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!


Thursday, October 26, 2017

Molecules of Moda Places 3rd!

I'm beyond excited to share that my quilt - "Molecules of Moda: Bella Solids" - placed third in the Moda Bella Challenge!!!
"Molecules of Moda: Bella Solids" Quilt Designed, Pieced & Quilted by Thistle Thicket Studio.

Last Thursday afternoon I cautiously answered my cell phone because it displayed a number from Dallas, Texas. With my fingers crossed, I said 'hello' and who should be on the other end? None other than Mark Dunn, president and owner of Moda Fabrics! And then he told me my quilt placed 3rd! Of course, I wanted to do a happy jig but I refrained and tried to sound professional on the phone. I probably didn't succeed but, at least, I hope I didn't sound like a bumbling idiot.

The top three quilts will hang in Moda's booth at International Quilt Market in Houston this weekend. After that, they will reside in Mr. Dunn's personal quilt collection and may possibly travel for display at quilt shows around the country and world. The prize money awarded for the top three placing quilts also purchased the quilts.

There were a total of 19 quilts that were selected as finalists. Today Moda shared photos of all 19 quilts on their blog "Moda Cutting Table" (click on the name to see the post). All the finalists' quilts were so awesome!

I am so honored to have my quilt become a part of Mr. Dunn's collection and to have a piece of my work be seen by people literally around the world at Quilt Market this weekend. This quilt is my creation and will live on long after I'm gone - a part of my legacy. Maybe through this quilt, I'll leave a mark on the quilting world. (OK, now I'm getting a little too philosophical, LOL!)

Can't wait to show ya'll photos of it hanging at Quilt Market!


Sunday, October 15, 2017

My Quick Crafternoon Projects

I didn't get the row for my challenge quilt done this week (maybe today), but I did get a couple of little afternoon craft projects completed this week. And, I made the realization this week that Christmas is just around the corner - Aaaccck!!! I've been trying to brainstorm gift ideas and that put me in the holiday mood so I dug out a little project I have been collecting items for.

Gold Vintage Christmas Ornament Arrangement by Thistle Thicket Studio.
If you follow this blog, you know I love, love, love vintage Christmas ornaments. I found an old bottle brush tree trimmed in gold while antiquing in Gruene, Texas last Christmas and have been wanting to do a gold arrangement with vintage ornaments. I had several gold vintage balls and I found an old 50's gold corsage, some plastic star Christmas light covers and vintage birds ornaments at estate sales. Then a week or so ago I found a little cream tea cup and saucer trimmed in gold and thought that would make the perfect base for my arrangement. A little hot glue later and Ta-Da - a vintage Christmas tabletop arrangement! I love it!

English Paper Pieced Hexie Flower by Thistle Thicket Studio.
After our sew day last weekend, I was still in the vintage planter pincushion mode, so before I packed the leftover planters back in the box, I made one for a gift I was needing. I hand stitched the hexie flower then appliqued it to a 9" circle of fabric by machine. Then I hand sewed a gathering stitch around the edge of the circle, gathered and stuffed it. 

Pincushion Poof by Thistle Thicket Studio.
To hide the raw edges of the gathered poof, I hot glued a large button over the opening. Even though it will never be seen unless someone takes the pincushion out of the planter, I think it looks more finished with the raw edges hidden.

Vintage Planter Pincushion by Thistle Thicket Studio.
Then I just stuffed the poof in the opening of the planter to create this cute little vintage planter pincushion. These cuties are just so addictive!

Vintage Planter Pincushion by Thistle Thicket Studio.
What craft or sewing project have you been working on this week?


Monday, October 9, 2017

Sew Day: Vintage Planter Pincushions + A Yummy Recipe

Saturday was a Sew Day with a few of my quilty peeps - also known as the Dine 'n Dash Quilters - to make vintage planter pincushions. It was a day my mom and I had planned for more than 2 years. In other words, we picked up vintage planters here and there over the past two years saying 'one of these days, we're going to have everyone over and make them into pincushions". Well, we finally did it!

Sew Day: Making Vintage Planter Pincushions with Thistle Thicket Studio.
To say we went a little overboard on the vintage planters is an understatement! When we pulled out our boxes, we ended up with 45 planters for our guests to choose from. Unfortunately only a handful of our group was able to spend the afternoon with us, but we had lots of fun anyway. Sorry, the rest of you girls missed out!

Sew Day: Making Vintage Planter Pincushions with Thistle Thicket Studio.
I cut kits for each of the planters last week. It didn't take nearly as long as I thought it would. Kits consisted of two pieces of fabric for the petals and center of a grandmothers garden hexie flower, seven 1/2" fusible hexagon EPP papers, and a wonder clip. For the circle of fabric to create the pincushion, each person chose a background fabric from my stash after they made their hexie flower.

Sew Day: Making Vintage Planter Pincushions with Thistle Thicket Studio.
I showed the group the basics of English paper piecing but since everyone has been a long-time sewist, it didn't take them long to catch on. Then it was an afternoon of chit-chattin' and whip-stitchin'.

Sew Day: Making Vintage Planter Pincushions with Thistle Thicket Studio.
Dianne was the first to finish her pincushion - a chicken pulling a cart.  It will be perfect for her sewing room on the farm.

Sew Day: Making Vintage Planter Pincushions with Thistle Thicket Studio.
Of course, I had a couple of finished samples for them to look at.

Sew Day: Making Vintage Planter Pincushions with Thistle Thicket Studio.
I made this one for my mom - who collects pigs, among many other things - for Christmas a couple of years ago.

Sew Day: Making Vintage Planter Pincushions with Thistle Thicket Studio.
And I finished this one at our sew day which I used to demo with.

Peanut Butter Lasagna Recipe on Thistle Thicket Studio.
As you can tell by our group's name, we don't get together unless there's food involved! Since we met for the afternoon, we ended the day at our locally famous Mexican restaurant that has been open for 56 years. But an afternoon of sewing can make a quilter hungry, so I made a new-to-me dessert recipe that was oh-so-yummy called Peanut Butter Lasagna. I have no idea what the name has to do with this dessert, but I thought I'd share the recipe with ya'll.

Peanut Butter Lasagna


For the Crust:
  • 36 Oreo Cookies
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
For Peanut Butter Layer:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups cool whip
For Chocolate Layer:
  • 2 boxes instant chocolate pudding
  • 2 3/4 cups milk
For Topping:
  • whipped topping
  • 1 bag Reese's Mini Peanut Butter Cups
  • peanut butter chips
  • chocolate syrup

For the Crust:
  • In a food processor, finely crush Oreo cookies. Stir in melted butter. Press into a 9" bx13" baking dish. Place in the freezer while preparing the next layer.
For Peanut Butter Layer:
  • With mixer on medium, mix cream cheese, milk and peanut butter until fluffy. Gradually add in powdered sugar. Fold in whipped topping.
  • Spread the peanut butter layer on the Oreo crust. Place in the freezer while preparing the next layer.
For Chocolate Layer:
  • In a bowl, mix all the pudding mix and milk. Spread the pudding onto the peanut butter layer. Place in the fridge and allow to set for about 5 minutes.
  • Top with remaining whipped topping, Reese's Mini Pieces, peanut butter chips and chocolate sauce. Refrigerate at least 3 hours.