The Great Outdoors

In 2021, I joined Kitty Wilkin, @nightquilter, for her Quilt Your Life Community program. I had taken a virtual class with her prior to that & found her teaching style and skill to be very inviting and inspiring. Being a member of the QYL Crew was an obvious next step for me. Kitty has designed so many beautiful blocks and patterns; I was anxious to incorporate them into personal projects.

Thinking about the concept of “Quilt Your Life”, was both exciting and overwhelming. If you think about life, there are so many facets and measurable events. My head was spinning. It was a struggle narrowing it to something manageable. Kitty kept saying, “keep it simple, keep it simple.” I began a quilt that would track a 10-week program I was participating in, but in brainstorming what else this could be, I thought of loved ones and what I could make for them. We each have unique lives. How could I document something about each of them into a quilt-like piece of art?

Scenes in Colorado

I have a niece who loves the outdoors; camping, hiking, skiing and more. I’ve not sewn a lot of things for her recently, so she came to mind for this first pass at sewing tiny “life” quilts. One of the patterns Kitty has designed is called Sew Tiny Adventures. The camping tent, pine trees and mountain ranges are perfect for this niece. Knowing I wanted to frame this piece, I upscaled the pattern about 56%; it’s still tiny.

Attention to details

Tiny Blocks = Tiny Quilts

These blocks finish under 1.5″, so I needed to join them & then border with more fabric to fit the frame. This is finished like a quilt with wool batting and quilt cotton backing. It’s signed & my logo is attached, in the event the piece is ever separated from the frame. The informal tent, tree & mountains called for simple straight line quilting. Just enough texture, but leaving the images to stand on their own.

For the Adventurer

Now that this is finished & gifted, I’m able to share here. My wheels are in motion once again about what might come next. I have my own 10-week milestone quilt to design & finish. To be able to share a mini-quilt, personalized to a loved one, was FUN. It’s one of a kind and that’s always a good thing, right?

Get outdoors; live and document life!

Enjoy…

All photos and text property of Two Terriers Studio; not to be copied or distributed without written consent of the author.

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.

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.

Urban Light Quilt

What’s the saying, “better late than never”? That applies to this post! The timing of my blogpost has nothing to do with my enthusiasm for this pattern or quilt. I finished the quilt top MONTHS ago, but I’m just now getting around to showing the final project.

In the spring of 2021, I was asked by Karen, http://www.bloomingpoppies.net to test this pattern, the Urban Light Quilt. When I saw her mock-ups and how the color choices influenced the overall design, I knew immediately I wanted to make this. Not to mention, just wanting to work with a designer who loves improvisation, like I do.

I pulled from my fabric stash and settled on this Catch & Release collection by Art Gallery Fabrics. More than 2 years ago, I sewed for the AGF Look Book & Blog party, and at the time I was so obsessed with the designs, I purchased several yards of each fabric after the maker projects were done. I’ve hoarded it a bit over the past couple years, but finding ways to incorporate it into new quilts has been nice.

The Urban Light Quilt comes in 5 sizes, I made the large throw. One thing to note about this quilt is that the blocks are large, they repeat and make for a fast finish. The cutting instructions are very easy to follow and if my memory serves me correctly, I was able to put this together in just a couple days. I preface that with the reality that I have few distractions and blocks of time each day to sew. In any case, it’s not a pattern that will take much time given the design and overall block size.

There are traditional elements like flying geese in this design. I love the no-waste approach. I did incorporate text fabric in my quilt and while some of it “reads” correct, directionally, I decided to not be too fussy about the blocks individually. With this particular print, the text is multi-directional on it’s own, so there didn’t seem to be an “up” distinction anyway. Also, with a square quilt, who even knows which direction it will be used on any given day. It all works out; don’t sweat it.

Untrimmed flying geese

Aren’t the fish & florals just a perfect nod to summer? I think they are so sweet. There’s something whimsical about it that made me look forward to summer days.

It’s coming together.

This block, on its own, would make a beautiful pillow cover to accompany this quilt.

More geese…

My favorite color is red and I chose to add a pop of this AGF Pure Elements Solid to the mix. In my opinion, it’s the perfect, clear red. I believe it’s actually called “London Red”. Favorite color and one of my favorite vacation destinations, how could it not work?

Urban Light, the completed top

As I mentioned, this quilt top and the pieced backing were finished in the spring of 2021. Snow was still on the ground in New England, but this bright fabric was calling for summer. I really like the simplicity of the blocks, but each time I look at it, I see another element in the design that pulls my attention.

Fast forward to summer, June 2021 to be more specific, and my Urban Light is back from the longarm quilter. I brought it along on our family vacation, knowing that these water colors, fish, florals, and the patriotic feel would be perfectly photographed at the beach.

I chose an edge to edge pantograph that mimics the ripple of water. Don’t forget that the thread and this quilting is yet another element to be considered. After all the work to piece it together, I have to remind myself that there’s one more decision to be made. No time for snoozing. With so many angles, I like the smooth curves and motion across these blocks. The binding is done in a small floral, framing it all in red, white, and blue.

Urban Light at the MA shore

This is a pattern I would highly recommend and it’s available on the designer’s website mentioned above. Take a peek at her account or follow the hashtag to see the other tester’s variations; it’s interesting how color choice changes the look of this quilt. Seeing my own version, sometimes the center appears to be a floral motif, sometimes I notice the stars, sometimes it’s the POP of red. How fun to have a quilt with such dimension. I love it and hope it brings cozy snuggles to anyone who gets a chance to use it.

I’m appreciative of the opportunity to work with Karen & to have tested this pattern. I’ve worked with her again since making this one & that second quilt will be posted soon!

Happy Quilting…

All photos and content property of Two Terriers Studio; do not replicate or distribute without permission. This is not a sponsored post.

The Gravitate Quilt

Summer, sunshine and star block quilts. It’s a winning combination, as is this new pattern by Modernly Morgan (www.modernlymorgan.com).

Having tested Morgan’s last pattern, the Cozy Cabin Quilt, I was definitely excited when she asked if I’d test this one as well. She and I share a love of star blocks and stash-busting quilts, so I knew it would be a great project. It’s a fat quarterly friendly pattern, and I decided to cut into my Tula Pink “Homemade” bundle. In this process, I learned that accuracy is important before making the first cut. Not all my FQs were accurately sized, so I had to swap a couple in the preparation process. This pattern is designed with very little waste, so having a FQ that is too small (it happens!), is something to take notice & choose accordingly.

Block Preparation

I do use a wool pressing mat and a mini Oliso iron when pressing blocks. My family gifted both these tools to me and I use them both every single time I sew. For me, it sure beats moving to a large ironing board over & over while making blocks.

Chain Piecing

In making this quilt, I looked through each of my cut pieces and assembled piles or sets of each block I intended to make. Sometimes, I choose as I go. This time, I knew I’d be working in more fragmented sewing sessions as my calendar was a bit hectic. Setting aside all the pieces and being able to fit in a block here or there made the most sense. I definitely fell into a rhythm and the written directions are so clear and concise, I was able to pick up a block set and sew as time allowed. I’m still amazed at how quickly a quilt of this size came together, even with my studio time being less flexible recently.

Vibrant Blocks

It’s a happy moment when the points are on point!
Back-lit quilt blocks remind me of stained glass art.
Measure twice, cut once.

I have always been a fan of bold graphics and colorful fabrics. I keep a bin of Tula Pink fabric for those moments when the feeling, “I need a BRIGHT quilt”, strike. Because I like a scrappy look and her collections are so well matched in color and tone, I find it easy to blend prints without too much worry. This particular line, “Homemade”, features all things sewing related. It’s perfect for me & my hobby-loving heart. I will say that I’m not 100% focused on directional fabric matching every single time. None of my quilts are on beds. They are all used for picnics, days at the beach, watching movies or wrapping up little babies for warmth. That being said, the directions shift with each use, so I’m personally OK with the fabric facing different (all?) directions. Of course, if there is a specific need for it to be directional, I make that effort; it mostly applies to text print. It’s fair to say, I’m not overly fussy when I know it’s a quilt I’m keeping for myself or my family.

The Quilt Swirl

Once all the blocks were made and the quilt top was pieced, it had to be a quilt swirl! In addition to my love of quilting, I also have a sweet tooth. This type of swirl is all the beauty, none of the calories. How could I resist?

As you can see, I blended a few collections here. Homemade, Pom Pom, True Colors and Curiouser & Curiouser. For those of you who may be new to fabric acquisition, my one bit of advice would be to choose a favorite fabric and buy enough of it for a quilt backing at the same time you buy a bundle. I didn’t always do that & now I have a stash of beautiful fabric bundles or precuts or maybe even smaller yardages, but not always a piece large enough for a large backing. If matching matters, this is a helpful tip. If not, ignore it. For my Gravitate Quilt, I wanted it to be cohesive. Thankfully, my local quilt shop had just stocked this newest line of prints and I was able to purchase enough to finish my quilt. They did not have yardage of the other collections. I’ve been working very hard to not purchase new fabric until I use more of my existing fabric; Lord knows I have enough already.

Off to the Longarm Quilter

This quilt was quilted by Jenn, @knotted_thread, on Instagram. I cannot say enough good things about her skill and customer service. She is responsive, reasonably priced and I’m happy with the finish work she did on this piece.

Binding Time

The binding is ready

I anticipate this being a well-loved (ie – often used) quilt, so I opted to machine sew the binding. Most of the time, I machine sew to the front and hand-bind to the back. With this one, it’s all machine sewn. It’s a little stressful for me, because I know hand-sewn is more precise and “hidden”, but I also know I can only get better at machine binding if I actually practice. Finding a good thread match is key; especially in the learning stages.

Ready for the Close-up

The Gravitate Quilt; pattern by Modernly Morgan. Pieced by Stacey, Two Terriers Studio.
All done!

Thank you, Morgan, for including me in this pattern test. I’m already envisioning this in different color-ways and looking forward to making another. Special thanks to my HHQ, “husband holding quilts”. He so willingly helps me scope out locations and keeps my work from getting dirty, or in this case, sea soaked.

If you’re looking to make a star block quilt, definitely check into this one.

Happy Quilting!

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.

The Londoner Quilt

I remember, as much of the world does, watching Lady Diana Spencer become Diana, Princess of Wales. Yes, I woke at 4am to watch the Royal Wedding, before heading off to school. Don’t judge, maybe it isn’t your thing. I wasn’t a princess & fairytales kind of kid, but this was entirely different. I had never seen anything like a royal wedding and I found it all quite fascinating. In the process, I fell in love with images of the UK; the castles, the countryside, the hustle and bustle of the city, the “proper-ness” and even the music scene. It seemed a world away and I really liked it. I had no first hand knowledge, but I wanted so badly to go see for myself.

Fast forward a few decades. I traveled to London with my husband and children, after I’d waited so long to see it all in person. It was even better than I anticipated. The feeling I had about this place was etched in my mind and being there was exciting. We walked or used the London Underground for all our transportation. Those rings became a new symbol for my “London Story”. One aspect that was new to me since that fairytale wedding years before, was that I had become a quilter. A new stop on the “to do” list became Liberty of London. WOW. What a store. A fabric haven, if there is such a thing. In London, no less. That stop made me look at fabric and florals differently than I ever had before.

Why all the backstory?

It may not the be case for everyone, but creativity in quilting, especially for me, comes from a feeling. I don’t know that I can perfectly explain it, but it’s never just the pattern or the fabric. It’s not the desire to work with a specific designer or fabric collection. It’s ALWAYS a feeling for me. A connection to something personal, a memory, a spiritual significance, a reminder of someone or some place; it’s the story. I work best when it all connects. All aspects ultimately count, but I’ve tuned in to that little voice or emotion and what I’ve learned is that my favorite quilts come from tying together the story.

A New Quilt Story

The Londoner. When I saw those tell-tale, iconic symbols of the underground transit system of London in a new pattern, I was all in on making this quilt. London. Yes, please. This is a must make.

The Londoner, by Two Terriers Studio 2020

This pattern by Megan Lopez, founder of The Athena Workshop (www.theathenaworkshop.com), was a delight to make. Do not let the sewing of curves derail you. She has designed these blocks with detailed instructions and room for squaring up to achieve precision in the finished block.

Sewing curves tip – pin & go slowly

I opted for non-traditional colors, as we know the London Underground symbol to be red & blue. There are hints to the original colors and circular pattern, so it clicked for me as a lovely option for a baby quilt.

Pin, Pin, Pin

If you’ve ever sewn with me, you probably notice that I don’t often pin straight seams. That is not the case when I sew curves. All the tips & tricks are in the pattern, but squaring up the edges, pinning the center, and sewing slowly works well for me.

One thing I vividly remember from my visit to London, are the expansive gardens and so many beautiful flowers. These prints are a nod to the colors of the original symbol, and my memories of the flowers. The yellow cross bar echoes the circles as well, although in reality, it would be a solid red.

Once the quilt top was pieced and a backing chosen, I made the binding. This plaid turned out to be a fun frame and matching the patterns at the joined seams was a challenge I set for myself. Let’s just say, sometimes you win, sometimes you rip seams & start again.

Binding

The last step of the pattern is how it will be quilted. I wanted to have this professionally quilted or “longarmed”, so I had a few more design options available than what I would be able to do on my domestic machine. In keeping with those feelings and memories of London, I chose an edge to edge design that reminded me of a subway map. Those tracks are never straight lines, they do go around corners and often intersect and look at bit haphazard.

Edge to edge quilting by Deb, Owl Quilt It
My Finished Londoner Quilt, Two Terriers Studio 2020

It may be small, but it is mighty. The memories, the flowers, the freedom of travel, the TUBE, and now the quilt. What a serendipitous moment to have it all come together for me in this quilting project. I am so grateful for the opportunity to work with Megan and to have tested this pattern before its release to the public. Her story of London and her current work outside of quilting are an inspiring read. I am moved by the final few pages of her patterns. Let’s just say, she is not only sharing her love of quilting and design, but she is working to help others who may need resources and assistance out of incredibly difficult situations. The power of giving back and helping other lies within all of us.

Not quite the London Underground, but special thanks to my husband for helping with quilt photos

This quilt pattern has options for crib, throw, and bed sizes. It is also fat-quarter friendly. Today, 12/4/20 through 12/6/20, you can find this pattern and all other @theathenaworkshop patterns on sale for 20% off. If you love all things UK or consider yourself an “anglophile”, I’d suggest adding this pattern to your collection. I enjoyed making it and I’m inspired by the original color schemes and those the other testers have been posting online. On Instagram, follow the hashtag #londonerquilt.

I “may” have already purchased some London themed fabric to make a larger version to keep for myself. We can’t leave out those red phone booths, crown & scepter or Stonehenge, right?

While my version came together based on my personal love of London and tying it together into a quilt, let your creativity and your story drive your quilting endeavors. Quilts are the embodiment of love. How will you tell the story?

All content and photos property of Two Terriers Studio and not to be shared or duplicated without written permission. This is not a sponsored post; just a reflection of my own thoughts & sewing.

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.

Nothing Left Behind

Improvisational blocks

UFOs. Does the mere mention of UFOs bring up visions of spacecrafts and beings from another galaxy? A favorite sci-fi movie? The utterance of “UFO” in the quilting community may leave you with a sigh or a head nodding in agreement, “Yes. I have UFOs. You, too?” I’ve yet to meet a quilter without one (too many) UFOs. We group them by stages of progress, ideas on paper or those remnants of half-finished dreams, lurking in a sewing room, waiting for attention.

UFO, the Un-Finished-Object.

There are ways to address this phenomenon. Resume, rework, rehome. Depending on the project, it may mean resuming when time & enthusiasm allow. You can also rework that project into something new or just rehome it. Rehoming may be the best option if you can’t see finishing it, but also don’t want it to go to waste. There’s no shame in passing it along to another maker who may have the perfect vision, time and interest in bringing it to the finish line. One person’s trash is another’s treasure. You know the saying.

For those who know me well, you know I LOVE a good scrappy project. I keep the bits and pieces left behind from finished projects and try to rework them into new things. I have a hard time letting go of fabric or other notions, as I don’t want to be wasteful. I know small scraps aren’t for everyone, but an experienced quilter once told me, “you know, your scraps cost the same per yard as the full yard.” WOW. One sentence has stuck with me for almost a decade. I REWORK whenever I possibly can.

Lotus Blossom Quilt, 2020

Earlier this year, I made this crib quilt and had quite a few scrap pieces leftover. You can read the full story, Lotus Blossom Quilt, in an earlier post. This ombre confetti dot is such a vibrant and fun fabric collection, those scraps went into my “save” pile. How on earth could I let them go?

Improvisational block by Two Terriers Studio, 2020

When I rework fabric scraps into something new, I often start by sewing strips into improvisational blocks. I don’t always have a plan or reason behind the placement, sizes or angles. My approach is to just use what I have and square it up later. If the choices worked together in a quilt or other project, they will likely work together in random order. I don’t overthink it. The goal is to finish.

More improv

In this case, I compiled four, relatively similar sized improvisational blocks and decided to turn them into zipper pouches. In addition to quilting, I enjoy making bags of all shapes and sizes and the zipper pouch is a favorite. These small, quick projects allow me to organize things into cute, handmade accessories! A zipper pouch is good for storing cosmetics, electronics cords, art supplies, face masks and whatever small items you may want to group & carry along. I literally have a shelf with zip pouches lined up, one after the next. They are filled with hand-sewing notions, EPP templates, fabric and glue sticks, one with masks, another with wonder-clips. It helps me to be organized.

Zipper Pouch Progress

Once the scraps were sewn into “new fabric”, I chose coordinating YKK zippers, fusible fleece, lining fabric and went to work. Rework, actually. What’s also cool about using these leftovers is that nothing is left behind and the pieces bring the history of the original project. When I see these finished pouches, I not only like the pouch, but remember the process of creating the original quilt.

The final four…for now
Improv pieced zipper pouches by Two Terriers Studio, 2020

While this addresses “Rework”, I have projects in the resume and rehome categories too. My personal goal for 2020 is to FINISH all my UFOs before January 1, 2021. I’m becoming better about letting things go and rehoming fabric to other maker friends. It makes me happy to see what they create with fabric I purchased. Often, it’s not even close to my initial idea and that is so fun to see, when it happens.

I want to thank my fellow maker, Bobbi Gentilli, @geekybobbin (IG) and http://www.geekybobbin.com for coordinating this Blog Hop for the month of November 2020. She invited and included makers in various mediums to discuss their ideas for “Resume, Rework & Rehome”. Everyone is listed below; maybe you’ll learn a new way to address your own UFOs. May the force be with you.

http://geekybobbin.com
https://prettypiney.com/blog
https://canuckquilter.com
https://www.duckcreekmountainquilting.com
http://www.meandcoach.com
https://saidwithlove.com.au
http://sarahruiz.com
https://yoursewingfriend.com/blogs/sewing-friend-news
https://www.justgetitdonequilts.com/blog
https://snowydaysquilting.com
http://www.sunflowerstitcheries.com
https://www.blueheronquilting.shop/blog
http://sewingcorals.blogspot.com
https://www.devotedquilter.com
https://www.desertbloomquilting.com
http://www.tourmalinethymequilts.com
http://www.quiltfox-design.com
http://twoterriersstudio.net
https://cinziawhite.com
https://www.sliceofpiquilts.com
http://thebarefootcrafter.com
http://www.dragonflysquiltshop.com
http://www.quiltfox-design.com
https://quiltingmccabe.wordpress.com/
https://stitchinginheels.blogspot.com
http://shipsandviolins.com
http://katiemaequilts.com/blog
https://www.cozyfunkycool.com/
https://www.schooloflinedesign.com
http://NerdyQuiltersBlog.blogspot.com
UFOvember Participants

All story content & photos, property of Two Terriers Studio and not to be duplicated or shared without consent. This is not a sponsored post.