Quilty Box and Florabunda! by RJR Fabrics

I feel honored to be asked to curate the June 2018 Quilty Box. Quilty Box is a subscription service geared toward introducing quilters to new fabrics, tools, creative ideas and products. My Quilty Box will introduce you to the fabrics in Florabunda!, Mistyfuse, the Goddess Sheet and Aurifil Mako’ ne 12 weight cotton thread. ‘The above quilt which I call, ‘Be Mine’, has been made into a pattern for my Quilty Box. In addition, ‘On Point’, a pattern created specifically for Florabunda! is included (so you will get TWO patterns in my Quilty Box, a wall art pattern with everything needed to make it, and a bed quilt pattern). 

In creating this project and pattern, it was my hope to create a wall art piece that played up the central floral motif in Florabunda!, the Blowsy Rose. I wanted the piece to be playful, bold and graphic. I hoped it would have a graffiti like appeal. And honestly, I hope young folk might be attracted to making this as a gateway into the passion of sewing and quilting. If you know of a young person who might Love this Quilty Box, please order one today!

Why did I place these items in my Quilty Box?

Misty fuse is an extremely lightweight fusible or glue that allows you to bond fabrics together by way of ironing. Mistyfuse paves the way for raw edge appliqué. This is a technique every quilter should have at the ready. (Jamie Fingal used raw edge appliqué in Hexi Spring, her Florabunda! Blog Hop contribution.) 

The Goddess Sheet is a silicone ironing cloth that assists quite well in the use of Mistyfuse. They sell these sheets in many sizes, one big enough to cover an ironing board! (I don’t yet own the largest one, but I want to!) The silicone sheet will protect your iron from the fusible. My preferred size is the 21×27″ Fat Goddess size, though I own the Goddess Sheet, Big Goddess Sheet too. 🙂

Aurifil Mako’ne 12 weight cotton is a gorgeous, heavy weight thread with great sheen. It sews wonderfully both by hand and machine. Most of my hand printed quilts are machine quilted using this thread. I love it.

This is ‘On Point’, a pattern that utilizes Florabunda! so nicely and is included as a pattern in the June 2018 Quilty Box. 


Today I would like to GIVEAWAY a June 2018, Melly curated, Quilty Box as part of the Florabunda! Blog Hop Celebration. Please comment on this post, which I will leave open until July 1. And, while you are at it, check out these fabulous artists and their contributions the Blog Hop.

June 7–Tiffany Hayes
June 9–Sara Mika
June 10–Lyric Kinard
June 11–Kathy York
June 11–Teri Lucas
June 13—Tiffany Hayes
June 13–Jamie Fingal
June 14–Debby Brown
June 14–Heidi Kelly
June 15– David Gilleland
June 15—Melanie Testa <— Here!
June 16–Melanie Testa <— Here!

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Melly Testa uses Florabunda! by RJR Fabrics

I used Floribunda! by RJR Fabrics and combined with Flaurie & Finch’s Darling Dots, which pairs beautifully with my collection. This quilt effectively uses the simplest of blocks, the Half Square Triangle, while playing with color to create a central medallion of four stars, surrounded by a zig zag border that contrasts nicely with the lightest background prints in the center. 

I utilized matchstick quilting, as straight-line quilting is a favorite of mine. a go-to machine quilting idea that I use to ‘level the playing field’ when I quilt my handprinted fabrics. As you will see on Sunday, I have moved away from the straight lines-I am extending the Hop out, so please check back!

The back of this quilt utilizes 12″ Half Square Triangles in Meadowlark (my first line of fabrics with Windham Fabric. And well, maybe I shouldn’t talk about my first line right now, but, I have to!). Beside which, who doesn’t like seeing the back! It is almost as important as the front.

Meadowlark, like Florabunda!, has a vine or Tendril like print in it (Florabunda!’s Tendril prints seen below). I may just continue designing vine prints with every portfolio I submit, so that over time, I produce a huge collection of vines and tendrils!

 

 

 

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David Gilleland uses Florabunda! by RJR Fabrics

David Gilleland is a quilter and owner of Vector Quilts, he is a quilt designer whose patterns have made it onto Nancy’s Notions (that’s two links, please click both)! Check out his FB and insta. While you are at it, join Quilting with David Gillebrand, where I am a member and I often scroll and chat, in order to receive inspiration.

David is a foundation piecing aficionado who runs an entire business around his craft. In this quilt, David pulls Florabunda! into his paper pieced world by playing with the idea of making a star that is almost more of a flower with playful and curving petals that end in a sharp point. I am thrilled with David’s contribution to the Florabunda! Blog Hop Celebration just for the fact that his quilt is so different than the others.

Check out David’s post about working with Florabunda! here.


Here is the complete, updated link list of  participants in the Florabunda! Blog Hop Celebration:

June 7–Tiffany Hayes

June 8–Deborah Boschert

June 9–Sara Mika

June 10–Lyric Kinard

*June 11–Kathy York 

June 11–Teri Lucas

*June 12Susan Brubaker Knapp  

June 12 Leslie Tucker Jenison 

*June 13—Tiffany Hayes 

June 13Jamie Fingal 

June 14–Debby Brown 

*June 14–Heidi Kelly 

June 15– David Gilleland 

June 15—Melanie Testa <— Here!
 
June 16–Melanie Testa <— Here!

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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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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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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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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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Florabunda! by RJR Fabrics

I am so happy to say, Florabunda by RJR Fabrics, my latest fabric line, is available and on the market! And boy, would I like to entice you to buy it, use it and stash it!

Like so many of you, I have fallen in love with all things Victoria Findlay Wolfe. I’ve bought every one of her books. And now, I delve deeply into sewing projects from her latest, Modern Quilt Magic. I think Florabunda! is a lovely way to explore the ideas presented in Modern Quilt Magic!

It’s pretty amazing how well Florabunda! goes with Darling Dots by Flaurie and Fitch. It seems to me, they were made for one another. So, I bought a Cascade template from VFW and paired a fat quarter bundle of each of these two lines, in order to make my own Cascade Quilt. 

You might assume that because this quilt top has curved seams it would be difficult to make. It isn’t! It is ingeniously easy to sew, especially with the instructions that Victoria provides in her book. (Go buy it.) You will quickly understand just how easy it is! And the delightful thing is, Florabunda! really gradates nicely in this design.

The other nice thing about this quilt top, is that you don’t need a design wall to do it. I designed and sewed just one segment at a time. using the floor of my tiny apartment, to help.

I will continue to update this this blog with progress on this top, so please keep stopping by!! And as always, #quiltwithlove

 

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