Thursday, December 28, 2017

My Second Textile Design Client

Now that Christmas is over, I can share a couple of design projects I did this fall. They are both tea towels, one for myself and one for a client, which I'll share first. I was honored to be asked by my sister-in-law to design a recipe tea towel using her mother's recipe cards. She wanted to give the tea towels as gifts to her sisters.

Custom Designed Recipe Tea Towel Designed by Thistle Thicket Studio.
I chose the color scheme based on the colors in the graphic on one of the recipe cards used in the design. I designed the background with pinstripes in two colorways. The pinstripes helped add interest and depth to the design. Instead of adding photographs of cooking utensils, like I did in a previous design I did, I decided to draw utensils because I could color them in the same range of colors as the graphic.

Custom Designed Recipe Tea Towel Designed by Thistle Thicket Studio.
My SIL chose the blue background for her tea towels, but when Spoonflower had a sale on fat quarters I ordered a yellow one to include in my samples. If you are not familiar with Spoonflower, it is an online digital fabric printing company that I use to print my designs on fabric. 

Custom Designed Recipe Tea Towel Designed by Thistle Thicket Studio.
There is something so satisfying about seeing a stack of sewn, packaged and completed tea towels that I just have to photograph it.

Tea Towel Packaging For Thistle Thicket Studio.
I've designed a band of cardstock with my logo on the front and laundry instructions on the back that I use to package the tea towels I design.

Thistle Thicket Studio Label by Thistle Thicket Studio.
And now that I have woven logo labels, I sew a label in the seam of each towel.

I hope my SIL and her family enjoy the towels as much as I enjoyed designing them. I hope it is a keepsake they will cherish.


P.S. This is my one completion for the 2017 Finish-A-Long 4th Quarter, so I will be linking up to the linky party when its posted on December 31st. To see my Q4 goals, click here.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Wishing Y'all A Shiny & Brite (& Gaudy) Merry Christmas!

I come from a family of collectors. If one thing is good, then 50 of them must be even better, right?! I inherited my collecting genes from my mom. She collects lots of things, one of them being head vases. When you come from a family of collectors, there's always lots to look for when you go antiquing. So, about a year ago, I ran across a few head vases in a shop. I sent photos to my mom and she picked out which ones she wanted. I don't claim to know anything about head vases, but I sure learned a few things from that little shopping spree. Like, did you know that reproduction head vases from China have made their way to the U.S.? Yea, I didn't either. So, of course, a couple of the vases I bought mom that day ended up being repros. Ugh, nothing worse. 

Vintage Christmas Decoration Head Vase Arrangement by Thistle Thicket Studio.
So, to turn a 'pig's ear into a silk purse' (or so the saying goes), I took one of those reproduction head vases without mom knowing (at least I think she didn't miss it) and decided to dress her up for the holidays and give it back to mom for Christmas. Talk about regifting!

This particular gal has a burgundy outfit so I looked for one vintage ornament that would blend with the burgundy, then chose other vintage glass ornaments with hints of the same red color. Those complimentary ornaments had lots of gold and silver, so I selected a few additional ornaments in those colors to round out my materials to work with. I placed an icicle ornament and a couple of glass bead stems to create height first, then started layering in the other larger ornaments to fill the vase space. I topped it off with the bird, which I think really sets the whole arrangement off. And lastly, I filled in the holes with small Shiny Brite balls. I think she turned out rather well - the perfect amount of gaudiness to offset the ugliness of the reproduction head! Ha, Ha!

Wishing y'all a Shiny and Brite (and gaudy) Christmas filled with wonder and love!


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Vintage Christmas Crafting - Round 2

I'm still dabbling with my vintage Christmas ornaments and candoliers. It's just so fun playing with combinations. But after this round, I've packed up the remaining candoliers and Christmas decorations until next year. I need to get my crafting messes cleaned up so I can do a little baking before this weekend. Christmas is almost here!

Vintage Candolier Decorated With Vintage Christmas Bells by Thistle Thicket Studio.
As soon as I saw this set of 3 plastic bells, I knew they would be perfect to pair with a triple candle candolier. I also found 3 of these big plastic glittered snowflakes and knew they would be perfect as a background to the triple candolier also. This one just says classic Christmas to me. This will look great paired with the Merry Christmas candolier I showed y'all in my last post!

I loved this vintage little plastic reindeer, and these arrangements that are more neutral in color are my favorites. I found a big box of these clear plastic icicles and I'm loving them. They will definitely show up in future projects! It's hard to see, but just under the lightbulb is a star-shaped plastic light reflector.

Vintage Candolier Decorated in Blue Vintage Ornaments by Thistle Thicket Studio.
I decided to try one in a blue color scheme. It's okay, but I much prefer the other ones I've made. I found a whole jar of these vintage glitter birds, so of course I had to include one. And I included the two blue plastic star reflectors I had in this piece.

Here's a look at the plastic star light reflector - just a perfect topper on these candoliers!

Well, I better get back to cleaning up my crafting messes!


Thursday, December 14, 2017

Vintage Christmas Crafting

I think I mentioned that the hubby and I spent the last couple of weeks in Texas spoiling the grandkids. We also spent some time hitting up antique shops and estate sales and it was the perfect time to find some great vintage Christmas decorations. I love most things vintage, but I have a special passion for vintage 50's Christmas - plastic Santas, blow mold snowmen, candoliers, and all things Shiny Brite.

Vintage Christmas Decorations by Thistle Thicket Studio.
I found lots of goodies and I don't think I spent more than a couple of dollars at the most for anything, but it does add up! I was surprised at how much I accumulated when I unpacked it all yesterday!

Triple Candle Candolier Decorated With Vintage Ornaments by Thistle Thicket Studio.
I've been wanting to make some decorated candoliers and ornament box dioramas, so I concentrated on finding things to work into those two types of arrangements. And of course I had to jump right in and make some things, like this festive triple candle candolier. This little flocked Santa is so cute, and although new, I found the red flocked Merry Christmas and ribbon that are perfect for it. To tie it all together, I sparkled it all up with crystal glitter. Nothing says Christmas like glitter, right?

Single Candolier Decorated With Vintage Christmas Ornaments by Thistle Thicket Studio.
I decked this single candolier out in a monochromatic color scheme. That snowman is actually a plastic Christmas light bulb! And I thought the vintage buttons looked like snowflakes.

Vintage Ornament Box Diorama Decorated With Vintage Ornaments by Thistle Thicket Studio.
When I saw this box of old turquoise blue ornaments, I knew I had to get them - not so much for the ornaments, but for the box! I knew it would be perfect for my diorama. I lined the inside of the box with pages from an old book, then glued a couple of vintage Christmas postcards for the background. Although its hard to see in the photo, I put vintage greenery in a couple of corners inside the box to add some depth. I decorated the outside of the box with this cute Santa, sleigh and reindeer I picked up at an estate sale for $1, topped the tree with a star and tiny ball, and added a bubble light, ornaments, Christmas bulbs, and a Christmas pin. Lastly, I added the red velvet ribbon for hanging.

As you can tell from my first photo, I still have lots more to make! My mom keeps asking me what I'm going to do with them all. I've been wanting to set up an Etsy shop to sell some of my goodies for awhile, so maybe that will be one of my goals for 2018. Or maybe I'll just set up a Paypal account (yes, I know I'm really behind the times) and sell them on Instagram. What do y'all think?


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Oh Lil Christmas Tree Block: Moda Bake Shop

The hubby and I arrived home last night from two weeks of spoiling the grandkids - just in time for my turn on Moda Bake Shop's Countdown To Christmas Sew Along and I'm pleased to share with you my block "Oh Lil Christmas Tree". 

Don't let the small pieces intimidate you, this block goes together very easily!

I share instructions for both a 6" and 12" finished block. You can use this block to make a variety of things, like this pillow decked out in red ball fringe.
Oh Lil Christmas Tree Pillow By Thistle Thicket Studio.

I think this block would make a cute mini quilt advent calendar too - just add 25 little red ribbon bows on the branches to tie candies on. 

So hurry on over to the Moda Bake Shop blog to get my "Oh Lil Christmas Tree Block" pattern! If you make one, post your photo on Instagram and tag me!


Friday, December 1, 2017

Countdown To Christmas

Today I'm helping Moda kick off their Countdown To Christmas Sew Along. Beginning today through December 26, a new holiday quilt block will be featured on the Moda Bake Shop blog. Each block finishes at 6", the perfect size for an assortment of Christmas projects so be sure to visit the MBS website each day to get your free block instructions! I can't wait to share my block on December 12! (Hint - mine is one of the blocks featured in the logo above! Can you guess which one?)

What a fun way to count down the days 'til Christmas!


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

'Tis The Season

I'm just sitting down to do a quick update here on my blog between batches of banana nut bread and poppy seed bread baking in the oven. It smells wonderful! This week marks the beginning of the holidays for me. Really, though, I've been working on a few holiday crafts and Christmas gift projects for the last couple of weeks. Some I can share and some will have to wait until they are gifted and opened (don't want to ruin the surprise!).

Pink Deer & Pink Bottle Brush Trees Winter Scene by Thistle Thicket Studio.
I couldn't pass up this cute little pink reindeer ornament when I saw it at Target, along with a few of those pink bottle brush trees. I combined them into this little winter scene on a wooden slice from a tree branch. It now sits on our media center amongst the jadeite green bowls filled with vintage glass ornaments and bottle brush trees. (and yes, I did break down and start decorating last weekend before Thanksgiving - a first for me!)

Kissing Claus' Winter Scene on Bedspring by Thistle Thicket Studio.
I've also been playing with bed springs again. I've made several little wintery scenes to sit atop the springs, but this one with the vintage ceramic Mr. and Mrs. Claus kissing is a favorite. This cute couple was in a box of vintage Christmas ornaments that I bought at an auction a couple of weeks ago.

Doodle Sketches by Thistle Thicket Studio.
I can only share a sneak peek of some doodles that have been turned into something for Christmas gifts. How's that for vague? Can you guess what it is?

Stack of Custom Recipe Tea Towels by Thistle Thicket Studio.
Last night I finished sewing several recipe tea towels I designed for a client. Since they are for gifts for my client's family, I'll share the finished product after they've been gifted too.

Magnolia Metallics Fabric on Thistle Thicket Studio.
And I've been doing a little secret sewing for a fabric company with this fabric. I'll share more about it soon.

With the hustle and bustle of the holidays, the blog posts may be scarce, but I'm hoping to have a few projects to share before the end of the year.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The Season Of Giving On IG

We are entering into the season of giving with Thanksgiving and Christmas just weeks away. Many people look for ways to give back to their community at this time of year, whether it's angel trees, food banks, toy drives, etc. Did you know there are giving opportunities for the quilty community on Instagram as well?

Batman Blue RK Block Made By Thistle Thicket Studio.
I had seen the 'Get Your Quilty Wishes Granted' hashtag last year but didn't look into it much, so when I saw it making circles on IG last month I wanted to participate. The idea is to post your quilting wants or needs in a post with this year's hashtag #getyourquiltywishesgranted3 and people who want to participate can read through posts that are tagged with the hashtag to find a wish that they can grant. Once you've granted a wish or two, then you can ask for your own wishes to be granted. I didn't have any needs or wants but wanted to help someone else out by granting their wish and I found the perfect wish because it was another giving project that I've been wanting to participate in.

Blue RK Block Made By Thistle Thicket Studio.
Mona also didn't have a need or want to ask for so she decided to ask for blue RK blocks to make a quilt for the #bluerkblocks project on IG. This project is near and dear to my heart because it is a project that is making quilts for the families of fallen police officers here in the U.S. and is the idea of another Instagrammer (Crafty Cop) who also happens to be a police officer. Since she posted her idea on IG July 5th with the hashtag #bluerkblocks, she has received enough blocks to make 99 quilts and 1 quilt has been gifted. I decided to grant Mona's wish and make her some blue RK blocks to make a quilt. I made a total of 10. That Batman block is my fav!

Orphan Quilt Blocks By Thistle Thicket Studio.
Later, Mona also asked for orphan blocks for another project so I rounded up a few of those and packaged them all up today to mail to her. I'm happy that someone else will be able to use my orphan blocks rather than them stuffed in a cubby and never used.

I am so happy that I could help Mona out and I can't wait to see her finished Blue RK Block quilt. I still want to make one of my own to give but at least I was able to contribute to the cause now. What quilty giving do you do this time of year?


Sunday, November 5, 2017

The Quilter's Planner Featured Block This Week

This week in The Quilter's Planner, my Spinners block is the featured block of the week.
Spinners Block Designed By Thistle Thicket Studio.

I designed this block for Paintbrush Studio's New Block Blog Hop in March of 2016 and you can get the free pattern and read more about it here. I designed this block when I was exploring different block ideas that created secondary patterns. I really like the idea of secondary patterns and should really do some more exploring!
Spinners Quilt Mock Up By Thistle Thicket Studio.

In the book, this block was recolored and I really like it. Maybe one of these days I'll have to make a quilt using this block pattern in a different colorway. Another item for the to-do list!

The 2018 Quilter's Planner is available for order now from my blogger friend Stephanie. This is not a paid affiliate, just a quilter supporting another quilter!


Thursday, November 2, 2017

Molecules of Moda & Me At Market

What a whirlwind weekend I had thanks to Moda Fabrics! This past weekend was International Quilt Market in Houston, a wholesale trade show for the quilting industry. My "Molecules of Moda: Bella Solids" quilt was displayed in Moda's booth at Quilt Market this weekend and I was lucky enough to attend!

"Molecules of Moda: Bella Solids" Quilt Designed & Made By Thistle Thicket Studio.
My quilt placed 3rd in the Moda Bella Challenge which was announced last week on Moda's blog "The Cutting Table". Here I am with my quilt at market. I'm holding a mini quilt I made called "Just The Atom", which is a small section of the larger quilt.

Moda Bella Challenge Winners on Thistle Thicket Studio.
The top three quilts of the Moda Bella Challenge were displayed at Market. The first place winner was "Mountain Balloon Festival" by Katherine Jones of Tasmania, Australia. The second place winner was "Moda Bella" by Janet Jones of Alamosa, Colorado. Since the quilts were all required to use the same fabrics, they really looked awesome hanging together.

"Mountain Balloon Festival" by Katherine Jones on Thistle Thicket Studio.
"Mountain Balloon Festival" by Katherine Jones on Thistle Thicket Studio.
The balloon quilt was beautiful and the quilting was awesome. I watched Kat's progress on Instagram (@twocatsquilts) as she created the quilt and knew it was a winner. Kat was the artist who created "Bling" which won Best of Show at QuiltCon this year.

"Moda Bella" by Janet Jones on Thistle Thicket Studio.
Janet's quilt was a personalized Moda quilt, featuring names of all the Moda designers and store fronts and cars with Moda names and ties. Janet used to be a quilt shop owner. 

"Moda Bella" by Janet Jones on Thistle Thicket Studio.
Dunn's Duds is a shout out to Moda Fabrics owner Mark Dunn and a nod to his dapper attire.

"Moda Bella" by Janet Jones on Thistle Thicket Studio.
This quilt had tons of details!

Moda Fabrics' Mark Dunn with Thistle Thicket Studio.
I was honored to meet Mark Dunn and have him sign my mini quilt "Just The Atom".

"Just The Atom" Mini Quilt By Thistle Thicket Studio.
This mini quilt was a section that I messed up while making my quilt so I tossed it aside and made a new section. I used this section to test my quilting ideas, which helped me to eliminate techniques that I didn't like, such as using the trim feature around the circles and using variegated thread, and allowed me to practice techniques that I hadn't done before, like burying threads. This mini is full of all the mistakes and challenges I encountered while making my "Molecules of Moda" quilt and will be my little memento of the bigger quilt (since that quilt is now a part of Mr. Dunn's personal quilt collection).

"Just The Atom" Mini Quilt By Thistle Thicket Studio.
"Just The Atom" Mini Quilt By Thistle Thicket Studio.
Sewn into the back of the mini are corner triangles that also serve as my quilt labels and hangers.

Third Place Moda Bella Challenge Ribbon for Thistle Thicket Studio.
My mom went with me to quilt market and we had the best time. I made some valuable contacts that I hope in the future will materialize into something, met some Instagram friends in person for the first time, touched base with some old friends and saw lots of beautiful and inspiring quilts. It really was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I truly thank Moda Fabrics for the opportunity.

Our week-long, 2200 mile road trip also allowed us to spend time with my grandsons and daughter, visit some cousins, see my son's new home, shop a few quilt shops and spend lots of windshield time together. Give me a day to rest and I'll be ready to go again!