Category Archives: Crochet

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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Projects Galore!

So I missed last week’s blog post and I remember thinking I didn’t have much last week that was new. This week, there has been progress on just about every front and I’m super excited and feeling challenged by it all. Let’s dive right in!

I am working on my first long arm pantograph! This pretty quilt was pieced by my mother and I was given free reign on the design. I was eager to try pantographs and so I chose this flowery one called Lilac. The fabrics in this quilt are darling and I am enjoying every minute at the machine.

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Last week Lindsey asked me to make her teacher a Star Wars baby quilt. This beloved teacher is married to another of Lindsey’s teachers and they are big Star Wars fans. I’ve been waiting to try out the Accuquilt Orange Peel die and so I began this last Friday night.

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My students are also making progress as Gail is about ready to apply binding to her log cabin and Nancy is working on sashing  and more starts for this beauty!

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The mermaid tail crochet project moved forward with the suggestion of Nancy that I use a stitch I like throughout the project instead of learning a new row each time! Genius! I decided to go with the shell stitch throughout and now I have about 5 rows done instead of 2!

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My back basted applique table topper has been started in earnest. I have the sails of two of the four boats appliqued onto the background.

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Recently I was watching The Quilt Show episode featuring Jill Finley and I loved seeing her method of applique which is a freezer paper method. Her quilts are gorgeous and I might try her method next.

Lastly, I ordered silk roving and the supplies to try Silk Fusion. I am going to blog in detail about this next time but here is a picture of the soft and luxurious feeling silk roving!

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Tomorrow we continue our college tours with Lindsey and we’ll be checking out Bentley University which is Greg’s alma mater! So far her first choice seems to be University of Vermont followed closely by UNH (how great it would be to have 2 kids there!) and now we’ll see what she thinks of Bentley.

Have a great weekend everybody!
Sandi

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Applique & Crochet

Hey, my post title rhymes and that doesn’t happen very often! LOL! We are experiencing fabulous fall weather this week. The kind where you need a sweater in the morning and then short sleeves by afternoon. The windows are open, there’s not a need for air conditioning or heat. In short, I love it. I was made for fall! Ahhhh. It makes me want to tackle projects and cleaning.

As far as my Mermaid Tale crochet project is concerned…that happy feeling dissipates slightly. I am a serious crochet fail. This is how far I’ve gotten on the mermaid blanket which eventually will look like this…

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But right now, looks like this…

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Don’t laugh. I can hear you! I have crocheted these couple of rows numerous times and then had to rip them out. Technically, I should be half done by now. Ugh. It’s either the wrong count of stitches or the wrong stitch! Last night, I ripped out a row of shell stitches because when I read V stitch, my mind insisted I should shell. Lindsey is hot on my tail to get this thing done. Maybe this week I’ll progress to maybe row 5!

My mom made great progress with her Yellow Brick Road quilt for Leah. I have it here and once my pink thread arrives, I’ll be putting this on the long arm and quilting a flowery pantograph. It will be my first official pantographed quilt. Isn’t this gorgeous?

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I chose  an applique pattern for a table topper so I can practice the back basting applique method further. I am going to make this for my mom.

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I needed to trace the sailboat onto the backside of the background fabric but I couldn’t see it well enough with my light box so I traced the pattern onto freezer paper, ironed the freezer paper onto the background, and traced around that. Now I’m ready to baste the applique pieces onto the background. Hopefully some night this week I’ll get busy on that again.

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Here all four boats are traced…

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Tomorrow night I’ve got a small scrapbooking crop here at the house so I’m off to prep for that! Have a good one, everybody.

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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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Postcard Swap, Cookies & A Granny Square

Happy Monday!

The Flickr Group for the postcard swap is open and ready to receive photos of all those beautiful postcards everyone swapped! There are only 3 pictures in there at the moment so don’t forget to add yours!
This postcard swap is slated to be the last one for the year and I have some votes for a new swap either for potholders or mug rugs. If you have a preference, let me know! The next swap won’t be until after the holidays…probably mid to end of January is when I’ll get organizing for it.

I don’t have too much progress to report as it was a busy week with Halloween and all. I did spend yesterday on the couch while the snow fell working on this giant granny square afghan that my daughter has requested. I got about this far and it kept me warm while I worked on it!

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I also ate quite a few of these…

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These are the most delicious pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting…they are so easy too. They are Betty Crocker Pumpkin Spice Cookie mix that you buy in the pouch and canned cream cheese frosting. Easy peasy and you won’t be able to stop eating them.

Just a reminder that all Christmas patterns are 10% off in the Quilt Cabana Patterns online store. No coupon code needed. Sale goes until midnight Sunday night!

Sandi

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Tuesday Tidbits

Happy Tuesday!

I’ve been sewing up a storm for the past week. I’ve been working on drawstring backpacks, makeup bags and hobo bags for the upcoming  comic type shows I mentioned on the podcast. A coworker of my husband’s is involved with selling Transformer items and other Marvel comic and Hello Kitty items at several upcoming events and nicely offered to take some of my merchandise along. I understand the big show is Transformer Con held in Toronto next July. I’ll be working steadily over the next few months to accumulate inventory to send there.

Here are the makeup bags and drawstring backpacks. The backpacks are made with Spiderman and Transformer fabric.

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I was asked about making a hobo bag which is something I’ve never attempted before. I found a great, free tutorial on reversible hobo bags and I was able to make this test bag.

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I liked the bag but kept thinking it was kind of small and the straps were way too short. I did a little backtracking and realized that when I printed the pattern, I had the printer set to “Fit To Page”…duh. The pattern printed but not in its full size. I pulled out the Hello Kitty fabric and some Micheal Miller dot fabric and made this! And I love it!!

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Much roomier and so cute in its reversible glory…

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I did change the pattern to allow for about 3″ longer straps. I like my straps to be long enough to swing over my shoulder easily.

You can find the tutorial here.

This past weekend Leah took her Elsa costume out for a spin when she attended a Halloween party. The only thing missing from the costumer was the tiara that she didn’t feel like bothering with for the party.

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Lindsey asked me last night if I could make her a new afghan in purple and yellow. She basically wants one giant granny square made with purple on the inside and yellow on the outside. I went to Walmart this morning and picked up Red Heart in Amethyst and Lemon. The Amethyst looks like blue in this photo but it really is purple. I am excited to have a mindless crochet project that will keep me warm on the couch at night! Yahoo!

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Quilting Daily is offering a free ebook with 6 modern quilt block patterns…check it out here.

Have a super day!
Sandi

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Weekend Progress

Well, happy Monday! I’m sitting at home while my car is in the shop getting a hole in the tire fixed and new rear brakes. Not how I intended to spend this morning but now I can catch up on laundry and blog posts! See, a silver lining lies within.

We had gorgeous weather over the weekend! The lawn chairs came out and the badminton net went up! It was blissful. Today is another beauty, Wednesday will be a different story…anyway…

We also painted and hung up the three bird houses that the girls have made over the years in Tech Ed class. I love this tree with all of its fun color.
Isn’t it fun?

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I’m going to send a picture to the Tech Ed teacher since he may wonder if the kids ever actually paint the birdhouses and hang them. I feel like I would want to know that they were being used.

I worked on the art quilt some…got the hair thread sketched…

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Got the shorts stitched…

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Got the white t-shirt logo appliqueing done…

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Went back to the granny square crocheting. I changed up the color of the yellow yarn. The original one on the left is too pale looking for the living room. I really need a gold color. I like the gold on the right much better. Also…check out how much better the square came out second time around. I am looking forward to moving along on this during the week. I really do enjoy crochet.

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How was your weekend?

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Wildfire Square

Yesterday I finally settled on a beginner crochet square to work on from the book, 100 Colorful Granny Squares to Crochet by Leonie Morgan.
I chose the Wildfire square but I’m changing the yarn colors to suit my living room. I think I’ll make 9 squares and turn them into a throw pillow for the living room couch.

This is the square from the book…

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I like the colors shown but I like these better…

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I completed one square yesterday afternoon. It’s just a basic double crochet around a foundation ring with several color changes. This little square will need some blocking when the time comes to assemble them.
Here’s my first square…

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Yesterday was beautiful here with 50 degree weather. We won’t discuss the misery of a weather pattern that is headed our way tonight…can you hear my sighing? Anyway…I walked for a bit and had to take a picture of this poor tree at the end of the street. It was a mighty Pine that came down during a huge storm either last year or the year before. It fell straight back right off the road and it has landed in conservation land, I believe, and that is why no one has claimed it to clean up the mess. The root base is just as tall as I am. It just sits here every day and will probably sit here for eternity. Life just goes on around this poor tree that was once so tall.

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Have a beautiful day, everyone!

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Chilly Crochet

Like many of you, we are experiencing bitter cold here in the North East. It makes you feel like all you want to do is huddle under a quilt and work on a project like crocheting. I first learned to crochet from my mother-in-law when I was first married. She made lovely, warm afghans that were quite large. This was the first afghan I made in this style and it ended up being the only one I made because it was just too large to keep turning on my lap. Of course, with this cold weather, perhaps I should rethink that!

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Later, when I was looking for something more portable that I could work on during piano lessons and practices, I opted to learn how to make these cute afghans from my grandmother. I think I made four or five of these. I enjoyed working on these squares and then whip stitching the squares together.

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The other day I came across a bag of blue/yellow/white variegated granny squares that I had started probably 5 years ago. I have been working on them at night but I’m not loving them. I don’t think I like the look of variegated yarn in a granny square. So yesterday I went to Joann’s and picked up this colorful book.

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I read through the book earlier in the day and at night while watching the Olympics, I used white yarn that was sitting on the coffee table and tried a few variations. None of these came out correct and of course, they should have been done in multiple colors. I was ok with this as the goal was just to practice some new squares.
Here are some of the things I tried and was not quite successful at although I really wasn’t trying to be stitching perfectly either.

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This last one was a square that uses front and back post crochet stitches. Those stitches come out slightly raised and add relief to the square. I liked the idea of that a lot.

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I’m not sure which project I’ll tackle and I do feel slightly guilty that I’m abandoning the blue/yellow/white grannies but maybe I’ll find a place to donate what I’ve done so far. Life is too short to work on projects that don’t thrill.

Are you a person who enjoys crochet? What are you working on?
Sandi

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