The Wizard, a Commission

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?”

Happy Mail

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 Blocks

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.

Metallic Clouds

Joining blocks

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.

Complete

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.

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.