Just Checking In

Hello Everyone! Just a quick check in before the weekend. I finished the Nautical quilt and it’s on its way to Jacquelynne Steves for May’s The Art of Home Club projects.

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I can’t wait until May 20th to show you the rest. This is a very cute summer quilt. Jacquelynne is getting ready to post information on joining the club next week, so you should visit and sign up to get all the information.

After I finished the Nautical quilt, I started to catch up with the Moda Blockheads BOW and A Quilting Life’s BOM.

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Two basket blocks, back to back. These are Block 7 (top) and 8. You can see that I’ll have to fix Block 7!

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At the same time I was working on the Blockhead blocks, I was also piecing the AQL BOM. These are going to be flying geese units. The leftover trimming are going to be used in next month’s block. I did a lot of chain piecing working on these blocks, but they will have to wait until next week to get finished. We are going to the Trout Fest in Blue Ridge, GA this weekend.

I also took my Pfaff 4.0 QE in for some cleaning and repair. It started making a clunking sound when I was using the zigzag stitch. Not good. IMG_3846

I will be using this one for the next few weeks. It’s still an excellent machine to piece with.

I’m going to leave you with some pictures from my daughter in Pensacola, FL. This week the Thunderbirds were visiting the Blue Angels at their home base. My daughter went to practice sessions for both on Wednesday and Thursday. I’m not sure she made it to her classes those days.

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Blue Angels and Thunderbirds flying over the beach together. We wish we would have known they were there together because we might have gone to Pensacola for a visit.

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This last picture is one she edited. Looks great.

Be sure to stop back on Monday for the Minis and More Parade. Thanks for stopping by and have a good weekend.

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Posted in Art if Home Club, Moda Blockhead BOW, Quilting Life BOM, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

A Quick Catch Up

Hello Everyone! I thought I would show you my works in progress from the last week. I’ve been really busy and didn’t realize it had been so long since I posted.

The first two are still secret projects, but I’ll show you a peek.

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I designed a pattern for a tote bag for my friend Joyce who designed the Lapapp. The tote bag and pattern are finished and it’s being reviewed by several friends. Joyce plans on taking it to Quilt Market to sell with her Lapapps.

The next secret project is a quilt for Jacquelynne Steves’ Art of Home Club for May.  Jacquelynne’s designs are fun and whimsical and there are always options to embroider or applique the projects. Jacquelynne will be opening up the club for new membership soon. If you are interested, you can find more information here.

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These are two of the appliques blocks in the quilt. Can you guess the theme?

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Next, there was lots of chain piecing. It’s a fun summer quilt. The top, backing and binding are finished, now to decide on how to quilt it.

I also finished Jake’s Disappearing 4-patch. IMG_3781

I used two t-shirts with the school mascot and logo on them. This way, I didn’t have to applique them. It will probably be sometime this summer before it’s quilted.

So far, I’ve kept up with the Moda Blockheads BOW. This is week number 6’s block.

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I also started this month’s Minis and More mini, Vintage Mini by Thimble Blossoms.

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It’s all cut out and ready to sew. I’ll try to make one a day to get this little quilt finished up by next week.

I know I’m going to be busy for the next week or so quilting The Art of Home Quilt, but I’ll try to pop in when I’ve finished the Moda Blockheads block for Week 7 and the Vintage Mini. Thanks for stopping by.

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Posted in Art if Home Club, Bags and Tote Bags, Lap App, minis, Minis and More, Moda Blockhead BOW, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Moda Blockheads, Block 5 Tutorial

Hello Everyone! As I’ve mentioned, I am making the Moda Blockheads 6″ Block of the Week. I really like Block 5, designed by Lisa Bongean, and I have made it before in a larger size, but it has 58 pieces! In a 6″ block! So what to do? Make all those tiny squares for the HST, draw a line, then sew on each side of the line, and hope everything lines up okay?

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Lisa gave alternate cutting directions for both the HST, using triangle paper, and the flying geese, by cutting triangles and sewing them to the rectangles.  You can find the pattern and her directions here.

The problem was, I don’t have small enough triangle paper to use and I don’t get the accuracy needed making flying geese that way. Then I thought about my Half Square Triangle Ruler that I haven’t used in a while. I’m not sure why, because it makes very accurate HST.

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I also got out my flying geese ruler to use which makes four flying geese at a time. (Please excuse my scorched ironing surface, it’s not quite as bad as it looks in the picture). To start with, I needed to readjust the cutting directions. Lisa made alternate cutting directions for using her triangle papers and she gave finished sizes of the units on her blog post, which is always handy.

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After picking out my fabrics, I used Lisa’s directions as a starting point. Then I rough cut the pieces and starched. Starched a lot.

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I let the pieces almost get dry, then pressed to completely dry them. I usually give my fabrics a light starch for making these smaller blocks, but several of the Blockhead designers said starch, starch, starch. Lisa has a starch tutorial here.

To make the HST units, I put my two strips for the HST right sides together with the light on top. Then cut them 1 1/4″ wide. Lisa indicated the 4-patch unit was 2″ unfinished, so 1 1/2″ finished. That means each square in the 4-patch unit is 3/4″ finished. Add 1/2″, so each square has to be 1 1/4″ unfinished. (You also know this because the squares for the unit are cut 1 1/4″. But this is how you determine the size if it’s unknown).

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To use the HST Ruler, clean up you edge, then place the bottom of the ruler on the bottom edge of your strip set. Place the vertical edge on the mark that corresponds to the width of your strip, 1 1/4″ in this case. Make you cut. The cut piece will have a flat edge on the top.

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Next, flip the ruler on the long edge. Line up the bottom edge of your strip with the Bottom Marking Line and the top edge with the 1 1/4″mark. Then cut. Keep repeating until all the squares are cut. Be careful when moving your pieces, they are ready to sew, you don’t want them to shift.

IMG_3746You can see how the pieces fit neatly together. Using the ruler eliminates marking lines and multiple sewing passes. It was definitely quicker and more accurate then the standard way. Using the paper would also be accurate and if I known in advance that it would be needed, I might have ordered some, but the ruler worked well.

Now to make four at a time flying geese.

 

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Do you see the date on the selvage? This fabric has been used multiple times!

 

You’re going to cut one large square and four small squares. With this ruler, you need to know your finished size. For this block, the large FG finishes at 1 1/2″ x 3″ and the small one finishes at 3/4″ x 1 1/2″.

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My ruler has the markings for the different sizes, but you can use this method without the ruler. I’ve given the sizes for each of the squares on the sheet of cutting directions.

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Mark diagonal lines on all the small squares. Place two squares on top of the large square and sew 1/4″ from marked line. I actually sewed a scant, scant 1/4 line which gave me just enough room to clean up the edges.

Cut on the line and press the dark pieces out.

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Next, place the other small square on the light and dark piece as shown. Sew 1/4″ on both sides of the line. (Again, I did a scant, scant 1/4″) Cut on the line, press the dark side out, and now you have your flying geese. Trim them if necessary.

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To keep all the units straight, I laid out the block. I made the 4-patch units, then continued with the official directions.

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It took me much longer to make than the first four blocks did, but I was careful and didn’t skip any steps (starch!). Everything lined up pretty well, and there are a few crinkles, but I think part of that is because of the starch.

If you have these rulers and are like me, haven’t used them in a while, take another look at them. I think they saved me time and some frustration, especially working with the little pieces. Thanks for stopping by and let me know if you use this method to make your HST and flying geese.

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2017 Q2 Proposed Finishes and Q1 Finishes

Hello everyone! Well, I missed the deadline to link my finishes for the 2017 Finish-A-Long, Q1. I thought I had this week to get it done, but they closed on April 1. Different rules this year. Anyway, the finishes are listed after this quarter’s list.

First, I’ll show you what I hope to get finished this quarter.

  1. April’s Minis and More, Mini Vintage
  2. Jake’s quilt. This has been on my list for quite some time. I have all the blocks in the rows together, now to get the rows sewn together. I want to at least get the top done.
  3. Crosshatch, quilt pattern by Amy Smart. I have the fabric for this graduation quilt for my niece.
  4. The Ultimate Tote Bag, my own design.
  5. June, A Year in the Garden, stitchery.
  6. Stitchery pattern by Jacquelynne Steve’s, to be made into a pillow.

Not pictured:

     7. Coin Quilt for my nephew’s graduation, made from Adventures Fabric

     8. Sample quilt made for Jacquelynne Steve’s Art of Home Club for May

     9. May Minis and More

    10. June Minis and More

    11. Quilt Blocks on the Go for Quilts that Grow

Now, for the first quarter. You can find my original list here.

This is what I actually finished on the list…

Camper Wall Hanging, A Year in the Garden Embroidery, February Minis and More, T-Shirt Quilt , March Minis and More – Mini Ferris Wheel

I also started and finished the Table Runner and Placemat set by Jacquelynne Steve’s Art of Home Club.

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I also started Thimble Blossoms Swoon 16 quilt…

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I finished these three blocks and three more are in the works. It’s going to be a year long progress.

I also started a Block of the Month by Sherri McConnell of A Quilting Life and the Modablock Heads Block of the Week.

I pieced all my Blocks on the Go for Quilts that Grow together…

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It needs to be quilted which is on this quarter’s list.

I’m going to link this list up at Charm About You. Why not join in. You have until April 8 to link up your list. Thanks for stopping by.

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Arizona Trip, Part 2, Antelope and Grand Canyon

Hello Everyone! Today I’m going to share the rest of our great trip to Arizona in March. You can read and see pictures of Sedona here. I am going to warn you, there are lots of pictures, so enjoy.

From Sedona, we made a day trip to Page, AZ where Antelope Canyon, Lake Powell and Horseshoe Bend are. Page is a three hour drive from Sedona and probably and hour and half from the Grand Canyon. If you are in the area, you should make the effort to visit.

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The walk towards the canyon

My daughter had seen pictures of Antelope Canyon, so seeing it was high on her list. Antelope Canyon is a slot canyon with two parts, Upper and Lower. The Upper is more popular, probably because it’s more accessible. We went to the lower canyon, which is very narrow in some spots. You walked down the road to the canyon and entered it from the bottom, then walked up and out. The canyons are on Navajo land and you can only go on a guided tour in both canyons. We used Dixie Ellis Tours and Julie was our guide and she was awesome.  Before we went in, she showed everyone how to adjust their cameras for the best pictures. The following pictures were taken on my iPhone 6 in Chrome mode. Where you see the purples in the picture, the colors were a deep red. Most of the pictures were taken looking up towards the canyon opening.

I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking. It truly was awe inspiring!

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Start of tour, walking into canyon

AC 4AC 9AC 11AC 14AC 15AC 16Antelope Canyon is known for it’s light beams. I think we were lucky to see one, because they are prevalent April through September. The secret is that Julie was behind the rock and throwing sand up into the opening so you capture the beam on your camera.

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Periodically, we had to climb up.

AC 21This is looking back from where we just came from. You can see how narrow the canyon was in some places.

This is the exit. In the picture on the right, you can’t really tell that there is anything there. Julie told us that her ancestors used the canyon to hide in when necessary. She also said that as kids, they would jump over the opening. Please take the time to visit Antelope Canyon, you won’t regret it.

While we were in Page, we went to the dam on Lake Powell in the Glen Falls National Recreation Area. There is a nice visitor center where you can tour the dam if you want to.

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Do you see the boats at the bottom of the canyon? That’s where they start the rafting trips of the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.

Our next stop that day was Horseshoe Bend, just outside of Page.

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, you know my daughter liked sitting or standing on the edge. The Grand Canyon didn’t bother me from a height perspective, but this place did. I don’t know if it because there were a lot of people around on the edge or that there were no rails. I did get close enough though, to take this picture.

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You can see one of the rafts on the shore. Can you see the monster face? We were there about 3:00 in the afternoon. Every picture I took, had the face.

This was a long day, but worth it. We spent the next day hiking around Sedona, then the day after that we moved on to the Grand Canyon.

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Our first view of the canyon

We have visited many National Parks and have learned that it’s worth going to the Visitor Center and talking to a ranger. My daughter wanted good spots to take sunset and sunrise pictures and star pictures. The ranger we talked to gave us some good information, especially on the most popular sites for these so we could avoid them.

We stayed at the Yavapai Lodge in the park. There is a bus system that took you all around. To see the sunset on the first night, we took the bus to Pima Point, past the two most popular points.

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Beautiful watching the sunset and seeing the canyon changing with the light.

The next day, was our only full day. We made the most of it. We averaged hiking about 4.5 miles on all the other days, we did almost 7.5 that day. On our way to the canyon from Sedona, we stopped in Flagstaff to have lunch and do a little shopping. In one the shops, the owner told us to walk down into the canyon for about 10 to 15 minutes and we would get a different perspective. The ranger also told us where to look for the Native American drawings on the trail. We hiked a little bit on the Bright Angel Trail early in the morning.

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We usually were just ahead of the crowds. Another beautiful day!

 

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Sitting on the edge again!

 

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Looking up at the cliff drawings. Most people walked on by and didn’t even notice them. Another reason to talk to the rangers to find out interesting points and things to see.

After we did our 30 minute hike, we shopped around in the Canyon Village, then got on a bus to head towards Hermits Rest to do a little hiking. We had traveled this route the night before, so we knew where we wanted to get off.

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This map shows the west end of the South Rim of the Canyon. We got off the bus at Marikopa Point and hiked to Mojave Point, where we caught the bus back to the village.

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Looking towards Hopi Point from the trail

 

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Parts of the trail were right on the edge of the rim.

 

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What a lunch time view!

We never got tired of the views!

That evening, we drove to Desert View on the east side of the south rim to watch the sunset. We stopped at the Tusayan Ruins, then went to the Desert View Watchtower.

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There were excellent views from the Watchtower of the Colorado River and points east into more desert like terrain, which we had driven through on our way to Page.

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There were lots of people at the Watchtower, so we drove back to Navajo Point to watch the sunset.

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This is a Pano I took. My daughter’s getting her camera set up to take tripod pictures.

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I edited it so I can get it printed, you noticed I cut her out.

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If you left too early, you missed the incredible sky after the sun set!

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The next morning, our last day, we got up early for Sunrise pictures. We were out early enough to get star pictures, too. And it was cold, about 38 degrees.

 

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Sunrise over the Canyon

 

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This is one of my favorite pictures of the whole trip. I could have stayed longer because I think the light would have gotten even more spectacular, but we had been in the cold for almost 2 hours at this point. We had breakfast, packed and headed back to Phoenix, but we had to get our picture with the entrance sign before we left.

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There was a family with young kids setting up a tripod to get their family picture and they offered to take one of the three us. Thanks!

Our last stop for the trip was at the Montezuma Castle National Monument.

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We had lunch and toured the bottom of the ruins. The cliff dwelling was built by the Sinagua people over 800 years ago. You could see the rooms on the different levels in the cliff.

This was such an awesome trip. Thanks for sticking with me this long. If you ever get the chance to visit Arizona and this part of the country, I would highly recommend it.

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March Minis and More and Last Finish for Q1, 2017 Finish-A-Long

Hello everyone, I’m back again with the last finish of the 2017 Finish-A-Long for Q1. You can find my list here.

This month’s mini, hosted by Sherri and Michele, is Mini Ferris Wheel by Fig Tree and Co.

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The original pattern had an outside border, but I decided not to put it on because I wanted just a little bit smaller quilt. This measures 16″ x 16″ and the blocks are 6 1/2″. I used fabrics from Desert Bloom by Sherri and Chelsi and Sundrops by Cory Yoder, both by Moda. You may recognize the sashing and border fabric as the same Moda Grunge that I used in Allison’s T-Shirt Quilt.

I quilted it with one of my favorite colors Aurifil 50 wt 2110, light lemon. It just seems to blend with a lot of my fabrics. I was going to quilt it with straight line quilting, but then decided to put on my free motion foot. I wanted to emphasize the wheel, so I quilted close lines in the background and left the spokes unquoted. In the center, I did a small cross-hatch. In the sashing, I did straight line quilting with the free motion foot, but in the border I switched to my walking foot.

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I like the back on this one, too, because it shows the quilting. But, if you look closely, you can see where I missed quilting in several of the corners. The backing is made from layer cake squares of Bright Sun by Sherri and Chelsi and the binding is also from Bright Sun.

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The size is perfect for my family room coffee table. It really brightens up the room. I have been starting to put up winter minis and quilts and put out the spring décor. It’s fun to be able to change things up every few months.

I am also making Sherri’s BOM, both sizes.

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The 12″ block is made from Pondicherry Fabric by The French General  and the 6″ version are Fig Tree fabrics, both by Moda.

I am starting a new endeavor; writing a bag pattern for a bag that I designed and made several years ago. My friend Joyce, who designed the Lapapp, asked if I would write a pattern for her to sell at market this spring. Of course I said YES!

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So I pulled out my Valley Fabrics, by Sherri and Chelsie (can you tell I like their fabrics), and started making a new bag and working on the instructions. Stay tuned for more information later this month.

Remember to visit Sherri and Michele on Monday, April 3 for the Minis and More Parade. Also if you missed  my post on our Arizona trip, you can find it here to see some great pictures of a beautiful area. I’ll post the Grand Canyon pictures this weekend. Thanks for stopping by.

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Posted in 2017 Finish-A-Long, minis, Minis and More, Quilting Life BOM, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

T-Shirt Quilt Finish

Hello Everyone! I have a finish today for the 2017 Finish-A-Long. You can find my list here. We are reaching the end of the quarter and it doesn’t seem like I’ve finished many things, but I have been very busy.

Today, I want to share Allison’s T-Shirt Quilt.

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The quilt is 72″ x  84″ and I used 25 t-shirts. The sashing fabric is Moda Grunge Ash and the border is Moda Grunge Pool. It’s pieced and quilted with Aurifil 50 wt.

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I quilted each T-shirt with a free form wave using my free motion foot on my Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.0.  I marked the first line, then used the foot as a guide to quilt the rest of the waves. They aren’t perfectly spaced, but from a distance, they are close enough. In the sashing, I quilted an overlapping ribbon candy, which I used for the first time. I used the ruler foot and templates in the border and only marked the main line of each curve set. I want to point out the #15 shirt with the gator. Allison wanted me to use the gator which was on the sleeve if I could. I just couldn’t get it to be the right size, so I cut the gator out and machine appliqued it to the bottom of the shirt.

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Since I had to piece the back, I added a few of the leftover shirts. The label is also made out of a shirt that didn’t make it into the quilt. The back is a Moda Poetry Woven Cotton. Because the t-shirts are heavy and I like to use a soft backing, this is good compromise for flannel. You can see how the quilting gives a lot movement to the quilt. Especially good for a mostly swim T-Shirt quilt! When Allison gave me the shirts, she was specific about which shirts to use first and whether she wanted fronts, backs, pockets to be used. This was a tremendous help in the design.

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This is Allison with her quilt. She is a swim friend of my daughter’s and will be swimming for Florida Southern next year. Congratulations Allison.

As I said, I’ve been busy with some other things. I decided to do the Moda Blockheads Block of the Week.

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This is week three. The blocks are posted each Wednesday. They are 6″ blocks and so far have been pretty easy, but Week 4 is an applique. I need to get it printed and get busy on it.

Tomorrow I will have March’s Minis and More for you and this weekend, I will finish posting our Arizona trip pictures. Thanks for stopping by and be sure to check in tomorrow.

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Posted in 2017 Finish-A-Long, Moda Blockhead BOW, T-Shirt Quilts, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 4 Comments