Category Archives: teaching

Tired Monday!

As most of you know, I live in New England so last night was a late one for us with the Patriots winning the Super Bowl!!!! What a crazy game that one turned out to be. I had a feeling it might go like that since Brady and company love to give us all heart attacks and then really deliver at the end! It was exciting for sure! We had our friends over and really had a great time eating all of our favorite foods and it was the first time I’ve ever made chicken wings! I used a recipe that I found online for honey bbq wings and they were so good! I would definitely make them again.

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Here is the link for the recipe:
http://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a50019/honey-bbq-wings-recipe/

On Friday I was thrilled to have Gail, Nancy, and Priscilla over to sew. I had been wanting to start a monthly patchwork group and luckily I have fun students who were willing to pack up their projects and hang out for a few hours to stitch! We had a great time chatting, eating, and of course, talking about and sewing our projects. Here they are displaying their latest creations!

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It was a very fun day and I can’t wait to do it again!

Hope you all have a quilty week! I think I need a nap now! Go Pats!

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Planners, Proms and Projects

Happy Sunday to all! I hope you had a good and quilty week! I was blessed to be able to meet with all three of my lovely students this week. I loved every minute of it! I started my week helping Priscilla with her basting of a beautiful pink churn dash baby quilt. Later in the week I saw Gail and we measured up her awesome t-shirt quilt for the long armer and then we worked on her binding of a super cute Disney Princess quilt. At the end of the week, I had fun with Nancy getting her gorgeous star quilt ready for the long arm and also planning out her next project! I love spending time with my quilting ladies! It fills my heart and soul.

This morning we are getting ready to bring Amanda back to UNH. She’s had a nice long break and she’s ready to get back at it. I’m feeling weepy and sad, of course. I love having her home and knowing my family is all together. We (the four ladies of the house) spent quite a bit of time in our living room being goofy…

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Watching Lindsey learn to embroider and give us the hairy eyeball…

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And just being with each other. When the girls were little and the mommy work was exhausting, I used to wonder what it would be like when the girls were teenagers and we’d be hanging out with each other, what kind of conversations would we have? Would we all get along? And I realize that this is THAT time! All my wondering was about this exact moment. It’s far better than anything my tired, weary, mommy mind could imagine way back then. I am completely filled with joy and thankfulness.

My own projects are moving along too. I finished my loom scarf and I’m working on getting my Quilter’s World project onto the long arm. I have finished piecing and now need to quilt and draft the pattern. The deadline is Feb. 10th. I think I’ll make it. The project will be in the Autumn issue.

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I’m also still practicing ruler skills on the long arm. I got very motivated after watching Judi Madsen’s Quiltiing Makes A Difference dvd. I loved this dvd and Judi’s methodical way of marking and quilting. It made me realize taking my time and relishing in perfection is ok! I have a long way to go but I think with practice, I’ll get this thing!

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I have been on a quest for the perfect planner as have a lot of you, I know. Sandy from Quilting For The Rest of Us has been blogging about her quest as well. There are just so many planners – DayTimers, Day Runners, Passion Planner, Happy Planner, Quilter’s Planner, the list goes on. I decided to go back to what I used when I had my first job out of college with Marriott. We all received beautiful Franklin planners and had to take a class on using the Franklin system. I did very well with that system and though it’s pricey, I’m returning to it. I ordered the Franklin pages but I couldn’t find a binder I liked, so I ended up with a DayTimer binder. It is all due to arrive today! I can’t wait. I need a planner where I can list out work things, home things and use time blocking to stay on track. What type of planner do you all use?

And lastly, my girl is going to Junior Prom in April! After much searching and dress trying on…and I mean a lot of dress trying on…Lindsey said yes to this beautiful red dress! It’s going to be a fun year!

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Have a wonderful day today, everyone!

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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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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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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!

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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!

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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.

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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…

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

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Greg and I trying out the photo booth props…

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

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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!

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It was a fun filled day with family and friends!

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Fabric, Projects & A Special Quilt

Saturday I headed to a fabric shop with my mom that neither of us have ever visited. It was my mom’s 75th birthday and what better way to spend it than doing some quilty shopping? We headed to Fabric Corner in Arlington, MA and we each found fabric to come home with! I also came home with a shirt pattern. I’m itching to do some garment sewing as I used to enjoy it quite a bit. I made the kids lots of dresses, skirts, and ponchos when they were young and would happily wear whatever I had sewn for them. Nowadays, they’ll really only wear pajama shorts/bottoms if I make them.

So here is what I picked up at the shop…the bunny fabric is to make the girls each a pillow case and the sewing machine fabric is for a pillow case for myself. I saw this neat tailor’s chalk and I like that it is thin and triangular. We’ll give that a try. And the pattern is for the shirt. Now I need to get myself some ballpoint needles and knit fabric.

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Last week I met with all three of my lovely students. Gail and I worked on her log cabin. Priscilla and I basted this beautiful Yellow Brick Road baby quilt…

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And Nancy and I spent some time planning her next quilt and taking a look at this lovely heirloom. This quilt was made by Nancy’s great grandmother and handed down to her grandmother and then to Nancy. It’s stunning with its feedsack fabrics and hand stitches. The quilt does not have a label and is a good reminder of why labels are important. Although Nancy has most of the facts about the quilt, it’s always nice to have the full story. I absolutely love the blue sashing and the hand ties. What a treasure! Here is Nancy and the quilt…

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This is the last week of school for us and I know the counter will be full of papers and binders any minute now. I wrote a blog article over on my other blog about how to organize all those papers! You can read it by clicking here.

how to org school papers

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Quilts, Proms & Articles

Ohhhh so much happening this week, friends. First off, it’s beautiful outside. Today is going to be 80 degrees. Yesterday was the same. The pool is open and I spent all of last week weeding and doing a little planting.  Friday was gloriously 75 degrees and sunny for Amanda’s senior prom. I pretty much bombarded Instagram and Facebook with prom photos because she was do darn happy and that made me so darn happy!! Here she is with her prom date, Kyle, and one with her sisters, Lindsey and Leah.

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Lindsey on left, Leah on right.

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She had a blast with her friends and declared it a perfect evening…ahhhhh, can you feel how full my momma heart is right now?

I did get the second set of 10 blocks finished on Seaglass this week! Now 2/3 of the blocks are complete and I’ll start the last ones next week.

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I’m thrilled this week that I’m meeting with all three of my students. I had a wonderful day with Priscilla earlier this week working on her Yellow Brick Road baby quilt. Today I’m spending time with Nancy while we work on her star quilt and spend some time on free motion quilting. Tomorrow Gail and I will continue working on quilting her log cabin!

Nancy’s star quilt is coming out so beautifully. Look at how pretty these are!!

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My issue of Quilting Arts finally arrived in the mail! My article can be found on the last page under the Last Word column! Pardon my slippers in the picture!
I’m beyond excited to be in this magazine as I enjoy reading it so much.

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I’m hoping to get a podcast in next week. Is there anything you’d like for me to talk about or any questions you have? I’d love to answer them! Also, I’m thinking a summer postcard swap would be nice. Perhaps landscape postcards from some place we’ve visited over the summer! What do you all think of that?

Sandi

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The Joy of Sharing The Craft

Recently I’ve had the joy of sharing my love and knowledge of quilting with others. It has brought me immense happiness to see a newer quilter grow into a more confident quilter! It has been fun to walk someone through each step of the process and see how proud they are of their work.

Nancy started with me in January and we’ve met almost weekly since then. In just a short amount of time, she has gained new skills and a lot  more confidence in her technique.  This is the quilt we’ve been working on and I think we are both super proud of how it is turning out. Yesterday we basted the quilt and next week we’ll be doing the actual quilting.

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Nancy isn’t new to sewing by any means. she has sewn much clothing and done some quilting on her own. While I was in Disney, she used her new arsenal of tips and techniques and made this beautiful table runner. I love the colors on this!

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Nancy and I have become fast friends and I’m so happy to help her along on her quilting journey. I look forward to the emails she sends updating me on her progress. She sent me this lovely note last week…

Well, I just finished the top of my quilt and I am so pleased. First of all without your help I never would have thought I could do it. I just love to sew and have always wanted to quilt, but I would see projects people had done and also looked at quilting magazines and could not see how I ever could complete any of the beautiful works of art I saw.
I know I have a ways to go, but you have broken down each step for me which has brought it all together. I feel fortunate to have found you and would never have known such a talented young woman was right around the corner from me.

Gail is also joining me for lessons. She has been working on multiple large quilts. Gail began her log cabin quilt in a different class and we have been working on getting it ready for the actual quilting. Over the past few weeks we’ve worked on piecing a large backing and basting the quilt. Tomorrow we’ll be sitting down to learn how to roll, fold and do the actual quilting. Here is her beautiful log cabin…

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Gail’s second project is a t-shirt quilt for her daughter. She has it all pieced and ready for the basting and quilting. She’s done a super job on this one as well.

Gail is also not new to sewing. She has been sewing for a long time just like Nancy. I love that she is eager to work on her projects and ready and willing to work on them independently. She has chosen a gorgeous new peacock quilt as her next project and the colors are beautiful and I can’t wait to see it come together.

I love working with these ladies!

If you live locally and are interested in learning how to quilt, I’d love to guide you along. Contact me at colwellsg@comcast.net or here in the comments below.

Sandi

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