Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Tish and the Star Thistle

When Jayne at Twiggy and Opal put out a request for pattern testers for her block for the Cloud 9 New Block Blog Hop I was more than happy to lend a hand.  I chose to set out of the hop this time around and was kicking myself in the rump, so testing Jayne's awesome design still felt like getting to play too.

I fell in love with the paper pieced Star Thistle the second it landed in my inbox.  Since the blog hop used solids I decided to make my test block using prints.  I was super impressed with Jayne's tutorial.  She did a wonderful job walking you through the process of paper piecing, and in no time, I had myself a completed block.

This block would also help me complete my OMG for the month, a very simple and vague goal  to simply quilt something.  Anything.  So I added a 2" border of background fabric and played around with designs.

My first two thoughts about the quilting was to; 1. take full advantage of all those wonderful geometric lines and add some dot to dot quilting and 2. somehow soften up those angles with some curves.

Next up was picking my quilting cast of characters, so into my Aurifil thread collection I went.

I'm pretty sure it's not the first time these four friends have acted together in a quilt.  From left to right we have Aurifil #2610 Light Blue Grey, #2250 Red, #5006 Light Turquoise, and #2021 Natural White.

I can officially say I am in love with ruler work.  Since the HQ Sixteen has a perfect foot for ruler work, I thought let's give it a go.  I made small dots with a blue water soluble pen where I wanted my lines to meet and aimed for a 1/4" away.  I couldn't be happier with the results.

Then my quilting plan went astray.  I kind of got a bit messy when I pieced my block sections together and let myself end up with an out of control large seam where they all met.  You can't exactly tell in the picture below, but it was so large that it wouldn't fit under my quilting foot.  Now what??

The brown fur in the top right corner is Miss Caroline trying to squeeze into the shot at all costs.

I was so frustrated I couldn't think straight, so I took to the Instagram.  Thanks to a wonderful quilter named Jamie (quiltinglibrarian_fl) I was talked off the ledge.  A simple  tweak or two and I was back to quilting again.  Instead of having my quilting start from that center point I worked from the opposit ends of the reds and white sections.   You can see the dot to dot quilting in the white center section below (I just eye balled those sections, no ruler).

Then I used my blue pen and a handy dandy dinner plate to mark my ghost circle in the middle.  Then all that was left to do was fill in my background with pebbles to add more curves to the piece.

Also, a little shout out to Sandra at mmmquilts.  A while back she surprised me with a small basket (and something else I'll share later).  It has come in sew handy at my Sweet 16.

It is the perfect size to use as a thread catcher and to hold my utensils as I'm quilting.

The addition of the flange binding had me jumping for joy, because I knew a completion was near.

So how about a few more pictures of Star Thistle?

You can get your own copy of Star Thistle at Jayne's Craftsy Store (for free) and check out her tutorial over at Twiggy and Opal.  A big thanks to Jayne for letting me pattern test this great block, I have loved everything about it.

Before I close, if you haven't had a chance to check out my post from Monday, you can help me celebrate what I'm calling a "Cheryl Party" to help Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs celebrate the release of her latest two patterns, Check Plus and Vintage Star.  She graciously offered a copy of each to me for a giveaway for two lucky readers.  So hop over to my Cheryl Party to enter and read more about the patterns.  Also a little cricket (David's text tone on my phone) just told me that his post about making Cheryl's Check Plus is now up over at Dave the Quilting Engineer.  Rumor has it, there may be a give away over there too.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Celebrating friends and a Give Away

Today I have a crush and I'm not ashamed to say it's on a girl.  Today I'm crushing on my friend Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs.  I'd like to help her celebrate the release of her pattern Check Plus

Photo courtesy of Meadow Mist Designs

and tomorrow Vintage Star.

Photo courtesy of Meadow Mist Designs

David and I were honored that Cheryl asked us to read through the pattern for Check Plus.  David actually has completed a Check Plus top.  You can check out his version of the quilt over at Dave the Quilting Engineer in the next few days.

For the next week the patterns will be available at Cheryl's Etsy and Crafty stores for 25% off (ending Oct 3 and 4).  She also offered a copy of each to me to give away on the blog today.  So help me celebrate these releases with Cheryl.  The give away will be open until next Saturday (October 1st at midnight EST).  I will give you three chances to enter;

1)  Leave a comment below any comment.  Maybe tell me if you've made one of Cheryl's patterns before or participated in one of her QAL's.

2)  Leave a comment letting me know you visited Meadow Mist Designs and left Cheryl a comment to celebrate Check Plus's release.

3)  Leave a comment if you are a follower of TishNWonderland and let me know how you enjoy following me.

4)  If you are a no reply blogger please make sure you also leave your email address to that I can contact you to let you know you have won.  I do my very best to respond to every comment, so if you do not hear back from me, that is probably why...I can't contact you :(

On Sunday, I will pick two winners.  The first winner will win a PDF copy of Cheryl's Check Plus.

The second winner will win a PDF copy of Cheryl's Vintage Star.

So, let's help Cheryl celebrate and make her pattern release a success!  She is my pattern writing Jedi.

Also pop over to visit Paige at Quilted Blooms, Beth at Cooking Up Quilts and Dave the Quilt Engineer later in the week for other possible give aways...wink wink.

Today I'm linking up with Main Crush Monday.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sunday Stash--FALLing in love

It's that time of year again, Fall is upon us and I couldn't be happier about it.  I love when the mornings have that crisp cool feel to them and the earthy smell as the leaves change color and start to fall.  Just makes me happy.  Do you know what else makes me happy?  Being able to let you have a small peek of some of my SecreTish sewing.

I have been diligently working on my list from last Wednesday (though still no finishes) and have made quite a bit of progress.  One thing that I can give you to look at are some BEAUTIFUL fabrics sent to me by Paint Brush Studios for an upcoming blog hop being hosted by Bernie over at Needle and Foot near the end of October.

This is from their new Windfall line.  Just look at those colors!  They are so bright and vibrant.  It makes me want to go out and jump in a big ol' pile of leaves.  But since all the leaves are on the trees, where they should be, I will settle on cutting into these beauties and creating.

So take a minute and hop over to my future hop mates' pages to check out what beautiful fabrics they will be working with to celebrate fall.

Bernie at Needle and Foot  
Sandra at mmmquilts
Janine at Quilts from the Little House
Mari at Academic Quilter

Alright enough fabric petting for me today.  I need to get back to that list.  Check back in tomorrow to see what I'm crushing about.  Rumor has it, there might just be a give away.

Today, I'm linking up with the incredible Molli Sparkles for Sunday Stash.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

WIP--The list

I'm having one of those weeks that feels like the only thing I'm getting done is tail chasing, so I decided to do something I hadn't done in a while...make a list.  I've had several projects going on and I needed to get myself back on track to make sure I'm successful in getting them completed.

So after a day or two of working...where am I at?

I'm so close to a finish on this one, it's not funny.  The only thing left to do is finish up some applique, baste and quilt.  I even know how I'm going to quilt it.  Unfortunately, that's really all I can say about this one right now...actually you might hear that more than once in today's post...lot's of secretish (secreTish...get it :p) sewing going on.

I managed to baste three small quilting projects; a charity baby quilt, mini round robin and a block I recently pattern tested.  The only thing holding me back is figuring out how exactly to quilt them.  

I've managed to set aside some time to do a bit of pattern writing for a pattern I hope to release and for a hop that will be coming up soon (more details on that shortly).  Now I just need to get to cutting.

Speaking of cutting, I now have everything completely cut for Lorna's MOD Bear Paw QAL over at Sew Fresh Quilts.  Now I'm on the task of making quite a few bear paw blocks in a lovely shade of blue.  I figure if I can make a few each evening, I should keep up just fine.

I really love this white on white fabric I'm using for the background...it makes me very happy.

So back to the grind stone for me.  And on a side note before I sign off, the Blogger's Quilt Festival kicked off this week over at Amy's Creative Side.  There are many categories to choose from and you can enter up to two quilts.  So if you get a chance, write up a post about two of your favorite quilts (even if you've wrote about them before) and enter into the show.  I'm not sure I'll get a post written, but I definitely plan on browsing all of the categories to check out all the quilts...even if I didn't write it on my list.

Today I'm linking up with Let's Bee Social and MOD Bear Paw QAL.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Craftsy Stash

So I may have gotten a bit carried away last month when Craftsy had their monthly sale.  Again I said "may have."  I'm hoping there will be several of you that say, nope, all of those purchases were perfectly rational, Tish.  And I will thank you in advance for those words. :)

So what did I pick up?  Well, let me show you.

I actually picked up this wonderful box of C+S Fat Quarters's during a Craftsy sale a few months ago.  I was in love with all those beautiful colors and the price.  During the early Black Friday sale last month the prices on the FQ box was reduced even more, so of course I had to pick up it's little friend.

If one box is good and two boxes are better, then three boxes must be over the moon, right?  The next deal I jumped on was a Free Spirit 1 Yard Cut Fabric Box.

Look at all those pretties!  The box contained 14 1 yard cuts of Free Spirit fabric.  I was a bit nervous because I was at the mercy of the Craftsy Gods when it came to the prints (it's a mystery box), but I think they came through for me.  I have no idea what I will be doing with these, but until then I will stare at their yummy goodness.

The next two items I jumped on were quilt kits.  You know, just in case I ever run out of projects to work on.

 And the second is Arrow Heads using Tonga Treasures in Topez

With Old Man Winter right around the corner, I'm glad I will have all these new friends to keep me company.  So why do I bring up all these fun purchases?  This weekend, Craftsy is having their Farewell to Summer Sale (September 16th through the 18th).

What a great way to prepare for the cozy months of inside play by taking advantage of all the great clearance items they have marked down, and you can never be too prepared for that unexpected gift that you need to whip up.  Also, I will mention that I am a Craftsy affiliate, so most links in this post contain affiliate links.

And on a completely different note, do you remember the small kitten we rescued about 3 weeks ago?

Good news, as much as we enjoyed having him (especially Caroline, who became quite attached) last weekend he found his way to his fur-ever home.  He is now happily playing with a sweet 10 year old girl and proudly sporting the name Turbo.  Which left one feral kitten left at David's work.  His co-worker was finally able to catch the little baby, and as you would guess it, my lover of cats husband brought it home.

Meet nugget #2.  I'm pretty sure it's a girl, but she was a bit jittery by the time we got her home last night, so no bath yet and no lifting of the little tail to check.  She's a bit more feisty and definitely healthier than her brother was, but I have no doubt that after 24 hrs of loving care she will be mush in our hands.  So as always, if anyone knows anyone that would love to give this beauty a good home, please let me know, or if you could send some positive vibes this way that we can find her a home soon that would be great.

Today I'm linking up with Can I Get A Whoop! Whoop!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

A Stash To Dye For

 A couple weeks ago, I posed the question of possibly of attending a fabric dyeing class to Dave the Quilt Engineer.  The class would be a several hour class on simple immersion fabric dyeing.  At first he was a bit reluctant, but with minimal begging (actually none at all) he agreed to attend the class with me.  Hey, who can turn down the possibility of walking away with 6 yards of fabric each.

So Saturday, we drug our butts out of bed and headed to town to try our hands at creating our own personal fabrics.

The class would consist of our instructor, Suzan, ourselves and a lady from my quilt guild.  We would each be dyeing twelve 1/2 yard cuts of white fabric.  Six would be a gradient color change and the second would be six going from one color to the next on the color wheel.  Both David and I chose to do our gradient color dye using a deep blue.  For my color change I would go from magenta to turquoise and David would go from yellow to magenta.

We made sure we had our masks for safety.

 And we kept everything neat and organized by using zip lock bags and plastic tubs.   

I didn't take a bunch of pictures once we really got into what we were doing.  I didn't want to spill anything, plus playing on your phone with gloves on isn't the easiest thing to do.

After our fabrics had set in their dye baths, we rinsed them to remove the soda ash (the ingredient that makes the magic happen) then headed home to finish the process by boiling them on the stove to remove all the excess dyes.

Much applause to David for taking over this process.  It took many 10 minute boilings before the water started to leave the kettles empty.  But the results from all the hot baths totally paid off!

Fabrics 1-6 (left to right) are my blue gradient fabrics and the the last six are my color change from magenta to turquoise.

One of the most exciting parts of the process, was opening the zip lock bags so see exactly what the fabrics looked like. Did they marble?  Did you create a super cool design?  For my gradient blues, I had one corner of the fabric in each hand and kind of pulled it up like you would a mini blind.  Then when all the fabric was in my hand I would give the tube a twist, then fold it in half, put it in the bag and massage the dye into the fabric before sealing the bag up.  Above is the design that was created.

For the color change fabric, I simply wadded the fabric up into a ball and placed it into each bag.  This created a great marbling effect.

I cannot put into words how much fun this class was.  I think David had an even better time than I did.  You can read more about his view of the experience here.  We've been in contact with the instructor and she was excited to hear that we would both love to do a follow up class to learn more about printing and stamping (David's idea).  Hopefully, we will be able to make that happen in the next few weeks.

And to change the subject just a bit, I was finally able to grab a few more pictures of my Snowflake Shimmer quilt...minus the wind.

And just for giggles, how about my version next to David's version?

I hear there is a post coming soon on Dave the Quilt Engineer talking about creating his version of Yvonne's Snowflake Shimmer Quilt.  There was some extra planning that had to be considered, but I think it totally paid off in his finished top.  Boy, I'm glad 1/2 of his stuff is legally mine :)

Today I'm linking up with Main Crush Monday and Sunday Stash with the marvelous Molli Sparkles.
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