Holiday Hills Quilt #2

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.

Quilting Gifts

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.

Keeping Secrets

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.

The inspiration piece

Fabric

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.

Binding as garland

Longarm Quilting

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.

Finish line…

The Backing

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.

Cuddle worthy

Exhale

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.

Snow Prayers

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!

Holiday Hills Quilt #2

All Done

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.

Enjoy…..

All photos and content property of Two Terriers Studio; not to be duplicated or shared without written consent of the author.

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.

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.