Saturday, September 24, 2016

Whirl & Twirl Quilt: BQF Mini Quilt

Yesterday, I posted about the Blogger's Quilt Festival hosted by Amy of Amy's Creative Side. Bloggers can enter a total of two quilts in the festival and there are several different categories from which to choose. For my second entry, I'm entering my Whirl & Twirl Quilt in the Mini Quilt division.
Thistle Thicket Studio, Whirl & Twirl quilt, mini quilt, free quilt block pattern, quilts

I designed this quilt for the Pat Bravo Minis Blog Tour this spring. It featured fabrics from Pat's latest collections, Dare and Essentials II. We were given a selection of fat 1/8's to work with.
Thistle Thicket Studio, Pat Bravo, Art Gallery Fabrics, Dare Fabric, Essential II Fabric, quilting fabric

I have been exploring blocks that create a secondary design for the last few blog hops I've participated in, and this quilt showcases one of those designs. When multiple blocks of this 3" x 3" design are set together, it creates the whirling and twirling design in the finished quilt. I shared a tutorial for this block here.
Thistle Thicket Studio, Whirl & Twirl quilt, mini quilt, Pat Bravo, Dare fabrics, Essentials II fabrics, quilts

The blue pinwheels in the final design reminds me of the many windmills that have dotted the western Kansas landscape for 100+ years, while the pink blades reminds me of the wind turbines that have graced that same landscape in more recent years. I love this photo with the wind turbines in the background and the shadows that highlight the quilting.
Thistle Thicket Studio, Whirl & Twirl quilt, mini quilt, Pat Bravo, Dare fabrics, Essentials II fabrics, quilts,

For the backing of this quilt, I pieced together some of the extra fat 1/8's that I didn't use in the design.
Thistle Thicket Studio, Whirl & Twirl Mini Quilt, mini quilt, Pat Bravo, Dare fabrics, Essentials II fabrics, quilts

Be sure to stop by the Blogger's Quilt Festival to see all the quilty inspiration shared there, and vote for your favorites (voting starts next week)!

Thanks for letting me share this quilt again and for stopping by to visit!

~Sharla
http://www.thistlethicketstudio.com/2016/09/whirl-twirl-quilt-bqf-mini-quilt.html

Friday, September 23, 2016

Robots All In A Row: BQF Original Design

This week I've seen lots of posts about the Blogger's Quilt Festival hosted by Amy over at Amy's Creative Side, so I decided to check it out. Amy started the BQF 8 years ago as a way for bloggers to share their work and to inspire each other. Although all the eye candy is a gift in itself, Amy has a slew of sponsors for giveaways and prizes as an added bonus to participate, either as a blogger or a blog visitor! So, I decided to join in the fun today! (what else do I have to do while sitting around at the rehab center with my mom?;)

Thistle Thicket Studio, Robots All In A Row quilt, robot quilt, original quilt designs, chevron quilts, robots,
One of my favorite quilts I've completed this year is this Robots All In A Row quilt. I designed and made this quilt for grandson #2 when he graduated from his baby crib into his big boy bed. With the change of beds came new d├ęcor with a robot theme.
 Thistle Thicket Studio, robot quilt, robots all in a row quilt, chevron quilt, robot fabric
The idea for this quilt design started with this robot fabric I found on our girls Row by Row road trip last year called "Little Monsters Robots" by The Henley Studio for Makower UK. I sketched out each of the robots onto graph paper, then I just started sewing robots with no particular plan in mind. As the quilt developed, the robot fabric moved from the focal print of the quilt to the backing of the quilt.

Thistle Thicket Studio, Robots All In A Row quilt, chevron quilt, straight line quilting, quilts
I decided to set the robots in a row surrounded by a field of chevrons. Once the sewing process started, this quilt went quickly, from start to finish it only took me 3 weekends to make. Of course, I did have a deadline of finishing it before my grandson's second birthday.

Thistle Thicket Studio, Robots All In A Row quilt, robot quilt, chevron quilt, straight line quilting, quilts
I decided to use straight lines for the quilting, adding to the modern feel of the quilt. I followed the chevron's zigzag for the chevron part of the quilt and quilted horizontal lines across the robots.

Thistle Thicket Studio, Robots All In A Row quilt, robot quilt, robot pillowcase, Little Monsters Robots fabric, quilts
With the left over fabric from the quilt, I made a pillowcase to coordinate.

Thistle Thicket Studio, Robots All In A Row quilt, robot quilt, robots, quilts
This was such a rewarding quilt for me to make. I really enjoyed the creative process of designing the robots and seeing it go from a sketch to a quilt. It was also my first solids quilt and I hope it won't be my last! I have always considered myself a traditional quilter, but this quilt has definitely expanded my horizons and I find myself gravitating to more modern fabric each time I go shopping for new projects. Of course, the greatest reward was making this quilt for such a special little guy in my life!

Be sure to check out the Blogger's Quilt Festival and vote for your favorite quilts (hopefully it's mine!) and enter the giveaways!

If you enjoyed your visit here, I hope you'll stop by again!

~Sharla

http://www.thistlethicketstudio.com/2016/09/robots-all-in-row-bqf-original-design.html



Wednesday, September 21, 2016

A Visit From Jenny of Missouri Star Quilt Co.!

My mom has such a wonderfully positive attitude given her current situation, but it was still fun to brighten her day with an epic quilty surprise! On Monday, Jenny Doan, of Missouri Star Quilt Co., and her husband, Ron, stopped by to visit my mom and aunt in the rehab facility.

Thistle Thicket Studio, Jenny Doan, Missouri Star Quilt Co, surprise visit
Jenny Doan visits my mom, Janet (left), and my aunt, Judy (right), in the rehab facility following their accident.
I so wish I had video taped my mom as Jenny introduced herself, to catch mom's expression as her jaw literally dropped in stunned surprise and her eyes widened in sheer amazement. Mom is a big fan of Jenny and her easy quilting style, but seeing her in the place she least expected made it hard for her to recognize that familiar friendly face from the MSQC videos.


Jenny and Ron where so down-to-earth and genuine. They visited about their family, ideas for upcoming videos, their scary car accident and more, as if we had all been friends for years.

They were so thoughtful and generous, bringing gifts of flower bouquets and MSQC bags filled with t-shirts (from their 8th Birthday Bash happening this weekend) and books of Jenny's quilter stories.


Jenny, Ron and Missouri Star Quilt Co. are a class act. When they learned about the accident, they refunded our group the cost of the tickets for the trunk show we were planning to attend the next day. Then, they went out of their way to spend a couple of hours with us. Jenny, thank you for being a ray of sunshine and brightening my mom and aunt's day!

I can't wait for my mom and aunt to get back on their feet so that we can reschedule our girls road trip and pay a visit to Jenny and MSQC!

~Sharla


http://www.thistlethicketstudio.com/2016/09/a-visit-from-jenny-of-missouri-star.html

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Fabric Dyeing: Major Fail!

I raced home last weekend to help the hubby get ready for fall wheat planting and to throw together a few freezer meals for him, then it was back to the rehab facility to help my mom. While I was home, though, I thought I had to do one creative thing for me. I've had a project I've been wanting to do & I finally had all the necessary supplies assembled, so I thought why not.....which was probably my first mistake!
Thistle Thicket Studio, fabric dyeing, ice dyeing,

I've seen some beautiful fabrics that looked like batiks but were actually cottons dyed using a technique called Ice Dyeing. The process looked fun although a little messy. But I decided to face the messiness head-on and enjoyed the creative process, dyeing 2 yards of fabric in shades of yellow, fuchsia and turquoise. The colors came out a nice pastel, not the vibrant colors I'd seen in photos. I wondered why, and today I think I figured it out - in my haste, I forgot to soak my fabric in soda ash before I dye it!
Thistle Thicket Studio, fabric dyeing, ice dyeing

HELP! I'm now looking for advice on what to do with this fabric. I washed it in Sythrapol afterwards, dried it, and starched and pressed it. Is the dye set? Or will it bleed every time it is washed? Can I over-dye it and use the soda ash the second time around? Should I try to bleach it out and start over? I would appreciate your thoughts and suggestions!

Thanks!
~Sharla


http://www.thistlethicketstudio.com/2016/09/fabric-dying-major-fail.html

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Cloud9 New Block Blog Hop

Welcome to my stop on Cloud9's New Block Blog Hop. I'm so excited to have you visit and to share my new block design featuring Cloud9 Fabrics' Cirrus Solids in the Berry Harvest color palette. Cirrus Solids are created by cross weaving two similar tones to create a unique combined color with subtle striations and texture. The fabrics add a modern sophisticated feel to projects.
Thistle Thicket Studio, Cloud9 Fabrics, Cirrus Solids, new block blog hop, blog hop, organic fabric

Now, without further adieu, let me introduce my block.....Thistleberry Stars. Click here to download and print the pattern.
Thistle Thicket Studio, Thistleberry Stars Block, Cloud9 Fabrics, New Block Blog Hop, Cirrus Fabrics

With this block, I have continued my exploration of secondary patterns created from a single block. (You can see my other secondary pattern explorations here and here.) The large star this block creates reminds me of some type of cocklebur or prickly berry, while the small star is reminiscent of the goat head stickers that are abundant in western Kansas.
Thistle Thicket Studio, Cloud9 Fabrics, Cloud 9 Fabrics, Cirrus Solids, Thistleberry Stars quilt, Thistleberry Stars block, free block pattern, new block blog hop

I had hoped to make a mini quilt using 3" or 6" blocks to show the secondary pattern of this block, but unfortunately that didn't happen because of our Row x Row Road Trip disaster. I did, however, include the cutting instructions for both the 3" & 6" blocks, along with the 12" block, in the pattern.

Be sure to visit the rest of the bloggers participating in the Cloud9 New Block Blog Hop today to see their new block designs:


Lastly, I want to thank our hosts - Stephanie, Yvonne & Cheryl - for this blog hop and for the 2016 New Quilt Bloggers group. They have done a wonderful job organizing, educating and connecting us. Be sure to stop by their blogs to enter the blog hop giveaways: Stephanie @ Late Night Quilter, Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl, and Cheryl @ Meadow Mist Designs.

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog. If you make a project using my Thistleberry Stars block, please share a photo with me!

~Sharla

Update: Here are the links for the rest of the blog hop...


http://www.thistlethicketstudio.com/2016/09/cloud9-new-block-blog-hop.html

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Kraft-Tex Portfolio

A couple of weeks ago on The Moda Cutting Table blog, Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree & Co. talked about using Kraft-Tex in her latest bag pattern. Kraft-Tex is a paper product that feels like leather and sews like fabric. It's washable, and the more you wash it, the more soft and leather-like it looks and feels. In that Moda blog post, there were also a few photos of a portfolio made with Kraft-Tex. Since I was needing a folder to carry our travel itinerary, contacts, tickets, etc. for our girls' Row x Row Road Trip, I decided to make my own Kraft-Tex portfolio.
Thistle Thicket Studio, Kraft-Tex, portfolio, diy folder

I washed the whole roll of Kraft-Tex first, then set out to draft my pattern. I knew I wanted to applique a sewing machine on one side, add some fabric embellishments on the flap, have a business card pocket, and a divider to create a couple of compartments.

I started by cutting my Kraft-Tex to the size I wanted, cutting a concave curve on one end and a convex curve on the other, then tri-folded it to create a flap. On the inside, between the two folds, I fused a layer of fabric. Then on the outside between the two folds, I appliqued a sewing machine. Fusing the fabric on the inside gave me a backing to sew through so that the paper wouldn't tear along the perforations caused by the stitching.

I made a divider to create two pockets in my portfolio by fusing fabric on both sides of a piece of Peltex cut to size. I also made a business card holder and sewed it onto the inside under the flap. I punched holes along the curved edge of the outer flap and wove a strip of fabric through the holes and tied it in a knot. Lastly, I sewed down the sides with the fabric divider between the folded Kraft-Tex.
Thistle Thicket Studio, sewing portfolio, Kraft-Tex, diy folder

I love the way this portfolio turned out and sewing with the Kraft-Tex was fun. Although I didn't get to use my portfolio for our girls' road trip since it was cut short, I have been using it to keep all of my mom's medical paperwork together since the car accident. Hopefully, one day, I'll get to use it again for our next girls' road trip.

~Sharla

http://www.thistlethicketstudio.com/2016/08/kraft-tex-portfolio.html

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

One Lovely Blog Award x 3

It's been one of those weeks you hope you don't repeat ever again (see this post for the reason why). But one of the highlights of the week was my blog being nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award - not once, not twice, but three times! I've met each of the people who nominated my blog through the 2016 New Quilt Bloggers Group. I enjoy each of their blogs and I hope you'll stop by their blogs too. Kathy at Kathy's Kwilts and More and I have become online buddies, helping each other with blogging questions, quilting ideas, etc., and she's been great sending me words of encouragement this last week. Sola blogs at Alice Samuel's Quilt Co. and was in my hive, Hive Sewciety, for the New Quilt Bloggers group. She is a quilter in Nigeria and its interesting to follow her adventures. Sue at Sevenoaks Street Quilts has a fun modern style and I'm enjoying following her to see what's on her design wall. Thank you so much girls for this awesome honor!

The Rules for this award are:
  • Thank the person who nominated you, and give a link to his/her blog.
  • List the rules.
  • Display the image of the award on your post.
  • List seven facts about yourself.
  • Nominate (up to) 15 bloggers for this award, and notify them to let them know you have nominated them.

Seven facts about little ole me:

1. I'm kind of a jack-of-all-trades. Some of the jobs I've held over the years include newspaper editor, library aide, yearbook instructor, economic development director and quilt shop owner.

2. As economic development director, I successfully wrote grants totaling more than $7 million.

3. I went to jr. high and high school with Steve Tasker, special teams phenom for the Buffalo Bills from 1986-1997.

4. My close encounters of the political kind (good, bad & ugly) - I sat next to then-U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elizabeth Dole at a convention banquet for Extension Homemaker Units. I met then-Vice President Al Gore at a meeting for one of the grants I wrote. I served on a Rural Task Force for then-Governor Kathleen Sebelius (who later infamously served as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services when Obamacare was implemented).

5. I was a volunteer EMT for 15 years and was the first person in the state of Kansas to ace the EMT-D certification test.

6. My guilty pleasure - watching the Real Housewives TV shows from any and all of the cities. My favorite housewife is Bethany Frankel and I can't stand NeNe Leakes.

7. My cousin's daughter just tried out and made the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader team. So my new fav TV show is going to be Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making The Team. The new season starts Thursday, August 25. Watch for Allie!

I'd like to nominate the following blogs and bloggers because I enjoy visiting their blogs and I think you will too:

~Sharla

http://www.thistlethicketstudio.com/2016/08/one-lovely-blog-award-x-3.html