Category Archives: Everyday Quilting

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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Birthdays, Sculptures and Mermaid Tails

We are wrapping up February vacation here this afternoon. It’s been a busy and fun week and now I’m ready to get the house in order and prepare for the week ahead! Over the past week we’ve celebrated my birthday, gone shopping, visited a sculpture park, had friends over and took care of banking business for Lindsey who is headed to Paris on a school trip in April.

I received so many nice gifts in honor of turning 46! One of which was a new bread making machine. My old machine was 22 years old and beginning to have more fails than successes. I guess it was time for updating. I have my first loaf of basic white bread in the machine now.
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Another of my lovely gifts was Zappy Dots magnetic quilt jewelry. The dots fit right inside the necklace and I love that the chain is 24″ long. It lands in just right the spot. Several quilty celebrities have designed the dots and I love that they even have a bunny one!

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Another of my favorite gifts is this book, Artful Improv. It has great lessons on color theory and I can’t wait to use the tips and building blocks to create an improv piece that will lend itself to the long arm nicely.

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Wednesday was my actual birthday and I headed to a yarn store a few towns over that I had never been to. I picked up two skeins of beautiful sock yarn to use on the loom but I forgot to upload the photo. I’ll post it next time. We had a nice dinner out with the girls and I broke my diet for birthday cake!

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In one of my last posts I wrote about having trouble with making Lindsey’s crochet mermaid tail blanket. I officially gave up and ordered her one online! It arrived Friday! She’s happy and I’m super relieved not to have to worry about it anymore! LOL! It was worth the $20 something bucks to get that monkey off my back. The main problem was that I kept thinking the top part was too narrow and I was doing it wrong but it turns out the top is narrow and the one I purchased is just as narrow. Maybe another time I’ll try again and finish it. That time is totally not now!

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On Thursday we visited DeCordova Museum and Sculpture park with my mom. It was an interesting place with several nice sculptures around the grounds. I think it would be fun to go back again in the summer although it was 60 something degrees the day we went. Here are a few pictures from that day trip…

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And finally, yesterday I managed to sneak into the sewing room to work on the Hawaiian flower quilt. That sashing is royal pain but it looks good. My points are definitely not perfect on it but the quilt is for me so I’m not worried about it. I do love the Hawaiian prints so much. This was a kit I purchased at Vicky’s Quilt Shop on Kauai the summer before last.

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What are you all working on this weekend?

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A Great Week For Quilts And Socks!

This was a better week for our family for sure! Amanda is all better and back to school and Leah is feeling a bit better too. It was a little hard to get back into the groove of normal life but it felt good once we were doing it!

Tuesday was the first day everyone was pretty much out of the house and so I decided to go to Joann’s and buy some yarn. Retail therapy was much needed. The night before I pulled out a book on crocheting socks and I got discouraged very quickly.

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I consider myself a beginner when it comes to crochet and everything in the book felt overwhelming. Then I remembered that a few years ago I bought a sock loom. I loved knitting the scarves on a loom at Christmas time so I thought I’d pull this back out.

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I found pretty sock yarn at Joann’s and yarn for another scarf on the bigger loom.

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I started the socks this week and it take some time but I am enjoying the process! It’s relaxing for me and I’ve been watching either The Quilt Show while I knit or shows on Netflix. I love that the yarn is self striping. This is Deborah Norville sock yarn in the super fine weight.

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By Wednesday, I was itching to get on the long arm! I’ve had Nancy’s beautiful star quilt loaded on there since last weekend and I couldn’t wait to begin the quilting. Nancy requested a large stipple as she’s wanting it to have a nice texture without being too dense. I finished it this morning and then delivered it to her door!

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Look how beautiful the backing fabric is that she chose…

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Once I get past the initial ‘heart attack’ of quilting someone else’s creation, I truly enjoy the rhythm of the work. It has a zen like nature to it. I’m eager to use the pantographs I received last week, so I pulled out the Seaglass quilt and I have that ready to load on the frame next.

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I chose the Swirling Feathers pantograph and I have a beautiful blue variegated thread for it.

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Last week when I went to my doctor’s appointment, the doctor pointed out that my spine is starting to get a slight curve to it. EEEEEKS. I said I believed that to be from years of poor posture but she thought it to be an occupational issue where years of bending over sewing machines, ironing boards, and cutting tables might be more to blame. So….being sufficiently freaked out, I ordered the Body Rite counter weight to use while sewing and long arming. I think this is the same one that Leah Day uses. ¬†I’ve used it a few times this week and it has been nice. It won’t cure anything on its own but it does pull the shoulders back while you work so your back stays straighter. I’ve noticed I’m much more aware of my posture when I’m not wearing it than I was before. Nancy’s Notions sells this but I did find it a little cheaper on Amazon.

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I’m looking forward to the weekend! What are you all working on?

Sandi

*this post contains Amazon affiliate links

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Didn’t Love This Week!

Oh what a long, strange week it has been over here at casa Colwell. Not much quilting has been going on as we’ve been in the middle of health emergencies and blizzards and a lot of snow days!

Last Thursday Leah fainted in the bathroom while I was trimming her hair (for the first time, quite possibly the last). She slumped forward into the sink and then fell backwards bouncing her poor head off the floor tile. She looked like she was having a seizure which we later found out she didn’t but then she came to, vomited and did it again. My mama heart just about died. Greg, Lindsey, and I got her into the car and set out in the middle of a nasty blizzard and got her to the ER. She was monitored for a few hours and then we made it back home again safe and sound. We have no idea why she fainted and probably never will know but she is doing well despite a nagging headache this week….oh and yesterday we finally finished the hair cut! Here she is smiling in the hospital because they finally said we could go home! LOL!

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And here’s the latest trend…it’s called the half cut! LOL!

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While we were in the ER, I was getting text messages from Amanda who was sick as a dog at UNH. We could tell she needed to come home, go to the doctor, and get rest. Greg and Lindsey headed up to her college the next morning and brought her home. She is still sick but happy to be here with us! Hopefully, she’ll turn the corner tomorrow as she needs to get back to her classes. The college had a snow day today as they are getting 12-16″ of snow.

Last night as we were hanging out in the living room, I did spread out my hexagons to get an idea of how many I have and what I can possibly do with them. I love the fabric and I have more cut to keep going. I do love them!

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I was super excited when the mail came this week and my pantographs arrived! These are an early birthday present from my mom! I can’t wait to try them out.

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And I did manage to get Nancy’s awesome star quilt on the long arm. I’m ready to quilt this just as soon as I can get a normal working day! Isn’t is beautiful?

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So here we are with another snow day and everything has been canceled! The girls are working on a huge puzzle, Greg’s working from home, and I’m thinking about how much I love having them all home and in one place.

Have a quilty week!

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