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

Jan 24: Carol Soderlund

Jan 25: Lisa Chin

Jan 26: Julie Fei-Fan Balzer

Jan 27: Judy Coates Perez

Jan 28: Carrie Bloomston

Jan 28 Chris Dodsley as made by ChrissieD

Jan 29: Lynn Krawcyzk

Jan 30: Leslie Tucker Jenison

Jan 31: Pokey Bolton

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

Back to gallery


  1. Nancy Gill says

    Congratulations on this book. I can’t wait to get it, hack it, and get to printing!

  2. Melly,
    Love your idea of Wet-studio proofing the book!
    #Blog Hop, Facebook, Give Away, Playful Fabric Printing, Resist

  3. I enjoyed meeting you at Craft Napa. Thanks for showing me how to work with thickened dyes and create prints when we don’t have optimal studio space. Less scary. Not ready to cut up my beautiful book, but I like this idea. May just have to get another copy!

  4. the book looks great! I just put in my order….
    And what a great idea about the spiral binding..I will have to see if anyone in my city does that!

  5. Emily Klainberg says

    Love the way you hacked the book!

  6. Congratulations!!! Awesome book! I love the spirial binding and laminating the covers – what a great idea!! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Congratulations on your book! Looks like a lot of fun! Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

  8. love working with your fabrics Melly and the book looks amazing, looking forward to getting my hands on a copy and your wet room hack is ingenious x

  9. Phylis Anderson says

    What terrific info! I’m eager to try the freezer paper technique and to hack my book. Such a helpful idea.

  10. Congratulations, so much info and helpful ideas.

  11. Mary Ellen Gale says

    Great idea to bind the book. I’m heading out today.

  12. Great ideas on making the book studio ready ! Congratulations again, Melanie !

  13. Paula Dean says

    So enjoyed talking with you in Napa. Your passion was contagious and I can’t wait to start printing beautiful fabric!

  14. The book looks fabulous, I’d love to win a copy. Then I could try out your waterproofing idea.

  15. Laura Gamaleri says

    I hope…to win a copy!

  16. Kathy Bricker says

    Melanie, you’ve done wonders! Even if I don’t win, I’ll be getting a copy. And there will be lots of books being hacked very soon. What great ideas!

  17. Barbara Fox says

    This looks like the dyeing book I’ve been looking for. Would love to have a copy. Great ideas about taking it apart for an easy to use workbook.

  18. I love that this book is a collaboration of two great fibre talents and also that you have been fearless in showing us all how to make it more functional and durable. Congratulations and wishing you great success!

  19. Great idea to hack a book and yours looks wonderful.

  20. Libby Williamson says

    Way-cool idea to re-bind your book with a spiral binding!!

  21. Patricia SMith says

    Great book hacks! I recently added a spiral binding to a book, but you go WAY beyond! Rearranging pages, even…nice!

  22. Congratulations on your book – looks like a must have! Never thought of doing a hack as you’ve shown but it makes sense & thanks for sharing the print technique too.

  23. I see laminating in my future! LOL! I love the idea of hacking the book and the spiral binding. Actually what I am most excited about is experimenting with the techniques in the book. 🙂 (I have a copy, so if my name is drawn, please draw another name.) xo

  24. Marjolijn van Wijk says

    This looks awesome! Can’t wait to see the book in real!

  25. One of my copies was destined for spiral binding, and your post has given me some additional ideas. Thanks.

  26. So very pleased for Carol and yourself. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy

  27. Holly mclean says

    It looks like such a lovely book. You are such an organizer as well. Great ideas for making it studio friendly!

  28. Rachel Parris says

    Would love to have seen the person’s face at the office supply store. But I’ll bet you had done this before.

  29. Diane Ostdiek says

    This is a wonderful idea for books much used in a messy environment. Thank you.

  30. Laurie Lasala-Tuttle says

    So excited to receive this book! I will definitely make the changes you recommend to make it an EVEN better book!! Thank you!

  31. love the wet studio hack for your book. I will definitely be doing that when I get my copy. I have your book on my wish list, will be very glad when I can take it off that list because it will be in my studio 😀Jody

  32. I too love the hack. Too many soggy books in my studio.

  33. This looks like a fantastic resource. And I love the way that you have customized your book! I have put spiral binding on some of my well loved resource books bot not thought to put additions to it. Brilliant!
    I hope I win a copy of your book but if not it is going on my wish list!

  34. Great ideas for making our books more user friendly. Thank you.

  35. Have heard nothing but good things about this book and very user-friendly idea with the hack. Thanks for all your hard work.

  36. Carol Sloan says

    Looks like a fantastic book! I can’t wait to get a copy and customize it for the studio!

  37. The book likes like too much fun! And the book hack has me think about a boule of others as well – – why not rearrange pages and add tabs?!

  38. My copy arrived and it’s a dream! So VERY detailed and so VERY inspiring. And it’s beautifully laid out! I’ve been doing a lot of small scale fabric printing with a variety of tools with fabric paint and I’m eager to test out repeat patterns and small scale dye printing.

  39. Clever your remake of a book. Will keep it in mind.

  40. Marti Meadows says

    Looks like a fantastic book!

  41. This book looks very interesting, especially as I have been looking for information about dyeing fabric!

  42. Always on the lookout for playful books on printing. This book looks like a goldmine. I do some printing with my gelli plate on fabric.

  43. What a great idea you did to alter your book for the studio! I never would have thought of doing that! I’ll have to consider that for some of my books! Congrats on the book release!

  44. Patricia Healey says

    Love your ideas of how to make this work for you. Gee, I never thought to take a book apart and replace the binding. Brilliant!

  45. Mary Ann Cox says

    What fabulous hacks for this book. Look forward to getting it and trying out these and the techniques written about

  46. Great ideas for making it easier to use the book! It really looks interesting!

  47. This looks like a great book. I love the way you have made it your own workbook, so much more useful than having it as a pristine reference on the the shelf.

  48. Congratulations on the book Melly! It looks fantastic. I can’t wait to get my grubby little hands on it!

  49. Kathy Hunt says

    Looks like a great book, Melanie! Wonderful idea on making a book wet-studio ready! Thanks

  50. Congratulations on you book!
    I love your ideas!

  51. linda badgley says

    you make it look like so much fun!

  52. so great the book has come out! I was lookign forward to it for some time. What a chance you give for a copy to be won; hope it’s me!!

  53. Barbara I. says

    Wow, what an accomplishment. Kudos to you both on the publication of your book. It looks like it would be a great addition to my art books’ library and a wonderful resource. Love the hack! Thanks for the chance to win a copy! All the best!

  54. Sue Rostron says

    I came across your website because Julie Fei-Fan Belzer listed the blog hop. I love it that I ge t to come across new inspiring blogs to follow such as yours. e

  55. Oh my! How fun!!!

  56. Carolyn Morgan says

    This book looks like fun to dive into! Love painting, stamping and mono printing on fabric. Haven’t tried Thermofax yet!

  57. Shawna Pine says

    Love the idea of making the book studio ready! Can’t wait to see inside the book too!

  58. This looks like a fabulous book with lots of way to play. Congratuations.

  59. Congrats on the book and thanks for the hack and a chance to win!

  60. I’d love to have this book! Thanks for the info!

  61. I saw your book featured on Julie Balzer’s blog and came here to see what you have done. congratulations on the release.

  62. Susan Spiers says

    Congrats! What a great book! I have played around just a little on making my own fabric-and still have so many ideas I still want to try! Thank you, Susan

  63. Congratulations!! Oh!,what fun!!
    I’m SO excited to get my hands on your *wonderful* book and get started creating!
    Thank you for the guide on making it a wet studio workbook, too!… I will do that!
    Pat T.

  64. I’ve had a 10 yard bolt of PFD fabric just waiting for me…. for 3 years? I think it is time to get off my duff and play! Your book is providing inspiration.

  65. Adding a spiral binding to the book is a great idea. I often do that with books I’d like to use as a workbook. I REALLY like the addition of the lamination of the front and back pages and the pocket. Great idea. The book looks fabulous; can’t wait to get it.

  66. Congrats on the book. I like the spiral idea. Its so much easier to use a guide when the book lies flat.
    Just curious why it wasn’t printed that way in the first place? A publisher’s decision?

  67. The book looks wonderful and your info on how you make your books user friendly is fabulous!!! Didn’t know any of that was possible. TY

  68. This looks like a fabulous book! I have wanting to give it a go and this would be the perfect way to begin!!
    The “Hack” is a great idea!

  69. Learning how to design and create my own fabric is now on my to-do list for sure.

  70. This book looks like so much fun! I’d love to experiment more with printing

  71. Hope to take a class from you some day soon. Thanks for arranging this blog hop just on fabric painting.

  72. Denise Spillane says

    Hi Mellanie. I love your projects and posts. Have some of your fabrics and journal book. I love your idea of spiral binding your book and adding the folders. I am going to do this when I get mine.

  73. susan hartl says

    I haven’t had much time lately to really read blogs, but I am doing a catch up and I thrilled about your book. Neat idea spiralizing your book.