Category Archives: Everyday Quilting

Crayon Embroidery, A Finish, A Storm

Happy Monday! I missed my blog post last week and maybe even the week before. Not sure how I got so off track. During that time we had school vacation and I celebrated my 47th birthday. I also attended my guild’s Winter Free Workshop which was a lot of fun. Now I’m sitting here writing to you with the help of a generator as we’ve had no electricity since Friday. A huge storm hit us and really did a number on our little town. The crews are out on the road near our house so fingers crossed the lights will come on soon.

We had some of this to contend with as well…water coming through the bricks on the chimney and down to the ash boxes spilling out into the basement. This is an issue for us whenever there is a big nor’easter type storm. We’re lucky it’s not gobs of water. A shop vac is enough to clean it up. In the past we’ve had our chimney waterproofed and it might be time to do it again!









Before the power was lost on Friday, I did finish up the silent auction quilt for Amanda’s sorority. This was a jelly roll by Moda called Summer Breeze. I love the blue and yellow so much!









This is the back of it. The pantograph is called lilac and it works up nicely.








Last Saturday, my mom and I went to our guild’s Winter Free Workshop where members teach other members new techniques in half or full day workshops. My mother and I both signed up for crayon embroidery and we had a great time! The project was from Crab Apple Hill Studios website and we learned how to color an embroidery project, heat set, and then embroider the project. This is the start of mine. I haven’t gotten too much done on it since as I am working on my bunny embroidery first. I always wanted to know how to do this as the ones I’ve seen are so beautiful.









I’m also working on the Christmas tree skirt which is a latch hook project. For my birthday, my mother gave me this awesome table for hooking rugs. I just love it. It makes the whole project so much easier. The little bins for yarn are so convenient. I like watching tv while I work on it.









It was ordered from the Mary Maxim catalog.

Lindsey made a big decision last week! She has decided she will attend the University of Vermont! Oh boy, we’re going to be road tripping up north quite a bit between visiting Lindsey and also Amanda at the University of New Hampshire! We’re super proud of Lindsey for blazing her own trail and choosing a school that’s a bit farther away than her true comfort zone. It’s four hours from us. I know she’ll love it there. It’s a beautiful place.


What have you all been working on lately?


Color Wheel Fun!







Friday was such a fun day around here! Four of my students came to learn about the color wheel and how it relates to quilting. We learned basic color terminology and how to use color recipes by seeing them used in existing quilts. We also played a game to reinforce our new knowledge of color recipes and talked about how we can tweak our current fabric buying habits to incorporate use of the color wheel for successful quilt making!









The remaining time was spent sewing and answering questions about current projects. We also had snacks…of course!

Gail and Nancy admiring Gail’s current project with luscious batik jelly roll strips…









Sharyn working hard cutting strips for her beautiful quilt…









And Priscilla getting ready to bind her adorable Valentine runner…









I can’t help but think how blessed I am to have these wonderful quilters in my life! Not only are they all talented but they are always willing to try something new and share what they are learning with one another. I’m a lucky girl!

Last week Priscilla’s gorgeous quilt was on my long arm. The mocha thread and swirling feather pantograph only added to the beauty this quilt already was.

















This week I have Amanda’s sorority auction quilt on the long arm. I have just a few rows done but I’m hoping to work on it this week. It’s school vacation week around here though so no promises! It’s also my birthday week and I’m planning on being kind to myself! LOL!!

What’s under your needle this week?


Finishes And A Quilt From The Past

Happy Superbowl Sunday! This has been a good week for finishes over here. I wrapped up the binding on Lindsey’s Love Notes quilt. She was happy to receive it right out of the washer and dryer! This is the quilt I made for her when she was on a school trip to Paris last year. I worked on it each day until she got home. It was my therapy! I also made Amanda one when she went on that same trip 3 years ago.









I also finished up Gail’s pretty quilt on the long arm…










And I also finished a jelly roll race top for a silent auction but the picture won’t load. I’ll try again next post. And I finally put the designer hat back on and submitted a project to Quilter’s World. I really love it and can’t share it here yet…

Greg came home yesterday with this quilt from his parent’s house. It was made in the early 70’s by his great grandmother.









She made one for each great grandchild and I had actually seen Greg’s sister’s quilt last year. I don’t think I looked as closely at it as this one though. The construction method is so neat and I’ve never seen one done like this before. First of all it’s reversible and the same fabric in the blocks on one side is the same fabric on the backside. It’s a double thickness.









The quilt does not have any batting and the blocks are actually whip stitched together!








The prairie points are whip stitched on as well…each one individually…









And there’s even a bunny block!








It’s such an interesting quilt and I am really enjoying having it here to look at and think about. I love to whip stitch so it makes me think this is a great method to construct a quilt by hand. I don’t know a lot about vintage quilts, is this a common method? The quilt is in wonderful shape so I know the stitching holds up.

I live in MA so I bet you know who I’m rooting for today! I’ll have my knitting with me because they don’t win unless I do…superstition is everything on big game days! Enjoy the end of the weekend, everybody.


Open Sew Fun and More

Friday was open sew day for my students here at the house. This time around Nancy and Priscilla came to stitch the morning away with me! We had a wonderful time working on projects and catching up on life with each other.








Priscilla started this neat Valentine table runner…









And Nancy was hard at work on her Hearthside Quintet quilt…









I worked on a jelly roll race quilt that will be auctioned at my daughter’s sorority silent auction in the spring. I’ll post a picture of that when it looks like more than a bunch of rags in a ball!

Last week I finished up Priscilla’s beautiful card trick quilt. She was quite pleased with how it came out and so was I. It was a true pleasure to quilt this one.








Now I have Gail’s jelly roll race quilt on the long arm. This pretty quilt has all the soothing colors I love. I’m using a royal blue thread with a swirling feather edge to edge design.









We were excited this week to see that Leah’s professional Nutcracker pictures finally arrived in the email box. We weren’t allowed to take any photos in December during the production so now I can finally share these.

This was her angel pointe costume…









And this was her Chinese tea dance costume…









I think she’s already looking forward to auditioning again in the summer!

What are you all working on this week?


Getting A Jump on January!

January has arrived and we are cruising right through it! How are you doing on your goals for the new year and paying mind to your guiding word? The word I chose was ‘yes’ and my goals are basically to focus on long arming and teaching. I’ve been full steam ahead with both of those things as I remind myself daily to stick to the plan. In the newsletter that I mailed out last week, we talked about how to take steps toward achieving those goals. If you’d like to join the newsletter email list, please sign up in the menu bar to the right.  I have beautiful student quilts on the long arm machine this month and plenty of side projects to share. And of course the cute bunny photo at the end of the post!

The first quilt on the long arm this year was Gail’s beautiful 1930’s vintage Christmas jelly roll race quilt. I used green thread and a holly berry pantograph and it came out so cute. We worked on the binding together during class time and she finished it up on her own earlier this week.










Now I have Priscilla’s beautiful card trick quilt on the machine. She did an incredible job piecing this stunning top. Linen colored thread and a swirly pantograph will be the perfect touch for it.








and a close up…









I pulled out the mosaic quilt last weekend that I was working on in the fall. I decided I had been making it too complicated by not just using one piece of fabric per square but actually trying to fit 2 or 3 fabrics on a square and I was distressed by it all. I tore up what I had and began again. Now it is an official mosaic and it’s starting to come along. I’m excited by it again and that thrills me. The photo is from a lavender field we visited on Maui last summer.









I put the final stitches in Lindsey’s afghan this week. She reminded me daily that I wasn’t working on it and now I’m done! Feels good to have this one wrapped up….









My intention was to use purple on the finished edge but I ran out so I finished it with yellow and I like it well enough.









I did a little bit of embroidery one night during the week on the bunny door stop. I’m hoping to do a bit more this weekend but I think I’ll be knitting. When the Patriots are in the playoffs, superstition dictates that I have to knit in order for them to win! Those in my circle know that I have a job to do during playoff season and I take it quite seriously! It’s worked pretty well so far!









And now for the obligatory cute bunny post of my baby, Ginny….


Let me know how your goals are coming along and if you have any crafty things you do during playoff season? I’d love to hear about it.


The Crafty Christmas Loot

Happy last day of 2017! I love new beginnings like a new year or a new school year. It’s time to take stock, make plans, and set new goals. As I mentioned in the previous post, my word for the new year will be ‘yes’. I am looking forward to all the possibilities that might bring! Tomorrow I’ll be working on setting new goals for the year and I’ll also be taking down my Christmas tree (boo hoo).

I wanted to share with you all the crafty related items I received for Christmas this year. These are projects that I’ll be working on in my spare time and showing you on the blog from time to time…

As I set up the Christmas tree this year I was looking at the hooked rug tree skirt that I have around the base of my tree. It was made by my grandfather and I have always loved it. I thought it would be nice if I made my girls each one for their future homes. I found several online at Herrschners and had the girls each pick which one they wanted. Lindsey chose the one with the Christmas trees. Leah and Amanda chose the ones with the cats and dogs.









I have started work on Lindsey’s and I know this is going to take some serious time. The designs aren’t stamped, it’s more like counted cross stitch where you have to follow the guide and count. The girls won’t have their own homes any time soon so I can relax about it and take my time.

I also started this redwork bunny door stop that Greg gave me for Christmas. Yes, I ordered it and he wrapped it up. LOL! I started this one while on vacation this past week. I am enjoying the rhythm of embroidery and I am a huge fan of redwork so it’s a win win on this. And you know how I feel about bunnies so it’s really a win, win, win.









From my mom I received two exciting projects! I’ve been itching to do some garment sewing again and I found these easy patterns on the Nancy’s Notions website. One is for a maxi style dress and the other for easy shirts. I now have the patterns and the fabric to make them! I can’t wait to make these and I hope I don’t mess them up!










I’m not the only one crafting this week…we gave Amanda a kit for a no sew throw that has her sorority logo as the design. She couldn’t wait to make it and she worked on it for an afternoon and finished it right up!









The winner gift for me has to be the one Greg picked up on a whim and thought I might like for stitching at night in the living room…an LED headlamp!!! Of course I had to put it on and be goofy with it but it is amazing for embroidery and knitting in a room that is not well lit…like every room on my first floor!









So that was the Christmas haul! Not too bad at all. It should keep me busy for quite a while.

Tuesday I’m back to work teaching and long arming. I have a few quilts in line for the long arm and I’m eager to get started on them.

What are your crafty goals for 2018? Did you receive some crafty gifts for the holidays? I’d love for you to share them here in the comments.
Happy New Year!


Winding It Down & A New Word

Here we are almost at Christmas time! I had to look twice to be sure that I read the blog right. I haven’t posted since Dec. 1st! Time sure got away from me this month. It has been a busy season with classes, long arming, and being involved with the Nutcracker performances. I wish I had some photos from the Nutcracker of Leah to show you but no photos were allowed and it will be another month or so before we see the professional ones. I assure you though, she did a wonderful job as an angel and also as a Chinese tea dancer.

I’ve been busier than ever on the long arm machine and finishing up my own projects as well as student ones. I finished up the blue and white quilt and wanted to show you how it is being packaged as a gift. I read online recently that someone was using large cake boxes with windows as a beautiful way to give a quilt. I love the idea so much and found that Walmart carries the Wilton brand boxes. They run about $5.50 for two of them and they look so nice.








This month I was working on two quilts for Gail. I long armed her Minnie Mouse quilt and her Harry Potter quilt. We affectionately called these quilts Minnie and Harry. Gail pointed out to me that we were referring to them as living creatures. I had to laugh because she was totally right! It was fun to be that involved with them though. On the Minnie quilt, I stitched in some mouse ears on the four corners for her.















Here is the Harry Potter quilt…









Earlier this week I picked up Priscilla’s beautiful card trick quilt and I’ll be working on that come January.









Last night I finally finished a complete pair of socks on the sock loom!!! It took me a long time but I’m really so happy with how they came out.









The yarn was so saturated with color, I just loved working with it. I’m keeping these as it’s the first real pair but I’ve already cast on with some pretty pink yarn for a pair for Amanda.

I’m looking forward to spending next week with my family. I know I have some crafty gifts under the tree and I can’t wait to share those with you.

So January is almost upon us which means it’s time to choose the guiding word for 2018. My 2017 word was “focus” and I believe I succeeded in getting my business focus down to teaching and long arming. This year, I’m choosing “yes” as my word. Yes to myself, yes to my work, yes to becoming a healthier version of myself. Next year 2 out of 3 kids will be living away at college and I think it will be a great time to see what saying yes to myself will bring. What is your word for 2018? I’d love for you to share it with me in the comments below.

I wish you all a wonderful holiday with your families and I hope your hearts are filled with peace, love, and joy.


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…









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!










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.









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.









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?



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.









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.









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.









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!








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?








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








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









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?


November Happenings


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.


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.









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!


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