Quilts, Proms & Articles

Ohhhh so much happening this week, friends. First off, it’s beautiful outside. Today is going to be 80 degrees. Yesterday was the same. The pool is open and I spent all of last week weeding and doing a little planting.  Friday was gloriously 75 degrees and sunny for Amanda’s senior prom. I pretty much bombarded Instagram and Facebook with prom photos because she was do darn happy and that made me so darn happy!! Here she is with her prom date, Kyle, and one with her sisters, Lindsey and Leah.









Lindsey on left, Leah on right.









She had a blast with her friends and declared it a perfect evening…ahhhhh, can you feel how full my momma heart is right now?

I did get the second set of 10 blocks finished on Seaglass this week! Now 2/3 of the blocks are complete and I’ll start the last ones next week.







I’m thrilled this week that I’m meeting with all three of my students. I had a wonderful day with Priscilla earlier this week working on her Yellow Brick Road baby quilt. Today I’m spending time with Nancy while we work on her star quilt and spend some time on free motion quilting. Tomorrow Gail and I will continue working on quilting her log cabin!

Nancy’s star quilt is coming out so beautifully. Look at how pretty these are!!









My issue of Quilting Arts finally arrived in the mail! My article can be found on the last page under the Last Word column! Pardon my slippers in the picture!
I’m beyond excited to be in this magazine as I enjoy reading it so much.









I’m hoping to get a podcast in next week. Is there anything you’d like for me to talk about or any questions you have? I’d love to answer them! Also, I’m thinking a summer postcard swap would be nice. Perhaps landscape postcards from some place we’ve visited over the summer! What do you all think of that?



Thursday Happenings

Thank you so much to everyone who stopped by on the 100 Blocks Blog Tour! I love hearing from new readers and ones that are now familiar to me as participants on the blog hop! I appreciate all the love you have for Cupcake Toss!

Yesterday I made some major progress on my Seaglass quilt. I finished up stitching the first ten blocks and got them on the design wall!!







It felt good to have a few hours of uninterrupted sewing time!

I’ll be working on the next ten blocks this week and next. There are 30 blocks to the quilt.

A few weeks ago we got a new addition to our family…this is Aristotle, Ari for short! We thought Barney was getting lonely without his best friend, Kiwi, so now he has a playmate.









If you have the new issue of Quilting Arts magazine in your mailbox, you might recognize a familiar face on the last page! I don’t have a copy yet but I’m hearing my article is in there! Check it out! I’ll post a picture once I receive mine.


Welcome To My Day on The Blog Tour!








Hi everyone and welcome to the 100 Blocks Blog Tour! I’m thrilled to have you here as always and I’m excited to share my Cupcake Toss block with you. The block can be found on page 6 of Volume 13 and it is #1202.









Let me just start by saying, I’m a huge fan of dessert! I’d pass up salty and crunchy for cake and cookies any day! I also love flowers. Coincidentally, I originally submitted a flower block but was asked to resubmit with something other than flowers because there were several applique flowers going in the issue. It didn’t take me long to decide on cupcakes and the more cupcakes, the better!

Here is my rough sketch of Cupcake Toss. It’s hard to see as it’s in pencil but this is how I like to do my preliminary work for any quilt…a pencil and sketch pad. I usually change the design in some way before deciding on a final pattern.









Once I had the general idea, I went ahead and made up the parts of the cupcakes using paper-backed fusible web and fabric scraps.







I liked this design but then I liked the second one better.












Once my cupcake elements were fused to the background piece, I went about using the blanket stitch around the edges. Fusible applique with a blanket stitch is my favorite method of applique. Most of my patterns feature this easy and quick method.

If you’re interested in learning more about fusible applique and the projects I am currently working on, please come back and visit often! I update the blog at least once a week. You can also listen to my podcast, Quilt Cabana Corner.

For information on my pattern company and lessons, please visit Quilt Cabana Patterns. 

If you would like a chance to win a copy of 100 Blocks Volume 13, please leave me a comment below and I’ll choose a random winner next week!



Cranking Stuff Out

Happy Thursday!

It’s been a super busy week here with vacation ending, doctor and dentist appointments, music shows, a dance comptetition and plays. That seems to be our anthem over here right now. Tomorrow my baby turns 18! I can’t believe how fast that happened. It’s surreal! Happy birthday, Amanda!

amanda small file






In the middle of the craziness I’ve been trying to work on a few projects in small increments because that’s all I can give it right now. So I started laying out the Seaglass half square triangles in the correct order for the blocks. I’m only pinning and sewing ten at a time right now.
All those half square triangles will look like the block on the right. There will be 30 blocks in the quilt.







I’ll continue stitching those together over the next while. I also started the Kiwi pixelated quilt.









I pressed all the fabric then cut enough for just a few blocks because I was so eager to get hand cranking that I didn’t want to spend hours cutting first. I put the pieces I cut into plastic bags labeled by color.









There are so many shades of green in this quilt that it will pay to stay organized. Next I sat at the hand-crank and started stitching! I got one block made at the kitchen table while waiting for dinner to finish cooking.










I have enough fabric cut to do a few more blocks before I’ll have to head back to the cutting table and really get into it.

My Disney pictures arrived from Shutterfly this week so I pulled out my new Creative Memories Fast2Fab album and started taping photos into it and journaling as I go. It took just a few minutes to do about 5 pages! I’m thrilled with these beautiful albums that come with pre-designed pages and page protectors. Not all of my albums are this easy nor will they all be but for a short trip to Disney, this is perfect. I can go back through and add stickers and more embellishments if I feel like it but I’m really enjoying the simplicity of this right now.







Yesterday I tried out Facebook Live on the Quilt Cabana Page. It was a short video to try out the new feature and it was fun! Hopefully this link will work and you can see and hear what I’m working on. I enjoyed doing it and hope to do more in the future both for quilting and scrapping.


Have a wonderful and quilty week!


Missing Kiwi And A New Old Machine

This week was a bit rough around our home. Sadly, we said goodbye to our beloved green Kiwi.








We’ve had these two parakeets for about 5 years or more and like any pet owners, we fell in love with both Kiwi and Barney. A few years ago Kiwi developed a tumor that eventually went away but then developed another one that became problematic. On Tuesday, she underwent a risky surgery to remove the tumor and unfortunately didn’t make it through the operation. We are all missing her sweet face and Barney sure misses his right hand girl. They were always together even at the surgery. Barney was there for moral support at the request of our vet.

Yesterday I was watching an episode of The Quilt Show where they talked about a website called YouPatch where you can turn a photo into a pixelated quilt pattern. I decided to try it out with a cropped version of the above picture of Kiwi. I thought it would be so nice to make a pixelated quilt as a remembrance of her.

I went online and jumped right in to the very easy online ordering system. I designed the quilt based on their suggestions and had the options of how large, how many colors/fabrics and more. It was super easy. In 10 mins or less, I was ready to order. This is what the quilt will look like. The pictures are grainy cause they are right off my computer screen but you get the idea.









Here they are telling me how many patches and how long it will take to piece the top. I had options before this to choose the size and how many pieces I wanted, etc. I could also see how long it would take to piece with each change I made.









It also shows me what a sample quilt block will look like.









The pattern includes everything you need from yardage to fabric colors and instructions. It’s 18 pages long. The fabrics they suggest are all Kona and the manufacturer’s numbers are on there so I know exactly what to order.

You can design your own quilt, pay the to design it or make one of their already existing patterns. Check it out! It’s very cool.

Last year or perhaps the year before, my husband came upon this Singer Spartan machine at a yard sale.

1 aaaspartan







He called me to go have a look and it was in great condition so I bought it (sorry ladies, he’s taken! LOL). It’s been sitting under my cutting table waiting to be used. In the meanwhile, last summer I bought a toy Singer handcrank and had fun with it out at my pool.







I began to wonder what it would take to turn that Spartan into a full size handcrank. I researched it a bit on my own and decided I was probably better off leaving it to the experts. Last week I brought the Spartan over to the Singer store in Pembroke, MA and the nice man who owns it said he could do it for me. Of course first he wanted to know where I was going to sew that didn’t have electricity! LOL!!  I explained it was more of a novelty situation and he seemed to understand that. So I’ve left the machine with him to be serviced and renovated into a handcrank! I’m super excited about this and can’t wait for that phone call to pick it up!

Have a great weekend, everyone!


Switching Gears

Last week I started a new art quilt as I felt I wanted to have something different going as a project in addition to Seaglass.

I chose a photo of a hibiscus flower that I took in Hawaii last summer. This flower was one of many at a beautiful botanical garden we visited on Kauai. I cropped the photo and played with it in Photoshop to get a poster size version in black and white and one that had a bit more contrast in color.








I traced the basic lines of the hibiscus onto muslin with a Sharpie and a light box.







I pulled out scraps of fabrics that I’m interested in using for the background of the quilt and cut them up with a rotary cutter.







Next I started my favorite part…arranging the pieces on the background using a dot of craft glue to hold the pieces on the muslin.












Once all the pieces are glued, I’ll cover the top with a piece of tulle and then quilt it. This time around I’m going to layer it with black wool felt instead of a batting and backing.

I’m excited to work on this piece because I just love the photo and the beautiful colors of the flower. I enjoy the process of this type of quilting because it’s free form and relaxing to me. There are no rules and how it comes out doesn’t really matter. It’s the process and the journey and the remembrance of a special trip.

Happy Quilting!


A Finish!

I had a finish over the weekend!!! Yippeee!! Drum roll please….Amanda’s Love Notes quilt is complete!









A close up…









I started this quilt last April while Amanda was on a school trip to Paris. I knew I’d be anxious every day that she was abroad and I wanted something sweet and fun to work on while she was in France. I used the Love Notes pattern from Missouri Star Quilt Company and Kiss Kiss fabric by Moda. I loved that it had adorable Eiffel Towers printed all over it. So sweet. I managed to make the quilt top while she was away but didn’t get to the actual quilting until this year. On Sunday I stayed in my jammies until it was done!

My next project for Amanda is this cute and quirky chicken wall hanging. My girl loves her chickens!









I’m thinking April vacation will be a good time to start this one. I’m back to work on Seaglass this week.

We had a rainy day at UNH on Saturday for Accepted Students Day but that didn’t stop us from having a good time! It’s considered good luck to rub the wildcat’s nose but Amanda would not do it on previous trips for fear of jinxing herself from being admitted.








So finally now that she is accepted and is going to attend UNH, she rubbed the wildcat’s nose.








Don’t you just love a happy ending? LOL!!

Have a fun and quilty day!



Happy Thursday!

I hope you all had a nice Easter weekend! It was cold but sunny here and so the Easter egg hunt still went on! We had a great crew of cousins to find all those eggs. Here they are relaxing after the big hunt!







This was our family photo Easter morning before church…







And of course, this little lady stole the show all day long!! Nala enjoyed nosing around the eggs and we were delighted to love on her all day!









I was exhausted on Monday and didn’t do much other than take a nap and do a bit of cross stitch. Tuesday and Wednesday I really got back into working on the Seaglass quilt and this was totally my happy place on those days…







While I was cutting 7 million squares, I started thinking about quilting and being in a totally happy quilty state of mind. This led to thoughts about what kind of quilting and crafting really makes my heart sing. What am I most passionate about? And why am I not doing more of it? I started having major revelations about things on my to do list. It was freeing.

What I realized is that I am at my absolute quilty happiness when I’m combining my love of quilts with my love of pictures. I adore photos. I love to take them, touch them, sort them, and turn them into a quilt version when possible. I also love little fabric bits. When I worked on The Lindsey Project, I was in a super happy place most of the time. At one point, I was overwhelmed at which time, I took a break from the project.

photo 1 (33)








Taking a break was a good thing and when I came back to it a few months later, I was ready to finish it up. So having just come off Easter and feeling it’s a time for new beginnings, I think I need to return to turning photos into art quilts. Life is too short to work on things that don’t excite me. Combining my two passions is a thrilling thought!

That being said, I enjoy other types of quilting as well. Fusible applique is another technique that makes my heart go pitter patter. Finding a simple block that looks more complicated than it is, also excites me.

Take some time to think about work that excites you and work that leaves you bored or frustrated. Can you skip out on the boring and really concentrate on your passion? Absolutely!!!! Let’s dare to dream and do work that matters to us. Let’s do work that we truly care about that allows us to grow as artists.



The Joy of Sharing The Craft

Recently I’ve had the joy of sharing my love and knowledge of quilting with others. It has brought me immense happiness to see a newer quilter grow into a more confident quilter! It has been fun to walk someone through each step of the process and see how proud they are of their work.

Nancy started with me in January and we’ve met almost weekly since then. In just a short amount of time, she has gained new skills and a lot  more confidence in her technique.  This is the quilt we’ve been working on and I think we are both super proud of how it is turning out. Yesterday we basted the quilt and next week we’ll be doing the actual quilting.








Nancy isn’t new to sewing by any means. she has sewn much clothing and done some quilting on her own. While I was in Disney, she used her new arsenal of tips and techniques and made this beautiful table runner. I love the colors on this!









Nancy and I have become fast friends and I’m so happy to help her along on her quilting journey. I look forward to the emails she sends updating me on her progress. She sent me this lovely note last week…

Well, I just finished the top of my quilt and I am so pleased. First of all without your help I never would have thought I could do it. I just love to sew and have always wanted to quilt, but I would see projects people had done and also looked at quilting magazines and could not see how I ever could complete any of the beautiful works of art I saw.
I know I have a ways to go, but you have broken down each step for me which has brought it all together. I feel fortunate to have found you and would never have known such a talented young woman was right around the corner from me.

Gail is also joining me for lessons. She has been working on multiple large quilts. Gail began her log cabin quilt in a different class and we have been working on getting it ready for the actual quilting. Over the past few weeks we’ve worked on piecing a large backing and basting the quilt. Tomorrow we’ll be sitting down to learn how to roll, fold and do the actual quilting. Here is her beautiful log cabin…

2016-03-02+14.58.56 (1)






Gail’s second project is a t-shirt quilt for her daughter. She has it all pieced and ready for the basting and quilting. She’s done a super job on this one as well.

Gail is also not new to sewing. She has been sewing for a long time just like Nancy. I love that she is eager to work on her projects and ready and willing to work on them independently. She has chosen a gorgeous new peacock quilt as her next project and the colors are beautiful and I can’t wait to see it come together.

I love working with these ladies!

If you live locally and are interested in learning how to quilt, I’d love to guide you along. Contact me at colwellsg@comcast.net or here in the comments below.