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Tuesday, July 21, 2020

The Moving of the Stash!


STASH HAPPENS!

One or two pieces at a time over the past 39 years.

THIRTY NINE YEARS?!

Yes! When the Hubster and I tied the knot in August of 1981, and moved to Washington state to start our lives together, my meager fabric stash consisting mostly of garment fabrics filling 2 apple boxes were carefully placed in the back of our Uhaul trailer along with my mom’s old Kenmore in the cabinet. 

Off we went carrying all of our hopes and dreams with us.

That Kenmore took a beating those first few months of apartment life.  Couch covers, curtains, table cloths and placemats, and within a few months, moving on to maternity clothes and flannel PJs for my nieces.

It wasn’t but a few months into our life as a young married and expecting couple that I discovered quilting magazines at the grocery store and the rest they say – is history.

That “She who dies with the most fabric wins!” mantra danced in my head and set a course for what I am dealing with 39 years later.

This is yesterday, the beginnings of relocating my stash from North Carolina up to Virginia.


The job was to move the contents of my fat-quarter shelves up.

And the job wasn’t THAT difficult even though I had to carry things up from the basement studio and out to the van.

Years ago I had refolded my fat quarters and put them in shoe boxes with lids for easy stacking and transporting from the shelves to the cutting table. I prefer separating them by color family rather than by genre or collection.  I have loved this method.

I guess I loved this method so much that there are 62 shoe boxes in the back of the van!!

Is it humbling to really realize the enormity of the stash?  YES.  

But I am also filled with so much gratitude because no matter what happens in this world, the designing, sewing, creating will continue.  Likely for the rest of my life. 

Even if I were not able to purchase another piece of fabric – I’m good to go! LOL!


Really Mom?

Just how much fabric is there, really!?

I posted to social media yesterday to many asking “Where do you get the clear bags?!” 

These are Hefty lawn/leaf bags and I use these to ship quilts to my publisher for photography.  NEVER put fabric or quilts in a black bag as it may be mistaken for trash! LOL!

The bags helped keep my shoe boxes of fat-quarters from tipping and dumping on the drive home.  You can find them in the Quiltville Amazon Affiliate Store under the Around the Inn category.  They are 70 gallon, and TOUGH plastic. 

I reuse them several times – in fact these were in the reuse box, and contained my quilts when they returned from photography.

NOTE - I do NOT store quilts permanently in plastic bags. I know better.  But for shipping purposes, these kept them clean and waterproof.

Once the fat-quarters were baggied up and placed outside for loading, I started in on the stash cabinets.


Neutrals, pinks, reds and just a bit of blue.

Oh, and it was 96 outside and SO HUMID!

I made it through 1 1/2 cabinets.  There are 5 of them.  I will need several more trips, but there is no hurry.  I’m going to take my time at it, perhaps do a load every week or so.

Once the cabinets are empty, we can take the trailer down and move them up.  The stash will live in the shop next to Quiltville Inn until we are ready to move the cabinets and wire shelving up.

And I guess it comes back around to me – that though the task is daunting, you can make progress with small steps.

I am also thinking of some other ways to fold/store the stash.  Is what I have done for years giving me the best view of what I have?  That’s the question that keeps going round in my brain.

And the other thing that is causing ideas to swarm – I think it’s time for some 2 color quilts to be made to make some dents into these color collections.  Maybe bigger blocks (DID I JUST SAY THAT?!) to help it go down in volume quicker. 

More quilts in my future?  It’s not a bad way to spend my time!  I can’t wait to see what this stash will become.  Even the older pieces dating back decades.

I was happy to make it back to my mountain home - where temps had dropped more than 15 degrees from what they were in the flat lands!


Let’s have some fun!

I received a message from the folks at IronEz and there are some new spray bottles on the block!


New Flairosol bottles!

I have a couple of these bottles and I love how they provide the finest mist when it comes to pressing.

Each IronEZ ironing board spray bottle holder purchase (use coupon code BH15OFF to save 15%!) includes this new bottle.

Get two or three while you are at it.  You are going to LOVE keeping those spray bottles in line and off of your ironing surface.

Need more bottles? They are now selling the new fine-mist bottles in a 2-pack so you can have one at your stand up ironing station, and one by your machine for work station pressing.

Fill them with your favorite spray be it Best Press, Flatter, spray starch or sizing, or the homemade version – whatever your favorite concoction is.

And we are going to draw for two winners!  One for an IronEZ ironing board spray bottle holder and bottle, and a second winner for a 2 pack of the new spray bottles!


We will draw for our two winners on Sunday Morning, July 26th.


Winners must have prizes sent to a USA address – so if you are international, it will go to a stateside friend who can then mail it on to you if you wish to enter.

Tuesday!  What’s going on here?

Well, the power went off yesterday at Quiltville Inn and the QPO.  That was restored last night, but all needs to be checked out to make sure all is functional today.

The A/C unit has been iffy at the QPO. It may be next in line for replacing as it has frozen up a couple of times, needed to be turned off and thawed out before starting up again.

The temp last evening in the QPO was 84.  Too hot for Lola, so she was moved the garage/shop next to the inn because it was much much cooler in there for her.

Should the A/C be back working this morning we will move her back to the QPO.  My fingers are crossed for that.

And there is more studio make over happening in both places – here at the cabin and at the QPO because – SO MUCH STUFF.

How about your side of the monitor? Anything going on in your world today that you are excited about?



Quiltville Quote of the Day -

Put some action behind those dreams!

We may be living in scary times, but that doesn't mean we have to stand still.

Have a wonderful Tuesday, everyone!



64 comments:

  1. Excited about attempting a paper-pieced donkey for a niece who owns a mini donkey.

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    1. Can you share where you found the paper pieced donkey? My 95 year old Mother loves donkeys and I have been wanting to find a donkey pattern to make her a quilt.

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  2. If your A/C is not keeping up and freezing it may be a matter of low Freon. An A/C repair person can refill it and also add some dye to identify a leak.

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  3. I can see you're next book, after the one you are working on now! Two color scrap quilts from your stash! How many new combos can we come up with? Lol

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  4. Love that photo of Zoey! LOL

    I have half of Frolic together. Yay!

    Teo-color quilts--maybe the next book???

    Have a great day!

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  5. today I am sewing blue and brown log cabin blocks. I already took a walk and it's going to be a hot one here.

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  6. Actions speak louder than words is so true. Keep it moving Bonnie!! Good luck with your endeavors.

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  7. Our quilting group is meeting in the park today for the first time in 4 months!

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  8. Love your post. Thanks for sharing your moving process. Love the clear-ish shoe boxes, you are giving me ideas about how to clean-up/organize my stash sitting on book case shelves. Having a great morning checking in with myself and letting go of childhood fears or not 'belonging'. Enjoy your day!

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  9. LOVED reading how you went from a sewer to a quilter!!! I, too, have fat quarters in shoe boxes, but not as well organized as yours and only about 25, hearing about you and yours makes me feel not so 'hoardy'---LOL but i think i have more yardage (read mileage) than you... of course i'm older and not as proflific, but loving hearing all about you and your journey. Hope Lola can be returned to QPO soon, sigh, maybe it's just the AC thermostat? one can always hope... this pandemic thing is causing more outgo than income for you, so very sorry, it's gonna get better... really... i promise... Cats in Carlsbad CA

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  10. Good morning Bonnie! I’ll be putting borders on two quilts of valor that I picked up last week from our qov sew group. It’s too hot and humid outside to do anything except go in the pool. Have a great day!

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  11. Inspired by others organizing their fabrics during the pandemic, I recently redid mine. In KonMarie fashion, I touched each piece, whether it was fat quarter or yardage, and decided whether I wanted to keep it or rehome it. Ended up with a large boxful that I brought to my quilt group (we’re very careful, masked & social distanced) and quite a bit went home with them. It felt good to share with my friends, and the rest of my fabric is neatly stacked and sorted, better than it’s looked in years. Now I can’t wait to dig in!

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  12. You may have already done this, but check the filter on your AC. Dirty filters can contribute to icing up.
    It is challenging to move. We did it last year. I’m still organizing my quilt room.

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  13. Moving to the mountains of NC it took a 16 foot moving van just for the fabric. Now that’s a lot of fabric. I have always loved going to “my” store in the garage. I have almost everything I need for most projects.

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  14. Thanks for sharing your stories. I've been de-stashing in prep for my move next Spring to Georgia. I sent quite a bit to my niece who's making mask. Then I helped another quilter by taking a tote of her scraps. What was I thinking...another leader/ender scrappy quilt for charity...makes me happy. And the plumber's fixing the shower so we will have hot water. Life is great.

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  15. So much energy! I need some of that. : )

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  16. One load at a time you will get it all moved...and I would bet most of that fabric finds its way into quilts!

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  17. Working on Frolic today....progress is slow but I am determined to finish it.

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  18. Maintenance - always something!!! Hope the AC is working today. We are in the 100+ Heat Index here in Arkansas. Your mountain weather would be so appreciated, although I know it is still hot.
    You are inspiring me to not only quilt but to do some cleaning out and doing some reorganizing.

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  19. How funny - you started married life in Washington state 39 years ago, and after 39 years of marriage we find ourselves living there! Hot today, but cools off nicely after sunset.

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  20. Hi Bonnie, Good luck with the studio moving. It is a lot of work, but think of all the fabric you can pet. 😊 On the AC unit, it probably just needs more coolant added to the unit. Sometimes a small leak develps in the coils, that can be repaired. Fingers crossed that, that is all it needs.

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  21. Today I'm going to treat myself (not everyone's idea of fun πŸ˜‰) to a brand new gas powered backpack leaf blower. I know, big thrill, right!?! But lemme tell you, come October, I will be delighted. I hate those stinky noisy things, but I'm just not up to all that raking anymore! Then, a dip in the lake. Ahhh, joys of summer! Happy quilting!

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  22. I have the shoe boxes, and of course I have the fat quarters. I can't believe I've never thought to sort them by color in the shoe boxes. That will be my project for this afternoon when baby is sleeping. That's likely all I will get done today, but baby steps make for good work at the end. Thanks for sharing your life with us. I know it will take some time but I sure will be excited to see the completed project once everything is moved.

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  23. Love the way you think and work things out.

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  24. I think I've decided I'd like a quilt for my bed. Strings in the works. I'll get it eventually.
    Thanks Bonnie.

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  25. You've inspired me. After seeing your social media yesterday I got brave and dug into some boxes that were packed in MD in 2013, lived unopened in NY and moved to TX in 2017. It was time to see what I haven't seen in 7 years. Some "I've been looking for this" and a whole lot of stuff hitting the trash and donate piles.

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  26. I understand your thought process of making bigger blocks. I have made more of them recently than the tiny scrappy ones you enjoy so very much!! Blame the Covid for my lack of patience for the smaller units.

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  27. I'm excited for our first honey harvest ever! We'll be harvesting, extracting, and hopefully bottling this week. I'm sure the kitchen will end up a sticky mess but I don't care. :) After that I'm going to finally start Frolic! It's going to be a good month. Take care and enjoy the fresh look at your fabric.

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  28. Just finished up a Falling Charms top yesterday. Today I will start on quilting 7 charity quilts on my Sweet Sixteen, and cutting out Elizabeth Hartman's Dog quilt for a memory quilt. Keeping my fingers crossed for my old AC! Been a hot summer in the So. Cal High Desert!

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  29. Be humble with the stash. I told my sons about the fabrics. Some I was given , some I bought at
    Thrift stores and some I paid good money for. Lol

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  30. I was also wondering about the clear bags so thank you for the info. I am a Washington state native (from the dry side) and am wondering where you lived in Washington? I am now living in Minneapolis where, I believe, you started out in life. I also lived in North Carolina for 3 years about 20 years ago.

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  31. Funny how you went to WA state, when we were in VA, then WE moved to E. Kent, WA start of '87 & spent 23 years(plus 2-1/2 yrs as snowbirds!) Hope you get elec figured out & A/C resolved todayπŸ™πŸ™πŸ™ We're Florida & know its a necessity!

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  32. I think about having to move the stash a lot! (Even tho we probably won’t ever move🀣) it would not be fun. I don’t only have cotton, I have fleece, leather, canvas, upholstery and any other textile you can think of! Can’t just run to the store here, so I am ready! I also have my regular collection of machines, but industrials. Ugh. What I really want is a place to store it all!πŸ˜‚ But, it is spread around the house! And every once in a while I find a use for that canvas or sheepskin or leather. So it stays...πŸ™„. I need a factory building! But if someone needs something, they know where to come!

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  33. I sent you a message re: the Bonnie-fied quilt I finished last week. Thanks again!
    I use sweater-size boxes for FQs.

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  34. The "trash bag" story is true. A panicked lady called my friend who had picked up the dumpster. She threw a bag containing her late husbands items in that she intended to keep. Could he look for her? And true to his very caring self, he did and was able to rescue it and return it to her. She was over the moon with him. His humble self was all in a days work.

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  35. Stash can be daunting but if you want to destash think about charity groups! Even ugly fabrics can make doggie beds for for the vet offices and kennels.Project Linus always needs baby blankets and cotton is always preferred. As for storage CD cases and bookshelves are wonderful for keeping fabric at your fingertips. I keep yardage on the original cardboard box so nasty creases don't develop. Nancy Roelfsema has great folding tips too.

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  36. I finally had to go to the bigger pieces route, doing my best ,but aiming for "Bright, Cheery, Sturdy and Finished". Dialysis patents are always freezing because the blood is several degrees below 98.6F when it returns to their body. A quilt that is finished is the best kind.

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  37. yes, 2 color quilts with larger pieces for those of us who have "older eyes" would be perfect, the smaller pieces are hard for me to do! I've almost given up on doing your quilts because the pieces are so small. But I love your work and have made at least one completed quilt, but still have 2 in progress!!!!! Thanks!!!

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    1. Me too, I was thinking that the other day when I realized I would need 70 blocks to make a baby quilt w sashing

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  38. The most exciting thing happening here is that my guild is going to Zoom for our meetings. We did a test last night, and it was so good to see faces (sans masks). Take Care in that heat - it can get ya before you know it (ask me how I know)

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  39. No sewing, just car shopping. Maybe later when it cools down!

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  40. I am actually doing the same thing fabric wise as you are, only on a much smaller scale. How to fold for efficiency and in the space available. I keep telling myself that everything I need is in the house right now so make it work. But the truth is, it's a really big mess right this minute. It will work itself out for sure...pretty sure.

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  41. Moving all that fabric is a daunting task, but look at all of it as an investment. Who knows what will happen in this crazy world of ours. If fabric should become scarce or the price soar out of reach you're prepared for for a lot of happy sewing & quilting. Zoe's expression does seem to be asking why there's so much fabric!! LOL

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  42. I'm cutting out masks from my stash of small leftovers, less that 1/4 yd. The leftovers from that will be my fabric for the new Leader-Ender. Fun to visit old fabric. Polly Blank

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  43. Love those clear trash bags.. I will be looking for them, thanks! The comment made me giggle though, tiny typo... not70 gal.. tee hee, 39 Gallon Capacity, 70 Bags... thanks for sharing so much of yourself with us... you motivate all of us! you are so down to earth, and such a great teacher!

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  44. Yes please to bigger piecing, older but prolific quilters need help to keep working, we still like to sew for others

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  45. I am starting to pack my stash today also. What a job that will be. We will eventually be building on the golf course Meanwhile, we have bought a home that needs some TLC, which we will do as our FINAL home is built.

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  46. I can certainly relate to moving a stash, we moved in '15. It was eye popping to realize how much I had accumulated in the 32 years we lived in that house. It didn't help that I worked for several years in Cloth World and JoAnn Fabric stores. They paid me in remnants I used to joke.
    I gave lots away to my guild, I've sold some of it over Facebook and eBay. But there's still lots of stash. I'm working to reduce it with charity quilts and gifts. Right now I have my "deadlines" list thru the end of the year, charity quilts, gifts and a small wallhanging for a guild challenge.

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  47. Zoey reminds me of a dog we had. Hope she has a long and healthy life. Thank you for sharing all of your adventures. I do not know how you have time for everything you do.

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  48. Frozen A.C. Happened to us when we were snowbirds and had left FL for the summer. Our friend called and said the A.C. had frozen and wouldn't quit running. A new battery in the thermostat fixed the problem. Hope the QPO issue is that simple. Love seeing Lola in the QPO basking in being the only cat.

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  49. Yes, please! Working with bigger pieces would really help us olders who can't handle 1 1/2" anything! Love your quilts and your teaching method, but I just can't handle those tiny pieces! Re: your stash. Impressive! I guess I won't win the largest stash contest.

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  50. The look on Zoey's face says it all!

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  51. 39 years of marriage, sewing and moving for me, too. Many bins, baskets, shoeboxes and drawers later, plus 3 fabric bolts that I bought more than 30 years ago when I sold Christmas tree skirts. Still searching the sales section though!

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  52. As I was sorting and setting up my new sewing area after our last move, my husband wandered in and asked "Did we move all of that from OH to FL to WV and back to OH?"
    He was told that he didn't want to know and reminded that he has moved tools and supplies too!

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  53. Two color quilt - don't think I've done that before.....I'm working on sorting out strings......fun!

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  54. When we moved from the city to the lake I folded my over 1/2M to about 1M pieces of fabric around my 6x24 ruler then folded in half and they fit on my shelves real well and could see the fabric ends when looking for something. Larger pieces I put on 1/2 bolts and of course as I had a quilt shop all my large bolts were put on shelving at the lake. Now my sewing room is in a great need of sorting and redoing after 10 years. Good luck with your move and look forward to seeing new projects. What size are your snails trail blocks? Enjoy your blog every day.

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  55. Wish I could spend some time discussing with you ideas about combining small pieced elements that are a product of your scrap system (which has solved so many problems for me) and elements with larger pieces because I too need to make a dent in my collection of fabrics. There are ways to do this but it raises the issues of math and some color theory. As your fans look for your great patterns with instructions, I can see you would be hard pressed to produce them efficiently. Might take the pleasure out of your current processes. Many antique quilts are made with this kind of design. I have worked this way at times when my fabric choices were limited. It involved feeling my way through the process (read improv) and it is easier to accomplish with good work space. Not everybody has that luxury. If there is anyone who could meet this rising design need, you are the girl to do it! Thanks for sharing your conundrums with all of us because we realize we are not alone in our thinking about so many things.

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  56. I learned how to fold fabric a few years back and put it in the bins so you can see all of it. I recently went through the bins again and pulled out material that was not quilt worthy and donated it to a friend who has to supplement the income due to her husband's illness. I felt as blessed as she did. She and her daughter make crafts and sells them. I have seen her work and am thrilled that the material is being used. That doesn't mean I still don't have bins of fabric, I have plenty but I don't plan on moving soon. Love your work and the sayings you give each day. We all need the encouragement. Keep at it. You will get it all in order some day. :)

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  57. I thought I had way too much fabrics! All my fabrics can fill up one van. I have nine shoe boxes of old fabrics and 3 large bins of my recent purchases. I am currently using up old fabrics for charity quilt projects.

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  58. Perhaps a new book based on bigger blocks?

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  59. Wow, you've been busy! Today while the laundry went round and round I worked on my EPP of Hexagons. Mine are much bigger than yours ... I think across flat side to flat side is perhaps 3 1/2". BOY is that a difficult size to add sections to! But I AM making progress!

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  60. Those new Iron EZ bottles are very cute, and fitting! I would love to win one. I need to order a couple of the holders and extra bottles. Some for myself, and some to give as gifts; say as part of a secret santa gift. I do have a couple of the doterra ones like this, and gave a duo pack to Nancy for her little sewing nook; but would love some in the patchwork design.

    As for eciting stuff, nothing in the sewing venture, but I started major excavation/ earth moving at my place. So, the outside is getting a new face lift. A 19 x 27 ft pad for my greenhouse, a 60 x 80 ft new berry patch area (fence to be built next week), and a 45 x 95 area for the High Tunnel Greenhouse for fruit trees. But, no fencing available for a wire livestck fence yet. When it comes fall I can start back in the sewing room. I too need to invest in more sterlite boxes, and become more organized like You!

    Stay Safe, Stay Healthy!

    Donna,
    Kasilof, AK
    Where it is rainy and 57 out today

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  61. Love looking at your stash. I need to save more scraps. It shop more.

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