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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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Tuesday Catch Up

Today I set myself up to post on the blog from my iPad instead of my laptop. I don’t think anything will look different but of course, one never knows with technology! I frequently have things I’d like to post about and then I don’t get around to sitting at my desk to write it. So armed with my ipad and keyboard, we’ll go with this for now.

Last night I attended my first quilt guild meeting of the year. I missed the September meeting so I was happy to get to this one. The guild has moved from Watertown to Waltham and is now being held at Bentley University (hubs alma mater). It takes me an hour and twenty minutes to get to the meeting during rush hour so I don’t always feel like making the trek, especially during the winter months. I have to say though, Bentley is such a gorgeous, spacious venue that I might make an extra effort this year! The speaker last night was Ann Shaw. She taught 2 days of workshops over the weekend and then gave a lecture at the guild meeting. I did not take her workshop but I will be attending Marge Tucker’s workshop in January with my mother.

Ann Shaw was fabulous! She had a great presentation on her process which is similar to Ruth McDowell’s with freezer paper templates and straight line piecing. She has taken many classes with Ruth and puts her own spin on the work she creates. Ann takes hundreds of photos and chooses one to work with as a quilt subject. Check out her website to see pictures of her quilts and read about her quilting career.

Today I completed the baby mat quilt top. Tomorrow I’ll layer and baste!

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Last week I was happy to see the table runner I made to accompany my 100 Blocks block came home. It was in their gallery from Vol. 11 and now it looks great on my coffee table!

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I also received back a block I made for vol. 13 that was being returned as they had too many floral applique blocks this time around. I was invited to resubmit and I did, I can’t tell you what I made instead but hopefully it will be  accepted and you’ll see it in vol. 13.

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I really loved this block as a photo from my Hawaii trip was the inspiration.

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At least I get to keep the block now! We dont’ get to keep the ones that are published.

That’s it for me today. What are you working on?

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Review of Pat Delaney’s Craftsy Class, Raising The Bar: Quilting Linear Spaces

I had the total pleasure of reviewing Pat Delaney’s Craftsy class, Raising The Bar: Quilting Linear Spaces this week. I am not only a huge fan of Pat but she is a friend and fellow guild member of mine as well. Pat is the owner of Crabtree Lane Studio and a winner of numerous awards including first place for traditionally pieced quilts at International Quilt Festival. My favorite thing about Pat is that she possesses so much knowledge (that she’s willing to share) yet remains humble and highly personable. I knew this Craftsy class would be a wonderful addition to my quilting ‘tool box of knowledge’.

The subject of the class is learning how to plan and quilt bar spaces which are the long, narrow spaces on your quilt. Pat walks us through how to mark those areas, what to use to mark the areas, how to work with a grid, how to plan the quilting and how to execute the quilting. She includes instruction on dividing the quilt areas and using feathers, fill designs, geometric designs and multipass designs to fill those spaces right up! Once you see Pat demonstrate these stitches both as sketches and then in stitches, you will see that making your quilt look fantastic isn’t as hard or scary as you thought. The loops, curves, crescents, flying geese and triangles are fun to learn and each of those have so many variations that you can truly make your quilt a masterpiece.

These tips and designs apply to traditional as well as modern quilts. Grouping the designs together create beautiful texture especially on whole cloth quilts. I never would have even considered a whole cloth quilt until I saw Pat’s sample in this class. All of Pat’s sample quilts are beautiful and her way of teaching makes you believe that if you practice, yours can look like that too.

Pat covers not only the designs but also some quilt making basics. She takes the mystery out of tension issues and potential problems. I love Pat’s honesty about ripping stitches out…hint, she tries to not ever have to do it because as we know, it takes forever to rip out free motion stitches.

The class was organized well with enough time spent on each of the lessons. Here is the Craftsy description of the class which is on sale right now for $19.99!

From borders to pineapple blocks, find out how to quilt rectangular areas with ease and style. Award-winning quilter Pat Delaney guides you through must-have techniques, and shares more than 20 motifs that will enhance any quilt. Begin with accessible instructions for dividing up your project, as you learn how to mark lines for quilting on the grid. Then, delve into lovely, single-line designs including waves, loops and crescents. Next, discover easy techniques for quilting triangles, flying geese and more, before trying out elegant, single-pass feathers and a range of beautiful variations. Follow along with Pat to fill larger linear spaces with overall designs, and try out intricate, multipass motifs that will enliven narrow areas. By the end of class, you’ll be able to confidently apply each design to enhance your future quilts.

I watched the class intently as I was so happy for Pat that she has a chance to share her knowledge with a wide audience on a great teaching platform. I noticed that her Craftsy class was run much like a real class with Pat which I happened to take a few years ago. She is genuine and oh, so talented. This is a jewel of a class. I can’t wait to apply what I’ve learned on my next quilt.

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Welcome To My Day On The Blog Tour!!!

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I’m so thrilled to once again be part of QuiltMaker’s 100 Blocks Blog Tour! I’d like to extend a big hello and welcome to everyone who stops by this week! Hard to believe this is my 5th time!

My block can be found on page 10. It is called Sunflower Dance.

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This is a fusible applique block that is quick, easy and versatile! I think sunflowers are amazing. They grow so tall and beautiful. I thought it would be fun to turn this block into a table runner that can be enjoyed year round. I made the same block but in different colors and paired it with Cross Roads blocks to get this….

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And a few closeups…

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My process for designing is quite simple. I like to have a sketch to work from that I’ve drawn by hand and then I use cardstock to make templates for my appliques. I use paperbacked fusible web to adhere the appliques to the project and then I finish the appliques with blanket stitching.

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If you think you’d like to try a fusible applique project, head over to the Quilt Cabana Patterns store on Craftsy. There are several small projects to try including this mug rug!

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Now it’s time for a give-away!!! I’m giving away a copy of 100 Blocks Volume 11 to one lucky reader and QuiltMaker is also going to give away a copy to another lucky reader! Just leave a comment and be sure to fill out the email address. No one will see this but me so I know how to contact you if you win. Tell me what your favorite summer flower is and what you are working on this week.

I hope you’ll follow my blog and join me for weekly updates, swaps and my podcast, Quilt Cabana Corner.

Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to visit my website as well.
Sandi

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Leaving The Orchard

I’ve left the orchard. The Apple iPhone orchard that is! I took the leap over to a new Galaxy…the Samsung Galaxy Note 4! And it’s quite different in many ways. The phone itself is really a phablet which is the larger style that is in between a cell phone size and a table size. I think I’m in love but having to look up how to accomplish the simplest of tasks like resizing photos for my blog is taking up a lot of time!! As did typing in 3 kids worth of appointments and school activities into the new calendar.  I’m almost there with setting the phone up they way I like and now I’m on to fun stuff such as figuring out the camera and where the settings are hiding out.  The camera is 16 megapixels and the main reason I made the jump. I’m hoping to only bring one camera on vacation this year and keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll be really adept at using the Note 4’s camera by the time summer rolls around.

I haven’t done much quilting this week but I’ve though about it, does that count? I did attend my quilt guild meeting on Monday night and the speaker was the lovely and talented Judy Coates Perez. You can see her gorgeous art quilts HERE.  Judy paints on fabric with textile paints and inks and then quilts them. She’s won numerous awards and she had us all laughing. I think this was maybe the best quilt speaker we’ve had for one reason…we all learned a lot about her process and why she uses the products she does. Our guild speakers teach workshops on the Saturday and Sunday and then present a lecture on Monday night at the meeting. Often times the speakers don’t really “give up” their process in the lectures. We see a lot of photos of things that inspire them but we don’t often walk away like we learned a process and can go home and try it unless we were one of the lucky ones who got a spot in the workshops. It was a really good presentation and I’m glad I made the trip to see it.

Over the last few weeks I’ve been slowly working on two Hanukkah mini quilts. The first one is finished. I need to start the second one and then draft the pattern. Here is the first one….

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It’s hard to see in the photo but that blue Star of David background fabric shimmers with a silver metallic look. I love the way it sparkles. Hopefully it won’t be too long before I finish and then the pattern will be available for holiday crafting in a few months…can you believe I just said that?

Today these cuties took a trip to the vet for some beak trimming. Barney is the blue parakeet, Kiwi is the green. The appointment was actually for Barney’s beak but Kiwi went along for moral support.

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The woman who checked us in at the vet asked if we’d like another bird for free. I hesitantly asked her what she had in mind. She said a woman had come in to hang a flyer for a free Sun Conure. She wanted the bird to have a good home and could no longer care for it. I read the flyer but it said the bird wasn’t good with kids (I have 3) and that the bird demanded a lot of attention and got really loud until it got the attention it desired. Ummmmmmm, no thank you. If it were another parakeet….maybe and that’s a big maybe. Barney and Kiwi have some chemistry together and I don’t think they’d care for another roommate. LOL!

The rest of the week and the days to come are a blur of dentist appointments, activities and errands/phone calls to get Amanda ready for prom and her Paris trip. The days are full and flying by. It’s easy to feel defeated that I haven’t been able to give ample time to Quilt Cabana but this is turning out to be a busy season in our lives. One must go with the flow!

Keep working on those mug rugs and potholders!

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