Off the Path- A Mini Quilt Tutorial

You may recognize this little guy from some of my other quarter circle quilts. I do have a fondness for quarter circles! I’ve used this technique in my 2020 Temperature Quilt, Off the Path Version 1 and Weeping Willow in Black and White. Off the Path takes the traditional Drunkard’s Path down a windy, smaller road! In the spirit of small piecing this little mini quilt was born from some of my office doodles and from scraps from larger projects! This is an easy one to use up your scraps and make one for yourself!

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I realized I had not shared this mini quilt, nor had I shared that it was featured in Quiltmaker Magazine back in 2019!

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It’s been a while since I shared a tutorial, so I thought I’d share this one today. This mini finishes at 12.5 x 12.5 inches. And ot make it I grabbed (4) colors and (3) cream colors.

Cutting:

From Cream solids, cut:
15 (2.5” x 2.5”) squares
18 (3.5” x 3.5”) squares
3 (4” x 4”) squares
From Colors, cut:
24 (2” x 2”) squares

There are 2 different blocks in the quilt, a single and double quarter circle blocks.

Assembly of the single quarter circle blocks:

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  1. Pair a cream square with a colored square. Stack the two squares in the bottom left corner. Align the fabric squares with your cutting mat squares. (illustration 1, above)
  2. Here’s where the improv comes in! No templates needed to cut your curves. You will cut a curve in the two pieces of fabric starting at ‘about’ 1 1/2” and ending at ‘about’ 1 1/2”.
  3. Keep the colored quarter circle and the cream background piece.
  4. Sew the two pieces together, right sides together. Do not pin! Align the quarter circle about a ¼” in from the edge of the background. (illustration 2, above) To sew without pinning, as you sew the pieces together hold the quarter circle, which is on top, with your left hand and hold the background piece with your right hand and guide them through your machine. As the fabric moves through the machine, you will gently pull the two fabrics so the edges align as you sew your ¼” seam.
    Remember: These are improv quarter circles. You are not sewing a perfect quarter circle!
  5. Iron the seams toward the center of the circle.
  6. You will now have a pretty wonky block. Trim this down to a 2 ½” square.
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Assembly of the double quarter circle blocks:

  1. Follow steps 1 and 2 above, but for this one you will cut a curve in the two pieces of fabric starting at ‘about’ 1 ¾” and ending at ‘about’ 1 ¾”.
  2. Follow steps 3, 4 and 5 above.
  3. Trim the block to 2 ¾” square.
  4. Repeat steps 1 and 2 above using the plus or minus 1 ¾” curve. Ideally you will have about ½” to ¾” between your cut and the previously sewn curve. (illustration 3, above)
  5. Repeat steps 3, 4 and 5 again.
  6. Trim block to a 2 ½” square

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Once you have all the mini quilt blocks completed, you can lay out and assemble your blocks. You can match my layout, so design your own! It’s a pretty quick and fun little design to play with.

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Once you lay out piece together all the blocks, quilt it however you feel most comfortable. I like to use curved quilting, but straightline and freemotion quilting would both work as well!

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My token label shot! This was the old black and white label…

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I love this picture and how tiny it looks! What do you think? Do you want to try it???

The Heart Block- A Quilted Valentine (and free pattern)

I had a spur of the moment idea to make quilted Valentines this year! I just happened to have scraps on my desk that said Valentine’s Day to me, so I decided to strip piece them and make them into hearts!

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I started to make them just as improv piecing, no pattern. It worked, but it was taking longer than I wanted to to make it all fit together. I also wanted a heart pattern without it being pieced down the middle. So then I decided to make a quick and easy paper piecing pattern. You can download it here for free for at least this month. Maybe longer!

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The blocks are 11×11 inches if you use the pattern, but you can also make them larger. I added more width and height to some of them!

You can make these with single pieces of fabric as well. but like I mentioned, I had scraps ready to go. I stripe pieced everything then used it as a single piece of fabric! The pattern doesn’t have paper piecing instructions, but I do have a tutorial here and there are about a million and sixty-three tutorials online. Pick your favorite and sew away!

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Like I said, I used scraps… I’m really excited about this! Between the hearts and the quilt top in the background, I’ve used almost all of my red, pink, orange and yellow solids scraps!

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This is all I have left!

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I went for improv quilting. Surprise, surprise, I know! I quilted in pink and did the heart first. Random back and forth straight-line quilting.

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And then went back and did the outside quilting in yellow.

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And you can imagine how excited I was when I looked in my binding scrape bucket, I have a bunch of options to choose from. Most of them were just long enough since these mini quilts are so small!

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I finished them off with leather hangers. One of my Christmas presents was a leather belt hole punch and it worked great on these! I think it makes these little guys just a little more modern.

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And the backs! Get ready for it… More scraps! The back of these continue to use scraps! This time I used cast offs from cutting the triangle shapes from the hearts.

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This one is my favorite! I’m in love with this quilt back!

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I didn’t add labels to these because I love the backs so much, I thought they could be reversible mini quilts. The labels I have would overwhelm the mini and i didn’t want to take away from the cool scrap piecing!

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I hope you enjoy making a cute mini Valentine for yourself or a friend. You may think it’s too late to do this… It’s not! They are a quick sew (especially if you don’t strip piece first!) and you can make a few between now and then!

A Buffalo Cushion

This is an oldie project that I never shared, but since I’m broken and confined to elevating my broken leg, I’m pullin’ out the oldies to share!

I’m an architect and at our firm at least once a year a vendor will ask us to participate in a design fundraiser. They usually supply a piece of furniture and we have to make it something else or embellish it or something! Then we give the piece back when we’re done and they have a party and silent auction to raise money for something. For this project, I contributed my quilting skills.

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The firm I work for is called Buffalo Design, so we decided to make a Buffalo seat cushion for part of the transformation.

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This is what we started with. A plain blank white chair that’s way heavier than it looks! A co-worker drilled the holes in the back of the seat. (more to come on that…)

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The name of our firm comes from the building where the firm actually began, but our logo is an actual buffalo. Everyone has different colored business cards and we each have a few different angles of the buffalo. The colors of our business cards became the colors of our cushion.

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I sketched out how the pattern would go together and put it in CAD. Which is how I make all my paper pieced patterns!

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Then I just started paper piecing it together until I had our colorful buffalo!

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The cushion fit perfectly in the curved seat.

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My co-workers took on the yarn embellishments! I love the pattern on the front and the pompoms on the back. And again, we stuck with all the colors of our business cards.

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The great thing is, my bosses went to the party and were the high bidder on our chair! So it’s still in our office for us to enjoy! I keep saying I’m going to make the office a buffalo pillow for our couch in the waiting area, but I haven’t yet. One day soon!

House Mini Challenge

I’m typically not a fan of mini quilts! Being honest here! Ok, I should say, I’m not a fan of making mini quilts. When I make a quilt, I like them ot be big enough to use as a quilt.

But recently I’ve started participating in the Curated Quilts mini challenges that they have for each issue. Have you made any?? This mini was for their House mini challenge.

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I also have never made a house quilt block or a house quilt. Oops, I take that back. I did make some house blocks for a do.Good Stitches quilt. But I haven’t made any on my own. When I saw this challenge come up, I pretty much said nope. Not going to that one! In the end, I couldn’t not play along.

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Do you ever google vintage mid century house plans? If not, you should! Every now and then I do because the drawings and ads and plans are just so cool! Being an architect, I knew that if I was going to do this challenge, I would have to do a floor plan. So I went back to my google searches and found a design I wanted to make into a quilt.

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I took that plan and then laid out how I was going to break it down into a mini quilt.

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And this is what I got! Walls, windows and planters. Originally I had planned to hand quilt in the pavers in the patio. I finished this right before I headed out on summer vacation last year, so the plan was to finish it on the road. That didn’t happen. I really think it would be more dynamic if it did have the hand quilting, but oh, well!

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This quilt did not make the cut! And I totally see why. It’s not my best work, but it was still fun to make it!

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Zeus on the Loose with Me!

It’s my turn!! Yeah!! Have you ever played Zeus on the Loose?? We love it! It’s basically a counting strategy game. That description doesn’t do much for it, but take my word for it. It’s fun!

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Originally I wanted to make a notebook cover for my son, but my Improv Lightening Bolts kept being too big, so it turned into a pillow! It was really hard to get it as small as I wanted it to be!

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I went through a few plans of projects to make this year. Usually I know exactly what I want to make. Not this year. Then I remembered our new favorite game. But what to make?? At first I got my Greek Gods confused and for a minute I was designing something with a trident… Um, hello, my to ‘I minored in Ancient History’ self…. Zeus and tridents do not go together. Lightening Bolt my friend!!!  Then I was all over it!

I’ll give you a super quick idea of how I made it! Since it’s improv, there are no dimensions or anything to go with! To make the Improv Lightening bolt is simple!

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First, cut out a ‘leaning’ triangle, then sew on a thin layer of the ‘bright light’ fabric and then a thicker layer of the background fabric. So that you end up with two ‘leaning’ triangles. And you want them to both be leaning in the same direction!

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Next, I folded over the top of the triangle to get an overlap. Once I liked where the overlap was, I ironed it flat. This ironed line is where I sew-ed it together.

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And then I trimmed a quarter inch seam. Repeat these last two steps over and over until you have each side of the lightening bolt how you like them. then sew the two halves together!

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Add in the rest of the background fabric for the shape you need for either a notebook cover, a pillow top or quilt blocks…. And quilt away!

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I thought it turned out pretty cool. And once I got my husbands seal of approval, I knew it was pretty cool! (yes, he’s very honest and has no qualms telling the truth about his feelings on my work! Usually he likes it, but not all the time!) I think it’s going to be loved, along with it’s inspiring game!

 

 

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Sept 9th- Liz and LiZ  from Simple Simon and Co

Sept 14th- Stacey from Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts

Sept 16th- Narelle from Threadistry

Sept 19th- Debbie from A Quilter’s Table

Sept 21st- Louise from I’m Feelin’ Crafty

Sept 23rd- Al from Shaffer Sisters

Sept 26th- Michelle from Factotum of Arts

Sept 28th- Ashley and Emily from Frances Suzanne

Sept 30th- The Recap!

 

 

 

A Weekend of Quilting Classes

This past weekend I took two classes and went to a lecture by Libs Elliot!

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The first class I took was her Weight of Love quilt class. The quilt is really cool. Honestly, I was hoping to learn more in the class than I did… But none the less, I had a great day hanging out with friends and sewing.

I love a pattern with a nice coloring page. This pattern is only available when you take her class. But you can see the quilt here.

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The pattern is numbered based on 17 fabrics. But I narrowed it down to 5 fabrics. Black, white and light grey. The my colors are a reddish coral and deep purple. Not two colors I have ever put together. They were actually two fabrics that had been sitting on my shelf not getting used. I just happened to pull them out and realized they look fabulous together! I love them!

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I also got to learn how to use the Hex ‘n More ruler. I love it! I’ve been wanting it for a couple of years, but never actually got it until it was required for this class. So glad I have it now!

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Between the class and a little extra sewing that night, I have it half way finished! Now just to keep sewing…

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The second class I took was her Embrace the Chaos class. with another coloring page! But this time, we made up the pattern in class. Each person designed their own quilt. We picked a certain number of blocks and then played a version of quilt bingo to layout the patterns!

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I used another pallette of 5 colors, dark and light grey, dark and light teal and red. Oh, and white. So 6 colors!

Each block is different. There’s no chain piecing going on with this one! But I’m half way through making my blocks for this one.

Can’t wait to show you the final pieces!

 

The Beach Quilt

I finally got another quilt finished and photographed!

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My friend Monica, from West Seattle Fabrics, sponsors our Giveaway Days and sometimes I get a fat quarter bundle as well! Last fall the bundle included fabrics from her Beach Bum shop. I didn’t know what to do with it at first. I’d never made a quilt from a fat quarter bundle before, so what to do?

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Then it hit me! The blue is like water…. The jellyfish are underwater…. So those became the beach and the waves!

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And the bright colors reminded me of the beach umbrellas!

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So put it all together and a beach scene is what you get! But I like the modern feel of the beach scene. I’ve had some friends not see the beach scene and some do! Perfect! It’s graphic and ‘scene-y’ at the same time! I don’t want it to scream BEACH! I want it to be an abstract representation of the beach.

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We don’t have the bright white sand and bright beach umbrellas lining the beaches here in Seattle, but it does remind me of warmer beachy climates like back home!

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The back is nice and bright! I used the rest of my fat quarters on the back and added the stripes and bright teal solids.

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For the quilting I used a nice wavy stitch pattern. My machine doesn’t have this stitch pattern, but my machine is in the shop. Again, my friends at West Seattle Fabrics gave me a loaner while my baby is being repaired. As much as I hate not having mine, it was perfect timing to get to quilt this one with this stitch I wanted to use!

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I struggled with the binding! I really wanted to use my friend Debbie’s matched binding technique, but decided it would be a bit much to attempt for my first time using her fancy binding style! So I decided to pull a color that matched both the ‘umbrellas’ and the jellyfish. And I think it turned out just right!

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I’m debating, publish a pattern of the quilt? Or just enjoy it? I’m going to enjoy it, no doubt! It’s a really simple pattern, so I keep thinking I should share! And as for the fat quarter bundle, well, I used it all! I did have to supplement it for the sand. And for the sand I used an array of creams.

For the fabric patterns, see the post here.

And it’s a finish for my 3rd Quarter Finish Along list! (and maybe my only one!)

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

Inside Out Pineapple Quilt Block- Free Pattern!

I made a new quilt block! Now, I’m not saying I’m the first one ever…. But I will also say I searched and searched to find this block and I couldn’t find it! So I made my own!

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This block is for one of the quilts I’m working on this year! Our quilt guild, The Seattle Modern Quilt Guild, is doing another Block of the Month quilt this year. I’ve never done a medallion quilt. Honestly, it’s never crossed my mind. But my friend Allison, stepped up to organize the BOM this year and the medallion idea was what she came up with and I’m actually excited about it!

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The idea for the center was to use a block from from our 2014 BOM suggestions. Then each month after there will be a new border. I decided to do the pineapple block. I was totally inspired by this Pique Pineapples with a Pinch of Pizzazz quilt by Nancy J. Didonato. But when I really looked at it and all the pineapple blocks out there, the square in the middle is little and the small part of the ‘pineapple’ is in the center. I wanted the block to be just the opposite!

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So I made a pattern! And this one will be listed on my Craftsy site for free! Or you can get it here.

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What would you make with this pattern? Would you make it more scrappy? The quilt I’m making is obviously going to be primarily green and white. I asked my husband what color he wanted. He said blue, but I said no since I’m already making him a blue and white quilt. Then he suggested orange. I thought ok, until I got to my sewing room and I wasn’t really excited about my oranges…. So it’s green and white! I also realized I am very much a solids kinda girl. As much as I love prints… I always seem to end up quilting with mostly solids!

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I also had the center square dark green to start with. Then I had to take two blocks apart and switch out the green for the more yellow green and I think it adds a nice punch for the center of the quilt!

 

 

 

Happy Halloween!!

Happy Halloween!! Is everyone ready??

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We’re headed to the pumpkin patch today with the kiddos class at school! Then home for dinner and trick or treating in the neighborhood. I didn’t get all the costumes made, but I did get some more bats in….

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Unlike the quilt, I made these a lot more patch-worky!

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But in keeping with the quilt I did insert a few little pieces from the same fabrics that I used in the quilt! I’m pretty happy with them!

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Of course, I used my bat block pattern!

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And for the backs I used the fabrics in the quilt! The patchwork piece I got all the little pieces from and the ghosts I used for the quilt binding! Sorry for such a short and sweet post today, but we’re off for a trick or treat kinda day! Have fun!

FLIP This Pattern- Time to Vote!

Did you see the full post of my outfit yesterday? If not I have it here, but today I need you to VOTE for my look! Please! Voting is going on today and Saturday. That’s it, just two days!

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Like I said yesterday, I was super excited to participate in the series, but I was super excited once I saw the pattern. In case you don’t know the pattern, it’s the Charlie Top from Zonen 09. And it looks like this:

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It’s a lined, knit shirt, basically. The front and back is lined. The pattern also comes with long and short sleeves. Very easy and fun pattern! So I took it from the above look, to the coat and hoodie look below… Check it out!

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I ended up doing two ‘Flips’. I thought and thought about it and I couldn’t come up with ANYTHING! Honestly, I was having a super hard time coming up with anything other than the super cool shirt. But that wasn’t really a flip, now was it? So I got to sewing, anyway. I decided that if I started sewing something that I’d be inspired.

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So, the first ‘Flip’ Is a hoodie. From the front, it looks pretty much like the original pattern, huh?  I really do love this pattern. It was super simple and I love that it’s lined.

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But from the back, it’s obviously a hoodie! My son loves hoodies and he likes them big, so I made it a bit over-sized. I think he likes to pretend that he’s The Emperor from Star Wars!

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I drafted a hoodie pattern while keeping the bottom of the hoodie the same collar pattern piece of the actual pattern. And then it came to me….

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A coat! A little blazer like coat. The kiddo has such a good time getting dressed up at Easter, maybe he’d like a another little blazer to wear around! (He can really get into the serious model look!)

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For this one I used the pattern, I just cut two top pieces and overlapped them about an inch or so. I obviously used woven fabric instead of knits. And the kiddo and I designed some stitch patterns around the front. If you follow my blog, you know that I always use snaps… I was really going to use buttons on this project. I had just gotten my machine fixed so it would do the buttons, but it ends up they gave me a wrong foot. AHHH! So I’ll always be known as the snap lady!

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I got this fancy Japanese denim to use for my jacket, but once I got it home, I didn’t like it. I wanted more of a khaki. But what d’ya know! I just happened to have a pair of khaki pants on my shelf to repurpose. Perfect! I used the hem of the pants for the hem of coat!

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We had a good time picking out the fabric together and detailing the stitches! We also named it the ‘Bubble’ top, because it’s not quite polka dots. More like bubbles… And the coat lining is word bubbles… Get it! We think we’re pretty clever, me and my kiddo!

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I had fun with it! If you’ve made it here, you read the whole thing! And that’s awesome! Now, don’t forget to vote! Thanks again for voting!!