Work-in-Progress Girl


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Gypsy Wife Quiltalong – August!

So I’m still ticking along with the Gypsy Wife Quiltalong. Sort of… I’m still months behind on my low volume version, but I am all caught up with the brights version. First up, a block I forgot to photograph last month. Not the most exciting block in the world, which could be why I forgot it…

Gyspy Wife

And then all my August blocks. Which are more of the not-very exciting same.

Gypsy Wife QAL August Blocks

Yawn. Eight square in square blocks, and then the central block is made up for four incomplete square in square blocks. Not so very exciting. But there’s a lot of square in square blocks to go into this quilt, so I guess it’s a good thing any time we get to knock a pile of them off the list. Maybe next month will be more interesting?

I’d really like to get back into things with the low volume version, but I think it might be left on the back burner a while. I’ve got a lot of other things I want to keep working on. Quilts to quilts, swap projects to swap, etc.

If you’re sewing along with us, come link up with Rachel at Farm Gal Designs. The prize this month is a Fat Eighth bundle of Netorious from Cotton + Steel basics and a hexagons pack of Figures from Zen Chic.

In other news, I’m out of town for the weekend, but when I’m back, I hope to get more comments answered from my birthday giveaway post. I forgot my cell phone at home, so I’ve only got internet access while I’m at the hotel (and we’re not here for too much longer). Yesterday the Tyrrell Museum and the HooDoos and Horseshoe Canyon, today… I don’t know. Atlas Coal Mine, anyway, but we’ll probably head back to Calgary before it gets too late. (I’ve been reminded this trip that my dad is getting old – we hiked down to the bottom of Horseshoe Canyon and back up and for the first time in my life, he needed more breaks than me.)

Horseshoe Canyon, Alberta
Horseshoe Canyon

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ClumsyKristel

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ClumsyPapa


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Work-not-in-Progress Wednesday (plus Birthday! plus Giveaway!)

Work NOT in progress? Yeah. Well. You may have forgotten, but back in March I got my hands on a Juki straight stitch sewing machine. Which wouldn’t work for me. It took me half an age, but I finally took it in to a sewing machine repair shop in mid-July to have it looked at. I’m not honestly sure what they did with it – the feed dog lowering mechanism was broken so they repaired that and they got it stitching again, but it didn’t seem as if they needed any parts to get it working again. They did charge me for (and sent me home with) a packet of specialty needles, which I’d read in the manual that it needed, but which I didn’t know if I was using (because I just used a needle from one of the packets that the former machine owner had stashed in the ziploc baggy full of spare machine parts). So maybe it was as simple as swapping the needle!

In any case, I brought the machine home and I sewed an entire quilt top on it and it was great and running smoothly and happily and I was impressed and pleased and all things wonderful and good. Until I switched to a new project, which was going to be a quilt from John Q Adams/Quilt Dad‘s Beyond Neutral quilt book (not an affiliate link). It’s using all that green fabric I showed off on Sunday and 5 yards of a blue I’d bought for something, which it turned out not to work with, and I was really excited to get working on it. Until something weird started happening:

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I started getting runs in my fabric. It’s just like when you catch a toenail on a pair of stockings and suddenly there’s a run up the side of your leg, except it’s my fabric that’s being ruined! My exciting new project!

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Looking at it from the reverse, it looks like the needle is catching a single strand of thread on the fabric, pulling it through to the back (the biggest loop here is the pale blue you’re seeing the wrong side of in the top photo), thus pulling a run into the fabric. In fact, all those little loops of whitish looking thread are blue from the front. It’s not just ruining one of the fabrics, though, it’s ruining both layers — all the fuzzy looking blue blobs are bits from the bottom layer of fabric (bottom when it’s run through the machine, top when you’re looking at it above), which are pulling runs into the bottom as well.

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I think this is the worst one I had — it pulled the thread through so far that it pleated/puckered the fabric!

My only real thought as to the cause is that there must be some kind of flaw in the needle, maybe some kind of rough spot that is catching the fabric on the way by and causing the runs in the fabrics. It’s the same needle I used to sew the aforementioned quilt top (which you can see in my Instagram stream or can wait to see when I finally get it quilted) and it didn’t cause any problems then, but it seems (to me) the most likely cause. Feel free to prove me wrong, though! I tried to do a google search on the subject, but I didn’t really find any suggestions or answers!

In any case, since I have no work in progress to show you, I might just as well jump on to the next part of today’s post: it’s my birthday!

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And birthday’s mean giveaways around here! Last Sunday I talked about buying a nice big stack of (kinda sorta) peridot coloured fabrics from Mad About Patchwork and some of that bounty of greens could be yours… or possibly better yet (I dunno… maybe you hate green?), you could pick out your own fabrics to celebrate my birthday!

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(The very lovely) Pam at Mad About Patchwork is sharing a $50 gift certificate with one of you to help me celebrate! Just think what you could do with $50 at a fabric shop….

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You could pick up a kit for Lorna McMahon‘s adorable Fox & Friends quilt pattern.

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Or you could pick up a Chasing Fireflies curated bundle of Fat Quarters.

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Or you could curate your own bundle, as I did with my collection of greens (though, admittedly, I did also pick up a green stash bundle to round out my choices.

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Or you could save it for a little while (yeah, right!) and pick up something from the coming soon section, like this Kate Spain Horizon jelly roll. In any case… I don’t think anyone would have too many problems finding a way to drop $50 at a shop like this one!

Greens

I haven’t been flashing this green around for nothing, though, because if you don’t happen to win the gift certificate, you might just win a Fat Eighth bundle of all 18 fabrics that I picked up from my last virtual shopping trip at Mad About Patchwork. (They’re all approximate cuts, by the by. I took the super scientific approach of not pressing the fabric and then just cutting them up the fold line in the middle, so they’re… approximate.) I don’t know what you’ll do with them, but my brain flashed through a dozen options before settling down on the pattern I mentioned above. Green is awesome – you can do something fresh and spring-like with leaves or trees or you could add reds and go holiday or add a bunch of blues for a more soothing watery palette or add purple for something floral and vibrant…

So if you want to enter: please leave a comment below. Maybe tell me about your birthstone and if you like it (or don’t) or (if you read my Sunday Stash post) about your favourite gemstone for jewellery or about your favourite famous piece of jewellery. (Yeah, okay. So I’m not a very girly-girl, but among my favourite blogs are From Her Majesty’s Jewel Vault and The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor, which I mostly only like when they’re talking about jewels. I’m not a jewellery person, but I do like to look at all the amazing sparklies locked up in the royal jewel vaults of various European houses.) Or maybe you could tell me about the kind of day you’re having – I’m writing this post a day ahead, but I can almost certainly guarantee I’m at work and grumpy about it while most of you are reading this. I was supposed to be on vacation this week, but my back-up broke her foot and is off work, so I had to cancel and… well, I’m a little bitter about it! Maybe you could tell me about your up-coming weekend. I think I’m going to go check out the Royal Tyrell Museum of Palaentology, which I haven’t been to in years (and years and years…). In any case, the point of all this: leave a comment. I WILL NOT count your comment if you only say “thanks for the chance” or anything along those lines – I’d like to hear something a bit more interesting than that! You don’t have to wow me with your witty repartee, I’d just like something more interesting to read!

I will draw the winners on Tuesday, September 2, so enter sometime before then! (Or anyway, sometime before I come home from work that day. I usually get home around 3:30 pm MST.) The first name drawn will win the gift certificate (unless you’d prefer to win the fabric bundle, in which case: say so in your comment!) and the second name will win the fabric.

A very, very special thank you to Pam for providing the gift certificate (and for always providing me with the sweet, sweet hits of fabric that I sometimes need to get me through a crappy week like this one, when I’m meant to be on holiday but am not).

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And finally, finally… linking up with Lorna’s Let’s Bee Social, The Needle and Thread Network, and finally Work in Progress Wednesday with Lee at Freshly Pieced.

Sew Fresh Quilts wipwednesdayneedleandthreadnetwork WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced


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Talk to Me Tuesday: 26 August 2014

Apologies for the choppy edit: I cut about 5 minutes from the original video.

- Jelly Roll Jam II from Fat Quarter Shop
Little Lemon Slice pattern from Cate Anevski via Feeling Stitchy
Open Wide Zipper Pouch by Noodlehead

Drop by tomorrow (August 27) to enter a giveaway for green fabric or a giftcard from Mad About Patchwork


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Peridot

When I was a kid, I was a little bit jealous of my sister and mother for having Amethyst for a birth stone because theirs was purple and mine was Peridot and it was this terrible yellow-green (Mountain Dew reminiscent…) colour that I hated. It didn’t look – to me – like a real gemstone: amethyst, sapphire, aquamarine, ruby… those were the good ones. Peridot, not so much. I’ve eased up on that yellow-green, lime-y olive-y colour since, but now I not so secretly wish my gemstone were Aquamarine instead, I mean… c’mon! Put on your inner princess and tell me which tiara you would most like to wear? This one or this one or this one or this sublime beauty? Or are you going to pick this sad looking green-stoned tiara? Well. Okay, it’s not ALL sad in the peridot jewellery market, but it’s none of it sublime either. (Feel free to prove me wrong, though. I mean it. It doesn’t even have to be a tiara!) I don’t know a lot about tiaras, but I can’t think of a single famous peridot tiara out there. Even turquoise has gotten its due, and that doesn’t even sparkle!

Anyway, all this by way of saying: it’s nearly my birthday. And in honour of myself, I bought a bunch of vaguely peridot coloured fabrics from Mad About Patchwork to remind myself that it isn’t at all a bad colour and in fact I kind of like it a lot. (Seriously, the lime/olive green stack in my stash is one of the largest I’ve got. I really didn’t need to buy another 18 FQs of it because I’ve probably already got thirty or forty.)

Greens

These fabrics are a mix of the green Stash Bundle from Mad About Patchwork and a bunch of random other greens that seemed like they might fit in.

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I wanted fabrics that felt like they belonged together in some way (largely because they mostly have a yellow tone to them), without actually being part of the same line. I wasn’t completely successful – that Anna Maria Horner True Colours print, for instance, is not a very yellow green, nor is the polka dot print directly above it.

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What I want them for is to make a quilt using the Stripping technique from the Craftsy class Strip Your Stash (not an affiliate link), which I’ve recently been watching. I think it’s important to have variation in the colours you choose, so I probably won’t filter out any of the darker colours – they’ll add some depth – and I’ll probably add in some more that have other colours and shades for that same reason. I have a few things to finish up in August, so I probably won’t get started on this any too soon, but that’s one half of the plan for these fabrics. The other half of the plan? Well… tune back in on Wednesday to find out. (Hint: it probably rhymes with shmive-amay. There will also be a second sponsored rhymes-with-shmive-amay from Mad About Patchwork that same day, so don’t forgot to stop by!)

(Also? I was supposed to be born in September, so really I could claim Sapphire for my own… I’d be happy to claim the Leuchtenberg Sapphire Parure as well, if the Swedish royals would care to sell it for a song. Or a stack of peridot-coloured fabrics.)

Linking up with Molli Sparkles for Sunday Stash:

Molli Sparkles


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Sunday Stash: Odyssea

So I’ve been accumulating fabric for close to ten years and for the most part, I’d say I’ve gotten rid of the oldest (cheapest, ugliest) stuff I’d bought, but I do still have some fairly old things that have been taking up space, either waiting for Just The Right Project or things I’d bought just because or even things I bought with a particular project in mind, but then never quite got around to making. I bought this Odyssea fabric with intentions of making this quilt, designed by Charlie Scott for Moda Bakeshop back in 2010. But I never got around to it, and now the tutorial for the quilt is gone. (It can be found, photo free, on the Internet Archive Way Back Machine, but I’m more wibbly these days about using that much fusible web in a quilt. Well, also, I’m more wibbly about cutting out that many circles of fusible, plus fabric. I don’t have a circle cutter and don’t really foresee myself buying one.)

Odyssea by Momo

All my quantities of this fabric were intended for that tutorial/pattern — 2.5 yards of the fish damask for the backing fabric, 1 yard of the swirly seaweed for the inner border and binding, 1.5 yards of the seashell for the outer border. And the layer cake for the interior part of the quilt.

For a little while today I thought I finally had a use for some of it – I’ve already gone and closed the post or I’d link to it – but it was for a baby quilt that uses 36 charm squares (so I’d have had 3 (handmade) charm packs to sell/giveaway after and would have used most of the extra fabric as sashing, borders, binding, and backing. Perfect! Alas, the Mama of the baby in question thought there was too much pink and floral in the mix for a boy’s quilt:

Odyssea by Momo

Fair enough, I suppose! Maybe I should still make it, just put it up for some future baby, but I feel like I’ve got way too many things churning in my head that want/need to be made, without adding still another project to wind up languishing on the heap of In Progress projects.

Linking up to Sunday Stash with Molli Sparkles:

Molli Sparkles


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Talk to Me Tuesday (x2)

Mara? Don’t watch this!

Things I talked about:
– The strawberry zipper pouches are the medium and large sizes of the Noodlehead Open Wide Zippered Pouch, the fabric came from Fabricmade (both the linen exterior and the cotton interiors).
– The patchwork quilt is made using Botanics by Carolyn Friedlander and Kona cotton in white
– Although Krista Withers IS a long-arm quilter (or was? she hasn’t updated her blog since 2012), the book author in question was Angela Walters and the book is Free-Motion Quilting with Angela Walters
Massdrop

Things I talked about:
– My Gypsy Wife quilts (pattern by Jennifer Kingwell)
– My all solids Churn Dash quilt
– Hawthorne Hues come from Hawthorne Threads


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Saturday Surprise Sunday Stash

I lived in Saskatoon when I first started sewing and I didn’t have a sewing machine to begin with, so I stitched everything by hand. Then for my birthday one year I asked for a sewing machine, and I mostly wanted one so that I could participate in a block swap in a Livejournal group. It turned out I was basically terrible at sewing, even with a sewing machine. I didn’t know the first (or last!) thing about accuracy or how piecing worked and I didn’t know basic sewing terms, so when the swap group said we’d make 9.5″ blocks, I thought that meant the finished size was supposed to be 9.5″ and did you know there aren’t any blocks out there that come out to 9.5″… (strangely enough), so I sized up a shoo fly pattern with an extra half inch in the centre units. (No lie.) And I also didn’t have any money, so I was using cheap and (worse) ugly fabrics from Walmart. The blocks I sent out were appalling.

So I learned to paper piece, but I still wanted to learn to piece properly and I let myself get sucked into buying Saturday Surprise Sampler blocks from Periwinkle Quilting. In 2005/2006, the Saturday Surprise Sampler was done using primarily Robert Kaufman’s A Thousand Flowers line. It was 20 blocks and they were really tough, but I learned A LOT about accurate piecing (all of which I think I’ve forgotten since):

A very old UFO...

I kind of forgot about this project, but I was down in the basement the other day and decided to empty some drawers of crap I have down there, and what should I find but my 20 pieced blocks, all the setting squares and triangles to put the main part of the top together, and fabric that I think I intended to be borders.

A Thousand Flowers

There is about a metre of the orange fabric, but only 2 fat quarters of the purple. I also found a bunch of notes and a drawing of the border treatment I intended to use, but man are they some nonsensical notes! (Seriously: my notes on block placement included things like, “really hard mostly green one”.) All this fabric was from 2005 or so, so I doubt I’d be able to find any more. Here’s hoping 2 FQs and a metre of fabric will be enough to finish the job…

I also fished up the beginnings of the next year of Saturday Surprise Sampler blocks, of which I only bought 9 (and never made any) before stopping:

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The patterns look just as complicated – yikes! But the worse problem was that the fabric wasn’t remotely to my tastes. I bought these first nine block kits and had thought to make something for my Grandma, whose house was (still is) decorated in avocados and golds.

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I just don’t foresee myself ever making these blocks, though. They’re just… too much not what I like to make. If anyone out here would like these block kits, please just leave a comment below and I’ll mail them out to whoever asks for them first. The patterns all come with just enough fabric to cut out all the pieces for one block, so if you mess up your cutting, you’d have to swap in something with a similar colour palette, but it’s pretty well just autumn colours, so I don’t think it’d be a terribly difficult thing to do!

Linking up with Molli Sparkles:

Molli Sparkles


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Sunday Stash…

Edited to add: The winner of the July Gypsy Wife Quiltalong giveaway was Crafty Kat, who is doing a very lovely blue and orange and grey version of the quilt that I’m really liking a lot!

So it may have been a while since I posted much, but it hasn’t been a while since I added more fabric to the hoard. (When I die, I think I need to be buried with all of it, like the Sutton Hoo, but maybe in a giant sewing machine or something.) I did have little bits and pieces of things coming in while I wasn’t posting, largely things for projects in progress, rather than actual stash additions, but then there were also one or three purchases, like this one below, of things I didn’t really need, but kind of wanted, and splashed out for. See… Pink Castle Fabrics had a big 50 Fat Quarter mystery bundle on a decent price and even though the last time I bought a 50 FQ bundle (from Craftsy), it didn’t really work out for me… I took the chance anyway. And I think it was mostly successful! I’m more happy than not, certainly.

These are my least favourite of the bundle:

New Stash!

Yeah. I know. Heather Ross. I wasn’t as blown away by this particular line as some people, and these are a couple of the prints that I liked the least. I’m pretty meh on zombies in general, so that one didn’t speak to me. And the dots… I don’t know why the dots don’t work for me, but I tend to have a harder time liking multi-coloured fabrics than I do with tone-on-tone. Also, I just don’t like the colours in it – I like dots, just not in these particular colours.

New Stash!

That little pink and white floral near the bottom here is my least favourite from this grouping of fabrics. The rest I’m pretty okay with, even that novelty jam jar print, which I can’t imagine myself actually ever using. I didn’t check for names on any of the selvedges, because 50 prints would be a lot to identify in just one post anyway, but if there is anything you want to know about, please ask and I’ll check for the name or see if I can figure it out.

New Stash!

It feels like they sent me the entire collection of that solid colour with the white silhouettes of daisies print. I’m liking the pez prints more than I ever thought I would. I’ve seen them used well in a lot of children’s quilts, but that’s not something I sort of aim my sights toward making very often, so I try to avoid buying those kinds of prints in general. But I do like them, it turns out. Maybe it should be inspiration to make another kid’s size quilt again. Maybe I’d actually finish something if it were smaller!

New Stash!

I love dot fabric, so I like that they sent so many of them, but I wish the green ones hadn’t been quite so close together in colour. It doesn’t look like it quite so much in the photo (because it was a bit more shadowed than I thought) but the one up top and the one in the row below it are nearly the same shade, just with different sized dots.

New Stash!

Do the blues feel sort of boring, here? I feel like they are. I love blue, it’s probably my favourite colour (blue, green or red,.. well, who can really decide, anyway?), and I feel like there are dozens of great blue fabrics in the world, but they sure picked some dull ones. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with them,… they’re just sort of meh.

New Stash!

I haven’t really got much to say about these neutrals either, but they’re all pretty decent choices. All in all, I think it was a pretty good collection of fabrics, and I think I only actually owned four or five of them before buying this mystery bundle too, which is pretty awesome. I could have done with a bit less pink, but that’s a pretty minor complaint over all.

Linking up with Molli Sparkles:

Molli Sparkles


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Gypsy Wife Quiltalong: July blocks and Giveaway

Edited to add: The winner of the July Gypsy Wife Quiltalong giveaway was Crafty Kat, who is doing a very lovely blue and orange and grey version of the quilt that I’m really liking a lot! Go check out her blocks, they look pretty amazing!

So I’ve been AWOL for a while now, but not for reasons of not crafting (though a couple of weeks of too hot weather did put a bit of a damper on my desire to sew this month), just for reasons of not feeling like updating. I guess I needed a break! I could probably spend most of August just catching up on things I’ve been not writing about since April, but instead I’ll knock out three months worth of Gypsy Wife blocks right now. (Well, my brights version, anyway. I’m still three months behind on my low volume version…)

May Blocks
Gypsy Wife QAL - May

I’m pretty much in love with my Hope from Hartford block. I rarely love florals and I don’t even really love the one I used, but I love how it looks in this block. I loved how it looked with that teal Je Vous en Prie fabric and even though I don’t love the background fabric for the block, I think it’ll all work out in the end anyway; that background is hardly going to stand out in the face of all the bright and crazy mish-mash of prints and colours that this quilt is going to use. There’s a lot of blue Anna Maria Horner fabric going on in this little collection – you can always tell what’s near the top of the scrap pile with these blocks! – but there’s even more Heather Bailey, which I had been cutting into at the time for a different project that I’ve stalled on.

June Blocks
Gypsy Wife QAL  - June

I count another four Heather Bailey prints in this collection of blocks – definitely the scraps on top of the pile… I went a bit less crazy with my Crazy Anne block than was recommended and just maintained the same four prints around the outside of the block, rather than swapping in something different for each quadrant. This is another one where I was really pleased with the final look – I was so afraid of those half-rectangle triangles, but they came out almost perfectly (maybe 2-3 millimetres short). I’m not sure I love all these bordered square in square blocks, but I’m trying to remind myself that most of them will kind of disappear into the quilt and won’t be so noticeably off or awful.

July Blocks
Wind blown
Windblown!

Gypsy Wife QAL - July Blocks

I felt like I went too pink/purple and blue in the two previous months, so I tried to be really conscious about using other colours in this month’s blocks. But jeez… what was I thinking putting that same dark red-orange on the outside of two different blocks? These blocks won’t be too close together in the quilt (they’re in sections 2 and 8), but if they seem like too much, then I’ll probably pull off the straight borders and swap in something else (although that particular block features the only time I’ve sewn with that Corsage print and actually had a pair of scissors not get half-swallowed up in a seam allowance). Also, you’ll note, I stuck ANOTHER square of that blue Anna Maria Horner print into a square-in-square block. I’m definitely going to have to make sure those blocks all wind up spread out.

Normally I post a photo of my design wall with all my blocks up on it, but I’ve run out of design wall space, so they’re not up there at all. I think I’m going to take down my low volume blocks and start grouping all these brights blocks into sections on the design wall. I know some people are also working on this by section, rather than by the blocks Michelle set out for the month and if you’re having a hard time figuring out what goes where, I’ve made a spreadsheet that breaks down which blocks go into which section. (I took all the data from my previous spreadsheet, which breaks down which blocks we’re making each month. There may be mistakes in either or both documents, but please let me know if you find one!)

Now for the fun bit! Please link up your July blocks (Star block, three Square in Square blocks, and one bordered Square in Square block) and you’ll be entered to win a $25 gift certificate provided by our lovely sponsor Fat Quarter Shop. (A name will be chosen by Random.org on August 1st, but the linky closes late on July 31st.)

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If you are working ahead to put your quilt together in sections, just pull together photos of the July blocks and you can still enter to win:

Because I’m a WordPress blog, you’ll go away to another site to enter the linky. Best of luck!

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