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Tuesday, August 11, 2020

From Quilt Top to Quilting -


This is how I decided on the big yes.

Does that happen to you too?

You pull out umpteen different things from purple to red to fuscia to turquoise hoping one of them will do the trick as inner border -

But they all made that skinny little green sashing disappear.  I needed something lighter than the green sashing for the inner border. But darker than neutral or my little neutral rectangles at the ends of the sashing would also disappear.

And I dug into the bins that are currently stored in the garage/shop at Quiltville Inn just KNOWING there would be something to do the trick.

And I found 1/2 yard of this piece:


If you have been quilting for any length of time the print may look familiar to you.  I’m guessing late 1990s, early 2000s?  Anyone recall?

It’s a strange shade of melon that tied in the more modern oranges and corals in the tulip blocks, didn’t fight with the green, was darker than light, but lighter than medium.  it does the job.  It’s a bit unexpected as a color, but it also has warmth where the green is cool.

My one saving grace with older stash is the things I loved working with then, I still love working with now.  I call them CLASSICS.  Stripes, Plaids, Dots, Textures, Tone on tone, patterns – and these older fabrics work just great with the newer ones. I don’t think prints like this will ever truly be “out of style”.

There are some colors that go on out as quickly as they came on in – but they will be back around!  About every 20 years or so. LOL!

I’m thinking of Williamsburg blue.  And that dusty mauve (which was one of my wedding colors, combined with burgundy. Eeek!) and back to the greens in this quilt – that grey-ish sea foam green?  It doesn’t like to play with the brighter yellow greens and limes that have been current lately.

But just give them time, they will come back around!

And anything I really don’t want to keep around I can easily slice up into strings and find a way to use them that way.


Ready to load in the machine!


Backing Sneak Peek!

(Wrong side of fabric.)

The floor mat is there to keep the cats off!

I got as far as piecing the backing yesterday.  And let me tell you, it is not gorgeous! LOL!  

I had 7 yards of a weird green that had dragonflies and kind of orange flowers in it.  I had some leftover very green plaid, and a length of leftover string border.  When the quilt is quilted I “MAY” be brave enough to share a photo.

But the point is – I used about 8 yards of random stuff as the backing for this queen-sized quilt. There will be many more backings like this in my future because while I believed “She who dies with the most fabric WINS!” in my 20s, 30s, and into my 40s – as I near the end of my 50s I realize the game has changed.

It is now “She who sews it all up before she dies WINS!”

And oh, what fun we are going to have doing it!  Are you in the same boat?

Blossom Time is the perfect example of stash annihilation.  Fabrics from the 1980s through today are in here.  Different genres and manufacturers and designers are in here. There are hundreds of different fabrics from my life as a quilter in here.

The reason I fell in love with the tulip block (Besides it being very cute, springy, and easy!) is that each blossom only took two half-square triangles and one square.  That meant a lot of short strips could be purposed and GONE from the Scrap User’s System.  

And this quilt is all about the variety in color and styles of fabrics to make it fun.

It would not be nearly as entertaining to make if I made it from a jelly roll – all one line of fabric.  All one background.  All those “same prints just in different color ways.”  No thinking to be done. I would lose my interest.

A couple of weeks ago I had another offer from a fabric company wanting me to design fabric with them.  I turned it down.  Because I don’t sew that way.  It’s just not me to design a quilt around one line of fabric, never being able to include other stash from other designers and manufacturers, eras, genres and more in my project. 

My hands would be tied as to what I could make, what it would look like, what colors would be my “brand” from here out until eternity.
 
At that point, the quilt becomes an advertising billboard for the fabric line and manufacturer – not something that came from my own stash and my heart,.

It would limit my choice and stifle my creativity.  And my desire to work with it ALL.


And I want to sew this way!

I used the remainder of that melon inner border fabric in two of these Nearly Lemoyne blocks that are coming along just fine.

And I’m doing the same thing here – I’m digging through my strip stash for strips that are long enough for each fabric placement.  Upper left: Older melon fabric with a newer bright and bold print.  the block next to that contains an older Jinny Beyer dark teal, with a more modern batik.  The bottom right has that same melon print mixed with a purple.

The dark teal/aqua block to the left of the melon/purple one uses a strip of recycled shirt as a background.  

The little blue triangles to the right of the sewing machine needle are recycled from my own shirt!  It was one of my favorite ones that I wore for Tuesday night line dancing lessons back in 1998 or so when we still lived in Idaho before moving to Texas.

This is how I like to play.  I don’t think ANY fabric line, no matter how many prints it entails would give me the variety that I crave in my quilts.

However YOU like to sew – be true to you!  Sew what you like to sew with, however you choose to mix it up.


Last night’s sleepy dog block modeling!

I finished the last two that I had base blocks made for while watching nearly the last episodes of CSI (Las Vegas) last night.  We’ve only got two episodes left to go after so many seasons – if you are looking for something to binge, this took us months of nearly every evening watching a couple of episodes.

Today the plan is to get the quilting started on the Blossom Time quilt.  I haven’t chosen a quilting design yet – so that is first up.

Easy quiet Tuesday ahead.

Anything going on in your world?


Quiltville Quote of the Day -

Anyone else feel like they woke up in the wrong parallel universe? Lol!

I talk to my 80 year old dad every evening and his response when I ask him "How's your day, Dad?" Is "I'm stuck in Groundhog Day, the movie!"

I love his sense of humor. I worry about him because he lives alone on the other side of the country. I am so grateful for technology allows us to text, talk, and video chat on a daily basis.

I don't know how I would have survived the pandemic had I been around in 1918.

I am still wondering what the history books will say about us and our outcome after this has finally reached an end, if it ever will.

I try to find the humor in every day, and things that continue to touch my heart and make me smile.

Quilting is my inspiration, my lifeline and my solace.

I have a feeling it is yours, too!



65 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed reading todays post, thank you for sharing your fabric selection process. I was also interested in the reasoning behind your decision not to become a fabric designer. There's just too much to pick from already, why should someone want to be pigeon holed, or branded to one style or color way? Not to mention deadlines - Scrappy stash all the way!

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    1. You have said exactly what I was thinking

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    2. yep. agree. Happy day to all of you

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  2. Quilting is absolutely my lifeline and my sanity! I love everything about your blossom quilt! Thank you for being the leader in showing us how to make amazing quilts from scraps, and making it "cool" to do so. I admire you staying true to your heart and resisting the invitation to be a fabric designer/salesperson.

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  3. She who sews it all up before she dies WINS!” My mantra since 2001. And I didn't have a very big stash in comparison to many, and I'm still using out of it, making quilts like yours. :) We have enough fabric!! Sew it!
    On a secondary note, would you like to know more about the MacTel2 world study, now that you have a little more time? Sharyn in Kalama

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  4. Your quilt is so beautiful.
    I don't really understand what you have to do when you are a designer of fabric, but I know your heart and I feel confident that you made the right decision. I'm finishing up a quilt this week that every bit of my heart and emotion has been involved while making it..I've had some opportunities to make quilts for individuals and they would pay me for them. I could never do that simply because it would take all the "joy" out of creating the quilt. and take my creativeness away. Maybe that's what designing your own material, with others probably guiding you, would take the "joy" out of your making quilts from "all" material that you choose to have in your masterpiece!!
    Blessings Bonnie...

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  5. What size are the string blocks that you are appliqueing the stars to? I am so wanting this to use up a lot of strip pieces.

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  6. I envy your ability to choose so many fabrics, but I am working on it! Your quilt is absolutely beautiful.

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  7. there's Jinny Beyer prints and there's Bonnie Hunter scrappy, it-all-fits-use-the last-piece... it's what makes quilting the creative never-ending blessing it is... Thank you for sharing yourself and your reasoning... i think the tulip quilt is the most gorgeous of all... i may have to see about replicating it... as i mentioned the serendipity and your choices make this just exquisite, can't wait to see the back (what a threat, dear heart!) ... Cats in Carlsbad, CA

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  8. Oh, Bonnie, I don't know how it can be, but every time you finish a quilt top, I think it is even prettier than the last and "this is the one I need to make next." This quilt is gorgeous! Thanks for sharing your process along the way.

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  9. My thoughts on fabric lines...I never love every print, so if I find a couple I really love, I might buy them. I cannot imagine trying to come up with 20 coordinating designs every time. Also, they put out so many lines every year. Is it a race to see who can come up with the most? You hardly have a chance to see what there is and decide if you like it, and it's gone. I have favorites, a couple, that I would love to see reprinted. No such luck yet, but it's been 10 years and I know I am not the only one asking for them so I still have hope. Have a great day Bonnie. Can't wait to see that quilt quilted, and please, show us the back. We understand ugly backings. We all make them.

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    1. There was a time when I hoped for a reprinting of one line of Thimbleberry fabric, especially one red print. They did reprint, but the red fabric was just enough different from the original that I really didn't care for it anymore. Now I have a couple tubs of Thimbleberry fabrics, I like them, but have gone more to the Bonnie Hunter style.

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  10. I am in my 70s so I am definitely trying to use up my stash, but Bonnie, when the doors close on the fabric closet at night, the fabrics must be breeding inside. There always seems to be more than I remember from the night before.

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  11. In my 70s. Definitely trying to use up all my fabric. However, when the doors close on the fabric closet at night, the fabric appears to be multiplying. There is always more each morning than I remember. Hmmmm-not using it up fast enough.

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  12. I am still wondering why I did not hear ANY THING about the 1918 pandemic. My mom was born in 1917 and my name sake in 1919, while they would not remember anything their parents lived it!!! and I am sure remembered it any time someone got "SICK".

    My boat is still floating the more the better.....

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    1. Unless you came from a large family, you may not have heard anything of the 1918 pandemic, your mother and her sibling were too young to remember it and if it did not impact on other members of your families it would have been easily forgotten especially as the Great Depression followed in its footsteps.

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    2. I always read and enjoy your blogs, especially about Zoey. We have two special dogs. I started a blog recently and I have written about Lutheran World Relief Quilts. www.tealeafquilts.blogspot.com. The explosion in Beirut took our 3 shipping containers of mission quilts, personal care kits, school kits and layettes. You can learn more here. https://lwr.org/blog/2020/please-help-us-replace-quilts-kits-destroyed-beirut-explosion
      So I'm reaching out to you because maybe you have readers who have a Lutheran Church nearby that makes quilts. Tops need to be 60 by 80. That is it. Batting can be blankets or mattress pads or new batting. We use sheets or pieced backings. Not all Lutheran Churches have quilt guilds and many aren't meeting right now. My church still meets and we have over 100 completed quilts and making more. We are mostly 70 years old and up. Thank you for your consideration.

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  13. You could design a set of "Memory" neutrals that would go with everything just to have the experience of designing. Incorporate things like historic buildings, animals, cabins, etc....no limits with neutrals.

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  14. I agree..... scrappy for me!!! Love your dad's comment about groundhog day the movie!!!

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  15. Great post - and hooray that you didn't buy into the fabric design offer. Scrappy is the BEST and none of the "lines" can offer that. Same reason I shy far away from pre cuts - they're just too organized for me.

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    1. I remember made a quilt using 5" squares from the Downton Abby fabric collection, solving the problem by shopping my stash for fabrics that go with it. That way a quilt can pay homage to a fabric collection and still be like no other quilt sewn with those fabrics.

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  16. I read your saying on the quote of the day and kept wondering who is Zozo? Then my aha moment kicked in- oh, yeah 2020 that makes more sense.

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  17. Bet you didn't have "College Football Canceled" on that 2020 bingo card. (Pandemic, toilet paper shortage, disinfectant shortage, earthquake, flood, apocalypse...…)

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  18. I have made 4 quilts and 12 placemats so far in 2020. All the fabrics from my stash. I feel like I am in my little house on the Prairie and make due with what I have. I love making something useful and hopefully beautiful out of my scraps and odd pieces. I have learned alot from you Bonnie and enjoy hearing about your corner of the country during these difficult times.

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  19. I'm working on getting Emerald City quilted in between canning and cleaning the pantry out of anything out of date. Got to get ready for winter (yuck)

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  20. You continue to give me freedom to just put anything together and see what it looks like. I was so uptight as a quilter until I took your classes and learned - it's for fun! Have fun! Thanks, Bonnie! (BTW, I had fun this weekend making Garden Party from Addicted to Scraps - it's REALLY scrappy. And I love it!)

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  21. "However YOU like to sew – be true to you! Sew what you like to sew with, however you choose to mix it up." Thank you for this, Bonnie. I understand that the fabric companies provide advertising revenue for magazines (and to an extent for some pattern designers) so they want to push their new lines. But, oh, I appreciate the potential contained in a stash that's been built over the years! I'm glad that Quiltmaker still allows you to publish true scrappy stash blocks.

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  22. I, too, wonder what will be written in the history books about this time frame. And, yes, quilting is my solace. Currently I'm engrossed in the Quilt Show's Afternoon Delight with EPP's Jesse's Gem thrown in for good measure!

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  23. Blossom Time is beautiful! Colorful in all the right ways. Great border choices. I've always thought you'd make a terrific fabric designer but understand why you don't do it. I follow a few fabric designers / Quilters on Instagram and find that the same colors that they use season after season are boring. I also find their quilts to be quickly made, their methods trying to encourage me to make one of their quickly made quilts and use their Fabric and everybody makes money. I noticed it is quite the marketing system. Some friends and I were sewing together a couple of weeks ago and we discussed the jelly-rolls, designed fabric line, versus how it used to be when we all first started quilting. You went to the quilt shop and tried to pick out 3-7 Fabrics that look good together, had kind of the same tone or value, and that you could live with to make your quilt with. It was a challenge and Was part of the process. Now quilters just walk in, buy the jelly roll or charm packs, a couple of border fabrics and away they go. We don't have to think so much as Quilters anymore. Except for creative ways to use all those scraps we've Acquired. And some of us still like to grab a bolt from here, and a bolt from there, and a bolt from that collection and do something new. And I'm glad you're one of us.

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  24. I just love this quilt, it is beautiful. As for the 1918 Pandemic I have always wondered about it. My grandfather's 1st wife died from that flu and she was pregnant with their first child. I have their wedding photo that my Aunt gave me after my uncle's passing. Grandpa talked about it sometimes but I just vaguely remember what he said, other than it was a very awful time. People were sick everywhere. But on to the fabric, I too am trying to really limit my buying and use up some of my stash and in comparison to many mine it very small.

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  25. I saw a saying awhile ago but don't remember where. It said "She who dies withe the most fabric didn't sew fast enough." Love your new block & quilt tester.

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  26. I absolutely love your almost lamoyne star quilt. My daughter and son in law will celebrate their 25th anniversary in a few years and I am thinking of doing that one for them in reds and white, her favorite color for decorating and with your method I won't need to worry about matchy matchy of the reds. Thank you for all you do...Is 2020 over yet? It has not been a good year for so many.

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  27. oh yes the melon print is exactly right...another beauty bonnie!

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  28. I love LuAnn’s suggestion about designing neutrals.

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  29. Your Blossom Time quilt is absolutely stunning and so happy!
    And I agree with you about your stash. It is just like life. The unpredictable fits in perfectly even though unplanned.

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  30. I got married in 1975 and my colors were dusty pink (mauve) and maroon. All the girls were in the pink and the guys were in maroon! HAHA! We have more in common than quilting!

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  31. I married in 1984 and my bridesmaids wore bubblegum pink what was I thinking lol.
    Love how you pick your fabrics and choose your colours, I can fully understand your reasons for not wanting to design fabric lines. I love your scrappy quilts.
    Lol you wore ZoeyJo out, your blocks are looking so pretty.
    Stay safe
    Love and quilty hugs
    Anne xxx

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  32. That inner border print was from the mid 90's. I have several pieces from that fabric line, but none with selvage information.

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  33. I am home for a few days before going back to my mom's. She does not need too much help but does not drive anymore. Plus I am the only daughter with two brothers. Do I have to say any more? I am trying to thin out my quilting things. It is going slowly. Wish me luck and enjoy your day.

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  34. My Grandmother was pregnant with my Uncle during the 1918 Flu. She got it and my Granddad took care of her and many members of the family who also had the flu. He had to empty the chamber pots as they did not have indoor plumbing. He never got the flu. My Uncle would have been 101 this past March 31.

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  35. I have been playing with EQ8 Fabric of the month. It is hard to not pull out other fabrics companies. With health issues at 70 I was told three years ago I had month to live. I LOL that comment from heart doctor. It did make me look at my stash and quilts tops that were calling. I started giving one quilt finished for every year I have been given. I am afraid that I still have mess.I do have enough green like you did for this quilt to border a quilt. Only my husband thought the block leaves were not right. It does look better the way you did it. I had neck surgery from too much sewing for 65 years and car accident, which added 10 years to the neck problem.To sew in past few weeks has been a seam, then rest. I am not sure I am to sew at all. I decided not to buy any more fabric. I am beginning to see the bottom of the piles, It has only taken four years.

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  36. It seems like every quilt I make there are more scraps and the stash never shrinks. I think those fabrics are up to no good in the dark of night. LOL

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  37. I really like the Blossom quilt and like the inner border and outer border choice. I love the design I see in the whole quilt. Paula in KY

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  38. We were without electricity for 28 hours, as of 4:00 p.m. today, Tuesday we have power & internet! We are so spoiled! Some crazy storm blew through central Iowa leaving nearly one quarter of Iowa's population without electricity, and so much damage. I and very grateful that we are safe. It wasn't a tornado but a continuing high wind. Tomorrow I will be back at my sewing machine.

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  39. Howdy neighbor! I so love the time and effort you give to your followers. I have tried to book a few times. But I have found the longer I am away from the working world, (17 yrs now). The harder it is to sit in front of a computer for don't length of time. My aches and pains designate what I spend time doing. I am currently quilting a wedding present for my youngest son. My thread keeps shredding in some areas and I have figured out it has to be heavy spots of basting spray. I will for sure make sure I use it sparingly in the future. I have decided I don't like having deadlines for quilting. It makes me not enjoy it. So I told my son his present would be late. It made me feel better. He is getting married Saturday in Emmett Idaho. I cancelled my trip when he tested positive for Covid. But he never got symptoms and is back to work already. Amen to that. I was looking forward to visiting family and friends while there. But better safe trip another time. One day we will get it thought and Groundhog day will be over. God bless. And watch out for the bear, he had you're down all my bird feeders.

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  40. Of course the fabric companies would love to have you as a designer. It wouldn't matter what the fabric line was, they know it would be an instant hit because your name was on it. Be true to yourself and keep on keeping on.

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  41. Oh my gosh, Bonnie...you are a free range quilt designer. That would be so sad if someone tried to tie you down to design a design line of fabric. I would think you would soon feel claustrophobic and itching to run like Zoey does!

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  42. I made Good Fortune & Unity. I have everything assembled to make Frolic. I have a sister and a dear friend who “ don’t save scraps”. I have convinced them both to save them for me! I have recently embraced your “controlled” scrappyness and I know why I could never throw away scraps. Thank you Bonnie for giving me an outlet for “ I want to make scrap quilts” but not really just a bunch of scrap squares sewn together!

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  43. Blossom time is beautiful! Loved hearing your thinking on colors and choosing border fabric and backings. This is what I have been wanting to do after making quilt kits that already have all the fabrics chosen for me. It is time to break out of my comfort zone and do my own thing like you do. I have your books and am working a scrappy system. This while finishing some tops already to started from the kits. Beautiful pictures from your hikes this last weekend. Have a great week!!

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  44. Love making quilts with all the different fabrics, and can name where they came from, D;s quilt, M's quilt....so many memories built into each one. Even have some fabric from my grandparents store (they closed in 1948). I've started making quilts for animal shelters and rescues. They sometimes give them to the dogs/cats or raffle them off to help support the rescue. Either way, I have fun, lower the amount of stash and they get donations. 42" wide so I don't have to piece the back too much. Each rescue has different parameters for size. Love your dog! So patient! Thanks for brightening the day

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  45. Now doesn't Zoey make that block pop! LOL! Blossom time - love it, as others have said I agree about the designing. Some people enjoy that - but you'd have to show the fabric in a quilt and while I don't think you'd make a boring one, you wouldn't have the range that you get with scraps. It's funny how I liked seeing uniform designed quilts, but have never made one - they've all been scrappy style! I like playing with colours. I guess it is the artist coming through in this form whereas I used to do watercolour, watercolour pencils and oils.

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  46. Inner border-ABSOLUTELY PERFECT!

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  47. Any Jinny Beyer, any Rose & Hubble Morris print, and all Fossil Ferns are the ones that "come to the rescue" most often for me. Mine go back to the early '90's when I started quilting.

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  48. Been doing this for almost fifty years. Yikes! Only do scrap quilts. Folks know what I do, and they give me their odds and ends of materials. My motto is, "everything goes with everything, it just looks different." I agree, there is no better way to quilt. Don't ever stop.

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  49. Williamsburg Blue will always be alive and well.

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  50. Hi! My, but you make FANTASTIC quilts and so fast! The fabric you chose for your inner border was in style when I started quilting after 2000. I still have a few colors, like turquoise, and I loved that style of print in a fabric, discreet, yet lively and so sweet. Anyway I love each and every quilt you make and love your creativity!

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  51. Maybe this is why I'm anxious to see your post every morning. Your fabric theory hit the nail on the head for me. It's what I do without being conscious of it, until now. I see beautiful quilts but know that I would be bored by the end. I love scrappy and am much happier receiving someone's scraps than ordering a beautiful line of fabric. Now I know why. My very first quilt with my Grandma was scrappy and they have continued in that scrappy mode.
    Thank you!

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  52. I absolutely love your Tulip Time quilt! It is simply awesome!

    Always in stiches,
    alice in TX

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  53. That border absolutely slays! Here's to checking the stash bins on a regular basis. Also just wondering if dad would consent to come back east. I know we couldn't talk my own dad into anything, it had to be his idea before he would act on it, but you never know. Of course to our advantage my siblings and I live in the same county of the same state so it was a bit easier to keep tabs on dad.

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  54. I am absolutely loving how this quilt is turning out! Can’t wait to see the finished product and the pattern to come!

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