Saturday, December 31, 2011

Year in Review and Looking Forward to 2012

So what did I do in 2011????  Well . . . .




Wow!!!  What a year.  I can not believe how much I have grown in quilting and how much Happy Quilting has grown.  Thank you to all of you amazing readers that have made this year so incredibly fun for me.  I just love making new friends through this amazing online community.

So now let's quickly review 2011.  On December 31, 2010 I listed some goals here of the things I wanted to accomplish with my quilting in 2011.  Now I get to see how I did :)

Goals for 2011

1 - Participate in a Bee  (which I have already signed up for but sometimes it is fun to write things that are easily checked off :)  Check - And I loved every minute of it.  So much so that I created  2 Bees for 2012
2 - Participate in a Swap  (I have never done this,  any suggestions on good ones would be appreciated :)  Check - I participated in the post-sewing Summit Swap and just signed up fot the Name Game Swap starting in 2012
3 - Learn how to Paper Piece  Semi Check - I did one Bee Block paper pieced and learned the basics, but I would like to learn a lot more.
4 - Learn how to Curve Piece  Semi Check - I took a class on improv piecing where I learned how to do gentle curves but i have yet to tackle some drunkard path type curves.
5 - Be a guest blogger on other sites.  (I have done this once at Stash Manicure and loved it) Major Check - I guest blogged quite a lot at several blogs and really had a lot of fun with it :)
6 - Make a pillow or 2  (I need to branch out a little and I sew love the Cathedral Window pattern) - Check - I made my first pillow cover for Fat Quarterly, but I still want to try and mke some more including the Cathedral Window :)
7 - Host a Quilt-A-Long  (a little scary, but I really think it would be fun, with a little stress mixed in, lol)
Check - I actually hosted 2 and I think both were very successful.   I need to start planning another one.
8 - Continue designing for the Moda Bake Shop  (I just love this so much, It is a definite keeper :)  (And since I already have a project lined up for January I can check this off the list, Yippee Skippee) - Major Check - Me and the Moda Bake Shop are great friends, and I just love seeing your versions of my designs.  
9 - Use up more of my ever growing Stash.  I can't believe how quickly it is growing :) - Negative Check - It has probably doubled or more in size :)
10 - Last but not least, and I waited for last to write it because it scares the pants off of me. . . . Get a design published in a magazine.  (I think I can, I think I can, I think I can :) - Semi Check - If you have read this far you now get in on a little secret.  I have a quilt pattern that will be published in a magazine in spring 2012.  Squeal!!!!  So it wasn't quite in 2011, but all the work was done then.  If I knew how long the process took I would have started earlier in the year :)

So all in all, I am feeling pretty great about the Quilting year of 2011. It has been such an amazing ride.  And so now let's look forward to 2012.  I am so excited for 2012 in Quilting.  I have a few things that I am just so excited about that are already in the works and a few secrets that I just can't wait to share.  So let's get to some goals for where I hope 2012 quilting will take me :)

1 - Create some form of a blog hop.  These are always so much fun and I think I can figure out how to run one :)
2 - Host 2 more Quilt-A-Longs, at least.  I so loved having so many amazing quilter's sewing right a-long with me.  I really want to make sure I leave time to do that again.
3 - Work on some of those Semi-checks from 2011 ie . . .curved piecing, paper piecing, and pillows
4 - Write some more patterns.  I have several planned but plans don't always equal product :)
5 - Make some videos on free motion quilting.  I just have to get over the fear of my voice on tape.
6 - Teach a class.  Doesn't matter where, or to how many to ,preferably fewer, as the idea sort of scares and excites me at the same time.
7 - Start teaching my daughter to quilt.  She is starting to show some interest and I want to make sure I set some time aside for her.
8 - Design and create for my family.  Is it crazy that I made so many quilts in a year and only 1 of my children have a quilt I made for them on their bed??  (Although I have 2 in progress :)  I want to focus on making these works of love for the people I love.
9 - Make Christmas Stockings for my family.  Now that we know our family is not going to grow anymore I have no excuse not to make us a matching set of stockings.
10 - Keep Balance!!!!  I want to really try to make sure I am on top of things enough to keep quilting time to nap time and bed time so that it doesn't interfere with family time.

So here it goes!!!  Bring on 2012!!!! I can't wait!!!!!
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Friday, December 30, 2011

VIBee's comes to a close

I finished up my last 2 bee blocks for the VIBees this week. My oh my, I can't say how much I have enjoyed being in this Bee.  The gals in it are so amazing and talented.  I will be super sad to see it come to an end.  I am just so grateful that I got to work with such a great group :)  Thanks to each of you lovely ladies!!!



So the first block I made was for Rene.  She asked for anything with a white background and soft blues and greens.  You know how I have been on a major "twister" kick.  So I whipped up a little mini-me twister template and made a super mini twister block.  I can't get over how cute and tiny the pinwheels are.  I just love it!!!  You know I want to do another one of these right :)


The next block is for Lynne.  She asked us to do her LynneBobSquarePants block.  She sent us the background charcoal and then she asked us to use bright colors from our stash to fill in the design.  Well, you know how much I just love polka-dots.  


I guess all good things must come to an end.  Here is a little Picture Mosiac of my year with the  VIBee's


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Thursday, December 29, 2011

And the Gift Certificate goes to . . . .

Thank you to everyone who participated in the final Christmas Extravaganza giveaway and thank you to the Fat Quarter Shop for sponsoring such a fabulous giveaway.  So let's get to see who is the lucky person who will be getting one super special after Christmas present :)


And the lucky number according to Mr. Random.Org is . . .

Which is . . . .  Pianomama!!!!



Congrats :)  I have emailed you for your info.
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TNT Thursday with a Diagonal Twister Tutorial

So this week's new thing was all about trying the Diagonal Twister for a second time to get it closer to what I had in mind.   This was a new pattern I was working with to try and get a diagonal look to the Whirly Gig created by the twister rather than a random look.  And since I was doing it for the second time, I figured I might as well take some pictures a long the way so that if you want to give it a try you can :)

So "Twister" quilts are always made starting with a grid of squares.  This is the design of squares you need to make in order to get the look above when you are done.  But before you go and cut out 144 5" squares go ahead and read on, there is a much faster way to strip piece it :)

Start by choosing your prints.  This pattern is a repeated 6 pattern so you will need 6 strips for each set of 3.  I choose to repeat one of my prints, you can to if you like or not ;)  (Wouldn't this just look awesome in a Rainbow pattern, that is on my list )  Cut three 5" x WOF strips out of each of the 6 chosen prints for a total of 18 strips.

Sew your 6 strips together to make a strip set.  You will be sewing 3 sets together and be sure to sew them all in the same order.  It doesn't matter if the ends don't line up perfect :)

Now fold your strip set in half taking care to align the sides.  Do not worry about the top lining up.   Place it on your cutting mat so that the folded line is just over the 0 Horizontal line on your mat.

Now you can cut out your square strip sets.  First cut along the 20" line on your mat.  This gives you a nice starting edge.  Now measure down 5" (to the 15" line) and cut across the entire strip set.  (I had to use two rulers aligned next to each other).  Continue cutting 5" down until you cut across the 0 Horizontal line.  This should give you 8 square strip sets, 4 on top and 4 below.  Repeat with the other 2 Strip sets so you have a total of 24 square strip sets.

Sew your square strip sets into sets of 2.  Make sure you always repeat the pattern exactly the same way.  You will now have 12 long square strip sets.

Now the fun part.  To make the diagonal pattern you are going to do a little unpicking.  I know it seems weird to unpick but trust me, it is way faster than stitching all of the squares individually.

So start by laying out 2 long square strip sets.  Those will be row 1 and row 7.  (I like to mark them now to avoid confusion)   Now lay out 2 more long square strip sets.  Unpick the first block in each long square strip set and at it to the end of the set.  Now mark these rows 2 and rows 8.  Now lay out 2 more long square strip sets.  Unpick the first two blocks in each long square strip set and at it to the end of the set.  Now mark these rows 3 and rows 9.  Seeing a trend here :)  For rows 4 and 10 remove 3 blocks and add them to the end.  For rows 5 and 11 remove 4 blocks and add them to the end.  And finally for rows 6 and 12 remove 5 blocks and add them to the end.

You should now have 12 rows that when lined up in order look like this.

Now simply sew your rows together, taking care to align your seams, and you have your square grid!!  Yippee Skippee.

***Note - The rest of this tutorial will be very brief as the intent of the tutorial is how to get the pattern, not how to use your twister.  If you need a more in-depth tutorial on how to use the twister tool please see this earlier tutorial.  Steps 2 and 3 will walk your through the remainder of the process in greater detail :)

Now simply add your 3" border :)

Cut out your whirly-gig squares using your twister tool :)

Sew your "whirly-gig" squares into rows :)

And then sew your rows into your quilt top :)

And you are done and have one adorable 42 x 42 baby blanket top :)  Just quilt it and bind it and it is ready to share :)   Wasn't that just so much fun!!!  I can't get enough of these twisters, I just have a blast!!!


So, what have you managed to try new during this crazy busy holiday week :)  Please share.



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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Flying in Squares at a Bakeshop Near You!!!

Today's the day!!!  Yippee Skippee!!!  I am so excited to release the Flying in Squares quilt Tutorial at the Moda Bake Shop .  I hope you love it as much as I do :)


I just love the way the quilt has so much movement.  And I had so much fun trying a new swirl in the quilting.  I think it really adds to the overall effect :) So pop on over to the Moda Bake Shop where you can find the free step by step Flying in Squares tutorial and whip up your own flock.  


And as a special little treat, Julie at The Intrepid Thread has put together a fabulous Flying in Squares quilt kit!!!  Now of course, Terrain is all but gone in the stores, so she has picked a fabulous alternate print.  It's Power Pop and this will give you an idea of the finish!!!  Isn't it just fabulous!!!!!

                           

The Kit contains everything you need to make your own Flying in Squares quilt including 27 pre-cut 10" squares so you will have absolutely no waste at all.  You can even get 20% off with the coupon code HAPPYNY20, but the code expires tonight at midnight, so hurry!!!  So pop on over to The Intrepid Thread and score yourself  a Power Pop Flying in Squares quilt kit while supplies last :)


And that's all for today folks!!  I hope you love the tutorial :) I had so much fun making this quilt and just love having it hang on the wall of my purple sewing room :)  I hope you find a special place for yours :)
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Monday, December 26, 2011

A Great Christmas and some Color Help Needed :)


We had such a wonderful Christmas.  The holiday was spent (and will continue to be spent) with lots of family, just the way I love it!!!  We are so happy to be back home and close to those we love.   For me families are what make Holidays so special.  

So do you want to see some Quilting presents??  My amazing Mother In Law gave me this awesome trio!!!  A little pincushion / thread catcher basket, (which is so perfect because I keep trailing threads all over the house, oops ) a free motion design DVD by Leah Day, and some new quilting gloves!!!!!  Oh my goodness, I am so excited!!!  I can't wait to try out those new gloves and I think I will be watching the DVD before I go start quilting the next little quilt :)


 My amazing Sister In Law designed this little stitch for me.  Isn't it just fabulous!!!  I love it!!!  It is being mounted on the wall next to my sewing machine today.  My Sister In Law and her mother have been making these types of stitches for years and they sell them at boutiques and such. They design all of the pictures, do the stitches and even make the frames.   They also have a great shop online called Live Well Stitches.  I just loved that she designed this for me :) Does my family know me or what?????


And here is where the Color Help comes in.  My husband and I got ourselves a new bedroom set for Christmas.  Yippee Skippee!!!!  This is our first actual bedroom set, it is a deep brown finish and I love it.  And if you are thinking, does that look really high?? The answer is yes, they ordered the wrong box springs so we have to poll vault into bed until the new ones come :)    This bed also happens to be our first king size bed so we have no bedding for it.  The walls are green, obviously leaning more towards a minty color than a sage color.  So . . . . If you were going to be making a king size quilt for this bedroom, what colors or what line would you use???

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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas


A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS

To Your Family From Ours!!!


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Friday, December 23, 2011

4th and Final Christmas Extravaganza Giveaway with Fat Quarter Shop

It's the last Friday before Christmas and that means it is time for our fourth and final Christmas Extravaganza Giveaway.  This week's giveaway is sponsored by the fabulous Fat Quarter Shop!!  Now if you haven't heard of the Fat Quarter Shop it might be that you have been living under a rock :)



Have you checked out the Fat Quarter Shop's Countdown to Christmas sale??  Oh my goodness , I could fill up a cart in seconds with these amazing deals.  If you haven't checked it out yet make super to click on over for some fabulous deals!!!  



Now, onto the giveaway!!!   Up for grabs, a $50.00 Gift Certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop!!!!  You can use it to buy whatever is on the top of your Christmas list.  Isn't that just the perfect Christmas present!!!

                                    

For a chance to win just do the following . . . and please, only one comment per option for a max of 2 comments :)

1 - Be A follower of The Jolly Jabber, the Fat Quarter Shop Blog, and leave a comment.  How about you tell me something that makes you Jolly :)

2 - Pop on over to the Fat Quarter Shop and tell me what item is that perfect Christmas present that you would use your Gift Certificate on.  (Again, I always love gifts that are to me, from me, tee hee hee :) 

So that's it :) The giveaway will close on Wednesday the 29th and I will announce a winner shortly after.   Good Luck to all and Happy Quilting!!!
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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Winner!!!

Thank you again to Leah at Burgundy Buttons for sponsoring our giveaway!!!  Leah just announced her Year End Blowout Sale!!!  There are some great deals.  You will totally want to make sure you pop on over :)


So let's get to the winner.  Mr. Random.Org choose . . . 

#251 . . . Who is Leslie can't stop quilting!!!!!   Congrats Leslie, I sent you an email :)


Tomorrow morning is the start of the fourth and final Christmas Extravaganza Giveaway!!!  See ya then :)
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TNT Thursday

This week I had so much fun trying something completely new to me.  I put together 2 virtual bees for 2012.  And it was a lot less scary then I thought it would be :)  I can not believe the response that I got from those of you who wanted to "Bee with me."  Thank you so much.  I truly wish I could have created enough groups for everyone, but alas, my sewing time just won't allow it :)  I will be the Bee Mama for the US group and my good friend Cherie took the reins for the International group :)  I can't wait for next year to get going on some blocks :)  And since every good post needs a picture, here is the button that Leah from Burgundy Buttons has made up for the group.  Isn't it just fabulous!!!  She is working on one for the other group and I can't wait to see it :)


So . . . .   What have you tried new this week????  Let's see those links :)




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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

There's Always Next Year :)

So do you remember this beautiful fabric I bought (sometime in July) to make my three girls amazing matching Christmas Dresses??  Sadly, it is still in the same state as you see in this picture.  And there are no plans to try and frantically sew them together by Sunday.  I kept thinking I needed to work on them, and I would always find some excuse to procrastinate this scary project.  Then my daughter got some Christmas dresses handed down from her cousin and that was the final straw.  No sense in making more when she already has some.  (At least that is what I rationalized to myself :)  So back in the drawer it will go until next year.  and hey, at least Baby Jocelyn will be able to wear it more than 1 month next yer.  She is growing like a weed :)


and while I am on the note of putting things to next year . . . Let's see what other projects will become 2012 projects :)


Designing Stage
  • Baby Quilt for Special Nephew arriving in April
  • Circle Meets Square Quilt
  • 4th of July Table Runner for Sister-In-Law 
  • Secret Project MB
Piecing Stage
  • Stars Quilt-A-Long
  • Baby Quilt for Special new Niece arriving in April
  • Hugs and Kisses Quilt for Grandma
  • Going Places Quilt
Quilting Stage
  • Nursery Crib Quilt
  • Baby Quilt for Special new Niece arriving in March 
Completed Stage
  • Christmas Tutorial
  • Flying in Squares Quilt - Coming to a bakeshop near you on the 28th!!!!

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Twisting Take 2!!

Yesterday everyone decided to give me an early Christmas present.  The little ones took a 3 1/2 afternoon nap and the older ones enjoyed some unsupervised craft time :)  Which meant I was able to finish my Twister.   This is a gift I am trying to finish up by Christmas.  However, when I finished I was not quite as happy with my results.  Don't get me wrong, I don't hate it or anything, I had just planned for a brown row, a brown-pink row, and then a pink row to pop.  The pink row really pops but the brown-pink row just blended to much with the brown row.  You know when it just doesn't quite turn out the way you had seen it in your head :)


So . . . . I grabbed the remaining pieces from the Heidi Grace pile and decided to use the tan brown instead of the brown I used previously.  I didn't use it initially because it has the same print as one of the brown prints but I think I can handle that if it makes a greater distinction between rows.  So this is what I will be working on today :)
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Monday, December 19, 2011

Twisting again :)

** If you are looking for the 3rd Christmas Extravaganza Giveaway you can find it here :)

Do you ever have one of those days where you know you should be doing something else but you just want to do that special something :)  Ya, that was last Thursday for me.  I have WIP that need to be completed, Bee's that needed to be organized (which I did this morning :) , designs to be put into EQ, a tutorial to finish, and I had to pack to go out of town for the weekend.  So what did I do????

Started another "Twister" baby quilt!!!  I have been thinking over a stack of Heidi Grace on my shelf for a few weeks now and while lying in bed Wednesday night decided that it would be so adorable in a twister quilt but I wanted it to have more of a layed out look then a random look.   I got up (at 1:00 am mind you :) and figured out the design I wanted to do.  I wen't back to bed for a few hours and then got up and after getting the kids off to school went right downstairs and started sewing together the grid :)  I am so loving it!!!  I am about a 1/3 done.  Here's hoping I can get some more done today :)



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Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Giveaway Extravaganza with Burgundy Buttons!!!

GIVEAWAY CLOSED

It's Friday again so that means it is time for our third Christmas Extravaganza Giveaway.  This week's giveaway is sponsored by the fabulous Leah at Burgundy Buttons!!  Leah's shop is so fun and filled with all kinds of Moda goodness.  She has yardage, pre-cuts, snuggles, flannels and wovens.


And did you know that she has been having a fabulous 12 Days of Christmas sale???  Each day was a different sale.  Well if you didn't know, don't fret.  As the finale of the sale, you can get all of the sales from all 12 days!!!!  This Finale ends Saturday at Midnight so you best hop on over quick if you want to score some great deals :)



Now, onto the giveaway!!!   Up for grabs, a California Girl Jelly Roll.  This is Fig Tree Quilts newest line slated to come out in March.  That's right, you can't even buy this yet, but you can win it here!!!!



For a chance to win just do the following . . . and please, only one comment per option for a max of 2 comments :)

1 - Be A follower of Burgundy Buttons blog and leave a comment.  How about you tell me something you love about their shop or let me know you are new to Burgundy Buttons :)

2 - Pop on over to the Finale of the 12 Days of Christmas Sale and tell me what item you just are dying to put under your Christmas tree.  (I always love gifts that are to me, from me, tee hee hee :) 

So that's it :) The giveaway will close on Wednesday the 22nd. and I will announce a winner shortly after.   And Don't forget to stop by next Friday for our final Christmas Giveaway!!!  Good Luck to all and Happy Quilting!!!
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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Winner, Winner, Winner!!!!

First off, thank you to Julie and The Intrepid Thread for sponsoring such an amazing giveaway!!!  Obviously, it was well like because WOW, there were a lot of comments.  1079 to be exact. So lets get to announcing the winner (who obviously has the luck of the Irish) of this fabulous Power Pop Giveaway!!!


And according to Mr. Random.Org the winner is . . . . #222

Who happens to be . . .  In Black and White!!!   Congrats!!!  I have sent you an email


Didn't win today . . .  It's okay.  Stop by tomorrow for our Third Christmas Giveaway!!  It's gonna be good!!!




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TNT Thursday

So my big New Thing this week was actually talked about on Monday. I made a new Holiday Oven Mitt as part of the Quilt Story Gift Tutorial hop.  I worked with Insul Bright for the first time (Which I really like) and I made my first oven mitt, (kind of obvious :)   I also realized that releasing a tutorial on the first day of Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day makes it really easy to get missed.  So just in case you missed the tutorial over at Quilt Story I thought I might add it here.  It is TNT Thursday after all and who knows, maybe you want to try sewing your first oven mitt together :)


To make this oven mitt you will need :
   2 Pieces of Christmas fabric each  measuring 10" x 16" for the outer oven mitt
   2 Pieces of Christmas fabric each measuring 10" x 16" for the inner lining
   1 piece of Christmas fabric measuring 2 1/2" x 16" for the binding
   2 pieces of Insul-Bright batting each measuring 11" x 17"
   2 pieces of Warm and Natural batting each measuring 11" x 17"
   

You start by making 2 mini quilt sandwiches.  Layer each sandwich starting with the lining print faced right side down, then the Insul-Bright, followed by the Warm and Natural batting and then the outer print fabric with right side up.  Baste your two mini quilt sandwiches.

Print out a copy of the Oven Mitt template.  Trace the template onto each of your quilt sandwich making sure to flip it over for the second tracing.  (So the thumbs should be on opposite sides of the sandwiches.)  The template is for a standard size oven mitt but if you want yours longer (I like mine that way) you can add 2" to 3" at the bottom of the template.

This is my favorite part.  Quilt inside the tracings of each quilt sandwich.  (I like to stay inside the drawn line so that I don't end up cutting any of my quilting lines.)  You can quilt a basic cross-hatch design or you can spice it up and do some fun free motion quilting.  I did swirls to match with the candies :)  Once you are done quilting your two sandwiches go ahead and cut out on the trace lines of each sandwich.

To make things a little easier when binding we will stitch up the bottom of the oven mitt.  If you have a serger just go ahead and surge along the bottom (and only the bottom) of each side of the oven mitt.  If you don't have a serger (like me) stitch a straight line 3/8" in from the edge and then go back and do a tight zig-zag stitch right along the edge.

Place your two oven mitt sides with right sides together so the linings are both on the outside.  Pin along the outer edge but not along the bottom of the oven mitt.

Now once again, if you have a serger, go ahead and serge around your pinned edge.  If you don't go ahead and stitch your straight stitch 3/8" in from the edge and then go back and do a tight zig-zag along the edge.  This is a lot of layers so if you have a heavy duty needle and a walking foot it will help :)

Turn your oven mitt right side out.  This takes a little work along the seams.  Use a sharp tool if necessary to push out some of the curves.

All that is left is binding the bottom.  So take your binding strip and iron it in half.

Measure the amount of lining you will need to go around the inside of your oven mitt and overlap 1/2".  Trim the excess.

Take your newly trimmed binding strip and open it up and place it with right sides together.  Stitch a 1/4" seam along the raw edge.  Now fold your lining in half again with wrong sides together and right sides out.

Place the lining inside the edge of your oven mitt with the raw edge of the lining along the edge of the oven mitt.  Pin in place.

Now stitch a 3/8" seam along the edge of the binding on the inside of the oven mitt.  This is a little tedious but a walking foot and heavy duty needle will help.

Lastly, flip your folded edge of the binding over the oven mitt and pin. You can hand sew the binding down or use your machine.  Whatever your preference :)

And you are done!!  Wasn't that easy.   Now just fill it with some fun Holiday baking goodies and it is ready to give to your friends and family :)  Enjoy!!!  And if you make some of these fun Holiday Oven Mitt's I would love for your to post a picture of them in my Happy Quilting Flickr Group :)


So that's my new thing :)  So what have you been up to?? 






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