Garden Paths Quilt

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.

Trimming

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.

Matching points…game on

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.

Block Assembly

Two blocks for one quilt

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.

The Finish

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!

Garden Paths Quilt featuring Art Gallery Fabrics

Quilt Backs

The Pieced Backing of my Garden Paths Quilt

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.

All done…

The Details

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.

Scenic Road Quilt

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!

Fabric Selection

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.

Building Blocks

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.

Beautiful solids by Art Gallery Fabric

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

Quilted

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.

The Finish

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!)

Cozy Cabin Quilt

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Playroom – Everyone is Welcome

This is Playroom, the most recent fabric collection by Mathew Boudreaux aka @Misterdomestic, an Angles fabric designer for Art Gallery Fabric. I wish there were “touch-o-vision” so you could reach into the screen and feel the softness and drape of this fabric. It’s lovely! Whether in these prints or coordinating Pure Elements solids, this premium quilting cotton feels amazing. While I have not personally sewn with them, there are also substrates in knit & rayon. I’m tempted to learn more about garment sewing so that I can work with those as well.

In 2019, I was chosen by Mathew to join his team of Master Makers for the “Catch & Release” Blog Party. Fast forward a few months to the release of Playroom and the opportunity to sew for the Art Gallery Fabrics (artgalleryfabrics.com) Look Book. THAT was an exciting day. I saw these fabrics and instantly thought of which I’d use for a quilt, which would be “perfect” binding, those I wanted to save for English Paper Piecing and the ideas kept swirling. I was so anxious to begin. To not only have the chance to sew, but also be published in their book of inspiration, was a dream come true.

The entire collection brought me back to the days when my children were small and I was trying to teach them manners and the Golden Rule. Seriously, the “Playroom Rules” is among my favorites, with the positive affirmations and so many fonts. I love fabric with text.

Playroom Rules

The very first thing I made once the fabric arrived was a jelly-roll rug. Let’s start with a good foundation, right?

Prepping fabric strips and batting
Pattern by Roma Quilts

This rug requires quite a bit of straight line sewing, so make sure you have more thread than you think you need. Remember that comment about being anxious to start? Let’s just say, there was a lot of “bobbin-chicken” going on one day. I should have hit pause before I jumped in. In the end, it all worked out and I LOVE the finished product. And to top it off, since it’s made with quilting cotton, it’s machine washable. Even better.

Next was the Reflections Quilt, a pattern by Suzy Quilts (suzyquilts.com). This is the second time I’ve sewn this pattern and it goes together very quickly. The wide bands of fabric beautifully showcase a variety of prints. I made the baby size quilt; the pattern includes additional measurements for other finishes.

“Funloving” binding
Reflections, pieced and machine quilted by Stacey, Two Terriers Studio

Last, but not least, were three quilted nesting buckets. When I think back to my children’s playroom, I remember it being easier to stay organized, yet still fun, through the use of storage containers and buckets. I wasn’t sewing back then, but if I had been, you would have seen a lot more of these little goodies in every corner! In graduated sizes, they easily corral small toys, crayons or colored pencils and even a plant looks good tucked inside. I lined each of these buckets in a coordinating print, all have the same accent band for a cohesive look. The most difficult aspect of this project was wanting to make multiples of EVERYTHING because I had a hard time choosing a favorite print.

Quilted Nesting Buckets, Pattern by Christina Cameli of “A Few Scraps”, Bluprint

Childhood and playrooms should be fun, energetic, positive, inclusive and if you can, a time to surround yourself with super cool fabric! What better way to end the day than snuggled with your favorite person in a cuddly quilt?

Miss K…the adorable helper

In this joyful tribute to his daughter, Helena, Mathew perfectly captured designs with finger painting, alphabets, florals, hearts, melty beads, and more. There’s a saying for parenting young children that “the days are long, but the years are short”. True. Here’s to hoping we can all remain kids at heart!

Special thanks to Samantha for letting me photograph Miss K. Big, giant thank you to Mister Domestic. Working with you is the best.

All patterns were purchased by Two Terriers Studio for this project; all photos property of Two Terriers Studio. Comments and opinions are my own, not sponsored or paid.