Monday, 30 June 2014

Downtown Small Town or Ghost Town Pattern Available

If you wanted the diagram to create your own Ghost Town you can download it here . Terrible photo below not included:)


Downtown Small Town


The diagram is relatively simple and includes all the measurements; however, they haven't been tested by anyone, so if you find any mistakes, please let me know:)

If you make your own ghost town, please upload it to our Flickr group, or on instagram #texasroadtripqal. I would love to see what you make!!!

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Texas Roadtrip--Camping in Big Bend and a Giveaway!

vintage camper quilt block2

It's the sound of fighting that wakes you up. The kids have been bickering back-and-forth the entire trip over DVD's, iPads, snacks, and anything else they can think of. You are exhausted, have a sunburn on half your body from sitting in the passenger seat, and have been tormented for the last 9 hours by constant arguing, the buzzing of every-technological device known to man, and the occasional outburst from your husband yelling about slow drivers on the road. You can't wait to get there. You need this. You ALL need this. Your children have become way too absorbed in their "virtual" worlds of texting, Facebook, and video games . They need to get outside, breathe some clean air, and take the freakin' headphones out of their ears.

“Don’t touch me!” your daughter yells.

“Well then stop looking at me!” your son exclaims.

"Guys, PLEASE!!! Just be quiet--we are almost there" you beg them.

“I’m bored.”’ your youngest son whines.

“How can you be bored? You got your iPAD." And you think to yourself that it's the same thing he would be doing at home.

"But I can't get on YouTube."

“Don’t worry, we’ll be there soon. There’s going to be all kinds of fun things for you to do. We can go horseback riding, and hiking--we’re going to be roughin’ it like the cowboys. We’ll be cooking over a fire, roasting marshmallows and telling ghost stories. And that reminds me, I even read online that there’s a ghost town nearby!”

He perks up. “Are there really ghosts there?!”

“No stupid” your daughter decides to chime in.

“Thank you for contributing Casey, but don’t call your brother stupid.” Turning your attention back to your son you say “it’s an abandoned mining town with lots of old buildings to explore.”

Looking disappointed, your son slumps back in his seat. You look out the window at the landscape but there's not a whole lot to look at…mostly just dirt, a few spiky plants, and some low-lying hills in the distance. You grab your phone to text your sister. “Great, there’s no cell phone service!” you say outloud.

“Well…” your husband glances over at you with a know-it-all-look, “this is what you wanted. No technology, right?”. Unlike you, he wanted to take a vacation in an air-conditioned hotel with cable.

You want to tell him to be quiet, but you just roll your eyes. “Of course it is” you remind yourself and glance out the window again.

And then your daughter yells out again “This is so stupid! How am I going to talk to my friends out here? Is there even going to be any shopping?”

There’s not even so much as a Wal-Mart where you’re going. “Honey, I’m sure they’ll have some gift shops with some cute turquoise jewelry or something. Or maybe we can all get matching T-shirts with the name of the park written on it!”

“Seriously Mom? It’s not funny. All of my friends are going to the beach for vacation, but we’re going to some stupid campground out in the middle of nowhere and there’s probably not going to be anyone to hang out with.” You think to yourself that she is probably right. The place you’re going is one of the most sparsely populated places in the US. But that’s what attracted you to it in the first place. The only sounds you’d hear would be the sounds of nature—no constant buzz of technology to invade your thoughts. And the scenery is supposed to be breathtaking. It's the Texas version of the Grand Canyon. “And what about you guys?" she says. "You don’t even have your sewing machine.”

“Your dad and I will be fine. I have my hexies and brought along some books I've been wanting to read. " But secretly you are worried. You can't remember the last time you went more than a few days without sewing. And normally your vacations are conveniently located near a fabric shop or quilt show, but this time there's not going to be anything like that--unless you decide to drive a few extra hours. But you'll be fine, right? You really do have so many unfinished projects at home that you would have loved to finish. But you tell yourself it's okay. You are too attached to quilting. It's on your mind constantly, and this will be nice stress free break. You don't have to worry about blogging, checking instagram or Pinterest. But then the thought enters your mind, that while you're out here in the sticks, someone is probably going to come out with the most amazing design ever and you're going to miss it! You really should have taken a vacation on the coast somewhere. The kids would be happy and occupied and you could check-out the local art, do some fabric shopping, and still be able to get internet access. But it's too late to change your mind--your husband would freak out if you asked him. "No", you tell yourself, "this is going to be great". But you don't even believe the words you're thinking. And you realize you are just as bad as the kids. You turn around and look at them and they all look miserable.

You turn back around just in time to see an exit sign out for a gas station with the disclaimer that says “last fuel stop until Big Bend National Park-- 45 miles”.

You lean in to your husband and say, "I bet Galveston is really nice this time of year." And it's his turn to roll his eyes.

                                                         *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Okay, I'm not trying to talk anyone out of Big Bend, because the scenery is supposed to be beautiful, but just beware, it is really desolate, there's not a Wal-Mart (or quilt shops) and you probably won't get cell phone service. But if you like camping, hiking, nature, and kayaking this would be a great destination. And there really is a ghost town to explore in Terlingua. As for the story above--it is not true--but I imagined it probably could be. 

So anyway, now onto the quilt block. For the block I wanted to make something that represented camping--since that's what you'll probably be doing if you go to Big Bend. So I made a vintage camper. Click here to download the instructions.

Vintage camper quilt block


I sent Melissa the instructions to test, and she sent this pic back of her camper with the cute bunting!!!


So I had to add some bunting on mine too--but I still like the arrangement of the bunting on Melissa's better:)

vintage camper quilt block2


I also have been adding some things to the outside of my quilt, so after I read about the ghost town, I decided to make one for my quilt. When it was all done it looked more like the downtown area of small-town Texas, so now I've appropriately named it "Downtown Small Town" and it's about 8.5" x 17". If you would like to make one of your own, you can get the instructions here:
  

Downtown Small Town

Note: You'll have to excuse my photos...it's been dark and rainy all weekend!

And now for the giveaway...

Aurifil has generously given us tons of thread to giveaway, so if you've been following along you've probably seen the giveaway a few times before. But that makes your chances of winning even better right? We're giving away a designer mystery pack of thread, and Aurifil color chart, and a sample pack of thread of the same color in different weights. The winner will get all three! So, to enter, just leave me a comment and tell me about your most memorable vacation. Also, make sure you to leave your email if you are a no-reply blogger so I can notify if you win. If you aren't sure if you a no-reply blogger, then leave your email just in case:)  

Thanks for stopping by on the Texas Roadtrip QAL!


Saturday, 28 June 2014

Sponsor Saturday

Hello everyone!! We have some amazing sponsors contributing for the Texas Roadtrip QAL and I just wanted to share with you some of the news and my favorite products from their shops.



Aurifil is on sale right now at Fat Quarter Shop. If you've never used Aurifil you should definitely try it. It's the only thread I use and there are so many colors available. I really love how Aurifil creates designer collections of thread to match fabric collections perfectly. If you are like me, and you hoard a specific designer's fabric, going with these collections are perfect so you'll always have a perfect thread match.


Donna's Lavender Nest carry's the cutest 30's and Lecien prints, and what I love about her shop is you can order fabric in 1/4 yard cuts! These are my new favorite prints in Donna's shop:

Lecien Old New 30's 


30's Collection by Atsuko Matsuyama for Yuwa


And right now Donna has already started stocking up on Christmas fabric and is carrying 50 Years Rudolph fabric. It's never too early to get a head start on Christmas :)


And speaking of Christmas, Fort Worth Fabric Studio is carrying one of my favorite Moda Christmas fabrics this year--

25th and Pine Cranberry Crossing Floral Moda



Fort Worth Fabric Studio also has lots of exclusive bundles. The one below is called Rosette Jackbot Bundle, and it's now it is so pretty I can't stand it:) 



Lily Rose Quilts is an Etsy shop that has carries over 1600 items! Right now she has Marmalade fabric for only $6.99 yd. 

And she's also carrying the prettiest fabrics called Fleurologie by Stephanie Ryan for Moda. This line is just gorgeous!


 Anyway, that's all I have for today:) Just wanted to share some of my favorite products from our sponsors. Hope you all have a good weekend!






Sunday, 22 June 2014

Texas Roadtrip QAL--Quad 3 Pattern

It's hard for me to believe that we have already traveled through north-east and north-west Texas and now we are about to start Quad 3--south-west Texas. I'm am really just amazed by all of the city blocks we have made so far. The designers have really created some stunning blocks and I'm just overwhelmed with how much I love them, and how much fun I'm having making them. I also want to thank all of you who are following along and/or participating. One of the reasons I love quilting so much is the wonderful sense of community and support, so really, thank you everyone:)




I finished up my first quadrant, and I added a few trees to represent the Piney Woods area of Texas where I'm from. I always hear from people "Texas doesn't have trees!", and I have to politely remind them that Texas isn't just all tumbleweeds and Cactuses (or is it Cacti?). Texas is a big place, and the area where I'm from is covered with pine forests. So my tribute to the pine forests is--(pause for effect)--7 Trees! And one of those might be a bit oddly spaced:)

In the pic above you see the first 3 blocks: the Longhorn was by Linsey from Fort Worth Fabric Studio to represent Fort Worth. That just has "Texas" written all over it! And then the Ferris Wheel was designed by Ashley at Urban Spools for the Dallas block--and I love how it works so well with the fabric collection I'm using--the whole thing has a very whimsical air, don't you think? And as you might have seen in my previous post, the Rose was made by Colleen for the Tyler block--and I really love that she designed such a cute block for my hometown. They all really make my heart happy.

During the week I hardly have time for sewing, so yesterday I was excited to finally get to sew the blocks for Quad 2:

Aoife from thREDhead designed two awesome block for Amarillo, and so I made them both!


Amarillo Rose Block

I realized when I was almost done with the Amarillo Rose block (above) that I had all my yellows in the wrong places, but it turned out so pretty anyway that it didn't bother me at all.

Amarillo Lighthouse Block
She also designed the Lighthouse block based on the Lighthouse Rock at Palo Duro Canyon. How creative, right? You can read more about that here.

For Lubbock, Jada, @blackvelvetstitches, designed the beautiful block below to bring in some southwest flair!


When I was done with all three blocks, I realized that I really probably used too much blue/aqua, and I don't know how they'll look when the quadrant is all together, but for now, I couldn't be happier.

So, for this week, we will be visiting El Paso with my good friend Jennie of Porch Swing Quilts, and then we'll head over to Midland/Odessa with Donna of Donna's Lavender Nest--who is a supplier for my addiction (of awesome Lecien fabric!).

June 23 - El Paso - Jennie at Porch Swing Quilts
June 26 - Midland/Odessa - Donna at Donna's Lavender Nest

I'm really looking forward to making their stops on the QAL, and seeing what they've cooked up! Again, if you need the pattern for Quad 3 click here.





Saturday, 21 June 2014

Aurifil Giveaway through Saturday!!!!



Hi everyone! For a few more hours we are having an Aurifil giveaway on  My Fabric Relish's blog! The giveaway prize includes a designer box of thread, a thread color chart, and a sample pack of the same color threads in different weights! That is a lot of awesomeness that's just waiting for you:)

Jada is guest blogging this week on My Fabric Relish, and is taking us on a tour of Lubbock, Texas and is showing us how to make the block below. I used Jada's tutorial to create this block and, by the way, she teaches the easiest method I've ever used to make HST's. So head on over to My Fabric Relish and enter the giveaway, check out Jada's cute tutorial! Also, you can see more of Jada's work on instagram @blackvelvetstitches.





Sunday, 15 June 2014

Texas Roadtrip QAL - Quadrant 2

Tomorrow we get our first block tutorial for Quad 2 of the Roadtrip QAL! We'll be travelling to Amarillo with Aoife at thREDhead and then on Thursday we'll be heading over to My Fabric Relish where Jada will be guest blogging and giving us a tour of Lubbock! For the Quad 2 pattern, click here.




And speaking of traveling...I had a few Texans come out to visit me this week, so we've been running all over England, and I'm a little behind on just about everything, but I had a great time, and was really sad to see them leave. Here's a few pics of the places we saw (lots of churches).







Anyway, so my vacation is over, and tomorrow it's back to the regular 9 to 5, and back to the normal (more stressed-out) version of myself. Anyway, wishing you all a relaxing lazy week:)


Thursday, 12 June 2014

Texas Roadtrip QAL - Fort Worth

Hi everyone, today we are visiting Fort Worth on the Texas Roadtrip QAL, so head on over to Fort Worth Fabric Studio where Lindsey is going to be taking you on a tour of Fort Worth and showing you how to make her Longhorn block!!



These are the three blocks you'll need to make your first quadrant, and on Sunday the second quadrant will be available : )

If you want to see everyone's progress, you can see it on instagram at #texasroadtripqal. There are some really amazing Texas quilts so far!!!


Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Aurifil Giveaway Winner




Thanks everyone for entering the giveaway. The winner of the Aurifil thread is Jo who said

"I went through Texas once found a great steakhouse at a truck stop called Teds"



Congratulations Jo! Send me your email at sewberrysweet@gmail.com and let me know your address and we'll send your prizes!



Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Tyler, Texas Roadtrip QAL and a Giveaway

Welcome everyone to the second stop on the Texas Roadtrip QAL! Today I have a special guest, Colleen Long, who will be taking you on your tour of Tyler, Texas (my hometown!) and showing you how to make a super-cute Rose block for the QAL. Also, there will be a giveaway from our sponsor Aurifil! But, before we get to the giveaway, let's take a tour of Tyler! --


Hi everyone!  My name is Colleen Long and I am a quilter from Tyler, TX.  I am so excited to be a part of this Texas Roadtrip QAL and to be a guest blogger on Cristina’s adorable quilt blog!  I have been a fan of her work for quite sometime.  I found out about her blog through a mutual friend of ours and started following her on Instagram as well.  When I saw that they were looking for quilters in Texas, I quickly volunteered and feel very privileged that I can be a part of this QAL with you all!


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.com/brewery.html 

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/WholeHealthStore

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/bhojanajava

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 Saturday 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 :) https://www.facebook.com/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.com/

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/grounds-for-justice

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/what-to-do.

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_Page.html

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.net.

Since Tyler is so famous for its roses, I decided to do a rose for my block.  I used the Log Cabin Pattern which is a very traditional and basic quilt pattern.  You have a center piece of fabric and you use strips of fabric to sew and build around your block like a step ladder.  The Log Cabin pattern is a great way to use scraps and an easy way to add variety to your block.  A typical Log Cabin Pattern uses squares or rectangles.  For this rose block though, I freehand cut the centerpiece of the rose and built the flower using a mix of red fabrics to create my layers of petals.  Let’s get started on our Tyler Rose Quilt Block!



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/SewThreadInk,  or on instagram @sewthreadink.  

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!