Sunday, February 26, 2017

My Annual Trek To Magnolia Market

After five weeks as snowbirds in the Hill Country of Texas, the hubby and I arrived back to the farm a week ago. Unfortunately, we brought the crud home with us. I literally crawled out of the car and headed for the couch and haven't moved much since. This has really kicked my booty and still far from 100%. I've been passing my time sleeping, binge watching Fixer Upper shows, and coughing, coughing, coughing.

Speaking of Fixer Upper (you know, that show on HGTV with Chip and Joanna Gaines), one of the highlights of our time in Texas was making our annual trip to Waco to visit Magnolia Market. I've been a fan of the show from the very first episode and started planning my first trip to visit their shop soon after.

My first visit was to their little shop on Bosque Boulevard during the first season of the show. A tiny little shop in the front portion of a converted house. Through the window of their office, I could see Chip on the phone. A couple of their kids were running around the shop, and Joanna was in the backyard sorting a truck of décor items on the back driveway. As we left, Joanna said "Hi Honey!" as we walked by. Not wanting to interrupt her and seem like a stalker, I waved and walked on. To this day I kick myself that I didn't ask to take a selfie with her because I'll probably never get the chance again.

On our return trip to the little shop on Bosque a year later, we definitely were greeted with larger crowds, a tent in the parking lot with more merchandise that the little shop couldn't hold, lots more employees running around, a food truck or two, and sadly, no Chip and Joanna sightings. We also stopped by Harp Design Co. on this trip to check out their shop too (no Clint sightings either) and a couple of antique stores that have been featured on the show.

Our third trip to Magnolia Market was the second day (or maybe third) the Magnolia Silos were open. Even though they hadn't officially announced they were open, there were crowds of people who couldn't wait for the grand opening to get a peek at the new store. Although larger than the shop on Bosque, I was really surprised at how small the new shop was, inhabiting just a small portion of the front of a very large metal shed. Although the shop was finished, there was lots of construction happening outside on the grounds as they prepared for their first 'Silobration' in a couple of weeks.

This trip saw lots of changes at the silos. The new Silos Bakery was open and a beautiful courtyard had been built. A row of 8 or so food trucks lined the back of the property with several covered picnic tables and the artificial turf was full of high school kids who were spending their lunch break playing and hanging out. There was a garden area that employees were just starting to prep for the new growing season and a garden shed with seeds and other merchandise for those with a green thumb. The shop had been expanded and filled more of the big shed, featuring Joanna's new paint line and Chip's corner with merchandise for the guys. Buses pulled up regularly dropping off or picking up people visiting the silos. A neighboring church and businesses were selling parking spaces in the surrounding blocks. And a block from the silos, another décor shop with a very similar style and merchandise has opened up called The Findery.

It's been fun to follow Chip and Joanna as they've made the most of their 15 minutes of fame (I know, its been way more that 15, but that's the saying). And I look forward to my next trek to the Silos to see what new things they come up with. In the meantime, I think I better get back to my couch and binge watch more Fixer Upper.


Thursday, February 16, 2017

TBT: The Boys In Blue Quilt

This week's 'Throw Back Thursday' quilt is one that I made for my son-in-law in 2009. I've shared before that he is a police officer in Texas and when I came across this fabric during one of my quilt shop hopping trips, I had to buy it. I originally had made it for him to carry in the trunk of his patrol car, but he didn't want it to get ruined, so it is displayed on a quilt rack along with other quilts in my daughter and son-in-law's home. And this past year, it served as a tree skirt for his police-themed Christmas tree.
Thistle Thicket Studio, police quilt, boys in blue quilt, yellow brick road quilt pattern

Unfortunately, I've never been good at documenting my quilts (part of the reason I started this blog) and, therefore, I have no idea what the name of this fabric collection or manufacturer was. I am trying to do better, although I'm still terrible at putting on labels! I am pretty sure, though, that the quilt pattern is Yellow Brick Road by Atkinson Designs.

I put an off-white stop border around the center of the quilt and wrote my son-in-law's name and police department name in the border, repeating it all the way around the quilt. I used a permanent gold pen/marker. It was quilted by a high school classmate of mine with an all-over star and loop design.
Thistle Thicket Studio, police quilt, the boys in blue quilt, yellow brick road quilt pattern

I'm sure some of you are wondering what is the purpose of these 'Throw Back Thursday' posts. My plan, once I have posted all the quilts I have made (or at least most of them as I'm sure I've given some away that I didn't get photos of), is to print my blog posts in a full-color book. There are several 'blog-to-book' sites, such as Blurb, LuLu, Blog2Print and Into Real Pages, to name a few. I'll be researching which will be the best site for me over the next few months.

Have you printed a book from your blog? I'd love to hear what site you used, the pros and cons, and any recommendations you have!


Thursday, February 9, 2017

TBT: Bird's Eye Quilt

I'm back with another Throw Back Thursday quilt. This quilt is one that started the quilting obsession for me. I learned to sew in 4-H as a child but didn't start quilting until I took a class featuring Eleanor Burns' rotary strip cutting technique back in the early 90's. This quilt also became my first official UFO as I tucked it away after the class with it only half finished and forgot about it.
Thistle Thicket Studio, Eleanor Burns, Bird's Eye Quilt, Quilt In A Day

Nearly 15 years later, I dug it out and finished it to give to my daughter as a housewarming gift in 2007. It took several years to finally finish my first 'quilt in a day' quilt. Thank goodness they don't all take me that long!


Thursday, February 2, 2017

TBT: All Stars Quilt

In 'Throw Back Thursday' fashion, I'm sharing an older quilt I made before I started this blog. I'm hoping to do a series of these throughout the year to record quilts that I've made in the past to create an online record of them. First up is this 'All Stars' throw.
Thistle Thicket Studio, all stars quilt pattern, quilts, quilting

I made this quilt five or six years ago when I was still part owner in a quilt shop. As a way to move older fabric, my mom and I made kits using Cozy Quilt Strip Club patterns. The patterns are great for scrappy quilts using 2 1/2" strips.  The quilt measures 64" x 76" and was very fast and easy to make. This quilt was made with an older line of 3 Sisters fabric from Moda, but for the life of me I can't remember the name and I couldn't find it online. I quilted this quilt with an edge-2-edge pattern called "Brocade Fans" that was a free pattern that came with our Gammill Statler long arm.
Thistle Thicket Studio, all stars quilt, strip club pattern, quilts, quilting

This is now one of my 'camper' quilts. It adds a cozy feel to the living room of our 5th wheel and I love the extra pop the aqua and pinky-red brings to the tan and brown color scheme in the camper.

I hope you don't mind strolling down my quilty memory lane as I document some of my older quilt finishes!