Monday, 16 June 2014

Amarillo, Deep in the Heart of Texas QAL & Giveaway

Hi all,

Welcome to thREDhead! I'm Aoife, and I'm from Ireland. I've been living in the US on and off now since 2011, and my husband and I moved to Texas at the start of this year. So far we've been loving it, how could we not with how welcoming and friendly everyone is down here! First things first, I'm sure you've no idea how to say my name, well there's a video on my About to page to help with that. No time for the video, it's like Eva, but with an 'f', 'eefa'. If you get a chance after the blocks and the giveaway and want to have a look around, then I recommend maybe having a look at my crazy English paper piecing attempt at a Farmer's Wife Quilt and the wedding quilt I made for Paul!!



So, Amarillo. It was established as a town in 1887 as a stop on the railroad they were building from Fort Worth to Denver City. Originally called Oneida, the name was changed to Amarillo (Spanish for yellow) because of the local yellow wildflowers that grew throughout! Amarillo is the largest city in the Panhandle, and what I think is particularly cool used to be the Helium Capital of the World.

There are three quilt shops in Amarillo. Quilted Bliss, Sisters' Scraps, and Pam's Quilting Corner! They all offer a good range of classes and fabrics, and are all a bit different from each other. They're all really lovely, and very ready to help with anything you might want. The Top of Texas Shop Hop is taking place in July and you can have a look at their newsletters for more details, but it looks like lots of fun and comes with prizes!

Other places on my wishlist to visit in Amarillo are Palo Duro Canyon - totally stunning piece of geology and nature! Texas' answer to the Grand Canyon, and the Lighthouse Rock is the inspiration for my second block option today. Stanley Marsh 3's crazy art installations around Amarillo would definitely also be worth a peep - like the Cadillac Ranch and the mock traffic signs all about town. Amarillo is also on Route 66, something I know my in-laws are planning on doing in the next two years! These are just my highlights, Amarillo has lots of museums, theatres, and restaurants too - enough to fill a holiday of any length!


As you may have guessed already, I've got two blocks for you to choose from today. First I designed a yellow rose block, as Amarillo means yellow in Spanish and Amarillo is apparently known as the Yellow Rose of Texas! However, lots of you took Colleen's Tyler block as the perfect opportunity for a yellow rose block. And I can't blame you - her block was so art deco and gorgeous! It didn't require much push from my brain as I'd completely fallen in love with the pictures of Lighthouse Rock in Palo Duro Canyon. So, you get to make a choice - rose or rock, paper piecing or traditional block!




First up, the Amarillo Rose Block! This one is paper pieced. I often find that whenever I go back to paper piece something I need a refresher on how to go about it, and in fact when I needed to learn how to paper piece this is the youtube tutorial that got me through! This is a pretty straight forward block, the same quadrant four times, just rotated to give a swirling effect. Here are some photos I took along my piecing journey as I made my block!


Your second option is the Amarillo Lighthouse Block! This one is pieced regularly, though you have the option to strip, crazy, or improv piece the fabric for the Lighthouse rock itself. In my block I strip pieced using orange and yellow fabrics, to give the illusion of layers within the rock (that's my inner geologist coming right out there!). The rest of the block is put together as strips, giving you the option to give the background sky a lovely ombré graded colour if you like. I've also gone for a 1970s/hipster-ish thin white photograph frame on the block. I thought it would be fun if it looked like a family holiday snap since this is a roadtrip after all! However, the instructions have options if you don't want to do that!


If you have problems with any of the instructions, or just any questions at any point then drop me a line. You can catch me here in the comments, or on instagram, or by email!

And last but not least, Aurifil has generously offered a pack of designer thread (like the one pictured), a thread color chart (want!), and then a sample pack (a 5 pack of different weight threads in the same color). Jeni Baker's thread is pictured here, but for the giveaway the designer thread is a mystery!!!



If you want to be in with a chance to win this awesome loot, then just leave a comment here - let me know where you live or where you're from, be it Texas or not, and where would be the first place you would want to bring someone who came to visit you!? Paul and I eventually want to do a belated honeymoon roadtrip ourselves in America, so this might get us some stops to add to it - but if you're not in America, we have the rest of our lives to get to you too!

The giveaway will close on Wednesday at 9pm CT, and I'll draw a winner from the commenters at random. If you're a no-reply blogger and I really can't find you, I'll draw again! Otherwise, good luck!!

UPDATE June 18th 9pm CT: giveaway is now closed to entries!

37 comments:

  1. Hello! I love the cool blocks! I live in North East Texas, near Tyler.

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  2. Love your blocks! I'm originally from Pampa, which is just down the road from you, but have been in a tiny town near Abilene for quite a while. The first place I'd bring someone is to the town of Albany. It is small but full of country charm, and is a great place to visit.

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  3. ohhh my it will be hard to choose, wait, I'm doing all the city blocks separately, so I can do both!!!!

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  4. I love the yellow rose block.
    and I live in Pittsburgh PA
    I would take visitors up the incline to mt washington so they can see where the city from above and the rivers.

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  5. Aoife - you seem to have jumped right into living and loving Texas - that is great! I love your blocks. I live in DC but I love the ocean and the Maine coast. I think that is where I would want to take a visitor.

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  6. I love that you have given us two choices for a block for Amarillo. I live in Houston and have only passed through Amarillo. I look forward to one day visiting there.

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  7. I love your blocks! I grew up in Michigan but now I am living in Washington state. I have only been to the airport in Texas, but it is someplace that I would love to go!

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  8. Nice choice of blocks. I live in Houston, and when people come to visit me I take them out to eat. There are so many great places. If they visit in the spring, then we will definately go to the Art Car Parade.

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  9. I live in WA and love to take people to Snoqualmie Falls. It's so big and majestic!

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  10. I live in Irving, TX nowadays and I would really like to spend some time in Austin! Thanks for the opportunity!

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  11. I'm down in San Antonio. Most people would head right to the Alamo but I think my favorite place to take someone would have the be the Sunken Gardens. Just gorgeous.

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  12. I'm in Idaho and would take a visitor to Hell's Canyon. I'm making the quilt as a gift for my son who is currently living in Texas working on the Wendy Davis campaign. He'll love it, but I wish you had a block for Abilene which is where he is! Thank you!

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  13. I live outside of Houston but I am from Pennsylvania. I second Mina's opinion, which would be to take people visiting out for some good food (BBQ of course!)

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  14. I'm from Texas! Right outside Goliad, which is tiny :) And I love, love, love Gruene. If you have a chance to explore Texas, hit Gruene!

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  15. I live in North Carolina now, I'm from Missouri and I lived in Dallas for 2 years back in the early 90"s. I get around.

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  16. What cool blocks! I'm a born and raised Texan :) You should definitely visit Palo Furo Canyon! It is so gorgeous!

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  17. Love the lighthouse block - Palo Duro Canyon is such a beautiful place. And for some reason it is like our best kept secret. Do they still do theater there in the summer? I am a native Texas - glad you got to Texas as soon as you did. Welcome!

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  18. Hi Aoife! I'm in Maryland north of DC. I assume you and Paul saw all the monuments and what-not while you were here, so I would take you for a hike through Soldier's Delight, which is an oddly beautiful oakland savannah or "barrens." It's maintained with periodic controlled burns, just as the Native Americans did for thousands of years for hunting purposes, and ii's starkly different from the rest of Maryland's thorny woodlands. Miss you!

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    1. From Georgia , thanks for the chance

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  19. fun blocks!!! i live in Northern California. The first place we take visitors during the summer months is Whiskeytown Lake or Lake Shasta; we have hot summers!

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  20. I've heard good things about the Amarillo quilt shops--lucky you to be near them! I'm from Eastern Washington and the first place I would take visitors is probably to Lake Chelan. It's a beautiful place.:) Thanks for the chance to win your wonderful giveaway!

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  21. I love the rose block - it doesn't look too scary as I'm a paper piecing novice. I'm in Liverpool in the UK and I would recommend visiting the Anglican Cathedral. It is an amazing space with modern art installations by Tracey Emin and a fantastic view across Cheshire, Lancashire and North Wales from the top of the tower.

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  22. good morning! I'm in Port Hope, Ontario, near Toronto (Canada). i would take a visitor winery hopping in nearby Prince Edward County, then relaxing on the beach in Cobourg, finishing off at a great restaurant here in Port Hope, followed by a live professional theater show. When are you coming?

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  23. Good morning from Brownwood Texas and home of the Quilting Queen. I'm a Texas Quilt lover, have over 20 Texas Themed Quilts in a Texas Beauties Trunk Show I present to guilds. In fact, I designed a Texas quilt pattern that one of your shops in Amarillo carries (Quilted Bliss). It's called God Bless Texas. Of course I'm making this one too! Hubby is from Canyon TX, just a short hop, skip, and a jump from you but I hail from a small town in southwest Missouri. SW Missouri is a beautiful place to visit!

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  24. I love paper piecing so I had to go with the rose block. Very nice block and super easy to put together. Thanks for hosting Amarillo :) I'm from Austin!

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  25. I live in San Diego,CA and my first visit would be the Pt Loma Lighthouse. It has so much to offer historically and the view all around is awesome (driving there offers almost all the views of SD anyone could absorb at one time). love the giveaway,thanks. rjc2cam(at)gmail(dot)com

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  26. I live in North Dakota and the first place I would take someone is my favorite quilt shop!!!!

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  27. both cute blocks. i'm in Canada, just outside of Vancouver BC and we always take our guests up the mountians to look at the view of Vancouver and the ocean, truly a beautiful place

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  28. I grew up in Texas and have lived all over the great state, but Kentucky home for now. I take visitors to Churchill Downs where the Kentucky Derby is run and the Louisville Slugger Museum where they make baseball bats!

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  29. I live in the DFW area and take people to Six Flage. :)

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  30. I live in Eastern NC but the blue ridge parkway in the nc mountains are GORGEOUS!!!

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  31. Hi from Montana,the lovely home of the Rocky Mountains! If you visited I'd take you to Glacier National Park>it is spectacular!!!
    Thanks for sharing!

    msstitcher1214@gmail.com

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  32. Greetings from San Antonio! I am having a great time with the QAL and learning more about our awesome state. Lisa in Texas aka RxQuilter

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  33. I'm from the Pacific Norgwest and would bring someone to the Olympic Rain Forest.

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  34. I live in the Chicago suburbs. I don't love going into the city but there are a lot of great museums and stuff there.

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  35. I live in North Carolina, I would take a visitor to the mountains Boone or Asheville

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  36. If you are ever in Minnesota, it's fun to visit the spoon sculpture in Minneapolis, but for a real Minnesota experience a trip to the North Shore (of Lake Superior) is fabulous!!

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Thank you so much for commenting! I love hearing your honest thoughts and opinions on whatever I've been harping on about :)

I email replies as soon as I get the chance.