The Houses on the Hill

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Back in April, a customer messaged me through my Etsy shop to commission a quilt. Due to a series of unexpected events (all related to the pandemic), the quilt took WAY longer than anticipated! But I am thrilled to be able to show you the finished quilt now!

Custom Hillside Houses quilt

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After a few messages, we were able to narrow down exactly what the quilt would be:

Hillside Houses pattern adjusted to a specific size (52" x 56")
Color palette to match existing home decor
Different sized windows and houses to add whimsy
Add cats and a dog to the quilt
Cream backing fabric with a hanging sleeve

Due to fabric shortages during the peak of mask-making, it took a bit of sleuthing to find all of the Kona solids that I would need. It took some extra time for shipping too, but a couple weeks after ordering, they all arrived!

No waste when using the AccuQuilt GO! for half square triangles

It also worked out perfectly that I could use my AccuQuilt GO! to cut all of the half-square triangles for the quilt! (Zero extra waste than the traditional HST method, but no trimming afterwards!)

All fabric cut for custom Hillside Houses quilt

My husband volunteered to help me organize the pieces into each row before sewing. He said it was like a real-life puzzle!

Custom Hillside Houses quilt
Custom Hillside Houses quilt
Custom Hillside Houses quilt

It was fun watching the quilt progress after adding each additional row! I used 50wt Aurifil #2605 Grey for all the piecing.

Custom Hillside Houses quilt

Once the top was finished, it was time to add the cats and dog! I decided to use solid black Island Batik fabric for these. Batik fabric doesn't fray as much as regular quilter's cotton, and since I was using raw-edge applique, I thought the batik would work better. I printed out clipart silhouettes then traced them onto the fusible web using my light pad.

Raw edge applique cat and dog

I used Lite Steam-A-Seam 2 to fuse them in place, then 50wt Aurifil #2692 Black to straight stitch just inside the raw edge of each one. I went slow, only taking one or two stitches before lifting the presser foot to pivot the fabric, and they each turned out great!

Raw edge applique of cats and dog

After loading the quilt on the longarm, I realized that picking the thread color for quilting was trickier than I expected! I had every color from the quilt in Aurifil 40wt or 50wt, but the darkest colors really showed too much on the lighter colors and vice versa. I had pretty much settled on the red wine color in the photo below when my husband suggested tan. I had four different shades of that, and to my surprise, Aurifil 50wt #2325 Linen blended beautifully with all the colors! 

Choosing Aurifil thread for quilting

I offered a few suggestions for the quilting, and the customer chose a large meander because it reminded her of a nice walk through a neighborhood. I love that reasoning!

Free motion meander quilting

Free motion meander quilting

I machine stitched the binding on - in the same color as the sky. (Binding tutorial here.)

Machine quilt binding

Once bound, I made a rod pocket to match the backing fabric and hand sewed it into place.

Adding a hanging sleeve

Hanging sleeve on back of quilt

The finished quilt has so much personality!

Custom Hillside Houses quilt

I love the mix of colors,

Custom Hillside Houses quilt

and those cats and dogs really add a special story to the quilt.

Custom Hillside Houses quilt

I added one of my new EverEmblem tags into the binding too.

Slice of Pi Quilts quilt label

I added extra insurance when shipping it (I've had more than one quilt lost in the mail!),

Dog and cat applique added to custom Hillside Houses quilt

and it arrived safely in its new home just two days later!

Custom Hillside Houses quilt

It's always an honor to create something for someone else, and this was no exception. I hope this quilt brings smiles and joy into its new home for many years.

Custom Hillside Houses quilt


  1. That is a very cool quilt! The tan thread for quilting was a great choice. I think I've read before that yellow will often work on quilts that have a lot of different colours, but I've never thought to test that out :)

  2. Beautiful! Did you cut your cats out by hand or did you have a cutter for that? They look so purrfect!

  3. Amazing quilt. The colours are awesome. And the cats and dogs....brilliant idea.

  4. I love this quilt! The colors are so perfect. I must admit, the daunting task of choosing colors has kept me from starting this one. Those dogs and cats are perfect, too. Great quilt!

  5. This is really fun, and I love the additions of the cats and dogs.

  6. What a great quilt. Love that it is so colorful. Did you create a pattern or were using a commercial pattern. So nice to have orders for custom quilts.

  7. I have always wanted to make this quilt. You have given me inspiration :)

  8. Wonderful quilt. Looks like a real picture and the cats and dogs included were brilliant. Thanks for sharing.

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  10. This a beautiful and interesting take on this pattern. I like it much better because it provides a different pattern rather than the usual rows of houses as individual blocks. The cat and dogs provide visual interest. The colors are spot on!

  11. Incredible quilt. So striking in this colour combination. I'm curious as to what colour you used for the roof? It looks different in every photo. At the top it looks dark grey and in some it looks navy blue, and in the bottom photos, it looks like royal blue/purplish.

    1. The roof color is navy. I was just looking at this post again this week and realized I didn't share the fabric colors! I'll edit the post to include those!


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