Category Archives: Everyday Quilting

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year!

I’m so excited that Christmas is going to be here soon. It’s my favorite time of the year for sure!! We spent Friday putting up the Christmas tree and decorations and of course pulling out some Christmas quilts. This is our living room…

IMG_9126

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I managed to get a few quilts on the long arm too. Eileen’s quilt came out so nice with the fall colors and the Abundant Leaves pantograph. This was a joy to quilt!

IMG_9128

IMG_9129

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the blue and white quilt is on the long arm and nearly finished. This is being quilted with a pantograph called Lilac. I’m happy with the progress on it and I’ll show more pictures next time when it’s done.

IMG_9127

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Progress is happening on all fronts and I keep adding to my list of projects to which Greg laughs and says, “You really know how to pile it on.”–yes, yes I do but I’m ok with that because I know it’s passion and a desire to learn that’s fueling it all. The list of handprojects is huge and I am thinking that I need to set myself up a schedule to work on them. I absolutely love knitting the socks on the loom and I’m almost done with the orangy colored pair. I find that I’m missing embroidery though and I’ve ordered a kit for myself for Christmas to get back into it. Lindsey reminds me daily that I haven’t finished her crocheted afghan and that makes me a groan a bit. It’s the least enticing project right now. LOL!

Amanda asked if I could make a quilt to donate to her sorority silent auction in the spring and we decided on a jelly roll race quilt made with the Kappa Delta colors of green and yellow. So I found this beautiful Moda jellyroll and it’s coming out this month. I preordered it and I can’t wait til it arrives.

IMG_9130

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My students are all keeping busy and purchasing fabric for new projects! They are a talented bunch and I am so looking forward to working with each of them on those projects. And of course, I’ll share them here so you can see too.

Our family has a busy weekend with the annual Christmas on The Common parade and dance performance. I decided not to vend at the craft fair this year due to an additional Nutcracker rehearsal that Leah was involved in on the same day. I figured the logistics were too much to stick Greg with for the day and in the end, that rehearsal was canceled so it didn’t really matter but I’m happy to have a year off! It will be fun to walk around and not worry about a table.

The Quilt Show Newsletter came this morning with this cute tutorial in it.  It’s too complicated for me to do at the moment but I just adore the red and white and thought you might want to try it!

Fabric Swedish heart tutorial

That’s it for today! What are you all working on this week?

Sandi

Share

Mid November Quilty Fun

I feel we are heading straight into the holidays now and I’m super excited for it! Christmas is my favorite and we already have one tree up in the house. I do host Thanksgiving and I consider that our holiday kick-off! Of course there’s a fair amount of cleaning and prep work to be done in addition to working every day with students and on customer quilts. This year I tried to narrow the deep clean down to 5 areas in my home that REALLY needed the most attention. By only choosing five (believe me, there are more than five that are crying out) I am taking the pressure off myself to have a spotless house and perfect holiday that is never going to happen. Instead, I’m going to be satisfied with what I’ve completed, enjoy my family, and continue to work which brings me great joy. That’s not to say I don’t have panic quelling up here and there but I’m going to try my best to not worry about it and journey on. What are your holiday plans and how do you deal with all the stress of preparation?

This week I finished up the blue and white quilt. I adore this fabric line by Gerri Robinson called Charming. It is perfect for this quilt pattern which my mom also made and several of my students are about to take on as well. It’s a fun pattern that my mom found in an older magazine.

IMG_8908

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have Nancy’s quilt on the long arm and about 3/4 of the way finished…I finally purchased the plastic overlays to place over the pantograph so that I can use a wet erase marker to mark my guidelines. I ordered these from APQS and I love them.

IMG_8906

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My students have all been busy too! They are all quite prolific in their quilt making which makes me so happy. Sharyn just finished up this neat wall hanging that she made with a panel. It’s just perfect for the holidays with that snowy window look.

IMG_8901

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next she’ll be taking on this pretty purple and green quilt…and my mom might be taking this one on as well. The best part of having talented students is that we all get to share the great ideas with one another!

IMG_8904

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gail finished up this adorable Minnie Mouse quilt and I’ll be putting it on the long arm soon. Aren’t the polka dots darling?

IMG_8902

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gail didn’t stop there though, she also whipped up this awesome 1930’s Christmas jelly roll race quilt!

IMG_8900

 

 

 

 

 

 

We chose this cute holly and berry pantograph with green thread for the long arming (or ‘larming’ as Amanda calls it).

IMG_8903

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are you all working on this week? I’d love to hear about it. I’d also love to know what’s on your quilty wish list for Christmas this year?
Sandi

Share

November Happenings

IMG_8812

I hope this guys intends on eating all those leftover candy bars! We had two huge bags of candy for Halloween last night but it was a bit too much for the crowd of 70-80 kids that we got. I’m pretty sure I can figure out a plan for the peanut M&M’s though…

 

 

 

 

October was busy and the blog definitely suffered. I do keep up with project photos and info on Instagram almost daily so follow me over there if you would like. My handle on Instagram is Sandi Colwell.

The long arm machine has been busy! I am about to begin work on this beauty that belongs to my student, Nancy.

IMG_8813

I’ll be using the Pipeline edge to edge pantograph with a pretty mocha colored thread.

 

 

 

 

I have been piecing this blue quilt on the weekends. It needs two sets of borders and then I’ll be ready to quilt it.

IMG_8815

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last month I purchased a new rotary cutting mat and I do like it so far. It’s reversible. The colors on the opposite side of the mat not shown are just the inverse of these ones. I find that side (the one not pictured) a little easier to read. It’s a good size 24×36 and a great price. I got it on Amazon for $29.97.

My book club is meeting tonight and we are discussing the book, Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate. It was excellent. This is the link for it if you are interested.

Have a wonderful week!

Sandi

***this post contains affiliate links that help sponsor the blog/podcase/website

Share

A Fun Foot, A Finish, A Christmas Quilt

Lately I noticed that I am having trouble coming up with titles for my blog posts! Now I just list out what I’m planning on sharing with you all. Kind of lame but it gets the job done, lol!! So let’s unpack the blog title item by item…

I saw a very cool presser foot being advertised on Facebook last week. It’s a guide foot that allows you to keep your decorative stitches in line as you sew. It was advertised for $19.95 and I was totally ready to purchase it but then I took a look at Amazon and found it for $6! What??? So I bought two! One for my mom and one for me! Check out how cool this is-the link takes you to Amazon and from there you can see the photos of what it does…

I had the pleasure of finishing and delivering one t-shirt quilt to a special young lady! Here are the photos of the finished quilt. I ended up buying a photographer’s backgroud stand so that I could get a picture of the finished quilt! It’s giant.

IMG_8402

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and…

 

IMG_8400

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two more…

IMG_8401

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and lastly…

IMG_8399

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now that this one is done I am in the process of longarming this awesome Christmas quilt for my mom. I’m using a holly and berry pantograph with gold thread…

IMG_8398

IMG_8397

IMG_8396

IMG_8395

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_8394

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve been busy catching up with all my students and everyone is coming along so nicely with their projects! I’ll have more to show you of that next week when I see them all again!

What are you all working on this week? Feel free to share your projects here! I’d love to see them.

Sandi

*post contains an Amazon affiliate link

Share

Maria Shell Workshop and Projects

This past week has been so full of quilty goodness, I can hardly stand it! I had several teaching days, I attended a guild workshop, and I was busy in the studio all week long. It felt so good!

Saturday was our guild’s monthly workshop and the presenter was Maria Shell. Maria has found her niche in improv quilting and has done some truly beautiful work. She is the author of Improv Patchwork which is coming out next month. In our guild, the teachers do a one or two day weekend workshop and then they lecture at the regular meeting on the following Monday night. So if you’re coming to teach at our guild, you better pack for a few days! My mom and I signed up for the Saturday workshop back in May and then we promptly forgot about it until the supply list showed up in our emails! I wasn’t even sure I could make it because Leah auditioned and received a role (actually 2 roles) in the Nutcracker production by the Braintree Ballet Company and rehearsals were supposed to start that day but got pushed back a week. So…I was free to travel to Bentley University where our guild is held and sew all day! Truthfully, I didn’t really care what we were making in the workshop, I was just excited to spend a day sewing with my mom! This is the classroom and sadly, we blew several fuses as soon as the irons all got plugged in. We had to get maintenance to fix it and then limit ourselves to just two irons for the entire room! Yep, 2 irons for a whole bunch of people who needed to press after every seam. We made it work though!

IMG_8270

 

 

 

 

 

 

And my mom contemplating her fabric choices!

IMG_8269

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The idea of the workshop was to choose a color palette and then using Maria’s technique, stitch pieces together and make a new piece of fabric. I ended up going with a Halloween theme and made this little piece which could be a mug rug. Of course, I want to stick a little applique pumpkin on there or something. Lol! It’s not a quilt til it has some applique on it!

IMG_8267

IMG_8268

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I got bored with those colors, I did a technique called a bead string with a palette that reminded me of a Maui sunset. I didn’t have time to finish it but this is as far as I got…

IMG_8266

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My mother didn’t really get her projects off the ground. She didn’t like the colors she first chose and couldn’t quite find her rhythm. In the end, she decided improv quilting isn’t her cup of tea and that she really more enjoys traditional quilting. We packed up our stuff and had a lovely dinner together afterwards.

The t-shirt quilt for my friend’s daughter is nearly done now. I took it off the long arm yesterday and now I am working on the binding. I chose a loopy stitch design for the sashing on the quilt. I love how it looks with the black on black. It’s a great texture and doesn’t detract from the t-shirt logos.

IMG_8271

IMG_8272

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m also working on the start of a mosaic landscape quilt. I have all the fabric selected and the cutting has begun!

IMG_8273

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The fusible grid is marked and ready!

IMG_8274

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So it’s been a full week and a weird and sad week. Hurricane Irma coverage has been very hard to watch as we have several relatives living in Florida. Most have been lucky but we are still waiting to hear how a few made out and if their homes are intact. There’s been a lot of praying going on. It is quite a thing to see how people help people in times of trouble. There are good people everywhere.

Have a wonderful week,
Sandi

Share

New Projects and Student Work

Hello September! I honestly never thought we’d get here lol!!! What a crazy month August ended up being. We started the first weekend of August with a wedding that Greg was a groomsman for then we headed to Hawaii for 11 days, came home and moved Amanda into University of New Hampshire, got the other two kids back to school, and spent this last weekend in Vermont touring three colleges for Lindsey. I’m ready to quilt now.

In between the craziness I did get the top of the t-shirt quilt pieced. I just put the top and bottom borders on this morning before my lesson with Sharyn.

IMG_8192

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This afternoon I’ll piece the backing and get it ready for the long arm.

Earlier today I was helping Sharyn with her quilt projects. She has several going at once which eliminates boredom and gives her plenty to work on in between her lessons. Today we were auditioning border fabrics for this pretty quilt.

IMG_8188

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sharyn had started this one many years ago and wasn’t sure she had all of the directions as she had begun it in a local quilt shop class. We figured out the block measurements and the on point setting and here it is nearly done! Way to go, Sharyn! She has a few more unfinished projects that she is about ready to turn into beautiful finished pieces. It’s so fun to be involved with her process and many finishes!

Once the t-shirt quilt is finished I’ll be using this photo from our Maui trip to make a mosaic landscape quilt a la the style of Pat Durbin.

IMG_8190

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have everything I need to begin and I hope I chose well on the photo. Time will tell…I also have a few quilts to bind and one that needs long arming. I also started a Halloween jelly roll race quilt. So I’ve definitely got enough irons in the fire at the moment. Mostly I’m looking forward to being back with my students! I’ve missed them so much!

Last week I ordered a poncho from Jenny Boston Boutique. It’s a shop that advertises items for sale once a week on Facebook and you just comment  “sold” and your size and they send you an invoice. I pay with Paypal and the item is on the way! This is the second item I’ve ordered from them and I really like their stuff. It’s good quality and decent pricing.

IMG_8191

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This month for my business book club, we are reading Uncontainable. This is the story of the CEO of The Container Store and how their business philosophies have made them so successful both in sales and in corporate culture. It’s pretty interesting so far.
Here is the Amazon description of the book:

“You’re going to sell what? Empty Boxes?”

Back in 1978, Kip Tindell (Chairman & CEO of The Container Store) and his partners had the vision that people were eager to find solutions to save both space and time – and they were definitely onto something. A new category of the retailing industry was born – storage and organization. Today, with stores nationwide and with more than 5,000 loyal employees, the company couldn’t be stronger. Over the years, The Container Store has been lauded for its commitment to its employees and focus on its original concept and inventory mix as the formula for its success. But for Tindell, the goal never has been growth for growth’s sake. Rather, it is to adhere to the company’s values-based business philosophies, which center on an employee-first culture, superior customer service and strict merchandising. The Container Store has been named on Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Companies To Work For” list for 15 consecutive years. Even better, The Container Store has millions of loyal customers.

In Uncontainable, Tindell reveals his approach for building a business where everyone associated with it thrives through embodying the tenets of Conscious Capitalism. Tindell’s seven Foundation Principles are the roadmap that drives everyone at The Container Store to achieve the goals of the company. Uncontainable shows how other businesses can adapt this approach toward what Tindell calls the most profitable, sustainable and fun way of doing business. Tindell is that rare CEO who fully embraces the “Golden Rule” of business – where all stakeholders – employees, customers, vendors, shareholder, the community – are successful through a harmonic balance of win-wins.

For my regular book club, I just finished reading The Woman In Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware which was more of a mystery but I didn’t care for it much. The book was repetitive and a bit boring.

That’s about it for today. I hope you all have a wonderful and quilty week!
Sandi

*contains an Amazon affiliate link

Share

Trip To Keepsake and Cute Baskets

This week we took our sort of annual trip to Keepsake Quilting in Center Harbor, NH. I say sort of because my mother and I try to get there once a year but we missed it last year. It takes about 2.5 hours to get the Center Harbor from where I live in Massachusetts and it’s always well worth the ride! This year we had Amanda and Leah along with us. They kept themselves busy in the book shop next to the quilt store and also in the very inviting Adirondack chairs on the big front porch. They also chose fabric for small projects they’d like me to make them.

IMG_5809

IMG_5810

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As always, I was pretty overwhelmed when I first entered the store. There’s just so.much.fabric. And it’s all beautiful and high quality. I had to calm myself down a bit by making a plan to just walk around the entire store once and then circle back again a second time to decide on purchases. One thing I really enjoyed in the past was all the quilty gift type items they carried but to my surprise, there wasn’t much of that this year. I also think the notions were not as many in number either. I know that Fons & Porter bought the shop so I’m thinking it must have to do with that. I’m sure the inventory has been streamlined a bit more than if it was still independently owned. I also noticed that a lot of the patterns/kits were from their magazines. That being said, I still found PLENTY to oogle over and purchase!

Leah was enthralled with the Halloween display at the front door and she quickly picked out fabric for a Halloween pillowcase. We then got the idea that it would be fun to have a Halloween jelly roll race quilt in the living room the month of October.

Here is what Leah chose for the pillowcase, the skeletons will be the main pillowcase and bats will be the band that goes on the end of it.

IMG_5816

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Moda Hocus Pocus jelly roll fit the bill for our jelly roll race quilt idea…

IMG_5813

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amanda wanted to pick fabric for a draw string backpack. I have made Lindsey a few of them and they are much more durable than the cheap nylon ones that kids collect at different events. First she saw this pretty fabric on the right but later in the sale room, she was enticed by the aqua blue on the left. We bought both and she’ll get two!

IMG_5817

 

 

 

 

 

 

I couldn’t take my eyes off this adorable puppy quilt kit and so it came home too…I can’t wait to make it-it’s so stinkin’ cute!!

IMG_5814

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was also in love with this blue swirly fabric and my mom purchased two yards for me to use in a future project. I love it!

IMG_5820

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The night before we went up to Keepsake, we made a few of these adorable baskets…

IMG_5811

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are from a super easy tutorial from Shabby Fabric that was in a newsletter recently. While we were in Keepsake, I picked up this fabric to make another one.

IMG_5819

IMG_5823

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They work up so quickly and now I’m a bit addicted to making them. I have the cherry one on my long arm table holding scissors and clamps. They can be made in any size. The sides can also be a bit lower if you like.

It’s been a fun week of sewing and shopping! Do you have a favorite quilt shop that is considered a treat when you get to go there?

Share

New Pattern Published and Another Student Finish!

Happy Sizzling Thursday! It’s 90 today and it feels every bit 90. The weather app says it feels like 96 and I believe it! But I’m thinking about Christmas and cold weather because my Poinsettia Passion table runner just came out in the Quilter’s World Autumn issue!

IMG_5732

IMG_5733

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a beautiful runner in bold colors with easy, fusible applique. It’s on sale now in your favorite fabric stores so pick up a copy and get a jump on the holiday stitching!

So, I have to brag about my students again!! How fabulous are they? Look at the t-shirt quilt that Gail made for her daughter. This t-shirt quilt is giant. I mean GIANT. It’s king size (100″ by 90″) and it was heavy. Gail quilted all of it on her domestic machine! I’m so proud of her getting this big job done and never giving up on it. It took months and it was worth it!

IMG_5731

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now we are moving on to a fun Minnie Mouse quilt with fusible applique. It’s going to seem to like a piece of cake after that big t-shirt quilt!

Last night I had dinner with my childhood friend, Sheila. It’s so nice to catch up with a friend and have it be like you never missed a beat even though we see each other infrequently. After a delicious dinner and much laughter, we headed to her car where I picked up a bag of t-shirts for her daughter’s quilt. I’ll be working on her t-shirt quilt over the next few weeks. All that practice with Gail’s has me primed and ready!

And this lovely lady, Leah, had her 15th birthday this week. My baby is no longer a baby and hasn’t been for quite some time. She is as sweet as she looks. Love this girl.

IMG_5730

Sandi

Share

Let’s Hear It For Summer!

It’s finally summer here! School ended yesterday and there were shouts of joy! There was also a shout of pain as I threw my back out on Monday night. That’s what I get for cleaning out a bunny cage. I was hunched over the top of it and when I stood up, my back just went out. It wouldn’t have been so bad except for the fact that the girls had a pool party the next day and I could barely walk. Thankfully the kids all pitched in and we had ourselves a fun end of year party. The only casualty was the swan who suffered a broken wing. We’ll have to figure out if we can patch it or not.

IMG_5163

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I did feel like I could try standing at the long arm machine this morning but I was only able to stand there for about 10 minutes. It was too much so I switched to a sit down sewing job. I worked on the orange peel quilt instead.

IMG_5162

 

 

 

 

 

 

My assistant was busy this week organizing my fabric stash. Everything is neatly folded and arranged by color. It’s a great job to have someone else do except for the fact that I don’t get to reacquaint myself with older fabric as I fold. I’m sure it will need doing again before long and I can pet all the fabric myself.

IMG_5164

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a quiet week without much to report on the quilting front. Too many things happening with the wrap up of school and the upcoming music show this weekend!

Don’t forget the summer quilt patterns are on sale my Craftsy shop.

Sandi

Share

Summer Pattern Sale!

Three of my favorite summer patterns will be half price on Craftsy all summer long! You can find these three patterns for $5.25 each HERE.

Nautical Table Runner QCP-304

Seaglass QCP-109

Third Seasonal Trio QCP-103

So come and get your summer patterns while the weather is hot and the sewing room is hopefully cool!

This week I’m still plugging along on quilting the love notes quilt for Lindsey. I am enjoying ruler work for the lines on the  inner border and the center block flower motif. The outer border is getting a stipple treatment. The corners of the love notes are getting a free motion back and forth squiggle. How’s that for a technical term?

IMG_5070

IMG_5071

IMG_5072

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have this much left to do…
IMG_5073

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is taking time but as I mentioned, I’m ok with that because I like the results. The rulers are fun to work with and I’m discovering more things I can do with the ones I own. It’s also the first time I’m floating a quilt top which simply means the top is not attached to a roller. I’m using the painter’s tape that you see in the photo as a guide on each end of the pole. I know my quilt top must line up with the tape or it will be quilted crooked. It’s good to keep learning and using easier ways to quilt.

Have a super weekend, everybody!

Share