Spring Quilting Fever: Rabbit Dance Baby Quilt

By Terry White

Let spring dance its way in with this
seasonal quilt project!

 

Rabbit Dance Baby Quilt by Terry White.

Rabbit Dance Baby Quilt by Terry White. (Photo: Terry White)

This design is about spring, budding trees and the way our rabbits dance and play across my backyard. I used a color palette that’s popular right now for nurseries in my design, which I love. The silhouette of the rabbits and berry tree on the soft gray polka dot fabric creates a strong graphic quilt, which works well in the current baby nursery decor.

You will need:

Fabrics

1 1/2 yards of 100% cotton white muslin for the appliqués
1 yard of gray small polka dot 100% cotton fabric for the quilt top
1 yard of aqua medium polka dot 100% cotton fabric for the borders and binding
1 yard of medium weight non-woven interfacing
Batting, backing and binding to fit quilt dimensions (I used the border fabric for the binding)

*When doing the stitching on the quilt top, the dimensions of the top can change. I always suggest cutting the backing fabric and batting after the quilt top is finished.

Thread

I used a gray Star multi-colored cotton thread called “Gray Stones.” It’s a light-to-dark gray variegate with 3 to 5 inch random color changes. It’s also one of the threads I designed for the Star line. I think it has a softer effect than a black or solid dark gray would have. Use the same Star thread in the needle and the bobbin for the quilting.

Also:
1 1/2 yards of Wonder-Under paperbacked fusible web
90/14 machine embroidery needle for the whole project

*I suggest you use an open toe embroidery foot for stitching the appliqué. I also suggest you use a darning, free-motion or stippling foot on your machine for the thread drawing and quilting.

Instructions:

Enlarge pattern according to the pattern guide photos located at the end of this article.

Trace the appliqué designs and details onto fusible web. Trace the shapes as they appear in the pattern — they are already reversed for the fusing technique. In the case of the rabbit, trace a second one in reverse.

I made the appliqué designs large enough so that you can use a color thread to appliqué them with the small buttonhole stitch without cutting off any of the design. I always draw my appliqué shapes a little larger than they need to be so that the stitching doesn’t appear to cut off the shape. You don’t need to cut the shapes any bigger to allow for the stitching.

Fuse (according to manufacturer’s directions) the pattern pieces to the white muslin.

Fuse your two tree design pieces next to each other for a continuous flow. (Photo: Terry White)

Fuse your two tree design pieces next to each other for a continuous flow. (Photo: Terry White)

Two tree design pieces are fused right next to each other for the continuous tree design.

Trace the details with a dark marker at the same time you trace the rabbits onto the fusible web. (Photo: Terry White)

Trace the details with a dark marker at the same time you trace the rabbits onto the fusible web. (Photo: Terry White)

When tracing the rabbits onto the fusible web, trace the details with a dark marker at the same time. After fusing the web to the fabric, turn the appliqué over and trace the details with a light marking pen onto the fabric.

 

These are what your dancing rabbit applique shapes will look like. (Photo: Terry White)

These are what your dancing rabbit applique shapes will look like. (Photo: Terry White)

Cut the shapes out. My suggestion is to arrange the appliqués onto the quilt top first. Reference the first photo at the beginning of this article for placement of the appliqué pieces. You can make some marks on the top with a light or disappearing marker. Take the pieces off and lay them aside.

Then, only fuse the center tree shape to the top.

Back the quilt top with the interfacing before doing the appliqué work. I always use a stabilizer when doing any kind of machine embroidery, and this part is embroidery. It adds body to the quilt top fabric which helps to prevent puckering and distortion.

 

Adjust your machine's settings for a small buttonhole stitch. (Photo: Terry White)

Adjust your machine’s settings for a small buttonhole stitch. (Photo: Terry White)

Set your machine for a small blanket (or buttonhole) stitch. The stitch should also be adjusted to a lower tension so that the stitches are not too tight. This is a good time to do some experimenting with the same materials you’re using in this quilt to make sure the tension settings work for a beautiful stitch. Make a note of the stitch settings that work for you.

 

Next, fuse a rabbit and stitch.

Fuse your rabbit and stitch together. (Photo: Terry White)

Fuse your rabbit and stitch together. (Photo: Terry White)

Fuse the other rabbit and stitch. Fuse the circles along the tree and stitch. Then, fuse the blossoming pieces and stitch. This helps to keep each appliqué shape in pristine condition until you are ready to stitch it.

Layer the quilt top with batting and backing.

Baste the quilt, and quilt with free-motion stitching.

 

Using the same variegated gray thread will give this piece a softer finish. (Photo: Terry White)

Using the same variegated gray thread will give this piece a softer finish. (Photo: Terry White)

I love the effect of using the same variegated gray thread for quilting. The scrolls don’t have a harsh solid appearance, as the color fades in and out on the gray background.

The two photos show my quilting design. I used the rabbit’s tail as my quilt pattern for the allover.

A close-up shot of the quilt design. (Photo: Terry White)

A close-up shot of the quilt design. (Photo: Terry White)

For the border, I made two scrolls — I quilted one, completing it all around the border, then I quilted the other scroll.

A close-up shot of the quilt's outer border. (Photo: Terry White)

A close-up shot of the quilt’s outer border. (Photo: Terry White)

Bind the quilt, love the quilt and give the quilt to a special baby.

If you don’t thread paint or do any kind of free-motion work, you can use a light gray fabric marker for the details on the rabbit, and then quilt as you know how.

Rabbit for quilt project

Rabbit — make two, one reversed. (Photo: Terry White)

Berry tree outline

Berry tree — berries are numbered for placement. (Photo: Terry White)

Guide for enlargement of rabbit pattern. (Photo: Terry White)

Guide for enlargement of rabbit pattern. (Photo: Terry White)

Guide for enlargement of berry tree pattern. (Photo: Terry White)

Guide for enlargement of berry tree pattern. (Photo: Terry White)

Also, I have 2 Craftsy classes online where I teach free-motion machine embroidery techniques.

Click here for a printable PDF version of Terry’s Rabbit Dance Baby Quilt.

Click below for great savings from
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Havel's Sewing quilting, applique and embroidery scissors


About Terry White:

TerryWhiteTerry White is a studio fiber artist who has been doing this kind of work since 1996. She discovered the techniques she uses, including threadpaint, machine appliqué, piece, quilt, embellish with beads, fibers and minutiae with sewing machine techniques, through experimentation and self-study. She is a wife, stitcher, artist, sister, mother, friend, nana, gardener, baker, writer, student, teacher and American.  See more of Terry’s work at www.threadpaint.com.


 

Posted in Baby Quilt, Fabric, Fabric Art, Free Quilt Projects, Guest Writers, How To, How To Make A Baby Quilt, Terry White | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Free and Easy Craft Project to Create This Spring:

Fly Your Own Flag this Spring

By Jamie Fingal

I am excited to tell all of you that I am a new fabric designer and my very first line is titled Home is Where Your Story Begins ,by Hoffman California Fabrics.  So naturally, when Jackie Marsal, the account executive for Havel’s Sewing, asked me to design a “Spring Fling” themed project incorporating my new fabric line (just for fun!) I was obviously more than willing to get to work making these fabric flags for you all to create!

Fly Your Own Flag- 3 Fabric Flags for Spring

Bloom, Spring and Grow! Vibrant & fun these fabric flags are certain to cheer up anyone that is stuck experiencing cold weather!

These festive and fun flags are not only great for a variety of fabric artists, but they are also easy enough to make just in time for the upcoming Spring season.

Sample of Jamie Fingal's New Fabric Line

To give everyone an idea of what Jamie’s new fabric line consists of, here is a visual of the sample card.

 The fabric pictured below is hands down one of my favorites. It is covered completely with words, and based on my watercolors. The best part is that you can use the words available or you can easily cut out individual letters in order to create your own words, which is what we will be doing for this project. It only comes in this colorway – bright and fun!

Jamie Fingal's Word Covered Fabric

One of Jamie’s favorite from her new fabric line- It is covered completely with words, and based on her watercolors.

  This project will break down how to create three fabric flags inspired by the Spring season. (Each flag will measure 6×8 inches, vertical format.)

Black Wool Blended Felt

Three pieces of black wool blended felt by National Nonwovens TOY 002.

We are going to start this project off with 3 pieces of black wool blended felt -cut 6” x 8”- as the foundation. This is made by National Nonwovens TOY 002.

I also fused all of my fabrics with Mistyfuse to prepare for this project.

 

House Patterned Fabric

This house covered fabric is a perfect focal point for the fabric flags.

The next fabric that we need is the house patterned fabric. This is a a colorful fabric which can be used in a variety of ways.

This particular fabric- covered in different styles of houses of various shapes, colors, sizes- is the perfect focus point for two of the flags we will create.

Next, simply cut out a house out from the fabric, which is near the size of the flag, or slightly larger.

House Covered Fabric

 Fuse this to the felt.

Fused Fabric House

If you turn it over, you can cut the excess from the back, which will make it easier to get it straight. Find the letters B-L-O-O-M and set them aside.

B-L-O-O-M Fabric

Place the letters on the side and iron into place.

Fussy Cut Flowers

Using your favorite fussy cut scissors, cut out some flowers from the house fabric.

Fabric Flower Arrangement

Place the flowers on the lower portion of the flag and iron into place. Trim any areas that overlap from the back. Set aside.

Sky and Flag Fabric Cut Outs

For the second flag, using the blue circle fabric, cover one of the felt foundations, to cover about 2/3 of the felt from the top down.This will be used to create a sky effect.

Turn the flag over and cut from the back.

It would be fun to use some of the bunting flags in this one.  So, from the landscape fabric, find a row that would work for your flag.

Fussy cut out.

SPRING Fabric Flag

 

 

Place the flags in the upper portion.

Find the letters for the word SPRING, and place them just below the bunting flags.

Iron into place, and cut the extras from the back.

 

 

Using lime green striped fabric, cut the top with pinking shears.

It makes a great little detail, and it’s fun!

Pinked Grass Fabric

Using Havel’s PInking Shears adds a fun & unique effect to your fabric.

Fussy cut out a row of houses, and the larger flowers, like this blue and pink one below.

Houses and Various Pictures

The text fabric also has little houses and artful drawings which are useful for various art.

Place the houses in place, just below the pinking line.

Ironed In Place Fabric

 Once the house is set, iron the fabric in place.

Next, cut out the flowers and place them on the flag.  DO NOT  iron this down yet.

Flower Your Flag

Using the landscape fabric, fussy cut out the stems and leaves. (So that basically you are cutting off the top of the flowers.)

Cutting Larger Flowers

The stem and leaf unit will be used for your larger flowers.

After you decide where you want everything – flower-wise, iron them to the background.

Spring Flag #2

Set this flag aside, and now we are onto Flag number 3.

This house is larger, so you need to allow for that.

Creating the house Flag

We will add the blue circles to the sky, to make up for the empty space.

You can see where I have a strip of blue on the top.

Floral Landscaping

Then you can see where I have added some floral landscaping to the bottom portion of the 3rd flag in order to fill in the green.

Next, find and cut out the letters for the word G-R-O-W.

GROW Flag

Place the letters on the top and iron them into place.

Back each flag with a coordinating color of wool blended felt.

Now they are ready to be free motion machine quilted.

Backing the Fabric Flags

The backing for these flags is Fuschia WCF 001.

  After they are quilted, press with an iron, then trim the backing.

You want the backing to show just a tad- this helps to bring out the colors in the flag.

Havel's Rotary Cutter and Mat for Trimming

Using Havel’s 60mm Rotary Cutter and Cutting Mat to trim the backing.

Using the free motion foot,  zig zag the edges of each flag into place.

Zig Zag Stitching the Backing

Example of how the backs were easy to free motion machine quilt. You can see where Jamie went around the houses, objects and lettering with ease.

Here are the three finished flags:

All Three Fabric Flags

And individually:

BLOOM

BLOOM

SPRING

SPRING

GROW

GROW

I hope that you have enjoyed making this Spring Fling fabric flag project as much as I did!

 

Jamie Fingal


About Jamie Fingal:

Jamie is a an award winning artist & fabric designer from Orange, CA. You can contact her and order fabric at http://JamieFingalDesigns.com/.

 

For more of Jamie’s inspiring and creative projects, click here.

shop-havels-sewing_60mm-rotary-405x336

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How to Help a New Quilter Get Started

Tips for fabric, cutting & more!

By Kathy Mathews

bernette sewing machine

I can clearly remember signing up for my first quilting class. I had been sewing since I was twelve but as I was about to turn the big THREE – O I felt the need for something new in my life. I had seen a handmade quilt on a bed of a friend of mine and knew that I had to make one. I was pretty set for basic sewing notions but the class list of what I needed to start quilting had some items that were new to me. The list was a bit anxiety producing, thrilling and a tad expensive.

I was self-motivated because we had family quilts. My grandmother and her two sisters had been quilters and exposed me to it. They planted a seed which was dormant for about 20 years but when it blossomed, it grew big time.

I was so lucky to have had someone who exposed me to quilting. I wish everyone did. I havestarted the wonder that is quilting for me, my step daughter and now my granddaughter. My step daughter was 20 and my granddaughter is only 2 so my approach was and is quite a bit different.

My step daughter lived with us when she was in middle school. It seemed like grades 5 through 8 involved quite a bit of sewing. I made her play costumes, quilts, pillowcases and favors for her birthday parties. She and I get along really well now but then, there were some definite non Brady bunch moments. Sewing was our first and enduring bond.

She became interested in sewing by seeing the things around the house and the handmade items I gave her. I signed her up for lessons, just like I had Shelby and Emily. She made a little quilt in a Mother daughter class and we were all thrilled with it. After she left, she missed the sewing on demand that was available around here. A seed had been planted for her. This kind of exposure is what I am doing with Zara now also, she plays in my sewing room, she adores quilts and sewing is just a part of everyday life.

For Olivia’s 20th birthday, she wanted a sewing machine. Her sister and Mom got her one at Target and I begged to help and by help I meant completely control this present. They all agreed to let me, even took the machine back. I was in heaven! The early exposure had taken root and I was about to “water”the sprout completely!

I got Olivia a Bernettesewing machine, a necessity for all new quilters. I am all about avoiding play sewing machines or tricky antique ones for young sewists. (I made that mistake with my oldest and I have never heard the end of it.) Buy a lower level mechanical sewing machine of the brand you adore.

After that I put together a quilting sewing kit for her, with some attention paid to a quilt class list. She was not living with me so I wanted her to be completely prepared. She was the only child interested in sewing so far, I didn’t want to blow this!

First: cutting. I got her a decent sized cutting mat, quality rotary cutter and replacement blades. I wanted her to have really good scissors so I got my first pair sharpened and passed them on to her. I think being able to cut well is the most important start for a new quilter. And what’s the secret to being able to cut well and accurately? Quality tools that cut consistently and last for decades, a bargain in the long run.

Second: measuring. When you cut, you have to be able to measure. There are so many fabulous rulers out there. I chose a simple 18” plastic ruler and a really good 12.5” acrylic square. It’s important to cut but it has to be accurate.

Third: sewing. By golly, sewing a quilt does involve sewing. She would have well cut, accurate pieces but she needed a quarter inch foot for that machine and a walking foot for the quilting. Luckily, these are not that expensive for a Bernette. And when you sew, you’re going to make mistakes. It’s just part of sewing and quilting. I did not get her as quality a seam ripper as I have, some holiday I will have to upgrade her.

Fourth: Pins and thread. Almost done but sewing involves thread and pins. I have fabulous pins and magnetic “pin cushions” for them. I had hundreds of standard pins and a pin cushion. Before a year was up, I got her a magnetic one. I also got her a big spool of off white Aurifil thread. She has never bought herself a replacement spool of Aurifil but having one luxurious spool is at least amongst her stash.

Fifth: Fabric. Oh yeah, she needed to have some fabric and I think this is where most people start when they sew. We got her a gift certificate to the quilting store for lessons and fabric.

Finally: some fun. Once you have a machine with the proper feet, you can cut, measure, pin and sew that fabric butit’s fun to have some extras. I had a sewing basket I had barely used, a measuring tape and some duplicate books. Olivia loved them!

Keeping it going: I have given her gift certificates for more fabric, dual duty thread I no longer want and fabric I can’t see myself using. We got her extra bobbins because really, can you ever have too many?

Olivia made a quilt in her class and was enthralled. She is a Pinterest nut and finds all kinds of cool projects. She makes purses, bags, Halloween costumes and presents. She’s very inventive and creative.

I can’t wait to do this all again with my granddaughter. She’ll start out sewing with me in my sewing room so do I really need to buy anything for her? Probably not but that hasn’t stopped me. She has her own sewing table and chair where now she just colors. I got her a pink and white Bernette for Christmas and birthday which are 9 months away. Yes, it is fairly insane.

I couldn’t control myself because as quilters and sewists, I think we have to first expose, then encourage and finally launch the next generation. I’ve been successful with one and I am hoping I am with my granddaughter.

If not, I may have a cute little pink and white machine for sale in a couple of years!

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Quilting: Conquering Quilt Doubts and Inner Critics

Conquering Quilt Doubts and Inner Critics

By Kathy Mathews

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Recently my quilt guild had the opportunity to apply to have quilts with a pre-chosen topic be shown at a Major Quilt Show. It was pretty exciting and I submitted mine for consideration. Yay! I got in! I was very happy.

I was surprised when a fellow guild member did not submit hers for consideration and it reminded me of myself last year. We had the same opportunity then and I nearly didn’t take a chance for a number of reasons. I think many quilters battle these inner critics for not making, not finishing, not liking, not giving or not showing a quilt. I want to address each reason and rip it apart by the proverbial seams.

My quilt is not perfect – Yes, that is true. It is also true for every quilt by every quilter that has ever been made. Welcome to the club of imperfect quilters with imperfect quilts. Isn’t it a great club? No one and nothing is perfect so you can stop worrying about that.

Look at this flaw – Oh that insignificant flaw right there that I would have never seen? The one that I thought was part of the design? The one that no one will notice unless you point it out to them? Would you point that out on a Friend’s quilt or a stranger’s? Then stop doing it to your own.

It is slightly different from the directions – Last year I panicked because my quilt was not 36” by 36” but instead one side was 35.75” and another was about 35.6. Then I realized that the human eye couldn’t detect that difference and I was entering a photograph where no one would be able to tell. Plus it was my quilt, the very size I made it.

I don’t like this aspect; I will redo it – If you want another quilt, go for it. But it is NOT a replacement for this lovely one. Submit this one, finish this one, this imperfect wonderful quilt. This is not homework; it is fun and a hobby. You are sabotaging yourself. Cut it out!

I didn’t finish on time – I have used this excuse myself. This way your quilt didn’t fail to get in or be appreciated, it just wasn’t done on time. If that is truly the reason, submit it, give it or show it next year.

It will never be accepted – So what? Then you can get yourself a t-shirt and proclaim your quilt is a reject and laugh about it. The quilt is still fabulous.

The recipient won’t want a quilt of mine – If someone for whom you are making a quilt will not appreciate it then do not give it to him or her. This says much more about that person then your quilt. Keep it or give it to a more worthy recipient. Some people are not quilt worthy!

Another quilter told me what was wrong with my quilt – Oh really? And what the heck is wrong with that quilter? Jealous?Rude? Mean? Limited social graces? A know it all? Your quilt might not win best in show but you could always grow and improve and make one in the future that would. That quilter will probably be miserable forever. Love that quilt!

This top isn’t worth quilting – How many people do you know that have a favorite quilt top? No one that I know. Everyone has a favorite quilt that keeps them warm and gives them comfort. The most pathetic quilt I ever made is the one my daughter and granddaughter snuggle under every single day. They adore that quilt. Go and finish yours!

I’m the worst quilter I know – Then you don’t know many people. Most of the people I know can’t quilt at all. The fact that you can sew puts you in a unique and special group. You make quilts? Even more so! You are making the best quilt right now that you are making now. Finish it and see how many people LOVE it.

I’ve seen way better quilts in shows or online – I have too. Those are their highlight reels, their best of the best. Do not compare your first quilt, worst quilt or even best quilt to some professional who may or may not have help cutting, sewing, designing or quilting that masterpiece. That quilter may well have bad breath. Your quilts are great!

Quilters make quilts because they want to exercise their brains, play with fabric and meet other quilters. They make them for their beds, their walls, their friends, their pets and their family. Don’t be the quilter who makes quilts to have one more thing to feel bad about. Finish them and feel the joy.

Your quilts are wonderful just like you!

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CTA with 5.5 inch curved scissors

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Quilting: What Is The Most Important Part of A Quilt

What’s the most important part of a quilt?

By Kathleen Mathews

beautiful quilted wheels

 

I have a quilt in my head nearly all the time. I might be thinking about one I’ve made, am making or want to make. Those frisky quilts that I want to make prompt me to stop at quilt stores, haul fabrics out of my stash when I am smack dab in the middleof another project and call my name. The yet to made quilts are perfect. I’ve found the greatest fabric, the actual quilt matches my fantasy and everything is sewn per.fect.ly.

None of my actual already made quilts are perfect, no way. But I love them all the same. Somehow, in spite of whatever missteps I may make, I love the whole completed quilt. And I find I really don’t like a quilt as I am making it, I change it up or stop. The reasons why vary which begs the question, what is the most important part of a quilt? What is the element that makes or breaks a quilt?

Maybe it’s the fabric. Certainly we all spend a lot of time buying fabric. Heck, I buy it all over the world. If I love it I buy lots and I figure out later what I am going to do with it. So is that the most important part? Maybe! However, I am currently in a round robin and one participant sent a gorgeous center block that had stimulated tremendous additions by the other Round Robin participants and the fabric was kindof lousy. Nope, really lousy. You could see through the white and it was very cheap fabric. But oh I lusted after that quilt!

Hmmm, if I coveted a quilt with lousy fabric that wasn’t even finished then design must be the trump card, the central element that makes a quilt. Maybe? But I have seen quilts which are clever and well designed and should work, they really should. But somehow, they just don’t sing. And I’ve seen colorful Gee’s Bend quilts many of which have no discernible design and they make me want to grab them and shout MINE, ALL MINE as I run for the hills!

There’s a thought, color. There are color workshops in every quilt store in America. There are color wheels, hand dyed fabrics and color swatches so you get exactly that shade of frosted apricot blush that you want, no NEED for your quilt. And then there are threads in every pastel, bold, classic, blended shade a computer can come up with. Now we know, it’s color. Or is it? If that is true, why are whole cloth quilts so stunning? It’s just one piece, one color and a whole lot of gorgeous stitching.

Now we are getting somewhere. It’s the stitching. It’s the perfect corners, the 12 stitches to an inch and the diamonds whose points are as sharp as a knife. It must be the impeccable binding whose endings and beginnings are a mystery known only to the creator.

It feels good to have nailed down the most important element of a quilt, the sewing itself. Phew, I am glad that is settled. Hold on there for a minute, partner. Let’s not rush to judgment. So that must mean that the quilts that sell, gather votes and grace our beds as well as our walls are sewn with impeccable skill. Those are the quilts that sing?

Maybe for some they do but not always to ME. I have seen some gorgeous examples of skill beyond my wildest dreams made by expert Amish quilters. There is not a discernible error in the entire quilt and I admire the heck out of the skill of that quilter. But the fabric might be meh, the colors blah and the design overdone and trite.

I have personally seen beautiful skills create a quilt that doesn’t speak to me. I have experienced fabulous designs that just don’t work. I have seen gorgeous fabrics and exciting colors that are squandered in a quilt that just doesn’t grab me.

On the opposite side, I have seen poorly constructed quilts that are truly works of art. Some quilts have colors that have faded but have left the beauty behind. I’ve been lucky enough to view quilts made out of leftovers, used jeans or flour sacks that make me gasp with pleasure.

We can focus on just the right fabric, using the unaccessibly correct color theory, honing our skills and designs that are time tested and not be guaranteed a quilt that will please us in the end. I think that is the most important aspect, which has to be the goal, to please the maker when it is done.

I contend that there is not one most important element when making a quilt. The magic that is a quilt is between the maker and the quilt and subsequently those who behold this masterpiece. If it whispers in your ear and makes you happy then that is the most important element, the enjoyment.

I love luscious fabrics, vibrant or rich colors, master level skills and clever designs. But more than all of that, I want to adore my quilts and your quilts. I want some intangible element to grab me by the lapels and make me smile at that fabric magically transformed into the wonder that is a quilt.

Magic, maybe that’s the most important part of making a quilt. Abracadabra, let’s go make some now.

LEST WE FORGET, THE BEST SCISSORS ARE JUST AS IMPORTANT AS EACH PART OF THE QUILT

CTA with 5.5 inch curved scissors

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