one in eight- a series

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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!

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Hankies, steaming, around and back again

This weekend, I completed printing the 48 Blowsy Rose hankie fundraiser to benefit METAvivor. I have sold 47 out of the 48 silk habotai handkerchiefs. I am going to purchase one (I mean donate on behalf), because I need to start collecting -my own- hankies. If the final hankie does not sell today, I will ‘buy’ that too. Tomorrow, I will send 240$ to METAvivor, as this is the listed end date for trying this idea out.

I am so happy to be able to donate money, print hankies, and that YOU will own a piece of my work. Thank you so very much!!!

At the end of the print job, I searched around in my bin of Salty Soda Soaked (Playful Fabric Printing, page 45) fabrics and found a few cotton bandanas. You can see they are quite a bit bigger than the dainty silk habotai hankies.

BUT!

I have them and ought to print them, don’t you think?

I want to try and rectify the large area of white.

When Carol and I were writing Playful Fabric Printing, we came up with the concept of creating a selvedge with our names on it. 

I created mine using Fum Foam stamps (Playful Fabric Printing, page 62). I think this might just make the center look a little less lonely. And, as I am printing this just for fun, I don’t mind printing my name of it. Though I could use Freezer Paper Resist (Playful Fabric Printing, page 86) to preserve that area of printing…

In the meantime, I have 48 silk hankies to steam, wash and mail away.

ALSO! I put 20 copies of Playful Fabric Printing up for sale on my Etsy page, for just 20$ each. I want to get these books into your hands, so we can start using it! 

If you would like a more in depth exploration of printing these hankies, join our closed FB Community page, Playful Fabric Printing. This is where we do weekly Live Video chats, on print related subjects-this week steaming! There is a backlog of video in the group, which will help you on your way to playfully printing your own fabrics.

See you there!

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Blowsy Rose hankies, chugging right along.

Doing this fundraiser for METAvivor has been fun. 

I get to print 48 hankies, make some cash for myself and give some cash to a group whose work I admire. I have just 4 more hankies available for sale. I would love for you to own one, but I also feel kinda grabby! I might need one for myself.

SaveSaveThese hankies are not yet steamed, meaning they are stiff with thickener and Procion MX dye. This is my favorite way to view them! I understand that in steaming and washing them, they will change some. The color will release and fade minimally. What I see here is not what they will eventually look like. But this is my favorite part of printing. Being able to sort through and think about these hankies in their final state is exciting!

I must color the petals of about 22 more hankies. This work will be complete today or tomorrow, then, I will begin to steam, wash and mail the hankies to you. I am ever so grateful to do this work and I feel honored to be able to donate up to $240 per print job!! That’s $240 more than I could afford on my own. So thank you!!!

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Blowsy Rose hankies! An update.

In all, the Blowsy Rose print in Florabunda is a four color design, or as we call it in Playful Fabric Printing, a four color multicolor set. In this case, the set consists of one hand carved rubber layer and three fun foam layers that color the background, the leaves and the petals. 

In my opinion, three color designs are the most efficient and easy to print designs, they are approachable, easy to complete and they give you many coloring options. As I print this 4 color design, I periodically drop a layer out, making three color prints, I use all 4 layers too! My goal is to print as many different hankies as I am able in a short period of time, while maintaining consistent print quality.

As I continue to print each of the 48 hankies, I pull some out of the ‘Working Pile’ and place them in the ‘Ready to Steam’ pile.

I rather like these hankies with white background! They are sweet.

So far, I have completed 14 hankies and am well on my way to completing this print job. I am doing this in part to fundraise for METAvivor. There are four hankies for sale, to meet my goal of selling all 48, and donating 240$ from the sale, to this upstanding organization.

I do hope you will head over to my Etsy page and get your hankie today!

SaveSave

And join our Facebook Community Page while you are at it! This is the place for Live Video, asking questions and learning to Playfully Print your own fabrics!

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Get your Hankie here! Plus.

As I talked up the creation of the VIP Offering to the AnaOno #cancerland fashion show, many expressed interest in owning their own Melly Made hankies! In gratitude for this opportunity, I have decided to print 48 more hankies and donate a portion of the sale to benefit METAvivor.

I have ordered 48 more hankies. I plan to print them using the large floral design featured in Floribunda! by RJR Fabrics. Each hankie will cost $20.00, with 5$ of each sale donated to Metavivor. Each hankie will be mailed via USPS stamped envelope. If you prefer UPS shipping let me know, I will send you an additional request for $ to cover the cost.

Please purchase your hankie through my Etsy store. While there, perhaps you might purchase Playful Fabric Printing, then head over to the Playful Fabric Printing Community page on Facebook! I will be doing live video updates while completing these hankies and would love to see you there!

My fingers are crossed that I sell all 48 hankies and be able to donate 240$ (my fingers are triple crossed).

SaveSave

SaveSave

Silk Hankies, METAvivor, Anaono Intimates and #cancerland

Beth Fairchild is a woman to admire. She works with METAvivor, is a tireless advocate for breast cancer patients,  she is a mother, an artist and a mermaid.

Last summer we met at a rooftop bar in Manhattan to watch the sun set with friends. It was a magical night (and the first time I met Dana-the owner of AnaOno). At that time, I brought Beth a token gift of my affection, in a handprinted silk hankie (seen above). I love a good hankie. A small piece of fabric with a hemmed edge, to stuff in your pocket, to fuss and fiddle or tie back your hair. 

So when Beth contacted me to ask if I might provide some handprinted swag as a VIP Offering at the AnaOno and #cancerland fashion show, I jumped at the chance.

Here is a short trailer about the project.

I get these 11″ silk hankies at Dharma Trading. They have a nice rolled hem, they take Procion MX dyes beautifully, they can withstand a rigorous washing cycle and they make a great gift.  I printed 48 of these hankies using a three color polka dot design (seen in my first line of fabrics, Meadowlark by Windham Fabrics) using the techniques described in Playful Fabric Printing.

I also used this as an opportunity to record  live video chats about the printing process for our Playful Fabric Printing FB Community page. If you are interested in these printing techniques, our community is perfect for you. Please join.

I chose Procion MX colors that most closely matched the METAvivor ribbon colors, pink, green and blue. (If you want to get technical, in respect to Playful Fabric Printing, I used Colors 10, 11, 27 using Lemon Yellow as my yellow, Fuchsia as red and Turquoise as my blue. I mixed all 4 thickened values for a total of twelve colors and I Speed Printed until complete.)

And here they are atop their silver FedEx swag bags just before the show. 

To see this show was to be inspired by the sheer joy, and utter beauty of real women, real people, who have embraced a difficult diagnosis with badass grace and fierce resolve.

I shivered to my toes and stood present to what an individual, a group of individuals, can do to make real change in the world. I screamed, hooted and cheered. I cried. And it was great.

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave