Common Tern

Years ago, I began working on a series that I call, The 20. This centers on the Audubon list of Common Birds in Decline. Because I love birds so much, I decided to highlight these common birds and to give them my voice as an artist. Common Terns are coastal birds whose habitat is being lost to humans and climate change. If you live near or visit the coast, please clean and remove any detritus you find! Especially plastic.

Since I first created the ATC in the upper right corner, I have thought of this image as depicting David and I.

My good Man and I have been married for just over 24 years and we’ve decided to get tattoos to celebrate (our appointments are in less than 2 weeks!!). I have chosen the Common Tern image. This image is so loving, shows such connection between the two birds, it communicates the love I seek to honor. David plans to get a portrait of our good feline, Peach.

So all three of us will be present in the honoring of our time together! That’s what I call family.

‘I love to embroider’ kit and mini class.

I have two handprint embroidery kits in my Etsy right now. Consider this to be a mini prototype class, for two, in a private FB group. I hope to make into a full online class, with your help. Are you game?

This online class, held in a closed FB group, will consist of video, photographic and written content, covering: knife edge finish, use of stencils, transfer pen, fill stitch recommendations and more. You will also have access to me in 2-10 minute Live FB Videos, where you are encouraged to ask questions and I will share similar and related work.

Each kit contains a Melly Handprint of a Rose / Love handprint, a hank of handyed embroidery floss in an array of sparkling colors, 2 6 strand DMC floss per color, 18″ long each, scrap handprints in sheers, velvet and more. There are samples of my favorite needles too.

Just to let you know, a friend, A, is getting married soon. David and I both enjoy this person very much. And, I would like to make a gift for him. I am embroidering the third ‘I love embroidery’ kit while creating your video content. It is my goal to make this gifty-embroidered-square ooze with a NYC graffiti like appeal.

This will be a lovely, intimate, learning experience and I hope you might be one of two to purchase these kits! This is a new idea for me, one I hope to make into a full blown online class. If you are interested in eventually taking this class, let me know in the comments and I will start printing more kits!! Heck! I would love to.

Please join me. I assure you, this will be fun!

Embroidery kits! Containing handprints! Threads and more!

What makes me happy

Recently, I have been on a quest. I am cultivating enjoyment. I am exploring what makes me happy and I am following those leads. Cancer, as much as it happened 7+ years go has greatly affected me.

The waves of healing, self introspection, the acceptance and embrace of my changed body, while standing present to my husbands needs, its taken a toll. I feel gratitude in that, I am now at a place where I can look out over the landscape of change and feel calm. I am willing and able to sort through the aftermath without tremors of anxiety, worry and fear. Just, open, gentle curiosity. 

I am also letting go creatively. I am allowing myself to work in series. I am encouraging myself to mess up and make mistakes. I am trying new things and exploring old methodologies. It feels amazing. Cancer and its aftermath kicked up some pretty deeply ingrained PTSD and I am happy to say it is abating. 

Please join me in celebrating this. It feels great to be printing nudes again. It feels great to go on a creative tangent and pile up the work. Let’s be happy together.

 

one in eight- a series

(The voice over volume is low, turn the volume up, if you are interested in hearing about the techniques used to print the piece in the video)

I am printing, making, steaming, embroidering. All the things I love best. The weather is changing, it is cooling down. Change is in the air. All is well. 

It is coming up on ‘Pinktober’, or ‘breast cancer awareness’ month. I am in strong dislike of the commercialization, sexualization, and pink washing that occurs because this is a disease that (predominantly affects) female breasts, though -men get breast cancer too-!! 

Of those diagnosed, one in three will go on to have metastatic disease, the only breast cancer that kills. As we move into the ‘pink month’, remain cognizant -a very small amount of money is given to fund metastatic research. Be judicious, research pink product$, inform yourself. Remember, we are already aware.

I am printing female nudes in groups of eight, with one image from that group appearing with scars. As I begin printing the eighth figure with scars, that ratio feels much too constricting. I am grateful to heal and calm myself in the making, but I am also reminded that way too many people are affected by this awful disease. 

Metavivor is a great place to donate $$, if you are inclined.

 

artful reboot

For a long while, perhaps a year or more, I have been having a hard time artistically. I needed to get a part time job, and I did. Its a good job, I like it. As in most things I do, I jumped fully into the job, started taking more hours, I began volunteering for more work. Until I felt a huge void. I was experiencing a lack of focus on my own art, and it hurt my feelings. I became disconcerted. Grumpy. I made things, but nothing was stirring the well.

So what do you do when making art has become difficult? How do you reconnect with your art and begin engaging with it in a manner that bolsters and supports making? Often, in the past, I have changed media, swapping out dye for watercolor and paper. This time, I have begun cleaning (I am destashing and selling on Etsy, please check it out). Cleaning is magical, it moves energy and makes way for different things to come forward. I love cleaning. Then, a few weeks back, my good man and I went to see the David Wojnarowicz: History Keeps Me Awake at Night. As we walked through the galleries at the Whitney, I was amazed at what we saw and touched to my very core at the depth and veracity of that mans’ work. I felt the spark of the burning creative fire, that I have been longing for. I could see a pathway to my own creative endeavors forming. I listened.

So, when I got home, I soda soaked cloth. Searched out imagery that I have been wanting to work on. Cut some freezer paper masks. I cleaned, and got ready to let the creativity flow. Geez, it feels good to turn a corner.

Please check out my Etsy! I would like to continue to make space for this change. There are artworks, purses, a bolt of fabric, and other supplies and all are priced to move. Help me make more space for change! Thank you.

Handprinted Dharma Trading Unitard

This fabulous project taught me lots and lots. There are a few aspects of this project where I will continue to find and apply solutions to perceived problems.

I started by printing a small swatch of cloth, just to see if my color choices were pleasing.

The Unitard is a  ‘clothing blank’, made of cotton jersey, procured at Dharma Trading. I love it. The medium size fits my body well, I am 5’2”, weighing roughly 130 pounds. The gathering at center front is pleasing and easily printed over. The plunging back is a fun addition to the design. The legs are about 6” too long, which I think is a great addition to this piece-as yoga clothing goes, allowing you to pull the excess length down over your ankles and heels. My one complaint is that the bodice is slightly long, although this may just mean, I am short  🙂

I decided to Playful Fabric Print the Unitard in an all-over design that contains Roses and Forget Me Nots. The repeat is a six inch square (Page 26, Playful Fabric Printing), the multicolor print set (Page 29) contains a total of 5 possible layers to print. The Rose and Forget Me Nots were carved from Eko Carve, and the additional color separations were printed using plexiglas mounted, sticky back, fun foam stamps (Page 63). This was printed using thickened Procion MX Dyes (I swapped out Turquoise Blue, Fuchsia, and Lemon Yellow dyes when mixing color numbers 2 (an Orange), 15 (Teal) and 22 (Red). I did this because I wanted bright colors (see the value bands on page 57 of Playful Fabric Printing).

My one hesitation in printing this, is the need for an insert or form, as I discussed in this post. I traced the Unitard out onto an opened cardboard box, including an additional 3-4″ to stretch the knit jersey and separate the front from the back. 

Recycling a cardboard box meant there were folds in the cardboard. Those folds were nearly impossible to print over. I had to fudge, add thickened dye with a brush and make due on this account. It’s nothing major, the print is pretty forgiving. Also, the Unitard, stretched over a full length form was a bit ungainly to manage on my small print table. But, oh well, it was necessary. 

And, I have two more Unitards to print!

Next time, I am going to try printing with Thermofax, as I think the color saturation with be super pleasing. Overall, I think printing on clothing blanks is something I am going to thoroughly explore! When I bought these babies, I also bought a skirt, a camisole and I recently dug out a tunic and a kimono (similar to this one) from my stash.

Stay tuned to more printing on clothing blanks!

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Unitard and dressing a piece of cardboard

I have been wanting to print clothing blanks for a while. Luckily, Dharma Trading carries many styles and options and they have all the kinks ironed out. Their blanks have been tested for acceptance of dye, even the threads used to sew the garments have been considered and addressed. That’s where I found this Cotton/Spandex Unitard. If you head over there, check out the tie dyed, unitard wearing yogi in the images.

I won’t be tie-dyeing this though. In printing this, I assume I will come across some challenges. Submerging cloth in dye is much different than applying thickened dye to cloth. Much of my experience in printing is based on printing cotton broadcloth, which is woven and smooth. Knit jersey is also smooth, but the cloth is thicker and stretchy. 

Luckily, I bought three unitards, so I have some wiggle room to mess up and try again.

My first step was to cut a form out of cardboard. I made this slightly larger than the unitard, so that I could stretch the cloth some. I imagine this may help the printing to appear darker, as the cloth will be spread out in order to print it, then will retract when taken off the form. My hope is that I am not stretching the cloth too much. 

I imagine the shirring and binding on the bodice will be hard to print well and I accept ahead of time, that this may be wonky. We will soon see. Wish me luck.

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The Final Carve?

This has been an interesting repeat to carve. I love floral motifs and roses printed on cloth. Carving a rose by hand is a great challenge.

Drawing and depicting roses is not easy, there are so many curved petals! Then, you need to figure out how to carve it in an elegant hand. I like to carve in stages, printing a copy at each major stopping point. In this case, I printed on both copy paper and cloth, so that I could evaluate the printed artifacts. It turns out, I want to see some shaded areas on the dark half of each rose.

Now, I prepare to remove the last bit of shading in the rose. I am plotting my course and thinking through how to go about it. I really like this carving and I do not want to mess up!

Wish me luck. 

 

Finding the lines through the drawing.

I love carving rubber. My mind and body reduce to nothingness as I watch the blade slip beneath the surface of the rubber, butt up against the pencil mark and lift the rubber away. I become calm and centered, my mind lets go, and I am free. It is bliss.

I begin by carving away the ‘bright’ half of each rose. I have not resolved how I would like the ‘dark’ half of the flower to be carved. I will leave that alone until I have a vision. So, there is tension and hope for a great outcome.

Life is good. How about you? Tell me about you.

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What do Amanda Palmer, Jasmine Power and mail art have to do with one another?

This is one of those days that I have so much excitement, my blog post goes in two directions.

First, I participated in a video shoot with Amanda Palmer and Jasmine Power for a song called, Mr Weinstein Will See You Now. The subject matter of which, is deep, poignant, and timely with a transformative power.

I am a member of the ‘Weinstein Chorus’, one of 50 women, dressed in white shirts, who sing and run in different scenes. Lyndsay Katt plays a part too (remember my Genderless Fae debut? Lindsay pointed me in the direction of this amazing opportunity while participating too). Amanda and Jasmine’s song has been released, you can get a copy of it off Amanda‘s website. Soon, the video will come out too.

To participate in this video was to heal my person. I have been crying tears and processing what my participation has stirred within me, which is tiring, if good work. I pray the sheer magical and poetic beauty in this video, will fling itself out into the world and help heal the wounds we women carry. I feel so grateful to play a small part. Amanda Palmer and Jasmine Power are fierce females with a huge vision.

I have returned home to work with a 6″ repeat utilizing the Rose and Forget Me Not motifs. In exploring how to carve these flowers, I carved a single motif, upper left. These exploratory findings are rich for playing around with how to color the design. While playing around with this, I printed several postcards, which you can see at lower right.

Because I love mail art, I placed these postcards in my Etsy. If you purchase a 5$ handprinted postcard, I will address it to you (or yours), place a Priority Mail stamp on the card and write a message to you, prior to placing the postcard in the mail. I hope you want a postcard! I would love to write to you.

I printed a postcard for Amanda, provided a stamp and pen, while suggesting she write to herself-I felt too shy to ask her to do it right then and there. I hope she does, though. It will feel complete to me, when that happens.

As I am feeling life deeply and well, I will retreat for a while and delve into carving my next repeat. I look forward to be able to print this!

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Bird Buta Baby Quilt needs a border.

I am fairly sure, I will stick with the above layout.

But, I think it needs a border. I envision that each corner needs to be a complete circle and that some darker value Single Color All Over Prints are necessary to create contrast.

So, I set to work printing more cloth, to help get the job done.

My PJ bottoms kinda go nicely with the prints, yes? 🤪

I printed 20 Single Color All Over Prints and 4 additional Bird Buta Prints. I will steam and boil them this coming Thursday, just in time for Quilt Lab. 

This has been a fun endeavor. 

 

 

 

 

 

Bird Buta Baby Quilt?

It is such fun to come to the making of the thing! You may remember when I was carving the Bird Buta motif or the printing of the Bird Buta. If you don’t, head over there and check it out. There is a great video in the first of the two links in this paragraph.

Just this week I steamed and washed a batch of the Bird Buta handprints. Then, I cut and pieced them. Now, I play around with design and placement of blocks.

—->The sneaky thing is, I just joined Gotham Quilts, Quilt Lab-which I love! Each month we explore a topic, go home, make something related to the topic and return to share it with the group. This month’s topic is value. (Technically they asked for polychromatic value exploration. But the polychromatic part dropped out of my mind before I started printing.) So, I have explored value in textile printing and quilt making. <—-

When I print cloth for a quilt, I like to work with value gradation, while also maintaining a modest palette of colors. In the case of these fabrics, I chose three colors-25 (Purple), 15 (Teal) and 3 (Lime) (Playful Fabric Printing page 57).

The line drawing of the bird is printed in 25D, while the bird bodies are overprinted using differing values of colors 3 and 15 in either Pale, Light and Medium.  For a total of 20 Bird Buta prints and 20 single color all over prints.

The single color all over prints used up all values mixed in colors 3 and 15 after printing the Bird Buta. In choosing these colors, I hoped for a soft, playful and approachable palette that could also be gender neutral.

I left the background of the Bird Buta print white, in the hope of creating a contrast between the focal print and the single color all over design. I am happy with how this aspect came out. 

I think the single color all over prints give the quilt top a patchwork like effect, while maintaining a meaningful color relationship between the blocks. I also think the variation in value and hue is pleasing while lending contrast depth and pop to each of these layouts.

This last photograph seems to be my preferred layout thus far. But, I envision a border… that needs -some- darker value all over single color prints. In 3 and 15 and maybe some beautiful blue? We will see.  

In the meantime, I will bring what I have to —->Quilt Lab<—- and see what my gal pals have to say.

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The Avant Gardener by Lindsay Katt

Last night my Good Man and I met up with a friend, ate a delicious meal together, then headed to Joe’s Pub, for the NYC premiere of The Avant Gardener by Lindsay Katt, watch the trailer, here (I made it into the trailer!). WOOT! Check out Lindsay’s Music page on FB too.

I remain consistently amazed that I placed myself as a Genderless Fairy, in a MOVIE. As in, I have a mention in the INTERNET Movie Database

See the glittery awe? That misty dew of OMG, Yes? I got to play the part of The Genderless Fae, again. In person. I got to watch Lindsay’s movie and listen to Lindsay sing.  


I got to walk the streets of New York City, as The Genderless Fae.

I hold every instance of artful engagement -like this- in very high regard. Our fellow humans need to -see- the touch of the freak. We need to see the embodiment of showing up and having fun with it. We need to see people doing ‘the thing’ that makes their heart sing. Conformity is encouraged at every turn. It is hard to remain independent.

But, it is great. And fun. And worth it.

I am listed as, ‘Melanie Testa as The Genderless Fairy’.

In. a. Movie.

And the thing is, the motto of the movie, the underlying message of The Avant Gardener is, ‘You can tip-toe through life and get safely to death, or you can really live.’ 

I mean, I said YES, to this part, during a year where I committed to saying, Yes! ‘Yes, I want to paint my body gold and flit on camera!’ Yes, I will pose in magazine articles and participate in video content online, go to Berlin. Yes, I want new people and different things in my life.

It was one Heck! of a year. 

To see myself in this project. To allow myself to feel Lindsay sing on a beautiful night, in the summer, with my Man and friends?

It was magic. 

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Bird Buta fabrics printed in hope of making baby quilt.

As you know, I have been piecing, quilting and sewing up a storm. So this weekend, I took out my dyes, mixed a few colors and picked up the Bird Buta multicolor set I had been working on just prior to my sewing jag. I found all of the previously printed pieces, backtracked through my notes and found a pathway to overprinting and coloring the birds.

In this one, you can see the wings were printed using a teal green and the entire bird was overprinted in a yellow green. I played with value by making sure to pair Light with Medium value in those two layers of the multicolor set.

It is my hope that the resulting wing color would create drama and depth within the motif itself.

And, I don’t often do this, but. I am going to leave the background of the Bird Buta white. Quilters seem to favor white. I don’t usually work with it. I like color. I like pattern. But I am going to be restrained and explore this idea.

I went ahead and printed a gradation of the greens used in the Bird Buta print. Single color all over designs like this are really helpful in quilt making. At the moment, I envision a zig zag quilt that shows off the gradation nicely… 

But first, I will steam and boil these.

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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!