Thursday, February 27, 2020

Road Trippin' Finds

This past week, my mom and I hit the road to travel to Texas for my grandsons' birthday party. Of course, any road trip includes a few quilt shops and antique stores, but the bonus this year was attending QuiltCon in Austin one day. Today, I'm sharing a few of my finds from our trip - from sewing notions to vintage Christmas decorations to china. 

Necchi Toy Sewing Machine and Green Handle Iron on Thistle Thicket Studio.
My favorite finds are the Necchi toy sewing machine (#21 in my collection) and matching green handled iron. Of course, I just love the vintage green color and they fit perfectly in this display in my sewing studio.....

Vintage Toy Sewing Machines & Notions in Thistle Thicket Studio.
Estate Sale Finds by Thistle Thicket Studio.
And then, I picked up a couple of new sewing notions at an estate sale - an Oliso steam iron and an 12" x 18" Olfa cutting mat. The mat is brand new and was only $2! The iron also looks unused and was a steal for $20.

Mismatched Vintage China on Thistle Thicket Studio.
I've been in this vintage tea cup kick lately and have been picking up cups and saucers when I find cheap ones. This trip I picked up a few mismatched plates and containers for a DIY project that's on my to-do list - 3 tiered serving trays. I plan to use dinner plates on the bottom, salad or saucer plates in the middle, and a container such as a sugar bowl or gravy boat at the top. I picked up all these pieces for less than $2 each (most were 75 cents!). I was looking for very inexpensive pieces because I'm sure I will have some breakage when I try to drill holes in the centers for the tiered hardware. Stay tuned for more on this later.

Vintage Christmas Decorations on Thistle Thicket Studio.
I also picked up a few vintage Christmas decorations to add to my collection. I just love that the label is still intact on the green handled Santa cookie cutter.

I also added a couple of vintage aprons to my growing collection. I'm working on a program for our quilt guild's spring tea in April on the history of aprons, so I'll wait to show photos until later. 

Texas Tea Room Visited By Thistle Thicket Studio.
Texas Tea Room Visited By Thistle Thicket Studio.
Of course, mom and I love to find unusual places to eat while road trippin', and this time we came across this cute tea room in Crowley, Texas. Lunch was wonderful and was full of beautiful pink flowered china and doilies. 

Unique BBQ Joint Visited By Thistle Thicket Studio.
And no trip to Texas is complete without some BBQ - even if that BBQ was in Oklahoma on the way Texas. It was rustic and filled with native American relics - and this quirky salad bar made out of an old car, vintage window and longhorns.

I'll share more about QuiltCon in another post later.


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Friday, February 14, 2020

Moda Blockheads 3 - I'm In!

Moda Blockheads 3 January blocks by Thistle Thicket Studio.
After watching on the sidelines for Moda Blockheads 1 & 2 because of time commitments, I decided this year was the year. I'm so excited for this challenge!

"A Little Sweetness" Fabric by Tasha Noel for Riley Blake on Thistle Thicket Studio.
I chose to use a fat quarter bundle of Tasha Noel's 'A Little Sweetness' fabric for Riley Blake that I won last year in an Instagram giveaway (I know, how lucky can I be!). 

Moda Blockheads 3 Block 1 by Thistle Thicket Studio.
I'm making 6" blocks and hope the pieces won't get any smaller than they were in this first block!

I decided to use Mama's Linoleum layout by Lella Boutique here, although I'm going to make it larger to include all the blocks. The photo collage above shows what four 6" blocks sewn together will look like in this layout. I'm going to try to make two blocks with white backgrounds and two blocks with colored backgrounds in each set of four to give it that checkerboard effect.

Moda Blockheads Block 2 by Thistle Thicket Studio.

Moda Blockheads Block 3 by Thistle Thicket Studio.
Here are my week 2 and 3 blocks.

Moda Blockheads Block 4 Alternate by Thistle Thicket Studio.
And for week 4, I elected to make one of the alternate blocks that was shared instead of the applique. I'm going to wait to do the applique blocks until I see them all and then may make a separate project with just the applique. 

Moda Blockheads Block 5 by Thistle Thicket Studio.
This week's block was a letter 'Love' block. I didn't really think it fit with the other blocks so I elected to make a 12" block in reds and pinks and will make this into a Valentine's mini quilt to hang on my vintage door display for the holiday. I think I'll add some hearts on the sides and bottom. My project for this afternoon.

Starched Fabric Drying on Thistle Thicket Studio.
Several of the Moda designers that are hosting this sew along have suggested to starch the fabrics before cutting and it will help with making accurately pieced blocks. I've never starched before but decided to try. I used a pump bottle of Faultless Original spray starch (well more like 3 bottles) and literally soaked each fat quarter then hung them to dry on my vintage drying rack. After they dried, I steam pressed them.

Fabric Bleed After Starching on Thistle Thicket Studio.

Fabric Bleed After Starching on Thistle Thicket Studio.
I had a couple of fabrics that bled with the starching process.:( I probably should have stopped right there and washed all the fat quarters, but I didn't. When I wash the quilt, I'll just throw in lots of color catchers and hope that works. Hopefully, I won't be sorry for this decision later! What would you have done?

I'm loving seeing all the blocks in the Facebook group here. I am waiting a few days after the block pattern is posted on Wednesdays to see what clever ideas everyone else has for their blocks before making mine. Is that cheating?

Believe it or not, I'm all caught up for the moment for MBH3! Although I want to make a couple more of the alternate blocks I've seen. Are you a Moda Blockhead? What layout are you using? Can't wait to see your blocks!


Monday, February 10, 2020

Jumping in on the Temperature Quilt Craze

I've watched many variations of the temperature quilt develop over the past few years on Instagram, and I've really liked a lot of them. But it wasn't until I saw Kelly's (of @itsjustsew) version that I fell in love and knew I had to make one. So I hope imitation is the sincerest form of flattery because I'm totally copying her idea!

Kelly used JeliQuilt's paper piecing pattern called Juicy Goosey to create circles of flying geese with each goose representing the high temperature for a day and the surrounding background representing the low temperature. When you sew four sections of geese together, it creates a circle for each month. 

Connecting Threads Spritz Tonals on Thistle Thicket Studio.
I decided to use a fat quarter bundle of Spritz Tonals from Connecting Threads for my high temps and I arranged the rainbow of colors from dark purple at the lowest to a dark burgundy at the highest end of the range. Each color represents five degrees in a range from zero and below to 111 and above.

Moda Bella Solids on Thistle Thicket Studio.
For the lows I selected nine Moda Bella Solids in a gradiant range of grays. Each hue of gray represents 10 degrees from zero and below to 80 degrees. 

My fabric finally arrived this weekend so today I decided to tackle the first quarter of January. Before starting to sew, I decided to enlarge the pattern as large as I could fit on an 8 1/2" x 11" sheet of paper and then I measured each paper piecing section and made a cutting chart of what size each piece needs to be. I want my monthly circle blocks to be as large as possible, which will be 15" finished.

Temperature Quilt Chart for Thistle Thicket Studio.
I also made high and low fabric charts and marked the selvedge of each fabric to help me keep track of what temperature range each color represents.

Temperature Quilt Chart for Thistle Thicket Studio.
I also made notes of fabric lines and pattern used for future 'senior moments'. I put my charts in a plastic sleeve to keep the fabrics nice and neat.

So I have eight days or one quarter section of the month complete, which took me most of the afternoon to do. Hopefully the process will go a little faster as I become more proficient at paper piecing. I have done a little paper piecing in the past but it always takes me a little bit to remember how to do it and get into a rhythm. I'll share again when I have the month of January complete.

Have you made a temperature quilt? Want to join me in the fun and keep me accountable for getting each month completed? 


First Week of January 2020 Temperature Quilt Made By Thistle Thicket Studio.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

B&C Call For Blocks

Bonnie & Camille Call For Blocks on Thistle Thicket Studio.
I did a little Sunday afternoon sewing today, making blocks for Bonnie Olaveson and Camille Roskelley, Moda's fabric designing duo Bonnie & Camille. They are publishing a new book and are asking for blocks made from their fabrics. It's a specific block and there are specific size and color placement requirements. You can find all the details on this Instagram post.

Bonnie & Camille Call For Blocks on Thistle Thicket Studio.
It's a fun little block with so many possible design layouts so I'm excited to see what they do with them. 

Bonnie & Camille Call For Blocks on Thistle Thicket Studio.
These are the four blocks I sent.

Bonnie & Camille Call For Blocks on Thistle Thicket Studio.
Squaring up the half square triangles was fast and easy with my Bloc-Loc ruler!

What are you up to on this Sunday afternoon?


Tuesday, January 21, 2020

My Q1 2020 Finish-A-Long Goal List

This year, the 2020 Finish-A-Long goal lists are being posted on Instagram, but I thought I'd share my goals here on my blog also. The deadline to post on Instagram was Sunday, but I'm just now getting around to posting them here. They are in no particular order of importance...

1. Hanky & Doily Quilt: When my mother-in-law passed away last May, she had several hankies and a few other handwork pieces saved in her cedar chest. Unfortunately, most of them were not marked so I don't know if any of them had any significant meaning to her. I decided I'm going to make a quilt with them using 30s fabrics. I've made one block that you can see above. I used a hexagon template to cut my background fabric and placed a little crocheted doily on top of the background. Since I know I will never - and I mean NEVER - get it done if I leave it in hexagons that have to be hand-pieced together, I am making them into rectangles that I can machine piece together. Hopefully it will turn out close to what I have pictured in my mind:)

2. Fence Rail (or is it Rail Fence?) QOV Quilt: I have all the blocks made for this one, I just have to piece them together, border, quilt and bind it. I really need to get this one done.

3. Moda Bake Shop Secret Sewing Project: I am working on a pattern for the Moda Bake Shop so, of course, it's top secret! I am using Stiletto fabric by Basic Grey. I spent the last four days at my mom's birthday sew-in with my mom and aunts, and have the blocks all sewn together now. Just need to border, quilt and bind it and then I'll be sharing it on the Moda Bake Shop blog.

4. A Ribbon Runs Through It Collage Quilt: This was our quilt guild challenge last year and I made two quilts, but I bought fabric for a third to try my hand at a collage quilt. I plan to hand the three together as a triptych in my sewing room.

5. Modern Marks Quilt: OMG, this one has been on my list for a couple of years and it's such a simple quilt. I just need to sit down and finish it! This one will probably be a donation quilt to a local child advocacy group.

6. Quilt Guild Row Quilt Challenge: Ugh, this was my guild challenge 2 or 3 years ago. I haven't worked on it since my mom's birthday sew-in retreat two years ago! I really want to dig this one out and get it finished.

7. Just the Atom Quilt: Again, another project from a couple of years ago. I started these blocks to use as a demo on how to make circle blocks after I made my Moda Bella Solids Challenge quilt. Another one I haven't worked on for a couple of years but want to dig it out and finish it up.

8. Frivols Kindred Quilt: I'm starting to sound like a broken record here, but this is another one I haven't worked on for a couple of years. It's not that large of a quilt so I really just need to make myself finish it.

There you have it - a manageable list for the first quarter of 2020. I'd be thrilled to knock the all out, but happy to get a couple finished. How about you? Did you post a goal list for the FAL this quarter? Let's help each other get them done!


Wednesday, January 15, 2020

2020 Finish-A-Long - New Decade, New FAL!

The new year has brought new changes to the Finish-A-Long! Although the creator, Rhonda, and her helpers are still putting the final touches on the 2020 FAL, we know there are going to be changes in the way we play along this year.

Don't worry, it will be super easy to participate this year. Participants will post their goal lists and their finishes (just like last year) but it will be done exclusively on Instagram. Participants must use the official hashtags (for Quarter 1 the goal list hashtag is #2020FALQ1List and the Quarter 1 finishes hashtag is #2020FALQ1Finish) when posting either their one goal list by the deadline of the quarter or their multiple finish posts anytime before the end of the quarter. The main difference from last year is that there will be no linking up on the hosts blogs but rather everything will be entered via Instagram and the use of hashtags. If you don't use the hashtags, you aren't officially playing along. 

To help you track your list of projects and their progress, Sandra at Sew of Course has designed a Finish-A-Long planner again for participants. Click here to download the planner. This can be super helpful in tracking your projects and keeping you moving towards finishing your WIPs. 

As always, you can refer to the 2020 Finish-A-Long page posted at the top of my blog for hosts, rules, sponsors and other info at any time. Following the Finish-A-Long's official Facebook (Finish-A-Long) and Instagram (@finishalong) pages will be super helpful for reminders & news too.

I'll pop back in with more details in a few days, but for now, the most important thing to know is that the Q1 goal list deadline is January 19, 2020, so hurry and get those lists posted!


What is the Finish-A-Long, you ask? From Rhonda, the founder and creator of the FAL:

The Finish-A-Long started back in 2012 as a way for me to keep track of all the stuff I wasn’t getting done. I was just starting my blog (my podcast was on the horizon) and wanted to “play” with my other blogging friends. A few of my blogging friends, as well as myself, knew online shop owners who were just getting started and were willing to be sponsors. 

Eight years later, it is this wonderful network of people who all work toward the same goal - to finish a project started prior to the beginning of the current quarter. And the bonus….when you finish a project and follow some simple rules, you are entered in a drawing.

Monday, January 13, 2020

A Ribbon Runs Through It - Quilt 2

Last Saturday, our quilt guild celebrated their 15th Anniversary with a trunk show, luncheon, make & take activity and a quilt challenge exhibit with friends & members, both past & present. The quilt exhibit was our "A Ribbon Runs Through It" challenge. I managed to finish my second quilt for the challenge a couple of days before our big event. WooHoo!

A Ribbon Runs Through It Challenge - Quilt 2 by Thistle Thicket Studio.
I didn't name this quilt, so I'm just calling it Quilt 2 (so original). For Quilt 2, I made 6" crazy quilt blocks and then drew a couple of flowers and leaves on Steam-A-Seam 2 and fused to the back of the turquoise fabric we were to use in the challenge. I fused the flowers and leaves to the front of my crazy quilt, then stitched the edges down. I saw this idea on Instagram but unfortunately I can't remember who it was to give them appropriate credit.

A Ribbon Runs Through It Challenge - Quilt 2 by Thistle Thicket Studio.
I quilted pebbles on the crazy quilt background to mute the background and to make the flowers and leaves puff up a bit. It was the first time for me to freehand pebbles and although sometimes it felt like I was a little tipsy with a few too many drinks and my pebbles looked like it too, I thought overall it didn't look too bad. I applied a faced binding to my quilt and added hot-fix crystals to the main flower to add some sparkle. Although I love the quilt, the 'ribbon' effect was lost when it was hung in the exhibit (as you can see below).

A Ribbon Runs Through It Challenge - Awaken Wonder by Thistle Thicket Studio.
I shared my first quilt for this challenge a few months ago and you can click Here to read more about it.

A Ribbon Runs Through It Quilt Challenge Exhibit by Thistle Thicket Studio.
Speaking of the challenge, the rules were quite simple. Each participant was to make an 18" x 36" quilt and given a fat quarter of turquoise fabric that was to enter the quilt on the left side at 3" wide and exit on the right side at 3" wide.

A Ribbon Runs Through It Quilt Challenge Exhibit by Thistle Thicket Studio.
The quilts were hung so that the turquoise fabrics connected at the sides to create a "ribbon" that ran through the quilts. The quilts were grouped into 2 groups - one group was more bright colors and geometrics while the other was more earth-tones and landscapes. The quilts are a little hard to see in the photos because of all the background clutter but really looked neat in person.

All-in-all I think our anniversary celebration was a success. Now I'm looking forward to some other projects and activities on my list - starting this weekend with my mom's annual Birthday Sew-In with all her sisters! Should be a fun time.


Wednesday, January 1, 2020

2019 Finish-A-Long Q4 Link-Up

We have reached the end of Quarter 4 of the 2019 Finish-A-Long!!  Of course, this means it is now time to link up those finishes from the list you linked up in October. We hope that you have been able to complete a lot of the UFOs from your list and have had an overall successful year.

The 2019 FAL is hosted by a great community of bloggers. This year our hosts are:

Each finish you link up will be in the draw for great prizes, so let's give a huge thank you to our fantastic sponsors:

Aurifil Logo
Winner's Choice of 1 Large 12 Spool Collection
Sew Sweetness Logo
$80 Gift Certificate

2019 Finish-A-Long Logo

Fat Quarter Shop Logo
$50 Gift Certificate
Sew Me a Song Logo
$25 Gift Certificate
Happy Quilting Logo
3 PDF Patterns

2 PDF Patterns

Blossom Hearts Quilts Logo
2 PDF Patterns
Make Modern Logo
1 Six Month Subscription
Bonjour Quils Logo
2 PDF Patterns

Hillstitches Logo
$30 Fabric Voucher

2019 Finish-A-Long Logo

The 2019 Quarter 4 link for your finishes is now open below on my blog and on each of the hosting blogs - you only need to link on one blog for your finish to appear on all host blogs.

Link-up "Rules":

Add one link for each finish.  If you want to link a round up post of all your finishes, use that link to enter one of your finishes and then link the rest of your finishes separately.  Please, only one link per finish, as your link is an entry into the randomly drawn prize draws. 

Please ensure that the photo (Instagram or Flickr) or blog post you link up contains a link or reference back to your original list so that we can verify your entry (make sure it is from the right quarter, too). On Instagram the best way to do that is to tag your photos with #2019FALQ4yourname (where yourname is unique to you), this makes it easier for us to match your finishes with your list, which also should have this tag.

Please become part of the FAL community.  Check out the links of others and leave a comment. We all need encouragement so let's applaud each other.  The 2019 FAL Facebook page is HERE and you can follow us on Instagram @finishalong.

Our hosts will also link up their finishes to share in the community but they are not eligible for any of the prizes.

The Q4 Finishes link will stay open from now thru 11 pm, EST, Thursday, January 9, 2020 - as we are global, you might want to check your time zone to determine your last possible time to link. You can also see how much time is left below the linked up images on the right.  It is best to link up your finishes early and if you have a last minute one, add that one later so you don't miss out.  The prizes will be awarded as soon as we can verify all the entries and do the drawings.  We will post the winners on each host's blog.

2019 Q4 Finishes Link Up: