Friday, April 29, 2016

The Pat Bravo Minis Blog Tour + Giveaway

Welcome! I'm so pleased that you stopped by my blog today! I'm honored that Pat Bravo invited me to participate in her Minis Blog Tour and excited to share my mini "Whirl & Twirl" quilt with you.
Whirl & Twirl by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

This blog tour is featuring two of Pat's fabric collections, Dare & EssentialsII, with Art Gallery Fabrics. Truthfully, I had never sewn with AGF fabrics so I jumped at this chance and so happy I did. The fabrics have a wonderful weave making them so luxurious and great to work with. And the bright colors and bold designs of Pat's fabrics are so fun! Check out the Dare LookBook and the EssentialsII LookBook for some great eye candy and lots of ideas of how to use these fabrics! (Be sure to check out Pat's blog and follow her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest too!) Pat provided a bundle of fat 8ths in a mix of Dare & Essentials II fabrics for me to work with. Lots of blues and a pop of pink. Perfect!
Pat Bravo Dare Fabrics and Essentials II Fabrics on Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

If you've stopped by my blog lately, you know I've been playing with designing blocks that create secondary patterns. I continued that exploration with this mini. 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. Although the wind wasn't cooperating in this photo, I love how the quilting really shows up in it!
Whirl & Twirl Mini Quilt by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

The block I designed for this mini is so quick and easy to make. For one block, cut:
  • 1 - 1" x 1" square (blade pinwheel)
  • 1 - 1" x 3 1/2" rectangle (blade)
  • 1 - 2" x 3 1/2" rectangle (background)
  • 1 - 1 1/2" x 3 1/2" rectangle (background)
  • 1 - 1 1/2" square (pinwheel A - light color)
  • 1 - 1 1/2" square (pinwheel B - dark color)
Whirl & Twirl Block Tutorial by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

Blade Section: Draw a diagonal line on the back of the 1" square. With right sides together, layer the 1" square on top of the end of the 1" x 3 1/2" rectangle as shown below. Sew on the line, trim seam allowance to 1/4" and press. 
Whirl & Twirl Block Tutorial by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

Pinwheel Section: Draw a diagonal line on the back of the 1 1/2" light color square. With right sides together, layer the square on top of the 1 1/2" x 3 1/2" background rectangle as shown below. Sew on the line, trim seam allowance to 1/4" and press.
Whirl & Twirl Block Tutorial by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of the 1 1/2" dark colored square. With right sides together, layer the square on top of the 1 1/2" x 3 1/2" background/triangle as shown below. Sew on the line, trim seam allowance to 1/4" and press.
Whirl & Twirl Block Tutorial by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

Sew the 1" x 3 1/2" blade section & the 1 1/2" x 3 1/2" pinwheel section to either side of the 2" x 3 1/2" background rectangle as shown below, using a 1/4" seam. Press.
Whirl & Twirl Block Tutorial by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

Your completed block should measure 3 1/2" x 3 1/2" (3" x 3" finished).
Whirl & Twirl Block Tutorial by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

I used three different background fabrics since this design required more than the fat 8th provided and I love the scrappy look of the finished quilt.
Whirl & Twirl Block Tutorial by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

Make 36 blocks for this 18" x 18" mini quilt. Rotate the blocks to create the blades and pinwheels. I selected all small prints to make my mini....
Whirl & Twirl Mini Quilt by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

...then used some of the larger, bolder prints for the backing.
Whirl & Twirl Mini Quilt by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

Be sure to stop by Pat's blog for all the details about The Minis Blog Tour and also visit each of the other bloggers to see their minis:

April 27th - A Crafty Fox and SnickerDoodleStew
April 28th - Why Not Sew and Anjeanette Klinder
April 29th - The Little Bird Designs and Thistle Thicket Studio (That's Me!)
May 2nd - Christine Blessing and TinCat13
May 3rd - My Crowded Nest and Sewn Modern
May 4th - Sarana Ave and Storts Market
May 6th - Kate Basti and ModernMakerie
May 11th - FortheLoveofFabric and t_jaye
May 16th - A Recap by Pat Bravo

And now, if you've made it this far, be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win these 6 Fat 8ths of Pat Bravo's fabric!
Pat Bravo Fabric on Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

Thanks for stopping by! If you enjoyed your stop, you can follow me at all the usual places by clicking on the links at the top of the right-hand column of this blog:)

~Sharla

Disclaimer: Giveaway is in no way sponsored, administered, or associated with Blogger. By entering, entrants confirm they are 18+ years of age, release Blogger of responsibility, and agree to Blogger's terms of use. No purchase necessary to win. Open to legal residents in the contiguous US only that are 18+ years of age. Giveaway starts at 12:00am CDT April 29, 2016 and ends at 11:59pm CDT on May 16, 2016. Winner will receive 6 pieces of fabric with approximate size of 9" x 18" with a retail value of approximately $10. Odds of winning determined by number of eligible entries received. How to enter: leave a comment on this post. One comment per person. Duplicate comments will be deleted. Winner will be chosen by random.org on May 17, 2016 from all eligible entries and notified by email. If prize is unclaimed after three days, a new winner will be chosen by random.org. Winner is responsible for paying any taxes related to the prize. By entering this giveaway, you release Thistle Thicket Studio from any liability whatsoever. Void where prohibited by law.

Second disclaimer: I received all fabrics for free in exchange for making a mini quilt and blogging about it as part of a blog hop. All opinions are my own.










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!

~Sharla


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. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

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. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

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?!

~Sharla

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. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

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. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

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. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

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. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

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. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

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. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

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. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

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. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

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. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

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. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

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!

~Sharla

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. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

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. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

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. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

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. www.thistlethicketstudio.com
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. www.thistlethicketstudio.com
Arrange the triangles so that a 'V' is created with the darker fabrics.

Rail Fence Ribbon Border Tutorial by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com
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. www.thistlethicketstudio.com
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. www.thistlethicketstudio.com
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. www.thistlethicketstudio.com
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!

~Sharla