Book Review: Inspired to Quilt by Melanie Testa

Melanie's style is utterly unique. Her fluid, whimsical illustration captures the imagination with its arresting detail. Seemingly incongruous elements intermingling until you realize that they're all somehow connected. Look closer. Much closer. Enter the charming world of Ms. Testa and you'll never be the same.

In her book, Inspired to Quilt: Creative Experiments in Art Quilt Imagery, Melly shares her excitement for working with fabric. Having had face time with her, I can tell you that her passion for her work is genuine. She explained to me the care she takes with each detail because she is deeply in love with each piece of art she creates. This sparks adoration in her followers as well. Those lucky enough to own her small wonders speak of them in hushed whispers.

But the most amazing thing about it is that her processes are accessible to you and me. She unlocks her secrets and shares the methods she's spent her lifetime building. Throughout the book, her personal encouragement is a soft, clear voice. That's the "inspired" in Inspired to Quilt. It's Melanie's trademark enthusiasm for teaching coming through.  

The way Melanie approaches her art is precise. Nothing is left to chance. She has perfected her craft through study, determination and making art every single day. She journals with abandon, then turns to cloth to complete her vision, often in the form of small quilts. Working small allows for a wider range of exploration and there are plenty of ideas here, from printmaking techniques to finding your own visual language. If you follow the prompts for printing images, layering sheers and free-motion quilting, you'll find yourself caught up in your own inspired experiment and the results are guaranteed to keep you coming back for more.


  1. Well, I like reading about me and my art! :)

  2. Melly does such beautiful work and it is an excellent book!

  3. Ah! Very excellent review of Melly's inspiring book. I own and highly recommend!

  4. Melly's work is beautiful, and her book is lovely. I wanted to tell you today, though, how much YOUR book inspires me. I have linked to you in my latest blog post about fabric paper. Thanks for sharing your wonderful art, and sharing the work of other talents :-)