A Christmas Quilt

It’s been a while since I shared a finished quilt!

It’s my Christmas Quilt! I have a Halloween quilt and I have a ton of amazing Christmas fabric, so I knew I needed to make a Christmas quilt! I’m a huge sucker for both Halloween and Christmas fabric. especially Cotton and Steel Christmas fabric…. I can’t get enough so I had to do something with it!

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The only problem with Christmas fabric is that it isn’t solids! It’s prints, hence the Christmas theme, right! And I’m not real good with prints! I get totally pushed around by print fabric.

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Quilts pictures here are by Katie of Sew Katie Did, not my work! 

In October 2017, the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild had one of our members, Katie Pedersen of Sew Katie Did, come teach some classes. One of the classes was her Split Personality Class. I signed up! But I didn’t want to take solids. Katie is so good with prints, so I was trying to let that rub off on me during this class. But what to take??? Christmas!

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I love describing what I do as a quilter to non quilters! So basically the technique involves cutting up fabric, sewing it together, cutting it, mixing the pieces up, sewing it back together, cutting it again, mixing again and sewing it back together again! Yep, that about sums it up! You do that and end up with lovely little improv pieced blocks!

But then what to do with the blocks??? 

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I decided to use one of the designs I came up with from the Quilt Design a Day challenge. I forget what the picture was that inspired this design. Anyway, I thought it would be a fun design inspiration for this quilt. 

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I also used another technique that I don’ tthink I have ever used before. Fussy cutting… Well, sewing with solids doesn’t lend itself well to fuzzy cutting, does it now?? Ha!

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And another technique… Pattern matching my fabric for the back!

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Did you know those reindeer came in flannel? So soft! and adorable!

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I liked how the blue binding didn’t totally scream Christmas for the quilt.

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I really like it turned out! And I’m loving watching the family curl up in on the couch this holiday season!

 

 

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More Tree Pillows!

Looking for a pretty quick holiday project to fill your next few days? I mean who has anything to really do between now and Christmas, right? Ha!

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I’m so excited to have my own tree pillows! Do you remember the ones I made last year? You can see them here

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I made these from the scraps from last years pillows. Yes, it did take me all year…. Moving on… So last year I used the tutorial from the Quick Curve Ruler ladies over at Sew Kind of Wonderful. I used it pretty right on. With a long piece down the middle to make the trunk of the tree. This year I did a little bit of experimenting. For one thing, I wanted a pointy top!

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For each tree, I started with by following the tutorial. Then I sewed the left and right sides of the tree together. For the little pillow, I cut off the top of the bottom two blocks. And the bottom off the top block. I wanted more thickness to the tree, but with a pointy top!

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And for the bigger pillow, I cut the bottom off of each block. For the top one, I think I took off 1.5″ and down at the bottom blocks, I only cut off about .5″ of the block. And then varied the dimension between the others. This way I got a more skinny tree and a still had my pointy top!

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I really need to start adding zippers… I know it’s not hard. I more or less have a problem with planning ahead and getting the right size and color! So I stuck with the envelope back. I’m also usually not a fabric line kinda person… But you can probably tell that I have a little obsession with Cotton and Steel going on right about now!

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I’m building up my holiday pillow collection! I had a little collection of CB2 knock off pillows, but I wasn’t feeling it this year and gave them away… I’m going more with the quilted look for the next few years….

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And even if I should have been sewing for others, I needed to finish these! And I’m glad I did…. Have you made any quick curve ruler projects?

Quilt Retreat!

Ok, yes, this did happen WAY back in September! But I haven’t written about it, so now I am!

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I look so forward to retreat every year. Partly because I sew from the moment I wake up until the moment I go to bed! Minus a few breaks for meals. Otherwise, it’s all sewing! And sewing with friends! Not just in my studio watching Netflix of dancing around to records! Other real live people! What a novel idea! And fabric comes to us! It’s awesome! Our friends at Island Quilter bring the shop to us!

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I got SOOOO much done! Remember, I said I sewed from early morning to super late at night. I love breakfast, so I don’t want to miss it, so I actually get up in the morning! And it gives me more sewing time! Or should I say almost done. I finally finished my Chaos Top and the back. But I still need to quilt it….

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This is also a bit of a preview of things to come… I finished more blocks for charity quilts. I also finished a Do Good Stitches top and back. And I finished our tooth fairy pillow! Yea! So much progress!

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The group is such a fun group! My buddy, Debbie, and I always have a good time!

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I always get inspired by the work others are doing. The patterns they are using, the fabrics they are using and all the creativity!! It’s an amazing bunch of friends!

Kim’s Technicolor Galaxy quilt was almost done! If you check out her IG, you’ll see the finished version! Totally makes me want to finish mine…. And I love how Allison’s molehills quilt is coming along! The colors are awesome!

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Our amazing Matt brought one of his medallion quilts to finish! I’m not sure who was working on the Chic country pattern. And Dionne was working on her amazing giraffe quilt!! One of her animal quilts is on my bucket list!

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And who doesn’t love an awesome swag bag! Full of goodies! My book will teach me embroidery! I’ve always wanted to learn and now I have instructions. Perfect!

Thanks to everyone at SMQG that put the retreat together and that came and made a great retreat for us all! I’m so excited about the next one! Yea!

 

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!

 

 

 

Sewing with Leather

Last weekend I took a class to learn more about sewing with leather.

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It was a lot of fun! I made two pouches, a keyring, learned new things and got to hang out with my SMQG friends! The Guild brought in Krista Fleckenstein to teach for two days and give a lecture. The classes and lecture all revolved around projects in her book, Beyond Cotton.

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The first class was about printmaking, the lecture was about mixed media artists and the second class about sewing with leather. Both of which are talked about in her book. I debated which class to take becuase I wanted to do both. I had taken two classes from another guest teacher and wasn’t happy, so I was a little leary to take both. Now I’m kicking myself! The printing class turned out awesome work! ANYWAY…. The book is really good. I get kinda annoyed when teachers books are ‘required’ for the class, but this one is worth it. I got the book from the library to start, to see if I wanted to actually add it to my own stash of books. It is full of useful information, so I did purchase it!

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We learned about the different kinds of leather, things to look for when purchasing leather and how to cut leather…

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And then we were off to actually sew with leather! There are quite a few tricks of the trade that I didn’t know about! Different stitch lengths and sorts of things like that. It is hard to get remember to switch back and forth between the right stitch lengths for leather and fabric!

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We ended up with 2 pouches each! I still need to add in my fancy labels, but otherwise they are ready to be stuffed with something!

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The class ended up with such a great pile of pouches! I love some of the others fabric choices! And some even used fabric they had made in the class before!

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Then we got to play around with veg-tan leather and make a key ring. No sewing involved on this one. The leather is way to thick. But there was a lot of pounding involved!

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If Krista comes to your town, take both classes! That’s my advice! The only problem with this whole sewing with leather class is that now I want to go buy leather!!! There’s a cool leather shop here in Seattle almost in my neighborhood… This could be bad…. but in a good way…..

 

 

Modern Sampler Quilt Along

I’ve been preoccupied with the kiddos school! I’ve somehow worked myself into updating the school website, resurrecting our school newsletter, starting a PTSA email group and making a PTSA webpage! Wow! Not sure what I was thinking really… But way before I signed up for all this, I joined the Modern Sampler Quilt Along with Salty Oat!

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The quilt is actually a design by Yoshiko Jinzenji, a Japanese quilter. I love the pops of color in the quilt, which is why I decided to take the plunge and go for it!

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Does this look like me? It’s a bit more low volume than I am used too! But it’s been fun making all the blocks challenging myself to stay away from the solid brights!

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The first block was Block A. Makes sense, huh! I think this might be my favorite one!

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Block B. I set this up a paper pieced block. I’m not sure about this one. That center color seems a bit much…

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Block C was actually like a tea cup and saucer. Or a coffee cup… I don’t like tea or coffee, so I didn’t want a tea or coffee cup in my quilt. I took off the handle hoping the shapes would read just as shapes. I think it worked!

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Block D. Another one I turned into a paper pieced block so I didn’t have to measure anything!

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And Block E. I like it! I’m two blocks behind…. So I need to catch up and make 2 more blocks to be caught up.

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One thing I didn’t realize about this quilt is that each block is made of blocks with mitered corners borders… It’s good practice…. not that I was really wanting to practice Y seams. But I’m doing it. And sometimes I get corners like the one above. Just not quite right…

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And other times they are right one and I do a little happy dance!

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Here they are all laid out…

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What do you think? Are you making it? Want to join in and get caught up??? Go for it!

Two in One Pouches

I’m so not following the blogging trends of when you blog about things! Ha!

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I didn’t make too many Christmas presents, but I did make a few… And since it’s almost February, I thought I’d show them! Well, the Alabama Pillow was one… So, next up is the Two In One pouch by Sotak Handmade. I made them at the same time, assembly line style. One was gifted to the kiddo’s teacher, the other for me!

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Years ago at one our SMQG retreats, we had a white elephant and I won one of these! Yay! Then it was stolen from me…. In honest white elephant style… But I will not forget the pain of it being ripped from my hands! Ha!! And now I have my very own, in awesome Cotton and Steel Fabric!

The pattern calls for fusible fleece and I feel like it’s makes it a little too puffy. If I had quilted it, it would probably be fine. So next time I’m thinking about either quilting it or ditching the fleece and just using a heavy interfacing.

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I love the two pockets! But it opens…. And it just seems like wasted space! It needs pockets in here. Or a little mini note holder… Or to stitch together the two sides, so it becomes a middle pocket. So many options! Next time, I’m going to make it more user friendly in the middle.

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It was a pretty quick sew, perfect for a teacher gift! And I’ve enjoyed Finally having my own! I’ll keep you posted on any adjustments I make on the next round!

Wallet Tutorial

I’ve been away from the blog because…. I’ve been sewing! Love it! Today I’m bringing home a post I did this summer for Busy Being Jennifer blog and going back to the sewing machine!!

Years ago, I found this little vinyl pouch wallet in a shop for almost 30 bucks! As I was talking to the store clerk, I was turning it over, unzipping it, looking inside…. Basically just figuring out how it was made while at the same time chatting away! I paid for what I did buy and I ran home. Ok, I was pretty pregnant at the time, so it’s more like I waddled home than really ran….

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That night I told my husband I was going to sew. About 30 minutes later I came up and told him I had just saved almost 30 bucks! Yep, I had made my own wallet!

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That was about 6 years ago…. I used it everyday for about 6 years…. Then it started to look like this. Sad, very sad. I kept meaning to make another one and when Jennifer asked me to be a part of her series, it was the perfect excuse to finally make myself a new one! And I thought I’d show you how to make yours!

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First you need a vinyl, a zipper, thread, scissors and a cutting device. And you can also add a clip. For the zipper, it doesn’t actually matter what the length is because you will trim the end. I think I used a 7″ zipper. For the vinyl, you’ll need four pieces:

(1) 5×7 inch piece for the back

(1) 3.5×7 inch piece for the front bottom

(1) 1.5×7 inch piece for the front top

(1) .75×4 inch piece for the clip holder

and any additional small pieces to use for embellishing the front or back

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First cut out all your pieces.

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Secondly, prepare the front. First embelish if you’d like. Originally I had made circle flowers. This time I did little hexagons! And then sew in the zipper. Locate the start of the zipper about half an inch from the side of the wallet. Then sew in the zipper!

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Assemble the pieces. Front with the zipper open a bit right side up. Then lay the clip piece over the zipper. And lastly, cover with the back piece, right side down.

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Sew all the pieces together using a 1/2 inch seam. And sew over the zipper. When you get to the zipper, move your needle by hand, nice and slow. I go back over my zipper stitches a few times! And then clip the corners!

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Turn it right side out and you have a perfect little for all those crazy cards you carry around!

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What do you think? Throw away the old one? Oh, yes!

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I think the old one held up pretty well for the amount of time I used it! But I’m also pretty happy, more then happy, to have a new one!

 

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!

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!