Tag Archives: long arm

Quilting On

Lame title, eh? I wanted to pick something real cute like Springing Ahead but it’s snowing here and this is our 4th nor’easter in about 12 days or so. COME ON. I’ve got all kinds of beautiful plants in the living room trying to push me towards that fresh, spring feeling but I’ve got nothin’. So we talk about what ALWAYS cheers us up and that is quilting! My favorite topic aside from bunnies!

So…I had my wonderful ladies here last week for open sew day. It’s great fun for me to transform my first floor into a sewing retreat for the day. We have multiple cutting and ironing stations set up, lots of good food, a lot of laughs, and room to comfortably work on our projects. The hours shared with like minded people are not only enjoyable but inspirational as we cheer each other on and bring new perspectives to this hobby we all love.

Here are few pictures from our day…
Priscilla and Gail working hard…









Nancy measuring and pressing her borders…









Sharyn opening her prize for winning quilt trivia…they were excellent sports about my strange need to have organized games and goody bags at my events, lol!!! Must put that hospitality degree to good use!









Priscilla and Gail sharing a laugh over coffee and tea…









My week wasn’t all play…I did finish up a bargello wall hanging that I will be using to teach a bargello class with next month…









And I finished long arming Gail’s quilt…it’s a beauty!








And I started a portrait art quilt of my daughter Amanda.









I explain more about this process in the following youtube video. Many years ago I had a youtube channel called Quilt Cabana Corner and I posted 9 videos to that channel. Sadly, youtube won’t allow me back on the channel because it’s been too long since I posted. I started a new channel this morning called Quilt Cabana Corner With Sandi Colwell and it will be a biweekly video cast of different crafty things I’m working on. The videos will be 15 minutes or less. I’m nervous in this first one and speaking too quickly and forgot a few names…sorry about that. I do hope you’ll join me for this adventure and subscribe to the channel although I will be posting the links here as they are uploaded to youtube.

I think that about does it for the week! I hope spring has found you and that it finds little o’l Massachusetts sometime soon!

Have a great day, everybody!


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?


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?


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.


Catching Up and Crossing The Finish Line

I think I missed my weekly post two weeks in a row! October has been a busy and good month complete with quilty finishes and a new member of the family! Let’s start with furry goodness…you know how I love bunnies….









Meet Ginny…she’s a three month old Lionhead Lop Mix and I don’t think there’s anything cuter than she is!









With those airplane ears that go one up and and one down…oh my. I couldn’t pass her up to save my life. She is a sweetie and I’m glad to have her join our little bunny family! The girls adore her and I think Nala and Daisy don’t mind her too much, either.

Ok, on to quilty things…my longarm machine has been busy over the last two weeks. I finished up the Christmas quilt I was long arming for my mom. This was the one with the holly and berry pantograph.



















I also finished up the jelly roll race quilt with the Halloween theme. The pantograph is called Pumpkin Fest and it was a true joy to longarm. I just love how this came out. Leah had requested a Halloween quilt and so now we have one. I’m really surprised that I finished it before Halloween because usually I start these things with the best intentions and lose interest somewhere in the middle. But, here it is!














The binding was finished up today and Leah’s skeleton buddy thinks it’s A-OK.








I also finished knitting one sock on the sock loom! I have started the match to this pair and I can’t wait to wear them! The next pair will be for Amanda.









My students are busy too! Carol is beginning work on this awesome quilt by Missouri Star Quilt Company. We ordered all the same fabric and I can’t wait to see it progress. Carol has all the background fabric cut and is just beginning to piece snowball blocks.









On the home front, we’ve got Lindsey’s college applications sent out and soon I’ll be writing the check for her cap and gown! I think that’s due in the beginning of November. Time is really flying around here.

Amanda was accepted into her new major today which is Communication Sciences and Disorders (speech pathology). She will also minor in deaf and hard of hearing studies. I think she’s going to thrive in this major. She’s also involved with the University of New Hampshire’s Model UN and she is so looking forward to this each week. They are representing Kazakhstan in the UN and Sweden in the Security Council. They’ll have an opportunity to travel to NY to go the actual UN and represent their countries. Amazing. I’m beyond thrilled for her.

That’s about all the excitement I can handle! Every time I turn around something new is happening. It’s exciting and a wee bit exhausting!



Summer Pattern Sale!

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

Nautical Table Runner QCP-304

Seaglass QCP-109

Third Seasonal Trio QCP-103

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

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















I have this much left to do…








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

Have a super weekend, everybody!


Projects And An Assistant

It’s been a good week of learning new things. I bought a new applique book by Jeanne Sullivan.







It has a lot of information in it and many beautiful patterns. I’m struggling to find the method of applique I like the best. I can tell this is going to take some time to get right but I feel like I’m on a good path. Next week on the blog I’ll talk more about the methods I’ve been trying.

At Leah’s dance recital I had time backstage during the first of two shows to work on a project. I brought this ice cream applique with me and I was able to finish it. The pieces were glued down so all I had to do was stitch them to the background.








When my mother saw it, she really liked it and we decided it should be hers to finish as a pillow for a gift. This is the pattern I had drafted in EQ7 and she’ll finish it with this cute border.









From the book above, I’ve decided to go with this project…IMG_4989








It’s the simplest one in the book which works for me! LOL!!! So far I’ve made the heart…IMG_4990








I made definite progress on Lindsey’s Love Notes quilt. The borders are on and the quilt is on the long arm!









The process of marking it…IMG_4988







And today I began quilting it. I can’t tell you how much I am enjoying this! It’s THAT much!! I love texture and this is so exciting to me.









The best part of the week was when I decided to hire an assistant to help out with errands, cleaning, and social media for my two businesses. I hired the most adorable college girl named Amanda…does she look familiar? IMG_5014







Amanda (my daughter) is in need of a summer job and I’m in need of a reliable helper. We made a great team this week and I feel less stressed as does she. Finding a summer job when you’re not around for a good chunk of August is a little tough. This is a great arrangement for both of us and now I think I’m not going to want her to go back to UNH at all! LOL!!! I’m getting so much done and my house is clean for students and social media posts are scheduled…ahhhhh. Feels so good.

Enjoy the weekend everybody!

For long arm quilting service information, please visit my website www.quiltcabanapatterns.com

For Creative Memories scrapbooking supplies, please visit my website https://www.creativememories.com/user/sandic


Love Notes and Applique Wannabe

I find myself obsessing lately about applique methods. I haven’t done much traditional applique as I’ve been a huge fan of fusible applique since I began quilting in 2004. Thanks to quilt stars like Karen Kay Buckley and Jill Finley, I am now obsessed with learning how to do it correctly and efficiently. I purchased some supplies, of course. I bought freezer paper, a tailor’s awl, Roxanne’s Baste It Glue, thimble dots, and starch.









I decided to follow Jill Finley’s applique method with stacking four pieces of freezer paper together to make the pattern templates. That seemed to work out ok except that I got the templates too wet with starch when I was brushing the starch on the seam allowance. I dried it out with the iron but I think the templates still bent a bit. I thought it would be good to have an applique project with me tomorrow at Leah’s dance recital. I’ll be backstage for hours and having a hand project sounded good. The other 28,000 hand projects I have started  would also have been good. None the less, I made an ice cream cone pattern on EQ7 and prepared the pieces for applique.









I wish I had made the pieces larger but this will have to do.









All the pieces are glue basted to the background and ready for stitching.

This week I got the white borders on Lindsey’s Love Notes quilt. Today I got one outer border on as well.









Next week I’m going to be marking this for the long arm. I just purchased a six pack of blue washout pens. I’ll be ready to mark it up in Judi Madsen fashion and do some custom quilting in all that negative space.

But tomorrow is Leah’s dance recital and that is what I’ll be focused on. I had posted lots of pictures from dress rehearsal on Instagram and Facebook but here are my favorites. This is the debut of Leah’s pointe class on stage. They are dancing to Phantom Of The Opera and it’s really amazing.










What are you all working on this week? I’d love to hear about it. I’ll be posting a podcast episode hopefully the week after next so stay tuned for that. Feel free to ask me questions and I’ll answer them on the podcast.



NYC and a Long Arm Finish

It’s been a few days since I blogged but I have a good excuse. Leah and I took a trip to NYC with her dance studio. We had a fabulous time traveling with friends and seeing the sights. This is the second time we’ve done a weekend in NYC with this group and we all travel really well together! We arrived in Times Square on Friday afternoon and we shopped a bit, had dinner at Guy Fieri’s restaurant, and then we saw Get On Your Feet which is the broadway show of Gloria and Emilio Estefan’s story. It was amazing! It was at the Marquis Theatre which is just beautiful.









Saturday the girls attended a workshop with a cast member from Get On Your Feet then we shopped til we dropped. We had dinner at Ellen’s Stardust Cafe and then we pretty much fell asleep. While we were walking around we came upon the ballerina balloon that is currently displayed at Rockefeller Center. We knew it was there, we just didn’t know it was so huge and amazing.









Sunday morning the girls had another workshop at the same dance studio. We picked them up and headed to the 9-11 Memorial before heading home. It was a strange experience being there with so many kids who weren’t even born when that tragedy occurred. I think they all appreciated seeing it. I was in awe of this national quilt that was hanging on display. Every victim has a block. It’s very large and evokes all kind of emotions when you see it.














We got home late Sunday night but it was worth it! It was a great weekend.

Last week before I left, I finished the quilting on the Hawaiian flower quilt. I used a hibiscus pantograph and I love how it came out. So now it needs binding.













Yesterday I spent time getting these Love Notes blocks sewn into rows. If I have time today, I’ll stitch rows together. This one is for Lindsey.








For Mother’s Day, I ordered Judi Madsen’s new dvd on background quilting for applique quilts. She has so much information in her dvd’s. I just love them. I’m a little more than half way through as it’s pretty long – 158 minutes. Hoping to catch the rest of it tomorrow morning.









That’s about it for today. What are you all working on?