Cutting Mat Worn Out

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Got this new cutting mat about two months ago with my 50% off coupon at Michaels. Was too lazy to move all the “stuff” I have sitting on the corners to set up the new one.

Until last night…

Tired of having to reswipe at all the worn out spots on the old mat, I switched it out. I got my money’s worth, for sure, and then some. I had used it for SIX MONTHS!!

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Don’t have any experience to know whether this is good or bad. Being a new quilter and all. Being new to rotary cutting. Let me ask the experienced quilters. Is that normal? Going through a couple of cutting mats a year.

While I was at it, I changed to a new rotary cutting blade. Same. Ditto. Got it months ago with a JoAnn’s 50% off coupon. It needed to be changed weeks ago. But was too lazy. After my fabric ends started to fray, I knew it was time.

So…. new mat, new blade. Makes cutting so much easier.

Especially easier for the blocks I am making I was telling you about.

Finally, I think I know where I am going with this. Design getting clearer and clearer.

 

 

BTW, sewing on Itty Bitty has really improved. Maybe it just needed to be sewn on and loosen up a bit. I have one less complaint. I can now advance the thread out with just one pull. No more tugging and pulling and twisting the side knob. Yippee!!

I wish I could sew a straighter line though. It seems to “hop” when I sew over a seam. But I am feeling better about it. Better than a few days ago. (3 working days and counting. 7 to go before I get my real sewing machine back.) I am thinking I will leave Itty Bitty set up. I can use it for a quick seam if I using a quilting foot on Big Jan.

I am all caught up on hand sewing. Bindings on a few placemats, mug rugs. Will have to take photos to show you.

$20.98 A Yard And She Ripped My Fabric!!

We chatted a bit at the Cutting Counter.

She asked what was I making. (Nice lady, just doing her job.) Hot pads, I proudly state. She confirmed it was one yard she was cutting. I nodded. Under my breath, I said to myself, “that is all I can afford.” She picked up a pair of scissors. (Everything still going fine.) She cut a slit in my pricey fabric. $20.98 a yard. She sat the scissors down.

And then it happened. In a flash. She held up one end of my fabric with her right hand and the other end with her left.

AND SHE RIPPED MY FABRIC!! Right at the one yard mark.

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OMG!! Be still my heart. What just happened????

What had just happened was my INITIATION into the Ritzy-Titsy Art of Cutting in a Rodeo Drive-like Fabric Store. I won’t mention the store name. To protect the innocent. πŸ˜€ BUT they advertise on every Project Runway show. Starts with an H. They are my 2nd option for a Local Fabric Store. JoAnn’s being my first.

I have shopped at “H” many times. My Janome Distributor has set up shop there. But only went home with notions in my bag. Cutting rulers, grommets, pins, cord, buttons, patterns, Janome items, etc. Never any actual yards of fabric. But on this day, the day I took my sewing machine in for repairs, I was going to finally buy fabric, sticker shock and all. Moving to the Big People’s Table.

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You can imagine the look on my face seeing the cutting lady rip my fabric. After I recovered, I asked why. She said that is how they do it. For every fabric. Even silk, I asked, looking over at the beautiful dresses they have displayed in their Bridal Shop. Yes, even silk. She further gave me a run down on which fabrics they can and will rip. I said ok, thanks for the warning BUT could you please NOT RIP my 2nd piece of fabric. She again tells me, that is how they do it. I am saying under my breath, “not this time, lady. Pick up those scissors.”

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Wow!!

I didn’t even tell hubby about spending $33.88 for two yards of fabric. He wouldn’t understand. And I didn’t really feel like talking about the ripping either. He for sure wouldn’t understand. It will be our secret. I will still make hot pads. Once my Insul-Bright gets here that I ordered on-line.

Does your fabric store rip or cut? Have you ever had a “Well, I never!!” experience at the fabric (craft) store? Do tell.

BTW… they should buy new signs. RIPPING COUNTER better describes what happens to fabric you buy there. πŸ˜€

Moving Right Along… Table Runner Ready For Quilting

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Oh boy!! Can I please have my REAL sewing machine back!! I will be deaf in 10 working days.

My little sewing machine would be ok to sew on IF. If it wasn’t so LOUD. My hubby didn’t say anything. He didn’t have to. His feet did all the talking. He got out of bed and went downstairs. πŸ˜€ And my craft room (with the door closed) is down the hall on the opposite end of the master bedroom.

But I am making a bit of progress. I have the squares for the table runner sewn together. Front and back.

This is the back.

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It will be reversible.

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Now it awaits Big Jan’s (my real Janome) home coming. I plan to stipple it so I don’t have to worry about lining up straight lines on the front to match up with the back.

So now, I am working on the two sections I have assembled for the pillow. Or pillows. I could use both of these as a front and make two.

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Hubby asked me why was I making a pillow to go with a table runner. Oh, I don’t know. I guess cause people have chairs and couches near tables!! He is such a kidder.

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What else am I doing?

I am learning Paper Piecing. I love the result. So straight and perfect.

This was my practice block. My revolving cutting mat works great for trimming smaller blocks. I love it.

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But to me, it SEEMS that I am wasting fabric. I can’t get over having to use a huge good piece of fabric to cover “an area”, trim it, and put the scraps in my scrap bin. Seems I have more scraps doing it the paper pieced way. Maybe if I use scraps to start with, I won’t think about wasting fabric. Hmmmm… now there’s a thought.

The instructions for the blocks I am making can be found here.

http://www.quilterscache.com/M/MonasteryWindowsBlock.html

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Still not sure where I am going with this. I’ll just keep making them and putting them up on my design wall. Hopefully a design will pop out at me.

Well, back to sewing on Itty-Bitty.

I Figured It Out!! I Figured It Out!!

YAY!!

I am sewing!!

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Up until yesterday, I had only used my little sewing machine for bobbin winding.

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So, had to find the manual and read it to figure out how to thread it. And how to sew on it.

Here’s the good and the bad.

The Good.

  • It can sew straight lines.
  • It can sew zig zag lines.
  • It has adjustable tension.
  • It has adjustable stitch lengths.
  • It can wind a bobbin.
  • The foot can be raised higher than I originally thought. Yippee!!

And now The Bad.

  • No light. 😦
  • One speed. Slow.
  • Foot petal is used as the On and Off Switch. LOL!!
  • To remove the item being sewn, you have to turn the side wheel several times to advance the thread out. You can’t just pull on the thread.
  • The needle goes up and down the entire time the bobbin is winding. LOL!!
  • It is LOUD!! OMG!! I am sure with the windows open, the neighbors can hear it.

BUT… it sews. And the stitches look pretty darn good too.

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In fact, look at what I worked on late last night (after reading the manual). A table runner and pillow. The squares were already cut. Months ago. It was easy to get started. I was so in need of stitching up something!!

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You know the saying… you get what you pay for. Well, for 50 bucks, I got a 5 lb, 10 1/2″ by 9″ sewing machine.

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It does what it is supposed to do. Sew fabric pieces together. Can’t expect it to do more than I paid for, right? πŸ˜€

More IDEA Sandwiches

Only been one day and I am going through no-sewing withdrawal already……

I hated to part with it, but I took my sewing machine in for repairs yesterday. The repairman was off so I couldn’t ask him any questions. But the Sales Associate seemed knowledgeable about my machine, Janome Memory Craft 10001, though it is no longer on the sales floor. It is not that old. I have had mine for about 5 years. I guess it is now considered Grandfathered. An antique. Anyhoo, she quoted 10 working days and $150. 😦

So… since I couldn’t sew anything, I decided I needed a bit of fabric therapy. I flipped through my quilting books looking for pretty blocks easy enough for a person with limited skills.

And I played with my fabric stash.

Made these new Idea Sandwiches.

First, let’s discuss my obsession with Polka Dots. I LOVE THEM!! I think I have them in all colors. Different size dots.

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The 1st one looks great. But even better with a bit of color added.

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This purple and lavender combination makes me all knee-wobbly. I just want to get the rotary cutter and start cutting!! The outside print is from The Lennette Stash. It pulls all the other prints together.

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Sometimes it just takes adding newly purchased fabrics to your stash pieces. Like this combination. The center orange and purple floral is new. The others had for a while. They blend so well. It’s like I walked around in the fabric store putting them together.

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I love putting playful fabrics together. To satisfy the little kid in me. Novelty fabrics. They are high up on my Like To Work With list.

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This “sandwich” happened after I received this really cute guitar fabric from my friend, Nana/Betty. I had a couple ideas on what I wanted to make.

So I went through my stash and gathered up a few Fat Quarters. Then, at JoAnn’s, I saw this white background musical fabric.

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And on-line, I found this really cute Kitty newspaper fabric. I knew I had to buy it. Did a bit of fussy cutting to cut out the section I wanted. A cat playing a guitar. How perfect!!

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This next one… tsk, tsk, all you ladies listen up.

It is How To Keep Your Husband fabric. LOL!! Too funny. No clue where to get more. It was in the scraps I purchased from eBay a couple years ago. It is just a small piece. About 1/2 the size of a FQ. But I will add these other fabrics to it and come up with something.

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This blue fabric with mustard hearts is from The Lennette Stash. Imagine my delight when I saw the exact same fabric in red at JoAnn’s. Add in the other prints and I should be able to come up with something nice.

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This last one will probably be a Dresden Plate Something. They just scream “make me up in the round”, don’t they. Can’t wait to get to cutting them. I have even more purple prints that will go with these. I will use them all. The more the merrier!!

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Well, that does it. My New Idea Sandwiches. The fabrics are all set. Now just need to decide on what to make. (If only I had a sewing machine.)

A Few “Ta-Dah” Moments… Class, Bunting Set, Wall Hanging

And in no particular order…..

Ta-Dah!!!

I finally hung the first quilted item I made. My Dresden Plate wall hanging. It’s been so long. You have probably forgotten. I sewed a black polka dot sleeve on the back.

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My Cold Connections class yesterday was FABULOUS!! I really enjoyed the instructor. What talent!! She teaches at several places including a Community College. I learned three ways to add a rivet, one way to “staple” metal together and used a Flex Shaft power drill to punch holes in metal.

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Also more sawing of metal. We worked with copper and brass.Β  In the last few minutes of class, I quickly added extra holes.

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Don’t know what I will do with these pieces. Β I will figure out something. It was all hands on. My favorite type of class. I learn better when I am actually doing the work.


I created this Pillow and Bunting Set. I had July 4th on the brain.

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You see bunting flags and triangles everywhere. So I decided to make up my own version. Using fabric, clear vinyl and cut up little pieces of yarn. (A perfect way to use up all that yarn just sitting.)

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I pieced together some burgundy, blue and mustard fabric to make this patchwork pillow. I quilted the front and made an envelope back.

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The pillow form is recycled. I took an old toss pillow not being used, was just being stored, took it apart, used the stuffing to make a new pillow form. The fabric is the same fabric I used to line the patchwork pillow cover. I have eight more pillows I can recycle.

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Here are more photos. The pillow back. The bunting backs.

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😦

My sewing machine died!! It stopped on me when I was stippling my first quilt. I already had about half done. Got through another 12 inches or so and the stitches started to come apart. I did everything any sewing machine owner would do. Rethread, changed the thread, changed the bobbin, cleaned out the bobbin case, removed the bobbin holder, cleaned out under it and all around it, changed needles (several times, different color tips). I did everything I knew to do. Still acting ugly!!

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So.. my Janome now sits in the front passenger seat awaiting a trip to the repair shop. The last time I took it, they had it for 3 weeks. I sure hope it isn’t that long this time. I will go through sewing withdrawal. I will have to drag out my little Sew Petite. And try to sew on it. The foot does not raise up very high, so no way to quilt anything on it. Just straight sewing. 😦

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A day without crafting!! No way!!

Maybe I will make up a few jewelry pieces. I have a couple coiled wire ideas. And I need to macrame a couple of plant hangers. This downtime may be good for me. Give me a break from sewing. Get a couple of patterns done. Get some of the many things I have made listed on Etsy. Now THAT is something I could do!! Should do. Will do.

It Is Off To Cold Connections Class, I Go

Guess what I will be doing later today. Actually this evening. It’s a night class. 3 hours.

Learning how to connect metal pieces the “cold” way.

With rivets, for sure, but not sure what else. I’ve been doing a bit of research on the Net today. Read quite a few articles on the technique and watched a couple videos. Just in case the instructor asks what we know about Cold Connections. Don’t want to appear stupid!! Now do I. πŸ˜€

This is a class at Armstrong Tool and Supply that I have had my eye on for about a year. I kept checking the schedule but never saw it during the month I checked. Until recently. I saw it. Signed up. Paid. And kept my fingers crossed another student would sign up. They won’t hold the class with only one person. Well, as luck would have it. Another person DID sign up. There will be two of us learning this awesomeness.

They told me to bring tools… so I am taking my hammer, several pairs of pliers, set of files, scissors, safety glasses, Klutz Glove, ruler, wire cutter, hemostat. I put nail polish on each piece so they will know which tools are mine. Look at my tool box. Cute, huh? Got it at Michaels. (I think. Maybe JoAnn’s.)

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Can’t wait to get to class. There are so many things I would like to make.

But for sure it will be little things, like this pocket change I found as I was out walking. I would love to make a bracelet or something out of them. As a reminder that sometimes I DO get out of the house. Out of my crafty chair.

This is over a 2-3 year period of out-and-about.

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Anyhoo, back to my class… Hopefully we will make something I can proudly stick out my chest as I am showing it to you. Later tonight or tomorrow.


Here’s a couple of Cold Connection pieces I LOVE!!

Isn’t this beautiful!! From Susan Lenart Kazmer. I HAVE to get this book.

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http://www.susanlenartkazmer.net/publications.htm


This is another bracelet I would love to be the proud owner of. Maybe one day I will have the skills to make it.

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http://www.jewelrymakingdaily.com/media/p/987.aspx


Here is where I went to search for Cold Connections. The videos are listed in there too.

http://www.metacrawler.com/info.metac.test.b5/search/web?fcoid=417&fcop=topnav&fpid=27&q=%22cold+connections%22

1st Day Of Summer Picnic

Today is the first day of Summer. Not too hot. Dry and clear.

How about we go on a picnic?

Let’s see… What to pack?

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First in the picnic basket is this sandwich.

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Next. Fruit. What is a picnic without fruit?

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How about something to read?

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Can’t forget my favorite. Yummy Brown!!

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And a little bit of art. Art In The Park.

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LOL!! You are probably thinking… what is this.


It’s the Quilted Summer Picnic Set I have been working on for about a week.

  • Fabric Wall Hanging
  • Double Table Topper
  • Table Mat
  • Placemats
  • Mug Rugs

Still have quite a bit left to do (quilt the double table topper and table mat; finish the mug rugs). But the placemats are finished. I made five.

The turquoise blue fabric is from that huge stack my friend Lennette sent me several months ago. Just starting to use some of it. Goes perfectly with the color in the Apple and Pears print. (Thanks again, Lennette. πŸ˜€ )

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The back has brown and white polka dots. Huge white dots!!

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This is the Double Table Topper. I made three single mats and decided to sew two of them together to make it longer.

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You can’t tell in this photo that two are combined.

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But you can in this one.

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I really had fun making this set. Each day brought idea changes. One minute an idea would pop up and the next, I would go off in a different direction. But I love how the set blends well together. I wish I had more mugs. Will have to check to see if I can find more. That one is one of my 99 cents finds at the Salvation Army Thrift Store.

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When I get some energy, I will work on these. They were strips sewed together which I cut, then changed my mind on what to do. So I ripped out the stitching. I am thinking Mug Rugs. Add some fabric in the middle to make them cup sized. And sew on one of the fabrics for the binding. Maybe make four in each color.

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Well, that does it. TIME to go…

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(Time. Get it. My clock I so love. It is so quiet.)

Thanks for coming along with me on my picnic.

Recycle #5: “By Sea” Jeans Handbag

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Doesn’t this fabric remind you of the Titanic? As soon as I saw it, I knew I would buy it.

Just finished this jeans handbag today. You are the first to see it. That is, first after hubby. He had to put his stamp of approval on it. After all, these were once HISΒ  jeans. πŸ˜€

The FRONT.

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This is my original design. It came out EXACTLY as the picture I was working from in my head.

The BACK.

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I used the following harvested pieces.

  • 1 leg
  • 1 waistband
  • 7 belt loops
  • 2 back pockets
  • 2 back strips (under waistband area)

Here are a few photos I took as I was making it.

I first removed the back pockets. Yep. Completely removed them. Then I lined them with black polka dot fabric and sewed them on the leg section. One on the top and one on the bottom. Then I made my own pockets out of the “By Sea” fabric to go next to the denim ones.

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You can see the pocket lining in this photo. I used the same for the purse lining. Black polka dots.

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The waistband was completely stripped. All the seams, top stitching and belt loops were removed. Then I split the band down the middle. I needed it in two strips to be able to do what I wanted to do.

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There are two pockets on the inside. One smaller made from the lining fabric. And this one I quilted.

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These were used to make the purse handles.

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And there is a FIRST here, too. My first time adding a magnetic clasp to a purse. It was easy to do. I reinforced the area with really thick Pellon.

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I made a belt to go through the belt loops. It is 27″ end to end. A scarf would go great here too, instead of the belt.

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The whole thing measures 20″ height (including handles), 13″ across, 2 3/4″ width. It is a nice sized bag.

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And it can stand up alone.

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Ok, that was fun!! Back to stippling. πŸ˜€


This is an original design by This Year’s Dozen.

Please respect Copyright Laws and not copy, post or distribute the instructions without written permission. However, it is ok to make this jeans handbag for personal use. Please link back to this post. Thanks!!

Finally… Quilt Top #1 Is Getting Quilted

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It had to happen… eventually, right? I just can’t keep making quilt tops without completing the process of actually quilting them.

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This is the first one I made. So, it gets quilted first. I struggled sewing it. Makes sense that I struggle quilting it. It took me about 3 hours getting the “sandwich” just so and pinning the layers.

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I haven’t purchased an extension table yet for my sewing machine so I had to improvise. My mini ironing board to the rescue. It actually is working out great.

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The fabric for the back is some blah brown print I got for half off several months ago. It is ok for the first one. And was just the right size. That is after I took 3 yards and sewed them side-by-side to another 3 yards. I had read somewhere not to put a seam down the center of the backing fabric. Too late!! But I did do a French Seam and reinforced the seam TWICE when starting it AND double stitched it again for the final seam. Nothing is going to pull out those stitches!!

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I decided to free motion quilt it using the stippling design for all around the outer part and in between the Drunkard Path circles. For the circles, I am going to attempt curved lines.

Here is what it looks like after two hours. I am showing you the backside so you can see my handiwork. I am half way around.

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My bobbin ran out three times. My left arm was getting heavy and my shoulder was starting to hurt. Break time!!

After I wind some bobbins I will get back started. Tomorrow. πŸ˜€