Monday, April 25, 2016

Pat Bravo's Minis Blog Tour Starts Today!

I'm so excited to be a part of Pat Bravo's Minis Blog Tour that starts today. Pat is a fabric designer for Art Gallery Fabrics and she invited 30 quilt bloggers to make mini quilts with her latest fabric collections: Dare and EssentialsII. Those 30 bloggers will be sharing their minis over the next three weeks. You can find all the details and links to each of the bloggers at Pat's blog here. I'll be sharing my mini on Friday, April 29. So, stop back by on Friday for the tutorial for my mini and details on the giveaway of 6 fat 8ths of Pat's fabric!


Friday, April 15, 2016

B&C Log Cabin Swap Quilt Done!

I finally got around to quilting my Bonnie & Camille Log Cabin Swap Quilt this week. This is the first online swap that I've participated in and I'm very happy with the results. Of course, I love Bonnie & Camille fabrics so anything made with them would make me happy.
Bonnie & Camille Log Cabin Swap Quilt by Thistle Thicket Studio.

This was a swap on Instagram hosted by Samantha (@samanthaleeolsen) and Riann (@riann_g) and when they posted the invite last August, they were hoping for 11 people to participate. In less than 24 hours, they were overwhelmed with more than 200 participants! They did an awesome job with the swap too. It was so popular, a second swap was held last winter. Lissa Alexander, Director of Marketing at Moda, hosted the original Log Cabin Swap with a group of Moda designers last summer. You can find her instructions to make the blocks here.

It was fun seeing all the different layout designs people came up with. I opted for the traditional log cabin layout - but with a twist. I had a few charm squares leftover, so I made pinwheel diamonds in the corners of the log cabin blocks. I used an edge-2-edge design to quilt it but trimmed out the pinwheel diamonds and used a spikey fill in those. The quilt is so busy, though, that you really don't see the quilting.
Bonnie & Camille Log Cabin Swap Quilt by Thistle Thicket Studio.

The quilt ended up being 57" x 77", a great throw size. And check out that binding. I just love a stripey binding! Is 'stripey' a word?

Just to keep it real - not everything went perfectly. Out of the 36 blocks that I received back from the swap, I had to remake, repair, replace fabrics, etc. on 8 of the blocks due to holes, frayed seams, or spliced fabrics that just bugged me. Maybe I'm too picky! I was kind of disappointed at first, but it really didn't take that long to fix the issues. The fun part was a couple of people tagged their blocks so you could see where they came from. Wish I would have thought of that! And I received back blocks with a great mix of Bonnie & Camille fabrics that I would never have been able to accrue!

Have you participated in an online swap? What was your experience? The good experiences far out-weighted the bad (and it really wasn't that bad) for my first swap and I may consider another swap in the future - if I ever get caught up on what I've got going on right now in my sewing room. Who am I kidding! Do quilters really ever get caught up?!


P.S. This is also my first finish for the Q2 Finish-A-Long so I'll be linking this up at the end of the quarter. I'm also linking it up to TGIFF! (Thank Goodness It's Finished Friday).

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Finish-A-Long Q2 List

2016 Finish-A-Long Q2 List by Thistle Thicket Studio.

It's time to put my list together of projects I hope - maybe 'dream' is a better word - to finish in the next three months for the second quarter of the Finish-A-Long. Last quarter I only completed 2 projects so I'm starting with the carry-over projects from last quarter and then, of course, I had to add a few more. I want to be sure to include a project to cover every mood I might be in! lol

1. I'm so close to finishing this Bonnie & Camille Log Cabin Swap quilt. It just needs quilted and bound. In fact, I loaded it on the longarm yesterday so I'm ready to get this one done!
Bonnie & Camille Log Cabin Swap Quilt by Thistle Thicket Studio.

2. I'm hoping to get back to this Farm Girl Vintage quilt this quarter. I need to sash all the blocks together for the top, then I have fun ideas for the backing to make it a reversible quilt. So many ideas, so little time!
Farm Girl Vintage Blocks by Thistle Thicket Studio.

3. I still have this leaders and enders project that needs a bunch of postage stamp blocks made to complete it. Maybe I'll get those made this quarter as I work on these other projects.
Scrappy Squares Leaders & Enders Project by Thistle Thicket Studio.

4. I'm famous for jumping from project to project so I want to include a couple of new projects for when I'm sick of working on UFOs. This "Fall Frolic" quilt has been sitting on my shelf for awhile now. I bought it last year on our Row by Row girls road trip.
Fall Frolic Quilt Project - Thistle Thicket Studio.

5. The other new project that's been sitting around for awhile is this Bonnie & Camille Frivols quilt. Have been dying to dig into this one but have been restraining myself. Maybe I'll restrain myself a little less this quarter!
Bonnie & Camille Frivols Tin - Thistle Thicket Studio.

6. But the first 'new' project I need to tackle is my grandson's Batman quilt. He requested this one when his little brother received his "Robots All In A Row" quilt and I don't want to disappoint him!
Fabric Pull For Batman Quilt by Thistle Thicket Studio.

7. These are the blocks from my quilt guild's BOM last year. I've decided on a setting so now I need to get these blocks sewn up!
Scrappy Kansas Troubles Blocks by Thistle Thicket Studio.

8. My last two projects are to celebrate Moda Bake Shop's 7th Birthday. As one of the co-hosts of MBS' ABC Birthday Sew-Along, I have been working on different projects using the "Spell It With Moda" alphabet block patterns. This is next on my list to finish up!
Spell It With Moda Blocks & Sunkissed Fabric - Thistle Thicket Studio.

9. Then I have some secret sewing to do with this jelly roll of "Bread 'n Butter" that I'll be sharing on the Moda Bake Shop website in May!
American Jane Bread 'n Butter - Thistle Thicket Studio.

There ya go! Nine projects this quarter. That's 3 projects per month! And April is half way over! It's time to kick it in gear. I'll be linking this post up with the 2016 Finish-A-Long for motivation to get these projects finished.

What WIPs and UFOs are you tackling this quarter? Let's hear about them!


Thursday, April 7, 2016

Medallion Quilt Challenge: A Rail Fence Ribbon Border Tutorial

This year, my quilt guild chose to challenge its members with a medallion quilt. The challenge really is to be creative and to challenge your skills. The first month, each member was suppose to make a center block - no other instructions. Each month following, an 'instruction' will be drawn for the next round. Oh boy, let the fun begin!
Medallion Quilt by Thistle Thicket Studio.

I decided to use a paper piecing pattern for my center block. I wanted something that was really striking and other than a few feeble attempts at paper piecing when I made my Farmer's Wife quilt, I haven't really done much of it. I found a beautiful book of paper-pieced stars by Carol Doak that I used and enlarged one of the patterns from a 12" to a 16" block for my center square.
Medallion Quilt Center made by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.comI am using a fat quarter bundle from my stash of "Antique Fair" by Blackbird Designs for Moda. I bought some extra yardage of a Bella Solid that matched the best, and between the two I hope I have enough fabric to make it through all the rounds. I love the muted burgundy, brown and dusty blue colors of this collection.

The second and third rounds were assigned while we were traveling, so now I'm playing catch up. Applique was the 'instruction' drawn for the first round. I'm actually very happy that it ended up being the first round so that our applique wasn't a huge endeavor!
Medallion Quilt Applique by Thistle Thicket Studio.

Using a couple of prints from the collection, I photocopied and enlarged a few of the flowers and leaves in the fabric and drew my applique design. I chose to use the raw edge applique technique and stitched the edges using a small blanket stitch. I'm okay with the way it turned out although I wish it stood out a little bit better.
Medallion Quilt by Thistle Thicket Studio.

The next round drawn was Rail Fence or Fence Rail (I've heard and seen it both ways so I don't know which is the proper term). I wanted to challenge myself and had seen a ribbon border using Rail Fence blocks. The challenge wasn't really sewing the blocks - it was the math to calculate what size of strips and blocks were needed to fit onto my 24" center. Although I was pretty confident in my math, my first attempt ended up being short 1/2". So I decided to increase my rail fence blocks by 1/4" and my second attempt was a perfect match! Whew! I don't have that much fabric to waste and had decided if my second attempt didn't work I was going to abandon the idea - so glad it worked!

To make a Rail Fence Ribbon Border, first you have to determine the size of strips and blocks you need. I don't have any wisdom here since my math wasn't successful. But I can share my thought process, which got me close. Since the size of the center block was 24", I decided I needed a block that had a diagonal finished size of 6" (divides evenly into 24) which ended up being a 4 1/4" finished block. I added 1/2" seam allowance, making the block size I needed to cut as 4 3/4". I divided 4 1/4" by 4 (the number of strips I was putting in each block) which was 1.0625" and then added 1/2" for the seam allowances. So I cut my strips 1.5625" or 1 9/16". Then I sewed my strips together and squared up each block to size. To create the "V" in the ribbon, I sewed my strips in the same color order, with my darker colors - blue and burgundy - on the outside. I'm not quite sure why I was off a little, maybe my seams were a scant too large. In the end I increased my strip size by 1/16" to 1 5/8" and my block size to 5" and the strips fit perfectly.

Rail Fence Ribbon Border Tutorial by Thistle Thicket Studio.
Square up the blocks then cut the blocks in half diagonally to create triangles. Be sure to cut half of the blocks from lower right to upper left, and the other half from lower left to upper right.

Rail Fence Ribbon Border Tutorial by Thistle Thicket Studio.
Arrange the triangles so that a 'V' is created with the darker fabrics.

Rail Fence Ribbon Border Tutorial by Thistle Thicket Studio.
Sew the triangles together. Be sure to offset the triangles leaving 'dog ears' on each end.

Rail Fence Ribbon Border Tutorial by Thistle Thicket Studio.
Sew the border onto the quilt center. Again, be sure to offset the ends leaving 'dog ears'. Work around the quilt, laying out your 'V' pattern around the corners and sides. Sew the side borders on first, leaving the corners until last.
Rail Fence Ribbon Border Tutorial by Thistle Thicket Studio.
After sewing the borders on all four sides, sew the corner triangles together and then attach to the border.

Rail Fence Ribbon Border Tutorial by Thistle Thicket Studio.
I really love the look of this border! Can't wait for our quilt guild meeting next week to see what round 3 will be!

Have you made a Rail Fence Ribbon Border? Please add any tips that you can share!