrant and her work will be featured soon).

I’ve made a bowtie quilt as my offering to the Hop (I will showcase this on the 16th), which combines both our lines. It feels good to know there are so many options to expand Florabunda!’s reach. 

Over the course of the last few months, I have made three or four quilt tops using Florabunda! and I am learning so much. The prints compliment and contrast to one another in interesting ways. Its allowed me an understanding of what I might do differently in designing and printing my next portfolio of textile designs. 🙂 I also see where I might interject more value options in the single color prints/low volume prints. 

To go from designing, carving, cutting, mixing, printing, securing a commercial line of fabrics, THEN, being able to use them in quilts? Build preferences? Figure out how better the next line of fabrics? This is a dream come true. This is my dream.

I have true #gratitude. #quiltwithlove 

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Announcing the Blog Hop Celebration of Floribunda!

Mark your calendars!

June 7-16 2018

I will host a Blog Hop Celebration of Florabunda! It’s my new fabric line.

Together with RJR Fabrics and Quilty Box, who have donated awesome swag for give-away, I have gathered several friends, artists and quilt makers, whose work I admire. I asked them to make items like baby quilts, wall art and wearable art, to showcase ALL that Florabunda! can be. As part of the Blog Hop Celebration, I will post each day with Artist Highlights, links and creative inspiration.

The stuff this crew has been making is so very pleasing, I look forward to sharing it all with you! Please check out each of these Quilt Makers and Artists.

June 7–Tiffany Hayes

June 8–Deborah Boschert

June 9–Sara Mika

June 10–Lyric Kinard

*June 11–Kathy York 

June 11–Teri Lucas

*June 12Susan Brubaker Knapp  

June 12 Leslie Tucker Jenison 

*June 13—Tiffany Hayes 

June 13Jamie Fingal 

June 14–Debby Brown 

*June 14–Heidi Kelly 

June 15– David Gilleland 

June 15—Melanie Testa

June 16—-Melanie Testa Here! 

Please follow RJR Fabrics and Quilty Box  and me, @mellytesta on Instagram! That is where we will host most of the the giveaways (my blog will have some extra swag).

And hey, if you don’t know who Quilty Box is, you should! I am their featured artist for the month of June. They are a quilterly subscription service that introduces you to the latest products, fabric lines and patterns, by up and coming quilt makers and artists. They will be giving a Melly Box away to one of you off this blog on June 16. In the meantime, get ready to see what my colleagues made!

Stay tuned!

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Finding pleasure.

Last week, I took out every quilting thread I own, made a quilt sandwich and found a thread i wanted to use on my Bow Tie quilt. The thread I chose, is variagated trilobal polyester, Superior brand Rainbow. Now, my Bow Tie quilt is more than half quilted! 

When I was making whole cloth, dye painted artwork, I used an array of rayon embroidery threads. The thread was slick, shiney and became one with the dye painted work beautifully. I fell in love with the shine and depth it gave the artwork.  Now, I find, I can still have that shine, though in a much stronger thread that will withstand washing and use! Win!

Also, in the hopes of hosting a ‘Sip and Sew’ at my local quilt store, Gotham Quilts, I am using their free pattern, Yuma and combining it with Florabunda! Again, my fascination with my own self imposed ‘creative limitations’ reared its pesky head! I froze up and declared, ‘I have no idea how to follow a pattern!’ I fretted, I tried to back out of the idea, I got to work, and…

Wonder of all wonders, I most certainly do know how to follow a pattern! I am even changing it around a slight bit!

It is time to stop listening to that small and limiting voice and settle into the pleasure of streching and growing, while learning new things, all over again.  
[Read more…]

Machine Quilted Sampling with Florabunda!

Hello Good folk.

I am working on my Bow Tie Quilt. It’s been basted and a sample sandwich was made, so that I can try out machine quilting techniques. I am excited about this quilt. The colors dance and sparkle. Sewing the quarter circle blocks was great fun. And now, this great quilt is encouraging me to machine quilt in ways that I have not recently explored. 

Usually, when I quilt my hand printed quilt tops, I machine quilt in straight lines, in order to ‘level the playing field’ and place the focus on the handprints rather than the quilting. Check out my Lace Swirl Quilt with straight line quilting, here

But, straight lines won’t do this time! I want to stretch and learn, which is in keeping with this Bow Tie Quilt top anyway.

So this morning, I rounded up every spool of thread in the house and evaluated my stash. I posted to Facebook, asking about the different threads I rounded up and also, examples of free motion go-to shapes. (I love asking the folks on my feed for their advice! I get great information, differing views, links and photos! Book suggestions too!) Cindi G turned me onto Baptist Fan free motion shape, and Kevin S suggested renaming it Lava Flow, which I must say, I really like!! I have been to Hawaii, seen the volcano that recently erupted and I feel connected to its flow and outcome

I chose this thread and ‘Lava Flow’ or Baptist Fan, though I did need to purchase a large spool, I happily await its arrival. In the meantime, I will use up the spool I have.

This is a bunch of fun!

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Bow Tie Quilt

Over the years, I have convinced myself that I am not a quilter so much as a quilt artist, with an emphasis on the art part. I suppose this storyline used to help -perhaps it helped to bolster my identity and projected, intended artistic path. But this idea no longer supports me. In walking this path, I placed barriers between myself and more traditional quilting. I told myself it was too difficult to follow a pattern. I told myself it took too long, I didn’t have the skills, I forgot the skills. I created barriers and closed myself in. And then, I felt constricted. Cut off.

To break down this wall, I turned to Victoria Findlay Wolfe‘s books, which I have been perusing and rereading obsessively. I have also taken some of her one day workshops (and I want to take more), here in NYC. I connect with her ingenious, playful approach to using fabric, the manner that she reinterprets traditional layouts and quilt blocks, and her fearlessness of artistic expression in the medium. And I connect with her teaching style.

I have taken the release of Florabunda! by RJR Fabrics as an opportunity to improve my quilting skill set, dust off my patience, and commit to learning to use the line effectively. Using Victoria’s Bow Tie template, I cut a Fat Quarter bundle of Florabunda! combined with an array of Jamie Fingal’s Hopscotch collection to play around.

Previously, I assumed sewing 1/4 circles would be far beyond my skill set. But, it isn’t. This is a methodical task, requiring three pins and Victoria’s motto of, “Floppy Toppy” as a reminder to sewing curved success. I look forward to seeing how this quilt top comes together. And I remind myself not to create impediments to enjoying all aspects of my own creative expression behind the sewing machine.

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Florabunda! by RJR Fabrics

I am so happy to say, Florabunda by RJR Fabrics, my latest fabric line, is available and on the market! And boy, would I like to entice you to buy it, use it and stash it!

Like so many of you, I have fallen in love with all things Victoria Findlay Wolfe. I’ve bought every one of her books. And now, I delve deeply into sewing projects from her latest, Modern Quilt Magic. I think Florabunda! is a lovely way to explore the ideas presented in Modern Quilt Magic!

It’s pretty amazing how well Florabunda! goes with Darling Dots by Flaurie and Fitch. It seems to me, they were made for one another. So, I bought a Cascade template from VFW and paired a fat quarter bundle of each of these two lines, in order to make my own Cascade Quilt. 

You might assume that because this quilt top has curved seams it would be difficult to make. It isn’t! It is ingeniously easy to sew, especially with the instructions that Victoria provides in her book. (Go buy it.) You will quickly understand just how easy it is! And the delightful thing is, Florabunda! really gradates nicely in this design.

The other nice thing about this quilt top, is that you don’t need a design wall to do it. I designed and sewed just one segment at a time. using the floor of my tiny apartment, to help.

I will continue to update this this blog with progress on this top, so please keep stopping by!! And as always, #quiltwithlove

 

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