Over The Hills – A Quilt Pattern Test
I’m “over the hills” excited to have connected with Suzy from Suzy Quilts to help test out her new pattern about to be released. I mean, how could I not be?! I not only get a sneak peak at her gorgeous work before it hits the market, but I also get to share my feedback and feel like I contributed in a small way – yay!!
I haven’t known Suzy for very long, but I just adore her work and the fun YouTube tutorials she shares.
Ok, so now for the fun part – my pattern testing experience!
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I definitely have an eye for detail, which can be a curse or a blessing depending on how you look at it! But it certainly comes in handy when pattern testing!
After getting the Over The Hills pattern, I quickly scanned it to get an idea of how it generally comes together and what the fabric requirements were for each size option. I do love a pattern with more than just one size, don’t you?
I didn’t get too into the details of the pattern, as I wanted to first pick my fabric. For me, a lot of the design happens while picking my colourways. Unlike my Weight of Love fabrics, I didn’t really have an initial gut instinct, rather a bunch of ideas that needed more exploring. About an hour later, I had pulled several colourways and jotted down a few fabric layout ideas.
My biggest challenge was shopping my stash to find the right fabric requirements. I really wanted to incorporate linen as the name of the pattern, Over The Hills, immediately conjured images of lazy walks in the countryside and I wanted something natural to fit that.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough linen to make that happen. In the end, I decided upon this sweet heart pattern called I Heart U in gray from the With Love collection by Jackie McFee for Camelot Fabrics. It seemed perfect for a baby girl’s quilt – not too girly, but still sweet and soft looking. I paired that with some Kona solids in *Iron and *Baby Pink.
Lesson number 1 in following a pattern is to read it in it’s entirety before getting started. Well I did, but clearly didn’t pay too much attention to all of the details as I proceeded to cut my yardage into strips that were about 2” too small. Instead of scrapping that colourway, I decided on a mini version!
I really enjoyed pulling this block together. The templates included take the guess work out of the equation, but you can also go free hand to really emphasize the wonkiness of the design (which is what I did for the outer hill). And Suzy’s video on piecing curves was super helpful and took some of the fear out of my first attempt at curves. Hands down the best part about her technique is no pins!! Say what?! Check it out here.
Once I got my hill created and added the borders, it was time for some hand quilting. I’m still really enjoying big stitch quilting and dipped into my stash of 12wt Aurifil thread. I contemplated using a brighter colour, but I really wanted the overall design to be soft and muted. So I went with a matching light pink in the colour Pale Pink #2410.
By going with a mini version, it gave me the chance to test out the pattern, get a feel for how the curves are pieced together and practice a few different quilting options. I literally lost count of the number of stitches I pulled out while I was finalizing my quilt design!
It’s actually a great idea to do a test block, this way you don’t over commit your beloved fabric and you can change things up when you tackle the real McCoy!
The binding was another point that needed contemplation. I originally had a floral fabric selected that just felt wrong and too busy once I had the block completed. And then it became a battle between the matching solid pink or the gray and white stripe. Both would have worked, but I went for the stripes for added detail and to keep the final design from being too girly.
Isn’t this little mini the cutest!
Suzy’s pattern will be available here later this month, so if you’re looking to give curves a go this would be a great project for you!
A special thank you to Suzy for entrusting me with reviewing her pattern. I had such a great time testing it out and realized that I really enjoy pattern testing!!
P.S. I think I might start a little wall hanging section in my studio to showcase mini quilts and blocks I try out. I can take a trip down memory lane while quilting away! What do you do with your minis?