Sunday, January 28, 2018

I'm Not Sewing, I'm Cleaning My Sewing Room!

The hubby asked if I would pick up my sewing projects that have buried the albatross - the hubby calls it a treadmill - that is in my sewing room. I admit the projects have kind of taken over that area of my small sewing room, so I started to organize them a week ago. That lasted all of five minutes when I uncovered a stack of my daughter's high school and college t-shirts that I had planned to make a t-shirt quilt for her someday. Well, I decided that someday was now and proceeded to start another project! The hubby is baffled how cleaning my sewing room always ends with me making a project rather than finishing cleaning. The good news is that I finished the quilt top this weekend! See honey, I did get some cleaning done!!!

T-Shirt Quilt by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com
As you can tell by the dates on some of the shirts, this has been a loooong over due project so it feels good to have the top complete and the stack of shirts gone. 

T-Shirt Quilt by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com
The shirts consisted of maroon, black, gray and white high school shirts and purple Kansas State shirts with a few 4-H shirts sprinkled in. With the variety of colors, I decided to use solid black and white fabric for the setting fabrics. I backed all of the shirts with Pellon SF101 (best I've found for backing t-shirts!) and then cut them out. Most of them were cut in 15.5" squares, with the smaller ones cut to fit into a grid that would end up a 15.5" square. After I figured out my layout - it's kind of like putting a puzzle together, I sashed each block, alternating with either black or white fabric.

T-Shirt Quilt by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com
I hope to quilt this in the next week or so. I plan to quilt it with an all-over pattern because I really don't want to spend a huge amount of time custom quilting it. I am a little worried about skipped stitches on a couple of the puffy rubbery designs on the shirts. Anyone have any tips for quilting through the designs on a long arm? I plan to use a spoon foot and I may put some Press 'n Seal over some of the decals so that the foot doesn't stick and pull the shirts.

Row Quilt Challenge by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com
Some of you may remember from my last post that I was spending last weekend at my mom's for her annual sister's sewing weekend. I took my quilt guild challenge quilt from last year (a row quilt) to work on. Of course, first order of business after getting set up was to lay out all my rows completed so far to show everyone.

Twinkly Star Blocks by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com
I didn't get as much accomplished as I'd hoped, but I knocked out one more row. I made my own template to make these little 4" twinkly star blocks, 15 in all. Two and a half more rows to go!

Sisters Sewing Weekend by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com
Besides sewing, we spent the weekend playing cards, visiting and, of course, eating. I also taught my aunts a little EPP and they made hexie flowers to top their vintage planter pincushions that they made. Here they all are - mom and her 4 sisters (there are two more sisters that couldn't come) with their pincushions. (Mom is second from the right).

Remember, if you have any tips on quilting a t-shirt quilt, please share! Thanks!

~Sharla

http://www.thistlethicketstudio.com/2018/01/cleaning-my-sewing-room-really.html

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Progress & A Present

I've been stealing a few minutes here and there to sew. I'm working on my quilt guild row quilt challenge from last year. I updated my status on this project a couple of weeks ago here. Since then I've finished two rows! Here's a few of my railroad crossing blocks.....
Railroad Crossing Blocks Made By Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio..com

And here are my little 2" hearts (although they look a little lot messy with all the untrimmed strings).....
Row of Heart Blocks By Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

Next row up is the star row. I debated what type of star block I wanted to make and settled on this 4" twinkle star one (I made my own pattern).....
Twinkle Star Block By Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

I'm hoping to get lots accomplished this weekend. It's my mom's birthday weekend and she hosts a sewing retreat for her sisters and I every year to celebrate. After the stars, I have three rows left: card trick, goose tracks and snail's trail. I'm sure I won't get them all done because there will be lots of card playing and other things mixed in.

Speaking of mom's birthday, here's a little birthday card I gave her. I found this vintage postcard while antiquing in Texas and decided to frame it. Then I decorated the frame with vintage glass, mother of pearl, and metal buttons (plus a couple of other vintage things) since mom collects old buttons. Notice that I even set the time on the watch face to 1:18 - her birth date😊
Framed & Decorated Vintage Birthday Card Created By Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

Happy sewing everyone!

~Sharla


http://www.thistlethicketstudio.com/2018/01/progress-present.html

Thursday, January 11, 2018

My 2018 Finish-A-Long Q1 Goals

New year, new hopes to achieve some quilting goals, although I have no expectations to achieve a majority of these goals. Still, joining up with the 2018 Finish-A-Long is at least a motivation to try! Go check out the FAL info page and join me in my attempt to finish some UFOs this year! So here's a list of my first quarter goals - in no particular order.....
2018 Finish-A-Long 1st Quarter Goals by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

1. H.O.M.E. Individual Mini Quilts: My mom gave me this cool galvanized metal shelf with hanging rod for Christmas. Thanks to the hubby, the shelf is up and a quilt is hanging on the rod but I'd like to make four mini quilts to spell out 'home' for a little banner to layer on top of the quilt. I originally was going to spell 'howdy' but after measuring the rod, I think there is only room for 4 minis, so I changed my plan. I'm using Lori Holt's Spelling Bee book for the patterns.
Spelling Bee Alphabet Mini Quilts on Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

2. HOME Mini Quilt: This mini quilt is from Lori Holt's Spelling Bee book also. I think it's so cute and would like to make it to hang on my vintage chippy door that leans against a wall in my living room. It's kind of repetitive with the previous mini quilts I want to make, but that's ok, it will only hang between holidays when I don't have a holiday mini quilt to hang on the door.
Spelling Bee "Home" Mini Quilt on Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

3. Just The Atoms Quilt: I started this quilt last fall using the scraps I had left from my "Molecules of Moda: Bella Solids" challenge quilt. I don't think this would be too time consuming so maybe I'll get around to working on it some more😏
Circle Blocks by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

4. Christmas Fabric Collection: One of my top goals this year is to design a collection of Christmas fabrics that I want to make personalized Christmas stockings for my kids and grandkids. Right now I've just been using some simple knit stockings from Target but that just isn't cutting it. I want to design fabric that will tie my red, green and brown Christmas decorations and my blue and brown living room together so it looks more cohesive. This quarter, I want to get the fabrics designed and printed. I start with small black ink sketches like these that I upload to Photoshop then color and manipulate from there.
Sketches For Fabric Design by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

5. Christmas Star Quilt: I made this quilt many years ago and did some basic line quilting on my DSM. The lines are few and far between so I decided I wanted to put this on my long arm and requilt it. I started in July, then broke my elbow and hands. I had to take it off the machine and tossed it in the corner to quilt my Moda Bella Challenge quilt and there it still lies.
Christmas Star Quilt by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

6. Frivols Kindred Quilt: Another project I started last year that got derailed when I fell. I have half the blocks made.
Bonnie & Camille Kindred Quilt Blocks by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

7. 2017 Quilt Guild Row Quilt Challenge: I was doing great keeping up on this one until I fell in July. I have started working on it again (I blogged about it last week here), and actually got the heart row completed. My mom is hosting her annual Birthday Sewing Retreat next weekend with her sisters (and me) and this is the project I'm taking to work on.
Quilt Guild Row Quilt Challenge Quilt by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

I know I won't get all of these completed this quarter, especially since we hope to spend some time in Texas yet this winter too. But, at least I have a to-do list lined out and maybe I'll be able to mark one or two off my list!

I'll be linking this post up with the 2018 FAL Q1 Goals linky.

~Sharla

http://www.thistlethicketstudio.com/2018/01/my-2018-finish-long-q1-goals.html

Friday, January 5, 2018

New Year, Old Projects

With the new year, I'm hoping comes new motivation and inspiration. I'm hoping to bring my mojo/sewjo back with a little sewing each day. And I'm hoping to do it with some old projects that have been languishing for far too long. First project up is my row quilt that was last year's quilt guild challenge.

Row by Row Quilt Guild Challenge Quilt by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com
It's not that old of a project, in fact we just drew the last row - stars - in November. But, I've had pieces cut out for the hearts and railroad crossing rows that are getting scattered around. So yesterday, I gathered them all up (amazingly, all the pieces were accounted for) and I started sewing them together.

Row by Row Quilt Guild Challenge Quilt by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com
I'm several rows behind on this project. Everything was going hunky-dory until I fell in July and broke my elbow and hands. Then I got waaaay behind, so I have all six of the last rows to finish. Sure, I worked on it some. Right before each guild meeting, I'd try to make a couple of blocks for show and tell. But then it would get put aside. So here is an inventory of where I'm at: 
  • Rows 1 - 6 complete: 9-patch variation, pinwheels, bear paws, flying geese, bow ties and baskets.
  • Row 7: Snail's trail - two 8" blocks made, five to make.
  • Rows 8 & 9: Card trick and goose tracks: nothing started, need to decide size of block and make all blocks.
  • Row 10: Hearts - twenty 2" hearts are complete, remaining 10 are partially made.
  • Row 11: Railroad Crossing - six 6" blocks are complete, the other six are partially made.
  • Row 12: Stars - nothing started, need to decide type and size of block and make all blocks.

Row by Row Quilt Guild Challenge Quilt by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com
I'm making each row 60" wide, so I've been making a variety of sizes of blocks hoping that the smaller 2" and 3" blocks will offset the bigger 6" & 8" blocks and the quilt won't become too long. I'm adding a 1" sashing between each row. If I have enough fabric left from my fat quarter bundle of Moda Etchings, I think I'll make a piano key border. I blogged about this project here, here, here and here, so if you want to learn more about it, go check it out.

Row by Row Quilt Guild Challenge Quilt by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com
So how are you starting out your new sewing year? With old projects or new projects? How do you find your sewing mojo when it's been MIA?

Wishing you all a Sew Happy New Year!

~Sharla

http://www.thistlethicketstudio.com/2018/01/new-year-old-projects.html

Monday, January 1, 2018

It's Not Christmas Until The Chocolate Covered Cherries Are Made

Christmas for my family is centered around spending time together, opening gifts, playing cards and eating. One thing that we always have to make for our Christmas sweets table is homemade chocolate covered cherries. It's a recipe my mom started making when I was a child. The duty was passed down to me when I married and now, my daughter also makes them (although she is known for soaking her cherries in alcohol first). I've shared the recipe here on my blog a couple of years ago, but I decided to share it with my family on an original recipe tea towel I designed.

Original Recipe Tea Towel Designed By Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com
I decided I wanted to expand my tea towel designing skills and actually incorporate my own drawings in a festive border. I drew lots of little black and white sketches that I uploaded into Photoshop. I colored the sketches in Photoshop then arranged the elements into a border. I used a couple of different fonts for the recipe heading and another font for the ingredients and directions. When I was happy with the design, I uploaded it to Spoonflower and ordered my fabric. I had the tea towels printed on linen cotton canvas ultra and I love the texture and weight of the fabric.

I'm having so much fun with this whole textile design thing, but I need to come up with new ideas on what to print it on because I think my family may get tired of tea towels for gifts! One of my goals for the new year is to design a collection of Christmas fabrics that I can use to make new Christmas stockings for my family. I have all sorts of ideas in my head and can't wait to start putting it on paper. Do you have any sewing, quilting, designing goals for the new year? Please share!

Wishing everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year!
~Sharla

http://www.thistlethicketstudio.com/2017/12/its-not-christmas-until-chocolate.html


Thursday, December 28, 2017

My Second Textile Design Client

Now that Christmas is over, I can share a couple of design projects I did this fall. They are both tea towels, one for myself and one for a client, which I'll share first. I was honored to be asked by my sister-in-law to design a recipe tea towel using her mother's recipe cards. She wanted to give the tea towels as gifts to her sisters.


Custom Designed Recipe Tea Towel Designed by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com
I chose the color scheme based on the colors in the graphic on one of the recipe cards used in the design. I designed the background with pinstripes in two colorways. The pinstripes helped add interest and depth to the design. Instead of adding photographs of cooking utensils, like I did in a previous design I did, I decided to draw utensils because I could color them in the same range of colors as the graphic.


Custom Designed Recipe Tea Towel Designed by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com
My SIL chose the blue background for her tea towels, but when Spoonflower had a sale on fat quarters I ordered a yellow one to include in my samples. If you are not familiar with Spoonflower, it is an online digital fabric printing company that I use to print my designs on fabric. 


Custom Designed Recipe Tea Towel Designed by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com
There is something so satisfying about seeing a stack of sewn, packaged and completed tea towels that I just have to photograph it.

Tea Towel Packaging For Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com
I've designed a band of cardstock with my logo on the front and laundry instructions on the back that I use to package the tea towels I design.


Thistle Thicket Studio Label by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com
And now that I have woven logo labels, I sew a label in the seam of each towel.

I hope my SIL and her family enjoy the towels as much as I enjoyed designing them. I hope it is a keepsake they will cherish.

~Sharla

P.S. This is my one completion for the 2017 Finish-A-Long 4th Quarter, so I will be linking up to the linky party when its posted on December 31st. To see my Q4 goals, click here.


http://www.thistlethicketstudio.com/2017/12/my-second-textile-design-client.html

Monday, December 25, 2017

Wishing Y'all A Shiny & Brite (& Gaudy) Merry Christmas!

I come from a family of collectors. If one thing is good, then 50 of them must be even better, right?! I inherited my collecting genes from my mom. She collects lots of things, one of them being head vases. When you come from a family of collectors, there's always lots to look for when you go antiquing. So, about a year ago, I ran across a few head vases in a shop. I sent photos to my mom and she picked out which ones she wanted. I don't claim to know anything about head vases, but I sure learned a few things from that little shopping spree. Like, did you know that reproduction head vases from China have made their way to the U.S.? Yea, I didn't either. So, of course, a couple of the vases I bought mom that day ended up being repros. Ugh, nothing worse. 

Vintage Christmas Decoration Head Vase Arrangement by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com
So, to turn a 'pig's ear into a silk purse' (or so the saying goes), I took one of those reproduction head vases without mom knowing (at least I think she didn't miss it) and decided to dress her up for the holidays and give it back to mom for Christmas. Talk about regifting!

This particular gal has a burgundy outfit so I looked for one vintage ornament that would blend with the burgundy, then chose other vintage glass ornaments with hints of the same red color. Those complimentary ornaments had lots of gold and silver, so I selected a few additional ornaments in those colors to round out my materials to work with. I placed an icicle ornament and a couple of glass bead stems to create height first, then started layering in the other larger ornaments to fill the vase space. I topped it off with the bird, which I think really sets the whole arrangement off. And lastly, I filled in the holes with small Shiny Brite balls. I think she turned out rather well - the perfect amount of gaudiness to offset the ugliness of the reproduction head! Ha, Ha!

Wishing y'all a Shiny and Brite (and gaudy) Christmas filled with wonder and love!

~Sharla

http://www.thistlethicketstudio.com/2017/12/wishing-yall-shiny-brite-gaudy-merry.html