Aloha from Maui!

We’re starting our Hawaiian adventure in Maui! It’s so beautiful here that I’m thinking I may never go home! This is the view from the condo we rented in Wailea.

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Not too hard to take every morning!

I’m hoping to get some great photos to come home and make a mosaic landscape quilt. I bought Pat Durbin’s book before I left and I’m eager to try her technique.
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On the second plane ride yesterday from Arizona to Maui we lucked out and had an empty seat between Greg and I. I quickly ordered a glass of wine and pulled out my hexies!
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I’ll be having a lot of these this week!
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We’re having family photos done today at the beach. Lindsey needs a senior photo and I can’t think of a better place to do it!
Have a great day!
Sandi

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Trip To Keepsake and Cute Baskets

This week we took our sort of annual trip to Keepsake Quilting in Center Harbor, NH. I say sort of because my mother and I try to get there once a year but we missed it last year. It takes about 2.5 hours to get the Center Harbor from where I live in Massachusetts and it’s always well worth the ride! This year we had Amanda and Leah along with us. They kept themselves busy in the book shop next to the quilt store and also in the very inviting Adirondack chairs on the big front porch. They also chose fabric for small projects they’d like me to make them.

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As always, I was pretty overwhelmed when I first entered the store. There’s just so.much.fabric. And it’s all beautiful and high quality. I had to calm myself down a bit by making a plan to just walk around the entire store once and then circle back again a second time to decide on purchases. One thing I really enjoyed in the past was all the quilty gift type items they carried but to my surprise, there wasn’t much of that this year. I also think the notions were not as many in number either. I know that Fons & Porter bought the shop so I’m thinking it must have to do with that. I’m sure the inventory has been streamlined a bit more than if it was still independently owned. I also noticed that a lot of the patterns/kits were from their magazines. That being said, I still found PLENTY to oogle over and purchase!

Leah was enthralled with the Halloween display at the front door and she quickly picked out fabric for a Halloween pillowcase. We then got the idea that it would be fun to have a Halloween jelly roll race quilt in the living room the month of October.

Here is what Leah chose for the pillowcase, the skeletons will be the main pillowcase and bats will be the band that goes on the end of it.

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This Moda Hocus Pocus jelly roll fit the bill for our jelly roll race quilt idea…

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Amanda wanted to pick fabric for a draw string backpack. I have made Lindsey a few of them and they are much more durable than the cheap nylon ones that kids collect at different events. First she saw this pretty fabric on the right but later in the sale room, she was enticed by the aqua blue on the left. We bought both and she’ll get two!

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I couldn’t take my eyes off this adorable puppy quilt kit and so it came home too…I can’t wait to make it-it’s so stinkin’ cute!!

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I was also in love with this blue swirly fabric and my mom purchased two yards for me to use in a future project. I love it!

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The night before we went up to Keepsake, we made a few of these adorable baskets…

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These are from a super easy tutorial from Shabby Fabric that was in a newsletter recently. While we were in Keepsake, I picked up this fabric to make another one.

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They work up so quickly and now I’m a bit addicted to making them. I have the cherry one on my long arm table holding scissors and clamps. They can be made in any size. The sides can also be a bit lower if you like.

It’s been a fun week of sewing and shopping! Do you have a favorite quilt shop that is considered a treat when you get to go there?

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New Pattern Published and Another Student Finish!

Happy Sizzling Thursday! It’s 90 today and it feels every bit 90. The weather app says it feels like 96 and I believe it! But I’m thinking about Christmas and cold weather because my Poinsettia Passion table runner just came out in the Quilter’s World Autumn issue!

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It’s a beautiful runner in bold colors with easy, fusible applique. It’s on sale now in your favorite fabric stores so pick up a copy and get a jump on the holiday stitching!

So, I have to brag about my students again!! How fabulous are they? Look at the t-shirt quilt that Gail made for her daughter. This t-shirt quilt is giant. I mean GIANT. It’s king size (100″ by 90″) and it was heavy. Gail quilted all of it on her domestic machine! I’m so proud of her getting this big job done and never giving up on it. It took months and it was worth it!

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Now we are moving on to a fun Minnie Mouse quilt with fusible applique. It’s going to seem to like a piece of cake after that big t-shirt quilt!

Last night I had dinner with my childhood friend, Sheila. It’s so nice to catch up with a friend and have it be like you never missed a beat even though we see each other infrequently. After a delicious dinner and much laughter, we headed to her car where I picked up a bag of t-shirts for her daughter’s quilt. I’ll be working on her t-shirt quilt over the next few weeks. All that practice with Gail’s has me primed and ready!

And this lovely lady, Leah, had her 15th birthday this week. My baby is no longer a baby and hasn’t been for quite some time. She is as sweet as she looks. Love this girl.

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Sandi

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Fourth, Food, And A Finish!

What a short week it has been with the holiday in the middle of it! For those in the USA, I hope you all had a fun celebration with your family. We had a great day of relaxing and eating followed by a fireworks display and watching the Boston Pops! I love the 4th of July so much. We had a few culinary delights happening that day. Amanda had a recipe for short ribs made in the crock pot and she asked if I could try that out. And Leah found a recipe for fried Oreos that didn’t quite pan out but we were able to switch the recipe up and make something even more delicious! In order to get those ribs in the crock pot to be able to eat around 2pm, I had to get up at 4:20am to put them on. I’ll tell you though, it was worth it. They were scrumptious.

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Leah’s fried Oreos were supposed to be made on a skewer, dipped in melted chocolate, and then dipped and fried in a Funfetti cake mix batter. Well, Pinterest made it look real easy but they left out the part about how all the Oreos crack and fall apart on the skewer. LOL! In the end we dipped the Oreos in melted chocolate then put them in the bottom of a muffin tin. Next we poured the batter over the tops of them and baked them into cupcakes. We skipped the frying part and they were so, so, so, so good. We ate them all!

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So you might have guessed my diet is suffering a bit. Ah well. Later that night our neighbors put on their annual fireworks display. It’s always a good show and we enjoy watching from the front lawn.

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I like to pull out my hexagon project on the 4th of July. I’ve been working on it for a few years and seem to only work on it the week of the 4th. This year I’m a bit more motivated to keep working on it because all the hexies are made, they just need whipstitching to put them together.

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My big finish for the week though was the Love Notes quilt! I finished the long arm quilting of it and now I just need to bind it. I’m so thrilled with how it came out. I took the time to mark the border lines and the flowers and I am pleased with the result. I enjoyed every step of it. Several people have asked what I use to mark the quilts and I use the Clover Fine Line Blue Marker and also the Collins Wonder Marker. They both wash out beautifully.

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And lastly, Amanda and Leah have been binge watching episodes of the Beat Bobby Flay show. I put them in charge of dinner tonight because I was going to be busy today taking Lindsey to visit Wheaton College. They took up the challenge and prepared a wonderful pasta carbonara, bread with dipping oil, and a fun punch with sherbert! It was all so yummy!

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And Lindsey liked Wheaton College very much despite the rain!

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That’s about it for today!

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Student Work & Applique Project

We are enjoying fantastic weather here this week! The girls and I made it to our favorite beach on Monday. It was a perfect sunny day and we followed up our beach fun with ice cream. I can’t wait to do it again!

Last week I had the pleasure of working with my student, Sharyn. She is a prolific quilter with many great projects started and so many more finished. We worked on getting her set up to complete a quilt that she started several years ago at a local quilt shop that has since closed. We also celebrated her finish of this gorgeous log cabin!

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It’s a gift for a couple getting married and I love how she incorporated the red center into each block as traditionally that is meant to signify the hearth of the home in a log cabin quilt.

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I just love the fabric Sharyn chose, especially this gorgeous border fabric!!
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She did a fantastic job quilting it with the serpentine stitch and I just know it will make the perfect gift!

My mom also made progress this week with her pillow. She took over the ice cream applique that I stitched, put a fun border on it, and turned it into a pillow for wonderful girl.

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All this progress makes me want to get quilting! What are you all working on this week?
As a side note, I just watched a wonderful TED Talk on time management. My time management gets real fuzzy in the summer with a houseful of kids, a pool full of kids/friends, and a longing on everyone’s part to do something fun ALL DAY long. The video points out the fact that we all have 168 hours in a week to do the things we want to do/have to do. That’s a lot of time! Even if you worked 60 hours and slept 8 hours each night, that still leaves 52 hours to exercise, quilt, go to the beach, read a book, visit someone, or volunteer. All you have to do is put down the phone and turn off the tv to take advantage of these hours! Something to think about…

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Let’s Hear It For Summer!

It’s finally summer here! School ended yesterday and there were shouts of joy! There was also a shout of pain as I threw my back out on Monday night. That’s what I get for cleaning out a bunny cage. I was hunched over the top of it and when I stood up, my back just went out. It wouldn’t have been so bad except for the fact that the girls had a pool party the next day and I could barely walk. Thankfully the kids all pitched in and we had ourselves a fun end of year party. The only casualty was the swan who suffered a broken wing. We’ll have to figure out if we can patch it or not.

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I did feel like I could try standing at the long arm machine this morning but I was only able to stand there for about 10 minutes. It was too much so I switched to a sit down sewing job. I worked on the orange peel quilt instead.

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My assistant was busy this week organizing my fabric stash. Everything is neatly folded and arranged by color. It’s a great job to have someone else do except for the fact that I don’t get to reacquaint myself with older fabric as I fold. I’m sure it will need doing again before long and I can pet all the fabric myself.

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It’s a quiet week without much to report on the quilting front. Too many things happening with the wrap up of school and the upcoming music show this weekend!

Don’t forget the summer quilt patterns are on sale my Craftsy shop.

Sandi

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Summer Pattern Sale!

Three of my favorite summer patterns will be half price on Craftsy all summer long! You can find these three patterns for $5.25 each HERE.

Nautical Table Runner QCP-304

Seaglass QCP-109

Third Seasonal Trio QCP-103

So come and get your summer patterns while the weather is hot and the sewing room is hopefully cool!

This week I’m still plugging along on quilting the love notes quilt for Lindsey. I am enjoying ruler work for the lines on the  inner border and the center block flower motif. The outer border is getting a stipple treatment. The corners of the love notes are getting a free motion back and forth squiggle. How’s that for a technical term?

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I have this much left to do…
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This is taking time but as I mentioned, I’m ok with that because I like the results. The rulers are fun to work with and I’m discovering more things I can do with the ones I own. It’s also the first time I’m floating a quilt top which simply means the top is not attached to a roller. I’m using the painter’s tape that you see in the photo as a guide on each end of the pole. I know my quilt top must line up with the tape or it will be quilted crooked. It’s good to keep learning and using easier ways to quilt.

Have a super weekend, everybody!

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Applique: Finding A Method

If you’ve been following this blog over the last few weeks, you know I’ve been searching for a method of applique that I can live with! Fusible aside, I’m looking for a good technique for making prepared appliques that are turned under and then basted to the background – so not needle turn. My heart will always belong to fusible but I’m ready to branch out and learn something new.

I’ve tried a few methods now and the first one was with the back-basting method from the book pictured here alongside some other items:
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I decided I didn’t care for this technique for one main reason. The basting is done on the back side which means you have to sort of keep peeking at the front and hoping that you covered the required amount of space with your fabric. It’s also needle turn. The template is traced onto the back side and you stitch around that catching the fabric on the top. The idea was good but the practice was a bit hard. So, it’s out for now.

The second was with freezer paper templates in the style of Jill Finley of Jillily Studio
I love her! She’s very funny and makes it look really easy. Jill recommends layering four pieces of freezer paper together when you make the templates. Starch and an iron are used to turn the fabric over the templates. Roxanne’s Glue Baste It is used to adhere the applique piece to the background. It’s not a bad method but the starch gets the template a bit soggy. The iron gets very hot and even with a tailor’s awl, it’s hard to maneuver the pieces for a smooth edge.

Karen Kay Buckley has a similar method but she uses sizing instead of starch and her templates are made of hard plastic. “Perfect” is her catch phrase and let’s face it, that’s a lot of pressure right there. I do like her thread bag which holds a lot of thread and you don’t even have to take it out to use it. You can thread it right through a strip of micro suede that is on the bag. I have to get one of these! They are $35 for the bag but if you want it full of thread, it can be yours for the low price of $190! LOL!

The next method I investigated was Jeanne Sullivan’s from this book:
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Her method is two layers of freezer paper and the iron and starch routine. I have begun this project from the book…
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I like her patterns and how thorough the instructions are but I’m not loving freezer paper.

Next up was the uber popular Apliquick Method from Rosa Rojas. I learned about this method and the tools from The Quilt Show. Rosa and her business partner live in Spain and they have come up with a great method that does not use freezer paper or starch. Instead a water soluble applique paper is used as the template and it stays in the quilt. A glue pen and some steel rods with different points on each end are used to fold the fabric over the template. There is no iron involved. There are two rods and one point is like a little fork, another is bevelled, and the other two are different sized points. The rods are a steep $40 so I am still using my awl and a curved pair of small scissors to fold the edges over. I ended up ordering this brand of water soluble applique paper because Amazon carried it and I could have it in my hands in two days with Prime! No judging, please. LOL!IMG_5050

 

 

 

 

 

 

I didn’t order a glue pen either because I have a glue stick. Hindsight is 20/20 and I should have ordered a glue pen. The stick is ok but it’s messy and frays the fabric edge a bit. Next time I’m on Amazon, I’ll order one. IMG_5051

 

 

 

 

 

 

This method is so much better than the others I’ve tried. I’m looking forward to the project now and I think I’ve got my ducks in a row. I love how crisp the applique edges are and that the applique paper goes right through the ink jet printer. No tracing! IMG_5052

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How do you applique? What is your favorite method?

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Projects And An Assistant

It’s been a good week of learning new things. I bought a new applique book by Jeanne Sullivan.
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It has a lot of information in it and many beautiful patterns. I’m struggling to find the method of applique I like the best. I can tell this is going to take some time to get right but I feel like I’m on a good path. Next week on the blog I’ll talk more about the methods I’ve been trying.

At Leah’s dance recital I had time backstage during the first of two shows to work on a project. I brought this ice cream applique with me and I was able to finish it. The pieces were glued down so all I had to do was stitch them to the background.
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When my mother saw it, she really liked it and we decided it should be hers to finish as a pillow for a gift. This is the pattern I had drafted in EQ7 and she’ll finish it with this cute border.

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From the book above, I’ve decided to go with this project…IMG_4989

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s the simplest one in the book which works for me! LOL!!! So far I’ve made the heart…IMG_4990

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I made definite progress on Lindsey’s Love Notes quilt. The borders are on and the quilt is on the long arm!

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And today I began quilting it. I can’t tell you how much I am enjoying this! It’s THAT much!! I love texture and this is so exciting to me.

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The best part of the week was when I decided to hire an assistant to help out with errands, cleaning, and social media for my two businesses. I hired the most adorable college girl named Amanda…does she look familiar? IMG_5014

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amanda (my daughter) is in need of a summer job and I’m in need of a reliable helper. We made a great team this week and I feel less stressed as does she. Finding a summer job when you’re not around for a good chunk of August is a little tough. This is a great arrangement for both of us and now I think I’m not going to want her to go back to UNH at all! LOL!!! I’m getting so much done and my house is clean for students and social media posts are scheduled…ahhhhh. Feels so good.

Enjoy the weekend everybody!

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For long arm quilting service information, please visit my website www.quiltcabanapatterns.com

For Creative Memories scrapbooking supplies, please visit my website https://www.creativememories.com/user/sandic

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Business Book Club -The Magnolia Story

A few months ago I joined the International Association of Creative Arts Professionals and a benefit of being a member is that I get to participate in a monthly book club featuring business books. I’ve only been a member long enough to read two books and last week, the book club discussion was on The Magnolia Story which is the story of Chip and Joanna Gaines from HGTV’s uber popular show, Fixer Upper.

I’ve been an and off again fan of the show for a few years. I really think I’m mostly just a Chip and Joanna fan. I have long loved the playful way they interact with each other while flipping homes around Waco, Texas. If you’ve never watched the show before, it’s quite addictive. Together they help a couple find the home of their dreams which in the beginning of each show looks like a horrible choice! They strive to find the worst house in the best area of town and then through Chip’s carpentry skills and Joanna’s unparallelled design skills, they flip the house, within budget, into a dream home.  All the while, Chip and Joanna tease each other and make you want to be their best friends!

The book takes you through the early years of their relationship when they first start dating up to the current situation where they have landed this show and it’s crazily popular and their farm  is pretty much now a tourist destination. I was enamored with their story but I struggled at first to make connections as to how this was a good business book. While I was interested in their love story and how they got married and have four children, I was really trying to find the meat of their success story.

It was actually in hindsight that it came together for me. Family is the focal point of every decision this couple makes including business decisions. As I mentioned, they have four young children and have made the decision not to travel and to only work in the Waco area. When their real estate and design business took off, it was word of mouth in the Waco area that kept them making money. People saw how Joanna decorated her small store and soon they asked if she could help them with their home decor. The design side grew and grew with Joanna really learning as she went along. She didn’t have any type of degree in design. She had previously worked in her dad’s Firestone tire store.

Chip was a risk taker from day one. As a young man he had an entrepreneurial spirit buying up small homes around Baylor University. He would fix those up and rent them out to college students. Joanna would help him get the home looking nice and then sadly for her, Chip would rent it or sell it and then buy up another one! Sad for Joanna because she got attached to the homes and thought she might like to live in them for awhile. This wasn’t Chip’s style and she knew she had to go with the flow because that was how they managed to stay afloat of their bills. They just barely stayed ahead and sometimes not so much. In the end, the risk taking paid off but it was scary for them.

The underlying theme in the book was consistent effort and hard work all balanced by love of family. They had a strong support system and a team of employees who liked helping them because they were good, honest people. Millions of people enjoy watching the show because this theme carries through. There’s nothing fake about them.

I think it ended up being a great business book that reinforces balance, hard work, risk taking, and consistency. You have to show up and do the work to the best of your ability and keep learning your craft. Integrity and craftsmanship matter.

Do you watch this great show? What are your thoughts? Have you read the book?

You can find the book on Amazon at the link below. It is an affiliate link.

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