Category Archives: goals

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!


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?



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…









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.
















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.









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.









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!!!








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!


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!








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!









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!










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!









You might recognize the pattern from the Seasonal Trio series. I came home and put mine on the front door!









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:

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!


Projects Galore for 2017!

Happy New Year!!! Are you all ready for 2017? I feel refreshed and ready to go this week. Last week I shared with you that my word for the year is ‘focus’ and I’ve also declared this a ‘year of yes’. For me that means focusing on the parts of my business that I love and want to develop and also being open and saying ‘yes’ to new ideas and opportunities.

The first project I’m working on is for a publication and it’s due in February and will be in the autumn issue. I can’t expand too much on it because as always with magazines, designers can’t show the project before it’s published. I can show you the fabrics I’m working with though and I love the vibrant colors!









I’m also working on other projects at night that are more for pleasure. One project is the perpetual hexagon calendar where the idea is to create a hexagon block a day. Well, being into the first day and realizing how time consuming it really is, I’ve decided to shoot for one a week. There will be weeks I can’t pull it off but that’s the goal. January 1st has a beautiful blue and purple block. It has many small fiddly bit type of pieces and those are not usually what I consider fun but….I’m really trying to enjoy the process of things instead of the end result. So, over the weekend, I busted out my new lightbox which was a Christmas gift from my mom. I love it, it’s very bright. I traced all the templates I needed for the hexagon. This is the light box and though I believe my mom paid $99 through Nancy’s Notions, I found it on Amazon today for $78.53. I thought about the more expensive wafer thin one but it’s a lot of money and it’s not something I’d use every single day so I opted for this one and I’m very pleased with it. I love the large size – 12″x18″. Here is a picture of my lightbox and then a link below if you’re interested…









Last night I had a few hours free and I glue basted the fabric to the templates. Normally I’d thread baste but the instructions advise glue basting to save time. I got all the pieces basted and now in my next batch of free time, I’ll start whipstitching them together.










Over Christmas break, Amanda taught me how to loom knit and I’m hooked! Leah also has the loom knitting bug. I’m making a cream colored scarf and I’m about to start my second skein. Leah is making a pink scarf and Amanda is working on a blanket. This picture was taken the night Amanda taught me how to do it. We sat in our jammies and knitted all night!









If you’re wondering if Lindsey is annoyed with me for working more on this scarf than her mermaid tail blanket, the answer is an emphatic YES! I was hoping some Christmas miracle would take place and I’d wake up to find that mermaid tail completely finished by elves, but that didn’t happen. I’ll be back at that next week.

That’s it for me today! Enjoy the start of a new year!


Crossing The Finish Line, Finding A New Word

So do we all feel like we’re running a race about right now? The shopping, wrapping, baking, Christmas carding, and goody delivering are in full swing! I feel like I’m headed for the finish line  and in a few short days, the big day will be upon us. Hallelujah! I could use some focusing on that beautiful baby in the manger. The timing between Thanksgiving and Christmas seems super short this year, I haven’t gotten loads done in the way of quilting but I did finish this gorgeous quilt for my mother on the long arm. I used a pantograph called Pipeline which I like very much. By the time I finished it, I almost couldn’t believe that I had done that work! It was hugely satisfying and now I am hungering for more time on the machine.




















It didn’t come out perfect but I learned a lot doing the quilting. I have several pantographs here and I’ll be adding to them after the first of the year when I can really take my time looking at what’s available and what will work best on my long arm.

It’s almost time to choose a new word for the year! My 2016 word was ‘wisdom’ as in listen to it and seek it. It wasn’t an easy word choice but it made a difference in my year. My 2017 word for the year is ‘focus’. I’ve chosen this word in years passed but this coming year it will guide me through learning the long arm business and expanding my teaching and designing schedule. I’ve been home with my kids for many years and I’ve always set aside most of my time for doing the mom things and kind of waiting around to see what everyone needs me to do. This year, I have an opportunity to really expand my business and do more with it. I’m excited about that but also really have to retrain my brain to focus on the business and to give myself permission to focus on the business more. I need to recondition my thoughts so I don’t always feel guilty about it. That’s the big thing. That’s the hold up for me. That is what I need to focus on for 2017.

The second part of my word choice is to focus on health. I’ve had crazy migraines the last month and as usual, I don’t really know why. I’ll think I know what’s triggering and then I eliminate but they come back. The worst of the headaches last year were between Thanksgiving and Christmas and here it goes again. So of course stress but also not enough exercise and too much sugar rules the day. I’ll be focusing on eating less sugar and exercising more in the coming year.

Have you thought about your word for 2017? Please share what your word choice is, I’d love to hear!

I’ll close with a picture or two of my favorite girls! We are thrilled to have Amanda home from college! She is happy to be reunited with her bunnies! Here’s Amanda and Leah with Nala and Daisy who are doing just fine in their new garage location! They are in for a visit in this photo.








And here’s Lindsey in the holiday spirit awaiting her friends to arrive for their annual Christmas party!









One more thing! I just ordered this daily hexagon calendar for myself for next year. I’m thinking it will expand my English Paper Piecing skills with some pretty new patterns. Check it out on Amazon! There’s still time to get one before Christmas!

Have a wonderful day everyone!

*this post contains an Amazon affiliate link


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!









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.









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!







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…









Really. Ummmm ok. Let me order that along with some sock yarn and book on crocheting socks while I’m at it…









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?


Organizing For The Next Step

I spent last week organizing the sewing room. It had become out of control with half started projects, piles of pictures waiting to be scrapped, and a bunch of items in need of mending. I was at the point of not wanting to go in there and it definitely was not fueling any type of creativity. Essentially, my mojo was buried. This need to get things cleaned up coincided with the addition of a long arm machine. I knew it was going to be delivered and I had nowhere to put it. Panic ensued! I’ll be blogging about the long arm and the process of researching it and purchasing it in an upcoming post. I’m super excited about it and I can’t wait to share all that with you! So, Greg and I ended up going around the house with a tape measure trying to figure out where the machine would fit best. In the end, our bedroom had the only wall long enough to accommodate an 8ft frame without dismantling furniture and shelving. It was tempting to put off the sewing room cleaning once I knew the long arm wasn’t going in there but the mess needed to be tamed.

I started with the counter and put away the scrapbooking project that I was working on because it’s on hold until I have a little more time. I also cleaned out under the counter which had unused scrapbooking tools and about 45 bags with half started hand projects. I took all the hand projects and put them in a tote that slides under my bed.







I also pulled all the small dollar store bins that are holding my fabric scraps from the built in book shelves and moved them to under the counter. With all the bags gone, they fit just fine.







Next, I took down the design wall that was covering these two hutches and gave them a good cleaning out. I packed up anything related to polymer clay which was taking up one hutch and packed that up for the attic. I cleared out unused art supplies and tidied all the sewing related items. There’s still alot on these shelves including my serger and embroidery machine but at least it’s neat and I know what is there.









The next area to tackle was the built in book shelves. These were originally built to house my scrapbook albums, totes, and papers. Pretty much that is still true. I didn’t do much here other than get rid of some polymer clay items and tidy up.







Next to the hutches are this file cabinet and my thread rack. I had the file cabinet loaded with boxes of inventory for my online shop and Quilt Cabana patterns. I couldn’t reach the thread anymore it was so high. I took the boxes, condensed where I could, and placed then under the counter with the fabric scraps.









The last area to tackle was the cutting board and surrounding area. What a mess this had become. I cleaned out under the table and put away all excess fabric and projects that were piled up.







The room isn’t perfect but I have a lot of stuff and I can’t really store it elsewhere. At least now I can go in there and work happily. And…I didn’t have to lose the counter or hutches to fit this baby!







The long arm is a HandiQuilter Simply 16 on an 8ft Studio Frame that can be set up as a 10ft if needed. The next step on my quilting journey will be to learn this machine and then use it to quilt for myself and others. It’s the next step for Quilt Cabana Patterns and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to learn long arming. I’ll be blogging more on this very soon!



Sew Much Fun & Dream List

The little Singer Model 40K hand crank arrived this week and I’ve been having a ball with it! It came on Friday and I was ecstatic when I opened the box and saw how beautiful it was. It came with the original packaging, a case, instruction manual, scissors and a needle threader. The best part is that all the parts are there! When I was looking on Ebay I saw many toy Singers but a lot of them were either very overpriced or missing one part or anther. I feel like I got a great steal for $50 on Etsy from a vintage toy seller. Here is the little cutie…


Notice the price…it could be yours in 1960 for $14.95!
Right out of the box, it made a beautiful chain stitch and a perfect 1/4″ seam…



I was so excited that I set it up on the kitchen table and I made all these units…


And then it stopped working. Sigh. Cry. Curse. I was so sad. I threaded it again, changed the thread spool, oiled it, tipped it upside down to see what was up. When I looked under it, I could see that the little hook that should catch the thread when the needle passes under the plate, was not catching the thread so no chain stitch could be completed. I played around with the only needle the machine came with by taking it in and out of the clamp a few times and miraculously by 11pm that night, it was back making a beautiful chain stitch again! I went ahead and ordered some new needles on Ebay and I will change out the old one when they arrive just to be safe. So I was back in business and the next day, the machine and I went out by the pool and I stitched outside while the kids swam!


Two people have asked me what I will do with all those 2″ blocks that I am seaming together and I really have no idea. The joy is in using the machine. I have dreams of a postage stamp quilt but maybe a tote bag will do. Right now, I’m happy to use the hand crank and have a portable sewing machine that I adore. If you think you’d like one as well, be sure that the machine you purchase has all of its parts like the spool holder and the seam guide. Those seemed to be the items that were missing on a lot of them.

Ok, now on to the dream list…Gretchen of 120 Blocks has been talking about her quilting dream list. Read her post HERE.

She is making a list of the quilts she would really like to make. This inspired me to do the same. I realized while writing the list that the quilts I was talking about are all the quilts that I have the patterns for here already. I just haven’t made them yet. There are one or two that I’d like to make that I don’t have the patterns for and that would be a Modern Maples quilt and a baby puffy or biscuit quilt. Here goes:

Lighthouse quilt by Dottie Krueger. This one is a big wall hanging and I have several fabrics set aside for it.

Love Notes quilt….working on it currently

Sunshine Pineapple Quilt by Vicki Stratton and Barbara Jones

Winter table runner, don’t know the name of the pattern but it looks complicated and I do have the fabric.

Song Bird Trio by Quilt Lily

Forget Me Not by Zebra Patterns

Bird of Paradise by Zebra Patterns

Life’s a Beach and Snow Scene by Cynthia England

Farmer’s Wife quilt in 1930 repro fabrics

Grandma’s Sewing Machine water color mosaic by Mim Schlaback

Pineapple Hawaiian Quilt – I have pattern and have started but it’s needle turn and ya know…’nuf said.

I also have 2 felt applique projects on the list and two cross stitch projects on the list.

I think there are more quilts that I’d like to make that I don’t have the patterns for but I haven’t really delved into those yet. I’ll keep working on that list.

So…what’s your dream list? Care to share? I’d love to hear from you…