Thursday, March 19, 2020

Moda Block Heads: Blocks 5-8

I'm trying to get caught up on my Moda Block Heads blocks today and realized I haven't shown my second month of blocks here yet. 

I'm trying to be caught up each month by our quilt guild meeting so I can share them at our show & tell. So far, so good. 

I substituted this block for the Block 5 Love block. I just didn't think it fit into the quilt I have envisioned. I shared my Love block that I turned into a mini quilt here. This was a substitute block that Lisa Bongean shared for the 4" Block 4. I enlarged the pattern for my 6" block. I love the little fussy cut dress in the center of this block! Not sure I'm wild about the striped fabric but it'll be ok in the overall scheme of things. As they say, don't sweat the small stuff!

This is Block 6 - Magic by Lisa Bongean. Using my Triangulations 3.0 CD by Brenda Henning makes it easy to make accurate little half square triangles. I'd hate to attempt it without some kind of paper piecing assistance! 

This is Block 7 by Lissa Alexander called Zest. Lissa's pattern was for one large heart but I decided to reduce the pattern and make four small hearts and pieced them together for this 6" cutie.

And here's Block 8, a 9-patch block by Laurie Simpson. I fussy cut the center block and fussy cut the rectangles on the four sides of the center block. You can't really tell that they are a dresden plate in the center and stacks of suitcases in the four side blocks. Oh well, it still adds some dimension to the block I think.

Outside the sun is shining but the wind is howling! How is everyone doing with the social distancing and self quarantining thing? I've got enough sewing to keep me busy for the next number of years so I don't think this will be too bad - unless we run out of food (although I need to get back on my diet anyway!). Stay safe and keep healthy!


Monday, March 16, 2020

Apron Strings Fabric

Squeee! I got some happy mail today! It was 5 yards of linen fabric that I designed and printed at Spoonflower! It's called Apron Strings.

Apron Strings Fabric Designed By Thistle Thicket Studio.
In April (barring any postponements due to the coronavirus), I am giving a presentation on the history of aprons. My mom and I have amassed over 70 vintage aprons over the last year and have at least one sample for each decade from 1900 through 1970. I've researched styles and trends, histories on companies that sold aprons and apron kits, and gathered vintage patterns and catalogues featuring aprons. I'm hoping this presentation goes above and beyond the typical apron program people have given.

Apron Strings Fabric Designed By Thistle Thicket Studio.
I've purchased a portable umbrella clothes line to hang the aprons on and I'm working on a backdrop to hang additional aprons for display. I'll have a table for the printed material, such as patterns and catalogues, and that is where I ran into trouble. I wanted a tablecloth for the table that fit the apron theme but couldn't find any fabric that had aprons on it. So, what's an aspiring fabric designer to do? Of course, I designed my own fabric!

Apron Strings Fabric Designed By Thistle Thicket Studio.
I wanted it to have a 50's vibe, so I drew aprons from that era and placed them on a background of cream polka dots on my favorite color of vintage green (well, almost my favorite color of green, it's a little bit more mint than jadeite, but I like it). Although it's hard to tell from the photo, the print is rather large, with each apron 3"-4" tall with 1/2" polka dots. 

Apron Strings Fabric Designed By Thistle Thicket Studio.
I decided while I was ordering fabric, to order enough to make a 54" x 120" tablecloth for the refreshment table also. Can't wait to see it all together! I'll share more later....


Saturday, March 7, 2020

BMH3 Love Mini Quilt

A couple of weeks ago I shared my 'love' block from the Moda Blockheads 3 sew along. Today I'm sharing my finished Love mini quilt. 

Love Mini Quilt by Thistle Thicket Studio.
A couple of weeks after Brigitte Heitland of Zen Chick shared her Love block in the MBH3 sew along, Lissa Alexander (a.k.a. Moda Lissa - Moda's Marketing Director) shared a heart block she called Zest. I decided to add a few hearts to my Love block, even including the clipped corner HSTs from the hearts, and made a mini quilt. This last week I quilted and bound my 16" x 17" mini quilt.

Love Mini Quilt by Thistle Thicket Studio.
I love the sewing themed backing fabric! Gives off a little badass biker chic vibe. And I actually remembered to add my label before binding! Too bad Valentine's Day is past. Now I'll have to wait a whole year before I can enjoy it.

Happy Quilting!

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Thursday, February 27, 2020

Road Trippin' Finds

This past week, my mom and I hit the road to travel to Texas for my grandsons' birthday party. Of course, any road trip includes a few quilt shops and antique stores, but the bonus this year was attending QuiltCon in Austin one day. Today, I'm sharing a few of my finds from our trip - from sewing notions to vintage Christmas decorations to china. 

Necchi Toy Sewing Machine and Green Handle Iron on Thistle Thicket Studio.
My favorite finds are the Necchi toy sewing machine (#21 in my collection) and matching green handled iron. Of course, I just love the vintage green color and they fit perfectly in this display in my sewing studio.....

Vintage Toy Sewing Machines & Notions in Thistle Thicket Studio.
Estate Sale Finds by Thistle Thicket Studio.
And then, I picked up a couple of new sewing notions at an estate sale - an Oliso steam iron and an 12" x 18" Olfa cutting mat. The mat is brand new and was only $2! The iron also looks unused and was a steal for $20.

Mismatched Vintage China on Thistle Thicket Studio.
I've been in this vintage tea cup kick lately and have been picking up cups and saucers when I find cheap ones. This trip I picked up a few mismatched plates and containers for a DIY project that's on my to-do list - 3 tiered serving trays. I plan to use dinner plates on the bottom, salad or saucer plates in the middle, and a container such as a sugar bowl or gravy boat at the top. I picked up all these pieces for less than $2 each (most were 75 cents!). I was looking for very inexpensive pieces because I'm sure I will have some breakage when I try to drill holes in the centers for the tiered hardware. Stay tuned for more on this later.

Vintage Christmas Decorations on Thistle Thicket Studio.
I also picked up a few vintage Christmas decorations to add to my collection. I just love that the label is still intact on the green handled Santa cookie cutter.

I also added a couple of vintage aprons to my growing collection. I'm working on a program for our quilt guild's spring tea in April on the history of aprons, so I'll wait to show photos until later. 

Texas Tea Room Visited By Thistle Thicket Studio.
Texas Tea Room Visited By Thistle Thicket Studio.
Of course, mom and I love to find unusual places to eat while road trippin', and this time we came across this cute tea room in Crowley, Texas. Lunch was wonderful and was full of beautiful pink flowered china and doilies. 

Unique BBQ Joint Visited By Thistle Thicket Studio.
And no trip to Texas is complete without some BBQ - even if that BBQ was in Oklahoma on the way Texas. It was rustic and filled with native American relics - and this quirky salad bar made out of an old car, vintage window and longhorns.

I'll share more about QuiltCon in another post later.


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Friday, February 14, 2020

Moda Blockheads 3 - I'm In!

Moda Blockheads 3 January blocks by Thistle Thicket Studio.
After watching on the sidelines for Moda Blockheads 1 & 2 because of time commitments, I decided this year was the year. I'm so excited for this challenge!

"A Little Sweetness" Fabric by Tasha Noel for Riley Blake on Thistle Thicket Studio.
I chose to use a fat quarter bundle of Tasha Noel's 'A Little Sweetness' fabric for Riley Blake that I won last year in an Instagram giveaway (I know, how lucky can I be!). 

Moda Blockheads 3 Block 1 by Thistle Thicket Studio.
I'm making 6" blocks and hope the pieces won't get any smaller than they were in this first block!

I decided to use Mama's Linoleum layout by Lella Boutique here, although I'm going to make it larger to include all the blocks. The photo collage above shows what four 6" blocks sewn together will look like in this layout. I'm going to try to make two blocks with white backgrounds and two blocks with colored backgrounds in each set of four to give it that checkerboard effect.

Moda Blockheads Block 2 by Thistle Thicket Studio.

Moda Blockheads Block 3 by Thistle Thicket Studio.
Here are my week 2 and 3 blocks.

Moda Blockheads Block 4 Alternate by Thistle Thicket Studio.
And for week 4, I elected to make one of the alternate blocks that was shared instead of the applique. I'm going to wait to do the applique blocks until I see them all and then may make a separate project with just the applique. 

Moda Blockheads Block 5 by Thistle Thicket Studio.
This week's block was a letter 'Love' block. I didn't really think it fit with the other blocks so I elected to make a 12" block in reds and pinks and will make this into a Valentine's mini quilt to hang on my vintage door display for the holiday. I think I'll add some hearts on the sides and bottom. My project for this afternoon.

Starched Fabric Drying on Thistle Thicket Studio.
Several of the Moda designers that are hosting this sew along have suggested to starch the fabrics before cutting and it will help with making accurately pieced blocks. I've never starched before but decided to try. I used a pump bottle of Faultless Original spray starch (well more like 3 bottles) and literally soaked each fat quarter then hung them to dry on my vintage drying rack. After they dried, I steam pressed them.

Fabric Bleed After Starching on Thistle Thicket Studio.

Fabric Bleed After Starching on Thistle Thicket Studio.
I had a couple of fabrics that bled with the starching process.:( I probably should have stopped right there and washed all the fat quarters, but I didn't. When I wash the quilt, I'll just throw in lots of color catchers and hope that works. Hopefully, I won't be sorry for this decision later! What would you have done?

I'm loving seeing all the blocks in the Facebook group here. I am waiting a few days after the block pattern is posted on Wednesdays to see what clever ideas everyone else has for their blocks before making mine. Is that cheating?

Believe it or not, I'm all caught up for the moment for MBH3! Although I want to make a couple more of the alternate blocks I've seen. Are you a Moda Blockhead? What layout are you using? Can't wait to see your blocks!


Monday, February 10, 2020

Jumping in on the Temperature Quilt Craze

I've watched many variations of the temperature quilt develop over the past few years on Instagram, and I've really liked a lot of them. But it wasn't until I saw Kelly's (of @itsjustsew) version that I fell in love and knew I had to make one. So I hope imitation is the sincerest form of flattery because I'm totally copying her idea!

Kelly used JeliQuilt's paper piecing pattern called Juicy Goosey to create circles of flying geese with each goose representing the high temperature for a day and the surrounding background representing the low temperature. When you sew four sections of geese together, it creates a circle for each month. 

Connecting Threads Spritz Tonals on Thistle Thicket Studio.
I decided to use a fat quarter bundle of Spritz Tonals from Connecting Threads for my high temps and I arranged the rainbow of colors from dark purple at the lowest to a dark burgundy at the highest end of the range. Each color represents five degrees in a range from zero and below to 111 and above.

Moda Bella Solids on Thistle Thicket Studio.
For the lows I selected nine Moda Bella Solids in a gradiant range of grays. Each hue of gray represents 10 degrees from zero and below to 80 degrees. 

My fabric finally arrived this weekend so today I decided to tackle the first quarter of January. Before starting to sew, I decided to enlarge the pattern as large as I could fit on an 8 1/2" x 11" sheet of paper and then I measured each paper piecing section and made a cutting chart of what size each piece needs to be. I want my monthly circle blocks to be as large as possible, which will be 15" finished.

Temperature Quilt Chart for Thistle Thicket Studio.
I also made high and low fabric charts and marked the selvedge of each fabric to help me keep track of what temperature range each color represents.

Temperature Quilt Chart for Thistle Thicket Studio.
I also made notes of fabric lines and pattern used for future 'senior moments'. I put my charts in a plastic sleeve to keep the fabrics nice and neat.

So I have eight days or one quarter section of the month complete, which took me most of the afternoon to do. Hopefully the process will go a little faster as I become more proficient at paper piecing. I have done a little paper piecing in the past but it always takes me a little bit to remember how to do it and get into a rhythm. I'll share again when I have the month of January complete.

Have you made a temperature quilt? Want to join me in the fun and keep me accountable for getting each month completed? 


First Week of January 2020 Temperature Quilt Made By Thistle Thicket Studio.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

B&C Call For Blocks

Bonnie & Camille Call For Blocks on Thistle Thicket Studio.
I did a little Sunday afternoon sewing today, making blocks for Bonnie Olaveson and Camille Roskelley, Moda's fabric designing duo Bonnie & Camille. They are publishing a new book and are asking for blocks made from their fabrics. It's a specific block and there are specific size and color placement requirements. You can find all the details on this Instagram post.

Bonnie & Camille Call For Blocks on Thistle Thicket Studio.
It's a fun little block with so many possible design layouts so I'm excited to see what they do with them. 

Bonnie & Camille Call For Blocks on Thistle Thicket Studio.
These are the four blocks I sent.

Bonnie & Camille Call For Blocks on Thistle Thicket Studio.
Squaring up the half square triangles was fast and easy with my Bloc-Loc ruler!

What are you up to on this Sunday afternoon?