Sunday, June 21, 2015

My Turn on the 2015 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop!

Welcome quilty friends! I'm so glad you stopped by to visit me for the 2015 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop! If you're not familiar with the blog hop you can read more about it in this post here.

This group of quilt bloggers have been divided into hives. I'm in the Quantum Quilters hive and there are three of my fellow hive members who are on the blog hop this week too, so be sure to read all the way through for their links and the links for our hive hosts who are giving away great prizes throughout this blog hop!

Since it's my turn on the blog hop, let's start with a little bit about me....... I learned to sew in 4-H and made some of my clothes as a teen, I even made the bridesmaid dresses for my wedding! I tried to embroider and hand quilt a baby quilt before my first child was born that became my first UFO (it disappeared when we moved to the farm and have never found it). My second attempt at quilting was in the mid-1990's. I made a handful of quilts for myself and family, then got busy with life (two kids, a husband, a farm, a job as county economic development director, grant writer, 4-H leader.....) and quilting fell by the wayside. I had accumulated a few UFOs by that time. About 10 years ago, I decided to finish up one of those UFOs to give to my daughter in her new apartment. That sparked a new quilting fever and I finished nine UFOs that year (and started some new ones!). I've been inflicted with this quilting virus ever since - so much so that I was even a partner in a quilt shop for five years. And my UFOs continue to grow! Check out my quilting New Year's resolution about UFOs here.

My hubby and I have lived on the family farm - 4th generation to do so - for the last 20+ years. Our house was originally a one-room basement house that eventually had a ground floor added to it in the 50's. When our two kids were still at home it seemed small and crowded, but now it's just right. Not a lot of area to clean which leaves more time for quilting, crafting and junking! I call it junking, not antiquing, because I don't hunt for fine antiques - my motto is "We lust for rust!" You can check out some of my junking craftiness here.

I started my blog as another creative outlet for my quilting and junking. I tried to come up with an original name that was tied to my country farm way of life. This is a Russian Thistle - or tumbleweed as most call it. They are thick around here in western Kansas. Hence the name - Thistle Thicket Studio - and why there is a tumbleweed in the center of my logo.

I don't really have a quilting style - I love everything from traditional to modern. I make whatever looks interesting or challenging to me, or it may just speak to me through colors. I love puzzles - word puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, etc. - and to me, piecing fabrics together is like putting a puzzle together. To give you an idea of my wide range of quilting tastes, here are a few of my favorite quilts....

This is "Chainlinks" and is a pattern I designed for the Moda Bake Shop. It is my first MBS pattern, but I hope to do more in the future. It features, what I call, a sew-cut-sew technique, similar to the "Disappearing Nine Patch" or the "Disappearing Hourglass". Again, these patterns are like puzzles to me. I love trying to figure out new ways of cutting blocks up and putting them back together. For my "Chainlinks" pattern, click here.

"Monkey See, Monkey Do" is the quilt I designed and made for my first grandchild. It features pictures of each of his family on the tummies of the monkeys. There are also elements on the quilt that are 3-D - floppy legs, hanging jungle vines, and fern leaves.

This quilt, "Whooo Loves Keldon", was made for my second grandson and features family photos again on the tummies of owls. This is an Amy Bradley Designs pattern.


One of my most detailed quilts to date is the "Farmer's Wife" quilt by Laurie Hird - 111 different six inch blocks. I taught this as a class by email to 36 quilters over a 13-month period. Having other people dependent on me each week is probably the only way I finished this quilt top. I still haven't quilted it because I want to take the time to custom quilt each individual block.


My Farmer's Wife quilt top on the combine. Later this week I will be running this big machine through the fields harvesting wheat.

And my Farmer's Wife quilt top draped on the grain bin. Hopefully, with a bountiful harvest, the bins will soon be full.

For this 2015 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop, we're suppose to share a couple of tips. My blogging tip is whenever you have a question on how to do something techy with your blog or you have a blog etiquette question, just Google it. If you are asking, other people are asking too, and that means someone else is blogging about it. I have figured out so many techy things to do with my blog by Googling it - and by becoming a member of the 2015 New Quilt Bloggers group! One thing I learned from this group is how to put those cute little heart social media buttons at the top of my sidebar. You can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Bloglovin' by just clicking on those buttons.

My sewing tip is on how to match points at seams. With right sides together, poke a pin through the tip of the point of the first block and then through the tip of the point of the second block that you are sewing together.
With your two blocks together in a horizontal position and the pin stuck through the points at a perpendicular (vertical) position, pin additional pins on each side of your perpendicular pin. This holds the points together without slipping when the perpendicular pin is removed and allows you to carefully sew over the pins when sewing the seam.

Be sure and visit the rest of my fellow quilt bloggers that are in the Quantum Quilters hive:
Then buzz on over to each of our hive hosts for links to the other quilt bloggers in the blog hop this week and to find out how to enter for all the blog hop prizes!
Cheryl @Meadow Mist Designs
Stephanie @Late Night Quilter
Thanks for stopping by to visit me on the blog hop! Hope you'll come back and visit often! One last tidbit about me.....I was born in La Grange, Texas. Do you know what La Grange is famous for? (Did you know or did you have to Google it?) And, no, that's not the reason why I was born there, LOL! So where were you born and what is it famous for?
~Sharla