Tuesday, April 10, 2012

iPhone-o-Gram! Dear TSA----

I really hope that TSA had a great time going through my luggage yet one more time!

I'm seriously thinking about laminating these cards and leaving one in each suitcase with a personal "Have a nice day!" note about going green and saving them the cost of more paper waste :-)

But then I wouldn't get to use these cards to punch more hexies from ;-)

Small hiccup here---only 2 out of 3 cases of books have arrived----the 3rd case being waylaid somewhere in Indiana due to a train derailment---at least that is what the tracking numbers tell me. :((

The missing case is Scraps & Shirttails II, and of course I needed it for the meeting tomorrow evening, and for the other guild on Thursday. Ugh!!!

Of all the rotten luck!!

But if this is as bad as it gets, I've got nothing to complain about really, right?


Off to dinner--supposedly there is an oyster bar in my near future!

Side note---are oyster bars related to sushi bars??


iPhone-o-Gram! Live from Rhode Island!

We've had a great time bee-bopping around and seeing some sights!

A couple quilt shops are a bit happier with their daily totals and even got a glimpse at a place that sells refurbished vintage machines!

This is the same kenmore that DH gifted me with our first Christmas together :-)

I'm topping off lunch at Gregg's with this yummy apple crisp----oh. My!!

Show & Tell Tuesday!


It’s a travel day for me! I’m catching a 6:15 am flight to Providence, Rhode Island! This week I’ll be meeting with the Ninigret Quilt Guild in Westerly, and then heading over to the Quilter’s by the Sea in Portsmouth!

Being as this is my first EVER trip to Rhode Island, we get an extra special treat….guess what is going on this week as well??

OH, can you guess? Can ya, huh, huh, huh!!! Okay -- you already read the sign, didn't YOU!?


I am going to MQX!!

Thursday is my day to move from Westerly to Portsmouth, and my wonderful volunteer driver suggested we just make a day of it and head to MQX since my guild meeting Thursday is an evening one. This gives us most of the day to PLAY!

Just. Color. Me. Pumped!!

Of course, you can count on lots of photos, that is if I can stop drooling long enough to take them ;c)

So anyway, since my flight is do dad-gum early, I’m writing this the night before so it’s ready to post and I don’t have to deal with it in the morning. It’s been a while since I did a show and tell, and let’s face, it, it has to be more interesting than the “Count the Jelly Beans” post --- so here we go!

These are in no order, just a random spattering of quilts that have been sent to me recently! I love seeing what you do ----

Nann H wrote to me about her “Grandpa’s Star” Flimsy! Oooooh, I’m loving this orange!

nannhGrandpas Star

She writes:

Hi, Bonnie --

You get so much e-mail and know so many bloggers that you may miss this....I finished piecing Grandpa's Star last evening. Thanks for another irresistible block!

Cheers, Nann

Thanks for sending it Nann! Oh, I love the design the skinny black sashings adds! So fun! Love this one! **Note** Grandpa’s Star was one of the “Addicted to Scraps” blocks in a recent Quiltmaker Magazine. You can find out more about those blocks HERE.

Jantine from the Netherlands has been busy too!


Jantine’s Dubbel Heerlijk!

She writes:

Hi Bonnie,

Thought you might like to see the pics I enclosed…

Last week I finished my Double Delight and named it the same, but in Dutch, Dubbel heerlijk. The top was finished ages ago, but I finally got to the quilting part.


It was a delight sewing this quilt and I think the backing is a delight too. It is a snuggles fabric from Moda and soooo very very soft. I usually make 2/3 of the mentioned amounts in your mysteries and I recall having to make a few more blocks for this big lap size quilt. Maybe I did just half amounts this time. It measures about 1.90 x 1.50 in meters which is about 75x60inch!

groeten, Jantine

I love seeing it here outside with that big bucket of pansies in the sunshine! How interesting, it looks GREAT, Jantine! The quilt picks up the color of the sky in the background too! **Note** Double Delight was a mystery we did a few years ago. The pattern is still available HERE.

Anita has been busy in Crumb-ville!


Doesn’t this look Patriotic?!

She writes:

I'm a huge fan of you and Quiltville, of course, and recently went on a scrap binge....looked like a tornado hit the sewing room but after a lot of fun this quilt emerged, using your Cactus Patch setting from Scraps and Shirttails. I love how the scraps sort of told me what to do next...so much fun. Now, on to the quilting.


This pic shows the last 2 rows…look how fun!

Love your books and all your patterns. Thanks for the inspiration!


So Many Crumbs! I love this. I have crumbs coming out of my ears, and I really need to do something more with them. If you want to try your hand at crumb piecing, check out the tutorial HERE!

Thanks for sharing the pics with me, Anita!

Next Up! Cheryl H!

Oh Cheryl is so fun to have around, I had her in my classes over New Years in Plano, TX! When she sent me these pics, I was so happy to see her smiling face in my email!

Hey Bonnie,

I hope you are enjoying the Virginia Beach area -- your tales make me a bit wistful because I lived in Virginia for 23 years. Now I am in Dallas where I attended two of your sessions in Plano on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day at Fabric Fanatics. What a wonderful time that was!

Here are photos of the 3rd quilt I made, a Mad City Mama from Adventures With Leaders & Enders.


I completed it last year as a gift for my mother-in-law. After I started the quilt, my MIL sent me a box of scraps that had been in her garage since her own mother passed away in 1983. Her mother was a quilter, so of course, I included many of those scraps into this quilt. My MIL said this was the best gift anyone has ever given her. When she shows off the quilt to friends, she points out the bits that came from her mother's stash -- such a happy legacy.

I put this quilt together using the Cotton Theory method, and quilted it on my domestic machine.

I had do do “SNIP” to get her photos out of my email, for some reason they were imbedded in the text and I couldn’t save – but don’t you LOVE the sashings green one way, and white the other way? GREAT!! I get so much inspiration from you guys!

How about some AMAZING hand quilting work?

Carla hand quilted this very LARGE Double Irish Chain!

She writes:

Dear Bonnie,

I just wanted to drop you a note to thank you for your website. I have always dreamed of making a large bed size scrappy quilt. Last year I discovered your site and it has inspired me to tackle the large Rubbermaid tote that I had thrown scraps into for years. I love your leaders and enders book, although I was so inspired I kept sewing and sewing and by fall I had created a king size quilt top. I started hand quilting it in November, and finished it last week. Thank you again for your inspiration!

Carla T

Here’s a close up of her hand quilting..this is not your usual “diagonal grid” She’s done some wonderful quilting in both the pieced block and the alternate block!


The pieced block is quilted much like a drunkard’s path. AWESOME, CARLA!

Let’s show some MORE Handwork! How about hand piecing? I was so blown away by this top I have to share it with you!


Kim writes:

I just had to write to you and tell you how much I love your website!!! A friend just told me about it and I think it is wonderful! I am addicted to scrap quilts that I make by hand or by machine. I can't wait to try some of your patterns! I also love the demos you have with them. Thanks for sharing your love of quilting.

I am attaching a couple photos of a quilt top I recently finished. It is a pattern called Kansas Twister. It is 85" x 105" and it consists of 675 ~12 pc units, each a different fabric for a total of 8100 pieces that I sewed together by hand! :)

Again, thanks for the renewed inspiration!

Kim H

Cambridge, MN

OVER 8,000 pieces…BY HAND!? Isn’t this wonderful? Here’s a close up:


How sweet is this?!?

I’ve got an antique quilt that is similar, but it has sashings around each little whirly gig..I like how these are right together in a bright and twirly whirly explosion! Thanks for sharing Kim! Anyone know if this is available for INKLINGO!? Oh, I can so see myself doing this one!

How about one more? Just for good measure?

bargello quilt top

This Scrappy Bargello top is made by Jan and her mom!

She writes:

Hi Bonnie!

I have loved your website and blog so much and I am always gleaning inspiration from it. I haven't ever shared any of the quilts and such that I have made that you inspired and I thought I would do that. I am not an expert or even a very precise quilter, but I love it and have been doing it for years.

My Mom and I have been making lap quilts for people at church who are grieving, sick, or who just need some encouragement. It is our way of doing good while whittling down our stashes. I have always been scared to make a bargello quilt, but I tried your Scrappy Bargello and absolutely love it! I have included a photo. I generally make the tops and my Mom ties and binds them. I don't know why, but she doesn't like machine quilting much.

Thanks for sharing with us! I appreciate your patterns and tips so very much!

Jan, you and your mom make a great team! Thank you so much for doing what you do for those who need just a bit of picking up. There is nothing like the gift of a quilt to lift spirits and provide warmth and comfort! Keep up the good work!

And that’s about all I have time to post --- I’ve gotta get the rest of everything gathered so I can head on out to Providence!

Yes --- and MORE HEXIES! I haven’t touched them for 6 whole days --- such a SLACKER, aren’t I?! :cD

Oh, and OH OH OH!! Did you catch yesterday's "What's On Your Bed?" Linky Party? Many more link-ups have come in -- some gorgeous quilts covering comfy beds! It's so fun to see what's in everyone's house....so go look! This will be open until Saturday I think -- so check back now and again!

Be good, Peeps – I’ll check in with ya later!

Monday, April 09, 2012

Iphone-o-Gram! Count the Jelly Beans!

Okay, this was supposed to post live from the chiropractor's office but something musta blipped because it didn't show up!!

The count the jelly bean contest is still on! I guessed 968. How many do you think are in here??

Gosh I love this place! What a hoot!!

What’s on YOUR Bed? ((Linky Party!))

This lovely Monday morning I’ve had windows open, soft smells of spring coming through the screens as I CLEAN, BABY, CLEAN!

Mondays are the day I love to change bedding, catch up on house work ----clean bathrooms, scrub kitchen floors and put things in order.

Okay, I love the clean fresh bedding, but I don’t enjoy scrubbing bathrooms and kitchen floors so much – but I feel SO GOOD when it is done.

Jason and Kim are coming up on Thursday ---and I’m not going to be here! Sad smile

But that doesn’t mean that I didn’t want to take some time sprucing things up for them.

I don’t have dust BUNNIES – I’ve got DUST CATS. Or CAT anyway since only one of them lives indoors, and her shedding season is about to be in full swing Smile with tongue out There were dust cats hiding under beds and dressers --I think I've corralled them all!

After the bedding was washed, and I was putting all back together in the guest room so it's ready for them when they come on Thursday, I thought it might be fun to show you what I put on the bed.

Do you do this? I change the quilts when I wash the bedding --- the sheets are already off the bed anyway, so why not change the look of the room at the same time?

homedecor 003

I changed out the winter quilt, and put my funky 1950s “Hands All Around” quilt on the bed. I found this top a few of years ago at an antique mall, added borders, quilted it up, and it has become one of my favorites just because of the funny fabrics in it. Some of the blocks have REALLY low contrast ---

homedecor 002

Isn’t it fun?

There are more close up pics of the blocks and top Here and Here!

So here’s a little something I thought might be fun since we are all getting into Spring Cleaning mode. ((You are too, aren’t you?!)) What if we did posts showing “What’s on Your Bed?” If you feel like changing the sheets, putting a different quilt on the bed, DO IT! Write a post with a picture of the quilt on your bed, a little bit about it…and come back and link to me. I think it would be fun to see!

I know this is kind of like a last-minute-on-the-fly idea, but that's the kind of girl I am, so just indulge me and play along!

***NOTE*** When you put your info in the linky, PLEASE put in the address of the specific post containing the picture of your quilt on your bed. DO NOT just link it to your whole blog, or I'll have to remove it and have you try again because I can't fix it for you. To get the right address of your post to show up in your address bar so you can copy/paste it --- click on the TITLE of the blog post you wrote about your quilt. The address you see in the address bar should end with .html not .com

I’m off to the chiropractor. I guess I didn’t win the number of jelly beans that were in the jar --- but that’s okay, I don’t need the jelly beans, there is enough other jelly parts to me to make up for that! However, I would like this nerve pain down the back of my right leg to go away! It even hurts when I press the sewing machine foot pedal. This is SO not fair. Sad smile

Maybe when I get back there will be some other linkies below --- okay? Change out those quilts, and go take a pic!

Florabunda Flimsy ---It’s DONE!

I pushed myself and kept sewing, finishing this at about 11:45 pm last night --- so pardon me if I’m moving a bit slow this morning!

I was so wired after getting it together that even though *I* was ready to sleep, my MIND wasn’t!

Oh, it took forever to wind down, and I tossed and turned and tried to find ways to make my brain shut down. Someone told me once that if you try to remember every house you’ve ever lived in…..and find yourself walking the floor plan, remembering each house in detail, you’ll be out before you know it.

It must have worked at some point ----because the next thing I knew it was morning and I was waking up about 7:30am to birds chirping outside my window, greeting me into the new day.

I LOVE Mondays. I love Mondays at home. Clean fresh start to the new week, and a clean fresh start on changing bed linens and putting my house in order before I head off for Rhode Island tomorrow!

So back to this Florabunda border ---WOW, did this clear out a lot of old 2” floral strips! I’m not a fan of big florals, but this just goes to prove there is a place to use them, and when you sew together what looks kind of “ehhhh” individually ---it’s a happy-water-color-type-of-mess, and this is going to brighten up my guest room so much!

florabunda 023

First border attached…loving it already!

The funny thing is I recognize so MANY of these fabrics from all my early quilting years. Is it just a rumor I’ve heard, or is MAUVE aka DUSTY ROSE really coming back in fashion again?

I let the yellow squares in the border just fall wherever they fell. I didn’t lay anything out, I just wanted them to look like I grabbed a random handful and tossed it --- and how they ended up they ended up, a variety of yellows just sparkling where they landed.

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Testing my border corner…will it turn right? YES!

I really am glad I took the time to piece this border. It’s a happy win to use all these 2” floral strips, it’s a happy win to use up the left over odd cuts of solid yellow yardage ---and it made the quilt the size I need it to be to fit that guest bed upstairs.

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Out on the Deck!

Finished size: Approximately 94" X 103" Fit for a Queen!

I had to hurry this morning to get this photo – that sun is coming through the trees, and quilts look best in the shade where the colors are more true….this is lengthwise across the rail. YES! Who said you can’t make a great quilt out of ugly cast-off fabric!

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Close up of one corner!

The next thing I needed to do was pick a backing. At one point I was considering gathering up all the other florals I have sitting around – and cutting 10.5” squares for a pieced backing, but I came across this piece that was gifted to me by Sandi in San Diego in January – it’s one of those “WHAT DO YOU DO WITH THIS?!” kind of pieces:

florabunda 026

It’s small segments of Paris street scenes! And there was 10 yards. TEN. YARDS!!

I decided that this would be it for this quilt..I’d purpose this strange fabric that really wouldn’t work for much else--- I do NOT see a one block wonder in my future ((Just shoot me if I start one!)) and this will make a great back. I had a wonderful time when I went to Paris a couple of years ago, and this fabric DOES capture the feeling that I got walking down the streets of that great city.

If this quilt didn’t already HAVE a name – I’d call it ----

Are you ready?

Did you guess?

“April in Paris!”

Of Course! Now, to get it quilted?

Sunday, April 08, 2012

On a Lovely Easter Evening ---

It’s been such a nice day! Even though there was some tax time torture involved ----I was reminded that it is a blessing to owe taxes, I live in a country where I can work at the job of my choosing and thrive at it. We are “THAT” much closer to having it settled, and I can put that thought out of my head for another year and just continue to create!

But – thoughts of being told once again by my accountant DH “Not Enough Business Expenses!” puts me in a tizzy because my thrifty side bites me in the butt for another year.

Here I am having a BALL sewing on a $70 pink 1950’s sewing machine instead of spending $5,000 on something I could legitimately write off ---

Maybe this is the year I remodel the basement studio just for somewhere to show a legitimate write off that is “Big Enough”.

I swear, this government is backwards. And after spending my whole life SAVING and getting the most out of everything, making every computer and phone and sewing machine last as long as it can, being very thrifty with my fabric purchases ---I have to find ways to either spend it on what I can, or write a bigger check to Uncle Sam. Be responsible with income…..and they take it away. Time to install the marble and gold plated executive wash room, I guess!

Okay, so it’s not appropriate to talk about taxes, religion, copyrights, politics and – ((fill in the blank)) on here, and I just ran my mouth right into my fingers again. And yes, if it hurts to write that check, be grateful that you have the ability to pay it. I know. I KNOW!

So let’s switch to a different topic ---

Sandra writes:

Hi Bonnie,

Thank you for the info about your new adjustable sewing machine table.

I'm curious about the other object in the picture that looks like a "panda" face. Is that some sort of speaker or? More info. Appreciated.

Angie in CA.

Were you curious too? I think I’ve talked about him before…..

florabunda 021

Here’s a current shot of where I am in assembling my borders….See him there?

florabunda 020

This is my little GoGroove external speaker for my laptop/ipod/phone/tablet!

I sew facing the corner --- ((Yeah, BAD GIRL, go SEW IN THE CORNER!!)) and I set up my Toshiba tablet right next to where I’m sewing and put a good chick flick on netflix and I’m a happy girl! Here I was watching Betty White in a really cute movie from the 1980s. LOVE THIS PANDA!

I just throw it in my suitcase when I go –it’s usually the first thing I set up when I get to a hotel room. It powers up via USB, and plugs into the audio jack in whatever you are listening to or watching. Or if you don’t have a USB port ---just use a USB extender for a wall outlet, like the one that comes with iphone for charging from the wall and you are good to go. It also works from batteries.

It’s not going to give you Bose sound, but good enough for where I’m working, and better than the speaker that comes on tablets, iphones or laptops.

The best part? It’s on Amazon for $20.00 There I go being thrifty again ---- *sigh*

We went and saw Mirror, Mirror this afternoon, and thought it was really cute, and definitely worth a view! Julia Roberts was hilarious as the evil Queen, and we really enjoyed it.

After returning home, I took time out for a 90 minute nap --- so I plan on spending more time at the machine, finding something fun for netflix to play in the background while my Panda keeps me company!

Happy Easter, Happy Passover!

And for all of us --- Happy SPRING!! Unless, you are down under in Australia and it’s getting into cold season --- Well….here, have some chocolate!

This little egg funny cracked me up!

It’s been many years now since we have dyed eggs – but I have fond memories of sitting around the kitchen table, its surface thickly layered with newspaper---watching those fizzy tablets dissolve in water, and the smell of vinegar in the dye cups.

Come to think of it, I can’t remember if the vinegar memory is from MY growing up, or from my kid’s growing up – but it’s there. Vinegar is a very Easter smell to me – even when I use it in cleaning, I think of dying Easter eggs!

This year we are just three of us….and I’m liking the easy relaxation of it. We slept in a bit. We have plans for an easy meal, and may even go take in a movie this afternoon. We love doing that, sneaking away for a matinee on major holidays. It makes it fun. Today I’d like to see “Mirror, Mirror” with Julia Roberts, but we’ll see if that materializes or not.

Yesterday, a package arrived that I’d been waiting for since before leaving for Quad Cities ---

vintage machines 028

Every machine I have has a different base size. It’s been a huge hassle tossing out $70+ shipping & handling every time I needed a table for a specific brand/model of machine.

I came across these through a student who had one. I looked up SewAdjusTable by sewingmates.com and found what I wanted. I ordered the 18” X 24” table that can be adjusted to fit EVERY MACHINE I OWN.

It’s completely smooth on top, all the hardware is recessed and fully adjustable. The old vintage machines really don’t need to be in their box-bases --- they’ve got legs on the bottom under their platform bed, and this actually set my machine lower to the table top.

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I put a protective rubber shelf-liner type mat under Barbie to keep her legs from scratching the desktop more than it already is ---this also helps her to NOT SKID while stitching – I sew like a maniac, and anything not held in place does a little vibrating dance ;c)

I’m working on the borders for Florabunda here…yes, I made sure I sub-cut them the right width this time! Still don’t know what I’m going to do with THESE!

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I’m a happy quilter! The price was more than one “regular” extension table that would fit ONE machine and one machine only --- but less than the price of two separate tables for two machines, so it’s a win for me. What’s even nicer is --- if I break the table, I don’t have to replace the whole thing, just the one removable section that broke.

The question is now --- what to do with all these extra and a sundry tables that are hogging space in my closet?! I’ll probably use them as travel tables if I am using a machine that fits them, but this one ---it has a permanent place on my desk top and will fit any machine I put in it.

I also hope to get more machine time today ---I can’t believe the number of 2” floral strips I was able to clear out thanks to this border. ((And the border mishap with the sub-cutting! Ooops!)) I’d like to get these borders ON the Florabunda quilt and call it done before spring is over ----I’m ready to move on to other things, but this one’s been hanging over my head.

However you spend your Easter/Passover/Weekend time --- enjoy it! I hope you find some time to fondle some fabric, dream, and maybe stitch a bit!

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Pickin’, Grinnin’ and Drawin’ a Winner!

I’ve got a copy of Quiltmaker Magazine going directly to……..

(((((Insert Drum Roll!)))))

Susan Torrens!

Susan wrote:

Ever since I discovered your site several years ago, I've been addicted to making scrappy quilts! My husband calls them "garbage quilts" because he threatened to throw my 15 year collection of scraps in the garbage unless I started to use them.

I used your "scrap users" system to get them organized and now they get used regularly. I still think that they reproduce in the bins when I'm not looking!

Susan, Congrats to you! This issue will be winging it’s way to you as soon as you email me back with your snail mail address.

Thanks everyone for playing along!

And just to celebrate a bit with Susan --- here’s something that was emailed to me along with the caption of

“This is an example of what can happen if boys don’t have a video game!”
Holy Bluegrass, Batman! My toes are a tappin’!

Oh my goodness, how cute! I think the thing I loved the best was their playing this with the model of the space ship there on the bedside --- and normal “boy mess” scattered about the floor. I love the happiness of a house full of music!

And it’s a good thing that this is lifting my spirits because ----

I thought I was doing so great working on the borders for Florabunda --- I sewed my strip sets together, loaded up the accuquilt to sub-cut them….all nice and neat ----

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You might not even notice at first glance that something is terribly wrong here -----

Do you see it? Look at the few that have wandered astray and are flipped loose of their rows ----


I just cut the whole mess of 4 patch parts with the 1.5” die --- instead of the 2” die. AUUUUGHGHGHGHGHGH!

Back to the drawing board!! ((And I guess I’ll have to design something with rectangular 4 patches at SOME POINT…..but NOT TODAY!))

Catching up on Jubilee Blocks!

First off, if you are here looking for Yard Sale Saturday --- click HERE!

It’s still going strong, and there are many vendors with great goodies ready for you!

I was able to catch up on all three of my Jubilee blocks ---I’m so glad I didn’t shoot for something more intricate to celebrate my 50th year or it just wouldn’t happen!

Maybe the Big Jubilee will be finishing the hexie top sometime this year ----corner 3 is getting closer!

I had a great time doing these blocks…and I want to share with you how I did the “Cups & Saucers” variation.

There are so many ways that you can work with a block! I love a mental challenge...and this was a fun one!

cupsandsaucers accountantswife 012

Randy’s on the left, Mine on the right!

Look closely! They look the same from far away, but Randy’s has 4 half square triangles, 8 flying geese units and a center square. I drew up mine for paper piecing and pieced it in one unit, eliminating many seams! SO EASY!

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Here is what the foundation looks like! Would you like to try it? You can get a copy of the foundation HERE.

For those who had trouble printing out the Basket Block in the right size last time….this is why:

You must RIGHT CLICK on the pattern on the screen, and click SAVE AS. It will save as a pdf file on your computer, so save it somehwere you can get to it. Your desktop is good.

Then you must open Adobe and then open the file from within adobe to print it in the size it is supposed to be. You can’t just print it from the monitor view because the printer will print out whatever your screen resolution is. When printing PDF patterns, always choose “NONE” as the scaling so that the page will print out the size it was meant to.

This block finishes at 6", and it will print out that way if you print it out correctly.

(Download the Adobe Acrobat® Reader® free of charge
by clicking on the link below.)
adobe acrobat

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Now that these three blocks are done, I’m off to catch up on the two bonus blocks I still need to do….

Oh and that Cups & Saucers block?

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It came from THIS! These fabrics were in the birthday box that Bonnie M sent me. It was no effort at all to cut this apart using the same methods I showed in my “De-Boning The Shirt” Video! Most of the block came from the two collar pieces..it’s amazing how far those shirt parts can go!