Author Archives: Felicity

May Challenge: Black/White + Bright Solids Hexies

Looking for To Boston With Love info? Click here.

At the April meeting, Paula and Arita demonstrated the fabulous hexie technique they learned in Jacquie Gering‘s class at QuiltCon.

Paula and Arita demonstrating hexagons

Paula and Arita demonstrating hexagons

We decided to use a black/white + bright solid colourway for this month’s challenge.

Arita and Hexagons

Notes:

  • when cutting, start with 5½” strips
  • only piece the hexies in sets of three – don’t piece the sets to each other
  • colourway is two hexies in black/white plus one in a bright solid, any order is fine
  • make as many sets of three hexies as you like – there will be a block lottery at the May 20th meeting

If you missed the April meeting and didn’t get a tutorial handout explaining the cutting/piecing technique, email Arita at membership@vancouvermodernquiltguild.ca and she’ll email one to you. This tutorial on Jacquie’s blog shows the sewing-together technique in case you win the blocks :).

3 Hexies per block

3 Hexies per block

Have fun and see you on the 20th!

Friday Night Sew-In May 10th

Looking for To Boston With Love info? Click here.

There are a couple spots remaining for the sew-in that’s happening this Friday May 10th from 6:00-11:00pm at Holy Trinity Anglican Church (details below).

Enjoy open sewing time with your VMQG friends! Baste a quilt on the large raised table! Cut out your next quilt using the large cutting mat! Have you made your flag for To Boston With Love yet? Come on by and make one!

You can sign up by emailing Holly at president@vancouvermodernquiltguild.ca. We supply the tables and chairs, irons, cutting mats, and tea. Donations of treats are always welcomed!

You need to bring your machine (don’t forget the foot pedal!), supplies for your projects, extension cord, power bar, tools, and dinner.

The Details

Holy Trinity MapWhen: 6:00-11:00pm,
Friday, May 10th, 2013.

Where: Parish Hall, Holy Trinity Church, 1440 West 12th Avenue at Hemlock Street, Vancouver. Enter through the main doors on the south side of West 12th and go up the elevator to the second floor.

Cost: There is a $10 fee for each sew-in if you pre-pay before the sew-in day (you can pay via PayPal if you like) and a $15 fee at the door. Members get first opportunity on the 12 or so spaces available. If you are not a VMQG member, consider joining or email us to see if there is space available for you.

There is a kitchen at Holy Trinity, so you will be able to heat up your lunch/dinner if you wish.
Parking: There is a small parkade off of West 12th Avenue with about ten spaces however most of them are marked small car only. Parking is limited on street. There are three spaces in the alley behind the church and they access the Parish Hall through the alley (a phone number will be posted on the door if the doors are locked).

Please contact Holly (president@vancouvermodernquiltguild.ca) to register or with any questions.

See you there!

QuiltCon Recap #4: Paula – Foods of Austin TX

Paula and her husband James spent some extra time exploring Austin before and  after QuiltCon so they had many opportunities to sample the local cuisine.

While QuiltCon was the highlight and apex of my trip to Austin, the food we ate while there was a close second.

Austin is definitely a foodie town, but a casual foodie town … think BBQ, Tex Mex and food trucks – sometimes combined!  And lots of meat … Here are some of the places we ate …

Bacon

Bacon is a restaurant in a cute little yellow house, specializing in … bacon!

Bacon

They serve a selection of the usual breakfast items, including the Southern specialties, fried chicken and waffles and biscuits and gravy.  I had a waffle, with the bacon cooked right in.  It was delicious! I think James had a more traditional breakfast with eggs, etc.  You could pick the bacon you wanted, from 3-4 different types.  They also have a lunch/dinner menu of hamburgers, sandwiches, Southern dishes and salads, all incorporating lots of bacon.

Bacon

G’Raj Mahal Café

This one is a little hard to explain … but we had some great Indian food here with Paul and Felicity.

The background is this … it seems that in Austin, bars’ licenses allow them so serve nothing but booze.  So, unlike in BC, you can go to a bar and have a drink and you don’t have to order food.  But you can’t even get peanuts to eat.  The flip side is that you can bring in food, BYOF.

So, while we were at a meet-up with the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild and the Austin Modern Quilt Guild, we were starving.  So we followed our noses across the street to G’Raj Mahal to order Indian food.  Half an hour later, Paul arrived back at the bar with a take-out feast.  We had a couple of curries, a biryani and delicious naan bread.  Their menu is similar to most Indian restaurant menus in Vancouver, which I think is north Indian, but this food was a step up from the average take-out – it was really good!

Sadly, I don’t have any pictures of G’Raj or this meal, but it had a lot of typical Austin character.  Both the bar and G’Raj are open air.  Like many bars and restaurants, they have a small temporary-looking building or trailer, and are surrounded by picnic tables.  Both were packed, and it was lovely to eat and drink outside in February!

Iron Works BBQ

My Instagram friend, Claudia of machenundtun.blogspot.ca, suggested this one … we were excited to meet in person, and to try Texas barbeque.  Iron Works is a block away from the convention centre so we had dinner here.  It was great!  Counter service only, you grab your tray of meat (and a few side dishes), your drink from a tub of ice, and find a seat.  It was busy!  We did find a table and had a great time getting to know each other and anticipating QuiltCon starting the next day.  We enjoyed our sampler platter of smoked beef, sausage and the biggest rib I’ve ever seen!  (Next time we will try Franklin Barbeque, which is the local favourite, and requires more effort.  See below.

Frank Restaurant

 Frank

Frank is a “purveyor of hot dogs and cold beer,” and what a selection of hot dogs!  I had a Southern Belle: a blackened, split Vienna Beef Hot Polish link dressed with pimento cheese, fried green tomatoes, and Cajun remoulade. 

Southern Belle at Frank

It was so yummy!  And I don’t even like hot dogs … but I do like good sausage.  Frank has lots of specialty sausages including the Jackalope, a smoked antelope, rabbit, and pork sausage.

Frank

One of Frank’s specialty drinks is the Red Headed Stranger: bacon-infused Tito’s Vodka, Frank bloody mary mix, dressed with bacon, cheddar cheese, jalapeno stuffed olive and peperoncini.  I have the recipe in a magazine I picked up in Austin – e-mail me if you want to know how to make bacon-infused vodka!  The menu very helpfully adds that the drink can be made with regular vodka or roasted red pepper infused vodka for veggie option.  I’m not sure vegetarians would bother coming to Frank, but it’s nice they can have a drink there.

They also have a yummy-sounding dessert menu, but we didn’t have room!

Frank

Gourdough’s

 Gourdough's

Gourdough’s is a crazy doughnut trailer, located very close to Stitch Lab, south of downtown.  They make their giant doughnut concoctions fresh when you order.  The doughnuts have wild names like Cherry Bombs, Blue Balls and Baby Rattler and they are huge!  Take look at their online menu to get a full idea of the craziness!  (There are life-size colour photos of every doughnut on the menu.)  James had a Razzle Dazzle … it is one of the tamer selections, consisting of a huge raspberry-filled doughnut topped with chocolate icing, raspberry jam and chocolate chips.

Razzle Dazzle at Gourdough's

They also have a newish sit-down restaurant, Gourdough’s Public House, where the specialty is “donut burgers”.  It is also licensed and has a full selection of cocktails with wild names and doughnuts for dessert.

Amy’s Ice Cream

 Amy's

Amy’s Ice Cream is a local Austin chain, started in 1984, and slowly growing ever since.  We went to the location on South Congress.  They are famous for their Mexican Vanilla Ice Cream, but they have about a dozen flavours available everyday from over 350 flavours they make.  They also have a full selection of “mix-ins”.  I think Canada must be behind on this trend, because we’re just getting mix-ins …

For next time:

Franklin Barbeque

We didn’t make it to Franklin’s, but we were told by the locals that it is the best barbeque in Austin.  To score some, you have to line up before 10 am.  Franklin’s opens at 11 am, and is only open until they run out of meat, which they do every day.

Guero’s Taco Bar for authentic Mexican food on South Congress, Torchy’s Tacos for tacos from a trailer, Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill for southern food, Home Slice Pizza for NY-style pizza – As you can see, I kind of hope that QuiltCon is in Austin again next time!

March 2013 Meeting Recap

Our March meeting was a busy one!

VMQG members who went to QuiltCon shared their experiences and projects:

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Diane’s stunning BC Binning quilt which was in the QuiltCon show

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Felicity’s Sea Glass on Sand won honourable mention

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Paul shared his experience in a dyeing class with Malka Dubrawsky

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Holly’s mini quilt from her workshop with Lizzy House

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Arita’s hexies from her workshop with Jacquie Gering

Many beautiful makes were shared:

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Jo-Anne conquered the Weekender Bag

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Lisa shared her beautiful quilt top

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Elsie’s quilt from Paul’s Gee’s Bend workshop

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Paula’s fabulous 241 bag (workshop by Krista Hennebury)

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Amy’s fresh take on selvage spools

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Terry’s Rainy Day People is even more beautiful in real life

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Cool use of negative space in this pieced back

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We like to get ’em young! (Laurraine’s daughter Claire’s show and tell)

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Our citrus/linen heart challenge blocks are gorgeous!

March’s meeting was also when we revealed our Madrona Road challenge quilts, and the amazing quilts (including the winner of Viewers’ Choice) will get a separate post.

All the photos from our meetings can be seen in our Flickr Group.

April Challenge: Scrappy Japanese x and + Block Lottery

The April challenge is another block lottery! The more you make, the better your odds of winning a bunch of blocks!

This time, we’re making scrappy Japanese x and + blocks, (10½” unfinished or 10″ finished). Here is a photo of Amy’s sample:

not only did I basically get nothing done today, I also stayed up ridiculously late. I'd blame DST, but really, it's  nothing new! I did get this block made though! I gave up on my attempt to make it super scrappy and used all the same fabric for the X, t(Our) Amy’s diagonals are all pink, but you can totally scrap it up.

The tutorial for putting the block together can be found here at Amy (Badskirt)’s blog.  Note that her block finishes at 7½” so follow these cutting instructions:

For a 10″ finished block, you’ll need:

  • two 2½” squares and one 2½” x 6½” strip for the centre cross;
  • four 2½” squares for the ends of the cross;
  • four 4½” squares for the X
  • eight 2½” squares for the background triangles

Go ahead and make as many as you like – you probably won’t be able to stop at just one! In fact, the tutorial notes that these blocks chain-piece very nicely.

Dig in your scrap bin and have fun!

Member Spotlight: Laurraine Yuyama

Welcome to April’s Member Spotlight! This month, learn all about the lovely and talented Laurraine Yuyama, who blogs at PatchworkPottery.

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When did you start quilting?

I am a self-taught quilter and have been designing and sewing my own quilted crafts since 1997 when out-of-the-blue I decided to make a quilt for a pregnant co-worker at the frame shop where I worked. The small forest quilt was a simple zig-zag appliquéd Noah’s Ark scene of pairs of animals that I had fussy cut from animal fabric. I immediately fell in love with the idea of painting pictures with fabric instead of watercolour which I had done for many years.

Sheep Pillow Cover

Why do you quilt?

I love it. I love colours, patterns, and textures, and bringing it all together in harmony. I love designing. I love creating. I love buying fabric (I probably have way more than I will ever use)!

Partridge in a Pear Tree

What is your favourite project?

My favourite project is the Quilted Teacup and it is the most popular of my patterns. I could sew an entire teacup collection for myself if I had the time!

Quilted Teacup 11

Last year, Kerry Green of verykerryberry in the UK recently asked if she could create my teacup in Liberty fabrics. The cup now sits in Liberty Café in London with my label on the bottom and anyone interested is directed to my blog! I think it’s quite exciting!

Where do you create?

I am lucky to have a bright room in the attic of our rented house to call my studio although it can get quite hot in the summer! I painted the walls my favourite colour of aqua blue (how could I resist a paint called Garden Party?!) and filled it with handmade items and supplies to inspire me. My sewing desk now faces the window so I can look out the large window and the beautiful trees and bridge across the river. My daughter and our fluffy cats are my helpers – Claire likes to design and Percy & Opal like to re-arrange blocks! I create, blog sporadically and sell my pattern booklets online from my bright attic studio in New Westminster.

Craftroom

Where do you find inspiration?

I am greatly inspired by tea, Japanese country patchwork, and the online craft community where I am known as PatchworkPottery. My style has been described as “country chic” which mixes elements of old and new to create a sophisticated timeless quality.

"Tea for One" Mug Rug

I like to incorporate machine-appliqué, hand-embroidery and buttons along with at least a splash of linen in everything I make. I enjoy combining elements from both my passions of patchwork and pottery– creating dishes with patches of intricate patterns, and quilting three-dimensional teapots and teacups. A few months after we moved away from our old neighbourhood and the community centre where I took pottery for 5 years, I must have really missed pottery because when I looked down at the fabric on my sewing desk I decided right then and there that I would create a fabric teacup & saucer! Hence my company name– PatchworkPottery.

saucers

What is your favourite tool/notion?

My new Janome Horizon! Quilting on it is a dream. I also absolutely love buttons & crocheted cotton trim & wood beads.

Linen Bird Ornament

What’s one thing we might not know about you?

I suppose there are a few things! I have a black belt in karate although it’s been many years since I have practiced. I was also a picture framer for 12 years. I’m really shy. I’m secretly being converted from muted calm country quilter to a bright wild modern quilter… thanks VMQG :o)

Madrona Road quilt

What do you do when you’re not creating/quilting?

When I’m not sewing or jotting ideas down in one of my many sketchbooks, I like to spend my time gardening in our private and somewhat wild backyard filled with flowers, kale, tomatoes & Japanese squash. In the summer, we like to go to the river to pick thimbleberries and blackberries. I also enjoy baking healthy and delicious treats to serve my friends who come for tea regularly. I have a growing collection on teacups & teapots which have a special home in “the tea room”. It’s an extra multi-purpose room in our house that serves as a teahouse, dining room, game room, craftroom & karate dojo for my husband.

Gingerbread Bunnies

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Thank you, Laurraine!

QuiltCon Recap #3: Niki

There were so many interesting workshops to choose from at Quiltcon 2013. Based on Facebook comments many of us guild members were poised at our computers on registration day, knowing that at the magic hour the competition to get our top choices would be stiff. Even so, I didn’t get into everything I wanted to attend but was successful at getting into Valori Wells’ Signature Quilt class.

Being a visual person, my whole deciding factor for choosing this class was the photograph of Valori’s quilt of stacked curving pieces. In retrospect it’s kind of embarrassing that I knew nothing about the instructor. It was in the class that I learned that Valori has an enviable quilting heritage through her mother, Jean Wells, and that she basically lives my dream life designing fabric and quilts. She is also about my age and has tattoos.

Valori Wells's stacked curves

With the cost of fabric often being much higher in Canada than it is in the US, I waited to get my course supplies from the friendly folks at the Marmalade Fabrics booth. I got a pre-cut bundle of Kona solids and for my dominant colour a half-yard of grey-on-grey cross weave fabric. I was set. After the class I went back to buy more of the grey-on-grey and was told it was Jacquie Gering’s personal bolt that they begged from her for the booth. Clearly I was on the right path.

Stack of Solids

The Saturday of the Signature Quilt class was sunny and warm, heaven-sent after a Pacific North-West winter. The room had tall windows and super-sized design walls. Janome provided sexy machines for us to use (I really liked the thread cutting button), and Valori provided surprise packages of Kona solids for us to practice our curved piecing on. It all felt super deluxe.

Classroom with Janome Machines

It was a full day class with a two-hour lunch break. Enough to dash over to see Amy Butler’s lecture and then pop over to see Susanna Dickinson’s house where they have a quilt signed by her descendants and an album of a quilt event that they hosted. Seeing historical quilts certainly boosts my efforts in the here and now.

Valori quickly got us rolling with the curves, so we had a lot of time to work on our projects. At the end of the day we did a go-round to discuss everyone’s progress, and part of the fun of a class is seeing how others interpret the same instructions. Am looking forward to finishing mine, perhaps for one of the upcoming shows. This was the second improvisational quilting workshop for me in a row and I can see how one might never return to the straight and narrow.

A Day's Work

Signature Quilts was one of many wonderful experiences I had at Quiltcon and in Austin, but the lasting overall break though for me is that it’s time to take my quilting to the next level. Having show-ready quilts will be my next goal, and perhaps one day my Signature Quilt will be the one to make a public appearance.

QuiltCon Recap #2: Felicity

I wrote in general about my QuiltCon experience on my blog, and this post is going to be all about my experience in the full-day workshop Get Your Curve On taught by Sherri Lynn Wood (who recapped the workshop nicely right here).

The workshop was based on her Mod Mood quilt that I had seen and favourited/bookmarked for a “one day” project. When I saw that the QuiltCon lineup included this workshop I was on it like a duck on a june bug (as my [not-at-all-country] Mama used to say).

I knew this workshop was going to be fabulous when Sherri led us in a meditation  before we began. She instructed us to spread our fabrics out in front of us so we could see them all easily. Then we closed our eyes or unfocused them and listened to Sherri’s voice. I have mediated before, and I have always been challenged to quiet my mind. I persevered and it was so worth it: I felt very relaxed, grounded and present to the day that lay ahead.

At the end of the meditation, Sherri invited us to open our eyes and let them rest on the fabrics that called out to us and to quickly – without judgment or evaluation – pick them up and work with them.

The morning was easy – improv piecing curved segments using wedges cut from fabric without using rulers. We just rotary cut a set of 3 or 4 rectangles of fabric into wedges, then pieced them together on the Janome machines supplied in the classrooms (sweet!):

QUILTCON ~ Day 2: Get Your Curve On Me piecing my wedges, photo by Sherri Lynn Wood from her Flickr stream

They ended up looking like this:

First WedgesSome wedges were pieced, some were patterned fabric, most were solids.

Fun, right? It was. And easy! “I can do this!!” I thought to myself. At the end of the morning, we went around and looked at each other’s work. Here we are gathered around some gorgeous green and purple wedges (fun fact: the woman on the far left was named Felicitas – what are the odds?! Also, she came from Germany to attend QuiltCon!!):

QUILTCON ~ Day 2: Get Your Curve OnThis photo also courtesy of Sherri from her Flickr stream

After that we gathered together in a circle at the front of the classroom and shared some of our surprises, disappointments and discoveries. My surprise was that my first fabric choices – the ones I made right after the meditation – ended up creating my least favourite (you can see it in the bottom photo of my quilt in progress – chartreuse, purple and a purple/brown shot cotton). But I strongly suspect it’s going to add a lot of sparkle to my final product.

After lunch, stuff got real (as they say). It was hard. Really, really, hard. I wasn’t feeling smug and competent anymore. But Sherri was there to guide us – she knew this was coming and she asked for a show of hands from people who felt anxious. Sherri went on to put really interesting words around the idea of anxiety – that it comes from a prediction of a negative outcome, or a negative future state. But can we predict the future? No, we can’t. So why worry now, or be pre-emptively disappointed when whatever it is hasn’t even happened yet?

So what was so hard? Composing the quilt. What wedges to put where, where to add negative space, how long should the wedge be? Is it too curvy? Does it need some bias strips around it to give it space? And so on. This was true improv, in my opinion – creating on the fly, cutting, piecing, adding, cutting some more – letting the quilt speak to you. Here, Sherri is demonstrating how adding some negative space can work with the composition:

Sherri composing her quilt

“You have to commit. Just commit.” Sherri kept saying this, almost like a mantra. And the anxiety was there: what if I wreck it? What if I don’t like it? What if it’s ugly? I really felt pushed as a creator – and I think I even got a glimpse of my artistic side. My quilt is totally a work in progress but I am really excited to get back to it, let it speak to me, and see where it goes.

My Get Your Curve On WIP

I got my curve on, all right – thank you Sherri!

 

QuiltCon Recap #1: Arita

I have been back a week now and still processing the events of QuiltCon.  I was late in registering for workshops so I decided to volunteer at the event and I’m glad I did.  It was a busy time and got to meet some great people from all over.
On Wednesday afternoon I helped hang the quilts that were donated to the Austin Children’s Shelter and the Denyse Schmidt Special Display.

DSC02425Pinning a sleeve onto a Denyse Schmidt quilt with Rose who is an Austin Quilter and has family in Burnaby and Langley

On the second day I was helping out the registration desk.  Everyone was excited to be at QuiltCon, especially if they got one of the goody bags (as a Super Volunteer, I was lucky enough to get one).  My team leader was Ellen Rushman; she has written a thesis on Modern quilting and you can read about it here.

Volunteering at registration desk with Ellen.

The third day was a full day workshop helping Malka Dubrawsky with fabric dyeing.  I got to learn her process of using vegetables and other tools for designing her fabrics.  

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During the class I saw a woman wearing a pin and it looked like she had a picture of a pin cushion I had made.  Sure enough it was Mary from Kansas City who had received my cushion when we had done the swap.  How cool was that! Here we are together:

Mary and I

The next two days I got to enjoy the conference and show; I took two workshops one with Yoshiko Jinzenji working with sheer fabrics and the other one with Jacquie Gering.  Both wonderful women and I hope to have some completed projects for show and tell soon!
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Yoshiko and I
The quilts were a big part of the conference; I loved many of the quilts and it’s hard to pick a favourite.  One technique I want to try is a pixelated quilt.

One of my favourites at Quiltcon!Don’t Blink by Caro Sheridan placed 3rd in the “Piecing – Large” category

And of course you can’t go to quilt show without adding to your stash and I did  a pretty good job of that!  I’m already looking forward to QuiltCon 2015.

January Meeting Recap

January’s meeting was our first in the new venue, Oakridge Seniors Centre. We’ve had great feedback about the new space – including how the small tables create a space that is very conducive to chatting, not to mention that they’re great for working on small projects during the meeting!

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We enjoyed gorgeous quilts and lively chatter – the energy in the room was exceptionally positive. We are delighted to report that we have reached 60 members, with 5 new members recently joining our guild!

Here is a sampling of photos from the meeting – you can find the full January meeting photo set here.

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Felicity with her Scrap Swap item from Kalin

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Jessica and a baby quilt for her husband’s granddaughter

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Stacey, post-karaoke, with her Doll Quilt Swap quilt

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Matt’s quilt made with hand-dyed fabric

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Amy’s sari challenge for FVMQG

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One of three projects Sindy shared

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Krista’s Brrr! quilt (held by Janet), quilted by Krista Withers

Some Madrona Road Challenge quilts were shown, too!

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Stacey M’s

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Matt’s

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Anna’s

The VMQG charity quilt for QuiltCon was revealed. Pieced by Paul, quilted by Joan and bound/labeled by Liz. Wow!

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