Projects Galore!

So I missed last week’s blog post and I remember thinking I didn’t have much last week that was new. This week, there has been progress on just about every front and I’m super excited and feeling challenged by it all. Let’s dive right in!

I am working on my first long arm pantograph! This pretty quilt was pieced by my mother and I was given free reign on the design. I was eager to try pantographs and so I chose this flowery one called Lilac. The fabrics in this quilt are darling and I am enjoying every minute at the machine.














Last week Lindsey asked me to make her teacher a Star Wars baby quilt. This beloved teacher is married to another of Lindsey’s teachers and they are big Star Wars fans. I’ve been waiting to try out the Accuquilt Orange Peel die and so I began this last Friday night.









My students are also making progress as Gail is about ready to apply binding to her log cabin and Nancy is working on sashing  and more starts for this beauty!









The mermaid tail crochet project moved forward with the suggestion of Nancy that I use a stitch I like throughout the project instead of learning a new row each time! Genius! I decided to go with the shell stitch throughout and now I have about 5 rows done instead of 2!








My back basted applique table topper has been started in earnest. I have the sails of two of the four boats appliqued onto the background.








Recently I was watching The Quilt Show episode featuring Jill Finley and I loved seeing her method of applique which is a freezer paper method. Her quilts are gorgeous and I might try her method next.

Lastly, I ordered silk roving and the supplies to try Silk Fusion. I am going to blog in detail about this next time but here is a picture of the soft and luxurious feeling silk roving!








Tomorrow we continue our college tours with Lindsey and we’ll be checking out Bentley University which is Greg’s alma mater! So far her first choice seems to be University of Vermont followed closely by UNH (how great it would be to have 2 kids there!) and now we’ll see what she thinks of Bentley.

Have a great weekend everybody!


Applique & Crochet

Hey, my post title rhymes and that doesn’t happen very often! LOL! We are experiencing fabulous fall weather this week. The kind where you need a sweater in the morning and then short sleeves by afternoon. The windows are open, there’s not a need for air conditioning or heat. In short, I love it. I was made for fall! Ahhhh. It makes me want to tackle projects and cleaning.

As far as my Mermaid Tale crochet project is concerned…that happy feeling dissipates slightly. I am a serious crochet fail. This is how far I’ve gotten on the mermaid blanket which eventually will look like this…









But right now, looks like this…








Don’t laugh. I can hear you! I have crocheted these couple of rows numerous times and then had to rip them out. Technically, I should be half done by now. Ugh. It’s either the wrong count of stitches or the wrong stitch! Last night, I ripped out a row of shell stitches because when I read V stitch, my mind insisted I should shell. Lindsey is hot on my tail to get this thing done. Maybe this week I’ll progress to maybe row 5!

My mom made great progress with her Yellow Brick Road quilt for Leah. I have it here and once my pink thread arrives, I’ll be putting this on the long arm and quilting a flowery pantograph. It will be my first official pantographed quilt. Isn’t this gorgeous?









I chose  an applique pattern for a table topper so I can practice the back basting applique method further. I am going to make this for my mom.









I needed to trace the sailboat onto the backside of the background fabric but I couldn’t see it well enough with my light box so I traced the pattern onto freezer paper, ironed the freezer paper onto the background, and traced around that. Now I’m ready to baste the applique pieces onto the background. Hopefully some night this week I’ll get busy on that again.









Here all four boats are traced…








Tomorrow night I’ve got a small scrapbooking crop here at the house so I’m off to prep for that! Have a good one, everybody.


Delving Into Applique

Two weekends ago I attended a local quilt show for the Herring Run Quilt Guild. It’s a biannual show that I remember enjoying last time around. I reversed my usual show order and perused the vendors first. I picked up one of those nifty lap size ironing boards thinking it would be nice to use a small lap table for when I’m doing English Paper Piecing. LOL –  I make it sound as though that happens all the time but really it’s about once every three calendar page turns!

Then a funny thing happened as I walked through the quilt exhibit. I came upon a beautifully appliqued wall hanging. I didn’t take a picture of it because the program said cameras were welcome for personal inspiration but a no no for publication anywhere else…and really, why else do we take pictures of things but to put them on our blogs to give us something to talk about, so I tabled the photo taking idea! I did read the card though and the maker of the quilt stated that she had never considered applique before coming upon something called the back-basting method of applique. Hmmmmm…..I’m one of those anti needle turners myself but this held some sort of promise…like even I could do it. I looked closely at the stitches from the front and back and committed the phrase, ‘back-basting applique’ to my mind for later Googling! It was her first go around with applique and I knew right then, it surely would be mine too!

And it solidified my purchase of that nifty lap ironing board!

So, I did what  any good quilter does when introduced to a new method of anything, I pulled up Amazon on my laptop faster than you can say, ‘applique’. And ah ha!

And thanks to Amazon look what arrived on Sunday…









And look what I started on Monday…








And finished on Tuesday…








Hey, I’m appliqueing!! With this method, you basically trace the applique pattern on the back of the background fabric. Then you baste around the tracing of that applique pattern piece while hold in place the applique fabric on the right side. The basting shows up on the applique fabric.








Then you trim the fabric leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance around the basting. You do needle turn the applique but you remove the basting as you go. The perforation of the fabric from the basting allows the seam allowance to roll under very nicely. The blind stitch or ladder stitch is used to actually applique the piece. I use the blind stitch. So now I need to try it again with a different pattern and maybe make a table topper using the method. The step by step process in Barbara Eckmeier’s book is fantastic! She has beautiful project instructions included.

This past Saturday, I was vending at an area Rainbow Girls Camp. I split my table in half using part for Quilt Cabana and part for Creative Memories. Sadly, the craft fair had very little foot traffic and I don’t think many of us made our table money back. It was a total bust. They did provide a nice lunch, coffee and donuts but it added up to a loss for so many vendors. In fact, we all received an apology later that day from the organizer. This is what my table looked like…








I was seated next to the Avon lady and she was killing it! She definitely made her table back and I was really in awe. I had no idea that people even bought Avon anymore! Shows you what I know! I talked with her quite a bit and took home the catalogs to look through. They now have clothes and shoes and a separate home living catalog. What? Yup. She was also a great sales lady and drew everyone in with her, “Have you seen an Avon catalog lately?” sales pitch. Sure enough, the ladies came flocking and buying up products they used to order ‘all the time’.  The lady on the other side of me was selling homemade dog biscuits. She didn’t sell many but she enjoyed talking about her dogs and she was good company…because it was a long day, y’all.

That’s about it from here. I’m working on my quilt kit that I bought in Hawaii. Also working on getting the Seaglass quilt ready to load on the long arm. Enjoy your day!

*this post contains an Amazon affiliate link


A Finish, Some Practice & New Recipes

Happy Thursday! We’re almost to the weekend!! I finished a baby quilt this week. I used charm squares and some fabric from my stash as a border. I decided on an all over loopy design for the quilting.  This will be one of the items for sale at my craft fair table next Saturday.







This afternoon I spent time practicing these two pantographs. The first one is called Pipeline and I like it a lot. It has easy curves and I think it will look great on the Seaglass quilt.









The next one is called Lilac (I think). It also has nice curves and will look great on a feminine quilt.









Last night I hosted our neighborhood book club and tried out a new recipe that I saw floating around on Facebook. It is called Caramel Pumpkin Poke Cake and it was absolutely delicious. It filled a 13 x 9 pan and tasted even better today! Now just pay no attention to the fact that there’s a piece and a half on my plate!









In case you were wondering, the book we discussed was Caleb’s Crossing which is about the Wampanoag Indians on Martha’s Vineyard and the missionaries who came to ‘help’ them. It was very good. Our next book selection is Everything We Keep. This one looks interesting and I can’t wait to start it.

Tonight we decided on breakfast for dinner and I made Mocha French Toast. This was also something that popped up online and looked amazing.







The recipe is made with Pillsbury Grands Biscuits that are layered in the pan. Next time around, I’d put one layer in the pan, bake it for a few minutes then add the second layer because it seemed the bottom biscuit pieces needed more time to bake than the top ones. It was yummy and I’d make it again.

That about sums up the week! What are you all working on?


*this post contains Amazon affiliate links


New Projects, New Bunny

Hey there,

This is turning out to be a great week for getting things done in my own little crafty world. I often struggle with myself over my own perceived lack of productivity but in reality, we’re all just doing the best we can with the time we have in a day. Not everything is getting done but enough is getting done that I feel pleased. Next week might be a different story but this week, all is well…except for the coffee I just spilled all over the laptop.

So let’s start with honest to God cuteness…Amanda surprised us by coming home over the weekend. She wanted to help her boyfriend move in to his college dorm as he helped her. Our plan was to use Saturday morning to visit the 4H Fair which is where we got our bunny, Nala, last year. I pretty much think we all knew if we saw another Lionhead bunny, there’d be a good chance that bun would come home…and here she is!









This is Daisy and she is four months old. She’s adorable and doesn’t mind being held which is quite different than Nala who hates to be picked up. We noticed that Daisy was banging into things every so often and I took her to the vet to confirm our suspicions that she can’t see all that well. Yup, she’s partially blind. In our family that means she gets more hugs, love, attention and supervision! Nala and Daisy are experiencing a very slow introduction as Nala isn’t too sure what this little white snowball is doing in our house yet. I’m sure in time, they’ll be best buds.

Ok, for the quilty news, I finished the Seaglass quilt top! I am very happy with how it came out and now I’ll look forward to quilting it on the long arm. When it’s complete, it will be a pattern for sale on Craftsy.









Yesterday I finished up quilting Nancy’s beautiful quilt on the long arm. She was brave enough to entrust this beauty to me and I’m so glad. It came out very nice and I can’t wait for her to see it in person!







I got the great news this week that another of my blocks has been chosen for the next QuiltMaker’s 100 Blocks magazine coming out in November! That means another blog hop and give away! More details will be posted later.

I finished the Disney scrapbook from the trip that Greg, Leah and I took with the dance team that Leah is on. It felt so good to wrap that up.

And I am taking on another new crochet project or two. I am the worst, slowest crocheter in history for sure. But I can’t say no to Lindsey when she asks for this…









Really. Ummmm ok. Let me order that along with some sock yarn and book on crocheting socks while I’m at it…









Once I struggle through the first mermaid tail, I have two other requests from Amanda and Leah for one. Lord help me.

That is what’s happening this week here at Quilt Cabana. What are you working on this week?


Summer Wrap Up

How can it be summer has come and gone????? I’m pretty sure this was the fastest one on the books. We wrapped up around here with a flurry of activity in the last few weeks that included a super fun family vacation to Canada and Vermont. We spent 4 nights in Mont Tremblant, 2 nights in Quebec City and 1 night in Burlington, VT. We made lots of memories and we tried real hard not to think about the fact that Amanda would be moving into UNH a few short days from then. I have some beautiful pictures to share in a future post about our vacation.

And move in, she did. The first bird has left the nest. Can you hear me crying? We did a lot of crying that day. A lot. My mama heart was broken seeing Amanda so nervous and scared. For a year or more she’s talked non-stop about attending UNH and living in the dorm with her cousin and another roommate. It all got the best of her come move in day. Thankfully, with each passing day and phone call, she has sounded happier and happier. Change is hard, friends. Here she is working on her desk set up.









Lindsey turned Sweet 16 and that meant a trip to the registry for a driver’s permit!







And Leah continues to wow us with her talent for pointe technique which is part of classical ballet. Check out that foot on the ground!









So now that everyone is about to get busy with school work, I can get busy with quilting and scrapbooking. I worked a bit on the Seaglass quilt this week. The rows are joined and now I need to add the borders.









I also started laying out charm squares for another baby quilt. I’m vending a craft fair on September 24th and I need to get busy on some items for the table in addition to quilt patterns and scrapbooking supplies. My table will be split between Creative Memories and Quilt Cabana Patterns.







The long arm progress has been stalled due to vacation and life in general but that shall pick right up again! What have you all been working on?


Blocks Completed, Migraines, Industry Shifts

It’s been so dang hot here in Massachusetts this week. I can barely stand to go outside for anything so I’ve been sneaking in bits and pieces of time on the Seaglass quilt. I just finished up the last of the 30 blocks! I’m so excited to have them pieced and now I can work on sewing those blocks into rows.







I’m always looking ahead to the next project and I have three lined up…two baby quilts that will be made with these adorable charm packs and a quilt from a kit that I bought in Kauaui last year. I can’t wait to get started on these!







I haven’t done much on the long arm this week. I’m still waiting for my ruler base and rulers to arrive. Hopefully next week!

That’s about it for my weekly progress. Last Friday I stepped completely out of my comfort zone and took the advice of a friend to get a piercing. I was in the middle of a three day-er when she suggested that I get a daith piercing which is thought to reduce migraines. Her daughter and friend had both gotten the piercings and had significant luck with it. I was skeptical to say the least…first, ouch! I mean really, OUCH! Secondly, about half of what I read supported it and half didn’t. I decided since it was kind of cute, I’d go for it. Lindsey wanted to get a piercing higher up in her ear so we went together. I came home with my daith pierced after almost chickening out. LOL! Just for the record, I held Lindsey’s hand while she went first and when it was my turn, she held my hand but looked away at the exact moment that needle was coming!!!! No fair!! I never broke eye contact with her. I chose a cute heart earring and I do like it and I’ve had 7 headache free days. I don’t expect it to cure the migraines but if it will reduce them, I’ll take it.









Over the last few weeks there have been several articles regarding the quilting magazine industry and blogging. With the announcement that Quilter’s Newsletter magazine will join the ranks of many that are shutting down, it seems the whole industry is heading for a makeover. Publishers heavily rely on magazine subscriptions as well as advertisement dollars and both are plummeting. Check out this article from Abby Glassenberg about how some companies are finding innovative ways to survive and even thrive.

This article from Stitched In Color about quilt blogging hit home with a few of us who are finding it easier to post consistently on Instagram as opposed to our blogs. The reason being that on Instagram, we don’t have to write as much. We can just post lovely photos of our work and say a sentence or two. The audience is larger on Instagram than on our individual blogs. I like to blog because I like to write so mine won’t be going anywhere in the near future!

Personally, I think quilting is heading in the same direction that scrapbooking once went. The industry got too big, there were too many products, people were overwhelmed and realized they could accomplish the same things with tools and supplies they already owned. I got tired of scrapbooking magazines because every article was a repeat of the same twenty or so hot topics. How many times can you read about the rule of thirds when looking through your camera lens? How many times can you read the same facts about traditional v. modern quilting? It gets tiresome.

I think almost every scrap magazine closed down and many, many scrap stores shuttered their doors. Scrapbooking seemed to have gone away but now it’s back in a different form. It’s had a makeover. It’s back now in a simpler form. With the advent of Becky Higgin’s Project Life and the reinvention of Creative Memories with it’s Fast2Fab predesigned pages, it’s coming back! Scrappers wanted an easier, less time consuming way to preserve memories. Companies stepped up.

The quilt industry will shift and change and yes, some will have to close their doors. It’s sad but inevitable. I can’t wait to see what’s next in this industry. How will it change to survive and then thrive? What new social media platform will take our breath away? Change is good. It’s hard but it’s good. I’ll be right here waiting for the next big thing.

How about you?


First Quilt On Long Arm, Seaglass Progress

I finally made the leap from the practice quilt to a real one this week. I finished piecing the baby quilt, loaded it on the frame and quilted a lovely meander! I think it took me the same amount of time to load it as it did the actual quilting! It was fun and I learned as I went about advancing the quilt and knowing where to start and end a pass.
















I’m looking forward to quilting another one soon which will be my student, Nancy’s, beautiful star quilt.









We finished up seaming the back and cut the batting for it yesterday. I have it in my studio and will be getting to that soon.

I also made some progress pinning pieces of the Seaglass quilt. I have ten blocks left to piece and then I can begin sewing blocks into rows. I can’t wait to find time to finish them up.







If you’re looking for fall patterns, don’t forget to check out my Craftsy pattern store!

You’ll find these cuties and a whole lot more!



Project and Long Arm Progress

This week featured extreme heat around here but also some finishes! I’m thrilled to show you a finish by my student, Priscilla! She worked with beautiful nursery fabrics and the Yellow Brick Road pattern. I just love the texture she got with her serpentine stitch quilting in the border. That texture got even better when the quilt was washed!








I think this came out so cute and I’m thrilled for Priscilla and the awesome progress she has made on her quilting journey.

I had two finishes…one was a pillow case made with the cutest sheep flannel fabric. Lindsey saw this when we were at Joann’s looking for curtain fabric for her room. It has to be the softest, nicest flannel I’ve worked with…and the price tag pretty much confirmed that as well. I think I paid $15 for one and a half yards and that was ON SALE!







It didn’t matter to Lindsey! LOL! She wanted that pillow case and she got it…I actually put this together very quickly on the serger. My mom was visiting and she had her serger all set up so I jumped on it and in 30 minutes, this was done.







My second finish came in the way of a baby quilt. I had a charm pack in my stash and decided to whip up a quick quilt that I can put on the long arm to get some practice…








I have been practicing quite a bit on the long arm. This was the first practice cloth I pulled off the machine…









Greg has asked when I’m really going to quilt something and I try to explain how these things take time but I do believe I’m ready to load it with the baby quilt. I’ll be doing a simple meander as I feel confident with that design. I ordered six pantographs and they arrived yesterday. After the baby quilt is done, I’ll load another practice cloth and work on following the pantograph designs. Following those designs with a laser light from the back of the machine isn’t as easy as I thought it would be LOL!!!! As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will my long arm skill set be.

If you are looking for a really great iron and missed my review of the Black & Decker Digital Advantage, you can check it out here. I highly recommend this one.

Have a happy and quilty weekend!


Finishes, Progress, and Grad Party

This week I had a finish of the garment kind and my student, Nancy, had a finish as well! I’m completely thrilled for Nancy as she wrapped up her floating heart quilt with a beautiful binding! This quilt is completely done and ready to be gifted to her granddaughter.







Nancy also finished up her second quilt top and it is stunning! I’m completely in love with her color choices. The next stop for this quilt will be on my long arm once I’ve practiced a bit more. I can’t wait to quit this one.









I finished up the knit shirt I was making. I haven’t worn it yet but I will soon! I have fabric to make another one which will give me more practice sewing with knits. I need all the help I can get!









I spent some time yesterday installing the laser light on the long arm and trying out pantographs. The pantograph for those who don’t know, is a printed pattern on a paper roll that you trace with a laser light and the design stitches out on the quilt. The laser was very easy to install on the Simply Sixteen. I ‘drove’ the machine from the back and followed along the pattern.









I realized very quickly that things went better when I kept my gaze a few inches beyond the laser light as opposed to looking at the light the entire time. The pantographs will definitely take some time to master. This was a holly hock one and seemed fairly simple but I was nervous and need more practice.







The Saturday before last we had Amanda’s graduation party. It was a bit of an overcast day but we had a great time and the younger kids stayed in the pool all day (it’s heated so the clouds and cool weather didn’t bother them). We had 94 guests and enough food to feed a small army. Here are a few pictures from the day.







I ordered these frisbees as party favors months ago and almost forgot to put them out on the tables. Imagine how suprised I would have been to find them hidden away in my closet after the party!












Greg and I trying out the photo booth props…









The guest of honor (on the right) with her friends…







Amanda had requested homemade cakes for dessert we made four…lemon with cream cheese frosting, chocolate with chocolate frosting, red velvet with cream cheese frosting and yellow cake with chocolate frosting. Everyone had fun guessing which cakes were in the lead all day…I can tell you there was not a bite left of the lemon or the chocolate with chocolate by the end of the night! Cake decorating is not in my crafty repertoire so sprinkles and paper fans ruled the day!







It was a fun filled day with family and friends!