Sandi Colwell is a talented quilt designer who also enjoys working with polymer clay, crocheting and scrapbooking. Read on to discover how Sandi’s love of paper piecing led her to try her techniques with fabrics and ultimately resulted in the founding of her pattern company; Quilt Cabana Fabrics.
Featured Designer: Sandi Colwell of Quilt Cabana Patterns
QW.com: How did scrapbooking lead to designing quilted wall hangings?
QCP: In all the years that I have been scrapbooking, the one technique that I continuously go back to is paper piecing. I find such joy in cutting pieces of colored paper into shapes and making little scenes on my page with them. Most people can tell which scrapbook pages belong to me without hesitation. I guess that is my “style”. I realized early on in my quilting career that I could transfer these design ideas to wall hangings and table runners. Instead of paper and glue sticks, I am creating with fabric and fusible web!
QW.com: You feature a lot of fusible applique in your designs. Tell us more about that.
QCP: I find fusible appliqué to be creatively freeing. It’s a fast process and you can try out your design before you fuse and commit to it. I enjoy machine appliquéing with a beautifully practiced blanket stitch. Neat stitching around the edges of the appliqués add warmth and charm to any design. Fusible appliqué is a wonderful technique for new quilters and experienced ones as well.
QW.com: How did you break into the world of designing projects for magazines?
QCP: My first published craft project was a polymer clay covered pen with a S’more on top of it! I submitted the design idea to Sculpey Clay and it was accepted! I couldn’t believe that I could make money from an idea (at the time we weren’t required to submit the finished project just the instructions). I went on to make and submit many clay projects and had the good luck to be published in several issues of Pack-O-Fun magazine. This gave me the confidence to submit quilt patterns to magazines and also to Leisure Arts who published my book, Little Quilts For Big Occasions. I have also enjoyed writing humorous articles about crafting that were published in Polymer Cafe magazine. You can read one of my articles here.
QW.com: What are your some of your favorite quilting/crafting tips?
QCP: The quilting tip that I like to share the most is to urge quilters to pull fabrics and get the first step of a new project laid out as soon as you finish your current project. This gets you excited and inspired to get back in the sewing room without delay! My favorite oganizing tip is to keep a hamper in your sewing area that can hold batting, rolls of fusible web and stabilizers. The hamper keeps them neat and all in one place.
QW.com: What is something you wish you had known about sewing and quilting before you began?
QCP: That I would need a bigger house! I had no idea how fast and to what extent multiple hobbies can take over a home. I have a beautiful sewing room that also stores most of my scrapbooking and clay supplies. My fabric stash currently lives in cabinets in the master bathroom, extra scrap and clay supplies live in a closet in my basement and quilting templates hide under my bed. I even have a Featherweight machine set up in my dining room so I can stitch while I wait for dinner to cook.
QW.com: Other than quilting, what other crafts do you like to do?
QCP: All of them! I mostly enjoy scrapbooking, crocheting and working with polymer clay. I have an on and off again love of garment sewing. When my daughters were younger, I made them many outfits but as they have grown older, they aren’t as interested in a handmade outfit. Once in awhile, I will sew a garment but I’d rather be quilting.
To learn more about Sandi and see her quilt patterns, visit our website.