Monday, December 29, 2014

Final Finish!

I mentioned in my last post that I thought I'd have a quilting finish before the end of the year.  You may have noticed, but I've not been sewing a lot this year.  When I have, I have been working on this quilt.  I decided to give it to my sister for Christmas.  Long story, the gift was very unexpected by her for many reasons.  No one knew I was doing it except my husband.  When my sister opened it, she started crying.  It was a very touching moment.
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The photos, taken at night and inside, don't really show the richness of the reds.   I don't prewash my fabrics and didn't have any problems with bleeding at all.  I washed the quilt with Retayne which is a color fixative.  I also washed my Christmas Harvest Quilt with it.  These two quilts are made with fabrics from two different manufacturers.   
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I also tried a new to me technique - machine binding.  I machine bound placemats before and was not pleased with the result.  This is a HUGE quilt and I just didn't have the time to hand sew the binding down.  Also, I thought a machine binding would be more durable.  My quilter recommended Susies's Magic Binding.   I used the stitch in the ditch foot for my walking foot and it worked so very well.  Definitely a technique I'll use again.  
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This quilt was a BOM from Michael Miller from 2012.  

Looking back over 2014, I wanted to thank you for sticking with me.  I've not posted as much this year and probably will never reach posting a couple of times a week again.  I do plan on posting once a month and think I can reasonably meet/beat that schedule.  Your visits, comments and YOUR blogs inspire me so much.  I need that inspiration!  

At 2015 is just around the corner, I am feeling very hopeful and inspired. I hope you are too!  I'm not going to post a 2014 retrospective or goals for 2015.  But I will send you all a wish for a happy, healthy and safe new year - a year that is hopefully full of happy stitches!  Much love to you all!


Those of you who are stitchers may want to check out the blog for my EGA Chapter.  Lots of great finishes showcased!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Sarah Elizabeth Brooke

I have a last stitching finish for the year to share with you.  Oddly enough, this was one of my two New Years starts.  I finished both - the other was Sarah Seifer.  The color is off in the pic here.  Sure was a fun stitch.  The thread used for the house bricks is just one color - the beauty of a variegated skein of thread! 
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Sarah Elizabeth Brooke 1842
The Scarlet House
40 Count LL Vintage Light Examplar
Called for Belle Soie 
Substituted Mer for Herb Garden

I think I'll be back before the end of the year with a quilting finish too - the red and white quilt I've been working on for a very long time!  

Wishing you all a happy holiday season - and a safe one as well.  Greg and I have had a relatively stress free one but this weekend is going to be a busy.  We'll enjoy it though!  Since our kids are older there isn't much stress in the season.  We're pros and have learned to pace ourselves!  Haha! (you probably shouldn't believe all of that) 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Ishbel

I finally got around to weaving in the ends, blocking (my favorite! ha!) and photographing my latest knitting finish.  It will most likely be my last knitting finish of the year.  This one gave me fits because I didn't set up the pattern in Knit Companion and instead chose to use a printed pattern with a post it note.  Bad idea/never again!  I kept losing my place because the sticky note lost its stickiness.
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Ishbel
Large
Shibui Knits Sock Colorway #323
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We had a great Thanksgiving with my parents, sister and MIL.  Just 6 of us this year.  The nice thing is that with my online shopping over the weekend, we're about 75% done with Christmas shopping.  We just need to wait for it to arrive, wrap it, and ship part of it back out.  We will host Christmas too so there is quite a bit to be done between now and then but we're definitely not feeling any pressure at the moment!  Wishing you all a happy and safe holiday season.  May all your stitches be happy ones!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Back From Vacation Giveaway!

October was a busy month and it's hard to believe that Thanksgiving is just around the corner!  About a month ago, Greg and I went on vacation to the Smokies.  It rained EVERY day but one but we made the best of it and had a good time.  Our vacations these days are about disconnecting from the world and spending quality time together.  Mission accomplished.  If you've never been to the Great Smokey Mountain National Park, it's truly delightful and you need to put it on your list!  We saw chipmunks, deer, turkeys and even a black bear in the park.  Just the recharge we needed!
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I've not been sewing much but this weekend I managed to get a couple of applique blocks done for a quilt that almost has all the blocks done.  I also clipped threads and ironed another quilt for the quilter.  That part wasn't fun but I did rather enjoy the time I spent in the sewing room today.  It felt rather good.  Even the cleanup I started with felt good.
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Now to the giveaway part!  I've realized I probably won't be using this cute journal from Aneela Hooey.  The first half of this is blank paper and the second half graph paper.  Perfect for notes and sketches.  If you're interested, leave your name (plus email address if your profile doesn't have it) and I'll pull a name this upcoming weekend.  Thank you all for sticking with me.  I know I'm not blogging that much and while I'm not quitting, posts will continue to be infrequent.   I do still read your blogs and enjoy learning from you and seeing what you're doing!  You all are so inspiring!

***Giveaway is closed!***
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Friday, October 3, 2014

How Did That Happen?

How did I finish another knitting project?  I guess I'm on a roll!  I have another project that won't be on the needles long either.  This is the Follow Your Arrow shawl.  I joined the KAL, got within 8 rows of finishing (on time no less!) and put the project down.  It was my first KAL and while I normally don't knit on a deadline, I felt the weekly requirements were attainable.   I'd definitely do one again.   It was fun waking up to see what next on Monday morning before work and then coming home that evening to look at other knitters progress and decide which clue I was going to knit.
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Ysolda Teague, Designer
Clues Chosen:  BABBA (I think!)
MadelineTosh Tosh Merino Light, Venetian colorway
US 6 Needle

I made just one tiny change.  See those stockinette triangles?  They were charted as garter.
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If you're not familiar with this pattern, it's kind of like the books "Choose Your Own Adventure" where you make choices along the way and it affects the outcome of the finished shawl.  I chose the options that would give me a symmetrical shawl.  Fun though and lots of options from one pattern!
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See the arrows?
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It was a fun knit and it showed me how rusty my chart reading skills were!    The color of the yarn in real life is deeper/darker but still very beautiful!  I'm keeping this one for me!  

Sunday, September 7, 2014

No Hint of Fall in the Air

As I've been reading blogs, I've noticed that many of you are mentioning that fall is in the air.  I sure wish it was here!  We're still having hot, humid days.  Though it does look like it's going to drizzle rain here most of the day today.  I love fall but I'm not sure we can say we have a fall season here in Florida because we don't have the glorious color that much of the country gets.

Even though it's not fall, I've been knitting!  Below is my finished Duotone Cowl.  I used a jogless stripe method using this tutorial.  Another tutorial was also helpful regarding kitchner/grafting in the round.   Honestly, this one has been done for ages except the 88 stitch kitchner stitch.  Thankfully, it was summer and it didn't matter.  This isn't a long cowl and I can already tell it's going to be my go-to cowl this winter.  I've found if I keep my neck warm, I really don't need much other than a light sweater or light jacket to go back and forth to work or if I'm not going to be outside for more than 15 or 20 minutes.
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Duotone Cowl
MadelineTosh Tosh DK in Dirty Panther and Dove
Size 9 Needles

I also knit a hat for my husband - surprisingly in just two days.  I never finish anything in two days.  Never.  He picked the pattern and the yarn.  It's just a tag loose but that's how he likes it.  He really doesn't like a snug hat.  I skipped the tubular cast on - I just wanted to knit not a learn a new cast on at that particular moment and used the suggested alternative which was a long tail cast on.  It was plenty stretchy.
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Turn a Square
Lorna's Laces Worsted in Chocolate
MadelineTosh Tosh DK in Buckingham Fountain
Size 7 Needle

I've actually got another knitting finished but it needs to be blocked.  Considering how much I love blocking, don't hold your breath.  It may be a while!

We've been on vacation since my last post.  A very much needed break away from technology (mostly) and all the hustle and bustle of our daily lives.  Greg and I had three picnics in nearby state parks and spent some great time together.    It's my favorite way to recharge and since it's just he two of us, we don't have to go-go-go every second.
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One of our picnic spots

I hope you are having a great weekend full of happy stitches! 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

A Finish!

I've had a finish!  It's a small one but a finish nonetheless.  It was such a fun stitch.  May I present Sarah Seifer 1826 by The Goode Huswife.  Unfortunately this chart is out of print and is no longer in my stash - I know there are quite a few of you that would love to own it!  Sorry!
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The threads were converted to NPI...and I can't find my conversion!  When I do, I'll edit this post.  Adam and Eve are a bit of a different color(not as gray as they appear here) but I rather like it as the color suits the rest of the piece.
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The only change I made was to leave off the bugels that the angels had coming out of their mouths.  They were made of back stitching with 4 cross stitches forming a square and I felt like the piece looked better without them.
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The linen color is more true here.  I love the simple border.
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Sarah Seifer 1826
The Goode Huswife
NPI Silks
Lakeside Linen Vintage Light Examplar

I bound off a knitting project on Friday night and if I can get it into a bath of Soak and dried, I'll be showing that to you soon!

May all your stitches be happy ones!

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Kindness of Bloggers

About two weeks ago, I was scrolling through Instagram and came across a photo.  I left a comment that I'd love to learn to make the item that had been posted.  I'd also said I'd be willing to buy one in the event the poster had bought one on Etsy.  Turns out the poster was Annette of California Stitcher  and she sent me an email saying not only had she made hers but she'd make one for me and send me the pattern.   I had scrolled through so quickly it hadn't even registered it was her photo!

It arrived over the weekend!  What is it?  It's a roll to store my stitching WIPs in and keeps creases from forming.  Quilters can use a smaller version to store quilt blocks.  Scroll down to see more about what it is and how it works.  I cannot tell you how touched I was that Annette made this one.  It's gorgeous Annette!  I've been wanting one of these for a very long time!  Thank you sweet Annette!  
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I love the buttons Annette used!  This one by the bow that holds the roll closed.
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This is the button on both ends.  The "roll" part of this is actually a PVC pipe.  Annette said you can even use wrapping paper cardboard tubes.  I like the sturdiness of the PVC and the PVC will hold up to putting the roll in my bag I fill full of stuff for stitching with my EGA chapter.
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Here it is opened up.
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You lay your project down.  As you can tell, I didn't iron Sarah Elizabeth Brooke for this photo shoot.      I've decided to keep it real and this is what SEB looks like right now.
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And then you simply roll the roll up!  There is ribbon to tie into a bow and then you're back up to looking like the first photo.  Of course, more than one project can be stored in the roll.  I don't know about you, but I don't always finish a project in a timely manner.  This will help keep creases out from  that we typically see from folding linen.  It would be a great way to store your linen stash too.
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Here is the pattern that Annette on which Annette based the construction.  She did change the size and if I remember correctly she used a 22" PVC pipe.  It's a great versatile size.  Most of my current projects will fit this size.
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The blogging community continues to amaze me.  Annette is a sweetie and very talented.  If you haven't visited her blog before, please do.  She stitches, sews, and paper crafts.  Thank you so much Annette!  

Monday, June 30, 2014

Stick a Pin In It - It's Done!

I have had a finish during my blogging hiatus - what I call a finish-finish.  I stitched this - Jenny Bean Pin Tuffet by Shakespeare's Peddler - some time ago. I don't think I ever showed it here on the blog.   I decided to send it off to Faye of Carolina Stitcher fame for finishing.    This was probably in April.
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Jenny Bean's Pin Tuffet
Shakespeare's Peddler
Called for fabric and fiber
Set in the recommended base (purchased at Elegant Stitch in 2009/2010)

Faye is a wonderful stitcher and a beautiful finisher.  Not only was she an amazing communicator (that is always so nice), she delivered when she said she was going to (about 3 weeks) and her price was fair.  It's me who is lacking, I never let Faye know how happy I was!  I love it Faye!
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Like I mentioned to Faye, sometimes you just need someone else to do it for you.  This was one of those times.  If you're ever in that frame of mind, I can highly recommend Faye.  When it comes back, just don't be so busy you let the box sit there for....ahem....way too long!

Now if I can just find that Blackbird Stocking that is tucked away someplace "safe"....!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Random

1.  Thank you all for your support and kindness regarding Kenzie (see this post).   It meant a lot to both Greg and I.

2.  I've sewn up a block for Aneela Hoey who has been recently diagnosed with breast cancer.   Chelsea over at Pins and Bobbins is organizing everything.  You can read more about it here should you be so inclined to participate.  It feels good to support someone in this small way.
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3.   Almost four weeks ago, my brother fell off a roof.  Of a two story house.  We're all so fortunate that he's going to be ok.  He broke some bones in his forehead, his nose, both wrists, and a small bone in his arm near his wrist popped through the skin.  He had surgery almost immediately and is doing so very well.  The neurologist said he's lucky he landed face down.  It was hard to be so far away - he lives in Texas.  His wife and step son were so good about keeping me up to date and sending me photos, though the pictures were comforting (he's alive!) and hard to look at all at the same time.

4.  My parents sold their little cabin in the mountains in April.  I can understand why but I already miss it like crazy.  I called it My Happy Place.  I've been going up there for 25ish years and there are lots of good memories there with my kids and my husband.   We found a place to rent when we go up there and our vacation in May, while far more luxurious, was bittersweet.  
5.  I am still working on the red and white quilt that was a BOM.  I think this is month 10.  These 12.5" blocks are actually part of one of the borders.  I've got month 11 cut out.  Getting close!
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6.  I'm so thankful for those of you who are still here.  I know I've been quiet.  I think sometimes we all need to take a step back and get centered again.   I think I'm there or almost there!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Kenzie

Our Kenzie
March 26, 2001 - June 2, 2014

To say she will be missed is an understatement.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Quiet

I'm still here....just felt like being quiet for a while.  Not much needle contact lately though I have been getting bits in here and there.  My latest stitching project is below.  As I went to stitch the last letter in the top row, I realized I was off count by one stitch.  All of the alphabet has been frogged and I'm moving forward again.
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Sarah Seifer 1826
The Goode Huswife

Thank you for your visit and the inspiration I find on your blogs!  Hopefully, the frog I booted out of here isn't visiting you this week!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Fear Be Gone!

The funk is in full force but I do have two things to show you.  More zippered pouches!  These were made using this tutorial from Flossie TeaCakes.  I followed it exactly as described except I used fusible fleece and quilted the panels with straight lines.  I was a bit disappointed with my output because I wanted really square corners by the zippers.  I should have shortened my stitch length and probably trimmed my corners a bit closer.  My corners will be more square next time!

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I was happy, however, with the zipper installations.  No issues there!  Who would have thought?!  I'm excited about that part to be sure!  These will probably find their way to my nieces (the youngest is really into guitars) at some point.
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I'm so glad to be over my fear of zippers - YES, I can say that!   I am going to continue exploring different zippered pouches, working to improve my sewing skills.  I love learning new things and thankfully blogs make it really easy to learn.   I've always said that I'm inspired by all of you and I truly mean that.  I also learn from each of you who share your journey on your blogs.  Thank you for that!  I really does encourage me to dip my toe in and maybe {hopefully} one day master that skill.  

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Making

My re-entry into quilting has been more of a slow ramp up versus a big dive back in.  I have, however, finished 4 of the big blocks (22 or 24") for the quilt I'm working on.  This isn't the layout and the photo isn't a good one but you get the idea.  I'm enjoying this - especially since I have a lot of the blocks cut out.  You can tell I didn't press these blocks for their photo shoot or remove threads.  
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For the HSTs in this quilt, I'm trying a new to me ruler - the Bloc Loc ruler.  I bought the 6.5" size as I know I can square up a variety of sizes with this one.  I've always disliked how my ruler kind of rocked or slid when I was squaring up HSTs.  I also don't like removing the ruler, rotating the HST, lining the ruler back up before I could trim the 3rd and 4th sides.  With this ruler, all of that is eliminated.  First, square up the two sides like normal.
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The key to this ruler is the channel/groove that runs diagonally through the center of the ruler.  This channel kind of catches on the seam and locks in - kind of like locking in seams as you sew.  
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So instead of picking up, rotating, and lining up again, I just slide my ruler along the locked in seam , line up to my block size and cut the other 2 sides.  Super fast and not frustrating at all.  There is a video here that demonstrates how to use the ruler.  I don't often do the spin but can see where it would be safer to include that step going forward.
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No slipping, no rocking and I think it is a faster method.  I purchased my ruler and this is not a sponsored posts - I'm just a happy customer!  Unlike many other rulers I've purchased, this one is one I'll use all the time.

It was a tough week at work this past week with a Reduction in Force taking place.  I'm ok (so far) but the teams I support were impacted.  Re-orgs are in place and the re-orgs will mean changes for many, including my team.  It'll be interesting to see what is to come.

In the meantime, I'm going to carry on as always and will enjoy what time I get with my needles.  I hope you have a great week and may all your stitches be happy ones!


Sunday, February 9, 2014

Not So Scary!

I'm so excited to show you these zipped pouches that I made - my very first ones!  To be honest, zippers have always intimidated me.  Seriously intimidated me.  I decided long ago that Michelle's Dumpling Bag tutorial would be a good beginner project.   So I sat down and read the directions thoroughly and followed them carefully.  And I did it!!!  It didn't kill me either!
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These are both the smaller version of the Dumpling Bag.  Not perfect but I'm happy with this first attempt!
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And what's any girl who sews zippers supposed to do?  Start a zipper stash (from ZipIt) of course!
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Now I'm going to go dance around the house while opening and closing the zippers that work perfectly!  Happy Stitches to you all!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Weekending

I had a chance to spend some time in my sewing room this weekend.   I was supposed to go on retreat but felt that my foot (with achilles tendonitis) probably wouldn't do well with so many hours of being on the foot pedal.  I was right.  I had a good time on my own though - just not as much of it.  I was able to get this block sewn together this afternoon.  This is a large block - 22" or 24" from a BOM from 2012 from the Michael Miller Clubhouse BOM.
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In the past week, I've also spent some time cutting out the monthly blocks and labeling the segments. This has taken a lot of time but I'll be happy it's done later.  I'm up to month 9.  The quilt shown to the far right (the red and white version) in the photo is the version I'm making. 
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I'm glad that there are a lot of scraps left over!  I have mis-cut a couple of times.  The fabric included is generally either a WOF cut or a fat quarter so my mis-cuts haven't been a problem thankfully.  My scraps drawers are going to welcome this red polka dot!  The white fabric is a white on white polka dot.  I love a nice dotted fabric!
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I've also been knitting - primarily on The Follow Your Arrow Mystery Knit Along project hosted by Ysolda Teague.  Week 4 clue is out tomorrow morning and I have just 2 rows left on Clue 3.  I'm surprised I'm keeping up!  The yarn is MadelineTosh Tosh Merino Light in the Venetian colorway which is a deeper purple than shown in this photo.
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On my last post, I offered up some HST's...they'll be going out to Dortha this week!

While I've not posted (Blogger has been fighting me with photos) lately, I have been doing better about using my free time more wisely.  That's mainly showing up in my knitting.  I also spent some time this weekend searching for a Blackbird Designs Stocking that I had stitched.  Clearly it's in a really safe place.  Ugh!  

What did you do this weekend?  I hope you had a chance to do something fun.  Thank you for your visits, your comments, and your inspiration!  Happy Stitches!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

I Said I Was Knitting!

On New Years Eve, I finished this Monster Cowl.  I knit it as part of The Suburban's Stitcher's KAL on Ravelry.  It's really much prettier than it looks.  You can get the details on the yarn in this post.  Though looking back at that post I am reminded that I decided that I didn't like the gray.  Not the color, but the fabric.  So I pulled everything out and started with a new gray.  This time the same type of yarn in the gold and the garnet stripes.  It'll be cold enough tomorrow for me to wear this.  It will be appropriate since there is the day of a certain big game!  Go Noles!
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I also started a new cowl, this one is the Duotone Cowl.  The cowl is knit as a tube then joined in the round when completed via the kitchner stitch.  The striping sequence reverses itself half way around too.  I watched the Craftsy Class Ins and Outs of Grafting.  It's FREE right now and was super helpful in understanding what is actually happening.  I am not a Craftsy affiliate, just passing along the info.  
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Duotone Cowl by Orange Flower Yarn
MadelineTosh Tosh DK in the Dirty Panther and Dove Colorways
I've not sewn a stitch in weeks - before Thanksgiving.  I did, however, go into my sewing room to clean up a bit today.  Anyone interested in these HST's?  There are 144 of them and they're 2.5".  If more than one person is interested, I'll draw for it.  I got them in a swap and time to give them a home that can use them!
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Have a great week, stay warm, and may all your stitches be happy!