Author Archives: Sandra Colwell

NYC and a Long Arm Finish

It’s been a few days since I blogged but I have a good excuse. Leah and I took a trip to NYC with her dance studio. We had a fabulous time traveling with friends and seeing the sights. This is the second time we’ve done a weekend in NYC with this group and we all travel really well together! We arrived in Times Square on Friday afternoon and we shopped a bit, had dinner at Guy Fieri’s restaurant, and then we saw Get On Your Feet which is the broadway show of Gloria and Emilio Estefan’s story. It was amazing! It was at the Marquis Theatre which is just beautiful.

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Saturday the girls attended a workshop with a cast member from Get On Your Feet then we shopped til we dropped. We had dinner at Ellen’s Stardust Cafe and then we pretty much fell asleep. While we were walking around we came upon the ballerina balloon that is currently displayed at Rockefeller Center. We knew it was there, we just didn’t know it was so huge and amazing.

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Sunday morning the girls had another workshop at the same dance studio. We picked them up and headed to the 9-11 Memorial before heading home. It was a strange experience being there with so many kids who weren’t even born when that tragedy occurred. I think they all appreciated seeing it. I was in awe of this national quilt that was hanging on display. Every victim has a block. It’s very large and evokes all kind of emotions when you see it.
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We got home late Sunday night but it was worth it! It was a great weekend.

Last week before I left, I finished the quilting on the Hawaiian flower quilt. I used a hibiscus pantograph and I love how it came out. So now it needs binding.
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Yesterday I spent time getting these Love Notes blocks sewn into rows. If I have time today, I’ll stitch rows together. This one is for Lindsey.
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For Mother’s Day, I ordered Judi Madsen’s new dvd on background quilting for applique quilts. She has so much information in her dvd’s. I just love them. I’m a little more than half way through as it’s pretty long – 158 minutes. Hoping to catch the rest of it tomorrow morning.

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That’s about it for today. What are you all working on?
Sandi

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Long Arm, Site Update & Give Away Winner

Happy Friday and congratulations to Margaret M. who was the winner of my 100 Blocks Blog Tour stop! Margaret has won a copy of 100 Blocks Volume 15!

The sun is shining today which seems like a giant prize for the cruddy weather week we’ve had around here. It has been conducive to quilting which is nice! I was able to get the borders on the Hawaiian flower quilt. I have it loaded on the long arm and ready to be quilted with a hibiscus pantograph and one of these pretty threads!

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So many pretty ones to choose from!

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Yesterday my Red Snappers came in the mail. They are a Mother’s Day gift from my mom! For those of you who are unaware of what these are, they are a quilt loading system for the long arm machine which eliminates having to pin the quilt layers to the leaders. The snapper clamps hold the quilt tight where it should be. That being said, I installed them yesterday and this Hawaiian quilt will be the guinea pig for using them. I’m pretty sure it took me longer than pinning just out of ignorance today though! Wish me luck! It typically takes me about 45 minutes to an hour to load a quilt so cutting that time will be a big help.

I spent the week trying out pantographs to see how I like them. I also practiced a bit of custom work.

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I also updated my Quilt Cabana Patterns website this week. It was in need of a facelift and boy did it get one! I added a menu tab called Long Arm Service which has information about how I can help you get your quilt tops quilted! Pricing and design information is all there and I’d love to help you get those tops done!

Last week I had a such a fun day teaching fusible applique to Nancy and Priscilla! It was by far the best morning of the week! Nancy and Priscilla learned how to make the Sail Away Mug Rug using paper backed fusible web and the blanket stitch technique for finishing the applique. They are fast learners and I can’t wait to see how they finished their projects up. Here are my ladies hard at work! If you’d like to learn this technique, contact me at colwellsg@comcast.net.

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That’s all for today! Be sure to check out the newly updated website!
Sandi

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Welcome To 100 Blocks!

Hey Everyone!!!

I’m so glad you are here and welcome to my blog stop for 100 Blocks Volume 15!

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My block is #1401 and it is called Bunny Love! I made this block using a fusible applique technique. I LOVE fusible applique! It’s so easy and fun.
Here is the block…

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Do you ever wonder where people get their inspiration from when they are designing a block or a quilt? I wonder all the time but for me, the inspiration came from our two adorable Lionhead bunnies. Meet Nala and Daisy…

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These two cuties bring sunshine into our lives every day. I never thought I’d be a bunny person until they came home from the 4H Fair with us. We brought Nala home two years ago (she’s on the left) and Daisy, one year ago. Daisy is actually partially blind but she gets around our living room just fine. We had never seen bunnies that looked like this before and right away, they stole our hearts.

When I was thinking about a design to submit, the bunnies came right to mind. Here are a few pictures of the process I use when creating a block.
First I like to sort through my stash and figure out which colors will go best for my design…

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I use paper backed fusible web to trace the pattern and then fuse it to my fabrics…

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I arrange the fabric pieces in a way I find pleasing and then I fuse them to the background…

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A favorite way of mine to secure the edges of the applique to the background is to use the blanket stitch. I adore the blanket stitch!!

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I hope you’ll get a chance to make this block! It’s a fun one and would be great as a pillow, tote, or kid’s quilt!

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I have a copy of QuiltMaker’s 100 Blocks to give away to one lucky winner. I’ll choose a name randomly from the comment section once the blog tour is over. Just tell me your favorite method of applique and if you’d like to, please follow me on Facebook or Instagram. My Instagram is @quiltcabana.
The link to my facebook business page is:
https://www.facebook.com/Quilt-Cabana-Patterns

Enjoy the blog tour and thanks so much for stopping by! Don’t forget to check out my Craftsy store for more fun patterns including my newest one, Seaglass.

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Sandi

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Fillers, Favorite Rulers and a Selfie

I’ve happily spent the last two days working on quilting the blue monochromatic quilt. I had to laugh at myself that I finally got the long arm machine extended by two feet and then I put a super small quilt on it! LOL! One of the reasons I made this quilt was to practice ruler work and fillers. The other two reasons were to play with color and to figure out improv piecing.

Because this piece is small, the quilting also had to be small. I had a few doubts as to whether my machine could handle going as slowly as I needed it to. That might sound weird because typically you see long arm quilters buzzing around at a decent pace. But when the mission is accuracy and you are using rulers, you have to go slow. The slower I went on the machine, the happier I was with the results and I’m thrilled to pieces that my long arm can work well in a slower speed.

Using Cindy Grisdela’s improv style and Judi Madsen’s methods of marking and quilting, I was able to tap into techniques I haven’t done before. I keep wanting to call this quilt Small Blue for some reason so that shall be its name and here she is…

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Each pieced curve has a different style of filler quilting. I used several designs including wishbones, geometric squares, pebbles, meandering, half moons,  paisleys, swirls, and continuous line curved squares. The top and bottom borders have curved lines.

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In deciding whether to use the continuous line curved squares on that last bottom strip, I knew I had to go very small. I marked a half inch grid and then set about quilting in between the lines. It was exhilarating to quilt! Each row was inspiration to keep going.

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My favorite rulers so far in this long arm journey have been the ones you see here in the picture. The A1 Straight Edge which is yellow and has the
handle on it and the set of Mini Curve It rulers. Both of these were ordered from Judi Madsen’s website, Green Fairy Quilts.

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While I was quilting, I knew my face was holding a very serious and focused expression. I started to wonder if I might be one of those people who sticks their tongue out or something while they work lol!!! Curiosity got the better of me and I set my phone up on a timer for a selfie. No tongue is wagging so I guess I’m good!!!

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The black straps on my shoulders are the straps for my back weight. I try to use it when I’m long arming or piecing for a long time at the sewing machine.

If you listened to the last podcast episode, you’ll remember I mentioned having joined the International Association of Creative Arts Professionals led by Morna McEver Golletz. One of the benefits of belonging to this organization is being in contact with like minded individuals in the craft business world. This week I started up with an accountability partner. Her name is Janice. After an initial phone call where we got to know each other and get a feel for each other’s businesses, we set up our weekly goals and plans for how to achieve them. We will talk again on Monday night to check in and share how we did on meeting those goals. I have four areas to work on this week and I’m feeling pretty good about them. One of my goals includes getting 10 hours on the long arm and I’m halfway there. Getting time on the machine gets a little bit difficult on teaching days but I will have to work around that to get to ten hours. I find myself thinking about Janice all week and wondering how she is coming along with her goals. Hopefully we’ll both hit the mark this week!

Have a super day today!
Sandi

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So much stuff….

I didn’t realize how many days had passed since my last blog post. I thought about posting several times over the last few weeks but each time I got overwhelmed by how many pictures I had so I bagged it. It has been a fun and busy few weeks here with the junior prom and Lindsey’s trip to Paris. She’s due home tonight and I can’t wait to see her! I’ll just jump in with what I’ve been working on. First off, I’m thrilled to say that my long arm frame was extended from 8 feet to ten feet on Wednesday. We didn’t have space initially to set it up to the full extent but after some furniture maneuvering, it does fit! I am so happy that I can now quilt a queen size on the frame. I’ll be updating my website this month with information on my long arm and the designs I offer.

I’ve been working on the small color theory quilts again and this time I worked in a monochromatic blue scheme. I wanted to continue my study of color and creating improv quilts by piecing gentle curves without pinning! GASP! I know, right? Unbelievably, I found it very easy and relaxing. The curves came together nicely even though I could have sworn they weren’t going to! Convex and concave can be con-tricky!!!

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Here is the final piece which I’ll mark for quilting next and then put on the long arm for ruler work practice. I love that by working on these small pieces, I learn color theory, improv piecing and ruler work! It’s the perfect hat trick!

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This week’s fun news is that my bunny block made the inside cover of 100 Blocks this time around!

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I will be hosting a stop on their blog tour on May 2nd! Here is the awesome thank you gift I received for being part of their magazine! I love it!

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While Lindsey’s been in France, I began working on her Love Notes quilt. I made the same quilt for Amanda when she went to France two years ago. Back then Lindsey asked if I would make one for her when it was her turn to go on the trip! I ordered the fabric two years ago and now I’m making it!

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I have the half square triangles done and in piles for 42 blocks. This afternoon I pieced the first two blocks. I love making these cute little love notes!

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and…
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For Easter I decided to surprise my mom with a bouquet she could really get into…who doesn’t love a flower pot filled with fat quarters!

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This week I also treated myself to new fine and extra fin pins! What a difference these make!

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And lastly here’s a little peek at my Lindsey and her prom date, Alex. They had a great time!
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Have a wonderful weekend, I’ll be back next week with more to share!
Sandi

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A Jam Packed New Episode Awaits!

I just posted episode #46 of Quilt Cabana Corner which is jam packed with reviews on the Eversewn Sparrow 20 sewing machine, the Fitbit Alta, the Simply Fit Board and the book, The War of Art. I also discuss my new membership in the International Association of Creative Arts Professionals.

I hope you’ll join me and give a listen!

Here are the links which I always forget to post….

The podcast is on Podbean now… click here. It will show up on itunes a little later today.

The Eversewn 20 machine…

The Fitbit Alta

The Simply Fit Board

The War of Art

International Assoc. of Creative Arts Professionals

Have a super great day!
Sandi

This post contains affiliate links

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New Thread and an Easter Pattern

This week I tried out my new Glide thread from FilTec on the long arm. I had previously been using a cotton thread that was pretty linty in the machine. This one is a soft polyester thread with a sheen like rayon. It’s strong and practically lint free. It took me a bit to get the tension correct for using it but once I did, I had smooth sailing. I like it a lot.

My color play quilt is what I used it on and I am pleased with the results. This was also a practice with ruler work for me. I can’t wait to get the next quilt on the machine!

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The back…
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And some other shots of the front…

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I’m in the process of hanging up Easter decorations and I put this cute mini on the door yesterday! It’s available as part of the Seasonal Trio 2 collection in my Craftsy store.

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I’m preparing to record a new podcast episode tomorrow with all kinds of fun reviews of various items I have ordered recently. If you have anything you’d like me to talk about, let me know today!

Have a happy and quilty day!
Sandi

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Quilting Finish, Improv and Thread

Happy Friday and Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I hope you are having a spectacular start to the weekend! This week I finished up the Seaglass quilt on the long arm. I was using a feathered swirl pantograph which I love very much. This just needs binding and then the pattern drafting will begin!

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I took last week’s improv blocks that I was working on and turned them into this small piece. It is the first in a series that I am doing as a color study. This is the split complimentary piece.

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I spent some time marking the quilt and now it’s on the long arm where I’m using my new rulers to quilt it! I’m also using new thread. I ordered this box of gorgeousness from Filtec. It’s a box full of Glide thread!

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I had been using a cotton thread on the long arm and boy is it ever linty! I decided a poly might be better. I was able to order the thread right from Filtec wholesale which meant a great price on all of it. I had a bit of a struggle yesterday getting the machine tension straightened away as it was really set for cotton thread and not poly. Truly I was terrified of changing any button on the long arm since it still is new to me. After I got the tension set, I was off and quilting. I’ll have pictures of it in the next post.

I’m getting ready to record another podcast next week since everyone has been so kind and encouraging about the return of Quilt Cabana Corner.
If there’s anything you’d like me to talk about just let me know!
Sandi

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New Machine, Improv & Patterns

Yay, it’s Saturday!!! Despite the frigid temps today, I’m determined to enjoy the beautiful sunshine! Amanda is home for spring break and I’m happy to have everyone in the same place for a week. Amanda is happy to rest her sprained ankle! She rolled her ankle up at UNH this week and ended up with an air cast and crutches. Not ideal when you live on the fourth floor of a very old dorm with no elevator! Thankfully it’s feeling better now and she has a week to rest!

The mailman brought me a new machine on Wednesday! I’ve been obsessing about the new line of Ever Sewn machines that recently came out. Feeling like it was time to upgrade my travel machine, I bought the Ever Sewn Sparrow 20. It’s lightweight, super cute, full of decorative stitches and is an all around great machine! It’s not uber fancy but it’s just perfect for bringing to class or setting up in the dining room when you want the flexibility of a smaller machine. I believe these are made by Bernina for the Brewer company. They’ve been all the rage lately!

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I ordered mine through Sewing Machines Plus while they were on sale and then an additional 10% off with free shipping. Yes please. I’ll review it on the next podcast!

Yesterday I allowed myself to play with improv sewing. I’m a pinner and a careful planner so improv sewing is not my jam, so to speak. However, I made the blocks for two reasons. One is they are a study in color theory. The fabrics I chose are split complimentary which is why they look nice together!

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My goal is to make several of these type of blocks in different color schemes from the color wheel. The second reason is because I need some smaller pieces to practice ruler work and fillers on the long arm machine. I’m looking forward to quilting these and then using them as teaching tools for my students.

I particularly enjoyed piecing a block and then cutting it up to use as strips in the other blocks. It was a fun exercise!

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The rest of my week has been teaching and quilting Seaglass on the long arm. I’m almost finished with it!

I’ve also been plugging away on knitting my loom sock when I’m not playing around with the new sewing machine!

I was at my mom’s house recently and she had this pretty set up happening on her kitchen table!

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You might recognize the pattern from the Seasonal Trio series. I came home and put mine on the front door!

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I’ve been enjoying the mini quilts on the front door for a few months now. I like to pull in the driveway and be greeted with a quilt! I know, I’m a nerd. Anyway, if you’re looking to decorate for St. Patty’s Day, there’s plenty of time to make this mini. There are four Seasonal Trio patterns and each one has instructions for three projects. Check them out here on my Craftsy store:

https://www.craftsy.com/search?query=quilt%20cabana%20patterns

First Seasonal Trio Hi Res For QW

Second Seasonal Trio Hi Res For QW

Third Seasonal Trio Hi Res For QW

Fourth Seasonal Trio Hi Res For QW

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy the weekend!

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Progress On A Thursday

Happy Thursday!

This week is flying right by! I’ve been busy meeting with students and working on my projects. I have the Seaglass quilt on the long arm finally. I chose the swirling feather pantograph and I love the design of it.
This is the quilt…

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And a few pictures of the pantograph I’m using…

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It’s an easy one to follow with generous curves…

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I’m still plugging away on my sock loom. I found the sock I made a few years back. I never made its match lol!!!! I have no idea why! It’s not a bad looking sock and it fits!

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I pulled out the various sock yarn I have accumulated over the last month and it feels as yummy as fabric..uh-oh! Another thing to collect!

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Yesterday I recorded a new episode of Quilt Cabana Corner. You can find episode #45 on Podbean or itunes. I hope you’ll join me for some quilty fun! Please leave me a question or comment on anything you want me to talk about on the next episode! I’ll be sure to mention your name! If you are unsure of how to listen to a podcast, click on the link below and just hit the play triangle. The podcast will start immediately. Make sure your volume is turned up!

http://quiltcabanacorner.podbean.com/

I’m off to get ready for Gail to come for her lesson. Have a great day!

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