Tuesday, June 3, 2014

New Quilt Blogger Blog Hop

Welcome! Today is the first day of the New Quilt Blogger Blog Hop. If you are visiting from Plum and June, thanks for dropping by.
Plum and June

Let me introduce myself, I'm Afton Warrick. My youngest brother is visiting me here in Albuquerque, NM, where our claim to fame is the International Balloon Fiesta. He says I should tell you I was raised in a traveling circus and got my start by sewing together infinitely long magical handkerchiefs.


I'm afraid that's not quite true. Really, I grew up in Cheyenne, Wyoming with my two brothers and my folks, but have lived in Albuquerque, NM since I married my engineer husband, Rob, nine years back. I appreciate the lowered likelihood of a blizzard in May, this location change brought forth.


I'm currently a stay-at-home mother of a train and dinosaur-loving four-year old son and a one year-old daughter. If I'm being honest, her main interests are the toilet, which she insists is truly a water table; old shoes; and trash cans, which she is eager to fill with any non-disposable items within her reach. I swear she has plenty of classy children's toys, but there's no accounting for my little princess's personal taste. Prior to having my own children, I taught first and second grade. 



       

My quilting adventure began when I looked up quilt shops and came across one that would be able to instruct someone with a semester of junior high sewing instruction and didn't have a mandatory prerequisite rotary cutter class (because I didn't even know what that was, and therefore had no motivation to pay for a class all about it). After reluctantly breaking the news to my husband about the cost of the supplies (If he only knew then, what he knows now.), I set forth to create the row quilt that now adorns my formal dinning room in all its Wal-Mart fabric and fall-colored splendor.


Since then, I've learned a few things including:
  • A fat quarter is a quarter yard that is 18" x 21" instead of 9" x 42" like a regular 1/4 yard.
  • Quilt guilds exist, and they are a great way to meet other quilters.
  • You actually end up with less money by working at a quilt shop, than by staying home. (Unless you have more self-control than I do.)
  • Pinterest and Flickr, online bees, linky partiesCraftsy and Fabric.com are fantastic!
  • "Modern quilt" doesn't mean one with an unidentifiable subject matter and a philosophical explanation, as I originally thought.
I first started blogging at www.aftonsquilts.blogspot.com as a way to organize my unfinished projects, and as a resource for my quilting students.

Afton’s Quilts

After discovering modern quilting, I decided to relocate to a new blog. Quilting Mod is my forum for inspiration, sharing my quilting experiences, and journaling my growing understanding of what constitutes modern quilting. I've gathered free quilt pattern websites, quilt block tutorialslinky parties, and quilt alongs as a resource for visitors. I've also contributed a Drive Through Quilt Along and tutorials


Drive Through Quilt Along
My blog has evolved in purpose from a scrapbook of quilts to a means of collaborating with others in the pursuit of creativity and friendship. I'd love it, if you'd consider following my new blog.
Follow on Bloglovin

Offline, I'm better known for designing a New Mexico Centennial block of the month,



Inscription Rock
and designing the 2012 raffle quilt for the New Mexico Quilters' Association, of which I was president the following year.
Fanciful Flight
Since I've transitioned to a more modern aesthetic, some of my favorite finishes include my Pac Man Ghost Quilt and my Modern Sampler.


Modern Sampler
Pac Man Ghost Quilt
I'd like to share a blogging tip with you. I was unaware that when my readers wanted to leave a comment, they were forced to type in blurry mystery letters and numbers to prove they weren't robots. Perhaps, it's just me, but I have a really hard time distinguishing what I'm supposed to type in the box. Thankfully, one of my readers let me know what was going on and how to fix it. If you are on Blogger, and have not turned off word verification, I'll let you know how this is accomplished. Go to your Dashboard, Click on the Settings tab. Click on the Posts and comments tab. Under Comments, where it says Word Verification, click No.

Now, how about a quilting tip? I love stitch and flip triangles! They waste a little more fabric, but create fewer visible seams and save time. Use a square acrylic ruler with a 45 degree angle marking to draw a diagonal line from one corner to the opposite corner of a square. Align the markers square with the raw edges of another piece so the line goes from raw edge to raw edge. Stitch on the line, or if you want to be really precise, sew just a hair to the side of the line that you will be pressing toward (indicated by tiny arrows in the photo below) in order to account for the bulk of the fabric and thread. I start sewing on the end that is not two tiny corners so my machine will be less likely to eat the pieces by sucking them into the needle plate. Chomp! Chomp! My starting places are marked with a star in the photo below. If you want to be super resourceful and thrifty, sew a line 1/2" from the first line of stitching, toward the side indicated by the tiny arrows. This will result in half square triangles.


Press toward the outer corner, lining up with the bottom fabric. In this case, the bottom fabric is the text print. Cut a 1/4" seam allowance. You're looking at my Add-A-Quarter Ruler which is one of my favorite notions, since it has a lip that catches on the line of thread located 1/4" from the edge of the ruler, so I don't even have to look for the 1/4" mark.


Throw away the little triangles, unless you made the second line of stitching. If that's the case, press open you half square triangles, and square them up to whatever size you like. If you want to spoil yourself, I recommend a rotating mat and a Bloc_Loc ruler for this. 



There you have it!



If you want to make a quilt block with these, your wish is my command. Check out the Focal Star tutorial.


Please visit my new blogging friends that are participating in the New Quilt Blogger Blog Hop:


90 comments:

  1. I like the way your brother thinks...that would have made a great story! :) Seriously, though, it's nice to meet the people behind the posts. I've said that a few times now, but it's so true. People's stories allow us to connect, don't they? I think our quilting journeys are somewhat similar, Afton. I also started learning skills by making more "traditional" quilts, and have moved toward a more modern aesthetic. Your Pac Man Ghost quilt makes me smile! Love the colours of your focal star block.

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    1. Thanks for dropping by! I am blown away by your free-motion quilting. I could just stare and stare at the table runner you recently completed. I love your "texture addict" style. Perhaps, I could convince you to show me how you make those feathers on the blog (maybe a sketch with directional arrows). I love your garden pictures too. I like living vicariously in this realm, as I am far from qualified for Master Gardeners.

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  2. Wow you've certainly done some amazing quilts! I think that I would be as poor as a church mouse if I worked in a quilting store! :)

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    1. My working hours just don't seem to keep up with my ability to find fabrics that belong in my stash! I adore your foggy window header on your blog. It has such a ethereal look. I eagerly await the fantastic quilts the Possom Magic round robin group is going to produce. It makes me wish I were on your side of the globe.

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  3. Hi Afton! Nice to visit you for a change :). Your quilts are delicious and your Focal Star is giving me all sorts of ideas for my quirky prints.
    Nice to find out more about you too! Your wee girl could definitely be the long lost mate of my wee snail and crushed shell eating 2yo!

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    1. It sounds like your daughter has a sophisticated palette, with a taste for escargot ceviche. Thanks for coming by!

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  4. Hi Afton, You have a wonderful story, and thanks for sharing a nice tip. I'd like to have an Add-a-quater ruler, too, unfortunately I can't find it in Thailand.

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    1. You are welcome. Thanks for visiting Quilting Mod. Can you order off Amazon? Is it easy to get quilting cottons in Thailand? I wonder if the Thai food they serve in New Mexico if even close to the real thing.

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  5. Great story, and I love your work, both the modern and traditional!

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    1. Thank you for your encouragement and visit.

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  6. I enjoyed visiting NM you brought up the memories :) Thank you! Nice to meet you Afton.

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    1. It is a pleasure to help you recollect. It is a delight to meet you too.

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  7. Loved reading your post. That PacMan quilt is really fab! I didn't realise I had that capcha thing on either!

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    1. I would have never known I had mine on either, if another blogger had not told me. The sad irony is that I am terrible at the capcha thing, and I was putting my readers through the same torture unknowingly.

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  8. Ingenious tutorial! Thanks :) I had that verification thing too and was only too happy to turn it off! Thankfully I was told about it very early on :)

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  9. Thank you for mentioning the word verification! Its one of the most 'features' out there, in my opinion at least. My grandfather was born and raised in Gallup, and the stories he tells has always made me want to visit NM, and now you've added to it too! I just have to get my snow loving, snake hating husband to agree to go with me. Or give up and take a trip by myself! :D I love, love, love your focal star block. It's a perfect alternative to an economy block. You get to have fussy cuts, but there's lots of room for blenders too, so all those special prints really shine!

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  10. working in a quilt store would be the end for me!! Love your pacman quilt and your modern sampler - the feathers are fantastic.

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    1. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who has trouble resisting beautiful fabrics. Thanks for your visit and kind words.

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  11. Hi Afton! Great post; so much information. Your brother could write a children's book! :) The amount of detail in the centennial block is incredible. I love the SW. My grandparents had a house in Tucson and I have fond memories of visiting once or twice a year.

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    1. My husband went to college in Tucson. Thanks for visiting my blog. I not too sure I could convince my brother to write a children's book, since he's about to become a mechanical engineer, but he sure is good with my young children.

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  12. I think it would be hard to bring my paycheck home if I worked in a quilt store. It would take a lot of self control.

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    1. It takes more self-control than I possess, I confess.

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  13. Thank you for the "verification code" info...I have removed verification from my blog! Nice to meet you! Beautiful quilts :)

    www.sewcraftychick.blogspot.com

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  14. Your brother sounds very much like my own! :) Also, great reminder about starting to sew on the side that's not two tiny triangles. I have made that mistake quite a few times before! It has been fun getting to know you, and I'm looking forward to finding out more as I follow along with your creations!

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    1. It's fun to have a creative brother, isn't it? I look forward to your further visits.

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  15. Hi Afton! So good to get to know you a little better. I really like what you've created so far and I look forward to following your projects in the future. I also agree that working at a quilt shop would put me in the poor house for sure...what self control?!?

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    1. What self control, indeed. Fair warning is about the best I can promise my husband. "Honey, they are making that Far, Far Away line again, but in different colors. Aren't you so glad I don't have to buy the out of print fabrics on eBay now?" Stunned silence from my man. "Oh yeah, that Arizona line by April Rhodes is out now, and I'm going to need some Cotton + Steel for sure..." Husband is now cringing and twitching.

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  16. Nice to get to know you better, Afton! My husband is from NM, so we get to visit his family there on a pretty regular basis. When we were first dating and I would visit the high desert I would wonder to myself why anyone lives there. Now I live just outside the Mojave desert in CA, and I love it! As more and more friends have moved and settled in NM, we have jokingly started to call it the "Land of Entrapment" because you end up loving to live there so much more than expected. OK, enough rambling. :) Your initial thoughts on "modern quilting" made me laugh - that can seem so true! I love that you shared so many quilts with a broad style range, and I think it's fun that we have so many options open to us when we choose to create these days.

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    1. I do believe I have been entrapped, though I doubt the Visitors Bureau would consider promoting the catchy, modified slogan. I don't intend to ever move; then my true level of fabric hoarding would be revealed. I agree that the wide variety of quilting styles makes quilting much more fun and appealing to a wider range of people.

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  17. I think working anywhere in retail is dangerous; even if you have no need for what you're selling lol! I used to work in a toy department and would regularly buy toys because they seemed cool.. and I don't have kids and I'm too old to play with Disney Princess Barbie dolls and teddy bears...

    Wow wow wow your inscription rock quilt. Amazing!

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    1. I think you are right about retail. If an employee wasn't tempted to take home a few items, they probably wouldn't be the most persuasive salesperson anyhow. I'm also thinking that the items I have no true need of are often the most tempting. Chocolate anyone? I can't blame you for the toys. My other bother, the one not mentioned in this post, used to tease me about my house looking like I ran a day care due to the excessive amount of toys for one child (now two). He has a daughter now, so he doesn't hassle me any more. Thanks for coming by the blog.

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  18. Your quilts are amazing and I love the circus story, I think you need to stick with it at least once in some random situation! That word verification thing always bugs me when leaving comments too so great tip.

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    1. I'll have to work on refining my backstory a little if I am to be prepare for whatever random situation might present itself.

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  19. Your kids are cuties! And have a lot in common with my kids, we should have a playdate.

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    1. That would be great fun! Let's do it.

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  20. Hi, nice to meet you. You've got a real talent for quilting, some gorgeous quilts there!

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  21. Loving that star! It really is too funny we both posted about the Bloc-Loc ruler and the rotating mat in our NQBH posts!!

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  22. Love the southwest sampler! I'm really into that aesthetic lately, and it's beautiful! I'm glad for the quilt shop tip...I think that trying to get a job at my local store would be fun, and then worry about how much money I'd spend!

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  23. all your quilts are great, but that pac man one just makes me smile. It brings back lots of memories!!!!

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  24. I love those ghosts! And I may have to try out that star block. I have a secret love for stars.

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    1. You keep secrets like my son. Please send me a pic if you try out the block (aftonwarrick@hotmail.com).

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  25. those ghosts are too cool! was it a gift or for yourself? reminds me of my "one up" mario brothers pillow i made for my boyfriend, lol. and thanks so much for the tutorial, i am definitely going to add it to my ever growing to do list. i've been seeing it on instagram and i love it! hope you'll stop by on the 11th :)

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  26. Your New Mexico block is amazing!

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  27. Just pinned that block! Thanks for sharing those tips, it's something I would never realize myself.

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  28. Thanks for the HST tips, In all my 13 years as a quilter I have never once made a HST but have to this month- wish me luck!

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    1. Good luck! Once you get over the initial trepidation, I think you'll discover they are actually very useful and not too difficult.

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  29. Love the International Balloon Fiesta! They raffle a stunning quilt every year.

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  30. Hi Afton, I am following along with the blog hop. You are so far advanced in quilting and blogging already. Great job on the blog hop post. I will see more of you in the future I am sure.

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    1. Thank you. You are very sweet. I look forward to hearing from you again.

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  31. Thanks for sharing your quilting and blogging tips. I like your heart quilt in your title pictures, and the modern sampler.

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    1. You are welcome, and thanks for hanging out here at Quilting Mod.

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  32. I so identify with you and your daughter's toy preferences! What is it about the garbage that so attracts little ones? I've often said I don't know why we spend so much money on toys when all they really want is an empty box. Your Drive Thru quilt would have been perfect for my boys when they were younger.

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    1. I think the attraction stems from my little one's suspicions that I am removing something great from our household: empty water bottle, glass jars, food scraps, etc. Why I would part with these fantastic things is beyond the comprehension of a toddler. It's great to have you visit my blog.

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  33. Your family photos are adorable! And you made me laugh out loud with your things you've learned section. I can definitely see how you spend more working at a quilt shop :) I really enjoy all of your designs. You have a lot of great projects!

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    1. Thank you for all your encouraging words. I'm glad I was able to give you a laugh.

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  34. That little add-a-quarter ruler is nifty! I love this method. I should start making the extra hst with the waste. That's such a splendid idea. Then you could save them all for some scrappy little project. Thanks for the tips :)

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    1. Some of my quilt students have accused me of being a notions junkie, but that little ruler is one of my top ten, for sure. thanks for coming by.

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  35. Nice to meet you, Afton. I like your quilts, especially Inscription Rock. It's stunning! I like New Mexico a lot. We have vacationed there several times. I am not a blogger myself, but I haunt lots of others' blogs.

    Leslie S. in MN

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    1. Thank you for visiting. I too enjoy reading blogs. Bloglovin' makes me feel like I have a subscription to the best quilting magazine ever.

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  36. Aha! Sewing that second line and getting a HST out of the scrap - great tip, Afton!

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  37. I love that your first quilt was full of Walmart glory; my first was not because I got pulled into the fabric at my LQS, but my second baby quilt was Walmart all the way :-) Your quilts that you made in your more traditional phase are just stunning! I'm trying to wrap my mind around how many individual pieces are in that fanciful flight quilt.

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    1. Thank you. I can't take all the credit for the Fanciful Flight quilt. I designed it, but the New Mexico Quilters Association works on it as a group.

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  38. I love the stitch and flip trick! I like to sew the second seam, so I have half-square triangles in coordinating colors already sewn into pairs.

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    1. Good for you. I love how resourceful quilters can be! There are so many possibilities with HST too.

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  39. I love your quilts! The Route 66 one is amazing! Nice to meet you! :-)

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    1. Thank you. It is nice to meet you too. Come back any time.

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  40. You have made me wonder whether I would be brave enough to share my first ever quilt. It is a lot older than yours and I don't think as nice as yours is.
    Toddler stories: hilarious! I am sure the secret to being a great mum is retaining your sense of humour. :)

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    1. You'll have to check out my post on my first quilt before I took a class @ http://quiltingmod.blogspot.com/2014/03/my-first-quilt.html. Then you won't feel as nervous about yours. I totally agree with your perspective on parenting. I had no idea how funny kids were before having my own, even though I taught primary kids. Maybe my actual offspring are odder than most (in a good way, I hope).

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  41. Thanks for the stitch and flip trick. I will start adding another seam line so I have a set of HST to turn into something…eventually.

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    1. I also work on an "eventually" planning schedule. Come to think of it, I have some HSTs from my brother's wedding quilt. Send me a pic or upload it to the Flickr group if you make something. I would love to see.

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  42. Ugh, the toilet! Every child I know tries to play in it! That New Mexico Centennial block is fabulous! You have some awesome quilting skills!

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    1. It would not be so bad, except she's tall enough to open doors. Thanks for your sweet words.

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  43. Your post made me giggle, twice. You're in! Really looking forward to seeing and reading more of your stuff. Love the PacMan quilt!

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    1. I'm happy to give you a chuckle or two. Your promise to come back to the blog and visit will get me motivated to head to the sewing room.

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  44. I love your story. I have never been to New Mexico before, but now I am more than inspired to visit. I've spent a lot of time in Arizona and Texas, so it's time to see the state in between. You modern sample quilt is stunning. I'm glad I stopped by to visit. I blogged during the first week of the hop. Hope you are having as much fun as I am.

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    1. Thank you. I'm glad you stopped by too, and hope you'll come back again. I agree, the hop has been great fun.

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  45. Your quilts are awesome and your children sound delightful. You are a very talented quilter. I loved reading your Blog.

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    1. Thank you for your encouraging words and blog visit. Do come again.

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  46. Great tips, your daughter sounds fantastically fun and yes it's a good thing the husband's don't know about the trouble we will get in when we start our new "hobbies".

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    1. My daughter is indeed fun, as is my son, who talks non-stop. I wonder where he gets it from. ;-> Yes, if my husband only knew...I'm glad he didn't, or he would have encouraged me to take up a different hobby.

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  47. I love your quilts! I've seen the pac man ghost one before, and have admired it for awhile. I really love your modern sampler, too, and your use of fabric in your focal star.

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    1. Thank you. You are a sweetheart.

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  48. Hi Afton,
    Stopping by from the first week of the hop - still trying to check out everyone's blogs. I thought I'd already commented, but apparently not. I love your stitch and flip triangle tip. Can't wait to try it!

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    1. Thanks for coming by, Diana. Let me know how stitch and flip triangles work out for you. I love how versatile they are. Currently, I'm using them to make chevrons (two rectangles and four stitch & flip triangles per V).

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  49. Hi! I've just found your blog through Beth's blog hop. Yep, I'm three weeks behind in blog reading haha! You have made some lovely quilts.

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    1. I can relate to your "trying to catch up" status. I'm glad you made it by. Thanks for your compliment.

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