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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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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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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Round Up: Playful Fabric Printing Blog Hop

As you know, Carol and I are hosting a blog hop to celebrate the release of our book, Playful Fabric Printing. Today’s post is a Round Up of each participant on the hop, with stories of how we met, why we chose each person to participate with links to their websites and social media hubs. I highlight four hoppers on my blog and Carol is highlighting the other four on her blog


Lisa Chin and I met through social media and have become in-person friends as a result (who doesn’t love making friends in this way?). Lisa’s web presence is called Something Clever about Nothing, a pithy and fun name for the great explorations found within it. Lisa has published articles on topics pertaining to Gelli Plates and Sun Printing, has contributed to books on Zen Doodles, and made an appearance on QATV series 1700. I have been watching Lisa grow and expand her skill set and I am amazed by her commitment to the progress, she has made such strides in such a short time. Please follow Lisa on Facebook, insta and Pinterest.

Judy Coates Perez and I met in the green room on the set of Quilting Arts TV many years ago. We have become teaching roomies whenever we travel to the same event. I have come to love her like a sister and can honestly say her daughter, Indigo, is just as talented as she is (Indigo Perez was the photographer for Playful Fabric Printing and her photos are luscious). But, back to Judy… Judy’s art is amazing. Although I have visited Judy’s home twice, this last visit was the first time that I have touched both these pieces of art. The detail Judy is able to convey is amazing. Judy has self published two books, both of which I highly recommend, Alternatively Bound and Stitched and 10+ Techniques with Acrylic Inks. Please follow Judy on Facebook and insta

Judy Coates Perez

Judy Coates Perez

Chris Dodsley, whose brand is Made by ChrissieD, is a local friend and fellow member of  NYC Metro Mod Quilters. Chris is a firebrand of creativity and is quick to contribute to Call For and requests for help. Each time I have made a call for help in our community, Chris is ready and willing. Her work is strong, her voice sings through and her presentations and images are tight and professional. Well they should be, as Chris is a sample maker for fabric companies that we all know and love! Chris has been blogging for a long while and has some great tutorials on her site. Please friend her on Facebookinsta and Pinterest too!

Chris Dodsley


And now, we turn to Pokey Bolton. Patricia Chatham Bolton, that is. For this stop on the blog hop, I may just go a bit poetic. I first met Pokey while attending Quilt National 2007. Where Repose had gained entry. While there, Pokey asked to speak with me and proceeded to ask if I might be interested in writing a book based on the techniques used in my winning entry. I said yes, and Inspired to Quilt is the result.

 

Similar to Charlie's Angels

In preparing to write this post I asked each Blog Hopper for two photos to feature in this post. I told each that it could be of a connection between us or it could be a favorite project. Pokey sent this image of ‘The Gang’, or rather from left to right: Jamie Fingal, Judy Coates Perez, Leslie Tucker Jenison, Pokey Bolton, myself and Jane LaFazio. This is a small grouping of Pokey’s Angels. Pokey’s Angels, as I am currently calling all of us, is an ever growing, expansive and amorphous group. 

I am unsure, but I think this is Long Beach 2009? Correct me if I am wrong.

See where I am going with this? Pokey’s Angels makes me think of Charlies Angels. Maybe because we are all gorgeous? 😉

Anyway. Pokey brings together people of diverse artistic background. She gathers people up and creates events, publishes magazines and books, Pokey is a passionate whirlwind of great accomplishment. When Pokey asked if Carol and I might be interested in publishing with her, we felt honored. Honored to earn Pokey’s loyalty. Honored to trust that Pokey would make our content shine. I am confident in saying that every person in the Long Beach photo would say the same were they in our shoes. 

Last year Pokey had her inaugural Craft Napa event (January 2016):

and we recreated the photo from so many years ago. The second annual Craft Napa Retreat just unfolded, read Pokey’s recap here. I am happy to say, I want to return to Napa to experience Craft Napa retreats for years to come.

In the meantime, Pokey began publishing again! Playful Fabric Printing, coauthored with Carol Soderlund is Pokey’s first title under the name, Crafting a Life, LLC.

 

Playful Fabric Printing by Melanie Testa and Carol Soderlund

I know as an author, I am tooting my own horn here? But tootin’ needs to happen.

This book is photo and content rich. There is a 28 color triangle of repeatable color, in 4 values, combined with thoroughly tested techniques including the use of Fun Foam, Carving Rubber, Stencil and Thermofax Screens. We present all of the information with an eye toward small space printing, because we know that many of us do not have gads of studio space in work in. Then we go on to present six quilts made with handprints! 

Melanie Testa's quilt

This book is huge! And pretty. And it feels nice. It’s a dream come true.

Also? Playful Fabric Printing is published in the U.S.A. <—— This is really important. Pokey has chosen to employ U.S. workers to provide her content. A win for everyone!

Pokey and Melly Hug

This tender photo was taken at Houston Quilt Festival a few years back, when a group of ‘Angels’ honored Pokey’s 40th. We met up for a dinner that included friendship, dressed up Barbie dolls, wine, awesome food, and a whole lot of love. Every time I look at this image, I mist up.

It was my first Festival after a year long slog of breast cancer treatment. I went for no other reason than to be among friends and give myself a treat. And to heal. Because that is what we do for one another. As friends. And community. The very thing Pokey is so good at creating. 

This picture, these memories, and so many more, encapsulate what Pokey means to me. Thank you Pokey.


Blog Hop Schedule

Remember, each blog hopper will give away a copy of Playful Fabric Printing, you must comment on that post to enter your name in the giveaway. Comment on every post!! (Most hoppers will close comments in one weeks time, which brings us to February 7. Check each blog for specific dates. My blog comments will remain open until the 7th). Please keep hopping!!

ALSO: Carol and I have also begun a Playful Fabric Printing Facebook Community page and would love for you to join. This will be a space for you to share images of work inspired by the pages or our book, ask questions, receive feedback and participate in print-alongs. 

January 23: Melly Testa
http://melanietesta.com/blog/

Jan 24: Carol Soderlund
http://www.carolsoderlund.com/blog/

Jan 25: Lisa Chin
http://somethingcleveraboutnothing.blogspot.com

Jan 26: Julie Fei-Fan Balzer
http://www.balzerdesigns.typepad.com/

Jan 27: Judy Coates Perez
http://www.judycoatesperez.com

Jan 28: Carrie Bloomston
http://www.carriebloomston.com/blog/

Jan 28 Chris Dodsley as made by ChrissieD

Jan 29: Lynn Krawcyzk
http://smudgeddesignstudio.com

Jan 30: Leslie Tucker Jenison
http://leslietuckerjenison.blogspot.com

Jan 31: Pokey Bolton
http://pokeybolton.com

 

Playful Fabric Printing Blog Hop!

 

Please join us in celebrating the release of Playful Fabric Printing through a blog hop! Scroll down for a complete list of blog hop participants. Each hop participant will discuss motif making, quilting with handprints and/or review Playful Fabric Printing itself. Each blog hop participant will be giving a copy of Playful Fabric Printing to a commenter, so please comment for a chance to WIN.

Carol and I have also begun a Playful Fabric Printing Facebook Community page and would love for you to join. This will be a space for you to share images of work inspired by the pages or our book, ask questions, receive feedback and participate in print-alongs. 


There are many ways to go about making multicolor cloth and there are no right or wrong ways to go about it. While we discuss the creation of nestled multicolor printing sets that fit one inside the other, this is not always the way you might want to proceed. Instead, you might choose to create free-form motifs and to print them in a tossed pattern.

As you can see, working in this manner leaves a bunch of white fabric. Never fear, on page 86 of Playful Fabric Printing, we discuss Monoprinting with Masks.

In this case, I chose to use freezer paper, whose shiny side makes a temporary bond to cloth with ironing. I traced the motifs I wanted to reserve, cut and ironed the cutouts in place before preparing to monoprint. 

After rolling thickened dye out in a pleasing manner, a texturizing comb was used to create a grid like pattern in the thick dye.

The cloth was laid atop the texturized surface and pat in place, before lifting the cloth off the print surface.

Freezer paper is the first resist I began to explore upon learning to print with dye. It is quite a versital crafting material that can be found at grocery and big box stores. Freezer paper comes in several widths, my preferred width is 18″, which can sometimes be difficult to find. While freezer paper is a great resist material, we also discuss some much more ingenious ways to use flat objects to make multicolored prints.

However you choose to make marks on cloth, there is always a way to reserve specific areas, color the background, overprint, and add more design elements. It’s the experimentation that’s the fun part.


Next, I discuss ‘hacking’ your copy of Playful Fabric Printing in order to make it a user ready workbook. 

Most of the books I love and use often, get a spiral binding. I bring them to the copy shop, ask that the binding be removed and a spiral binding be placed in its stead. In the case of Playful Fabric Printing, I wanted to push the idea further and make the book even more studio ready.

First, I took a trip to the office supply store to purchase Better Dividers and Corner Lock Three Pocket Binder Pockets. I specifically wanted to place a tab at the color triangle on page 48 and a pocket at the back of the book in order to store tracking sheets. Additionally, I bought Expo Dry Erase Markers.

Then I took a copy of Playful Fabric Printing to my local copy shop, additional items in tow, to have them remove the binding, place the tab and pocket and laminate both the front and back covers prior to placing a spiral binding. I know this book will receive lots of use and I think the spiral binding turns Playful Fabric Printing into a very useable workbook that is ready to be wiped down when spills and drips occur.

In retrospect, I wish I had asked for the 1.25″ plastic spiral, rather than this tight fitting metal binding. I did not know there was an option, and although this works perfectly, I would have preferred to have the larger spiral.

Another change I made to my copy of Playful Fabric Printing was to move pages 57, 58, 59 and 60 (the Value Bands) to follow just after the color triangle on page 48. This will cut down on flipping back and forth between the pages when choosing color palettes. 

Then I asked the copy shop to make a two sided print out of the tracking pages (pages 138 and 139) and a two sided print out of pages 130 and 131 (the dye recipes) prior to lamination. Used with the dry erase markers, these laminated sheets provide a temporary surface to write notes and track your mixing adventures. Later, when your print session is complete, you will want to transfer the essential information gathered to a hard copy.

OR, if you would rather not have separate sheets that may get lost, you might consider placing a second tabbed Better Divider between pages 138 and 139. My one hesitation with this idea is that the Better Divider pages are textural. The dry erase maker does indeed erase from this surface in a preliminary trial, though a very slight smudge remains. While this is not a problem immediately, I do wonder if, with time and repeated ‘off-market’ use like this, the page will become much more smudged and blurry. I cannot answer this question as yet.

And, of course, tracking pages and design notes can be tucked into the added Binder Pocket at the back. 

Perhaps you too might consider moving into and making your book wet studio ready! I think this is pretty snazzy.


Blog Hop Schedule

Remember, each blog hopper will give away a copy of Playful Fabric Printing, you must comment on that post to enter your name in the giveaway. Comment on every post!!

January 23: Melly Testa
http://melanietesta.com/blog/

Jan 24: Carol Soderlund
http://www.carolsoderlund.com/blog/

Jan 25: Lisa Chin
http://somethingcleveraboutnothing.blogspot.com

Jan 26: Julie Fei-Fan Balzer
http://www.balzerdesigns.typepad.com/

Jan 27: Judy Coates Perez
http://www.judycoatesperez.com

Jan 28: Carrie Bloomston
http://www.carriebloomston.com/blog/

Jan 28 Chris Dodsley as made by ChrissieD

Jan 29: Lynn Krawcyzk
http://smudgeddesignstudio.com

Jan 30: Leslie Tucker Jenison
http://leslietuckerjenison.blogspot.com

Jan 31: Pokey Bolton
http://pokeybolton.com


Also, I would like to announce that Judy Tucker has won the fabric giveaway I announced on the Focus on Fabric Florida Style post.

Art Quilt Collage: A Creative Journey in Fabric, Paint and Stitch, Book Release Blog Hop with Video Chats!

First, I just want to say, I love Deborah Boschert, her art and her person. I feel blessed to know her and great gratitude that her talent calls her to write about her process. Deborah is just releasing, Art Quilt Challenge, A Creative Journey in Fabric, Paint and Stitch.

Deborah asked me to read Art Quilt Challenge and to have a discussion with her about symbols, which really turned into an eye opening endeavor for me.

Deborah and I both use symbols and symbolism in our work. Deborah clearly lays out how to find and access symbols that resonate with you, helps you attach meaning to those symbols and then illustrates different methods to using those symbols in your work. 

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Within the pages of Deborah’s book she uses chairs, a bowl, a ladder. These all have very different meanings to Deborah, than they do for me, or you-probably. Symbols are a means of visually communicating idea. As we learn to express ourselves artistically, it is a good idea to apply meaning to the symbols we use, even if we never tell anyone what our intended meaning is! And, of course, the viewer of the artwork brings their own history, interpretations and personal connections to what they are seeing.

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Chairs, in my own artwork, speak to the human form. Chairs are made for humans. Walking into a room with chairs lets you know, you can relax. There is symbiosis between people and chairs. And so, when it comes to my art, when I use a chair in artwork, I am working with ideas related to people, bodies, and -who- might use that perch.

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Deborah thinks about the -activity- that can be done in a chair when she describes ‘quietly embracing the opportunity to be restful, but not idle or inactive’. This was an ‘aha moment’ for me, that illustrates, symbols really do have a wide array of meaning, artistically speaking. And each of us applies meaning in ways that are meaningful to us individually.

So, if you are feeling like you would like to explore your own use of symbols, and would like to unpack and use some innovative and fresh techniques, I do hope you will purchase a copy of Deborah book. Deborah’s book covers design, composition, collage, surface design, stitch by hand and machine, as well as finishing techniques, walking you through the entire process, while helping you understand it with deeper meaning. Beside which, Art Quilt Collage is eye candy!

I am happy to be giving away a copy of Deborah’s book! Leave a comment here on the blog telling us about symbols that you often use in your artwork. I will choose a lucky winner on October 7. ________________________________________

Check out the other participants in the blog hop:

September 19: C&T Publishing and Editor Lynn Koolish

September 20: Teri Lucas, Generation Q Magazine

September 21: Susan Brubaker Knapp 

September 22: Sue Bleiweiss

September 23: Lyric Kinard 

September 26: Lori Kennedy

September 27: Maria Shell

September 28: Jane LaFazio

September 29: Judy Coates Perez

September 30: Melanie Testa

Patchwork+Quilt Maker+Craft NAPA 2016 Blog Hop

It is so much fun to piece and use my hand printed cloth.

The nature of the printing process dictates that I print small pieces, fat sixteenths-I think, which is somewhere around 9×11″. I rip two yards at a time, and print all as quickly as possible. So when it comes time to begin piecing, I have many similarly colored squares, scraps really, all of which relate to one another color-wize.

But, they are small!

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My attention span for cutting and piecing blocks is short. This ‘attribute’, if I could call it that, plays into my ‘quilt building skills’. These skills are reprehensible by anyone else’s standard!!

My bottom lines:

  1. It must lay flat
  2. Use as much of the handprinted cloth as possible, even if this dictates wonky cutting or piecing… ‘techniques’! (Yeah, that’s it!)
  3. My quilt, my rules. My friend Teri reminds me of this often and I like it. 

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So I make blocks in batches, I might cut as many 3″ squares for Half Square Triangles as possible, given the tiny size of my scraps. I sew, iron, and join these together and then, maybe I will cut some 4″ squares for Half Square Triangles, in slightly different colors.

My process is willy nilly. And fun. My blocks never match up, or sometimes they do and I don’t care either way. I just build them out and keep on sewing! Because it is so much fun to do! I have been so deeply immersed in piecing, I am thinking deep thoughts. I like the term Quilt Maker. I am a Quilt Maker. I like this better than Quilter. What do you think? Do you think about this at all?


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Here is a shout out to the wonderful CRAFT NAPA sponsors, BERNINA and Meissner Sewing and Vacuum Centers

BERNINA Made to Create Right

 

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I am participating in a blog hop that starts today! Comment on every post and your name will go into a hopper with great incentives. I will post my contribution on the 5th and will be giving away a copy of Dreaming from the Journal Page! Below is a list of participants, and it all starts with Jane LaFazio.

The grand prize is a $500 Gift Certificate from eQuilter.com! WOOT! And do not hesitate to sign up for a class!!!


Nov 30- Jane LaFazio – http://janeville.blogspot.com/

Dec 1 – Lynn Krawczyk – http://smudgeddesignstudio.com/blog/

Dec 2 – Judy Coates Perez – http://www.judycoatesperez.com/

Dec 3 – Jenny K. Lyon – http://quiltskipper.com/blog/

Dec 4 – Jamie Fingal – http://JamieFingalDesigns.blogspot.com/

Dec 5 – Melanie Testa – http://melanietesta.com/blog/ (Here you are!)

Dec 6 – Elizabeth St. Hilaire – http://www.paperpaintings.com/

Dec 7– Leslie Jenison – http://leslietuckerjenison.blogspot.com/

Dec 8- Carrie Bloomston – http://www.carriebloomston.com/blog/

Dec 9 – Cheryl Sleboda – http://blog.muppin.com

Commenting closes on:

Dec 10 – Pokey Bolton – http://pokeysponderings.com/

And do comment, because the prizes are snazzy!

Gather your Sew-plies, Quilting Arts Holiday edition.

I am happy to have published in the Quilting Arts Holiday gifts issue, which showcases my Gather your Sew-plies purse. 

 This sewing purse is the Bee Knees, if you ask me. These purses were designed with movement in mind. The bag itself embraces a reverse pack pack styling, so, it sits at the front of your body, safe and secure, as you move around your sewing studio.

Sew-plies1

The pattern in Quilting Arts Holiday has directions for a scissor pocket, though you need not stop there! As you can see, I have also included a tiny pocket to hold my thimble.  

Sew-plies2

Sometimes the purses themselves become a canvas on which to stitch and embroider.

Sew-plies3

And sometimes I include fancy bits of fabric in the lining. I have also been known to clip rounded bits of plastic from milk bottles and juice containers to tuck into the scissor pocket-which protects the fabric from being punctured by my embroidery scissors.

Sew-plies4

See? You can even swing while ready to sew. 

All in all, I can’t live without these little functional bits of beauty. So far, I have made about 15 of these purses, each has thread, embroidery floss, some Thread Heaven  (An Amazon link, I LOVE Thread Heaven as a thread ‘conditioner’), and the pattern has evolved over time. Sometimes I make them with flaps as you see in the above photos, sometimes I make them with a fold of fabric that flips over and closes the purse (this is the pattern that Quilting Arts Holiday has published). I also like to thread string through the bias straps, which strengthens them.

I would love to have a Gather your Sew-plies sew along if you are interested!?? Please post a comment below and tell me know if you would like to do this. You will need to purchase the magazine to access the pattern, but I have many additional ideas and notions that will make this quite the fun sew-along. 

Check out these other posts on the blog hop too!

Friday, September 12, Vivika Hansen DeNegre, http://quiltingdaily.com/

Saturday, September 13, Lyric Kinard, http://lyrickinard.com/blog/

Sunday, September 14, Claude Larson, http://randomactsofpiece.blogspot.com/

Monday, September 15, Linda McLaughlin, http://notesfromstudiob.blogspot.com/ 

and Kathy Kerstetter, http://artndl.blogspot.com

Tuesday, September 16, Lori Miller, http://lorimillerdesigns.wordpress.com/

Wednesday, September 17, Melanie Testa, http://melanietesta.com/blog/,

and Liz Kettle, http://www.textileevolution.com/index.php/our-journey

Thursday, September 18, Susan Brubaker Knapp, http://wwwbluemoonriver.blogspot.com/

Friday, September 19, Lisa Chin, http://somethingcleveraboutnothing.blogspot.com/

Saturday, September 20, Sarah Ann Smith, http://www.sarahannsmith.com/weblog

Sunday, September 21, Catherine Redford, http://catherineredford.com/

 

 

Lynn K and her new line of stencils, a Blog Hop!

LynnK

I am really happy to be a part of Lynn Krawczyk’s Blog Hop announcing her upcoming line of stencils called ‘Marked’ by Artistcellar. While I wish I could have found my own set of Lynn’s stencils to play around and make some samples for you, moving and time constraints have gotten the better of me.

What I can tell you is this, I have long admired Lynn and have both been able to support, mentor and be mentored by Lynn. You may also remember that I reviewed a copy of Lynn’s book, here. The fact that Lynn was able to get a line of stencils with her name on it does not surprise me. Lynn knows how to print and layer cloth effectively and having a line of stencils is an extension of her commitment to printing cloth as well as her love and exuberance in being a surface design artist.

When I want to Quilt Market this last May, Lynn and I met up several times, she made an appearance in this video, I am happy to say I was able to get a signed copy of Lynn’s book, Intentional Printing, as she was doing an author signing in the Interweave booth, but I am happier still that Lynn stopped by my Windham booth where I had set up a studio to print and entice folks to get to know me and how I went about designing Meadowlark.

Lynn and I spent time talking and Lynn printed with dye using my tools, while I printed with dye using her stencils. As you may know, Lynn’s preferred media is paint, so having her in my booth, using the media I know and love was a special treat for me. More than anything else, I love having friends use my tools. I can only imagine what it might be like for Lynn to be releasing a line of stencils, and wondering how you might use them…


The participants in this blog hop are listed by order of date posted and one lucky commenter on each post in the hop will win a set of Lynn’s stencils, so please post comments on every post possible! I will choose a winner from my blog hopping post one week from today on July 6.

June 28th – Lisa Cousineau – www.artistcellar.com/wp
June 29th – Melanie Testa  – http://melanietesta.com/blog/
June 30th – Lisa Chin – somethingcleveraboutnothing.blogspot.com
July 2nd – Belinda Spiwak http://alteredbelly.blogspot.com
July 3rd – Kristin LaFlamme – http://kristinlaflamme.com/musings
July 4th – Ingrid Dijkers – http://ingriddijkers.blogspot.com/
July 5th – Guadalupe Cabal – http://guadasartplace.blogspot.com/

July 6th – Lynn Krawczyk – http://smudgedtextilesstudio.com/blog/

Winners announced.

IMG_4848

Before I announce the winners from the Meadowlark Blog Hop Winners off my own web site, I would like to talk about moving. Please pardon me while I prattle on.

David and I moved to Brooklyn 5.5 years ago, renting an apartment not far from where I live now. Many things happened during this time. Soon after arriving our beautiful cat Monk passed away. Within a year, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and signed a contract to write Dreaming from the Journal Page. Three years after that, Arrow passed away, feline keeper of my heart that he was. So, as you can imagine, these events were pretty major for both David and I. That apartment served us quite well, contained our tears, growth, love, friendships and supported my efforts to move myself forward creatively to create a portfolio, get a fabric line and sssshh… (write another book). 🙂 But I can’t talk about that yet. 🙂

I did not allow the amount of space in that apartment to hold me back creatively. I made a rule that I would be tidy. I would not gripe about needing to put things away and take them out each time I wanted to create. I made it work. The above photo is a testament to making it work, all that dirt that left a ‘resis’t of dirt and shows a smear of dye was left after taking down a punched tin switch plate that we put up. It was the plate that turned the bathroom light on. I washed all my dye items in the bathtub over the last 5+ years… (I bet some of you might think this a bit gross and I apologize if that is the case)

IMG_4841

And now we have moved into an apartment that is a bit smaller. Crazy, I know. I am setting up shop here and I must say, this set up is even less conducive to my preferred medium of Procion MX dye. Of all the studios I have ever had, this is the least among them. If I could afford to, this would be a great time to rent studio space. But alas, I cannot. So it is again time to have a talk with myself about having a good attitude and making this ‘studio’ work for me. 

I often hear comments from students and blog readers that they cannot work with dye because they do not have space. I chuckle inside when I hear this type comment, I try not to comment about it because I know I am car-cra. I bet I will end up loving this space too, as I have every other creative space I have been able to conjure. I am not feeling it yet, but I am willing. I do remember the first sewing machine I got, the corner I was able to take up, the first bathtub I washed dye out in, the first studio I was able to create, and all the different types of creative space I have been able to maintain.

Really, all I really care about is being able to make things, so not having space, taking up too much space in our home, is just a side effect of honoring the artist within me. I am grateful that I have a good man, I am grateful that my art comes first, I am grateful for all the hours in all the spaces I have called a studio. Without them, I would not be where I am today and this is pretty darned good, if you ask me.

I will post pictures once all of our boxes are cleared. As you can imagine, my inner OCD neat freak is in panic mode right now, but I keep soothing that part of me, and telling myself it will all come together soon.. And in the meantime? I will keep on making things. No matter what.


 

Now for the winners of Fat Stacks of the Meadowlark line! There were three posts on my blog, so three people will win Fat Stacks of fabric and one will win a copy of Dreaming from the Journal Page. I am also going to give away two more books randomly off the other blog hop posts (please be a little patient as I try to find the books I am giving away. I know I saw that box recently). Thank you for hopping, commenting, and following along. 

The winner off my blog post, Meadowlark Blog Hop Giveaway is TX Creatrix. Please check your gmail account and send me you snail mail address, ASAP.

The winner of Jacqui’s post, ‘Jacqui Holmes Calhoun on Meadowlark’, is Jane Howie. Please check your email and tell me where to ship your fabric.

The winner of Helen’s post, Confessions of an Alleged Quilter is Diane Miller, I have sent an email off, please check you inbox and send me your snail mail addy.

A randomly chosen commenter, named Andy won a copy of Dreaming from the Journal Page and a charm pack of Meadowlark. Please check your email and  send me a snail mail address.

Two more book winners will be announced just as soon as I figure out which blog posts among the hop had the most comments.

Congratulations to all for being such a support and for leaving great comments about the line and my sample teams efforts to show it off!

 

Confessions of an alleged quilter

(Helen is a quest contributor to the Meadowlark Blog Hop giveaway. The art piece that Helen made using trapunto features one of the 6 Common Birds in Decline seen in the Meadowlark bird print, the Greater Scaup. She will tell you about the making of the quilt below. I can tell you, Helen is a treasure, I am quite happy to get to know her and to call her a friend.)

Scaup

Sometimes you just have to say yes.  When Melanie Testa put out a call for help getting projects sewn for her Meadowlark launch for Windham Fabrics I instinctively said I would help.  Well, that was my first reaction.  My second was “What am I thinking?  Why did I say yes?  Now have to show up, meet new people, talk to them, be creative…oh my, what have I gotten myself into???”

The day arrived.  I had mixed emotions approaching City Quilter, arriving at the same time as Melanie.  We introduced ourselves and I was relieved to discover that she was as sweet and approachable in person as she is online and in her books.  I met the others in this crew of talented quilters and was excited to see the work that had been done the previous week as well as projects that individuals had designed and sewn.  It was intimidating.  But I was there and I was going to help.  All I had to do was help sew blocks together and then rows for the gorgeous string quilt as well as assist sewing the beautiful bird quilt together.  It was fun and a relief to get lost in sewing and chatting and doing.  Not worrying about work or life or anything – just putting one stitch after another.  Nirvana.

Helen1

The day ended too quickly.  I volunteered to bind the string quilt and make a sleeve.  There were scraps of fabric left and I asked Melanie if she needed any small wall hangings.  She did.  Again, I said yes.  I would make a wall hanging.  I pulled some fabric, said goodbye, and was on my way.  And then realized that I had committed to completing these projects in just about three weeks.  Here’s the thing.  I am an “alleged quilter”.  I start projects. Some of them get completed; most get almost completed.  It took me two years to put the binding on a quilt my sister made.  I began my first quilt in 1981 when I was working summer stock and my cat Maggie was born.  I finished it in 1998, the year Maggie died.  And lately, I hadn’t even been sewing.  I was drawing and painting and playing around paper.  Well, ok then.  Oh, hell.  Why not?  I said yes.  Now I had to do it.  

I work better if I don’t think too much so I took a bird square and centered it on a muslin backing.  Then I cut 2-1/2” strips of the other fabrics and started building out from the bird.  Once the muslin was completely covered machine stitched around all the elements in the bird patch, then I embellished the fabric around the center square with orange, purple, and aqua rayon thread to help marry the birds to the surrounding fabric.  This, of course led to the center not laying flat because, well, all of the stitching caused distortion.  The fix?  Trapunto.  I’d never tried this padded and raised quilt design before but thought it was worth a shot.  Why not cut the muslin and stuff all the elements in the bird square?  It might take care of the distortion and would make the birds really pop.  So I did. And it worked.  And I was excited.  I didn’t have enough scraps to make a border so I stitched it like a pillow cover.  And then pressed like crazy and added a sleeve.  Lastly, I made the pieced binding as well as the sleeve for the string quilt.  In less than three weeks.  All because I said yes.

Helen2

Melly’s Meadowlark fabric is a joy to work with.  The design, the color, the feel and quality of the fabric – everything about this line is exceptional.  And I got to play a small part in the launch.  I also met and worked with one of my design icons and other really talented women.  All because I said yes.  I can’t wait to do it again. Thanks Melly for letting me be a part of this adventure!

Please let me know what you think.  Just leave a comment for a chance to win a Fat Stack of 10” squares of all 26 fabrics in the Meadowlark line.  Melly’s also giving away 3 copies of her wonderful book “Dreaming From the Journal Page”.  If you missed any of the other posts in this hop just head over to the links below.  And don’t forget to leave your comments there, too. 

Melly – June 2 
Vivien Zepf – June 2 
Chrissie D – June 3 
Sue Bleiweiss – June 4  
Leslie Tucker Jenison  June 5 
Jamie Fingal – June 6 
Lyric Kinard – June 7 
Jen Eskridge – June 8 
Jacqui Holmes Calhoun – June 8  <——-Jacqui will be guest posting on Melly’s blog!
Stephanie Forsyth – June 9 
Victoria Findlay Wolfe – June 10 
Teri Lucas – June 11 
Scott Hansen June 12
Helen Eckard – June 12 <——-Helen will be guest posting on Melly’s blog!

Jacqui Holmes Calhoun on Meadowlark

Before Market, Windham Fabrics sent me two yards of each fabric in my line, Meadowlark. They asked if I might have a sewing bee in order to make samples. I agreed and after a call to Dale and Cathy, set up two consecutive Tuesdays at The City Quilter. Then I contacted the two guilds I am a member of, and asked if anyone was interested in helping out. Jacqui, the author of the following post was one of the people who showed up. Jacqui and I immediately hit it off and I am happy to say, we are already making plans to go to museum shows and to have lunch. 
Here are Jacqui’s words on working with Meadowlark…
 
Meadowlark Scrap
 
Hi everyone, and welcome to my guest post for Melanie Testa’s Meadowlark Blog Hop!
 
Jacqui Holmes Calhoun here —artist, quilter, book and papermaker.
It was great fun working with Melly’s  new line, Meadowlark. This  fabric is very painterly, with a block printing-on-paper quality that was fun to play with in fabric form. The patterns are full of  rich color and the whole line has an energetic vibe. 
 
Check out my “Four by Four” nine patch quilt I made. 
I used 2.5″ squares to make the pattern- in- pattern. 
Love the dots…and the birds….and the grid….
I’m seeing  a book cover in my future.
 
JCH4x4
 
I love the 9 Patch block in all its many variations.
Did you know that the 9 times table is the only set that can be written
in reverse and upside down and always come out right?
 
From the top: Write down the right side #9 in descending (down) order…9,8,7,6, etc.until you get to 0.
 At the bottom next to 0 on  the left side write 9,8,7,6 etc. in Ascending order (up) and voyla! The 9 times table re-made as play!
 
For someone who is SO NOT a math person I  never forgot that game… and play I did with Melly’s Meadowlark stack. Oh, and then added a few more pieces for more fun. 
Speaking of adding….
If you add each line of the 9 times table it always adds up to 9!
  9,  18 (1+8=9),  27 (2+7=9),  36 (3+6=9)…..You get the idea,
so you see I just had to add those  purple dots. I couldn’t help myself.
 
——–
 
To win your very own Meadowlark Stack of 10″ squares (10 is a great number too don’t you think?) just leave a comment by JUNE 10, 2014.
 
Melly is also giving away 3 copies of her fabulous book “Dreaming from the Journal Page”, for even more inspiration.
 One will be given away on her blog and 
the other two will be given away at the end of the Blog Hop. You have to leave a post to have a chance to win.
 

Melly – June 2 
Vivien Zepf – June 2 
Chrissie D – June 3 
Sue Bleiweiss – June 4  
Leslie Tucker Jenison  June 5 
Jamie Fingal – June 6 
Lyric Kinard – June 7 
Jen Eskridge – June 8 
Jacqui Holmes Calhoun – June 8  <——-Jacqui will be guest posting here!
Stephanie Forsyth – June 9 
Victoria Findlay Wolfe – June 10 
Teri Lucas – June 11 
Scott Hansen June 12
Helen Eckard – June 12 <——-Helen will be guest posting here!

 

meadowlark blog hop give away

I am so friggin’ excited to finally be working in the textile industry and to have a line of fabrics coming out with my name on the selvedge. I mean, so, friggin’, excited. 

Spring Quilt Market 2014 served to ‘launch’ my premiere fabric line, Meadowlark by Windham Fabrics which will be officially release this coming October 2014. It is used to create ‘buzz’.  Talking about buzz, check out my ‘look book’! Or this video that Victoria Findlay Wolfe did at Market (she is part of this blog hop too)!

Being the interactive, show and tell driven person that I am, I set up shop at quilt market to demo the techniques I use in the printing of the Meadowlark line, and I surrounded myself with the most awesome, beautifully created samples that I possibly could. And I must say, I hardly sewed even a single stitch of the beautiful work seen in my booth. I feel absolutely blessed to be able to work with some of the most driven, detail oriented artists and quilters in this industry. 

I have been told that my sample team and I used the most fabric ever, in preparation for the launch of a fabric line. Woot!! If you ask me, too much is just about enough.

Market was a whirlwind of activity. I invited many of the superstars in our industry to come to my booth and print or to say, ‘Hello’.  I had so much fun and smiled so much that my face hurt at the end of the weekend. 

In celebration of the launch of the Meadowlark line, we are giving away Fat Stacks (10″ square of each of the 26 fabrics in the line) and 3 copies of Dreaming From the Journal Page. I will also be giving away some 5″ Charm packs from my own ‘stash’ (Windham cuts these as giveaway at Market and I nabbed some). I will give away one copy of dreaming here, the other two will be given to whichever blog on the hop that receives the most comments. We will use the hashtag #MellyMeadowlark, so if you want to spread the word on Facebook and other social networking sites please use this tag. Leave a comment to enter a chance to win some of my pretties and don’t hesitate to ask your local quilt store to carry my line. In fact, you might just forward a link to this post:

http://melanietesta.com/2014/06/meadowlark-blog-hop-give-away/ ‎

I honestly cannot wait for you to get your hands on my fabrics and show me your skillz. In the meantime, check out what my design team has to say on the matter…

Melly – June 2 
Vivien Zepf – June 2 
Chrissie D – June 3 
Sue Bleiweiss – June 4  
Leslie Tucker Jenison  June 5 
Jamie Fingal – June 6 
Lyric Kinard – June 7 
Jen Eskridge – June 8 
Jacqui Holmes Calhoun – June 8  <——-Jacqui will be guest posting here!
Stephanie Forsyth – June 9 
Victoria Findlay Wolfe – June 10 
Teri Lucas – June 11 
Scott Hansen June 12
Helen Eckard – June 12 <——-Helen will be guest posting here!

 

Meadowlark Blog Hop

Meadowlark Blog Hop Image
 
I am organizing a blog hop fabric giveaway to celebrate the release of my first line of fabrics! Please stay tuned for your chance to win!!! The ‘hop’ kicks off, here, at MelanieTesta.com on June 2.
 
 
Melly – June 2 
Vivien Zepf – June 2 
Chrissie D – June 3 
Sue Bleiweiss – June 4  
Leslie Tucker Jenison  June 5 
Jamie Fingal – June 6 
Lyric Kinard – June 7 
Jen Eskridge – June 8 
Jacqui Holmes Calhoun – June 8  <——-Jacqui will be guest posting here!
Stephanie Forsyth – June 9 
Victoria Findlay Wolfe – June 10 
Teri Lucas – June 11 Blog-TBD
Scott Hansen June 12
Helen Eckard – June 12 <——-CHelen will be guest posting here!

 

Kass Hall’s Zentangle Untangled

Kass Hall just came out with Zentangle Untangled and I have to say, her book made me understand Zentangles. They really are inspirational and ever so meditative. For me, drawing is meditative, but to do it purposely to that end is a very healing thing indeed. For this fact alone I recommend Kass’s book, but I recommend it for many other reasons as well.

I like Kass. We began talking last year before her book was released and we share an experience of using art to heal the self through cancer treatment. Kass is another strong woman, so I honor her for just this reason alone, as if I need a reason!  😀

We caught up on Skype last night and then continued the conversation through email. Where she said, 

‘Personally, Zentangle has been very therapeutic for me and has helped me a lot through my cancer last year and prior to that. Having that to focus on (and be so portable) has been a real benefit to my coping with illness. I find I really am able to zone out from the world and even my own thoughts when I am drawing – sometimes I haven’t even noticed the phone ringing!’

I couldn’t agree more. I used writing Dreaming from the Journal Page as a catalyst to get me through treatment. It helped me to switch my doctors appointments into interruptions from writing, so that writing, making art, drawing, painting pages, was the goal. Going to doctors appointments were needed but not the all consuming goal it could have been had the universe not given me a contract during the same week as being given a major diagnosis. Kass found out she had her 4th bout of cancer 6 weeks before her book deadline. And she traversed those waters with grace and gave us a fabulous text in spite of and because of her experience.

 

Zentangle Untangled: Inspiration and Prompts for Meditative Drawing is a great book. If you would like to begin using art as a means to heal, as a balm for the frenetic energy of our crazy fast world, this book is for you. 

Here is the list of Blog Hop Links: 

Redux of Redux

I am participating in a blog hop while I am away, it starts tomorrow, Monday, July 23.

Here is the list of Blog Hop Links: 

Please don’t feed the hipsters.

Once a week my Man and I walk up to our favorite coffee joint and help open it. And now, as the weather improves, I have begun to walk afterward. I love walking. I walk fast enough that you might call it running, I can’t slow it down.

Brooklyn, NYC

But when I bring my camera, that will make me stop long enough to enjoy cobblestoned streets.

Brrooklyn, NYC

Oh! Pigeons meet wet cement.

Brooklyn, NYC

And, please don’t feed the hipsters. That stencil looks like Woody Allen, right? He is the ultimate hipster. And that red down there? Roses? I am inspired by this.

Brooklyn, NYC

This church door reminds me of the embroidery I am doing on the Female Mag blouse

Brooklyn, NYC

And finally, the reason for walking down into Red Hook, this Duke Riley poster. Maybe a year and some ago, I went gallery hopping with the Journal Study Gals. Pat pulled a strip of paper off a telephone pole, tore it in half, handed me a section. I went home to glue it in my journal and made a page featuring it (see the last image in this post).

But I had no way of connecting the scrap of paper to the original artist. And you know I have a thing for posters and poster art, you can’t restore vintage posters for 6+ years without acquiring an affection for paper, posters, and wheat paste.

Brooklyn, NYC

So this morning I went back into Red Hook, photographed the poster in-situ and then took it off the wall. 😈 I brought the poster home, in pieces, and washed it in the tub, it is drying now. I don’t know what I am going to do with it, but I like this man’s work and I think I might need to meet him. I bet he lives in Red Hook. He is a tattoo artist, he makes me want a tattoo.

Different poster, collaged and completed in my 8" journal, melanietesta.com

I saw a real rat today, running from a dumpster into a building that is being renovated. I love seeing rats in the city. Can’t live with them, can’t live without them. Beside which, they clean up after us!

_________________________

So, there is a blog hop going on and I am just now catching up with it, you should too.

April 30 – Tracie Lynn Huskamp
Stenciled & Stitched: A Special Occasion Greeting Card

May 1 – Traci Bunkers
Gelatin Printing

Script Lettering/Tattoo style using Sakura Calligrapher Pens

Fun Little Resist

May 4 – Melanie Testa
Thimble Cinch Sack

May 5 – Lyric Kinard
PSE for Thermofax Screen Printing

May 6 – Jill Berry
Pop-Up Heart Map