Think Pink! A Gender Reveal Photo Shoot How-To

Family pictures are one of my favorite things. My husband, not so much. My kids are definitely not fans, but they occasionally smile for the camera. But I got an idea to do this photo shoot and I couldn’t NOT take them. So after our ultrasound showed us a healthy (wiggly!) baby, we had our technician write the gender and put it in an envelope.
It's A Girl! Baby Announcement Photo Shoot

After picking out outfits that seemed gender neutral and a few fun accessories for my little people, I found the biggest box I could locate (check with your local appliance store! an oven box would be perfect!) and took it to the local party store and handed them the envelope. They stuffed the box full of balloons . I asked them to use a few different shades of pink or blue to add some interest to the pictures. Then I hid on the other side of the store. They filled the box, and taped it shut. And then I wrapped it. (Ha! but only on the side that was showing and the top. This used a LOT of wrapping paper!

Our little people were SO excited!
It's a GIRL! Photo shoot at acraftyfox.net

No, really, they were excited!
IT'S A GIRL! Photo shoot.

And then we let them open the box. It was SO SO much fun to see their faces. Getting ready for pictures is always a bit stressful, but in this case it was completely worth it. The timing on this shot was super important. If you are using a remote, you’ll want to set your camera to burst. We got several pictures where a balloon was blocking someone’s face and it all happened REALLY quick!
It's a girl! photo shoot at acraftyfox.net
And we are so excited for this little girl. But we are really struggling with names. Suggestions? Anyone?
It's A Girl! Baby Announcement photo shoot
I should put together my best ‘how to get ready for pictures without causing a family meltdown’ post. This time wasn’t perfect, but I was really happy with how it went. I think my best tip would be plan, plan, plan! And then make the most of the moments. My little guy got a bit sad when his balloon flew away. But we got a few really amazing shots. And I got the BEST cuddles. Worth it. Roll with the challenges and you may get a few favorite shots!
Make the Most of the moments you get

It's A Girl! Baby Announcement Photography
And now we are speeding towards my due date and I haven’t started the nursery! I guess I better start getting things together because ready or not, here she comes!
It's a girl! Photo shoot at acraftyfox.net
View More: http://followyourartphotography.pass.us/amanda-maternity-final

Thanks for letting me share this moment with you! If you are looking for other really fun ways to announce your new little one, I love these posts:
Cut the Cake Party (this is what we did the first two times! SO FUN!)
Or a pull string pinata?! My kids would be thrilled (until they found out there wasn’t candy inside ;))
Shoes are ADORABLE if you aren’t into taking pictures of yourself 32 weeks pregnant. (But you should! You’ll wish you had pictures someday. At least, that’s what I told myself)

I guess I better go start gathering up tiny little adorable things and making a place for this sweet, little lady!

Thanks for reading along! And thank you to Tiffany at Follow Your Art Photography for humoring a crazy pregnant lady and taking these amazing shots!

Posted in Our little Family, photography | 16 Comments

Three Little Finishes (and a work in progress!)

Quilts on my Yellow Chair - A Crafty Fox Blog

Getting that sweet little baby quilt finished made me take a second look at my work in progress pile. I don’t want to air all my faults, but I have a tendency to start gorgeous quilts and put them away when they are THISCLOSE to finished. For instance, These three quilts were either basted or quilted with binding attached, but not actually finished. Why do I do this to myself?!
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Summer House Quilt with Binding Attached
My sewing room wall

So I decided to just finish them. It feels so good! I finished the first one on Thursday night and immediately gifted it to a sweet lady at our church who has put so much effort into serving others. She is moving on to other things, and a few ladies really wanted to give her something she could take to remember her time and experiences with us.
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I had basted this one and set it aside because I couldn’t decide how to quilt it. With just a day to finish it, I just decided stippling was the best option and got it done. It feels amazing to check this one off!
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With that as my second finish for 2015, I pulled out another basted-but-not-quilted project and went right back to stippling. I think I will be stippling a few more before I’m done. I LOVE the feel of finishing these pretty projects!

This pattern is designed by Megan at City Stitches and makes for a fun, quick, and super easy baby quilt.
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I’m pretty impressed that I was able to use a length of extra binding from my Dazzle quilt to bind this little guy. And I’m completely sold on machine binding. I know I’m not a purist, but I LOVE the quick finish of machine binding. And my fingers appreciate it, too!
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My last finish for the week almost deserves it’s own post.This quilt is stunning. It had been sitting, with gorgeous custom quilting from Sew Shabby Quilting and binding attached for months. So, I just stitched it down. I can’t believe it took this long. The pattern is Summer House by Judy Newman (We have a few in our little shop!)Summer House Quilt - Finished! Pattern in the Westwood Acres Shop
Summer House Block. Love the quilting by Melissa at Sew Shabby!
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SO Pretty! I’m not sure where it’s going to live in my home, yet, but it’s going to have to find somewhere that I can show it off.

Last but not least, here’s what 32 weeks looks like in our little family. I can’t wait to meet this little girl. And fit into my regular clothes again! Let’s see what I can get accomplished in the next eight weeks!
Expecting Baby number 3!

Thank you bunches for reading along!
Amanda

Posted in Finished Projects! | 4 Comments

Hot Cross Buns Quilt Tutorial: Liberty Blog Hop!

There have been so many great projects in this Liberty blog hop, and I’ve loved seeing what everyone has come up with! Today, I’m sharing my little tutorial for a block I call Hot Cross Buns.

Hot Cross Buns

It’s one of my favorite blocks and I’ve worked out the math so that you can make it with no waste. Because fabric is expensive! That’s one of the reasons we created our little Give Me Liberty! Club in our shop. It made collecting Liberty Tana Lawn more affordable and less intimidating! If you are interested in starting your own Liberty collection, we’d love to have you join us!

Now, on to the tutorial!

So, let’s get started!
Fabric Requirements for a baby quilt (roughly 48 x 56):
25-30 Fat Sixteenths of Liberty Lawn (I chose Cotton and Steel Bespoke Double Gauze – more on that later!)
2-1/4 Yards of Background Fabric

Cutting Instructions:
150 3″ Squares of Liberty Lawn (or prints of your choice)
20 2″ Squares of Liberty Lawn
60 3-3/8″ Squares of Background – Cut In Half Diagonally
30 3-3/4″ Squares of Background – Cut In Quarters Diagonally
44 2″ x 7.5″ Rectangles of Background

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Lay your block out. I like to vary the inside and outside  squares for a little bit of contrast.
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Sew Into Rows Diagonally and Press Seams so that they will lock :)
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Stitch your rows together and add the triangles to the ends. You should have a 7.5″ square. I’ve also posted a picture of the back so you can see how the seams press together.
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Lay out your blocks and begin adding your sashing.
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Sew the sashing rows together alternating background, liberty square, background, liberty square, etc.
Hot Cross Buns Block Tutorial by Amanda of A Crafty Fox
Stitch all your rows together. Measure your quilt top and bottom and cut your border 3″ by your measurement. If you used Double Gauze (it’s so soft!) make sure not to stretch it when you measure! Sew Borders to top & bottom. Now measure your sides and cut background pieces 3″ x your measurement. You may need to sew more than one strip together.
Hot Cross Buns Quilt Tutorial by Amanda at A Crafty Fox Blog

Ta Da! You should have a gorgeous finished top! I made mine for our new little addition and it was quilted by the amazing Melissa of Sew Shabby Quilting. She does the most amazing custom work! Thank you, Melissa!
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The batting is a wool quilters dream and it adds loft without too much puffiness. LOVE!
Give Me Liberty! Fabric Club Blog Hop Hosted By Westwood Acres
Thank you so much for following along on our little blog hop! If you haven’t already, you’ll want to stop by all of the amazing blogs that created some fabulous quilts!
February 24th: A Crafty Fox (here!)<a
February 25th: Astrid at Red, Red Completely Red
February 26th: Svetlana at Sotak Handmade
February 26th: Andy at A Bright Corner
February 27th: Chase at Quarter Inch Mark
March 1st: Emily at Simple Girl Simple Life
March 2nd: Ashley at Film In The Fridge
March 3rd: Lee at Freshly Pieced
March 4th: Audrie at Blue is Bleu
March 5th: Amanda at A Crafty Fox

Posted in Blog Hop, Tutorial | 2 Comments

Give Me Liberty Club Inspiration Blog Hop!

Welcome to the kickoff for our fun, inspiring Liberty of London Tana Lawn blog hop! Over the last 14 months, we have sent hundreds of parcels filled with Liberty Lawn around the world for our Give Me Liberty! Fabric Club. And while sending it off to new homes is fun, I LOVE seeing what it becomes! If you have a pretty pile of Liberty lawn and are searching for inspiration, look no further!

Liberty Blog Hop Button

I’m so excited to visit these amazing bloggers over the next two weeks to see what they have come up with! Today, I’m going to kick things off with some of my favorite tips for quilting with Liberty Lawn, and then I’ll see you back here on the last day of the blog hop for a new tutorial for an heirloom-worthy Liberty Quilt I’ve designed for the new little person who will be joining our family this spring!

I’ve been stitching with a lot of Liberty Lawn this year, mixing it in to my stash and my projects with wild abandon. I love how saturated these prints are and how incredibly precise the printing is, especially on tiny prints. I’ve used Liberty in my Weekender from last summer.

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And lots of little Liberty pieces have slipped into my Green Tea and Sweet Beans Quilt (which I need to finish ASAP! These little blocks deserve a final home!)

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And so I’d like to share a quick list of tips I’ve found that help when working with Liberty pieces and hopefully you’ll find these useful, too!

*Use a smaller universal needle than you would use with quilting cotton. I found that a 70/10 needle size is perfect for stitching with lawn. Larger needles tend to push the fabric down into my machine.

**For Hand stitching and applique, I have loved using Straw needles in a size 10. I found these to slip in and out of the fabric very nicely and left a lovely stitch

*When choosing thread, choose a good quality, 100% cotton thread. I use Gutterman, but I know many people who have good luck with Aurifil. Avoid polyester threads (or polyester core threads), especially when piecing as they will shrink differently than the fabric and leave seams that do not look straight.

** For longer seams, use pins. The fabric is not as slippery as voile (or minky! Yikes!) but it is smoother and it has a lot more stretch in the bias than normal quilting cottons. If you are concerned with stretching, starch pieces prior to stitching. (I rarely starch until seams are all sewn and I need to press the block flat)

*I do not prewash and I have not had any issues with absurd shrinkage.

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*Mix unusual color combinations and have fun with the variety of colors of prints. Many of these hues are not found often in quilting cottons and it is very difficult to find the
detailed, small scale prints that Liberty seems to specialize in. Enjoy the process of mixing light, dark, tiny and large and even adding a few I-Spy pieces here and there for whimsy. Liberty prints are fun for any age, and their tighter weave make them pretty durable, despite their delicate feel.

Any other questions? I would be happy to share answers I know in the comments!

If you’d like to follow along, you will find two weeks of inspiration by clicking the links below :)
February 24th: A Crafty Fox (here!)<a
February 25th: Astrid at Red, Red Completely Red
February 26th: Svetlana at Sotak Handmade
February 26th: Andy at A Bright Corner
February 27th: Chase at Quarter Inch Mark
March 1st: Emily at Simple Girl Simple Life
March 2nd: Ashley at Film In The Fridge
March 3rd: Lee at Freshly Pieced
March 4th: Audrie at Blue is Bleu
March 5th: Amanda at A Crafty Fox

Liberty Blog Hop Button

Posted in Blog Hop | 7 Comments

Razzle Dazzle ‘Em: Sewvivor Challenge Three

 

Can I introduce you to Razzle Dazzle? I’ve decided to just call her Dazzle for short. Sewvivor King Quilt-3

I may have just finished my favorite quilt. The theme for this week’s Sewvivor challenge was hexagons. I love 60 degree angles. I’ve made quite a few hexagon quilts. This one has jumped to the top of my list of favorites. (If it’s one of your favorites, too, would you mind popping over to family ever after and voting for me? I promise it will be the last time I beg ask)

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I was inspired by a few antique quilts I had seen pop up on pinterest. I started working on drawing up this pattern on Tuesday thinking I had 12 days to work on it. Imagine my surprise when I realized I only had 5! Yikes! I picked some favorite fabrics (quite a lot of Miss Kate mixed with Cotton and Steel’s Splash basics bundle and a dash of yellow), and reworked the gorgeous base block into a king sized quilt that I’m excited to put into rotation on our bed.
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The corners of this quilt are rounded and I love this little finishing touch. I think that the slight curve balances out all of the pointy points and straight lines to give this quilt some flirty personality. And that minty binding makes my heart sing.

I quilted this on a neighbor’s long arm with double loops all over. I had originally planned to do straight lines, but I was gently prodded by a friend to try something loopy and I think it turned out better than my imagination!

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One of my goals for this quilt was to not let a singly block be made with fabric from one designer. So each block is a mix of at least two different artists.

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I’ve loved every minute of this journey.  And starting a quilt and finishing it right away has been such a great experience for me. I think I’ll make it my ‘thing’ to not have a million works in progress laying around. Hopefully I’ll make it through to the next round and get one more finish in September!

Sewvivor King Quilt-2Thank you bunches for reading along!

Amanda

 

Posted in Finished Projects!, Sewvivor | 17 Comments

Another Weekender and a Few Tips on Making Them and Keeping Your Sanity

For Sewvivor Challenge 2, I made {another} Weekender from Amy Butler’s pattern.  And once again i would LOVE to make it into the next round. If you have a second, would mind popping over to the Family Ever After blog and voting for me?

Weekender - Amanda-9This was not an easy bag to put together. Weekenders never are. But they are completely worth it. I usually touch up by hand once its all put together, and this bag will be no exception. But all the little fussy cuts make it work!
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If I were telling my best friend my tricks on how to make this bag, they would be:

  • Use different needles for different tasks. Denim needles work well for sewing through a lot of layers, but using a microtex sharp needle on the bottom corners will keep you from ripping your seams (and your hair) out.
  • Quilt your pieces BEFORE you cut out the pattern shapes. Otherwise, there will be a lot of distortion.
  • Sew your handles down about a million times to the body of the weekender. On my first weekender, this is the only piece that came apart and it is a pain to try and go back and fix.
  • When sewing the zipper panel to the body panel, sew body side up so you can see the seam that attaches the piping to the panel. Sew your new seam to the inside of that existing seam to make your piping nice and tight.
  • Change your needles frequently. If they are just slightly dull or slightly bent, this bag will cause them to break. Repeatedly. Ask me how I know.
  • Give the zipper plenty of space. There is no reason to hug it really close with this bag. In fact, I prefer it if there is about 1/4″ space between the zipper and the seam.


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This weekender has some very special pieces of fabric in it, including a tiny scrap of Daysail from the upcoming Bonnie and Camille collection that was shared with my by a friend. Friends are the best part of sewing, I think.Weekender - Amanda-22

This bag just reinforced my love of low volume patchwork. I think I might make an entire quilt of low volume patchwork. Someday. You know, when things aren’t busy. Will that day ever come?
Weekender - Amanda-6I used my favorite shape of a patchwork block on the side pockets. I call it hot cross buns, but I’m sure it has a real name. Either way, this is another bucket list block. I need an entire quilt (maybe pillow) of these simple little beauties.

I made a few adjustments, mainly for the handles. The ones in the pattern are longer and narrower and this bag gets HEAVY and therefore uncomfortable. These wide, padded straps should make it easier to haul home goodies from Sample Spree.

Weekender - Amanda-9So, now that i’m packed, i just need somewhere to go. Perhaps the upcoming Labor Day weekend will give me the opportunity to test my new bag out. I’m hoping to talk my little family into a getaway here.

Thank you for reading along! And you can vote for your favorite quilted bag here once from each internet capable device in your home. You know, just in case you feel passionately about a certain patchwork quilted weekender ;)

 

Posted in Finished Projects!, Sewvivor | 17 Comments

Swept Away: Sewvivor Nautical Quilt and Tutorial

Being voted into the top 16 on Sewvivor was so exciting.  Under pressure, I chose to make something classic and simple. I boiled it down to just exactly what Nautical means to me. Nautical Quilt - sewvivor-7 Bold stripes, navy blue and aqua, glittering water, and braided rope all mean summer on the water to me. Toss in a friendly beluga whale and you’ve got me sold. So that is exactly what I made. I bound this with my favorite navy blue stripe from the April Showers collection. These stripes are just the icing on the cake. Nautical Quilt - sewvivor-8 I was able to use a friend’s long arm since this quilt finishes at about 75″ x 90″. It was my first time using a pantograph, but I’m pleased with the result. I traced a cord in the low volume section and free handed spiral waves in the navy sections. I love the contrast. Nautical Quilt - sewvivor-2 I loved pulling this collection of fabric together (and broke out some of the ‘good stuff’ if you know what I mean). It can easily double as a nautical ‘I Spy’ quilt. Turtles, submarines, mermaids, crabs, and seahorses are just the start. I can’t wait to turn this over to my little ones to play with and discover. If you are interested in making a similar quilt, gather up your favorite dark navys and low volumes that tend towards white, aqua or a sandy cream. Sewvivor Nautical Stack The Tutorial: Cut about 15 fat quarters worth of dark blues into 5.5″, 3.75″ and 2.5″ strips. They can be any length you want as long as the widths are consistent. You will want numerically more of the smaller cuts, but about similar weight in each pile. That makes this an AMAZING scrap busting quilt (and it will go together pretty quick!). You’ll need at least 10 fat quarters of ‘low volume’ (tending towards white) prints. For the braid, cut 3.5″ strips from your fat quarters or scraps. Subcut these into 2″ pieces. You’ll use this technique to form the braid. Your braid for this quilt will need to be about 75″ wide. Press the braid, trim it carefully into a smooth strip, and set aside. From the low volume prints, only cut the 3.75″ and 2.5″ strips ***and 150″ of 2″ strips from 1 print or solid white. Sew these together until you have 2 pieces that are 2″ x 75″ and set aside*** securedownload-1 Sew all of the same-width navy strips together. Then, sew all of the same-width low volume strips together. Press seams so that strips lay flat. Cut each continuous strip into 75″ widths. When I was done with this step, I layed my quilt out and it looked like this. Nautical Quilt Layout You might notice the braid hasn’t been framed by the 2″ x 75″ pieces in the picture. I would do that first. Begin sewing your rows together in pairs, always from the same side. Then, sew the paired rows together starting your stitching always from the opposite side. Press and trim the edges even and you’re done with your top! The whale isn’t quite ready for prime time, but you could substitute anything you wanted if you want a focus right there :) Title Page Nautical Quilt It is a simple quilt, but definitely a statement piece. I’m incredibly happy with it, but I’ll be even more happy with it if I find myself in the next round of the competition. So pretty please hop over and vote for me here? They are sending half of the competitors home and I really *REALLY* want a chance to throw my hat in the ring for the handmade bag. I have plans, friends! As always, thank you for reading along! Your comments and support mean the world to me! If you are new here, I’d love to have you subscribe at the link at the top right. 

Posted in Sewvivor | 26 Comments

Liberty Love

I finished a new pillow this week. I totally heart it. And who wouldn’t?
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It’s fabulously soft and full of texture. I can’t even explain how luscious Liberty tana lawn is when its all sewn together en masse. I love mixing liberty in with other projects to add that zing factor, but I wanted to do something to celebrate my growing Liberty of London fabric stash.
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I’m writing up a free pattern for this to share with the participants of our Liberty of London Tana Lawn ‘Give Me Liberty!’ monthly club. This club has been such a fun way to build my stash of Liberty Fabrics. I’m so glad that it has become such a fun thing for our little shop. Here are a few of the prints I’ve been able to add to my stash this year. You’ll be seeing them in a much larger project shortly!

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The 4th round of the club has 15ish spots available right now, so if you are interested in getting Liberty Lawn in your mailbox every month, we’d love to have you join us!

My pillow is backed in the lovely new Lakehouse Sausalito Cottage text print. I can’t get enough of Holly’s text prints. I wish they came in even more colors (and that they’d reprint the black from Annie’s Farm Stand!)
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This pillow is already gracing my couch, despite my patient husband’s protestations that there is no longer room to sit on the couch. That’s what floors are for, right?

As always, thank you for reading along :)

And PS: Did you see the Sewvivor announcement?! I’m excited to be moving on to the nautical challenge – and totally intimidated by the amazing list of other people in the competition! Thank you for all of your kind words on my starflower quilt!

Posted in Finished Projects!, Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Sewvivor- A Crafty Fox

So, I’m a-little-bit-a-lot nervous to post this. But excited too! My friend Rachel at Family Ever After hosts an annual stitching competition, and this year it is all about quilting! It all starts today with the auditions and 16 people will be chosen to keep going with the competition. Whether I make it or not, I’m totally going to try and stay on top of the challenges. I already started a fun nautical-something for our upcoming trip to kauai, so this is great motivation to finish!

So…..
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My quilt audition is my starflower quilt. I wrote this pattern last summer to celebrate the return of Heather Ross’ adorable prints to quilting cottons! It’s still one of my most favorite creations. It’s a generous twin size and the points are perfect (so are everyone’s who used the tutorials! You can find the method here :))

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This quilt is backed with a vintage sheet and I did all of the stitching, piecing and quilting myself. I chose to quilt it with little flowers in the hexagons and free motion straight line top stitching around each diamond shape. The colors and solids make this the perfect summer quilt! In fact, it was made specifically for a lightweight quilt for my little girl’s big girl bed.  But today, it’s out in nature. I think she likes that even better.

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This project is not the most challenging thing I’ve attempted and I really struggled to pick an audition project. In the end, I think this quilt may be the best representation of both skills and style. Unless you want to count this weekender. (But I show it off too much!) This quilt includes Y- Seams, hexagons, and gives lovely, little prints center stage, which I am a large fan of. I’ve also discovered the depth and richness you can add to a quilt by using prints with more than one color. You’ll be seeing a lot more of those in some upcoming projects.

Here’s an in progress shot of the quilting. Check out those points!

Star Flower Quilt in Briar Rose

 

 

Let’s hope that this quilt is as golden as the time of day we photographed it during!

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And if you want to enter Sewvivor – do it! Details can be found here. (and you could win bundles from our little shop if you win!)
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And if you’d like to make a starflower quilt of your own, you can find all of the instructions here on my little blog.

Week One: Kick Off
Week Two: Cutting It Out
Week Three: Sewing the Starflowers
Week Four: Sewing In the Hexagons
Week Five: Sewing The Rows Together
Week Six: Borders and Done!

Thank you for reading along!

Posted in Sewvivor, Star Flower Quilt Along, Tutorial | 8 Comments

Make Mine Mini: part two

Do you see this adorable fox quilt?! It is mine and I love it! The colors and details and everything capture exactly what I hoped for!
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The quilt is full of tiny Heather Ross fussy cuts, itsy bitsy pieces and a lovely bit of curves, all tied together with the fancy fox pattern from Elizabeth Hartman of Oh Fransson!!MINI22
I was pretty lucky to be paired up with Megan of Wholala Crafts. Her attention to detail is amazing! She didn’t just stop at sending me a lovely mini quilt, she also included one of her handmade pincushion rings (which is adorable!) and included a cute little needlebook as well.
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And to top it all off, she included her favorite gluten free flours! I can’t wait to try them! Eating on the elimination diet is a little tricky and everything still feels a bit ‘new’.MINI27

I was pretty much floored when I opened her present. It actually felt like Christmas! And then, underneath I found a little parcel from my sweet friend, Ali. She tucked in one of her new Ball and {Key} Chains from her recent tutorial, and this fabulous mini quilt.
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The colors in it are pretty much glowing. To say I love it is an understatement. The pattern is lovely and the unexpectedness of it just makes me smile every time I look at it! And now I have the start of my very own mini wall!
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There was also one of Ali’s new T Shirts and I cannot tell you how many compliments I got on it! More on that soon!

As always, thank you bunches for reading along!

Posted in Swaps | 7 Comments