Easter Cupcakes

Have you started planning for Easter? Easter baskets, snacks? Family meals? Egg decorating?

I admit that I am not a great cake decorator, but we had fun with these cupcakes! I came up with three different ones! It was just one of those days where you weren’t planning on making something, but the idea came and you had everything you need. I love those days!

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So, I am trying to come to terms with my cake decorating limitations, but I have another kitchen flaw… I’m also not good at boiling eggs! It seems like one of those things that everyone can do. You put eggs in water and boil the water, right… Well, I still have not made a batch of hard boiled eggs without cracking at least a few.

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So I had an idea of what to do with those broken ones! I carefully cracked them and removed the eggs. Then cleaned out the shells and dyed them just like the hardboiled eggs. In the nice little old fashioned Paas dye kits!

For these I just filled the eggs with robin’s egg candy and secured the egg shell in the icing!

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Here’s the OMG moment when I realized I had a whole bag of pompoms down stairs! A bag of different sized pompoms, a bit of red paper and some hot glue and you’ve got some chicks!  Oh, yea! You know that crafty feeling I’m talking about, don’t you? I was running back and forth with this big cheesy grin, decorating cupcakes and making pompom chicks!

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And for my third idea…

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I wanted to make a birds nest! The kiddo says it looks like a birds nest…  With jelly bean birds eggs. I think they turned out cute, too!

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But I’m pretty sure the pompom chicks are everyone’s favorite!

 

QuiltCon 2017 Favorites

OK, you might be bored with QuiltCon pictures by now, but I’m going to post more anyway. Sorry! I’m headed off for a quilting retreat this weekend and I thought to look back at the inspiring quilts from QuiltCon would be a good way to start off the weekend!

Hyperbolic Hexagon Tessellation by Jennifer Kloke

I was about to write, This is one of my favorite…. But they are all my favorites! So I’ll just get that out right now so I don’t start each paragraph with that same sentence! I took a million pictures of my ‘favorites’, but the ones I’m showing today are the ones that I keep coming back to in my head, the ones that really left an impression on me!

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As you probably know, this was my first year to go to QC and the first year to have a quilt (or two) in the show! So imagine my surprise as I rounded the corner, looked up and saw my quilt at the end of the line of AMAZING quilts! It felt awesome!

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And I got closer and closer and super close!

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And technically, I didn’t make this quilt all on my own! This was one of the do.Good Stitches quilts that I designed and made with blocks from my group!

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This is my friend Matt! He’s amazing! He’s the only guy in our guild and did I say amazing? It was great to spend a lot of the day with him wandering around looking at quilts. Maybe a couple of critiques… This is the quilt he designed for our guild’s charity quilt. He also talked me into spending way too much at the BlocLoc booth! And yes, I’m glad he did!

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left: The Kiss by Kay-Anna McCalla and right: Lilianna Kehnle

These two were both from the youth category. Love seeing the youth quilts. I didn’t realize that there was a youth category. I came home and told my son about the category and he got excited. Just the other day he told me we needed to get started on his quilt for the show! We’ll see if it happens!

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Serenity by Stephanie Skardal

Ok, this totally grabbed my attention for a couple of reasons. One, it totally reminded me of seersucker, which I love. And two, after doing my striped quilt using striped fabric, I was in awe of the time it took her to make this one of tiny pieced strips!

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Big Island Blossoms by Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill

oh, yes, please! I’m learning applique now through our guild’s BOM so this is what I am aspiring to!

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Go North by Maritza Soto

When you walked in the show, the Best in Show was right there, but it was surrounded by people so this is technically the first quilt I saw when I walked in and, boom, I was drawn right to it! Love the colors, the solids and the quilting!

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left: Lincoln by Kim Soper and right: Still With Her by Liz Harvatine

Now the juxtaposition of these two was thoughtful, in my opinion. I had been warned about overhearing people’s conversations around quilts. Let’s just say I loved it and I overheard someone else who didn’t…. I won’t go in the politics of it, but I could go on….

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Fireworks by Jeannie Jenkins

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Made in GDR 26 by Emily Doane

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Double Irish Divergence by Debra Jalbert

Another few where the bright color placement is now seared into my brain!

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I Know The Stars Are There Beyond The Clouds 2 by Heidi Parkes

I have no idea how to hand stitch a quilt. None. But this lady does! Amazing! This quilt was huge! And complete with yards of hand stitching. Maybe once I get this applique thing down, maybe I’ll learn to hand quilt. It’s a such a beautiful technique.

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Square Count Game by Debra Jalbert

This might just be my most favorite… Love the white. Love the bright. the quilting is awesome. Love the little pops of color. I want this quilt! Very inspiring to me…. And I just realized that two of my favorites are by Debra! I think we could be quilty friends!

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Yay or Nay by Debbie Jeske

I also loved seeing my friend’s quilts at the show too. That’s just awesome in it’s own right. But I also love this one by Debbie! I really love the story of the name. Check it out here.

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Half Circle Mirror by Cheryl Brickey

I was drawn to this one because it reminds me of the quilt design a day project that I like to do! I don’t think it is inspired by that, but that’s what drew me in. A lot of my designs and QDAD designs can be pretty minimal and I start to doubt the design, but seeing this one hanging there reminded how beautiful minimal can be.

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Autumn is Wistful by Chawne Kimber

Loved this for reminding me of home and growing up. But the technique is awesome too. I’ve seen the technique used with knits in clothing, but hadn’t thought about it for quilting. Why not???

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Bling by Kat Jones

And last but least, Best In Show! No words. Awesomeness is all I have to say about this one!

 

Spring Flowers

I’ve become the one in charge of updating our PTSA bulletin board at school and I wanted some paper flowers for Spring Break. My friend passed on a tutorial she’d used and I fell in love!

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I’m warning you though… These are super addictive!

The tutorial is from Ash and Crafts. And it’s so easy and makes such pretty flowers!

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You technically don’t need the pattern, but I think it makes it easier. You can download the pattern on her website.  She recommends 60lb paper, but I’ve just been using 20 or 24lb and it’s working fine. The 60lb will probably last longer, but…. So you print the pattern, cut the paper, roll it a little and add a little hot glue and that’s pretty much it! Yep! You’ve got to try it!

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Sweet Dreams, a Paper Cut Art Piece

I haven’t done a paper cut in a long time…

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Then a friend of mine has a gallery with a little mini gallery and she asked me to do another piece! And when I say mini, I’m not kidding! The mini gallery is about 14 inches by 14 inches by 9 inches. I thought about doing a mini quilt, but she loves the paper cuts I do and convinced me it was time for another one! I’ve done a Halloween one and a Christmas one….

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LIke I said, I really thought about doing a mini quilt. Then I thought about a papercut quilt pattern with a quilt behind… Then it turned it to a quilt on a bed. A quilt on a bed covering a kiddo. A quilt on a bed covering a sleeping, dreaming kiddo!

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The bed on the quilt was for sure the inspiration for the whole piece! I had the kiddo pretend to be asleep under a quilt and took pictures. Then I cut from the picture. And from there came the dreams….

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The bottom half has the monsters under the bed, the kraken and the gnome!

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The kraken is a mythological sea creature that looks somewhat like an octopus! Sometimes the drawing are a bit scarier than others. This is a sweet one!

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I love the monsters under the bed! The piece is called sweet dreams, so these guys must be sweet! As is the kinda creepy gnome, keeping watch.

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The upper half is full of other fun creatures too! Including the Man in the Moon, a Yeti (I love Yeti’s) and a Loch Ness SuperHero!

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I love yetis! With the help of my husband I love how the water from the background spills out under the bed. I love the detail in the quilt. But I really think my favorite piece, is the simple round Man in the Moon!

I do love all the little fish too! But I think the fishing Yeti, might be going home hungry!

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The piece was for sale, but didn’t sell. And as much art as we have at our house, the last thing I need is another piece. But I have to say, I was very excited to go pick it up and bring it home from the show!!!!

I’d love to hear what your favorite piece is!!! Hope you like it!

Reindeer Food- a Printable for You!

Ever since the kiddo was teeny tiny, we’ve always had the tradition of making reindeer food.

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It’s also one of our favorite neighbor gifts! Before bed on Christmas eve, we have a couple of traditions to add to the getting ready for bed routine. We have to get the cookies and milk out for Santa. Can’t forget the carrots for the reindeer. And throwing the reindeer food off the front porch in our pj’s!

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Every year, we’ve been printing one from online. This year I decided to make our own to coordinate with our Letter to Santa.

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It’s such a quick and easy little gift! And the kiddo has always loved making it. I love baking, but this can come great in a pinch when you just don’t want to make that last batch cookies for the neighbors!

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This is NOT edible for us human types! You’ll need sandwich bags, oatmeal, glitter and the tags! You can print the tags by clicking here.

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Add a little oatmeal…

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Add a little glitter….

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Add the labels… Print, trim and fold the tags in half. I fold over the bag a couple of times, then staple to the back. I also add a little tape to the front of the bag to secure the front of the labels.

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Is spreading the reindeer food part of your Christmas Eve tradition? It’s always fun to throw glitter, so I highly recommend it! I can’t wait to hear if you add this tradition to your own!

 

Visiting with Santa at Southcenter Mall

I am a strong believer of not celebrating Christmas before Thanksgiving…. BUT… The only exception I make is seeing Santa!

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Last year we went to see Santa before Thanksgiving and it’s so much easier! And I think Santa is probably less stressed. I mean, I think I have a long To Do list before Christmas…. This guy has an even longer one…. Plus there’s shorter lines (if any) and you can get $5 off if you use the coupon below!

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We printed our letter that we use every year. Yes, it’s on the blog and has been updated for 2015! The kiddo did a little proof reading while we waited in line!

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I’m savoring this sweetness! He loves going to see Santa and take his letter!

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This guy is the coolest! The other thing about seeing Santa before Thanksgiving is that the lines aren’t long and you get more chatting time. I even got to chat with him a bit!

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We got a super sweet picture this year!

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This year Santa pulled out a special treat for the kiddo! He gave him a naughty or nice coin. ANd luckily with the heads and tails, the coin landed on Nice for the kiddo. Santa told him to keep it in his pocket to always remind himself to be nice! So special!

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Now, I don’t think every kid gets a coin, but every kid does get a little crayola gift! And don’t forget the candy canes!

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At Southcenter Mall, you can register ahead and get in the Fast Pass line!

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And don’t forget to print your coupon and take it with you! Go early! Do it!

Santa’s schedule is:

November 6 – December 6

10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Sunday: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

and

December 12 – 23

9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Christmas

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I was also very impressed with the decor this year. There are so many photo spots! You could even put off that professional photography and take all your holiday pictures right there around Santa! I love the big letters for Santa and Love. The trees were pretty cool too and make great backdrops! I took so many pictures!

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Aren’t they cute???

I have been compensated with either payment or product for this post. All opinions are my own, honest opinions!

 

 

 

 

Pinterest Try Tuesday- Super Balls…

We were very sad… Today I present another installment of Pinterest Try Tuesday, but this week we have a Pinterest Fail… Sad….

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This week we decided to make super balls. Which I think are the plastic balls that bounce. We weren’t completely sure, but we decided to try it anyway.

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We followed the tutorial from Making Memories with Your Kids. Check out the original tutorial for the details (because you don’t want to follow mine if it’s super balls you are looking for!!) Her’s look amazing! Ours…. Not so much!

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The tutorial calls for glue, food coloring, borax, cornstarch and water. All the materials we had at home, so luckily this was a free one for us!

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We seemed to follow the directions correctly. First we mixed the glue and food coloring.

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Then we mixed the cornstarch, borax and water.

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And we mixed the two concoctions together. Still following the directions to a tee!

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We pulled out our goo. Looks pretty much exactly like Making Memories goo….

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Then we started to roll them into a ball. And we rolled. And we rolled some more. But they never really changed into a ball. Now if you are looking for a way to make brains for your halloween party… This would be great prop! It even felt kinda like brains. Or how I imagine brains to feel like, since I’ve never actually rolled brains around in my hands….

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So we called this a fail and cleaned up the mess!

I saw this done on another blog, following the same tutorial, and it worked for them. I have no idea what I am doing wrong. I want to give it another try, but I’m on my own. The kiddo is done with it. For a little boy that loves making art, he does not like to get very gooey! If I have better luck next time, I’ll let you know!

Have you ever tried this? Did it work? If you see I did something wrong, please let me know!

 

 

 

A New Lego Store and a Real Master Builder

As you’ve probably noticed, via IG and our Lego Valentines, we love Lego’s at our house! So when I had the opportunity to attend our new Lego Store Grand Opening at SouthCenter Mall and meet a real live Master Builder, I said YEP!

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But when I said yes, I had no idea that there are only 7 Master Builders in the whole world! Did you know that? My knowledge of Master Builders comes from the Lego Movie! So I got totally schooled! There are only 7! We got to meet one of the 7. And his son is another one!

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Do you have a favorite brick? Well, one of mine is the piece that makes the hearts. My son loves the jewels that can either be jewels, or flames or Chi (if he’s playing Chima). But our Master Builder friend, Dan, has a different favorite! His is the 2×4 brick! I thought he would have had a super fancy favorite, but no, it’s the workhorse of Legos!

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We asked how would one become a Master Builder. In his words he works with a nice group of ‘nutty, creative people’! Dan has a background in art and working in a model shop, but most of the ‘young guys’ coming up have computer backgrounds with 3D renderings. The studios render the new sets in Maya and then import the 3D model into a Lego Brick Builder software that slices and dices the 3D models into brick shapes.

The Master Builders do not actually design the Lego sets. That happens in Denmark. But they do lead a super busy life! Dan was in Seattle one weekend, then home to host the Lego Picnic, then off to Austin and Fort Worth, Texas, to do building projects with kids at the Children’s Hospital and Kids Fest! Then he gets to head to Mexico City for an event. And on and on!

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We were also wondering what the day to day life of a Master Builder is like. Dan told us he does all sorts of events like I mentioned. He sees thousands of kids! When he’s not designing events worldwide, he also does real life things like expense reports and new employee orientation. And when designing the events and giant Lego sculptures, they have been known to use, shhhhh, Kragle!!! AHHHHH!!!! Ok, it’s not exactly like the Kragle in the movie, but it does have a similar effect.

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The awesome event at Southcenter Mall had a fun set-up to help the Master Builder build an 8′ Hulk. All the kids, and adults, too, used 39 small bricks to make a super sized brick for the Hulk. We made 3 big bricks and handed them over for Dan to find a spot for!

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Dan knows exactly how many blocks make up the Hulk, but he couldn’t tell us! They were having a giveaway to whoever guessed the right number. We haven’t heard from them, so I don’t think we guessed correctly!

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And we got to meet this guy! I hope he works at the new store, because he was super fun! How can you not love someone in a Lego tie???

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So then we headed to the new store! It seemed like a pretty typical store, but did you know all the activities that the stores have? So if you didn’t get to go to the Grand Opening, you’ve got plenty more opportunities to have fun at the store! Although the events fill up fast, so you’ll have to keep an eye out for when registrations open! They have a mini model event, Lego clubs also with a mini build activity, free sets with purchases, Lego passport events! Be sure to check out their calendar (or your own local store’s calendar)!

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Back to our interview with Dan…

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We asked what his all time favorite project was… It was a giant apple in NYC! I google it and you can see Dan, his son one of the other Lego Master Builders, and a couple of other Master Builders! Watch it here!

My big question that I wanted to know was whether or not a Master Builder plays with Legos at home once they are done with a long day of work. Dan said that he does have Legos at home, but if he’s going to build something, he usually stays at work where he has access to way more bricks! I think my kiddo would never come home if he worked as a Master Builder!

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Thanks Dan for a fun event and to Lego for giving us the opportunity to meet a Master Builder!

I can’t wait to take advantage of more of the fun events at our new Lego Store! Be sure to check out your local store too!

 

 

Charley Harper Inspired Cardinal Mini Quilt

I think I threw this image out as a teaser sometime back. I actually made it last year, but never showed it off! I was waiting until I had the pattern to go with it. But I never made a pattern. And honestly, I doubt I’ll ever get to it! I just made this one up as I went along and I don’t have it and I haven’t taken the time to recreate it yet!

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I made this for a swap that our Seattle Modern Quilt Guild did last year! We did a secret mini swap! And I knew my partner loved Charley Harper, so I decided to take a piece of his awesome art and make it into a quilt!

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Since it was a secret swap I had to be careful of the pictures I posted! I just loved this one! I started making it with 2×2 squares and was getting HUGE! So I switched gears and ended up with this guy!

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image via Charley Harper Art Studio

If you don’t know Charley Harper, you should check him out! I love the art! I’ve actually wanted to make quilts out of his designs for quite some time. I just noticed a beagle that might have to be a quilt sometime soon…. Quite a bit of the art has been turned into mosaics, which then just calls out to be made into a quilt!

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I decided to do the matchstick, skinny, stitching for the background. And faned out the tail. I didn’t want to applique the little eyes and knees so I used buttons!

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And I used a super skinny ribbon for the legs. I could have done super skinny patchwork, but since I had the ribbon, I thought it might be easier! And it was!

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I also always love checkin’ out the back of quilts and seeing how the stitching makes the patterns of the front.

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Do you have a favorite piece of art that you want to make into a quilt?

My Double Sided Hexi Quilt

Ok, maybe calling it a quilt at this point is stretching it. Maybe I should call it my double sided hexi quilting project…

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I posted a picture of this project on IG while I was stuck in one of the airports we got stuck in on our trip and no one knew what I was talking about. That’s probably because I think I made it up and I’m probably insane for doing it. But it’s going to be cool when it’s done in 30 years!

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I thought this was a good idea when I started, but then I googled it and couldn’t find any tutorials… I knew that was a bad sign! But I love the idea, so I’m still going with it. And since you didn’t know what I was talking about, I thought I’d show ya what I’m up to!

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So first I make a lot of hexi’s, just like normal. Well, kinda. I cut my paper pieces. I cut my hexi’s about a quarter inch larger than the paper. But I cut two pieces of fabric each time. The difference is I also cut batting the same size as my paper pieces. Then I baste the hexi’s, one with paper and one with batting.

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And I keep doing that over and over and over….

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Match up the front and back….

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And then I ladder stitch the front and back together.

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Then, pretty much like you’d sew together a regular hexi quilt, I sew together the pieces. Again using a ladder stitch.

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And then I just keep going and going…. I need to put away the cross stitch and focus on this one for a while. I’ve been working on it for quite some time. Only it keeps getting puched to hte side for other on the go projects, like cross stitch and quilt binding!

Thanks for sticking by while I’ve been a bit absent. I had plans to blog about this and that while I was on vacation, but life got in the way. I’m going through a rough patch this summer, but I’m hoping I’m back to blogging and the rest will come around!