Thursday, August 10, 2017

A Quilter's File Folder

Almost a year later, my mom and I, along with my aunt, took a last minute trip to Missouri Star Quilt Co. this week. MSQC was our destination when my mom and another aunt were involved in a car accident that landed them in the hospital/rehab for 2+ months is Kansas City last August. While they were in rehab, Jenny Doan and her husband, Ron, visited them (see this post about their visit). It was a wonderful gesture and greatly appreciated.

Kraft-Tex File Folder Designed by Thistle Thicket Studio.
As a thank you to Jenny, I quickly made a file folder similar to one I had made last year to carry all of our trip paperwork. That file folder soon became our medical file during our stay in KC. When Jenny visited, we talked all things sewing and I showed her my file folder made from Kraft-Tex and fabric. She commented that it would come in handy for her when she traveled for shows. So, of course, I wanted to make one for her. Click here to see the original folder.

Kraft-Tex File Folder Designed by Thistle Thicket Studio.
The folder features an applique silhouette of a sewing machine on one side....

Kraft-Tex File Folder Designed by Thistle Thicket Studio.
And fabric trim along the flap on the other side.

Kraft-Tex File Folder Designed by Thistle Thicket Studio.
Inside, there are two divided sections to hold papers and a place to insert business cards.

Thistle Thicket Studio Goes To Missouri Star Quilt Co.
We had a lovely day shopping in each of the MSQC shops but did not get to see Jenny because she was filming tutorials. One of the employees, however, took us over to Jenny's office where she sews and I was able to leave the file folder along with a note for her on her sewing machine.

Jenny Doan & Her Kraft-Tex File Folder Designed by Thistle Thicket Studio.
Jenny sent a sweet thank you via email the next morning along with this photo. I hope she'll enjoy using her folder as much as I enjoyed making it for her.


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Happy Mail: Little Town

Look what arrived in my mail box today! A bundle of 10 fat quarters of Amy Sinibaldi's new collection "Little Town" by Art Gallery Fabrics!

Bundle of Little Town Fabric Won by Thistle Thicket Studio.
I won this bundle in an Instagram giveaway AGF held after spring quilt market in May. I got to choose which of their new collections I wanted my FQ bundle from and I chose this line because I just loved the colors. It was so popular that AGF sent me a message saying that it had actually sold out a few times so it delayed my prize delivery.

Amy Sinibaldi's Little Town Fabric for ARt Gallery Fabrics on Thistle Thicket Studio.
Although it has a hint of Christmas in the prints, I think it would make a darling quilt for a little girl. The free pattern with this collection is cute and simple but I don't have a need for a little girl's quilt. What would you make with this bundle? Help me find the perfect project!

I want to thank Art Gallery Fabrics for this lovely bundle of joy! The fabric is so soft yet crisp, I can't wait to cut into it and make something fabulous!


Monday, July 24, 2017

Rainbow Eclipses

Kansas City. Although we're both in Kansas, I had only been to Kansas City a couple of times prior to our son locating there after college 5 years ago. Since then, we have been drawn to KC a number of times - from visiting our son to staying with my mom while she was rehabbing after her car accident to doctors visits to family vacays. Last weekend, our family gathered there for a mini-vacay and we took our grandsons to several of the kid-friendly sites in the city. Though they may have been kid-friendly, they weren't so friendly to me as I tripped and fell while at Legoland (I'm not known for my gracefulness!) and fractured my elbow.

'Rainblow Eclipses' textile design by Thistle Thicket Studio.
I'm hoping to return to Kansas City next month (besides for follow-up doctor's appointments) for the August 21st Great American Eclipse as KC is in the direct path of the eclipse. Durham, North Carolina, home to Spoonflower, is also close to the eclipse path. To celebrate, their next fabric design competition is "Solar Eclipse". Since I haven't tackled sewing yet since my 'trip', I decided to play with the solar eclipse idea in Photoshop and "Rainbow Eclipses" is the result.

I actually haven't decided whether I really even like this design or not, but I entered it in Spoonflower's contest anyway. It's definitely more modern and computer generated than the other designs I have been working on. It was a fun learning experience though.

The deadline to enter the contest is Tuesday and all the design submissions will be up on Spoonflower's website for voting on Thursday. Stop by and check them all out!


Thursday, July 13, 2017


I started to photograph this Spinning Stars Christmas quilt for my 'Throw Back Thursday' quilt series and the more I looked at it the more I had the urge to throw this quilt back on the 'Works In Progress' list and re-quilt it.

Spinning Stars Christmas Quilt By Thistle Thicket Studio.
This is another one of the first quilts I made back in the early-to-mid 1990s and another one I tried to quilt on my DSM. As you can see, the quilting is quite sparse and, quite frankly, I'm afraid that if it was washed, the batting would wad up and ruin the quilt. (I'm from the "I never wash my quilts when completed" camp because then they look used and I'm not a real fan of the crinkly look on quilts that I plan to display. This quilt hangs over a vintage door in my basement family room during the holidays - ok, maybe longer.)

Leaders Sewn On A Previously Bound Quilt To Load On A Long Arm By Thistle Thicket Studio.
So last week, I dug out some really ugly (I mean hideous - I apologize to the designer) monkey fabric (that I purchased once in desperation for a quilt backing then never could make myself use it) and cut it up to make leaders to sew to the binding of this quilt to enable me to attach it to the long arm. I finished the edges to keep the leaders from fraying so that I can re-use them in the future. Since I'm staying with my mom while she's recuperating from a fall and shoulder fracture (just when we thought she was getting along so good after her car accident last summer), re-quilting this Spinning Stars Christmas quilt is the perfect project to work on since our long arm is in her basement.

Spinning Stars Christmas Quilt by Thistle Thicket Studio.
After making a few pattern adjustments and modifications, I've selected the patterns I'm going to use and have quilted the first block, sashings and cornerstones to see what it looks like. I selected a couple of holly and berry patterns following the theme of the fabric and then a couple of feather triangle patterns for the star points. I haven't quilted the background yet, but am planning on using a background fill of pearls with a beige thread. Although you can see the original line of quilting, I don't think you'll notice it so much once the background is quilted. This project may take me awhile as I'm quilting a little at a time when I can sneak a few minutes in.

What WIPs are you working on?


Saturday, July 8, 2017

My Goals For FAL Q3

Well, the 2nd quarter of the 2017 Finish-A-Long came and went and I didn't finish one project on my list. So I'm reposting those projects plus adding one or two. Here are my lofty goals....
Thistle Thicket Studio's 2017 Finish-A-Long 3rd Quarter Goals.

1. Bella Solids Quilt: This project is my top priority this quarter as it has a September deadline. I've bought the fabric and have an idea, so hopefully I'll complete a quilt to enter in Moda's Bella Challenge.
Bella Solids Fabric on Thistle Thicket Studio.

2. Christmas Star Quilt: I have a couple of the first quilts that I made that I quilted very sparsely on my DSM that I'd like to load up on my long arm and re-quilt. This is the first one on the list. I want to custom quilt this with different patterns in the sashing, cornerstones, and star blocks.
Christmas Star Quilt by Thistle Thicket Studio.

3. 2016 Quilt Guild Challenge: Medallion Quilt. This one is still at the same place as it was on August 16, 2016 - the day my mom and aunt had their car accident while on our girls quilty road trip. I really want to get this one done. Even if I don't get it quilted, I'll consider it a success if I get the top completed. I have two more sides of the 3-D pinwheels to finish, then I have rounds of 4-patches, piano keys, flowers and stars to make.
Medallion Quilt Challenge by Thistle Thicket Studio.

4. & 5. Whole Country Caboodle Kits: I'm throwing in a couple of little projects to break up the big projects that I'll be working on. With little projects you can get a quick gratification of completing something and I think I'll need some of that this quarter! These little kits are mini quilts that button onto a larger "A Door A Doodle" quilt that I have hanging in my entryway. There are different seasonal ones that I've never gotten around to making.
The Whole Country Caboodle Kits on Thistle Thicket Studio.

6. 7. & 8. Halloween Mini Quilts: This is another set of little projects that I'm tossing in. These are free paper piecing patterns by Made By Marney and I think they are so cute. I'd like to get these done this quarter so I have them to decorate with this fall.
Halloween Paper Piecing Patterns on Thistle Thicket Studio.

9. Hello Darling Frivols Kit: I started this one while the hubby and I were snowbirding in Texas in January and February, but I didn't have a lot of sewing time while there. I've worked on this some since we're back on the farm and have half of the blocks complete.
Hello Darling Frivols Quilt Blocks by Thistle Thicket Studio.

Wish me luck! I'm going to need it! I'll be linking this post up to the 2017 Finish-A-Long 3rd Quarter Goals. It's not to late to join in the fun - although today is the last day to link up for this quarter so hurry! Check out the details on the Finish-A-Long here.


Thursday, July 6, 2017

TBT: Half Snowball Star Quilt

I had planned to share this Throw Back Thursday quilt last week for the 4th of July holiday but we were in the midst of our very "big" (yeah, not so much) wheat harvest and I didn't find the time. So here is my only patriotic quilt that I made probably 20 or more years ago.
Half Snowball Star Quilt Designed & Made By Thistle Thicket Studio.

I used some left over yardage and scraps I had from a couple of crafting projects to make this quilt. The block that creates the stars is a half snowball block. I saw a picture of a star quilt made with this block and decided to design my own quilt to use up some of my red and navy scraps. It was quilted by a long arm quilter who used a star meander pantograph. The quilt measures 67" x 74". I usually use this quilt to decorate my entryway for the 4th of July holiday but this year I never got around to doing any decorating. June flew by - where is the time going?!


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy July 4th America!

I've had Thimble Blossom's Flag Quilt on my quilting bucket list for a couple of years now. To scratch that itch to make something new without starting another big project, I whipped up one flag block and made it into a mini quilt to hang on my vintage chippy painted door this weekend.

Flag Mini Quilt Made By Thistle Thicket Studio.
It was a quick project and I love how it turned out. I used a little Bonnie and Camille fabric but mostly Lori Holt fabric. I love how the aqua/turquoise colors make the red and blue pop. I quilted it on my Gammill Statler Stitcher using a ripples wave pattern. The finished quilt measures 19" x 15".

Custom Woven Labels For Thistle Thicket Studio made by Custom Labels 4 U.
I finally finished a project so I could use my new quilt labels! I am so bad at labeling quilts so I am loving how easy these labels make that task.

Wishing all my fellow Americans a safe and happy 4th of July!


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

IG Happy Mail: Lilla!

Oh my lucky stars! Look what arrived yesterday in my mailbox! Happy mail from Lotta Jansdotter!
Happy Mail From Lotta Jansdotter by Thistle Thicket Studio.

Lotta is a fabric designer. Her designs are organic yet sleek and urban. Her latest collection, Lilla (which means 'little' in Swedish), for Windham Fabrics was delivered to shops this spring. As part of the release, Lotta held a giveaway on Instagram recently and guess who was lucky enough to win one of her prizes!
Lilla Fabric & Pattern Prize Won by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.

And here's my winnings - a Lilla pattern by Lotta and Cheryl Arkison, plus 9 yards of Lilla fabric, enough of the feature fabric required for the pattern. I've been wanting to learn how to sew curves, so this pattern may be quite fun. I actually joined The Modern Quilt Guild last week as an at large member, so this may be the perfect project to celebrate my new membership.

Speaking of the MQG, I participated in my first event as a member - a webinar on fabric design presented by Kim Kight, founding designer for Cotton + Steel and author of "A Field Guide To Fabric Design". It was very interesting and I hope they have more webinars like it in the future.

Now, I'm off to climb on the combine and cut some wheat!


Thursday, June 22, 2017

TBT: Thimbleberries Month-By-Month

We're on the verge of wheat harvest (maybe we'll start later today) here on the farm, but I had to make time to share another Throw Back Thursday quilt. This was a Thimbleberries block-of-the-month calendar quilt called Month-By-Month from the late 90's - maybe 1998.

I signed up for this quilt through our local Extension office and picked up the kits once a month. When I started, I knew it was destined to become a UFO because I was fully immersed in a new multi-million dollar grant project at work. I dug it back out in 2007 when the hubby and I became empty-nesters and finished it, along with 7 other UFO quilts that year.

Quilt Stats:
  • Quilt Pattern: Month-By-Month calendar quilt by Thimbleberries.
  • Fabric: Thimbleberries by Lynette Jensen.
  • Finished Size: 76" x 92".
  • Quilting: I had this quilt custom quilted by a hand-quilded long arm quilter. She did a lot of line stitching and stitching in the ditch on the blocks, meandering in the sashings and a leaf motif in the border.

P.S. Sorry for the wrinkled quilt. I really thought I steamed it better than that!

Monday, June 19, 2017

What?!! My First Design Client!

To say I was flabbergasted would be an understatement. Following my post last week about the Spoonflower tea towel I designed using my grandmother's handwritten recipes, I was contacted by a blog reader asking if I would be interested in designing one for her. I was excited for the challenge and we soon reached an agreement. Woo Hoo! My first fabric design client!

The whole experience went as smooth as butter, although on my end, I was a little nervous that I would meet the expectations of my client. But she sent photos of family elements that she wanted to include and it gave me all the direction I needed. (edit/update: I should have included that the quilt in the background was made by my client's grandmother who's recipe is featured, along with her grandparents' photos. The 50th anniversary pottery plates were custom made by M.A. Hadley of Kentucky). I'm happy that my client was pleased with this final design:
Custom Tea Towel Designed By Thistle Thicket Studio, to be printed at

Because I wanted to give her options, I designed a couple of other similar layouts, including this one with a plain background:
Custom Tea Towel Designed By Thistle Thicket Studio.

I enjoyed this experience so much and learned a few new things, like converting .png files to .jpg files. Simple to do, but I'd never worked with .png files and so never had the need to learn.

Thank you Paula for such an awesome experience! I'm looking forward to seeing where this whole design thing will take me, but for now I'm enjoying the process.


Thursday, June 15, 2017

TBT: Morning Star Quilt

Morning Star Quilt Made By Thistle Thicket Studio back in the early 1990's from the Eleanor Burns 'Quilt In A Day' series of books.

Oh, this one is an oldie but goody! For today's Throw Back Thursday, I'm sharing another one of the first quilts I made back in the early 90's called Morning Star Quilt. In fact, it may have been the first quilt I completed, but I'm not sure. Here's what I remember.....
  1. I made this quilt in a quilt class through the extension service. We sewed for 2 days in the class then took it home to finish.
  2. The pattern is from Eleanor Burns "Quilt In A Day" series called Morning Star Quilt (published in 1988). Obviously, it took me longer than a day!
  3. I bought the fabric at Walmart because I didn't know any better and there weren't many, if any, quilt stores in the area. I've never washed this quilt (and I never pre-wash my fabric) so I don't know how well it will hold up.
  4. It's a full-size quilt measuring 73" x 89". Thank goodness I found the book for reference! (It's a miracle!!)
  5. I quilted it on my domestic sewing machine, according to the book's instructions, along the chains with monofilament thread. It definitely does not have enough quilting on it to keep the batting from shifting and someday I plan to load it on my long arm and quilt it again. Some. Day. Ha!
  6. I'm sure I pieced it with good ole Coats & Clark thread and, because it has some loft, I think I used a poly batting.
  7. This quilt has lived it's life folded and laid across the back of one of my hubby's antique Abernathy chairs in our living room.
I sure wish I would have chronicled my quilt making from the beginning. Do you keep a record of the quilts you make? What kind of a system do you use? Please comment and share!


Saturday, June 10, 2017

My Take On The Spoonflower Tea Towel

I'm sure everyone has seen the Spoonflower tea towel - the one with the handwritten recipe printed on it. I've wanted to make my own version ever since I saw that towel pop up on my social media a few years ago. Well, here is my take featuring some of my maternal grandma's handwritten recipes.

My take on the Spoonflower Tea Towel featuring my grandmother's handwritten recipes. Designed by Thistle Thicket Studio.
I decided I wanted to layer multiple recipe cards so that I had a vertical design, rather than using just one card that created a horizontal design.

My take on the Spoonflower Recipe Tea Towel featuring my grandmother's handwritten recipes. Designed by Thistle Thicket Studio.
To add interest I photographed some of my vintage green kitchen utensils to add to the composition. I added an old photo of my grandma standing in front of the stove cooking. I pulled the aqua blue background color from the lines on the recipe cards. I did all of the designing in Photoshop Elements.

My take on the Spoonflower Recipe Tea Towel featuring my grandmother's handwritten recipes. Designed by Thistle Thicket Studio.
I have been busy the last week sewing the 3 yards of linen fabric I ordered with this design into a dozen tea towels. Most of them my mom is giving to her sisters and brother this week at their annual Siblings Week (I hope she has already gifted them or this post may be a spoiler!).  I added a band with my logo and care instructions to those. Of course I kept one for me, and I am giving one to my daughter.

I am over-the-moon excited with my tea towel design. Have you made your own tea towel design? Tell me about it in the comments! Next, I'd love to design a calendar tea towel - those are just so retro and fun!


Friday, June 9, 2017

Label Love

Confession time. I am horrible at labeling my quilts. So, since I updated my logo, I decided to order woven sew-in labels with my logo, name and blog address. I'm in love!
Thistle Thicket Studio custom woven quilt label made by Custom Labels 4 U.

Maybe now I'll be excited to sew binding on just so I can sew in my new label - probably not, but a girl can hope, can't she!

Thank you to Custom Labels 4 U for the awesome labels!


Thursday, June 8, 2017

TBT: All Spruced Up

I'm back with another Throw Back Thursday Quilt. This week I'm showcasing the All Spruced Up quilt I made back in August of 2011.
Thistle Thicket Studio, Jodi Barrows, Square In A Square, All Spruced Up, free quilt pattern,

This quilt is a free pattern from Jodi Barrows, aka Square In A Square, and uses her Square In A Square ruler and technique. I made this as a shop sample for kits back in my quilt shop days. I elected to omit the presents under the tree that the pattern shows.

In 2013, I gifted this quilt to a family friend, so luckily I had taken photos of it when I finished the quilt in 2011. I love this quilt! Maybe someday I'll make another one to keep (nah, who am I kidding, that will never happen! lol).

Quilt Stats:
  • Quilt Pattern: All Spruced Up by Jodi Barrows of Square In A Square.
  • Fabric: "Noel" by Susan Winget for Benartex for top, binding and backing.
  • Finished Size: 34" x 38".
  • Batting: Hobbs 80-20.
  • Thread: Mettler for piecing, Perma Core for machine quilting. Color numbers not recorded but both were an off-white/cream.
  • Quilting: Quilted on a Gammill Statler Stitcher long arm using a holly, berries and ribbon pattern.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

TBT: French Roses Quilt

It's been a while since I shared a Throw Back Thursday quilt. I'm sharing quilts that I made before I started my blog just to record them, with the hope of someday printing all of my blog posts in book form as an archive of my quilting. So today I'm sharing a quilt that I made in June of 2013 - my French Roses quilt.
Thistle Thicket Studio, French Roses quilt, Robyn Pandolph, Love and Liberty

I fell in love with this pattern 15 years ago when it first came out, but it was a busy time in my life and I wasn't quilting much. In 2013, this line of fabric by Robyn Pandolph inspired me to hunt the name of the quilt and pattern designer down. And I'm so glad I did because I love this cozy little quilt!

Quilt Stats:
  • Quilt Pattern: French Roses by Heather French, features raw edge applique flowers.
  • Fabric: Love & Liberty by Robyn Pandolph for RJR.
  • Finished Size: 57" x 57".
  • Binding: Pieced scrappy binding using remaining Love & Liberty fabric.
  • Batting: Hobbs 80-20.
  • Thread: Mettler for piecing, Perma Core for quilting. Color numbers not recorded but both were an off-white/cream.
  • Quilting: Quilted on a Gammill longarm, this is one of the only quilts that I have free-hand quilted, mostly stippling. The borders were quilted with the Statler computer.

P.S. Woo Hoo! I just realized this is my 200th post on the blog!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Logo Update

I spent some time over the holiday weekend working on updating my logo to reflect the sewing aspect. What do you think?
Thistle Thicket Studio

In western Kansas, the tumbleweed - or it's proper name, Russian Thistle - is prevalent (really just a big pain in the you-know-what). Living on a farm, they are thick, hence the name and image. It may be a bit of a tongue twister (try saying it fast three times), but I like it!

I wanted to update my logo before I ordered woven sew-in labels. Can't wait for them to come in! Since I'm terrible at labeling my quilts, this will be a quick and easy way to label them. Stay tuned and I'll share more details about the labels when my order arrives.