Blog Tour Winner & Stuff

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We have a blog tour winner from last week’s QuiltMaker 100 Blocks Blog Tour! And the winner is Becki! I have contacted her through email and she will soon have a copy of 100 Blocks Vol. 14 in her mailbox!

I was blown away by the comments left on the blog tour post.  Every one of you had such nice thoughts about quilting and what it means to you. I mean you also had nice thoughts on my block, Afloat, which is awesome as well! The personal stories and the amount of sharing made my heart so joyous! What a community we have among us! I feel blessed and I hope that you do as well.

I was also impressed with the amount of other crafting everyone is doing…from knit to crochet, to scrapbooking and card making… it was so fun to read through and see how creative we all are!

I’ll be back next week with more quilty fun and in the meanwhile if you mentioned that you are a scrapbooker or you’d like to explore that as a craft, please visit my Creative Memories Facebook page. I’d love to hear from you over there and have you sign up for that newsletter!

https://www.facebook.com/cmAdvisorSandiColwell/

Happy Thanksgiving! May your bellies be full and your hearts even fuller!

Warmly,

Sandi

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Welcome To My Blog!

Hi Everyone! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog for the 100 Blocks Blog Tour!!!

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I am so pleased you’re here and I can’t wait to share the block I created with all of you. You can find my block under the ‘Applique’ section of Volume 14.

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The title of my block is “Afloat”. I’d love to tell you that I came up with the idea one beautiful summer day when the sun was reflecting off the water like diamonds….but that isn’t what happened. I was actually pretty stumped for an idea this time around. I’ve been trying to stay away from floral blocks done with applique because I think the editors get several of those for each issue. I decided on a nautical theme but wanted something more than an anchor or crab. I felt like the block needed to feel serene. I wanted to feel like I was right there on the water even though I wasn’t.
I also knew the block would feature fun and easy fusible applique…A technique I really love and can get right into!

If you’ve never done fusible applique, I’ll show you the steps for how I made Afloat and these steps are the same for any fusible applique project that I have designed through my pattern company, Quilt Cabana Patterns.

I sketched the block out with pencil and paper and then used cardstock to make the templates for the boat and dock.

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Then I traced the templates onto paper backed fusible web. I needed three boats, so I traced the boat template three times.

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Next was the super fun part of auditioning fabrics. I opted for bright colors against a deep blue background…

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I used the iron to fuse my paperbacked fusible pieces onto the wrong side of the fabric. Once it cooled, I cut out the pieces and arranged then on the background…

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The last step was to stitch around the raw edges using the blanket stitch. This could also be done with a zig zag stitch. And here is the finished block!

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Easy right? If you’d like to try more projects like this one, please visit my Craftsy store where you can find 18 fun patterns – everything from mug rugs to wall hangings and table decor! Check out these holiday projects because there’s plenty of time to whip one up as a gift or for your own decor!

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And now for the give-away! If you would like a chance to win a copy of 100 Blocks Volume 14 just leave me a comment and tell me a little about yourself and what type of projects you like to work on.

Don’t forget to visit my blog frequently as there’s always something fun going on!

Sandi

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Happy Thursday!

Happy Thursday Everybody!

I missed my post last week and this one will be quick as I’m also preparing my post for next Thursday (November 17th) when I will be on the QuiltMakers 100 Blocks Blog Tour for Volume 14! Say that ten times fast! This time around I created a nautical block and my post will take you through the steps as well as offer a chance to win a copy of volume 14! Yay!!!!

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The tour runs the whole week long and is always a lot of fun!

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I finished up the Star Wars quilt and Lindsey gave it to her teacher who was quite pleased with it! Here it is hot off the long arm…

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I had some issues with quilting around the orange peel shapes. I wanted to echo stitch around them and underestimated how difficult that is on a long arm. The machine glides effortlessly which is good but bad when you are really trying to concentrate on stitching straight. It came out ok but it’s not as neat as I would like….practice, practice, practice!

I vend at a Christmas Fair in December and usually in November I try to go great guns getting some sewing done. I offer my patterns and book along with a few notions and items like pillow cases, zippered pouches, etc. This week, I opened up a beautiful fat quarter bundle of blueberry and cranberry fabrics. I made zippered pouches and travel tissue covers with the fabric. The travel tissue covers were easy and fast and I made a whole bunch!

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Next week, I’ll make more zippered pouches and pillowcases. I have several items for kids already made as well.

What I’m most looking forward to is finding some time after these items are made to get back to designing. I haven’t forgotten about the Seaglass quilt…it’s ready for the long arm and then it will be pattern tested and ready for the Craftsy store.

That’s about it for today! Join me for the 100 Blocks Blog Tour next week!!!

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Silk Fusion

In an effort to lose some weight I’ve been hitting the treadmill for an hour a day at least 5 days a week. In order to stay interested and entertained while I’m walking, I’ve been watching episodes of The Quilt Show. Each episode is around 54 to 56 minutes and it’s been GREAT! I hit my step goal and I learn something at the same time. The only drawback is that I want to try every technique I see! That can be draining on the quilt budget…but I did spring for the starter kit to learn how to do silk fusion.

Tamara Leberer was a recent guest on the show and she was essentially making fabric out of dyed silk. From that fabric she made beautiful mosaics on black fabric. The dyed silk is so vibrant against a dark background. I loved the blue and orange colors she was using on the show but the starter kit only included a green and a maroon color. You can see Tamara’s work here:

http://www.tamaraleberer.com/silk-fusion-artwork.html

I sat down to work on the silk fusion piece last week. I haven’t made anything with the piece yet because I’m waiting for inspiration to strike on a design. I’m open to suggestions!

This is the kit which included the silk roving, a paint brush, a mesh screen and textile medium.

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The silk roving is unbelievably soft and vibrant.

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The process goes like this – you put one piece of mesh screen on top of a piece of plastic or something to protect your table. Next you carefully pull out thick strands of silk and lay them on top of the screen horizontally. You can mix and match and even add Angelina Fibers to it if you wish.

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Then you layer strands vertically across the horizontal ones.

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When you are happy with that and have the silk thick enough so you can’t see through it anywhere, you place the second screen on top and then paint over it with warm water and liquid dish detergent. The silk fibers have to be very wet in order to accept the textile medium that will come next.

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Once the first side is good and wet, flip the whole sandwich over and paint the other side. Next the textile medium is applied in the same manner.

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After the textile medium step is complete, the piece has to dry overnight. The next day, you peel away the screens and are left with a beautiful piece of silk fabric that is your own creation! Peeling away the screens is tough work…that textile medium is like glue and it takes a little elbow work to get it separated.

The back and front look different and I haven’t decided which side I like best yet. This photo doesn’t quite show how pretty the colors are in the piece due to the lighting in my kitchen. The poor lighting makes it look like bacon! This is the front…

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This is the back…

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I’m still contemplating how I will cut this up and use it. For sure it will be on a black background but whether it will be mosaic or some other design is yet to be decided! I’ll keep you posted! Have you ever tried silk fusion or a similar process?

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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!
Sandi

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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…

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But right now, looks like this…

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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?

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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.

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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.

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Here all four boats are traced…

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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.

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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…

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And look what I started on Monday…

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And finished on Tuesday…

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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.

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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…

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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

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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.

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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.

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

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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!

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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.

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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?

Sandi

*this post contains Amazon affiliate links

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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…

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

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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?

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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.

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

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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?

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