Radioactive Springtime

Radioactive Springtime is a quick little sew I made earlier this year! My goal this year to sew my scraps and finish my WIPs.

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I’m so excited that Spring is here and summer is on it’s way!

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So my idea is really to get the WIPs done first this year, but sometimes a pile of scraps just yells out… SEW ME!! I had this pile of triangle scraps leftover from the Triangle Mountain quilt from 2019. I kept moving them from one spot to another. Then just decided to sew them together into something! And was ok with it being something small.

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I also had some other scrap triangles that seemed to go together… Not all of the triangles were the same size. Instead of cutting them to all be the same size, I just pieced in little bits here and there.

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I didn’t want it to be the flower shape it was turning into, so I filled in with the cream and white background.

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The two-color blocks kinda look like the radioactive symbol, but it’s in the shape of a flower… Hence the name, Radioactive Springtime.

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The quilting is in the shape of 4 V’s coming together at the middle. It did warp it a little. I’m not sure why. I think I should have gone in a circle quilting the V’s instead of doing the top and bottom and then the sides last. I don’t know. I had to do a little mini blocking project to flatten it out.

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The back is a fabric from my stash from about 10 years ago. It fit perfect. It was an odd shaped piece of fabric, so I cut off a corner and sewed it back on and it fit perfectly! And it has flowers….. How perfect is that for a quilt I had already named Radioactive Springtime???

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I snuck a picture of my quilt holder!

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And he snuck one of me. I still get surprised to not see my red hair sometimes. Where did it go???

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I’m pretty happy with how it turned out for a quick weekend project!

Waves- A Mini Mini Quilt

As you probably know by now, I really enjoy quilting challenges! I love the Curated Quilts mini challenges because they are minis and a fun break between larger projects.

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This challenge was called Utilitarian and the challenge was to use ‘accessible fabric’. I had a little problem with the term Utilitarian because to me that means it needs to have a useful purpose. And Mini quilts, typically are not very utilitarian. I even googled it. ‘Utilitarian Art is art that has function as it’s priority and yet is still aesthetically pleasing’ according to my google search. I thought about making it a hot pad/trivet or an oversized pot holder, but I just ended up going with a plain ‘ole mini quilt!

My mini quilt has no real function…

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But! My mini quilt does incorporate ‘accessible fabric’ which is defined on the challenge page as scraps you have on hand, significant fabrics that you treasure, or thrift shop finds. My husband just happened to have cleaned his closet out and had this shirt as a throw away, so I grabbed it and headed to the sewing room! And the green is fabric from my stash.

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The challenge also had an inspiration fabric, Candlelight Woven in Ocean by Ruby Star Society. It was requested to use this fabric or let it inspire the color selection. I let it inspire my mini, because buying new fabric didn’t feel very accessible to me…

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I used the inspiration fabric for both the color and the design. I designed a little paper piecing sketch to mimic the zigzag pattern in the fabric. I didn’t actually paper piece it necessarily, but improv pieced based on the little pattern piece.

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I mimicked the wave shapes in the quilting, even in places where the waves aren’t there!

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I also added in some white contrast pops! I initially though the white should be grey, but I couldn’t quite find the right grey in my stash so I moved to the white. I actually like the brightness of the white.

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For the back I had this matching print fabric in my stash that I decided to use. The piece finished at 12.5×12.5 inches. A mini mini for sure!

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I submitted! We’ll see if it makes the cut… Either way, I enjoyed making it. Did you make one?

Up and Over

Up and Over is my quilt entry for the Quilt Improv Studio Primary Challenge. I love participating in these challenges with people from all over the world! For this challenge the ‘rules’ were to use primary colors and to use the graphic element of lines.

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Not only was this a Quilt Improv Studio Challenge, but it’s also a Quilt Design A Day to Reality quilt! I don’t do it as much as I used to, but I love doing the Quilt Design a Day challenges. This design came from one of my QDAD designs from years ago. 6 years ago, actually!

I was thinking about using a black and white stripe for the applique lines. Then I remembered this black and white fabric I have also had about 6 years as well! This is fabric from the Spring 2016 Modern Quilt Guild Fabric Challenge. Yep, 2016! It’s the Sashing Stash Fabric by Eleanor Dugan. I had grand plans for this fabric back in 2016, but they never came to fruition. I didn’t want my straight stripes to be just black or just white, so this fabric ended up being perfect for this challenge.

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I quilted the red, yellow and blue before adding the bias tape applique. After quilting I sent back and hand appliques the bias tape.

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This is my first experiment with using facing as the binding technique. I kept debating which color to use as my binding and nothing worked. I realized it was because the lines needed to be framed in. Perfect time to try the facing technique. I used the tutorial by Cotton and Bourbon and it went smoothly. A little slow since I kept changing my thread color, but I’m hoping next time will be quicker!

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I’m really happy with how it turned out! It’s not quite my usual improv style, but it was a fun experiment!

Disposable- An Upcycled Quilt

Or as they say on Project Runway, an Unconventional Challenge.

Not too long ago I saw a call for the UW Recycling Trash Art Contest. As soon as I saw the call, I knew what I wanted to do. I had to make a quilt from all the disposable masks.

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When the pandemic hit, I made a ton of masks. I HATE the nature of the disposable masks. I’m that person that also hates to buy anything that is individually wrapped. No single servings pre-packaged for our lunches. And the same with the masks, no one time use in this house. Then I went to work in a hospital and the disposal masks are required as a way to slow the spread of Covid. But honestly, it makes me cringe to see all these disposable masks strewn about the streets. In addition to the disposable masks I also used a neighbor’s worn out scrubs and disposable gloves. Not a single bit of new fabric was harmed in the making of this quilt!

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For the round blocks I used my used masks and my neighbor’s scrubs. I cut the masks in half and made a quick template for the outer piece. The problem I realized with these materials is that the masks melt if you try to iron them. So, no ironing the seam allowances!

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I made this block out of my husband’s masks, the neighbor’s scrubs and a disposable glove. I love the secondary shapes the masks make. In the end, as much as I love this block, I didn’t love it as part of the quilt, so it ended up being left out of the quilt.

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And the half square triangle blocks made with disposable masks and disposable gloves. I sewed together two masks and cut out about a 5.5″ square and sewed the two together around the edge. Then cut down the middle to get 4 HSTs. Or course, no ironing here either!

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The quilting inside these masks represents the germs bouncing around inside the masks, but not being shared with those around me. The circular quilting around the masks represents the germs staying on the outside, another reason we wear the masks. I quilted the circular blocks first, then the mask blocks. It was a pure, happy accident how this quilting came together in the corner.

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One of the questions for the Trash Art contest was to explain how this art piece is relevant to my personal and/or UW campus waste? 

This quilt is relevant to my personal experience in so many ways!  For the last 10 years I have worked as an architect in the healthcare industry in local hospitals, including UWMC and Harborview. I have always grappled with the irony of all the disposable items used in healthcare to keep our patients safe and healthy versus the amount waste these same items make in order to also keep our patients safe and healthy. When I transitioned to an employee at UWMC last year, I had to give up my handmade, washable face masks for the disposable one time use masks. Every day on my walk to work, I pass mask after mask disposed of on the ground of the UW campus. This quilt is literally made of my own personal, disposable trash being upcycled into a work of art.

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And the back….

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I used the last ‘larger’ piece of the scrubs on the back. And in good upcycling fashion, I just happened to have these blue and white striped sheets in my stash waiting to be used.

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ok, maybe I didn’t tell the truth… I did use one small piece of new fabric. The label is new. The binding is, again, worn out scrubs.

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I had this idea to take these pictures hanging on the side of a building next to a dumpster. That situation didn’t exist where I thought it did. But my husband spotted this recycling dumpster and it was perfect for my photo shoot. It did make it a little hard to get the color perfect in the pictures though.

Testing- A MQG Fabric Challenge Quilt Part 1

Every year the Modern Quilt Guild hosts a fabric challenge for Quiltcon. This year the fabric challenge was hosted by Windham Fabrics using their Artisan Cotton fabric line. If you sign up fast enough, they send you free fabric. I didn’t sign up fast enough, so I actually ordered my own fabric to play along!

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There were 4 main fabrics you could choose from. You had to use three of the four. Then there was a list of other fabrics that you could incorporate. I ended up ordering some that had nothing to do with the challenge and I’m really excited about the colors! For ‘Testing’ I used the four challenge fabrics, Wine/Pink, Coral/Aqua, Aqua/Blue and Blue/Orchid plus neutrals Stone/Lavender and Navy/White.

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I actually ended up making two quilts. ‘Testing’ was my submission to Quiltcon because I finished it in time. The second quilt, ‘Eyes on You’, I’ll tell you more about later. It wasn’t completed in time, so it didn’t even get submitted. But today, I’m just telling you about ‘Testing’.

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image via https://www.design-seeds.com/
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Do you remember way back when I used to design quilt patterns with the Quilt Design a Day FB group? I’ve made 6 quilts from those designs: Running Away, Rabbit Hole quilts, Raindrops of Wildflowers, Left and Right, Triangle Mountain, and Bright Tide Pools! And now we have number 7, ‘Testing’!

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It started as succulents. Once the design was translated in fabric, the quilt took on a different persona. Gone was the nod to the succulents. The quilt now takes it’s que from the ‘off the air’ TV graphics of a bygone era when screen time wasn’t available all day and actually ended at a certain time each day. 

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I started in the center and with each layer, I created a piece made of different colored wedges. Then I used my inset circles technique to layer and layer one on top of the other. The picture above is actually the scraps from each layer, but you can see what they started as.

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When I quilted the circles, the mini quilt became a little wobbly and doesn’t like to hang flat. You can really see it in the picture of the back. So maybe it’s a good thing it didn’t get picked for the Quiltcon show! For the back I used stash fabric that I happened to have. I love that it picked up not only the grey from the front, but also the circles!

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And that’s my ‘Testing’ Mini Quilt! Did you submit a fabric challenge quilt to Quiltcon?? I can’t wait to show to you my next one! Stayed tuned for Part 2!

My First Applique Quilt

Way back in 2017 my guild did an applique BOM… I started it with everyone, but got a little behind. And I admit, I was so NOT excited about this one. I was like, seriously??? But I learned a new skill and I’m glad I played along. Even if it took me three years to finish and another one to blog about it!

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The quilt was designed by our guild friend Jonna, aka @bespokeoutlaw, and it was inspired by her Great Uncle Russel Day. He was an artist, designer, jeweler and professor. His work is really fantastic! Check out this video for more information.

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The first blocks we were tasked with were quarter ‘opals’. And if you follow along with me, I love a quarter circle. My first thought was why would you applique one when you can sew just as easily. Or in my mind, flat out easier! I was trying to do the needle turn applique, but as you can see from the pictures above, I used my fingers for more of the turning than I used the needle! ha! I did get better at it, trust me!

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Each month we made a different shape until we had a whole pile of them. Enough to make a quilt! Imagine that!

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I think my favorite block may have been the bias tape applique blocks! I love these! And if you saw my IG post today, you know I have them on my mind again!

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I liked to use the shapes of the applique pieces to inspire the quilting.

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Jonna gave us a suggested layout, but I didn’t really stick with it. Instead of using sashing I added a wider border. I also added a few stripes in the border. These were not appliques, but traditionally pieced.

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This little orange piece most reminds me of the inspiration art. And it was tricky for a newbie, but with her instructions, I made it through!

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The back isn’t too interesting on this one. It does show the quilting nicely, though!

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And the label… You’ll see I started it in 2017 with the guild. And honestly, I think I finished the blocks in 2017, as well. But I didn’t piece the quilt top until 2020. No excuses… And then I didn’t find the right place to photograph it until last fall… slow mo!

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The quilt holder behind the quilt! And those corners on the back were only added to help hold the quilt. I should have taken them off for the back pictures, but I didn’t…

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And here’s the whole mural! I should go back and get the artist’s name. It’s quite a beautiful work of art to be on the back of a building!

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A huge thanks to Jonna for getting me to try something new and teaching me (and the whole guild and possibly you too) how to do applique. It took the scary out! And I’m currently working on another applique quilt. Need to get back to that!

2020 Temperature Quilt

Another 2021 finish, my 2020 Temperature Quilt. I believe temperature quilts are becoming more relevant as we, as a global community, are all experiencing climate change and the drastic weather consequences that come along with it firsthand.  It is no longer a scientific theory that we can’t see, but is now becoming a true impact to our daily lives.

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I’ve been wanting to do a temperature quilt for a while. 2020 seemed the perfect year to do it. There are so many cool designs out there for temperature quilts. If you know me, you know I have a thing for improv quarter circles…. There’s one here, and here, and here. So why do the temperature quilt in improv quarter circles as well!

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Each block is 3″ x 6″ and it ended up making a rather large quilt! A bit larger than I had planned somehow! The finished quilt is 61×92 inches. My husband asked why I made it so big… I didn’t have a good answer!

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This picture shows where the curved quilting meets. I started one curve in top left corner and the other int the bottom right corner and just kept going. Around and around and around…. Until the two met.

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I was not one of those people that keep track of the weather very well. Some people write it down every day. Some people make their block every day. I’m not that organized! I used weatherchannel.com monthly calendar for the daily highs, lows and daily weather and would usually do at least one month at a time.

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For the back I tried to use as many left over scraps from the front as I could. And I made a legend for the front, because I know I won’t remember in a year or two! ha!

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The main color of the block is the high for the day, the improv circle is the low for the day…

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And the stripe is the weather, cloudy, sun, snow and rain.

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And the label and you can also see the start of the circle!

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While I was doing the legend embroidery, I also added in some covid! The first little red piece was when Covid hit the Seattle area. The second one was when school was cancelled and the whole world started to shut down. The intent was to add another one once lockdown was lifted. Only that didn’t come in 2020….

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I’m really happy about how it turned out! Now there are going to be two other quilts coming from this one. First, another temperature quilt for the first year I moved here, almost 20 years ago. I want to see the change in the weather! And then of course, a scrap quilt will come from the scraps!

Have you made a temperature quilt? How did you keep track of the weather?

A Puppy Tray- AKA Last Minute Christmas Gift Idea

Here’s another pretty quick Christmas gift idea that you don’t have to worry about shipping times! A foundation paper pieced tray!

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I like big noses and I can not lie! Apparently, between this project and the last, I seem to have a thing for animals with big noses! ha!

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The project was inspired by a fabric tray project in Love Quilting Magazine (Issue 65) by Susie Bellingham. She had two cute paper piecing patterns to go with it. I love them and want to make them for someone soon! But…. I made this last year for one of the kiddo’s teachers who loves dogs. The kiddo picked the pattern and the fabrics. And the pattern had to be a dog, not a bunny or mouse.

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Have you ever checked out Artisania patterns? They are so cute! I made her little fox years ago on a skirt for my niece. The kiddo loved the dog with the big nose! She also has a cute owl!

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The project is super easy. Basically, you place the top fabric (it can be foudnation paper pieced, traditionally pieced or not pieced at all) right sides together with the back fabric and a piece of batting on top. Sew it together leaving a hole to turn it right side out. Top stitch the edges. Then sew the corners. And you have a tray!

I did add a little extra step. I also quilted a rectangle the size I wanted the tray to be. Then folded up the corners at that line. Does that make sense? It helped the sides of the tray be a little more straight.

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And there you have it! A fabric tray! Perfect for gifting. Or keeping for yourself! 🙂

Crimbo the Red Nosed Reindeer

A little holiday sewing for me!

I have been loving this reindeer pattern from Unicornharts for a while, and decide I was going to make it for me!

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This little cutie is paper pieced and came together quite easily!

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I think my favorite part is this guys big red nose! His whole expression is priceless!

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I used a solid piece on the back and an invisible zipper at the bottom.

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Have you sewn anything for yourself this holiday season? I’m actually working on another little pillow for myself tonight between sewing gifts for the family!

Happy Holidays!

Be Kind- a SMQG BOM Quilt

Here’s a first! I started a Seattle Modern Quilt Guild BOM quilt and finished it in the same year! I have NEVER done that before!

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This year the guild’s BOM quilt was titled ‘Salsa Medallion’. Each month they gave a theme for the medallion quilt border. Along with the theme came suggestions for different levels of involvement with the quilt. These levels were Spicy, Medium or Mild. You can find all the instruction here.

Of course, starting off I didn’t follow the directions. The first block I made was the center block even though it was technically one of the last pieces we made. I never really understood why you wouldn’t make the center first and build off to it, so I just didn’t think too hard and made my improv log cabin center block. It’s kinda big… Coming in at about 18″!

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The next two borders were designated as stripes and triangles. For the stripes border I used leftovers from my Balanced Courthouse Steps quilt. I added in a little bit of other colors to make it blend a bit.

For the triangles, I decided to do improv flying geese. I’ve done a lot of improv and I’ve done a few flying geese in my day, but I’m not sure I’ve done improv flying geese before! I’m pretty happy with how they turned out!

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The next border prompt was ‘Text message’. I was full on ready to skip this border. I waited for the next prompt. I was convinced I didn’t want to put words in it. time went on and I remembered a meme I had seen online somewhere. And I knew I needed to quilt it:

Be Kind to Others, to Earth, to Yourself. Be kind of weird.

And that’s the text message I made. And it took a long time….

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The letters were all improv pieced. I didn’t follow a tutorial, I just made it up as I went along. I really, really like how they turned out!

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Each letter with a curved part started with a small inset circle using the freezer paper and glue method that I always use for the inset circles. You can read all about it here.

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The last two borders were circles and diamonds. Again, the improv versions for me!

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And the back. This one is on the more simple side for me. Using leftover fabric from the front.

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You can really see the quilting on the back! I started in the center and did an improv ‘square spiral’ all the way to the edges. Is a square spiral even a thing? I don’t really know if those two words work together, but I think it describes my quilting pattern just right! ha!

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Token quilt label picture!

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And that’s a wrap! Ok, not only did I start and finish this quilt in the same year, which is unheard of from me and our guild’s BOM quilts, but I also photographed and blogged about it in the same year! Woah!!!