Thursday, January 28, 2016

Let's Celebrate Moda Bake Shop's Birthday!


Have you heard? Moda Bake Shop is celebrating its 7th Birthday! And I'm so excited to share that I will be one of the chefs helping celebrate their birthday with the ABC Quilt-Along! So grab your favorite Moda jelly roll (or fat quarters or even scraps) and join in on the fun!

Bread 'n Butter by American Jane on Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com
Here's just one of the fabric collections - Bread 'n Butter by American Jane - I'll be using as I quilt-along with the Moda Bake Shop. I've designed a fun little quilt and filler block using this fabric that I'll be sharing later on Moda Bake Shop. I hope you'll join me for a boot scoot'n good time! (There's a hint for ya'll! lol)

Little Black Dress II Fabric by BasicGrey on Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com
I also have plans to use some of my Little Black Dress II stash to make some throw pillows for my bed....

Sunkissed by Sweetwater on Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com
...and I may even dig out my stash of Sweetwater's Sunkissed to make the whole Spell It With Moda quilt! 

Spell It With Fabric Booklet on Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com
You can find all the Spell It With Moda letter patterns on Pinterest or you can pick up the Spell It With Fabric! booklet at your local quilt shop like I did. (Because I'm too busy - really just lazy - to search and print all of them off!)

Throughout the sew-along, I'll be blogging about my progress and sharing lots of photos on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook so be sure to follow me on your favorite social media site.

Now, go grab your fabric and get ready for some ABC fun!

~Sharla

Monday, January 25, 2016

Robots All In A Row

I've given my Singer featherweight a workout this week as she accompanied me to three different sewing days/retreats. Last Saturday, our quilt guild had a sew day where we worked on scrappy blocks that will eventually go into a charity quilt. On Monday, a group of quilty friends got together for food, fun and sewing on a friendship quilt for one of our 'members'. And finally, this weekend, my mom, aunts and sister-in-law got together for our own little three-day sewing retreat! Fun, but boy is my brain fried and my back end sore from the long sitting spells in front of my machine!

I'm excited, though, with the progress I made on a new quilt I'm designing for my grandson's second birthday in February. I'm calling it "Robots All In A Row" for obvious reasons! Lol!
Robots All In A Row Quilt by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

Last week I posted the fabric and sketches of the blocks I planned to make here. I tried to replicate the robots featured in this fabric - which will be the backing for the quilt - by Makower UK called 'Little Monsters Robots' by The Henley Studio. As you can see, I still have stars to applique on my robots.
"Little Monster Robots" fabric by The Henley Studio on Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

I have one more block to make before I will set them in a field of chevrons. Here are the first three blocks:
"Robots All In A Row" Blue Robot by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com
"Robots All In A Row" Green Robot by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com
"Robots All In A Row" Red Robot by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

I'm really happy with the way they turned out except for the green one - I used the wrong color of gray for his eyes and mouth and there is not enough contrast against the green. But since I didn't realize it until after the block was done, he's going to stay that way.

In between all of my sew days this past week, I made progress on one of my first quarter projects for the 2016 Finish-A-Long. I've completed all the blocks in my 'Have Yourself A Quilty Little Christmas' quilt and now I'm ready to make the patchwork border. Hoping to finish it up this next week, then I will have three first quarter projects ready to quilt!
Have Yourself A Quilty Little Christmas by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

All this sewing AND a blog post! I'm feeling accomplished! What sewing did you get accomplished this week? I'd love to hear about it!

~Sharla

Friday, January 15, 2016

Progress. Or Lack Thereof.

My first week of the 2016 Finish-A-Long didn't go as planned. I had hoped to have all the blocks completed for my 'Have Yourself A Quilty Little Christmas' quilt. I didn't accomplish that goal, but I did manage to host a group of quilting friends in my home, attend The Vintage Whites Market in Loveland, and get most of my Christmas decorations put away - emphasis on most. And, I did do a little bit of sewing too.

Lori Holt's 'Have Yourself A Quilty Little Christmas Blocks' by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com
The 'Have Yourself A Quilty Little Christmas' was a sew along by Lori Holt that she held on Instagram before Christmas over a year ago - yeah, like before Christmas 2014. This is the first project on my first quarter list for the 2016 Finish-A-Long. I had three blocks completed prior (upper left photo) and made five more blocks this week. Slight progress, but progress nonetheless.

Robot Quilt Planning by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com
I'm hoping to start another project. (Oh no, I hope this one isn't destined for the 2017 Finish-A-Long!) I found the cutest robot fabric last summer and I'm hoping to make a robot quilt for my grandson's birthday in February. This week I found solids to coordinate and drew up four robot blocks to match the robots in the fabric. This project is still in the development phase but if it's going to get done in time, I need to finalize my ideas. A tad bit more progress.

Bloom Sew-Along Supplies by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com
Speaking of starting new projects....Lori Holt's new Bloom Sew Along starts today! And I have my supplies ready. Good thing I included my last Lori Holt sew along - Farm Girl Vintage - on my 1stQ Finish-A-Long list also because I'd hate to have too many of her projects as UFOs, she might take it personally! Lol.

And, a smidge more progress was made toward my textile design goal when my Spoonflower book and printed fabric color map arrived in the mail! Can't wait to dive into this.

I mentioned earlier that I got to go to The Vintage Whites Market in Loveland, CO. Had a great time, although it was more than a tad crowded, and came home with a few fun sewing finds. This traveling antique/vintage show will be in KC on my birthday in August so another road trip may be in order!

Vintage Globe Pincushion by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com
I love this vintage globe pincushion, complete with thimble and measuring tape that I snagged.

Vintage Buttons and Scrabble Tiles by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com
I found a few neat buttons for necklaces and magnets, and some fun colored scrabble tiles.

Wooden Clothes Pins & Yardsticks by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com
And no junkin' trip would be a success without picking up a yardstick or two! An added bonus was finding the wooden clothes pins.

This week may have not produced the progress I had hoped for but the hubby thinks that having Christmas decorations put away before Valentine's Day is huge progress! I think I'll use his idea of progress and feel accomplished.

~Sharla

P.S. I have some exciting news to share, but I'll save it for another post. Can't wait? Check out the Moda Bake Shop for a glimpse of what I'm up to next!




Thursday, January 7, 2016

2016 Finish-A-Long: My 1stQ UFO List

Today is the day for everyone participating in the 2016 Finish-A-Long to post their list of UFOs that they hope to will finish in the first quarter of this year. I'm hoping that breaking down the year into quarters and selecting a few UFOs each quarter will make this goal of UFO busting attainable for me.

I decided to break down my choices into three categories: quilt tops that need quilted & bound; works in progress; and projects purchased but not started.

I have a stack of quilt tops that need quilted. My goal is to finish one each month. I selected two for the first quarter, leaving one month open to quilt my works in progress that I hope will complete (trying to stay positive!). The first one I am anxious to quilt is my Bonnie and Camille Log Cabin Swap, which is actually my newest quilt top to be added to the UFO pile.
Bonnie & Camille Log Cabin Swap Quilt by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

The other quilt top is a simple 4-patch one that I made a couple of years ago. I attempted to quilt it on my DMS, but was very unhappy with the results. So, for the last three evenings, I've been ripping out the quilting so that I could start over and quilt it on the long arm.
4-Patch Quilt by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

I've selected three projects from the 'works in progress' category. I really don't have very high hopes to get all three done, but just in case I get in a really productive mood..... The first one is actually my current project - Lori Holt's Have Yourself A Quilty Little Christmas. I purchased the fabric in 2014 and never had the chance to start it. So, I put it away thinking I'd get it back out in time to make for Christmas 2015. Well, that didn't happen, so after Christmas I decided to get started so that it would be done before Christmas rolled around again.
Have Yourself A Quilty Little Christmas by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

I also want to finish my other Lori Holt project - my Farm Girl Vintage quilt. I have all the blocks completed for the front (minus some embroidery details). I have plans in my head for a unique pieced back using some of Lori's extra patterns she released during the sew-along. I'm really excited to see it come together!
Farm Girl Vintage Blocks by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

The third project in this category is going to be my leaders and enders project that I call Scrappy Squares. I have these blocks complete and they will be surrounded by a field of postage stamp blocks.
Scrappy Squares Quilt by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

I added the 'projects purchased but not started' category because I know I'll get bored working on these old projects and will want to start something new. This is a project I bought on our Row-by-Row road trip last summer. I just loved the colors in this strip bundle called "Fall Frolic" by Back Porch Prints. And it will go so well with my living room d├ęcor!
Fall Frolic Quilt by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

I have my work cut out for me! I'll link this post up to the 2016 Finish-A-Long linky party today for added incentive to reach my goal - a chance to win some quilty prizes! Wish me luck!

~Sharla




Sunday, January 3, 2016

No Quilting Resolutions For Me

I'm swearing off any quilting related resolutions this year. I am terrible at them. Last year I made a resolution to tackle my UFOs stashed in my cubby corner. I only completed one from the entire list (which you can see here)! It was this One Block Wonder quilt....
One Block Wonder Quilt "Dance of the Water Lilies" by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

I still want to tackle this cubby full of UFOs though. Oh, and the basket is full of finished quilt tops that need quilted and bound.

I think the number of UFOs is overwhelming, so I'm going to participate in All People Quilt's UFO Challenge 2016 & the 2016 Finish-A-Long. I think breaking it down into more manageable monthly & quarterly goals will help me make a dent in my overflowing UFO corner. The UFO Challenge provides a downloadable list to write down one project a month and it's status at the start of the month and at the end of the month. Then at the beginning of each month they randomly select a number and that's the project you work on that month. Maybe I'll just list the quilt tops that need quilted and bound for this challenge.

The 2016 Finish-A-Long is hosted by several quilt bloggers from around the world. At the beginning of each quarter, you post on your blog your list of UFOs that quarter that you want to work on to complete and then link up to their linky party. As you complete each project, you post about it on your blog and at the end of the quarter you again link each completed project to their linky party. Each completed project that you link is then eligible for prizes that will be given away! How cool is that - an extra incentive to finally finish up those UFOs!

I do have another goal for this year. I would love to learn how to design my own fabric. I have lots of ideas and a collection of vintage fabrics that I'd like to recreate and update with current color schemes. I've already developed the first three collections in my head. Now if I can just figure out the technical parts to bring it to fruition. I'm hoping that these books I received as Christmas presents will help get me started.

Do you have any recommended sources (free or minimal cost is always better) to help me with this whole fabric design goal? I'd love to hear them!

Happy New Year & may you achieve your 2016 quilty goals!

~Sharla