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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