Although Cristina lives across the pond, both of our hearts can be found here in Tyler, Texas. Tyler is about an hour and a half east of Dallas with a population of around 100,000. The weather is known to be unpredictable and moody- one minute it’s pouring down rain and the next it’s sunny and breezy. Our summers are very hot and long but it really is beautiful out here in the heart of East Texas.
I moved to Tyler back in 2006 to be with my husband and quickly fell in love with my new hometown. The people and atmosphere here are so welcoming and the culture in Tyler so friendly. If you ever met someone from Texas, you would know lol. I don't think I have ever met a Texan who did not absolutely love their state! Tyler has so much life and community, it is amazing what our small town has to offer!
If you ever have the opportunity to visit, here are a few of my local favorites you should definitely consider checking out:
1. Stanley's Famous Pit BBQ- Best BBQ hands down and has won several awards statewide for their famous BBQ http://stanleysfamous.com/
2. Caldwell Zoo- Although Tyler is small we have a fantastic zoo that is top of the line http://caldwellzoo.org/
3. Parks- we have several parks here and trails that you can go running or trail riding. My favorites are the Bergfeld Park, the Children's Park, Rose Rudman, and Faulkner Park.
4. Porch Culture Coffee- If you love coffee, then you will absolutely love Porch Culture Coffee which is roasted here locally in Tyler. I had the privilege of teaming up with PCC last year and made coffee cozies using the burlap that their coffee beans were shipped in. The husband and wife team are fantastic people who make out of this world addictive and fair trade coffee. Check them out at http://porchculturecoffee.com/
5. True Vine Brewing Company- That's right! Tyler has it's very own Micro Brewery! The first for Tyler that opened up earlier this year. If you're into beers then you would love the unique flavors they have to offer. You can read more about their Brewery here http://www.truevinebrewing.
6. Whole Health- I absolutely love this local health food joint. Organic, locally grown food with quality service and ingredients. You can see the types of goodness they serve each day on their facebook page https://www.facebook.com/
7. Café Bhojana Java- another small town local café that makes you want to cozy up and read a book while you're sipping on coffee and enjoying one of their delicious made from scratch mealshttps://www.facebook.com/
8. Farmers Market- Tyler has several but the one I have gone to and volunteered at is the Rose City Farmers Market. I have had the privilege to work along side and support so many local farmers through this market. It is open during the summer and fall and is packed with fresh organic produce and friendly faces. I look forward to my https://www.facebook.com/mornings to stock up on healthy local foods and visit with my friends while sipping on some Porch Culture Coffee that is served for your shopping pleasure :)
rosecityfarmersmarket. The Rose City Farmers Market is put on by the East Texas Community Food Coalition that has several initiatives to get our local farmers plugged in and their produce easily accessible to our community. You can read more about their initiatives here http://foodcoalition.org/ and on their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ FoodCoalition
9. Come Together Trading Company- A local shop located in the heart of the Bergfeld Center that sells fair trade items from all over the globe. When you step into the store you feel like you're on a guided tour with all the countries represented in their shop. They have a wonderful mission and have a huge heart for supporting those in need and fighting for justice. Check them out athttp://cometogethertrading.
10. The Bergfeld Center- I have the privilege to work with this amazing family. They have done so much for the community and have created a lot of Tyler's culture. The Bergfeld Center is a historic shopping center that is home to several great local stores (two I have listed above). Twice a year they block off the streets and open up the center for an evening of fellowship, live music, catered food, and a time to stroll around the stores while enjoying the company you're surrounded with. You can visit more about the Bergfeld Center here http://bergfeldcenter.com/
11. Grounds for Justice- Wonderful local coffee shop that offers coffee and a relaxing lounge area to relax and refresh from the daily grind. Refuge of Light, a local ministry that fights human trafficking, opened their doors and use the business to help raise support and awareness for their cause. Last year, as a part of their fundraiser, I made a quilt of their logo that was auctioned off at their benefit banquet. My friend won the auction and donated the quilt back to the organization so they could hang it on display in the refuge home they are building for rescued traffic victims. It was a huge honor to be able to be a part of such a noble cause. You can read more about the café and Refuge of Light's mission here http://refugeoflight.org/
12. Tyler Candle Company- These candles are so fragrant and will brighten any home with their wonderful candles! They offer a variety of scents and you can count on these quality candles to last a very long time. Check them out at http://www.tylercandles.com/
13. Moss- This local floral shop is a gem that is located south of Tyler. The owners do a phenomenal job offering gorgeous arrangements that capture all your special occasions. The other amazing fact about Moss is that their flowers are all fair trade! I had the opportunity to make Meagan the owner her very own apron to wear while doing her magic with her floral designs. You can check out their unique arrangements and floral designs here http://www.welovemoss.com/#!
As you can see there is so much to love about Tyler! I barely scratched the surface of all of our local shops and places to see. You can check out more things to do here at http://www.visittyler.com/
Tyler also has many beautiful parts but it is well known for its historic Azalea District. Every year in the spring, the Azalea Trails are open and people come in from all over to view the beautiful flowers in bloom and enjoy the local spring festivities. This is my favorite time of the year because this is when Tyler hosts the annual East Texas Quilt show put on by the Quilters’ Guild of East Texas. This high quality quilt show displays over 200 quilts and features over 25 quilt vendors. The show is quite spectacular and is definitely worth taking a trip to come see. Our local quilt shops participate as well and have booths at the show. A Nimble Thimble and Sharman’s Sewing Center are our top quilting stores here in Tyler. They both offer a large variety of fabric choices along with high quality sewing machines, informative quilt classes, and monthly quilt gatherings to show and tell quilts made by local quilters. I always love walking in the stores because they make you feel at home and are always willing to help you with any of your sewing needs. You can visit our shop’s online and our East Texas Quilt Guild through the links below:
A Nimble Thimble- http://www.animblethimble.com
Sharman’s Sewing Center- http://www.tylersewing.com
Quilters' Guild of East Texas- http://www.qgetx.org/Home_
Tyler is known for it’s roses and is called the Rose Capital of the World. We produce a large number of roses and host America’s largest Rose Garden. Every fall we celebrate our roses with the annual Texas Rose Festival. The three day event is held during the third weekend of October. It is by far the largest and most anticipated event of the year in Tyler. We have a Rose Parade filled with extravagant floats, marching bands, representatives from a number of local businesses, and the gorgeous nominated Rose Queen herself to top it all. There are art shows, car shows, the Queen’s Coronation ceremonies, the Queen’s tea, and the Rose Show to list a few of the activities held over the weekend.
You can learn more about the Texas Rose Festival here on http://www.texasrosefestival.
To make a 6.5x6.5 quilt block, pick 5 different colored fabrics to use for your rose petals. One of the fabrics will be your center piece and the others will be used to create the layers. I freehand cut a pentagon which was about 2 inches in size. Then I cut my 4 fabrics into 2 inch strips. Keep in mind that the further you go out in layers, the more fabric you will need to work with. Make sure that for your last piece you have several strips (at least 9) so all edges will be covered and you will have enough fabric to cut out your block into a 6.5 x 6.5 square.
1. Start by cutting out your center piece and strips for layers.
2. Next we will start adding our strips. Start with any side of your center piece and sew on your first strip along the edge. Press and fold the fabric to prepare it for the next step.
3. Next you will even out one of the sides to create your next side to sew your other strip on. Line up your strip so there is extra fabric off each end. Press and fold.
4. After sewing your second piece, even out the side to add your next strip. Continue doing this until you have sewn all sides to the center piece.
5. Trim all sides measuring 1” from the edge of the center piece so your strips surrounding strips are all 1 inch wide.
6. Time for the second layer. Repeat steps above until all sides are complete.
7. Your rose will start looking like a house. What I did next was trim all the corners down to 3/4th of an inch from the corner of the previous layer. This will create more of a rounded look and more edges to your rose for your next layer. After trimming the corners down to 3/4th of an inch, I went ahead and cut all the strips down to 3/4th of an inch all the way around (as opposed to 1” width from the previous layer).
8. Time for the third layer. Repeat the same process you did to add your second and third layer. Once all the edges are complete, cut it down to 3/4th of an inch all the way around to match the previous layer.
9. Now for the border. You will repeat the process this time leaving a lot of extra fabric on the edge. This will give you enough fabric to cut a square and make the finished block.
10. Find the center of your rose and measure out 3 1/2”. Cut and rotate the rose until all sides are even and you are left with a 6.5” x 6.5” unfinished square.
You’re done! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and learning a little bit about our hometown Tyler, Texas. I cannot wait to see how the rest of the Texas Roadtrip quilt turns out. Thank you for joining us and I hope you continue to have fun touring the great state of Texas during this fabulous Texas Roadtrip QAL! Until next time, happy quilting!
- Colleen Long
Colleen is crazy-talented and is expecting her first baby in just a few weeks!!! To see more of her work you can can check out her website at www.sewthreadink.com, on facebook https://www.facebook.com/
So now, onto the giveaway! Aurifil has generously offered a pack of designer thread (like the one pictured), a thread color charts (I want this for myself), and then a sample pack (5 pack of different weight in the same color)!!! We have pictured Jeni Baker's thread, but for the giveaway the designer thread will be a mystery!!!
So to enter the giveway, leave me a comment and tell me if you've ever been to Texas, and if you have, what did you like about it! Comments will close on Sunday the 8th and I'll announce the winner on Monday, 9 June.
Thanks everyone for stopping by!