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jKafer on the Net

Quilting

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April is here – and another Pinterest project completed!

So, for years I have wanted to make a barn quilt for my barn – ha!  Even before we had a barn, I had drawn up so many different designs, layouts, where I would put it – I remember one idea was to put it on the back of the garage since that is what you see from the road as you drive by, but I just never did it – mostly I don’t think my hubby wanted one. So was I ever surprised when he came home with the stuff I had mentioned that I would need to make one. Whoop Whoop!!!

I found one on pinterest that I was in love with so I set my sites on doing one like that.

I made my barn quilt 3′ x 3′ – which set my hubby off on a bit of a tizzy – why not just make it 4’x4′ – that would be a half sheet of plywood, why cut it down again and waste that 1’x3′ piece and the other half of the plywood.  Ha, little does he know that I have plans for the rest of that plywood!!! I have a star make of twigs on the barn now and that is 3′ across, and I just felt the 4′ square would have been to much for that small space (we have a modern day barn, not one with a huge face so space is limited.

Once I had my 3’x3′ piece, I sanded it down to get rid of the rough edges, then I applied sanding sealer – because the hubby said I should – the paint doesn’t soak in so much then, I guess.  I then applied 3 coats of white (exterior) paint.  He said I only needed 2, but I could still see brush strokes/roller marks and I’m fussy!

As you go thru these pictures and instructions you will notice that I use tools from other craft areas – like an 18″ quilting ruler you see in the first picture.

So I cut some stars out of vinyl. and applied them to the taped off “Blue” side of the board. Then I went in and cut some more – I didn’t think I had that much space, but I guess I did.

I painted 3 coats of blue on this board to get the density that I wanted. The I picked off the vinyl stars.

I laid out and cut long strips of vinyl for the stripes. I was set on a certain design and pattern. I had to extend 2 of the lines because my cutter only cuts 24″ length.

I was really worried about the red paint at first, but after 2 coats it was beautiful.

Just a few touchups

This next part seems so silly considering that it’s going to be hanging from the top of the barn and NO ONE will see it up close…but while the second coat of red was drying, I went and touched up all the stars a bit.  there was some bleeding under the vinyl – I didn’t go around all the edges (that’s a lot of edges around all those stars) and made them even.  It looks great to me and that’s what matters. On to the stripes.

Most people would have just left it like that, but not me, I needed/wanted something to break up, help define the stripes and the pattern – it was playing with my eyes. So I need to do a shadow. So I taped off the areas that were in a fold…

I found some really old black paint, mixed it all up – took about 15 minutes of mixing to get it back ‘together’, then I took the mixing stick, put it in a small glass, poured water over it and used that for the shadowing. I had a piece of paper that I would ‘dab’ on and then dry brushed over the ‘shadow’ areas.

The shading is very subtle, but makes such a difference, just the right amount to break-up the wave just enough.

So much fun, I loved doing this piece.

 

 

FMQ Sampler – Complete

Well, I have had this done for a month or so, just had to do the binding – yuck, I hate binding.

It was a huge challenge to do this but it turned out pretty good, even if I do say so myself. I strongly suggest joining the group on facebook “Sit Down Free Motion Quilters” and doing this tutorial.

Blue Green Flannel – loving it!!!!

I ran across this quilt pattern on Pinterest (No surprise there!) – the one that I saw was in Black/Red – but I fell in love with the whole fabric line.

Now – so I went on a mission to find all the color pallets  of this line, little did I know it’s out of print. So what ever the stores have, they have and it will not be refilled!!!!

Then, I got started putting one together – and low and behold, changed up the pattern a bit – imagine that! Because I changed the pattern, I didn’t have enough of some of the material – soooooo…off I went trying to get more. 

After all the hunting, I got a bit burned out on this little project, but finally got back to it today!  I was able to get the top completed – and I love it. It will be a great wall hanging or couch throw once it’s quilted. 

So off to the UFO pile this goes.

 

 

Center is done….On to boarders

Well the holiday season is upon us, and I have started 5 new projects – yep! No more to say about that!

I was able to get 1 more lesson done on the FMQ lesson booklet and I added 3 more blocks. I started with a yard of material and expanded the lessons into filling it. I have added 3 other blocks that I found on Pinterest Board: FMQ Ideas to fill in the layout. Of the 3 extra, 2 turned out “Not so bad”, 1 is just bad, but it was challenging.

So here is the last block in the workbook: Lesson 9

I had so much anxiety over this block, that’s why it took me so long to do it. I have a 18″x18″ whiteboard that I have been practicing on for weeks.  It’s not perfect, but I learned alot doing it.

Now, on to the 3 “personal” selection blocks: #10 = Spiral, #11 – Zentangle, #12 Scrolled Heart w/boarder.

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block11

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My all time favorite is #11. I love, love, love things with depth. Whether it is dimensional in space, dimensional in person, or carries multiple meanings…I love it when something is more than what it appears to be.

Now, on to the boarders and corners!!!

Wow – who knew doing circles was gonna be such a challenge?!

I know that I can’t draw a straight line, but who knew how hard it was going to be sewing circles – good grief, Charlie Brown!!!

Had lots and lots of thread issues on these three blocks – shredding like crazy. And as the saying goes, I used one whole bobbin on block 8 and ran out with just 2 1/2 squares (plus a titch) left to do. I thought I was out of white, but I found some more this evening so I could finish up. 

lesson7lesson8The back of 8 doesn’t look too bad, even if I do say so myself!!!lesson8back

FMQ – putting me thru the ringer

So I joined this group on Facebook Sit Down Free Motion Quilters to help push me into using my big sewing machine. I have so many Quilt tops done it’s ridiculous!!!!  So this past weekend, I had a dog and hubby free day – I started the dreaded project of washing all the linens and decided I would do this in between loads – or loads of laundry in between these lessons. Basically it came down to which ever project was making me crazy I would go do the other!!!

But, got 5 of the lessons done – I give myself a solid C, A for effort, but C for abilities.

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I have learned a lot from the group, but it is all about practice and developing muscle memory.  The hardest part for me is making a decision which way to go or what to do.

My worst nightmare is when someone says to me “Just do what ever you want”!!!!!  NOOOOOOOO!

Fall Nesting

Fall Nesting or Stocking up for the winter – you decide – we are supposed to get the first snow fall this next weekend and it’s looking like a doozy!

So, mad the hubby clean the “entrance” to the garage and his hobby room and the hallway, so, since he did that I figured I better work on my sewing room.  4 large bags of trash/junk were taken out and I found 3 packages of fabric that I ordered this year and didn’t even take them out of the boxes – good grief !

Even found my winter project…Butterfles

I figured since I got such a good deal on the kit, I better make the thing.

Last winter/spring I made the Galaxy quilt, so this will be a good winter project. Along with completing some of the 12+ quilt tops waiting for quilting.

Fills me with warmth, and will give warmth to another

What could be better than giving warmth to another…

This Mystery Quilt was awesome, fun, frustrating, challenging but most of all…rewarding in so many ways.  I can’t wait to do the quilting on this too.

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Join us as we embark on a new quilt challenge for 2016 and then our 2017 contest. Everyone loves a mystery and this is a great one to top off 2016 and lead us into 2017.
Project Linus – Gracies Get Well Garden

Still stitching away…

Wow, how time files and I’ve still got no FMQ practicing done, but I have started 2 new mystery quilts – Hip Hip Hooray!!!

Join us as we embark on a new quilt challenge for 2016 and then our 2017 contest. Everyone loves a mystery and this is a great one to top off 2016 and lead us into 2017.
Project Linus – Gracies Get Well Garden

 

 

Mystery Quilt for a Cause by Heather Spence Designs – benefiting Family Renewal Shelter in Tacoma, Washington. They rescue women and children out of severely abusive. Homes in which their lives are in danger. If you would like additional information about them or to give additionally you can find them on the web at: http://domesticviolencehelp.org/

 

 

I am a bit behind – even though the quilt for a cause just started, I’m running 2 weeks behind on the Linus one, but it’s my goal this weekend to get caught up. Although, here in Minnesota it’s 70 degrees on October 15 – something very unheard of for around here – might have to sneak out side some today to do some last minute yard work since it’s still short sleeve weather around here.

Tah-Dah!

It’s done, it’s done, it’s done!!!

I finished this yesterday, but I had no where that I could hang this to get a picture. So this morning I had my hubby hold up one side so that I could get a picture of this completed “top”.

Gravity

It went together almost magically yesterday. I still don’t believe it done.

So, as I am explaining to my hubby that it’s done and I want to get a picture of it he says: “You mean you have it quilted and everything?! – Wow, that’s great!” I pushed him off the deck – after I took the corner of the quilt from his hands.

6 of 6 are completed

Well, they are done, I will have to take care and do a little reinforcement on that one spot, but all 6 of these are done and ready to go to the next step.

The Final 6

Here they are, all ready to be joined into one.

 

Crashing stop

I am literally putting the last set of triangles together for the last section and this happens:

oops

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I am sure this happened when I ripped it apart because it didn’t match up close enough or is was part of the group that I had pre-assembled incorrectly. It doesn’t matter, it happened! UGH!!!

Here we go – another 2 done

I can’t believe I’m getting this close to being done!!!

Red & Blue are done!Red

Blue

Here we go – 2 more done

Yellow and Purple are done, done, done!!!!  Half way there!Purple

Yellow

 

Here we go…Part 1

Yeah, the beginning to the end.

She’s coming round the bend.

The first step is always the hardest – that’s for sure on this thing.

I spent most of today, getting things arranged, trimmed up and sorted.

But I was determined to get one of the final 6 put together. So far so good.  I am finding that it is so hard to get things lined up (to my comfort/satisfaction) I am sewing together, then tearing apart.  I am hoping it gets easier soon!

Green

All pieces done!!!!! Ready for assembly.

What do you do on a hot, rainy, stormy day in July in Minnesota – you get things DONE – baby!

All the diamonds are assembled, “squared-up” and organized.

The next step is to start assembling into larger ‘diamonds’!

AllPieces

Edges and Corners

When doing puzzles, you always start with the corners and edges and work  your way in…
In quilting you always start in the middle and work you way out.

So, in this project it is very exciting when you are starting on the edges of this diamond/star pattern.

I can almost see the end!!!edges corners

And still more diamonds

24 more diamonds done this weekend. Now, on to more triangles – then back to diamonds again!

morediamonds

Background cutting it big

Holy cow, I spent most of the day cutting the pieces for the background for this huge quilt. Lots and lots more diamonds.

Gravity Backgrounds

Now to start putting them together. I got 1/2 of the first background parts together, so far.

Background - start

Last of the center blocks…

Oh my gosh, I finally got the final two diamonds done this morning.

OrangePink

They aren’t perfect, but they are all mine!!! Now on to the background!

4 more this weekend, leaving just 1 left

I tried so hard to get the last 2 diamonds done this weekend, but when I know the signs…when I have to pull out the seam ripper, I am better of stopping – for sake of the fabric!!!

But I did get 4 done today!!!

Diamonds13-15

16of18

3 more down, still more to go

Another weekend and another set of 3 done!!!

Diamonds10-12

I am starting to see the end of the tunnel!!!

9 down, 9 to go

So what do you do when it’s 95 degrees outside, with a heat index of over 105 – well, if you’re me, you stay inside!

I got 6 blocks done today, which puts me at the 1/2 way point. The good, some of the diamonds are completely done – I won’t have to do another of that layout, the bad point, there are some I have not done yet!!!!

purples bluesThese aren’t perfect, but neither is an actual gem, so I feel pretty good with how they are turning out!

 

3 of 18 done!

Well, finally got to work on this some more – and I’ve got 3 done – Orange & Yellow.

Orange-Yellow DiamondsThings I have learned doing these 3 “blocks”:

  • Inside seems stink
  • triangles stink
  • the term “Square Up” is an oxymoron statement with this pattern
  • I have another whole set of these to do in another color – Yippee!!!

Last day of vacation…ready to sew!

It’s the last day of my vacation, and I have all the pieces cut out – even the ones that had to be sewn together then cut into their shape.  Whew!!!!!!  Now comes the hard part – actually assembling them.

Gravity-PIeces

 

Vacation Project

Well, when you have a hubby that is self-employed, it’s not always easy to “take a vacation”. I have to plan 3-4 weeks ahead and he can’t plan more than a few days. So, here I am, on vacation.

First thing in the instructions it says to read everything first. So I did, I sat down and read thru all the instructions on Tuesday while I waited for the Vet to check out one of our elderly horses – he’s fine, just needed some horse aspirin. He’s not back to his old self.

Gravity Colors

So I read the instructions, twice actually. Then I started cutting. What I didn’t realize is that the kit that I purchased had the colors all setup for each set per block. I didn’t notice that until the second block. No where in the instructions does it say that, but it does say that on the website – which I just went and read. So I have to either go with the colors I choose, or I have to find replacement fabric – I haven’t decided yet.

But I do have 13 blocks all cut out – and ready to be assembled. I think it was a pretty productive evening, if I do say so myself.

Gravity Shapes

More FMQ

Well, here we are again, more FMQ being done!

I have one more set of the Row by Row’s ready for “Quilting” so that was my task this weekend.

4 more bobbins used, more patterns tried, more thread breaks, but another one done!

I wanted to try a different pattern on each flower and butterfly – that is very overwhelming. I found some that I loved, some that I liked, some that are icky, but I learned more each time I did one.

 

Full blown, actual quilting – real live quilting – really!

Well, it’s taken me lots and lots and lots of time to get up the never to use my big HQSS, but I can now say I have completed 2 small quilts. Well, to the point that I have to but the binding on, but the actual quilting is done.

I have been doing the Row by Row shop hops the last couple of years, and I’ve been making the rows, just didn’t do anything with them after that. So I’ve had this collection of rows, just sitting around. Last fall, I decided that my winter project was going to be actually “quilting” them with my HQSS. So I took a bunch of them, grouped them by season (sort of) and made the sandwiches.  They have been sitting in the corner of my sewing room, just waiting.

I joined a couple of groups on FB for FMQ and HQSS and they really, really energized me. Well, some would call it “peer pressure”. 😆  Well, 4 bobbins later – this is ready for binding and finishing!

Procrastination at it’s best

So, another month almost gone and I have YET to uncover my HQSS – at this rate, I will have to take time off of work to try to meet my goal of quilting one top each month.  Good Grief.

So, what did I do this month…this awesome top:

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So I adapted this pattern from the Sew Red: Sewing & Quilting for Women’s Heart Health (Stitch Red) because I saw it on Pinterest and I had to make it. This is the second one I have made, the first I did in pink for Breast Cancer Awareness, this one I did for a few reasons, but 2 of them being it’s both of our favorite color – Purple – and coincidentally it is our sons birth stone color – it’s fate, I tell you, FATE!  It’s almost square and I haven’t had a chance to take a picture of it outside yet – it’s still gets dark too early, but maybe when I get it quilted it will be nice and bright out (and probably a different decade also). I extended the pattern an extra heart, to make it a bit larger, but I love, love, love how it turned out.

One other little thing you may notice about the top of the hearts…they are done like cathedral windows. I included the 10 minute quilt blocks tutorial/instructions to make the tops more rounded.  It was tedious, but I so love how it turned out. I was going to do the bottoms as well, but I am glad I didn’t do them that way, it would have looked weird.

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So, I still have 6 days to get something else completed. Maybe I will finally get my ironing platform (because it’s huge) finished off so I can use that to make my quilt sandwiches – wait, i have 6 sandwiches waiting in the wings already…oh boy!!!

A late Christmas Gift

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Working on another Pinterest project: 24″ x 60″ ironing board!!!!!

The rack is all put together, the top is now cut and edged, just waiting for me to put some batting down and put a cover on it!!!!!

We struggled for weeks trying to figure out how we could possible make this a dual functioning board, but I just want my large ironing board!!!  My existing ironing board was a wedding gift from 1981 !  It needs a rest!

 

A year of endings…

So this year, my goal is to complete 2 projects each month.

I am not committing to completing 2 of my UFO’s necessarily – but who knows.

Here it is, almost the end of January and I have 1 completed item. So far so good!

Years ago, when I was doing one of the shop hops, I picked up a QOV kit at one of the shops. It has taken me until now to get it “COMPLETE”. It is actually quilted & bound!!!!!  I am shipping this off this week. It’s not perfect, but I did put my heart and soul into it.

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2015 Epilog

Well, here it is, December 31, New Years Eve.

This year, well, the last half of this year, I challenged myself to use my fabric hoard to make quilt tops – and I accomplished that.

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I ended up with 10 completed tops to add to the mound of UFO’s I have in my sewing room already. I also have a HQ Sweet 16 sitting in my office that has had about 4 hours of use since my hubby purchased it 3 years ago for my birthday.

So 2016 starts in a few hours, I am taking the rest of the year off. But, starting in January, I am picking up a new challenge -I am going to challenge myself to actually quilt some of the UFO’s I have and get them completed – with binding a tag!  I think this is going to be more difficult that the last challenge of completing one new top each month.

Good Night, Good Luck and Happy New Year!

Ending to the ending

So, because I didn’t pay very good attention to the pattern, I ended up with another whole set of the “bars” left over – well 44 to be exact!  So, what was I going to do with them…

I have seen this pattern around and it’s on my pinterest list, so I thought, why not, I’ve got just about everything I need to whip this up…so I did.

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This little one ( 56″ square ) really turned out so neat. It was so much fun using up those blocks. Because the red blocks were already done, I whipped this one together in a few days. I wish the quilting process was going to be that easy!

Now, what to do with the whole pile of left over strips and squares – I have enough to make both red quilts again!   It was so soothing and comforting cutting up all that red fabric – but now I have to use it!

The ending to the journey

I love this block – it’s not square for a change (but, I found that you really have to pay attention to the instructions when putting together the sub-blocks when they are not square.

 

So I figured out, almost too late that the key to putting this top together is to pay attention to instructions and most of all direction of blocks.

There blocks were 5″  x 8″, the directions tell you to sew them in 5 rows, 8 blocks long. Can you guess which way I did it?   Yep, I ended up with a top that was about 24″ wide and 64″: long – really?! So out came the ripper, what a mess I had everywhere.

But all in all, it turned out so nice, larger than I expected, but it really came together nicely, once I paid attention.

Completed Red

I did make a few notes in my magazine/book to help with this pattern, but the biggest thing I figured out, and I figured it out in the beginning is that putting the half “X” blocks together like this (below) made a huge difference on how everything fit together. And, I’m pretty proud of this block – it’s darn near perfect!

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Start to the end of the journey

Usually Christmas time is a busy time of year, but this year it’s pretty calm.

I am down to the last color of my color wheel challenge – Red. Good timing, being December and Christmas time. But I didn ‘t want to do a Christmas Quilt – too cliche.

I found my pattern early and started cutting up my fabric in strips and squares. I didn’t know I had so much red  – well, maybe I did, but just didn’t want to admit it.Red strips & squares

So I kept cutting and cutting and cutting.

I filled a bowl with both 2 1/2 x 5″ strips and a bowl with 2 1/2″ squares. I have a huge mound of red.

This months pattern I found in the block magazine from Missouri Star Quilt Company – Love her daily deals too – I have indulged in way too many of those deals as well!

A hint, to the pattern.

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My favorite, so far – YELLOW

Hands down, this is my favorite project out of this series so far.

I had to buy some yellow, because I really didn’t have much in my stash. I found some black that has been in my stash for a long time and decided to stick with 1 color of black thru out. I am so glad I did that, many does it look great.

Basically I went from a tile design that I saw in a magazine Rebecca-Zajac_Kitchen-Dining_8_jpg_rend_hgtvcom_1280_853to my favorite project so far:

Yellow

I am just amazed how this turned out…I can’t get over how well it came together. One thing I did learn (well, remember more than learn, when you have to sew on the bias starch is your best friend!)

Who would have thought, someone that is an “Autumn” would love the color yellow, but I do, I do, I do!

In this picture, the sun is coming from the south east (Bright, crisp, Minnesota morning) and that makes some of the seams look large.

It’s a bright, clear day here today

And in Minnesota in late November that means crisp morning as well.  10° when we got up this morning. But, when you’ve got pictures to take, you bear the cold, to take advantage of the bright sunlight.

So, rather than going out in the mass crowds of shoppers yesterday, I worked on my color quilts. I actually spent most of Friday afternoon/evening reduxing my “Extra Orange” quilt. It was bugging me so much, that I just had to redo it. I should have just torn it apart and reassembled, but no, not me. I ripped seams in areas and modified and assembled, then redid that because it went together funny, so started again.

Finally got it done though, and I do have to say, I like this one much better.  Good thing it was getting late, because i started having ideas of changing more on it, but I don’t have any more of the brown material so thank goodness I couldn’t do very much.

Orange-Redux

Also took pictures of my favorite project so far…Yellow!

Progress is in the eye of the beholder or quilter in my case

EyeOfTheTiger

Eye of the Tiger

Because I am not working off of a pattern this time, I am having to learn to make decisions. It’s scary!Not sure if I made the right decision here or not, but the cutting has been done, now I just have to go with it!

This is a fluid design I guess – not really my comfort zone.

2 Special Projects for October

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and this year I was in the middle of doing my color wheel quilt challenge, and pink wasn’t really in the plan to include. But I had been collecting up Breast Cancer pink fabrics when I was out and about.

I had run across a pattern that I had seen on pinterest and everywhere I went on pinterest it kept showing up and I took it as a sign that I should make this.

I had a coupon for Joann’s and I used that coupon to get some solid/background fabric – and while I was there, they had some Breast Cancer awareness fabric out on display so I picked up 2 more pieces.

This little quilt top came together so nicely, I may make another one.

Sew Pink

I love, love, love how this one turned out. Next will be to actually quilt this.

After I cut the heart pieces out I had a bunch of left over fabric so I thought I would put one more small one together. I used the “10 minute quilt blocks” technique that I saw on youTube and it turned out so cute. It’s just darling. I may have to use this technique on a larger quilt.

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A bowl full of sunshine

So, here it is November, Color #5 on my color wheel quilt challenge. It’s gone so quickly and slowly at the same time.

Last month, I finished 2 orange quilts – which fall is my favorite time and color pallete, so that was extra special too. This month I have Yellow. It’s a weird time to be doing a yellow project, but

“it will be done”.

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As winter approaches, it’s gets harder to keep on track with this challenge, but I really like the pattern I came up with for this one – sort of my own. I am sure there is one out there like it, but I don’t remember seeing it. So this one is more of a challenge you might say.

November Inspiration

Rebecca-Zajac_Kitchen-Dining_8_jpg_rend_hgtvcom_1280_853 Rebecca-Zajac_Kitchen-Dining_1_jpg_rend_hgtvcom_1280_853

2 for 1 Special this month

So I started out strong, even though orange is not one of my favorite colors. I plugged along. Then came vacation, plans didn’t work out so I ended up being around home for a week and a day. And boy did I get stuff done!!!

I found this pattern on pinterest and ordered it but I was never sure what fabrics I was going to use. Well, I do now.MagicStars Usually this type of pattern would drive me crazy and I was really worried about that when I started putting the blocks together. But once it was all together, the offsetting/misalignment really works…for some dumb reason.

So, I actually finished this one on Sunday. Then I had all these pieces left over and lots of time on my hands, so on Tuesday, I started putting a braid together. I have always wanted to do a braid. It’s not perfect, it’s a weird size/shape, but I really love how it turned out. But, the brown I used in this one, I was going to use to bind 2 other quilts and I had just enough, to the point that I had to piece a couple of smaller pieces onto the bottom boarder piece. Whew, it worked with a 3 inch piece left over.

BraidsI think this is the perfect size for 2 people to use when laying/sitting on a love seat when you don’t want all the bulk that comes with a traditional sized quilt. The braid points are off but I think that goes along great with the scrappy theme. The braid instructions I was following you were supposed to cut it into squares, but I just loved how they went together so I kept them that way.

On to find inspiration for November – Yellow!

UPDATE (11/28/2015): So, I was so unsatisfied with the second quilt top this month, I redid it. I would spend nights thinking about that thing, so I had some extra time on Black Friday when I wasn’t out shopping and “FIXED” it!

Orange you excited it’s fall?!

I am…I love fall. I am not afraid of winter, so that helps.

So, with orange being this months color, I was going to do a traditional pumpkin pattern, but i decided against it and I’m going to incorporate a bit of brown and green into this quilt top to represent Fall.

a pumpkin pile√ Pattern
√ Orange scraps
√ cuts done

lots of cut up 10" squaresNow, I just have to site down and start sewing…fall is a very busy time for us;

  • putting up hay for the winter
  • doing final prep to put the flower beds to sleep for the winter
  • mowing the lawn for the last time
  • Oh yeah, have a little fun and enjoy the weather

Where there’s a will, there’s a way…

Fall is my favorite time of year, there is a crispness in the air without being bone chilling. The bugs have all retreated to where ever it is they retreat to which makes spending time outdoors even more enjoyable. The only bad part of fall is that the days are getting shorter – I found myself out in the front yard with a flash light this weekend finishing up a couple of projects – my neighbors must just think I’m a goof ball.

PurpleSquared

So, I was on a mission to get my September color project completed early. And I did it.

Here are some things I learned doing this quilt:

  • The pattern is made up of 12″ & 16″ strips – I would suggest sub-dividing those into different sizes also.
  • Square up – before you get the whole strip put together – I put the strips together first and then I had to trip the whole strip and I found a few places that I was off by more than a 1/2″ – so it got a bit tight on some of these seems.
  • 6inchSquareDo your math – I got all the strips put together and I had 1 of them that was 2″ longer that all the rest. What I had done is when I was adding sub-blocks I was supposed to add 2 – 6″ blocks (on top of each other) and I broke it up by adding 2″ strip on each side and I forgot to add the 2″ to my line total. Well, when you come to the end of the quilt and you are putting it all together – remember it’s all squares – there is no easy way to take off 2″ and keep all the squares.
  • When you have an OCD button – beware that it will get pushed at some point when you try to make a rectangle quilt out of random squares!!!!!  Yep, now you know why it’s so large.
  • Starch is your friend when dealing with so many different sized pieces that have been sewn together!!!!!

I haven’t officially measured it, but I did lay it out on my California King size bed and it covered the full length and hug over quite a bit on each side – yippee, another big quilt.

 

It’s all purple this month

abstract-purple-background-purple-976369929[1]Well, it’s all about purple this month!  I have found a pattern that I love and I’m sticking with it.

It’s not a “quilt” pattern, but it will work just fine.

My fabric is all cut up into squares of various sizes.

So I went to start sewing last night – I don’t have any thread to match. Ugh!!!! Off to get thread today!

Klimt blanket tutorial & lay-out :: similar to Babette blanket. Simple squares pattern, many thanks to Gingerschatz!:

Check another color off the list…

That’s it, it came down to the wire, but my August Color Quilt is done. Whew!!!! I worked on it late last night, but it’s done!

Green Half pictureI tried to find somewhere outside (fitting for the color after all) to take this picture, but because of the size I couldn’t find anywhere and I ran out of daylight (so depressing that it is starting to get dark at 7:30 at night.) So I snapped this one quickly.

I discovered something interesting when I was putting this together (for the 3rd time)…the size was really, really off.  This is very long and thin. I had planned on adding a strip of 2″ white and an outer boarder of long strips of the left over pieces, but when I got it this far I realized that the length was already to the point that it didn’t need anything added to it and I felt adding it to just the sides would look weird. bed runner or pillow coverSo I opted to leave it like this and I took the left over pieces an put them together – now, what I’ll do with that, I’m not sure. It could be a large pillow covering, a large dog bed (no dog in my house has ever slept in a dog bed!), bed runner, but it’s a bit thick for that. It actually could work as a lap quilt too.

I found out too late – at the end to be exact – that when working with triangles starch is your best friend!!!!!  Green isn’t my favorite color, but I do think this thing turned out pretty good considering my skill level!!!!

So here it is, fully laid out on my queen size bed:

Green Quilt Top Full Picture

 

The month of August is brought to you by…

The color Green…

TheColorGreen

The shape Triangle…

Triangles

The Phrase…

Phrase

Blue is in the house!!!

Well, I’ve got my first month’s color challenge complete!  When I was cutting up the blue, I thought that I had a lot of fabric cut up, but I just kept cutting. Then I thought I didn’t have very much cut up, so I kept cutting. Man oh man did I have a lot of fabric cut up…

Lots of BlueAs I was assembling this quilt top, it just kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger. I was planning/hoping for a square picnic quilt, ended up with a compete twin size quilt. In fact, I laid it out on my king size bed to try to get a picture of it and it covered the whole top of it – complete!  OMG – it’s huge. No wonder I’m exhausted from pulling and pushing that thing around my little sewing table.

So I can’t get a picture of the full thing until I can find somewhere to hang it up high enough that it’s not on the ground.  But here is a picture of 1/4 of it.

I did put it together wrong – twice. I was able to pull it apart the first time, but the second time I had all the blocks put together and I just wasn’t pulling about 18 blocks. I don’t thing it turned out too bad. Not exactly what the pattern called for but, that’s what personalization is all about.

Here is what I did:

  • Pulled out the bin of blue fabric.
  • Ironed all the pieces up
  • I thought I had mostly fat quarters, but it turns out I had more full yard or larger pieces.
  • Found the “Lattice pattern” in the Fat Quarter Style.
  • Cut 9″ squares out of all fabric.
  • Cut 2 – 2 1/2″ strips as well (I was planning on using these pieces for another project I have on my mind)
  • I had 2 Honey Buns of white – so I was set there.
  • Cut the 9″ square in half diagonally
  • Attached white strips to the triangles
  • Attached other side of triangle to white strip
  • squared up to 8 1/2″ squares
  • I started connecting these blocks together to make 8 1/2″ x 16 1/2″ rectangles – this is where I made my big mistake – I connected the wrong sides, and that just starts the rest off on the wrong foot.
  • Connected the large rectangles to make 16 1/2″ blocks. Then I found out that I had 18 blocks. 3×4 needs 12, 4×5 needs 20. So I had a few extra squares so I did 2 more sets up ( 8 squares ) to make up a complete set of 20 16 1/2″ blocks.  This is when I noticed it was getting sort of big.
  • Attached all the white between blocks
  • connected the blocks into rows.
  • connected the rows into one large top.
  • Outlined in with the white 2 1/2″ fabric
  • Here I was stuck – do I add something more or leave it end with the white. A light bulb went on – I have all those 2 1/2″ strips – why not make a boarder out of that – so I did.
  • Add 2 rows of strips for the outside boarder.
  • TAH DAH  – the top is completed!

The scary thing is I sort of came up with the design that I want to quilt this with….that’s a project for another year – maybe 2016 will be the year of finishing these things – I think I am up to 20 unfinished quilt tops by now!!!

On to the next on!!!

Month 1 – I’ve already changed colors

Yep, didn’t even get into the month and I got stuck on doing blue instead of Purple – I was feeling very patriotic, so I started with blue.

Blue SquaresSo far so good, I have lots and lots of blue squares.

I recently purchased a book “Fat Quarter Style” and I found a pattern in there that Ireally liked so I pulled out my drawer full of blue fabrics and started cutting.

If it was a fat quarter I cut 2 – 9″ squares and 2 – 2 1/2″ strips. If it was larger than that I cut 4 – 9″ squares and 2 – 2 1/2″ strips. Boy did this pile grow. Only a few of the pieces gave me only 1 square – maybe 5 in all.  When I was all done going thru the pile of blue fabric, I counted and had over 100 squares.

pile of blocksWhoa, back that truck up. So as I was going thru and doing the first step (not going to show until the top is done) I only included up to 2 of each color – I still have a ton of squares. But progress. I did, however, run out of the white strips I was using so I did have to order some more white. I didn’t plan on how much “background” fabric I would be going thru doing these projects.

Bad planning on my part.

all ready to go on

But I have my blocks all trimmed up and ready to assemble. My inner boarder is all ready to be added and the outer boarder is ready too.  I feel really good, so far.

 

Love this book, but really?

Fat Quarter StyleI recently saw a sample quilt hung up in a shop during a shop hop and I know this is bad, but I don’t usually buy books from my LQS – I can get them on Amazon for 1/2 the price they charge in the shop and that leaves me more money for material during shop hops.

So I fell in love with the raindrop quilt in this book: Fat Quarter Style

So I ordered it from Amazon and I fell in love with so many of the quilts in that book. However:

  • Yes, all these patterns are fat quarter friendly
  • However, what they don’t tell you is that you will need yards and yards of “background” fabric – usually white in the case of almost all of the patterns in this book.

The directions are great, the pictures are great – but I think the title is a little misleading – you will use up lots of fat quarters, but you will spend a lot in background fabric too.  So I think it evens itself out.

Mystery Quilt 2015 #2 top is done

CrissCrossMysteryI struggled a bit with this one and dropped off one of the outside borders, but I love how it turned out.

I had a few problems with the directions, so I had to redo a couple of the smaller blocks. And I was going to resize this and have it 4×4, but I messed a couple of measurements up and that didn’t work out so well.  The outer boarder was actually done with 2 strips because the way the directions were written, I didn’t have enough of the Light fabric. But once I put it together I realized that the directions took a few liberties with cutting and with measurement of what fabric you need.  If I would have measured out what I really needed, rather then what the pattern said to cut, I could have had the outer boarder done in 1 thick piece.

But all in all, I love it.  Thank you Heather over at Heather Spence Designs for another fun quilting time

I want to do this pattern again, but I saw someone who had arranged the blocks differently and I loved that layout.

I now have added another top to the stack. This was supposed to be the year of taking a few of those off that pile and finishing them up.  I better refocus….

 

Monochromatic Quilt Challenge

I am going to do a Monochromatic Challenge for the 2nd half of 2015.

color_wheel

There are 6 months left to the year, I am going to make a different quilt top (top only) each month for the primary & secondary colors on the color wheel.

Since Purple is my favorite color, I am going to try to do that one in July.

So here is the plan:

Of course, the color plans could change.

But the other part of this quest is that I am hoping to use up some of the fabrics I have had sitting around for a very long time that I really don’t plan on doing anything with in the near future. I hate to call it my stash, because I haven’t used some of it forever! So I am hoping that this road will be a cheap road!

Details:

  • 75% of the quilt has to be the main focus color
  • Pattern, solids, etc. all are welcome
  • These will not be fancy, intricate patterns, but then will be pieced in some way. No PP will be done on these.
  • Minimum size will be 36″x 36″ – I call this a picnic quilt.
    Basically a 9 square – 3×3 blocks of 12.5″ blocks
  • Each month a different pattern – so not only will the color change each month, the pattern will also change.

I have to stop typing this up, I’m starting to freak myself out with this challenge!!!!!

 

48 to 24 to 12 – the art of quilting

Well, another week, another clue, another block!

24 blocksGo this one done today. I’m loving how this is turning out. However, I found out that some of my first blocks didn’t go together very well and it’s showing up now. I love how it this is coming together though.

12 blocks Today, I also went to a new quilt shop, well they have been there about a year and a half but I found them because they are part of the Row by Row Experience that starts up pretty soon. Nice little shop in Cambridge. Of course I had to buy something: Row by row license plate, pattern (to add to my growing pile of things I want to make and 1 yard of really cute fabric for a baby quilt.

Catch Up Day(s)

So it’s B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L outside beyond belief this weekend and what did I do…catch up on the Mystery Quilt over at Heather Spence Designs – where is my head!!

Clue 1:

MQ Clue #1

Can I say I HATE pressing seams open – well I am saying it.

The instructions called for sewing 2 1/2 squares together, but I did strip piecing instead. And I even messed that up. I miss counted/sorted and had 2 middle strips with 1 outer strip and thought I was so smart. Until I went to put them together into this block – ugh!  I had to make a bunch more of the outer block and I don’t know what I’m going to do with 18 extra center pieces.

Clue 2:

Clue #2

Can I say I HATE pressing seams open – well, I am saying it again.

This one wasn’t so bad. Went together pretty quickly – which scares me. What’s coming up next.

 

 

Clue 3:

Clue #3

Can I say I HATE pressing seams open – Well that’s what the title of this MQ should be!!!

I just have to square up and I’m all caught up!

block stackIt’s quite a stack of blocks, if I do say so myself.

Off to do something outside now!!!

Inspirations this Memorial Weekend

So, I took off on Saturday morning to run some errands and to try to find a flea market that I heard was in Hinkley – well, needless to say, I was lead a stray – someone really needs to clean out the interenet!  There is so much old crap on the internet that is set to autodate to current – a programmers trick, that I myself have used (Karma? Knocking on my door?) – so I made the best of a bad road trip.  I got to stop at a Quilt shop that is up that way.

BIG MISTAKE – what oath did I take this year:  No New Fabric This Year!  Well considering I broke that oath about a month after I made it, I shouldn’t feel too guilty.

So I stopped at Fabric, Fashions and More in Rush City, and they always have fun sample quilts up and this time was no different.

  • I could have taken home 8 kits, but I didn’t.
  • I could have taken home 2 books, but I didn’t.
  • I did however, bring home 2 small kits and I even started them.
  • Even better, I finished one of them, well the top at least.
  • Even better yet, I spray-basted 3 other tops that I had on the UFO pile
  • And even better than that: I started quilting one of those sandwiches – I got almost exactly half way done and I ran out of bobbin thread – I took it as an omen, it was time to call it a night.

20150525_210558

Best Mystery Ever!!!!

Never in my wildest dreams did I think that this mystery quilt would turn into this.  I sat for over an hour trying to layout those pieces into something after last weeks clue. I was stuck on some kind of star, some how, most quilts are stars. Not this one.

ThruStep4

Who would have thought this stack would turn into this.

 

IMGP0047

 

This is going on TOP of the pile of quilt tops that I have to be done. This will make such an amazing picnic quilt.  I did have to do a bit of ripping again this morning, but it was all well worth it.

I can’t say enough about this quilt. I am so in for the next one!!!!

I did this thru Missouri Star Quilting Forum and https://www.facebook.com/groups/mysteryquilt/ – the designer/hostess is Heather Spence.

Measure twice, cut once

We’ve all heard it.
We’ve all said it.
We’ve all NOT done it!

There is a piece missing in this well know piece of advice:    “READ THRICE”

I started working on my Mystery Quilt for a Cure:

Mystery Quilt #2

 

And I ‘thought” I was well on my way…little did I know I was going backwards!

We all have an Achilles heel – mine is when a situation requires a decision and both options are of equal value / deal / amount of work.  A 50/50 is my worst nightmare.

So I cut up all my fabric into the strips, sewed them together (albeit incorrectly) and did all the sub-cuts. Then I got the next set of instructions….and I’m looking at it, and looking at it and noticing that my sub-cut strips are not like the others being posted on the blog.

I do the next natural thing – re-read the instructions. I did not arrange the fabric right when I put the strips together in step 1 – UGHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Now the conundrum – do I tear all the pieces apart and put back together or do I just get new fabric and start over.  UGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH! I’ve been stuck for a week now!!!!!!

Broken Resolution….dag nab it!

Well, good intentions…what can I say.

They say ( who is they, by the way ) that new years resolutions are broken by the end of January. Sometimes, when it’s related to the gym it’s right about Feb 14 – who needs to be in shape after Valentines day, anyway?!

Well, my resolution was not to purchase any more fabric unless it was going to be used right away, for a specific purpose, immediately.

Well I made it to the First week in February. Although, I could argue, I did purchase fabric for a purpose, but “the proof is in the pudding” they say. ( Who is “they”? They are getting under my skin…  )

Mystery Quilt #2

I visit Missouri Star Quilt‘s site everyday to see the “Daily Deal”  –  right, it’s the last thing I need to do is have carrots dangled in front of me.

So, I am always up for doing something for a cause…..Well that’s my reasoning at least!!!

Crafting Day

Wow, what a whirl wind day I had yesterday…I made three projects for a benefit for a friend, and of course I left them until the last minute.  BUT that is when I do my best work, afterall.

TwigStarAnother star

I actually made two of these on Saturday afternoon, but I had planned on added some smaller twigs to fill in the voids, but the small branches on this star were perfect just as they were. So I didn’t have to do anything to it – yeah!

blessingWindowBlessings Window

I bought these windows off of facebook last summer one day, and they have been just sitting around. So the theme of the day was “Blessings” so what a perfect fit. I cut this out twice and I have a second window to make one for myself (someday).

pinkCamoBlanketKid Blanket or Lap Blanket

So I have had this pink camo minky material laying around. I keep walking past in and wishing I had something to do with it for someone.  So…I took my two pieces and was trying to figure how I could easily make a blanket out of this material.  It took me 90 minutes and I ended up with 2 kid size or lap size blankets.

  • Two pieces of fabric – do not need to be the same size, but that would help. I had one piece that was 2 years and another that was 3 yards. One piece was 40 inches wide the other about 44 inches wide.
  • Make sure that the cut edges are straight.
  • Lay fabric out right sides together – salvages together also.
  • Decide if you want curved corners or straight corners
    Because I was under a time restraint, I went with straight corners, but I wish I would have taken the extra few minutes to curve them. There gets to be a lot of fabric in the corners when you are sewing.
  • Sew across the cut side (top) – I allowed a 1 inch seam – I’ll explain why later
  • Sew down one of the salvage sides.
  • Sew down the other salvage side.
  • Then sew across the other cut side (bottom) – make sure to leave an open spot for turning the blanket inside out.
  • Trim up the seams to make sure you have at least 1/2 inch all around seam, in this step more is better, so if you have more use it – this will make a big difference when you do the sewing of the second seam and if your two fabrics were not the same size.
  • At this point layout your blanket – how to you feel about the size? I felt mine was way too big so, I folded it and cut it in half. Scary thing to do, but I love how it turned out.
  • If you just cut this in half, you will need to sew the side together – for each blanket.
    Make sure to leave an opening on the second blanket to be able to turn it right side out.
  • Turn both blankets right side out and go around and straighten out all edges and corners.
  • I went thru and pinned together the opening that I used to flip the blanket.
  • I changed my sewing machine to do a small zig-zag, set on the smallest settings available. I started sewing around the outer edge of the blanket making sure that the inside seams are laying flat and I kept the extra seam as close to the edge as possible.

This was totally one of those “Hey, do I think I can get this done in an hour” projects.  Well it was a little more than an hour, but I ended up with two very cute blankets, IMHO!

 

Row after Row, after Row

I ran across this shop hop earlier this year, but I just got into it over the last couple of weeks. I have had so much fun doing these rows.

This is how you know I’m having fun…when my floor looks like this

TheWayIwork

Row By Row Experience – Mn Quilters

The Row by Row Experience shop hop is something new and exciting. It’s sort of a play on the old traveling license plate game when you were traveling with your family during summer vacation – only, it’s quilt oriented. Which makes is so much more fun.

So as I have been collecting the patterns/kits I have been sorting them into Piecing and Applique.   I don’t really care for the applique patterns, but it seems that almost half of the ones that I have collected are applique. Which just means that I have to go and collect more patterns.

5 rows completed so far, so far so good:

Rewards What is interesting to me though, is that each ones of these patterns are different finished sizes.  The rules of the challenge is to put 8 of the rows together into a quilt, finish it with label and be the first one brought into a participating store.  As you can see from the 5 shown above, putting them together will be a challenge.

Another finished blanket

pink flannel rag quiltpink flannel rag quilt backSo my niece texted me the other day and said “Can you make one of these?”

So I looked to see what I had around for material and started cutting and sewing. I wanted to see how much work it was and how much fabric I have around.  Well I put this little pink one together in one afternoon. It just kept going and going and going. And before I knew it I was done.

I think it took me just as long to do all the snipping of the seems as it did to  put the whole thing together!

So I gave it to her one evening and she just looked at me in total surprise – she didn’t think I would have it done so quickly.  Then it dawned on me, her youngest one (about 5 months old) is a little boy and here I was handing her a pink blanket.

So, off I went to see what other fabric I had around and I found 2 pieces of blue; a solid and a dotted one. And of course I put that together too. (I forgot to take a picture of the finished one, so I’ll have to update this next time I see them.)

So naturally, when I gave her the little blue one, I get a text from here “The big kids want to know if they get blankets too?”  I made a deal with her, she brings me the fabric and I’ll make the blankets.

Yep, I got a bag of flannel material to make blankets for the “Big” kids too.  I will post when I have them done.

One finished project – 11 more to go!

WHOOOOOOOOT – WHOOOOOOOT – I actually finished a project.

Not only did I start the project this year, but I also finished it!!!!

Circles - Front Circles - BackSo I started this circle project back in April, and I just now finished it.

I know that this is the first actual finished project that I have but it’s my favorite. My favorite for sooooo many reasons:

  • Favorite color: Purple
  • Favorite color combination: Purple & Black
  • both a square and a circle – yah!
  • The back is part of the design

My hubby was laying on the couch the other day with this covering his legs (I am always over heated and he is always COLD) and he said “Wow, I didn’t expect this to be very warm – but it sure is comfy. I have lost my favorite, first finish project.

 

Circle me this, batman!

So I bit on a “Deal of the Day” and purchased a circle template about 2 weeks ago.  I love what they look like – and it was a “Deal of the Day” after all.

A month or so ago I purchasedCleo_LayerCake this Cleo Layer Cake from the same place – these are my favorite colors – that, by the way, do not match anything else in my house – in fact they horribly clash with everything in my house. Go figure!

So, I decided to use this layer cake with the circle template that I just got.

So far so good, I have 42 circles made so far, now I just need to sew them together. That is my project for the next week.

Cleo_ciclesThe only think I don’t like about doing this pattern is that so much fabric is thrown away it seems.

Cleo_layout

Another Top put together

SewRedI have had these sitting around since last year and finally I put them together into a small top.  I love it!!! I picked up some white with swirlly red for the back.  This is now moving from the “Blocks” pile to the “Tops” pile.  And that gives me another empty “Block Box” for another project!!!!

Win – Win!!!

 

Christmas in February?

I know, I know, it’s February – flowers, chocolates, love, love, love.

Well, I was putting stuff away and I ran across a stack of charms that I purchased during one of the last shop hops, it’s cold, cold, cold outside so I decided to put these together into a winter cuddle quilt.  They aren’t wool or flannel, but it’s those deep rich colors of Christmas.ChristmasTopper

So far, so good. I love these colors!!!!

 

What a fitting block for the end of the year… Bow Tie

Now, do you think she planned it this way?  Who knows.

The last block of the year for our “We Bee Learning” flickr.com group is the Bow Tie – I love this block and it is on my list to do a whole quilt of these some day!!!

Quick, Cute, Cuddle Blankie

PInkCamoCuddleBlankieTell me this isn’t the cutest little Pink Camo Cuddle Blankie you have ever seen! Come on, I dare you! It’s about 24″ square, just the right size for a little girl to grab it, hug it and giggle as she runs down the hall way!

It’s made out of that really soft minky material – it was a learning process and challenge to understand how to sew it together, but it turned out so cute! It was a great winter weekend project (only took about 2 hours to put together).

I saw the kit and pattern at a LQS and picked it up, threw out the pattern and did my own. Basically take the two pieces put them right sides together. I took a large bowl from the kitchen to use as the template for the rounded corners – cut right around the bowl with my rotary blade. Pinned it loosely, and sewed it together.

I left about a 5″ hole to get be able to reverse it. Pressed it lightly and sewed around the outer edge. There is no filling, no form to this at all, which makes it even more of a cuddle blankie in my opinion.

Snap, crakle & pop it’s done.

It’s a small world, after all

You just never know who you are going to team up with on the internet these days.

Well, this month, the hostess for the “We Bee Learning” group just happens to live in the same town that my daughter-in-law comes from in Wisconsin. What are the chances of that…

This block was such a challenge for me because it is so random. I can’t handle random – therefore I will never do one of those “Crazy Quilt’s where you just start sewing stuff together – I would be pulling my hair out doing one of those. Well, these turned out so good, I almost kept them for myself!

A Couple of extra blocks this month

This month, I picked up a couple of extra blocks to do for the “Bee’s Helping Bee’s” Flickr.com group: Wonky Stars & Floating Heart

I wish I had all the time in the world all the fabric I want so that I could make a top with all the neat blocks I have been learning/doing for the flickr.com groups.

 

It’s about the presents Block

One of the greatest things about joining these two flickr.com BEE groups is that I get to do blocks that I wouldn’t normally choose to do on my own. For September, the hostess chose “It’s about the presents” block. A block made up of 4 smaller individual blocks. My biggest challenge this month  was that I couldn’t find my whole bin of Christmas fabric. I know it’s here, but I just don’t know where. It’s probably buried under a dozen other projects. Ugggg – I’ve got to get some of those completed.

Once thing I did different from the pattern on this block is that I did 4 of the bows in more of a natural look; meaning: they are not picture perfect. They are a little lopsided. It’s a 50/50 for me, I like the individualism, but it’s not as neat. But I really like the individualism…It’s a never ending argument with me sometimes!

Happy Fall!

October – We Be With It – Walk in the woods Block

For my “We Be With It” Flickr.com group this month, I am the hostess.

Fall is my favorite time of the year – I love the crisp air in the morning & evenings, the warm sunshine during the day, and the cool nights make for great snuggling time with your honey!

So, for my block this month I have chosen the Shattered Chevron Block pattern and I am calling it “A Walk in the Woods”.  walkinthewoodsThe color palette I have chosen is black, grey, brownish for the middle chevrons (representing a path – so think rocks & dirt), and the long top and bottom pieces I would like fall foliage colors (muted yellows & greens, red, orange, brown – think fall colors).  In the tutorial for the Broken Chevrons pattern that I am referencing, they have you put a white border around the block, please do not do this. The pattern creates a 10″ (10.5″ unfinished) square.

I ran out of time last month, so I didn’t get a chance to make up a couple of actual blocks as examples, I will do that by this weekend. I hope that the illustration I have above will help you to understand my vision.

 

Strings attached – for We Be With It

This month’s block for my flickr.com group (We Be With It) are String Blocks.

They are an 8″ block and they went together so nicely I made 2 extra. They were a lot of fun to do.

 

2nd set of 4 done

So far, so good.

I had hoped to do 4 each weekend, but fall can be a busy time around here – getting the barn filled with hay, moving all the other stuff around to fit the important stuff in the barn. Fall cleaning – did carpets today and yesterday. 6 hours of doing carpet cleaning is enough for me. Then I got to do my fun stuff.

Finished 4 more blocks this weekend:

IMGP0020

Time on my hands

So lately I have found myself with a lot of time on my hands.

After seeing the citrus quilts put together from one of the girls on the flickr.com group – bees helping bees – I decided that since I had some free time, I would make one of my own. So last week we went on a road trip – we each picked a store that we wanted to go to and took turns “doing our thing”. I picked up some bright 1/2 yard pieces of fabric and came home and started putting things together.

So far, so good – and I’m having some fun too!

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It’s written in the stars

or so it’s said.

This month in one of my flickr.com groups we were given a range of colors to use but we got to pick the pattern. Now for someone (like me) who has trouble making decisions the only thing worse wold be to be give a pattern and told to pick my own colors.  So of course, I kept putting this off and putting this off – until this weekend, I had to get these done and in the mail.

On one of the other groups they are doing a Ribbon Star Block, now I am not in this group, but I fell in love with that block. So, I decided to make one for my group. Here is my version of the Ribbon Star Block using Maya colors:

ribbonStar Now, I did start out making this block for my group, but it is so hard to send it away. I love how it turned out! I have a plan for making a lap quilt using this pattern – I’m putting it on my list of things to do this winter!!!! Now you may ask yourself, just how long my list is and I wouldn’t be able to answer, it’s so long that I can’t see the start of it any longer.

So for my second block this month I choose to do a different star – a Star within a star block, again using the Maya colors. But this one turned out really nicely too.

StarInStarWell, now I get a few days off until the next blocks come out for September. I should go work on something on my list, but what fun would that be!?

 

My Turn…We Bee Learning Flickr Group

Yep, my turn this month in the We Bee Learning Flickr group and I picked a good block this month: Buzz Saw.

I like blocks that show action, so this month I have chosen the Buzzsaw Block that I found on the McCallsQuilting.com website: www.mccallsquilting.com/patterns/details.html?idx=14284.

I did ask for one small modification to the pattern at McCallsQuilting – I want the outer corner triangles to be black, I think that will setup so nicely.

I had hoped to have a couple of example blocks done earlier this month, but I didn’t make that deadline. So I just now got them finished – at least it was in the first half of the month!

BuzzSaw BlockDon’t ya just love how these turned out.

Here is my drawing of what I was thinking:

BuzzSaw-ExampleI just love, love, love it. I can’t wait to get all the blocks in and put them together for a nice little quilt! Maybe this will be one of the first UFP that I actually finish!!!!!

 

Shop Hopping in LMMN – QuiltMinnesota.com

It’s “Quilt Minnesota” Shop Hop Time and this year I got to go out and about and we had a blast!  Usually I just go to the few LQS’ around here, but his year I teamed up with an old friend and off we went. We spent the day driving down country roads – both dirt and tar. We did lots and lots of U-Turns – sometimes over and over in the same area.  In one area,  the GPS we were using (Her iPhone) kept telling us we were in the middle of a field – come to find out we were. The road had been moved about 2 years ago so that it didn’t go thru downtown, it was moved out of town and went thru a field instead.  Nice to know now!?!?!?!

I saw a huge shop up in St Cloud, which I could have spent all my money and the whole day just there, but I was trying to pace myself.  And when you are in St Cloud you have to stop in at CraftersDirect – and my partner in crime for the day had never been there. It wasn’t on our map, but we had a blast there as well.  I saw a bunch of small stores as well, and they had beautiful projects both in the Quilt Minnesota fabrics and other fabrics as well.  I want(ed) them all.  SO I am on quilting overload right now, trying to figure out what to start on first with all the stuff that I purchased this year.

 

Flying the Victory Garden/Union Jack Flag today

2 more blocks done for this month’s “We Bee With It” flickr.com quilt block bee.

These 2 were such a challenge for me. It was sew 4 seams, rip 2 seams. One night, I got to the point of doing the last piece, the middle piece that goes all the way across. I had both blocks pinned together, sat down at the sewing machine and for some reason I looked to my left. There, sitting on the ironing board was the 2 1/2″ piece that goes across the middle of the block. The block that I was holding in my had, pinned together, loaded into my machine with the presser foot lowered and my foot on the pedal. “Step away from the sewing machine Jen! Step away!”

I lifted the presser foot, took out the block, grabbed the other one that was sitting right next to me. I then put them both over on my cutting board.  Now, here was the smartest thing I did while working on these humungous blocks…I took out all the pins and laid the middle strip in-between the half’s and walked away, turned of the lights and went to bed. Whew!!! Dodged another rip-out session there!

Came back 2 days later and just finished up the blocks. These are huge – 14.5 x 17.5 – I am used to 12.5 x 12.5 blocks at the largest. But, if I do say so myself, they turned out awesome!!!

July Bee Blocks: Scrappy Strippy Kaleidoscope Blocks

I love blocks that have motion to them and these two blocks have lots going on.

I was a little afraid of this block this month, but once I started working on them it just started coming together.

I love to see other peoples passion and creativity.

One day, when I had nothing to do, I ran across this website: http://www.kickstarter.com

What it does is the advertising/marketing for projects. It’s as simple as that. On this website, there is something for everyone. From music, books, crafts, craziness, you think of something and I guarantee there is project there that would interest you.  The whole idea behind this website is that it gets backers for the projects.  It in itself is brilliant!!!!

So I signed up for their newsletter and each week I get thier newest and most interesting projects.  Sometimes it’s something really outrageous, sometimes it is something so simple, you just have to ask yourself: “Why didn’t I think of that?”

It is such a treat, but a sin as well. You can spend countless hours paging thru the projects and it is really easy to loose track of time. You can search by location, topic, media, etc. Spend some time there – I’ll bet you’ll find something to back.

I found something that I fell in love with and choose to back it: The Constellation QuiltThis project is fully funded now. The were looking to raise $10,500 goal and got 958 backers (at different levels) and raised $149,301.  A huge success. So for my backing, I got the pattern to do make the quilt myself. I am putting it on my list of things to do.  The list is high, but this one I think will be a wonderful gift for a little boy or girl who wants to lay out among the stars.

Shuffling off too…the subways of Tokyo. Updated

Yep, without leaving my 5 acres in central Minnesota!

I am making a block for the “Bees helping Bees” Flickr.com group.

She is missing 3 blocks, I am making Block #12.

This is a simple idea, lots of little squares, but I really like it. I hope to be able to make the whole thing some day.

So, I’ve got my little squares and I’m gonna shuffle off to sew some subway tunnels…

Tokyo Subway Block #12 LayoutMade with 2″ squares will make a 12 1/2″ unfinished block.

The whole process is amazing when it is all put together. You can see the whole thing and get the directions/pattern at Oh, Fransson!”

She has some other quilt patterns on there that I am putting higher up on the list than this one…like the picnic quilt that rolls up. Awesome idea…I am going to try to make that one this summer for fall picnics.

Update: Well I finished this block – twice.

My first one was completed when I was pressing it for the last time, I got 3 stains on it form my iron or ironing board. So I started over. This one turned out much better – no stains.

Block12_TokyoSubway

I would love to do this whole quilt some day.  I love that it’s dimensional and represents something at the same time.

 

Quatrefoil Block

Boy I wish I could use that word on “Words with Friends”!!!

Well I couldn’t sleep last night, even with the soft rain that was falling. Could be because alls it’s done around here lately is RAIN!!!

So I got up and thought that I would see how far I could get on this months blocks…I got them done!

I had so much fun doing these two Bee’s this year, that I sign up for another 6 months.  I did lots of blocks and fabric colors that I wouldn’t have done on my own. What a great experience!!!!

My last set of blocks for my Flickr BEE!

June BlocksThis is the fabric for my last set of blocks for my We Be With It – Flickr.com Bee.  I love the colors, very summery!

My other bee, We Be Learning, it’s my month, so I’ve already made my blocks for the tutorial for the Woven Ribbons / Plaid Block made with 2 1/2″ strips. So I feel short sheeted with nothing more to do this month, maybe that will get me outside to work on my perennial gardens or work some of the stink out of my pony.

8 1/2″ Woven Ribbons Block

Woven Ribbons using 2 1/2″ strips.

When I first ran across this block Woven Ribbons over at QuiltersCache.com, I immediately fell in love with it and knew I wanted to make it sometime. But I love using pre-cut strips, so I took the original pattern/tutorial and modified it to use 2 1/2″ pre-cut strips. And I love it even more now.

This tutorial will make an 8″ finished block (8 1/2″ raw block).

You will need 4 colors – because I am writing this tutorial for the “We BEE LearningFlickr.com group, I am going to call out the colors and pattern that I want created for my block.

Fabric Requirements:

  • 1 – 10″ strip of white, cut into 4 – 2 1/2″ squares
  • 1 – 7″ strip of 4 colors: Pink, Blue, Green and Yellow (I cut my strips 1/8 inch longer to allow a little extra for trimming)
    From each color strip cut 1 – 2 1/2″ square, leaving a 4 1/2″ rectangle

Attach a white 2 1/2″ square to a 2 1/2″ color square – if you are using a pattern that you want to align whit the 4 1/2″ rectangle of the same color, make sure to mark which side should be attached to the white square.

Layout the 4 1/2″ strips so that they are touching in the center corner – like a windmill. layout a white/color square unit next to the 4 1/2″ rectangle – make sure the white square is in the outside corner position. The color square should match the color that is on the other side of the 4 1/2″ rectangle – creating the weave.

Attach the unit made with the 2 1/2″ square to the rectangle next to it – In the picture shown:
white/pink is sewn to the yellow
white/yellow is sewn to the blue
white/blue is sewn to the green
white/green is sewn to the pink

You will have 4 – 4 1/2″ squares.

Next take the square with the large yellow strip and sew that to the square with the large Pink strip – make sure you are sewing the large Yellow strip to the Green/Pink side of that block.

Take the square with the large blue strip and sew that to the square with the large green strip, make sure to connect the large Blue strip to the Yellow/Blue side of that block.

Next, take the two  halves, match up the center seams and sew together.

Square up and you should have a 8 1/2″ block.

Using the 2 1/2″ strips to do this block you can get 6 blocks out of 1 strip each of 4 colors, you will need 1 1/2 strips of white though to complete those blocks.

Woven Ribbons Instructions.

Bright & Shinny Starry Night Quilt Blocks are done

Well, they are completed and in the package to be sent away.
We used the Christmas Starry Night tutorial from Fresh Lemon Quilts for this block.

These two blocks were so much fun, I am not used to doing things with such vivid colors.

 

My new favorite

Paperpiecing blocks are so much work, but they turn out so nice.

My finger tips are sore and I have paper cuts, but boy of boy do I love these two blocks.

I it going to be so hard to mail these off to their new home, even if they aren’t my colors.

IMGP1230IMGP1231Before I sew these together I wanted a picture of them put together each way.

It’s almost hard to say they are the same sets of pieces. I don’t know which way I like better.

Brightness!

These are so NOT my usual color paletteCitrusy Colors – my eyes almost hurt from looking at these colors this long.

But I can’t wait to see what the blocks look like when they are completed!

I am actually excited that it’s a gloomy, rainy day today – it’s bright and shinny in my sewing room!

Buzzzzzzzy Beeeeeee this weekend

I love doing spur of the minute projects – although it helps when I actually follow the instructions, but then it just wouldn’t be one of my projects if I didn’t switch something…

This weekend I joined a flicker group that steps in where other BUZZZZZZZZZy BEEEEEEEEEs have not fulfilled their commitment. I love these type of things because it’s a quick request and I don’t have too much time to think about it and procrastinate!!!  My worst trait is procrastination, and best gift – I do some of my best work under pressure.

The block is a 6″ Paintbox Quilt Block – instructions can be found here: http://www.ohfransson.com/oh_fransson/2010/01/paintbox-quilt-along-how-to-make-classic-blocks.html

IMGP1217So in my grand tradition I messed them up.

First I cut the solid strips the wrong width, but this could have been fixed so easily if only I would have done the math correctly. So the solid strips started out too big and ended up too small. Good Grief. Only the ones on the far right are correct.

I guess I’ll have to find some more fabric and redo the other ones.

 

April Bee Projects

Well, the calendar says April and we just got 3″ of snow today.

Something is very wrong somewhere.

April is so busy for us that I did my Bee projects right away this month, so I didn’t have to rush later on.

These two blocks, were difficult, but I really like how they turned out. Although, the directions called for the seams to be pressed open, and I really didn’t care for that finishing look.

These blocks were quick and somewhat easy to do, I spent more time on finding the center fabrics than I did putting them all together.

So I’m off to play in the snow for awhile…

What’s Black and White and Red all over?

My latest BEE project, that’s what!!!!!IMGP1169 IMGP1171

I started making 1 set with black bars and a red/white pattern.

Then I thought, what would this look like with 2 patterns – let’s see.

The Asterisk worked out great with 2 colors, but the # sign, didn’t look right. Then I said to myself, self, what about 3 colors after all, the # sign has 9 spaces.

Then, I said to myself – “Hey, what about reversey”  Is that a word? I can’t wait to get all these blocks from the BEE and put them together.

What will this be transformed into?

How can something so small weigh so much…?Grey with black runners

I “BEE” sewing…and I’m caught up

I hate short months, I almost ran out of time with my “Bee” blocks this month.
I was hoping to get them into the mail today, but missed it by “this much” – it came a hour ago.

So I’m off to the post office.

My blocks this month are: Granny Squares x2, Wonky House Block x2
Paper Piecing is NOT one of my favorite things to do, but I’ll try, again and again and again.

Granny Squares Granny Squares Wonky House Block Wonky House Block

 

 

This month’s Color scheme is…

Granny Squares

I’ll BEE back at the end of the month to show what this turned into.

I “bee” sewing

Well, I finished my blocks for the 2 bee’s that I joined this year. I am so happy with the way they turned out, except for 1 small thing!  It never fails, every single solitary block that I have made, I put 1 piece on backwards. Usually, it’s putting the wrong sides of the fabric together – EVERY SINGLE TIME. I caught myself doing that 3 times on these blocks. I was being so conscious of what was going on. And then, low and behold, I sewed the sub-blocks together to each other rather than to there opposite!!!!!! ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!

As you can see in the picture the green block didn’t go together quite right!!!!!

When I first started doing “paper piecing” blocks, I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about them. There are good points and bad points:

Good – they really are true to form and if you follow the pattern completely, your blocks come put pretty crisp.

Bad – you use such a small stitch size that if (when in my case) you have to pull apart something, it is very [did I say VERY with enough emphasis] difficult to rip out the stitches without ripping the material. So on the green one I have to pull the four sections apart and sew them back together correctly!!!!

The other block I did I had to increase the pattern size. This is not the first one that I’ve done of this pattern, but it was the first time that I had to modify the size of the pattern. That was a bit of a challenge, but it came together perfectly, if I do say so myself!!

I was lucky – both of the people wanted a grey background for their blocks, the only problem is tat I used up almost a whole yard doing these 3 blocks.  Partially because I didn’t cut the pieces correctly (3 times) and the other because this Lone Star block is 16.5″ square. But I love all three of the blocks that I did.

In Your Words Blog Hop is here!!!!!

Well here we are again, hopping around the internet. Don’t you just love all the great projects in this hop?  I love the creativity, style and talent of everyone here.  I went to Sweden today and I don’t even have a passport – I love the internet.

For my project, I was feeling a little nostalgic for high school. In the 70’s when I was in high school, the way you were a rebel was to ‘mark’ things.  Especially your jeans.  1 – it annoyed the teachers, 2 – it was cool to your friends (who was wearing more ink) and 3 – pretty much drove your mom crazy!!!!!

So, a month ago I made a couple of wine totes and I had thought about making one of out denim to see how it would work out. So I started looking around for some denim and being cheap I saw the pile of blue jeans in the closet (long story short, I want to make a blue jean quilt out of my and my husbands old jeans as a keepsake for my son, or a cabin if we ever get one of those. Already have the kid…) and the wheels started turning.

I found a pair of my sons old jeans – wide legs that they wore in the 90’s and I started cutting. Then I grabbed some red fleece (like I would put any other color on the inside – really! – actually, I just couldn’t find any red flannel) and cut that to size.  Then came the fun part – out came the sharpies.  I had a great time doodling on this tote!!!!  Brought back many, many memories of walking around with pen all over your hands because you touched the drawing before it dried – because it took days and days for it to dry if it ever did.

So here are my words for you to enjoy:

I turned the leg upside down and then cut a simple slit and sewed around it for the handles.

 

And for your Rock ‘n Rollers:

I hope you have as much fun hopping around the web as I had making this ‘wine’ tote!

Happy New Year to everyone!

 

 

 

 

Thank two lovely ladies Madame Samm and Linda who are  our cheer leaders for  this amazing blog hop.

Please continue on with the other ladies of the day:

Wednesday, January 16

Hmmmm…just what will I make with these?

My oh, my

Just what will these become?

I’ll Bee back by the end of the month with the answer..

Another hopping session on the way

We’re at it again…


Quick Holiday Gift

Recently a good friend of my little sister was diagnosed with leukemia and it has been a whirlwind for this family. They are throwing a fundraiser for the family in a couple of weeks, bad timing, but when did Cancer ever cared about anyone else!!!

So I ran across a pattern/tutorial, two actually, for a quilted wine tote and I really wanted to try making one of these, so I did.

These patterns are very similar, yet very different and mine are not exactly like either one of them.

I used festive holiday fabrics – basically 2 fat quarters each, gives you enough for the binding also, if you watch your cutting. I made these in a little over an hour each, I am sure the more you make these the quicker you could make them. If you really wanted to kick these out quickly, you could use pre-quilted material or forgo the quilting and just use a heavy canvas/denim material. Hmmm…denim

So I gave these two “totes” with a gift certificate to a local liquor store so that the auction winner can select out their own holiday spirits.

 

Holiday Lane Blog Hop

So today is my day on the Holiday Lane Blog Hop – and I’m first on the list.

Just a little bit of pressure!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

First I want to thank Jill Finley of Jillilly Studios  for this creative pillow pattern to share called Holiday Lane, Madam Samm at Sew We Quilt, Blog Hop Events Queen, for falling in love with it and declaring it a HOP, and of course, Pauline Francis for being our cheerleader – PC problems and all.

I am new to the blogging, hopping and quilting. I have joined these hops to expand and challenge my skill set. I should say develop my skill set. I have learned so much from these hops and the other BOM’s that I have joined, it’s amazing the difference in my skills in this past year or so.   On this Hop, I was able to use some of the stitches on my sewing machine that I have never used. I have use 2 stitches – straight and zig-zag. So looking at this design, I decided to try some of the other 48 on the machine.  I had so much fun doing it. I let loose a little bit. I also thru in a little mixed media into this project.

Here are some close-ups of some of my favorite parts of my Holiday Lane:

For the smoke I used fabric paint and the decorations on the trees I used a fabric paint with glitter – it ads a bit of sparkle.  On the roof tops, I used a curved decorative stitch, on some of them – the ones with a heavier snow load, I used a second decorative stitch, to give a bit more depth.

Whew – I got this done & posted with 10 minutes to spare.
Thanks for stopping by, please feel free to leave me a comment.

Have fun as you travel down our Holiday Lane blog hop today:

 

Pre-Blog Hop Rush

So, it’s pre-hop day here and I’m running a bit behind. Not for lack of trying, planning or effort, but because life sometimes throws you lemons.

I had planned on doing the finishing (top only) today, but what I didn’t plan was being at the emergency vet hospital all of last night, getting home at 3 and going to work by 8 this morning.

So we have been up since 5am yesterday. We are both a bit punchy at this point, but so far so good. Our 13 year old Vizsla was diagnosed with “Vertigo” – not the movie. But basically she is in a constant state of spinning. But according to the vet, this is a mild case, but it will take about a week before she’s somewhat what she used to be.  Until then, we carry her everywhere. Yes, I needed some upper body workouts, but not like this. Her spirits are getting better and we are taking naps (2 at a time, Dog and one of us). It is going to be a long weekend.

So, here it is 8:30pm, 3 1/5 hours until I’m up (and of course, I am on the top of the list for today – lots of pressure for me.

I’m skipping my nap and locking myself in the craft room to finish this up. I have actually worked really hard on this pillow, although my grew to the width of the bed…

Another Hop on the Way

Here we go again…hopping thru the web.

Holiday Lane Pillow
November 21 – 30th


This project was so much fun!!!! I can't wait for the next one!

Pet Peeve of the Day (week, month, year)

Recently I purchased a quilt kit – table runner to be exact, that was advertised to be part of a quilt shop hop and therefor contained the “special” fabric that went along with the shop hop.   No discounts, no specials, paid full retail pricing for the kit.

When I got it home I took the kit apart and noticed that more than half of the material was different than the pattern showed. Not only different, but it wasn’t even part of the series – it had just been replaced with a different (cheaper) piece of material that was close in color – not exact, not a similar pattern, just a straight out swap.

Now. to say that I was mad is beside the point. I was so excited to have a quilt shop so close to where I worked (I was dreaming of lunch hours in there among the bolts of fabric) and then have this happened.  I was heart broken, just really disappointed.

I did call and ask about it (because I could be some what anonymous if I called) and they point blank said that it’s their option to change out the fabric in the kits if they choose to. They are under no obligation to tell anyone – at all.

Needless to say, I lost their number!  This is not a store that I will go into for anything.

For those of us that are just starting out with quilting it is very frustrating to purchase a kit and not have the same fabrics that are in the pattern.

Just my vent for the day!

All caught up, what’s next?

Well, I am all caught up with the Sew Red for Women BOM.
I finished the last 3 blocks over the last couple of days.

So I’m off to find a new project to work on.

Seeing Red This Weekend!

This weekend, well last week actually, I was doing some Blog Hopping and I ran across a blog that’s purpose was to “raise awareness of Heart Disease among women by way of creativity and camaraderie within the modern sewing community” – sewredforwomen.blogspot.comgoredforwomen.org

As usual, I am late to the party – Oct was block 9, but the good thing I can catch up – and catch up I did this weekend.  I purchased all 9 blocks and the box arrived on Friday – Yahoooooo!  (Can I use that without paying them a royalty?). The fabrics are gorgeous and bright, not my usual color pallet, but I’m in.  So I started on the blocks and of course I started with the first one.

My Chevron Heart – It’s my #$$%#^@%# alright.  I worked for a full day on this block and it didn’t quite turn out right. In the instructions, they say that the supply extra material, just in case. In this block/kit they actually sent enough to do this block 3 times – except for the white, there was only enough for twice – I needed the third amount, really I did. I pieced and tore apart, measure and remeasured, then cut. Then did it all again. I finished it late last night, but I really spent the whole day on it and I was burned out by the time I got to this point.

It’s not the correct size – I can’t figure that out, the measurements were all correct once I got the center done.  Who knows, when I redo it later on, I’ll have to watch my measuring and check the patterns accuracy also.

So I got up today, and was determined to do more than one block of the 8 I had remaining.  Whew – I got 5 more done. Albeit some of them are rather simple, I have never done any of them before so there was the challenge for me! I can’t wait to get the other 3 done, I hope to have them done before the November block is released – 2 weeks from yesterday.

Leafs Me Happy – Blog Hop – Maple Syrup

Hello from Minnesota! I live in the small town of Isanti, Minnesota, about 45 miles North of Minneapolis/St Paul.

Here in Minnesota we are known for our extremes – -25º in mid-winter, 100º in mid-summer. This year is no different. We had record rainfalls this spring – the town of Duluth was flooded for over a week, now this fall it’s making up for that – we have not had measurable rain in over 8 weeks. Our lawns are totally fried, in my case my pastures have turned to dust and we are feeding hay earlier than ever before – not to mention hay prices are outrageous this year. Farmers that got early crops of hay are not getting one this fall, so prices are going up again!

We are also known for our vibrant fall colors. But because of the drought this fall, the colors are limited and quickly leaving. So we have to enjoy them while we’ve got them.

On to my block – Maple Syrup.

I found this pattern in a magazine years ago, and I just love the interaction between leaves – I put together a block in both the 12.5 and 10.5 inch sizes. This pattern would make a fantastic table runner with a 2 rows of 4 leafs put together in a running pattern but it could also be used just like shown here as a square with a vase of fall foliage placed on top of it.

This has been one of my favorite blocks to make, it’s simple yet not at the same time. I have made 1 block into a 12″ hanging 2-sided block – Summer & Fall versions back to back. It came out so nice, I only wish I had somewhere to display it – other than on the kitchen counter.

I also put one of these together to show how it can be done with 2 1/2″ strips. This block ended up being 16″ (15.5″ finished) so a bit bigger than I thought it would be. The outer leaf fingers didn’t come out the right size and you can see how they are a bit smaller than the pieces in the leaf, but I tried to keep to using the 2 1/2″ strips, like I said, you would need about a 4″ border on the outside to have it all be uniform and that would make this block even bigger that the 16″ it is shown at here.

I used this pattern for a wall hanging done with scraps. I love the interaction between the leaves, sort of brings it all together, like when you look at the fallen leaves on the ground, you don’t see just one leaf, you see many of them overlapping. I would love to, some day, use this pattern and have each leaf represent a family member using their birthstone as the color of the leaf. I think it could/would be a very heart warming image.

Well that’s it from here – although I will share one more thing from our dusty pasture, my hubby thought this was very funny – I didn’t think so. When I went out to see the horses I found my hubby had written a message (in dust) on the pony.

Technically, it should have said “Brush me!” Needless to say, I handed him the brushes and told him to get to work!!!

Thanks for stopping by “My Collection of Things” and Happy Hopping! A great, big THANK YOU to Cherry for hosting this blog hop & to Mdm Samm for starting the whole thing. I am so happy I ran across you guys!


Tuesday 9

I would love to hear your comments, I usually turn these off because I get so much garbage, but today I would love to hear from you. This was sew much fun!!!!

Think Pink – Quilt Block

My creative juices are flowing, funny since the cool weather just stomped its foot at our front door today – high of 45º today, and blustery winds to go with it. We have even seen a few snow flakes flying around.

So today I decided to make a block that I ran across last year, and being that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, this fits in nicely. Of course, this block could be done in any color you wanted to.

The pattern/instructions are from Missouri Quilt Co and she has the directions on youtube.com.

Craftsy – Block of the Month – October – Part 2

FREE Block of the Month

Well, it’s now October and it’s a gloomy morning so I decided to try this block. It took me about 4 hours this morning, but I got it done and I think it’s not too bad, if I do say so myself.

So this makes 10 blocks sashing and binding is next!

I did use a little piece of very high tech equipment that made a big difference with this block – a fake sample credit card. WE all get those things in the mail and I keep them in a pile in my craft room, they are great for scrapers when I am scrapbooking, and it came in really handy for folding the lines in the paper piecing patterns.

I’m always looking to save a buck or two.

It’s here! – My first Blog Hop!!!!

I’m up on the Second Tuesday – come back then to see what I came up with.

Master Schedule

October 1-10, 2012

Monday 1

Tuesday 2

Wednesday 3

Thursday 4

Friday 5

Saturday 6
& Sunday 7

We all get the weekend off!

Monday 8

Tuesday 9

Wednesday 10

Crafts – Block of the Month – May (yes, May in October)

FREE Block of the Month After doing one of the October Craftsy BOM’s I decided to go back and do one of the blocks that I didn’t do earlier this year: Wonky 5 sided Log Cabin Block from May. It’s not exactly a 5 sided, but it was made in the manner you make a log cabin and it is Wonky, so I’m counting it!!!

This went together really easily (probably because of working on the paper piecing block) and I was able to include one piece of the signature of this material set that I am using, so that helped pull it all together.

 

 

Craftsy – Block of the Month – October

FREE Block of the Month

I know it’s not October YET, but Craftsy released the October BOM early. I didn’t think I was going to do it this weekend, but today just started out that I needed something like this to do, so I did one of the blocks.

This month the technique is Paper Piecing and these blocks appear to be more time consuming that the curved blocks last month.

I did complete one this weekend, the Friendship Circle – there is one section is off just enough to throw the inner circle off but everything else aligned up so well, I just couldn’t pull it apart and start over. Of course it didn’t show up until the last seem on the block.

I do have one suggestion, that I will follow when I do the second block for October, when sewing the pieces onto the paper – sew out to the edge or past it – it will make a big different when pulling off the paper. When I was pulling the paper off the backs because the directions said to sew only on the lines, some of my pieces started to pull apart. Go the distance, it will also give you a start on the tearing – paper is a tough cookie at times!

“Leafs me Happy” Blog Hop Countdown

No, it’s not the state of Texas!

Get your clickers ready!!!!!

It’s coming…only 3 days away now!

October Blog Hop – Leafs Me Happy – Teaser

No, it’s not the state of Texas!

No it’s not a frog!

No it’s not a pumpkin or an orange frog!

Leafs Me Happy Blog hop has started – so here’s a teaser of my block (well, something I made with my block pattern). See you later in the hop to see my whole project.

Leaf's Me Happy Blog Hop
Complete Schedule Available

And yet another project this month…Spiral Table Runner

Spicy Spiral Table Runner Pattern done with blue, tan and burgundy. Finished size is approximately 22×44

Okay, I took out the ‘Spicy” in the name because I used muted tones of fabrics on this, but I did it!!!!!

I had been having a lot of trouble visualizing any material with this pattern, but on Sunday I was so in the mood to sew something I just started searching around my craft room and I cam across this material I had purchased about 2 years ago that was on clearance and it went with a kit that I had purchased and never made.  So I pulled it out and it all started coming together. Most of the material (blues & tans) is from Connecting Threads line called Indigo which they don’t have any longer. The reds are from another random collection that I just recently got from Connecting Threads. But they worked well together.

I did make a couple of notes on my pattern, if you are going to make this pattern and you are using full width of material cuts (like I did) press all seams in the same direction, then when you are sewing together the strips you won’t have some going in different directions. You don’t meet up any seams (if you did, start over) but it is very difficult to sew seams that are pointed towards the presser foot, on the bottom and make sure they don’t flip over.

I used my tape gun and put two strips of tape down the ruler (I only went as far as I was going to use it) and that helped greatly to stabilize the material when I was cutting the wedges, especially the small ones.

One other thing that I did was take my 10 degree ruler and I took my tape gun and ran two strips of tape along the edge (see close up of ruler here). This made cutting the wedges so much easier and the tape can be removed quite easily when you are done. When you are cutting small pieces of the wedges the fabric has a habit of moving on me causing my cuts not to be straight. Some of my rulers of the little feet on them (like glue dots), but what I see happening with them is that if your fabric doesn’t reach between dots it can and will move during cutting.

So, another project checked off!  What to start next?

Another project…

This weekend’s theme was “What else can I busy myself with so that I don’t have to do the thing I am supposed to be doing”.

Now, what I was supposed to be doing is the Spicy Spiral table runner.  Deadline was yesterday – thank goodness we emailed each other (at the same time, mind you) and requested an extension!!!!  I am having trouble finding the fabric that I want to do this table runner in – nothing has jumped out at me yet.

Last week I went to a shop about 45 minutes away from home (everything is at least 45 minutes away from home by the way) and I fell in love with a new set of fabrics and the sample quilt they had there. Thank goodness that they didn’t have any of the panels or a kit available for that quilt or I would have purchased it. But while I was there I also saw a table runner that I fell in love with (I do that a lot). It is the perfect colors and I love the pattern. So I purchase the book Gathering Friends: Runners to Go and the kit they had for the Whimsey runner.

When I went shopping for the fabric for the Spicy Spiral runner I ran across some remnants of material that go perfect in the room that I am making this runner for, so I picked up them as well. I know, didn’t I say I purchase the kit…

The room that this is going in has medium blue color walls, so putting something with a blue border around it is just going to get lost, so when I saw the material on clearance I knew I had to buy it. I am so happy with the way it turned out. I can’t wait to finish/quilt this and get it hung in that room. This will go so nicely in that room with all the other horse stuff that I have in there. AWESOME!!!!!

Craftsy – Block of the Month – September

FREE Block of the Month This month the technique was curves.

Templates cut from acrylic and monogrammed.

I can, without a doubt say that I will never do another block that has curves in it, even though my hubby made me some AWESOME templates for this block (cut out of 1/8″ acrylic), this is not the type of block/pattern for a perfectionist.

 

Now, that being said, on these two blocks I have some of the best inside corners I have ever done – I was focusing on the curves so much that I didn’t pay that much attention to the inside alignment.  SO that worked in my favor.

You never know what you find when you are googling

I was googling the other day, ha, for a tutorial or example of the “Spicy Spiral” table runner that I want to make (Well that I am going to make by Sept 15 – private challenge with an old friend), and I came across a blog and she was showing how she made the table runner.

So being the inquisitive one that I am, I looked around her blog to see what other things she was doing and I came across some shirts that she had made with her grand-kids. These were easy, fun and did I say easy! So I went to the site with the directions and that site was full of interesting crafts. My favorite is the Watemark Tee Tutorial – I wish I was having a group of kids up here to do these shirts. They look so easy and FUN to do.

The other site I came across recently is a quilting/sewing themed site. They feature a different project every day or so, with full patterns and instructions always available. I originally ran across this site thru a link on one of the Wisconsin Shop hop stores web sites – they did a whole article about the Wisconsin Shop Hop (Hmmm, they didn’t do one on the Minnesota Shop Hop, I wonder where this site is located?).  I was looking thru their old posts and fell in love with the Jungle Path Baby Quilt – again, I wish I had someone to make this for, I LOVE it.

Craft Buds

Third, but not least, I just saw a site that is hosting their 2nd Annual Craft Book Month – featuring expert Q&A’s among other things. It is a Blog Hop where each participant is to present to you (the visitor) their favorite craft book.  It started this week, and goes thru 9/21 with the final week you have the opportunity to share your favorite craft book project and enter for a chance to win prizes.

Craftsy – Block of the Month – September – Curved

FREE Block of the Month
Okay – got the patterns, made the templates, now it’s going to take a small miracle to get all the pieces cut. who knows how long it’s going to take to actually put the pieces together. This one is going to take a day without dogs (all animals) and the hubby to be off somewhere – this never happens, so these two blocks are going to be awhile.

August Quilting Project

Well this month I ran across something that was so much work, yet so much fun to do. While I was popping from website to website looking at patterns and tutorial I ran a website where they were hosting a Blog Hop.  Everyone that signed up had to use the same pattern and display their block on a given day.  It was Awesome.

The hop that was running was called “Bowls without Borders”, there were 165 people that took part in this Blog hop and it was so fun to go every day and see the different projects that were submitted.

After each day’s group the images were loaded on pintrest (view the pinterest board). Be prepared to spend some time looking at all the submissions, they came from all over the world – that even made it funner, going to websites that are in German, Spanish, etc. What an adventure.

Bowls without Borders

Paper Piecing quilt block

So, I ordered the pattern and did one myself. I have never done a paper piecing project before, so this was really a challenge for me. It went together in one afternoon. Then I took it one stop farther and actually quilted it on my big machine that I haven’t used yet (Sweet Sixteen) and put on a boarder.  It was fun. A good challenge and I learned a couple of things. But the thing my hubby is the happiest about is that I used the big quilting machine for the first time.

So as I was looking around the first site, I noticed that they have blog hops scheduled for every month or so and I signed up for the “Leafs me Happy” hop in October. I have figured out what I am going to do and I can’t wait to do the block in the next week.

Here are some of the other hops that are scheduled:


Dots on Dots
Sept 10-20th

Leaf’s me Happy
Oct 1-10th

Wicked Blog Hop
Oct 22-31st

 

Craftsy – Block of the Month – August redo

Well, I said I didn’t like the way one of the blocks turned out, so I redid it.

I am much happier with this one, much, much, much!!!

Craftsy – Block of the Month – August

FREE Block of the MonthThis month’s blocks are Stars: Ohio Star & Double Star.

Where I like parts of these blocks, I did not do a very good job on color selection so I will be remaking the Double Star block. I turned out a little small – if it’s stretched it measures 12″ nothing more.

But I will say that the Flying Geese on the Double Star Block turned out really nicely. I do have to rip apart one side of the Ohio Star and fix the alignment, but overall I think they went pretty well.

July Quilt Project

This month, I have been trying not to purchase much fabric, knowing that the QuiltMinnesota.com shop hop is the first week in August (this Friday actually). So when I was searching for a small piece of last years fabric, I ran across a table runner / wall hanging sample in a shop that I really liked. So I brought the kit.

Then, because I’m cheap, I did not purchase the pattern but memorized it. It was a simple pattern. When I got home and prepped the fabric and laid out what I was going to do.  I had also purchased 1 extra fat quarter of the background fabric on the chance that I might do something a little bit different with the pattern.

So when I had the material laid out I noticed that it went really well with the Quilt Minnesota fabrics from last year. So since I had some extra I used it. I got 2 table runners/wall hangings out of the kit with a few scraps thrown in.

Neither of these is the exact pattern that was at the shop, but I like how they both turned out. You will notice that I have them sandwiched together for quilting – I am trying to learn some actual quilting techniques.

Finished sizes should be about:
Smaller/Left one 11″ w x 32″ L
Larger/Right one 15″w x 44″ L

Craftsy – Block of the Month – July

FREE Block of the Month This month in this series is 2 Dresden Pattern Blocks: Traditional and Modern.

This one took me quite a while to do, for a couple of different reasons.

  1. I am doing this series with the left of material from the 2011 Quilt Minnesota fabrics
  2. I had to purchase the template
  3. These two are very time consuming, not like some of the others have been so far.

1. Because I am using the left overs of the themed material, I don’t exactly have a lot of some of the materials left.  The first block was the Traditional Dresden block, which calls for 20 pieces for the wheel. These are small enough that I was able to fussy cut pieces out of my scrap box.  The bigger problem is that it calls for a large background piece. Because these pieces are so busy it was really hard figuring out what to use. And I knew that I had two to do.  So I found a piece of the green monotone pattern, but I didn’t have any of the blue and I didn’t want to do them both on the same material, not to mention I didn’t really have enough for the second one – it takes twice as much.

So I went on the hunt to the local quilt shops between home and work and found some of the blue monotone pattern.  Whew, was I lucky. Most shops sold out last year, and others are making room for this years patterns. But I found some at Cottage Quilts in Elk River. I spent way too much time in there and found way too many things I want to make. I have to stay out of these shops, after all Quilt Minnesota Shop Hop is only weeks away and I have my eye on a couple of kits/patterns.

2. Template – either there are a lot of people in my area doing this series or some other series that required this template, but I had to go to 4 different shops to find it. But now I have it in my template stack for the next time I’ll need it – when ever that is.

3. So I once I got the template and figured out what I wanted to use for background and blades, I was able to cut the blades all out and I could even sewed the Traditional Wheel together and had it ready to go.

HINT: Because I was using some specific material and I wanted the blades to be in a certain order (on both patterns) one thing that I did was lay them out in the order that I wanted them and I snapped a picture and printed it out. That way I didn’t have to stress over what went where and it gives you a nice template to use.  This really cut down on my stress of doing these blocks. This is something that I wish she would have mentioned in her video. If you are doing a scrappy quilt block positioning won’t matter as much. But if you are like me, it always matters.

Wisconsin Quilt Shop Hop – June Quilt Project

Last year I did the Quilt Minnesota Shop Hop and I’ve done 2 1/2 quilts with the fabrics that I picked up.

This year, I saw an advertisement for a Wisconsin Quilt Shop Hop and fell in love with the fabrics. So, on Wednesday this week, I “ran” over to Wisconsin to get some of their fabrics.  Well, long story short: after 9 emails, and  phone calls I did get some of each of the fabrics.  They are coming from all over Wisconsin. I can’t wait to get them!!!

Now, since I was in a quilt shop and they were cutting the fabric that they had there for me, I “browsed” around!!!  I not only came home with the Shop Hop material, but I also came home with 3 other patterns and a kit.  I just fell in love with this bright, simple pattern/kit.

So Saturday we did a 12 mile training walk (for the 3Day Breast Cancer Walk in August) and when I got home I was exhausted and my feet hurt. After a shower and a short nap, I was restless and tried to figure out something that I could do that didn’t involve using my feet.  Answer: Quilt of course!!!!!

So I pulled out the simple little kit that I purchased and I got to work. I didn’t get it all done on Saturday, but then redesigned the border a little bit (used some fabric that I’ve had for quite awhile) and finished up the top this afternoon.

Pattern: Baby Cakes by Legacy Patterns
Kit Purchased from: Pins ‘N’ Needles Quilt Shop in St Croix Falls, Wi

I could spend hours and hundreds of dollars in these quilt shops. I must have spent 25 minutes talking myself out of purchasing the kit they had put together with the Wisconsin Shop Hop Material – but I didn’t. I am so proud of myself!!!  But the Minnesota Shop Hop is only 6 weeks or so away!

Craftsy – Block of the Month – June

FREE Block of the Month This month we did 2 versions of 9 Patch Blocks: Greek Cross & Octagon.

These 2 blocks went together so nicely – I must be getting more disciplined at this or the blocks are getting easier.

 

Craftsy – Block of the Month – May

FREE Block of the Month This month used a technique/pattern is 2 twists on Log Cabin: Modern Log Cabin & Wonky 5-Sided Log cabin.

Again with this set of patterns, I didn’t really like one of them so I didn’t do th 5-Sided Log cabin. So this month’s block was really easy.

Craftsy – Block of the Month – April

FREE Block of the Month This month used a technique/pattern using “Hex” shapes: Hexi Stripe & Sunny with a chance of Hex Block Pattern.

This was a huge challenge for me, small shapes, hand stitching, then applique onto the background piece. This was very time consuming and quite a challenge. It’s been years since I held a needle and thread and did any hand sewing. But it was fun at the same tim.

I just couldn’t get the second block (Sunny with a chance of Hex) to work with my fabric so I didn’t do it.  I have a couple of other blocks & pieces left over from another quilt that I did with this same fabric. I will fill in this spot with something from there.

Craftsy – Block of the Month Quilt – March

FREE Block of the MonthThis month’s technique is “Foundation Piecing” : String Block & Broken Spider Web Block.

You would think the unorganized nature of these two blocks would have driven me crazy, but there is an underlying organization that does go with these blocks.

 

February Quilt

So far so good – just building my stack of finished tops.

I have seen this pattern in the catalogs for a long time and finally bit the bullet and bought it. I also bought the Jelly Roll of material.

Pattern is “#1137 Stars on Point – A Jelly Roll Quilt” by Whistlepig Creek Productions. I purchased it as a kit from an online store. It came with a navy binding.

I had a lot of trouble with the material for this quilt. I know that I am just a beginner but this material twisted and turned so much on me, I seemed to fight it every step of the way. But I like how it turned out.

 

Craftsy – Block of the Month Quilt – February

This month’s set of blocks that are 2 blocks using Half Square Triangles: Chunky Chevron & Balkan Puzzle blocks. FREE Block of the Month

Now this is more my style, organized and structured. The hardest part of doing these things is selecting the pieces/fabric to put together. And when it’s a scrappy quilt and there is not supposed to be any organization this drives me a little crazy.  So that being said, it’s a good thing that I do 2 blocks and put the whole project away for a month!

 

Craftsy – Block of the Month Quilt – January

The first set of blocks that were released are 2 versions of a “Slashed Blocks”: Asterisk & Wonky Pound Sign. FREE Block of the Month

I am such a new quilter that these two blocks really challenged me. I am used to doing squares & triangles. So this was a great challenge for me.

As you can see from my picture, I didn’t exactly follow the pattern for the Asterisk – I used the red line/pattern in the fabric as one of the lines of the asterisk – it didn’t work 100% but it ties in nicely.

January Quilt #2

Because I started the Craftsy Block of the Month classes I decided to start another project that I have had on my mind for quite awhile.  I wanted to make a quilt with a checker board in the middle. It is one of those things that just got stuck in my mind and it wouldn’t let go.

Well once I get started on something my mind goes in 20 different directions.   Why only have a checker board what about other games…This was my down fall.

So here comes the Tic-Tac-Toe board as well. Now I just need to figure out 2 more boards that I can put on this quilt to make the complete cover.

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January Quilt Project #1

For January I started 2 “projects”. FREE Block of the Month

One is a the free online class from Craftsy –  Learn it. Make it.
Craftsy Block of the Month Class

Each month they release 2 blocks. Each block is different and you learn a new technique.

  • January was 2 Slashed Blocks: Asterisk Block & Wonky Pound Sign
  • February was 2 Half-Square Triangles: Chunky Chevron Block & Balkan Puzzle Block
  • March was 2 Foundation Piecing: String Block & Broken Spider Web Block
  • April was 2 patterns using Hex shapes: Hexi Stripe Block & Sunny with a chance of Hex Block Pattern (I didn’t care for the second block, it didn’t go with my fabric, so I skipped it)
  • May was 2 twists on Log Cabin: Modern Log Cabin & Wonky 5-Sided Log Cabin (again, I didn’t care for the second block, so I skipped it)
  • June is 2 9 patch blocks: Greek Cross & Octagon Blocks
  • July is 2 Dresden blocks: Traditional Dresden Plate & Modern Dresden Wheel

It is a wonderful class and I am learning a lot of basic steps and different approaches at making simple blocks.

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December Quilt

So, It seems I’m on a theme. I’m telling you, I just love the materials so much that I made another quilt using the same QuiltMinnesota 2011 material (I told you I loved those colors!).  This one is larger – 60×60. The pattern is “April in Paris” from Quilters World – April 2011.

This is pictures laid out on my king size bed and covers the whole top. Another one in the pile to be finished. I am developing quite the stack.

November Quilt

The quilt top that I did during November was done with the QuiltMinnesota.com 2011 fabrics.  I love the set so much that I purchased 2 different kits (I didn’t make either kit) and I am using the fabrics to do a pattern that I like better than the ones in the kit.

For my November project I used the “By the Light of the Silvery Moon” pattern that was in the Nov/Dec 2011 Issue of QuiltersWorld.com magazine. The minute I saw this pattern I fell in love with it. It was not an easy pattern to follow and my beginner skills were showing, but I did get it done.

Mine ended up being 40 x 40 – now i just wish I could do the quilting and hand it somewhere.

October Quilt

I spent most of October doing what I call “Reverse Nesting” !

I cleaned out closets that haven’t been touched in months, years, heck decades (I’ve lived in this house for 30 years com May 2012). I filled the dumpster every week and took at least 1 load to the Good Will store.

When I was out following the Quilt Minnesota shop hop I ran across a quilt kit in one of the shops that just really grabbed me. I’m not usually a yellow & orange type person, but this one had a lot of brown in it also. And I have never done a quilt with a panel in it. So I brought the kit.

It’s simple, but was kind of cheery and that’s what I needed at the time. I used the book  #5354 Quilt Boutique that I purchased on Amazon (because it was cheaper there than at the quilt store. The material and panel were purchased as a kit from the quilt store.

Bottom line it will be a quick throw around one of kids when they are sitting on the couch or around the fire pit. And I had fun making it. There is something to say about quilts/projects that are simple – sometimes you just need that simple task to feel like you completed something that day.

 


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