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.

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.

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.

Nothing Left Behind

Improvisational blocks

UFOs. Does the mere mention of UFOs bring up visions of spacecrafts and beings from another galaxy? A favorite sci-fi movie? The utterance of “UFO” in the quilting community may leave you with a sigh or a head nodding in agreement, “Yes. I have UFOs. You, too?” I’ve yet to meet a quilter without one (too many) UFOs. We group them by stages of progress, ideas on paper or those remnants of half-finished dreams, lurking in a sewing room, waiting for attention.

UFO, the Un-Finished-Object.

There are ways to address this phenomenon. Resume, rework, rehome. Depending on the project, it may mean resuming when time & enthusiasm allow. You can also rework that project into something new or just rehome it. Rehoming may be the best option if you can’t see finishing it, but also don’t want it to go to waste. There’s no shame in passing it along to another maker who may have the perfect vision, time and interest in bringing it to the finish line. One person’s trash is another’s treasure. You know the saying.

For those who know me well, you know I LOVE a good scrappy project. I keep the bits and pieces left behind from finished projects and try to rework them into new things. I have a hard time letting go of fabric or other notions, as I don’t want to be wasteful. I know small scraps aren’t for everyone, but an experienced quilter once told me, “you know, your scraps cost the same per yard as the full yard.” WOW. One sentence has stuck with me for almost a decade. I REWORK whenever I possibly can.

Lotus Blossom Quilt, 2020

Earlier this year, I made this crib quilt and had quite a few scrap pieces leftover. You can read the full story, Lotus Blossom Quilt, in an earlier post. This ombre confetti dot is such a vibrant and fun fabric collection, those scraps went into my “save” pile. How on earth could I let them go?

Improvisational block by Two Terriers Studio, 2020

When I rework fabric scraps into something new, I often start by sewing strips into improvisational blocks. I don’t always have a plan or reason behind the placement, sizes or angles. My approach is to just use what I have and square it up later. If the choices worked together in a quilt or other project, they will likely work together in random order. I don’t overthink it. The goal is to finish.

More improv

In this case, I compiled four, relatively similar sized improvisational blocks and decided to turn them into zipper pouches. In addition to quilting, I enjoy making bags of all shapes and sizes and the zipper pouch is a favorite. These small, quick projects allow me to organize things into cute, handmade accessories! A zipper pouch is good for storing cosmetics, electronics cords, art supplies, face masks and whatever small items you may want to group & carry along. I literally have a shelf with zip pouches lined up, one after the next. They are filled with hand-sewing notions, EPP templates, fabric and glue sticks, one with masks, another with wonder-clips. It helps me to be organized.

Zipper Pouch Progress

Once the scraps were sewn into “new fabric”, I chose coordinating YKK zippers, fusible fleece, lining fabric and went to work. Rework, actually. What’s also cool about using these leftovers is that nothing is left behind and the pieces bring the history of the original project. When I see these finished pouches, I not only like the pouch, but remember the process of creating the original quilt.

The final four…for now
Improv pieced zipper pouches by Two Terriers Studio, 2020

While this addresses “Rework”, I have projects in the resume and rehome categories too. My personal goal for 2020 is to FINISH all my UFOs before January 1, 2021. I’m becoming better about letting things go and rehoming fabric to other maker friends. It makes me happy to see what they create with fabric I purchased. Often, it’s not even close to my initial idea and that is so fun to see, when it happens.

I want to thank my fellow maker, Bobbi Gentilli, @geekybobbin (IG) and http://www.geekybobbin.com for coordinating this Blog Hop for the month of November 2020. She invited and included makers in various mediums to discuss their ideas for “Resume, Rework & Rehome”. Everyone is listed below; maybe you’ll learn a new way to address your own UFOs. May the force be with you.

http://geekybobbin.com
https://prettypiney.com/blog
https://canuckquilter.com
https://www.duckcreekmountainquilting.com
http://www.meandcoach.com
https://saidwithlove.com.au
http://sarahruiz.com
https://yoursewingfriend.com/blogs/sewing-friend-news
https://www.justgetitdonequilts.com/blog
https://snowydaysquilting.com
http://www.sunflowerstitcheries.com
https://www.blueheronquilting.shop/blog
http://sewingcorals.blogspot.com
https://www.devotedquilter.com
https://www.desertbloomquilting.com
http://www.tourmalinethymequilts.com
http://www.quiltfox-design.com
http://twoterriersstudio.net
https://cinziawhite.com
https://www.sliceofpiquilts.com
http://thebarefootcrafter.com
http://www.dragonflysquiltshop.com
http://www.quiltfox-design.com
https://quiltingmccabe.wordpress.com/
https://stitchinginheels.blogspot.com
http://shipsandviolins.com
http://katiemaequilts.com/blog
https://www.cozyfunkycool.com/
https://www.schooloflinedesign.com
http://NerdyQuiltersBlog.blogspot.com
UFOvember Participants

All story content & photos, property of Two Terriers Studio and not to be duplicated or shared without consent. This is not a sponsored post.

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.

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 Dusk and Dawn Quilt

I made this quilt in May 2020 while testing a pattern for designer, Brittany Tunison, of White Plains Quilts. I was able to share some sneak peeks online, but not a full reveal until today, when the pattern was made public. It is her first pattern and I’m honored to have been able to sew it, help with edits and finish with this baby quilt in the weeks before its release. Considering I was in my “no new fabric, use what you have” phase, I opted for the baby size. That phase was driven by being frugal as much as it was being forced by “non-essential” businesses still being closed.

When I first saw the pattern draft, I knew immediately which fabrics I wanted to use. I’d been holding onto this Art Gallery Fabric, Lugu by Jessica Swift, for a few months. Those owls drew me in the first time I saw this collection & I’d been saving it for a project where they could shine & be the focal point. Seriously, how fun & vibrant is this print?

Lugu, by Jessica Swift for Art Gallery Fabrics

Initially, I chose Art Gallery Fabrics Pure Solids for the accents and then decided to add some with small print. It meant setting aside some of my HST and creating more, but I’m glad I did; I think it was just the right amount of contrast, but still having some fine details.

This pattern has the same size blocks for every size quilt; the quantity you make is the difference between the finished sizes. I thought that was great planning. I knew I just wanted to make a baby quilt, but let’s say you’re creating this with scraps and you want a long-term project. You could continue making blocks and then size “up” when you had made enough to suit yourself.

Quilt in progress

Half-square triangles. Sometimes I love them, sometimes I don’t. I’m learning that to love them more, I need to make them more often, so this was a task in improving my skills! And let’s face it, those “squaring up trimmings” are like happy confetti!

Choosing binding

Not only did I love the owl print in this collection, I was also fond of this fuchsia print with feathers, geometric lines and crescent moons. Having enough for a single piece backing was almost celebratory! If you’ve seen the backs of many of my quilts, I often piece them & even use leftover scraps from the front or make an additional block so that there is some coordinating reference on each side, once it’s finished. I actually don’t have many finished quilts that are backed with a single fabric. This worked out perfectly & I was even happier to have this mustard print for the binding. I think it frames the front well and pulls in the tone found in the feather graphic on the back.

Swirls and Stars for the quilting
Owl in Nature; binding completed
A glimpse of each side

I enjoyed making this quilt and intend to make a larger version in another color-way in the future. I think a scrappy version could be interesting or even a holiday theme, or dark background. Possibilities are endless. Being a quick finish, with easy to follow instructions, make it even better.

Many thanks to Brittany for choosing me to test this pattern. Any time I can use my editing background while also sewing/quilting, it sure feels like a good day. Congratulations to her on this first design. If you’re looking for a new pattern, go give Brittany a follow and considering adding this one to your library or pattern collection.

Now, to tuck this little lovey away and save for the future!

All photos and text property of Two Terriers Studio. Not to be duplicated or used without permission. This is a non-sponsored post. All opinions are my own; not paid.

Face Masks – the Update

There’s a saying, “What a difference a day can make”, so one can presume how transformative two months might be. Two months. Are those measured the same during a pandemic? I know that there have been many days since our self-imposed quarantine on March 13, that I’ve not even known the day, let alone the date. I was in “head-down, get busy, hope for the best, prepare for the worst, help where I can” mode. I wasn’t sure I should even make masks, as I discussed in an earlier blog post. But here we are, two months later.

I definitely feel a shift in the mask-making frenzy. I hear my maker-friends, echoing the same sentiment. There are still orders, but there’s a calmness to it now that none of us saw months ago.

As someone who sews, I knew I could do something to help. What I didn’t take into account is how emotions and fear might play out in the interactions with potential customers. Clearly, we are all facing something we’ve not seen before. Of course, our reactions will be varied. I (virtually) met kind, caring and generous people. My intention was not to profit, but to pay forward. I kept the cost low & donated profit. Some paid for those who could not pay. Some “rounded up” to cover postage for others. Some purchased for dozens of others in their community without remembering to get one for themselves. One, waited so patiently as her package visited every post office in Michigan but her own. When they did arrive, she repaid the refund I had given when we thought they were never to be seen again. So many repeat customers, which of course, felt like I was doing something right. And yet, there were interactions that were strained and difficult because I couldn’t meet the request for a “favorite designer or favorite fabric print”. I pride myself on meeting customer expectations & this was a different scenario. I had customers fall by the way-side in the early days when I explained I wasn’t taking custom orders; I was making masks for safety, not fashion. With stores on lockdown, I was sewing from what I had available. I had committed to making 25 face masks a day and orders would be filled from those finishes. I didn’t anticipate the backlash when I explained, “I’m not allowing people to visit my studio to choose fabric….I’m in quarantine!”. I now believe those demands were driven by fear. I hope everyone can also see that while I was able to provide a sewing service, I was also trying to keep my family safe and deal with a pandemic. I suspect it’s easy to overlook that I was a bit fearful in those days too.

So many graphic prints
Do you see YOUR face mask here?
The third “edit” of mask style

My mask-making evolved and I learned how to streamline this process. Initially, I followed patterns outlined by hospitals for a pleated, flat mask. I had more positive feedback on elastic ear loops vs. ties, so I stuck with that plan. I made all of mine reversible, so that wearers would know which fabric was next to their skin vs. “outside”. You know, safety first.

It became clear that I sew with bold, graphic prints more so than solids!

One day I received a message from someone I’ve never met, who asked if I was accepting fabric donations. Of course; the more fabric, the more masks that can be made. We agreed that I would use her donation for masks & if I had fabric leftover when I decided to stop, I would donate the overage to other sewing charities. I thought a small donation would be coming my way, and then THIS box arrived. It brought me to tears. The sheer volume, the elastic and this card, were overwhelming. If you browse through the finished mask photos, you’ll see some of these prints in action. What you won’t see is the order I received for law enforcement officers. The same day this box arrived, I was asked to make masks in black or blue for corrections officers and a military general. 24 hours prior, I didn’t have those colors available. Betsy’s donation of 2+ yards of black / blue fabric allowed me to sew for those on the front-line. The serendipity of the moment was not lost on me. I cannot thank her enough for this incredible gift. She helped me, help others and I’m grateful.

Beyond grateful for this donation! Thank you, Betsy.

Customers sending photos brightened some dreary days! Thank you for showing me the Two Terriers Studio work, out in the world.

in Massachusetts
in Michigan
Preparing to deliver and meet baby #4
For my favorite 90 year old lady…xoxo
in Connecticut
more seen in Connecticut

I mentioned paying it forward. So far, by the purchases of these face masks, I’ve donated $500.00 to Children of Fallen Patriots. This organization assists in the college costs for children of parents who lost their lives in the line of military duty. I value higher education and I will be forever grateful to the men & women who serve our country. It seemed a fitting charity based on how we all came together: my sewing, the fabric and monetary donations, the purchase of masks and being able to help a military child attend college. I’m not done donating yet, but I’m still working out details of when mask making “ends” and what the final tally will be for donation.

One last note. I was recently asked by All People Quilt / American Patchwork & Quilting to participate in a survey about creating in a time of quarantine. You can find the article here. For makers, I think these suggestions are valuable (and you might see a new face, you’re not yet following!). For non-makers, I think this gives a good perspective on how quilters are moving through these unprecedented times.

Friends, be safe & stay well.

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