Featured

Sawtooth Shine Quilt

My fabric pull for the Sawtooth Shine Quilt pattern test

I’m often asked if I buy fabric with a specific quilt in mind. Sometimes, yes; most of the time, no. As I’ve mentioned previously, creativity comes to me by way of “the story”. If a fabric quickly reminds me of someone, a special location, or an event, I’m easily hooked. This collection by Art Gallery Fabrics (artgalleryfabrics.com) is called Little Forester Fusion. The moment I saw it, I added to my cart! No hesitation. (Thank you, Victoria, @midnightquilter!). I live in a very wooded, full of creatures, kind of neighborhood. We have more squirrels and chipmunks than I can count; deer tracks criss-cross our snowy lawn, not to mention the bears, bobcats, owl and red fox. Yes, bears. Our home is surrounded by woods & over the years we’ve lost a dozen trees to ice storms and planted more in their place. ALL the nature I see at home, I see in this collection. Even the marshmallows on a stick. We have so many family memories of making s’mores around the fire pit. I had no doubt this collection would one day be a perfect quilt for my family.

Almost simultaneous to buying this fabric, I was asked to test a pattern, the Sawtooth Shine Quilt, designed by Brittany Tunison of White Plains Quilts (whiteplainsquilts.com). It was actually more of a discussion about which of TWO patterns I’d like to make, as she was planning a double pattern release for February! TWO. Can you imagine? We’ve worked together on several other pattern tests and they have all been great experiences for me. She is talented; such an eye for detail and precision. I appreciate that she’s likely made several versions of a pattern before even considering sending it to testers. I enjoy the collaboration; seeing if I understand the instructions as she intended and if there is occasionally something in my experience that may be helpful to her in the written portion. It’s a really cool process, I think.

Fabric confetti

In this pattern release, there is the Sawtooth Shine Quilt (as I’ve made) and Sawtooth Sparkle Quilt. Each pattern has three different size options: baby, throw and twin. Additionally, both quilts will have two different layout options. It’s truly like having access to six quilt designs with each title. There is room for unique personalization. Yes, at first glance they may look similar, but there are subtle differences between the designs, and therefore also in the method of cutting and piecing. The blocks finish at a size that could potentially be a pillow cover, mini-quilt/wall art. The limits are only in the maker’s imagination.

As they say, measure twice, cut once. So much accuracy in a quilt is found in the initial cutting. Pressing. Pressing, not ironing. Who knew this was a thing before they became a quilter? One more thing I have to consciously remind myself to do; pause, press, not iron.

Untrimmed flying geese; seeing the colors coming together

I like to stack my quilt block pieces as they should appear, just to double check seam allowances and directions of prints. It’s easier to move things at this stage than after it’s all been sewn. For this particular fabric, I wanted the print to be in a top to bottom linear format. On the more bold prints, as shown below, there would be some pieces turned on their side.

Coincidentally, as I was sewing this block with an owl print, designed by Jessica Swift, I could hear the faint “hoot” of an owl in a tree outside. I hadn’t heard it much before & now it seems more of a regular occurrence. One more element of the story built into this quilt. There truly is beauty all around if we stop, look and listen. Having lived in a city, with all of its bustling street noises, adjusting to the “woods” was a learning curve for me. I’d miss these critters, sounds and clear night skies if we ever moved elsewhere. The crescent moon reminds me of my youngest and the rainbows – ALWAYS the sign of a promise.

As I make each block, it is my new favorite. Until the next one is made, then IT is my new favorite. Thankfully, I didn’t have any that I didn’t like in this quilt! Does that happen to anyone else?

Secondary patterns emerge as the blocks are joined. The boldness of the stars is echoed in this secondary element, almost like a pinwheel. Look at those bees, and the squirrels gathering acorns. How cute are they?

When the blocks are complete and the quilt top gets that ‘held from the corners, whip into a full length view’, it’s the moment of truth. This page of the story is the culmination of the designer’s idea, the interpretation of the instruction, fabric selection and layout of color. Did it work? Yes, I think so!! I’m so happy with this result, even with one more chapter, the quilting and binding yet to be completed.

My Sawtooth Shine Quilt on the river bank

Just as each new block becomes my “favorite”, trying to choose a backing and binding fabric turns into a question of which fabric do I like best? Which of course, isn’t fair, because I like them all. I’m still uncertain which to use or whether I may make a pieced backing. For now, I’m happy with this top and I’m taking time to decide the last steps of the process. It’s going to be a quilt that will surround my family in handmade love for many years to come, so I’m not rushing it.

Quilts are like hugs on winter days

In celebration of her double pattern release day on February 19, Brittany will be offering a 20% discount on patterns in her shop through Sunday, 2/21/21. For those who can’t pick a favorite, or for anyone who loves a deal, a bundle option will also be available. Shop: whiteplainsquilts.com

I’m so thankful for the opportunity to work as a pattern tester. It improves my skills and results in quilts I can keep for my family or gift to other friends & loved ones. I take my role in reviewing text, layout, instructional details, as well as sewing, seriously. It’s creative & fun, yes, but it’s also a collaborative effort to put out the best finished product possible. While it is most obvious that a tester works to assist the designer, I have to say that designers assist me too. I learn something new with each test. I’ve built relationships and made friends I would not have had without these projects. It’s a blessing. It’s a part of the story I did not anticipate when I started sewing as a hobby all those years ago.

Make something beautiful…

This is a non-sponsored post; all comments and photos property of Two Terriers Studio and not to be copied or distributed without written consent.

Featured

Spinning Top Quilt

Meet the Spinning Top Quilt, a pattern I tested in February 2021 for Monika Henry of Penny Spool Quilts (pennyspoolquilts.com). I’ve worked with Monika before this project & always find her patterns to be well-written, which also results in a lovely finish. This one is no different & I might add, I was able to finish piecing it in one, uninterrupted day. Yes, one day. The linear design & mirror image layout speeds up the process without sacrificing interesting design.

Art Gallery Fabrics

I used a couple of collections from Art Gallery Fabrics (artgalleryfabrics.com) for my baby sized version of this quilt. The florals are called Extempore Fancy and Extempore Celebration, designed by Sharon Holland (sharonhollanddesigns.com). I added pieces from both Art Gallery Fabrics “Fusion” Collections, Serenity & Ballerina, and a touch of Pure Solids. While I really like the softness of these colors together against the bleached white background, I think a bold or dark background fabric is equally pretty.

Binding strips ready to go, once the quilting is complete

Add-on pattern features

This pattern features cutting instructions for three sizes, pillow, baby & throw. As a consumer, I like having more than one size option for a specific design, but the add-on of the pillow size is really nice. While I could most likely adapt the pattern & calculate it to suit my needs, having the pillow dimensions already available is a nice touch.

For my pillow, I recreated the front of the quilt and kept the quilting simple with a few straight lines. The back of the pillow is a single panel and I opted to add my zipper to the bottom edge. I like this placement because when I sit it on a bed or chair, I orient the zipper to the bottom and it’s virtually invisible. It also keeps the back panel as one continuous piece.

Longarm Quilting

I sent this quilt to be professionally quilted on a long-arm machine. Some of my projects, I quilt myself, others, I leave to the pros! More specifically, if I have an intricate design in mind, or if the quilt is large, I send it out. This quilt is called Spinning Top. It’s a very linear design & initially I thought concentric circles would bring an illusion of “movement” but also break up the bands of horizontal color. When I shared my ideas with the pattern designer, she was already quilting her personal quilt with concentric circles! We laughed, realizing that we had the same idea. I then saw this edge to edge pattern and it immediately represented the mark a spinning top would leave, as it moved across the floor. Done. This is my choice. When I create, I’ve found the best results come when it all ties together for me into a story. The name, the fabrics, the feeling, the design. Granted, not all projects have that need or nuance, but when they do, I really like it and feel more connected to it from start to finish.

Spinning Top on a snowy day

I underestimated how tricky it might be to get good lighting and photos of a quilt with a white background on a snowy, February day. Luckily, my husband is more than willing to drive around with me until we find the right location! I could not do this without his help.

Spinning Top, a quilt in the wild…sewn by Two Terriers Studio

I had someone in mind as the recipient for this, but guess what? That someone is now “my collection”. Maybe there will be a duplicate in the future, but I’m not ready to let it go. Oh man, are we all singing that song, in our minds now?

Monika is offering 15% off the pattern price, in her shop, until February 21, 2021. No code will be needed at checkout, and the pattern will be available for purchase after that date as well.

Happy Quilting….

This post and project are not sponsored; all comments and photos property of Two Terriers Studio; not to be duplicated or shared without permission.

Featured

The Londoner Quilt

I remember, as much of the world does, watching Lady Diana Spencer become Diana, Princess of Wales. Yes, I woke at 4am to watch the Royal Wedding, before heading off to school. Don’t judge, maybe it isn’t your thing. I wasn’t a princess & fairytales kind of kid, but this was entirely different. I had never seen anything like a royal wedding and I found it all quite fascinating. In the process, I fell in love with images of the UK; the castles, the countryside, the hustle and bustle of the city, the “proper-ness” and even the music scene. It seemed a world away and I really liked it. I had no first hand knowledge, but I wanted so badly to go see for myself.

Fast forward a few decades. I traveled to London with my husband and children, after I’d waited so long to see it all in person. It was even better than I anticipated. The feeling I had about this place was etched in my mind and being there was exciting. We walked or used the London Underground for all our transportation. Those rings became a new symbol for my “London Story”. One aspect that was new to me since that fairytale wedding years before, was that I had become a quilter. A new stop on the “to do” list became Liberty of London. WOW. What a store. A fabric haven, if there is such a thing. In London, no less. That stop made me look at fabric and florals differently than I ever had before.

Why all the backstory?

It may not the be case for everyone, but creativity in quilting, especially for me, comes from a feeling. I don’t know that I can perfectly explain it, but it’s never just the pattern or the fabric. It’s not the desire to work with a specific designer or fabric collection. It’s ALWAYS a feeling for me. A connection to something personal, a memory, a spiritual significance, a reminder of someone or some place; it’s the story. I work best when it all connects. All aspects ultimately count, but I’ve tuned in to that little voice or emotion and what I’ve learned is that my favorite quilts come from tying together the story.

A New Quilt Story

The Londoner. When I saw those tell-tale, iconic symbols of the underground transit system of London in a new pattern, I was all in on making this quilt. London. Yes, please. This is a must make.

The Londoner, by Two Terriers Studio 2020

This pattern by Megan Lopez, founder of The Athena Workshop (www.theathenaworkshop.com), was a delight to make. Do not let the sewing of curves derail you. She has designed these blocks with detailed instructions and room for squaring up to achieve precision in the finished block.

Sewing curves tip – pin & go slowly

I opted for non-traditional colors, as we know the London Underground symbol to be red & blue. There are hints to the original colors and circular pattern, so it clicked for me as a lovely option for a baby quilt.

Pin, Pin, Pin

If you’ve ever sewn with me, you probably notice that I don’t often pin straight seams. That is not the case when I sew curves. All the tips & tricks are in the pattern, but squaring up the edges, pinning the center, and sewing slowly works well for me.

One thing I vividly remember from my visit to London, are the expansive gardens and so many beautiful flowers. These prints are a nod to the colors of the original symbol, and my memories of the flowers. The yellow cross bar echoes the circles as well, although in reality, it would be a solid red.

Once the quilt top was pieced and a backing chosen, I made the binding. This plaid turned out to be a fun frame and matching the patterns at the joined seams was a challenge I set for myself. Let’s just say, sometimes you win, sometimes you rip seams & start again.

Binding

The last step of the pattern is how it will be quilted. I wanted to have this professionally quilted or “longarmed”, so I had a few more design options available than what I would be able to do on my domestic machine. In keeping with those feelings and memories of London, I chose an edge to edge design that reminded me of a subway map. Those tracks are never straight lines, they do go around corners and often intersect and look at bit haphazard.

Edge to edge quilting by Deb, Owl Quilt It
My Finished Londoner Quilt, Two Terriers Studio 2020

It may be small, but it is mighty. The memories, the flowers, the freedom of travel, the TUBE, and now the quilt. What a serendipitous moment to have it all come together for me in this quilting project. I am so grateful for the opportunity to work with Megan and to have tested this pattern before its release to the public. Her story of London and her current work outside of quilting are an inspiring read. I am moved by the final few pages of her patterns. Let’s just say, she is not only sharing her love of quilting and design, but she is working to help others who may need resources and assistance out of incredibly difficult situations. The power of giving back and helping other lies within all of us.

Not quite the London Underground, but special thanks to my husband for helping with quilt photos

This quilt pattern has options for crib, throw, and bed sizes. It is also fat-quarter friendly. Today, 12/4/20 through 12/6/20, you can find this pattern and all other @theathenaworkshop patterns on sale for 20% off. If you love all things UK or consider yourself an “anglophile”, I’d suggest adding this pattern to your collection. I enjoyed making it and I’m inspired by the original color schemes and those the other testers have been posting online. On Instagram, follow the hashtag #londonerquilt.

I “may” have already purchased some London themed fabric to make a larger version to keep for myself. We can’t leave out those red phone booths, crown & scepter or Stonehenge, right?

While my version came together based on my personal love of London and tying it together into a quilt, let your creativity and your story drive your quilting endeavors. Quilts are the embodiment of love. How will you tell the story?

All content and photos property of Two Terriers Studio and not to be shared or duplicated without written permission. This is not a sponsored post; just a reflection of my own thoughts & sewing.

Featured

Firefly Cabins Quilt

Have you ever purchased fabric for one project and when you finished, you wished you had more yardage for something else? This Big Sky collection by Annie Brady for Moda Fabrics is that fabric for me. The first time I saw it, the nature scenes, animals and colors just grabbed me, but I didn’t have an intended project. My yardage choices were random, because I didn’t really have a plan, but I knew the right thing would come along. I didn’t want to miss out on this beautiful collection. Fast forward a year (or more) and the Firefly Cabins Quilt pattern by Brittany Tunison for White Plains Quilts came my way. I knew right then, that this was the pattern for this fabric I’d been saving.

There’s something to be said for simple, efficient patterns. Firefly Cabins is an efficient, yet still so interesting pattern, in my opinion. I like to sew or create most days, and sometimes, being able to quickly put a quilt or gift together is just what I need. I never want my work to look rushed or half-done, but I often have so many things in progress, that the one “simple” finish is a blessing. What I like about this pattern is the repetitive nature of the blocks, the ability to showcase the fabrics in larger swatches and the option to chain piece. There is a time investment in cutting, and we all know that the best cutting accuracy leads to the best finished product. However, because of these block designs, once the strips are cut, chain piecing fits right in for a rapid finish.

As most of my readers probably notice, I choose and use bold prints far more often than solids. I am slowly learning to incorporate low volume prints and solids into my fabric stash and luckily, this Art Gallery Fabrics Pure Element Solid in “Honey” was the perfect match. It’s just what I needed (and fortunately, already had!).

Firefly Cabins on a beautiful fall day
Firefly Cabins by Two Terriers Studio, November 2020

Another feature of this pattern are the center set blocks which would be perfect for fussy-cutting a favorite image. Mine aren’t necessarily fussy-cut, but the repetition of animals in the largest blocks makes me smile.

Longarm quilting by Deb, Owl Quilt It

I send a lot of my quilts to be longarm quilted, since I’m not always 100% thrilled with my own quilting on a small domestic machine. I do quilt my own, when the project is smaller or I think I’ll be happy with straight line stitching or a simplistic design, but more often, I lean toward a theme and need some talent from other professionals! This leaf theme, edge to edge design, was just the ticket. It mimics the fabric design and pulls in that feel of nature. If you look closely, you’ll see that the thread choice is a pale yellow. I rarely venture into colored thread for quilting, but Deb of Owl Quilt It, encouraged me that this would be a good choice and she was exactly right.

Binding by machine, not hand, this time.

I opted to bind this quilt by machine, rather than my “go to” hand-binding. I have a funny relationship with quilt binding. I want it to be perfect, but I also want it to be DONE. By hand is always more precise for me, but I recognize the only way I will improve in machine binding is to do it & practice. What’s that saying about 10,000 hours? Goodness, how many quilts would it take to fill 10K hours of practice?

All Done…Firefly Cabins Quilt by Two Terriers Studio

Finished. This quilt has a pieced backing with the Moda Bleached White, and two prints from Big Sky. The binding is also a third color-way of the Big Sky leaf motif. A single piece backing is clean & neat, but I also like to think of the back of a quilt as an option for more interest and a hint of what might be found on the front side. It’s almost like two quilts, literally bound together.

The pattern for this quilt can be purchased from Brittany Tunison (@brittanytunison) on Instagram.

I’m curious if you purchase fabric you love first and then find the project, or only purchase with a project plan in mind. Tell me in the comments! To be honest, I’m a little bit of both.

Happy quilting…

All photos and content property of Two Terriers Studio and not to be duplicated or shared without written consent.

Featured

Hooked

Hooked. I don’t know how to crochet, and I can only sort of knit, but this fabric collection by Mathew Boudreaux, aka Mister Domestic, had me hooked the minute I saw the sheep. Well, the sheep, the text, the readers, the florals. OK, I like all the colors too. Sign me up. Working again, for the third time with the Mister Domestic Master Maker group for a fabric collection blog party release was a lure too. As is Art Gallery Fabric. Have you felt it? It’s magic and sews up beautifully. “Hooked”; it hooked me.

Hooked, a collection by Mr. Domestic for Art Gallery Fabric

When I thought of Hooked, it obviously brought to mind visions of crochet & knitting projects. What does every yarn enthusiast need? A project bag. I mean, yarn and hooks are portable, so a unique and handmade bag is in order. I think the most challenging aspect of the project was deciding which fabrics to use. The pattern choice came easily as I’d been admiring the Juniper Basket, by Svetlana Sotak of sotakhandmade.blogspot.com. Her patterns are so well written and easy to understand.

The Juniper basket; made by Two Terriers Studio 2020

This Juniper Basket comes in two sizes and features an interior patch pocket and an exterior zipper pocket. The handles at each side, in addition to the drawstring closure make for several interesting design elements. I opted to make my own drawstrings from one of the prints in the collection, but this could easily be swapped for cording or a decorative ribbon. When I’m working with a new fabric collection, I’m inspired to incorporate as many fabrics as possible. I like to show as much of the artist’s work as I can. This basket fit the bill perfectly; I used six different prints in this one project.

Juniper Basket
Pockets are a fun place to add an element of surprise

Once the Juniper Basket was complete, I knew I wanted to also tie my love for quilting into this blog party. I believe winter crochet projects are made better by snuggling under a handmade quilt, right? We all love a good quilt, don’t we?

Large blocks to highlight the intricate designs

New fabric collections are a fine time to let a quilter’s talent shine. I looked at many intricate quilting patterns and kept coming back to the idea of letting the fabric speak for itself. To me, this collection has several stories of its own; between the sheep, spectacles, historic crochet blocks and more…it made sense to let that be the forward message. I also wanted bigger blocks so that the images had more space to be seen.

Time to bind

The pattern I chose is called Star Light Star Bright, by Craftsy. I’ve had this pattern in my “things to make someday” notebook; someday became NOW. Meet the merging of the pattern I’ve been saving with the fabric that has just arrived, courtesy of Mathew. I’ll let you in on a secret. That green solid fabric shown above…it’s an Art Gallery Fabric Pure Elements solid. Look familiar? It coordinates with Mathew’s last collection, “Playroom”, for which I also made several projects. I didn’t think anyone would mind if I added an earlier 2020 fabric into this new quilt. Honestly, I think it matches perfectly with those little highlights in the crochet blocks. It’s also what I do; blending past & present. I like the fact that his collections coordinate and are cohesive, when you see them lined up against each other.

Star Light Star Bright Quilt

Here’s another not-so secret, secret. I like a crinkly textured quilt, that just gets more cozy with every wash. I’ve yet to wash this one, but look at that texture. Do you see the sheep? Hello little cuties. While I’m not personally looking forward to chilly winter nights, I am looking forward to sitting under this quilt.

Hooked, on a glorious fall day

In addition to the AGF Pure Elements solid in Warm Wave, I added Pure Elements in Snow for the corners of the star block. I wanted it to “pop” against the other prints. I think it’s just enough of a frame to let the other colors shine. I backed this quilt in the sheep print, “wool origins”. It’s precious.

Star Light Star Bright Quilt and Juniper Basket made by Two Terriers Studio, 2020

I’m thankful for the opportunity to work with such talented makers, fabric designers and fabric manufacturers. It truly is an aspect of sewing and quilting that I never could have imagined just a couple of years ago. Artists continue to create new designs and my fellow makers encourage me and one another; they raise the bar in a way that is inspiring. You all push me to be better. Thank you.

Mathew, thank you again for this fabric. I appreciate it and had a lot of fun sewing for your latest collection release.

Featured

Golden Light Quilt

My fabric pull

Golden Light. What do you envision? Sunrise or sunset, autumn colors as they fall upon us? When I began to work on this pattern by Julia Raye Bednorz, http://www.thehomebodyco.com, I thought about how we can see rainbows and clear skies after a storm. There is golden light if we stop and look for it. It also reminded me of a time when I lived on the west coast and often carried an umbrella, because their hazy skies meant “impending storm” to my midwest rooted mind. So many colleagues would say, “you’re not in Kansas” and we’d laugh. I eventually understood the marine layer; I still had my umbrella.

The pattern includes six sizes from a wall hanging to a king size quilt. I opted to make the baby size quilt first, but having seen other versions in larger sizes and colors, I look forward to exploring those options.

Fabric by Robert Kaufman and Windham Fabrics

With strip sets, half-square triangles and flying geese, this pattern offers the opportunity to work on and improve matching points.

More rainbows

This rainbow print by Wilmington Prints perfectly complements the raindrops of the Robert Kaufman Fabric next to it. I noticed how the drops are saturated, faded and feature little stars within the “splatter”.

Golden Light, the quilt and in nature

Finished! This pattern has a lot of individual pieces, but it does come together quickly. I like how the blocks and finished quilt have primary and secondary patterns. I made mine in a two-toned palette, but there are other testers with ombre, scrappy, halloween and multi-color quilts. If you’re on Instagram, take a peek at the hashtag, #goldenlightquilt, to see the variety. It’s really impressive how we all interpreted this pattern.

Baby K

Yes, babies improve quilt photos! It may look like she’s studying the cloud themed long-arm stitching, but she might have been wondering why I was standing over her on a step stool taking photos and not holding her instead. When she’s with me, I rarely set her down.

Rainbow backing

This backing fabric is by Henry Glass Co. Isn’t it just wonderful to find fabric from multiple manufacturers that work so nicely together in a finished piece? Sometimes when I quilt or make other projects, I strictly follow one designer or manufacturer for the entire project and I love the outcome. This quilt has so many things going on and I love it too. In my opinion, when you follow your eye and your gut, it tends to work out. When I see this rainbow dot binding against the two-toned front, I think it hints at what you will find on the back. The circles mimic each other in different sizes throughout the quilt.

Again, babies for the win. Before anyone asks, no, this isn’t my baby. She’s so sweet & I’m blessed to have young neighbors.

I’m often asked if my quilts are for sale, and to date, I’ve not sold any. I have made so many for my family and I’ve made some to gift for birthdays, weddings and new babies. As I’m making new quilts, the thought does run through my mind of who I’d consider gifting it to and when I finish, it’s sometimes hard to part with quilts I love. The day is coming when it’s going to be time to unload some finished projects. How many does one person need? If you don’t sew, do you look for quilted gifts?

If you’re new to quilting, I would rate this Golden Light Pattern, beginner to intermediate friendly. Check out the designer’s website, Instagram (@thehomebodycompany) and consider purchasing the pattern for yourself. Be sure to look at the Instagram hashtag and see how versatile it can be given different fabric choices and color themes. I think you’ll be impressed by what has been created.

Little baby K and her big bow

Let’s finish with a quilt and a baby. This is truly a “Golden” moment.

Featured

Festive Forest

It’s still September, but there are Christmas trees in my studio. I am not one to jump ahead in holiday decorations, choosing instead to savor the current moment. However, when the opportunity to test a pattern for Monika, @pennyspoolquilts, came about, I gladly set aside my Autumn projects and worked on some scrappy Christmas trees. I’ve tested patterns for her before & knew this one would also be a quality project.

This particular pattern is based in foundation paper piecing, which is not outlined in the pattern, but assumes the maker has a basic understanding of this technique. I found it to be a simple FPP pattern; the pieces are easy angles and manageable sizes. No tiny piecing here.

I’ve made two projects with this pattern; each using a different template size. The first, this turquoise, gray and white table runner using the larger of two tree sizes. Compiling four blocks, alternating their “top” direction, it has become my first holiday gift to be finished for the Christmas of 2020. That seems so odd to say…I’m sewing Christmas gifts in September. That’s not a typical event for me; maybe it’s a new trend. I opted for these non-traditional colors so that I could coordinate with the recipient’s decor colors. This pattern would be lovely in a coordinated fabric pull or any variety of multi-colored scraps. The versatility is limited only by the maker’s imagination!

In my second project, I shifted the color scheme to one that is considered more traditional. If I’m going to be making Christmas gifts a few months ahead of schedule, I’m going to include gift bags! I truly think the sky is the limit in how this block is depicted; color choice could make it more or less holiday-themed. Go with bright colors like hot pink or yellow and make it a retro vibe. In a variety of greens or backgrounds of darker colors, this could easily be a woodland theme.

This gift bag is fully lined and uses the red grosgrain ribbon as a drawstring. By adding additional borders, it could be resized to suit your needs to accommodate a different sized gift. I will likely be using this size for smaller gifts and treats this holiday season.

I’m thankful to have worked with Monika again & hope readers will take a minute to browse her Instagram (@pennyspoolquilts) and website, http://www.pennyspoolquilts.com and check into the patterns and tutorials linked there. This particular pattern, Festive Forest, will be released to the public October, 8, 2020.

So tell me, do you sew for the holidays or other gift giving seasons? What’s your favorite thing to make?

The Woodstock Bag

One of the first designers I worked with as a pattern tester is Natalie Santini, of Sew Hungry Hippie. She is a gem – creative, talented, spunky, no-nonsense and always coming up with new projects. She loves COLOR and so do I. Fast forward to today…more than a year and a half since our paths crossed, and it’s release day for her Woodstock Bag pattern. Pattern Release days are exciting times. Ironic, that for two people who love bright & bold fabric, I made it in black cork and camo. It’s spring, but thanks to Covid-19, we’ve all been in quarantined/sheltered in place. Maybe there’s still a vibe of winter around here. Or you know me well and know I almost always wear black, so this matches.

The Woodstock Bag is a waist (or “fanny-pack”) style accessory, but the adjustable strap also allows for it to be worn over the shoulder. The zipper closure at the top will keep your contents secure. This design lets you move about & shop, hands-free, without the worry of setting your bag down. It is roomier than you might expect, thanks to darts, which expand the front panel just a bit.

This pattern is a quick make & I used supplies I have on hand. Notice the mixed metals, between the D-ring and the adjustable slide? I’d like to say it’s a creative design choice, but it was literally a supply availability issue. Maybe it will be a 2020 trend? Me, a trendsetter? Now that’s funny. If you’ve not sewn with cork, faux leather or vinyl, give it a try. Natalie carries a lot of these items in her shop and it’s simpler to use than you might imagine. I highly recommend a teflon foot for your machine, to minimize “drag”, but other than that, I’ve not made other adjustments in sewing cork. I look forward to making more of these in other textiles and colors, which will be posted to my Instagram account (@twoterriersstudio) as they are finished.

Take a minute and go visit Natalie on Instagram (@sewhungryhippie) where you’ll see links to her tutorials, patterns and MORE. Allow time – it’s a creative spot & if you’re like me, you might be there awhile.

I’m thankful for the opportunity to test patterns before they are released to the public. It lets me stretch my skills, finish a new project, work with other makers and incorporate my education and former career in editing. The whole thing makes me happy. Natalie, THANK YOU!

All photos and content property of Two Terriers Studio, not to be reproduced without consent. While I share what I love by other makers, this is not a paid or sponsored post.

The Lotus Blossom Quilt

One thing I love about quilting is the community of makers. While it may seem like a solitary craft, a quiet escape for someone who likes to create, for themselves or others, there really are so many additional layers and elements that make it all happen. There are fabric designers who create gorgeous art which then moves to fabric by a host of manufacturers; the pattern designers who create new layouts or reinvent traditional shapes or encourage improvisation. There’s thread, batting, sewing machines, brick and mortar shops and online venues. There’s also the “tester” or “editor”. That’s where I came in on this project. I’m so thankful to have crossed paths with Tara Curtis, creator of @weftyneedle. You may know Tara by way of the Wefty Needle or Wefty Miter and her beautifully woven fabric designs. If not, go check out her work; I suspect you’ll want to be weaving by nightfall. Tara gave me the opportunity to test her pattern, the Lotus Blossom Quilt, before it became available to the public and I’ve been hinting at it’s release on Instagram for a few weeks now.

As a pattern tester, I get to mesh my passion for words and fabric. Something you might not know about me is that my education and professional background is in writing, editing and publishing. When I’ve been invited or signed up to test a new pattern, I rarely know what it looks like or whether it falls into my sewing skill set, but I am usually confident that I can at least assist with the written words of the pattern. It’s even better if the pattern contains elements out of my comfort zone. That’s where we grow & learn.

Lotus Blossom Applique

The lesson for me with this pattern was in appliqué and slowing down. It seems I have a habit of fast sewing with one bare foot. Not so great for curved appliqué. I had to temper myself and take my time.

Slow down…

This pattern comes in two sizes, crib and queen. I opted to make the crib size as my goal was to machine quilt it myself and I have not quilted a queen size project on my domestic machine (yet). I also wanted to use fabric I already owned. I had just recently returned from Missouri Star Quilt Co., where I purchased a bundle of the V & Co., metallic ombre dots. If you love the look of these ombre fabrics, seen in a “sample”, they are even better in full-size, real life. It wasn’t until I had laid it all out that I noticed the glow that came from the ombre effect. It was even better than I expected and perfect for this design. I also used V & Co. ombre solids for the blossom petals, except that one, center bloom.

A pop of color on a winter day

When quilting this, I used straight line, “in the ditch” stitching and added a few additional lines in the wider bands of fabric, stopping at the edges of the petals, which were each outlined. I’m hoping to learn more about free-motion quilting, but until then, it’s straight lines and hiring my friends with long-arm quilting expertise!

The Lotus Blossom Quilt by Two Terriers Studio

I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating, especially with this photo. My husband cheers me on in my quilting endeavors and he also willingly travels around with me as I look for perfect settings and photo opportunities. For those who know him, you know he’s tall. TALL. He’s in this photo. Do you see him? No. He has mastered hunkering down, (keep in mind this is a crib size quilt), as well as having perfected the “fabric pinch” so that we don’t see his hands creeping around the bound corners. Together, we get it done. What I’m curious about is what this must have looked like from the perspective of the house across the bridge. Maybe next time. That could be an interesting shot.

Tara released this pattern today, April 15th, and it is available on her website weftyneedle.com by PDF download. Do yourself a favor, and check it out. She has highlighted other makers who tested this for her and I think it’s terrific that given the same instructions, we each made something unique. She also explains her inspiration for this design, which is even more fitting today than it may have been months ago as we saw this pattern for the first time. It’s worth reading about, please take a look. As we all move through this period of uncertainty with Covid-19, new boundaries, staying home and attempting a new normal, there can be something calming in creativity. I am so thankful for my sewing community, and for Tara giving me this opportunity.

-Stacey

Face Masks

It’s April 2020 and for weeks (months, at this point) we have been experiencing a global pandemic from Novel Coronavirus / Covid-19 that has left many of us wondering what the heck is going on, what it means for us personally and how we manage through this unprecedented time.

We started “social distancing” in late February and early March; we prepared our homes and family for isolating as this invisible nightmare passed, but here we are, still waiting for a return to what we know as “normal”. I can’t imagine what our new normal even looks like yet.

My primary concern was keeping my family and loved ones safe. Besides self-imposed isolation, #stayhome, wash your hands, and disinfect everything in sight, what could I do? That “let me fix it” gene kicked in and I started making face masks. Hearing that the supply of medical grade personal protective equipment (PPE) was not only low, but might run out, I realized I wasn’t going to be ordering any for personal use. Never in my 9 years of sewing & quilting did I think I would be making protective gear. But I am; and I’m now making them for others too.

I have zero interest in profiting off of a pandemic. I’m offering these handmade face masks on my Instagram account (@twoterriersstudio) while I have the time and supplies to make them. I’m asking readers to cover the cost of shipping ($7.75 flat rate, USPS Priority Mail) and to make a charitable contribution of $5.00 per mask. In the event of a large, bulk order, shipping fee may increase. I’m accepting payment by PayPal. When I get to the end of making masks, I will be donating 100% of profits to charity, so any contribution over this amount is appreciated. I’m tracking every sale by state, # of masks and contribution and that will be a follow up post at some point. At this time, I am only shipping within the continental United States, as I am doing this from home & not going into the post office. I think it’s a full circle of compassion…I’m using a skill I learned from others to make a product that might help people stay safe, and their contribution is in turn helping someone else. This may be a scary and negative time, but goodness prevails. Right?

Handmade face masks

I must say, my handmade masks are NOT medical grade; they do not have a filter insert and I would not promise that they prevent Covid-19. I can say that they are made from quality quilting cotton that has been washed and sewn in a pet-free, smoke-free studio by a maker who has practiced social distancing since early March and who shows no outward signs of being infected. For those who have worked with me before and ordered custom totes, bags and other items, you know that I work to make sure your color and style preferences are met. That is not happening with face masks. I’m not taking color preferences or custom designs. This is a function over fashion moment. My masks do feature two fabrics so that the user knows which side was next to their skin and which was exposed to the outside. The masks are all machine-washable and should be washed frequently. If you’d like the pleats to be crisp after washing, a quick press with a hot iron will work.

If you or someone you know needs a mask, please visit my Instagram account @twoterriersstudio and direct message me there with your name and quantity needed. I will follow up as promptly as possible. I am taking time off until April 13th to celebrate the Easter holiday with my family, but will be in communication after that time.

My hesitation in making masks for people outside my immediate family is that there is a VERY fine line between helping others and creating a false sense of security. I kindly ask that anyone wearing my masks please educate themselves with the safety guidelines set forth by your physicians, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) or ever-changing, published/professional guidelines. I am not a doctor, a nurse or health-care provider. I know these masks are not foolproof, but I wear mine with the mindset of “better than nothing” if I need to go outside. I cannot and do not ensure this will protect you 100% from an infection. So, I’m happy to make these, but expect that buyers educate themselves as we are all learn about this disease and how to be safe. (UGH, all the disclaimer stuff; wish I didn’t have to say it.)

I wish you all good health in these trying times. Many heartfelt thanks to our healthcare heroes who work tirelessly each day to keep each of us safe. I hope we all do our part to make their jobs easier so that they, too, can return home safely to their loved ones.