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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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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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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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. 

img_7380

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.

img_7381

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.

img_7383

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

Meadowlark quilt top challenge! (and giveaway)

Above is a pillow I made using original prints. This was a gift for my Mom, “Hello Mom!”. I find it easy to use my original prints in a patchwork manner. The fabrics I print are small by necessity, so I find thinking about them in terms of patchwork quilting the easiest path.

In this photo, you see a quilt medallion or central portion of a future quilt top. This one includes a commercial print, the line drawn floral. Beside that, all fabrics are again original prints.

Here, I am pointing to a quilt designed and made by Stephanie Forsyth, whose pattern can be found in Modern Patchwork. The quilt is made entirely of Meadowlark. It was quite interesting to see how Stephanie used Meadowlark to make a really appealing quilt

I have been thinking it might be fun to host a quilt making challenge using Meadowlark. I love designing and making the patterns used in my commercial line of fabrics, but… When it comes to using that cloth, I hesitate. Over the past year, I have asked friends and colleagues to make quilts or items using Meadowlark to fill my booth at Market. Seeing what other people do with my cloth is a surprise and a delight each and every time. So I wonder if I might ask you, dear reader, to work your magical eye over Meadowlark, using this criteria:

1. The quilt top must contain at least 70% Meadowlark. The other 30% is up to you. I would really like to see what fabrics you pair with Meadowlark.

2. I encourage you to make a throw measuring 60″ square.

3. Some aspect of the quilt block Or quilt top must have half square triangles, because I like them.

4. This challenge is time sensitive, your quilt top must be completed between January 1 and March 1, 2015.

My rules are not set in stone, they act as guidance. If you make a baby quilt, great. If you use 65% Meadowlark, that is ok too. I may need to set the quilt police on your tail if you choose to omit half square triangles, but I bet you would survive that too.

Here are some of my thoughts about the Meadowlark line: 

I would love to see the fruit fabric interpreted in a ‘French provincial’ style. I say interpreted because the fruit prints are pretty colorful, and I think it would be a loose interpretation. 

The bird print is ‘my baby’, so if you wanted to feature that, go for it.

I think the oval daisy dot is a sleeper, so if you wanted to feature those prints, I would love to see what you come up with.

The vine prints? I think they would make great border prints.

 

Read the fine print:

1. If you are interested in participating in this challenge, please leave a comment. If you have a blog, leave a link to your blog in the comments. I will keep a list of participants in the sidebar of my blog.

2. If you would like to help spread the word about this challenge, I will give away a fat quarter pack of the entire Meadowlark line in one weeks time (Saturay, January 10).  What you need to do to participate in the give away, is link to this post on facebook, Twitter, or any other social media and post a link to that here, in the comments.

Places to purchase Meadowlark online?

The City Quilter

Gotham Quilts

Amazon also carries my line.  

McCall’s Quilting Magazine and a Meadowlark Giveaway-a guest post

I am hosting a guest post by Stephanie Forsyth, my quilt designer for Meadowlark. We are both really happy that her delicate, groovy, lush, and chic designs using Meadowlark, are going live! What follows are Stephanie’s words:


 

McCallsQuilt

Ladies and gentleman, I am in McCall’s Quilting Magazine! I still can’t quite believe it!

This is the closest I’ve gotten to being a “Covergirl” so far! As many of you know, I was working on some quilts that I wasn’t able to share (this was for Market this past spring!) Well, I was designing and making quilts using Melanie Testa’s fabric from her Meadowlark line put out by Windham Fabrics. I’ve been sitting on this news since this past spring – and now I can finally share it with you!

This was an exciting process, as I was able to see Melly creating the line, and then her excitement when Windham picked it up. It’s a special feeling to be one of the first people to ever cut into, and create with a designer’s first fabrics!

The Meadowlark line is Melly’s way of raising awareness about the plight of the 20 Common Birds in Decline listed by the Audobon Society. She has a post about it on her blog!

The original name of this quilt is “Lark Star” for the Eastern Meadowlark on the list. For publishing reasons, the piece goes by the name “Starling” in the magazine. They are offering a FREE alternate pattern of the quilt in king size! (You can also order a kit of the 60.5″60.5″ from them, that has the fabrics I used!)

Starling

I wanted to really be able to showcase Melly’s fabrics, so I approached the design process asking myself “How can I show these fabrics as they are, and still cut them up and piece them?” The answer was “THINK BIG!” and I did. At 60.5″x60.5″, the blocks in this quilt are 15″ blocks! I might be biased (that’s not a pun, I swear!), but I am in love with this quilt!


 Stephanie has an AWESOME prize opportunity for a lucky reader! I have arranged for Stephanie to  give away a fat quarter of every fabric from Meadowlark! 

Leave a comment on STEPHANIE’S blog to win! She will close commenting on December 7 at 11:59 P.M. She will announce the give away on Monday, December 8.

I have closed commenting on this post, so click on over to Stephanie’s blog (<——click it) now!!

image001

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/

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!

 

And the winner is…

Tesuque! I do have a fair amount of spam on my blog, so I am hoping this is a real person, lol!!! Congratulations Tesuque.

Survey Says!

Hi there-Please take a few minutes to fill out my online workshop survey. Ten questions, nothing fancy.

As incentive for responding,  I will give away, at random, up to three signed copies of my book. The number of copies given away will depend on the number of responses tallied.  So please, take the survey, leave a comment to enter your name in the giveaway and then email, facebook or otherwise contact your friends and art buddies so that they too will take the survey and perhaps win a copy of my book. Your enthusiasm and input will be (and is) greatly appreciated.