DIY Four Circle Table Topper with Bernina Circular Embroidery Attachment

DIY Four Circle Table Topper with Bernina Circular Embroidery Attachment

I’ve been eyeing a special attachment for my Bernina sewing machine for quite some time.  I was at Mill House Quilts in Waunakee this past week, where they have all the newest Bernina sewing machines along with a great assortment of attachments and feet.  Then I saw it, they had it in stock!, so I finally decided to buy it — the Circular Embroidery Attachment.  (cue the trumpets) Ta da!

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I have lots of ideas of how I  want to use the attachment (none of which included embroidery–hehe), so I got online to find a few YouTube videos to visually see how to attach it to my machine and how they used it.  Here are some great links if you’re interested:

The attachment comes with 2 screws and a nifty small screwdriver, and attaches to the bed of my machine with one screw in the hole on the right of my pressure foot.  One video suggested taping the other end near the pin to be sure it doesn’t wiggle (which I did—see blue painter’s tape in the second photo below).

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There’s a sharp pin under that plastic nob on the left of the tape (see above).  You carefully take off that plastic bit and poke the center of your fabric through the sharp pin and replace the plastic bit, and that’s all there is to it.  You place the fabric under the pressure foot and “step on the gas” and it glides around in a circular pattern all on its own with little help from you.  You do need to stabilize the fabric so it doesn’t wrinkle and bunch up, but if you’re doing the project I’m doing, it’s not necessary.  The directions recommend using a open embroidery type foot, but since I’ll be sewing through a few layers with batting I’m using my walking foot.

The pin is on a sliding mechanism so that you can adjust the size of the circle you want to sew.  The distance between the pin and your needle x 2 = the size of the diameter of the circle.  So for this particular project, I measured and slid the pin at a distance from the needle so the circles would measure around 8-1/2 to 9 inches.

So here’s my first project using the Circular Embroidery Attachment – A Four Circle Table Topper.

I went through my stash of unused layer cake squares and chose 8 coordinating fabrics (4 peach/pink and 4 mint green), and cut 4 squares of batting to match.

Then I layered them starting with the batting on the bottom, mint fabric face up, then peach/pink fabric face down (so the 2 fabrics are right sides together).

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Line them all up and use your ruler to find the center and mark a dot lightly with a water soluble marker (or other washable mark).  Then take it all over to your sewing machine and put the pin of the circular embroidery attachment through all the layers at that center mark and feed the right end (edge) of the fabric under the pressure foot.

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It’s so easy!  It walks (sews) itself around in a perfect circle and comes back to exactly where it was started.  LOVE IT!

Here’s my short (very short) YouTube video showing how it works on my machine…(my very first one)…

After trimming around the edges with a pinking shears (or pinking rotary cutter if you have one), you cut a small slit along an edge being sure to only cut the top fabric.  Be sure the cut slit is in a spot where the fabric will eventually be folded over (so the it will be hidden).  Then turn the circle inside-out, using a blunt ended tool (like a bamboo paper folder, purple-thang, or bamboo skewer) to be sure all the edges are nice and crisp, and press.  OH, you might want to use a tiny bit of water to get rid of the water soluble mark you made in the center…you don’t want to permanently heat set it into the fabric with your iron.

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Use a ruler and a water soluble marker or chalk, draw a square box within the finished circle (being sure that the cut slit falls beyond the square in the outer edge (see top of the photo below).  Each of the corners of the square should just touch the edge of the circle.  I was lucky enough that my square ruler was a perfect fit.

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After making four of these, place them on a flat surface and see what arrangement you like best, turning up two edges on each one to expose the fabric underneath… it’s important that the “flap” that has the cut (used to turn them right side out) is in one of the seams so it’s covered.  Then it’s similar to sewing a 4 patch together—Take the 2 upper circles and match them BACK to BACK using the drawn lines as a sewing guide, pin,  and sew them together edge to edge, do the same with the lower 2.  Then sew the top 2 with the bottom 2 and it will look something like this..

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Iron the flaps down and use your favorite decorative stitch around each edge of the flaps (petals) to finish.

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I chose a blanket stitch in green variegated thread, but you could opt to use a straight stitch, any decorative stitch, or just tack the flaps at each center point.  You could even hand sew them down if you wanted to.  You need to at least tack them down (or sew them) to be sure that the cut you made to turn the circles inside out is completely covered.

And here it is, all finished

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What’s nice about this pattern is the quilting is done as you go, and the back is as interesting as the front…

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So it’s completely reversible.

And no worries if you don’t have the attachment…you can create these table toppers by tracing a circle (using a platter or template) onto the fabric and carefully sewing on the line.  That will work, but I’ve found this is a time saver, I can make any size circle,  and just looks a bit better too.

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I think they make a wonderful gift—Mother’s Day is coming up.

So I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and that you’ll try making a reversible 4-circle table topper.  I have them for sale in my Mulberry Patch Quilts Etsy Shop if you’d like to purchase one instead, along with lots of other ideas for Mother’s Day.

I’ll be posting other ideas for using my Bernina Circular Embroidery Attachment in the future…hope you’ll come back again! And be sure to post a comment below on how you use your circular attachment—any tips or ideas?

Until next time,

HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

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Shimmering Winter Stars Quilted Wall Hanging

Shimmering Winter Stars Quilted Wall Hanging

I’ve just finished my “Shimmering Winter Star” wall hanging.

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From a distance, doesn’t it look as if the pieced triangles are twinkling or shimmering?

I started the design on my Electric Quilt 7 software with some ideas I’ve seen on Pinterest and the internet.  The triangles intersect the colors so they co-mingle and create a secondary design.  I especially love the work of Jenny Bowker “Shimmering Triangles”.  If you’re interested, she has a pattern for purchase online through Craftsy here.

Here’s a photo of the squares of batik Christmas fabric up on my design wall that I cut out of a layer cake to create the color scheme.  You can see the EQ7 sketch in the lower right hand corner.  (Sorry—my design wall isn’t yellow, but a light cream–I can’t seem to correct the color cast.)

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After organizing the color scheme, I got to work making the half square triangles.  It’s so easy–simply match up two contrasting squares …

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Put them right sides together, and

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(using a ruler and a disappearing ink pen) mark lines corner to corner, then across left to right and north to south.

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And sew  1/4 inch on either side of each line…

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Use a rotary cutter and ruler to cut them apart on the drawn lines…

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…open and press… and you have 8 half-square triangles!  Ta-da!

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If you line the 45 degree line on your ruler up with the seam line (corner to corner) on the half square triangle, it’s easy to trim each one down to size.

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After making dozens and dozens of them, I put them up on the design wall (to double check the placement) and then pieced them together into the blocks I needed.

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Here you can see how they’re coming together on the design wall…not yet pieced together.  (Sorry it’s a bit blurry)

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And here it is—all finished with a green batik border, quilted with a meandering star pattern, and ready to go!  I was so pleased to get it in my shop before December!!  Yippee.

Unfortunately, I have another project that won’t get done in time.  Oh well, there’s always next Christmas right?

Until next time,

HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

Project Quilting Last Challenge for 2016 #PQ7

Project Quilting Last Challenge for 2016 #PQ7

#PQ7 There’s one last challenge this year for Kim Lapacek’s PROJECT QUILTING (2016).  My goal this winter was to make a quilt or quilted item for each challenge.  And I’ve just made it!

When I heard the challenge was “A Goose in the Monkey Wrench”, I immediately thought about creating my own version of a large “Monkey Wrench” block  by inserting “Flying Geese” into and maybe around it.  I opened up my Electric Quilt (EQ7) and found the “Monkey Wrench” block, then inserted Flying Geese around the structure of the block.  It needed more, so I played around with adding flying geese in the  border, turning and twisting them until I found an interesting pattern.

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This is what I came up with (above) after several trials and quite  few different colorings.  I’ve always wanted to do flying geese in gradated colors….now’s my chance.

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EQ7 allows me to print my drawing as a paper piecing pattern so I can print it on my favorite foundations—Carol Doak’s Foundation Paper.  After gathering some of my batiks and hand dyed fabrics in the colors I needed, I started paper piecing the center of the mini art quilt

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What I love about paper piecing is the precise points.  I could never do that with regular cutting and piecing.  Some people can…but not me.

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Here’s what it looked like after the center was finished and I started on the “flying geese” border—yikes, there’s a lot of little pieces!  Looks overwhelming.

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The only thing I don’t like about paper piecing is peeling all the little bits of paper off the back of the quilt top after it’s sewn together…but a good movie, and it goes quickly.

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Here (above) is the mini art quilt–quilted, bound, and finished.  It’s now for sale in my Etsy Shop here.

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I like the curves that were created by the flying geese around the border—reminds me of ribbons.

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I chose to do a simple stitch by the ditch (not “in the ditch”) quilting.

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Here’s the finished quilt (above), and the EQ7 rendition (below).    PQ EQ7

The colors are different, but it did turn out very much like my EQ7 rendition.

So the Challenge is finished for this year.  I want to send a special “thank you” to Kim Lapacek (and her mother) for all the hard work to make PROJECT QUILTING a reality.

I hope you’ll stop by Kim’s “Persimons Dream” website to vote for your favorite entries.  The voting begins at noon Sunday, March 20 and ends March 25.

I got the chance to talk with Kim at the Sun Prairie Quilt Show just a few weeks ago–she’s so much fun (that’s her on the right).  Catch her website to find out more about the quilts shown in the background.

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UPDATE:  The voting has ended and mine came in at second place (out of 32 entries).  Thanks so much for your votes!  It was a lot of fun.  Looking forward to next year!

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING,
AND

HAPPY NATIONAL QUILTING DAY!!!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

Mosaic Pixelated Quilted Wall Hanging

Mosaic Pixelated Quilted Wall Hanging

I found this photo of my dad (Harry Haverkate) that I  just love.  Isn’t he handsome?

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I’m not sure of the year, but It was probably taken around the time he was dating my mom (early 1930’s), when he was in his early 20’s.  Back in the time when men often wore suits and always wore a hat.  I thought dad looked so “dapper” with his hat tilted just right.  So I named this quilted wall hanging “Dapper Dad” to hang in our hall in his honor.

I found two websites that will make your jpeg photograph into a pixelated document for free:

One website is pic2pat:   http://www.pic2pat.com/index.en.html

The other is http://vam.demo.lemberg.co.uk/interactive/ppm/landing

I scanned the photo, cropped it, and then used the website to convert it into a document with numbered pixels (squares) that I could print out to use as a guide.  Next I drew a 1/4” grid (with my ruler and permanent marker) on a piece of light weight fusible interfacing, and placed it fusible side up on my portable ironing surface.  I cut strips of my hand dyed brown fabrics just a bit wider than 1/4”, and I sorted/numbered them light to dark.

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Using the numbered grid as my guide, I started choosing and cutting individual 1/4” squares and “tacking” them onto the fusible interfacing with my small iron.  In areas where more than one square was the same color, I used strips instead. And in large areas with the same number I simply cut squares or rectangles slightly larger than the section.

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It’s very much like putting a puzzle together, but you’ve got a guide to help you.  It’s very “mindless” and relaxing.  I love doing it.

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Here (above) are the strips in a bin helping me keep the numbers straight.

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You can’t see much of anything as you’re putting the puzzle together (see close-up shot above); you just have to trust that it’s going to work.

 

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But when you back up a few feet, you begin to see the photograph come to life!

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Then back up even further, and it really begins to look like something!

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After adding the batting (pellon fleece) and a backing fabric, I took the fusible interfacing with the squares completely cover it, to my Bernina and free-hand quilted using similar colors of variegated cotton thread.

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After adding a striped 3-D border, brown inner border, and paisley outer border and dark brown binding, it was ready to hang in my hallway.  (Sorry for the yellow tint.)

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From a distance, you can really see “Dapper Dad”.

Have you tried pixelating in your quilting?  If not, give it a try—it’s so rewarding.

Beagle1     MosaicCat1  pixelated Josh Rhi   Pixelated Pastor Brad

Hope you enjoyed reading about the process.

Have you tried pixelated quilts? I’d love to hear how your experience was.  Please post your comments below, and include a link to your photo if you can.

UPDATE:  I was so pleased to find out the photo quilt got an “honorable mention” ribbon at the Sun Prairie Quilt Show earlier this week!

  
Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

Project Quilting Challenge 3

Project Quilting Challenge 3

The third challenge for Project Quilting this winter is: “It’s All About That Thread”.  I don’t have much time.  I have company coming this week!  But I’m determined not miss a challenge this year.  So I opened my Electric Quilt 7 (EQ7) software on my computer and designed a paper piecing block.

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The software allows you to draw and create any block pattern you can imagine, and it will print it out as templates, applique pattern, or (in this case) a paper piecing pattern.  I tried to draw my spools of Aurifil thread–I think they look okay.

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I printed several patterns on one sheet of paper.  Then I went to my fabric stash.

 

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Using the paper piecing pattern I created little blocks of Aurifil spools full of thread! Here’s one a green one, and a striped one (above).

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But what happens if I sew strips of selvages as the thread?  Interesting.

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I surrounded each block with strips of batik fabric and then cut them a bit “wonky” so they weren’t all in a straight line, adding a band of dark grey fabric to the top and bottom. A zippered bag for portable hand sewing projects is something I really need anyway, so I added the opposite back side, a bright green zipper, some lining and voila!

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I added a d-ring in one seam so I can attach my mini-scissors.  Isn’t it cute?

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I  hope enjoyed seeing the process.  And that you’ll take a moment to stop by the PROJECT QUILTING website and vote for your favorites.  It’s amazing to see all the creativity and what each quilter has come up with.  Just click on the title or photo to see more about each entry.  The voting doesn’t start until Sunday, Feb. 7, at noon through 8 pm Feb. 13, but I have to link this up today.  🙂  I’m so glad I finished it!  …now to get ready for company.

UPDATE:  The voting is done, & my little bag came in #10 put of 51 lovely entries.  Thanks for your vote!

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

 

 

 

 

 

Project Quilting Challenge #2: Seasons

Project Quilting Challenge #2: Seasons

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So this week the Project Quilting Challenge is “Seasons”.  I immediately thought about a sweet little pattern I had purchased just a few weeks ago for a wreath made with pinwheels.

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First I found all the fall like fabrics I could find in my stash.  I chose to “torture” myself by using the teeny tiny “Itty Bitty” Primitive Pinwheel Template that’s only 1-1/2″ square.

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I cut a b’zillion little squares out of my fabrics and arranged them in a pattern.

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Sewed them into columns,…and then sewed the columns together.  Looks like it would be done, doesn’t it?

But no…

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I take a deep breath, and then cut out tiny squares with the template and my small rotary cutter…

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This is what it looked like in progress.

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And yes, all the pieces are teeny tiny.

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With a lot of seams!!

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Here I’m doing some quilting with my walking foot on my domestic sewing machine.

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And it’s done, along with a striped binding.

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I finished it just in time to upload for the contest!  Just in time 🙂

Voting begins Sunday, January 24, 2016, after 12:00 noon CDT.  I hope you’ll come and vote for your favorites!

UPDATE:  The voting is done, and my wall hanging came in #7 out of the 54 quilts entered–no prize, but I’m very happy.  Thanks so much if you voted for me!

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts

 

Project Quilting Challenge—Confetti

Project Quilting Challenge—Confetti

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It’s January, and time to begin Project Quilting!  As you’ll remember from last year, this challenge is put on by Kim Lacapik of Persimon Dreams blog.  Just like “Project Runway”, Project Quilting has a challenge, a time restriction, and instead of voting someone off, the viewer votes who wins!

I’ve been wanting to participate again this year, because it helps the after-holiday, mid-winter blues, and jump starts creativity.

This week’s challenge (#1) is “CONFETTI”.  Right up my alley.  I immediately thought of the “confetti technique” I first saw demonstrated by Noriko Endo.  I’ve used this technique for many of my art quilts in the past, and was wanting to begin a new one.  This challenge is just what I need to get me going.

First I need inspiration…so I took some time to look through my photographs to find something that inspires me. I think I’ll choose a single tree.  One that is the very first to show it’s color and even start dropping some leaves before the others have turned—and the grass is still green.

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First, I need to prepare some “confetti” by cutting up batiks and some of my hand-dyed fabrics for the leaves…

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Next is the background.  I’ve chosen some hand dyed fabrics for the sky & commercial batiks for the background & foreground.

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I cut and temporarily “paste” strips of grey & black fabric onto the background for the tree trunk & branches.

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Then “sprinkle” and position the confetti leaves.

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Everything gets encased in black tulle & pinned before it’s taken to my sewing machine.

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First I straight stitch around the edges so nothing “falls out”, using dark grey cotton thread and my walking foot.

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After that, I put on the free-motion foot, drop the feed dogs, and sew over the confetti & tulle with different colors of variegated thread.

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I liked the look of circles.

 

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Now I can move on to the bottom half and add the confetti for the leaves that have fallen to the ground.  Everything needs pinning so the confetti doesn’t fall out before I get to the machine!

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It always looks better once it’s all straightened and trimmed.

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I like to add triangles to the corners so the piece can be hung by wooden dowels.  So here you can see the triangles and binding ready to sew by hand.

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And it’s finished.  I’m so glad I got it done in time…it took about 5 days–just finished in time to post today…(deadline is Sunday)…

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I hope you’ll go to Persimon’s Dream blog and vote for your favorite “confetti” quilt.  The voting starts soon…January 10, 2016!!

UPDATE:  The voting has closed, & my art quilt came in #2 (SECOND!!) out of the 67 beautiful quilts entered!  I’m so pleased!!  If yours was one of my votes, I want to say thank you so much for your vote!

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Hope you enjoyed my journey through making the quilted wall hanging this week to enter in PROJECT QUILTING:  SEASON 7 (2016)!!  It was fun.

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!

Jane

Mulberry Patch Quilts