It’s been a LONG time since I’ve shared stories of quilts here. I didn’t realize how long until I started this post, but hello again, I’m glad you’ve joined me. I’ll be catching up with stories and photos of many quilts (some from 2022!) and travels very soon. I hope you’ll come back and visit.
A Pattern Test
This project was a pattern test for my quilt designer friend, Morgan, of www.modernlymorgan.com. She and I have worked together several times and when she asked me to test / review this pattern, I was happy to do it. Pattern testing gives me a path to keep my editing skills fresh and to work with talented makers, as well as having a sneak peek into yet to be released designs. It’s all good.
There’s a joke around the internet that buying fabric and quilting are two different hobbies. As a quilter, and fabric enthusiast, I tend to agree. I often buy fabric I love, without a clear-cut plan for it, but I know it will be used one day. Nothing goes to waste in my studio. For this quilt, I pulled a fat quarter bundle from my stash. This particular bundle is called Americana, by Art Gallery Fabrics. While it’s not specifically Stars and Stripes, the color variation is definitely one that evokes patriotic feelings. In a decade of quilting, I’ve not made a patriotic or Independence Day summer quilt, so this seemed the perfect time. I purchased this bundle from another friend, Jen at www.knottedthread.com.
There’s something so beautiful about freshly cut fibers, stacked neatly together. To take yardage, cut it apart and reassemble into something new is a wonderful thing.
Half-square triangles in the making. I’ve only recently started using Seam Tape when piecing HSTs. It certainly cuts down prep time and results in accurate measurements too.
Fabric confetti is an unavoidable “work hazard”! Even these tiny pieces have a purpose. I donate these to a friend who uses them as “stuffing” for bedding for local animal shelters. It makes my heart happy to know that nothing goes to waste and that these trimmings give comfort to an animal in need.
Piecing the Blocks
The instructions for this quilt are very straight forward and allow for a lot of chain piecing. I like the repetitive nature of matching blocks and being able to sew several sections all at once and then work on the layout by color value / design. Morgan’s patterns are precise and easy to follow. I never question the math or accuracy, even in the “testing & editing” phase.
I rely on a few tools in my studio to enhance my quilt blocks. A wool pressing mat, tailors’ clapper, a HOT iron (no steam) and Faultless “magic” spray. This is not a sponsored post (although, I wish it were!), but here’s a glimpse of some of my favorite tools. The combination of these really helps to create flat seams and we all know that flat seams build flat quilts.
A Stack of Blocks
Seeing these photos reminds me, again, how long it’s been since I’ve blogged! I started this quilt while there was still snow on the ground. The colors brightened those winter days and made me look forward to summer picnics and celebrations. This quilt has traveled all around the eastern USA; see the sights below.
The pieced top, not yet quilted, traveled to Florida. For my family, the beach is among our favorite places to be, so of course, I needed to photograph this here. I do travel with quilt tops; I like the varying scenery for backdrops, but it also blends my hobby/work with family adventures. My husband is my trusted quilt holder & photo assistant, and thank goodness he’s tall and willing to hold these for all the photos! I literally couldn’t do this without him. He’s my biggest cheer squad too.
Quilt Travels Continue
I sent this quilt top to NJ to be longarm quilted by Jen, at Knotted Thread. Her work is the exact finishing needed to bring these to life. I went with a swirl and star motif to balance the squares and to add a flair of celebration, as would be appropriate for Independence Day!
When it was returned to me, I brought it along on a trip to the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA. Norman Rockwell’s paintings and illustrations tell the story of American life and it was not only a treat to see all his work, but the property is gorgeous too. I thought it was an ideal location to photograph my Americana themed quilt; at the home/studio of a renowned American illustrator. If you ever find yourself in western Massachusetts, stop in and see his work. It’s even better up close. I was in awe of the details – you don’t want to miss it.
This pattern comes with instructions for four sizes: child, throw (as I’ve made), twin & bed. It is fat quarter friendly and would also be great in a scrap-busting finish. You can purchase this & other designs at Morgan’s website as linked above. Check out all the other testers’ versions on Instagram too; so much creativity and inspiration to be found there!
Thanks again to Morgan for including me in the tester group. I end up with so many beautiful projects by doing this work.
All photos and stories property of Two Terriers Studio & not to be duplicated or shared without written consent.