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.