Dots, Patterns, Quilts and Inspiration


I have been seeing pattern and dots everywhere. I love them. It started because I bought a copy of Victoria Findlay Wolfe‘s book 15 minutes of Play, and I fell in love with one of the quilts displayed in her book. The quilt is called Dot Calm, and was made by Karen Griska


I have been seeing dots everywhere! Today while traveling the subway, I saw a man wearing a printed purple dots in an irregular pattern and then I saw a woman wearing dotted tights! And being a Mad Men fan, I have to say, Season 6, Episode 5 had Peggy wearing a red polka dot pattern seen here (scroll down). I have been daydreaming about those dots since I first saw them.

Anyway, dots are all the rage in the land of Melanie Testa.


This graffiti could be considered a dot. I know it is a stretch, but as I said, I have dots on my mind. Lots and lots of dots. This week, I strolled the aisles of Mood and I saw more dots. 


So, I have been printing dots, and have begun to sew and quilt while using them. I have not honestly quilted in years. I love to seam and piece. I love sewing a scant quarter inch seam. I love the meticulous nature of wanting to do a good job, of compensating of a short seam, I love trimming the cloth and ironing the seams open. I love the smell of the iron, even more I love the smell of the sewing machine after hours of having it on-it smells like warmed oil. I love piecing. I forgot all of this.

I have been visiting The City Quilter and hesitantly looking at the newest books on the market. Books with a modern quilting flair. I am hesitant because I do not want to be too heavily influence in the direction of another persons style. I would like my own style to emerge and formulate. The overarching current day method, from what I can tell, is improvisational. So, I embrace dabbling and trying this block, that stripe, a little bit of solids, lots of printed cloth.

After printing so much cloth over the years, I find using the cloth to be invigorating and inspirational. I remember printing each piece, the studio I used to print it in, I track the learning progression from one piece to the next. I am wowed. My brain is quiet. This is good.

SpainGraffitiI am putting this image back up on the blog. I took it while we were in Barcelona, Spain. This image has changed the trajectory of my creative life. This helped me to see the possibility of multicolor printing and I am forever grateful to have seen it, had a camera and to have taken a photograph of it.


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  1. It’s nice to see you quilting with your collection of printed cloth and having fun! It’s going to be a unique and beautiful quilt!

  2. I too have been seeing dots! I am glad to hear you are enjoying piecing again. Sometimes it is good to be away for a while and come back to something with renewed appreciation for it. If only all graffiti were so lovely! As to the looking at books; whatever inspirations hit you, you will make them your own, so no worries! Just look where one piece of graffiti took you!

  3. I adore dots, too. Part of me wants to put them on everything ~ the inner critic won’t let me!!

  4. I love polka dots andpaisleys . This is going to inspire me to makea block with all the fabrics I have in my stash

  5. http://Susan%20Hartl says

    I love the path you are going down. I cannot wait to see where it takes you. Your fabrics that you have pieced together are wonderful! Looking forward to the future!

  6. http://Jeannie says

    I really like seeing you use your cloth. Did you print the “hand” fabric? I love it! I have a huge fondness for dots, too. The graphic quality is exciting and the visual effects you can get by just varying the size and placement is so much fun. I really, really, really (enough?) love the graffiti face “dots”. The faces alone are fabulous. Kind of Picasso-ish. And, the oval placement and repetitive quality is something I would purchase if it was fabric. Your Spanish lady always intrigues me. Today I noticed that the right side of her face if different from the left. Very subtle, but different – the eye, the mouth, even the thickness of the brow. Have fun my little chickadee!

  7. It’s a journey – a never ending journey. I love the image from Spain! I love the graffiti dots too. They are awesome! So glad that you have been able to come back to quilts and being able to use your printed fabrics that are truly spectacular.

  8. I love when something grabs our attention and inspires us! Don’t know if you follow Cynthia St. Charles, but she has a very unique project she is working on now that you might enjoy. You can see it here: It incorporates a form of ‘dot’ and a lot more…