In 2021, I joined Kitty Wilkin, @nightquilter, for her Quilt Your Life Community program. I had taken a virtual class with her prior to that & found her teaching style and skill to be very inviting and inspiring. Being a member of the QYL Crew was an obvious next step for me. Kitty has designed so many beautiful blocks and patterns; I was anxious to incorporate them into personal projects.
Thinking about the concept of “Quilt Your Life”, was both exciting and overwhelming. If you think about life, there are so many facets and measurable events. My head was spinning. It was a struggle narrowing it to something manageable. Kitty kept saying, “keep it simple, keep it simple.” I began a quilt that would track a 10-week program I was participating in, but in brainstorming what else this could be, I thought of loved ones and what I could make for them. We each have unique lives. How could I document something about each of them into a quilt-like piece of art?
Scenes in Colorado
I have a niece who loves the outdoors; camping, hiking, skiing and more. I’ve not sewn a lot of things for her recently, so she came to mind for this first pass at sewing tiny “life” quilts. One of the patterns Kitty has designed is called Sew Tiny Adventures. The camping tent, pine trees and mountain ranges are perfect for this niece. Knowing I wanted to frame this piece, I upscaled the pattern about 56%; it’s still tiny.
Tiny Blocks = Tiny Quilts
These blocks finish under 1.5″, so I needed to join them & then border with more fabric to fit the frame. This is finished like a quilt with wool batting and quilt cotton backing. It’s signed & my logo is attached, in the event the piece is ever separated from the frame. The informal tent, tree & mountains called for simple straight line quilting. Just enough texture, but leaving the images to stand on their own.
For the Adventurer
Now that this is finished & gifted, I’m able to share here. My wheels are in motion once again about what might come next. I have my own 10-week milestone quilt to design & finish. To be able to share a mini-quilt, personalized to a loved one, was FUN. It’s one of a kind and that’s always a good thing, right?
Get outdoors; live and document life!
All photos and text property of Two Terriers Studio; not to be copied or distributed without written consent of the author.
Awhile back, as in 2019, I purchased fabric called “Dorothy’s Journey” featuring the story of the Wizard of Oz. I have so many personal connections to Dorothy, Kansas, friends along one’s journey and last but not least, it’s a favorite movie of my children when they were very little.
Like I do, I saved the fabric. I saved it for two years. I didn’t cut into it because I didn’t have a plan, so Dorothy & her friends sat patiently in my studio until the end of 2021. I’ve committed to sewing my stash & taking those “must have” bundles from the shelves and turning them into something handmade. What I didn’t realize is that posting my fabric was going to lead to a friend also proclaiming, “I have to have that…what can you make?”
I had already been cutting blocks for a quilt I wanted to make & keep, so I sorted through what I had left & I didn’t have enough to make something for her too. I scoured online shops & the options were slim or the prices were high. I gave my friend, Rachael, some guidance on where to find the fabric, with the caveat, “the price has gone up quite a bit; are you sure you want to do this?” Her answer was a confident, “Yes, I’d love a mini-quilt for the retreat center”. I’ve sewn for Rachael on several occasions and she gave me an open path on what the end product would be. Some time later, a package arrived with a note and yardage. The plan was set in motion.
Signs of Yellow
My sewing machine was in for service, and this appointment kept me from getting started right away. When it came back with yellow thread in the bobbin, I took that as a pretty entertaining coincidence. I piece all my projects with neutral Aurifil thread, so this golden string was a surprise, but the perfect start to this mini-quilt.
The feature fabric highlights the cast of characters from The Wizard of Oz. I decided to fussy-cut, or meticulously cut, as the case may be, these images into the equal squares. Dorothy would be the center and surrounded by the others. I used a block pattern called Tell Me a Story, from the book, Intentional Piecing, authored by Amy Friend. In addition to the fabric sent to me, I added the yellow print to tie-in the concept of the yellow brick road.
I like how the names of the characters is included; it tells the story a bit, for those who may not be familiar with it.
With the blocks being foundation paper pieced, they are easy to assemble. I use a mini iron and wool pressing mat to prepare my seams.
I never realized how challenging it is to photograph metallic fabric until I worked on this project! These silver clouds look so different in real life, but wow, the photos don’t do them justice.
This mini quilt is backed with the pink floral print. It is approximately 18.5″ square. Dorothy is the central figure, her best friends – the Lion, Scarecrow, Tin Man and little dog, Toto, surround her. The peripheral characters, Glinda, the Wicked Witch, the Wizard, and the Winged Monkeys are there too. For those who know the story, so much is captured here.
Now that this has arrived at Rachael’s home, I can share here. I have set aside my own “Dorothy’s Journey” fabric, so stay tuned for what my 2019 purchase becomes. I sure hope it’s not another year before my personal project is complete!
Enjoy & remember, there’s no place like home.
All photos and text property of Two Terriers Studio; not to be duplicated or distributed without written consent.
Looks familiar, right? It’s February 2022 and this has been in the works for a couple of months. Other quilts have been started & finished, but I fell out of habit getting blog posts written during the holidays, so let’s catch up.
If you’ve been a reader for awhile, you know I sew or quilt almost daily. I test patterns for several designers and I write about those quilts & my experiences here. Often, when I test a pattern, it happens to align with a holiday, a seasonal shift, coincidentally with milestones or the birth of new babies. When that happens, I head into the test with a particular person in mind and I choose fabrics that will work well with the quilt, but suited to a gift I also want to make. It’s a win-win. There are also times I make a quilt, knowing it’s a gift, but I want to have one for myself too! This second version of the Holiday Hills Quilt is kind of like that. I made the first version for my family, knowing full well that my sentimental, holiday loving, decor enthusiast friend needed one too.
I’m blessed with a multitude of creative family & friends. I’m inspired by their work and frequently, we share work or “barter”, for lack of a better word. We encourage one another, while also learning from each other. It’s really cool. I was speaking with my friend, Tammy, in late 2021 and she said, “I’d love for you to make me something; maybe a quilt?” Not only is she a friend, she’s been a solid customer too. She has supported my business from the beginning and owns multiple Two Terriers Studio creations. This particular discussion came on the heels of taking inventory of all the quilts I’ve made & gifted and even stacked in closets in my studio. Quilts I’ve tested, ideas that were started & left unfinished. Quilts on my “to make someday” list. Her comment got my wheels churning. I was watching her decorate her new home for the holidays. She has such an attention to detail that I knew her quilt would be best suited with the holidays in mind, in the color scheme I saw in her home. I wanted it to be a surprise, but I have learned that with the amount of hours it takes to complete a project like this, keeping the fabric a secret was not a great idea. I needed her input or approval first.
Tammy’s favorite color is teal / aqua. Little pops of it show up all around her world! As I started looking into fabric, I found this collection by Maude Asbury for Free Spirit Fabrics called Fa La La. I felt that it was perfect for her & she gave the “thumbs up”. It was all she knew about what was in the works; the rest I kept to myself. I’ll tell you, not sharing the other fabric choices was a challenge. I wanted to include her, but also surprise her. The trust she placed in me to just do as I wished, was a treat. I ordered the fabric and the project began.
I realize now that I didn’t actually take that many progress photos! This was a pattern I’d already made once, so the piecing and technical issues have been documented before. It was so tempting, with every new tree, to share progress, but I stayed on task.
This quilt is 60×64″ and bigger than I felt comfortable quilting, edge to edge, on my domestic machine. Tammy agreed with having it professionally quilted & she covered that cost, as well as the feature fabrics. I sent this to Jenn, www.knottedthread.com, for the quilting. As always, amazing results. After hours and hours of cutting and piecing, it’s nice to have this kind of finish, texture, and creative art added. It’s a team effort, a collaboration, for sure.
I’m certainly NOT a perfect piecing, all the time, kind of sewist, but this pattern by Raye, www.thehomebodyco.com, is written in such a way that points are not lost in the piecing of these trees. So satisfying to see it up close. Well, at least for me!
I chose this aqua snowflake fabric for the binding. With it being her favorite color, and also featured among the tree motifs, it frames the design pretty well. I try to make my binding at the time the tops are finished, but to be honest, it’s the stage at which I usually lose momentum. The secret is to gift quilts; those get finished! I don’t care to admit how many quilts are stacked in my studio waiting for this 1% final piece of the puzzle.
The original feature fabric is the entire back of this quilt. I just love it. The whimsical trees, the old fashioned-ish ornaments, images reminiscent of “tinsel” trees from the 60’s (is that when those were popular?); it all makes me smile. If she wants a pop of color, this can be draped on a sofa or the foot of a bed with the backing facing out, rather than the front.
Binding finished, one swift “shaking it out” and setting it down for a look…I exhaled. It’s as I had hoped and it embodies work beyond my own hands. Some of the swirls remind me of the first letter of my name; some of the stars, the first letter of her name, the quilty details made possible by a woman in another state. It’s good. Collaboration is good.
Last, but not least, photos for documenting the finish. New England is traditionally known for snowy winters, yet, no snow on the ground when this was done & ready to be sent. If you know me well, you know that I don’t often pray for snow. Like ever; except maybe on Christmas Eve, then not again. However, I did pray for snow the night before this photo. The cool colors of these trees, the holiday vibe & the winter forest just begged for snow. Asked & received. God is good. Today, barely a week later, the snow is mostly melted. For now. Seriously, I don’t want to jinx myself!
When I woke to snow, it was a good day. There, I said it. I was happy with this weather. My husband always helps with photos and if you look closely, you can see that he walked AROUND the frame so that his big footprints wouldn’t be tracked into the photo. Bonus, I didn’t even think of it, but he knew. Well done, hubs!
Holiday Hills #2 is now at home with Tammy. She un-boxed her gift on her instagram stories @whitelilacfarmhouse and her reaction literally brought me to tears. Her crying, my crying…her jokes about how “Stacey really taped-up this box” (if you know, you know). It was funny even through our happy cry fest. That unboxing moment is why I do this. I want my family & friends to feel loved. Geography doesn’t allow me to be with all the people I care about on a regular basis, but sharing something handmade, one of a kind, and made with love, can transport us across the miles. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to be able to share this skill/hobby/interest of mine with those I care about. Tammy, remember it’s meant to be used. Use it, love it, wash, dry and repeat.
All photos and content property of Two Terriers Studio; not to be duplicated or shared without written consent of the author.
I’ve been a little quiet in this story telling space, but today is the pattern release day for the Holiday Hills Quilt and time for me to get back to the writing of these quilt stories. As the leaves change from vibrant green to red, yellow and now a tinge of orange, it’s clear winter is on the way. It’s perfect timing to prepare for the holidays and handmade gift giving, or to even make something festive for yourself. Truth be told, I will most certainly be keeping this quilt for my family.
A New Quilt
I was fortunate to work with Raye, thehomebodyco.com, who designed the Holiday Hills pattern. She began the initial discussion with testers in 2020 and as you might imagine, there were a few other things that needed attention in that crazy year. Quilting was certainly a positive distraction, but when you’re offering a product to so many people, distractions may not be the best element in the equation. Fast forward to 2021 and this quilt was entirely worth the wait. While we all wanted to go-go-go in 2020, it was wise to settle in and wait; make it perfect. It is well-written, with precise details, easy to make and might I add, FUN.
I have been mindful of “sewing from my stash”; Lord knows I don’t NEED more fabric, as fun as it is to shop and add to my collection. I did want to make a quilt with a traditional color scheme, so I headed straight to my Christmas bin of textile goodness. I pulled this collection, called Merrily by Gingiber for Moda Fabrics. Adding in some coordinates by Cluck Cluck Sew and Sweetwater, I was all set. Let the cutting begin.
There’s always something a little delightful about seeing these fabric trimmings piled together. It’s a sign of what’s to come, but also indicative of little waste, which is a good thing!
A Forest in the Making
Seriously, just having these beauties lined up on my cutting mat was the inspiration I needed. I could already tell how much I would love this quilt.
If you’ve been around here for very long, you have seen the photos and heard the stories of all the creatures, great and small, we see in our neighborhood. The black bears seem to be the ones who garner the most surprise and awe, but we also have almost daily visits from deer; the occasional bobcat sighting, and often the hooting of an owl in the trees behind our home. It continues to be magical, if not also frightening at times. I mean, nobody wants to find themselves 15 feet from a bear without any warning (and it happens!). Long story long, that is what drove me to purchase several yards of this fabric. It looks and feels like home. I was shopping with my daughter and stopped the moment I saw this bolt, “isn’t this perfect?” Her reply, “what are you going to do with it?” I had no clue in that moment, but the pine boughs, deer, owl and vibe of it, drew me in. It came home with us that day! I knew I’d figure something out & that it would be used and loved.
A Pieced Quilt Top
Another common thread is my love for summer. It might seem odd that I was as thrilled as I was to dive into a winter holiday quilt. It’s not hard to be excited about changes when things go smoothly. That smoothness isn’t always the case, but in the wait for this pattern and seeing how well it all came together, I was mostly on board for letting summer fade away to focus on the next thing.
Quilting, Edge to Edge
If I’m quilting a small item or baby size quilt, I’m comfortable with doing that on my domestic machine. This quilt’s size and my vision for the pantograph meant sending it to be professionally long armed. This quilting work was done by Jenn at knottedthread.com. It’s exactly what I imagined. The ornaments give a feeling of snow and wind gusting through the hills of trees, but also a nod to favorite Christmas decorations. It finishes the “story” perfectly, in my opinion.
I’m staking claim to this one, for snuggles by the fireplace this holiday season. It’s a simple theme, but each element ties together feelings of home for me. To think the fabrics were purchased years apart and that the pattern was a year in the making, it was just meant to be. Timing is everything, correct? I think timing worked out pretty well on this one.
The Homebody Company is releasing this pattern today, November 10, 2021 for purchase. You’ll find this quilt in both printed and pdf versions, as well as an extension for making a pillow and even a paint-by-numbers kit. It’s a win-win. Special thanks to Raye for including me in the tester team. It’s always a joy to work together!
Thanks for stopping by! More projects coming soon.
This is not a sponsored post; all opinions are my own. Content not to be copied or distributed without written permission of Two Terriers Studio. All data and photos property of Two Terriers Studio.
What’s the saying, “better late than never”? That applies to this post! The timing of my blogpost has nothing to do with my enthusiasm for this pattern or quilt. I finished the quilt top MONTHS ago, but I’m just now getting around to showing the final project.
In the spring of 2021, I was asked by Karen, http://www.bloomingpoppies.net to test this pattern, the Urban Light Quilt. When I saw her mock-ups and how the color choices influenced the overall design, I knew immediately I wanted to make this. Not to mention, just wanting to work with a designer who loves improvisation, like I do.
I pulled from my fabric stash and settled on this Catch & Release collection by Art Gallery Fabrics. More than 2 years ago, I sewed for the AGF Look Book & Blog party, and at the time I was so obsessed with the designs, I purchased several yards of each fabric after the maker projects were done. I’ve hoarded it a bit over the past couple years, but finding ways to incorporate it into new quilts has been nice.
The Urban Light Quilt comes in 5 sizes, I made the large throw. One thing to note about this quilt is that the blocks are large, they repeat and make for a fast finish. The cutting instructions are very easy to follow and if my memory serves me correctly, I was able to put this together in just a couple days. I preface that with the reality that I have few distractions and blocks of time each day to sew. In any case, it’s not a pattern that will take much time given the design and overall block size.
There are traditional elements like flying geese in this design. I love the no-waste approach. I did incorporate text fabric in my quilt and while some of it “reads” correct, directionally, I decided to not be too fussy about the blocks individually. With this particular print, the text is multi-directional on it’s own, so there didn’t seem to be an “up” distinction anyway. Also, with a square quilt, who even knows which direction it will be used on any given day. It all works out; don’t sweat it.
Aren’t the fish & florals just a perfect nod to summer? I think they are so sweet. There’s something whimsical about it that made me look forward to summer days.
This block, on its own, would make a beautiful pillow cover to accompany this quilt.
My favorite color is red and I chose to add a pop of this AGF Pure Elements Solid to the mix. In my opinion, it’s the perfect, clear red. I believe it’s actually called “London Red”. Favorite color and one of my favorite vacation destinations, how could it not work?
As I mentioned, this quilt top and the pieced backing were finished in the spring of 2021. Snow was still on the ground in New England, but this bright fabric was calling for summer. I really like the simplicity of the blocks, but each time I look at it, I see another element in the design that pulls my attention.
Fast forward to summer, June 2021 to be more specific, and my Urban Light is back from the longarm quilter. I brought it along on our family vacation, knowing that these water colors, fish, florals, and the patriotic feel would be perfectly photographed at the beach.
I chose an edge to edge pantograph that mimics the ripple of water. Don’t forget that the thread and this quilting is yet another element to be considered. After all the work to piece it together, I have to remind myself that there’s one more decision to be made. No time for snoozing. With so many angles, I like the smooth curves and motion across these blocks. The binding is done in a small floral, framing it all in red, white, and blue.
This is a pattern I would highly recommend and it’s available on the designer’s website mentioned above. Take a peek at her account or follow the hashtag to see the other tester’s variations; it’s interesting how color choice changes the look of this quilt. Seeing my own version, sometimes the center appears to be a floral motif, sometimes I notice the stars, sometimes it’s the POP of red. How fun to have a quilt with such dimension. I love it and hope it brings cozy snuggles to anyone who gets a chance to use it.
I’m appreciative of the opportunity to work with Karen & to have tested this pattern. I’ve worked with her again since making this one & that second quilt will be posted soon!
All photos and content property of Two Terriers Studio; do not replicate or distribute without permission. This is not a sponsored post.
Summer, sunshine and star block quilts. It’s a winning combination, as is this new pattern by Modernly Morgan (www.modernlymorgan.com).
Having tested Morgan’s last pattern, the Cozy Cabin Quilt, I was definitely excited when she asked if I’d test this one as well. She and I share a love of star blocks and stash-busting quilts, so I knew it would be a great project. It’s a fat quarterly friendly pattern, and I decided to cut into my Tula Pink “Homemade” bundle. In this process, I learned that accuracy is important before making the first cut. Not all my FQs were accurately sized, so I had to swap a couple in the preparation process. This pattern is designed with very little waste, so having a FQ that is too small (it happens!), is something to take notice & choose accordingly.
I do use a wool pressing mat and a mini Oliso iron when pressing blocks. My family gifted both these tools to me and I use them both every single time I sew. For me, it sure beats moving to a large ironing board over & over while making blocks.
In making this quilt, I looked through each of my cut pieces and assembled piles or sets of each block I intended to make. Sometimes, I choose as I go. This time, I knew I’d be working in more fragmented sewing sessions as my calendar was a bit hectic. Setting aside all the pieces and being able to fit in a block here or there made the most sense. I definitely fell into a rhythm and the written directions are so clear and concise, I was able to pick up a block set and sew as time allowed. I’m still amazed at how quickly a quilt of this size came together, even with my studio time being less flexible recently.
I have always been a fan of bold graphics and colorful fabrics. I keep a bin of Tula Pink fabric for those moments when the feeling, “I need a BRIGHT quilt”, strike. Because I like a scrappy look and her collections are so well matched in color and tone, I find it easy to blend prints without too much worry. This particular line, “Homemade”, features all things sewing related. It’s perfect for me & my hobby-loving heart. I will say that I’m not 100% focused on directional fabric matching every single time. None of my quilts are on beds. They are all used for picnics, days at the beach, watching movies or wrapping up little babies for warmth. That being said, the directions shift with each use, so I’m personally OK with the fabric facing different (all?) directions. Of course, if there is a specific need for it to be directional, I make that effort; it mostly applies to text print. It’s fair to say, I’m not overly fussy when I know it’s a quilt I’m keeping for myself or my family.
The Quilt Swirl
Once all the blocks were made and the quilt top was pieced, it had to be a quilt swirl! In addition to my love of quilting, I also have a sweet tooth. This type of swirl is all the beauty, none of the calories. How could I resist?
As you can see, I blended a few collections here. Homemade, Pom Pom, True Colors and Curiouser & Curiouser. For those of you who may be new to fabric acquisition, my one bit of advice would be to choose a favorite fabric and buy enough of it for a quilt backing at the same time you buy a bundle. I didn’t always do that & now I have a stash of beautiful fabric bundles or precuts or maybe even smaller yardages, but not always a piece large enough for a large backing. If matching matters, this is a helpful tip. If not, ignore it. For my Gravitate Quilt, I wanted it to be cohesive. Thankfully, my local quilt shop had just stocked this newest line of prints and I was able to purchase enough to finish my quilt. They did not have yardage of the other collections. I’ve been working very hard to not purchase new fabric until I use more of my existing fabric; Lord knows I have enough already.
Off to the Longarm Quilter
This quilt was quilted by Jenn, @knotted_thread, on Instagram. I cannot say enough good things about her skill and customer service. She is responsive, reasonably priced and I’m happy with the finish work she did on this piece.
I anticipate this being a well-loved (ie – often used) quilt, so I opted to machine sew the binding. Most of the time, I machine sew to the front and hand-bind to the back. With this one, it’s all machine sewn. It’s a little stressful for me, because I know hand-sewn is more precise and “hidden”, but I also know I can only get better at machine binding if I actually practice. Finding a good thread match is key; especially in the learning stages.
Ready for the Close-up
Thank you, Morgan, for including me in this pattern test. I’m already envisioning this in different color-ways and looking forward to making another. Special thanks to my HHQ, “husband holding quilts”. He so willingly helps me scope out locations and keeps my work from getting dirty, or in this case, sea soaked.
If you’re looking to make a star block quilt, definitely check into this one.
It’s now May 2021 and I’m ready to be outside, enjoying all the spring gardens have to offer. Coincidentally, it’s also pattern release day for this latest quilt, designed by Brittany Tunison for White Plains Quilts. Meet the Garden Paths Quilt!
When the opportunity to test this pattern came up, I had zero hesitation. All of Brittany’s patterns are well written and make creating a unique quilt a breeze. I had recently seen a fabric by Art Gallery Fabrics http://www.artgalleryfabrics.com called “Little Clementine” and it was the catalyst for this color scheme. I was drawn in by the whimsical graphics of animals, florals, lettering, bicycles and more. The peach and plum colors are a bit out of the box for me, but I really love this print. I asked Brittany to “kit” fabric for me using this and a floral by Amy Sinibaldi for Art Gallery Fabrics called “promenade plum”. I could not be happier with the outcome.
This pattern is heavy on the half-square triangles, probably best suited for an advanced beginner or someone who is interested in mastering their HST skills. I mean, I’ve made hundreds (thousands?), of half-square triangles, but there’s always room for improving those points, right? I think back to the early days of my quilting journey, about a decade ago now, and remember thinking, “Do I need to trim all these dog ears?” The answer is YES. It may not seem like much, but squaring up blocks is important and that little bit of excess over the entire quilt does add up to a lot of inaccuracy. Just take the time to trim your blocks, if you’re not doing it already. Added bonus, look at all that fabric confetti goodness.
I like to press my block seams and see all the pieces lined up along the way. Sometimes progress is slow, but having pretty fabric and little piles of finished pieces is motivation for me.
The Garden Paths Quilt is designed around two block structures. You’ll make a different quantity depending on the size of the quilt. In this case, the baby quilt I made was relatively fast to assemble. This pattern comes with instructions for three sizes: Baby, Throw and Twin. I opted for a bleached white background, but now having seen other tester’s quilts, as well as the designer’s quilt in a dark background, all color combinations are stunning.
Long Arm Quilting
I had this quilt professional long-arm quilted by my friend, Deb, of Owl Quilt It. I’ve said it before, but choosing the motif or pantograph at the end of the piecing process, is often the hardest choice for me. This is a baby quilt, but the colors are not specifically “baby”. There are beautiful graphics in the fabrics and I wanted to highlight the theme and name of Garden Paths. When I saw this design, I knew it was right. Notice how the leaves and berries so closely mimic the florals of the Little Clementine fabric? No doubt this was what I was looking for in the quilting. 99% of the time, I opt for a white thread; I want it to blend into the quilt, and not be distracting. This one will get cozier with each wash & tumble dry!
I like dense quilting. Some quilts lend themselves to more open stitching, but I like it when my quilts have a little tighter sizing on the edge to edge quilting.
Even my husband noted how much he likes this quilt. He’s my sidekick when it comes to photographing quilts, but also the one cheering me on along the way. He’s seen plenty of bright, bold, graphic prints and colors, so this one really got his attention. He said, “this isn’t usually what you choose, but I really like this one. I wouldn’t have thought I’d like it so much, but I really do.” Go figure….it’s OK to step outside our comfort zone of color!
If you follow me long enough, you’ll see a pattern of pieced quilt backs. I LOVE them. I do think there’s a beauty in a single fabric background, but I see the quilt back as one more chance to make something unique…it’s good “real estate”, if you will. You never know which side will be right side up when getting wrapped or cuddled with a quilt, so I want the back to be interesting too. It’s a good way to use any leftover bits and pieces that indicate what is found on the other side. You can see the Little Clementine fabric here, in all it’s glory. How sweet is that? It makes me smile. Oh, don’t forget to label your quilts! Artists sign their work; quilters should too.
This pattern is available beginning today, May 4, 2021 from http://www.whiteplainsquilts.com. All orders placed there today will be entered for a drawing to win $20.00 in shop credit. Patterns from this site will be discounted 20% until May 7, 2021. Brittany will also have limited quantities in quilt kits available, so shop early if you’re interested. This is not a sponsored post; I’m sharing these details so that you, too, can make this beautiful quilt pattern.
As I mentioned, I’ve used fabrics from Art Gallery Fabrics in prints and pure solids. This is also not sponsored by AGF (but I secretly, not so secretly, wish it were!). The feel of their fabric is delightful. The drape is something you just need to feel.
Thanks, Brittany, for including me once again in your team of pattern testers. I enjoyed it & I’m so happy with this fabric pull and finished quilt. I’m adding it to my collection of favorites!
All photos and content are property of Two Terriers Studio and not to be copied or distributed without written permission. This is not a sponsored post.
When we think of Scenic Roads, it may bring memories of wide-open country spaces, city skyscrapers, or rocky cliffs with an ocean on the horizon. Each of us has a different place we consider scenic or that calls for us when we need space. When I think of scenic roads, the very first vision is that of a particular bridge that leads into one of my family’s long time summer get-away towns. Crossing that span, windows down, arms out of the car, inhaling the salty sea breeze equals summer and time together. It is a blessing.
I was asked by Amanda, of www.artbycritter.com, to test her Scenic Road Quilt pattern and when I learned the back story, I was all in. Her father created a real, wooden barn star, that now hangs on a barn at the corner of Scenic Road and Hubertus Road in Hubertus, Wisconsin. This quilt design was a tribute to his work and a collaboration for them in the form of this quilt. Having grown up in the midwest, and visiting farms of my own extended family, this concept and design rang true for me in many ways. I remember the drives down gravel roads, the barns, the barn stars. I also thought of how fortunate I’ve been to see so many places across the USA and how each is scenic in its own way. Family, special places and horizons meshed into a quilt? Yes, please!
For my version of this quilt, I opted for solid fabrics that remind me of the shore. The blues, greens, gray and a hint of pink are all reminiscent of sunsets across a sandy beach. I spent the first 18 years of my life, land-locked in the midwest, but the ocean is where I feel most at home. This quilt design and these colors seemed a perfect union of those two things. I also realized this would be my first-ever, all solid fabric quilt top. I tend to lean toward bright colors and graphic prints, so this was a new scheme. I selected fabric by Art Gallery Fabrics http://artgalleryfabrics.com from their pure elements collection. The drape of this fabric is perfect. So smooth and easy to sew. It makes for a dreamy finish.
Even the “inside” of a quilt brings beauty. We so readily focus on the finish, but all great quilts start with a precise and solid foundation. I’m the first to admit, I like a quick to finish project. However, I’m slowly learning to enjoy not only the joy of that last stitch in a binding, but the measured and precise steps along the way. It all adds up, so I’m slowing down & enjoying the journey.
A Completed Top at Hillstead
Once my quilt top was complete, I wanted to get it photographed. I was so happy with how it turned out and couldn’t wait to share. Finding a place in New England in the spring became a little challenging, because Mother Nature was delivering the wind. Lots of quilt-whipping wind! My husband helps me with every photo shoot and I was so thankful he had a good grasp on my work as we moved from place to place looking for stillness. This may have been day 2 or 3; the first day sent us home pretty wind-blown; toting a quilt that needed another pressing.
I love this shot taken at the Hillstead Museum. A beautiful home, now a museum, is the first architectural project of Theodate Pope Riddle, the fourth registered female architect in the USA. She is an early proponent of historical preservation and caretaker of the family art collection. I thought it a fitting scene for this project
This is a large quilt, so I had it professionally long-arm quilted by my friend, Deb, of Owl Quilt It. I think she did a wonderful job and I really like the edge to edge design that swirls though the straight/geometric blocks. It reminds me of leaves, the wind and if I look just right, an “S”, which is the initial of my first name. I truly try to tie it all together with my projects, from the pattern to the final stitch.
Ta-da! It’s all done. I’m thankful for the opportunity to have been included in this pattern tester group and I’m happy to add this to the collection of quilts that will stay with my family. The large blocks, simplicity and accuracy of instructions lead to a quick finish and a quilt I love.
Today, April 17, 2021, the pattern is available for purchase. Amanda has designed a limited edition art print and a sticker that are also available for purchase. Look at her Instagram account (@quiltsbycritter) for the link in her bio for these items. Proceeds from the limited edition print will be donated to @mentalhealthamerica.
I hope all roads lead you to places of joy, health & prosperity. Thanks for being here to see my version of the Scenic Road.
Enjoy & happy quilting!
All photos and content, property of Two Terriers Studio; not to be duplicated or shared without written consent. This is not a sponsored post. (I wish it were!)
I’ve often admired quilt patterns by designer, Modernly Morgan, (www.modernlymorgan.com) so when she asked if I’d test this latest design, it was an easy “YES” from me. Morgan and I both have a love of scrappy quilts, so I was excited about the opportunity to work together. This pattern comes with instructions for three sizes – Baby, Throw and Bed. I made the 60″ square throw size.
Let’s just say, this pattern is a keeper.
The Making of a Quilt
Cozy Cabin is a modern twist on the traditional log cabin quilt block. The scrappy element is just a bonus, in my opinion. For my version of this quilt, I pulled a fat quarter bundle by Windham Fabrics www.windhamfabrics.com, designed by Amy Gibson, called Meriwether. The variety of florals, plaid, text, and blenders seemed the perfect foundation for this project. It’s bright and has a spring-like feel; just what I needed after a long winter.
I wouldn’t call a fat quarter bundle, “scrap”, in this case, it was “stash”. I purchased this collection a while back and saved it, knowing the right pattern would come along. Enter Cozy Cabin! When I first purchased this bundle, I didn’t have a pattern in mind, so I hadn’t accounted for the backing or binding. I consider myself very lucky that my local quilt shop had bolts of yardage, in stock, when it came time for me to finish the quilt. With the variety of colors and prints, I could have found a different fabric or collection to coordinate, but I’m thankful to have been able to keep the entire quilt in the Meriwether collection.
Half Square Triangles
Squaring up half-square triangles is an act of patience and accuracy. I actually prefer when a pattern has a little “wiggle room” in the measurements so that I can square-up to a perfect size, but I also like not having a lot of waste. This pattern calls for scant 1/4″ seams and as you can see, produces blocks with little waste.
Building the Blocks
Once the HSTs were made, I organized my remaining pieces into sets that would become one quadrant of each block. This step made it easy for me to pick up a set and sew as time permitted, even if I only had a few minutes between other obligations. The accuracy of the pattern made testing it a breeze. I was able to move through the sewing without issue.
This quilt came together so quickly. It’s a combination of the same block, repeated and rotated, throughout the layout. Once the pieces are cut and the HST trimmed, it was a lot of chain piecing for efficiency. I don’t tend to overthink blocks if I’m creating a scrappy look. Loving all the prints and knowing they work together certainly takes some of the worry out of the process for me. I had no doubt it would be cohesive.
I like the rotation of the blocks as it allowed me to think about the placement of pieces with text/font and how it would “read” once completely assembled. Additionally, if this were being made with a truly scrappy style, you could make each block independently with small pieces of fabric and make quite a dent in your scrap stash.
The top is pieced & swirled. This is the kind of cinnamon roll-like swirl that is calorie free! Look at all those delightful colors coming together.
The Finished Top/Front
There is always something fun for me in photographing a completed quilt top. My husband helps me every single time & thankfully, he’s tall and can keep them off the ground. To stand back, and see my effort and time spent creating a quilt, is gratifying. I think about the pattern, the designer, the fabric choice and how it tells a story. Seeing it from a distance also shows the secondary pattern; do you see it? Not just the stars, but the bands, joining the blocks. In our home, quilts are made to be used and loved. Seeing my favorite people enjoying something I’ve made makes it even more special.
Longarm Quilting and Binding
With this being a larger, 60″ square quilt, I opted to have it professionally quilted. When I make baby quilts, I feel more confident quilting them on my domestic machine, but I opt for straight lines and nothing too fancy. There are so many edge to edge designs available and I think this decision is one of the hardest for me to make in the entire process. Once it’s quilted, it is what it is and all the layers and seams are connected. It has to be right. I never want to get this close to the finish line and wing it. I used a 2.5″ straight cut binding and finished it by machine. Lately, I’ve been doing more binding by machine than by hand, because it takes practice and I’m comfortable practicing on quilts I know I intend to keep. Quilts I gift, those are mostly done with hand-stitched binding.
Here’s a closer look at the quilting pantograph. It’s an edge to edge design called Modern Twist.
Fabrics with text, fonts or inspirational messages are among my favorites. I wanted to include a large section of this yellow fabric in the quilt back, as well as using it for the binding. The evenly spaced rows of words almost give the binding a subtle stripe.
I enjoyed making this quilt & 100% plan to keep this one for myself! It’s a pattern I’d recommend and I think when you see the designer’s version and the other sizes and fabrics chosen by the team of testers, you’ll see that it works well in all colors and themes. Take a minute to visit Modernly Morgan on Instagram (@modernlymorgan) or her website, shown above, to purchase your own copy of this pattern. It is being released April 14, 2021.
Enjoy and happy quilting!
All photos and content property of Two Terriers Studio; not to be duplicated or shared without consent. This is not a sponsored post.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.