Tag Archives: quilt blogger

Post Maui

After 10 days on the beautiful island of Maui, we’re back to reality around here. It’s a week of getting ducks in a row for a new school year for Lindsey and Leah, and packing for another year at college for Amanda. I’ve even made the trip to Canton to pick up my sewing machine which was getting serviced while I was away. I’m still missing this view every morning…

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and this one from our perfect beach spot…

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and this one from sunset each night…

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I do miss these greatly but I’m also happy to be home again. After 10 days and 12 hours worth of flights each way, your body has a way of telling you it’s time to return to your normal routines. While I was in Maui I went to the Maui Quilt Shop which I know a few of you have been to also. It’s a wonderful but small store. They pack a lot into their store space.

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I purchased the pattern for this pineapple quilt on my last trip there. I haven’t made it yet but I am collecting fabrics for it here and there.

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I can’t show you what I bought this time because I purchased the same thing for my mother and I haven’t given it to her yet!

Since I haven’t sewn anything this week, I’ll show you a few pictures from the trip including these beautiful flowers which were just a sampling of the stunning colors found everywhere on the island.

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This photo is from our walk around the Grand Wailea hotel which is just amazing in it’s own right…

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These two are from the Maui Tropical Plantation. We took the tram tour and enjoyed walking the property…

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and

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Lastly, Leah took this selfie picture of all of us at the Sheraton Maui where we watched the cliff divers at sunset one night.

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I have so many photos, it’s hard to choose which to share but these were some of my favorites.

Next week the kids are back in school and I’ll be back to work. I’m looking forward to finishing up some quilts I’m working on and getting back to my teaching schedule!

Have a great Thursday everybody!

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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.

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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.

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

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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

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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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Delving Into Applique

Two weekends ago I attended a local quilt show for the Herring Run Quilt Guild. It’s a biannual show that I remember enjoying last time around. I reversed my usual show order and perused the vendors first. I picked up one of those nifty lap size ironing boards thinking it would be nice to use a small lap table for when I’m doing English Paper Piecing. LOL –  I make it sound as though that happens all the time but really it’s about once every three calendar page turns!

Then a funny thing happened as I walked through the quilt exhibit. I came upon a beautifully appliqued wall hanging. I didn’t take a picture of it because the program said cameras were welcome for personal inspiration but a no no for publication anywhere else…and really, why else do we take pictures of things but to put them on our blogs to give us something to talk about, so I tabled the photo taking idea! I did read the card though and the maker of the quilt stated that she had never considered applique before coming upon something called the back-basting method of applique. Hmmmmm…..I’m one of those anti needle turners myself but this held some sort of promise…like even I could do it. I looked closely at the stitches from the front and back and committed the phrase, ‘back-basting applique’ to my mind for later Googling! It was her first go around with applique and I knew right then, it surely would be mine too!

And it solidified my purchase of that nifty lap ironing board!

So, I did what  any good quilter does when introduced to a new method of anything, I pulled up Amazon on my laptop faster than you can say, ‘applique’. And ah ha!

And thanks to Amazon look what arrived on Sunday…

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And look what I started on Monday…

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And finished on Tuesday…

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Hey, I’m appliqueing!! With this method, you basically trace the applique pattern on the back of the background fabric. Then you baste around the tracing of that applique pattern piece while hold in place the applique fabric on the right side. The basting shows up on the applique fabric.

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Then you trim the fabric leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance around the basting. You do needle turn the applique but you remove the basting as you go. The perforation of the fabric from the basting allows the seam allowance to roll under very nicely. The blind stitch or ladder stitch is used to actually applique the piece. I use the blind stitch. So now I need to try it again with a different pattern and maybe make a table topper using the method. The step by step process in Barbara Eckmeier’s book is fantastic! She has beautiful project instructions included.

This past Saturday, I was vending at an area Rainbow Girls Camp. I split my table in half using part for Quilt Cabana and part for Creative Memories. Sadly, the craft fair had very little foot traffic and I don’t think many of us made our table money back. It was a total bust. They did provide a nice lunch, coffee and donuts but it added up to a loss for so many vendors. In fact, we all received an apology later that day from the organizer. This is what my table looked like…

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I was seated next to the Avon lady and she was killing it! She definitely made her table back and I was really in awe. I had no idea that people even bought Avon anymore! Shows you what I know! I talked with her quite a bit and took home the catalogs to look through. They now have clothes and shoes and a separate home living catalog. What? Yup. She was also a great sales lady and drew everyone in with her, “Have you seen an Avon catalog lately?” sales pitch. Sure enough, the ladies came flocking and buying up products they used to order ‘all the time’.  The lady on the other side of me was selling homemade dog biscuits. She didn’t sell many but she enjoyed talking about her dogs and she was good company…because it was a long day, y’all.

That’s about it from here. I’m working on my quilt kit that I bought in Hawaii. Also working on getting the Seaglass quilt ready to load on the long arm. Enjoy your day!

*this post contains an Amazon affiliate link

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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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A Good Iron

So I’ve been through quite a few irons over the last 16 years. Some I started out loving only to be disillusioned a short time later when the iron started spitting water, or wouldn’t heat any longer, or refused to do its job.

Finding a perfect iron is frustrating because I’m pretty sure, the perfect one doesn’t exist in this universe at all. That being said, I have found one that I like a lot. Before I jump into telling you all about it, I’ll first tell you about the ones I’ve already owned.

I have had 2 Rowentas ($100 each), a few cheap Black & Deckers ($20 each), a Panasonic ($40), and a Continental Dry Iron ($22) which I still own, use, and enjoy. It is a dry iron so it does not have a steam function and also does not have auto shut off. This is a blessing and a curse. I love it for fusible applique because it gets hot…really hot…and stays that way which makes it dangerous if left on by accident.

The Rowentas both leaked shortly after I purchased them. I loved the steam they produced but didn’t love the brown water they spewed on my projects.

The cheap Black & Deckers were well, cheap. I got what I paid for and that wasn’t much. I never felt the irons actually got the wrinkles out of anything.

The Panasonic was ok until the retractable cord broke and it also didn’t really get the job of getting wrinkles out enough for my satisfaction.

So this brings me to my current iron which is the Black & Decker Digital Advantage. This comes in at the slightly under $50 range and is a dang good iron! I’ve had it for about a year, maybe longer. It does not have a retractable cord but it does have auto shut off.

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The iron has a decent heft to it without being overly heavy. This is important if you have a lot of ironing to do at one time.

It has a digital display which beeps when the correct temperature setting has been achieved.

It has not leaked.

Let me repeat, it has not leaked!!!! Yipppeeeeee!!!!

And the best part….it actually does its job. It gets the wrinkles out of my clothing and fabric.

I purchased my Digital Advantage at Target but they can be found on Amazon and also at Bed, Bath & Beyond.

The price point is important to me because I’m tired of paying big bucks for an iron that ends up leaky. I have not tried an Oliso for that reason because several reviews have mentioned a leaking problem and the problem of those little legs breaking. I’m not willing to risk it even though it looks cool.

The price range of the Digital Advantage makes it a great buy for a really decent iron. I highly recommend this one and have in fact recommended it to my students. My lovely student, Priscilla, has purchased this iron at Bed, Bath & Beyond with a coupon and is very happy with it.

I just got off the phone with my mom and after telling her I was writing this review, she asked if this was the iron she uses at my house and I replied yes. She immediately said, “I like that iron”. So there you have it!

Go forth and iron everyone!

*this post contains affiliate links

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Fabric, Projects & A Special Quilt

Saturday I headed to a fabric shop with my mom that neither of us have ever visited. It was my mom’s 75th birthday and what better way to spend it than doing some quilty shopping? We headed to Fabric Corner in Arlington, MA and we each found fabric to come home with! I also came home with a shirt pattern. I’m itching to do some garment sewing as I used to enjoy it quite a bit. I made the kids lots of dresses, skirts, and ponchos when they were young and would happily wear whatever I had sewn for them. Nowadays, they’ll really only wear pajama shorts/bottoms if I make them.

So here is what I picked up at the shop…the bunny fabric is to make the girls each a pillow case and the sewing machine fabric is for a pillow case for myself. I saw this neat tailor’s chalk and I like that it is thin and triangular. We’ll give that a try. And the pattern is for the shirt. Now I need to get myself some ballpoint needles and knit fabric.

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Last week I met with all three of my lovely students. Gail and I worked on her log cabin. Priscilla and I basted this beautiful Yellow Brick Road baby quilt…

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And Nancy and I spent some time planning her next quilt and taking a look at this lovely heirloom. This quilt was made by Nancy’s great grandmother and handed down to her grandmother and then to Nancy. It’s stunning with its feedsack fabrics and hand stitches. The quilt does not have a label and is a good reminder of why labels are important. Although Nancy has most of the facts about the quilt, it’s always nice to have the full story. I absolutely love the blue sashing and the hand ties. What a treasure! Here is Nancy and the quilt…

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This is the last week of school for us and I know the counter will be full of papers and binders any minute now. I wrote a blog article over on my other blog about how to organize all those papers! You can read it by clicking here.

how to org school papers

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