Saturday, June 9, 2018

Florabunda! BLOG HOP - DAY 3

Hi everyone!  I'm Sara Mika...aka Mock Pie Studio!  If you're looking for the Florabunda! Blog Hop you came to the right place!
Welcome to my Happy Space...Mock Pie Studio!

I was as high as the cow who jumped over the moon when Melanie Testa asked me to design a quilt using her new Florabunda! line through RJR Fabrics.  First of all, did I mention it's MELANIE TESTA'S line?!???  I've admired her work for years...of course I'm in!  Secondly, look at these designs!  Melanie hand carves stamps and hand prints them onto fabric.  Her signature style IS this's a true work of art in itself!  Her designs are bright, bold, and FUN with a capital F-U-N!  She has achieved what most artists strive their whole career for...recognizability!  When you see Melly's work, you just KNOW it's hers and with Florabunda!, it can be yours too! 

Here's a bit of the quilt I designed using several Florabunda! fabrics.  I call it "Kaliedoscope" and you'll see why in a sec.

While designing Kaleidoscope, I knew I wanted to work with half square triangles, and tons of them at that.  I came up with a few simple rules to follow regarding which way the Florabunda! patterns would run in the overall design.  Naturally, this sent my head spinning when cutting and piecing these babies, so I'm not sure how "simple" it was in the end, but I do admire how it lends a sense of order to an otherwise busy design.

The first rule was that the Zig Zaggle-Coal print would always run diagonally.  This would be true whether the diagonal in the half square triangle ran bottom to top or top to bottom.  This print appears in every half square triangle in my design.

I used Florabunda! Brick fabric in several color ways, but made sure it always ran horizontally in my design.

The other Florabunda! prints I used run vertically including Polyantha-Bluette, multiple Zig Zaggles, Ivies, and Tendrils.

Here is the complete digital representation of my Kaleidoscope design.  Do you see how the colors seem to radiate out from the pink and blue diamonds in the upper right hand corner?  Mentally, I almost want to spin this pattern like I'm turning a real Kaleidoscope and watch the colored triangles tumble around!

In order to follow the predetermined rules I had set for myself, I basically ended up cutting and pairing each Zig Zaggle-Coal triangle (cut on the diagonal) with it's corresponding Florabunda! print one half square triangle at a time.  I meticulously followed my original design so as to achieve the desired Kaleidoscope effect.  Once the half square triangles were together, I pieced them first into rows, then pieced the rows together until...
….voila!  A finished quilt top!
(Can you see me in this pic?!)

Here she is all quilted and bound.  Notice how I deviated from my original design by adding a bit of Brick-Bengal Rose to the binding in the lower left corner.  If you refer back to my original design above, you'll see that the binding was supposed to be all Brick-Dusty Plum.  But, an artist can't be expected to follow ALL the rules, not even ones they self impose!

Here's a close-up of the teensy matchstick quilting I did.  Took FOREVER, but it was worth it...I LOVE the look!

On the reverse, you can see how much of the quilting runs in a diagonal across the surface, with the exception of the area where the two diamonds are.  The quilting follows the shape of the blue diamond and runs vertically through the pink diamond.

Two of my favorite steps...the label and the binding.
(Why are they my favorite, you ask?  Because it means I'm almost done!)

If you're interested in creating your own Kaleidoscope quilt designed by Sara Mika/Mock Pie Studio using Melanie Testa's Florabunda! line, RJR Fabrics is offering a free pattern here.

Thank you so much for stopping by!

Be sure to visit and like all Florabunda! Blog Hoppers on Instagram, including @RJRFabrics @QuiltyBox and @MellyTesta, to increase your chances of winning swag! @RJRFabrics will post chances to win Florabunda! swag daily June 11-16, so check their Instagram often to up your odds!

Check out Melanie Testa's blog each day, too. This is where you will get highlights and interesting nuggets about each participant...with pictures!

June 7 - Tiffany Hayes

June 8 - Deborah Boschert

June 9 - Mock Pie Studio

June 10 - Lyric Montgomery Kinard

June 11 - Kathy York

June 11 - Teri Lucas

June 12 - Leslie Tucker Jenison

June 12 - Susan Brubaker Knapp

June 13 - Tiffany Hayes
June 13 - Jamie Fingal

June 14 - Heidi Kelly

June 14 - Debby Brown Quilts

June 15 - David Gilleland

June 15 - RJR Fabrics

June 15 - Melanie Testa

June 16 - Melanie Testa

Friday, June 8, 2018


In 2009, when I first found out I was pregnant, I proudly displayed a jar of Prego spaghetti sauce in my office and told everyone I was preggo.  I know, I know, but I'm an artist and sarcastic and I thought it was funny.  Well, the joke was on ME because one day, I had to walk into work with a SECOND jar of sauce...I was T W I N  preggo!!!  Even before my life was doubly blessed in this way, I was amazed at the female body's ability to procreate and reproduction has always been a major theme in my work.

This is the sketch for a piece I'm currently working on...a preggo Russian nesting doll.  The sketch is about 3x4".

The design as I'm transferring it to size, approximately 3x4'.

A day's worth of work...

Anyone else out there a slooow painter?  Gah!!!

In progress...more is more!

My happy place...the studio!!!


I often my ideas look the same on paper as they do in my head and in my heart?


I am constantly picking up vintage blocks here, there, and everywhere.  I feel a real connection to them...even the wonky, poorly pieced ones among them.  I feel as though I can save them from abandon and make them into completed somethings that are beautiful and worthy of admiration.  In reality, I'm sure they end up vastly different from how the original creator intended them.  Even still, I like to think I am doing good deeds by breathing new life into them.

     That said, I will NEVER complete all the unfinished projects on my OWN shelves let alone those of all womankind, and I often find myself stressing about this. I wonder if one day, when I'm no longer inhabiting Earth, some woman will do the same for MY UFOs.  I know I need to learn to chill.  Like, seriously.  Simmer down, girl.  You'll do what you can and it'll be fab.
(Thanks, self.)

Stitching at the coffee shop...
I love sitting in the comfy chairs by the big windows to stitch.  My back is to the sidewalk out front, but that way passersby can look over my shoulder and see what I'm up to.  I love working there.

The back...zoinks!

At the coffee shop again...
Those are my art quilts hanging on the wall!

In all their glory...

In all my glory...

Amid nature's glory...
After the reception, I enjoyed some quiet time alone by the Susquehanna River.  Life is forever rolling right along beside her.  We each must figure out how to swim.  Personally, I need a needle and thread to stay afloat.


This piece was recently created for an art exhibit at the Children's Museum in Bloomsburg, PA.  The theme was "food" and I was looking for an excuse (as if I really needed one!) to stitch popcorn!

All painted and ready for stitch...

I am SEW anal that I "freemotion" stitch with my straight foot.  It takes FOREVER!!!

Hand embroidery...

BANG!  She's all done!


This art quilt was created as a commission earlier in 2018.  It represents the Sam Eckman Covered Bridge in Columbia County, Pennsylvania.  We have 23 covered bridges here and no two are alike.  Interestingly, of all the covered bridges in America, Columbia County is home to one of the only two remaining twin covered bridges, East and West Paden Bridges!

My first step when beginning any new project, is to sketch.  Surprisingly, this sketch was a breeze...lots of straight lines and perspective, though.  Once I had my sketch, I transferred it to plain muslin using a light box and darkened the lines with a fabric pen.

Then the real fun began...painting!  I secured a waxy piece of paper behind my piece and began working with textile paint.

More details...

Add some batting, a backing, tons of quilting, binding...and voila!


Anyone out there wondering what ever happened to this cute guy?  I began making him at the start of 2017, all bright and bushy-tailed, as part of the 1 Year of Stitches project.  The idea was to stitch a little bit on the same piece each day for 365 days IN A ROW.  But, as 2017 strolled along, I repeatedly put him aside for other, more pressing endeavors.  I knew this would likely happen and I was ok with it.  I'm still ok with it, which is awesome because it's now June of 2018 and he STILL isn't done!  However, if you've been following along, you can see that I HAVE made some progress!  My Sweet Bear is now completed and he has grown a Cactus Buddy...

...and Sunflowers!!!
Life just wouldn't be complete without them!!!

The flowers are being created using a picot hand embroidery stitch and pearl cotton.  They are super fun to make!

There will be three sunflowers total...that much I have decided.  I'm unsure what the rest of the piece will become, but I'm fairly certain I will eventually cover all the green felt.  I can't wait to see how it turns out!